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 and Roz Simmonds. There has been regular assistance from Duncan Price and Mike Moxon, and occasional help from Mike Willett, John 'Tangent' Williams, Pete Bolt, Bob Smith, Callum and Hazel Simmonds, with a couple of guest appearances by that well-known antipodean, Ray Deasy.

28th January 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, January 29, 2017 07:25:59

With Jake, Jonathon, Matt and Nick.

Jake was at the sharp end, filling bags and shifting rocks, Jonathon clearing away. I was positioned at the top of the slope, loading skips to Matt, on the haul and shuttle. Nick was on the surface but, also helped Matt with the haul and shuttle duties.

First, there was a backlog of spoil that Nick and I had dug on Tuesday evening to move out of the cave; about 30 bags plus an assortment of rocks. While this was done, Jonathon piled today's spoil at the base of the slope.

When Tuesday's stuff was cleared, we set about moving today's pile out. No-one was counting really, but it must have been another 50 bags plus several loads of rock, some of them quite large.

At the end of the digging session, Jonathon and I went to look at the end. After a couple of hours full-on digging effort, the air was clear and fresh, and the chamber is getting bigger. There is, air movement, from the north and/or north-east side.

Still more to be dug out though!

Cave cleared and secured, it was time for some refreshments.

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