UK Caving

WHERE THE CAVES ARE - The Caving Regions => Mendip => Cheddar Caving Club => Topic started by: Burt on January 01, 2011, 09:24:15 pm

Title: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Burt on January 01, 2011, 09:24:15 pm
New year's day 2011, Ken & Burt, Swildons climbing frolics

So as neither of us had hangovers of any sort rfom the night before, we trundled off to Swildons to find there was nobody else on Priddy green or in the cave. Bonus!
Down to the 20 and we rigged a top rope insead of a ladder and attempted to traverse across the top of the pitch, an dwith a bit of jiggery pokery made it down to the ledge and thus the streamway. Getting back up was another matter though as neither of us had the stretch to bridge across the stream and climbing up proved v diff without pulling up on the rope. In the past we had both climbed up under the waterfall but this time wanted to stay dry. So  a traverse back across the top as another group approached saw us up and off the pitch.

We then headed to the old 40 and rigged a similar setup, abbed off the top and then enjoyed a simple climb back up on a top rope. Both agreed that this would be do-able without a rope , but ballsy.

By now the cave had got quite busy so we scarpered to the pub. Happy new year!
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Bana on January 22, 2011, 08:14:27 pm
January 5th 2011
G.B Cave

Keith, Anna, Neil, Brendan, Martin, Lynette.

Finally the snow had melted, so we were all able to get to G.B.
We all headed into the cave, and planned to do a round trip and have an explore. We first headed to the bridge and tried to remember which way we had gone on a previous trip. We soon got our bearings and headed for the passage which took us to the bottom of the stream way, well after getting a little lost. Once we were at the bottom, we all had a look around at how big this chamber was and had a little look at the chain where the cave continues- thinking we wish we brought a ladder. We then headed back up the stream way and up the waterfall and had a look around before eventually making our way out of this awesome cave, thanks to Annas good memory!

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on January 24, 2011, 05:17:54 pm
[center]Sat. 8th Jan 2011 Eastwater  Cavern[/center]
Chris Castle, Nicky Dennis, Rich Hobbs (WCC).
As we are being asked to enter our trips on the forum here’s a small tourist trip on which 66.66 recurring people were ChCC members.
We took our lives in our hands by getting into the Canyon via the Woggle Press, going down to the Crossroads and left to the first vertical. I’d not been here for a great many years; I think my last trip was to help Andy S install the bolts. We were soon down and on to the Second Vertical where I had difficulty locating the bolts; I was too low and they are quite high up. A swing across part of the way down brought us to the junction of the Mud Escalator and the 13 Pots. A 30m rope is only just long enough. Down the Pots, and as we were slow, back up again.
One thing to note is that it is a serious mistake to wear SRT kit through the cave, and then shove it all in one bag for the return so that it weighs a ton.

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Dani on February 03, 2011, 08:39:37 pm
Sidcot Swallet - Wednesday 2nd February 2011

Tricia, Lynette, Dani, Rowan, Martin and Jamie (guest)

A nice gentle meander around Sidcot, introducing Jamie to the delights of the Lobster Pot.  Still some work to do on my part working off some of the Christmas dinner, but managed to unwedge myself after a bit of jiggling. Thankfully we didn't put Jamie off entirely and is hoping to come out with us again soon.

Thanks to all for an enjoyable trip
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Marty on February 18, 2011, 05:54:41 pm
Attborough Swallet 9th Feb

Martin, Rowan, Lynette, Tricia

A return trip to this very interesting and muddy cave.

We reached a large chamber which Rowan and I decided to use for a chat, whilst the girls headed off down a tight and muddy crawl!

A great trip all round.

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: keith on February 18, 2011, 11:12:28 pm
Swildons Blackhole Series 11th Feb

Keith Milward, Neil Rayment

A very last minute decision to do a bit of late night caving, we both decided to check out the Blackhole Series. We only took ropes so we could have a bit of srt fun.
Once down and through the extremely cold sump 1, we were soon on our way to the start of the Blackhole Series.
After a explore around and looking at a very tight pitch(summer challenge), we headed for the pitch(the one with the bold step across), and soon decided to srt down for a explore. We then headed back up the pitch and back to the even colder than before sump 1, and made a quick exit up the stream way and out for midnight.

Overall a very good trip.
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Dani on March 05, 2011, 06:55:18 pm
East Twin / Spar Pot
Wednesday 2nd March

Dani, Dan, Tricia, Rowan, Steve P, Neil, Keith, Anna, Jamie, Gary (guest), Rachel, Chris C, Nicki

A cast of seemingly thousands for this trip down East Twin to admire the engineering then a poke around Spar Pot.  At one point I think we managed to get eight of us in a 'chamber' near Long Crawl, which gave the newer members a good chance to get up close and personal and for us all to get to know each other a little better.

Thanks for a nice trip and a great turn out!
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Burt on March 07, 2011, 12:15:12 pm
27/feb, OFD dry ways

Andy, Rachel, Chris, Nikki, Neil R & me

We went to these places:
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[I loved it!
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Judi Durber on March 10, 2011, 11:01:56 pm
MCR Pactice at Rods Pot.
Barry, Keith, Burt, Trish, Martin, Neil, Andy P, Judi, (from ChCC)  Tom Chapman & Mak (from MCR)
Saturday morning brought every cave leader & scout to the bottom car park in Burrington Combe it seemed. We managed to group on the edge before heading to the top of Link Road to change & get our first briefing. The kit was brought out & I was introduced to bondage with the canvas stretcher wrap. After a bit of 2 to 1 rigging practice we trooped along to Rods to be halted by another scout group. We wiggled past them & sat in the top of the pots while they slithered by.  We then split into 2 groups, Neil & Andy staying at the top to rig with Tom while Burt Trish, Martin, Barry, Keith & I went to the bottom of El Capitoff Pot with Mak to wrap our victim (casualty) in the canvas stretcher.  The first pull through the crawl went well & then we put Barry on the frame to do a carry to the bottom of the first pot.


