The
Bristol
Exploration Club, The Belfry,

Wells
Road
, Priddy, Wells,

Somerset
.
Editor: Dave Turner

The views expressed by contributors to the Belfry Bulletin,
including those of club officers are not necessarily the views of the committee
of the Bristol Exploration Club, or the editor, unless so stated.  The Editor cannot guarantee the accuracy of
information contained in contributed matter as it cannot normally be checked in
the time at his disposal

Enclosed with BB is a ballot form for the election of next
year’s committee, please either send it back to Bob or bring it with you to the
AGM.

If you haven’t yet booked your dinner tickets with Brian
Workman then you are leaving it very late! There is a choice of main course. Roast Sirloin of Beef or Prime Roast

Turkey
.  If you have booked tickets but have not
indicated your choice can you ring Brian (Oakhill (0749) 840815) and let him
know what you want.

Annual General Meeting – Belfry – 4th October – 10.30am

AGENDA

1.         Election
of Chairman

2.         Collection
of outstanding ballot papers

3.         Election
of three tellers

4.         Apologies
for absence

5.         Collection
of members resolutions

6.         Minutes
of the 1985 Annual General Meeting

7.         Matters
arising from the 1985 Minutes

8.         Hon.
Secretary’s Report

9.         Hon.
Treasurer’s Report

10.        Hon.
Auditor’s Report

11.        Caving
Secretary’s Report           12.        Hut Warden’s Report

13.        Tacklemaster’s
Report

14.        BB
Editor’s Report

15.        Hut
Engineer’s Report

16.        Librarian’s
Report

17.        Ian
Dear Memorial Fund Report

18.        Results
of ballot for Committee

19.        Election
of Committee Posts

20.        Constitutional
Amendments

21.        Any
Other Business

The Annual Dinner will be held at the Caveman Restaurant,
Cheddar on Saturday 4th October at 7.30pm for 8.00pm.

MENU

Hors d’oeuvre

Minestrone soup and
Parmesan cheese
or
Home made Liver and Bacon Pate with Melba toast.

Main Course

Roast Sirloin Beef
with Yorkshire Pudding and Horseradish Source
or
Prime roast

Turkey

with bacon, chipolata stuffing and cranberry source.
Roast and parsley boiled potatoes, sprouts and buttered carrots.

Sweet

Homemade sherry
trifle and fresh cream
or
Black forest gateaux and fresh cream.

Coffee and mints.

Half a bottle of red
or white wine per person.

When ordering tickets please state choice of main
course.  Tickets are available from Brian
Workman, Oakhill,

Bath

BA3 5AU, price £10 each.  Please pay for
your tickets at least a week before the Dinner – it only costs a 12p stamp and
saves messing up Brian’s dinner.

 

Constitutional Amendments Proposal.

(In accordance with section 7A of the Constitution)

Committee Proposals  (reference section 5 – Committee)

1.        
Para. 5A:  First
line “less than 7” be replaced by “less than 8”

2.         That  para. 5b be split into 2 parts.  5b(i) and 5b(ii) and altered as follows: –

5(i) shall read a 5b, but with
the word “nine” replaced by “twelve”.

Note: 5b(ii) shall be a clause to
allow an election for the committee to take place at the AGM if the system as
set out in 5b (i) fails.

5b(ii) to read “In the event
that the Secretary receives less than eight nominations by the end of the
second week of tember, providing he has given written notice to all members no
less than seven days before the AGM, he may ask the Chairman to accept
nominations from the floor. Any nominations must be seconded.

The candidates shall include
those members nominated from the floor plus any nominations notified a in 5b(i)
and voting will be by a method acceptable to the meeting”.

3.        
Para 5c change “nine” to “twelve”.

4.        
Para 5d add “and Membership Secretary” after “Editor”.

Additional Amendment

Proposede:  C.M. Smart

Seconded:  A.Jarrett

That section 3(a)A be amended as follows:  “Married couples” be replaced by “Married and
Common Law Couples”.

This is in line with other caving clubs e.g. Bradford
Pothole Club and the D.C.R.A. who accept such common law couples as joint
members.  I believe that it would have
the additional benefit of bringing in extra revenue.

As the committee has the ultimate sanction of accepting or
rejecting such membership this amendment is not as radical as it seems at first
inspection.

Blitz.

 

Hon. Secretary’s Report

OFFICERS’ REPORTS

So now the BEC is 51 years old.  The club wound themselves up to the fiftieth
celebrations and would appear to have not come down again.  The membership as a whole, have pulled together
in true BEC style and the club has enjoyed an exceptionally active year.  Members have been involved in many notable
achievements, the Cheddar Risings, Daren Cilau extensions, a very successful
club expedition to Austria and the reopening of Wigmore Swallet as a club
digging project, to name but a few.

The Belfry improvements are not only finished. but paid for,
thanks to the efforts of the treasurer and many kind donations by members new
and old.  Phil Romford, Alan Thomas,
Nigel Taylor and Butch are also to be thanked for their fund raising efforts.

If anything marred the year it was the unpleasantness of the
SSSI problem, this affected all the clubs on Mendip as you may or may not have
read in the BB.  The actions taken by the
NCC in respect of this matter seriously damaged our relations with the
landowners, and as a result a number of caves have been closed. 

The BEC has been active in the efforts to restore the status
quo, because of our commitment to supporting the local landowners a committee
decision was taken to close St. Cuthbert’s for a period of 2 weeks earlier in
the year as a gesture of solidarity. This decision was not taken lightly and I hope members understand why
such action had to be taken.

The Committee has adopted a policy of encouraging active
caving throughout the club, and giving special support to our younger
members.  It was with this in mind that
after a long discussion that we decided to replace the now dated
ultra-lightweight tackle with an amount of SRT equipment.  This subject will no doubt be enlarged upon
by the Tackle Officer in his report.

Efforts are still being made to purchase the Cuthbert’s
lease but due to our lack of funds at the beginning of the year we have not
pushed this matter.

