Online Logbook 2009


Well-known member
And here was I half way through reading  this write up poised to tell you you'd had the dreaded carbon dioxide poisoning. It sneaks up on you like that as the moment dawns when you realise you can't be that unfit :)

Chris Lank

New member
Manor Farm Swallet
Tuesday 22nd September 2009
Ken, Chris L, Bruce (CSS)

After abseiling down the entrance shaft on Bruce?s ?shoelace-of-a-rope?, we removed our SRT kit and headed down September Rift, through Curtain Chamber and past the Fluted Pots.  At Albert?s Eye we experimented with various techniques for getting through (head first/feet first), not realising that there was a multitude of mini-Leaches waiting for us in the puddle.  At Stream Junction, the apparent cleanliness deteriorated and we started come across signs of organic debris (polite term).  There were also lots of shrimps in evidence.  It was interesting to note that some shrimps were completely white, while other shrimps were grey in colour.

We took a short detour up to the Aven with Bruce and Ken plotting a climb up towards Boulder Fall Hall (for another day).  Conditions got worse as we headed back down stream.  The air was noticeably bad and the organic debris was literally rolling down the walls in the inclined rift near Sarum Inlet.  Our caving suits were covered in unmentionable brown stuff but we mostly managed to keep the grot off our faces.  The organic material was also home to millions of earth worms (at least they look like earth worms) ? they even seemed to enjoy living on the near-vertical walls of the inclined rift.

We were given some respite from the bad air and disgusting conditions when we climbed up into NHASA Gallery.  The air was much sweeter and the going was much easier.  At the end of the airy gallery we dropped back into the foul streamway and found huge quantities of Tubifex Worms living in the shallow pools.  Lovely!  I had a poke around and was also able to find a few examples of Leeches, which I imagine would feed on the smaller Tubifex Worms.  After a short distance, we came across a small smelly waterfall, which dropped into a boulder ruckle.  Adjacent to it was a foul looking sump, containing more Tubifex Worms than I have ever seen in my life.  It did not look like a nice place for a swim, so I gave it a miss.

The way back was mostly uneventful as we huffed and puffed our way up nearly 140m of vertical ascent.  Thanks to Ken and Bruce for a brilliant day out, which despite the disgusting conditions was fascinating and definitely to be repeated again.

Chris Lank

New member
Goon?s Hole & Lionel?s Hole
Sunday 4th October 2009
Chris L

On the way Lionel?s Hole, I passed by Goon?s Hole and decided to pop in to have a look around.  I learned a salutary lesson about not going head-first when crawling along downhill passages.  The crawl back uphill in a backwards direction was both "interesting" and rather tiring on my arms.

After catching my breath, I hopped into Lionel?s Hole and started to have a good poke around in lots of bits that I have often wondered about.  At the bottom of the entrance slope, I crawled up a good looking tube only to come face-to-face with the smelly remains of a poor dead rabbit complete with wriggling maggots.  I had just enough time to wonder about the strange smell before almost rubbing my face into the soggy remains.  Yuk!

The rest of the trip was spent crawling around Boulder Chamber looking at lots of interesting holes.  I climbed up into the roof boulder ruckle roof as far as I dared only to find it went nowhere (not surprisingly).  I found more interesting places in the floor to the left and had great fun squeezing into some of the holes, which I think were near the Pit.  There were some interesting leads which I decided to save for another day, when I have a companion with me.

Chris Lank

New member
Ogof Draenen
Saturday 24th October 2009
Ken & Chris L

After a general lack of planning, we decided to take a magical mystery tour of Ogof Draenen.  After reaching Cairn Junction, we had a quick look at the nearby Waterfall to the left then dropped down Wonderbra Bypass before reaching Tea Junction.  Finally, a plan materialised and we decided to follow Gilwern Passage.

Initially, the walk up Gilwern Passage was pleasant and easy.  Then came the usual Draenen routine of climbing over muddy boulders for long periods of time (groan).  We actually did quite well with minimal damage to our shins and between us we only got our feet stuck between rocks on two occasions.

The walk/climb along Gilwern Passage was notable for the pretty decorations.  The walls were covered in Gypsum crystals, and every so often we came across some Calcite pretties, which were duly photographed.  There were also several interesting inlets, one of which tumbled through the roof from a great height and made for a pretty but chilly showerbath.

After strolling along for some time, the passage changed nature and climbed up a breakdown slope into the roof.  At this point, we had a poke around for a bit and found a few ways on.  As we had left the written description back in the entrance series and because we were not feeling overly energetic, we decided to head off back home.

What a fantastic cave!  I will be making lots more trips to investigate Gilwern Passage, Hearts of Olden Glory, Forever Changed and the rest.

