The Peak Speedwell System is located in the village of Castleton, made up of Peak Cavern, Speedwell Mine, James Hall Over Engine Mine and Titan Shaft. The system contains about 18km of cave passage, one of the deepest underground cave dives in the UK, down to a depth of 74 metres; the highest underground pitch in the UK which is 145 metres high, it has six known entrances but only four are usable.
Jim Lister and team have been working beyond Ink Sump for the last sixteen years. Using a substantial amount of scaffolding in the vertical boulder choke in the roof of Dooms Retreat, Jim has been creating a safe route through it, with the aim of breaking into new ground.
The breakthrough finally came during the autumn of 2016 when Jim spotted a small chamber through a small gap but after breaking through it was found to be a large void, the far wall being created by a fallen boulder the size of a small house.
The Peak Cavern Showcave tour currently ends at the top of Devil's Staircase in a passage called Pluto Dining Room, a fence crosses the passage and stops tourists passing this point. Cavers use a gate for access beyond this point. This point wasn't always the end of the showcave, prior to 1989, the tour used to drop down the staircase through into Five Arches. The path traverses the passage, crossing the River Styx in four places until it reached the junction of Buxton Water and Speedwell Water, in the area below Victoria Aven.
The team were called out at 4:30pm to reports of a caver (m) who had been hit by a falling rock whilst climbing the 80m deep Leviathan pitch in JH, near Castleton. He had suffered head injuries but he was able to complete the climb to the top of the pitch under his own steam. His companion continued to the surface to call DCRO. When the team arrived first aid was administered, the casualty was wrapped against the cold and put in a stretcher.