The winner of the 2017 J-Rat digging award was announced at the Hunter’s Lodge Inn last night, 25th November. The winner is Toby Speight and the Grampian Caving Group, for finding and surveying 302.5 m of passage in Poll Breugair, Applecross, Wester Ross, Scotland. This is the second win for the GSG, but was closely contested by the MCG team who have been digging, exploring and surveying extensions to Pearl Mine, on Sandford Hill, Mendip who were behind by a mere 3 m.
Announcing the award, Martin Grass pointed out that both teams had further passage ‘in hand’ as there are still leads in both caves, but in the spirit of the award had only submitted passage that had been both explored and surveyed within the time period.
For the sake of clarity, Martin also pointed out that the award does encompass the exploration and survey of passage known to miners in past times, but unknown to us today and that, although no digging may have been involved, discoveries made by diving – including the length of the sumps themselves – does count.
A longer article on Poll Breugair will follow shortly.