4th-5th June 2016 - Nigel Dibben - SK 2797 5959
As part of the Magpie weekend, this trip was billed as a TryCaving trip and we welcomed three novices. Starting at Sainsbury’s in Matlock, the group took several cars by two different routes up to the cave. Nigel led one group the direct way while James chose to go via Matlock Bath, Cromford, Ashbourne, Buxton and Monyash, or so it seemed. Anyway, we eventually all met up at the entrance and got going underground.
The first little trip was round the workings in the main open chamber and then we went into the Upper Series which we explored to the end. Route finding was interesting in places and a lot of it seems to be just a huge boulder choke. At the far end which is actually downstream, we came to the sump. James went up into a further section where he looked for a connection to the Lower Series and we then came out to daylight again.
The next part of the trip involved a ladder climb down into the lower series where we saw the five main caverns connected by crawls or climbs and eventually emerged to daylight again through the adit exit.
A grand time was had by all with the photos showing that we spent about 3 1/2 hours underground altogether.
Below 1: The main chamber on the way in Below 2: The group in the Beehive chamber Below 3: Descending the pitch into the Lower Series Below 4: After the trip
On the Sunday, six of us went to Goodluck Mine which was holding an open day, a regular feature the first Sunday each month. At Goodluck, we met John Wilmott who acted as our guide for the day. It would be impossible to say precisely where we went as we went up and down ladders and chains, through crawls (and back again sometimes), down natural rifts and up an ore chute. Altogether, it meant a lot of stooping but being with John made it a very interesting trip.
After Goodluck, four of us went down the valley a bit to look at Groaning Tor Level which is partly a coffin level and has some interesting features where levels are uncompleted as the mine changes direction. Pete spent some time examining and photographing the level.
Below 1: Initials carved in Goodluck Mine Below 2: James emerging from a crawl Below 3: Groaning Tor Level Below 4: Forefield in a coffin level