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Author Most embarassing moment underground....
Graigfawr

Joined: 04/11/2009

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 22/04/2017 20:46:24
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Willy Eckerslyke wrote:

I don't think any of us regretted it, but a few years ago the "Thursday Nighters" spent several weeks working our way up an interesting mine, climbing with a maypole and bolting as we went. Eventually we discovered a large chamber, waded along a passage and popped out a couple of yards from where we'd walked previously oblivious of the presence of the adit.


Surveying Penlan No.2 Level at Cystanog Mine, we pegged a challenging traverse over a section where the floor of the level had been stoped-out, descended a winze beyond and slowly surveyed our way along a complex series of small stopes connected by short sub-levels. It was a sense of relief that we reached the end as we were ready to go home and have some food.

There was one trivial lead left - a low 'U-bend' grovel at floor level. I excavated it a little and made my way through, almost dislocating my back. I popped out in a level that ran parallel to the workings we had been surveying.

It was with mixed feelings that I reconnoitered the level, realising that we would either have to extend an already lengthy day, or to leave the pegs and traverse line across the stoped-out floor to enable another surveying trip.

After a few hundred feet I reached the entrance of the level which slowly became familiar - it was Cystanog no.3 Level on the opposite side of the hill, which we had surveyed the previous week - during which survey I had missed the low crawl at floor level that lead to the U-bend connection...
IP: 94.194.74.78
Gayterman

Joined: 10/10/2010

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 28/04/2017 21:54:47
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A few years ago in Bage Mine (Wirksworth Mines Research Group), a couple of the group were endeavouring to drop a shaft from the 190 level down onto the 303 to bypass a serious run-in shaft on the latter. The intention was to drop another nearby winze on the 190 (actually about 175 at this point; 190 at the main haulage shaft where you travel in bye). On the survey, the shaft was marked as '80 ft Shaft' (I may have forgotten the actual depth, but you'll get the drift) and had been dropped about 20 years previously but never seriously pushed.

A couple of the team set off (I was at the surface with the winch man) and they arrived back about two and a half hours later, seriously pissed off. Seems that the 90 ft of rope they had down the shaft had actually proven to be about 6 feet too short. They had managed to get off by bridging the shaft and using some slings, but only with a lot of cursing etc. The winch man replied "Yep, I think you'll find that the shaft is about 95 ft not 80 ft". Said mine explorers then replied: "Why the **** is it called the 80 ft Shaft then?". Answer from the winch man: "Because that's what it was before we cleared the **** at the bottom". Laugh
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legendrider

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Joined: 13/07/2014
Location: Darlington

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 29/04/2017 10:59:12
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not so much embarrassing as a lamented missed opportunity.

some years ago TPTB decided to replace the old decaying concrete cap on the shaft, rear of Coldberry shop. Myself and Alex F seized the opportunity whilst it was partially open, and headed up there to probe with SRT. Arriving on site, I discovered the 150ft rope had been omitted from our kit, leaving just the 100ft. We dropped it anyway and entered a known inset at about 40ft, giving access to a sublevel shown on plans as running below the shop.

We photographed it, and planned to return, which we did, just AFTER the new cap had been poured.


b*****r Cursing

MARK


--

festina lente IP: 86.183.105.96
moorlandmineral

Joined: 08/12/2007

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 29/04/2017 17:17:18
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legendrider wrote:

not so much embarrassing as a lamented missed opportunity.

some years ago TPTB decided to replace the old decaying concrete cap on the shaft, rear of Coldberry shop. Myself and Alex F seized the opportunity whilst it was partially open, and headed up there to probe with SRT. Arriving on site, I discovered the 150ft rope had been omitted from our kit, leaving just the 100ft. We dropped it anyway and entered a known inset at about 40ft, giving access to a sublevel shown on plans as running below the shop.
Or ... may not have been a case of better late than neverLaugh
However on the subject of missed opportunities...
We arrived one day at Cambokeels just after the mine had been officially closed... nobody around, however the power was still on, the tubs sitting on the incline winch , the winch was still Powered up and the system lights showing standby..
Should have gone down the incline... Smile oh how naive we all were back then
We photographed it, and planned to return, which we did, just AFTER the new cap had been poured.


