Penyghent Pot – Interdiction Streamway
Saturday, 15 July 2006
Interdiction- Penygent Pot
Trip time 16.5 hours
The aim was to understand/survey the Interdiction Streamway.
A flying start saw us at the entrance and underground by 9.10 am. Then as Mike rigged the 2nd of the rift pitches divers were heard behind us and as the 3rd rift pitch was rigged they court us up, then at Myers Leap they over took us. There were brief introductions and a cursing of the group that muddied the water.
The Hunt Pot inlet was passed and we continued to the climb into the start of the passage way leading to Eyrie Pot (about midday). The climb has large hand and foot holds but is quite exposed. Once across Eyrie Pot (an exposed traverse protected by that classic ULSA black marlow, placed some time ago), a short section of hands and knees crawling leads to a cobbley section and then flat out crawling begins (Psycho Crawl). This then becomes flat out, wet crawling and the duck is passed and more crawling follows. It then becomes more roomy (hands and knees). Then the water flows off down to the left in a comfortable canal passage (The Crawl of Cthulhu). Straight ahead as you emerge out of Psycho Crawl is a inlet that steps up over tiny gours and is reasonably decorated for it’s visible length. This is the start of the Highway to Hell. The first section is comfortable flat out crawling alternating between wet and cobbley sections. Sam Allshorn went first along here with the bag. Then the Kidney Crusher was passed where cobbles had to be cleaned aside to ease progress. From here to the crawl degenerates to be more awkward in places and Sam Allshorn left the bag for Mike. The passage eases and steps up over more tiny gours until the Dialysis Machine is meet a squeeze to the left into larger passage (you can turn your shoulders easily). Sam Allshorn passed this first noting that wearing a belay belt was not a good idea. Mike then came forward and with help from Sam Allshorn undressed enough to fit. Then onward to the start of Doom Gloom (where the fist sections of canals are met). A retreat was made to ‘larger’ space to apply more neoprene. Here gloves, over gloves, a 3mm shortie and hood were added and Sam Allshorn switched his thermal to a rash vest totalling 7.5mm of neoprene on chest and back reducing to only 5mm on hands and arms and as little as 3mm around the knees.
Doom Gloom passage was a real relieve after the Highway to Hell as it’s possible to float most of the way through it. There was enough airspace for it to be passed on one’s front with helmets off. Then at Not Tharratt’s Aven the oxbow to the right was investigated. A low section lead to Tharratt’s Aven with a tight looking rock floored crawl to the left or a duck to the right to look at. Once established that to get through the rock floored crawl would need neoprene to be removed or a massive fight against the neoprene, Sam Allshorn pushed head first into the low air space duck on the right, passing the first section into a flat out tightish mud coated passage. Away on could be seen to the right (Sam Allshorn was on his back for this) but the passage was getting tighter. Sam Allshorn required help to return with a gentle pull from Mike, Sam Allshorn was back into passage where head turning was possible.
Then the cobbley crawl out of the far side of Not Tharrats Aven was followed where an inlet on the right was noted (other end of the bypass). Then onward past Pillpopper Passage on the left to emerge over cobble bank at Relief Junction (this passage isn’t well named!), rather than standing height passage it changes back to hands and knees rather than flat out crawling.
The Night of the Living Dead Extentions
Left leads to Aceeid Aven then back in the water to pass the other end of Pillpopper on the left. A further wet section of hands and knees/ stooping leads to larger passage. Gour flows in from the left and fine walking passage of Paradise quickly ends. Ducking under the wall back into the water leads to Paradise Lost a wet stooping and hands and knees crawl that passes first Cholera Canal on the right then an oxbow on the left that leads back into Paradise immediately upstream of the entry point to Paradise Lost. Then there were a few low airspace passages on the right. Until one that looked rather wetter than most of the others. Straight ahead was the boulder pile that allows rest from the water and a quick check of the survey showed that the passage way we wanted was to the right just beyond the boulder pile. So following the right wall and just as you drop back into the water the stream way was followed upstream (hands and knees) to a T junction via an obscure entry point and left lead via a stooping height passage to the start of Death on the Nile.
Death on the Nile
Knowing what to expect from ULSA Exploration Journal 2 a runneled bedding on the left was encountered. With this trip having been a long time in the planning a desperate attempt by Sam Allshorn to avoid being pushed into want looked to be some of the most unpleasant passage in the cave so far lead him up to the end of the canal to crawl over boulders and see a possibly passable squeeze where an enlargement could be seen beyond.
Wanting to be sure of fitting Sam Allshorn return to where Mike C was waiting and stripped off his over suit and shortie whilst neck deep in water. He then dragged his oversuit through and passed the squeeze (Renal Failure) relatively easily (thus avoiding the worming amongst runnels). Then came the desperate calls of enquiry as to whether Mike C would fit. The reply came as, yes, but would need him to remove all of his clothes. Sam Allshorn returned to assist Mike in removing a shortie and then a neofleece as fast as possible to allow him not to spend too long in the numbingly cold water. Mike passed the squeeze awkwardly and emerged victorious in the passage way beyond with Sam Allshorn dragging his shortie through the squeeze (doing it this time with his oversuit on after re-dressing from having passed it the first time).
Once re-clad in neoprene the pair set off after Mike was initially a little concerned about having squeezed into a blind chamber.
Down stream two inlets on the left were encountered, both looked desperately tight one of which was the original route in! Then a tiny inlet on the right was noted then a larger second one then a third (which was in fact an oxbow that reconnected to the 2nd mentioned).
