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Online Logbook 2010


New member
Goatchurch Cavern

Wednesday 20th January

There were cavers, thousands of them! (well about a dozen or so) - In no particular order and there's bound to be someone I have forgotten (sorry) - Dani, Tricia, Sam, Jason, Barry, Robin, Danny, Lynette, Ross, Nicki, Chris C, Andy S, Rachel, Chloe, Bev, Brendan and Rob (guest).  Not a bad turn out for a Wednesday night down Goatchurch!

The first forage of the year brought forth a good smattering of members for a pootle round Goatchurch.  As there was a range of experience across the board, the party split into several groups to explore various bits of the cave.  The newbies headed down to the drainpipe, whilst a few cavers bearing fork handles made a slightly slower descent to meet up in the water chamber.  Tricia and Lynette both successfully negotiated f-ing tight, without too many expletives.

Not sure how, but we managed to spend a good couple of hours down there!  A great start to the year - long may it continue!! :D

Top Cat

New member
Swildons Short Round Trip
Sunday 24 January
Lynette, Ross,  'out of office' Dave, Tim and Keith

An excellent trip, enlivened by:
1. Our first look at the entrance since.....
2. Keith's teach-in on rigging the Twenty
3. Two 'gents' from Imperial (Impatient?) College CC abseiling the Twenty while we laddered it....and nearly taking Ross out..
4. The search for the way up to Tratman's (it hadn't moved...)
5. Bailing the first of the Double Troubles
6. Tim proving he could not pass Not-Birthday Squeeze on his front
7. Tim proving he could only just pass Not-Birthday Squeeze on his back
8. The search for the way down to The Landing (it hadn't moved either)
9. The slide down to the streamway
10. The baptism of our sump virgins


New member
East Twin Swallet

Wednesday 27th January

Rachel, Tricia, Dani

A short introduction to this cave for Rach and Tricia, who hadn't been there before.  A nice trip out for a bit of exercise on a Wednesday night with a few cosy squeezes and a bit of long leg envy on the way out! 

Andy Sparrow

Active member
Thursday 27th January
Andy and Rachel, Chris C, Nikki, Dave Morrow, Keith, Ken

After various episodes of diversions, road closures and getting lost we finally got to the cave about midday.  The entrance gate was half buried under flood debris and had to be dug open.  No problem rigging the pitches and getting down to the streamway.  We went downstream to Dry Slade Passage and then followed this up to the Chunnel.  From here it was crawling through the Three Deserts to reach Dog's Grave Passage.  Had a quick look at the ill-fated 'Norman' and then slogged on back through the crawls, The Chunnel, and eventually to Zuree Aven - lots of water to make the descent here quite dramatic.  Uneventfully back from here to emerge afer a 4 hour trip.  All very pleasant and a successful start to the 'Welsh Thursday' trips (ok - not in Wales, but via Wales).

Andy Sparrow
Wed 8th February 2010
Swildons Hole
Chris Castle, Nicky D, Nathan B. (guest), John Stafford (guest, sort of).

This wasn't really a club trip, and was a straightforward stroll to Sump 1 and back. But it was requested by Staff to celebrate his 75th birthday!


New member
Posted on behalf of Barry

GB 10th February 2010

This trip was somewhat oversubscribed (maximum number including leader 6) so we decided to run two different trips at different times and using different routes. My group, including Dani G, Danny B, Dave M and Martin L took the road less travelled through Devil?s Elbow, down through the Gorge, over the Bridge, up White Passage and down through the loop to the bottom of ladder dig. We climbed the waterfall, travelling at quite a pace throughout, and went out through the mud passage. We had expected to come across the other group, led by Robin Gray, somewhere on our travels, but we missed them completely! It?s not that complicated a cave, and yet we couldn?t even hear them.
Robin?s went in the ?quick way?, or so he thought, with Tricia and Sam DK, Beverley, Lynette and Ross. Those new to the cave greatly enjoyed Robin?s artistic and sporting introduction to this wonderful cave. The only downside for those of us who had romped through was that our cars were blocked in by theirs, so no fast exit to the pub!


