'47 Series, Peak Cavern - Wayne Sheldon

Saturday, 8 July, 2017

A brief history of 1947 Crawl:

This crawl was first looked at from '47 chamber by Les Salmon and team, pushing the narrow rift passage into a roomy aven, called 47 aven. This was climbed, terminating as a bedding plane, with a narrow fissure entering from the west, the stream flowing along a sloppy clay bed towards us in the fissure. The flat out crawl was pushed over the course of several visits in the direction of Mucky Duck but 9 metres above it, they were hoping to bypass Mucky Duck into any passages beyond. The crawl was tight in places, partial chokes had to be excavated in order to proceed, the passage arrived at a window overlooking a great rift cavity and entering at a point high in the east wall. A stream let descending the rift splashes and echoes with bell-like clarity in the void above and below. The rift was called Perseverance Pot, discovered from above and that name as stuck. Descending the pitch, the bottom of the pot was a large choke of boulders. The bypass to Mucky Ducks was never found, as the bottom of the Pot was right above Mucky Duck, the choke at the bottom of the Pot, was the cause of the problem with Mucky Duck blocking after each digging session

The aim of the trip was to survey the 1947 series from Perseverance Pot. This has been surveyed previously by Les Salmon and team after they had discovered it. Luke agreed to come with me so we entered the cave at about 10.30am, quickly made our way to The Wallows, the first part of the trip I had to check to ensure 1947 aven was still rigged so we could exit later it. It was, Luke at stayed at the 47 chamber, looking for existing survey stations that according to the late John Beck's notes, they are marked by a spit. Nothing was found but we did find one in the 2nd pool. We made our way to Mucky Ducks, the route into Perseverance Pot is adjacent the first pool. Luke spotted a survey station so we had a starting point.

Luke was acting as survey assistant, caving ahead of me so I could fire stations to him. The climb up were easily surveyed then the bottom of Perseverance Pot was surveyed. Luke made the prussic up to the upstream end of the 47 series, so I could fire a shot at a station at the top of the pitch, at the start of the crawl. The first thing you notice at the start of the crawl is mud, the crawl winds for 80 m, narrow and low in places and the mud gets worse. The surveying was quite easy until we reached approx 10 m from 47 aven, the narrow low section when I managed to get mud on the laser, this stopping the laser firing. About 5 m back, was a small inlet coming in from above, a small stream but it allowed me to wash the mud off and at least survey to the aven, where I could mark a station. I attempted to fire down the pitch but I found that the laser was playing up, I couldn't fire a leg longer than 4 m. It would have been daft to carry on with the survey and it will be easy enough to complete the survey from The Wallows end so we exited back to The Wallows, washing off before exiting the cave and returning to the chapel. Thanks to Luke for helping me and I will return shortly to complete the job.

I have processed data that we have already done, and it looks bang on. I have plotted the line on the current peak survey and it shows the previous survey is wrong but who would do a traditional cave survey through this crawl, as I wouldn't. Les who surveyed it originally, did a pretty good job. See image below.

47 Series