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TOPIC: Trip Report - Belgrave Mine 13th February 2020

Trip Report - Belgrave Mine 13th February 2020 3 months 2 weeks ago #37750

  • Ian
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Trip Report – Belgrave 13th Feb 2020

Thought I would do a quick one ….

I arrived at the meet point at 6:30pm prompt (naturally) to find I had been beaten to it by Greg, Steve K, Matthew and Nathan. Needless to say we chatted to while away the minutes that were left within the meet window – all 15 of them. After the expiration of 20 such minutes we found no other persons to be present so, not knowing whether folk were already at the mine parking spot or whether they just weren’t coming – we fooked off.

Odd really, I was bang on time and the last to arrive.

Anyways, whilst preparing at the mine parking spot, we were joined by Gareth, Brandon and Jonny? I had not seen a post made by Gareth stating that he would “meet us up there” since I left without checking. Also, Steve T arrived under similar circumstances.

I had a quick chat with Gareth who had been to the mine before (top adit anyway) and since Steve T also knew the mine, I was happy to trundle in with the others – nine of us in total.

The hill up to the mine was steep, muddy and slippery. Greg complained for the most part and we were made aware of each occasion he slipped, nearly slipped or thought he might slip.

At the top, we entered in the usual manner – on our stomachs through the muddy floor – to find the coloured moonmilk just inside. Out came the cameras (phone thingies) and the recording on todays digital impossibilities began. The goblin lookout post was the next scene followed quickly by sections of goblin spelunk on the walls (or calcite flows).

We examined the mined area – the mineral filled crack/fissure that had long since solidified with heat and pressure and which held the galena (and zinc). We also examined a number of holes in the floor – one of which (seemingly) Gareth and the two lads decided to go down (they were ahead of the party) only to return to wind up behind us …

Greg led the way and missed the drop down to the marble slab – those of us behind didn’t miss this turning and ventured down anyway. Once below and all together again, we marvelled at the marble and considered our next move. The drop down to the lower level (15 feet) had running water barraging over it and I was uncertain as to how this affected the grip of the climb down. I therefore went down anyway – logic was simple, if I didn’t fall, it was ok.

I didn’t fall.

We got down one-by-one and mooched along passed the great drop of “Arrrrrgh” until we hit the main marble slabs. The quality of this marble quickly deteriorated and it appeared we were possibly on the edge of the metamorphosis. Here I also found a few small specimens of galena, created a mini workshop and crushed the mineral to reveal the wonderfully glittering insides.

On the return, we climbed the winze up instead of returning by the scramble down – this was also compounded with water falling but wasn’t too bad – I went first for the same reason as before – if I didn’t fall, it was probably ok.

I didn’t fall.

Oddly, arriving at the top, I could see a strong light all the way through the crawl tube back to the area of the first marble slab. I assumed it was at least one of the party who had gone back the other way so I shouted various things on the lines of “I can see you, what are you doing?” Those were not my actual words – you may have to use your imagination.

The owner(s) of the lights began crawling towards me so, knowing that they were going the wrong way, I started to crawl towards them. Upon meeting in the tube I discovered two people I have never seen before. They were not part of our party and I then realised the words I had hailed were, in point of fact, mis-placed (use your imagination again).

It was a little awkward trying to exchange a conversation in a crawl tube with a squadron of UCET going in one direction and two others trying to pass in the other – but we managed it. I introduced myself and discovered they came from Slough, lived near Wigan, knew who we were, had seen our website and had got the details of the mine from the forum. One was called Simon (I think) – he did tell me more but my brain has failed to retain it.

Since it was pitch black outside and they HAD found the entrance from our forum, I considered that their ability to explore was significantly good. So, after a jolly chat, we fooked off.

We headed out and down to the lower adit (middle) and again entered on our bellies through a crawl of mud. We dropped down to the lower area and discovered an extra metal bar/pipe was wedged in the hole to assist the descent. It didn’t make it any easier. We then traversed across the 60foot winze which was, oddly, missing one of the metal bars used to aid the crossing. Hum.

In short, we explored the adit to the dam which was, oddly enough, working and full to the brim. Jolly old thing – I never thought I would see that filled with water again – perhaps the pipe is again carrying water out? Who knows?

Upon leaving, I remembered that Greg had asked if the middle adit was “down” from the top adit and whether we would have to walk up the hill again after being in it. It was clear he didn’t like the hill. I therefore said “no”. Upon leaving this adit I confessed to the lie and we walked uphill to find the stile so we could walk downhill again.

Greg didn’t seem particularly happy about this and we were again treated to a variety of sounds (complaints I think) until, eventually, there was a loud shriek of “Jesus Christ”. When I turned around I saw a person crumpled awkwardly on the ground with limbs tangled in a manner that looked like it shouldn’t be possible. It was Greg. There was no further complaint for the remainder of the descent.

That being all of our business, we got changed and headed back to life in North Wales …..

Report ends.

Ian
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Trip Report - Belgrave Mine 13th February 2020 3 months 2 days ago #37814

  • Ant89
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more trip reports please, and please put them all in the public section, if necessary use titles such as
"The night Greg complained about hills" or something that avoids mentioning the site if you need to avoid mentioning the site.
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