Hillocks Mine

25 June 2016

Posted by
David Willis

What a superb short Sunday trip before a drive back home, as we knew the trip wasn't too long we didn't rush, but we got up to the entrance and ones first thoughts shining the torch directly down the shaft makes you immediately think 58 meters.... really, however getting into the shaft was interesting that it didn't give you much room to test your rack with the shaft been 1.5-2 meters wide dropping right in the middle. However going down, you soon realize that the ledge you see from the entrance is only half way, and to realize that people would have dug this with no safety ropes.... well hmm.

Anyhow a drop into the main chamber at the bottom reveals 3 passages, 1 off to the right which we decided against going down as it looked "interesting", Then the one on the left we believed returned to the surface by a different shaft that was climbable. So on wards we go to the middle passage, some slight crawling at the end and a turn to the left leads to an end, turning back and heading straight over leads to the once way on, which was now sumped. So the grissly thought to a first timer in here of A: prusicking 58 meters back up and B: trying to get out of the entrance is not in the slightest way appealing. However another climbable route (via the roman shaft of 6 meters was chosen, climbing up the traverse was not too easy to start with (especially for someone who HATES traverses!) Halfway up going back and forth up the same traverse and climbing into a chamber (Knotlow Caverns) Me and Matt decided to wait for the others.

Once everyone was there we headed up the 6 meter shaft fortunately with a handline allowed one to stop securely and admire the exquisite handpicked walls, a short crawl along getting a pleasant wash in muddy water and then a short climb up revealed that we were near the top by the voice of Chris who went on a surface look and the warning of a dead rabbit in the entrance well hmm.

Another excellent trip and thoroughly fun.