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.

14th July 2018

digging 2018Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, July 15, 2018 08:28:20

As previously mentioned, the title “Up the Garden Path” has been used elsewhere, in line with some recent correspondences, Jake has suggested the name “The EGO has landed!”.

Duncan and Naomi’s wedding today. Only Jonathon and Alex were available to keep up the good work in Hallowe’en Rift. Alex penned the following summary (edited):

“A diminished but strong team today. It was initially quite warm underground with little sign of the draught. This was to change!

Jon and Alex went to the new chamber “The EGO has landed!” and discussed what best to do. The advice of the sage elders was ignored, the feckless youths deciding to follow their senses, the draught, and the moon milk instead! Therefore, Jon started to dig out the floor of the pot, whilst Alex broke up the boulders from the previous session. Once the boulders were removed, Jon continued to dig downwards in the pot, and Alex retreated to the original rift chamber to haul and stack the spoil Jon was removing; Whilst in between loads, battering the calcite boulder that impinges on the new skip run. As Jon removed spoil from the pot, the draught returned, and the air became distinctly chilly again.

After digging ceased, Alex returned to the chamber to find that at the bottom of the pot, Jon had uncovered a strongly draughting bedding plane appearing to head due north. 2-3 inches of airspace is extant in the bedding and it appears to be filled with small rocks, formerly bedded stal and gravel. This is probably the best prospect for now?

20bags and five skip loads of rocks were removed to the surface.”

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