Club Log Book 2024

Hunters Hole - Wed 3 Jan 2024

Andy Sparrow, David Cooke, Keith Milward, Lawrence Wilson, Peter Sanders, Seán Tidey, Will Puddy, Yvette Mayo

A delayed follow up to our SRT tower training evening (due to the passing of Jackie Dors)

This cave has been a bete noire of mine for quite some time so with a certain amount of fear and trepidation I got changed and positioned myself at the back of the group in case I bottled it and needed to leave in a hurry.

It was lovely and warm inside the cave and, despite being drippy, a lot drier than outside. Andy, Sean and Cookie rigged swiftly and the whole party disappeared efficiently before me.

All too soon it was my turn, the first pitch had been rigged excellently with the Y-hang as high as possible, this calmed my nerves as I didn’t have to drop off of the ledge into the abyss as I had done previously, at the rebelay Andy was on hand to encourage and reassure as he was for the second and third, before I knew it I was at the bottom with everyone else.

I wasn’t in tears and my knees weren’t knocking, what’s going on? Whilst it lasted I barged to the front of the queue and started to make my way up the ropes, by the time I got to the third rebelay I knew what I was doing and actually enjoying myself. All too soon I was at the Y-hang and then up and out to the surface where the rain had stopped

Whilst others derigged I got changed then all went into the Hunters for a debrief.

Hopefully my SRTing is on the way up, partly helped by new cows-tails that I actually trust. Thanks to all for your patience, guidance and encouragement

— Lawrence Wilson 12/01/2024


Sludge Pit - Wed 10 Jan 2024

Andy Sparrow, David Cooke, Lawrence Wilson, Peter Sanders, Rachel Sparrow, Will Puddy


Our fitst digging trip of the new year saw us making a fresh start in a new location, at the digging chamber adjacent to the clubs old dig.

We split into three teams with Andy and Rachel drilling holes in “The Hidden Stream”. Will, Euan and Peter making great progress at the new dig site, Whilst Cookie and Lawrence partially rebuilt the spoil heap and retaining wall at the bottom of the Aven dig site that had collapsed for a second time.

All out in freezing temperatures so reluctantly warmed up in the Hunters

— Lawrence Wilson 21/01/2024


Tyning’s Barrows Swallet - Wed 17 Jan 2024

Andy Sparrow, David Cooke, Lawrence Wilson, Paul James, Peter Sanders, Rachel Sparrow, Seán Tidey, Will Puddy


In minus four temperatures we got changed quickly then stomped around the entrance whilst the two entrance pitches where rigged and descended, the second pitch is a bit awkward, particularly on the return and should probably have had a lifeline on it.

Once we where all down we started to warm up and moved off down mostly walking sized passage before stepping over the Aardvark Trap and negotiating a couple of squeezes before arriving in the roomier Shit Hot which we followed down to the head of Pyramid Pot

Not having any tackle we didn’t descend but had a look over the edge, at this point a rather sweaty Cookie arrived having arrived a bit late and chased us down the cave!

We retraced our steps back up the cave, just passed the Aardvark Trap we left the main passage by turning right up Paton Place then through the squeezes in White Dog Passage to gain Dragon Chamber, after a couple of false starts we found the on via a choice of two awkward down climbs, my preference was a clean but bold direct climb involving a wide bridge across the passage, others opted for a muddy slither down on sloping holds, very long sling was useful, a hand line would have been better.

Rejoining the main passage we where soon at the bottom of the ladders, if anything it was even colder by now on the surface so a quick change was the order of the day, my fingers had just warmed up by the time I got to the Woodborough for a welcome pint and debrief

— Lawrence Wilson 21/01/2024


Pierre’s Pot - Wed 24 Jan 2024

Andy Sparrow, Lawrence Wilson, Paul James, Peter Sanders, Rachel Sparrow, Seán Tidey, Will Puddy, Yvette Mayo


All parked and got changed in much warmer temperatures than last week then divided ourselves into two groups, the first to tackle the squeezes and the lower reaches while the second had a bimble around the upper series.

