In June and July 1978 Julian Griffiths, Rob Shackleton and Andy Nichols visited this superb little cave to see if it could provide a way into the major system under the Skirfare following Geoff Yeadon's remarkable dive in the upstream sump of Spittal Croft Cave.
Although bottles were generally used, Crystal Beck's three sumps (10, 30 and 20 feet) are freedivable. They are straightforward with a fixed line, although the first and third are somewhat boulder strewn.
The pot ended 150 feet downstream of Sump 3 in a boulder blocked rift. This was dug through into 30 feet of tight rift to a small chamber, at the far side of which there was a duck through to a fourth sump. Rob investigated this and found it split into two rifts five feet apart. The left branch was followed for thirty feet, past a squeeze, to where it descended vertically and became too small; the right branch narrowed to eight inches after a mere ten feet. Unfortunately there seems no other prospect of extension.
As part of the diving programmme in the Mainstream and New Stream sumps in 1978 and 1979, Rob Shackleton, Julian Griffiths and Andy Nichols looked at the large phreatic passage leading past Telegraph Aven, which probably provided the route for the Manchester Hole water to the Hardy Pools area of New Goyden, before it migrated down-dip to its present Main Stream Passage.
From the top of Telegraph Aven the undulating passage drops into Crater Chamber, where a tiny sump is fed by a misfit-stream from the boulders whihi block the ascending continuation 140 feet further on. The surface survey indicates a fault running across the system near this point, which is probably responsible for the rift development reported by Rob at the end of his New Stream dive and between Sumps 3 and 4 in the Main Stream. It is therefore probable that a large fault chamber lies above the boulder choke.
Rob, Julian and Andy tried to gain access, digging up 10 feet to what appeared to be an enlargement but proved to be a gap in the choke, with boulders above. Even with one solid wall, the climb was too dangerous - the whole lot collapsed on the last trip.
The choke is large and loose and the work needed to get through could be better spent elsewhere, probably at the Hardy Pools end.
Returning from an enjoyable but somewhat wintry holiday in Ireland at Easter 1978 a couple of the older members of the club decided to have a poke around in New Goyden. In view of the work they had already done in New Stream Sump in Goyden they went to have a look at Alf Latham's finds in Hardy Pools.
The sump is 28 feet long and an easy free-dive once past a shingle bank at the entrance. Alf's finds were confirmed and a dig was started in a choke in the floor of a rift. Half an hour's work opened up a tight squeeze through to a low bedding plane. This sumped fifty feet upstream and downstream. Just before the downstream sump, on the right, an aven led to two passages - one leading back towards the high level passages in Alf's extensions; the other, a narrow muddy tube ascending at 45°, was followed round a couple of bends until lack of interest signalled a return.
These sumps were dived subsequently. The upstream sump quickly became too tight. The downstream sump started in a low bedding but then dropped down a pot. At the bottom of this, at a total distance from base of about 50 feet, the way on was found to be a small hole at the foot of a steeply inclined bank of coarse shingle. Five minutes of vigorous gardening failed to produce a negotiable continuation, despite the alarming rate at which shingle was swallowed up into the hole. It would appear that this acts as a flood overflow for the main New Stream to Main Inlet passage and if it were possible to pass the shingle bank, the sump would drop into the Main Inlet sump past the point reached by Alf Latham.
During one of these trips, a small quantity of dye was put into the surface stream that sinks about 100 yards upstream from the entrance to New Goyden. Predictably this appeared in Dry Wath Inlet; somewhat more surprisingly, traces were found in the small streamway that flows along the bedding plane in the extensions.
1 CDG Newsletter 32, p 18
2 CDG Newsletter 29, p 19
With the onset of warmer weather last summer, Julian Griffiths and Rob Shackleton decided it might be worth having another look at the upstream end of Yew Cogar. Six years ago Richard Durham and Rob had passed three sumps and followed the fourth for 450 feet before giving up. The last sump was wide open and there seemed no reason why it shouldn't go to a reasonable amount of passage.
A number of trips were made to re-line the first three sumps before an attempt was made on the fourth. Continuing past the 450 foot mark Rob laid a further 100 feet of line emerging in a small and exceedingly dismal airbell. Julian floated aimlessly around in this whilst Rob pushed on to the next sump. To his surprise it quickly developed into a very low bedding with much mud and shingle. He could find no way round this and on his way back to the airbell no other possibility was found. Another trip was made to investigate this bedding, but again no way on was found and there was the distinct impression that the main way on had been lost.
Returning to the underwatwer chamber 300 feet into the sump, it was noticeable that the last 100 feet of passage to the airbell was very much smaller than the rest of the sump. The last bit of passage follows the same line as the rest (westward) and it may be that the main sump swings off to the north shortly after the underwater chamber. Rob searched the upper level of the chamber but found no way on. The lower level however, comprises a very wide bedding plane and it may be here that the way on is to be found. It is certainly worth another dive.
During a short trip to collect weights left at the start of the upstream sumps, Julian went to have a look at the sump downstream of Jetsam Chamber. An easy 9m dive led to a small chamber with daylight streaming in through a choke in the roof. This marks a flood resurgence about a third of the way from the entrance to the rising. The sump continued on one side of the chamber but was not attempted because of a shortage of base fed line.
1 Yorkshire Subterranean Society, Journal no.1
Surveys of Yew Cogar and New Goyden are in the process of being drawn, I am assured, so they will probably appear in the next issue. Cow Close Passage in Magnetometer Pot has not been completely surveyed yet due to the un-inspiring nature of the passage. Completion of the survey was delegated to Nicola Davies, David Gibson, and Janet Morgan who went down on 12th April. Unfortunatly, Dave chose this time to announce an attack of food poisoning and only just made it out in time. Another attempt will be made in the summer and the survey will appear in the next issue. Before hurrying out Dave did manage to shoot off a reel of film but apparently forgot to develop it in the dark.