Author Topic: Online Logbook 2008  (Read 56122 times)

Offline Dani

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #50 on: May 09, 2008, 04:43:25 pm »
Bath Swallet Surveying Trip
Wednesday 7th May
Andy S, Rachel, Dani + Muffin the Mule

A slightly depleted party this week headed down Bath Swallet (I managed to nearly strangle myself on my belt whilst abseiling down Shower Pot), we quickly made our way to Purple Passage.  We found our final survey point from last week, then worked our way back out of the cave, getting a good rhythm going and making fairly efficient progress.  A slight sticking point on our way back up Shower Pot, with the measure deciding it didn't want to go all the way back down to Andy (a disto would be really handy!) but other than that, no real problems.  We resurfaced just after 9 and speedily surveyed the surface to join back up with our start point at Rods Pot.  Now all we have to do is cross our fingers and hope that the measurements have been accurate! Watch this space!

Offline Andy Sparrow

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #51 on: May 09, 2008, 04:58:07 pm »
Bath Swallet Surveying Trip
Wednesday 7th May
Andy S, Rachel, Dani + Muffin the Mule

A slightly depleted party this week headed down Bath Swallet (I managed to nearly strangle myself on my belt whilst abseiling down Shower Pot), we quickly made our way to Purple Passage.  We found our final survey point from last week, then worked our way back out of the cave, getting a good rhythm going and making fairly efficient progress.  A slight sticking point on our way back up Shower Pot, with the measure deciding it didn't want to go all the way back down to Andy (a disto would be really handy!) but other than that, no real problems.  We resurfaced just after 9 and speedily surveyed the surface to join back up with our start point at Rods Pot.  Now all we have to do is cross our fingers and hope that the measurements have been accurate! Watch this space!


Unfortunately the closed loop has an error of over 7% so something has gone amiss.  The line looks right until the last section above Shower Pot - there could be an error in the cave, or maybe it was the rather hurried surface legs.  Rach and I are hoping to go back tomorrow evening and resurvey the last section, and then to survey very accurately to Rods and Drunkards.  Any other sados out there with nothing else to do on a Saturday evening?
Andy Sparrow



Offline Dani

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #52 on: May 19, 2008, 03:41:57 pm »
Goatchurch Cavern
Wednesday 14th May 2008

Brendan, Steve P, Martin, Sumpy, Chris L, Lucy, Tricia, Dani, Rachel + Lesley (guest) + I think there were 11 of us (sorry to whoever I have forgotten) and Andy S a bit later on (he might be the person I've forgotten)

Going on the fact that I can't even remember who went, this might be a rather vague trip report, please feel free to berate/correct me. 

We certainly went in the top entrance and came out of the Tradesman's; where at both points I tried to take out Chris' ankles by losing my footing and sliding, rather than walking into the cave.  In between these two points, we split up with each group having a bit of a poke around in different sections of the cave.  Lesley went on a fairly traditional 'introduction to caving' trip with Rachel, Brendan, Tricia and Lucy and came out smiling, so I think she enjoyed it.  I completely failed to get the angle right to come out of the z-squeeze from the water chamber and then proceeded to prove Andy wrong when he said I wouldn't fit through F  :o -ing tight.  Chris meanwhile was ruining his future prospects by getting stuck into Hellish tight and the others were having a nose around at the bottom of the ladder dig.

Having recovered from the hysteria, we headed off for some refreshments (and ice!)

Thanks to all for a fun trip

Sumpy

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #53 on: May 23, 2008, 03:41:32 pm »
GB
Wednesday 21st May 2008

Martin, Tricia and Sumpy

All met in the pull-in by the gate and hastily got changed and headed off across the field to the entrance. This being Tricia's first trip down GB we decided to do the tourist round trip. Ambled down to the Gorge where we found no water (not surprising really) and then walked along to the stall bridge, up and over to the Art Gallery where Martin stopped and noticed a large amount of helectights. Up white Passage and then decided to have a look up Extension Passage. Back down into Rift Chamber then up into Rhumba Alley which gets nice and tight at the end. Back on the route we made our way to the Hall to look out over the Main Chamber, unfortunately it was very foggy so the visibility wasn't that great. Then down the Oxbow to the little drop by the bottom of the Ladder Dig. We then made our way back up the waterfall and continued on up the Gorge and then back up to the block house. A nice trip that was enjoyed by all. Then of course back to the Pub for light refreshments.

Offline Chris Lank

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #54 on: June 06, 2008, 08:32:54 pm »
Cnoc Nan Uamh System – Hill of Caves (Assynt, Scotland)
Tuesday 20th May 2008
Ken, Andy P, Meg, Mark, Andy M & Chris L

Uamh an Tartair – Cave of Roaring:

After a walk through the fantastic Scottish scenery, we popped into Uamh an Tartair through the large dry entrance and made our way straight down the streamway and out of the resurgence at the surface collapse.  A short walk beneath the open sky took us into Uamh an Uisge (see below).

