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The trials and tribulations during the quest to extend the known cave passages of Wookey Hole Cave, Mendip, Somerset.

The main protagonists, in no particular order, have been: Vince Simmonds, Jonathon Riley, Robin 'Tav' Taviner, Nick Hawkes, Graham 'Jake' Johnson, Mike Moxon, Paul 'Brockers' Brock, Duncan Price and Roz Simmonds. Others have lent a hand too, including Tom Chapman, Ray Deasy, Alex Gee, Pete 'Snablet' McNab, Pete Bolt, Claire Cohen, Pete Hall, Mandy Voysey, David Walker, Lee Hawkeswell, James Begley, Naomi Frazier, Estelle Sandford, Max Fisher, Adele Ward, Lee Smith, Chris Dubery, Connor Roe and the Belgians (seven members of the Cascade Caving Club).

“Land of Hope and Glory”

digging 2020 Posted on Wed, September 23, 2020 06:40:09

First entered on 15th September 2020. Also, the 80th anniversary of the “Battle of Britain”.

Nick negotiates “Fuzzy Wuzzy”
It goes! (L to R: Duncan, Jake, Nick and Jon, Tav is ahead and Vince took the photo)
Jon looks back towards the climb.
A lofty rift passage leads north…
…into an impressive rift chamber (view to west).
The big rift chamber (view to east)
Banded calcite
Dog-tooth spar
Mineral deposition
Mud cone formations

25th August, and it’s my 64th birthday!

digging 2020 Posted on Wed, August 26, 2020 07:16:52

Vince, Roz, Duncan, Nick, Jake and Tav.

We split into two units, Tav and Jake went to dig the “top o’ pit”, the rest of us headed to “23 and a bit”.

The recent wet weather has had a dramatic affect both in and out of the cave, the resurgence was flowing strongly. Throughout the cave there were plenty of drips, the trickling stream was flowing through Chamber 20 and water pouring down the calcite cascades. Very impressive. The climbs down through “23 and a bit” to the dig were wet too.

Vince at the top of the climbs. Photo by Roz Simmonds 25/08/2020

20th August

digging 2020 Posted on Fri, August 21, 2020 06:34:50

Vince, Jake, Duncan, Nick, Jon, Tav and Mike.

Jake wrestles with an obstructing boulder.

The boulder removed, I swapped places with Jake, dug out some mud, some cobble- and boulder-sized lumps of rock and calcite then wriggled through into a small chamber, c.2m (h) x 3m (max. l) x c.1m (max. w), at first it appeared to be formed within a calcite vein but, more likely, it is part of a Neptunian dyke. A Carboniferous limestone fissure filled with Triassic [dolomitic] conglomerate that has degraded leaving the void that I was now standing in. Remnants of the conglomerate infill can be seen in the roof.

13th August

digging 2020 Posted on Sun, August 16, 2020 08:39:05

Vince, Jake, Jon, Duncan, Nick and Mike.

Duncan (l) and Jake (r) digging into the phreatic “tube”
Nick investigates a potential lead at the top of the “pit”

6th August

digging 2020 Posted on Fri, August 07, 2020 06:32:19

Vince, Duncan, Jon, Mike, Nick and Tav.

Back to the main dig!

Various activities were undertaken; Nick and Jon raced ahead to get to work in the “pit”, Duncan paid some attention to the alternative “phreatic tube”, Mike performed ladder antics while investigating roof tubes, Tav was ferrying filled buckets “hither and thither”. I was wall-building and attending to spoil disposal before being distracted and going to look at the “phreatic tube” which is beginning to appear more interesting. Space can be seen. Nick came to have a dig too.

Unfortunately, progress downwards in the “pit” seems to have pinched-out and probably not worth pursuing any further (at present). Never mind, it will make a nice water feature later in the year! A rethink will be needed here. In the meantime, we have the “phreatic tube” to follow and see how that develops.

Refreshments, and discussions, were taken in the ravine although the light was fading. We were a bit later than usual. Another jovial session.

4th August

digging 2020 Posted on Wed, August 05, 2020 06:27:09

Vince, Duncan, Tav, Nick and Luke (?)

A trip down memory lane, or part way to sump 23 3/4, to refresh our thoughts. It was a fine caving trip, an enjoyable excursion.

30th July

digging 2020 Posted on Fri, July 31, 2020 06:29:20

Vince, Jake, Jon, Nick, Tav and Mike.

Nick and Jon rotated the digging in the “deep pit”, Mike had a tentative poke around in an alternative location. Tav poked and prodded the spoil into every ‘nook and cranny’ with, mostly, Jake supplying the filled buckets to him. I was helping with bucket removal but got too easily side-tracked into building another spoil retaining wall and squashed a finger into the bargain!

In the deep pit, Nick located a possible way ahead, but it appears solidly choked at present, Mike’s ‘alternative’ is still worth pursuing to get a better look, it might develop into something, especially after the effort expelled in removing a rather large boulder that Jon eventually was able to reduce to manageable lumps, some fine wall-building material. It turned out to be another satisfying evening’s work.

28th July

digging 2020 Posted on Wed, July 29, 2020 06:07:13

Vince, Jake, Tav, Mike, Jon, Nick, and Duncan.

We are Six!

Jake, Tav and Mike alternated the digging activities while the rest of us were largely responsible for spoil management to varying degrees.

Jake removed some of the protruding limestone blocks with some vigorous swings of the large sledgehammer, this resulted in more space for digging and some decent rock for wall-building in the spoil disposal area. Unfortunately, as the evening progressed the dig began to appear less promising as more and more solid rock was encountered. As the filling of buckets was slower there were a number of alternative digging locations looked at including an interesting tube quite close to the point of entry into the chamber. However, there is still plenty to do and there are other developments that might require some serious attention.

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