At this point we replaced Barry with several bags of spoil.  Trish Barry & I climbed back to the top (after I had gone & scooted down a side hole Trish had said was interesting only to find getting out was a bit of a challenge.) We then assisted the hauling team (I can’t say I was very effective) & by altering the pulleys the bags came up quite quickly. 


The tricky bit was getting them up over the pitch head & dragging them round the top bolder.  I do hope we would look after a person a bit better then the bags of spoil as they got a bit bashed bent & squashed. It was about then that we called time as we where into the afternoon & hadn’t eaten. We scrambled out with kit almost gaining a scout rope but left a MCR bag at the bottom of the pitch. Keith was brilliant & scooted back down & out again before we were changed.  Tom & Mak gave a debrief, several expressed an interest in going to the MCR practice meets & we departed with very muddy kit into the sunshine. Thanks to Andy for organising it, Tom & Mak for instruction & guidance & everyone else for making it an enjoyable practice.
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on March 12, 2011, 08:36:54 pm
Ogof Ffynnon Ddu II
27th February 2011
Andy and Rachel Sparrow, Nicky Dennis, Ian Burton, Neil Rigiani, and Me, Chris Castle

I suppose I’ll have to write this up as no one else has. You may have seen Burt’s photos and Andy’s enquiry and have some idea of what we did. It was a visit off the trade routes to the area around Deja Rue, in the north-central part of the cave system – a very complex area and so there’s no point in giving a detailed description; you need the survey, although there are so many overlying passages that it’s difficult to read.

We got to Deja Rue via Gnome Passage, Edward’s Shortcut with it’s nice traverse, Shatter Pillar and Midnight Passage to a passage heading due west to a crawl through Haydn’s Dig which brought us into the northern end of Deja Rue. This becomes a pretty passage ending at a soapflake pool. Retracing our steps a short way the survey suggested that there was a route to our left, which was a flat-out wet crawl. There was a bit of a flaff here as we were not at all sure whether it was worth getting soaked, but Andy went through and we all had to follow. It was unpleasant but short and led to a series of passages of varying dimensions with interesting sand formations and fossils. We found a pleasant waterfall with a beach behind and nearby  ropes hanging  which we think is one way to the rest of this area. Returning to a junction we soon found the top of the waterfall, making a short but pleasant round trip. Neil and Burt climbed down and quickly did this bit again.

We exited via Selenite Tunnel as Burt had not been to OFD before and ha deserved a bit of sightseeing, and so the usual way out along Salubrious Passage.

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on March 18, 2011, 04:57:37 pm
Wed March 16th St Cuthberts Swallet
Chris Castle, Nicky Dennis, Brendan Hanley, Tricia Denning-Kendall, Steve White, Barry Hulatt.

A nice wander around to see the fine stal in the Traverse Chambers area.

Our route in was to Lower Mud Hall where we all free-climbed down Mud Hall Pich, which is easy enough but looks nasty, then along to Lower Traverse Chamber. Right at the top of this is an ascending rift passage to Upper Traverse Chamber from where we took the September Series route as far as High Chamber for a look at the pearls in a side passage there. I went off under the boulders to try and locate Purgatory and Echo Chamber, where I was taken a great many years' ago. I think I found it but it doesn't really match the description in the book.

Back to Upper Traverse Chamber and through the low arch to see the Crystals, and out the usual way up Wire Rift.

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on April 06, 2011, 12:56:18 pm
Caving trip 30/03/2011 Fairy, Hillier’s round trip.
Tricia Denning-Kendall, Sam Denning-Kendall, Chris Castle, Brendan Hanley, Rachel Sparrow

(Written by Trish but posted by me due to some technical difficulties. Brendan is involved)

Great evening! After we entered the cave, quick progress was made to the first squeeze where Chris approached the hole head first, then head first on his side, then the other side and then hooray-feet first and he was out in a jiffy!
The duck was decidedly wet and cold, not too bad as we went through but the following squeeze and contortions made the water move trickle around your whole body. Chris had fun in the next squeeze, finally removing the top of his oversuit to get through to Hillier’s cave.
The struggles and wiggles were all worth it as we dropped down the rift and along to Cambridge grotto-not sure if we made it all the way to Brenda’s (or should that be Brendan’s chamber) but the sparkly formations we wonderful.
We made set off to make our exit along tar hall and just before the rope we found a bright green frog and 2 newts. These were carefully placed in a bucket and later set free near a pond-all in a night’s caving.
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on April 08, 2011, 06:47:12 pm
Mon 4th April 2011.
Goatchurch Cavern

Chris Castle, Nicky Dennis, Rachel Sparrow, Trish Denning-Kendall, Jamie Smith, Gary Wong and potential members Kay Chambers and Neil Turner.

A members' training evening. Handlines down the Tradesman's, getting up and down the Coalchute with shared belays, bits and pieces around the boulder chamber and knot-tieing practice.

A very worthwhile session. Gary seemed to have a natural ability to pick up tieing knots, but everyone ended up tieing bowlines and fig 8s to safe belays.

