Downstream Assault Course - Wayne Sheldon

Saturday, 19 April, 2014

Present: Wayne Sheldon, Phil Wolstenholme, Alastair Gott

The aim of the trip was to put a survey line down this passage. It had been surveyed previously but the data is missing, the plan data on the current peak speedwell survey is good but there is no inclination / passage dimensions so no sections / elevations can be produced. This task is part of on-going research into the mining history of Speedwell Mine and the exploration / research into Pit Props Extensions. I am hoping to produce a series of cave plans, sections, elevations of Speedwell Mine, downstream Assualt Course included and how these tie in with the stream caverns, prior to the Speedwell level being driven.

The passage is a winding, stoopong passage that is narrow in places especially when surveying. You can see that corners have been taken off, this was to allow miners to get into the stream caverns prior to the level. Towards the bottom, its get lower to hands and knees muddy canal that eventually sumps but we didn't go to the end due to technical issues with the Disto X2. The bottom part of the passage has a good resemblence to The Trenches in Peak Cavern. The end of the passage is very near to the Far Canal between the The Bung and the Whirlpool but well below the current floor level, hence the purpose of the survey. Myself and Phil think that this passage apart from joining the old stream caverns may have continued on the east side into a system that is now buried / lost due to the artifcial alteration of the cave by the miners when constructing the canal.

The surveying was going well, quite quick with a Disto X2 until i noticed partway down the passage that the compass bearings were wrong so trip was abandoned. I will be returning in a few weeks to do the survey again.

There is quite a bit of surveying that is still needed in the system, which include passages that need re-surveying and vertical passage dims from existing stations (assuming we can find them) that will allow me to produce sections / elevations of stream caverns and the far canal. If anybody fancies helping, let me know as you are more than welcome to come on a trip.