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.

25th August 2018

digging 2018Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, August 26, 2018 10:47:56

With Nick, Jonathon, Duncan and Tav

On recent trips into Hallowe’en Rift it has been observed that along the hands and knees crawl from the entrance to Stal Bend, there is a significant scatter of moth wings, Tissue moths (Triphosa dubitata) are common visitors to the cave. I assumed they are being predated by spiders, Meta sp., the soft body parts consumed, and the wings discarded.

Duncan and Tav continued the G5 survey. The rest of us went to the bottom of the rift in An Unexpected Development and continued with the dig. I was digging, filling the skip, Nick was hauling it away and emptying the contents, Jon continued the construction of the retaining walls. Initially, the effort concentrated at the very bottom until it was decided a well developed stal boss was blocking the way. Moved back a little bit and started to clear away the debris against the left-hand wall, towards the end of the session air movement was detected.

Took some more photographs before climbing the ladder, exiting the cave to join the team at the entrance.

Frost shattered calcite forms the sloping floor of the rift, An Unexpected Development.

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