Previous exploration: see C.D.G. Review, January 1957- December 1959.
The main downstream sump in Dissected Area was the one dived. The stream flows into a large pool but the only way out is via a small window on the left hand side leading to an air bell and a deep submerged rift. A thrutch downwards of ten feet drops into a large flooded tube, which was followed for 130 ft. and was found to lead to a tight ascent over shingle at -17 ft. Unsure as to whether the correct route had been taken in the poor visibility the diver returned to base.
Previous exploration: see C.D.G. Review Jan. 1957 to Dec. 1959 and NL. 45:17
Taking a trowel with him R.J.S. dived to the silted squeeze found on 19.3.77 and started digging. After only a few minutes he was able to wriggle upwards into the continuation in which to his surprise the old line reel was discovered in remarkably good condition, considering the length of time in "residence". The sump was passed after only 9 more metres to a low lake chamber some 15 m long and 2.3 m wide. This was quickly explored and after noting two possible underwater continuations and a small dry passage beyond the lake the diver returned, collecting the old line reel en route.
Aim: to explore more thoroughly beyond Sump 1.
R.J.S. dived on twin forties and was joined at the end of Sump 1 by J.T.G. on a fortyfive and a fifteen. Both proceeded to the end of the lake and R.J.S. dived on in the sumped continuation. A descent of 3 m to the right led to a sharp left hand bend into a continuation of small proportions. This was followed for 9 m with small flakes peeling out of the roof onto the diver's legs. At the end, a tight squeeze under a flake of rock could not be passed with twin forties and so the diver returned to the lake. Meanwile J.T.G. had de-kitted and moled his way to glory in the "small passage" beyond the lake, finding 30 m of passage ending in no less than three static sumps. R.J.S. examined these findings and gained the impression that these sumps would provide a by-pass to the tight squeeze in Sump 2. The passage was then surveyed and after taking some photographs the divers returned to base.
Aim: to dive the further of the static sumps in the new extension.
R.J.S and J.T.G., this time both on 45 + 15 proceeded to the end of Sump 1 and one set of 45 + 15 was carried to the static sump, which R.J.S. then dived. Immediately a body-sized tube was entered and the diver proceeded for 3 m, to a vertical slot, which was descended head first. Unable to turn round the diver then followed a second short section of tube to another vertical descent, where this time a feet first descent could be made. A wriggle beneath a flake of rock was found to lead to a sudden enlargement and ascent to air space via a narrow slot. Total length of sump only 15 m but quite technical even so!
The air bell was out of the diver's depth and the smooth walls made a climb impossible using fins. The use of wellies should enable a climb to be made to a rock bridge some 1.2 m above water surface. The aven looks to be about 6 m high but it is difficult to say if any passage leads off up there. On the way back an underwater continuation could not be found but it presumably must exist, as the diver gained the impression that he had entered the main flow again at the enlargement.