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Trip to Devon Great Consols -- 17th June 2007

Group: Dave, Paul, Mary, NAMHO 2007 leaders & delegates

This was one of several field trips organised for NAMHO 2007 and led by members of the Plymouth & Devon Caving/Mining Clubs. In particular Dave Warne provided a lot of interesting information on the mine and made the trip very enjoyable. The SRT pitches were very well rigged.

We parked up near the chimney in the forest and changed into oversuits and donned SRT gear. The weather was a little cooler than the previous day and once everyone was ready we headed down the forest track to meet close to the gated entrance.

After a few safety checks (to make sure peoples prussik gear was up to spec) we entered the mine and abseiled down the short entrance pitch. This was followed by a longer pitch which exited through a hole in staging and landed on a platform which was a little dodgy in places. The floor of the upper level showed some really good timbering.

Carrying on the level led to a prussik up to another level and more examples of the stunning timberwork which was still in marvelous condition given its age.

After this we abseiled back down into the main stope and dropped to a slightly lower level under some unsafe flooring. Traversing over poor ground led to a SRT pitch with a rebelay and a drop into a lower section complete with some ore chutes. A climb up from these with a rising traverse line led to a final passage which had a fairly dodgy floor and an open winze. Some of the formations where very spectacular and the colours were very varied.

We retraced our steps and prussiked up to the main chamber and then up the other pitches to the great outdoors. Since it was getting late we decided that the trip to frementor mine would have to wait and instead we helped wash the acidic residues off the ropes and our gear.

A memorable trip down a fantastic mine. Trip time about 5.5 hours