(Not Really) Making New Ground

Downstream side of dam.

Having found a muddy chamber yesterday we dived in through to Whitworth series with only one O-ring related incident which was quickly sorted. In the Whitworth passage we surveyed the position of the main belay for yesterday’s line and then surveyed the line itself right through to the muddy chamber. In the bottom part of the sump the viz still had not cleared from the previous dive but it was still possible to read instruments. Looking around the water surface in the chamber confirmed that there was only one obvious way on. Before Jim went off to see where the new sump went we completed a very rudimentary survey at the water level. We also looked below the surface around the edges but found nothing but alcoves. Deeper in the sump may be a different story but better viz is needed to give that a proper looking at.

Surveying the muddy chamber.

Jim then dived off into the unknown sump. After a long delay he returned to tell me that it was a massive sump (good) and that it surfaced in lake Bassenthwaite (not so good). We shook hands as usual anyway and both dived through to explore what others had previously found.

This link does not end the opportunities in this area. The sumps out of Whitworth and into Bassenthwaite both have large cross sections and it is very likely that an unseen junction exists. This is especially true in the Bassenthwaite sump which seems to start in a chamber.

On the way out Jim spent some time fertalling around in the water below the dam and found an easy bypass. It is a bit late coming but very welcome none the less as getting out of the water with all the dive gear and back in again takes a lot of time for such a short distance.

Downstream side of dam.

Two small eels were spotted in the Bassenthwaite sump.

Series - Matienzo Caving

  1. Exploring Spain
  2. The rain in Spain…
  3. Using the back entrance
  4. A Wild Mare kicks out
  5. Whitworth Upstream
  6. (Not Really) Making New Ground
  7. Return to the Dam Bypass
  8. The Dam Water
  9. Matienzo epilogue
  10. Matienzo July/August 2013, Pt 1
  11. Matienzo July/August 2013, Pt 2
  12. Matienzo July/August 2013, Pt 3

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