Cavers/Mine visitors: Chris Scaife, Alex Ritchie, John Procto, Don Miller
It was extremely wet in Yorkshire today and we’ve more or less exhausted wet weather options over the last few years, so a trip to Rampgill at Nenthead seemed sensible.
We left the rope and SRT kits at the top of Brewery Shaft first of all, then walked along the very easy passage to Scaleburn Vein to see the horse gin. This short detour was definitely worthwhile.
I rigged Brewery Shaft from the rusty bolts back from the pitch head, with a deviation from a fence/barrier right by the edge and then a re-belay bolt just over the edge of the 78m pitch. It’s a picturesque pitch, with metal pipes and wires all around, as well as some surprisingly well-formed calcite. Xaaaaaaaandah and John soon followed me down, but Don chose instead to stay up top.
After popping into the Compressor Room we went to see the Water Wheel, which we hadn’t known about last time I was down there with Carol and Xaaaaaaaandah, but is actually probably less than 50m from the bottom of the pitch. We then turned around and followed the passage as far as we could, through some chest-deep water. An excellent trip, with the best pitch, best artefacts and most enjoyable passage I’ve ever encountered in a mine. A great choice for days when Yorkshire caves are just too darn wet.