UK Caving

WHERE THE CAVES ARE - The Caving Regions => Mendip => Cheddar Caving Club => Topic started by: anfieldman on February 02, 2007, 08:51:32 am

Title: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on February 02, 2007, 08:51:32 am

Better late than never, here is the new 2007 Cheddar Caving Club Logbook.
Is this satisfactory Chris? :bow:
No trip to report yet though.
Title: Goatchurch Cavern, 20th January 2007
Post by: Brendan H on February 10, 2007, 06:44:07 pm
ChCC members Brendan, Andy Hebden, Ellie; non-cavers Jo Stallard, Lisa Tozer, Paul Jefferson

This trip had been arranged for Brendan’s colleagues Jo, Lisa and Paul. Jo is a non-caver; Lisa had visited Goatchurch Cavern as a child, and had done the Drainpipe; Paul used to be a caver and had also done the Drainpipe, several years before.

We met at the car park in Burrington Coombe, where several groups were getting ready for the same destination, got into our gear, and hiked off to the cave via the wooden-edged steps. We made slow and cautious progress through the entrance gallery, held back because of the un-caverish footwear of some of the group. We descended the Giant Steps, then the key-hole passage, then the inclined gallery, and then turned left and made our way towards the approach to the Tradesman’s Entrance. As Jo, Lisa and Paul were clearly enjoying themselves, we pressed on down the Pixie Steps, past that confusing bit with no name, and into the Boulder Chamber.

At the far end of the Boulder Chamber, Jo, Lisa and Paul were invited to peer down the climb-out from the Coffin Lid, and as they were happy to return this way, we made ready to descend Jacob’s Ladder, with Andy tying the rope for us. While we queued to go down, Chris Binding arrived leading a group of children, and was heard explaining that cavers give obvious names to paces, such as “Boulder Chamber” where there are lots of boulders. Fortunately, he didn’t have to explain to the little innocents some of the more colourful examples of speleological nomenclature nearby such as “Bloody Tight” and “F***ing Tight”.

In the Water Chamber we moved swiftly to the Drainpipe, which Brendan, Paul and Ellie passed through, with Andy staying behind to keep company with Jo and Lisa, who will give it go another day. There was a puddle about half way along, presumably filled with water carried there in cavers’ wellies.

Back in the Water Chamber, Ellie, Brendan, Lisa and Paul had a look at the little waterfall underneath, then we all went up to the Grotto to admire the formations there, and waited a while to let Rachel and her group of children descend the Coffin Lid. Rachel was having her final assessment for her leader’s certificate, and assessor Andy Sparrow was there looking suitably stern, with genial Sissel to demonstrate his complete impartiality.

We made our way back up the Pixie Steps and turned right for the Tradesman’s Entrance. While Andy went up first to tie on a rope, the non-cavers, emboldened by their experience, followed on right behind him and free-climbed out into the fresh air.

We rounded off the adventure with a pub lunch.

Many thanks to Andy for leading and doing the rope, and to Ellie for being there.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on February 11, 2007, 06:10:17 pm
Goughs Cave 10th February 2007

Members present - Mark Whyte & Chris Castle

Brendan, you just beat me to it! I was hoping to get the first report of the year in.
We were to be joined by Sissell and
 Alice but Sissell reported in sick and Alice decided to go clubbing. She does not know what she missed. I think Chris was a bit disappointed in the lack of female company but I was not prepared to dress up for him.
As I had some new SRT kit to christen I practiced some upping and a bit of downing,plus some changeovers from prusiking to absailing in black cats. Then Chris wanted to go to Lloyd Hall to fit a new bolt somewhere. So after getting our kit off (no the SRT kit) we made our way there. I don't know the names of the places we went through to get there but we passed through the horizontal rift gradually grinding our kneecaps away as we both forgot our pads. Once at Lloyd Hall I then completed my first big absail down and an equally big prusik back up. It was I must admit thrilling but a bit unnerving  to say the least! The bolt had already been put in by someone else so no work to do.We sat at the lake putting the world to rights for a little while before making our way back. Chris then decided not to go for a pint. Were you ill Chris? I meanwhile went home dreaming of bigger pitches to go down in the future. A thoroughly enjoyable evening. Thanks Chris. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: chriscastle46 on February 23, 2007, 06:11:54 pm
22nd February 2007 Gough's Cave.
Chris Castle, Steve W., Sissel B.

Another abseil down to Lloyd Hall to show it to Steve and Sis, and to take my rope back. The divers' new platform aids getting on the rope, but you have to take care not to hang yourself with their hauling rope on the way down.
Steve took a long time passing the deviation - I feared for a while he was treating it as a rebelay, but it was all right, just a case of lamp pox - a Headlight of course.
The water was quite high but not up to the platforms. It's always a source of sadisdic fun not to warn novices at SRT to pull as much rope through their jammers as possible prior to swinging off the platform, so that the rope stetch dumps them in the lake, but not today! Total submergence would have been likely!
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: chriscastle46 on February 25, 2007, 07:52:06 pm
25th February 2007 Swildons Hole
Chris Castle, Gary A., Brendan H.

A straightforward trip to Sump 1 in quite high water conditions. We met the Warmbac dynasty near the entrance; good to see Dave W. underground. I hav'nt been here on a Sunday for years and had a nostalgic queue at the 20, fortunately with an efficient group ahead of us who were doing the Short Round Trip, so I expect they'll be bailing all this week! Very refreshing ascending the 20.

A disappointing turn-out by the Club, come on!

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Andy Hebden on February 26, 2007, 08:19:36 am
21st Feb  Goatchurch

Andy h, Brendan H, Sam P, Gary A and two of Brendans friends from work.

A good trip taking in all of the usual goatchurch sites.  We went in the main entrance and made our way down to Boulder Chamber via the Pixie Steps.  On down to water chamber and the Drainpipe with all of the party going through the Drainpipe.  We then ambled back and left via the Back door getting back to the cars just in time for the call out.

A good start to the club year.

Andy h
Title: 21st February trip to Goatchurch Cavern
Post by: Brendan H on March 01, 2007, 11:04:56 pm
Just for the record, my two colleagues were Lisa Tozer and Michaela Alfred-Kamara, both of whom went through the Drainpipe wothout any problems. Michaela had never been caving before.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Andy Sparrow on March 05, 2007, 09:47:26 am
Late entry from mid Feb.
Bath Swallet
Andy S and Rachel
There has been some discussion about the proximity of this cave to Rods Pot so we decided to have a look at potential connection sites.  Rachel enjoyed the abseil down the pitch - we turned left at the bottom, in the direction of Rods.  Things have changed since the last visit - The Wessex diggers have sunk a 5 metre pot in the floor which leads into a crawl.  This is followed through a bit of a chamber to an eventual choke.  I was very excited by this section of new passage which goes significantly further West than the previous limit.  On the return I estimated the distance as accurately as I could to be about 30-40 metres.  The fascinating thing was pacing this same distance on the surface brought me to the entrance of Rods.  It's not so much a case now of suspecting these caves will link but more of surprise that they don't already link. 

February 28th
Rods Pot
Andy S and Rachel
We spent an hour in a very damp and drippy Rods Pot looking for likely digs that might link to the extension in Bath Swallet.  The most likely places are at the bottom of the 40 foot pot and at another point off the Main Chamber.  For the next trip we will have a party in both caves and see if we can get an oral connection.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Bristol knitter on March 12, 2007, 01:05:09 pm
March 11th           Sandford Levy

Zoe W, Andy H

A quick visit to this interesting little mine just outside Churchill. I was rather excited as we parked at the ski centre and I thought i was going to be treated to a button lift but Andy was having none of it. He was jumping with enthusiasm to show me some of the local secret army hide outs of WW2. The mine itself is mostly one long shaft with a one cross road along a natural rift. Lots of fun and some pretty cave pearls. We spent another hour on top of the ground doing lots of mini through trips on some of the many attempted mines on the hill. Overall, a nice Sunday trip after a night on the beers.

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Dani on March 21, 2007, 04:52:50 pm
Ali Barbour's Cave Restaurant, Diani Beach, Kenya
Sunday 18th March 2007

Dani + Mark (my other half)

Not sure if this really counts as a caving trip, but we were in a cave (albeit one with an all-weather sliding roof and plumbed in toilets).  The trip was uneventful, climbing up and down the stairs was a bit hard going, but other than that a very pleasant trip to a coral sea cave.  Food was yummy and made a change from a quick Mars bar and a glug of water, if you're out that way it's not a bad way to spend an evening :thumbsup:.

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Andy Sparrow on March 22, 2007, 02:11:13 pm
18th March OFD


Rachel, Ellie, Lizzie, Frank, Mark, Megan, Matt, Sim, Andy, Judi, Danny

We all arrived promptly at SWCC and we soon gathered at Top Entrance.  We divided into two parties, the Sparrow master-plan being for each group to have a survey with a slightly different marked route but never being so far apart that I couldn't nip between them and make sure they were on course!  It all worked pretty well and we arrived, only a couple of minutes apart, at The Crossroads.  The idea from here was to complete a loop around The Maze, Cross Rift and Selenite Tunnel, one group proceeding clockwise, the other anti-clockwise.  Not only did this work, but amazingly enough we met each other exactly half way round.  Having completed our circuits, and all having had a good gape at Selenite Tunnel, we met up again at The Crossroads.  We rearranged the groups here into those who wanted a simple self-navigated exit back up Salubrious and those seeking a bit more excitement by way of Edwards Shortcut.  The only person who did succeed in getting lost was, as if you couldn't guess, me when I confidently encouraged everyone to follow me and learn a shortcut.  We emerged from the cave into a raging blizzard and caught up the other party half way back down the hill.  Then off to the Copper Beech for refreshments and post-trip analysis.
A grand day out!  About 3.5 hours?

Andy S


Traversing in Salubrious Passage


Didn't this have a point last time?


Judi enjoys a wriggle


Formations tucked away in The Maze


Sim, Danny and Lizzie


'Ever upwards'  photo by Matt


Matt traversing


Selenite Tunnel photo by Matt


A snowy return
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Andy Sparrow on March 30, 2007, 10:51:29 am
Wednesday 28th March

Andy S, Rachel, Dani, Andy H, Zoe, Brendan and Lisa gather by the UBSS hut in preparation for this eagerly anticipated trip.  The air-horns are tested and emit ear-bending honks comparable to an approaching super-tanker.   Ear plugs are issued and then Mission Commander Sparrow briefs on the plan:  Rachel, Andy and Brendan will descend Bath Swallet by a quick simple abseil of the pitch and be in position, at the end of the cave by zero-hour, 2030hrs.  Andy S, Zoe, Dani and Lisa are to descend Rods and be waiting in the Main Chamber to listen for the horn at zero hour.  The test will run for half an hour, with a blast every minute, until 2100hrs.
Meanwhile in Bath Swallet….
Barry and Mark, who have driven up and parked by the cave entrances (and missed the briefing), enter the cave with their own rigging kit.