It pleases me this AGM to see the club has returned to its
former glory and an election is necessary to decide on next year’s
committee.  Last year we had the
unfortunate position whereby we had insufficient candidates to form a full
committee, this was rectified by using the co-option rule in the
constitution.  As directed, the committee
has drafted proposals for constitutional changes that will allow a committee to
be elected from the floor at the AGM, if such an emergency situation should
ever arise again.

I personally would like to thank all the present committee
for their Herculean efforts throughout the year~ which has made my job as
secretary that much easier.  A special
thank you, I think, is in order to Jeremy Henley who, unfortunately for the
club, is resigning from the post of treasurer. He has made major contributions to the running of the club during his
term of office and will be missed in the future.

In conclusion, I would like to say that I have enjoyed
carrying out the secretarial duties for the club, and I hope the forth coming
year will prove as fruitful as the last. Bob Cork, Hon Sec, Sept 1986

 

1985/86 Treasurers Report

1)                  The club has had a successful year
financially.  It opened the year with a
negative balance of £1633.82 and closed the year with a current balance of
£1024.41, a turnaround of £2658.23.  Our
overdraft peaked in September at £2402.00

2)                  This has been due to the generosity of a number
of members, the hard work of others who have raised funds, the increase in
subscriptions and the earlier payment of them, the level of hut fees set
towards the end of the new financial year and a tighter control on inessential
expenditure.

3)                  I am pleased to report that a significant amount
of tackle has been purchased this year, in excess of £400 which is more than
all the years together that I have been treasurer and this I believe heralds a
return to what the club is about – caving.

4)                  The number of bednights has fallen steeply which
is of great concern as they are the largest source of income.  The fall has been offset by the higher
charges, but if the trend continues the surplus earned this year will not
continue.

5)                  If donations and fund raising for the hut are
ignored the surplus of income over expense from normal activities was
£902.67.  I recommend therefore that
subscriptions and hut fees remain unchanged for the coming year.

Jeremy Henley .

 

Caving Secretary’s Report

It hardly seems a year since I told Mac there was no way he
was ever going to con me into being Caving Sec. I’ve surprised myself and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it though~
and I’ll gladly do it next year if elected.

Since last October the club has had some good meets up in
Yorkshire and one or two washouts in
South Wales
(still there was always the Pub eh!!). But the main news of the year has been the club’s remarkable success in
finding a new cave!

Snablet and Tom Chapman found several hundred feet in
Swildons 2 before the NCC decided that cave formations damaged their red
tape!  A connection between the Boulder
Chamber and Ifold Series in Eastwater looked on the cards too, found by J-Rat
and Tim Large, until the NCC put a stop to caving, farming and goodwill in
Priddy (presumably because it all looks a bit messy to the hordes of tourists
they are encouraging to the area).

In Manor Farm.  Quiet
John Watson, Wormhole and Chris Castle are working on a very promising rift in
the far reaches beyond NHASA Gallery which is currently yielding to Tim Large’s
box of tricks!  Blitz Passage at the end
of Wigmore has decided its not a terminal choke after all (again thanks to
Tim’s bang licence).  Tim, Steve M.,
Blitz and myself are currently making steady progress in a low, draughting
bedding with high hopes of hitting the limestone soon.  Trevor Hughes has been helped in Halloween
Rift by Pete Eckford and Trebor is optimistic about reaching Wookey Hole before
his beard reaches his baldric.

Andy Sparrow has been busy in

Boughs
Cave

digging in various sites and in the same cave Richard Stevenson and Rob Harper
have what must be one of the most significant cave diving discoveries of recent
years.

In Daren Cilau, the Rock Steady Crew have found over one and
a half kilometres of passage and a connection with Agen Allwedd looks
close.  We stand a good chance of getting
the longest British cave system in the next year.

In Co. Clare, the BEC were making their presence felt at
Easter with Pete Glanville and Martin Grass diving the Green Holes and the LADS
finding numerous new sites and pushing Poulnagrinn.

Even

New
Zealand
didn’t manage to escape from the BEC
influence with the Wilton-Jones’s year long caving extravaganza taking in some
of the islands finest caves.

Bob and Dany represented the club on the

Mexico
86 Expedition with over 20
km of new passage explored including one at -600m.

And finally

Austria
.
J Rat and Trebor dug into Wiesberghohle.  C38 (Titanschacht) was bottomed; numerous
other caves found and Jagerhohle pushed down 25 pitches to a point over 600m
deep with a possible connection to Hirlatzhohle and a record for the deepest
through trip is on the cards.

Mark Lumley, Sept 1986

 

Belfry Bulletin Editor’s Report – September 1986

This has been a good first year for me as editor.  Unlike previous years I have had a good
supply of articles from a number of members and I thank them all for making the
effort.  As in most years most of the
articles I have received have come from the same small group of members, I
shall not name them in case I omit anyone, but my particular thanks to them.

In many ways the quality of the BB is out of the editor’s
hands as it is mainly a mirror on the club’s activities.  The editor’s task is made much easier when
the club is active and I feel that this has been the case this year.  I have tried to keep members informed as to
all the clubs activities within a reasonable time of their happening and as
such I am pleased to have an article in this BB (September) on the club’s
expedition to Austria.

It was a pity that the largest BB for many years was only
due to the scheduling of SSSI’s and I make no apologies for boring some members
with all the relevant bumph.  It is,
unfortunately, one of the most important happening affecting Mendip caving and
it is my duty to keep members as fully informed as possible.

My main regret with the BB this year has been the length of
time between my finishing typing an issue and the time it takes to print it and
distribute it.  I hope that this can be
changed next year and we are already investigating ways of doing so.

Dave Turner.

 

Dachstein ‘86

Extracts From The Log & General; Report

By 2.8.86, three carloads of Belfryites had arrived in
Hallstatt, and were in various stages of inebriation ranging from plain
comatose to Commode Hugging Drunk. Blitz, Gonzo, Steve Milner, Trebor, Duncan Frew (The Token Wessex
member) Richard Payne walked up the mountain in the afternoon while J-Rat,
Bullroarer Gould, Andy Lovell & Snablet sorted out the Seilbahn and stayed
in Hallstatt, for a valuable public relations exercise in the Divers Bar and
the local caving hut.  Andy Lovell was so
impressed with the local Stiegel beer that he deposited his entire evenings
intake on the pavement outside the Bar, for further examination and then
proceeded to lose his wallet containing all his holiday money.  This first evening set the standard for many
happy nights to follow.

