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Carr's Mine - The Flats Part 2, (17/04/10)

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The annoyance at not finding the new flats on our last trip was offset by the fact that we had had a very good explore of the high flats including an isolated section reached by a rise which was all new to us. In the mean time before going back again I contacted some other explorers that had managed to find them, and they confirmed they where we had planned to look on this trip.

We entered Carr's Mine via Smallcleugh again and headed for the rise that was going to take us up into the new flats. A climb up confirmed that we were in the right place. The rise had been opened up and this allowed you to climb into a level, which was blocked on one side. Exiting the level brought us out into a small flat. From this there was a short crosscut into the main flats. Part of the roof here looked like it was ready to drop down as a large crack could be seen around a section of it. Wooden supports had been put in, but it was questionable if they were doing that much now. Passing under the roof the flat was explored, towards the south and east took us further into the flats, but these shortly ended. Where we had come in there was a large square rise, with a bit of pipe hanging down from it, this had been explored by the CAT members, but it was apparently a blind. Northwards the flat turned into a short level with rails in it, on one side there was a rock wall, and on the other nice vertical pack walling, so typical of the flats in Carr's. The level turned a corner and then went into a stope that had fallen in. In one section of the pack walling it was possible to crawl along and reach what we think was the other side of the level that you get into when you climb up the rise, Ian had a look around in this section.

It was obvious that the area was undisturbed and even though we weren't the first, we still got that feeling of fresh new workings. There were numerous artefacts, bits of fuse, wooden pegs, tallow candles on the walls, pipes, pieces of iron, a shot hole scraper, a wooden box and even a ball of clay resting on a dead. However we could not find any sign of the snuffbox that has been found by the CAT explorers. We found out the next day that apparently it had been well hidden - if this is the case, then it looks like only the chosen few can get to see it then. Sure NAMHO says you should not do this sort of thing. We had lunch and then headed back down to climb more rises we had ear marked last time.

Back in the level, Karli had a go at climbing a rise with a lot of timber underneath it, but it proved too difficult, a little further down the level was another and he managed to get up this one. At the top you could see a rail and some timber - I reckoned this was in the middle flats. Anyway all of us got up - a sporting little climb of 8m or so and it did go to the flats as I thought. From the last trip Pete and Ian had gone across this, away from the flats and we all went for a look. It turns out to be a crosscut to another passage that parallels the flats. At a tee junction we took the right and this ended in an opening to a large chasm. Looking out into it you could see another level on the other side and arching, but most significantly if you turned your lights out, daylight could be seen coming down. Bell's rang, I had been in this level before from a surface shaft that had been abseiled. The level was approximately 24m from the surface and the bottom was another 25-30m down, hummm. Does the shaft intersect Carr's Level somewhere, and does it go down to Hangingshaw Branch? We came back to the junction and headed the othe way, this was a very decorated passage and ultimately it connected with the calcified stope we had found last time. We left the area via the ladders in the flats and then proceeded to look at a few sumps along the way. The first one we came to on the way out was on the left hand side, just a hole in the floor and it was the one I had sent a marker down 5 years or so ago. Karli dropped down it and he quickly confirmed that it connected with the set of flats we had explored via Hangingshaw's last month. The next sump along dropped down to just about 2-3m above the Hangingshaw Branch and gave access to some flats that we had missed last time. Via a short crosscut we entered a passage with deads on one side, this opened up into a stope and after climbing up a rubble slope it eventually led to a level and ore chute. Back at the bottom of the slope Ian had a crawl though along the deads, and this opened up into another passage and more flats. Parts of the flats were stained with rich yellow colours. Whilst exiting these flats (you know this but don't always think about it) and looking at the stacked deads that make up the passages and walls, it came to me that this was all back filled and if it was empty they would be massive, easy to forget sometimes.

We climbed back up into Carr's and made our way out, wondering where the 9 hours had gone?