After completing Project X and free to move on I mentioned a mine which Dan Hibberts and Bob Toogood had explored in 2009, Dan had written up their potterings in an article called "Part of Kitty Cross?" which appears in EPC newsletter no. 2009_02. Whilst in The Anchor I briefly explained what I knew about the mine to Rob which wasn't much... that it lies on Moss Rake (on the opposite side of the road to Raddle Pits), was draughting like mad and was dead dodgy! - knowing Dan and Bob's digs this meant that this was probably an understatement!
Bob had agreed to join us as his knowledge of where the entrance was located would make progress quicker. Luckily Rob and Toby had already seeked out the entrance the previous Saturday what with Bob phoning in sick the day before this proved to be advantage Team Awesome.
Rob and I met at 7pm and carried a 40m, 25m & 20m rope, drill, bolting gear and surveying gear to the entrance. Bob had told me on the phone that he thought the mine would still be rigged so we ditched the 40m just inside and made our way through the hand-picked level. (Note. You won't find the entrance until your head is in it!)
The Draught was crazy! it lived up to what everyone had said. With it being a cold evening it was draughting inwards, opposite to what Rob and Toby had felt the previous Saturday. We made our way through a loose chamber to the head of a short -8m climbing shaft which we had to garden before descending. Beyond the climber a short crawl led to another loose chamber with no ways on. We rigged the shaft and descended, at the bottom a duck under lead to a short hand-picked level which leads to a mined out chamber with stacked deads at either end - again no ways on. A short climb down and in the opposite wall another short hand-picked level leads to a window close to the top of a large hand-picked vein. To the left a large pile of stacked deads soon finish with a drop over the otherside which we didn't explore. To the right there are two bolts on the opposite wall (but no rope - oops!) which drops you on to a steep loose slope. A short climb on the left leads to a short blasted out crawl that ends in a natural fissure too small to enter.
Back on the main vein a short walk leads to the head of a loose pitch. I could see one of Dan's bolts 2m further out so bridged across and rigged this to where another 5m or so further and slightly lower two further bolts were visible for a suitable Y-hang. We rigged this with what rope we had left. Going off Dan's description from 2009 this must be where all the loose deads had to be gardened which left six firmly solid stemple's still in place.
At the bottom of the pitch a loose slope continued down to a hole in the floor but with no more rope left to descend this would have to be our turn-around point. In the opposite direction a level continued and descended underneath more stacked deads to a continuation of the hand picked workings ending at a run in containing fairly new 'ish waste material. This section also contained a natural wall with flowstone and what also looked like a back-filled solution cavity.
We surveyed out from here and headed to The Anchor for a reliable pint.
COTPD mentions Kitty Cross Cavern in the area but it's vague description sounds nothing like the place we are in! -137m entrance shaft to a short section of natural. Most of the mine we are in has all been hand-picked with very few sections of blasting.
Any Ideas where the heck we are?
Rob in the 'Eye Hole' shooting splays in the Main Vein
Passing by the 'bomber' stemple's