19/03/13 - Entrance to the tube was completely full of water again – proper miserable pond, not very pleasant! So we dug out the bottom end of the parallel tube. Turns out a dam was built by Tom Proctor. We uncovered bags of plastic filled with silt (which I moved) Ed uncovered some small boulders (which he moved). This now allows the stream to flow freely through the parallel stream passage in front of the tube. No more muddy shitty pool! Ed then began to work on his canal project as a means to keep warm. In the tube, the silt was removed revealing a vadose trench for a few metres as far as a crossroads. Beyond this the trench disappears and the passage becomes much tighter with minimal silt to remove, but enlarges again further on. Left hand branch at the cross roads looks larger and maybe where trench continues?). I left via lower, Rob and Ed via upper. Lower much quicker! Christened the tube ‘Born Slippy’, largely because of the way you have to exit the tube by sliding down into the Streamway, covered in goo. Here’s hoping the tube gets “lager, lager, larger”. (Mike, Rob, Ed)

26/03/13  - Day attack on Born Slippy. Met up and had breakfast at Outside (and ate way too much). There was so much snow we couldn't park in the usual layby so had to get changed in the hut, then jump into Ed’s landy. Water level average. Felt terrible for the first hour or so, had no energy at all. Think my body was still trying to deal with a massive fryup. Ed continued to clear the high level streamway (parallel tube), now unrecognisable compared to early visits. Proctor’s dam is now completely gone and the stream flows freely down past the dig tube without pooling – now quite pleasant. In the tube progress was good. Made it past the compression by the false floor (later removed by Ed and a big rock) and into kink. Rob managed to move a small boulder blocking the way before I then made some progress beyond. Rob later managed to get drag tray in and made further progress. Passage reasonable size beyond squeeze, but certainly not spacious. Next trip should see whether it’s a goer or not. Passage seems to be gently descending.  Still no draught and felt out of breath at dig face. Rob and Ed left via Upper, me via Lower – had to dig out through the snow exiting lower entrance, which was pretty surreal!. Entered 10.30am got back to the Hut at 4.30pm. Frozen. Rob caught cave-blindness and now has a duff left eye. Everyone knackered. (Mike, Rob, Ed)

04/04/13 - Rob did first stint and made a couple of feet, but quickly got very cold. Dig face now full with gloopy water making it very cold and very awkward to dig as silt falls into the water and instantly dissolves creating more gloop. Trying to dig it out whilst keeping it dry was awkward. Stacked spoil in tube from previous trip had turned to sludge and slid back into passage, making it even more unpleasant. I took over after about 20mins and did a long stint making reasonable progress. Tried to bail water, but gave up, decided to push on through – but it’s steadily getting deeper and may become more of a problem as tube is pushed further. Pretty unpleasant. Pushed it to a gentle right-hand bend. Looks to be quite small, but the floor seems to be steadily dropping and silt levels increasing, so hopefully shouldn’t be too bad once excavated. Ed was on the other end of drag tray – but rope became too short making it awkward for him. Rob made boulder wall on spoil heap in the main streamway to keep warm. Spent most of the time out of breath at digface, the air must get a bit thick. We all entered via lower, and left via lower. Going in via lower felt more awkward!  Ed demolished a record 6 bags of crisps in the Miners. John Beck knows a lot of Beatles lyrics. (Rob, Mike, Ed)

11/04/13 - Quite wet tonight. Messed up the squeeze into Nervous Breakdown and got soaked through before even reaching the dig. Dig face water logged again. First 15mins pretty grim before managing to remove most of silty water and slop. Water pouring quite heavily in through bedding plane into stream tube making it hard to communicate to me at the digface. Encouraging to find that the floor dropped quite a bit making the continuation a bit roomier than initially thought. Still snug though. Got to quite a restricted section, but roof can be seen to step up a bit about a foot in front - so will hopefully reach that on next trip. Rob and Ed emptied dragtrays and busied themselves making the 'Dragon's Nest'. The silt is now well walled up in its own reinforced fort in the streamway. Dig now 12.2m in. (Measured from corner point where our tube enters parallel stream tube). Ed attempted to measure, but couldn't get through thre initial compression at 6m and kept dropping the tape. This wasn't at all hilarious. Rob measured instead and spotted a block further ahead in tube with his super torch. Met other people down there for first time, entered from lower entrance but couldn't get through Nervous Breakdown – obviously too fat for Streaks. We all came in through top, I exited by lower as usual. Rob and Ed via top and Ed knocked down stemple again nearly knocking Rob out in the process. John Beck says the tube wasn't surveyed properly - only grade 1. Explains why we never found the chicane! (Mike, Rob, Ed)