Log: 3/8 While Steve, Trebor & Richard worked the winch,
Blitz,

Duncan

& Gonzo went for a walk to look for cave. Found several small draughting holes, one 15m shaft with a cairn beside
it, one large entrance with a boulder ruckle and then rediscovered site C.38
which we gardened and estimated to be about 50m – to be descended tomorrow –
back to Wiesberghaus, to get drunk on beer & Roberts whiskey.  Mark.

Log: 3/8 Trebor, Steve & Richard went off for
acclimatisation walk when the others got back, cave spotting also.  Found numerous plugged snow holes of course,
plus a chamber with an ice covered floor and ice stals.  Then found C.57 which seems to have opened up
since it was last looked at.  Worth a
better look at in the Morgan. Trebor.

We were joined in the evening by Bob Riley of the Burnley
C.C. Tomma, Malvern Dave and Pete of the N.C.C. An enjoyable evening was had by all around a bonfire outside the
Wiesberghaus with our hosts, Robert & Laura.

Log: 4/8/  Tomma,
Pete, J.Rat, Dave (SWCC), Snablet, Bob Riley. Went for a look at C.33.  Cave
drops quickly down several short climbs to head of 10m pitch to large chamber
and cairn (this was explored to here by
S. Mittendorfer
in 1961).  Passage beyond here is
continuously small and awkward with several climbs.  It was pushed for about 80m to an awkward
double bend-still going.  Knocked it on
the head here.  If this hole goes it would
be a twat to ferry tackle and a cave NOT to be in when it rains.  Tomma.

Log: 4/8 Dave, Pete, Tomma, J.Rat & Snablet.   Had a root round in a dig – Asshohle, after
removing some boulders in a loose choke. After a six foot drop, a five foot crawl leading to a cross rift blocked
at one end.  Other end unknown.  There is a slight draught, it needs another
look with more protection than shorts. Bearing from C.33 is        Dave.

Log: 4/8 Gonzo, Steve, Blitz,

Duncan
. Back to C.38 with lots of rope, crowbar etc.  Shifted constricting boulder – 8 seconds
(with ricochets) to bottom!!  Dropped
onto ledge to stick in bolt, awkward – wasted an hour.  Abseiled 5m to next ledge where I rigged a
free hang for a 20-25m pitch in large rift. Landed on ledge with much loose debris and snow.  Slope down to head of 25-30m (estimated)
pitch.  Because of the falling boulders,
I traversed out on left wall for a free hang, stuck in bolt and exited.  Water can be heard at the bottom, pitch is
about 50′ x 60′.  Mark.

Log 4/8 C.38 contd. Points not mentioned by Mark. Three bloody great Faults intersect where the cave descends, if this is
not a sound prospect I’m a Bratwurst!! Steve.

Log: 4/8.  On the way
back from C.38 we walked towards Grun Kogel, but continued around at about C.38
height.  Noted several swallets, couple
of shafts, one section of amazing canyon passage into a snow plug and two
horizontal entrances (1m x 1.5m) one into snow plug with chamber/passage (4m x
5m) leading to very easy dig into cross rift. Could see 4m right and 2m left. Blitz.

Log: 4/8 Trebor & Richard.  Went to look at C.57.  Loads of shafts & collapses along fault
parallel to resurgence – all choked.

Log: 4/8 Andy, Tim, Snablet. Noted several holes in massive depression about ½ hour from
Wiesberghaus.  One was blowing well, had
a short dig in large boulders.  Found
10-15 shafts nearby several of which are over 20m deep but very tight.  Andy.

Log: 4/8 Pleasant dreams about Samantha Fox, ruined by three
Yorkshire twats who couldn’t hold their beer (Morning Tomma!) have to educate
them about how to drink ad infinitum! Mark.

Snablet demonstrated the tradition of Morris honking,
retching all night to the accompaniment of bells.

Log: 5/8 Wiesberghoh1e. Tomma, Pete, J.Rat, Trebor.  To a cave 4 mins from the Wiesberghaus shown
to us by Robert.  A low, muddy,
descending crawl led to a choke some 10m in. This was dug and passed by J.Rat, Dave and Trebor – the others going to
descend a nearby 10m shaft.  Beyond the
choke the passage was walking sized dry phreatic stuff leading to a 14m pitch
after about 16m.  From the pitch bottom
some 180m of superb, roomy cave ending on the brink of a 15-20m (approx) pitch
with large passage visible below and the sound of a stream.  A selection, of F—— great Henries were
hurled down the shaft before we retreated, checking the floor for possible ways
down en route.  Nothing found but an
inlet passage ⅓ way along leading to calcite choke with an echoing sound
beyond.  Removed the entrance choke
completely using crowbar, scaffold pole and 15 gallons of adrenalin!  J.Rat.

August 5th, saw a return to C.38, now dubbed Titanschacht,
due to the enormous (Wimpey home) boulders on the scree above the entrance.  Steve descended the now wet shaft to continue
bolting and was nearly zapped by boulders falling from the loose entrance.  He re-emerged as white as the Homepride man.  Duncan then went down only to return equally
promptly when the wall he was bolting into proved that Newton was right and
collapsed.

Meanwhile, Blitz and Gonzo, went prospecting.  There was an entrance higher up the fault
from Titanschacht.  Heading north along
the cliffs, we found many holes including one very large pot on a major fault
partially snow plugged which was later descended by Howard Limbert and the
Yorkshire crew with a 40m entrance shaft to choke.

