27 September 2016

Two mines in one night

Sometimes one is in luck! This week we had to decide where to go underground. There are many options. One of them was: back to our dig. Another was: go back to a mine the others had done when I was in the Netherlands, as David had left some items there, and hoped to get them back. There were more, but then he also bought a breaker, and wanted to try it out. He bought it for the dig! And the mine in which he had left stuff was close to our dig, so it was decided to do them both. Some would go straight to the dig, and others would first go to Conglog, the other mine. I saw my chance of catching up on Conglog, as I had never been! I like new places.

We distributed the stuff (the breaker, a drill, a pickaxe, and whatnot) and headed to Cwm. I had the key and let people in; David and Mick went ahead. I locked them in and together with Simon I followed. Mick made sure we saw where the entrance was. He decided to try and drain the adit; the water was above welly depth, which he didn't like. Simon stayed with him. I went in, looking for David. He did not only want to retrieve his stuff, but also re-rig a pitch. Hence the drill! He was still drilling when I came in, so I decided to explore a bit. David had mentioned there was yet another pitch in there! That sounded good.

I think I saw the whole place. Small but nice! And I found the pitch. It didn't lead to very much but if I see a rope I want to climb it. It was fun! And when I came back to David he was just coming down. When he was down I quickly went up, looked around, and went down again. We had another mine to go into!

An ominous piece of slate that one day must have fallen out of the ceiling. Pic by David.

Rails in good nick. Pic by Simon

Cart; pic by Simon

We knew Miles would be there too, working on his dig. When we got to the level where the digging takes place we bumped into Paul who warned us Miles was about to blow stuff up. Just in time! It was going to be a big explosion, and Paul wanted us to know about it, and not, for instance, be in the middle of the pitch down and then jump out of our skin.
We could see from Miles' enormous smile it was indeed going to be a big one. I put my fingers in my ears. Glad I did! It was QUITE a bang. Miles wanted to go in first to see what it had done, for reasons of safety, but we were close behind. He turned out to have lowered a big slab I had been worried about. We needed to see what we could bring down now. More needed to go! It didn't look all too improved yet. But Miles has more explosives where that came from. We would have to keep chipping away at it! 

We also went to our own dig. Paul and David were prodding at things in the ceiling. But time was not waiting and I was glad that at some point they called it a day. With two mines in one evening, it was getting late! But it had been a good night. A new mine, two pitches and then explosives; what more can one want?

Miles's dig, before and after

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