News from 2023

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Rigging Guide. NCC Shafts. More Old Newsletters Uploaded

Tue, Nov 28 2023

The NCC Shafts topo now has the final pitch shown. The down pitches drawing has been stretched to make it clearer to follow.

The following old newsletters have been uploaded. Thanks again to Steve Knox for his hard work scanning from his library.

Ogof Dydd Byraf and Past Newsletters

Sun, Dec 3 2023

A visit by the club on Saturday to Ogof Dydd Byraf in North Wales. Jack took lots of photos.

Some more past newsletters have been scanned and uploaded. They are now available for all to read.

Rigging Guide. Garland's Pot

Fri, Nov 24 2023

Revised Garland's Pot in the Giant's Hole Main Route topo to reflect the recent changes that DCA have made to the anchors for this popular pitch.

Bagshawe, Peak Cavern and Old Newsletters

Sun, Nov 19 2023

On Saturday a couple of members attended a DCRO exercise at Bagshawe Cavern. Sunday saw the club visiting Peak Cavern, including the NCC Shafts.

The following old club newsletters, courtesy of the Knox library, have been scanned in and are now available to read on-line. Thanks to Steve Knox for his hard work slaving over a hot flat bed scanner.

Newsletter index

Mon, Nov 13 2023

On the Newsletter page, we now have descriptions of the five, to date, volumes of the club Journal. The first of these, covering the 1983 Gouffre Berger expedition can be read on line. The rest should follow in due course. The Newsletter index is now complete with article titles for every issue, back to the first in 1975. Thanks to Steve Knox for going through them all.

Old Newsletters

Tue, Nov 7 2023

The following old newsletters have been scanned in from paper copies and are now available to read from the Newsletters page, or direct from the following links.

Alderley Edge

Sat, Nov 4 2023

A trip from Engine Vein, and out of Wood Mine, taking in Hough Level and Brynlow Mine along the way. We managed to overload and sink a canoe in the Hough Level. Fortunately at the shallow end, where we didn't get too wet and the boat was easily emptied. Lots of green and blue copper ore spotted along the way. Thanks to Nigel from DCC and Mick (DCC & CCPC) for leading us through and rounding up stray cavers. Some photos from Paul Griffiths.

Alum Pot

Most of the team after a trip around Alderley Edge Copper Mines. Photo © Paul Griffiths 2023.

Newsletter 149 and Titan Trip Cancelled.

Sat, Oct 21 2023

Our editor has produced another Newsletter. Read what we've been up to and what is planned. We cancelled our trip to Titan today, after storm Babet dropped a ridiculous amount of rain over the Peak District on the Friday.

Mistral

Mon, Oct 9 2023

The precipitation in the Dales precipitated a change of plan for Saturday's visit. Notts 2 was abandoned for a trip to Mistral in the Three Counties System. It being more suitable for wet weather and similarly not requiring SRT equipment. Lots of holes poked in to and pretty bits seen, with some unexpected excitement, which will be detailed in the report in the next Newsletter. Gaz took lots of photos, but dropped his 'phone in a stream, after which it wasn't so keen to take pictures.

Alum Pot

Sun, Sep 24 2023

This weekend saw some members at and around Alum Pot in the Dales. There were DCRO team members in the club at the annual "Ralph's Revenge" exercise at Giant's Hole, followed by the team supper in Hope.

Newsletter 148

Mon, Sep 18 2023

There is a new Newsletter for your reading pleasure.

Lancaster Hole

Sun, Sep 10 2023

A team of three took on the Lancaster Hole to Wretched Rabbit trip in the Dales on Saturday. Possible again, now the Wretched Rabbit entrance has been stabilised. Some photos from Gaz.

Rigging Guide Update. Longcliffe Mine and Titan

Wed, Aug 23 2023

Added a topo for Longcliffe Mine, near Speedwell, Castleton. Thanks to Phil Wolstenholme for the information and the sanity checking. Added a couple of new anchors that have appeared in Titan in recent years. One at the start of the traverse line out to the balcony over the main pitch, so you're not relying on a single anchor. The other at the top of a short pitch on the traverse around the Event Horizon to Titan Streamway. Page numbers have been removed from individually downloadable topo pdf's and viewable web pages, but kept on the pdf download of the complete guide. Most people seem to just download the topo they need for the trip in hand, so the page numbers are irrelevant and look weird there.