Log: 5/8 Wiesberghohle. After removing the choke near the entrance with the famous words from J.
Rat

“I can’t understand what’s holding this lot
up!”  While standing underneath a
fridge sized Henry!  Pete and Dave, then
went down the next (23m) pitch leading into tight, immature passage.  7m up the shaft a rift passage leads to
fallen blocks and a possible way on, but after ½ hours battering it still would
not yield.  About ½ way down the pitch a
pendulum led to a shattered passage leading after 20m to a 17m pitch.  Another pitch found after 7m – about 16m
(un-descended).  Several passages leading
off to old, abandoned passage and tight vertical rifts below the main passage
ending in a climb needing rope into passage below.  The Food Snatchers.

Log: 6/8 Titanschacht – Gonzo and Duncan.  Went down together so as not to lob any
Herberts on each other.  Gonzo managed
the next rebelay using a piton to stay in situ. Reached the bottom of the main shaft – solidly choked.  Returning up about 16m we pendulumed into an
alcove where we were joined by Bob Riley. Four ways on, three of which closed down.  The fourth, a narrow rift taking water was
followed by Duncan to a point where it became too narrow.

Log: Two days in advance but Snablet probably still
honking!  South Wales Caving Club, had a
‘family coach load’ of about 30 people in Hallstatt and were represented on the
mountain by a team of about five cavers including Chris Fry, Jon Young, Andy
Dawson and Ow Jones.  They had been
prospecting an area down the Barengasse-Herengasse Fault where they had little
success until Chris, found a hole that was later to change the direction of the
entire expedition.

Log: 6/8 5104.  Open
entrance leads to steeply descending rift dropping 32m (approx) over a length
of 130m.  Two short crawls give access to
a chamber with a large 40m pitch.  Way on
open.  Andy.

The hole was next to a group of Jagerhuttes (Hunters Lodges)
so the Mendip contingent promptly renamed S104 Jagerhohle (Hunters Hole) much
to the disgust of the Welsh lads!!

Log: 7/8 Kurt, Peter Seetoller (Halistatt Club) Burnley Bob,
Trebor, J.Rat, Steve, Blitz. Wiesberghohle.  Tourist trip for
the Austrians – Peter was impressed, Kurt just took the piss.  Pushed sandy crawl on ledge at bottom of
Berghilchschacht to emerge back in Dave and Pete’s passage.  J.Rat swung on the rope at the top of
Robertschacht to reach a very exposed ledge half of which promptly dropped
off.  He chickened out at this point but
a large passage can be seen 3m away over the top of the shaft.  Needs bolting or rigid ladder.

Log: 7/8 C.66 Must castrate Blitz.  Mark. While you’re about it don’t forget a
certain small pitches without prussiking kit. Duncan, bastard who abseils down.

Log: 7/8.  After
farting about with C.66 we walked off towards Niederer Ochsenkogel.  I looked for horizontal entrances in the
terraces of the eastern face.  There were
five or six small passages heading in for about 10 – 15m before becoming too
tight.  Then I found an entrance
partially obscured by fallen scree.  The
passage was 3-4m wide and 10m high. Mark.

The next day this was entered and choked after 20-30m.

Log: 7/8 Walked back to draughting hole and dug until
boulders were too big.  Wandered over
west and found some holes with snow plugs, one of which nearly collapsed under
me.  Abseiled down 7m to snow covered
floor in a small chamber with good icicles and way on tight over snow-not
followed.

On the way back I found a 30m shaft with snow at the bottom
and a possible way on: Andy.  C.66.  After pulling up a few rocks from entrance of
a tight shaft: descended 7m to ledge then further 7m to bottom of shaft with
narrow rift running off at the bottom. White walled rift ended (too tight) after about 33m.  Pretty Horrible.  Snablet.

Log: 7/8 S104 (Jagerhohle). Continued on from base of 40m pitch up over pile of boulders along short
traverse to top of next pitch estimated at 45m. Started rigging difficult pitch head, then driver fell apart and dropped
down the hole.  Second shaft is on a
large fault, bearing not yet known. Andy.

Log: 7/8 2 Austrians, 1 Yorkie.  Shaft on Grune Kogel.  Ten minutes walk from Titanschacht following
cairns.  Entrance in large doline.  Scramble down past snow plug – climbs and
pitches to depth approx 40m.  Base of
shaft, small alcove with climbs above to passage (not yet climbed).  Large obvious cave leading off in opposite
direction, very easy going in large, half round tube for 130m to a draughting
dig.  This was pushed through to a small
chamber, climb up sandy slope to large squeeze into base of an aven.  Two alternatives into more active part of
system with small, un-descended pitch. Bob.

The eight of August, was fairly uneventful as far as caving
went.  There was a thunderstorm in the
afternoon.  Half the team went down to
Hallstatt for a trip in Hirlatzhohle which was unfortunately postponed, the
Welsh lads returned to Jagerhohle but left prematurely without rigging the
second pitch as the water started to rise. The Wiesberghaus was struck by lightning and so was one of the Welsh
crew.  In the end there was nothing for
it but to get Steigeled.  We were also
joined by 4 M.U.S.S. who had been turfed off the Tennengeberge.  Between us we drank the Weisberghaus dry:

Log: 9.8.86.  5104
Jagerhohle. Duncao, Bob, Gonzo.  Second
pitch rigged 40m deep 70% of which the walls are coated thickly with moon
milk.  Obvious passage leading off soon
becomes tight.  Climb down through
boulders to stream, traverse forward to 3rd pitch – 15m (approx) soon followed
by 4th pitch (18m) short passage to 5th pitch. Gonzo descended the 5th pitch on the last available rope.  The pitch was 33m.  Unfortunately the rope was only 30m so some
acrobatics were needed (using a cowtail) before the descent was completed.  A steep ramp headed off to the top of the 6th
pitch.  Meanwhile, Duncan and Chris,
started surveying.  Bob.

