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Nenthead Mines (Smallcleugh to the Ballroom Flats)

Present: Al, Gwyn, Jenny, Alex, Scott, John, Katherine, Richard

We set off caving but found a mine instead, so that had to do because it wasn’t in a blue box area, or that wettest of places, Yorkshire.

My feet had the fortune to stay dry ….. until we crossed a large puddle to look down a shaft. It was squelch all the way home! Conditions were surprisingly dry and not cold, which is always nice.

Hurray – I got underground after a long absence from caving due to writing a thesis, and too much canoeing. Nenthead Mine (Some of it) was cool, and I remained dry. Lots to explore, and some different pretties than usually found in caves. Selenite Crystals, Sphalerite, Galena and lots of other cool stuff. The mines are really extensive and I got the impression that we only saw a small part of them. There were shafts to other levels in places, and lots of stacked deads in large chambers. We went to the ballroom (a big square passage that was an old lead vein) – where they did have a ball (according to the landlord in the Miners Arms). I think that we should come again and explore some more.

My first time writing in the log book, aggar!!! Well what can I say, my feet are still frozen and my hairs a mess, but I got to see lots of very interesting geological features and mineral veins (well thats speaking as a wannabe geologist). Once again I got very wet cold and mucky but this being my second trip I was not so high on the experience and so managed to keep my mouth shut and not say anything stupid that would later come back to haunt me in this logbook!

My first ever caving trip (or ‘mine – exploring’ trip) and it was brilliant lots of very interesting geology (but more importantly, sparkly geology) and impressively dark bits. Feet got wet, but not especially cold. Also relieved to find there was no SRT stuff. Will definitely cave again.

On the way to the wheel flats, Al finally tracked down the heard of wild wilderbeasts last seen years ago. Getting to the Ballroom was fairly straight forward – go straight on ish (ie. not left) from the Wheel Flats and when you join another passage turn left (going right leads to some very big and sparkly Galena crystals!). Gwyn is a girl.

Al, John,Gwyn,Katherine,Scott,Jenny.