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