Log: 10/8 Hirlatzhohle. Kurt, Tim Gould, J. Rat, Andy, Blitz, Richard, 8 SWCC, Tomma, Pete,
Dave.  Kurt was 7 mins late but then had
to wait 1 hour for BEC/NCC to eat their breakfast.  Superb trip in this huge phreatic system to
the end of the old cave, where Dave and Blitz pushed along a grotty, wet
passage for 70m to a choke.  A race developed
on the way back to the entrance. Everyone very impressed by the huge passage, tons of fine white sand and
the incredible howling draught in the small entrance passages.  All this after a superb afternoon/evenings
booze up at the Hallstatt Festival where a BEC sticker was employed ABOVE a
SWCC flag about 60′ up the side of the local church tower – thanks to the local
cavers who were demonstrating S.R.T. rescue with the most attractive, sensual,
tasty etc. etc. rescue victim on record. Regarding this, there is one place where the BEC actually failed to
get!  J. Rat.

Log: 10/8. 5104 Jagerhohle. Burnley Bob, Nigel and Jan M.U.S.S. Re-rigged several pitches, down slope of boulders rigged with line, 13m
pitch (6th), climb down to stream.  A few
meters of passage then 10m pitch (7th) (Lousy Rigging) into stream.  Short passage with stream disappearing
through impenetrable crack on the left. Step up into large canyon passage sloping down steeply with several
pools.  Short pitch just ahead.

Log: 11/8 Jagerhohle, Snablet, Steve, Gonzo.  Up at 6 o’clock (To avoid forecast evening
storm).  Snablet got lost.  Steve and Mark carried on down to Bob’s
furthest point of yesterday.  Down
sloping canyon to 7m pitch (8th) and along canyon to 13m pitch (9th) into
abandoned sump-zone with formations. Dried mud over floor.  Bob arrived
and found way on to head of 10th pitch. Complex area at head of the pitch wants looking at. Plenty of room to
sit out flash flood between all pitches. Mark.

By now Howard & Debbie Limbert, Tim, Allen, Rupert, Dany
and Alan Turner had arrived at the hut and were busy looking for cave and
following up previous leads.

Log: 11/8 Jagerhohle. Andy, Jon (SWCC).  Left early to re-rig some of the pitches.
With thoughts of thunderstorms and long hold up at 2nd pitch we ended up
helping Duncan with surveying to 3rd pitch. Rigging on 2nd pitch needs
attention.  Andy.

Log: 11/8 Recce to GruneKogel.  1 hour walk from camp follow good cairn route
to large, obvious fault at base of cliffs. Large entrance hole (AI) was descended by 15m pitch to another shaft
(20m) which was blocked with snow.  No
obvious draught.  200m back along cliff
base found two (A2, A3) large depressions. A2 consisted of 20m pitch followed by slope on snow past ice formations
to snow chute 35m (approx) deep.  A3 – A
small climb down 8m to snow plug.  Climb
up on one side led to crawl 10m to 30m pitch followed by 16m pitch to tight
passage.  Could see a pitch in
front.  At base of 30~ pitch a passage
led off to top of 50m (un-descended) pitch. A return trip is planned tomorrow, book early!!  Howard.

Log: 11/8 Blitz, John(Big Nose) and Dave.
Wiesberghohle.  Went back down.  Got across the pole above first rope pitch
(Robertschacht).  After 2m of horizontal
passage it led to a short shaft connecting with Robertschacht.  After a 5m traverse it led to another shaft
(13m).  After climbing about 5m this was
seen to be too tight.  Dave.

Log: 12/8 Jagerhohle, Trebor, Andy, Tim.  Photographic trip getting good shots of 1st
& 2nd pitches.  We met J.Rat and
crew, had a smoke and pissed off out. Tim.  After about 4 hrs

Log: 12/8 Jagerhohle. Tomma and Howard, surveyed from top of 3rd pitch to bottom of 9th
pausing only for Tomma to honk every 5 mins. J.Rat and Trebor, surveyed from bottom of 9th to within 33m of
10th.  Superb trip with a few exciting
moments on both 2nd and 1st pitches. J.Rat nearly lost his top set of teeth! J.Rat.

The incident above was when Tony’s maillon decided to part
company with one side of his sit harness 40m off the ground.  He was promptly horribly sick over those
waiting below.

Log: 12/8 Jagerhohle, Dave, Pete, John (Big Nose).  After fighting our way down amongst everybody
we hit some abominable rigging, this is rope we are using, not wire and we are
playing with peoples lives.  We picked up
various lengths of rope in bags scattered around the place.  After the 10th pitch it started to change
character with narrow rift passages leading to a 5m pitch.  After, some narrow rift passages led to some
shorter pitches including a 10m pitch with a rebelay to a 16m pitch.  Traversing over the latter led to another
shaft reconnecting with the first. Carrying on further led to a huge shaft, going upwards – the light would
not reach the top.  The bottom 16m is
quite aqueous.  This led to (approx) 10m
of narrow rift to an un-descended 3m pitch. Here we were hit by an increase in water and made a hasty retreat.  Some of the pitches were quite wet, but
nothing too bad.  This is a superb cave
with loads of passage which has not yet been touched~ Hirlatzhohle here we
come!  Dave.

Log: 13/8 Jagerhohle. Tim, Allen, Rupert.  Went down, fucked about for 13 hours and came
out.  The trip was joined by Bob Riley,
between them they pushed the cave down to the top of the seventeenth pitch and
surveyed back to the tenth.  Rupert

Log: 13/8 Jagerhohle Gonzo. Solo trip in until I met 2 South Wales lads rigging 2nd pitch.  Headed down with them to head of 9th.  Climbed up in roof to well decorated higher
section of rift.  At top of 10th went
along phreatic borehole to base of large aven. S.W.C.C. headed out while I went down to help bolt the pitches.  Met Bob, Rupert and Tim on P.13
surveying.  Bolting done, no more rope so
I headed out losing carbide base en route. Mark.

Log: Where is it now HEE! HEE!  Anon.

Log: 13/8 Andy’s mega through trip.  Carried Trebor from the Wiesberghaus to the
Glacken in a comatose state and placed him gently on the floor.  He had drunk 1¼ bottles of Johnny Walker!  Andy.

The day was also noted for an amusing remark from a German
tourist – ‘You are cave inspectors, Ja?’  J.Rat’s pearl of wisdom on comparing the local brands of cigarette  “Having a hobby is better than smoking a
Johnny!”

