Author Topic: Another Portland breakthrough  (Read 1771 times)

Offline tim.rose2

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Another Portland breakthrough
« on: December 15, 2018, 09:45:04 pm »
We met this morning behind the prison on a particularly delightful day, sun out and a light breeze (ok, it was pissing down and blowing a hooley).  Sas lead a trip providing the full Flagpole tour for Canna, Jules (first trip for both), George (first Portland experience - we had to explain how the caves were much better than those he'd previously done in Yorkshire) and Sam.  Nick tagged along behind, being left in Tibet to give his finest Phil Collins impressions.  Mean while myself and Mike headed around the corner to Grove Cliff Fissure to attempt to make a vocal connection with Nick.  After much shouting we finally established a conversation with the rest of the group who happened to pass through Skittle Alley rift.  The connection was not where I'd thought it might be!  Nick was retrieved and soon both a vocal connection and light connection was made.  We estimated the distance to be approx. 5m.  Nick naturally started chipping away at the wall whilst Me and Mike decided to have a look at the rift heading the other way in GCF (which was extremely loose, but better now).  We then exited and found Nick coming out of Flagpole entrance having got fed up.  The rest of the group had exited via Guano and headed to the cars for lunch.

We then lost Canna & George who had other things to do.  The rest of the group headed to Rubbish Dump for a crawl as I was the only one who'd been in the cave before. Only myself and Mike made it to the very end to see the curtains.  Back to the cars...  Sas, Nick, Sam and Jules declared they were too cold and wet to do anymore.  Myself and Mike decided to go back into Skittle Alley to have a prod of the other end of the vocal connection established earlier.  30 min with a crowbar and we were through.  A little tidying up and the job was complete.  Turned out by poking the correct bit the distance between the 2 caves was approx. 1 m. 

If anybody wishes to visit, the stuff you need to know:
The connection can be found on the left, immediately below the climb down, after the short crawl having entered the cave from Skittle Alley entrance.  There used to be a blind pit in the floor at this point (it got filled up).  The bulk of Grove Cliff Fissure is rather loose - go careful.  The cave is also more sporting than the rest of Flagpole so not a place for novices.  After the connection you need to take the first left hand turn to find the entrance.  Having taken this turn a tight squeeze must soon be negotiated which those of average build and above are likely to struggle with.  If you miss the left turn, the rift straight ahead has some very dodgy boulders in it.  Please take care if visiting this part of the cave (and expect things to move around you).  Most of the cave needs traversing above floor level and several height changes are required.  It you simply try to follow at floor level you will not find the entrance.  Assuming you make it to the entrance, it is approx. 8m up the cliff.  You'll need a 20m rope which can be doubled for a pull through to descend to the path below.  There are 2 bolts.  This gives various new through trip options with the longest being from Allotment Dig to GCF and obviously now means the cave system has 5 entrances.

I'll update the Portland Caves Website in the coming days with more details.

Unfortunately no photos - the camera was in the car!

Offline tim.rose2

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2018, 10:35:54 pm »
Have made some updates to the website including my attempt at sketching a survey showing roughly how GFC links with Skittle Alley.  Please note this is not a proper survey, simply a join the dots created by plotting the entrances on google earth.

https://sites.google.com/view/the-caves-of-portland/grove-cliff-caves


Offline Oceanrower

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2018, 11:34:51 pm »
5 entrances?  :o

They won't like that "oop North"  :annoyed:

Offline Fulk

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2018, 12:35:41 am »
Don't you mean in S. Wales, Oceanrower?

Offline tim.rose2

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2018, 07:43:17 am »
South Wales is up north (as is Mendip).

There is a strict multiple entrance policy on Portland - all caves need more.  Probably best to avoid creating one into the prison grounds though.


Offline Goydenman

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2018, 12:48:09 pm »
Great work...interesting to read

Offline Oceanrower

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2018, 02:25:40 pm »
Don't you mean in S. Wales, Oceanrower?

From where I am, Guildford, pretty much everything (except Portland) is oop North!

