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Gudhamgill Mine - Shop / Top Level, Beyond the Ochre (08/05/22)

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The last time we were in the Top Level was to do the shaft bottom clearance in 2011. We never actually went further inbye as the urge to take that dip in the ochre pool with very little airspace wasn't that strong. But now some kind people have lowered the blockage and drained all the sludge away - so it was time to have a visit.

We entered the level and immediately saw that the water was freely draining and was much lower than last time and it was all clear until the first fall that had been dug out. It looked like the water behind the fall had dropped a bit, but even so passing through soon we were up to our mid rifts in really cold water. Walking through the water we quickly realised that we where going to get a healthy fake tan after this trip. Reaching the junction with the Borehole Sump to the surface we checked this out and it was still clear. We carried on in along the level following the airpipe until we reached the ochre chamber. All the sludge had gone and you could crawl easily through it, with the rock dam gone it was all starting to dry out, but still sticky as hell. Passing through this we entered new land.

Shortly past the ochre we came to a loop in the level with a double hopper arrangement that was interesting to see. There were some steps leading into a working above. Karli started to do some gardening and water management, leaving him to it Pete and I went further along. Past the double hoppers the level opened up and was quite wide, this area must have been a passing place. Further along, the level started to look in much poorer condition with friable walls and lots of material on the floor that has fallen off the roof and sides. Not the nicest of places. With no sign of Karli following us, we went back for him and dragged him away from playing at water management. One thing to note here is that he was complaining of being out of breath after exerting himself - testament of the low oxygen that this level is known for. We carried on until the drawing sump and here there was an old wheel that looked to be from a winding arrangement. Pass this we carried on some more and the level got progressively worse. Coupled with iffy air we decided to turn back. Once we got out, we went down to the bridge and ended up getting cleaned up in Gudham Gill - we looked clean on the outside, but when we got back to base the under suits and our skin was a different story.