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.

21st October 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, October 22, 2017 09:36:41
With Matt, Nick, Tav, Jake and Brockers.

Matt, Nick and Tav set about clearing the bags and rocks stacked in the entrance. Jake went ahead to start digging, Paul went to the top of the slope to load the skip with the bags and rocks left there on Thursday evening, I was hauling the skip down and shuttling the spoil back to the entrance, ready to be hauled to surface.

Thursday's spoil cleared we moved-up to clear today's spoil. Progress was slower today the way forward being obstructed by some rather large slabs of rock and calcite. Although loose, these slabs were determined not to succumb to Jakes attentions utilising a variety of bars, hammering and chiselling. These slabs will require the use of some induced rapid speleo-genesis on Tuesday evening. It was just very frustrating the way ahead looks so enticing.

Ninety loads out to the surface, plus one large rock that Nick had managed to prise out from somewhere, 'idle hands make mischief' is probably an apt saying in this instance.

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