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.

8th June 2019

digging 2019Posted by Vince Simmonds Sat, June 08, 2019 22:15:40

With Jon, Brockers and Nick

We made a return to the Cold Gnarly North to finish off the job we had started last weekend. Jon was the first to cross the “sea of slurry” and go up to the nice dry bit to fill bags. Somehow, Brockers had talked himself into the cold mucky job in the slurry, I was positioned at the bend in the north passage just beyond the first “pinch-point”, Nick was at the junction where he stashed the filled bags and rocks, although some went to the bottom of the entrance too.

Although my position had started off dry it was soon rather wet and squalid with a good deal of splashback coming from the haul-rope, at least the skip route was well lubricated.

Jon cleared the loose debris left-over from the IRS and quite a bit more stuff too, Brockers busied himself improving the access to the passage north from the “lake”, Nick, meanwhile was quietly digging something, anything, it’s like a ‘nervous-twitch’. The stash of spoil was accumulating.

Eventually, it was decided that we shift back and clear-out the accumulated spoil from the cave. Some quite large boulders had appeared, and they hadn’t come from the north. They were to stay below ground ready to be hauled-out another day. There were 64 loads hauled to the surface today, 48 filled bags and 16 skip-loads of rocks.

The warmth of the June sunshine was very welcome after spending a couple of hours or so in the Cold Gnarly North.

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