Covid Extensions surveying complete!

1 September 2022

Posted by
Matt Ewles

Back in 2020 we were lucky enough to break through the third sump of Jenga and explore about 1km of new cave; The Covid Extensions.

This is all covered in our third journal, however, that year we failed to get surveying complete before the winter floods pushed us out of the system. Access was briefly regained in April 2022 when we were able to have a rather severe surveying trip to Tree Root Chamber, one of the furthest terminal branches, with help from Ian 'Snazzy' Dawson. However, a full survey of Next Slide Please leading up to where we had started surveying that day (previously only surveyed in draft) and The Second Wave (a totally separate passage leading off near to Tree Root Chamber) was still missing.

In June 2022, we were able to finally get back down for a grueling survey session of The Second Wave, the water levels through the long duck finally being low enough to pass (we briefly visited here last April to realise that the cave needs a few months without a flood for this duck to naturally evaporate/drain and become navigable). Neoprene hoods in tow, we had one of the most demanding sessions in many years, with over an hour of exhausting and disgusting caving each way just to get to the survey site. This may not sound much to those who survey several hours into some caves, but when that one hour is dragging your neoprene clad body through liquid mud, it really saps the energy!

Work complete, we returned to the surface to be met by John Dale who had left us some cold drinks and packets of crisps at the entrance. Thanks John!

A few weeks later, we had a less intensive survey session to resurvey Next Slide Please, which goes from Whitty Junction in Pandemic Passage along to the high aven where surveying to Tree Root Chamber had previously commenced. This had only been done in draft previously (with a DistoX known to be several degrees out).

This completes all surveying of the Covid Extensions, at least until we discovery more... now to start getting it drawn up!