April 6th + 7th 2013 - Edward Coghlan - NY 7876 4286
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After the last trip to Nenthead I was itching to check out some places we had found so a plan was hatched to have a day exploring and then the second day taking UCET on a tour round.
John Capper and I headed up to Alston to the bunk house and dropped gear and headed to Alston village for food and drink. Next morning we headed to Nenthead and met Tim, Mick and Phil from UCET. After kitting up we headed on up the valley to Smallcleugh and found that it was now a bit of a squeeze to get in the entrance due to ice!
Once in we headed down the main horse level to check out a cross cut, I had been told about, that had only recently been reopened. This was found at the back of the Wheel Flats and after a bit of chucking rocks out we managed to squeeze in and off we went. The cross cut led into some nice old workings with barrow boards in situ.
It then eventually led into some nice arched levels with an ore shoot disappearing down! I have since been informed that the ore shoot is blocked but would break out into the Hanginshaws branch of Rampgill.
After heading out of the cross cut we headed to the Ballroom for lunch and a few quick pictures and then headed off to the Middlecleugh Second Sun Vein and off down the horse level to the junction for Barrons Sump and the lower sub level. We then rigged off the rail and abseiled into the level to go and check out the fairy grotto.
After spending a bit of time getting some video and pictures we headed up and back towards the Smallcleugh horse level. We decided to take the short cut through the crawls and regretted it after realising how tight they were. After what seemed like an age we found ourselves back on the horse level. Once at Riadshaws Sump we rigged the rope off the rails and headed down. I had been told it was interesting down there but had no idea how big the workings were! It led into numerous arched levels and flat workings. We then headed back up the sump and out to day light and food.
The next day we left the bunk house a little later than planned due to people not getting up on time and insisting on full breakfast! However we eventually made it to Nenthead and headed straight for Barrons Sump. After negotiating the 2 squeezes we finally made it and spent a bit of time taking pics before heading back to meet Mick and Lew who didn’t fancy the crawls.We then headed back to Prouds sump on the main horse level and abseiled down into the flats. We spent a while exploring the flats and taking pictures. I thought I had explored these thoroughly previously but then found my way into some workings I had never seen before. Due to time restraints we then headed down the ore shoot into Hangingshaws and then out through Rampgill and back to the cars.
All in all it was a great weekend and yet again it has left me wanting to plan another trip……
Below 1: Ice in the entrance adit Below 2: Arching in the horse level Below 3: Sump heading down to Hangingshaws Below 4: Gypsum in the fairy grotto
Below 1: The Ball room Below 2: Arching on the cross cut Below 3: Down Riadshaws sump Below 4: Down Riadshaws sump
Below 1: Flats in Riadshaws sump Below 2: Level in Riadshaws sump Below 3: Tallow Candle Below 4: Ore shoot
Below 1: Arching and deads in Riadshaws sump Below 2: Barons sump Below 3: Explosives tins in Prouds flats Below 4: Naughty Tin in Prouds flats
Below 1: Dressing floor in Prouds sump