18/04/13 - No Rob so got there at 5. Managed to stay reasonably dry getting into Nervous Breakdown this time. But made the mistake of not emptying my wellies before entering tube. As the tube gently descended all the welly water flowed up into my undersuit – so I got drenched in the end anyway. Idiot. Despite this, managed a good session. 2.5 hours spent alone in the tube, managed to get out 17 trays. Ed was on pulling/listening duty, Syd was filling up the Dragon’s Nest (when not occupying himself with humming and whistling). No breathing problems this time (took lid off lower entrance – not sure if this helps or not?) Made a body length and bit. Fill was very deep for a metre so forward progress wasn’t super fast. Back into a reasonably low section making digging awkward, and about a metre from reaching block/slab that has fallen across the tube. Looks to be a small gap to the left, but will have to be shifted to get beyond it. Covered in shells and has flat side, just like the blocks in Nervous Breakdown. Perhaps a block from a small breakdown chamber? Defiantly fallen from a height as it’s taken off part of the tube with it as it fell. Will find out next time! I exited tube, quite cold. Syd then went in for a look, and struggled with the compression on way out. Ed still not gone through! Me and Syd left via Lower, Ed via Upper. (Mike, Ed, Syd)

22/04/13 - Took about an hour to remove the remaining silt to reach the block. Took hoe up with me, which made it much easier (why didn’t I do this earlier???) Also excavated wide area to the right to give a bit more space for the inevitable squirming of legs when we try and pass the constriction. Managed to remove a fin shaped block (part of the left side of the tube that had been detached) this now enables you to just squeeze a head through the gap. Pulled it all the way out with me – hard work. Where was Ed! Silted beyond and can’t really see what’s going on. Will return next time with a hammer/chisel to try and take the end off the main block to get through. Unfortunately drag tray keeps getting stuck in a wall slot further back, so sacrificed the tin to fill it in. (Didn’t work!) Rob worked really hard, emptying tray and taking it out into the Dragon's Nest on his own. Made it harder for himself by not unclipping the tray, and emptied it into Pinky by hand whilst in the tube (Ed wasn’t there to supervise him). Now 14m in – showing that I have no sense of scale or distance when digging in the tube. Thought we’d made a good 4m since the last time we measured, apparently not! Block is a bit of a mystery. Both out via lower. (Mike, Rob)

25/04/13 - Ed bailed on us again – so just the elite crew. Got passed block! Managed to chisel protruding end of the block, then remove a head sized block at floor level beyond. Did this by lying on my back and levering the block out of the silt. Then slid it halfway out for Rob to take it the rest of the way. (Got a big blob of shit in my eye whilst chiselling. Mud apparently goes everywhere when you hit a muddy chisel with a muddy hammer.) Could then excavate the section between large block and the passage to allow you to squeeze through on your left side. Can now see it’s quite clearly a cross rift, unfortunately not of any significant size. Dug a foot beyond into continuation of tube. Unfortunately it appears to be quite tight for the foreseeable future. Now only trowel height (about 20cm?), really hope the floor drops again soon. Silt now even higher, minimal air space. No more than an inch. Confused now as to whether it’s an inlet or outlet. Who knows? Air got quite bad towards the end, was constantly out of breath. 2 hours seems to be the max time you can spend down there, began to get a bit dim witted towards the end. Tray keeps getting jammed still! Fingers crossed the tube opens out again. Exited via lower entrance in under 15mins. (Mike, Rob)

29/04/13 - Eventful night! Rob forgot his kneepads... and I ended up in A&E. Toughest session yet. Very awkward to dig the entrance to the tight section, couldn’t get on my front to begin with so had to lie on my left side and dig with my right arm. Nearly impossible to dig the left side of the passage, and only possible by putting my arm over my head. Eventually made space to get on my front, thankfully the block has the perfect groove at floor level to fit your hips in. Fill very deep, and only an inch of airspace, but luckily the floor continued to descend. Once I was on my front, progress was much faster, but very tiring. Had to dig out, then drag loose spoil back several feet, flip back onto my side then fill the drag dray which was back on the other side of the block.

