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Online Log Book: 2006

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Saturday 23rd September 2006
Gough's Cave

Chris Castle, Ellie, Judi D., Andy H., Matt A., Zoe W., Mark W., Megan H.

After a wander around the Showcave we climbed up to Solomon's Temple, looked at the chambers beyond the Black Cat and finally got muddy and descended to Lloyd Hall. The water was lower than I've seen it for many years, and crystal clear, making me wish for a return to my cave diving days, but don't worry CDG, I got over it. I lifelined those who wanted it up the easy but exposed climb from the fixed ladder.

This was a far more enjoyable and well-attended trip than I expected, and was spun out for 3 hours, admittedly some of which was spent gossiping.


New member
chriscastle46 said:
This was a far more enjoyable and well-attended trip than I expected, and was spun out for 3 hours, admittedly some of which was spent gossiping.

Superb trip!
It felt a real privilege to shown around the bits the public don't see. Thanks a lot Chris. (y)

cap n chris

Well-known member
Done plenty of cavin' this week* so this weekend, as well as a further two stints underground doin' conservationy stuff (i.e. bolting etc.) decided to enjoy the sunshine with Martin T and scrambled up Cheddar Gorge this morning and then abbed off it just for a lark. Note to self: use proper harness next time as a sling/krab is a bit uncomfy....

Martin smiling at the prospect of a nice sunny descent

* You can never do too much!
St. Cuthbert's Swallet. Friday 27th October 2006

Chris Castle, Sissel B. (Ch.CC), John F. (Kendal C.C.), Miranda F. (Kendal C.C. & M.N.R.C.)

A photo trip for John, a noted photographer of the Dales who was here with his wife for the Mendip Nutters and Ravers 100th.

A fairly straightforward trip to Gour Hall, with several diversions. Good to see a drop of water in the cave.


Andy Sparrow

Active member
Ogof Draenen Round Trip 28th October
Andy S, Rachel, Sissel, Brendan, Dave H, Duncan & Rich (guests from ACG)

After an early start fuelled by the Lillypool Cafe we were underground shortly after 11.00 am.  We were soon through the wet muddy crawly entrance series and reconvened by the cairn.  Next came the long grovel through Beer Challenge which has a most luxurious floor for a crawl.  And then, deepjoy, boulders, boulders and more boulders.  Actually it doesn't go on that long and soon we were happily traversing the Idiana Highway.  Then it was Mega Drive with, guess what?  more boulders.  There was a slight navigational problem before we found our way to the fixed ladder into the Alms Park and, yes, more boulders.  The boulder slopes end dramatically in Saint David's Hall which is a huge chamber with an uncannily flat roof. 

Fixed ladder into the Alms Park

From here the character changes and we entered the complex Squirrel Rifts.  This is actually easy to follow now that the route is so well trodden but it was the first time I had dared to attempt it without a copy of the survey.  It was with unspeakable relief that I found the taped off Wooden Spoon Passage which confirmed we were not horribly lost afterall.

Rach and Siss traversing in Squirrel Rifts

Dave and Rich

Strangely, on this particular day, I did not arrive at the head of the rope climb but at a rift which Duncan identified as the pitch bypass.  I has been warned that this looks tighter than it is but still wimped out of pushing it headfirst.  It was down to Rich to be trip hero by committing himself head first to this narrow impossible looking rift.  Myself, Rach, and Siss followed through (the squeeze that is) but our gruntings and groanings sent the others back in search of the rope descent.  This was rigged with a new longer rope which we left in situ for the benefit of others. 

Rach squeezes through the bypass

Top and bottom of the pitch.  Note the existing somewhat inadequate fixed handline!

From here we followed the wonderful and atmospheric Agent Blorenge streamway.  This starts off very spaciously but after a while the water turns off into a narrow vadose canyon which involves some tricky climbs and traverses.  There are also two rather fine, if somewhat bracing, canal sections.

Rach in the second canal

This is a long and varied passage which eventually brought us down to the confluence with the main stream.  Hooray.  Then is was a long and weary trek with very cold feet.  Eventually we reached Gilwern Passage and stopped to consume the remaining choccie bars and lucozade before the final grovel back to the surface, most of which I spent cursing the decision to close the second entrance to the cave.

We came out after 7 hours and 10 minutes having had a superb trip.  One of the best UK round trips remains my opinion, which I think the other party members now endorse.

