James Hall Over Engine Mine – 5th September 2021

With a leisurely 10am start Ade, Ben and myself met at the Rowter Farm Camp Site ready for an exploration into JH and connected passages depending on how we would progress.

Once kitted up and after some very strange looks by other campers we headed across the fields to reach the lidded entrance of the shaft. I’ve had done a little bit of research prior and looked at the rigging topo, the initial pitch was a straight down so was happy to rig that and waited for Ben and Ade before we started heading through the Cartgate Level.

Once we reached Bitch Pitch Ade took over and rigged it superbly with its re-belays and deviations which allowed us to meet him back in the Workshop for a little snack and drinks pause whilst admiring the remnants of the mining operations from several years ago.

I continued to rig the first half of the Leviathan shaft and Ade rigged the second half. We all congregated at the bottom of Leviathan which was amazing watching Ben descend into the abyss yet lighting up the whole chamber.

Because we’ve had made good time we had the chance to head via the filthy duck towards the Stemple Highway and in the direction of Peak Cavern. I was desperate to see Titan as this has been on my to-do list for some time now. Ade guided us towards the dig site where the break through was made pointing out some important way markers along the route.

After ascending a bit of scaffolding and squeezing through the last letterbox we entered the bottom of Titan and heard gentle waterfall cascading from above. Torches on full power we attempted to see as far as possible but Event Horizon was the furthest our eyes could see. Ade shared some interesting stories of past trips in this chamber which gave Ben and myself the urge to complete this trip ourselves very soon.

We headed back towards the bottom of Leviathan and opted for the opposite route towards the Speedwell Streamway. This was a welcoming soaking after having done the filthy duck twice and we smelled accordingly. We navigated through the cold water as far as Block Hall before returning and making our way up again.

Once we ascended the final shaft we could feel the warmer air and see the blue sky through the tiny little shaft exit which seemed so distant. We required some occasional pauses but once again made good time to reach the surface.

This was Bens and mine first trip into JH and certainly another very informative trip which has left us with some good memories. A very technical trip in terms of SRT yet a huge potential to open up so many exchange trips which I want to plan to take part on very soon!

Fabian

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