Log: 14/8 Steve, Dave, Pete and John.   ‘Kin excellent trip.  15 hours and absolutely shagged out.  Went down approximately 20 pitches to the
head of a mega passage/pitch/fault bearing N.W. straight towards the
Hirlatzhohle.  Pete descended this on
several ropes tied together but the rigging is awful and needs to be done
properly.  Hirlatzhohle here we
come!  A hell of a trip to finish a
superb holiday – me thinks I’ll be back next year…pity, I missed the farewell
piss-up.  Steve.

The majority of the Mendip crew headed for home to dry out
on the fifteenth, leaving seven of the
Yorkshire
team with Dany and Alan.  We were all
well satisfied with a superb Holiday and Caving Expedition behind us but were
sorry to leave the cave twenty pitches down with a connection to Hirlatzhohle
looking imminent.  The bottom zone of the
cave was looking very similar to Hirlatz and we estimated that we were down
about 600m.  The cave seemed to be
heading towards a high, prominent inlet on the Hirlatz survey.

Log 15/8.  Looked for
new caves in the depressions higher up from Jagerhohle.  One hole was draughting quite strongly but
was too small to get in because boulders blocked the way.  Inside I could see it got larger.  Alan.

Stardate: 15/8.  Dear
Brethren, the holy one, Kurt and Peter, have arrived at our humble abode.  The great one has ordained that he and other
Ostriches will not permit the name Jagerhohle and it must be called Wies Alm
Schacht.  You will obey my commands!  Or you will be exterminated.  Your most humble servant, Pete.

P.S.  Vy hass ze
zurveyed length not been put on ze survey, instead off ze plan length~ Ziss
vill not do!  Vy you not do it??

Dany, Howard, Bob. Went down to continue survey and bring more gear down
Wiesberghohle.  Survey started at top of
20th pitch, down boulder rift and through huge boulder choke for streamway
continuation.  Finished at head of
(approx) 80m pitch where Tim, Rupert and Bob were rigging.  Exited after 17 hours trip total depth for
last survey station 483.Sm.  It’s now
heading towards one of the high points of Hirlatzhohle (approx) 100m difference
in height 1km away.

Rupert, Tim and Bullit Bob. Last pushing trip.  Re-rigged 21st
pitch with single rope and took the rest on down.  Steep descent through boulder choke (50m)
lead back to stream.

Water disappeared into tight rift but over top, phreatic
passage led to 80m pitch which required devious rigging with 2 deviations and 3
rebelays.  Top part was in wide rift but
bottom part opened out into large circular shaft.  At the bottom the stream entered an immature
streamway but a climb up boulders gained a large phreatic tunnel with a crazed
mud floor.  (Something for the S.W.C.C.
to tape off next year).  This passage led
for several hundred feet to a squeeze then opened out again just so pitch
(un-descended).  The depth must now be
between 550m – 580m. Prospects look excellent.

De-rigging The Bastard. Pete, Nose and Jordy, de-rigged all kit to 15th Pitch.

Large team then went in at various times and de-rigged to
1st pitch and took several bags out. Next day, everyone brought bags out and de-tackled to Seilbahn hut.  Job done.

Two flood pulses went down on the mega de-rigging trip but
no real problems caused.  Several people
quite cold due to hanging about and Dave drew short straw to de-tackle the
bottom of 5th pitch very wet when rope isn’t tied off!!

With the cave left below 550m we’ll have to go back next
year.  Realistically, we should put a
camp down in the region of the 22nd pitch. We’re going to need a lot of 9mm rope for the lower pitches of the cave
because tackle ferrying can be awkward between the 9th and 15th pitches so we
shall need sponsorship.

The furthest point reached is only 150 metres above
Hirlatzhohle with about a kilometre to go along the fault.  A connection will give us a cave with a depth
of 1100m putting it amongst the deepest in the world.  We will also have one of the deepest through
trips in the world.  Anyone interested?

Mark Lumley.

Surveys in the next B.B.

 

Jager Hohle (Hunters Hohle)

[PROPERLY KNOWN AS WIES – ALM HOBLE]

Jager Hohle discovered by Chris Fry, one of the contingent
from the SWCC, was a delight to explore.

Mark Lumley, (Burnley) Rob Riley and I were invited by the
SWCC to help rig the second deep & roomy pitch, this turned out to be
approx. 180′ deep.  This was quickly
followed by three more pitches; 40′ 50′ and 100′.  We ran out of rope at this stage and headed
out after 8hrs.  We had reached approx.
-800′.

Our second trip two days later, incidentally on my birthday,
saw Mark, Burnley Bob and I rigging down to the bottom of the 9th pitch,
approx. -950′.  Here the cave development
was horizontal and confusing, we retired again as we had little rope and
couldn’t find the way!.

The next day Malvern Dave, Pete, and Tomma of the NCC
discovered the route beyond the 9th and rigged down to the top of the
14th.  The next pushing team; Burnley
Bob, Rupert Scorupka and Tim Fogg pushed down to the top of the 18th pitch
(with some superb acrobatic rigging on their part).

My penultimate day up on the limestone plateau was spent
exploring Jager Hohle with Malvern Dave, Pete and John (Big Nose), pushing down
to the top of the 21st pitch.  When we
arrived at the bottom of the 14th pitch we had a brew and decided that Malvern
Dave and I should rig beyond the 18th pitch and that Pete and Big Nose should
follow behind us surveying from the last survey point at the 14th.  This arrangement worked perfectly, Dave and I
managing to keep ahead of the survey team bolting where necessary.  I still had reservations about rigging virgin
pitches as the first time I had tried this lark was during the previous week
down Titan Schacht, Dave told me later that he too had very little experience
of rigging virgin pitches, anyway, we managed.