We re-entered the cave via the resurgence and split up to randomly explore its nether regions.  After various crawls, climbs and ducks, we eventually met up together in the large chamber containing a lake.

My highlight of the trip was crawling up a long phreatic tube towards a static sump.  The bottom of the tube was lined with soft, dry soil – this being absolute heaven on the knees (I wish there was more crawling like this in Mendip).  It ought to be compulsory in all caves.  When retracing our steps away from the sump, we could see that the soil contained thousands of wriggling earth worms. Strange!

Upon inspecting the survey later that night, we found we had visited The Grotto, Landslip Chamber and Sump 1.

Uamh an Uisge – Cave of Water:

The entrance to this cave is down The Waterslide – a stream-filled thrust plane that is similar in appearance to a bedding place.  At the very bottom of the cave we found a sump with lots of evidence of recent flooding.  The descent and ascent of The Waterslide would rate as quite sporting under high water conditions.  Luckily, we were spared the experience.  Upon exiting, we returned back to Uamh an Tartair (see above).

Strange looking people:


Fantastic views:


Entering the streamway in Uamh an Tartair:


Heading back towards the resurgence at Uamh an Tartair:


Formations at the Grotto:

Offline Chris Lank

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #55 on: June 06, 2008, 08:34:23 pm »
Lower Traligill Cave (Assynt, Scotland)
Tuesday 20th May 2008
Chris L

On the walk back to the car from Cnoc Nan Uamh System, I had a quick poke around Lower Traligill Cave.  The entrance is contained within a tight thrust plane containing a stream.  At the bottom, the stream sinks into rocks.  Another stream also joins at the bottom of the cave – this appears to be part of the main valley stream that has sunk further up the valley.

There was some fantastic limestone sponge on the ceiling (photographs didn’t come out though).  After a quick and lonely visit, I thrutched back to the entrance where I was met by a small man-made flood-pulse generated by my bored chums.

It was apparent that this cave would flood all the way to the entrance in the event of significant rains.  It would certainly not be a nice place to get stuck!

Entrance to Lower Traligill Cave:

Offline Chris Lank

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #56 on: June 06, 2008, 08:35:49 pm »
The Creag Nan Uamh Bone Caves (Assynt, Scotland)
Thursday 22nd May 2008
Andy M, Chris L

Yet again, the walk to the caves allowed us to experience the absolutely jaw-dropping Scottish scenery.  The steep climb up to the Bone Caves was also a rather laborious affair due to our heavy oversuits.  Our first objective for the day was to pay a visit to each of the four main Bone Caves.

On the path, we came across the resurgence for the valley stream.  It was remarkable for the fact that it looked just like a large shallow puddle – but with no apparent source and with a fast running stream exiting from one end.  Clearly the stream resurges from the floor of the puddle, but it does look odd.

On our arrival at the cliff, we visited in order - No 1 Badger Cave, No2 Reindeer Cave, No 3 Bone Cave and No 4 Foxes Den.

In Reindeer Cave we managed to do the extremely short round trip and in Bone Cave we went one better and did the extremely short through trip to Reindeer Cave.

After a short breather, we marched off to our next cave – further up the valley.

Yet more fantastic scenery:


The odd puddle (resurgence):


Attractive small-scale water feature in Bone Cave:


Completing the through trip from Reindeer Cave to Bone Cave:

Offline Chris Lank

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #57 on: June 06, 2008, 08:37:15 pm »
Allt Nan Uamh Stream Cave (Assynt, Scotland)
Thursday 22nd May 2008
Andy M, Chris L

After a short walk up the valley from the Bone Caves, we found the entrance to Allt Nan Uamh Stream Cave.  Having negotiated the small entrance area we found ourselves in the spacious Assembly Hall.  We strolled along the passage to Piccadilly, Oxford Street and up to Breakdown Cavern.

We then turned around and headed back to Piccadilly before reaching 1st Stream Chamber.  A left turn led us to Drip Chamber, where drips form the roof had cut a number of fine looking pockets in the mud floor.

Upon investigating one of the passages on the way back we found The Pit – this being a hole in the floor containing a stream. I popped down, had a poke around, found the sump and climbed up again (with assistance).

Back at the 1st Stream Chamber, we followed the meandering water upstream into the Rift Stream Series.  This was a tight but interesting area and eventually we were surprised to pop out into Oxford Street.

From there we made our way out of the cave before walking back to the car.

