Monday 19 January 2009

16th January 2009 - Another fine evening in Easegill

11 years ago in 1997 the TNC had an 'exciting half an hour' misplaced somewhere below Easegill Aven and underneath Molluscan Hall ... could we find the way through ... well we must have done because I am telling this story now (read about the 1997 trip here). The plan tonight was to start to re-explore the two ends of the trip with a view to linking it again.

We set off in slightly wet and muddier conditions than last week when the ground was well frozen, across the moor to County Pot where the familiar passages soon gave way to the ladder pitch that leads to Broadway. A quick trip down the classic streamway led to Spout Hall where a climb up into the roof gives the way into Ignorance Is Bliss, which is a bypass leading into Pierce's Passage and the route into the main drain at Eureka Junction.

In the main streamway there was evidence of very high water levels (froth in the roof up to five meters!) that must have happened when the snow and ice melted in the rain earlier in the week. A cold duck through Stop Pot saw us heading up the ladder into the High Level Route and eventually Main Line Terminus. From here the next twenty minutes were a bit frustrating because although we found the Sideline Passage where we wrongly went back in 1997, we could not find the way into the Mancunian Way and the route to Easgill Aven (just like the last time!).

A rest in Carrot Chamber in absolute silence and darkness was broken as we retraced our steps to Mainline Terminus where the Manchester Bypass was taken back to Battle of Britain Hall in County Pot. An exciting route and a useful one to learn as it affords as escape route out of the high level series if Stop Pot is flooded.

A quick return out of County and the soggy plod back across the moor saw us changed and heading towards the Barbon Inn for a pint.

More research needed on Mancunian Way next week I think.

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