Got more and more knackered, and air got pretty thick, but was determined to get to end of tight section as I could see the roof step up. Eventually made it on last go, squeezed through the tight section and just managed to squeeze my head through above silt. Roof opens up beyond for short distance looking more rift-like (possibly kneeling height - wishful thinking? YES). Was in the tube for over 3 hours and pushed myself way too hard. Felt knackered and flopped out into stream, exhausted. I left via lower entrance, Rob and Ed via top, and they made it out first – shows how slow I was. My exit wasn’t helped by Rob pinning me to the floor with a large branch as I tried to climb out. In the pub I began to feel much worse. Headache, faint, nauseous and short of breath. Left after 15min and got worse on drive home, Rob had to take over as my hands were becoming useless with pins and needles (pins and needles in my tongue too!). At A&E I could no longer walk, arms folded in like a crab and couldn’t move hands or arms. Once I’d sat down, I couldn’t stand again as my legs went the same way. Must've looked very special. Got wheeled into bed bay and had to wait 2 hours for the doctor, by which time my breathing and muscles returned to normal. I think the problem was just spending far too long in the tube, and over exerting myself. Towards the end my breathing must have become really erratic. I was breathing very fast shallow breaths as the CO2 built up and by the time I’d gotten out I had quite a bit of CO2 in my system and my breathing just continued in the same fast shallow ineffective style. In the car I began hyperventilating and it just got worse from there. Know what to look out for now, so definitely wiser! Lesson learned. Don't be an idiot. (Mike, Rob, Ed)

08/05/13 - Took it easy tonight. Spent 1.5 hours in tube. Air felt a little heavier towards the end, but no real breathing problems. Awkward digging again, kept having to drag loose spoil back 2 metres to other side of block before getting it into tray. Eventually managed to get tray up to digface, and up above silt. This made it much easier, but still have to reverse back to block before Rob can pull it out – so progress pretty slow. Made a foot or two. Can now get upper body out of flat-out section and into the “kneeling height” part of the passage. This wishful thinking turned out to be bollocks of course. Fooled again! Passage continues beyond and seems to bend slightly to the left. Can see ~2m, and air space is low, fill getting deeper. Will have to break some straw stal at some point. Rob went in after to measure. Doesn’t like it! Now at 16m. Water level very low. (Mike, Rob)

29/05/13 - First trip back after what felt like a long break. Expected it to be water logged after a rainy couple of weeks but surprised to see nothing flowing upstream of NB. Made about 2 feet, fill very deep, deepest so far. Takes numerous trays to make any forward progress. Tried to use newly made deeper tray, runs very well up to me, but unfortunately gets snagged several times on the way out – too big. So reverted back to Old Faithful. Managed to remove sizeable block form digface (biggest so far, shitting heavy!). Lifted it onto dragtray to get pulled out, only for it to get stuck in the compression and for Rob to block me in behind it.  (Rob, Mike)

04/06/13 - Good session. Stream flowing right the way through. Really bizarre has hadn’t rained since last time we were down, but yet twice the amount of water. Mystery! Was in tube for just over 1½ hours, got lots of full loads out in good time. Excavated the full extend of wide area, to reveal a proper sharp left hand bend. Unfortunately still not big enough to turn around in, but managed to sit upright by wedging my head in the rift above. Will move hoe up next time and should make faster forward progress as it turns narrow again. Old Faithful nearly dead, so will have to be replaced. Left via upper exit with Ed, got out into beautiful sunshine! Rob not allowed out, as getting married on Thursday. (Ed, Mike)

