Speleo Spiel

Speleo Spiel

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Speleo Spiel
Series Title:
Speleo Spiel
Southern Tasmanian Caverneers
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Regional Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


General Note:
The Tasmanian Caverneering Club was formed on 13 September 1946. Initially, information was provided to members through a circular, copies of which exist back to November 1947. "Speleo Spiel, Circular of the Tasmanian Caverneering Club" was first published December 1960. Eight issues of this are known, up to May 1962. In April 1964 a "Circular" was again issued and seems to have continued, irregularly, until March 1966. Then in April 1966, a "New Series" of Speleo Spiel commenced, as a monthly newsletter. In December 1996 The Tasmanian Caverneering Club amalgamated with the Southern Caving Society and the Tasmanian Cave and Karst Research Group to form the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers. The combined group agreed to continue to publish "Speleo Spiel" as its bi-monthly newsletter, as continues today (2015). Speleo Spiel is a vehicle for recording the cave and karst-related activities, and particularly the achievements, of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers. It also carriers technical and scientific reports, reprints, reviews and other information likely to be of interest to members from time to time.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
No. 344 (Sep-Oct 2004)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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K26-03825 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.3825 ( USFLDC Handle )
21433 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. Newsletter of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Inc, PO Box 416, Sandy Bay, Tasmania 7006, AUSTRALIA


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004.


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. The Speleo Spiel Newsletter of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Incorporated PO Box 416, Sandy Bay, Tasmania 7006 http://www.tesa.com.au/stc ABN: 73-381-060-862 The views expressed in the Speleo Spiel are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Incorporated. Issue No. 344, Sep. Oct. 2004 STC Officers President: Gavin Brett Ph: (03) 6223 1717 (h) gavin@keypoint.com.au Vice President: Dave Rasch Ph: (03) 6227 9056 (h) dave_rasch@hotmail.com Acting Secretary : Alan Jackson Ph: (03) 6229 8365 (h) ajackson@lmrs.com.au Treasurer : Claire Brett Ph: (03) 6223 1717 (h). claireb@keypoint.com.au Equipment Officer: Gavin Brett Ph: (03) 6223 1717 (h) gavin@keypoint.com.au Librarian : Greg Middleton Ph: (03) 6223 1400 (h) ozspeleo@optusnet.com.au Editor and Search & Rescue Officer : Alan Jackson Ph: (03) 6229 8365(h) ajackson@lmrs.com.au Webmaster: Dean Morgan Ph. (03) 6229 4405(h) dmorgan@tesa.com.au Web Site: http://www.tesa.com.au/stc Front Cover: Claire Brett on the cover again! Relaxing in the shadows in National Gallery entrance. (Photo by Yoav Bar-Ness) Back Cover: Rolan Eberhard peering tentatively into an undescended 30m shaft. (Photo by Gavin Brett) CONTENTS Regular Bits Editorial 2 Forward Program 2 Stuff ‘n Stuff 2 Trip Reports Midnight Hole version 1 3 Midnight Hole version 2 3 Serendipity Valley 4 Armadillo Pot Valley 5 Owl Pot 7 Tassy Pot surveying 7 Mystery Creek 8 Frost Pot & JF 346 8 March Fly Pot & National Gallery 9 Other Exciting Stuff In Memoriam – Pat Wessing 11 Speleograffiti, early history and speleofauna in KGV Cave 11 Trip Leaders 15 Cavex 2004 16 Current STC membership 17 This work is STC copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the publishers and the inclusion of acknowledgement of the source. STC was formed from the Tasmanian Caverneering Club the Southern Caving Society and the Tasmanian Cave and Karst Research Group STC is the modern variant of the Oldest Caving Club in Australia.


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. Stuff ‘n Stuff A BIG WELCOME to new club members Abigail Barrows, Ben Jackson, David Young and Hayley Shields. Amy Ware and Dave Chitty from Victoria (CCV) have been here caving and have signed up too. Also one of our members made it on Page 7 of The Mercury in August Congratulations to Damian Bidgood who was awarded a high commendation certificate for the rescue of three men off Pedra Branca rocks. Claire Brett. [I’d of thought Damian to be more ‘centrefold’ material than page 7. Ed.] TO CONTINUE the anagrams: Yoav Bar-Ness is code for Savory Beans, Alan is just Anal [take it easy! Ed.] Matt Cracknell (alias Crow Dang) is Grand Cow. However, I think I take the cake as Cerebral Tit. Claire Brett. STC ANAGRAMS now appear to be getting out of hand. If you want your own personal ‘1 on 1’ session with Mr Anagram himself then I believe he can be contacted through Dave Rasch (not before 10am though). Ed. FRUEHAUF TRAINING SESSIONS, as promised, will now be held on Wednesday evenings (but not when business or social meetings are scheduled!) I imagine that about 1830 is a sensible start time. Sessions won’t necessarily be held every non meeting Wednesday, depending on my availability, enthusiasm and memory, so when I do intend running a session I will circulate it on the list server and ask for confirmation from those who intend attending. I don’t particularly want to turn up and practice by myself, and equally don’t want people to turn up and get upset at me when I don’t turn up. As a lot of the newer members who might wish to partake in a spot of training are uni students, I will wait until exams are over before I schedule the first session. Keep your eyes on the list server. Alan Jackson Dave Rasch had a little ‘Crab Bake’ recently – taking the ‘Crab Wars’ to an all new level by using glue heat shrink to identify his hardware. This man is a freak. Photo by one of Dave’s flat mates, girlfriends or goldfish? Editorial Something strange appears to happening at STC –a lot of caving is being done, and not just by the same old regular few. With the return (albeit a brief one) of Madphil in the not too distant future we may have to start putting the Spiel out monthly so it doesn’t get too full. Some good caving has been achieved this last two months with lots of forgotten about caves revisited and pushed instead of the old favourites being done to death. The mystery of Frost Pot is finally solved, JF346 is alive again after a few thousand years holiday, some brand new caves have been explored, and some semi-secret caving is underway in Mystery Creek. Let’s keep it up! The Mole Creek Madness weekend would appear to have been a success. Thanks to Steve for organising it and to Matt et al. for using all those millions of permits we got. Due to the size of this issue, and a few missing trip reports, the Mole Creek Madness trip reports will appear in the next Spiel (345). Cavex was well attended by cavers, police and SES alike. Thanks to everyone who had input for making it as successful as it was. I’ve finally found a font I like for the cover of the Spiel, so you’ll now only have to deal with the occasional colour change (for at least a couple of issues!) My policy on publishing photos of me, however, has not changed. Yoav has achieved his dream of making a front cover. If he learnt the principle of ‘quality, not quantity’ then he’d probably make a lot more! Alan Jackson Forward Program Training Sessions (Fruehauf).......Wednesday evenings (but not when meetings are on!) Social Meeting (Republic Bar)...............17th November General Meeting (Republic Bar)...............1st December Christmas Function.................................15th December -BBQ at Waterworks Reserve (most likely site 9 up the back) from 5:30ish onwards 25th ASF Conference – Cavemania.........2nd-8th January -Dover – contact Bunty for more info and pre & post conference field trips 2