b*****r Cursing

MARK
IP: 86.158.78.100
John Lawson

Joined: 09/12/2010
Location: Castle Douglas Dumfries & Galloway

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 30/04/2017 10:00:04
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My worst moment underground took place exactly 25 years ago!
We were exploring part of Middelceugh North Vein, looking for the connection(s) with Capelcleugh at Smallcleugh random.
The party had 2 electron ladders, and one S.R.T. rig.
After making sure the belay was in place I confidently threw the electrons over the shaft top, only to be surprised to see them hurtling down!
I had forgotten to make sure the C-links were firmly closed!
I recovered said gear using the S.R.T. rig.
Dave Banks the then secretary of C.M.R.G. made the comment in the journal". Should this man be allowed out?"
However we did prove the connection to Capelcleugh low level, beyond the fall, just after the ventilation fan.
IP: 31.54.8.222
Graigfawr

Joined: 04/11/2009

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 01/05/2017 23:18:27
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Gayterman's story of a rope being 6ft shorter than a shaft reminds me of exploring a shaft at Darren Mine in 1981 one evening. It was a narrow shaft, possibly the Engine Shaft, possibly the Flatrod Shaft, or possibly another shaft all together - the various surveys all seem to use different names and to show the shafts in different positions. We put two 25ft ladders down and they just touched the gravel blockage forming the current 'bottom' of the shaft. After a brief exploration of a small stope with a crumbling roof held up by air pressure alone we returned, disappointed at having not found more. The blockage slowly subsided as each of the three of us waited to ladder out. By the time it was my turn, the ladder was 5ft off the bottom. Whether there was some fresh spongy material like brushwood under the gravel, or whether the entire blockage was starting to descend to the infinite depths, was unknown - but it seemed a long and worrying wait until I heard the shout 'ladder free'. IP: 94.194.74.78
Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 02/05/2017 08:04:16
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Having explored a very fine Tamar Valley mine the time had come to climb the 40m shaft to surface. I was the last man out. The chap before was somewhat on the ample side. He was having trouble getting the rope to run through his Croll (should have bought a Turbochest). As the shaft was a bit loose I did not want to stand below him and hold his rope so I tied the tackle sack off to weight the rope. All well and good. Matey continues steadily up the pitch.

The only problem is that at the bottom of the pitch the rope is at full stretch (the climber being a stout fellow), by the time he has climbed 40m the rope has returned to its unstretched length and the tackle sack at the bottom of the rope is now dangling out of reach.

Fortunately some considerate soul had dumped a washing machine down the shaft which I manhandled over to the rope. By mounting the washing machine and hurling myself into space I was just able to grab the rope long enough to get a jammer on it.
IP: 81.153.34.45 Edited: 02/05/2017 17:19:02 by Tamarmole
sumpjumper

Joined: 24/09/2013

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 02/05/2017 13:36:41
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Our first two trips into Smallcleugh were confusing. We just couldn’t relate our survey to the levels we were following?

On our third trip we discovered that we had been in Carrs level, having ‘discovered’ Smallcleugh a bit further up the stream side.

The next two trips we spent hours trying to find the Ballroom, which didn’t seem to be marked on our enormous mine plan.

On our sixth trip we realised that the mine was even bigger than we thought having discovered that the map continued over the back, where lo and behold was marked the Ballroom !!

I’ll leave my other embarrassing stories about our Smallcleugh ‘hatstand’ dig, our ironstone mine ‘gas’ encounter and my first C/R through trip dinghy disaster…….. for now Crying
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J25GTi

Joined: 09/06/2012

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 02/05/2017 15:03:19
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I remember getting horrendously stuck for nearly an hour and a half on a rope 60ft down a shaft....

I had bought a load of new kit including pre tied cows tails etc and a hand jammer loop etc.

I got half way down and was getting major rope rub, the deviation clip in bolt has knackered and I needed to change over and come back up, to put another one higher up....