23/06/13 - Rob on Honeymoon. Been raining loads over past few days, but streamway was bone dry until NB. Must be all the vegetation? Took down new dragtray and took Old Faithful out. Measured up to left hand bend at 17m then made ~1m progress onwards to the left. Pretty fast progress with the hoe, but tray keeps getting snagged in the usual places. In there for 1.5 hours this time, and felt fine leaving, despite feeling hungover from the night before. About a foot shy of reaching the straw stal. Fill still getting deeper, looks like it may reach the roof further on, difficult to see what’s happening as the air space is so low. More importantly though, finally managed to turn round! Just possible at the left-hand bend by rolling up into a foetal position and getting your legs out round the bend in front. Makes it so much easier to exit, and nice to see the tube from a different perspective. You really notice the tube going up hill on the way out.  Now ~18m in. (Mike, Ed)

23/10/13 - First time back after a long break. Water too high to go downstream! Went upstream via smaller tube, probably wouldn’t have been possible without us rebuilding the upper dam earlier in the year. Stream flowing out of inlet felt like Jungle River – really powerful stream. Went and tidied up West Choke and shifted tools/rubbish down to Alex Aven ready to take out later – Blue Sump a good two metres higher than normal. (Mike, Rob)

30/10/13 - Still super wet. Headed down Carlswark first to check out potential dig near Shag’s Sump. Climbed down Eyam Dale shaft only to find Big Dig sumped. Very high stream flowing. Went downstream as far as Rift Sump. Then checked out old SUSS dig back upstream. Made dam out of sandbags to divert water into it. Worked really well, but had to take it down as Rob bottled it - thought we were going to sump ourselves in and/or flood stoney dale. Then walked up to Streaks and tried to get to Born Slippy via lower entrance. Got as far as Mouse Hole to find streamway completely sumped! Eerily quite. Headed back, to find what we presumed was final sump the same height as we saw in summer. JB thinks this has now become a perched sump, making access to the final sump now inaccessible that way. Mystery. Then went to Nickergrove. Went in adit entrance as far as collapse in main level. Then climbed down into lower entrance, up the 2 short pitches then down the bottom half of the main shaft to recently re-opened timbered shaft into streamway. Climbed down it to find this also sumped at bottom of shaft. Water obviously very high! JB thinks this must be the same body of water we found at Mouse hole. All same level. Fun night! (Mike, Rob)

10/11/13 - Water still too high for upper entrance. Watergrove sough tail still sumped. Spent entire trip trying to lower water level at duck into Nervous Breakdown, lowered it by about an inch. Removed stones choking it via muddy hole on right, and removed choked stones upstream above it. Rob turned into a frenzied aquamole and submerged himself several times. Had to leave as he was getting piss cold (and pink!) couldn’t have been far off hyperthermia, – water very cold! Went to alex aven to take some gear out from West Choke. Hopefully passable next time. (Rob, Mike)

12/11/13 - Upper entrance. Rob continued to clear choked stones from 1st duck via muddy tube and managed to lower water level enough to allow reasonable access to Nervous Breakdown. Lowered it by at least 2 inches so it should now be much more pleasent in anything but high water. 2nd duck however was the highest we’ve seen, wouldn’t want it any higher for sure. Tricky getting spade, hoe, tray and sandbags through. (Might have inadvertently made this higher by lowering the first!) Vast amount of water flowing past Dragon’s Nest and Born Sippy – the vadose trench in Born Slippy had been flowing as high as the compression – really clean. Didn’t go further, wonder what beyond is like? Headed for silted main tube at junction. I climbed rift to roof – full of hanging death, traversed across, no obvious way on but does draught upwards.

