Digging Pays Off in England’s Speedwell Cavern

October 1, 2011 / England, United Kingdom, Europe
Backwater Aven from the Ledge

Photo by Shaun Puckering

This summer after a 19 year break, digging resumed at the Backwater Choke in England’s Speedwell Cavern.

Diggers soon passed the choke and entered a large ascending passage that led to a large chimney 6 meters (19 feet) wide, 10 meters (33 feet) long and approx 30 meters (98 feet) high. The chimney was climbed and connected to a small passage. Another choke was encountered, and it too was passed, leading to another large ascending passage which ended in a blind dome. A choke in that dome, 6 meters (19 feet) up is currently being dug.

The last trip to work on the choke occurred on September 16th, it met tough resistance when diggers encountered “collection of small to mid sized rocks made out of limestone with the characteristics of iron meteorites all glued together with a thin but impossibly strong film of flowstone.”

The future looks promising with a draft and a booming echo. A return trip is planned in the future with some appropriate tools.

Backwater Aven Discovery[Peak Speedwell System] & Backwater Aven [Peak District Caving]

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