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.

30th December 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, December 31, 2017 07:55:30
With Jake, Jonathon, Nick, Tav and Brockers, who had collected a new digger for the team, Mike Willett.

Mike, as guest of honour for this session, was given the dubious pleasure of digging; I was in the drippiest place again but, to be honest, it wasn't so drippy today. Jonathon was on the slippery slope once again, with Tav on top. Brockers and Nick were sharing the haul and shuttle, leaving Jake on the surface to haul-out and empty bags and wall-building, should the opportunity arise.

At the dig, a large puddle of water had formed, fed by the seepage of water from the sediment noticed last session. Initial attempts to get rid of the water failed so, Mike concentrated the digging effort to clearing-out a small alcove on the north-side, where a narrow space could be seen, the immediate potential here appears to be limited. As ever, it wasn't too long before the team had sourced some bailing kit and we were able to drain the puddle sufficiently to enable digging to resume following the main lead. Sixty or so bags filled, some forward progress achieved, was a good enough effort for the session and we were ready for the pub. Each of the team left the cave with a substantial coating of sediment adhering to oversuits.

The last session of 2017.

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