Author Topic: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.  (Read 2488 times)

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« on: January 01, 2019, 07:34:29 pm »
Of course " fun " is a relative word.

The " boys " get muddy .



TOR gets a touch.



Heave Ho



TOR boxed in by Mr O' Doc.



Mr O'Doc takes a break.



In the beginning.





Two to tango.



Tis a fine hole we have.




Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2019, 08:01:02 pm »
Last of the summer wine.



From small beginnings. The way on at the bottom of the pipe.



Those warm Summer days.



Quite mad.



Flutterbyes.



When the music stops ---



The long drop.



Onward to glory.



We have the power



Our first chamber.


Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2019, 08:26:39 pm »
Kate gets a leg over.



Fixing the fixable fixed ladder.



A startling revelation. Our second chamber.



Its so wonderful !



He said what ?



He is asleep again.





Lets have a cement fight.



Huh. Rocks don't scare me.



Easy with plug and feathery things.



I may trawl the archives for some more.

Offline Badlad

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2019, 08:55:31 pm »
Two questions

Is there any solid rock down there  ;)

And what has that guy done to his hands and head?

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2019, 10:30:52 pm »
We are now in solid rock. The 4 pitches (with a combined vertical range of 40m)  are all in proper cave.

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2019, 09:44:33 am »
We have been unable to reach the visible "bottom" of the cave since early autumn. The survey is still incomplete. This is because we have CO2 gradually increasing in level until the top of the 11m pitch where it is currently about %3. Beyond here is a 20m pitch and two more shorter pitches. The cave is all solid rock from the top of the 11m pitch. The CO2 levels are being monitored and we hope to be back in spring.

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2019, 11:04:48 am »
My idea for this post is to celebrate the fun and effort in cave digging rather than a write up of the cave which will be done in due course in the caving literature. I have done 144 trips and have had the old TG2 with me each time. Firstly because I think that keeping a record is important but also for my liking of caver portraits. Maybe something that some photographers miss. The camera can tell a good story but one has to be persistent ( and annoying ) to achieve it.

Some strange goings on in our field.



Getting too old for this lark ( Aren't we all ? )



Yes a tempting target Mildred . Shame about the fence.



There is a certain satisfaction in mucking about with scaffolding. Takes one back to childhood days with Meccano I suppose. Sometimes the photographer makes his own best model.





Power on. Eventually the cable went down over 60m.





Do ya think I am sexy ?












Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2019, 07:00:12 pm »
OK a few more then whilst Photobucket is behaving. You do have to refresh it after a while.

Thought this a nice one of his Lordship. Its his birthday today.



The washing facilities at the club hut could do with an upgrade.



All mod cons inside though.



There are times when it all looks hopeless. We went 3m down this wall in solid mucky fill with no sign of a draught. We were not even sure if we were in the right place. Eventually it turned to gravel then I knew we were in the right place.



The arrival of Santa cheered us up no end.



More of the folks.







Well you cant win them all.
ET call home.



Acros and ladders. I do love acros and ladders. ( and base jacks ).



Sometimes its all just too much.



Some idiot gets cement in his eyes.



Just when you think its all over up pops another chamber. This after digging for months in mud and slop. Start a new shaft in the floor.



Technical work. We send a probe down though the choke.



" Damocles " and a nice pillar to hold him up.



Lady with scaffolding.



January 2017.





Vurley closed karst basin.



Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2019, 07:42:49 pm »
The winter 2017 rains make life difficult.



Who is going down first then ?



Some fool always volunteers. It was too wet for selfies.



So after many more weeks of digging this hole appears. Being a considerate fellow I let the good doctor go though. Well it looked horrible to me.



Yet another chamber. As always just as things get desperate a chamber comes along. We shall call it La La Land as the funny business at the film awards took place that week.

Offline braveduck

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2019, 09:42:12 pm »
Proud to have supplied you with my digging buckets to achieve what you have so far .
Hope you find something really big down there . :)

Offline tony from suffolk

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2019, 09:18:19 am »
Some superb photos there Mr OR. Please keep them coming!  :thumbsup:
"Aim low, achieve your goals, avoid disappointment"

Offline tony from suffolk

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2019, 09:47:57 am »
Oh, thought you might be interested that Google Earth renewed their satellite images over Mendip in June 2018, so Vurley's rather easier to see.
"Aim low, achieve your goals, avoid disappointment"

Offline Laurie

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2019, 11:46:38 am »
Lovely way to start the year.
Many thanks OR.   :)
MNRC

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2019, 04:28:29 pm »
La La Land from where the epic dig The Egg Timer was to be.