We then built a training wall to divert water into downstream blocked passage, made it narrow to make water run fast. Cleared exit to allow water to escape. On way out built dam over main streamway to divert more water into it. Crazy high water and very fast flowing as far down as Donkey Dong. Exit via lower. Will have to return and build training wall/dam proper with the sandbags and possibly use a pipe to force water deeper. Good trip! (Rob, Mike)

14/11/13 - Back to build a proper dam and canal. Filled sandbags from Dragon’s Nest (Filled 15 and didn’t make a dent on the pile, can’t believe how much we’ve dragged out from Born Slippy!) Rob and Ed improved canal into digface. Now nice and high and should be able to deal with very high water. Handy having a proper landscaper on the team. Extended right back to the duck into rift area. Dam then quickly made against main streamway to fully divert the water. Improbably large boulder moved by Ed. Will just have to keep extending the canal as (if) the dig face gets deeper. I left via lower, Rob and Ed via upper. Now all we need is lots of rain! (Mike, Rob, Ed)

20/11/13 - Extended canal and increased the depth along its length. Top layer of stones and pebbles in streambed and now very loose and through to clay level in some parts, has potential to be very deep, would seem the same for the main passage way. Rob removed blocks in bottom of the rift to reveal another way through into current main streamway, now two holes taking water out. Got very wet, and very cold. Will probably need a large pipe taking down as extending canal is very difficult with limited space. Got out to find it sleeting with the road in flood – water pumping out of the manholes, apparently pissed it down whilst we were underground but no change of water levels -  so Streaks must react 'reasonably' slowly to rainfall, which is good news. Cold! (Mike, Rob)

27/11/13 - Rob came with me halfway to try and fill in bedding area on bend where dragtray keeps getting jammed. Took 3 loads to fill it. Seems to have worked reasonably well, but not a longterm solution as most of it had already fallen back into the passage by the time I exited. Definitely not a good idea to have 2 people in there for any length of time, Rob seemed to act like a plug, couldn’t hear the streamway at all whilst he was in (stream still very loud/quite high) and CO2 must build up much quicker with two. Digface not as bad as I remembered it. Must have been downhearted about going from a relatively large space back into a small space. In reality continuation doesn’t seem to be smaller than anything yet come across. Although does now seem to be going up hill, or at least levelling off. Came across a very defined step up in the floor, however. Could make the next section quite uncomfortable if it doesn’t start sloping down hill. We’ll see. Ed spent time testing his neofleece by working Sampo’s Canal into the blocked passage. Needs a good lot of rain to make proper progress. (Mike, Rob, Ed)

04/12/13 - Rob bought pump off ebay and 30m of hosepipe which we took down. Installed it into Born Slippy as far right-angled bend. Works really well! Rob and Ed took turns pumping, and it seems to actually draw air through the tube and out, creating a tiny draught. Seems to have solved the air problem as was in there for about 2.5 hours with no issues, although the draught has now made it quite cold. Gained a hoe and half in length. Reached another very obvious bend to the left. Looks to be heading proper West now, although I could see what looks to be another bend to the right further on, here’s hoping it goes back north again! Still not able to get tray beyond the step up in the bedding and still having to reverse back to the turning bend each time with the tray before it can be pulled out. Looks like someone might have to be stationed there in the future, unless we can think of another way of getting the tray out around the bends. Rob and Ed were visited by two cavers from Bolton who’d come in from the top entrance to do the through the trip. Caught Ed alone hidden behind the Dragon’s Nest bashing away at the pump. Thought he was some kind of cave pervert. Must be ~20m in now? (Mike, Rob, Ed)

11/12/13 - Tough night. Stream not flowing until after NB. Tried to find squeeze into the open area where I found the bouldery rift several months ago. Thought it was via the small stream passage that overflows into the Born Slippy bedding. Found a boulder blocking it, is this the wrong place, where the hell did I go, have I gone mental? Mystery. Had a long session at the dig, still having to reverse to the turning bend each time to send and receive the tray, pretty knackering crawling back and forth. Digface now really tricky, very tight (squeeze) into a passage which seems to be split. Left floor is ascending, whilst right is descending. At limit of what I can reach with the hoe, not really possible to go in deeper and dig as it’s too tight to move arms and head. Might have to bring in the monster hoe and give that a try. Probably about a hoe length from the right-hand bend. Really hope it dips again and gets a bit bigger. Next trip will be very slow and difficult. Not looking forward to it. Will need someone stationed at the turning bend soon. Moved DeWalt lunchbox up to 2nd bend. (Mike, Rob, Ed)