Various Trips

Sun, Aug 20 2023

There wasn't an official club trip this weekend, but over the last week, members have been underground in Cussey Pot in Eyam and in the Gaping Gill system in the Dales. Some reports have been written for the next newsletter.

Smeltmill Beck Cave

Sun, Aug 13 2023

A small group went to Brough in Barnie the campervan to visit this wet, but well decorated system on Saturday. A report will be in the next Newsletter. In the mean time, here are some pictures and video from Neil.

Rigging Guide Update. Lathkill Head Cave Garden Path and Top Entrance

Thu, Aug 10 2023

Updated Lathkill Head Caver Top Entrance and Garden Path Entrance topos, following new resin anchors having been installed by DCA. Thanks again to Pete Knight (DCA Projects Officer) for the details.

Rigging Guide Update

Fri, Aug 4 2023

The West Passage practice pitch in Giant's Hole has had defective resin anchors replaced. The Giant's 3 topo has been altered to show two different ways of rigging this pitch. Thanks to Pete Knight for the update. A new symbol has been introduced to show drilled thread belays, to distinguish them from natural threads. The Key and the Giant's 3, George Cooper's Aven, P8 and Snelslow Swallet topos have been updated with the new symbol.

Newsletter 147

Tue, Aug 1 2023

The latest club newsletter compiled by the editor can be found here.

Simpsons Pot and the Gouffre Berger

Mon, July 31 2023

On Sunday, we were down Simpsons Pot in the Dales, for a pull through trip to Valley Entrance. Six of us made the sporting descent, via Great Aven and rounded off the day with a quick drink at the Marten Arms. Grace has provided some pictures.

News from France; four CCPC members have successfully descended the Gouffre Berger, as part of the international clean up expedition. Congratulations to them on this caving rite of passage. More, including video, on our Facebook page.

Croesor-Rhosydd Through Trip

Sun, July 16 2023

Eleven members and guests did the Croesor to Rhosydd slate mine through trip. Our last time here was in 2018. Being North Wales, it was raining, but in the form of showers, high wind and the occasional spells of sunshine. We ran in to problems with the pull cord for the boat being caught up on an old steel cable. Fortunately we had an inflatable kayak with us and used it to reach the tangle and sort it out. A very atmospheric mine, with huge galleries, deep lakes, clear blue water disappearing in to the depths, a zip line, wire rope traverses and lake crossings. The clouds were descending through the skylights in Rhosydd Mine, giving a hazy light in those galleries.

Some pictures and video from Gaz, Neil and Grace.

Rigging Guide Update. NCC Shafts.

Fri, July 7 2023

The Peak Cavern key holders have made some alterations to the anchors for rigging on the main down pitch in the NCC Shafts in Peak Cavern. These should make rigging and following the route easier. Our rigging topo for the NCC Shafts has been updated to reflect this. A deviation has been moved, an extra traverse anchor added and a new deviation installed. This will require more rope, so the recommended rope length here has been increased from 55 to 70m. The What-Can-I-Rig app has been updated with the new rope length. Our club have certainly had problems descending this shaft on the old route, so the alterations are most welcome. Thanks to Michael Holliday of TSG and SUSS for sending us the information for the rigging guide.

Newsletter 146, Eldon Hole and Cussey Pot

Sun, July 2 2023

Newsletter 146 is out. Read about our last month or so and our plans for the next month or so.

There were no takers for the planned trip to Hendre Spar Mine. Instead, some members that have a trip to France planned went to Eldon Hole for SRT practice.

During the week, Gaz returned to Cussey Pot. Some pictures.

South Wales Weekend and Cussey Pot

Fri, June 23 2023

A quick update on club activities. Last weekend was spent caving in South Wales, based from camp sites in Crickhowell and a trip in Ogof Draenen. Gaz had a mid week trip to Cussey Pot. More details in the next newsletter.

