13/5/2019 - Luke, Rob

Following in Jeff’s relatively excited footsteps, Luke dropped down this shaft with moderate expectations. Once about 30m down the hollers up indicated it might be even better than hoped. Sure enough the mined shaft drops into a large natural cavity which continues for the next ~25m to a spacious rubble floor. Whilst no natural passages obviously lead off, two mined levels head into the vein which will need bolt climbing across into another time. At the bottom a very loose slope leads down into level with a series of small pitches up and down which we bolted as we went, following the occasional spit showing modern explorers had ventured this way previously.

When it got a bit dodgy we decided to start surveying, along a silly climb across the top of the last pitch through hanging death and into a previously unreached continuation into a small set of workings. Here the white rocks glimmered pink but shattered when touched! A way too dodgy climb up a collapsed climber gained access into a worked out vein with a muddy terminal collapse at the end which hopefully we’ll find a way around someday, maybe. The climb back down was worse but I somehow survived and soon we were back at the bottom of the entrance pitch. We cheekly decided to call the level "Kittens," after what French Jeff would have been having had he been with us!

Luke started jamming out just as I remembered we’d forgotten to survey back from the last pitch (like idiots) so I rushed off to get some data. In doing so I spotted a huge climber in the roof we’d somehow missed (like idiots) but we’ll have to come back to another day, as I’m not stupid enough to freeclimb up a 16m climber alone. Maybe one of the levels above will bypass it. We surveyed back to the surface and realised there may still yet be a chance to make pub so we derigged sharpish and sweated our way back to car and successfully to The Star. Awesome...

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