Odin Mine trip report

Max, Leo and Emmott, Sunday 29th Aug 2021

After a lot of reading of all of the available literature, we were begrudgingly convinced that no better trips were on offer and it seemed that the recently re-allowed Odin Mine was the trip de jour. Me, Max and Leo kitted up and set off walking from the TSG along the broken road. The fairly impressive rake within which the entrance lies is just after the last bus stop. To access the mine, we skirted the edge of the rake to the north (right-hand side) and found a strong tree root to do a short pull through from – although the entrance would be accessible by climbing the slope from the bottom of the rake.

Leo used the end of this pull through rope to rig the first entrance pitch, where he discovered a loose bolt – the forth one in on the Y hang down the pitch. Easily avoided by single hanging from the end of the traverse. This leads you down an old but solid looking maypole into the mine proper, where you continue in line with the rake following the seam and trending slightly downwards until a short traverse where the passage levels out. This traverse over a deep pot in the floor is followed immediately by a short, slopping hard rigged up pitch to a higher level. Look up here! The walls are very sparkly with ferrous (?) looking crystally deposits.

From the top of the up pitch we continued in the same direction over another short traverse passing a pot in the floor. This used the last of our rope, but only a few meters later we discovered a set of P bolts for another pitch down a pot in the floor; the way on. My ingenuity led us to derig the traverse and use this rope to descend the pitch, although in retrospect I curse my cleverness as past this point it becomes clear just how shitty the floors you’ve been walking on, which become the ceilings in this lower level, are.

At the bottom of the pitch the way on doubles back completely, heading back towards the entrance but in a lower level than you’ve previously been in. The hanging death ceiling which looked like to was composed of pebbles and compacted sand dissuaded me from continuing, so Max and Leo headed off while I waited and contemplated my immenant death. Leo tells me that beyond the death ceiling there was a short body bridge over a false floor that led to a squeeze under the first of the stone stemples, the rest of which are crawled under more easily in a long crawly section. This led them to the top of another pitch for which we hadn’t packed the rope to give access to Cartgate Chamber.

They headed back up to me, having only been gone for five minutes. It’s difficult to know if the complete incompetence in packing the ropes was our fault or due to poor information. I expect it was us. The rigging topo, in hindsight, was entirely accurate. Although the description for Tweb and Brendan Sloan I found from the pre-collapse days of Odin was pretty confusing, and we were disappointed by the lack of soul sucking, primordial mud in the entrance passage.

Overall, a good trip which I’d return to when thinking less about death ceilings and with the proper ropes (mayyyybe). In and out in just over an hour with a pleasant walk either side (more pleasant on the way back as we discovered the way across the fields rather than along the road). Back in Castleton in time to get cream tea. Lush.

I drew this new survey before I saw that the rigging topo is actually true, believe that!