19/12/13 - Another tough night. Only two of us this time, as Ed was out singing like a proper Sampson. Decided to go anyway. Water moderately high from rain in recent days. Meant communication via rope tugs, no voice connection, and Rob having to sit in the water in the parallel tube. Rob pulled trays and pumped from same place, sounded like hard work. In BS, there was a lot of pooled water, most I’ve seen. As I was going down I sloshed more into it, and there was a pool from the turning bend to the step up in the bedding – made it quite cold.  Took the super hoe up, but only managed 2 trays worth from it, digface too far away to get any pressure on the end of the hoe. Then spent a while digging out the left bedding, purely for psychological reasons – made the place feel less claustrophobic!

After a while I finally plucked up courage to enter the compression, had to take helmet off whilst digging, or couldn’t move my head. Managed to begin digging into the next bend with my hand  - although very restricted and have yet to get my chest beyond the bedding which juts out halfway across the tube. The roof steps up again beyond, but tube seems to continue in a Westerly direction. Apparently at one time it was 20mins between trays – shows how awkward it was to dig! Next trip I might possibly be able to get into chicane. Both of us knackered, freezing outside. (Mike, Rob)

09/01/14 - Been very wet, should have known better! Streamway was flowing super fast through first duck into NB. Really changed since Rob cleared it. Previously the water would have backed up making it impassable, (half the amount of water now flows out of the 2 upstream tubes now as a result) Went through first duck no problem, but 2nd duck into Born Slippy area was highest yet, and with barely any airspace, decided against it as it was due to rain later. In hindsight should have tried lower entrance. Went back upstream and had another look at the tight branch by the silty corner. Then headed out, taking out the remainder of the rubbish from West Choke that we’d left in Alex Aven. Washed up in Watergrove Sough tail as usual and lost my watch again. Miraculously Ed found it just before it got washed into the downstream pipe, that watch is indestructible! (Mike, Rob, Ed)

22/01/14 - Been a very wet week and a bit again. Ed went in via Upper, me and Rob via lower just to be sure. Didn’t want to have an aborted trip again. Stream very fast down cascading section and hurtling into Sampo’s Canal, doesn’t seem to have made much forward progress though. Ed made it there before us, but was in the parallel tube as we arrived, so Rob set off and waited by the 2nd duck like a loyal dog waiting for his owner to arrive not knowing he’d already been and gone. Entered Born Sippy without my helmet, determined to make some progress, but a proper pool had formed from the block onwards, turning the squeeze just beyond the block into a proper committing duck. Plucked up courage and went for it (wouldn’t have made it with a helmet on for sure). Pool even deeper at turning bend stretching all the way to digface (and beyond?).

Digface, DeWalt lunchbox and tools completely submerged. Made half-hearted attempt to turn in turning bend but would have had to completely submerge my head for at least 20 seconds so, decided to retreat feet first like the old days. Had a bit of a moment getting back out of the squeeze. Calmed myself down, held breath and went for it, managed to get my head back out of the water and twist my body back beyond the block. Was a relief! Then spent around 30 minutes pumping water out, but made little impression, and Ed began chiseling away at the initial compression so he can finally get his J-Lo through. All exited via lower and took a look at the White House again, then onto the new dugout way to the final sump.  Forgot my shoes and had to go barefoot in the Miners - the final insult to a cold, wet night. (Mike, Rob, Ed)