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. IB-11 Midnight Hole/Myste ry Creek – Ve rsion 1 : 4th September 2004 Alan Jackson Party: Midnighters – Alan Jackson, Matt Cracknell, Yoav Bar-Ness, David Young, Abi Barrows, Ben Jackson. Mysteries – Gavin Brett, Claire Brett, Cameron Hibbert (Victorian hanger on), Serena Benjamin With a surge of beginners crashing on our shores we thought a beginner trip might be in order. We thought about Wolf Hole, but chose Midnight Hole in preference due to the alleged ‘dangerous trees’ at Wolf Hole (there’s no sense in killing your beginners before they’ve paid up to be full members!!). Midnight Hole also has an alleged ‘dangerous tree’, however on the Crackson scale of ‘dangerous trees’ Midnight Hole scored poorly. What is the world coming too now that there appears to be an element of risk associated with getting to many of our caves? 21st century trees would appear to have a passion for falling into caves and irreversibly damaging them, a considerable change from the nature of trees in the previous millennia…? We collated a largish party, so took an extra rope so that we could generally have two pitches on the go at any one time. Matt lead the way and I followed up behind. There were a few nervous expressions and hand tremors amongst the group but by the end they were all old hands at this abseiling caper. I saw Matt for the first time again at the bottom of pitch 6 (we managed to avoid each other all the way down – using an extra rope is certainly faster, but not as sociable) and then Gavin appeared from Matchbox with the usual fanfare and excitement that surrounds his arrivals (trumpets, horns, rose petals etc…) Post Matchbox Squeeze we examined the rope to find that the last pitch had been up to its usual tricks and had damaged the rope about 2 meters down from the bolts. Next trip we will take in the drill and place a redirect bolt and crab to prevent this from happening again. The rub generally isn’t a problem, however, beginners with their traditionally bouncy abseiling technique create enough rope movement to damage the sheath. As Midnight Hole is typically frequented by beginners it is fair to suggest that a redirect bolt is required. Alan telling Yoav to stop taking photos and hurry up! Midnight hole. Photo by Yoav Bar-Ness David, Abi, Ben, Claire and I then headed out via the Laundry Chute and Cephalopod Streamway while Matt, Yoav, Gavin, Cam and Serena squirmed up the passage that joins immediately below the Matchbox Squeeze. I think everyone enjoyed themselves and it was particularly good to see David having a good time after my less than memorable introduction to caving I gave him in Gormenghast! IB-11 Midnight Hole/Myste ry Creek – Ve rsion 2 : 4th September 2004 Matt Cracknell Party: as above! I had somehow inspired a trip down good old IB-11 at the previous general meeting, the first real caving for half the contingent and a chance to go where the sun never shines. With the usual hyperventilation on the way up the hill some of us barely noticed the large (1.5M) diameter eucalypt that had decided to explode itself on the forest floor. A recent addition, Alan had been this way 2 weeks prior and walked underneath it... must have been the crazy weather, or Dave Rasch jinxing us? [It would appear that a full audit of trees in the Ida Bay and Hastings karst area needs to be conducted so we can fully understand the potential impact of these wretched organisms. Ed.] The plan, according to Alan’s careful calculations (I think he drew something in the mud) was to use 2 ropes of different length [3 actually, but I don’t won’t to seem picky. Ed.] A long one and not so long one, this meant that one rope could be used for abseiling while the other was being rigged in front. This worked well, both ropes were joined for P3 and P6. This graceful knitting of ropes pitches and abseilers worked so well that Alan and I saw each other twice the whole time spent in the cave (the karst gods were shining on me that day). 3


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. At the top of the first and then again at the bottom of the last. With smiling faces and dilated pupils we passed the ropes through Matchbox Squeeze only to find a nice gash several metres from the end of the last abseil rope. There is a nasty rub that can be a problem when the descent is jerky and bouncy. I know that these ropes are tough but no caver likes tufts going through their descender. David Young ‘touching down’ somewhere in Midnight Hole. Photo by Yoav Bar-Ness At this point in time Gavin and the other group doing the stream passages popped their heads through the squeeze. The groups split and reformed into new groups. I ended up with Gavin, Serena, Yoav and Gavin’s Melbourne friend who was doing great impressions of a man possessed; with what I'm not sure as I couldn't see much of him under the mud. We headed/grovelled our way up that mysterious passage that starts just before Matchbox Squeeze. This was tight and crawly for ~100m. Climbed and squeezed a rock pile to enter an aven, the walls covered in ancient klastic, patterns of which I had not seen before. At this spot we found a permanent survey point. It was part of Mad Phil and Jeff Butt's survey from Nov 2002. Enough playing in the mud, we headed back the way we had come. Gavin emptied his very heavy bag to find a little cave marsupial had put rocks in it, several large cumbersome rocks, in fact whoever it was had gone to a lot of effort to hide them in the bottom of his bag. Ahhh, the antics of STC. We rushed out the 'high way', Gavin’s light looking a bit dim and met up with the rest at the car park. One very good caving day. JF-344 and Surrounds – Serendipity Valley : 5th September 2004 Ric Tunney Party: Alan Jackson, Janine McKinnon, Heather Nichols, Dave Rasch, Ric Tunney The aim of the trip was to rediscover some caves on the true right of the valley which leads up to Serendipity and to drop one or two of them. JF346 This is a large doline beside the taped route some 50m down the valley from Serendipity. The stream from Serendipity now sinks in this swallet. We all entered the cave at the bottom of the depression. After a small rock pile there is a short serpentine section. Beyond this, Alan climbed up about 10m and found nothing. Some time was spent lying in the mud, digging and trying to follow the water. All in all there’s between 20m and 50m of passage. We were unable to find a tag. Dave Rasch climbing out of JF346. Photo by Ric Tunney 4


