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.

16th February 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Fri, February 17, 2017 06:30:46
With Roz and Tav.

The plan was to clear the rock debris created by Tuesday evening's effort.

On the way up to the current end of Merlin's, I reeled in the wire and left it high, dry and out of the way. Tuesday's rock engineering had the required effect, the 'nose' of rock was gone and the passage was wider. There was, also, a pile of rock to shift that included some larger lumps needing further reduction. A substantial lump would not succumb to some hefty whacks from the sledge, so that was moved to a place where it could be capped and the digging effort not disrupted. It was, later joined by an equally large lump.

When all the larger lumps of rock had been cleared away, Tav and Roz came up to the end and had a good look at the potential way forward. There is, of course, a lot more spoil to move.

We all moved back and cleared the pile of rocks out to the surface, leaving a clear cave for Saturday.

Some of us got changed, not Roz though, because she had left her clothes at home and had to go to the pub in her undersuit, under my coat. Good job it was the landlord's night out!

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