Which went great until I put my weight on the hand ascender and realised that I had the foot loop and maillon attachment the wrong way round, meaning that I couldn't take the weight off the ascender!!!

Blush

After lots of swearing and throwing the toys out of the proverbial pram, I got my mate to slide a spare ascender down the rope on a crab and hooked on with my cows tails and rescued myself....

What a plonker....
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Bill L

Joined: 14/05/2009
Location: Pendeen,Cornwall

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 02/05/2017 16:59:33
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I've been following this thread with interest. My worst underground faux pas was one which I managed to keep a secret for some years, but now it must be told and I will live with the resultant ignominy.

An interesting through trip in a well known Cornish mine, pre-rigged with a sense of humour. A long pitch to descend, with a detour in the middle, detour rigged to a bolt a long way from the descent rope. Off I went happily: but arriving at the detour I found I had got one foot each side of it and was locked up solidly.

Remembering 'The Boys Book of SRT' I went into ascent mode fairly smoothly, albeit with an increased respiration rate. I changed to the descent mode, again quite smoothly I thought, only to find that in the kerfuffle one wellie had fallen off and preceded me down the pitch. I was able to retrieve it surreptitiously at the bottom and continue, only remarkingRoll Eyes that the pitch had been rigged in an interesting way when the others joined me. Roll Eyes
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Gayterman

Joined: 10/10/2010

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 02/05/2017 20:28:15
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Another one from the 'How stupid can you be' stable...

Trip into Ecton a few years back on a glorious summer's day. I was cursing my lamp the whole way, just couldn't understand what was up with it. In the main engine chamber, I changed the batteries, but still no improvement in the light output. I then asked my mate to shine his light on the recalcitrant device whilst I endeavoured to sort it out. After a few minutes, he asked me exactly what I was doing. "Trying to fix this bloody head torch - there's something up with it, it's gotten really dim and I can't get it any brighter, even with new batteries". "Perhaps you should take your sunglasses off" came the reply!!!!

Stupid

Unfortunately they were prescription jobs, so I had no option but to wander around underground like a complete ejeet for three hours in my shades Cursing
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sinker

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Joined: 13/12/2010
Location: North Wales.

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 02/05/2017 20:36:56
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Gayterman wrote:



"Perhaps you should take your sunglasses off" came the reply!!!!



Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh My favourite so far! Thumbs Up

--

Ah, well, now, you see.... IP: 86.140.73.6
dwarrowdelf

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Joined: 09/02/2011
Location: Lost in Cwmorthin...and Oakeley too !!

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 02/05/2017 21:21:56
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Thumbs UpThumbs Up


Found a pair of sunglasses left on a rock more than half way down the rhosydd 9 adit. Remember thinking at the time that it must just have dawned on someone why it was extra dark Blink

--

'I wonder how many breakfasts, and other meals we have missed inside that nasty clockless, timeless hole?' 'The Hobbit' J R R Tolkien.
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Miles-M

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 02/05/2017 22:34:49
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dwarrowdelf wrote:

Thumbs UpThumbs Up


Found a pair of sunglasses left on a rock more than half way down the rhosydd 9 adit. Remember thinking at the time that it must just have dawned on someone why it was extra dark Blink


perhaps they were peril-sensitive sunglasses. I'd like some of those.

--

Always answer cannon with cannon
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Mr.C

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Joined: 23/03/2008
Location: North Staffordshire

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 03/05/2017 00:47:39
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Miles-M wrote:

dwarrowdelf wrote:

Thumbs UpThumbs Up


Found a pair of sunglasses left on a rock more than half way down the rhosydd 9 adit. Remember thinking at the time that it must just have dawned on someone why it was extra dark Blink


perhaps they were peril-sensitive sunglasses. I'd like some of those.

Ah, the Reacto-Fear Rapides. I've been after a pair of those for a long time.

--

We inhabit an island made of coal, surrounded by a sea full of fish. How can we go wrong.......
IP: 95.145.205.45 Edited: 03/05/2017 00:49:05 by Mr.C
Graigfawr

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 03/05/2017 21:31:27
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Not one of my embarassing moments but a friend's.