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. JF347 Frost Pot Heather Nichols preparing for descent in Frost Pot. Photo by Ric Tunney Frost Pot is on the true right of the Serendipity valley about 50m down from JF346. It was tagged in 1983 (Speleo Spiel 186) and thoroughly explored in 1984 (Speleo Spiel 195). Drops of 35m & 20m lead to an exceptionally tight serpentine which has defeated many cavers. While Janine, Dave and Heather rigged the pitch, Ric and Alan explored up the hill to locate Lost Pot for later on. The first pitch was rigged as a free hang from a thick log spanning the pot. It’s a well-formed shaft and is worth visiting. Alan found a platypus skeleton at the base of the pitch. The second pitch was harder to rig and we ended up with a bad rub above a rebelay 5m down. It could be possible to rig the pitch free by hanging from the first pitch and using a flake on the far wall of the pitch. Both Alan and Dave made predictably unsuccessful attempts on the serpentine passage. This cave needs a ten year old to force it [or a hammer drill… Ed.] JF338 Lost Pot We renewed the taped line up the hill from Frost Pot to Lost Pot, with a short side track to what we took to be JF369. However the cave was only 3m deep (rather than 10m) and we couldn’t find the tag, so it probably wasn’t JF369. Lost Pot is in an obvious doline & the tag was easily found. JF370 Mongrel Pot We renewed the taped line up the hill from Lost Pot to Mongrel Pot. Although we couldn’t find a tag to confirm it was actually Mongrel Pot, it seemed to fit the description. Doline near Lost Pot Alan found a doline about 100m up the hill and a bit to the left (going up) from Lost Pot. There was no tag or tape, but we can’t believe this had not been found before. A cave ran in at the back of the doline, but we didn’t enter. We ran a tape line from Lost Pot to this doline. To JF368 Armadillo Pot Dave, who had been GPSing all day, announced that Armadillo Pot was only 325m away “this way”, so we set off, keeping a bit to the right (i.e. higher up the hill) of the direct line. We found a few holes worth looking at, but as it was getting quite dark, we only GPSed them and left a dangling tape. From Armadillo Pot it was an easy walk down the small valley to the Serendipity track at Asteroid Pot and back to the car. JFB-368 and Surrounds – Armadillo Pot Valley : 11th September 2004 Alan Jackson Party: Alan Jackson, Matt Cracknell, Dave Rasch, Ric Tunney, Janine McKinnon After the previous weekend’s foray we headed out again to drop the various new holes we had located in the vicinity of Armadillo Pot. The weather forecast looked ominous. We did some bow sawing on the old Pack Track around to Serendipity Valley to remove a few annoying falls and then chucked a left at Asteroid Pot and headed for Armadillo. Snow began falling from the sky in the most spectacular fashion. There was almost no wind at all so the forest was filled with big fat blobs of slow motion snow. Back to the caves… About 30m north? along the contour from Armadillo we lined up our first contender. This was the drafting hole that Dave had found a few months back (Spiel 342) and had marked with a blue tape. The hole was still drafting so I got the honours of negotiating the horrible tight and loose entrance. The cave went about 4m and then tightened down to nothing with no indication of where the draft went. Next we headed up the hill a little further and free climbed down into Dave’s other hole he had found last weekend. Ric’s hole by a tree was also disappointing, but the tiny hole I’d found kept us entertained for a little longer. It was explored to a depth of about 20m, two pitches joined by a steep ramp. An enormous collection of bones was found at the lowest point, including several little carnivores that I assumed were quolls. The cave was surveyed, however only a memory sketch has been drawn up at this stage. I guess it will be assigned a number and tagged at some stage. While Matt and I were down the last hole the others kept themselves warm by doing some more surface bashing (it was significantly warmer in the cave than on the surface!). Dave found a tiny entrance that rocks rattled down for about 8+ metres, but we were unable 5


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. to sufficiently enlarge the entrance. Another blind 4m hole was dropped by Matt in the same area. The day was getting old by this stage so we contoured onto the ridge dividing the Armadillo and Serendipity valleys and headed down. I found an interesting little horizontal cave that belled out into a chamber about 10m long, 4m wide and 3m high, but with no continuations. A good spot to hide if you were caught in a storm. We also found two blind 8m pits about 3m across on the ridge. Lots of exposed limestone, but no caves, were found lower down the ridge. We stopped and had a brief foray into Growling Swallet as Matt had never even seen the entrance before. There was lots of water which was so cold it made my lips tingle with pain when I had a drink. Not a good day to be getting wet in Growling. We then headed home with plenty of the usual banter and ‘winding up’ to keep us entertained in the car. SUMMARY Hole 1 Draughting entrance. Entrance – 1.5m by 0.3m, drop of 4m to mud slope. Passage runs at 125 degrees magnetic for 2m, turns 90 degrees and chokes off. No draught evident in cave. Many Hickmania egg sacs Hole 2 15m East of Hole 3. Entrance 0.6m by 0.6m, drop of 4m down to small chamber. Wallaby/pademelon skeletons, forest snails and Hickmania No draught. No dig potential Hole 3 1m diameter hole at base of E. regnans 8m shaft, 2m in diameter. Small choked passage leads of for 1m. Small alternate entrance 2m down hill. Hole 4 0.5m diameter hole to drops of 8m and 9m. Numerous animal bones (mostly carnivorous) and snails at bottom. Small passage leads to base of 6m aven with more bones. Hole 5 Entrance too tight, but dropped rocks rattle down for approximately 10-15m Hole 6 20m North of Hole 5. Large eucalypt trunk over entrance, at base of 1m vertic al rock face. Draught? 4m drop. Hole 7 On hillside on true left of Armadillo valley, almost on ridge top, hidden behind base of large eucalypt. 1m diameter entrance opens in to small chamber (10m-L by 5m-H by 3m-W). Hickmania cave crickets, dead snails, formation/decoration. Hole 8 Pot on ridge between Serendipity and Armadillo Valleys. 2m diameter shaft, 8m deep, blind Hole 9 Pot on hill on true right of Serendipity valley. 2m diameter shaft, 7m deep, blind. Map of new holes: North is up, scale is too hard (entire view is about 300m across), JF368 is Armadillo Pot. 6