A riffle caused by cobbles was followed by another inlet on the left then a Y junction was meet. Turning right either by an oxbow more or less straoght ahead or a slightly larger passage on the right lead to a 3x4m chamber and straight on beyond lead to a further Y junction, right choked immediately but left lead via 3-4 body lengths to another choke.
Back at the first Y junction the left branch was followed this lead via crawling and stooping to a draughting boulder choke where not much blackness could be seen between the boulders.
Then on the return the 3rd mentioned inlet on the true right was entered and followed, a small inlet in the true right of this new passage was noted but not followed, (it was rather small but not totally impassable). This connected back to the 2nd inlet mentioned. Then with Mike having fettaled a flicking light (thoughts of, “this isn’t a good place for light failure” passed) he then stripped once again and attempted to get out but didn’t quite manage it first so tried again, and again didn’t get through. Then Mike came back and watched Sam Allshorn pass it clad in 7.5mm of neoprene and an oversuit without a pocket. Then Sam Allshorn turned to see Mike push himself painfully back into the slightly larger passage. A frantic redress saw the pair stuff all but the essentials into the tackle bag, then out. Sam Allshorn missed the junction back to Too Long Gone and emerged in Paradise Lost a little confused, Mike followed and quickly went to the boulder pile having seen Sam Allshorn’s route finding error and got properly redressed (padding and oversuit etc.).
Too Long Gone
A quick jaunt along to the sump/duck (head and shoulders out of the water) lead to the final choke and a more strongly draughting choke than Interdiction as it sucked masses of air in. There weren’t lots of voids visible but a few, amongst the head sized blocks. A fair pace of work with a bar may repay effort!
The return trip took 7.5 hours from Too Long Gone with food stops in Paradise and undressing just beyond Doom Gloom and at the Dialysis Machine and a final food stop in the Main Stream before Myers Leap.
Mike carried the bag from Relief Junction to Dialysis Machine and Sam Allshorn to the start of Psycho Crawl the latter half of the Highway to Hell being the easier carry than the 1st, where the bag was abused (only as much as the passage would allow, so more of a vague pushing.)
Sam Allshorn saw in the first mintues of his birthday hauling bags up the second pitch and carrying two lighter bags along Easy Passage and the entrance crawl whilst Mike C set the pace with a bamothic bag with two SRT kits loads of metal wear and rope to finally be back on the surface at 1.30am.
This was a grand day out, a cup of tea at the entrance would have fortified the pair for a further day underground (a little white lye).
1) water enters P lost from cholera canal (from where who knows?)
2) more water possibly (from Sam Allshorne source?) enters P Lost by various
3) most of this combined water flows round oxbow around choke to enter
too long gone
4) but some doesn’t go into too long gone. It flows down into
These conclusion’s came from Malcolm Bass after ensuring that we were in the right place and thus have found the source of the Interdiction streamway and thus pushed the upstream passage to conclusion.
NB This means there is a bifurcation of the streamway underground. It may have been due to the low water levels but the extentions didn’t seem as opressive as the ULSA Expolration Journal 2 makes them out to be.
Congratulations – a fantastic effort!
It is a very confusing area and the differentiation between a true bifurcation, a flood overflow route and a truly separate streamway is not clear to me. On the face of it upstream Cholera Canal, Paradise Lost and Too Long Gone all seem to be the Sam Allshorne flow, although somewhat complicated in places. The size of it seems to be compatible with the lost Hunt Pot inlet water. From Paradise Lost you go upstream to Death on the Nile but by the time you are into Interdiction you are heading downstream again. This suggests two separate stream ways. But I see that you discount the separate stream way idea, suggesting that Death on the Nile originates from the Cholera Canal area and then flows into Too Long Gone and that Interdiction does something similar. Can you recall the approximate location in the cave where you first encountered the water flow for either Interdiction or Death on the Nile?
All exploration in this area is done in drought so I suppose that the lost Hunt Pot inlet water could have recently invaded an immature system incapable of taking the full flow. Normally the water flows down Paradise Lost but often backs up and overflows into Death on the Nile and at higher flow into Interdiction. All three are observed to flow in relatively dry conditions. As this is an immature area it is possible that a fourth overflow route exists that takes water when Interdiction reaches capacity under normal/wet conditions. Possibly this could be reached through the choke that you described just after the 3x4m chamber. You also mentioned an inlet on the true right that you entered and followed on the return journey: “a small inlet in the true right of this new passage was noted but not followed, (it was rather small but not totally impassable)”. Perhaps this could lead to a putative fourth immature overflow route? And beyond…
The case for digging open the Hunt Pot inlet choke is stronger than ever.
Who were the divers that you met?
All the best.
Wednesday, 19 July 2006
The diver was Jason Mallinson and his Sherpa.
I’ll put a sketch with the passage going back to paradise lost on.
A few points with your comments,
Death on the Nile is as far as I’m aware the runnelled bedding at the end to the canal that was 2-3 inch’s below the water level of the canal we were in. thus would only flow in normal conditions and is a very wide but mostly passable low bedding plane. The flow out of the end of the Canal all went through Renal Failure (this was only a small amount). Under normal conditions with water levels up to 2 feet higher all of this passage would be totally submerged.
the tube that was noted as being an inlet was so labelled due to the scallops and visible rise in the passage.
Digging the Hunt Pot Inlet? If you ain’t ‘ard…
Sam Allshorn Allshorn
Monday, 24 July 2006
Jason is now 350m into the mainstream terminal sump and still going.
Tuesday, 25 July 2006
Just found this – good effort.
Sunday, 13 August 2006