Shock headline: Queen's cavers in the mud yet again!


05/06/05

After all the excitement of breaking into Shannon cave the weekend before you'd think we'd sit back and enjoy the limelight but no; QUB's hardened diggers (and others) were back in action this weekend again. A long trip into Shannon cave was the order of the day to investigate those large phreatic tubes in the roof observed the week before. With bolting kit and Hilti drill in hand the freeclimb up into the roof was completed by Stevebus (QUBCC), Stevemuh (QUBCC) and Les Brown (LCC) being ably assisted by Mark Stockdale (QUBCC) and Tony Furnell (QUBCC). After placing a few bolts, the leap of faith accross the large drop was completed by Stevebus into the virgin Phreatic tube. A quick look around the corner it was decided that it was worthwhile putting in another couple of bolts to rig a traverseline so that muh and Les could join in the exploration.

The phreatic tube was found to be about 8 m long and ended in a boulder ruckle which lead up into a largish chamber (approx 8m x 15m) perpendicular to the JCP passageway. After climbing to the very top, it was noted that a draft could be felt coming out of a small hole in the corner after a bit of digging a secondary breakthrough was had into a small chamber (2m x 3m)where no way on was found, although a bit of digging may well solve this.

Stevemuh also spotted a second chamber which he entered but this was then confirmed (apparently a bit of loose gravel found its way down to Tony and Mark) to be a high level chamber above the JCP passageway. All in all at least 40m of cave were found although the draft coming from the passageway suggests there is potential for more. A secondary trip may well be planned for the 12th of july weekend (volunteers required).

Anyway keeping up our unique ability to find mud; the chamber we found is covered in glutinous mud (very unusual for Shannon) but as a plus point the phreatic tube has many delicate helictites which is probably a first for QUBCC. The new passageway is to be called the 'Fang series' named after the two large stals guarding the entry to the phreatic tube.

Photos (including the 'leap of faith') and survey may follow soon.

Stevo

Some non-mud photos