We met at the turning circle early and sat across from the pub, supping our pre-beers on the grass. Temptation was high to sack off any planned intentions but our egos got the better of us as usual! We drove down the road towards the shakehole and unloaded our gear. Big Jimmy Underground produced a humongously, long tool box from Chris' motor which made me feel humongously unprepared! Mark walked us over to the shakehole as he was the man in the know and we followed him down to his old dig. 

The place had previously been dug in the mid 90s but deemed "too hard", Mark had given it a poke some years later after finally being granted permission to this delicate site. Mark had dug down in the complete opposite direction to the mid 90s dig and followed the water. He gained entry to a horizontal passage heading for 30-40ft in the direction of Doom, the passage eventually becoming too low. Lack of help and without dead cert access the dig was left yet again until a brief fettle during the Credit Crunch Expedition but nothing serious. Mark had been telling us for a while now that we could return for a look and with Cussey scientifically tested and it being the height of summer, a surface dig seemed an Awesome thing to consider.

Entra Nella Squadra Fantastica!

Mark led us down the shakehole, noting the mid 90s dig and the random holes which had appeared over time. When talking about his dig he remarked on how he dropped down over a boulder and reached a crawl which led for 30-40ft. He then said, "well that's what I think it did but I'm not sure if that was just a dream, ya know? ..." We laughed.

We got to his dig and found his sledge hammer which he'd abandoned. Still in place was an acro-prop holding back a large flake with a table-sized boulder sitting on top. I jumped in first and dug the floor which was deep in flood debris, Chris footing the boulder with Jim and Mark stacking. I quickly came to the decision to remove the imposing boulder, with little dilly-dallying we got to work capping, Chris and I taking it in turns, I definitely grabbed the shit end of the stick by falling down the hole on the first attempt and getting clobbered in the leg by projectiles shortly thereafter. The rock broke down, piece by piece, helped no end by Jim swinging his massive hammer at it, although I'dve just preferred a proper drill rather than Jim's, "my first drill" (he assures me it's meant for hardcore bolting on the brinc of exploration! - bugger knows what else there was in that massive box of his?) During this time Fabian joined us.