Monday 14 January 2013

What do you do with an English/French caver who won't get his wellies wet? - January 12th 2013

New Year has passed and the 2012/13 caving season has yet to get going properly due to illness and prior commitments of the dwindling members of TNC.  The visit from France of guest susperstar caver and TNC member Paul Mackrill  promised to liven things up but due to the fact that his left hand has been badly damaged big caves were not on the agenda.  What to do ... a visit to Coniston Copper Mine!

Once in the Hospital Level of the mine we arrived at the first intersection.  The draft blew strongly to the left so we decided to go down the right adit first.  Not long after we had set off Paul announced that the water was getting deep and was threatening to go over his wellies (this is the man who in 2012 completed the first descent of the Culiembro - Xitu traverse, the world's deepest diving traverse and third deepest through trip in the world .)   A few minutes later his whinning that the water was getting critically near the top of his wellies forced a turnaround and retreat back to the left adit, which luckily was dry.  With the danger of wet feet avoided an exploration of the mine followed ; -

The rat gnawed rope is not getting any better. 

Where does this shaft go to?  No water so it must drain.  Where are the bolts to fix the rope?

There must be copper down here somewhere.

Unusually it was still light outside and Paul's feet are still dry!

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