Mike Alderton, Kevin Tomlinson, Rich Long, Sean Howe, James Wier
603:00 cumulative hours
Only 1 trip away from the magical fifteen when I can become a Cuthberts Leader. High water conditions meant we had to arrange for someone to release the dam when we had all got down the rift and close it after a couple of hours. We made our way from the Boulder Chamber to Long chamber and then to Pearl Passage. No one really knew where they were going so a lot of time was speant looking up dead-end passages and climbing over loose boulders. Some straws and pearls were found as well as some nice looking crystals. After seeing these the others went to have a look at the way to canyon series while Kev and I went on a bit of a tourist trip so as Kev could see some of the formations. We met up with the others just before Friday Night Traverse and then went up and had a look at pulpit pitch with quite a lot of water flowing over it. With a lot of water still coming down the rift we headed up to the top of Arete Pitch where it is warmer and drier. With the dam still open and a lot of cold water forcing its way down the entrance rift Mike and I decided a sporting climb up the rift was in order. It helped having done the rift quite a few times before as it was like a vertical sump, you couldn't see anything and breathing in places was also difficult. Once at the top we closed the dam for the others and headed back to the Belfry for a well deserved hot shower.
Caving: Swildons Hole (07-Jan-01)
Mike Alderton, Kevin Tomlinson, Pete Mullholland, Tom Chapman, Andy, Rob
609:30 cumulative hours
Back to Swildons 7 this time on mass to have a look at the wall just the other side of sump 6. We split up into groups on the way in so as there was not lots of standing around. By the time I arrived at the climb Rob was a fair way up continuing where Pete and Andy and left after previous weeks of bolting. While this was going on MA, KT, TC and I went down towards sump 7 and on the left side of the passage just before sump7 there was an extremely muddy 45? upward slope. At the top of this there was an extremely bizarre siphon sump. Every couple of minutes this crystal clear pool of water would rapidly rise, overflow and send a pulse of water downslope before stopping again. Albeit very fascinating the passage was climbed a bit further by MA and TC before getting to steep, muddy and tight. We all descended this and went back to see how the others were getting on. Rob was in the process of bolting his way into a cross-rift on the opposite wall. More time passed and when Rob had the rope anchored in this rift, he decided it was time to come down. I climbed up next and got myself into this rift where I then detached myself from the rope and pushed my way in. The rock was extremely sharp with a slimy covering of mud. With hat, belt, light and tackle-sack in front of me I pushed through this squeeze and the way on continued vertically upwards. I just managed to stand up looking at this vertical passage but the way on was now heniously tight with the passage getting tighter about 10' away. It was at this point I had no choice but to turn around. I rigged the rope of two of the spits so as it could be used for SRT and abseiled back down. On a future visit the top of the slab still needs climbing and exploring but this cross-rift has basically been written off. Once at the bottom PM, Rob, KT, TC had already headed out, so we packed up the stuff and headed out ourselves. Due to theThe way out was no problem and we too some good underwater pictures in sump2. From here the going was slow because of a long tiring trip but eventually we got out. amount of mud from the climb stuck in my wetsuit zip I had to dive out with my wetsuit undone - not very pleasant.
Diving: Swildons Hole (07-Jan-01)
Kevin Tomlinson, Mike Alderton, Pete Mullholland, Tom Chapman
Swildons Hole, Mendip
01:00 dive time hours
Bolted up slab immediately after sump 6. Concluded it doesn't go.