Drip pool and pockets in Drip Chamber:


Andy at the head of the Pit:

Offline Chris Lank

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #58 on: June 06, 2008, 08:44:18 pm »
Swildon’s Hole – Short Round Trip
Monday 26th May 2008
Tim & Chris L

We made our way down to the 20’ Waterfall via the Short Dry Way.  After getting the Ladder and Lifeline stuff out of the way, we continued down towards Tratman’s Temple.  From there we commenced the Short Round Trip in a clockwise direction.

There was not much to report, other than we made unscheduled visits to Websell’s Dig and the duck/sump at Caliper Pot – due to lack of familiarity with the route.

When diving through Sump 1, we had the dubious pleasure of surfacing in a thick layer of foam/scum that was tinged brown and had a distinctive bovine odour.  Lovely!

It was interesting to note that although the stream water level was high and quite torrential, the water levels in the various percolation ducks were relatively low.

Tim floating through one of the ducks:

Offline Chris Lank

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #59 on: June 06, 2008, 08:45:22 pm »
Swildon’s Hole – Short Round Trip
Saturday 31st May 2008
Martin & Chris L

I decided to repeat the recent Short Round Trip to improve my route finding, and managed to get around without reference to the survey.  As for previous trips, we undertook the trip in a clockwise direction.

The Mud Sump was lower than I have ever seen it, obviously as a result of somebody’s bailing.  However, in general, the percolation ducks were relatively high with the stream water level being much lower than the previous week.

The most interesting part of the trip was getting through the first of the Double Troubles.  When we arrived, we found the water level extremely high, to the point where the duck was a sump.  The siphon had also stopped and the layout of the duck looked unfamiliar.  I attempted to dive through and got myself up a blind tube, which was a bit unpleasant.  After extricating myself, we restarted the siphon and started bailing out the water.  Eventually, enough water was removed that I could see the correct route – the 90-degree bend to the left.  I floated through “sans-helmet” using my nose as a snorkel and was then able to guide Martin through using my light as a beacon.

To mix it up, this week we made an unscheduled trip to Vicarage Pot.  I immediately realised that I had taken a non-optimal route and headed back to the Landing, before dropping into the streamway and heading home.

Martin getting through the Mud Sump:

Offline Chris Lank

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #60 on: June 08, 2008, 09:29:12 am »
Swildon’s Hole – Oxbows & Lowbow
Saturday 7th June 2008
Chris L (solo)

I decided that it would be a useful exercise to explore the Oxbows & Lowbow – having previously only visited them in passing.

My odyssey started at the top of the Wet Way, where I took the key-hole shaped link to the top of Upper Oxbow.  From here I entered Butcombe Chamber.  There being no other people around, I took the opportunity to climb up in the “hanging deaths” and had a good poke around.  I looked really hard but could not find any pints of Butcombe anywhere!  Upon reaching the floor again, I headed out towards Oxbow Junction.

At Oxbow Junction, there were signs of interesting things up high so I climbed up through more “hanging deaths” but found the way on closed down.  I did see some nice looking fossils (see photo).  After descending, I followed the corrugated pipe down Lower Oxbow.  I didn’t want to be the clumsy so-and-so that broke it, so I only went a short distance to a pinch point before deciding that I was putting the pipe at risk.  (The remainder of the passage can be accessed later from the downstream end.)

Back at Oxbow Junction, I walked a short distance downstream and located Upper Oxbow.  This also contained a pipe but I decided that I could pass through the passage without risking the pipe – so I did.  Much heaving and grunting later I was back at the top of Upper Oxbow.  I then headed back up the key-hole shaped link to the Wet Way.

After a quick trundle downstream through the Well and the Lavatory Pan, I located the passage to Lower Oxbow/Lowbow.  The climb up to the passage from the Wet Way was technical and quite fun.  Crawling up Lower Oxbow, I completed my exploration of the missing passage and reached the pinch point where my earlier exploration had stopped.  Satisfied, I reversed and went back to the junction with Upper and Lower Lowbow.

I tackled Upper Lowbow first.  This required me to climb upwards into another rather unstable looking area.  There were plenty of signs that mammalian flying critters had spent some time here.  I was rewarded at the top by some unexpected pretties (see photo).  The way on was via a tight passage, which I attempted to take.  I reached a squeeze that annoyingly looked like it opened out into a small rift.  Unfortunately, I could not get my shoulders through the squeeze and being Billy-no-mates, I decided not to risk being stuck there for the rest of my life – so I retreated.

That left me only Lower Lowbow to explore.  I crawled a short distance up the passage and came to a muddy, rotten-looking puddle.  It contained some crustacean life, so I tried my best to minimise my impact on their puddle.  Just after the puddle, the passage options looked a bit dismal and squalid, so I decided that with my call-out time fast approaching, it was time to get back.

On the way out, I had a cold but exhilarating shower in the Wet Way and got my suit thoroughly cleaned up, ready to get dirty again on my next trip.