New member
Wednesday 24th February

Swildon's Hole
Burt, Sam, Tricia, Martin, Lynette, Dani

Due to the lack of some vital kit (ladder, belt and nearly a helmet), we thought it would be prudent to restrict our trip to the upper series.  A first time back since the entrance movement for some of the party, so a bit of a nose around and reorientation before heading through the zigzags.  Down the short (not so) dry way to the top of the old 40, where some wriggled through the holes to the top of the waterfall.  Then back up the wet way, picking up tips on protecting novices climbing the well, back through the oxbows, down to the wet way to climb back out via the wet way again.
Wed March 17th.
[b]St Cuthbert's Swallet

Chris Castle, Nicky D., Brendan H., Rachel S.

September Series.
This was the short version of this trip, going to Upper Traverse Chamber, up the boulders to High Chamber and through September Boulder Ruckle. We went straight up to September Chamber to admire the fine formations, which are noted for their extreme whiteness.
On the way back Nicky used an unconventional method to climb up from Boulder Chamber to Pillar Chamber which tested her gusset to the limit! 


Sat 6th February 2010

Axbridge Hill

Andy H and I went for a bit of a poke around some of the caves on Axbridge Hill. We had a look in Toad Pit which involved a climb down of about 5 metres with a handline into a small chamber. After we went to Large Chamber Cave which had a crawl in entrance into a chamber (not that large!). The last site we looked at was the Axbridge Ochre Pits, which still had a few mining implements in them. It was a pleasant afternoon stroll and my first caving in the Mendips for more than a year!

Descending into Toad Pit


Climbing out of Toad Pit


Entrance to Large Chamber Cave


In Large Camber Cave


27th February 2010

Brean Down

Andy H and I did another one of our trips to look at some of the lesser caves of Western Mendip. We arrived at Brean Down right at low tide. First we looked at Half-Tide Rock Cave, which was a bedding plane cave, with some interesting formations - sea weed! It was a through trip for Andy, but I couldn't get through the squeeze. I didn't force it, as I didn't fancy getting stuck in a cave that would flood in a few hours.
  We had a look in a few small caves as we made our way across the beach. We found a cave that we thought was Battery Cave, but the description from the MCRA site didn't match it, and there was no mention of this cave on the site. This cave was narrow about 10 metres long that closed down at the end. It had two car wheels with tyres wedged in the roof - perhaps Wheel Cave would be a good name!
        Next we went to Fiddler's Bay Cave which  had a large impressive entrance, but wasn't much longer than the entrance was high. We found a place to climb back up on to the headland from the beach. As I was climbing my camera fell out of my bag, and the memory card fell out on to the pebble beach with all those small gaps to fall into. Fortunately I found it! As we walked back to our cars along Brean Down we realised how far the tide had come in, in the 2.5 hours since we got there. Another hour, and the beach would have probably been under water.

Half-Tide Rock Cave

Other entrance of Half-Tide Rock Cave

Unknown Cave with sea weed 'formation'

Wheels in the unknown cave

Fiddler's Bay Cave

Fiddler's Bay Cave
Saturday 27th March 2010
Grebe Swallet

Chris Castle, Nicky D, Andy P, Chris B (leader).

My first visit to this small but interesting mine/cave.
After the initial part of the mine we climbed down the boulder choke opened by Stanton's team in the 80s and not entered by the miners, to rejoin the mined section called the "Barrow Run" to an area with pristine marks and names left by miners Young and Clark in 1753! These are protected by cement-mud walls with viewing holes which look odd but without them these marks would have been lost. A bootprint in this area was destroyed by carelessness.
The final part of the cave is the Blasted Rifts enlarged in 1984 to a final "chamber", Semicostatum Ruckle, where the diggers gave up.
Thanks to Chris B for this trip.
Sunday 28th March 2010.

Chris Castle, Nicky D, Brendan H, Trish and Sam K-D, Andy P, Stacy, Dave M, Danni G.

