Report by Steve (Stik) Rider
Cavers: Steve (Stik) Rider (EPC), Jase Rider (EPC), Dan Hibberts (EPC), Mike Salt (EPC), Steve Fellows

In that bit between Christmas and New Year what do you do in the day apart from sober up from the night before? Well, you could try Jug Holes Mine and Caverns like we did on the 29th December 2000. Getting there was fun in itself with the roads white over from overnight snowfalls, but the sun was shining and the temperature very pleasant. Having got changed without too many direct snowball hits, we made our way down through the crisp, frozen undergrowth of Jug Holes wood, admiring the spectacular whitened views out over the Derwent valley.

We scrambled about trying to find the lower entrance, which, when we found it, had to be dug due to the snow! Mike commented on the superb formations around the entrance passage only to be berated by the others as they were only Icicles! Jug Holes is an interesting place with mined passages intersecting large natural caverns the so called ‘Water Caverns’. As the mine was worked relatively recently for Fluor spar there are a number of left-over bits and pieces such as wagons and rails to look at. Being a two part trip, we entered the lower series at the bottom entrance, working backwards through the 5th water cavern to the 2nd water cavern and daylight. This takes about half an hour. The upper series is entered by climbing down a 4m chimney which leads to a boulder choke. Once this is passed natural caverns in the beddings are reached where a vast flow stone slope comes from high on the left leading down to a small streamway.

We made our way out and before long were seated in the Miner’s Standard at Winster enjoying Real Ale and Cheese Burgers.

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