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. JF-221 Owl Pot : 12th September 2004 Joe Farrell Party: Joe Farrell, Hayley Shields I wanted to go back to Owl Pot again to make the details stick in my head. It’s a great cave so it was a pleasure to visit twice in a month… except that we both had rotten hangovers from a virgo/terrorist party the night before. Unfortunately we were seconds too late leaving the gear store to avoid a good ribbing about our late departure from a boisterous STC mob who’d come to help Gavin put a window in. This was very bad for my hangover and by my reckoning we were only these few seconds too late for the whole trip. Arriving at the top of the Nine Road by 1.30 pm-ish, we found four 4WDs and a bunch of geomorphology students thrashing through the bush around the cave entrances. We were told their mission was to investigate the potential impa cts of siting a hypothetical nature trail up to Three Falls Cave. What they also did was make it very easy for us to get to Owl Pot, so that was a good thing. We finally got our shit together between the drizzle, and headed into the cave at 3pm. Apart from Wolf Hole this was Hayley’s first vertical cave. She’s done a lot of big-tree climbing so along the way it was decided that Owl Pot is about 4 trees deep. I noticed some fantastic helictites at the floor of the long bedding plane rift that I hadn’t seen last time. One is a straw with legs like an octopus. We potted away to the bottom of the final (and waterfall) pitch and turned around without visiting the terminal sump. The trip was looking like being a long one. With technical glitches in Hayley’s SRT gear and in our toxin-ridden condition, the time underground came to 6.5 hours. Somehow we drove back to Hobart without falling asleep at the wheel. Generally it was a smooth, pleasant trip without any glitches. We just might have appreciated it more another day. It was great being down there with a fellow geology student. Owl Pot is a beautiful cave. JF-223 Tassy Pot : 18th September 2004 Janine McKinnon Party: Matt Cracknell, Alan Jackson, Dave Rasch, Ric Tunney, Gavin Brett, Janine McKinnon. We all squeezed into Gavin’s cruiser for the trip, which made for a very convivial drive, a little too much so for Dave and Matt, methinks! The purpose of the trip was to survey from the Goodbye Chamber in a loop around the newly discovered section and up the 70m pitch back to the starting station in the Goodbye Chamber. The cave was still partially rigged, although some re-sorting of ropes in the Goodbye Chamber needed to be done before we headed on from there. There was some discussion about who would go in which party and eventually it fell out as Ric, Alan and Dave down the 70m and along the streamway to hopefully meet up with Gavin, Matt and myself somewhere in the rock pile. Alan and Gavin headed in first at around 10am to sort out the rigging in the Goodbye Chamber and the rest of us followed along at our leisure. I arrived to discover much discussion going on about rigging, with the upshot of it being we didn’t have a 70m plus rope for the big pitch. But we did have sufficient length in two ropes. Ah! My first “knot pass” since I can’t remember when! That brings back memories. My group decided to start down the new section with Gavin on book, Matt taping and me on instruments. It was a typical surveying session in small twisty passage where the flexibility of a contortionist is needed to read the instruments. What a pity I’m not one. All went smoothly for some hours and very conveniently we met the other group in the bottom section of the rock pile not long after Gavin and I had jointly decided that we had had about enough of this for the day. (Matt is made of more patient stuff.) After some pleasant social discourse and exchange of information we continued on to complete the loop (not needing to continue surveying of course) and derig the 70m as we went. There was a good flow in the streamway and the climbs up to the base of the 70m pitch were quite damp, possibly reflecting the 40mm or more of rain they’d had in Strathgordon the previous day. We were very glad WE hadn’t done the surveying through the tight and currently wet Morocl passage. We were up and packing away the rope as the others started emerging from the alternate route back into the goodbye chamber. Gavin headed out first with the 70m pitch rope and I was not far behind, emerging into late afternoon light at 5:45pm. The others completed the derig and wandered out over the next hour [ and the rest. Ed. ] 7


