Sunday, 27 November 2005
Sam Allshorn and Mike C
With fine weather forecast and snow flurrys excepted, a trip to the bottom and the end of the Passage of Outer Slime was intended. Once the entrance series was finished and the bottom of the sixth pitch was reached it was obvious that a night at the farm hadn’t been a good idea (i went to bed early, but no one else did). Mike was having to wait a lot as I fought my way through the cave wearing more neoprene than a thing that wears lots of neoprene. The crawling continued and the evil knee pads from hell that acted like brakes up unto this point were abandoned (miners knee pads don’t work well with a full wet suit on).
Then more crawling the last two pitches were not really pithes the 7th is a slippery climb that needs a hand line or a few slings. Then the final relief that was the duck was met, after an awkward crawl. Then the last pitch is a series of short 4-5 climbs, that should be done with care. Then the last of the crawling began. The junction with the passage of Slime was quickly reached the downstream sump was ticked.
Then in we went. The Passage of Slime is a very awkward low muddy crawl. This is relieved as it debouches into the Passage of Outer Slime. Upstream is an easy hands and knees crawl until a chamberet is met, with a low body-sized tube passage in the floor. This was the start of the extension from the OUCC called the slime travellers.
Here Mike dug into the chamber, then i was requested to pass a squeeze. So I did, this lead into a small chamber in which I could stand up (hooray!) with no way on. At the back of this chamber, low down to the right, a bedding plain could be seen to continue and ahead water could be heard falling with an echo. No further digging was done as there was no indication that it had been taken further before and we couldn’t be arsed (got to save something for a return trip) there was also a lack of any sign of the passage becoming any larger.
Down stream lead to a pool that could be squeezed through and ahead the mud filled the passage entirely. Slightly to the left was a pile of well sorted clean washed gravel and there was a very low impassable continuation on the left that was impassable to mere men. There was no discernible draught.