MinesMine PlansLinksContactLinksHome

Guddhamgill Cross Vein Stopes around the Crosscut to Wellgill Cross Vein (10/03/12)

Back to Brownley Hill Trip Index

This trip was a bit of a obscure one, as in looking into something of the beaten track but relatively close to the entrance. At the end of the crosscut between Wellgill and Guddhamgill Cross Veins (on the GXV side), there is a rise and a sump. The sump is blocked some 2-3m down, but the rise goes up into workings above. If you are good at climbing, great, but if your not that good then you need assistance - a good excuse to take the maypole out for a spin. Armed with 9m, we headed for the rise and proceeded to assemble.

Karli being the best climber, started to climb up the rise and as he got higher more and more pieces of the maypole were added, until the whole lot was assembled - only one problem - it was too short. He came up with the solution of getting into the stope and then using part of the maypole to rest diagonally across the rise in a little pocket half way up, this worked perfectly and once roped up we could all climb up with a safety line. It took a while for all of use to get up, so myself and Karli had quick scout around whilst waiting for the others. We headed southwards through a low passage that had pack walling on one side. Eventually we reached a junction to the left. Further on the level dropped away and the way on was via a traverse and climb. We returned to the junction and waited for the others. By this time Pete has come to the junction and he went down the left passage. This entered into a narrow and very high stope. He came back and then the others arrived, it was decided that this would make a good spot for lunch.

After lunch, myself, Ian and Pete when into the stope, whereas Karli and Sal went towards the traverse. Whilst crawling through the little crosscut into the stope my eyes fell upon a tobacco bowl from a clay pipe, an excellent little find. Looking among the deads I tried looking for the stem, but no luck. The bowl was very ornate, with a ships anchor on one side and a crown on the other. Once in the stope we had a look around, southwards there were two workings, one reached a forehead and the other was a tight squeeze. Heading northwards we had to climb up a little and then we reached what looked to be a wet rise, the bottom of which had a cone of fine rubble. It was possible to pass over it and back down into the continuation of the stope. Past the rise the stope went on, becoming more narrow and above us we could see deads in the roof. We came to what looked like a hopper and on the other side the way on was blocked. Returning back to the wet rise, we noticed a ledge going of some 4m above. Pete had a go a climbing up and managed it. The ledge gained access to another level in the stope and carried on with a little warren of workings. By this time Karli and Sal had come back, and Karli joined Pete up in the higher level. They did not find anything of note, but there was a crosscut to the west which looked like it linked into the level that we had come up into originally. Meanwhile Sal mentioned that they had squeezed into a cavity / crosscut, which she thought must link in with the tight squeeze we had seen from this side of the stope as she could hear our voices. When Karli and Pete came back down from the higher level we left the stope and attempted the traverse, well when I say we, it was Karli, Ian and Pete.

Since the others were going to be busy for a while we returned to the top of the rise and I had a look northwards. The level reached a forehead after 35m or so. With nothing remarkable to report other than a short rise connecting to the crosscut Pete and Karli had seen, an old scraper and some very long stemmed mushrooms growing on a wooden rail sleeper. Returning to the rise once more I waited with Sal for the others to come back. Upon their return, they mentioned that level carried on for a while and then dropped into another stope over a ledge which had some nice stalactites under it. They also found a manway, which must connect to the horse level and some more workings.

One by one we came down, derigged and made our way out - a sensible time out this time round, followed by a clean up in the Nent river.