Fossils at top of Oxbow Junction:


Pretties at top of Upper Lowbow:

Offline Dani

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #61 on: June 16, 2008, 09:07:49 pm »
Ogof Ffynnon Ddu (OFD) II
Sunday 15th June 2008
Dani & Chris L

After being fleeced for an extortionate breakfast at the services on the way to OFD, we arrived bright and early at the SWCC cottage, finding several people out and about already.  A quick conflab as we picked up the keys to decide on our route for the day – OFD II and a route finding bimble round some of the upper series.

I’m not sure it’s a good sign for a caving trip if you’re wondering if you’re going the right way on the walk up to the entrance, but, it turned out we were.  I was then a very big brave girl and battled the enormous arachnid at the entrance, without its deathly fangs sinking in to me.  A few moments for our eyes to adjust and we headed on it
towards Chasm Passage, making fairly quick progress towards the Shakehole.  We both had a nose over the edge of the pitch and admired the formations in the passage ahead before retracing our steps down to Salubrious Passage.

Wandering down Salubrious, we deviated to look at the Judge and the Trident and followed this passage along until we got to the head of another pitch.  Parts of the passage were very reminiscent of Selenite Tunnel and again some nice formations ahead of us at the pitch.

Heading back to the Trident, we thought we ought to remind ourselves of the way down to Maypole Inlet and after this was successfully located, we had to do the obligatory trip to Selenite Tunnel.  By this time I was completely parched and in need of a drink, so I made the sherpa stop for refreshments, before I keeled over completely.  Thirst
quenched, we moved on to Shatter Pillar towards Cross Rift and, after a slight navigational issue, on to Moonlight Chamber.  Despite having done this route before, I couldn’t remember any of the usual features and don’t even remember seeing the formations in the chamber before.  I think old age is definitely getting to me, or else I’ve selectively deleted the memory after last time I came here.

Once again we retraced our steps back to Shatter Pillar and made our way to Edward’s Shortcut.  The traverse was fairly quickly negotiated, although note to Chris – take the bag off your back next time!  More ambling along took us to the climb up, which I, in my vertically challenged state, shot up like a monkey.  Feeling extremely chuffed with myself as I normally take an age and a leg up to climb out of there, we headed back into Gnome Passage.

We still had a bit of time before we were due out of the cave, so we thought we would cross the Big Chamber Near the Entrance and make our way to Cairn Chamber.  Our aim was slightly thwarted by a rather large drop down in the floor.  The getting down wouldn’t have been a problem (and was nearly very quick), but we couldn’t see any decent way to get back up again.  Deciding to leave this to another day, we headed back out into the sunshine.  Having spoken to someone back at the cottage, we should have gone towards the Labyrinth, but hindsight (or insight) is a wonderful thing.

A great trip, very satisfying and I think I have nearly learnt how to navigate my way out of the cave (until next time)!  Thanks to Chris for organising, being routefinder general, chauffeur and Sherpa!

Chris investigating small pool near entrance:


Roof features past Trident and Judge:


Taking a breather:


Crystals in a dried-up pool:


Dani in Selenite Tunnel:


Chris in Edward’s Shortcut:


More crystals in another dried-up pool:


On the way out:


Offline Chris Lank

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #62 on: June 18, 2008, 07:30:36 am »
Swildon’s Hole - Upper Series
Tuesday 17th June 2008
Dani, Emily (Guest), Steve (Guest) and Chris L

The purpose of this trip was to provide an evening’s entertainment to Emily and Steve.  Water levels were so low that we were able to have a good look at some of the various crustaceans living in the streamway, which I admit to not having noticed before.

Our tour of the Upper Series started along the Long Dry Pretty Way.  Upon reaching the Old Grotto we trundled down to Water Chamber, and on to the Old 40’ Waterfall.  Emily and Steve made short work of the climb down so we decided to have a look at the head of the 20’ Waterfall.

Our return route took us along the Wet Way, where we were able to show Emily and Steve the watery delights of the Lavatory Pan and the Well.

A fun trip was had by all.  Thanks to Sherpa Dani for lugging my bag around all evening.

Taking a breather:


Look into my light:

Offline Dani

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #63 on: June 26, 2008, 07:46:54 pm »
Bowery Corner Swallet
Wednesday 25th June 2008
Steve P, Sumpy, Tricia, Chris L, Sam and Dani

Is it a cave or is it a drain?  :shrug:

I think that pretty much sums up the trip, but for those who want a few more details, after about an hour of trying to find the entrance in the undergrowth (the grid ref in Mendip Underground isn't entirely accurate), Sam finally stumbled upon a promising sounding thud in the floor.  A machete would have been helpful to clear some of the brambles and nettles, but once cleared, we opened up the entrance to reveal the entrance shaft.  Sam headed down first to test out the ladder (the younger ones bounce better  ;)) followed by Tricia and myself with Steve, Chris and Sumpy bringing up the rear.  The initial passageway looked interesting, but this soon developed into a very long muddy crawl (not sure why I volunteered to investigate) which ended up at Jrat's dig, which has now silted up a bit.  Chris and Sam also came to have a look and poke around while Sumpy investigated the other branch (which turned out to be even muddier).  Very shortly after, we decided we'd had enough and crawled back out to the sunshine.