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. IB-10 Mystery Creek Cave : 26th September 2004 Alan Jackson Party: Yoav Bar-Ness, Serena Benjamin Arthur Clarke, Matt Cracknell, Alan Jackson, Ben Jackson, Heather Nichols, Dave Rasch This trip started out as a post rope washing scheme to entertain beginners and also satisfy the hard man, Dave [ sic ]. The general aim was to check out the potential of an alleged lead down near the last sump. Most of the party got away from Kingston at a little after 0800, but this hideously early time was unacceptable to Dave, who decided to head down ‘a little later and meet us in the cave’. New levels of lameness have just been set – beat them if you can. We were given a wonderful tour by our qualified guide down to the ‘place with lots of weird tubes’. We rolled out a ladder for the later ascent and then I lowered all the punters off on the rope. At this point we were joined by lame and lamer (a.k.a. Dave and Arthur). Plenty of thrashing about was done in the network of tunnels that exist down there. We inspected Dave’s lead and concluded that a good examination of the survey recently completed by Madphil and Jeff Butt (2002) would be wise before we waste too much energy climbing it, just to be sure that it’s heading in the right direction. Progress up the ladder was surprisingly quick and we then headed out slowly via an alternate route. It was the first time I’d been down into some of these areas, so much time was spent bounding around looking in every little hole I could find. Back out in the car park the suggestion of a quick sortie in to Bradley Chesterman was mooted, but was met with mixed enthusiasm. Fruit wine at Arthur’s, however, was met with unsurprising levels of approval. Arthur emerging from the pitch in to the ‘labyrinth’ area of Mystery Creek Cave, and Dave Rasch’s gumboots. Photo by Yoav Bar-Ness Good cave, good company, reasonable leads, great wine. JF-347 Frost Pot & JF-346 – Expanding Leads : 2nd October 2004 Alan Jackson Party: Alan Jackson, Gavin Brett Gavin and I had got excited about a few tight leads in these two caves, so we headed off for some vandalism. We decided an alpine start was in order and left Gavin’s house at 6am. It was refreshing to go caving in a really small group and not have anyone else to worry about or organise (Gavin can look after himself!) We headed to Frost Pot first to finally put to rest the age old question of “what’s on the other side of the tight fissure at the bottom?” There are many old trip reports kicking about telling of people going back to just have one more go at the squeeze. This time we were prepared and the offending pieces of rock yielded. Despite my immense upper body I managed to squeeze past, (Gavin didn’t fit though), only to discover that it narrows away to nothing a further 5m along and round the corner a bit. Never mind, we had fun any way! The ascent out of Frost Pot was magnificent with the sun pouring in the entrance. I thought I had died and was heading along the tunnel to the light… This is a good easy cave for wowing beginners with. Next we headed to JF346 and Serendipity to analyse the hydrology. This place is different every time I go there! It was evident that quite a significant amount of water had flowed down into JF346 since we were last there. Most of the water was still getting cut off by the tight swallet at the head of the doline, and all the overflow was sinking into the slope before the entrance proper. Inside the ‘balancing rock’ chamber there was no water at all (this had been very wet last time), and a large amount of the sediment and other crap on the floor had been washed away exposing a new sinking spot. We oohed and ahhed and hypothesised, and then set to work on the climb that had given me a sore scapula on the previous trip. One sound knock with a lumpy and a few good aid climbing chock placements and the climb transformed from exposed and awkward to warm and furry. No downward extension was found, however, some interesting mud spikes had formed as a result of dripping water from above eroding the majority away but leaving tall spires that had been protected by small pebbles on the top. The next lead was the one that Dave and I had started digging previously. There was maybe still a draft, but more importantly there was now the sound of rushing 8


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. water on the other side. Due to the water that inundated this cave since our last visit the dig was now poorly consolidated and made for easy digging. Gavin had the first push, consequently got stuck and required manual removal by yours truly. Fat boys shouldn’t go caving. I then had a go (and I am now affectionately known as ‘no chest’), and just managed to fit through. One more thermal and I wouldn’t have fitted! Lots of loose rock and running water but no way on. Maybe in a few years when the born again water has had a chance to do its work. Getting out again proved to be difficult. I tried several angles and tricks and was starting to get a little concerned (mainly at the prospect of being rescued by Damian’s ‘crack team’). Nothing a well placed lump hammer couldn’t fix though! Back in the world of day light and I was feeling considerably relieved. A good day; early start, low lameness levels and a few old questions put to rest. IB-46 March Fly Pot & IB -47 National Gallery: 10th October 2004 Ken Hosking Party: Ken Hosking, Alan Jackson, Gavin Brett, Claire Brett, Yoav Bar-Ness, Matt Cracknell It is a bit of a struggle to remember when I last went caving, but it was probably a trip to JF341 in about 1994. In the meantime, sailing and hockey duties had occupied my weekends, but, with the offspring away on a Gap Year, the urge to go underground again had grown to irresistible proportions. Unfortunately, social sailing and urging school hockey teams from the sidelines do little for one’s physical fitness, and the thought of an epic trip into some he-man cave held limited appeal. What better way to come back to caving than to try a small cave like March Fly Pot? March Fly Pot hit the news back in the mid eighties with the discovery, in its lower levels, of the bones of extinct animals. For some time the location of the cave was kept a close secret. Now, with the bones safely in the Tasmanian Museum, the cave is again accessible to cavers. The entrance pitch is a daylight shaft, reputed to be 12 metres deep, although it is possible to climb down from about the halfway point, where the pitch becomes a steep climb. The apparently obvious way on goes nowhere, and instead a squeeze at a higher level must be negotiated to reach the next pitch. Alan was first through the squeeze, saying that there was plenty of room to leave the SRT gear on. So there was – but only just, and after much struggling and scraping of my new and, until then, shiny Petzl gear I was through. The next pitch is really a steep climb, but prudence dictated that it be rigged as a pitch. After a drop of five metres, another pitch of similar depth is reached. Surprisingly for such a short, and easily free climbed pitch, there was a bolt in place. Perhaps this had been needed for the bone extraction work. From the bottom of this pitch a steep slope leads down into a chamber, with an upwards climb on the far side leading to a drop into another, smaller chamber. There are some very pretty helictites in this area and care is required to avoid brushing against them while moving about. That was the end of the cave, and with the remainder of the party now arriving it was getting a little crowded, so Alan and I headed out. The rigging on the lower pitches was superfluous for Alan, but I opted for safety and prussicked out. The entrance pitch is a nice shaft, but so short that you reach th e top before the rope starts to feed through the chest ascender. Claire Brett in the tight bit (poking your tongue out makes it easier apparently). Photo by Yoav Bar-Ness All in all, March Fly Pot is an attractive little cave, having enough in the way of difficulty (a squeeze and three pitches) to make the trip interesting even though the total depth must only be about 25 metres. It reminded me strongly of the potholes of the Murindal area near Buchan. With time in hand we decided to have a look around the area, first digging away some silt in the IB51 doline to reveal a ramp into a small chamber about five metres down with a pretty little oval shaft coming down an estimated 10 metres from a higher opening. Nearby, Alan had uncovered a new cave with another ramp leading down through a series of corkscrews. He and Gavin rigged this cave while Matt, Yoav and I 9