Around the 19th pitch the cave changed character
completely.   From the clean washed rift
passage we had been descending we came into a lofty passage with the first dry
mud banks, the remnants of a flood centuries ago.  We dropped down a 10′ pitch and had the
pleasure of racing down a big passage to the top of a very big drop.  The wall to our left and in front of us
couldn’t be seen with our lights and we threw stones down an obviously very
deep ramp.  An impressive place.  We had three medium sized ropes left, these
we tied together and Pete made a dodgy descent over an unstable wall on the right
using an equally dodgy rebelay.  At the
bottom Pete raced off and was only held up from further exploration by a 10′
pitch.  The landing was -397.8m and Pete
had descended a further 70m or so.

Dave and I had been waiting at the top of the 21st for one
hour during Pete’s descent.  The draught
at this point was terrific (outwards) and despite thermal underwear, an Alpinex
undersuit, a furry undersuit, an oversuit, balaclava and gloves, we were very
cold indeed.  It took ages for us to warm
up a again on the way out.  We exited
from the cave to a beautiful clear night, I had been down some 15hrs or so and
was very knackered.  The journey back up
to the Wiesberghaus took me well over an hour, a less exhausted person would
complete the distance in 25 mins or so. At 2am at my tent (and in a frost) I passed into a very deep and happy
sleep.

ADDENDUM

I understand that only one more pushing trip was made before
the cave had to be de-rigged.  The cave
was approx. -550m to the top of a hundred or so foot pitch.  The line of the cave is on a fault down the
Wies Alm Valley heading straight towards a passage in the Hirlatzhohle 1km
distant and just 160m or so below us. Horizontal development has to come soon in very large cave.  We have potentially the deepest through trip
in the world (and the longest in Austria if we connect with the Mammuthohle as
well).

Steve Milner


 


Austria

86 – A personal view 

Most of the Mendip lot were already in

Austria
, I had
arranged to go with Dany and four others (Howard and Deb, Rupert and Tim
Allen).  After a couple of delays in the
packing we set off in Dany’s van with enough food to feed the five
thousand.  After about six miles Dany
decided that we would have to stop in Bristol to restock up the food, we hadn’t
any “Lime Pickle” or “Bombay Duck”.  After all the delays we actually managed to
catch the midnight Dover to Calais ferry, an hour earlier than had been
arranged.  The duty free was giving a
bargain we could not resist, 24 small cans of beer for five pounds, these cans
were the first best buy.

After stopping in the night for a sleep in a French lay-by
we drove continuously through Belgium, Germany and into Austria.  We arrived in Hallstat in the early hours of
Sunday, the mountains were just outlines in the sky.  We went to sleep by the lake, just outside
Hallstat.  An early morning swim with the
topless women was made by a few in the group, but was just too much for Dany.

After the excitement we had to organise the sailband (A
cable car which can only carry equipment) The Scailband would take our equipment to the “Wiesberghaus” (The Hunters).  It took a few hours to organise because the
Wiesberghaus had been hit by lightning the day before, so communications were
nil.  A couple from our group walked up
(one to two hour walk) and by midday we had just sent our first load.  We finished with the Sailband by 4.00pm and
we managed to catch the last cable car up. As we arrived at the cable car we met Dave, Pete and Tomma who gave us
the general news, and about Tomma’s mystery illness after a night’s drinking.

I was quite surprised at the speed of thunderstorms, because
by the time we reached the top the heavens had opened.  We stayed at the cable car bar until the
storm had subsided, then we made our way to the Wiesberghaus.  The evening was spent at the Wiesberghaus
having a piss up, and hearing all the news.

First day up the hill I decided to go with Howard, Deb,
Rupert, Tim and Dany to look for some new caves.  The walk was half an hour across jagged
limestone following good cairn tracks  (A
place which had been roughly looked at the week before but needed another
look).  At the base of the cliff there
was an obvious fault, the first hole (Al) was on the fault.  The hole was 15 feet by 20 feet, with snow on
one side. Tim and Rupert descended the 10 metre entrance shaft to an inclined
passage, 3 feet wide by 10 ft high with a ice floor.  This led to the head of a 20m pitch, at the
bottom it was blocked by snow.  There was
no obvious draught.

While they had been down the cave the rest of us were
looking for more holes which could be descended.  One looked very promising (A2) and had a 30ft
diameter entrance shaft.  The entrance
shaft was about 40ft deep, with snow at the bottom.  One side of a pitch was descended (100ft) but
this was also blocked by ice.  Some good
ice formations!  Another hole was found
(A3) with a slightly smaller entrance shaft than (A2) with a 20ft free climb
onto a snow plug with no way down.  On
the far side was a fairly awkward climb of 10ft.  This led along a small passage for 15ft to
the head of a 30m pitch.  At the top it
was very frost shattered and a few moments were taken clearing the pitch of
loose boulders.  The pitch was descended
to ledge 10ft from the bottom and a climb down revealed a tight passage leading
off.  Trim and Rupert dug for a while to
see another pitch (12m) but were too cold to descend.  At the base of the 30m pitch a small passage
led off to the top of large shaft (+50m) this was also un-descended.  I arranged to go with Tim and Rupert on an
early morning pushing trip down (A3) the next day.

The next day Tim, Rupert and myself left the campsite about
half past eight.  We had arranged that
Dany and Deb would come in later to survey. We managed to start descending the cave about quarter past nine, to the
sound of a thunderstorm.  I was quite
concerned about the storm but carried on. The first pitch had been rigged with a rebelay.  It was looped around a horizontal flake and
care had to be taken when prussiking up. We reached the bottom and went to the top of the (50m).  This was actually a fine 160ft. pitch
gradually enlarging to a chamber (90ft x 35ft). Half way down the rope went through an eye hole into the chamber, this
is the finest pitch I have done!  There
were two ways on at the bottom, one was a 30ft choked shaft, and a quick dig
led to a 40ft pitch.  This landed on the
floor of a chamber with flood water coming in from the roof, but there were no
problems.  Another short passage led to a
50ft pitch into a mega fault passage, unfortunately it ended in a solid
choke.  We dug for a while with no
success!  At the other end of the mega
passage a 30ft pitch dropped into a chamber, one end was choked and the other
end had a 20ft climb which was too tight. Rupert climbed several avens in the chamber, there was much loose
rock!  (“BELOW”)

At the bottom of the first shaft (90ft) a squeeze led to a
50ft pitch, but was too tight at the bottom to continue.

