UNDERGROUND PROGRAMME - 2022
SCMC remain confident that we will be able to host the NAMHO 2021 conference in July, but the ongoing complications with COVID 19 restrictions inevitably mean that there is greater uncertainty on attendance and some aspects of planning are more difficult.
With regard to underground trips, it is anticipated that we will indeed be able to have underground visits but have little idea of the degree of interest and just how many trip leaders will be available.
Rather than produce a timetabled schedule of available trips, we give here a list and descriptions of the trips likely to be available.
The underground trip organiser (Steve Holding) knows a reasonably large number of those expected to participate in trips and can hope to do some matching of capability and interest. It is expected that some (possibly most) trips will be run on more than one occasion.
The trips currently being planned include:
1. Snailbeach mine - Forty Yard Level using winch on Chapel Shaft. Participants will need to be equipped with harnesses and cows-tails, be familiar with how to use them and be happy to descend (and ascend) a 100m shaft. Travel on the Forty Yard Level will be straightforward but requires some use of the cows-tails.
2. Snailbeach mine - Forty Yard Level using SRT. The SRT route is quite separate from the winch access and there are no exceptionally long pitches, but all participants need to have full SRT kit and be familiar with passing deviations and rebelays.
3. Snailbeach mine - Scott Level - long wet level that goes a surprising distance. Water likely to be thigh deep and air quality is often poor (oxygen meter will be carried).
4. Snailbeach mine - simple walk-in trip; the bulk of this will be the Show Mine that is open to members of the public but there is also potential for accessing parts of the large chamber (scrambling up a rubble slope) normally only viewed from the bottom.
5. Huglith Mine - Main Vein Workings - potential SRT exchange trip down to and along the main tramming level. SRT pitches of 30m plus - all participants need to have full SRT kit and be familiar with passing deviations and rebelays.
6. Huglith Mine - Riddleswood Workings - two separate SRT accessible parts of workings. All participants need to have full SRT kit and be familiar with passing deviations and rebelays.
7. Huglith & Westcott Mines - primarily a walking trip with underground sections.
8. Rhadley Mine - half day trip on Rhadley Hill - one long level not requiring vertical kit and another couple of adits with SRT descent to a lower level with adit now blocked.
9. Burgam Mine - half day trip into mine working requiring some tight squeezes. Can be combined with 8.
10. Potters Pit - Goodest Tuesday Level - a mine not frequently visited - what can be accessed without SRT kit is interesting but require some scrambling and tight sections. Also, potential SRT trip to lower sections - area somewhat unstable.
Llanymynech and Pant Area
11. Llanymynech 'Ogof' - almost cave-like - some areas relatively easy to visit but with tight sections. Possible wet/tight access to areas rarely visited. Part day only
12. Llanymynech 'Victorian Workings' - accessed by a level a short distance from the ‘Ogof’ - some walk in but the more interesting, older (pre-Victorian) workings are accessed via a short shaft (SRT or wire ladder). Part day only
13. Crickheath - a mine that is confusing in shape and purpose - an important bat site and access normally strictly controlled. Part day only.
The three trips in the Llanymynech and Pant areas can be combined into a single day. Doing just one trip might fit in with a trip to Cambrian mine at Glyn Ceiriog or Clive.
14. There is no trip 14.
15 Cambrian Mine - this is an interesting slate mine with a significant stream running through. Walking along the streamway is generally below ‘welly-deep’ but dependent upon how wet it has been. This is a walking trip only but a steep slope for access.
16. Clive Mine - Upper Level - accessed via an 8m solid ladder with life-lining recommended. There is a narrow ledge around a deep shaft - all participants must wear a sit-harness and have cows tails. Part day trip.
17. Clive Mine - Lower Levels - accessed from the Upper Level via one of two different 20m shafts - connection between the shafts involves a tight crawl. All participants need to have full SRT kit and be familiar with passing deviations and rebelays.
Trips will be run on Friday afternoon and all-day Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.