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. investigated a nearby, enormous but apparently caveless doline. We returned as the intrepid explorers emerged, describing a cave that started out in a promising manner but which became increasingly tighter and more squalid as time went on. The only name from a list of suggestions that described the cave, yet which had any chance of making it past the State Nomenclature Board, was Coalition Pot. It was, after all, the day after the election. [I though Johnny’s Sphincter Pot would get approval! Ed.] Alan proposes a new method for ‘photo tagging’ new cave entrances – Coalition Pot. Photo by Matt Cracknell We then set off to have a look at my old nemesis, IB47, National Gallery. The last time I was in this cave was on August 25, 1985, during which time a mobile rock pinned the arm of a fellow caver (Petrina Quinn, one of the original group of explorers of March Fly Pot), necessitating a full-scale rescue call out. Beyond the squeeze where Petrina had been jammed by that errant boulder, and where I had been trapped while Petrina was being freed, was an old streamway ending at an interesting looking hole, choked with silt, which might be worth digging if access could be gained safely. I wanted to have a look at the cave again to see if the area where Petrina had been trapped had stabilised, and whether probing the area beyond the squeeze which she had been negotiating might be feasible. In the years since 1985, the copious water flow that disappears through the entrance rubble of this cave has been traced to Little Grunt, and interest in what lies beyond this chamber with its treacherous dolomitic intrusion rock has revived. Twenty years does much to affect the memory, and the cave entrance looked much smaller and the entrance slope seemed much steeper than I remembered. It was clear that the cave had not changed its nature, however, as rocks moved about and threatened to tumble down the entrance slope as soon as anyone entered the cave. A short distance in, we came to the narrow passage that had been initially bypassed by a squeeze over a rib in the right hand side of the cave followed by a short pitch into the main chamber. A chute to the left had later been dug out in 1985 in order to provide an easier route for a caver (who shall remain nameless, but he was from Victoria) who found that his girth and the dimensions of the squeeze were incompatible. Unfortunately, the chute was now blocked with rocks again. Our attempts to dig the chute once more were unsuccessful, as the blockage was comprised of a number of largish rocks, which, we found, supported more rocks further up the passage. With a landslide bigger than that of the election of the previous day now being a prospect, and with the vertical gear that would have made the pitch passable having been left back near March Fly Pot, we conceded defeat. It seems that a lot of rocks have rolled down the entrance slope of this cave since 1985. All we could get was a tantalising glimpse of the rock filled chamber below, but it was difficult to tell whether or not the way on was still open. Within the entrance, and off to the left of the entrance slope, a small cave led off down a slope before choking off after a few metres. I can’t recall having seen this in 1985, but perhaps this is just my memory playing tricks. Alan had a good look around, but this cave unfortunately did not go anywhere. An amble around the nearby area where the overlying mudstones meet the limestone completed the day, and apart from a brush with a black snake on the way back to the car, the walk out was uneventful. It was a great day overall, and I am hooked on caving again. Claire, Gavin and Alan indulge in some refreshments after a hard day’s caving. Ken and his wine can come caving any time! Photo by Yoav BarNess 10


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. In Memoriam – Pat Wessing Albert Goede On 19th October Pat (Patricia Helen) Wessing died in Hobart after a long illness. Pat was a foundation member of the Tasmanian Caverneering Club which she joined as Pat Higgins when a student at the University of Tasmania. She was an active member for about five years. In 1950 she married Charles Wessing and soon after started a family. They had three children: Charles, Helen and Anne. Ten years later they separated and Pat went to her mother's place in West Hobart to live. When her mother died she was joined by Edith Smith who was a close friend and helped to look after the children. When the children grew older Pat went back to University and completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours. She then took up a teaching position, first at Elizabeth Str eet College and later at the Hobart College where she taught Geography and History. She retired in 1992. Although she never returned to caving she was very actively involved in many conservation issues and was president of the Tasmanian Conservation Trust for ten years. Two of the conservation battles she helped to fight that are relevant to cavers were the excision of the Florentine Valley from the Mount Field National Park by the State Government and the struggle to save the Precipitous Bluff area from limestone quarrying. She was also a very active member of the Friends of Chauncy Vale, an area of sandstone shelter caves to the East of Bagdad. She had been in ill health for the last two years and died of cancer at the age of 76. A Memorial Service was held on 28th October and was attended by many relatives and friends. Speleograffiti, early history and sp eleofauna in King George V Cave Arthur Clarke Party: Arthur Clarke, Matt Cracknell, Jason Gar dner, Damian Seabourne and Neil Seabourne. On Sunday May 2nd 2004, a group of us visited King George V Cave ( KGV ) at Hastings. I was keen to re-examine the early cave signatures and score some digital images of the inscriptions, plus some photos of cave fauna for inclusion in my MSc thesis. It was the day after the memorial service for Jeff Butt held in Newdegate Cave and the celebration of his life following on in the picn ic shelter beside the Thermal Pool. En route to KGV, we called into the Visitors Centre, where Sarah Boyle’s sister Rebecca and family, plus their mum were having a late but leisurely breakfast. Sarah’s mum (Barbara Boyle) had been admiring the handicraft of Hans Benisch: the cave fauna beasties in their resin mounts embedded in the dining table tops of the Visitor Centre. It must have inspired her, because Barbara made an offer to me: to design Tshirts with cave fauna motifs for STC. She thought we might like them as ASF Conference shirts and reckoned they would probably sell well in January 2005 and could be a good little earner for STC. It was late morning – “AC time” when we eventually headed off to KGV Cave The route of the access track to KGV Cave and Wolf Hole had been re-positioned yet again. The starting point is located further up Chestermans Road, but is a little less obvious than before. It’s now a slightly more level route. The “new” tracks have been established in recent years since KGV has been “developed” for adventure caving by the Hastings Caves Enterprise (Clarke, 2000). The access track connects to an old benched track formed into the side of the hill below Wolf Hole It had been suggested that this benched track was an old logging tramline (Butt, 1999). In fact it was mostly a walking track, formed (with hand tools) in the early 1930s when the Esperance Council had an exclusive franchise to run cave tours to KGV as well as to Beattie Cave and Newdegate Cave (Clarke, 1999c). The original Council walking track to the KGV had been extended from a short section of logging tramway above a “switch-back”, the bottom part of which ran diagonally across the lower slopes of Caves Hill. In earlier times, KGV had caught the imagination of many visito rs as it was explored by candlelight and kerosene lantern… and in fact it had been promoted by people such as John Watt Beattie (one of the early wilderness photographers in Tasmania) as the site that should be developed as the main tourist cave at Hastings (Clarke,1999c). In those early times, there were concerns that Newdegate Cave was too delicate (in terms of it s speleothem formations), but Speleograffiti on formation. Photo by Arthur Clarke 11