14/02/15 - Was not looking forward to this trip, but couldn't put it off forever. We've not been back down Born Slippy in Streaks Pot for over a year since we found it full o'watter and generally miserable. Steady was car shopping today, so it was just me and Rob that pulled up at the layby and kitted up. The water pumping out of the Watergrove Sough tail looked ominously higher than we were expecting. (Although it always has since all that gravel got washed down from Cavendish Mill and raised the height of the riverbed by a good half metre). The trip down was pretty uneventful, although Rob shat himself when a bat buzzed him in the chamber at the bottom of the entrance rift. The first duck was fine and the 2nd was just passable without getting your face wet, so fairly average winter levels for Streaks. Reaching the entrance to Born Slippy we sorted out the kit and Rob got the pump out. Would it be sweet fresh air coming through the pipe, or water?? Water... bastard. Looks like its going to be wet then. I left Rob with the pumping and headed on into the tube. Took me a while pushing the drill and kit in front of me but I eventfully made it to the 18m mark and the left-hand bend... and the source of the water. The duck was easily passable but the pool was a good body length and a half long and about hip deep. I made a halfhearted attempt to get the drill out, but with the pool there's just no space to do anything. In fact the whole place is much smaller than I remembered it! Not to be defeated I swung the hammer about a bit, in a futile attempt to get rid of the obstruction at the end, but it's a proper drill job, and if we're going to get it done, the place needs to be dry. After about 30mins I'd had enough and weaseled my way back out. Streaks was clearly not in the mood to get jabbed at with a drill today, it's going to have to be a summer job. At least we tried! On with White Rake then... (Mike, Rob)

31/01/16 - Back down Streaks! It’s been a long time, but it felt good to be back. We parked up in the boulder layby as usual, although Steddy made a valiant attempt to drive all the way to the upper entrance like he was on Safari. Our plan was to re-climb Alex Aven in order to check out the inlet at the top. It was climbed by Tom Proctor shortly after Streaks was discovered and described as being “probably too tight”. As far as we know no-one actually pushed it or has been back up there since, so we thought it was worth a look just to find out for sure. We lugged the kit down through the upper entrance and made our way upstream, in surprisingly low water given the recent weather. It’d been a long time since we’d been upstream and Alex Aven was quite a bit taller than we remembered, with the inlet in the top west corner. Although climbers, we’re not Tom Proctor, so I put a couple of bolts in and with some moderate faffing made it to the source of the streamlet. It was actually quite a bit bigger than I was expecting (“bigger” being a relative term in Streaks) and it took the form of a miniature canyon that disappeared off round to the left. I hutched my way inside, but had too much kit on to make any progress, so I rigged up a rope and headed back down for the others to give it a go. Ed then climbed up with a shunt and got stuck in, but his J-lo soon got snagged so he scuttled back down to give Rob a go. Rob managed to get about a metre or so in (even with his SRT kit on), and after clearing some rocks even managed to stand up! There seemed to be a slight draught (although this may have just been water-driven), and we’ll be back soon, with some more time and a lump hammer to push it properly (Mike, Rob, Ed).

04/02/16 - Back to Alex Aven to have a proper look at the inlet, minus SRT kit. Climbing up, with a shunt on the rope as a backup, I managed to squeeze up into the tube properly this time. The inlet itself is a classic miniature keyhole passage, and after standing you can squeeze up into the roof tube and happily crawl along with one leg dangling beneath you. Unfortunately/inevitably though, after 4 – 5 body lengths the way on was blocked by flowstone and a choke of boulders, the biggest about the size of a TV, bang in the middle. The tube itself is relatively spacious here, and there’s enough room to work quite comfortably at the end. But the nature of the tube changes, the canyon disappears and it will probably become a flat out crawl beyond. I reported back to the others, hoping Rob or Steddy would take over (being the elite boulder breaking team) but Ed spotted a nasty (loose) looking slab of rock at the entrance to the passage and it was decided we should sort this before too many people come up. If it was to come down it's likely to block the exit back into the aven and also chop the anchors which are on the wall opposite. We’ll need to re-rig the rope higher up and crow bar this section off from above, probably on the next trip. So it was left to me to have a quick go at the largest boulder back at the choke with the plug and feathers. I managed to get a couple of decent chunks off, but by now time was ticking on so we called it a night. It shouldn’t take too much to clear it, so it’s worth doing, even if it’s only to confirm that the way beyond is too tight - at least we'll know (Ed, Rob, Mike)

 