Offline mikekushy

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2018, 04:22:37 pm »
Great fun´╝îgreat weekend with good company!

Thanks for having me and letting me destroy your caves 😉

I have a new penchant for big rocks jammed in high rifts  :bounce:
" Ability is nothing, without opportunity."

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2018, 06:43:27 pm »
naughty naughty you should be digging in Reservoir! Can understand why Portland appealed - a lot drier for a start!

Offline mikekushy

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2018, 07:58:45 pm »
naughty naughty you should be digging in Reservoir! Can understand why Portland appealed - a lot drier for a start!

Umm...you didn't see the weather.

I have to admit..I have definitely taken to Portland!

See you Tuesday 😉
" Ability is nothing, without opportunity."

Offline tim.rose2

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2018, 01:36:30 pm »
Having been musing over the GCF / Skittle alley connection I'm wondering where and how long are the longest mass movement caves are in the country?  I've visited Sally's Rift and I'm sure I read somewhere that was the 2nd longest at 365 m surveyed length (very worthwhile trip if you've not done it).  I think I've also read somewhere the longest is Windypit (?) in Yorkshire?  Can anyone shed any light?

The distance from allotment dig entrance to GCF entrance is 142m as the crow flies (taken from google earth).  Based on that I'm guessing the total passage length between all the interconnecting rifts in there is now going to be in the region of 400 m.  Anyone want to come and do a survey???

I'm interested to know how much passage we have to find / connect to gain the longest (I have some ideas where to look!).

Offline tamarmole

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2018, 04:04:12 pm »
Having been musing over the GCF / Skittle alley connection I'm wondering where and how long are the longest mass movement caves are in the country?  I've visited Sally's Rift and I'm sure I read somewhere that was the 2nd longest at 365 m surveyed length (very worthwhile trip if you've not done it).  I think I've also read somewhere the longest is Windypit (?) in Yorkshire?  Can anyone shed any light?

The distance from allotment dig entrance to GCF entrance is 142m as the crow flies (taken from google earth).  Based on that I'm guessing the total passage length between all the interconnecting rifts in there is now going to be in the region of 400 m.  Anyone want to come and do a survey???

I'm interested to know how much passage we have to find / connect to gain the longest (I have some ideas where to look!).

Buckland's Windypit is the longest on the North York Moors with a surveyed length of 375 meters. 

Offline tim.rose2

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2018, 05:18:08 pm »
Thanks.  Definitely need a survey!  We might as well aim to hold some sort of title on the island - lets face it, Richard will have to get very enthusiastic with his 'digging out the floor' missions to challenge the largest chamber.
 

Offline Les W

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2018, 07:41:48 pm »
We might as well aim to hold some sort of title on the island

You already have "Longest crawl..."  :-\
I'm a very busy person

Offline tim.rose2

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2018, 09:24:36 pm »
Quote
You already have "Longest crawl..."  :-\

Nothing a bit of concrete can't fix.

Offline Richard Saunders

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2018, 09:40:44 pm »
I'm well up for removing the floor. Get down to sea level and start crabbing.

Offline tim.rose2

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2018, 11:27:51 pm »
Over Christmas, myself and Richard finally popped down to The Grove to undertake the new through trip from Grove Cliff Fissure into Skittle Alley Rift.  We used our universal measuring stick of suitable cave size (Richard) to determine if the squeeze was acceptable.  Apparently it wasn't so a few bits got chipped off such that Richard just fits through.  We took a bar and did a little more gardening down the dead end rift to the left reducing the amount of hanging death present.  We then took the new connection into Skittle Alley rift and onto Tibet to poke and prod a dig at the end of that rift.  Eventually we exited via Guano Rift.

Here's a photo of Richard in the new connection between Grove Cliff Fissure and Skittle Alley:


It was good to see some other's in the cave having a look at the connection as well.

Offline tim.rose2

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Re: Another Portland breakthrough
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2019, 11:32:32 am »
Well I see the photo vanished.  Tried linking from the Portland caves website - I guess that doesn't work then.  Back to Flickr:



 

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