A quick wash in Swildons followed for some, while Steve and Sumpy went to be chased by farmers across a field (whatever floats your boat  ::)) in search of the lost cities of gold (or it might have been Bishop's Lot)

Offline Chris Lank

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #64 on: June 30, 2008, 06:58:10 am »
Lionel’s Hole
Sunday 29th June 2008
Chris L and Sam (Guest)

We decided to again try and find the route through the boulder ruckle from Boulder Chamber towards Junction Chamber.  Despite our best endeavours at route finding in this most pleasant of caves, we always seemed to end up back at the Traverse.

Within the boulder ruckle, I found several unpleasant squeezes that got me quite well jammed – but fortunately I managed to extricate myself on each occasion.  There are also a number of loose boulders that add to the experience.

As I know the first half of the Round Trip route (from the Traverse to Suicide Rift), the plan for next time is to try and find a way through the boulder ruckle in the reverse direction and thus complete the Round Trip.  Can’t wait!

Offline Chris Lank

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #65 on: July 05, 2008, 11:36:22 pm »
Lionel’s Hole – Round Trip
Saturday 5th July 2008
Chris L (solo)

At last the day had arrived!  I decided to have a crack at the Round Trip in the anti-clockwise direction.  As no one wanted to come out and play with me, I decided that I would have to do it on my own.

I passed through Boulder Chamber and along the Traverse.  From the top of the Traverse I dropped down into stream way.  At this point, I lay down and watched the stream for some time before deciding that it was safe to continue.  There was a lot of percolation water finding its way into the cave and the first duck was deeper and longer than I had previously seen it.

After passing the first duck I got to the nasty second duck.  This was tighter than I remembered it but I successfully got through, although I did get a proper soaking.  Note for the future – do not let large pointy rocks get rolled into and trapped against the sternum as it hurts!

After much “fun” crawling along the tight streamway I popped up Bishop’s Bypass and headed for Suicide Rift.  From there I headed back on the second leg of my Round Trip.

After a short trundle, I reached a high rift and climbed up it to investigate the way on into the dreaded boulder area.  Someone had left a usefully positioned handline that gave me a hint that I was on the right track.

After a few wrong turns in the dreaded boulders I found a likely looking way on through some fairly tight squeezes and dropped into Junction Chamber.  It looked extremely familiar to me and indeed it turned out that I had visited it on a previous occasion.

I was now almost certain that I had this route cracked and sure enough, as I slid down the muddy phreatic tube out of Junction Chamber I realised that I knew the way out.  This cheered me up no end as it meant that I would not have to re-trace my steps and exit via the tight streamway and even tighter ducks.

A few minutes later, I reappeared in Boulder Chamber and headed out of the cave with my mission completed.

Sorry there are no pictures but my shockproof and waterproof camera is no longer shockproof, waterproof or functional.

Thanks to Sam P, Martin, and Sam D-K for their previous assistance.

Offline Chris Lank

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #66 on: July 06, 2008, 10:46:32 pm »
Aveline’s Hole
Sunday 6th July 2008
Chris L, Chris H (guest) & Oscar (guest)

As we were in the area, we decided to pop into this cave for a quick look around.  There was not much to report.  We admired the fine steel gate and the even finer worm-type markings on the ceiling before walking out and onto our next cave.

Goatchurch Cavern
Sunday 6th July 2008
Chris L, Chris H (guest) & Oscar (guest)

After a pleasant stroll up the valley, we reached the cave.  Our route took us into the Old Entrance, down Giant’s Staircase, along Bloody Tight and into Boulder Chamber.  From here were dropped down into Water Chamber.  We were in no particular hurry, so took our trip at a leisurely pace.

Chris H and Oscar had a good look at the pretty waterfall in the floor.  As I still had some tender bits from yesterday’s efforts, I decided not to squeeze through with them.

Our route out of the cave took us up the Coffin Lid into Boulder Chamber and out via the Tradesmen’s Entrance.

