Here is a very incomplete list of some of the trips the Eldon have been up to recently.

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Eyam Dale House Cave - 09/08/2001

Written by RobEavis.

Report by Dunka
Cavers: Dunka (EPC), Nige Strong (EPC), Steve (Stik) Rider (EPC), Jase Rider (EPC)

This article is dedicated to Tom Proctor. Although not a member of Eldon, Tom was an important figure on the Stoney Middleton caving scene, being responsible for pushing many of the recent finds in the area. Tom was probably better known for his climbing exploits, his 70’s routes at Stoney and elsewhere in the Peak still command respect today, and also his immense strength will be remembered and discussed foryears to come. Perhaps his most important attribute, one all that met him will remember, was his genuine nice guy outlook - I feel honoured to have known Tom.

The owner of Eyam Dale house is genuinely keen about the cave in his back garden - he even showed me how to unlock the padlock on the entrance - I must look stupid (no comments please).

Jase was first down the entrance. After much grunting, swearing and complaining and what seemed a long time for a 20m pitch, Jase shouted "rope free". It transpired that he had continued down the shorter second pitch by accident and run out of rope. Maybe it wasn’t me who was stupid! (note the second pitch has had the hangars removed). We all grovelled over the muddy boulders, down a short but tricky climb and up into the main rift - surely that wasn’t it?

Returning, Stick noticed a wet low passage leading back from the base of the short climb and dived in. After listening to more grunting and grovelling I followed, moaning about the grotty mud, only to contact a pair of thrashing size twelves with my face. Stick had got the aptly named Pearly Gates (a pair of stals partially blocking the low crawl) slightly wrong - get it right then it’s a slide through.

The real caving then started - a huge rift (especially big by Stoney standards) is entered after another awkward climb down. Lots of nice formations here! We climbed, slid, thrutched and wooped all over the place (take care - it’s a long way down in places!). The cave obviously continues through the unpleasant dig - no thanks!
Back to the surface - pub - what the Anchor shut?? Rush to the Red Lion just in time for the last one.

A great little evening trip (a cave everybody knows but few go down) - well worth the slight hassle of booking.


James Hall’s Over Engine Mine (J.H.) - 21/01/2001

Written by RobEavis.

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

JH had previously been rigged by the Masson who were doing the through trip and coming out of Peak. This was the trip we also had in mind, but were easily talked into doing the de-rigging trip by Wayne Sheldon of the TSG. The entrance pitch, cartgate level and Bitch Pitch were all as expected and posed no serious difficulty. At the bottom of Bitch Pitch, The Workshop is entered, where a remarkable array of miners tools remain untouched since the day they were last used (no way! - Ed) by the miners. A loose scramble follows which comes out at the top of a short pitch, which in turn brings you to the top of Leviathan which is awesome. Even those who have seen Moose's slide-show wouldn’t fail to be impressed by the 300 ft Leviathan shaft.

Leviathan had been rigged in two pitches using the ledge half way down. The second pitch is a superb free-hang to the floor (which is the choke above the boulder piles in Speedwell). Abseiling the second pitch, one could only marvel at the work put in by Dave Nixon in diverting the water down to Speedwell so that the connection to Far Sump Extensions could be established.

After a short break, the more difficult task of getting back out of JH began. Mike had been asked to pick up a bag containing climbing gear and take it back up to the ledge where Wayne had been carrying out some remedial work. Stik and Steve were already making their way out by this point. Jase de-rigged the lower half of Leviathan and then took the rope bag up to The Workshop where Stik and Steve were waiting. Mike took over the de-rigging from this point as Jase, Stik and Steve made their way out of the mine carrying tackle bags. Bitch Pitch lived up to it's name on the way out - and proved awkward in places (for me at least) and the cartgate level seemed a lot longer on the way out.

By the time we emerged at the bottom of the entrance shaft we were all we and truly knackered with only another 150ft of prussiking remaining ! A short(ish) time later I surfaced into the cold winter afternoon, the others had understandably gone back to the car - so I waited in the comparative warmth of the top of the shaft for Mike who was the last man out.


Jug Holes - 29/12/2000

Written by RobEavis.

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.