Aim of today's trip was to climb the aven above sump 11 and continue up the tube that Mike and I believed to be Desolation Row (See Logbook Entry 291). En-route to sump 11 we found the viz to be exceptionally clear and also the water to be bitterly cold. The clear viz was probably due to low water levels and frozen ground outside. It was then decided to check out sump 12 in good visibility, so after passing sump 9 Phill ran ahead fully kitted up and dived into sump 12. A phreatic tube was seen heading down to the squeeze, and the squeeze is now about 0.5m square. Through the squeeze the new passage could clearly be seen heading into the distance but unfortunately there is a big loose boulder slide that we need to collapse before we can safely pass the squeeze and enter the new passage. We then climbed this aven above sump 11, as planned, and entered this tight ascending tube. After a short distance it was clear that we were the first people here. After taking off my wetsuit vest and leaving my helmet behind I managed to push on up to a small chamber, from here I climbed up into a much larger chamber. There was a possible continuation in the roof of this chamber (about 30ft up) but as I didn't have a helmet with me I decided to leave that fore another day. I then headed back down the tube to meet Phill who was unable to pass the tight tube as he was in his diving wetsuit. Overall a thoroughly productive and excellent trip.
Diving: Swildons Hole (22-Feb-03)
Phill Short, Andy Stewart
Swildons Hole, Mendip
01:00 dive time hours
On our way to investigate the aven above sump 11 we found the water unusually clear, so we had a quick dive in sump 12 and actually managed to see the way on - which was good. We then climbed up the aven above eleven and managed to find some new cave passage - see caving logbook.