The water was higher than expected and we soon found that it was very cold. As there hoards of children in the Right Hand Series we headed downstream and after the White Horse I noticed the water was going in the wrong direction - we were`heading for Sump 5 by mistake. This set the tone for the rest of the trip. Not all of us were happy in the deep, fast-flowing and cold water (well, I wasn't) so we returned to the Main Entrance and spent some time exploring the Right Hand Series. After finding Entrance D1 we crawled into Hywel's Grotto, which is rather fine. Back to the river and the Great Bedding Cave with the intention of going along Upper Stream Passage but had another cock-up. Some easy going led to a sump on the right, then it got lower, wide at times, then seemed to come to an end, but Dave at the front of the queue reported a nasty looking duck into the river. We retreated, and once untangled realised we had gone into the start of Cwm Porth Inlet and the sump was Sump 10.1. It didn't look much like the survey. Oh well, a bit I'd never seen before.

After a wait for Andy P, who insisted on having another look, we went back towards the Main Entrance, turned right into the correct passage and came out of Entrance C.

Why did we go wrong in a large, well-known cave when we had several copies of the survey betwen us? Apart from incompetence I blame the rock.  It's very black, see, and absorbed our light, especially in the very wide Great Bedding Cave. Never mind, we all enjoyed our sporting trip.

21st April 2010
The Bone Caves of Creag nan Uamh, Assynt

Chris Castle, Nicky D, Dave M, Simon.
We took in these small caves whilst on a walk. There are four of them: Bone Cave, Badger Cave, Reindeer Cave and, um, another one. Only Reindeer Cave is of any size and it would also connect with Claonite, but is a scheduled monument and cannot be dug. It was a series of sandy,dry crawls. Many human and animal bones were found there in 1889 and the 1920s, some of which have been dated to a wide variety of dates, from about 8300 BP to 47,000 BP.

22nd April 2010
Cnoc Nan Uamh
Chris Castle, Nicky D, Dave M.
This cave is a series of dry passages above a river. It has three entrances close to each other; we entered by the dry one called Uamh an Tartair. After seeing a few pretties in the Grotto we explored the Rabbit Warren (some by mistake!) then got into a muddy crawl with thousands of little earthworms lifting their heads to look at us. This led to the terminal sump.
Back outside we re-entered the cave by another entrance called Uamh a Uisge. This led to a remarkable feature - The Waterslide, with a big stream descending at an angle of 30 degrees for a considerable distance, a couple of hundred metres I suppose. With care we were able to keep dry on ledges to the right and follow it to the sump. It would make a lovely garden feature.


Well-known member
chriscastle46 said:
Back outside we re-entered the cave by another entrance called Uamh a Uisge. This led to a remarkable feature - The Waterslide, with a big stream descending at an angle of 30 degrees for a considerable distance, a couple of hundred metres I suppose. With care we were able to keep dry on ledges to the right and follow it to the sump. It would make a lovely garden feature.

Was that the real sump or the initial perched sump?  - you have to go off to the right through a hole then down to a horizontal streamway to the final sump. See http://www.darkanddeep.co.uk/caving_scotland.asp
Thanks for that information, Pete, but we did find the final sump having initially thought we'd found it higher up, as you describe.
That was my first visit to Assynt and I look forward to another visit, but next time I'll research it more carefully by contacting you!


New member
Wednesday 21st April
Swildon's Hole

Dani, Barry, Lynette

A chance for Barry to have a look at the re-modelled entrance, me to practice my rigging and Lynette to practice her route finding.  A fun trip down to Tratman's, bumping in to another party on the way.  I think I'm nearly there with the rigging - thanks to Barry and we managed to get out without too many wrong turnings, so hopefully Lynette found it useful too!

Thanks to all


New member
Wednesday 26th May
Drunkard's Hole

Tricia and Dani

Well, it was nearly a trip down Drunkards - we both got about 10ft down, so I think it counts.  However, when we were swarmed by giant man-eating mosquitos of biblical plague proportions, we gave up and thought we'd leave it until later in the year.  We then popped down Rod's Pot to have a little look around, down to the Bear Pit and then back out in plenty of time for some refreshment at the Hunters.