Full Moon Series, Bagshawe Cavern - 17/01/2008

Written by RobEavis.

Report by Jules Barrett
Cavers: Jules Barrett (EPC), Sam Townsend (EPC)

Full Moon Chamber and the Full Moon Series was discovered in 1999 by Tony Revell, John Taylor, Dave Nixon and Dave Whiteley from the end of the Great Aven in Bagshawe's New Series. However, the route through from the end of the Great Aven via the Cosmic Juice Extractor II was very delicate and in 2002 the Eldon Pothole Club sought an alternative way to reach the well decorated Full Moon Series. This led to the Snakes Pyjamas project which involved digging through the end of the Snakes Pyjamas passage and into a known passage leading off Full Moon Chamber known as Taylor's Way. This in turn provided a route into Full Moon Chamber and the rest of the passages beyond the Aven Series.

Sam and I arrived at Bagshawe at around 7:45 p.m. and made our way down the steps in the entrance stope. On the way down we discussed the work that needs to be done to make the roof in the stope safer before heading down to The Dungeon. The Dungeon was flooded today with a pool of deep water where there's normally a pitch. Given the large amount of rain that had fallen over the last couple of days we weren't surprised - 7mm in the previous 24hrs, 31mm in the 24hrs prior to that (rainfall data from the Peak District Caving website). However, we expected the water to be on the way down and since the water was clear rather than full of sediment it looked as though this was the case. We could see that the water had been substantially higher in the last couple of days when it would have been impossible to get up the main stream passage to the Hippodrome. We stopped at the New Series Gate to run an errand before heading on through the Cave of Worms to the Snakes Pyjamas Gate. After opening the gate we started the hands and knees crawl up the Snakes Pyjamas. After a short while the going becomes more awkward as the roof lowers to only allow flat out crawling. The route through the Snakes Pyjamas and Taylor's Way is marked with conservation tape and it's important that the correct route is followed. There are nice stalactites and cave pearls in this passage and it would be a shame for them to be damaged. Eventually a short section of particularly shattered rock leads into Full Moon Chamber. This is a large chamber with some excellent straws, stalagmites and flowstone. After a nose round in there we set off along the passage known as Moose's Revenge. Moose's Revenge descends slowly past nice gours, cave pearls and a couple of pots in the floor to end abruptly at a mud blockage. It was interesting to note that the bottom of the pots at the end of Moose's Revenge contained a substantial amount of water today.

After a good look around we headed back out along Moose's Revenge, Taylor's Way and the Snake's Pyjamas before exiting the cave. An excellent trip to a lovely, quiet and dry bit of cave. This section of the cave is gated to protect the formations in the Full Moon Series and a leader system is in operation. Experienced and careful cavers should contact The Custodian to arrange a trip with a leader.