Author Topic: Mendip Caves - One way system?  (Read 1583 times)

Offline PeteHall

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Mendip Caves - One way system?
« on: May 13, 2020, 10:54:43 am »
A friend made an off-hand comment about needing one way systems in caves now, which got me thinking...

There are loads of one-way trips in other parts of the country, but where in Mendip could you complete a round trip without passing the same place twice; there can't be many.

Off the top of my head, here's a first go at a list; surely there are others:
  • Priddy Green Sink to Swildon's Hole
  • Swildon's Hole, Upper Series. In the blockhouse, through the zig-zags, along the long dry, back up the wet way and out the tree
  • Goatchurch. In the tradesman's entrance, down the coal chute, into the boulder chamber, back up through bloody tight and out the main entrance
  • Rod's Pot to Bath Swallet. Could include the Murlis Loop in this without passing the same way twice
  • Read's Cavern. In the dry entrance, down Zed Alley, out through Browne-Stewart and the Wet Entrance
  • Stoke Lane. In the main entrance, down the stream to the bottom of the Muddy Oxbow, back up the Muddy Oxbow and out the 2nd entrance
  • Various combinations in Fairy Quarry

« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 11:08:50 am by PeteHall »
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Offline Fulk

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2020, 11:27:03 am »
Well – I never knew there is a second entrance to Stoke Lane Slocker.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2020, 11:28:43 am »
Well – I never knew there is a second entrance to Stoke Lane Slocker.
I've never tried it, but I've heard it is quite tight... It is also listed as denied access in MU5
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Offline Graigwen

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2020, 11:32:26 am »
Well – I never knew there is a second entrance to Stoke Lane Slocker.

Exactly what I was thinking!

.

Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2020, 03:55:24 pm »
Swildons upper can be extended by going in the tree, down oxbows, up wet way, binney's link, down long dry & up short to blockhouse.

The maze & boulder maze could add a bit to goatchurch too.

Also five buddles, but I've never managed to find the other (bigger) entrance.

Plus home close / wigmore for divers & presumably some options in wookey there too.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 04:07:25 pm by mikem »

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2020, 04:16:43 pm »
Swildons upper can be extended by going in the tree, down oxbows, up wet way, binney's link, down long dry & up short to blockhouse.
Yes, oxbows definitely add a bit, but the route described would cross itself for a couple of metres at the top of Jacobs Ladder, potential to breach social distancing if timed wrong ;)

Quote
The maze & boulder maze could add a bit to goatchurch too.
Agreed

Quote
Also five buddles, but I've never managed to find the other (bigger) entrance.
Never even heard of this one. Having looked it up I can see why  :o

Quote
Plus home close / wigmore for divers
Very keen divers at that! Has a through trip ever been made? I know it's been talked about...

Quote
& presumably some options in wookey there too.
including the show cave of course
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Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2020, 04:29:27 pm »
Swildons upper can be extended by going in the tree, down oxbows, up wet way, binney's link, down long dry & up short to blockhouse.
Yes, oxbows definitely add a bit, but the route described would cross itself for a couple of metres at the top of Jacobs Ladder, potential to breach social distancing if timed wrong ;)
No, Binney's is downstream of Jacob's & then you'd use zigzags, so wouldn't.

Well – I never knew there is a second entrance to Stoke Lane Slocker.

Exactly what I was thinking!
Somewhere there's the route that the bones took to get into the large chambers as well. 2nd entrance is in the quarry & was opened in 1993 (& in Descent that year)

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2020, 04:38:39 pm »
No, Binney's is downstream of Jacob's & then you'd use zigzags, so wouldn't.
You are quite right, I stand corrected.

What about Thrupe Lane to Hobnail? I guess this would need dry weather and possibly some digging out of flood debris?
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Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2020, 04:50:49 pm »
Yep, that's a goer, but not sure if they've sorted the dangerous rock yet - UPDATE it hasn't been done:
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=26057.0

BTW the latest MCR Corona update suggests the landowner has closed swildons.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 05:21:07 pm by mikem »

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2020, 05:53:49 pm »
Yes of course we are good at it.

Hilliers - Hillwithy.
Hilliers - Fairy
WL - Shatter.
QWUH - HWUH
Withyhill - HWUH now blocked
Bits of Balch
Fairy second entrance shown on 50's survey.


Coming close.

Fernhill - Fairy
Fernhill - Ducks Pot. If the latter was reopened.
Withyhill - Withybrook Slocker. Items wash through in flood.


Offline tim.rose2

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2020, 06:19:45 pm »
Don't think anyone has mentioned..

Read's Cavern
Ubley - Nettle
Sandford Levy to something above (Pearl?) - remember reading it had been connected.
Loxton Cave
Rose Cottage

Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2020, 06:24:36 pm »
Reads was in first post, ubley to nettle is currently shut due to loose boulders further down & sandford is not connected to anything, although there is a short through trip by the entrance.

Loxton & Rose Cottage are eligible, but quite short (as is ubley).

Offline tim.rose2

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2020, 08:03:28 pm »
Could have sworn I'd read / heard somewhere in the last few years Sandford Levy had been made into a through trip.  Obviously wishful thinking.