Offline Dani

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #67 on: July 13, 2008, 02:33:20 pm »
Baredine Cave, Istria, Croatia

Sunday 6th July 2008
Dani + various other tourists

I'm not sure whether this really counts as a caving trip, as it was more of a tourist trundle, but I was underground, albeit for too short a time.  This is one of the few caves of the 1500 in the Istria region open to tourists, so I dragged my friends round as I was getting itchy wellies, not having been caving for a good few days.  The cave itself was pretty much vertical, descent and ascent being made infinitesimally easier by the installation of steps, something that I could definitely get used to.  The cave is decorated by numerous formations and terminates at a pool surrounded by stalactites, stalagmites, straws and curtains. 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28533161@N05/2663280455

An added bonus was the sight of a Proteus anguinus, which are native in the caves of this region.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28533161@N05/2664120914/

Chatting to the guide (who ran a commentary in Croatian, English, French, German and Russian, impressive) I found out he was a member of the local caving club and was invited to help out at their dig.  Unfortunately, I had to turn this down as we had other plans, but I did find out that digs the world over are quite similar - muddy!

Offline Chris Lank

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #68 on: July 20, 2008, 03:35:38 pm »
Lionel’s Hole – Round Trip
Sunday 20th July 2008
Chris L (solo)

After a short work-related break from caving, I decided to go and practise my new found knowledge of Lionel’s Hole.  This time I undertook the Round Trip in the clockwise direction.  As a special treat I took my new waterproof camera and new oversuit to be wrecked.

I am afraid there was nothing much to report.  Route finding was easy and everything was where I remembered it.

I came across a number of small but interesting looking holes that need further investigation.  As this cave looks a bit like I imagine a Croatian cave would look like then I am going to start looking around for a good compact caver with Croatian experience, who can explore the interesting looking holes for me.  It sounds like a difficult task.

Every time I go through Duck No 2, it seems to get tighter and is harder to pass.  Today was no exception - even though I dug it out before passing through it.  I can only conclude that the hole in the rock is shrinking.  It obviously has nothing to do with my shoulders, chest or backside increasing in girth.

If the photographs make the cave look grotty and horrible then that would be because the cave is grotty and horrible.  Nevertheless, it is good fun.

Letterbox leading to Boulder Chamber:



Sandwich Boulder (the way on is underneath the boulder!):



The way on towards Suicide Rift:



Taking a breather at Suicide Rift:



Duck No 2 in the streamway:


Offline Andy Sparrow

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #69 on: July 22, 2008, 07:43:36 pm »
DERBYSHIRE WEEKEND 18/19/20 JULY

Andy S, Rachel, Chris C, Nicki (Castle's lodger), Mark, Megan, Barry, Danny B, Tricia, Sam, Neil, Judi, Robin (Rigiani junior), and Tim E.

After an interminable drive Rachel, myself, Chris and Nicki finally arrived at gate of Rowter Farm campsite and proceeded to drive straight past despite the the fact that Neil and Judi were waiting, after a long vigil, headlights shining like beacons to show us the way.  We turned around eventually and finally reached the dark, bleak and boggy field.  When the tent was up we gravitated towards the sound of drunken merriment that drifted across the otherwise silent campsite to find the masses assembled with a dangerously diverse selection of alcoholic beverages.  It was then that the skies opened and a deluge of rain beat down upon the tent and did not abate for several hours.

On Saturday morning we gathered at the Woodbine Cafe in Hope to ruminate over the plan.  Giant's Hole was intended but after the heavy rain this seemed doubtful.  We proceeded to the H&H caving shop for a browse and to pick the resident caver's brain.  'No problem, mate,' he assured, 'you'll be alright down there today.'   Thus it was that we assembled optimistically in the Giant's parking area just in time to meet three soggy returning cavers.  'Don't go down there, mate, it's desperate.  Mind you, Phil Brown at Caving Supplies said it would be.'   Memo to self - go to Caving Supplies in future for local knowledge. 

'We're off to Carlswark', announced Steve, leader of the soggy cavers.  That sounded like a good idea to me.  So we all piled back into the vehicles and off we went to Stoney Middleton where we encountered Steve again.  Steve took us (me, Rach, Castle, Tim and Danny) up to find Eyam Shaft Entrance while the rest of the crew set off to Gin Entrance.

This was my first trip into Carlswark and I suspect it will be my last. It's quite an interesting place, being a complex of phreatic passages, but it's all very stoopy and crawly.  We went off to some climb that led down to a sump and then retraced our steps back to a junction where we met the Gin Entrance party.  It was easy enough to find our way through to the other entrance and we met a couple of novice groups en-route. Not sure, to be honest, if this is a cave that is going turn people on to caving - it wouldn't be my first choice of a novice cave. 

We emerged into what was by then a very pleasant sunny afternoon after less than two hours underground.  It had been quite a fun little through trip even if the cave was a bit uninspiring.  We headed back to Eyam Shaft, said our goodbyes to Steve and his crew and waited for the others to emerge, which they did in due course. 

