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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.

24th November 2018

digging 2018Posted by Vince Simmonds Mon, November 26, 2018 07:08:04

With Alex, Jonathon, Duncan, Brockers and Nick

We continued the quest to the south-west. My turn to be up-front digging, Alex was next in line and did some extra widening of the passage, Jonathon, also moonlighting, in between skips, Duncan and Brockers sorted out the distribution of filled bags to the surface where Nick was on the end of the hauling rope – 85 loads up the entrance and emptied.

By the end of the session, the pinch point was just about big enough to wriggle through and get to where we had been digging in the early 90s. I could see the obstruction ahead that had frustrated us back in the day, I also retrieved some digging tools that had not seen any action for nearly 28 years, the chisel will be ok but the wooden handle of the lump-hammer was rotten.

Saturday evening was the Digging Thingy at the Hunter’s. I put up the Frost and Ice poster produced for the recent BCRA Cave Science Symposium in Bristol and gave a presentation on Hallowe’en Rift (pdf below). The cave came second, I didn’t enter HR, someone else must have.






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