surveys resulting from 2001 expedition
summer expedition 2001
Another successful expedition. The focus this year was on exploring Gardeners' World cave which is turning out to be quite substantial. The cave is now 575m deep, and we have doubled the length to almost 1.7km. A long phreatic passageway (Friendship Gallery) now takes the cave under the system, and there is a possibility of a connection with M16 around the Northern line.
A number of passageways were discovered off Jelly Chamber leading to quite a bit of vertical cave development (Hunger series, Judge Dredd).
at the bottom
The going lead at the bottom of the cave (Zlatarog rift) lead immediately to an open pitch (Fistful of Tolars) which was dropped 40m. At the bottom of the pitch two leads were found. The first, a small trickle lead down a further 8m pitch which dripped into a small streamway (Banzai streamway). This winds its way along a further 20m or so to an undescended pitch-head/possible traverse.
The second lead at the bottom of Fistful of Tolars drops down several small pitches followed by Zimmer, a 50m drop. From this point down, the cave changes dramatically. Up a small climb off the bottom of Zimmer was found a horizontal phreatic passageway some 3 metres in height leading off into the distance (Friendship Gallery).
A swing on to a ledge near the bottom of Zimmer lead to a climb up a small waterfall which in turn lead to a passageway littered with rock and which continues for 20 metres until it reaches an undescended pitch.
Going down Friendship Gallery, there is a junction off to the left which starts as a muddy climb but quickly turns into clean washed limestone as a stream enters and drops down a rift (Falls Road). This seems to lead under Friendship Gallery.
Friendship Gallery itself, the muddy phreatic passage, continues in the same way for a couple of hundred metres. There are a few slippery climbs to negotiate, but progress is quick. Exploration was left at a very muddy pitch-head, which takes a howling, freezing draught.
royston vasey (a local cave for local people)
A new cave entrance was discovered not 30m from the top level bivouac. It was pushed to a depth of 30m. A find so close to the camp shows how rich in caving the area is.
There are a large number of unexplored leads in Gardeners' World cave which definitely merit future exploration. It is worth mentioning that the depth at the end of Friedship Gallery is -570m, so additional exploration would probably require an underground camp to be set up.
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