Hadn't realised Ubley / Nettle was out either.  Sort of one of those once places, though there is a nice calcited skull in there and it is one of the better / more interesting evening trips.  Pity the cave's closed.

Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2020, 08:08:00 pm »
Yeah, there were numerous rumours, but it's one of my digs. About 4m horizontally, but through solid rock.

Offline tim.rose2

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2020, 09:41:25 pm »
Presumably the 'nearly connection point' is that really loose rift / shaft on the left?  Used to have a load of manky rope not attached to much in it - well that's what I remember about the place. I climbed up to have a look about 10 years ago.  Felt like me and Richard climbed a long way with very little in the way of attached foot & hand holds - just like rifts on Portland really.  Ensure you have six points of contact at all times as at least three of them are mobile.  As for the rope we sort of agreed not to rely on that much either.  Much fun was had.  The memories of that evening....

Sas and our other worldly friend were on 'bag minding' duties whilst me and Richard were buggering around that evening.

Offline Andy Farrant

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2020, 09:49:07 pm »
If we're talking about a one way system though 'nearly connection points' (ie <10 m), then of course we have the potential GB-Charterhouse through trip via a potential link at the bottom of The Gorge. This would make a fantastic trip, but no doubt would upset a few people... Just need to blast a short connection...

Offline pwhole

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2020, 09:59:34 pm »
Aha - I remember you showing me that last year. What is is - three metres or something like that?

Online Andy Sparrow

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2020, 10:27:10 pm »
Well – I never knew there is a second entrance to Stoke Lane Slocker.
I've never tried it, but I've heard it is quite tight... It is also listed as denied access in MU5

I think they're both owned by the same person - and both have an 'official' status of 'permission not given' (so don't ask for it).
Andy Sparrow



Offline PeteHall

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2020, 11:09:37 pm »
Aha - I remember you showing me that last year. What is is - three metres or something like that?

I think I have measured it at about 4m off the survey, however having thoroughly investigated both ends, I believe the distance is in fact much greater now. The rifts in the GB side that get closest on the survey have been filled with gravel/ cobbles that have washed down the cave over the years and are no longer accessible.

One day, this will be a fantastic through trip  :thumbsup:
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Offline Fulk

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2020, 11:17:24 pm »
Is that the Mekon lurking in the background of that photo?

Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2020, 11:33:45 pm »
Tim - would be more than 10 years, as ropes have been replaced longer than that. The walls are mostly stacked deads.

The alien head was smashed some time after. A luminous skull was in Aveline's for a while too.

Offline Duncan Price

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2020, 09:53:29 am »
Plus home close / wigmore for divers
Very keen divers at that! Has a through trip ever been made? I know it's been talked about...

It is on the agenda - there have been collapses of the digs in Wigmore Swallet which have prevented access.  One of these has been sorted and a trip made to the streamway a while ago.  I expect more clearing will be needed.

Quote
Quote
& presumably some options in Wookey there too.
including the show cave of course

Depends if you consider using any of the artificial tunnels (3-9), (9-20) and (9-show cave exit) as cheating and how much cave diving you want to do.  There are several ways into chamber 1 from the cliff face so you can do laps of these or you can do 9(2) top entrance and out through 9-1 to surface - this would only involve free-diving (or waiting for low water) 5 to 3.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2020, 10:10:27 am »
or you can do 9(2) top entrance and out through 9-1 to surface - this would only involve free-diving (or waiting for low water) 5 to 3.

Brilliant suggestion, this is a trip I'd love to do some time.  ;D
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Offline rhychydwr1

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2020, 10:34:35 am »
Great Oones to Gough's Old Cave

Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2020, 01:33:50 pm »
If you were allowed.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2020, 05:11:35 pm »
If you were allowed.

If we're allowing hypothetical/ nearly dug trips in the list, I don't think permission is an issue  ;D

After all, pretty much everything on the list is not allowed at the moment, except maybe Goatchurch  :down:
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Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2020, 05:19:23 pm »
Which will be the most difficult to avoid contact in...

Long hole (not Great oones) & gough's old are already connected, but the link is gated to protect the bats (& their heating system).

Offline rhychydwr1

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2020, 08:08:00 pm »
Reservoir Hole via the top entrance.  The one the bats use.

Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2020, 09:35:23 pm »
Hasn't been found yet. They don't come in the most obvious direction.

Offline pab

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2020, 12:18:19 pm »

  • Read's Cavern. In the dry entrance, down Zed Alley, out through Browne-Stewart and the Wet Entrance


I would not recommend exit through Browne-Stewart. It's not at all stable.

Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2020, 12:40:31 pm »
You can still just wander through the main chamber.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 12:56:12 pm by mikem »

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Mendip Caves - One way system?
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2020, 12:42:17 pm »

  • Read's Cavern. In the dry entrance, down Zed Alley, out through Browne-Stewart and the Wet Entrance


I would not recommend exit through Browne-Stewart. It's not at all stable.

It's more of a hypothetical list than a recommendation for a trip. It seems rather unlikely that there will be a one-way system instigated for social distancing...

But yes, please read the guidebook before attempting any of the more or less far fetched ideas posted here  :)
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