Cheddar Caving Club: 2017 Logbook

Brendan H

New member
I hadn't been to Swildon's Hole for a while, so this was a good opportunity for me to re-acquaint myself with my favourite cave, and to have a sporty trip with Chris Castle. We went in the Pretty Way, crawling about in the streamway after the Boulder Chamber, then made it all the way to the top of the Twenty Foot, but it was a bit crowded there, so we did not peer over the edge. It was fun ascending the waterfall, which was in strong flow. We made our way back out via the Wet Way, enjoying its many amusing and exciting features; the Twelve-Foot Well was negotiated with elegance and poise. We were both soaking wet by the end, and happy with our adventure. As an addded benefit, my suit was nice and clean, for the first time in months.


Thanks for reviving the online logbook Brendan.  (y)

I also went to Swildon's recently, having not been for a while...

The arrival of a new baby has prevented caving for best part of 6 weeks, so I planned to make the most of a day off with a trip down Swildon's. I've previously not been beyond the free-dive limit, sump 9, so decided to carry a bit of kit through and aim for the end. I made slow and steady progress down to sump 2 with a pair of 3 litre cylinders. Visibility was near perfect on the way in and I was soon de-kitting and bagging up my kit beyond sump 6. From sump 6 - 9 involves quite a lot of climbing up and down over boulders, the air isn't usually too fresh and I find it quite tiring without kit to carry; today, with a heavy bag, I decided to take it very steady.

Two and a half hours after entering the cave, I was standing beside sump 9, a large inviting deep blue pool with a handline leading down a muddy slope to the waters edge. Entering new teritory for the first time that trip, I set off again in near perfect visibility, with small clouds of mud rising ahead of me as the line twitched in the silt floor.

As I surfaced in Swildons 10, I thought to myself that I really should have read the book before setting off; I've read the description for Swildons Hole many times, but not for some time and my mind had been recently distracted... Which way was the un-lined sump 10? As I waded across the silty floor of the chamber, visibility turned to zero in the water. I had a quick poke in a few obvious places, but I was getting cold, tired and one of my lights had started flashing to warn of low battery, so I decided to quit while I was ahead and save the final 50m of the cave for another day!

Visibility was not so good on the way out, but enough to find my way through without banging my head in any of the sumps.

The journey back out was slow and by the time I got out the blockhouse, I was totally knackered after 6 hours underground.

Slightly disapointed not to have got to the end, but a thoroughly enjoyable trip nonetheless.  :)