Online log book: September to December 2005



As suggested a while ago by Chris (before people started writng non-relevent comments in the thread) it would be good to have a sort of online log book for the club, especially as some of us can't make it to the Kings Arms. Well I'm starting one here (if is ok with the committee: i'll delete it if not.
For those who haven't written in a log book: just write a few sentences with the date of the trip, the cave, who went on it, then include perhaps the route and any notable moments etc.
To keep it neat, and so there aren't loads of irrelevent posts inbetween log postings I have set up another thread for discussion of this.

Andy Sparrow

New member
Dan yr Ogof 27th August

Geoff Ballard (WCC DYO leader), Andy S, Mel, Ken and Dani

Not a drop of rain the day before but the water levels were still very high. We only managed 100 metres or so beyond the show cave, stopping in deep water, with a small airspace ahead. Had a bit of a grovel into a slimy dig before retiring to the cafe and setting the caving world to rights. Dissapointing, but it was worth it to see Mel in a wetsuit.


New member
you haven't mentioned anything about fake boobs, pink gloves, earings or salon styling in the car park!

cap n chris

Well-known member

St. Cuthbert's Trip Report: Wednesday 12th October 2005. By Barry H.

The Vision of St Cuthbert, a poor peasant, watching his flocks by night, 651 A.D.

‘On a sudden he saw a long stream of light break through the darkness of the night, and in the midst of it a company of the heavenly host descended into the earth, and having received among them a spirit of surpassing brightness, returned without delay to their heavenly home.'

After this Cuthbert went and lived in a cave, vowing poverty, chastity obedience etc.

No doubt by some product of their energy, matter and velocity Cheddar Caving Club had succeeded in intruding on Cuthbert's reveries. Their company, also poor peasants all, descended and, their spirit of surpassing brightness being somewhat dimmed due to battery failure and the stream running down their necks, they were not moved to join St Cuthbert in his vows (poverty, chastity …, etc). Having received sufficient enlightenment, they returned to their heavenly home (Hunter's Lodge).



Five Went Down. Led by Chris C this Wednesday night October trip led through the intricate maze and many of the pretties of St Cuthbert's Swallet. Steve W and Barry H, despite having been through the cave several times before, followed Chris trustingly as ever, but they still hadn't a clue where they were going or where they had been. There was more of an excuse for Matt A and Meg H (guest) who were on their first visit to the cave. All were suitably impressed by the labyrinthine and awe inspiring variety of the cave, and also by Chris's impressive route finding. The entrance rift proved as sporting as ever, especially on the return. We had expected some problems as the dam was obviously blocked (send for dynorod?), and there had been heavy rain in the day. Not so, however, and we suffered only a heavy trickle rather the power shower we had been warned of. A very different experience from the club's March trip to Cuthbert's when we were inundated by icy meltwater and emerged to snow covered ground.


cap n chris

Well-known member
Swildon's Hole: Wednesday 12th October 2005.
Glynn R & Chris B. 1hr20mins. To sump 1.

It had been raining hard and the previous evening a quick trip was agreed upon just to blow out some cobwebs; Glynn was collected in driving rain and the journey up on to the Mendip plateau was slower than normal due to all the run-off on the roads and large standing puddles/lakes etc.. Swildon's was going to be wet, we surmised. Not so.

Anyhow, got changed and wandered across the fields to enter the cave - we had it all to ourselves; quickly down the wet way (since the water was low we needed to find some somewhere and this seemed the obvious route to take) and rigged the 20'; ab down and continue, not stopping until reaching the sump; 25 minutes - not bad! The water was low and although there was some twig evidence on rocks that the level had been high at some time recently there was no foam anywhere so it hadn't been high for a while.

Gathered ourselves and started the return journey but boy was the air crappy! - needing a breather at regular intervals - no conversation at all other than occasional comments about the poor air; stopping at most major corners. Continued up and regained the Upper Series whereupon we bumped into two cavers at the old forty - both wearing white boiler suits and wetsuits with string belts and other home made assorted items/lamps. Good to see the major Mendip clubs' tackle stores being used. :LOL:

Up and out via Jacob's Ladder (i.e. short dry way) whereupon there were three short lengths of knotted dynamic 9mm (3 string belts tied together?) belayed with a krab and sling around a small stalagmite at the top of JL - presumably as a photographic prop for the forthcoming book "A cautionary tale about how not to rig in caves". Hey ho. I'd love to see what would be rigged at the 20' but was too puffed to bother and judging by their ammo box it didn't contain anything recognisable as a ladder anyway.