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Judi Durber on May 05, 2011, 03:06:25 pm
Tuesday 3rd May 2011

After several requests and getting replies of: too far away; eeerrr don't know where it is; only a shrine; men only; too high up; I have finally been in a cave.
We met at 8.00 to cross the lake and then climb a hill to 1113mts but the only thing up there was the World Peace Pagoda. Another hours walk down hundred of steps brought us to the top end of Pokhara. A main road with shops on either side and a magnificent arch declaring Mahadve Cave.


Except you first had to run the gauntlet of bazaars through narrow alleys first


before paying 80p adults & 30p students.
We descended 50mts (possibly) to a concrete platform.


A shrine sat in the middle which we bypassed down some side steps where the roof was running with water so we got dripped on before ducking into a tunnel for 20-30 meters. This opened out into quite a sizable cavern with light streaming in at the other end. The left wall is covered in dry rivlets of flow stone. A post and string stop you from going any further but a rickety set of metal steps allow you down to water level. I frightened a gecko away but the crab stood and looked at me. 50+ meters across a foaming (no you don't want to know what is in the foam!) pool an impressive amount of water is falling through a 'grottoed channel' called Devi's Falls. (A Swiss woman called Devin was supposed to have drowned in 1961 while skinny dipping with her boyfriend)


I had  a reasonable torch with me so poked about either side of the pool. One side had a large amount of rubbish obviously thrown from above. The other where you could squeeze through to another chamber an impressive amount of flood debris was in the roof. My guide for the day Bhima just wanted to see bats so having found a large amount of guano I shone into the roof about 40-50 meters above to a dark mass which I couldn't see quivering so not sure if it was bat or rock. We exited as an excited party of Indian's came in with mum and granny hanging onto the children.
Not quite up to Gough's standard but going by the debris the whole lower part up to the shrine must flood in the monsoon which would be impressive to see.
Sorry about the quality of the photo's :-( and I am out of time so no more cave hunting for me.
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Ed W on May 09, 2011, 10:42:59 am
Saturday 7th May 2011 - Upper Flood Swallet

Ed Waters, Barry Hullatt, Neil Rayment & Keith Milward

A number of firsts on this trip.  It was the first time in this cave for Barry, Neil and Keith; the first Cheddar CC trip into the new part of the cave (as far as I am aware), my first trip as a leader, and after two years as a member my first non-digging trip with the Cheddar.  As with most trips into Upper Flood, we did have a couple of jobs to do.  However, we got off fairly lightly with transporting in a couple of large pelicases to West Passage and a new kibble to Mud Out Dig in East Passage.

Good progress was made through the old cave, allowing plenty of time to admire the formations in Midnight Streamway.  The water in the Lavatory Trap and the Canal was the lowest I have ever seen it, and for once the water in the canal was not bitterly cold.  We soon arrived at the Red Room and had a quick rest before embarking on the traverse of the notorious choke. This involves about 20 minutes of awkward contortions and squeezes before popping out into the awesome Departure Lounge.  From here the next 500m or so is mostly easy walking along the finely decorated streamway of Malcolm's Way, before climbing up out of the stream at the Halogen Loft.  From here a large fossil passage leads to Royal Icing Chamber and its profusion of pure white formations, and a quick glimpse into the entrance of the "forbidden" Neverland.  We made a bee-line down the slope into West Passage, dropping off the peli-cases at Chuckle Choke.  Neil and Barry descended the squeeze and climb down to the Chuckle's Joke Streamway, Keith and I waited at the top for them.  We then went to the end of West Passage, having a quick bite at the terminal choke before heading back to Ropyal Icing Chamber.

We picked up the kibble we had left in the chamber, and transported it along East Passage, leaving it at Mud Out Dig, followed by a quick shufti around the rest of East Passage.  On the way out we had a good look at the narrow rift down which the stream sinks below the Halogen Loft, and then headed upstream to Threadneedle Street.  We had a wander around as far as t junction with Wall St, and were about to head out when another party came out of Wall St, and suggested we go and have a look - so we did, and very worthwhile it was too!

After this, we started the long journey out.  This was somewhat easier than the way in due to having got rid of the load we had carried in.  We exited to heavy rain after 7 hours underground and headed back to the MCG cottage for tea and Pizza. 
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Gerbil007 on May 10, 2011, 10:07:27 pm
What was the consensus re. Chuckle's Joke streamway Ed? Worthwhile prospect or fools errand?
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Ed W on May 12, 2011, 01:14:32 pm
Hello Kev, what are you doing gatecrashing the Cheddar forum?  Not after joining a proper club are you?

As for Chuckle, I do not think it is a fool's errand.  There was a significant stream flowing on Saturday, despite the rest of the cave being very dry.  However, my view is that the point where the main stream disappears below the Halogen Loft is a better bet.

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on June 18, 2011, 11:23:42 am
2nd June 2011
Rana Hole, Assynt
Chris Castle, Nicky Dennis, Ken Passant, Simon (Ken's nephew), Andy Morgan

Due to lack of equipment, knowledge and common sense we made a rather shambolic descent of this magnificent dig to reach the formally flooded passage called the Skye-way and the chambers beyond. A large bouldery and very loose chamber did not seem to go anywhere so we descended to the left to a couple of chambers with formations and a climb down to Black Rift Pitch, for which we had no tackle. This leads to the far reaches of Claonite, beyond the sumps, so we will try again another time. I think it would be easiest to descend on one long rope with a couple of rebelays.
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on June 18, 2011, 11:37:02 am
3rd June 2011
Uamh An Claonite, Assynt.
Andy Morgan, Nicky Dennis, Chris Castle

This proved to be an absolutely magnificent wet cave. After an awkward (for me) entrance we came to a fine waterfall, easily climbed down, and the first sump with it's by-pass to the left. I went first and emerged covered in foam which gives a clue to why you don't enter this cave in wet weather. A straight rift passage called Cavity Wall Passage had deepish water and we negotiated a series of fine cascades, deep water and waterchutes to the second sump. An extensive dry section led to the right via a crawl called Mud Passage leading to some large sandy chambers - the East Block. We did not explore all of it and on our return missed a climb up a slot called- oh, I didn't write it down, someone will know; and fumbled around for a while on uncomfortable rocks until Andy found it. We were soon back in the water and at the entrance, which had mysteriously got tighter while we were down.