Andy S, Dani, Zoe and Lisa enter Rods Pot and begin to make their way, uneventfully, towards the Main Chamber.
Meanwhile in Bath Swallet….
Rachel and party meet Barry and Mark at the head of the pitch.  Some discussion of pitch rigging options follows.  Rachel descends by abseil but the others decide to descend the pitch in two sections while lifelined.

Zero hour.  The Rods Pot party sit in expectant silence with ears pricked.
Meanwhile in Bath Swallet….
Rachel who has been waiting, alone, at the bottom of the pitch for sometime is finally joined by Brendan and Mark.  Andy, who has the air-horn is nowhere in sight.  She shouts up directions to Barry and Andy advising them to turn left at the bottom of the pitch and then moves on to the end of the cave.

Silence in Rods Pot.  Andy S decides to try listening at various points around the cave and descends to the bottom of ‘The Bear Pit’ but still there is only silence.
Meanwhile in Bath Swallet…
Rachel, Brendan and Mark are at the end of the cave shouting and banging the wall with rocks.  Andy H and Barry turn left, as instructed, at the pitch bottom and find themselves confronted with the 5 metre free-climb.  They decide that this is too hairy and can’t be the way on.  The set off in the other direction.

A hot, sweaty and panting Andy S has now climbed to the bottom of the 40 foot pitch in Rods but nothing can be heard there either.
Meanwhile in Bath Swallet…
Andy H and Barry finally arrive at the end of the cave – at last, with only minutes to go before the 2100hrs deadline.

Andy S thrutches his way up from the bottom of the pitch and, while recovering, takes the last opportunity to listen for the faint sound of an air-horn…
Meanwhile in Bath Swallet….
The party ready themselves by putting in their earplugs and brace themselves for the sonic shockwave.  Andy H presses the button…..   and the horn emits a pathetic farting hiss.  The air cylinder is empty.

Well – you have to laugh, don’t you?  If you’re going to have a cock-up it might as well be a good one.  So did we learn anything from this debacle?  When we were sat in Rods at about 2025hrs we all thought we heard voices.  This would relate to the time the other party was on the pitch.  A future test (and there will be one soon) should probably focus on other areas in Bath rather than just the bottom.  In the meantime we may do a simple survey of the passage from the pitch bottom to the end of Bath Swallet.  We should be out playing again next Wednesday if anyone wants to join us.

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: chriscastle46 on April 01, 2007, 10:04:34 pm
Saturday March 31st 2007. Tynings Barrow Swallet

Chris Castle, Mark W (Anfieldman, whatever that means), Matt B (Wallop - poor ale), Gary A., Barry H.

It has been many years since I was last here. Gary had obtained the key from the landowner the day before so we did not need a Plan B. Just as we were preparing to go a Mendip Woodshavings lorry dramatically blew a tyre by us, causing us to think we were under fire.
Anyway, the trip. We rigged the Entrance extremely badly, then headed on down to do the Dragon Chamber Round Trip. First of all we took the wrong passage to the right, which became very awkward and not as I remembered, so we tried the next one, Sheep's Jaw, as described clearly in the book. Two alternative climbs up led to a rift passage leading nowhere, but a way on across from the climbs led to a squeeze I decided was the wrong way and impassible to me, so we descended with a bit of difficulty and went to Paton Place. A look at Hare Chamber showed only one hare bone left, then up to White Dog Passage and after a bit of flaffing we found Dragon Chamber. Leaving it down dip we attempted to find Sheep's Jaw, immediately arriving at the top of the aforementioned squeeze, fairly easily passed by me after belt removal. The awkward climb down was much easier the second time. Despite it being many years since I was last here it was annoying to forget the route.
Having spent much time sorting that out we headed downstream to Pyramid pot where a bit of rope is rather dangerously looped over a flake near the Pot's edge. It used to be tied further back. It is OK if someone holds it in place with their foot, but the last down and first up had to take their chance.
We carried on, leaving Drunken horse inlet for another day, to the end where many years ago I spent many happy hours digging the end, A Day, with the BEC. I did not pay a nostalgic visit to the end; some of the others had a look but did not go far.
On the return Matt climbed up to Bertie's Paradise for a quick look, then we made our weary way back to have an awkward ascent of the entrance. We must really rig correctly next time.
A very enjoyable, though spun-out trip. It was gratifying to find that apart from forgetting the route, having trouble in squeezes and getting knackered my caving standard has not dropped in the last 30 years!

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Andy Sparrow on April 16, 2007, 12:47:01 pm
Ireby Fell Cavern 14th April
Andy S, Rachel, Neil and Judi
It all started off with Rachel and I deciding to have a spontaneous trip to the Dales and then on the day before departure an email from Neil arrived asking if we had any plans for the weekend.  Thus it was that the four of us arrived in Ingleton for a Bernies breakfast following a 6.30am departure from Cheddar. It was early afternoon by the time we got ourselves organised and began the trudge towards Ireby Fell Cavern.


Neil and Judi stop for a couply moment while I trudge on remorselessly.

Having arrived at the cave I shot on down to rig the first pitches while Neil got the girls kitted and checked out.  There was a delay while this trio decided to explore a dig en-route to the pitches of which we shall never speak again.  Eventually we got underway and made steady progress down the entrance pitches.


Neil shows Judi the ropes.

We were pushed for time so declined to descend the Well Pitch, preferring the option of an exit during civilised hours without a mad rush to get to a pub before the 9 pm food cut-off deadline.  So a fairly short trip but good SRT practice for the girls.

Swinsto Hole 15th April
A few days earlier I had seen Stuart Marshall who had expressed an interest in joining us for this trip.  This, of course, could never happen because every time Stuart attempts to cave with us his car blows up or some other family crisis intervenes.  On this occasion, despite setting his alarm clock an hour late and having a jippy tummy he finally manifested himself in Inglesport, only 40 minutes late!  Thus it was that the five of us were soon getting changed in Kingsdale.


If you've got it, flaunt it! That's what I say!

It was a hot sweaty trudge in the unseasonably warm weather before we assembled at the entrance of Swinsto.


Note the forbidding vapours rising from the netherworld.


Stuart finally gets underground with ChCC!

I abseiled down the first pitch to discover a lizard marooned on a rock in the middle of the pool.  I couldn't see any prospect of it surviving long in the cave so gallantly placed 'Lizzie' the lizard in my undersuit pocket.  This required me to develop an entirely new lizard friendly caving technique for the entire trip.  The question was would there be a live lizard in my pcket at the end or a squashed one?  The consensus of my companions was that Lizzie didn't stand a chance....


Abseiling down the big pitch - a cold and drafty spot as always


Rachel prusiks up to the Roof Tunnel


Following the Roof Tunnel

So we finally squirmed out to daylight and it was time to cautiously peer into the pocket to see if it was full of crushed Lizzie....


Yes!  Lizzie emerges intact - the first known reptile to complete the Swinsto through trip!


A happy team after a great trip.

We retired to Inglesport for tea and cakes having thoroughly enjoyed one of the UK's best trips which had taken about three hours.  Splendid.  Must go north again soon.

Andy Sparrow
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: chriscastle46 on April 26, 2007, 11:09:38 pm
Anyone mind if I post a trip report here? Yes? Tough shit.

Wed. 25th April 2007. St Cuthberts Swallet, Long Chamber Series.
Chris Castle, Zoe W., Andy H., Sissel B., Paul B. (guest), Cordell B. (guest).

All went well until we got to the Slabs in Long Chamber. I had arrived at the hole where you climb up from the first Slab to the second when I heard a scream and a grating noise. Looking around I saw Zoe tobogganing toward me on a slab of limestone which had detached when she knelt on it. Adrenaline permitted me to perform a Matrix-like maneuver upwards in the limited space, and the slab+Zoe halted where my feet had been. She was a bit shaken and had hurt her leg, but after a while said she was OK, so after making sure the detached slab was safe, we carried on.

We ascended into Long Chamber Extension, then right up to Straw Chamber, then along pearl Passage as far as the pearls, then down to the head of Fracture Rift. My intention was to find the passage to Upper Long Chamber, which I completely failed to do from either end a few years ago. This time Paul found it, further to the right of the Rift than I thought, but quite obvious. It came out at the top of Upper Long Chamber, and I don't know how I missed that end last time, either.

By now Zoe was having trouble with her leg and we slowed down to help her. She made it out OK, but needed a shove up the Entrance Rift. Medication was taken at the Hunters.
Title: Pen Park Hole 9th May 2007
Post by: Bristol knitter on May 21, 2007, 12:55:57 pm
Brendan, Zoe, Robin, Danny, Barry, Ellie led by member of UBSS

A great trip in an urban environment! Changing into my fleecy suit on the edge of the Southmead estate in Bristol is not what I expected when I became a caver. However, once we had given the locals a good laugh over their Stella Artois we headed into the dog walking park on Pen park road for our adventure.

Once our guide from UBSS had finally managed to unlock the fortified entrance we made our descent into this hidden gem of Bristol. A bit wet and muddy to start which soon became forgotten when we saw the crystal formations which lined the entrance passage. After a short bit of caving we arrived at the pitch.

Upon sitting at the top I began to worry after I saw the 3rd ladder being joined and lowered into the abyss like chamber. Ellie was clearly feeling the same and already suffering from a previous nights caving in South Wales once she had bravely followed our leader over the edge she quickly returned unable to face 75 ft of strenuous ladder work. Undeterred the rest of us took the challenge and took it in turns to make the long descent to the lake below. Our leader from UBSS reliably informed us that it was the highest he had ever seen the water which was perplexing as April had just experienced its driest month on record.

Lots of exploring by the men into nooks and crannies before making the epic return journey back up stopping half way to explore the traverse.

Due to the rigging of the pitch and the number of people this short cave lasted a long time and we were out to entertain those enjoying last orders in the pub.

A fantastic trip and a must do for anyone who hasn't experienced the surrealism of caving under a housing estate in Bristol!!!


Title: St Cuthberts Swallet Wed.23rd May 2007
Post by: chriscastle46 on May 24, 2007, 02:31:36 pm
Chris Castle, Sissel B., Andy Sparrow, Rachel P., Colin (guest).