Calcite pool:

Calcite flow:

Ken takes shower in the dark:

Pretty white drip pools:

Candyfloss on the walls (Gypsum):

Brown Crystals:

Ken takes a nap on a coffin:


New member
Deer, Lang, Wind, Clearwater and Moonmilk Caves
Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia

16th-18th October


Holy guano, Batman!  :bow:


And there were ginormous spiders to match the proportions of the cave  :eek:

I'm still speechless

Chris Lank

New member
Attborough Swallet (a bit like a Mulu cave only different)
Wednesday 28th October 2009
Andy S, Rachel, Chris H, Steve White (guest), & Chris L

I had missed the previous trip to this cave so this was my first visit here.  Having carried bags of electron ladders into the cave, I was slightly disappointed to see that the fixed ladders in the cave made this a pointless task.  After climbing down the initial pair of ladders we entered Happy Mondays.  I took a ?hit for the team? and volunteered to crawl up Nigel?s Dig just to confirm that it ended in a muddy hole ? which indeed it did.  We then entered into the impressive Cotham Chamber and took the obvious way on down through the tight but interesting passages.  At the bottom I crawled on into a watery passage which contained some foul looking foaming water and a number of worms.  Lovely!  It was a bit like Manor Farm Swallet.  Reversing back I rejoined the others and we headed back towards Cotham Chamber.  On the way out, the others took another similarly tight passage at a higher level, which again ended in a watery termination.  While the others were enjoying this passage, I went back and investigated the hanging deaths at the head of Cotham Chamber.  After only a few minutes I decided that my continued good health was more important than looking at loose looking boulders and sat and waited for the others.  There was only so much mud and grot that we could enjoy on a Wednesday night, so after convening again in Cotham Chamber, we exited and headed off to the pub for a debrief.

Chris Lank

New member
Ogof Draenen
Sunday 8th November 2009
Tim, Keith, Jack, David, Mat, Cheryl, Nicky, Chris C, Chris L

With such a large contingent, we split ourselves into two separate groups.  As this was the first visit to this cave for most people, the plan was to have a gentle stroll along one of the key routes.

It was a fun but generally uneventful trip.  Our route took us through the Entrance Series, past Cairn Junction, down Wonderbra Bypass, through Tea Junction, White Arch Passage, Lamb & Fox Chamber, Indiana Highway, Megadrive, The Nunnery, Perseverence II, Arms Park, Players? Tunnel and St David?s Chamber.

While some food was noshed at St David?s Chamber, I had a quick look at the Squirrel Rifts.  I can?t wait to get back and try and navigate through this area.

After getting back to a typically cold and miserable evening, we warmed-up again in front of the fire at the local pub.  Lovely!

Chris Lank

New member
Eastwater Cavern
Wednesday 11th November 2009
Barry, Dani, Chris L

It was a disgusting night.  We got out of our cars in the cold rain and wondered why we were doing this strange pastime.  As we got into the cave and descended through the dark and horrible boulder ruckle, the thoughts continued.  Our route took us along the Upper Traverse, and things did not improve at all.  After much sweating and heaving we went up-slope and headed for an explore towards the Boulder Chamber.  Having found ourselves back near the entrance, we did not fancy another heave along a traverse so we went down-dip and had a quick look around at the bottom.  As no-one had their caving heads on their shoulders so we decided to call it a night and head off for the pub.

Chris Lank

New member
Manor Farm Swallet ? SRT Practice
Saturday 14th November 2009
Tim, Chris L

Rigged the entrance pitch and zoomed up and down on SRT kit.  Nothing to report except the weather was rotten and there was a distinctive Bovine aroma in the air.
Box Stone Quarry
Wed 18th November 2009
Ian B.,  Chris Castle., Nicky D., Robin G.,  Danny B., Barry H.

This was Burt's trip to the northern area of the quarry.

After a very late start caused by me for reasons I won't go in to we were in the Backdoor and up AO Route to the tank, then made our way east along Cliftworks Passage and the Iron Door which is now a rusting heap. By the second fall, just before the shaft with a great heap of crap, there has been a recent and massive fall which we crossed with some trepidation. When did this happen? I've not been in the quarry for a few years.

We visited Crane Country, took many photographs, then to the Far North Series to take more. We returned via a route over deads to Saw Series and back the way we'd come. At the final fall by the Backdoor we paid a brief visit to OXO 1 Passage by mistake, but were soon at the exit and out but Woe! too late for the pub.



Well-known member
The collapse appears to have been in Jan this year.
Details and photos here

you will need to copy and paste the url AND delete the space...

