Tunnocks - Camp Kraken: Densham Master Cave, Grike of the Earth, Bullshit in a China Shop

Tue 25 Jul 2017

After the rain on the 24th delaying our startwe were all packed up for the morning of the 25th. We arrived at camp at 2 and had a quick lunch before setting off for the Tunnocks Master Cave [to be later renamed ‘Denshams Master Cave’ after disagreement about its Master Cave status from other expo members]. We got to the Master Cave at around 4pm where Chris insisted that we rig a traverse from the start of the rift. Around every corner Chris would claim to have not gone past it the year before only to be proven wrong by footsteps and survey points.

Upon deciding where we would start rigging the traverse line our one and only drill battery only had power for half a bolt. After considerable swearing it was decided that Chris would go back to camp for another drill battery while Haydon and I went to check out other leads in the area. Haydon and I were given clear instructions as to where to go so naturally we did not find what we were looking for; however, we did find a small waterfall lead that we decided was too grim to do ourselves.

Chris returned with hopefully charged drill batteries and we began rigging the traverse and surveying the passage. The stream at the end of the passage dropped down about 10m into a rift while a phreatic tube continued above the rift with considerably muddy and slopey walls we decided to end the day there and make a decision on our plans over tea.

Considering our lack of faith in our remaining drill batteries we decided not to continue with the battery eating rift and went to pursue another lead. (Sidenote: we thought we would like to go for something a little less muddy). We set off for a pit in the north of Slackers. Down a 3m climb we were dropped into a muddy pit and the more we moved the more the mud stuck to our clothes, wellies and gear, doubling us in weight.

Haydon dropped the rift pitch, which had phreatic properties. Chris and I sat getting very cold in very drafty passage, occasionally going on a run around to warm up and check out the area. Chris went to the waterfall lead Haydon and I had been in the day before to find a massive waterfall where a small one had been. Proving that conditions underground must be much more pleasant than those at Top Camp.

Once the pitch was rigged Chris and I surveyed down and became very excited by the sloping phreatic tube with hard mud plates coating the floor. We began to feel guilty for ruining the plates like bulls in a china shop. Then suddenly the way on was entirely mud choked. Bullshit! On our way out we considered the cross sectioned phreatic tube about 5m from the floor. We determined that the draft was coming from there but did not have time to inspect the tubes.

The next day we slept until 12pm waiting for the water levels to recede enough that we felt motivated to head up to Procrastination. En route out I had a slightly embarrassing route finding incident near Caramel Catharsis, ask Haydon for further details.