Peter, Will and Sean negotiated the squeezes without too much difficulty, Sean needed to remove all extraneous kit but just pushed through, sadly PJ’s chest was just too big and despite a few spirited attempts couldn’t force the second squeeze so joined the upper series team.

We had a good poke around reversing chimneys etc. and Yvette doing the Switchback, finally leaving the cave at just gone 21:00 when we retired to the Woodborough where the other team arrived a while later having had a great trip up the streamway all the way to the Hanging Gardens.

— Lawrence Wilson 30/01/2024


White Pit - Wed 31 Jan 2024

Andy Sparrow, Lawrence Wilson, Peter Sanders, Rachel Sparrow, Seán Tidey, Will Puddy, Yvette Mayo


Meeting on the roadside between Priddy and Ebbor Gorge at 19:30, we got changed and walked to the entrance over a surprisingly soggy field, on the way it was pointed out that we needed three ladders but only had two! thankfully Andy had a plan.

We descended the tube and turned right into the roomy and well decorated Talus IV, after a few photos we retraced our steps to the junction and took the other passage down through a couple of squeezes to the top of The Forty Backs.

Sean rigged this with both of our ladders and all except Andy and Rachel descended the awkwardly tight rift. At the bottom we had a quick look in Master’s Hall then climbed up the calcite slope of Coffee Pot, helped and hindered in equal amounts by a knotted rope, once at the top a tight right angled bend was negotiated then through a puddle and some small passage to emerge at the entrance to Talus IV.

Andy and Rachel had kindly derigged The Forty Backs and had rerigged the entrance pitch most ingeniously. On the way in Andy had lowered the ladder then abseiled down on a doubled rope. On the way up he used the rope as a safety line, belayed from the bottom but he attached the ladder via a prusic to the other (dead) side of the rope thus being able to climb up the ladder whilst being lifelined, very clever.

Emerging into the field at 22:15 the fog had come down, sadly the Queen Vic was shut but the Hunters provided a warm welcome

— Lawrence Wilson 6/02/2024


Eastwater Cavern - Wed 28 Feb 2024

David Cooke, Peter Sanders, Will Puddy

Euan Goodland

Met at WCC on wet and foggy night and eventually set out to Eastwater around 8pm. Peter warned everyone of the slippery approach and promptly slid down the bank on his backside. Lovely waterfall down the entrance and through the approach to the Boulder Ruckle, so soon washed off the muck. Wet through, we progressed through the Woggle Press to the Boulder Chamber and then down to the Crossroads. Turning left we arrived at Dolphin Pot and descended with the aid of the 13m rope (and Italian Hitch for some). Next came the 35ft (Dolphin) Pitch which was rigged with the two ladders and 21m safety line, last man down using a doubled safety line held at the bottom. Getting a bit cold now, we descended the pitch (finding that one ladder actually reached to within a metre of the bottom, but two gave more flexibility at the top). Then on to the Bold Step, which was a bit testing. Down the rift we branched left and down the Muddy Oxbow (?) right at the bottom and back up the Thirteen Pots, returning to the Bold Step (actually climbable in the upward direction when at least two point contact could be maintained) and up through the Woggle Press for a refreshing shower on the way out (more so for Peter who struggled up the first access hole to the base of the entrance shaft which was in full flood instead if diving across to negotiate the second access in slightly more comfortable conditions. Slithering back up the slope we arrived cold wet and tired at the WCC, to find the time was nearly midnight, so straight to bed with no beer. What fun!

— Peter Sanders 2/03/2024


Monthly meeting - Sun 17 Mar 2024

David Cooke, Lawrence Wilson, Peter Sanders

Met at the White Hart, Cheddar, after asking the membership over email prior to the meeting about Gary and Avril becoming new members they were voted in, welcome.

Cookie has been nominated to become Chairman of the CSCC by the club following an email “poll”, congratulations and good luck in the upcoming election process.

Longleat access was discussed, no progress

Various caves and escapades were discussed over a pint or two leading to the coming 5 weeks trip programme being agreed

20/3/24 Hunters Lodge Inn Sink 27/3/24 GB perhaps to Disapointment Chamber 3/4/24. Sludge Pit 10/4/24.Rocket Drop or Ubley Warren Pot depending on access 17/4/24 SRT or advanced trip, possibly Rhino Rift?