All those boulders have gone now.



Cheddar is that way states the venerable doc.



Following the solid wall at The Egg Timer.



Digger secured in The Egg Timer.





We try to stay happy.





The Egg Timer has a few more weeks to go before finally timing out.





Head first down a hole I look into a void and see what is holding the entire Egg Timer choke in place.





Time Out. The Egg Timer has gone . We are back to square one.



Summer 2017.

A new Egg Timer has been built. Stronger, deeper . We shall prevail.



" The Great Wall " rises in La La land.





Can we go home now ?



Base camp La La Land.







At the coal face.








All angles.











Dr Hilti's magic hammer.












Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2019, 05:45:18 pm »
Just people and things. Summer 2017.






























Ultimately I want to believe that I can approach a form of artistry. I want the images to say more than here we are in a muddy hole in the ground. I want them to be a record but more than that. I want to do it simply with just a little camera. I don't want anything to be posed. I want to see and record " the moment ". To carry that little mental image home and see if its still there in the camera. Basically I want to be different. Not technically accomplished with expensive kit and loads of time. I want the recollection to be instant and unrepeatable. Do I succeed an any of this ? Well I certainly cant say though I feel pleased with what I have accomplished. Maybe not in quality but certainly in quantity. Certainly in getting that tiny slice of time as a visual record. Oh I do dig as well. Just as much as the others and in terms of trip numbers usually more. I wonder if I can call myself a cave photographer. Maybe I am just a digger with a camera. I exist in a medium somewhere in between. Remember the head of thread word " fun ". It has to be that or it has no meaning at all.

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2019, 09:46:35 am »
I never know whether to rush on with my photo splodges or slow them down a bit. I think Dickens had the right idea about all of that. Publish part works then keep 'em waiting. Photoshop works well for a bit then needs refreshing to keep going so it does get tedious after a while.

The long Summer of 2017 has been a bit too warm for some .



Winter comes to Mendip and down the cave everything changes.



Those frost free January days can be so lovely.  View towards the low col that became the lake overflow in periglacial times.



In time we make The Egg Timer timeless. It gets double banked and braced with scaffolding but then there is always the worry on what lies beneath.

In time we find that out.






Offline braveduck

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2019, 11:09:47 am »
Can you start a new posting ,takes a long time to get to the bottom of this one . But keep the pictures coming
fantastic . :clap2:

Offline Laurie

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2019, 12:16:39 pm »
We only have a one Meg connection at the MNRS and I'm not much better off at home.

.............but they're worth the wait.   :thumbsup:
MNRC

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2019, 05:50:29 pm »
Can you start a new posting ,takes a long time to get to the bottom of this one . But keep the pictures coming
fantastic . :clap2:

Certainly not D. B. It wont be a photo splodge then will it  ? Like the Egg Timer in a while the forum page will crank over and start a new at page 2.

Offline JohnMCooper

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2019, 06:57:44 pm »
Does it start a new page after a certain number of posts? If so we can all post compliments on here to force it quicker. Perhaps a moderator can give us a guide as to how many we need to post?

Offline Les W

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2019, 07:37:55 pm »
Perhaps a moderator can give us a guide as to how many we need to post?

Or just go to another multi page topic and count them...  :tease:

So it looks like 25 posts per page...  :smartass:
So 5 more to go yet
I'm a very busy person