A quick wash and brush up back at the camp and then off we went, by foot, down to Castleton.  It was a very pleasant walk which only took half an hour and we were soon tucking into the carvery at the Naggs Head.  From here we went on the George and got ourselves a bit tiddly.  The walk back up the Winnats was enlivened by Rachel and Nicki playing hide and seek (a sure sign that Rach is a bit squiffy).  Eventually we got back to the tents for a final night-cap.

Sunday the weather was much improved and we set off again for Giant's Hole.  We were minus Tim (gone to report back to base), Sam (bruised elbow), and Tricia (tempted by showcaves).  We did try to split into two parties by inevitably ended up in one group of 11.  The round trip went very smoothly and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  Biggest trip so far for Robin (aged 13) and Nicki who both coped with all the diverse obstacles very competently - even the final traverse and descent back to the streamway.  All done and dusted in under 3 hours.  A great trip which was much enjoyed.

All in all a very successful weekend, despite the initially horrible weather.  Did anyone get any photos?
Andy Sparrow



Offline Chris Lank

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #70 on: July 31, 2008, 10:44:53 pm »
Hunter’s Lodge Inn Sink
Wednesday 30th July 2008
Barry (Leader), Mark, Martin, Dani and Chris L

Firstly, an apology.  I don’t have a survey for this cave so I don’t know the names of any of the features.

After climbing down the shaft in the car park, we had a quick crawl and descent along the entrance series into a bedding plane chamber.

From here, we took a diversion through a hole in the floor and down a hand-lined rift.  The way on was along a tight phreatic tube.

I got half way along the tube and noticed some earthworms, which I thought was very interesting.  As I got my face nice and tight alongside the earthworms I noticed with some interest that they were in fact Leeches.  My body heat seemed to quite excite them so I carefully reversed back up the tube to escape their attentions.  Upon getting back to my chums I was politely asked to go back and get a photograph.  Although this seemed a little unfair, I thought that in the interests of scientific exploration that I would go back and do my duty.

After taking a photograph or two, I again reversed and this time came face to face with a rather miserable looking little toad.  Not wanting to hog all the fun with the wildlife, I let Dani rescue the toad in her camera container.  Happily the little chap was later safely released back at the surface.

After climbing back up and out of the hole in the floor, we continued our way further into the cave.  We dumped our kit at the head of the main rift and continued onwards in an upwards direction.

A number of attractive crystal pools were passed and shortly afterwards we came across some old reindeer bones.  Many of these bones were calcited, which made them look all the more impressive.  As (pub) time was pressing, we did not proceed to the terminal choke but retreated back to our kit at the main rift.

At the main rift, the double-ladder and lifeline was rigged and we proceeded to climb down the main rift (mostly in a controlled manner).  The rift was over 15m deep and one wall was entirely covered in flowstone.  At the bottom there was a small pool/sump to one side and a low passage to the other side.  A short crawl up the low passage led to a larger pool/sump, which we traversed over to reach dry land on the other side.  As (pub) time was now even more pressing, we decided to commence our exit manoeuvres.  Humping the tackle out of the cave through the upwards trending crawls was found to be a slightly monotonous but great form of exercise.

Verdict - fantastic cave!

Barry crawling in the entrance series:



Strange Troglodyte:



Friendly Wildlife:



Fossilised something:



Crystal Pool:



Ceiling decorations:



Calcited Bone:


Offline CaverA

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #71 on: August 05, 2008, 09:05:56 am »
Cuevas Negro, Montanejos.
Sunday 3rd August, 2008

My girlfriend mentioned a day out with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law and my heart sank. The look on my face said it all, she then mentioned that there might be caves so if I wanted to take my pot I could take a look, if we found any. The journey was complicated by having to back track into Valencia to collect said in-laws.

But after an hour and half we had reached the mountain village of Montanejos, fighting for a parking space we were forced to walk a km in the increasing heat. Passing through a tunnel on route, an interesting hole appeared in which I promptly stuck my head in expressing that indeed it blows. I found myself then spending the next five minutes explaining what I meant by the term 'it blows, it goes'.



We spent most of the day by river, enjoying the sunshine before heading to km back to the car, only to find that my girlfriend had left her headlamps on resulting in a flat battery. After a half an hour debate we decided to push the car down the hill in order to start the car. After running it for half an hour while looking for a new parking place. We followed the well signposted trail to Cuevas Negro. 700m trek uphill, at 4pm in August with some heart stopping moments as we traversed a small gravel landslide, certain death on one side. Then last 100 metres were over very steep  loose material and then the entrance chamber opened up in front of us. Measuring an impressive 26m by 10 with a  cavity 2,200m2. We took a minute to catch our breath before I stuck my pot on and decided to take a look see.