Great fun was had by all, well worth the 650 mile drive!

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on June 18, 2011, 11:48:10 am
5th June 2011
Bar Pot

Chris Castle, Nicky Dennis

We stopped off to break the long drive back from the north of Scotland, and had a refreshing walk up Ingleborough in the rain. After a look at Gaping Gill surrounded by odd patches of yellow grass from the winch meet's tents, we made a straightforward descent of Bar Pot and crawled to Main Chamber. Nicky was a bit wound up after reading about the traverse around SE Pot but in the event hardly noticed it.
The rain had made the waterfalls in Main Chamber worth seeing, and Nicky was most impressed. We spent a long time on photography, but could not do justice to the cave with our equipment.

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Judi Durber on June 26, 2011, 11:16:33 pm
Our educational trip down Rhino Rift
Thursday 23rd June 11

Andy P, PJ (Paul James), Steve White, Nick (Guest) & Me.

If you get out of work early enough you can beat the 5 o’clock bulge down the motorway and surprise everyone by arriving early.

It doesn’t matter how early you start organising a trip finding the right number & lengths of rope will thwart your start time.

Just because you have been to the entrance before doesn’t mean it will be in the same place when you go again. (I could have sworn it was directly above Longwood.)

Don’t ignore the arrows on the ground guiding you to the entrance (left by your wonderful leader) thinking there is a scout group in the area.

It might be a big hole you are going to but the entrance will always entail a crawl. (The bit my mind had blanked.)(Due to a picture of the big hole you have to dangle over that is seared on my brain.)

Doesn’t matter how many people you have hunting for spits you won’t find them if you are looking in the wrong place.

The leader might have started rigging an hour before you arrived but he won’t get far without the next bit of rope which is on your back.

You might look fab & cool straddling the rift but my legs are just NOT going to reach.

Don’t re-order the equipment on your harness just before a big trip (without prior trying it out) as jamming one bit against another can happen.

If you need to use up energy & like re-jigging foot jammer & cowstails rig your descenders a long way from the knots.

Chest ascenders like creeping up rope to kiss the knot when you are not looking.

You only find the nice ledges to stand on on the way up having missed them all on the way down.

The route might be shorter & prettier but it won’t be used if there are mid rope knots to get round.

I don’t like hanging off rope in big open spaces (although it is easier to work in the middle of a big open pot than to be bumping against the sides.) even if it is pretty.

You find the spits when de-rigging (there’re obvious, why didn’t we see them before)

Nick takes better (and more (now that takes some doing)) photo’s than me and Andy has endless patience.

Thank you for a great trip  ;D
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Burt on June 27, 2011, 11:34:18 pm
Star Mine, 27 May

Ed & Hayley W, Neil R, Me, Sparrow spectators

I have left posting this until now due to the extremely fragile nature of the archaeological remnants in the mine. These are normally under water but due to the very dry weather we had prior to the visit, we gambled – and what a pay-off!

After assembling at the village hall with 2 sets of kit we shambled off to the mine where Ed got busy rigging up. Easy belay but a very bad rub over an edge, sorted with a bit of carpet and a rubber tube.

Once we were all down the main 90’ pitch, we trundled along the adit to the second pitch, usually only about 25’ until the water level is reached. However today there was no water so I took the lead and abed off into the unknown. Part way down it was noticed a rub had developed so I stopped on a ledge with Ed and Hayley, while Neil got a scaff pipe from the pile at the bottom of the main shaft. I managed to jam this in a hole and create a rebelay to avoid the rub.
Onwards past normally flooded stemples, ladders and (weirdly) past a dive line until I bottomed out in what would normally have been about 25’ under water. WOW! Within 10’ there was a stack of drill bits, spades, mallets and an old water billy. Carefully passing them (and listening for the others who had got in a bit of a tangle up top, but it was sorted in the end :-\) there was a wheelbarrow, more drill bits and chisels, just left there as if the workers were to start another shift. All the wooden stuff was very spongy and the metal stuff very rusty.

Ed, Hayley and Neil soon sorted out the knitting and joined me. We took a pile of pics then headed in the other direction. More drills, spades and another rotting ladder, then a collapsed section. Carefully pushing through this there were 2 other wheelbarrows, and Neil realised that all 3 had different wheels – one solid wood, one wood spoked and metal rimmed, and one all metal.

After plenty of pics had been taken the long haul back up started, to find Andy & Rachel at the surface come to have a look (and a romantic hour or two under the stars :-[).

Awesome trip, one of the best Mendip mines. If you go PLEASE PRESERVE the artefacts, they are looking very fragile! (hopefully they will be back under water by now.) Thanks to Ed for the pictures and Ed / Neil for rigging.
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Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Cap'n Chris on June 28, 2011, 06:55:02 am
 :) It's easy to rig and avoid any rub (see 1st diagram): (

Also, worth noting are sections 5.8.1, 5.8.2 and 5.10 on pages 36-37 of this excellent document: (

One day perhaps I'll get to witness the heralded objects in SMS! Lucky chaps/chapesses! :-)
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Ed W on June 28, 2011, 02:00:55 pm

Twas rigged as in the diagram on the CSCC Page, the rub protection was placed for the "rigger protection" line down to the Y hang.

