Oh my, Caves and Mines!
This blog post is written from the point of view of Terry, who is one of the Directors of the company, as well as one of our Outdoor Instructors.
Recently myself, Mala and Sarah undertook the Cave and Mine Leader Training with Phil Baker, who is our Technical Adviser. This training gave us all the skills to pass the assessment needed to take our Adventurers caving.
Day One: Myself, Mala and Sarah met Phil at the Adventure Hub in Bamford where Phil gave an introduction to how caves are formed and the geology of caves in the Peak District. We then visited Giants Hole to look at cave geology, swallet (a cave with a stream running into it) characteristics, conservation, anchors, rope work, spotting and personal kit. In the afternoon we then had a trip to Suicide Cave. We looked at boulder chokes/loose rock hazards, ground rope work and cave development.
Day Two: Again, we met Phil at the Adventure Hub. This day started with a presentation on cave flooding and the risks associated with this. The underground session comprised of a trip into Peak Cavern. This covered survey interpretation, flooding in resurgence/overflow passages, speleothems, radon hazard, emergency procedures and some mineralogy/geology.
Day Three: For the mines training day, we met at the Insomnia Cafe in Calver. We looked at mineralogy of lead mines with samples, access arrangements and the role of PICA in group mines inspections.
We then visited Ashford Black Marble mine to look at stone mines, hazards, surveys and history. We then visited Nickergrove Mine to rig a level one traverse, and look at simple lead mining layout, hazards, geology and gas issues.
After lunch, we took part in a surface walk to Litton Liberty around Neptune Mine. This allowed more complex lead mine hazards, surface hazards, soughs and rakes.
We then had a trip down Bagshawe Mine to look at lead mine hazards and features such as stopes, vein mineralogy, stemples, climbing shafts, mine relics and pick mining methods to be discussed.