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Rampgill Mine, Photo Potter along Rampgill Vein (04/12/21)

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Getting back into mine exploring has been a bit of a stomping over old ground affair, taking things a little slower and noticing all the bits that you used to rush by in the past - plus it helps with getting some underground fitness built up again without neck breaking dashes getting somewhere.

The last time we were in Rampgill was in 2016 (apart from passing out on a through trip four years ago) so we decided it would be good to go to the back end, have a look at things with the aim of climbing up to the high flat that is past the junction for Hardshins Vein. It was a pottering trip, but as mentioned it allowed us to look at things and wonder about this and that as we made our way in. The first thing we noticed was that the water level was so much lower than it used to be, with our feet getting wet just a while before Rampgill Shaft - this was unprecedented.

Until Rampgill Shaft the level seemed to be a similar condition to how we remembered it, but once past the Hardshins junction, we felt that there seemed to be more heave on the floor of the level and in certain places the arching was looking a fair bit crumblier. There were quite a few areas where the stone arching had fractured and spilled out into the level or dropped from the roof. We got to the final fall in the VM section and then retraced our steps to the rise and sublevel that gains access to the High Flat. Over the last few years studying plans and having conversations I have been wondering if the top level that you climb up to is in fact part of the old Galloway Level? In this top level we had lunch by the old barrow there and then had a look around. Things had changed here as well, by the barrow there is a ore chute / manway - last time we were here you could go across the manway on the right over a ledge, the ledge now has fallen away with some of its supporting timbers in the manway. You can still get past the manway by dropping down to a timber bit and climbing back out but that feels a lot more risky.

We climbed back down to the horse level and made our way out to be greeted with a few inches of snow.