A straightforward trip to Sump 2.
We took the usual way to Gour Hall, down Everest Passage and Stalagmite Pitch, climbed down the Great Gour and arrived at the Duck, where Andy said he did'nt want to go through the wet bits and would wait or us, the poor old bugger. Sump 1 is not a sump, it was passed in a drought in 1968 and the natural dam beyond broken so it is a 5m long duck. It can be very unpleasant, but was OK today.
The Stalagmite Barrier, the only formation of any size in Cuthberts 2, starts off with another of those bits which have closed up over the years but gave me no trouble today. The pleasant climb down the 10ft Waterfall was followed by a crawl and a climb up and down to Sump 2, where in years gone by I spent many happy hours digging in the pumped-out sump. Now, sadly, many of the bags of spoil have broken, leaving the place in a mess.
We were soon back at the Duck and Andy and exited via Rabbit Warren, Railway Tunnel and Strike Passage. Rachel ran out of steam along the Wire Rift, but made it OK at a slower pace.
Title: Swildon's Hole upper series, 28th April 2007
Post by: Brendan H on June 02, 2007, 09:47:40 pm
This was instead of the advertised trip to Rod's Pot.

leader: Zoe Wilson; other ChCC members: Andy Hebden and Brendan Hanley; guests: Laura Mackenzie, Damon Murfitt and Amanda Clerk.

We met on a fine afternoon at Priddy Green, got kitted up in the Barn, and headed off to the cave via the usual financial transaction at the farmhouse. In fact, it such a fine afternoon that we should probably have been doing something outdoors in the fresh air on the surface instead of cutting ourselves off from the good rays of the sun. Anyhow…

The stream in the entrance was not particularly active, but there was enough water around to make the drop into the first chamber an exciting initiation to caving for two of the guests who had never been caving before (Laura and ?????). We paused to let out eyes adjust from the very bright sunshine outside, then continued via the Long Dry Pretty Way. Any hardened cavers out there who think doing the Upper Series is "caving lite" should cast their minds back to their first ever trip, and get in touch with how that felt, because really, the Long Dry Pretty Way is quite confined: in places the roof is low, necessitating on-the-belly crawling, and there are a couple of awkward turns as well. I thought it was jolly brave of the two who had never been caving before to go through with it.

We got to the Water Chamber, then carried on down the streamway to the Eight Foot waterfall, trying to keep our arses dry as we manoeuvred across the pool of chilly water at the top and contorted ourselves into a safe pose for descent. When it was Laura’s turn to go down I blocked the flow so she could see the handholds and footholds, but she gamely asked me to let the water flow again, and when I did, she was fair shoved in the back by the sudden surge.

At the Forty Foot waterfall we had a good peer over the edge into the abyss. I remembered looking over it on my first trip to Swildon’s and wondering when I would be able to go down and visit the enticing world beyond, and feeling rather in awe of my companions who had already been there, so when Laura asked me, “Have you been down there?”, it felt good to be able to say, “Loads of times!”.

On our way back to the Water Chamber, climbing the Eight Foot waterfall was splashy fun, then we took the Wet Way out. As with the Long Dry Pretty Way, this is a route with proper caving obstacles, including a tricky climb. The Lavatory Pan delivered its usual wonderful flushing sound as each of us went through it, and for me that alone was enough to justify the choice of route.

We returned to the surface wetter and happier then when we went in, and had a good natter about our adventures as we wended out way back to the changing barn.

Thanks to Zoe for leading and for her choice of routes in and out. Congratulations to the two novices on their first trip.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Ellie on June 28, 2007, 11:16:07 pm
Swildons upper series 20.06.07
Ellie, Andy, Rachel, Dani, Chris C, Chris L, Brendan, Liz, Steve, Frank, and Young Luke. (Apologies if I have missed anybody!!)

Being a large group we decided after much dithering at the entrance, to split into two groups, with myself, Rachel, Liz, Chris L and Luke forming one group going down the long dry way and up the wet way, with the remainder doing to opposite route.  Andy would do his usual flitting between the two and popping up in unexpected places.  Luke was especially enthusiastic and his enthusiasm was catching.   He insisted that the most enjoyable means of travelling through any smallish area was on one's belly in a puddle!   From the LDPW we went on down the streamway to the waterfall where we passed pleasantries with the other party who were just coming up.  We went and had the obligatory peep over the '20 before heading back up the streamway. Everyone was keen to go up the wet way.   Although hardly a roaring torrent there was enough water to make it enjoyable experience.  Andy very kindly gave people a shove up the Well where needed (I think that's what it's called - that bit on the wet way where there is a kind of bold step up over a drop).  At the top of the wet way at the T-junction we turned right, having a quick look down the top entrance to the oxbow as we passed.  I hauled myself up the climb into the entrance chamber and was just directing Liz up the way I had come when Andy pointed out there was a much easier route by going up further left and then across, which everyone else duly followed.   We had gone at a leisurely pace and found the rest of the party waiting at the cars impatient to get to the pub.  They had apparently had an enjoyable time going down the wet way and exploring the oxbows.

Thanks to all, a nice relaxed trip. 


Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Andy Hebden on July 05, 2007, 08:30:03 am
Swildons Hole.  4.7.07

Andy H, Zoe W, Lorna M.

A brisk trip around the upper series going down the long dry way to the water chamber then on down to take a look at the 20, back up to water chamber and out via the wet way.  Lorna's first trip.

Back to the Hunters to meet the others after their GB trip.

andy h
Title: South Wales Weekend 7/8th July
Post by: Andy Sparrow on July 10, 2007, 10:59:59 pm
Saturday 7th July
Ogof Pwll Swnd
Andy, Rachel, Neil, Judi and Megan
Caves of South Wales says OPS is not difficult to find and has a cairn at the entrance.  Neither statement is correct.  Actually we didn't too bad considering we found the cave within about thirty minutes or arriving in the  approximate location zone but, be warned, it's one very small entrance in one very big moor.   We only had time to visit the 'old' series but found it quite pleasant and worthwhile.  The passages are mostly quite spacious and pleasantly decorated in places.  We left the '71 extensions for another time after 2 hours in the cave.  The view across the Black Mountain from the entrance has got to be one of the wildest and most panoramic that any UK entrance can offer.  We enjoyed the walks, both ways, taking only an hour to get back.  A very pleasant day on and under the finest wilderness in S Wales.

Sunday 8th July
Ogof Pasg/Foel Fawr
Andy, Judi and Neil
The link between the two caves is a squeeze not passable by anyone over 'average build' according to Caves of South Wales.   I know I've put on a bit over the years so thought it prudent to recce the squeeze on a quick solo from the FF end first.  So, there I was stripped down to my fleecy, trying it this way, that way, on the front, on the back, feet first, head first without any success.  Oh well, I thought, maybe it's easier in the other direction so we set off into OP.  What a nice cave!  How can I have caved this long in S Wales and not done this before?  The pitch was rigged which meant an easy escape route for me if I couldn't get through.  The canal is wonderful and the even the crawls beyond are pleasantly arched and decorated.  It didn't take too long to reach the squeeze where I repeated my stripping off and various tactics to no avail - guess I'm not average sized anymore.  Neil and Judi, of course, slipped through without touching the sides.  It was a pleasant solo out for me and some fun and games getting back up the rope armed only with a tibloc and a prusik loop.    A great little cave - well worth another visit soon to see who else in the club is 'average' size.  About an hour.

Andy Sparrow
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on July 11, 2007, 10:49:57 am
Good weekend. Thanks Andy & Rachel for arranging it.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: whitelackington on September 16, 2007, 12:58:53 pm


If you've got it, flaunt it! That's what I say!

Alternatively, perhaps you shouldn't!!!

Do Cheddar still go caving  :-\
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Andy Sparrow on September 16, 2007, 01:17:51 pm

Do Cheddar still go caving  :-\

We certainly do.  Actually we have been very busy with a project for several months and if you go to Hidden Earth you'll find out exactly what we've been up to...
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on September 27, 2007, 10:47:13 pm
Gouffre du Friouato in Morocco.
11th September 2007.

It was our honeymoon but I suppose as we are both ChCC members it also counts as a caving trip!

We started off later than we wanted but the first train to Taza was about 11:30am. A wonderful journey of 2and a half hours through some beautiful scenery.
I was previously warned about the inevitable case of Delhi belly which I had got so I made sure I dosed myself up with plenty of Imodium. It was scorching when we reached Taza and we took a short stroll to the Taxi rank to get a lift to the cave. A bit of hard haggling and we managed to get the 25 minute journey (with the driver obviously waiting for us for 2 hours) for about £8. How many English taxis would accept that??
The drive was jaw dropping in more ways than one. The winding hairpin bends were hairaising while the views from the top of the mountains were incredible. We could see for tens of miles. We got to a flat plateau and then we spotted the sign for the cave. There was a road that went right up to the cave now. No walking in the heat for us!
At the top there was three small buildings, one of them was the souvenier shop / ticket office. Literally as we got out of the taxi a couple were walking back down the steps from the cave entrance to the shop. They had a liberal daubing of mud on their trousers and boots. They were English too. The guide was with them, a young lad named Abdullah. I think this was the fifth or sixth Abdullah that we had met so far. We asked if we could have a guided tour and he said we could go whenever we were ready as we were now the only people there! We both thought that the place would be heaving in mid afternoon. Lucky or what?
It cost 10 Dirham entrance each (about 60p). We took our head torches but the guide persueded us to hire some hand torches too. Good job we did as someone accidentally left my head torch turned on when it was packed so the batteries were as dead as a Dodo. A short climb up the steps led to a bunker type building and a few feet through this we came to the most gobsmacking sight I have ever seen in caving. The entrance shaft is huge. Sorry I mean HUUUUUUUUUGE!! You just cannot get a real sense of the scale of it just by pictures.
My apologies in advance for the quality of the photos. We had purchased a very good camera for the trip but we obviously did not want to take it caving so we took our crappy point and shoot.


There are 520 steps down to the bottom. All nice safe concrete ones with a handrail. Each step however is about 18 inches high. Great going down but bloody tiring coming up!
We got to the bottom of the shaft and the taxi driver was sitting there waiting for us. He had come down while we were getting our boots on etc.

We stood at the bottom and admired the view back up to the top.


Then Abdullah took us down through the part that was described as a 'squeeze' by one holidaymaker. It was a crawl sized hole. Then more concrete steps. I learnt on this trip never to wear walking boots caving again. No bloody grip at all! At the bottom of the steps we looked up for the roof of the chamber, and up and up! It was massive. Abdul had a more powerful torch than ours so he could show us the highlights and even his light did not show the roof.
We then went from one large chamber to the next. Each one decorated with enormous stalagmites and stalagtites. Sadly some have been broken by vandalism, some by what seems to be ferocious floods in the winter.
The curtains we came across were really impressive too. 3 or 4 inches thick and 6 or 7 feet long. Abdul played them like church bells.



