Hallowe'en Rift, Mendip Hills

Excursions [and other notes] involved in the exploration of Hallowe'en Rift; a cave, so far, formed within Triassic Dolomitic Conglomerate.

The exploration of Hallowe'en Rift was started in 1982 by Trevor Hughes with other members of the Bristol Exploration Club, then during the early 1990's Vince Simmonds and other, mostly, local diggers were active at a number of locations within the cave, including the start of the present dig with Graham Johnson in December 1991. The current phase of exploration was commenced in 2009, with the majority of the early work being carried out by Vince Simmonds and Alex Gee, now the regular team includes Rob 'Tav' Taviner, Graham 'Jake' Johnson, Nick Hawkes, Matt Tuck, Jonathon Riley, Paul 'Brockers' Brock, Roz Simmonds, Duncan Price and Mike Moxon. There has been occasional help from others including Mike Willett, John 'Tangent' Williams, Pete Bolt, Bob Smith, Callum and Hazel Simmonds, with regular guest appearances by that well-known antipodean, Ray Deasy.

6th August 2016

digging 2016Posted by Vince Simmonds Sat, August 06, 2016 14:47:36

With Alex Gee.

It was really good to see Alex up at Hallowe'en again.

The first job of the morning was to pack all the dry bags into 10's ready to be taken underground and refilled on later digging sessions. Then, as I opened up the cave we were joined by a fledgling robin that showed no fear of human presence and sat next to us, within less than 0.5 metre, this is probably not a good indicator for a long term survival strategy, but a pleasant experience all the same.

While I slipped underground to take some photo's Alex went to look at a feature he wanted to check out on the hillside.

In particular, I wanted to try and take an image of the current working area, and here it is below, the lump hammer for scale.

On the way to the dig face there are some decent formations, not all that big but worth preserving and taking a look. The bluish tinge is a consequence of lighting by LED I assume.

Back on the surface I had just started moving some of the rocks when Alex returned from his foray and we started work to build the retaining wall a little higher.

There was a good supply of rocks, these were put into position and sediment will be packed behind the rocks at the next digging session to consolidate the wall. When the rock supply was exhausted it was then that we decided to make our way to the Hunter's satisfied with the morning's effort, a little earlier than anticipated but thirsty all the same, and the flies were becoming very irritating!

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