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.

3rd June 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, June 04, 2017 11:00:11
With Jake, Nick, Tav, Jonathon, Matt, and Alex too! Although Alex went off to do his own thing for a while he joined us later to haul-out a few bags.

Nick, Tav and Matt headed up to the end to start filling and stashing bags in the Tuck Shop, Jake, Jonathon and me, cleared the rocks that were stacked at the bottom of the entrance. That done, Jake and Jonathon went on into the cave to start clearing bags. I busied myself on the surface, wall-building and having a general tidy-up, packed up the empty bags, moving stone around, etc.

The bags arrived at the entrance at a nice steady rate, giving plenty of time to haul-out, empty and hang the bags to dry.

It was very pleasant in the warm sunshine, and the flies weren't too much of a nuisance yet, but I did wear a hat, just in case.

Forty-two bags were filled and emptied, along with 14 skip-loads of rock.

The news from the end wasn't full of enthusiasm, which is disappointing, apparently there is a 'calcite' blockage impeding further progress. I really should have kitted-up and gone along to the end to see for myself, but I didn't. Hindsight, as they say, is a marvellous thing. I will have to try and sort something out for the week ahead.

Right now, it was pub-time!

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