Six of us underground on Sunday. Roy did Deaths Head Pot and prussicked out. The rest of us carried on with the aim of finding the connection to Notts 2. The climb down the dig in the base of the Deaths Head main chamber had a rope in place, as did the short pitch down in to the Master Cave from the Deaths Head inlet, making the through trip practical, assuming we could find the way!
Going up the Master Cave, we negotiated the deep water of the canal, before it shallowed out and we passed various inlets before reaching Groundsheet Junction with Lost John's. Passing this we carried on to Lyle's Cavern and climbed the fixed ropes.
From there a very well decorated passage eventually reached the top of the dug passage through an extensive boulder choke through to Notts 2. The start of this was a slither down tight calcited tubes to reach the base of the choke, then a partially shored dig along the base, eventually coming out in Sir Digby Spode's inlet in Notts 2. We did a 20' pull down abseil in to the main Notts 2 streamway. A quick tramp down the streamway and we reached the inlet leading to the climb up and eventually the dug and shored entrance shaft. After walking the half mile or so back to the cars, Ade went back to Deaths Head and descended to derig and retrieve the ropes.
Aprés-cave drinks were at the Marton Arms, recently refurbished, under new management and busy. A hard, but immensely satisfying trip with a route that has just about everything. A classic open shaft descent to start with, deep water, streamways, pretties (including helictites), mud and tight crawls, hanging death excavated digs, more streamways.
Formations in Notts 2. Photo © Jenny Drake 2013.