23rd October 2018

With Roz and Alex

This evenings plan was to attempt the climb up to the small space
through jammed boulders observed from the bottom of the rift in An Unexpected
Development. I packed some clean shoes so that mud wouldn’t be transferred onto
the calcite flowstone when climbing over it. Arrived at the rift, rigged the
climb down with ladders and descended. At the bottom removed oversuit and
boots, clean shoes on, climbed across the base of the rift and upwards. Took
care to avoid some jammed boulder-size lumps of calcite and any cracked
calcite. There are plenty of sound hand/foot-holds. Got to the slot, a bit more
restricted than it appears, probably just about passable but for the
precariously wedged boulder-sized lumps of shattered speleothem that need to be
squeezed through, there are plenty of them. Discretion being the better part of
valour, I retreated. Unfortunately, from the position I reached I couldn’t see
the full extent of that section of the rift. Alex, then had a go but was unable
to see any more than I could.

Next move will be to look at traversing across the rift from the
jammed boulder halfway down. We changed back into caving kit, climbed the rift,
de-rigged and exited the cave.

Author: mendipgeoarch

Archaeologist, Geologist, Speleologist