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.

22nd June 2019

digging 2019Posted by Vince Simmonds Sat, June 22, 2019 15:37:04

With Jon and Brockers

A small team assembled for today’s activities and it was soon decided that the best and most effective use of manpower was to dig in the Soft South.

While Jon packed bags, Brockers went ahead to start digging and I headed up to the Cold Gnarly North. I wanted to look and make an assessment for the next phase of IRS and expand the low grovel that is the continuation north. On the way back to join the others I scraped up the loose material lying in the low section.

Back in the “comfort” of the Soft South I took my position stacking bags in the entrance ready to be removed later. Jon was at the junction/bend and Brockers was busily digging away.

It was a pleasant way to spend the morning, chattering away to Jon, stopping occasionally to stack another bag in the entrance. It’s surprising how big the pile gets as the session progresses.

Then the time came to clear-out the spoil, Jon and I went up to the surface and took it in turns to haul up the skip. Brockers remained below ground to load the skip. When all the bags were out of the cave, they were then emptied onto the spoil heap and the bags hung-up to dry. Today’s tally; 49 filled and emptied bags, and a stone that didn’t qualify as a load or even half a load really.

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