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Smallcleugh to Rampgill via Prouds Sump with Hanginshaw Flats (02/04/22)

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Having not been to the Hanginshaw Branch Level flats for a long time we thought it would be good to stomp over old ground and do it with a through trip. Prouds Sump is rigged but we wanted to do it as a pull through so we brought our own rope.

We headed in straight to Prouds Sump and rigged up. It was a bit crowded with the in-situ rope but we got down easily enough and the rope pulled through with no issues. The second pitch was rigged up and we abseiled down. When Karli started to pull the rope down, it moved a bit and then no amount of pulling or waving would bring it down. He had conveniently forgot to bring his hand jammer and so I was the one who had to prussic back up and sort the rope out. The abseil rope had managed to wrap itself around the pull down rope and both were firmly intertwined. I got them untangled and Karli pulled down. I abseiled back down on the in-situ rope. So much for pull through. Once that was over, we headed over to the north end of Prouds Flat and to have a look around. When we came to the explosive boxes, it was clear to see that they had deteriorated even more since we last were here in 2012. See: Prouds Flat 2012 for the difference. Returning to the bottom of the second pitch, we climbed down the ladders to the horse level and headed outby until we reached one of the hopper / manways up into the flats further along.

When we climbed up into the flats, we weren't sure if we had been here before as none of it looked familiar. We had a poke around and ended up having lunch by an archway that intersected a shaft. In this area, there also were some fantastic white calcite formations. Following the warren of passages in the flats, we eventually came to a large ore chute and manway that had an angled ore chute that was stained with ochre making it look as if someone had poured orange paint down it. This looked familiar, but we could not put our finger on it. The ore chute was rigged and had some ropes in to assist a traverse round the back. The traverse led to a crosscut that then reached a large flat with a big dressing floor. This again looked so familiar. We had a good look around and then climbed back down in to the horse level, this time using the rope to make things much easier.

We headed outby stopping from time to time to take photos of the level eventually reaching Whisky Bottle Junction. Had a quick stop here to look around and then we carried on to the adit. When we got back home and cleaned up, I looked up the old trip reports and we had been in these flats before - the last time we climbed up these was in March 2010 when we did a trip to explore all the rises. Amazing how memories can fade.