— Lawrence Wilson 18/03/2024


Hunters Lodge Inn Sink - Wed 20 Mar 2024

David Cooke, Lawrence Wilson, Paul James, Peter Sanders, Will Puddy, Yvette Mayo

This is a great little cave, but quite strenuous!

Having got the key from Roger we all went down the ladder and straight into a descending crawl that finally emerged into a large well decorated chamber. Then through more squeezes and climbs before arriving at the top of the pitch that Will rigged.

The pitch is long and awkward, the ladder runs against the sloping wall all the way with two pinch points. Despite linking two ladders they didn’t quite reach the bottom leaving a straight forward free climb.

Through a squeeze a lake was reached that most waded through to some passage beyond. We returned via the same route.

After much discussion as to which pub was closest we ended up in the Hunters

— Lawrence Wilson 28/03/2024


GB - Wed 27 Mar 2024

Andy Sparrow, David Cooke, Euan Goodland, Lawrence Wilson, Paul James, Rachel Sparrow, Will Puddy, Yvette Mayo

Gary Avril

All met and changed in light drizzle and walked to the entrance across a very wet field.

Just inside we split up with Rachel, Gary and Avril going through the squeeze into Mud Passage whilst everyone one else climbed up the fixed ladder and into the Devils Elbow route, most of us had never been this way before and where pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t all squeezes. There are little chambers, free climbs and some decorations. Ultimately at Buggery Bend it is a crawl through water before a tricky down climb into the stream (fixed hand line) before popping out into the gorge 20m upstream from the normal Mud Passage route.

Following down stream into Main Chamber we regrouped then split with Andy, Rachel, Gary, Avril and Lawrence making their way out having had a look at the formations.

The rest went down the terrace and loop before climbing up into ladder dig and visiting Bat Passage before finding Disappointment Chamber which is all very loose, thankfully Yvette managed to dodge a large rock dislodged from above.

Changing was cold and wet so it was essential to warm up in the Woodborough the ladder dig crew arriving at 22:30

— Lawrence Wilson 28/03/2024


Sludge Pit - Wed 3 Apr 2024

Andy Sparrow, David Cooke, Euan Goodland, Ken Passant, Lawrence Wilson, Seán Tidey, Will Puddy

The clocks having changed at the weekend we walked across the fields in the light in a rare dry spell, as there was a good turnout we split into three teams.

Sean and Will going up the Aven, Andy and Cookie in to the secret streamway whilst Ken, Euan and Lawrence got busy at the dig. At exactly 20:00 silence descended whilst we listen for sounds through the dig face, disappointingly we couldn’t hear anything Will and Sean reported clearly hearing our banging about and even voices so can’t be far now, good progress was made from both sides.

A lot of rubble was removed from the secret stream with reports that it looks interesting about four metres ahead.

A pleasant debrief was enjoyed at the Hunters where we were all impressed with Will’s rock aiming that this week managed to find the bridge of Sean’s nose

— Lawrence Wilson 8/04/2024


Rocket Drop - Wed 10 Apr 2024

Andy Sparrow, David Cooke, Euan Goodland, Ken Passant, Lawrence Wilson, Peter Sanders, Seán Tidey, Yvette Mayo

Arrived in thick fog, having introduced ourselves to the farmer we got changed in a barn and dunked wellies in disinfectant then walked across a couple of fields to the entrance pipe.

Descending the 10m entrance landed us straight into a roomy chamber with a flat and frankly terrifying ceiling. From the end of the chamber a clamber through boulders lead to the top of a short down climb with a vintage hawser laid hand line in place.

Directly at the bottom of the climb a corkscrew downward squeeze lead into another, well decorated chamber with a short extension at one end.

The corkscrew squeeze was a lot harder on the way up through it, other than that the way out was straight forward via our inward route.

According to the farmer nobody has been down this cave since Covid and a few years before that, so probably six or seven years, that’s a shame as it’s a worthwhile little cave, having said that I won’t be racing back for a year or two.

A slow drive in thick fog ended at the Hunters for a debrief

— Lawrence Wilson 15/04/2024

Last modified: 14 Jan 2024 23:12