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.

10th November 2018

digging 2018Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, November 11, 2018 08:08:31

With Brockers, Nick, Alex and Jonathon

Brockers experienced the “loneliness of a long-distance digger” far away from Nick, who was hauling the skip with filled bags, and digging a hole in the middle of the skip-run, why, something about trying to remove an obstructing lump of conglomerate and calcite. Maybe, a Gaia effect was anticipated whereby, a hole dug somewhere will result in the offending bulge disappearing, who knows. Alex was at the junction, also helping to haul the skip on its journey to be emptied at the entrance where, initially, Jonathon was positioned. I had headed east, along Merlin’s to the top of the slope where I retrieved the last of the tat left there, a 20-litre container and some tools. On the way back, I dismantled the remainder of the bridge over the pot, the iron ladder and boards would be useful in the current dig.

When I got back the entrance, Jonathon went up to the surface after swapping the worn-out skip for an undamaged one. I took over the hauling. The accrued back-log of bags at the entrance were hauled out to the surface and we settled down to a steady rate. In between hauling bags, Alex and I fettled the skip-run by positioning the ladder and boards retrieved earlier, making a wider, more effective skip-run over the drainage channel.

Jon’s initial enthusiasm for being on the surface in the sunshine was all too brief and was soon dampened as the rain came down.

It was another productive session, although I have no idea of the progress made, I suppose I will get a look soon.

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