Updated to add a link to pictures by Neil of the Ogof Draenen trip.

New Facebook Page

Tue, Jun 6 2023

We have a new Facebook page to replace our old one. All club members that want it have the ability to add to it, so it should be another good "shop window" for the club and show what we get up to.

Newsletter 145, North Wales Slate Mine and Oxlow Cavern

Sun, Jun 4 2023

Our scheduled trip to Bog mine was changed to another slate mine in North Wales. The planned alternative trip to Oxlow Cavern also went ahead, with four heading to East Chamber. The latest Newsletter is available to read here.

Spring Bank Holiday Weekend and the Previous Week or So

Mon, May 29 2023

Various trips on this weekend and over the last week or so.

Cussey Pot

Sat, May 20 2023

Unfortunately, there weren't enough people wanting to do King Pot to make the trip practical. Gaz made a reconnaissance of Cussey Pot in Eyam. He found the trip to Vulgarious easier than expected. Some video and photos here. The video of the howling draft from the entrance is impressive.

Coronation Bank Holiday Weekend

Tue, May 9 2023

There were no takers for our planned trip to Mouldridge Mine at the weekend, but some CCPC members did get underground. Steve Colley, Jack Lingwood and Jenny Drake were in Giant's Hole for a trip to Chert Hall and a climb up Boss Aven. There was also a visit to Minera Mine in North Wales. Hopefully more details on that trip later.

Newsletter 144

Thu, Apr 27 2023

Our latest newsletter has just been published. It can be read here.

Shuttleworth Pot and DCRO PPE Inspection Day

Sun, Apr 23 2023

Saturday 22nd saw four Crewe Cavers descending Shuttleworth Pot in the Dales. Photos this time provided by Neil.

On the same day, three CCPC members, who are also in DCRO, were at the Base to help with the annual inspection of the teams Personal Protective Equipment. Five hours work, with a chip shop run part way through, saw all the safety critical gear inspected, tagged, logged and any potentially dodgy, or damaged items removed. The team vehicles were loaded up again, ready for the next call out.

Cae Coch Sulfur Mine

Mon, Apr 10 2023

A visit to Cae Coch Sulfur Mine in North Wales on Easter Sunday. A chance for the team to burn off the Easter eggs in this colourful mine, with the pH 2 acidic water. Seven on this trip. Photos from Gaz.

Rigging Guide Update

Sat, Apr 1 2023

Ari Cooper-Davis has written a companion app to "What-can-I-rig?", called "How-should-I-cut-my-rope?". This uses the same data, taken from rigging topos, including our club's Peak District Rigging Guide, to optimise how to chop up a new reel of rope to either maximise the number of trips you can do, or minimise the excess rope you need to carry. A link to the new app has been placed in the Rigging Guide.

P8 Visit and Rigging Guide Update

Sun, Mar 26 2023

CreweCPC were in P8 (Jack Pot) on Saturday.

The rigging guide has been updated. DCA have installed a new resin anchor at the base of Garland's Pot in Giant's Hole. A rope tied off here will be more resistant to theft. An unfortunate side effect of the increased popularity of the trip to the top of Garland's. The name of Lathkill Head Cave Upper Entrance has been changed to Lathkill Head Cave Top Entrance to match that used in peakdistrictcaving.info.

Rigging Guide Update

Mon, Mar 20 2023

If you are caving in the Peak District and only have a limited number of ropes, it would be useful to know what SRT trips you can do with the ropes you have available. Ari Cooper-Davis has written the excellent "what-can-I-rig?" app that does just that. As well as caves in the Yorkshire Dales and Scotland, it now has data from our Peak District Rigging Guide for Derbyshire. The app has been incorporated, with permission, in to the Rigging Guide. Hopefully users of the guide will find it useful.

Newsletter 143

Mon, Mar 13 2023

The latest Newsletter, chiefly devoted to the late John Gillett, a long standing and much loved and respected club member. Read it here.

