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Online Logbook 2014


New member
SRT playtime, Sunday Nov 30

About 11 of us turned up in the wan winter sun to practice SRT on a variety of setups on a scaffold tower. There was a single rope freehang, a freehang with a knot pass, and 2 ropes with multiple traverses, rebelays and abseils - one of which was especially hard on the "up" journey. Judy provided much amusement with her acrobatics trying to release a pantin on this rope.
Even more amusing (and, ultimately frustrating) were our attempts to get a rope over a very tall ash tree branch in order to prussic up and remove some old floodlights. Sean was the "golden shot" with a bow and arrow with string, but the arrow did not have enough weight to pull the string down the other side. I will have to resort to violence to remove those damn lights now.

Great fun and a learning experience for all. We'll do it again sometime.

Brendan H

New member
cavers: Brendan Hanley (ChCC), Tricia Denning-Kendal (ChCC), Peter Sanders (ChCC); novices: Eriko Kawanishi and Ria the Storyteller; callout: Chris Castle

This trip was arranged for Eriko Kawanishi, a visitor to this country, who expressed wonder at the idea of going caving when she met me and some of my caving friends at a talk gave in Glastonbury on 3rd November; her friend Ria the Storyteller came, too.

We met in the car park by the loos and got Eriko and Ria togged out in their caving outfits, including rather fetching animal-themed onesies borrowed from young Harry Pointon.

Eriko (left) and Ria in their animal-themed onesies.

We did the usual tourist route in, with the lights-off experience in the Dining Chamber. Both Eriko and Ria took to the underground environment with enthusiasm, and went through the squeezes instead of the rift-side passageway as we went to the Boulder Chamber.

In the Boulder Chamber, Tricia basked in glory as I showed the others the tiny slot through which, on another trip, she had projected herself to reach the Water Chamber below.

Peter went down Jacob?s Ladder first to show how it was done, then I went next, then I guided Eriko and Ria down, and Tricia took up the rear. I know that we in the Mendip caving community have all done this descent dozens of times, but try to imagine how it must seem if you have never done anything like it before: going down a tight little hole, not having much sense of how far the drop is, nor where the handhold and footholds are, and knowing that it is a committing passage that you can?t easily climb back out of. I applaud the bravery of all novices doing this or things like this for the first time, so well done, Eriko and Ria.

In the Water Chamber, Eriko and Ria had a good poke about, finding the course of the stream. As we were running out of time, we decided to cut out the planned wriggle through the Drainpipe, and to visit the little waterfall under the Water Chamber straight away, then get back to the surface pretty quick. The waterfall was much appreciated, and held the wonder of both Eriko and Ria, which was lovely to witness.

There was a frustrating delay after the Coffin Lid, as a knot at the end of  the rope had got jammed at the bottom of Jacob?s Ladder. I was now pressed for time, but I could neither retrieve the rope (because it was jammed), nor leave it for later (because I needed it for the Tradesman?s Entrance). Grr! Lesson learned: always check the rope for knots before flinging it down. Many thanks to Peter for shimmying back down Jacob?s.

Out of the Boulder Chamber we took the diagonal route between the two rifts, to avoid the usual route out, which was slippery. Despite a swift exit and a swift walk to the cars, we were late for the call out, and inconvenienced Chris while he established what had happened to us ? sorry, Chris.

Thanks to Tricia for ferrying Eriko and Ria about between Cheddar and Burrington Coombe, and for picking up their kit from chez Pointon, and for her sparkly presence underground.

Thanks to Peter for being quietly dependable, for taking up the rear, and for freeing the rope.

Thanks to Chris for being our call-out: I hope we weren?t too much bother.

Thanks to Harry for the use of the onesies.


New member
Hi Brendan,

Will Ria be treating us to a tale inspired by the underground realm?

Your link almost but didn't quite work. Here it is fixed:

Eriko (left) and Ria in their animal-themed onesies


New member
Lionels Hole, Burrington 22nd December 2014

Tricia, Chris, Francis and Myself

Off work for Christmas so a Monday morning trip around Lionels hole was planned for the Cheddar Caving Club. We were underground by about 10.30, mislaying the way on from the entrance for a few minutes until the correct left hand passage was found.

We descended until we found the squeeze now beginning to recognise the features of the cave. I popped through the squeeze, half of Chris followed me through, the other half didn't fit. Hoping to find the other way into the rest of the cave I started exploring various routes above the squeeze so Chris could carry on with us. After some random exploring the alternative route which must exist couldn't be found and I reluctantly escorted Chris back to the entrance.

On returning to the squeeze the remaining three caving made their way to the traverse without any route finding problems. This was followed at high level and the third option chosen. With the sound of running water leading us in we navigated to the west low level. Duck one was just a damp puddle, beyond a small stream was flowing, seemingly filling up the whole of duck 2. A quick look up the bypass was taken then we retraced our steps to the where we had begun out descent from the traverse.

This time we picked an alternative route down and i soon recognised the rounded passage in the far wall as the climb down to the stream way in another place in the cave. To satisfy my curiosity i descended all the way to find the water.

Our aim was to try and complete the small round trip and have a look at the routes to the longer round trip in the cave. Having found the west low level all we had to do was now complete the small loop out of the labryinth. I have done this small loop a few years ago but couldn't remember the exact route out. It seemed promising to start with, a muddy flat out slide over a pointy bit of rock followed by a left and turn through a sharp rift  into a chamber with a few ways on that all died out.

After searching for a few minutes we decided to head back out the way we came in, no problems finding our way out were encountered.....

This cave needs another visit as the the way out from the labyrinth remained elusive and i would like to complete the longer round trip. 



New member
Mangle Hole, Churchill 23rd December 2014

Andy Morgan, Chris Castle, Nicki Dennis and Myself

Another nice day off work and another Cheddar Caving Club trip planned. I had visited this cave in January for the first time but had not visited Aldermaston Chamber, a worthy reason to return in my book !

Some hunting for the entrance was required, although the red tape mentioned in Mendip Underground is still present on the fence and it is a case of following the path until you find this then heading straight up the hill perpendicular to the tape, the entrance is quite obvious and has tape across it so in the future it is very easy to find if you remember this.

On my previous visit i had followed the left hand route as described in Mendip Underground, this time the right hand route was planned. After descending the entrance rift and somehow misplacing most of my mallions i found the bolts for the right hand route. Now having a much reduced compliment of hardware I scantily rigged the rest of the route to the bottom, our 60m rope rigged from the entrance got us just to the mangle block, another 30m rope got us down this section of the cave to the muddy banks which lie at the bottom of this part of the cave.

Whilst waiting for the others to descend Andy and myself located the way through to Aldermaston chamber. I had brought another 20m of rope so we could have a look at the sump pool at the bottom so we shouted back to the others to bring the tackle bag which i had left at the bottom of the mangle block pitch.

I had taken my SRT off at this point but i think the others elected to keep theirs on, the muddy squeeze really wasn't a squeeze and three of us slid through and had a look at Aldermaston chamber. It is definitely a worthwhile visit if you make the effort to descend this cave.

A 20m rope was a bit of an overkill for the Aldermaston pitch, a 10m rope would probably suffice, we each took it in turn to slide down the mud bank above the sump pool then climb back up much aided by the rope. There was a noticeable flow of water and the pool cleared quite quickly of any mud which washed in.

After a brief visit we headed out and began the ascent of out ropes to the surface