Andy Sparrow
1st November 2006 St Cuthberts Swallet
Chris Castle, Andy Morgan, Matt M. (Wallop) Sissel B.

After waiting for Andy who'd got delayed in Banwell on his way from Dusseldorf and was hoping to get away from Germans, only to be sadly disappointed, we got into the cave and made a slow pace to the foot of Short Chain Pitch, which was free-climbed. Maypole Pitch was climbed with SRT and ladder, which for various reasons slowed the whole process down. The next pitch needed a handline, the next was a freeclimb, and the last needed tackle. It was very wet, and as the bolts are placed in the traditional manner, i.e. in the waterfalls, quite "sporting".

Once at the top we had a look at the black stal and other formations, Appendix Passage and the holes that don't go anywhere. The return was uneventful except that Sissel was very cold and her swearing was inversely proportional to her temperature. The pace was slow, and we got to the Entrance Rift after call-out time, so I knackered myself getting up, running to the Belfry and ringing our call-out, Andy H. who was in the Centre of the Universe, naturally with his phone turned off. We later found that he had been advised by Mr. Sparrow not to worry for a while.
St. Cuthberts Swallet again.

Chris Castle, Andy Sparrow, Rachel P., Sissel B., Gary A., Brendan H.

A standard trip to Gour Hall. The trip started with one of Sissel's hopeless attempts at routefinding, but I soon took over or we would never have been out in time for the pub.

I wish we could have got some younger members to join this trip. Sissel was by far the youngest, and she's 32!

Better not start that thread again!


New member
chiscastle46 "DANGERMAN"
I was always told "That a gentleman never reveals a ladies age"
I hope you haven't been forgetting your customary chivalry
chriscastle46 1/2 years old :clap:


Was going caving with me (a youthful 26) at Cuthberts a few weeks ago not enough Chris?
andymorgan said:
Was going caving with me (a youthful 26) at Cuthberts a few weeks ago not enough Chris?

You and Heb are, I think, the club's youngest members; we need more.

Whitelackington, you've never met Sissel, have you?


New member
chriscastle 46 a few weeks ago three of us did manor farm swallet
our total age was 162, if as had been expected the total age for the four of us would have been greatly inexcess off 200.
I think Doug is sTill our youngest, lier, just remembered, one of my long term BDCC mates sons has joined, i think he is 21 or 21 he actually came to the ardeche with us


New member
Hello Mister Boring, sorry if I done wrong.
Perhaps The Cheddar could start another thread for interclub banter.
The Axbridge have not complained about other cavers posting on their bit
but I do take your point Andy about not confusing on-line-log books.
The MCG have an actual log book, as do the ACG
not quite as modern as The cheddar.
Anyway my very, humble appologies. :cautious:

Andy Sparrow

Active member
18th November 2006
Andy S, Andy H, Ken and Rachel
It was a long and rather rural drive owing to the M4 being closed but we eventually got to SWCC shortly after 11.00am.  The weather was a bit dodgy so we shelved the plan for the Cwm Dwr through trip and went for a ramble around Top Entrance.  Question - how can you get to Selenite tunnel without using Salubrious or Edward's Shortcut?  The answer, according to the survey, is Northern Canyon.  To reach this passage we went across the Big Chamber and mini-traverse and followed the rift to Cairn Chamber.  From here it was an easy ramble down to a junction where Northern Canyon branches off to the right into (for us) unknown territory.  After a couple of hundred metres the survey shows a boulder choke.  I made a mistake here of following what appeared to be a well used route down through the choke - this leads through some constrictions to a small streamway which is not on the survey.  This proved to be the wrong way and so we retreated back through the awkward choke and found the way on.  The next section of NC requires a climb over a boulder choke followed by a steep descent back to the passage floor but beyond these obstacles progress is easy and pleasant.  We found our way down to Selenite Tunnel and the Crossroads where we met a rather inadequately lit group.  From here we started towards Maypole but turned off at the first junction through the muddy passage to the left.  This leads to the Maze and a really excellent roundtrip through some nice rifts and tubes.  There are a couple of places where the passage ends on the lip of an abyss with the Main Stream thundering away deep below.  Eventually we emerged at Cross Rift and then returned to the Crossroads.  From here it was out via Salubrious to complete a very enjoyable 4 hour figure of eight trip.
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