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Cap'n Chris on June 28, 2011, 06:01:48 pm
 :) Fairynuff, but it looks from the photos like the line isn't going to a y-hang rigged from the top bracing on the ladder - presumably, then, a y-hang was rigged from the bottom of the ladder which is OK but means you can't use the ladder for its purpose, namely getting on and off the y-hang easily!
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Ed W on June 28, 2011, 08:54:34 pm
Indeed, exactly right Mr Chris.  However hanging from the bottom of the ladder means that the rope is hanging free and not rubbing against the rusty ladder uprights. To make it a little easier, I made sure that the loop of rope leading to the Y hang was just the right length to stand on.

As an aside, Burt's memory is getting a little dodgy - it happens at his age you know!  The scaffold bar placed on the second pitch provided a deviation, not a rebelay.  The sling needs to be tied to the lower end of the bar with something like a prussik not to prevent the deviation sliding back across the shaft and putting the rub point back.  25m of rope allowed us to reach the bottom of the shaft, with the stopper not at the end "floating" about 6 inches (150mm) off the floor.

Well worth a visit!
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Cap'n Chris on June 28, 2011, 09:21:39 pm
To make it a little easier, I made sure that the loop of rope leading to the Y hang was just the right length to stand on.

Good chap!
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Marty on July 08, 2011, 01:16:42 pm
Saturday 2nd July 2011 GB Cave

Martin, Tricia, Bill, Jamie, Bev.

Great trip to GB as usual. This was my first caving trip with CCC several years ago. Nice to lead new members this time in a cave other than Goatchurch! (No novices of course)

We went the normal tourist route around the cave checking out the Bridge and Gallery etc enroute.

As ever we promised ourselves to return with a ladder to explore the cave towards Bat Passage...

Maybe next time.

Many thanks to Chris Castle and Elaine for help with permits and Key.


Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on July 22, 2011, 11:15:21 am
A few of my recent short trips:
4th July 2011 Gough’s CaveSolo
Up to Damocles and finally brought out the remaining scaffolding and shotfiring cable ready for the survey.

16th July 2011 Swildons Hole
Chris Castle, Nicky Dennis
What was intended to be some of the Short Round Trip ended up, due to extreme flaffing, became an Upper Series Round Trip, via the Ox-Bow.
The Cave was extremely dry, hot and we were breathless making us suspect that the air was a bit bad.

18th July 2011 Swildons Hole again.
Chris Castle, Nicky Dennis, Rich Hobbs (WCC), his mate John, once a ChCC member.
A photo trip to Sump 1. What a difference! The recent heavy showers had brought the cave back to life; it was pretty wet. Rich and John dived the sump to photograph each other, but as it looked like a badly-poured pint of Guinness I didn’t bother.

20th July  2011 Brownes’ Hole
Chris Castle, Nicky Dennis, Kay Chambers, Neil Turner
There’s not much to say about the sporting aspects of this small cave, but it’s worth saying that it is a prime example of a cave trashed by cavers. Coronation Chamber is covered in rusting steel mesh and has a heap of rotting stakes, Tommy’s Dig has a rotting wooden railway, and  there is other digging crap everywhere. Once fine stal up the rifts is covered in mud caused by people climbing up in muddy overalls, despite the fact the rifts obviously don’t go anywhere.
We did not attempt the lower series.
On the way we passed Stoke Lane Slocker – it was completely dry! Odd after the recent rain, I wonder if there’s been a change.
The walk across the wildflower meadow was worth the trip alone.

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Burt on August 21, 2011, 10:03:56 pm
19th August, Caveclimb emporium SRT rescue playtime

Quite a few of us (about 9) descended on the Sparrow's nest to play with string, abuse each other and have a right laugh. Those of us happy with SRT did some mid rope rescue and double cutaway rescues, which resulted in various folk's legs wrapped around other folk's heads, and landing in heaps on the floor, all clipped together. Those of us new to SRT had a go with the club kit and did some basic but worthy ascending / descending, and learnt a few cunning rope tricks with Italian hitches, alpine clutches and "off the record" abseil techniques.

A very interesting and worthwhile evening; Thanks to Andy & Rachel for hosting and Chris Castle for organising.
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on August 30, 2011, 09:02:56 am
Wednesday 17th August 2011.   Swildons Hole
Chris Castle, Nicky Dennis, Bev Ford, Bill Moore, Sam and Trish D-K, Jason  - sorry, Jason, I’ve forgotten your surname!

A standard club trip to Sump 1, messed up a bit by a long traffic jam at the 20 which delayed us. I think I offended the party coming out by declining to use their rig – I wanted it to become more user-friendly.
The journey to the Sump was without serious incident, but on the way back Bill got left behind and  Nicky went to look for him, went too fast and fell over, sustaining a nasty bruise to her arm. At the 20 some people struggled, but all was OK and this was a useful improving trip. Jason has made a splendid recovery from his back problems; it was good to see him underground again.

