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Reservoir Hole - 7th Update

By Peter Glanvill

There was mutiny shortly after the discovery of the Silo. Nick and Nigel declared that Topless Aven was the place to dig but not with the pool in place and that the roof needed bringing down into it. Have stacked what felt like tons of rubble up there I was not so keen but eventually it was ‘be it on their own heads’ hopefully not too literally. Around the same time I took some interest in the roof and wall of the passage that leads into Grand Gallery noting that the flat roof was heavily scalloped and that the true passage height was obscured by fallen slabs. Digging commenced here and has continued intermittently helped by Tony Boycott’s dynamic contributions. However it may still prove to be a deep undercut although it does emit a faint air current. I named it Gluhwein Passage as first efforts were made after our pre-Christmas mulled wine and Stollen cake banquet in the cave.

The Silo has not been abandoned.  As the roof consists of cemented boulders and lies only 20 metres below the road an attempt to go up was deemed inadvisable on several grounds so after shuttering in the remaining spoil on one side we are attempting to reach the presumed phreatic passage that should exist about 3 metres below its base. Progress is slow and we are thinking along the lines of another ‘Stanton’s drive’ to intercept said passage and avoid much excavation of mud and cobbles.

Meanwhile Nick and Nigel achieved the impossible by removing the roof in TA dig above the pool and created stable diggable passage. They have progressed another 3 or 4 metres using a combination of cement, walling and strategically placed scaffold bars to stabilise the route. They have also removed a couple of irritating constrictions in the earlier parts of the passage to enable spoil removal to proceed more smoothly. Stacking space is at a premium so Stanton type walling has been required along with the installation of a mini-winch to haul spoil up to Alison’s Alcove, a space 3 metres up the Climbing Shafts on the way to Golgotha. The current limit reached on 17th April is a point where the floor drops slightly and the roof visible through gaps seems to be clear of fill. The draught continues to tantalise.

Active diggers over the last few months were  Nick Chipchase, Nigel Cox (the pair being referred to as NC2), Peter Glanvill, Alison Moody,Tony Boycott, Rob Harper, Mike Moxon, Andrew Atkinson,  and Linda Wilson, and there have been 15-17 digging trips since the last report.

Peter Glanvill April 2012