One chamber had beautiful rose coloured crystals all around the walls to a height of around 7 feet. These are created just from the chamber flooding in the winter. Here is Meg and Abdul stood in front of them.


The guides put scaffold boards down for the tourists to cross the mainly dry gour pools and muddy dams. Abdul took great pleasure in leaping across these like a mountain goat and taking the piss when we gingerly inched across them. Bear in mind that on a couple of occasions there was a 20 foot drop on one side. We ventured to the end of the tourist section but could go no further due to not having enough equipment.
Bloody good fun though and worth all the effort to get there just to see that amazing entrance shaft!

I then posed for a photo with Abdul and our very patient taxi driver.

We then had the exhausting 520 steps back up. A quick drink and the purchase of some postcards then we were back on the downhill run to Taza. All the time we looked at the decrepit old Mercedes we were in, wondering if the brakes were good or not.

One mistake was not checking the train times. The next one back to Fes was 11:30 that night. :o
Very late return but it was great. Go there if you can.

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: mrodoc on September 28, 2007, 10:00:30 am
Some day I will  have to post my old Friouato pics. They've ponced it up since 1976 - we actually had to rig safety lines on parts of the shaft. Some of us also abseiled the pitch from the daylight hole. I won't forget it as I got my beard caught in the rack halfway down - ouch!  Some team members dived the static sumps into the Exeter University Speleo Soc extensions but not enough to attempt the Chiker link. We did Chiker - deep hairy and long static sump free dive to a massive choke which might link with Friouato one day. It's all reported in old Descents and Cerberus Journals.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: whitelackington on September 29, 2007, 10:33:37 am

Do Cheddar still go caving  :-\

We certainly do.  Actually we have been very busy with a project for several months and if you go to Hidden Earth you'll find out exactly what we've been up to...

Very well done The Cheddar, I am very impressed.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Andy Sparrow on September 30, 2007, 01:16:08 pm

Swildon’s Hole – Upper Series
Monday 27th August 2007
Chris Lank & Alun Williams

The objective of this trip was to explore the layout of the cave using
the survey as a guide.  Much useful time was spent in the entrance area
exploring all possible nooks, crannies and circuits.

After thoroughly investigating all such features and the start of the
Long Dry (Pretty) Way, we took the Wet Way down to Twenty Foot Pot via
Water Chamber and Forty Foot Pot.  On the way down we had a good look
at the many dig sites and tunnels (for future investigation).

On the way back, after making sure we knew where the Long Dry (Pretty)
Way ended, we took the Short Dry Way from Old Grotto, finally climbing
Jacobs Ladder into the now familiar entrance area.

In summary, an enjoyable and rewarding trip was had by both of us.

Chris Lank

Cwm Dwr & Ogof Fynnon Ddu (OFD) II
Sunday 9th September 2007
Andy S, Rachel, Dani, Martin & Chris L

After a much needed mind & soul refuelling stop at the Asda Café in
Merthyr Tydfil, we arrived at the South Wales Caving Club cottages
ready for the day ahead.

The cave system was entered at Cwm Dwr.  After a short “diversion” by
some members of the party, we made our way through the pebbly crawl and
boulder ruckle then into the larger passageways beyond.

We eventually made our way into the OFD II streamway and had much fun
seeing the shortest member of the team getting swamped by the deep
circular pools.  After attempting to stay dry by traversing many of
pools, most of the group opted for the “wet” but fun method of
negotiating the aforementioned pools.  Needless to say, there was much
merriment.  The Shower Bath looked spectacular in the light of our
caving lamps – even better than the photos on the Flickr website.

After climbing a fixed ladder we entered into what appeared to be a
high-level oxbow.  We exited this by a fun climb/traverse and during
this exercise we were treated to an entertaining although minor
disagreement between two of the party.

There was a short moment when the author of this report thought that
he might be staying in the cave for somewhat longer than planned. 
Happily he managed to free his foot from the painful hole from which it
was extremely well wedged, without too much panic and bone crunching.

On the way out we paid a flying visit to Selenite Passage, which was
most impressive – although a little blurry due to the speed at which we
passed through.

Our trip was completed by the exit through Top Entrance.  After a well
earned rest and Lucozade top-up, we made our way back to the cottages.

Thanks to Andy S for organising this excellent trip and for
confidently navigating his way through the cave.  Thanks to Martin for
driving and thanks to all for coming along.

Chris Lank

Bath Swallet
Saturday 15th September 2007
Chris Lank & Alun Williams

The purpose of this visit was to explore the various interesting
features noted on previous visits.

After abseiling down the 20m pitch, we commenced our exploration at
the Southern end of the main tunnel, this being blocked by a large
sediment bank.

We climbed into the ceiling of the main tunnel and to the left we
found various nooks and crannies.  At the highest point a vertical
squeeze was found leading to an unknown chamber.

Alun kindly volunteered to get through the squeeze first.  This was
achieved with a minimum of fuss.  It took me (Chris) 20-minutes of
effort to get through due to my slightly larger stature and fatter
backside.  This effort included various unprintable bad words, a rather
unpleasant back spasm and a ripped caving suit.  Nevertheless, the
price was worth it.  We had entered into a pristine chamber that we
called Tall Chamber (in the absence of any known name).  Although the
chamber was not large in plan view (about 10’ x 15’), it was over 30’
high.  We climbed up a mostly-dry, old waterfall to the roof and found
a horizontal tube feeding the ex-waterfall.  Progress was stopped by
the dimensions of the 12” tube.  We had gravity on our side upon
exiting the chamber, and consequently exit was considerably faster than

During the short climb back to floor level of the main tunnel, we
stopped off and checked-out several useful looking small crawls, all of
which quickly closed down.  On the left of the sediment bank was a
cemented, vertical tunnel leading down to a short horizontal tunnel
full of small stones.  The horizontal tunnel looked well cleaned by
water and as if it would link up with the base of the Digger’s Tunnel
further along the large passage.

At the Northern end of the main tunnel we made a short exploration of
a boulder filled rift adjacent to the 20m pitch.  While looking
promising, it did not feel particularly safe due to the precarious
nature of the suspended boulders so we decided to leave it for another
time (depending upon advice given).

Finally, we dropped down the Digger’s Tunnel to get to the main target
of our trip – the Aven and its associated tube.  For reference, the
Aven points towards nearby Rod’s Pot.  We had previously and
individually attempted to climb the Aven to get to the tube, but had
repeatedly failed due to not being 7’ tall.  I (Chris) used Alun as a
human ladder and finally managed to get to the tube.  Unfortunately, it
terminated after 6’ but fortunately it was joined by a rather promising
and splendid looking flowstone tube leading upwards at 45-degrees.  It
took 10-minutes of wriggling to get into a position where progress
could be made upwards within the flowstone tube.  The tube quickly
straightened out and ran upwards for 10-15’ before closing down to a 9”
tube.  For future reference, there is an excellent flowstone feature at
the base of the tunnel that could be used to secure a handline to
assist vertically challenged cavers up the Aven and into the tunnel.

Our mission complete, we returned up the Digger’s Tunnel and back to
the 20m pitch.

After passing through a swarm of vicious flying things at the entrance
boulders, and after 4-hours of caving, we finally returned to the land
of light.

Excellent trip!

Chris Lank

St Cuthbert’s Swallet
Wednesday 26th September 2007
Chris Castle, Brendan Handley, Lucy Murawski, Chris Lank

As this was the first time that Lucy and Chris L had visited the
cave, the tour was conducted at a leisurely pace by our leader (Chris C) so
we could fully appreciate the nature of the cave.

After dropping down the Entrance Rift we reached the appropriately
named Arete Chamber.  We continued into Upper Mud Hall (not very
muddy) and stopped for a short time in Pillar Chamber to admire the suitably
large Stal Column.  Note No 1 – Take a camera next time!

We moved onwards into the impressive Boulder Chamber.  We were
spoiled for interesting cave features – Kanchenjunga Boulder, the Cascade and
the Stal Floor Drip Pockets to name just a few.

Continuing deeper, we reached the Rabbit Warren with its delightfully
slippery mud and Calcite floor before finally reaching our turnaround
point at Plantation Junction.

It was agreed to return to the surface in a slightly more hasty
manner so that we could undertake our essential debrief at a certain local
hostelry in good time.

On the return we paid a visit to the Railway Tunnel to view the
Cascade from below.  We then returned to the Entrance Rift via Harem
Passage.  The climb back up the Entrance Rift was somewhat sporting
and exciting.  Note No 2 – Leave a bit more energy in the “tank” next
time for the climb up the Entrance Rift!

After changing at the Belfry, we determined that (1) we were too late
for our essential debrief and (2) it was way past bedtime.  Hence, we
decided to return to our respective homes, tired but pleased.

Many thanks to Chris C for organising and leading the trip.

Chris Lank

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Andy Sparrow on September 30, 2007, 01:27:22 pm
Wednesday 26th September
Andy S, Rachel, Zoe and Danni G played rigging on the old Forty.
Meanwhile Robin, Barry, Steve W, Danni B, Martin, Dave Murphy, and 3 guests went to Sump 1.


Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Sumpy on October 02, 2007, 09:08:23 pm
Ooh on line log book!! :clap2: last time I filled in a log we were still using chalk on a slate! ;D
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Andy Sparrow on October 04, 2007, 09:27:13 pm
3rd October
Fairy to Hilliers
Barry, Danni B, Danni G, Ellie, Martin, and Barry's mate whose name we have temporally forgotton.
Advance party heading in through Fairy meeting up in Cambridge Grotto with....

Hilliers to Fairy
Andy, Rachel, Karen, Rowan, and guests/prospective members Tim and Tricia
Headed in down Hilliers enjoying the easy bit before the gymnastics in the boulder chokes.  Came out through Fairy.  Squeeze is no tighter, I am pleased to report, and duck was low.  A good workout with much hysterical laughter from Karen and Rachel at every thrutch - obviously not taking their caving seriously enough!

Then off to the pub at Oakhill for some banter and distribution of Cheddar Caving Club T-shirts.

Only 12 underground this Wednesday - must do better next week.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on October 04, 2007, 10:24:21 pm
I hope you kept 2 T-shirts for me & Meg. It's taken long enough for them to arrive.
Sorry. Off topic. :)
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Sumpy on October 05, 2007, 12:24:47 pm
3rd October
Fairy to Hilliers
Barry, Danni B, Danni G, Ellie, Martin, and Barry's mate whose name we have temporally forgotton.
Advance party heading in through Fairy meeting up in Cambridge Grotto with....

