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Hallowe'en Rift, Mendip Hills

Excursions [and other notes] involved in the exploration of Hallowe'en Rift; a cave, so far, formed within Triassic Dolomitic Conglomerate.

The exploration of Hallowe'en Rift was started in 1982 by Trevor Hughes with other members of the Bristol Exploration Club, their interest waned by the late 80s. During the early 1990's Vince Simmonds and other, mostly, local diggers were active at a number of locations within the cave, including the start of the dig to the 'east' side of the entrance with Graham Johnson in December 1991. This led to the discovery of An Unexpected Development in August 2018. The current phase of exploration was commenced in 2009, with the majority of the early work being carried out by Vince Simmonds and Alex Gee, now the regular team also includes Rob 'Tav' Taviner, Graham 'Jake' Johnson, Nick Hawkes, Jonathon Riley, Paul 'Brockers' Brock, Roz Simmonds, and Duncan Price. There has been occasional help from others including Phil Coles, Caroline Allen, Mike Willett, Mike Moxon, Matt Tuck, John 'Tangent' Williams, Pete Bolt, Bob Smith, Callum and Hazel Simmonds, and several appearances by that well-known antipodean, Ray Deasey.

There have been visits from some notable experts in their various fields including: Charlie Self, Andy Farrant, Christopher Smith, Derek Ford, Joyce Lundberg, Don MacFarlane, Marc Luetscher and Gina Moseley. All have added to a better understanding of Hallowe'en Rift.

20th November 2011

digging 2011 Posted on Tue, November 22, 2011 21:31:08

The bar to the left of centre in the image is about 300mm in length.

Solo trip. Just a quick Sunday morning jaunt to take some photographs of the end dig in order to update the online gallery before retiring to the Hunter’s Lodge Inn.

19th November 2011

digging 2011 Posted on Tue, November 22, 2011 21:27:07

The image above shows Alex working his way along the approach tube from the base of Witches Cauldron to the dig site – a fine spot!

With Alex. Continuing the quest for passages measureless to mice! First job was to clear the spoil dumped at the base of the Witches Cauldron before returning to digging along the left-hand tube. The pot/rift edge noticed last session can be seen (take a look at the photo taken on 20th and shown on the post for that day) but some more forward progress still required before a ‘good old prodding’ is possible – might be a good idea to wear some goggles as crap falls into your face when lying on your back and waggling a bar around in an effort to dislodge a blockage above your head. There is certainly a change occurring bur more work still required. The dig has become a little squalid over the past week or so – the result of a strong drip, or lots of drips, obviously the surface above ground has become saturated and the water is permeating into the cave, emerged rather muddy, slightly knackered, but rather satisfied after a steady 2.5 hour session.