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.

18th November 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, November 19, 2017 09:14:38
With Jake, Jonathon, Nick, Tav, Brockers and Matt.

Jon's turn to dig, Tav was to clear-away, but quickly completed the survey too, Brockers was on the slippery slope, with Nick on top of the slope, Matt and Jake sharing the haul and shuttle. My turn up-top, on the surface.

Initially it was quiet, so Jake returned to the surface to do walling. I, too, was adding to the wall. After a while, Matt called-out to say there was a backlog of bags, Jake returned underground. Then followed about 40 loads, one after the other, the backlog was transferred from below ground to above it. After that the bags kept coming at a steady rate, this meant there was not enough time to empty many of the bags. The haul rope, by now, was impregnated with mud and was wet making it difficult to grip. Eventually, thins settled down a little and Jake returned to the surface to help empty the bags, some of the bags were reluctant to disgorge their contents, the sediment is now, claggy.

Nick moved back to help Matt on the haul and shuttle, this resulted in another quick-fire session of hauling. In total, 83 loads out to surface, 78 bags and 5 loads of rock. It was pub-time!

Got down to the farm and was changed, when I realised that I had left my caving helmet up at Hallowe'en Rift, so I trudged back up the hill to fetch it. My, once waterproof, shoes have holes in them.

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