Hilliers to Fairy
Andy, Rachel, Karen, Rowan, and guests/prospective members Tim and Tricia
Headed in down Hilliers enjoying the easy bit before the gymnastics in the boulder chokes.  Came out through Fairy.  Squeeze is no tighter, I am pleased to report, and duck was low.  A good workout with much hysterical laughter from Karen and Rachel at every thrutch - obviously not taking their caving seriously enough!

Then off to the pub at Oakhill for some banter and distribution of Cheddar Caving Club T-shirts.

Only 12 underground this Wednesday - must do better next week.

Twas a great trip. Glad to be back under ground, its been a long time coming. The squeeze was telling me that to many pies doesn't give an advantage in this sport!! It took a few mins of repositioning before i popped trough.
Title: Swildon's upper series, 1st August 2007
Post by: Brendan H on October 07, 2007, 09:43:46 am
leader: Danielle Gorman
Ken Passant, Chris Lank, Alun Williams, Brendan Hanley; guest Amanda Headley-White

The pointy end of Priddy Green was busy with cavers that evening as there were two trips to Swildon's upper series. After the throng of cavers had sorted themselves into two neat piles, the group led by Dani headed off across the fields.

We paused briefly in the dell next to the entrance, then ventured in; it was the first time Amanda had been in a cave.

Dani led us into the first chamber, past the turn-off for the Wet Way, past the top of Jacobs Ladder leading to the Short Dry Way, and slowly and gently through the ever-lovely Long Dry Way (the Pretty Way), which gave Amanda a taste of some proper caving. Turning right at the cairn, we went to the top of the chamber , to the entrance to the keyhole passage. Ken disappeared into the keyhole passage, went all the way to the end, then came back, looking accomplished. Dani, Chris, Ken and Alun ventured forth likewise. Brendan eventually plucked up his courage, used the technique Ken had recommended (which seemed obvious with hindsight) instead of wedging himself tight on the floor, and went all the way through the keyhole passage and a little way beyond, joining the other three on their way back.

Afterwards, there was a discussion on the etymology and semantics of the colloquial expression “dogging”, and the merits or otherwise of dogging as an activity. However, it should be noted that no actual dogging took place underground that evening. 

The group proceeded to the great meeting of the ways at the Water Chamber, then started down the towards the top of the waterfall which leads to the lower series. As we moved off, stoically uncomplaining Amanda was asked how she was, and when offered a quick return to the surface, accepted. Leaving the others to the rest of their adventure, Brendan and Amanda left the cave via the Short Dry Way, with Amanda gamely shimmying up Jacobs Ladder, her first ever underground free climb.

Having reached the waterfall, the limit of the evening’s trip, Dani, Alun and Chris raced to the surface, goaded to ever higher speeds by Ken, and completing the exit in under 15 minutes, which is amazing.

Re-united on Priddy Green, we got changed and went our merry ways.

Thanks to Dani for organising and leading the trip, and thanks to Ken for looking after Amanda.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Dani on October 11, 2007, 12:59:26 pm
Bath Swallet/Rods Pot Through Trip - The Return
Wednesday 10th October 2007

Barry, Danny, Dani, Chris L, Martin - Rods to Bath (or Rods to Rods via a bit of Bath)
Mark & Meg, Andy H & Zoe, Steve P & Karen, Swampy - Bath to Rods

Equal to last weeks numbers, but not beaten due to a very nasty outbreak of man flu.

Yet another great turnout from the club to do the through trip for those that hadn't done it before (and a repeat for some of those that had)

The hordes gathered in anticipation of the pep talk from Andy S while Rachel handed out more of the highly desirable, autumn collection ChCC t-shirts.  Once we'd finally agreed who was going which way, the troops kitted up (not in their very nice t-shirts) and set off for their respective entrances.

Our group headed for Rods, to rig up a ladder for the group abseiling down Bath Swallet.  We reached the main chamber fairly quickly and decided that we had time to have a quick jaunt down to the bear pit to have a nose around, before needing to drop the ladder down to the others.  Once back out we set off for the connection, dropping the ladder down to assist with the climb back up (although we might need a slightly longer ladder next time ;)).     

With still no sign of the others approaching from the Bath Swallet end, we took the opportunity to do a bit of what I like to do in my spare time - writhing around in mud.  The connection is still a bit of a quagmire, so we spent a good half-hour (with assistance arriving from the Bath Swallet side) clearing several more buckets of mud to try and open out the passage a bit more.  Chris then reminded us of the time, hurrying us all to the Hunters, so whilst he and Martin headed out via Bath Swallet to retrieve the rope, the rest of us took the route out of Rods. 

After emerging on the surface, finding Chris and Martin changed, the rest of us donned our t-shirts and headed to the Hunters.

Yet another great evening, thanks to everyone who came - I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! :clap2:
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on October 11, 2007, 05:05:17 pm
Yeh, fantastic evening! Good trip report Dani. You obviously were not as tired as me judging by the time you wrote this.
Good little trip that will be all the better once the majority of the liquid mud is out. We even made it back in time for two pints. :beer2: and I also managed to meet Hughie and the lovely Anne.
This week I'll be mostly wearing my ChCC T-shirt.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on October 14, 2007, 08:54:48 pm
Swildons Black Hole Series / Eastwater Cavern
Sunday 14th October 2007

Ken P, Chris L & Mark W

Plan A:
Ken to pick me up from home to rendevous with Chris on the green @ Priddy @ 11am. Then to Swildons to go through Sump 1 and on to the Black Hole series which I was really looking forward to having never done it. Others were going to turn up to go round Swildons easier parts.

What really happened

Ken arrived at 10:30 (half hour late) :spank: and off we went via Shit 'n' Smellit speeding along in the caving Swarzenegger van. I'm now convinced that only a BIG FWD will do for my caving.
Chris was there waiting patiently with Brendan (no skirt) and about 6 minivans, 11 cars and God knows how many other types of vehicle. It was obvious that it was a busy day. We were hoping that quite a few were walkers not cavers. Brendans team of newbies for the easy trip did not materialise so Brendan did the decent thing and went to see more of his other half. :kiss2: (Hope you enjoyed yourself Brendan)
So, suitably kitted up in the snuggly wetsuits and oversuits we were about to go. Except I wanted to go. What a bloody pain wetsuits are when you need a pee!
Ok, so we trudge off to the entrance where we were very politely requested to pose for photos by a long blonde girly (who was accompanied by her boyfriend I presume). Pose, pose & pose then off again down the wet route. We encountered people after only a couple of minutes and by the time we reached the Twenty we had met what seemed like half the caving population of Mendip! At the Twenty there were 13 cavers waiting to go down, each having to wait in turn for others coming up. We also noticed about 10 sets of ladders at the top too. If we ever managed to get down we would probably surface the next day!
So we decided the best course of action was retreat.

Plan B:
Off to Eastwater Cavern.
Back to the Arnie van, quick strip in front of the rest of the world and over to Eastwater. Not a bad decision by Ken as I had not been in Eastwater before. However I was told that a wetsuit would probably be a bit too warm for this cave. Not expecting to come here my fleecy was being washed after Rods/Bath last Weds. So it was pants, T-shirt and oversuit. Bit rough but I can take it. Grrrr!
Down through the scarily precarious boulder ruckle and into what I found an awkward 45 degree rift polished like my dining table should be. Very little in the way of footholds so wedging was the order of the day. We then met two more people going out, one with a bad knee. Carrying on down past Hallelujah Hole and into the Lower Traverse Ken then decided that it had been a while since he came here and declared that 'We might get lost a bit but it will be alright'.
I must point out here that we never lost faith in Ken. :'(
We eventually found our way to the Crossroads. I know this only because the sign says so. Would'nt it be great if all caves were signposted??
Our ears then detected some voices. I'm glad that we all heard them or I would have started to worry.
A swift clamber up to Dolphin Chimney and we met a lady caver from the UBSS just about to decend into the forboding blackness. We chatted for a while and discovered the reason for mass caving. Freshers weekend. It turns out that there were approximately 8 or 9 uni's split between Swildons or Eastwater. :o
Sooo off she went after enlightening us (Thanks for that BTW, never did catch your name) and we then scuttled back to the Crossroads, fell down on my knees, down to the Crossroads, fell down on my knees. Asked the Lord for mercy, save me if you please..............Sorry about that, came over all Clapton for a minute there. Urrgh, that sounds dodgy.
From the Crossroads we clambered to the bottom of Bakers Chimney where Ken shot up it like a rat muttering something like 'difficult at top,squeeze,don't try to come down again,awkward,don't fall on Chris'.
I got about 6 feet up and I'm afraid that I was afraid to say that I was afraid. This being the 2nd trip since April due to the foot incident my level of fitness/confidence/foot workability was too low to attempt the aformentioned Bakers Chimney and I bottled out. I don't think Ken was too impressed having now reached the top but like the trooper he is he made his way down again. :bow:
Chris then attempted to tame the Bakers beast. Ken and I looked for the alternative route round to the top of it and after some curfufflin found our way there. By this time Chris had done it! Squeezing himself through a tight squeeze at the top to meet us.
We then made our way back up to the top of the upper traverse via a very tight squeeze in a bedding plane that I cannot remember the name of (if it had a name). Chris really struggled but made it through, Ken pushed himself through with a bit of effort and I flowed through it like water. :smartass: Glad I can do something right! Squeeze machine at HE 2008 here I come.
Back out through 't' entrance and off to the pub in time for Butcombe Gold,coke & shandy. Scrumdiddlyumptious day!
Many thanks Ken & Chris. Maybe the Black Hole series next time.


Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Ellie on October 14, 2007, 10:58:31 pm
"We then made our way back up to the top of the upper traverse via a very tight squeeze in a bedding plane that I cannot remember the name of (if it had a name). "

That would be Hallelujah Hole then!!  Out of interest  - do you think it is better done on front or back - I went through on my front on Wednesday and had to be pushed though by my boots!  Good job I wasn't last.

Glad you had a good trip though it sounds like Mendip was a tad busy today.

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on October 15, 2007, 05:48:32 pm
Hi Ellie,

Chris went through on his back legs first, Ken on his front feet first and I did the same as Ken. To be fair I watched Ken very closely so I knew how to go through quite quickly. Being a skinny runt helps too!
We must have bypassed Hallelujah Hole on the way in without me knowing it.
Think I will have another try on the next trip in December. Great cave with lots of variety.
See you soon. :thumbsup:

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on October 18, 2007, 07:03:59 am
Rod’s Pot
Tuesday 16th October 2007
Chris L & Martin

Having visited Rod’s Pot on any number of occasions with groups, we felt it was finally time to give it a thorough exploration.

It had rained all day and a small stream was running through the entrance of the cave, dropping down into the first of the twin 14m pots.