Oh, forgive me for sounding bitchy. We both laughed at the imagined conversation they were having about us... "Cor, blimey - look at them... they've spent unnecessary pounds on pointless belts in a caving gear shop when they could easily have made their own out of balertwine" etc..

Up and out, breathless; headache as well - poor air? - yep! Dr. B will be doing a CO2 test there over the weekend, apparently.


Swildons Hole, Tues 8th November 2005

Andy H, Chris C and myself went down Swildons to take advantage of the high water. The water was the highest I have ever seen it there. Went down the Short Dry Way (which was pretty wet!). The Water Rift was 'sporting' and the 8 Foot Pot needed a hand line. Went beyond the 20, as far as the second Double Pot. Even more fun and hard work against the stream on the way back. Went up the Wet Way which was absolutely superb: the Lavatory Pan, and Old Well were pretty much ducks, and the entrance chambers and climbs had amazing cascades.
My best ever trip in Swildons!

Andy Hebden

New member
swildons 8th nov.

Yes, an absolutly fantastic trip! coming from water rift into the water chamber was a highlight for me, along of course with the Lavatory pan and the well coming back up the wet way.

Three cheers for the neofleece :D !

Getting through the hole at the Old Well was interesting. Being hunkier than the Andies I was slower and had this sensation of not being able to breath. Nothing to do with bad air, I'd dammed the water and it was over my head! Had another attempt and "free dived" it.

Andy Sparrow

New member
26th November. OFD 2. Pendulumn Passage.
Andy Sparrow, Andy Hebden and Chris Castle

" Did you bring a survey, Andy?"
"No, I don't need one for this trip - I know this route."

Five minutes later.

"Chris, did you bring a survey?"
"Yes, Andy, but..."
"It's of the wrong part of the cave... and I left it in the car."

Actually we didn't get too horribly lost - we certainly did better than the Cerberus team that we picked up by the Big Chamber. They were heading for Cwm Dwr (!) but they had allowed themselves 12 hours.
So, anyway, there was Chris Castle, Andy Hebden and myself setting off from the dazzling white of the snow covered hill at the beginning of our Pendulumn Passage round trip. Having pointed the Cerberus towards Salubrious Passage we took the high level route, starting with the exposed climb to, and then down into, Arete Chamber. It was then we had our first route-finding hiccup when I took the first right instead of the second but eventually we got on track and wormed along the snaky little rift to Timo's Table.

Another minor moment of confusion followed when we turned off the Chasm but we were soon ploughing on along the grand canyon that leads to the Crevasse. There are new bolts here which made the descent and pull-through of this 70 foot pitch easy. Thus we arrived in Pendulumn Passage which is stonking great canyon of immense height. The name may derive from the steep up and down nature of the numerous climbs. There are two more pitches to abseil, and some awkward free-climbs before the main stream can be seen though a bit of a squeeze and scramble down. We had quick trip up to Top Waterfall which is rather splendid and Andy H was suitably impressed with his first experience of the OFD main stream.

Then it was down, and up, to the sinuous confines of Maypole Inlet. "Keep watching the roof or you'll miss the climb up", I advised Andy, while happily ploughing on under the afore mentioned ascent, as if to prove my point. A quick back-pedal revealed the well polished route and we soon thrashed our way up. From there it was a simple cruise up Salubrious and out after about 5 hours.

An excellent trip.

Dave H

Yes, thanks Andy for the pointer towards Salubrious. We had a fine trip (I even kept my dangly bits dry in the streamway) until we reached the Smithy in Cwm Dwr from an unusual direction. Following a couple of hours investigating fine passages not on the survey :oops: we made our way out in 9.5 hours. There's no point in rushing a fine trip :LOL:
Andies S and H and me
Went to Ogof Ffynnon Ddu
Because we wanted the cave to see
Tiddlely tiddlely tiddlely dee.

Routfinding here can be quite hard,
We met a group lost at the Brickyard.

We climbed up and down to the Arete
By routefinding problems we were then beset.

Finding the way the best we were able
We soon arrived at Timo's Table.

Further on we had our luncheon
Sitting down at Bhowani Junction.

No Traverses for us alas,
Instead we abseiled down The Crevasse.

