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.

2nd December 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, December 03, 2017 09:12:03
With Jake, Jonathon and Brockers.

A smaller team today, after some discussion and shifting about; Jake digging, I was assisting, Brockers was on the slippery slope and Jonathon at the top of the slope where the bags and rock were stashed.

Initially, Jake dug in the alcove, leading north, where the sediment was drier. The work continued until a rather large boulder (?) was exposed, far too big to move, impeding any further progress in this location, at least for the present. So, attention turned to continue working along the fissure, some fractured rock was removed, then bags of claggy sediment and gravel. The sticky mud makes movement somewhat laborious. Meanwhile, I set about battering a large boulder with a lump-hammer. The boulder is in the way of another potential dig, that could lead over the top of the fissure and false calcite floor. The boulder is starting to succumb, but requires some more attention.

Eventually, the available stacking space was filled, we moved back to clear the bags out of the cave. 45 bags and a couple of stones were hauled out of the cave, the rocks were left at the top of the slope until the next session. Still, a good effort with a small team.

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