A mini-through trip was made via the twin 14m pots – climbing/abseiling down the first pot and free-climbing up the second pot.  There were some interesting features at the bottom of the pots, not to mention a fair bit of rubbish.

The tube to the right of the second pot was investigated and found to lead to an attractive blind Aven.  The tighter tube to the left of the second pot was left for another day.

We pushed onto the Main Chamber.  After a short diversion to the head of Purple Pot (entrance to Bath Swallet) we made our way down to the almost vertical tube that leads upwards to Hanging Rock Chamber.

The climb up the tube was quite interesting and energetic.  Once at the top we crawled along and dropped into the muddy and hazardous-looking chamber.

As our call-out time was approaching, we made a swift exit - the highlight was making our way down the tube from Hanging Rock Chamber.  This is definitely not a route for the faint-hearted.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Sumpy on October 18, 2007, 02:19:03 pm
Goatchurch Cavern
Wednesday 17th October 2007

Chris L, Dani G, Martin and Sumpy

The four of us parked in the car park next to the award winning toilets and kitted up not knowing what the plan was and waited for the rest of the group to arrive. After hanging around for a while we realised everyone else was parked in the car park next to the Burrington Cafe / Inn, wandered down to find they they were all going to drive up to Lionel's Hole. Not wanting to dirty our cars and not wanting to strip off again we plumped for Goatchurch as Chris hadn't done it before

In through the main entrance and followed route down Giants Staircase, Dani looked in through the small tube on the last step towards Orange Peel Passage.

Followed main passage skipping Bloody Tight down small rift towards The Terrace, Dani and Chris went down the squeezes to Boulder Chamber whilst Martin and myself  followed the rift strait down. Under Coffin lid into Water Chamber, We took some time to look at most passages from the Water Chamber, going down into the small waterfall chamber, up to the stream and Dani did the small tube at the bottom far end of the chamber.

We then went down the small climb to the Drain Pipe, Chris, Dani and Martin crawled through and I stayed behind and had a sneaky munch on some Kendal mint cake. They explored the rift in the floor and the tube in the wall to the Final Rift Martin going furthest in but also getting a little stuck, finally managing to free himself with a little help from Chris.

On the way out met three other cavers looking down ladder just before the Drain Pipe, continued back up over Coffin lid and stopped to look over the Coal Chute before free climbing out the Tradesmen's Entrance.

It was a nice gentle trip which got us back at the Burrington Inn at about 9:45.
Thanks Guys for the great night! :beer2:

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Dani on October 18, 2007, 02:38:37 pm
Another jolly evening - thanks guys ;D

I think next time Swampy ought to have an umbrella or a stick with a flag on it in true tour guide style!
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on October 18, 2007, 05:58:25 pm
Lionel's Hole

Wednesday 17th October 2007

Barry H, Steve W, Trish,Meg W,Mark W and someone else who's name escapes me but a bloody jolly nice chap.

This just in from our roving reporter Barry H..........................(in other words copied and pasted from his email)

A somewhat more local trip on Wednesday17th September saw ten of us meeting in the Burrington cafe carpark. This was clearly too many for any one cave, so six headed for Lionel's Hole and four to the East Twin valley where they delved into the inner reaches Goatchurch. Those of us in Lionel's attempted (yet again) the round trip. Route finding, ably led by Steve Windsor, was this time no problem, but the amount of water in the stream prevented the party progressing with its ultimate aim. Still, we had fun in the various tight squeezes and boulder collapses.

There were a couple of new/prospective members, so borrowed kit was needed. After the event both parties met up in the Burrington cafe - didn't want to risk getting to the Hunters after hours.
Any thoughts about next week?

Wake up Barry it's October now not September. :shrug:

Nice trip for me being a Lionel's Hole virgin. Fun cave. :thumbsup:

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Cap'n Chris on October 18, 2007, 06:16:09 pm
Nice trip for me being a Lionel's Hole virgin.

Could be taken out of context, Mark! Glad Cheddar's going strong(er).
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on October 18, 2007, 06:25:40 pm
Nice trip for me being a Lionel's Hole virgin.

Could be taken out of context, Mark! Glad Cheddar's going strong(er).

Did I mean to say it like that? Me???

Yes we're going very strong thanks. Memberships creeping up all the time.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on October 20, 2007, 06:32:01 pm
Swildon’s Hole – Upper Series (MRO Practice Rescue)
Saturday 20th October 2007
Andy H, Zoe, Dave, Neil, Judy, Gary, Mark W, Brendan, Martin & Chris L

This trip to Swildon’s Hole was somewhat special as a practice rescue had been arranged with Martin and Richard of the Mendip Rescue Organisation (MRO).  After a briefing at the Belfry we assembled at Priddy Green and strolled down the Short Dry Way to a point just above to the 20’ pot.

It was here that our volunteer casualty, Richard (MRO) had his “accident”.  The Cheddar Caving Club team leapt into action and in no time Richard was secured to stretcher.  We spent the next 3-hours huffing and puffing, as Richard was dragged out of the cave via the Short Dry Way.  Although the entire rescue was hard, the hardest bit by far was getting our casualty through the 90-degree bend at the 40’ pot.  In the end, brute force and ignorance won through and we made it.

We sustained our casualty with comforting banter and imaginary biscuits, but nevertheless, when we finally made it out of the cave he was somewhat blue and shivering.  He claimed it was from the cold, but we reckon otherwise.

Thanks to the MRO for providing us with an excellent training experience.  Lesson for the day – don’t have an accident in a cave.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on October 20, 2007, 08:50:15 pm
Yes big thanks to Martin & Richard for a hopefully unique experience. It really makes you realise how difficult a job these volunteers have (I proudly include myself now) when trying to help someone.
 :clap2: :clap2:
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on October 24, 2007, 07:12:46 am
Goatchurch Cavern
Tuesday 23rd October 2007

Martin, Chris L with Nigel, Chris & Andy as guests of Martin

The return to Goatchurch was intended to be a gentle stroll with a few of Martin’s friends, who had a small amount of caving experience.

We entered via the Main Entrance and made our way down Giant’s Stairs, through Boulder Chamber and into Water Chamber.  In Water Chamber we had a quick look at the small waterfall in the hole in the floor before looking for the Drainpipe.

We took a likely looking tunnel, which unfortunately turned out to be a dead end.  We did discover that you could just about get four people in the dead-end, but this is most definitely not to be recommended as the air got very stale very quickly.  The last person to leave the dead-end certainly huffed and puffed their way out.

After a slight course adjustment we found the Drainpipe and made our way along it.  While the others explored the small chamber at the end, I made my way along the passage leading through the Dexion-shored boulders.  After negotiating various squeezes and holes, I finally found myself in a fairly large chamber containing some nice taped-off decorations.  I had a quick look at the two dig sites before returning to the head of the Drainpipe.

After regrouping, we made our way out of the cave via the Coffin Lid and the Tradesman’s Entrance before heading off to the pub for an essential debrief.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Dani on October 25, 2007, 05:20:01 pm
Read's Cavern
Wednesday 24th October

Chris L, Sumpy (not Swampy -sorry, I blame it on old age, or hormones), Martin, Laura (aka Hoodie), Dani and later joined by Barry

After last weeks jaunt, we again managed to organise ourselves in the absence Mr S to meet up for a trip to Read's.  Meeting up by the UBSS hut (sorry Barry), we thought we were in for a busy night with four or five other cars there (and their occupants) joining in the curious practice of stripping off in front of strangers in the freezing cold - rather daunting for Laura, who was on her first club trip.  In the end I think most of the other guys headed off to Bath Swallet or Rods Pot, so we had Read's to ourselves.

Kitted up, we set off for the entrance, assured by Chris that he knew where it was and true to his word, after a gentle stroll we ended up at the entrance by the streamway.  After sorting a slight technical difficulty with Laura's light (needing a new bulb - thanks Sumpy for 'being prepared' :bow:) we followed the streamway into the main chamber. 

I'm afraid after this, my account gets a bit hazy and completely lacking in any sort of official or technical description.  First we headed off to the far end of the main chamber (near the other entrance) and did some crawling around after descending a hole in the floor, then we decided it got a bit tight, so came out of there and went down a different hole in the floor a bit higher up the main chamber.  By this time, Barry had joined us in our explorations and we headed off for the Z-bends (can't remember if that's the right name).  After wriggling and squeezing down we ended up in another chamber (Waterfall chamber?  :shrug:) and again spent some time investigating various small openings to see if they went anywhere.  By then, we'd decided that it was probably about time to head off to the pub, so made our way back out, having a quick nose at the other entrance.  Quick change and back to the Hunters for some light refreshments!

Thanks guys for an interesting trip exploring all the nooks and crannies and for looking after Laura so well.  :clap2:
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on October 25, 2007, 05:30:31 pm
Glad to hear you all had a good time. I'm off there at the weekend to do some sketching.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Dani on October 25, 2007, 05:37:35 pm
I'd heard that - I thought the cave was quite pretty and there were lots of interesting shapes that should make for good sketching - have a fun weekend!
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Sumpy on October 25, 2007, 06:35:27 pm
Dani you should really get a copy of Mendip underground to help you with names lol ;).. Twas a good trip shame we couldn't find our way around proper. :shrug:
Thanks for the fun time guys.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on October 25, 2007, 06:36:29 pm
Fabo trip to Read's Cavern!  I really enjoyed having to find our way around without someone who knew the exact layout.  I reckon we still have unfinished business in it though.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Dani on October 26, 2007, 12:07:04 pm
I've got a copy (and even read it before we went to Reads), but I still can't remember the names of things  :confused:.  I'm afraid to say I can only remember things by what they looked like or how you had to cave them ie you go down a slidy bit then over a big hole in the floor and carry on till you get to a crawly bit - I think Andy calls it 'girly descriptions'.   A repeat trip is definitely in order - I might get the names right then!
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on November 01, 2007, 10:08:36 pm
Swildon’s Hole – Upper Series
Wednesday 31st October 2007

Martin, Dani, Sumpy, Kaz & Chris L

Summary  - A nice relaxing bimble.

We commenced our evening’s stroll by finding a pair of unattached trainers in the car park near the barn.  These were subsequently returned to their rightful owner by one of our more honest members.

After reaching the entrance chamber, we took a small diversion to the Zig Zags area, before making our way to the head of the Wet Way.  One group went down the Top Oxbow via Butcombe Chamber, and the other group continued down the Wet Way.  We regrouped just past the Lavatory Pan before continuing down to Water Chamber.


At the Forty Foot Pot, we again split up, with one group taking the high route to the top of the Pot and the other group continuing downstream.

After descending the Forty Foot Pot, we again regrouped, took some photographs and made our way back to the surface via Water Chamber, Old Grotto and the Short Dry Way.