Rock hoping down into the chamber I noted a few possible ways on, glad I had decided to bring my helmet this time. Sadly my flip flops were not that suitable on the loose ground however it was the coldest I've been since arriving in Spain. The notion that I might be able to cave in just a t-shirt and long trousers disappeared. We retreated to do some further research in the hope of finding a survey in the near future.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21347949@N08/2734999838/
The entrance chamber.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21347949@N08/2734170999/
Rock hoping down.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21347949@N08/2734174425/
Feeling the heat on exit. 


After a brief internet search very little information has been found. Turns out that it is an active dig site, the local castellon cavers were attempting to link to a master system with out success. If anybody has any information relating to this cave could they drop me a PM. All in all a good recce was carried out.

Sam

Offline anfieldman

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #72 on: August 05, 2008, 09:39:32 pm »
Saturday 26th July.

Swildons Shatter Series by Barry Hulatt

 A group  of five Cheddar members (Barry Hulatt, Chris Lank, Martin Lee, Mark and Megan Whyte) and one visitor (Pete martin from ISSA) met up.
After some confusion about whether we were going to Shatter Cave or Shatter Series in Swildon's, our party eventually converged on Priddy Green. We made a rapid descent via the short dry way to the mud sump, being the first party in Swildon's that day. Dispensing with baling, we used the commodious two inch airspace to get through the sump and progressed to the top of Shatter Pot. Pete Martin, our visitor, ably rigged the ladder pitch (though someone seemed to have left a ladder in place).  We were hoping to get through to the Damp Link through Shatter passage, but progress was slowed by the ducks being full due to recent rain. We were halted at the Gower Pool duck (or was it a sump?) which despite syphoning didn't seem to get any lower. Due to the cold (yet it was one of the hottest days of the year outside) and the effects of the previous night on two of our group, we decided to turn around. We made it back to Priddy Green in time to recuperate and give thanks for all day opening. The sumps did for most of our best photos, but here are a few.



Barry having fun in St Paul's Series:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3132/2704916486_c0f409627b.jpg?v=0

Peter enjoying the thrills of the Mud Sump:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3113/2704095763_55c90684aa.jpg?v=0

Meg descending the ladder at Shatter Pot:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3121/2704098101_cefe8e3a52.jpg?v=0

Mark & Meg looking back at a rather dark Shatter Pot:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3174/2704923562_8f141cc5b3.jpg?v=0

The Patented Handy Climbing Aid:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3218/2704102415_a4800cfb4c.jpg?v=0
You ain't seen me.......................right?

Offline Chris Lank

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #73 on: August 24, 2008, 02:58:36 pm »
Ogof Draenen (Beyond A Choke Streamway)
Saturday 23rd August 2008
Andy M, Fumie (guest), Dani & Chris L

After a worrying few minutes dealing with the locked gate, we crawled through the gloopy mud puddle at the entrance.  Our route to Cairn Junction took us via the contortions of Spare Rib.  From there we made our way towards Tea Junction via WonderBra Bypass and headed downstream past White Arch Passage and Gilwern Passage.

The remainder of our journey took us along the Beyond a Choke streamway, through the cascades and through a number of chokes.  We eventually passed the Agent Blorenge inlet and carried on towards the Rifleman’s Chamber.  Wading through the deep water was both tiring and chilling, so someway short of Rifleman’s Chamber we made the decision to turnaround and head back.  I estimate that we were probably only halfway towards Rifleman’s Chamber when we turned back.

The return route was uneventful and we were greeted at the surface by a small Bank Holiday Weekend rain shower.  A return trip to Rifleman’s Chamber will be made at some time in the future.

Scaffolded Shaft in Entrance Series:


Andy started to wish that he had laminated the survey and directions:


Fumie passing through WonderBra bypass:


Dani yomping in the Beyond A Choke streamway:


Rhinoceros-shaped feature downstream from Agent Blorenge Inlet:

Offline Chris Lank

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Re: Online Logbook 2008
« Reply #74 on: August 24, 2008, 03:17:43 pm »
Read’s Cavern
Sunday 24th August 2008
Chris H, Tricia & Chris L

We entered the cave along the stream and proceeded in an East direction to the end of the main chamber.  After crawling through a small hole we reached an attractive small grotto containing lots of flowstone.  We had a bit of a crawl/climb and undertook a mini-round trip in the grotto.  From the main chamber we then dropped down an adjacent hole in the floor and explored further through the boulder ruckle.  Having exhausted a number of possible passages/crawls, we returned to the main chamber.

At the West end of the main chamber, we climbed down and into an interesting boulder chamber.  High at one end of the boulder chamber we found a way on and slid down a rock to enter a small low chamber containing some attractive gour pools and other decorations.  On our return to the boulder chamber we had a good look around and were impressed by an area of red ceiling and a collection of crystals inside a Geode.

A fun trip was had by all.


Tricia climbing up in the grotto:


Chris L squeezing through a boulder ruckle:


Chris H admiring the gour pools:


Red Ceiling:


Geode Crystals:

 

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