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.

14th October 2018

digging 2018Posted by Vince Simmonds Tue, October 16, 2018 06:36:33

With Dr Gina Moseley, Dr Marc Luetscher and Roz, we were later joined by Ray Deasy.

Gina and Marc are Palaeo-climatologists, with a specific focus on cave sites, and had accepted an invitation to visit Hallowe’en Rift and comment on the processes that might have caused the damage to the speleothems and to look to see if there are any deposits of cryogenic calcite. Some time was spent in the rift in An Unexpected Development discussing the processes that might lead to a cave becoming filled with ice during periods of fluctuating temperatures, other thoughts were also expressed. Unfortunately, despite a thorough search no cryogenic calcite was found, Gina suggested that perhaps any CCC’s had been buried under later sediments. It was an enjoyable and informative trip.

Ray was late arriving at the Hunter’s this morning and had missed a ride down to the farm. Not to miss out on a caving trip he continued his bike ride from the MNRC down the hill to catch us up. We had already walked up to HR and were underground, Ray met us at the rift. After the trip he insisted on pedalling back up the hill to the Hunter’s, in his wet-suit, to meet up with Tangent and go digging in Stockhill Mine Cave.

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