In celebration of our return to the surface, a small beverage was later consumed at a certain local hostelry.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on November 04, 2007, 11:22:45 pm
East Twin Swallet
Sunday 4th November 2007

Mark, Meg & Chris L

Our visit was suitably christened by a member of our party (who shall remain nameless) weeing on their oversuit prior to entering the cave.

There was lots of evidence of digging and shoring up in this cave.  I think it is fair to say that it was not the most attractive cave that we had ever visited.  After a quick descent to the bottom of the Third Chamber, we returned by the same way and headed off for our second cave of the day.

Sidcot Swallet
Sunday 4th November 2007

Mark, Meg & Chris L

We headed on down into the cave through the Tie Press and Boulder Chamber before ending up at the "infamous" Lobster Pot.  For safety’s sake, we rigged it with slings before descending.  After a short crawl we entered Paradise Chamber, which was suitably well decorated.  We were not feeling too adventurous so only went as far as the duck.  However, we agreed to return later and pass the duck to reach the end of the cave.

We made our way out of the cave using the same route.  The Lobster Pot was good fun although suitably difficult.  The remainder of the trip was mostly uneventful with two thirds of the party doing their best to get lost in the Boulder Chamber.

Thanks to M & M for a fun Sunday afternoon trip.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on November 06, 2007, 06:57:17 am
Sidcot Swallet
Monday 5th November 2007

Martin & Chris L

The Return to Sidcot Swallet…

Our mission was to investigate likely looking holes and crawls during our way down to the duck at Paradise Chamber.  We both had a few interesting moments, which involved getting hauled out of various holes – in one memorable instance backwards by the ankles.  Nevertheless, we achieved our mission.

Purgatory was saved until last.  It had a totally different look and feel to the rest of the cave.  Given my “knackered” state, I didn’t push my luck but this is certainly an area for a future dedicated visit.

We did our best to discover a new entrance on the way out but despite our best endeavours we eventually found the correct route.

Very sore, covered in bruises but pleased with the evening's results.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Misty on November 06, 2007, 08:24:33 pm
Had a lovely Sunday saunter down Sidcot may I say, thanks for a lovely time. :unsure: ;D

Sidcot Swallet entrance Chris infront Misty behind

East Twin Swallet, Not as fun as Notts Pot lots of digging and shoring up made it simply unpleasent

Misty and Chris climbing up the kerplunk in East Twin Swallet

Misty up a May Pole
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on November 11, 2007, 12:12:54 am
Cuckoo Cleeves
Wednesday 7th November 2007

Sumpy, Tricia, Tim, Mark, Barry, Danny, Steve W, Karen, Martin & Chris L

After walking through half of Somerset, our trusted guide finally got us to the entrance of the cave.  We never doubted him for a moment (not much anyway).

We descended down through the concrete entrance tube, entrance chambers and canyon to the bottom chamber of the cave.  The air was not great and we were all suffering a bit.  A couple of the team pressed on through the squeezy rift to the sump and dig beyond.  It had been hoped to find the The Lake but a slight geographical miscalculation meant that a non–optimal route was taken (i.e. the wrong one).

After gathering our breath we headed back out of the cave and off to the Hunter’s for a well earned drink.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on November 11, 2007, 12:20:54 am
Rod’s Pot
Saturday 10th November 2007

Tim, Sumpy, Martin & Chris L

As a warm-up to the next cave, we decided to take a short tourist trip to Rod’s Pot.

After a quick march down to the bottom of the Main Chamber, we had a quick look at the top of Purple Pot before heading out.

Not much to report except that we found it a little odd to exit a cave during daylight.

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on November 11, 2007, 12:36:14 am
Drunkard’s Hole
Saturday 10th November 2007

Tim, Sumpy, Martin & Chris L

This was the first time in this particular cave for most of the party.  Nevertheless, we decided to use it for a bit of ladder and lifeline practice.

We descended down the steeply sloping entrance passage and through the vertical squeeze, before reaching the 10m pitch at the rift.  With much fumbling about on my part, the ladder and lifeline was finally rigged.


After climbing down, we had a bit of a look around at the bottom of the pitch and found all sorts of interesting ways on, plus the skeleton of an unfortunate animal.  However, as time was against us, and we were aware how much “fun” the ascent out of the cave was going to be, we decided to turn around and save the rest for another day.


Many thanks to the posse for a good day’s caving.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on November 11, 2007, 08:28:03 pm
Cuckoo Cleeves
Wednesday 7th November 2007

Sumpy, Tricia, Tim, Mark, Barry, Danny, Steve W, Karen, Martin & Chris L

After walking through half of Somerset, our trusted guide finally got us to the entrance of the cave.  We never doubted him for a moment (not much anyway).

We descended down through the concrete entrance tube, entrance chambers and canyon to the bottom chamber of the cave.  The air was not great and we were all suffering a bit.  A couple of the team pressed on through the squeezy rift to the sump and dig beyond.  It had been hoped to find the The Lake but a slight geographical miscalculation meant that a non–optimal route was taken (i.e. the wrong one).

After gathering our breath we headed back out of the cave and off to the Hunter’s for a well earned drink.

Muchos apologista's amigo for not writing this report. Been very busy since Wednesday.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Sumpy on November 12, 2007, 01:11:53 pm
Drunkard’s Hole
Saturday 10th November 2007

Ar was a good day out doing both Rods then Drunkards, Shame I could not fit down the vertical squeeze but all was not lost as when I headed out to wait for the others to return I bumped into a group of girls from Oxford Uni CC who demanded we all share in "Random caver hugs!!" Now who can refuse an offer like that?
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on November 15, 2007, 09:45:45 pm
Goatchurch Cavern
Wednesday 14th November 2007

Frank, Ellie, Mark, Sumpy, Dani, Sim, Chris L & guests (Russ, Stu, Nick)

After entering through the Main Entrance, we made our way to Boulder Chamber by (not very) Bloody Tight.

Ellie, Sim, Mark and our guests went down the Drainpipe for a “look-see” before supporting Mark in his triumphant return to the Coalchute (scene of some previous unpleasantness).  Well done Mark!

Dani forced her way through the tight squeeze between Boulder Chamber and Water Chamber.  I gamely tried to follow but had obviously eaten a few pies too many and got slightly stuck.  Many thanks to Dani, Sumpy and Frank for taking the time to extricate me!

Frank, Dani and I pushed on through Dexion-series and into the chamber beyond.  Frank did his best to lose his headlight but found it again.  After having a quick breather, we then returned to the rest of the group who were getting ready to leave via the Tradesman’s Entrance.

Upon leaving we headed off to the pub for a natter.

(Photos are from Frank.)




Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on November 15, 2007, 09:53:41 pm
Drunkard's Hole
Wednesday 14th November 2007

(By Barry Hulatt.)

There was a breakaway trip on 14th November by Barry Hulatt and Steve Windsor (two of the more senior members in Burrington on the night). We managed to insinuate ourselves into the far reaches of Drunkard's Hole, which seemed, surprisingly, to have shrunk since last we were there. A stream had recently been flowing in the bottom dig, silting up the way on. The tightness on our return up the rift, carrying gear, and feeling pretty unfit for the task, made us wonder if a dig anywhere down here was really on.
By the way, can anyone who has been down there in the last year or so remember what the dead animal above the stream was? It's either a dog or a fox, but there's no fur left now. (Not much left on the bones for a stew either).
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Dani on November 16, 2007, 12:54:43 pm
What happened to the wedged wellies picture?
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Sumpy on November 16, 2007, 03:50:12 pm
What happened to the wedged wellies picture?

They got liberated LOL ;D  Another good Wednesday night trip thanks all!
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on November 16, 2007, 07:40:31 pm
For Dani - A pair of weged wellies attached to a wedged caver in Goatchurch Cavern:

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Ellie on November 19, 2007, 02:39:30 pm
Swildons Hole
Saturday 17th November 2007

Frank, Sim, Gary, Mark, Megan, Chris L, Ellie + guests Emma (15) and Anne (12)
Trip report by Ellie

After much faffing about getting changed, we headed off to the cave with the two girls complaining of being cold and wet before we had even crossed the field!    ::)   Once there, we entered the cave without too many protests (just a couple of squeals) and we proceeded along the long dry way.   On down the streamway to the top of the 20 ladder pitch where we turned around and headed back.  I was treated to an impromptu song and dance routine in the water chamber by the two girls whilst the others took a detour up the old 40.  Reconvening we headed up the wet way - where Frank had helpfully gone ahead to rig a lifeline up the Well (we think that was the correct name) for the novices.  Turning left at the t-junction to reappear in the long dry way, Mark noted that his suit - having just been nicely washed - was now muddy again.......out of the cave and off to the pub to partake of refreshments and plan future trips. :thumbsup:

Photos to follow. 
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on November 19, 2007, 08:45:01 pm
Swildons Hole
Saturday 17th November 2007

Turning left at the t-junction to reappear in the long dry way, Mark noted that his suit - having just been nicely washed - was now muddy again.......

There's no point in going to Swildons and coming out muddy!
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on November 22, 2007, 10:16:08 pm
St Cuthbert's Swallet
Wednesday 21st November 2007

Photos only.  Report to follow from Chris Castle.




Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on November 22, 2007, 10:22:00 pm
Nice piccies.
Did someone bring up their beans on toast in the last one?? :yucky:
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Frank on November 22, 2007, 10:26:10 pm
Swildons Hole
Sunday 18th November 2007

Here are a few pics from the fun splash around the upper series on Sunday...






For the full set go to:

Looking forward to curry night!

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: chriscastle46 on November 22, 2007, 10:54:51 pm
Wednesday 21st November 2007. St. Cuthbert's Swallet.

Chris Castle, Chris L., Barry H., Steve W., Martin L., Danny B.

This was a grovel around some of the places less frequently visited not too far from the entrance.
Progress was a bit slow along the Wire Rift due to somebody climbing right to the top by mistake and having a job to get down again. Once that was over we went to Lower Mud Hall and climbed down Mud Hall Pitch to enter Lower Traverse Chamber. At the very top of this is an ascending passage to Upper Traverse Chamber which we took and admired the fine formations there; some of Chris L's pictures are of them. We entered a pretty grotto that I'd never been in before, it may go further than we could see but this could not be done without climbing over the flowstone. After a look at Maypole rift we took the route towards September Series to see the bridge and fine grill, then climbed up to Boulder Chamber for a look at The Cascade before wriggling in to see the crystals near Kanchenjunga and back to Lower Mud Hall via Rocky Boulder Central Passage.
Despite the wet conditions and the gate valve in the dam not being closed properly there was no water coming down the Entrance Rift.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on November 25, 2007, 04:21:00 pm
Sidcot Swallet
Saturday 24th November 2007
Mark, Meg, Sam, Brendan, Tricia, Tim, Chris L

We split into two groups.  Sam led Brendan, Tricia and Tim into Purgatory for a bit of a “shufty”.  After passing the difficult Z-bend at the entrance they had a good look around, noting the sharpness of the walls.

