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.

23rd November 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Fri, November 24, 2017 06:21:19
With Jake, Jonathon, Nick, Brockers, Duncan and Mike.

First task was to check the results of the IRS and to retrieve the wire, it could do with a little TLC. The bulge has been removed, and some large flakes of rock taken-off either side of the fissure, making it wider. Satisfied, I went back to join Duncan on the haul and shuttle, I did the hauling, no knee-pads. After the digging stint on the weekend, Jonathon was on the surface. Brockers forged ahead on the digging front, Nick and Mike assisting, Jake was on top of the slope.

After recent rain, the drips are bigger and there are more of them, the spoil is becoming even claggier. The large rocks took their toll on the skip and, towards the end of the session, it died. Jake replaced it and took pleasure in the ease of movement a new skip affords.

A total of 58 loads were hauled out to the surface, 33 bags and 25 skip-loads of rock (although the rock-net was employed for a couple of rocks). A fine evening session.

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