The shaft itself is scarier than any rappel we've done. The colossal depth (210m) is off-putting, the consequences of failure more severe and the environment less comfortable. Passing the overhanging edge is difficult, even with an etrier (aider), and the stance width is too narrow to allow a proper flip upside down to pass the overhang maneuver. From below the wooden platform appears even more perilous. It's barely balanced, tipping into the top of the shaft. More incredible still are the rotting wooden ladders affixed to the sloping side of the shaft. From the cross section the shaft appears to slope continuously at about 75 degrees. We saw no sign of equipment to mechanically move workers inside the shaft though it may have been stripped at closure of the mine. If indeed the workers traversed the levels via wooden ladders they're totally batshit crazy. There are no signs of cages around the ladders or other fall protection.
Curiously within the shaft, below the platform, exists a wooden bracing with one beam running perpendicular to the slope, and 3 parallel beams that intersect it. Each beam is at least 30x20cm and 4 meters long. I cannot imagine what purpose it might serve, any additional clues to its use are long rotted. One of the beams was dislodged by swaying it back and forth until the nails holding it together fatigued and broke. Rappelling past the beams in their condition is too dangerous. If one were to dislodge and fall on you inside the shaft it's certainly game over. We'll knock the rest out (they're certainly not load bearing) before we fully descend the shaft.
In another part of level 3 we explored an ore chamber linked to what has been fondly named the Treasure Room. Shards of silver-coloured reflective pyrite litter the floor. Thick iron oxide leeches into the water flow creating a crimson pond aptly called the Suicide Pool. This is one of the few places we stopped to take photos, due to the difficulty of lighting anywhere else. It's just too damn massive for the lighting we brought. When Anymouse and Fyrephreak first found the mine they entered an ore chamber so large they believed themselves to have exited the mine. When they realised no stars could be seen they discovered it was just a massive ore chamber in which their flashlights didn't reach the ceiling.