This was a bit of a potter trip down Smallcleugh. We wanted to
have a look at the falls on the Longcleugh Vein past the Ballroom to see what
would be involved in getting through and trying to access the large sets of
flats just a stone throws away.
Our first port of call was the flat
above the horse level just past the Ballroom. Last time here at the south end
at the top of rubble pile we found an rise but had no digging tools, this time
we brought a shovel and excavated some of the loose material to gain better
entry into the rise. It went up, but was not open. At some 8m up there was a
choke and it did not look like there was a level coming off before that. We had
hoped that this was the top end of the rise on the horse level corner that had
come in, that used to be used to access the large flats. Maybe it was, but the
access was lower down, lost in the multiple tonnes of material we were sat on?
Well after that non-starter we had a little look around the flat and took some
photographs of the fantastic calcified rise up to Middlecleugh.
the horse level we crawled through the junction dig heading first to the
Longcleugh Sun Vein to look at the state of the level on the southern end of
the large flats. It was clear to see that the level here was under a lot of
pressure and the fall on the corner was not a great one to start poking at. The
walls were bulging and the stones fractured, just waiting for a ping. Returning
to the dig we took the west branch onto the Longcleugh Vein to see the fall
along here. Things looked a lot better on the north side of the flats. The
level was in good condition and the fall looked to be a rise or hopper that had
come in. The material was fine and a lot of it was calcified. If no joy could
be gained with the rise in the flat we had looked at then this was the best
option for pushing through.
On the way out we ended up going up above
Wheel Flats to have lunch. Not having been up here for ages we had forgotten
what a nice area it is.