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.

15th April 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, April 16, 2017 07:40:17
With Tav, Jake, Nick, Matt, Jonathon, and introducing Paul Brock (Brocker's) to the fray.

We needed two vehicles to transport a strong team from the Hunter's down to the farm.
All changed, we headed up the hill to the cave.

After digging last session I was on surface duty, Tav and Jake on the haul and shuttle, Jonathon at the top of the slope, Matt at the bottom. Brocker's and Nick were digging.

The bags started to arrive at the entrance at a rather alarming rate, too fast to empty them and after about thirty bags, one after another, Tav came to the surface to help. Initially, Tav had been clearing the low passage into the 'West Series' of Hallowe'en Rift, adding some sloppy bags to an already burgeoning pile. The first few bags were not easy to empty and several were consigned to the wall, although it was apparent that most had come to the end of their usefulness. Eventually, the pace slackened as the diggers wrestled a large boulder out of the way, then more bags came out.

Ninety-one loads to the surface, a very productive session.

The digger's reported that the way forward is obstructed by rock(s) and probably requires 'induced rapid speleogenesis'. I will have to see if I can arrange a mid-week trip to the supplier.

Anyway, there was a thirst that required quenching, off to the pub!

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