Offline braveduck

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2019, 07:45:14 pm »
Post

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2019, 08:07:48 pm »
The Mendip Hills are a wonderful and an usual place. They have their genesis some 340 million years ago when the carboniferous limestone was laid down in warm tropical seas near the equator. The British Isles are part of a northward continental drift that one day may take us to the North Pole. In geological terms the known Mendip caves are relatively young as is the denuded plateau we know today. To understand caves you need to be able to relate them to the landscape and climate changes that have occurred over the last million years as well as the geology. That is very difficult as to us everything seems so static yet it is in a continual pattern of change. 250 million years ago the Mendips were a Triassic desert mountain a kilometre high. There are infilled wadis on the plateau and much Triassic material on the flanks. Lateral pressures pushed the limestone up to form the four denuded periclines that we know today. Indeed the pressure was so much that an upfold was forced up along the SW flank of the hills to form The Southwestern Overthrust. Vurley Swallet lies close to this and may even be on one of the subsidiary parallel faults. Unlike the classic Mendip cave model ( down dip ) Vurley will have to depart the Overthrust and travel along strike to reach Cheddar. ( If indeed that is where the water goes.). Vurley is not expected to emulate the Mendip classic mode of formation whereby swallet streams quickly reach the phreatic zone to enter deep flooded passages.
Reservoir Hole may have its origins some 700,000 years ago when High Country was actually the master cave ultimately truncated by Cheddar Gorge. Contrary to most casual observations the gorge is youthful and possibly only 150,000 years old. It is an anomaly and the only effect that it has had on cave formation is to lower base level and truncate the fossil passages . So it is possible that Goughs was once connected to Cox's Cave and the risings were higher at Long Hole and Great Ooones though they probably ceased to be a resurgence before 350,000 years ago. That prior to the long glacial maximum 280,000 to 330,000 years ago. In fact over the last 600,000 years sea levels were 100 metres plus lower than they are today on at least four occasions. Our separation from the continent at the last time being only some 12,000 years ago.
Stanton identified about 16 closed karst basins most of which are aligned along the Overthrust. The one at Vurley is closest to Cheddar Gorge and has an over spill col at one end leading to a dry valley in the escarpment. Little work seems to have been done in determining the basins age or development. In periglacial conditions the basins likely held lakes with the frozen ground unable to take drainage. At some point maybe 15,000 years ago loess blew in to be deposited as a sediment 7 metres deep within the basins effectively sealing any caves . Subsequent collapses within the sediments hint to voids beneath. We never thought Vurley to be a true swallet and were amazed to see the volume of water cascading down the entrance pipes in times of flood. Basically this comes as overspill from a nearby pond which I take to be artificial as there are several such dew ponds in the area. Previously this water must have sank though the loess but now we have a conduit drainage will be more effective. ( Resulting in the need to massively support the immediate area under the pipes which is an ongoing process.)
The upper parts of Vurley seem to be %50 boulders and %50 solid rock. Stalagmite formation seems to be almost non existent though large lumps have been found in the boulders suggesting various phases of development. Possibly some of the chambers were part filled with in washed loess which seems to be in the process of removal. Areas of river born gravels can be seen in some areas. Bone fragments were found at at about 12m depth and again much deeper at around 40m depth. The latter were tiny and might have been avian. Suddenly at around 66m depth the cave enters solid limestone and completely changes character. We still have not had time to evaluate this area properly due to the CO2. For the next 60m the cave becomes vertical. In Summer this area pretty much dries out but in Winter becomes very wet. Numerous small and sometimes vertical vadose trenches testify to the corrosive power of the water which has picked up CO2 in the deep soils . The first pitch seems to have been entirely formed by drip and is aligned along a fault before the passage runs down dip to the next pitch. At around 110m depth the vertical cave passes through the cobble layer near the base of the Clifton Down Limestone. The cobbles are very well exposed and indeed friable here making the climb a little hazardous. Quite probably this is the same layer seen in the passage roof between Goughs Sump Two and Three. The layer is also poorly exposed in the cliff face opposite the landslip quarry in the gorge. At around 140m depth there appears to be large scallops which may correlate with a developmental stage in Reservoir Hole. Vurley bottom ( as yet unentered ) still has some 50m to go to reach the current base level at around 28m. Vurley has a total depth potential of close to 200m. So currently Vurley is unique on Mendip being the only cave to reach a considerable depth within a closed karst basin. There is a temptation to think that others exist and could be linked by deep water flow along the Overthrust with Vurley the last in line. Much depends on where the Vurley water goes. It could discharge through springs in the Triassic escarpment or take take the longer route along strike within the limestone to emerge at Cheddar. Clearly there is a lot more interpretation to be formed and this view is merely that of an enthusiastic amateur.

I really did not mean to depart from the thread in a long textual way but there it is done now and maybe it has put some of the images into context. Maybe also it will give a clearer insight into the cave's development by others more erudite than I

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2019, 08:08:54 pm »
Bum. Post again. :) :)

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Some Fun Images From Vurley Over Three Years.
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2019, 08:13:22 pm »
Perhaps if I post a few singular images.

7m loess deposit with angular boulder layer at 6m.