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An Update from the Blorenge

Toby Maddocks and myself spent the best part of last Thursday 27th October over on the Blorenge. Following on from the fun we’d had the weekend before with the new cave in the millstone I thought it might be an idea to check out the defined series of shakeholes that show up on the aerial photo of the area between our site and the towers. You can see an aerial photo of the Blorenge here. Needless to say that this was unfruitful but at least we can rule them out for now.

One interesting point was that the vertical range between them was about 40m and that the highest is the same height as Cwmwll Ddu. So the limestone may be 40m (or more thick). We are at about 25m at the moment….

So to the end. We did a bit more shoring on the way down (tiding up) and then set to at the bottom. After taking out 20 bucket loads it become clear that the way one was not so much a flat out section at the very bottom but could be better approached by taking the whole wall out in the direction it was pointing. This was duly done and a further scaffold inserted to stabilise the place a little bit more. After another 30 odd bucket loads we are now in a position where we need to dispatch a fairly large boulder blocking the way on. Would be good if this was atomised before the next onslaught, however I have the drill at the moment and can’t get it over for a while.

Next weekend trip

There’s a consensus that the weekend of 12/13th November would be good for a renewed attack. There are a couple of tasks we need to address.

The entrance needs better shoring. Ideally we should stabilse the whole of the entrance shaft. This isn’t in too bad a state but with a small stream now running down it could deteriate over time. It would be better to sort this out before it comes down. There are two ways to achieve this. Either we cement in the boulders the best we can or we take the long term view and cage it up with scaffold poles. I favour the latter and certainly the very top could do with some retaining barriers to prevent the shakehole mud walls from slumping in.

The rest of the place is pretty stable now, after the work that Duncan, Toby and I have done.

That just leaves the end which needs some serious yoor!


We now have two knackered lump hammers in the hole and need to get a replacement. Also I have the drill and am unlikely to be able to get it over to before next week. However, I have sourced a second drill which could be kept in unless you can get you hands on your club drill.

I have access to some scaffold tubes and clips. We are short of swivel clips so if anyone has access to these that would help. Right angle clips we have a stack of. Getting the poles up the hill is also an issue as

most are in Mendip. I can get them in my car in short sections but then they are a pain to get up the hill. Ivan has offered us the use of his pole cutting tool.

Other dates

Digging Mistress and Martin are back on the scene the weekend of 26th/27th November and are looking for a session. They might even be fresh from a breakthrough on their dig on Ingleborough (fingers crossed)

Planning on coming?

Drop me a line if you think you might be coming so I can get an idea of numbers and what we can achieve.