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 August 2018

digging 2018Posted by Vince Simmonds Tue, August 21, 2018 07:07:19

I was away this weekend assisting with a cave exploration on the Gower Peninsula. However, other team members kept up the good work. The following summaries by Tav and Nick, respectively:

“Nick, Jon, Mike, Dunc, Tav

Dunc & Tav continued the survey, completing the section below the Tuck Shop, Another Emotional Journey and the links to the Lower Series and everything upstream as far as the breakthrough into An Unexpected Development. The only section left to do is the upstream part of An Unexpected Development, the pitch and the side Annexe Chamber, which we visited but did not survey.

Meanwhile Nick, Jon and Mike continued with the dig and walling.

A chilled and productive session.”

“Three retaining walls started, one at the base and two further up slope to attempt to stem the tide of scree that is trying to roll down, also to provide stacking space for spoil. All would probably be improved with a bit of cementing.

Only a few skip loads came out of the dig itself which would benefit from a proper skip and short rope system. Struggling to feel a draft at the end which is a tad worrisome, but this may be due to increasing mud content between the rocks.”

Some observations regarding speleogenesis were made and have been noted.

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