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.

19th August 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, August 20, 2017 08:31:26
With Brockers, Tav, Nick and Jonathon.

Carried-up the replacement skips and hauling rope that I had sorted during the week. I headed-up to the end to start clearing the debris, while Tav headed-off into the lower series for sound testing. Nick and Jonathon sorted-out the skip replacement, Brockers was on surface duty.

The aural connection was inconclusive, not as clear as last-time, perhaps the loose spoil was muffling the sound. Jonathon could hear Tav from the top of the slope, and Tav said he heard me when I shouted-out in the passage leafing west. Jonathon's 'crack' might warrant further investigation. Tav returned from below and joined Nick on the haul and shuttle.

Cleared the backlog of bags and rock from Tuck Shop, in between bagging the loose gravel and cobbles and loading the skip with boulder-size rock. After the initial rush, it got slower as digging commenced. The fissure [south] is filled with fine sandy silt and large cobbles and boulders of mostly detached calcite flowstone, some is well-packed. The fill in the floor is relatively easy to work with the pick, there are some obstructing boulders that will require prying-out. Another digging session before IRS needed again.

Over 60 loads out to the surface.

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