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.

4th May 2019

digging 2019Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, May 05, 2019 05:50:40

Note: no activities took place last weekend (27th April). I was over on the Gower peninsular digging with Jon and Alex at Harry Thomas’s Cave, Overton. Others had their own commitments.

With Brockers, Duncan, Jon and Jake

The digging effort, once again, was concentrated in the Soft South due to numbers, and there is still a puddle in the Cold Gnarly North. Brockers and Duncan were digging and filling bags, Brockers worked on the east-side, Duncan to the west. I was at the junction (more like a bend, really), Jon at the bottom of the entrance, Jake on the surface.

While Jon was replacing the skip, I ventured up to the north to collect some tools and can confirm, there is still a pool of water. As I was there anyway I had a good look at the way ahead and gave some thought to an easier solution to moving forward. I arrived at the decision that some ‘rapidly induced speleogenesis’ might prove fruitful, if I had some help to keep the kit dry. It’ll be a lot quicker than digging, I’ll ponder and see if I can make some arrangements. I remembered to collect some tools although the big bar could not be located.

Back at the dig, we settled into a steady rate of removal and the banter flowed freely. Now that I was wet, the draught from the south-west passage was increasingly noticeable, as the session progressed I became cooler.

Towards the end of the session, Duncan had wormed his way into a small space, a possible cross-rift, that was interesting but requires some more work to fully see what’s going on. This was the last action of the day and we exited the cave. Jake had hauled and emptied 66 bags and 2 skip-loads of rock onto the spoil heap.

Walking back across the fields to the farm, I had a feeling that I was missing something, then it dawned on me – my camera. I returned to the cave and to retrieve it – another senior moment!

  • Comments(1)//dighalloween.mendipgeoarch.net/#post499