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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,  Connor Roe, and Roz Simmonds. Others have lent a hand too, including Callum Simmonds, 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, Will (Nick's nephew) and the Belgians (seven members of the Cascade Caving Club).

Above: the banner image, 'Mud cones in Land of Hope & Glory' was taken by Mark Burkey.

19th May

digging 2022 Posted on 20 May 2022 10:07 am

Report by Tav:

Mike, Jake, Tav

A good start was made on excavating the mud bank in the pit at the top of the big rift. Retaining walls were constructed and the mud relocated some metres downslope. There’s a lot of mud to shift so it will keep us busy on those nights when we’re not able to pursue the diamond mine rift. The air in this area still seems very fresh so time will tell. The cave lights were on when we arrived so it was interesting to see Chamber 20 under show cave conditions. We agreed that they’d done a pretty good job. 

Sadly, the evening finished on a sour note for on our return to the car park we discovered that some bastard’s had nicked Jake’s bike. We informed the hotel and went home.”

12th May

digging 2022 Posted on 20 May 2022 10:04 am

Reports by Tav:

Nick, Dunc, Jake and Tav 

A welcome return for Nick, happily with all of his fingers intact. Several jobs were accomplished. Nick went to inspect the pit to satisfy himself that it wasn’t a viable way on. He then turned his attention to the dwindling passage straight ahead and managed to open up a small hole. Conditions are very cramped and the appliance of some rapid speleogenesis is required here. The way on remains viable but will be hard won. With the aid of the ladder Duncan stuck his go pro into the hole above the spoil heap, revealing pretty much solid rock all around (see below). Meanwhile Jake and Tav investigated the extension’s various other possible options, and both concurred that the pit at the top of the big chamber remains the most interesting. This has been looked at briefly before but a more substantive dig to remove the left hand side of mud bank is worth pursuing to see if continuance to the east or preferably to the north lies underneath the mud which has clearly fallen from the roof. The draught seems strongest here and there are some indications that water once flowed from this location but the evidence is not conclusive. On the plus side, there is ample stacking space and the right-hand side of the mud bank can be preserved for posterity. The plan now is to proceed with both digs and two further very narrow ‘open’ rifts await the Voysey’s inspection.     

5th May

Tav, Jake, Mandy, Matt, Dunc and Mike 

A strong turnout for what was anticipated to be a last-ditch attempt at the pit in the floor. Tav’s turn to dig in the increasingly squalid conditions. 20+ tubs removed which as anticipated revealed no viable way on. The draught and the scalloping both appear to be passing above the pit into the dwindling passage straight ahead. The ladder extension proved very useful.”