Wednesday 24th August 2011.   Little Neath River Cave
Chris Castle, Nicky Dennis
The awful weather recently and a heavy shower on the way made us anxious about the water level but the sun came out and the Nedd Afon was low.
I managed to walk past the small entrance in the river bed, but we soon found it and followed the many right angled bends of the entrance crawl to the duck and the junction to the long inlet of Blaen Nedd Isaf Passage, beloved of Andy Pollard. A larger passage with much breakdown, Tributary Passage, came next with an oxbow to pass a low section which emerged almost opposite the stal flow which is the entrance to The Canal By-Pass, our route back. We kept straight on to Sand Chamber on the right which has an emergency dump and telephone for anyone getting sumped in. A bit further in is Sump 1 to Bridge Cave where we saw a fish, a Brown Trout I think.
Back in Sand Chamber we entered The Canal, a wide bedding plane crawl in water 200 metres long with enough headroom to be easy and enough water in parts to give some buoyancy, great fun. This brought us to Main Stream Passage, very large for the most part but with huge blockfall to contend with, and a dodgy-looking section by-passed by a canal. The roof gradually became lower until a flat-out section which easily sumps, but I knew had a high-level by-pass. A big loop right and left until the roof lowered again to meet the very low Sump 2. I crawled in fair way but could not see the actual sump; the dive line has gone.
After a sit-down we headed back taking the small high-level phreatic tube to avoid the low section. The climbs up and down look difficult but aren’t. It was somewhere around here that we saw two fish, the larger being about 12 cms long. They certainly were not trout, being quite ugly with eyes on top of their heads and I remembered seeing them in my youth but had forgotten their name. We later found out from Phil Hendy that they were Millers Thumbs or Bullheads, a threatened species so it was a good job we didn’t eat them.
Back at the start of The Canal we found Junction Chamber, and, after some fluffing, the start of The Canal By-Pass. Initially walking-size it abruptly lowers to a crawl of about 150 metres to emerge in Tributary Passage. We were soon back at the duck which I found much more difficult on the return and had to take my helmet off. Nicky zoomed out to get past the spiders while I got left behind, my shredded oversuit getting snagged.
We should have another club trip here as it is fairly easy and tremendous fun with several side passages to look at which we did not do this time.

Wednesday August 24th 2011.   Bridge Cave
Chris Castle, Nicky Dennis
A quick look after LNRC. The entrance crawl of about 50 metres led to a bouldery section, the streamway and the large Main Passage. We did not go to the sump.
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Burt on September 04, 2011, 09:47:06 pm
August 30th, Shute Shelve cavern

Me, Sam & Trish DK; Bev Ford
Kindly led By Alan Gray from ACG

After a bit of the customary faff waiting for people, then a move of cars to get out of the theft-prone layby, Alan led us up the hill into Rose Wood to the entrance of the caves. There was fascinating miner's remnants here, many old quarries and tumbledown shacks from t'old man's quest for ochre.
Down the entrance crawl past lots of flies and into the mightily impressive main chamber, then down the climb
( (

towards the dig
( (

A brief scramble about with Sam getting all excited about geology stuff, then into the dug passage "Elm St." This contained some nice formation at the top (shown here) and a fab big blue crystal growing on a very old krab (Bev has a photo, I don't)
( (

Back up the climb
( (

to look at a giant geode, which my photography doesn't do justice so it is not here, but Bev found a cute "elephant's head" stal:
( (

and into Pit prop passage, where pletiful fungus was growing on the old woodwork.
( (

Alan was a fountain of knowledge and also kindly removed his boots to pose for a few shots; in doing so he discovered a new pretty part of an existing formation he'd never seen before and pointed it out
( (

Also the big scalloping on the walls
( (

We then exited shute shelve and as it was but a few metres away, popped into carcass cave for a look-see. Photo shows the monorail digging system.
(http://[url=][/url]) (

We emerged into darkness and furtled back down the hill, only to surprise a car load of rather confused young ladies who "asked for directions". Make of that what you will......
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on September 13, 2011, 02:45:07 pm
Sunday 11th September 2011.
Miss Grace's Lane Cave.

Chris Castle, Nicky Dennis, Trish Denning-Kendall, Dani Gorman

After collecting the key from Jan Karvik's house in Chepstow we all met up at the neaby cave and descended the 100 foot-deep entrance shaft which has a fixed ladder, but we did use a lifeline.

This cave is a splendid complex of large chambers, narrow rifts and much engineering, the lack of formations being more than compensated for by the fascinating phreatic features, notably notches developed in the walls at different levels presumably formed by water table stillstands, as seen in Mulu.

I won't describe the trip in detail, but we did the Dog Chamber Short Round Trip where we saw splendid crystals, then through a series of large chambers, Dome Chamber and beyond, to see the finely-developed Phreatic Causeway and a climb down Phreatic Drop to some small rifts to emerge in Six Way Chamber, which was as far as we went. After a bit of flaffing to find the correct way on we left this area by an easier route and arrived back at the entrance shaft quicker than expected.

Nicky and I want to return soon for a dedicated photo trip: the cave proved to be unexpectedly photogenic. We also want a third trip to see the Canyon Series and the end of the cave

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on October 03, 2011, 07:31:59 pm
Wed 21st September 2011
Agen Allwedd

Chris Castle, Nicky Dennis, Rich Hobbs (WCC).

This was a bit of a balls-up as I seriously misunderestimated the time to do the Inner Circle!
There were one or two minor route-finding errors as I'd not been here for many years, but that hardly excuses us getting only as far as Northwest Junction. We all found the endless climbing up and down slippery boulders very tiresome, but we really should return and do better before I get much older.
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on October 03, 2011, 07:34:36 pm
Wed 21st September 2011.
Eglwys Faen

Feeling a bit sheepish (appropiate around here) after Aggy we nipped into Eglwys for a look round, just the big bits.
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on October 03, 2011, 07:51:33 pm
Thursday 22nd September 2011.
Ogof Craig-a-Ffynnon

Nicky Dennis, Barry Hulatt, Bill Moore, Pete? (Barry's mate).

