It didn't take long to remove the few stones from the entrance and to dig a little hole through the snow drift inside to reach the stooping height passage heading off into the hill. No-one had been here for years, but away from the cold, blustery weather outside it feels warm and homely, even in just my thin cotton boilersuit. A short 20m stoop following the huge draft led to the bottom of a shaft up. I was alone so not a good time to start freeclimbing up the shaft, and anyway it almost certainly heads straight up to the surface.

"Well, that explains the draught", i thought as i see the air rising up, carrying my breath with it. However the stooping passage continued and to my big surprise it also took some of the draught. Another 20m in I reach the abrupt pitch head i was anticipating from a vague description i read of the place years ago.

"The level continues to a shaft in the floor, 120ft deep to some very unstable workings"

Knowing that there must be a route up to the surface here somewhere i was amazed to see a totally flat roof, with no way on other than straight down the pitch. A quick breath check confirmed that the draught is indeed going down, which means it must eventually find its way up to the top of the hill!

I left about as excited as i get, knowing that a new project may just have been borne...

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