Ups and downs ad infinitum,
This was the Passage of the Pendulum.

After a long way hip hip hooray!
We had arrived at the Streamway.

Once in the water we did not stop
But went upstream to the Waterfall, Top.

Stumbling in pools and getting wet
We found and climbed up Maypole Inlet.

We twisted and turned round every bend,
Getting by mistake to the very end.

Up and past the Crossroad did see us
Finding a passage most Salubrious!

Very soon we reacched the door
And wandered back across the moor.

Christopher Shakespear Wordsworth Castle (Age 58).

Andy Hebden

New member
Pierre's pot & Goatchurch.
Andy Hebden, Andy Morgan
3 December.

It was going to be a trip to Brownes Hole, then a trip to Singing River Mine, but lack of time made it a trip to good old Burrington Coombe.

My first time in Pierre's pot, it was great despite me botteling out of the squeeze into the lower seris :oops: (sorry morg). I especially enjoyed the phreatic passages near the entrance, some great passage shapes.

With time in hand on exiting the cave we took a walk up the valley to find the stream in fine flow and Yew Tree (or is it Flange?) swallet over flowing its fenced enclosure. Having not seen it this high for a long time we thought we'd take a quick trip into the water chamber of Goatchurch to see if increased water entering made much of a differance inside - it didn't!

In the boulder chamber we met some cavers from nottingham university caving club..........

Hebb- alright guys so where are you from.

Nots uni caver- we're from the nottingham university caving club, how about yourselves.

Morg- we're with the Cheddar Club.

Nots uni caver- Is that the Cheddar University Caving Club?


cap n chris

Well-known member
It's Flange Swallet which is presently full-to-brimming; Yew Tree Swallet is underneath the Yew Tree - all rather confusing I know.

The Badger

Digging trip with Mr Farr in Aggy. A squeeze blocks access to the void in front of us and needs persuasion - ongoing passage is guaranteed!

Andy Sparrow

New member
Porth yr Ogof
Melanie Lloyd, Ben Lloyd & Andy Sparrow

The story according to Ben:

"This was my first visit, we went through the main entrance, and we paddled across a river, we walked across a deep passage called the cavern, then we went through a tightening squeeze called the letterbox. Soon there was a crawl edge on the wall we had to get over BELIEVE ME I was really scared, I thought I wouldn't make it but I did and I felt kind of happy once I did it.


Mel follows me through the Letterbox


The end of the ledge crawl!

After that we met some young men who didn't have proper caving kit but they had torches, they said they were going to join South Wales Caving Club, they followed us around the cave and we did a difficult bit which was a squeeze and it was very hard to get through.

The lads we met

I had to stand on my mothers back while she pushed me through, I said no I wasn't going to do it and a man behind me said the same thing then I carried on through it was a very tight I thought I was going to get squashed but I was lucky, when I eventually got through we went through another passage, we went through a bit of a squeeze and then we went through another passage which had something called the toilet in it, THE WATER WAS ABSOLUTELY FREEZING!!!!, I never went to see the toilet if I did I would have frozen to death. I never went down toilet and neither did the men. Andy took me to see the river the other side of the toilet, I said that I wanted to get out, and we went on our way out through the main entrance but then we changed our minds and went through a different route up the river passage to the other entrance, it took 1 hour to get through I thought I just wanted to get it over and done with to get home, by the time I got home I was really tired, I was just glad I got home alive."


I survive the ordeal!