Chris Lank

New member
Rod?s Pot
Wednesday 18th November 2009
Keith, Sam D-K, Rachel, Steve P, Chris L, Lynette, Ross (guest), Jason (guest)

This was an introductory trip for our guests.  After a gentle bimble down to Boulder Chamber, we had a look at the tube going up to Hanging Rock Chamber then the top of Purple Pot before being led out by our guests.


Chris Lank, Rachel S, Trish, Sam, Dani, Jason(guest), Lynette and Ross(guest)

Well, where to start? Not only did everyone turn up on time, but upon arriving, we discovered that the entrance chamber has totally changed.  :eek: Previously, we used to slide down the slab, to where the hole has developed. But now you cannot slide down the slab, as boulders have been (intentionally?) brought down covering the top of it. So instead, we took a hard right, descending down a rift, bringing us out at the shower-bath. From there, Chris  and I decided what we were going to do. I was to take the novices around the Long Dry (Pretty Way), down through the Water Chamber, down the 8' (Old 40'), toddle down to look over the 20'. Then head back up the Short Dry Way. Chris was to take the others down as far as Sump One.

We ascended up the Shower-Bath, and then spilt at Jacobs Ladder. It ended up being myself, Trish and Jason being the only three to do the round loop. With the others going down as far as possible. As we went round the  Long Dry Way, looking at the pretties, we noticed that the pools of water that normally are only a couple of inches deep, were significantly higher! Even the 'Pretty Passage' before joining Boulder Chamber was wet!

I tried to do my best to impart some geology to Jason, and point out interesting things as we went. Whether I did this sufficiently I don't know. :-\ Anyway, we continued down into Water Chamber, after looking at the stals and curtains in Old Grotto. We went down the 8', without having to rig, thanks to Chris having been down before us, and continued to the 20'. Upon heading back, and getting up the 8' without difficulty, we got back to Water Chamber, to discover I had left the bag tied up at the 8'! Muppet! o_O Dashed back to get it, then decided to investigate the Wet Way, up to The Well. All went well, and the Lavatory Pan was PUMPING! I managed to work my camera's self timer and got a fairly good photo of the three of us looking decidedly damp after getting back to the Water Chamber.

We headed back up the Short Dry Way, ascending Jacob's Ladder without difficulty. I wanted to look at an alternative way out, so headed to the slab that was, free climbed it, to the left of the hole, and rigged a rope for an assisted handline, making exiting much easier. Chris's group rejoined with us at this point, and we all exited safely, without any drama!

A good evening was had by all, we changed and went onto The Hunters' :beer:



New member
Sidcot Swallet
Wednesday 2nd December 2009

Tricia, Lynette, Ross (guest), Dani

A trip around the cave to introduce the newer members to the delights of the Lobster Pot.  Excellent leading by Ross, Lynette and Tricia - no getting lost, stuck or eaten by cave spiders and not too much thrashing around to get out of the Lobster Pot.


Rod's to Bath Swallet

Wednesday 30th December 2009

Steve P, Lynette, Steve, Tim, Martyn, Steve, and Keith (me).

Once we all met up at the top of Link Road and all got changed into our caving gear, myself and Martyn headed into Bath Swallet to rig up the rope and ladder's for exiting Bath Swallet.
It took a while to sink in that this was the right place because last time i was here there was a lot of water going down here, hence the name shower pot! Yet this time it seemed very dry and the stream had seemed to find it's way else where.
Once we had the rope and ladder's in place, i quickly made my way down to make sure the rope had dropped to the bottom and that i was definitely in the right place, whilst Martyn waited above just in case i needed pulling back up. Once we were happy that everything was good, we headed back to the surface and quickly caught up with the others who had made there way into Rod's and had a little look around.
Once all together we made our way to Purple Pot and one at a time made are way down through the low muddy crawl, taking our equipment with us, as we were not to return this way.
We all met up at the bottom of the Shower Pot and had a little rest and chat before attempting the long climb out to the surface.
One of the Steve's volunteered to make his way up to the top of the ladder's which were rigged earlier and with a safety line everyone went up, whilst Martyn guided them out to the surface.

I would like to say a big thanks to everyone for working together as a great team,and look forward to doing more exciting trips in the new year.

Happy new year to you all,
Cheer's Keith  :)


New member
Photos from Rods - Bath 30/12/2009


Keith Rigging the ladders in Bath


A misty Main Chamber in Rods Pot

cap n chris

Well-known member
BTLOT you did a nice circuit mostly around the Upper Traverse Chamber area, presumably in/out via Wire Rift and getting some good pics en route, especially of views of the cascade and curtains. What's not to like! A fine cave.