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Longcleugh / Smallcleugh Cross Vein Junction, Smallcleugh Mine (09/11/14)

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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.

Back in 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.