When we reached the surface after five hours caving the
visibility had fallen to couple of yards due to fog.  Back at the campsite we found the surveying
team; they had been delayed due to a mystery illness which Dany had caught the
night before in the bar of the Wiesberghaus’

In the evening back at the Wiesberghaus there were rumours
that 8104 (a Welsh find) was still going big and deep, so Tim, Rupert and I
organised to go on an early trip down the “Jager Hohle” (Hunter”s Hole).

The cave is situated fifteen minutes away from the
Wiesberghaus down towards Hallstat.  To
find the cave we proceeded in a south easterly direction down the Wies Alm
Valley past two hunting huts.  At the
third (south eastern) hut we turned left and the cave was roughly 30 metres
away in a small depression / gulley.  The
cave entrance was quite small compared to the cave we did the day before
(4ft-6ft).  The first ten minutes were
along a rifty passage, not hard, but it wrecks S.R.T. gear.  At the end a small crawl led to the first
drop of 100ft in huge chamber.  I had
been told the ropes were muddy (bloody hell! they were right!).  The first 20ft was like a free fall due the
ropes being so slippery and I was pleased I had a Petzl Stop!  The second pitch was not far from the
first.  It was 180ft split into four
parts, and was very badly rigged!  There
was more mud on it than the last and was soon known as “paranoia
pitch”.

As we continued down, the pitches became smaller.  At the bottom of the sixth pitch my carbide
light bust!!!  The others were slightly
in front so I decided to solo out.  On my
way up the sixth pitch the case for my Petzl light fell off, so I had to
re-descend to the bottom with my light fading every minute!  My case was lying between some boulders in
the stream and I had to crawl in the water to retrieve it.  I soloed out and met Bob, who was “superman”
of the trip (the only way to slow him down was with large tackle bags).  At the bottom of the second pitch I found
that they had started to re-rig it in a different place to give a free hang of
180ft.  The problem was they hadn’t
finished and I had to climb the old rig, half way up the rope caught behind a
flake.  When I was about 5ft below it~
the flake came away from the muddy wall and damaged the rope, the sheath was nearly
rubbed through.  I reached the surface
around three o’clock without further incidents.

A couple of days later I went for a walk further up the
valley from the “Jager Hohle”, I found a hole which was draughting strongly, it
was blocked with boulders appeared to become larger inside.  I meant to return but didn’t have time.

On Saturday seven of us went down to Hallstat and swam in
the lake.  In the evening we had a meal
at the Diver’s Bar.  We had fairly cheap
meals compared to usual Austrian prices, well except for Dany.

In the morning we had breakfast at the Millerty station at
top of the cable car.  The beer and food
was so cheap here it was unbelievable, beer costed 8 schillings which is less
than 40 pence.

Jager Hohle had now reached 22 pitches, one of the drops was
250ft, and the last was an un-descended 50ft. Most caving trips were taking about 18 to 20 hours and next year it will
be necessary to have an underground camp. The depth was now just over 500 metres and still going towards
Hirlatzhohle.

De-rigging the cave started on Monday morning with five
cavers de-rigging up to the ninth pitch and through the rifts.  Tomma and I set off a couple of hours later
and helped to carry bags from the ninth. The second pitch was nearly impossible to descend as some fool held tied
rock on the bottom of the rope.  We took
about and hour and a half to reach the tenth pitch, we arrived to see them
exiting from the rifts.  There was a
sudden noise and the stream began to increase in size.  I was amazed at the speed it rose compared to
the Mendip streams, but luckily the ninth pitch stayed dry.  After a brew we started to head out with a
bag each.  On the eighth pitch (10ft) my
croll became jammed with mud and it took ages to free it.  Everything was going quite smoothly and the
flood had not caused any problems, except for on the fifth pitch, when another
flood pulse came and Dave was soaked.  We
decided to tie all our bags on and pull them up the fifth pitch (90ft).  This was not a good idea.  It took ages with Dave performing acrobatics
over the pitch.


At the second shaft Dany had rigged it to haul bags, he had
come in a couple of hours after Tomma and myself.  He told us that he had been delayed due to
two huge thunder storms.  The last two
pitches took hours.  The M.U.S.S. group
were supposed to give us a hand from the second pitch, hauling bags up, but
they were sitting out the flood in another cave.  After half an hour I was freezing, so I
started out but had to wait at the bottom of the first pitch.  While we waited Dave decided to have some
snackertacks (lollypops, wine gums etc.) but instead he nearly blew himself
up!  He had put his head down towards the
B.D.H. container to see what was inside and his carbide ignited the gas stove
which had been leaking.  We eventually
reached the surface in the early hours of Tuesday after a ten hour caving
trip.  The walk back was a slog but it
had stopped raining and I managed to get a drink at the Wiesberghaus.  We had left the bags at the top of the first
pitch, ready for the next day.  After
coming out we thought we might have to do a cave rescue.  The M.U.S.S cave group were still down their
cave.  The problem was that nobody knew
exactly where this was!  Then a few
lights could be seen in the distance, they had been delayed as they had had to
sit out the flood.

The de-rigging was completed the following day with help
from the M.U.S.S group and only took about 45 minutes.

It was now Wednesday and we had to start packing our gear to
come home to great British weather!  In
the evening there was a great Piss Up!! Tim Allen brought his ghetto blaster and there were two barrels of
beer.  A bunch of Polish cavers had
arrived for 5 weeks.

On Thursday we finished packing and then left for home on
Friday morning.  At

Calais
we decided to get John and Geraldine
free onto the boat (one big laugh!). When the ticket officer came round we told him there were only six of us
(John and Geraldine hid under a pile of caving gear) and we managed to get through.  We caught the 9.30pm ferry instead of the
12.30am for an extra 13 pounds.  We
arrived on the Mendips at 3.00am on Sunday morning.

Thank you to everyone who organised the

Austria
trip
and especially Dany who arranged the transport.

Alan Turner.

 

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registered in England and Wales as a co-operative society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, registered no. 4934.

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