This trip went much better.

The finely-decorated first section led to the First Boulder Choke, easily passed with fixed ladders and scaffolding, then the Second Choke which involved an aven climb with much more flaffing than was strictly necessary. After the grovel through the boulders we entered a series of large passages and chambers with much mud in one place, to enter the magnificent Hall of the Mountain King. At the end of this is the Third Choke but just before is a low passage with a squeeze which stopped me last time when I had an injured shoulder, but I heaved my manly torso through this time and we crawled along the rather arduous Hurricane Alley, all 250 metres of it, until things became easy at a high rift passage called Severn Tunnel. At the end of this was Severn Junction where in the abscence of the survey, we took every possible wrong turning but eventually reached the Fourth Boulder Choke. We turned back here but beyond lie some splendid helectites and the long passage the Promised Land.

The journey back was straightforward, except that at the tight squeeze before the Hall of the Mountain King there was a much easier hole on the right!

We intend to return in the winter if it's not wet, armed with a survey of the Severn Junction area and more time.
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Judi Durber on October 27, 2011, 08:09:34 pm
Rowberry Cavern
Judi D, 15 children and 8 other 'staff' from FSC
25th Oct 11

As part of the caving camp I help with we always have a hike. This time we opted to do Blackdown, across Dolebury Warren to the fort then looping back through Rowberry Warren so that we could look for the cavern.  We had enough children to do a good sweep up the tree and bramble tangled bank, so found the entrance quite quickly.  There is an almost 2 meter high wall of rock that leads you up into the large opening where you are confronted by a big pit.


There has been some digging at the bottom & in the wall at the side. My guess is that it catches the water and drains out the bottom as the debris has collected there. We skimmed round the edge of the hole to two alcoves at the back, one of which had been dug. Someone plunged in keenly (don't know f it was the gloopy red mud or the prospect of finding something) and had to back out as it didn't go far. 


There has been some formations and it seemed odd to see them so exposed and close to the outside, where had the rest of the cavern disappear too?   :-\

Everyone was entertained for a short time and we then carried on up the Beacon in horizontal rain. (It said it was coming in at 4:00 pm and it came in at 4:00 pm HARD.)  I think this one can be said to have been ticked off the A to Z list.

It was thought that it had been read somewhere that an elderly lady (does that sound better than 'old woman') has lived in the cavern for a while but we now cannot find the reference, does anyone have any info please?  :shrug:
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on October 31, 2011, 06:34:16 pm
Thurs 20th Oct. 2011 GB
[/b][/b]Chris Castle, Nicky Dennis

A short trip to see some of the side passages where Nicky had not been before, and I had not for many years.
First, up the end of White Passage but not the Extensions; then Rhumber Alley and then down Bertie's Pot. The approach passage was much longer than I remembered, and there was an old dig at the bottom I cannot remember seeing before, but my last visit must have been around 30 years ago! I think I got to the end of the dig but had great difficulty backing out and I felt really rough, bad air I imagine, but not bad enough to feel panicky. Anyway, apparently there is another abandoned dig with a load of crap left.

We exited via Devil's Elbow and I think I was still affected by bad air or something. I had to make a huge effort to climb out of Boulder Chamber and the rest of the route seemed really long.
I think we enjoyed the trip!

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on October 31, 2011, 06:42:32 pm
Wed 26th Oct 2011 St Cuthbert's Swallet
Chris Castle, Trish Denning-Kendall, Barry Hulatt, Pete Martin (ISSA).

The usual tourist trip to Gour Hall.

It is worth mentioning the serious deposits of mould along Everest Passage, the Rabbit Warren and Gour Hall accompanied by a strong smell of oil. There's little to be done, we just hope it will clean itself up eventually. The source of the oil leak needs to be traced, easier said than done.

Anyway, we got to Gour Hall where Trish had never been before, I thought she had, and we returned via the Railway Tunnel and Strike Passage.

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Andrew W on October 31, 2011, 06:51:56 pm
Thurs 20th Oct. 2011 GB
[/b][/b]Chris Castle, Nicky Dennis

A short trip to see some of the side passages where Nicky had not been before, and I had not for many years.
First, up the end of White Passage but not the Extensions; then Rhumber Alley and then down Bertie's Pot. The approach passage was much longer than I remembered, and there was an old dig at the bottom I cannot remember seeing before, but my last visit must have been around 30 years ago! I think I got to the end of the dig but had great difficulty backing out and I felt really rough, bad air I imagine, but not bad enough to feel panicky. Anyway, apparently there is another abandoned dig with a load of crap left.

We exited via Devil's Elbow and I think I was still affected by bad air or something. I had to make a huge effort to climb out of Boulder Chamber and the rest of the route seemed really long.
I think we enjoyed the trip!


The UBSS had a dig in Bertie's Pot about 11 years ago. I was heavily involved in this until late 2000 when I moved away from the area. We had got down several metres and the passage had swung round to the right of a narrow rift into a low crawl. When I left it, bad air was fairly common after disturbing the sediments but was usually ok when we started. The dig continued after I left the area but I think petered out with the foot and mouth scare.

When I left it there was a large boulder in the floor stopping us from enlarging the crawl into usable proportions. I gather that was moved after I left but I don't know how much further they got and haven't been back since.
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on November 01, 2011, 09:08:29 pm
Thanks for that info Andrew. It seems that I didn't make it to the end but I have no intention of returning.
I'm a member of the UBSS and I'm surprised that they left a load of rubbish there. Well it's not that much and the dig is otherwise tidy, but there are buckets and stuff. It would be easy to clear it out provided one were equiped with breathing apparaus.