We ambled into King's Level on Copper Hill, Cwmystwyth to do some photography. Said friend was blundering around abominably - "My light's useless, I can't see a thing!" Yup - he had his sunglasses on, having mistakenly assumed they were his Reactolites which would have cleared once he was out of sunlight.

"I'll be okay" was his verdict "It's a straightforward walk-in, walk-out." Well, he had put on thigh waders to avoid wet feet in the knee-deep water in the entrance. Unable to see much due to his sunglasses, he stumbled and fell - it was a magnificent forward dive - he managed to get soaked, literally head to foot, in scarcely 18 inches of water.

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ptpeaty

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Location: Swansea

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 14/05/2017 09:31:38
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Some years back a friend and I were exploring a cave system in the Meuse region of France. It was accessed by a mined out 40m shaft and just downstream of the pitch was a big sump. We headed off upstream knowing there were cascades about a couple of kilometres further on. It had been raining lightly when we dropped the shaft and the walls of the streamway showed evidence of flooding to a depth of 2m, although the water was no deeper than a few centimetres.

After fifteen minutes or so we heard a steadily increasing roar of the stream way in the distance and this got progressively louder. I got concerned as we were still some way from the cascades by my reckoning and I mentioned this to my mate who was also feeling uneasy. We both looked at each other and then both exclaimed 'Sh*t, floodpulse!' We managed to find a rift to climb up out of the streamway but it would not put us high enough out of any serious flooding. The noise of the stream by this point was very loud and both of us were fearful that things were about to turn very bad and we were talking animatedly as to what to do next.

I then noticed a light and I thought 'You pair of pr*ts!' We dropped down from our high rift as a group of Belgians came towards us, pushing a good tidal wave of water 20 metres in front of them. It was this wall of water that we had heard. I think the Belgians thought us slightly insane when we babbled out ever so slightly incoherently 'Bonjour, Ca Va?' as waves of relief flooded over us!
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Graigfawr

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 14/05/2017 21:56:28
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ptpeaty's anecdote reminds me of a trip into Level Fawr, Cwmystwyth in the mid 1980s. We split into two sub-groups and I took a sub-group up the long trial driveage that forms the furthest continuation of the adit crosscut. At the far end a couple of people mentioned feeling chilly so I suggested we jog back to warm up.

We jogged along, rounded the slight bend and noticed the lights of the other sub-group in the distance in the same trial crosscut so we speeded up to catch them up. Their lights seemed to be getting further away despite our increase in pace so we ran quite fast - and still they were getting further away. The sound of our running in half an inch of water was too loud for us to shout to them.

When we reached the junctions at the main lodes we found they had frantically ascended the ladders under the impression that a dam had collapsed deep in the mine and that we were running ahead of a roaring wall of water. Their leader was two ladders up and still climbing to get above the flood that he expected to arrive at any moment.
IP: 176.27.198.134 Edited: 14/05/2017 21:57:51 by Graigfawr
D.Send

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Most embarassing moment underground....
Posted: 23/05/2017 04:51:44
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Back in the early seventies, our group was out prospecting for George and Charlotte deep adit level, along the Tamar tideline. We we found a pond beside a track, dug it and via several ducks got in as far as a pile of collapsed deads which dammed up the adit. We slid over this and got way on as far as another pile of deads , again blocking the adit. This cleared, a terrific draught told us the way was open to the foot of the 500 foot deep Ley's shaft. We swam across flooded stopes until lack of climbing gear barred the way up. Coming back, the second dam had burst, and downstream where water had been ankle-deep, we had to wade...until we reached the first dam which was just about overflowing. We slid down into the ducks, and seconds later it sumped just as we got out. The deep orange ochre torrent pushed us into the tidal tamar, just as a pleasure steamer went past. You should have seen the expression of the captain's face! These days you get in sat on the Morwhellham key train - pity though, as it was a great sporting through trip via Ley's shaft! And all done with permission from the owners. All we had risked was being blocked inside for a few hours until the water level dropped again... IP: 83.115.179.119
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