In the meantime Mark, Meg and I headed for the entrance to Eden in Paradise series.  We stripped off to our wetsuits and tried to push through the squeeze.  Despite our best endeavours, none of us are ever going to see Eden as we are too large!

Despite the disappointment, we started part two of our mission – to push through the duck (which looks like more of a sump).  We started bailing and siphoning the water to make the sump into a duck.  In the meantime our colleagues joined us from Purgatory and their assistance made a significant difference to our efforts.

The wetsuited trio of Mark, Meg and I got through the duck and entered the passage beyond.  (It was noted that a certain, anonymous, member of the team was particularly vocal in their appreciation of the water temperature).

We reached the 15’ foot Chimney.  As cold and tiredness was setting in, I made a solitary climb up the Chimney and took some photographs of the Grotto for posterity.

Upon returning to the Lobster Pot the team had the usual fun and games.  We were also treated to an all time classic statement, “You can stand on my helmet if you want to, just let me know if you are going to do it”.  Sounds painful.

Changing in the car park afterwards was not much fun given the cold day.

Well done to everyone concerned for the concerted team effort.

Mark looking pleased with himself:


Meg in Paradise series:


The way to Eden:


Passing through the duck:


15' Foot Aven:




Lobster Pot:

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on November 25, 2007, 04:38:43 pm
A great little trip that I really enjoyed.
Many thanks also to the Wessex CC for the use of their facilities so that Meg and I could get cleaned up before the AGM. We were made most welcome by Pauline and the rest of party there. What a fantastic clubhouse!
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on November 29, 2007, 07:16:56 am
Drunkard’s Hole
Wednesday 28th November 2007
Andy S, Rachel, Dani, Tricia, Martin, Chris L & Aggie (guest)

This trip was the first visit to this exciting cave for some club members.

After reaching the bottom of the ladder pitch (which can be reached without a ladder) we made a high-level traverse towards the 1st Rift Chamber (which can be reached without making a high-level traverse).

We then had a look at the 2nd Rift Chamber, making a quick detour up to the 3.5m high dig tube, which was rather muddy and unpleasant.

After looking around for a bit, we proceed to make our way out.

The ascent turned out to be “one of those days” for me.  Firstly, I managed to hit Andy’s Wellington Boot quite hard with my face (sorry Andy!), before getting my foot and Wellington Boot jammed in a hole for 5-minutes.

Comfort was sought at the pub afterwards.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Andy Sparrow on November 29, 2007, 08:16:32 am

 I managed to hit Andy’s Wellington Boot quite hard with my face (sorry Andy!)

Shortly after this I violently assaulted Rachel's wellie with my nose.  I blame all this on a beer-fever induced over-zealous urge to exit.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on December 06, 2007, 08:39:03 pm
Eastwater Cavern
Wednesday 5th December 2007
Dave H, Lucy & Chris L

After creeping past the sleeping sheep and cows in the adjacent fields, we entered this dark, atmospheric cave.

Our outward route took us through Upper Traverse and under Baker’s Chimney.  After a quick look at Boulder Chamber we header down the Canyon and through Crossroads, S-Bend and into 1st Rift Chamber.

The return journey took us through Lower Traverse and upwards through Hallelujah Hole (which I found much easier than my previous visit in the opposite direction).  On returning through Upper Traverse, my headlamp attempted to take an alternative route.  Happily, we were quickly reunited.

Finally, we had a quick look at the top of 380-foot Way before exiting the cave.

Thanks to Dave for organising the trip.

Unknown location:


Lucy in Hallelujah Hole:


Dave above Hallelujah Hole:


Chris in Upper Traverse (without light):


The Terrible Trio:

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on December 20, 2007, 12:25:54 am
Pierre’s Pot – Lower Series & Hanging Gardens
Tuesday 18th December 2007
Sam, Dani, Rachel, Andy S & Chris L

After negotiating the entrance series, we rigged a handline and dropped into the infamous vertical squeeze.  This proved to be very hard for half the group, extremely hard for the other half and completely impossible for one member of the team.

Pushing on, we passed a few more tight squeezes before dropping into the boulder ruckle at the streamway.  We then proceeded to get lost before we consulted the survey and the written directions.

We passed through various other squeezes and climbs before reaching the final 20’ climb. It looked rather exposed and certainly proved to be so.

At the top of the climb we made a bold step across to an arch and after a crawl we finally entered the Hanging Gardens.  The pretties were excellent and no amount of photographs will do them justice.

After a short rest we made our way back.  The 20’ climb was nasty on the way down.  The various squeezes were slightly easier on the way out but somewhat more energy sapping – especially the final hard vertical squeeze.  As we were getting rather late we resorted to standing on each other to push upwards through this squeeze.  Unfortunately, the last person did not get this luxury (sorry Dani).

Finally after three and a half hours we made it out of the cave.

The cave was relentless in its challenges and is easily the hardest cave I have visited to date.  However, it was also one of the most interesting caves I have visited.

Epic trip!  Thanks to Rachel and Dani for coming along and special thanks to Sam and Andy for your assistance and hard work.

Sam helping Rachel down the Vertical Squeeze:


Dani having far too much fun:


Resting in the Hanging Gardens:


Chris looking at the pretties:


Some of the pretties in the Hanging Gardens:


Floor decorations in the Hanging Gardens:

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Dani on December 20, 2007, 10:33:42 am
Flipping fantastic trip!  Although now I'm feeling slightly battered, bruised and exhausted.  Definitely worth the effort if you can get through the first squeeze.  Thanks to all (especially Sam and Andy and Chris) for organising it and making sure we could get in and out!
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: anfieldman on December 20, 2007, 06:59:16 pm
Sounds like you all had fun. Sorry we could not make it. Maybe next time.
Good report & nice piccies! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Andy Sparrow on December 23, 2007, 04:53:03 pm
Saturday 22nd December


Andy S, Rachel, Chris L, Dave H, Dani, Tim, Tricia and Sam (Tricia's son)

We split into two groups at the cave entrance - myself with Dave, Chris and Sam, leaving Tim with the three girls to make thier own way.  Rach and Dani have a somewhat incomplete knowledge of the system so we contrived a number of rendez-vous points.  First RV point was Gnome Passage, so, having made sure the girls were on the right path through the Brickyard, I joined my chaps in the Big Chamber Near The Entrance.  We went over the mini traverse and then took a right turn towards Gnome Passage.  We heard the distant giggle of female voices en-route indicating the girls were in more or less the right area before arriving unexpectedly in Arete Chamber (woops - missed a turn there somewhere). 

We got back on track and arrived in a quiet and deserted Gnome Passage.  After musing on the possible fate of the girls we were just setting off into Edward's Shortcut when they appeared, having paid an unplanned visit to Shale Chamber.  I pointed them towards Salubrious then caught up with the boys before the ESC traverse, which presented no particular terrors to our team.  So it was we arrived at Shattered Pillar, Selenite Tunnel and finally the Crossroads just as the girls arrived from the other direction.  While the girls were doing the Selenite/Cross Rift circuit I sent the lads down into Maypole Inlet before taking the crawl to intercept the girls. 

I helped the girls down the Maypole Inlet climb and into the Main Stream.   We finally caught up with the chaps at the Second Oxbow where it was decided to re-divide the groups.  I would start back with Dani (pressing dinner engagement in Bath) and Tricia (only wearing a boilersuit and in danger of geeting cold in the deep water ahead).   The other continued together to Top Waterfall.

Dani, Tricia and myself had an uneventful exit from the cave and emerged to admire 'sunset over Swansea'.  Meanwhile the others reached their objective and then Rach successfully navigated her team back to daylight to emerge about half an hour after us, making a trip time of 4.5 hours.

A grand day out.



Oh no! Not that old bloke from Cheddar Caving Club again!


Sam admires Selenite Tunnel


Dave takes an optional traverse


During a quiet moment Tim reflects on the route finding abilities of his female companions


It's that OFD black limestone and red mud


Bugger!  I slipped on my bum!


Having successfully hypnotised Tricia into a Jesus delusion, Sparrow turns his mysterious powers on Dani....


That's a girt big'un!
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Chris Lank on December 23, 2007, 05:03:39 pm
... and I have some girt big shin bruises to go with the girt big Stal.  It was a grand day out though.
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Dani on December 23, 2007, 05:34:18 pm
Fab trip and a definitely more preferable option to Christmas shopping  :thumbsup:.  I now have a green/blue-ish strip down the sides of both legs and arms - caving go-faster stripes?

Thanks to all and hope you have a great Christmas

Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Judi Durber on January 01, 2008, 11:39:29 pm

Has the point been glued back on the bottom   :-\

see previous post with Andy in the picture   :)

18th March OFD
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: Les W on January 01, 2008, 11:42:02 pm
Has the point been glued back on the bottom   :-\

Yes Judi, more than once. :(
Title: Re: Online Log Book 2007
Post by: andymorgan on January 03, 2008, 05:36:47 pm
Loxton Cavern (AKA The Lost cave of Loxton), Friday 28th December

Andy H and Andy M.

We fancied a bit of light Christmas caving. As we couldn't get hold of a ladder for the Rod's-Bath through trip, and Andy H is a leader for Loxton Cavern, and this has been the first opportunity I have had to go there, we decide to head to Loxton Cavern.

We headed on down the entrance shaft into Catcott's Chamber. This was a rather impressively sized chamber with a lot of formations - including some rather green and shiny looking calcite blobs on the floor that looked like snot.

Formations between the entrance and Catcott's Chamber.

Andy H posing sexily at the entrance to Catcott's Chamber.

We squeezed into the chamber below Catcott's Chamber and headed to the Hall (I think that is what it was called) which was also impressive. After filling in the logbook, we were the first visitors since July, we climbed up to the chamber about 3 to 4 metres above it, and slid down the rope -see pic below.

Andy H on the climb down in the Hall.

We headed up a side passage and went to a chamber beneath the Hall.
Me in the side passage!

There was a tight squeeze in the floor to a further small chamber that apparently Andy H, being a tad skinny, did on the leader's day. We left it as Andy said it wasn't worth it. We climbed out of the chamber, back into the Hall thus completing a small 'round trip'.
We headed out after spending about one and a half hours underground. An excellent trip, and there was much more cave than I expected. Highly recommended! After we brewed up a cup of tea in the quarry using Andy's Christmas present - a kelly kettle for a nice tepid cup of tea mmm.
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