Did I really spell Rhumba Rhumber? Mea culpa.

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Andrew W on November 01, 2011, 09:19:39 pm
I imagine it wasn't planned to be abandoned. I think the foot and mouth crisis got in the way and interest was probably lost after that. If Simon Flower and Jon Telling are still around the UBSS, I think they were still digging it when I left and might know more.
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: graham on November 02, 2011, 04:23:15 pm

As you say it's tidy, well it was last time I looked, and there have been a couple of pokes at it since Andrew was last involved, don't quite remember when the last one was, though.
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: chriscastle46 on November 10, 2011, 07:19:25 pm
Wed 2nd Nov. 2011   St Cuthbert's Swallet

Chris Castle, Andy Morgan, Brendan Hanley

A trip to Rabbit Warren Extension.

We progressed quickly to High Chamber and we all passed the squeeze down to Catgut Rift with no trouble. Ahem.

Beyond here is Cross Leg Squeeze, not a squeeze at all, just a wiggle, leading to T-Junction Chamber. This has an upper and a lower bit; I took the awkward way down to the lower bit and got jammed up most painfully with a protrusion sticking into my back and had to be helped out by the other two. The shame of it!

Once that was sorted out, and joined by the smell of oil, we caried on past the T-Junction, through a twiddly bit called the Vice and so to Rabbit Warren to make our way out via the usual way of Everest Passage and the Old Route.

The smell of oil and the mould really spoils the trip but once the source of the oil is found and fixed hopefully the cave will heal itself. The plague of mould we had in Gough's has nearly gone, but there was no oil leak there.

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Burt on November 10, 2011, 09:12:08 pm
Wed 2nd Nov. 2011   St Cuthbert's Swallet

The smell of oil and the mould really spoils the trip but once the source of the oil is found and fixed hopefully the cave will heal itself. The plague of mould we had in Gough's has nearly gone, but there was no oil leak there.

Chris (
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: graham on November 10, 2011, 10:56:30 pm
I can think of some "non-karst" sediments in Gough's that you definitely wouldn't eat on toast, Burt.

And not in the Cheese Room.

The old place is a lot cleaner than once it was but there are still a couple of "hot spots" that are a bit of a mess. I don't suppose even Chris visits them very often, but we've been mapping all the nooks and crannies & have been (almost) everywhere. Still the job is nearly finished now.
Title: Swildon's route-finding, 23rd October
Post by: Brendan H on November 13, 2011, 07:13:38 pm
Tricia Denning-Kendall and Brendan Hanley

Just the two of us but in a crowded cave, route-finding in the Upper Series, especially around the Twelve Foot Well and the Ripper.

Sorry, no time for a longer report.
Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Cookie on December 04, 2011, 08:34:17 pm
Thrupe Lane to Slither Pot 3rd Dec

Cookie, Bev Ford, Andy Pollard, Sarah Payne (WCC)

There was quite a bit of water about which we met at the bottom of the entrance pitch. Descending Perseverance was like being in a cold shower and Cowsh Crawl being in a cold bath. From then on life was generally more pleasant. Up into Butt Chamber across into Marble Chamber then down into the attractive Marble Streamway. There was plenty of water in the streamway but no danger of being washed over Atlas Pot. I rigged the traverse and we descended to the large ledge and on down to the head of Slither Pot. There didn't seem to be much rope left in the bag so I changed the stopper knot from a doubled fig 8 to a thumb knot and told my party I might be returning sooner than planned. However there was just enough rope and we were all soon at the bottom of this fine shaft. We were tight on our turn around time so only Andy who was de-rigger had time for a quick explore.  The return was uneventful as Perseverance was miserable. Then back to the Wessex for tea and medals. 
Title: Goatchurch Cavern, 14th December 2011
Post by: Brendan H on December 17, 2011, 07:20:26 am
Brendan Hanley (leading), Rachel Sparrow, Dan Govier; callout: Nicky Dennis

We met in the car park by the bogs in Burrington Coombe at 7-15, Rachel and Dan already dressed for underground action, but I was still in my normal attire, then once Rachel and Dan had got cold waiting for me to finish getting togged up, the Egyptian Tourist Board kindly arranged the callout.

Usual kind of stuff. I had forgotten how to tie a bowline -- shame! Easy free climb out of the Tradesman's Entrance. Congratulations to Dan on successfully negotiating the Drainpipe, and having the presence of mind to pause for a breather and not rush. Thanks to Rachel for her gentle expertise.

Smell of recent bonfire in the entrance, but no-one else in the cave. No spiders or bats anywhere to be seen.

Andy Sparrow was waiting for us in the car park, like a worldly version of Hazrat Izraeel, leading us to the Hunters for swift drinks afterwards.

Title: Re: Online logbook 2011
Post by: Cap'n Chris on December 17, 2011, 07:32:02 am
FWIW the hearth/fire was noticed on Tuesday but plenty of spiders and bats were in the cave so hopefully they weren't upset by it when it was going.
Title: Swildon's trip, Summer 2011
Post by: Brendan H on December 20, 2011, 09:29:58 pm
Brendan Hanley (leading), Lucy Murawski; call-out: probably Andy Sparrow

Lucy had not been caving for month and months, so when she was in Britain for a few days, she and I met up for a poke around in the upper series of Swildon's Hole. We did the Pretty Way, parts of the Wet Way, and went into Rolling Thunder as far as we dared.

I can't remember the exact date, but it was during the summer, probably before August.

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