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. apart from that – until the concept of a spiral staircase was envisaged – it was deemed as being too difficult to develop for cave tourism. (When TCC was formed in 1946, KGV was known as the “ King George Cave ” as it had been ever since being found in 1918. This name was apparently not accepted by the Nomenclature Board, so it was modified to be named: King George V Cave .) KGV is actually a quite exciting cave for two reasons. Firstly, from an historical perspective – being a regularly visited, albeit unmanaged “wild” cave before being run as a tourist cave – it has a rich collection of well preserved speleograffiti signatures (Clarke, 1999a). The second reason that makes KGV an exciting cave, is its cave fauna (Clarke, 1999b)… but more about that later. The caves at Hastings were the last to be found and developed as tourist show caves in Tasmania… and the history of their discovery, exploration and early visits has been recorded for posterity by the presence of this speleograffiti. Using the cave as a “guestbook”, visitors signed their names and sometimes the date of their visit on flowstone walls, shawls, stalactites and stalagmites. Most early guided visitors to KGV were taken directly to the “Signature Wall”. Here, most signatures appear as name lists, with the cave guide’s name at the top. Many of the early visitors made repeat visits, so their names appear in different lists. Assuming that the names and their dates are genuine, they provide proof of when the caves were first explored or discovered. In order to get some idea of the discovery date for these caves, I made a preliminary search for signatures in KGV with Roger Griffiths in 1999 and at that time, we recorded 153 names (Clarke, 1999a). Since the early 1960s, when Elery Hamilton-Smith started collecting in Tasmania, King George V Cave has become known as a site rich in cave fauna. Many species (including troglobites) have been recorded from the entrance chamber, where a moist and humid environment prevailed underneath the locked gate and its sheltered covering. A lesser number of terrestrial cave species have been recorded further in, predominantly amidst the flood litter in the stream passage or along the banks or walls of the streamway. A number of invertebrates including stygobiont (caveadapted aquatic) species are recorded from the cave stream. This stream (which probably drains to Lake Charon in Wolf Hole ) virtually disappears in drier periods. Prior to the commencement of adventure caving in KGV a few years ago, the entrance was quite obscure (Butt, 1999) and often hard to find. In fact, it was so well obscured that the only way you knew for sure that you were near the entrance, was by checking the cliffline where you would notice the escaping draught (Butt, 1999). You could see the small fern fronds wafting up or down, as the cave breathed out or in. Located underneath a fallen tree, the “grate-like” gate was always covered by an old sheet of corrugated iron, liberally plastered with moist rainforest leaves and litter to a depth of around 4-5cm. The finished result gave it the appearan ce of being part of the forest floor. A rich diversity of cave species lived and foraged in this entrance chamber amongst the rotting remains of the old wooden “staircase” ladder steps in the moist and friable forest mulch, inter-dispersed with rotting leaves and twigs. Over time some of parts of this old staircase timber had been removed from the cave, no doubt along with cave spec ies. And now history is being repeated at Newdegate Cave where much of the discarded wooden staircase material, dumped “out of sight” in the cave, is now being removed. In mid-1971 and again in October 1981, a minute (<1mm long) species of blind harvestman was collected from a piece of old staircase wood on the surface, within a metre or two of the KGV entrance. Both specimens were females. The late Dr. Glenn Hunt – an expert on cave harvestmen considered this to be an absolutely unique species; then, the only known blind harvestman in Australia and more than likely a cave dwelling troglobite. It has never been collected since, either inside the cave or outside, despite fr equent searches by several cave biologists. Straws galore above the stage in KGV. Photo by Arthur Clarke 12