Alderley Edge. Engine Vein to Wood Mine

Mon, Mar 13 2023

A visit to Cheshire on Sunday 12th March for a trip along the Hough level between Engine Vein and Wood Mine in the Alderley Edge copper mines. Crewe members lowered the house prices in the neighbourhood by tens of thousands by their presence. DCRO had a training exercise nearby, so we were about as safe as could be. Some pictures from the day, with blues and greens from the copper ore provided by Gaz. He has also written another of his excellent trip reports, which will likely appear in the next Newsletter.

Peak Cavern. Victoria Aven and George Cooper's Aven

Sun, Feb 26 2023

On Saturday we visited one of our favourite caves, Peak Cavern. This time, all elected to climb Victoria Aven. Seven set out. Two turned back at the first ledge. Two more took the left hand route, taking the ropes to rig George Cooper's Aven. The other three crossed the rock bridge and ascended the right hand route. After exploring a crawl at the top of Victoria Chamber, the right hand team used the exposed rope to rope transfer to rejoin the left hand route. Crossing over the poised slab, via the newly installed bolted foot holds and extra traverse line anchors, they ascended Elephant's Head Chamber and crawled through to the Victoria Line and the top of George Cooper's Aven. They met the two cavers returning from rigging the aven at the foot of the first pitch. The riggers left to explore the right hand route in Victoria Aven, while the other three descended George Cooper's to the mud filled foot of Echo Chamber. All five met up at Buxton Water to wash off, before returning to the Chapel and from there to one of Castleton's fine hostelries for a post trip pint.

Some pictures from Gaz.

The rigging has changed in Victoria Aven. All rebelays are now on twin anchor Y hangs. There are also bolted foot holds and extra traverse line belays to reduce the risk of some one treading on a potentially dangerously loose large slab of rock. The rigging guide has been updated to reflect these improvements. Since visitors are following fixed ropes, the topo is more a guide to what to expect than a guide to rigging.

Newsletter 142 and Rigging Guide Corrections

Wed, Feb 22 2023

Some of our club wordsmiths have provided the editor with enough material for another newsletter, only a week after the previous one. Read it here.

The rigging guide has a couple of corrections.

Rigging Guide Update

Mon, Feb 20 2023

In edition 15.3 of the rigging guide the following changes have been made:

The new flowing water symbol was recently used in the Winnats Head and Pindale End Mine topos and was thought to be a useful addition for other rigging topos. The water may disappear in drought. In flood, flow can increase considerably, and water can appear in unexpected places. The Giant's Hole, P8, Cliff Cavern, Day Shaft, Titan, Rowter and Knotlow topos have had this symbol added for pitches where water often has to been considered when rigging, or when it is useful for route finding. Its absence on a topo does not mean that the pitch is entirely dry under all, or any conditions.

Newsletter 141

Wed, Feb 15 2023

We have the latest club newsletter on-line with articles about sites in Wales, England and Scotland.

Jug Holes, Youds' Level and Gentlewoman's Pipe

Sun, Feb 12 2023

Two trips on today. Jug Holes, near Matlock was on the meets list. The other trip was an exploration between Ringing Rake Sough (sometimes known as Youds' Level)and Gentlewoman's Pipe, now accessible again. The Gentlewoman's trip was a very sporting time for the three cavers, with exposed climbs and some squeezes in water, exiting in the playground at Artist's Corner in Matlock Bath. Some pictures of the Gentlewoman's trip by Gaz are here.

Grand Turk, Minera

Sat, Jan 28 2023

A well attended trip for this new to us cave in North Wales. Four hours underground for eight members and one probationer. Steve PA has written it up for the next Newsletter.

Giant's Hole

Sun, Jan 15 2023

A very wet preceding week saw the Crewe team spend 2½ hours looking around the entrance series of Giant's Hole and not descending Garland's Pot. A report will likely appear in the next Newsletter.


An old clay pipe, left by a miner in Moorfurlong Cave and Mine, Derbyshire. Photo © Gaz McShee 2022.

An old clay pipe, left by a miner in Moorfurlong Cave and Mine, Derbyshire. Photo © Gaz McShee 2022.