Written by Ben Lloyd
I was in Porth with Sissel on the 8th, only missed you by 3 days.
We went to Bridge Cave first which had a splendid waterfall in West Passage.
I don't know which places were which from Ben's description - trip leaders' names I suppose. It had been very wet, foam all over the roof but was OK, although we wimped out of going through the Great Bedding Cave, we weren't dressed for that. We had a look round the uninspiring Right Hand Series, crawling around scores of shivering children, and went in and out of a representative number of entrances.
There were 7 minibusses in the carpark and a corresponding number of children in the cave. They were all very well equipped and led, at no risk at all, but the river was high enough to make walking across difficult and a lot of them fell over getting wet and cold and doubtless being put off caving for the rest of their lives.
Longwood Saturday 17th Dec
As I stood scraping the ice off my car in the dark, my mind was more on “where can I get a nice hot breakfast” than the cave which had been described as “sporting with tight angled passages, several pitches, a traverse (where I would probably prefer to climb down than go along) and a lovely stream passage”. ( “Hmmm… Did I really want to do this?”). Well breakfast was solved by a lovely ‘café' van in a lay-by as I drove out of Bristol. So, well fed I sat on the green at Priddy awaiting the rest of the party, Andy Pollard, Mike, Mat, Mat & Simon arrived but where was Ken? Our leader rolled in and we set off topside to get permits & key. The Wessex turned up trumps (after going via Mendip where we couldn't get in) and by being there, discouraged 2 other groups from going in as well. Finally arriving at the entrance, the stream (I thought) at a reasonably low level, (little did I know) and then spent 40 minutes trying to turn the key in the lock. Should it be all the way in or a bit out? Is it better with one hand or two? Clockwise or anti clockwise? Is lying flat or kneeling up a better position to be in? No WD40, Vaseline any good? The relief when the lock finally sprung. (it needs to be a fraction out, turned clockwise!) I couldn't get it to work even when it was in front of me. I hope no-one was going to be relying on me to get them out!
We all fed in and slid down the dark rock chimney glistening in the wet. Dropping through some more chambers before getting to the ‘technical' squeeze. Feet first, keep them right (no left, your left my right!!!) then back up so you can then go head first into the squeeze … and keep high, (the wide bit) (“B*&&%£ gravity”) drop into a slot, bit of rock hugging, round the bend, change sides, hold it, hold it, not enough room while they are rigging an over hang. (“I must practice my knots, I must practice my knots!!”) “Please send a karabiner up, mine has jammed”, yeah, I got the knot right, dangle over the edge, keep left, find foot hold (with a little help from below) and so didn't make too much of a hash of the climb down (and Andy found no problem with my jammed karabiner  )
More slots, narrow at the top and then widening out led to the top of a waterfall, a 50 ft drop or an awkward exposed climb. The lads where wonderful and patiently rigged a rope and held on tight while I climbed out and down to a ledge. The floor dropping to our left, we did the short traverse round a bend and then fed ourselves through a small hole, and down to the top of ‘swing pitch' where the ladder was duly rigged. It is so nice when there is someone at the bottom to pull you out of the water that is pounding on your head. We ducked down under a waterfall and then found that we were at the top of a big wide rift. The roof within arms reach and the water flowing across the whole width of the floor which although steep had lots of ridges, “have faith, there are foot holds under this bubbling water” and so we climbed down to the stream bed. (note to self, remember to look for the ‘cairn' indicating the way out). So off we went, lovely curtains, stals and layers of flow stone cascading down the walls, then piling up forming bridges to duck under. Most of the way was walking and then it would drop down to belly crawling and then on to where it dropped at a steady 45 deg for a way. All the time narrow enough to straddle with plenty of hand and foot holds. Most of the water seemed to disappear but the roof closed in and we ended up at the top of a narrow slot. Even Ken's enthusiasm for what was down there (very pretty and leads on to ‘Fanny's Rift') did not entice me down, as his description of “you need to do a bit of ‘thrusting' to get back up” I thought I could do without, even Andy didn't seem too enthusiastic although he did go for it, “bit hard work getting out, not really worth it” I think was his comment later. So wellies full and fleeces weighed down with water we started the climb back up. Having a narrow stream passage made it easier but I could feel my energy waning so getting over the overhangs on the climbs were a bit of a haul. Almost went up the wrong slot, sent Mike (I think it was him) to look as well and even he thought it was a tad narrow, thank goodness it wasn't that way. Bit of rock hugging in the slots (“make sure you're the right way round Judi errr… which way was that? Can I turn round here? Bit tight… Why do I do this…? Ken banging on his helmet to get it out of a jam, what a laugh …?”). And then where? It went all black, Ken's light being way above me, I had forgotten the chimney which seemed a lot longer. Oh how I needed Andy S's singing now. And so out into daylight, frost still on the ground - not the time to be standing around soaking wet.
“Why did you change on the side of the road?” I was asked by a 5yr old later who couldn't grasp the concept of wanting to get out of your clothes as fast as possible. No mean feat when you are tired, arms aching, with clothes clinging, but as agreed by all, a very good cave, lots of variety, challenging, with nice formations, and (as I was told later) although the stream was in ‘full flood', well worth it. Thank you Ken for organising it, 3 hours of ... fun.