14/02/16 - Arrived at the hut shortly after 11 to find Sam, as usual, with his car bonnet up having just decorated the adjacent wall with half the liquid contents of his engine. Glyn then joined us and we headed up the dale to find the overflow from Cavendish Mill discharging into the sough tail. This had the effect of raising the water level at the bend dramatically, with both the tail of Watergrove Sough and the downstream culvert completely submerged in a swirling mass of milky-white coloured water. Interestingly, as we climbed down into the streamway, the same milky water was entering via the main inlet, yet the water emanating from Watergrove Sough (above) was crystal clear. I climbed back up Alex Aven armed with a lump hammer, crow bar and the drill and got to work levering out the dodgy block as Sam and Glyn went on a sight-seeing tour up to West Choke (Lu Blue Sump was unaffected by the Cavendish overflow and remained very Lu Blue apparently). After a while, I managed to encourage the slab out from the wall, only for it to fall across the passage and completely block it. Luckily, I'd re-rigged the ropes higher up and was able to attack the fella whilst still in the aven, otherwise this would've been a slightly embarrassing occurrence. After what must've been an hour or so of trying, I managed to break the thing down into smaller chunks which would sporadically drop down into the aven with a satisfying rumble and a boom - which at least created some entertainment for Sam and Glyn who were waiting patiently below - out of the way. Eventually I had to admit defeat, being generally knackered, and what's left of the block shouldn't take much to remove it (with a fresh pair of arms and some plug and feathers). Packing up, we headed back down into the streamway, only to see a light headed towards us. A light which belonged to Rob who, until late that morning, was still in France. From the airport he'd gone home, picked up his caving gear and come straight back out. With this in mind, it seemed rude not to at least complete the through trip, so we headed on down into Nervous Breakdown. Although it'd been reasonably dry recently, the discharge from Cavendish had made a big difference, and the streamway was in full winter conditions. So much so that re-entering the stream after crawling over our sandbag training wall, I pushed the drill bag in front of me only to see it get instantly swept downstream by the full force of the water re-entering from the bedding on the left. This section always carries the most current and the bag simply disappeared into the distance as I went charging after it. Knee pads flying off, arms flailing, I eventually caught up with it some 15-20m further downstream and made a mental note not to let go of it again... unless I wanted to go fishing for it in Nickergrove. A successful trip re loose boulder with a sporty/wet through trip to finish. Good day! (Sam, Mike, Glyn, Rob)

20/02/16 - Back for a flying trip before the EGM. Rob scuttled up the rope and set to work on what remained of the hanging boulder. It took a bit of drilling and a couple of goes with the plug and feathers, but it eventually came down in three bits meaning no more hanging death at the entrance to the passage. Rob then came down and I climbed up with a shunt on a belt as usual (the passage beyond currently impassable with SRT kit on). I got to work on the boulder choke blocking the way, steadily crow baring pieces out and breaking down the larger bits with the drill before passing them back down the mini canyon to Rob who despotised them down the aven. Just as the drill ran out of juice I managed to get a final crucial bit of the larger boulder out, enabling me to wriggle my chest round the side of it to see that the passage continues beyond. It looks low and will need the roof enlarging at first (the flowstone making it pretty snug). It doesn’t looks super promising, but it’s worth another trip to at least remove the rest of the boulder so we can properly get into it. It might be the usual cave-mind-tricks, but it does appear to enlarge slightly a metre or so in. Why can't Streaks just go!? (Mike, Rob)

25/02/16 - Just me and Rob on a cold Thursday evening this time. I set off up Alex Aven as Rob went for a furtle about upstream. Within the first few minutes I’d managed to split up what remained of the boulder blocking the way on, but it then took about an hour breaking it down into smaller chunks in order to get it out of the passage and down the aven. At one stage I managed to the block the passageway completely - fortunately I was on the aven side of the blockage, unfortunately the crowbar, p&f’s, hammer and drill were on the other side of the blockage. Shit! After breathing in, I just managed to force myself through the gap at the top and back to the drill. With that cleared, I was finally able to get a proper look at the continuation and it was low and tight. Had a half-hearted attempt at taking the initial bit of the roof out before the drill ran out of juice, but the passage is just too low. Rob managed to squeeze his way up to the end after awkwardly taking his SRT kit off at the pitch head and crawled over me to check it out himself. Both agreed it’s probably not a goer. Oh well, on to the next one! (Mike, Rob)