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Smallcleugh Mine - Wheel Flat Sub Levels, (09/03/07)

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It is over a year since we have been down to the sublevel under Wheel Flats, and we wanted to check out some things that we never had the chance to see last time, namely climbing up some of the hoppers and seeing if the large arched rise at the end of the sublevel went to the stopes and flats shown on the VM plans.

To assist in getting up the arched rise we brought down with us 8m of maypole only to discover that this was far too short - at this point a lot of cursing and expletives issued forth. Thankfully before the arched rise we found a hopper that was climbable. This led into a stope which had a ore shoot that looked like it had been walled up. Further into the stope another small rise built around some deads could be seen and we made our way up. At the top some 2.5m or so, it brought us out into the next level of the stope. A spot of lunch was had here.

Afterwards we carried on looking around the stope and found a partially covered ore shoot with two very large rocks resting over it - this was food for thought, how many times do you walk under hoppers and not even look up? Climbing up the deads we reached the top of the stope and in the south end Pete had a crawl into a low area and came across a slope which entered some arching - this looked like the top of the arched rise. Doing a quick estimate we reckoned that we had gained about 10m to this point, which seemed right. Past the slope and arch it looked like the crawl went on and round a corner, however with the slope being in the position that it was it was a bit on the risky side to get across. A section of maypole soon sorted this out and I edged over the slope to have a look on the other side - bit of a downer - it was a dead end, however it was possible to lean out into the arching and see that there was a passage on the other side of the rise - could this be the way on? To make sure we had the right rise Pete suggested we drop some markers, and on climbing back down into the sublevel they where found. The stope we had been in was at the top of the arched rise.

Back in the sublevel we had another look at the arched rise and wondered how to get up there - two options came to mind: bring more sections of maypole down and hope you have enough or utilise a section of rock some 5m high to place some bolts in the rock below the walling and then drag up a shorter length of maypole attaching it to the bolts.