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. The cave entrance site is now quite open and exposed, so it’s obviously a lot easier to find! The new gate is a solid steel plate with a small hole, just large enough to get your arm in with key in hand to negotiate the padlock. You no longer need a handline or an electron wire ladder to descend. An aluminium ladder takes you in to the base of the slope, where a knotted handline rope assists you to descend the few excavated steps as your eyes adjust to the gloomy darkness. On the way down the ladder, I couldn’t help noticing that the entrance slope was quite different; there were very few obvious rotting leaves or twigs and the surface mulch crumble was a lot drier. From the bottom of the steps, a new stringlined pathway leads directly down into a speleothem walled section, where the first lot of pencilled speleograffiti is found. 25 signatures were recorded in this first section below the entrance. Apart from one or two early signature dates (e.g., Selina Clayton, Dover: 4/5/18), most of the dated speleograff iti here is for the years: 1928, 1929 and 1935. Many of the surnames are recognisable as local or possibly Esperanc e district names: e.g., Batchelor, Coad, Colvin, Hewson, Jackson, Knight, Parsons and Wagstaff. Other names from distant localities record their origins, e.g., Arthur Guy, Judbury; R.H. Haig, Ridgeway; and Paul Tyler, New Town. An unknown couple – perhaps visitors from interstate – have signed their names in pencil on a stalactite as: “Mr & Mr s Saparell, 22-1-29”. There is one notable exception in this first chamber where “P. Gregory, 1968” is inscribed with a blue felt pen or biro. The main cave passage in KGV veers around the left and then there is minor passage junction: th e main cave passage goes off at right angles to the right leading to the main chamber and streamway and a side passage goes left. The LHS passage takes you through some moonmilk walled sections into a rift, from which there are at least another two side passages trending left as you are go in. The first LHS passage has a small trickling stream: this way leads to the “Signature Wall”. You know when you are close, because the base of the passage becomes a smooth flowstone floor; we removed our boots to avoid dropping any mud or damaging the calcite surface. Matt and Jason took it in turns to help me read and notate the names, while I nearly filled a memory card taking too many digital camera images of the varied sets and styles of signatures. The speleograffiti included names that were printed (often in capitals), running script and some as signatures in the way you would sign your name on a cheque. When you are recording speleograffiti, it is important from an historical perspective to notate the signature and date in exactly the same format that it appears. Most of the speleogfraffiti had been written with a soft lead pencil, but some were scratched into the flowstone. Some names were hard to read because they were “overgrown” with fresh calcite coverings and/ or smeared with mud. Others were hard to read due to being illegible (sometimes written in running script with a blunt pencil) or because the surnames were not immediately recognised. It was in this area that Neil and Damian came into their element helping to identify and decipher the seemingly meaningless scrawls into the recognisable names of known people or families from the surrounding district. During this recent trip to King George V Cave in early May, we recorded 178 names or signatures in the “boots-off” Signature Wall passage. It was clearly evident that this was where guided visitors to KGV were encouraged to sign their names. Both walls of this passage have signatures and many of them are inscribed as long lists of names of people who accompanied guides such as: Estcourt, Knight, McDevitt, Pitt, Smith and Westcott. The passage walls contain some of the earliest cave visit dates in the Hastings area, with some of the most prolific and longest lists of names of any cave signature site in Tasmania. Although there are many repeated names on different dates (perhaps cave guides or repeat visitors), the signatures include the surnames of many locally known families, along with name lists of particular historical interest. You need to be a bit circumspect when examining these speleograffiti sites, because there are invariably a few dates that are possibly “fake”, where for example someone has signed their name together with a date that preceded the time when the cave was known to be discovered. Typically these suspect ones are just “yyyy” (year) dates or sometimes “mm-yyyy” dates, whereas the more reliable or honest dates include day, month and year. Two possible examples of these fake dates in the Signature Wall passage of KGV include: “Ruby Hammond (or Hamilton), 1916” and “AC Smith, Jan 1918”. Matt Cracknell emerging from sump fissure. Photo by Arthur Clarke 13


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. Around 85% of the names on the signature wall lists in KGV are associated with dates and most of these (over 90%) range from 1918 to 1921. The remaining dated signatures are associated with four other years: 1927, 1929, 1934 and 1937. Sometime around the mid-1930s the Esperance Council, installed visitor books to cave entrances at Hastings, so this probably accounts for the decline in dated signatures around this time. The Council probably stopped running guided tours into KGV around 1937 or earlier, due to the greater popularity of the tour going into Newdegate Cave during the period when this cave was being promoted for deve lopment as the main attraction for tourists at Hastings. Although it is still possible that the “AC Smith, Jan 1918” sign ature is genuine, most of the earliest signature dates in King George V Cave are for the months of March to May, 1918. For example: “I.P. Westcott Mar 13 1918” “Ethel M. Estcourt 13-4-1918” “C. Westcott 27-4-18” “E. Estcourt 27/4/18” “M. McDevitt, A. Knight, R.H. Knight 4/5/18” “F. Estcourt 15/5/18” Amongst the 1918-1921 year dated signatures are the following surnames, many of which will be recognisable as local Esperance district family names: Baker, Barker, Barnes Bartell (?), Batchelor, Bennett, Blanch, Burgess (?), Carmichael, Careless, Clark, Clayton, Clennett, Collins, Cragg, Dale, Day, Dobson, Donaldson, Donnelly, Duggan, Estcourt, Fisher, Fraser, Goretts, Grant, Gray, Grey, Gr ice, Hamilton, Hammond, Hay, Horricks, Hudson, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Knight, Knights, Lowe, Luke, McCrae (?), McDevitt, Macintosh, Mason, Morris, Muir, Murray, Page, Parsons, Patterson, Peterson, Picken, Pickles, Pitt, Plunkett Radcliff, Rapp, Read, Reeve, Robertson, Rowe, Rushton, Smith, Sykes, Tyler, Watson and Wolfe. It is probably worth noting that two of the names that appear more than once in these cave signature lists are Fred Estcourt and Amos Wolfe: two of the local people who acted as cave guides in the very early days of cave tourism at Hastings. Amos Wolfe is accredited as the person who discovered Wolf Hole further upslope from the track to King George V Cave One of these name lists was inscribed high up on a flowstone wa ll and headed with the name T.G. Pitt (underlined) and “Lenna party” dated 27/2/29. The listed names are: J. Bowden, K. Lester (or Leeton), N. Richards, C. Colvin, E. Medhurst, E. Ward, G. Lord, with the names A.K. Smith and C. Clayton signed diagonally underneath. The “Lenna” was a 41 ton trading ketch built at Cygnet in 1903 and used as a barge for carti ng logs from the Huon and Channel areas up to Risby Brothers mill in Hobart. It was probably berthed at the Hastings Mill wharf or perhaps even at the Hythe (Southport) or Deep Hole (Ida Bay) jetty and while the vessel was being loaded with logs and/ or timber, tourist passengers or crew came ashore and went to the King George Cave as it would have been known in those times. Aside from the Signature Hall, there were another 5-6 signatures in the main passage, then again a few more in the cave coral walled rift that leads to the main streamway chamber and a about a dozen signatures in and around the area known as “The Stage” at the far RHS end of the large chamber. Most of these signature names were not dated and almost all of them were written with pencil except for 2-3 barely legible names including “B. Price” marked as large thick letters in carbon soot, perhaps produced from a candle flame. In total, just over 220 signature names were recorded in King Georve V Cave on this visit during early May 2004. In the course of this same trip, we recorded some of the invertebrate cave fauna in King George V Cave and some of these beasties were photographed. After giving Neil and Damian a brief guided tour of the cave, Jason joined Matt and me for a brief look along lower section of streamway where cave animals are often found amidst the flood litter clinging to the wall. As luck would have it, Jason found a pseudoscorpion. We did a little exploration towards the end of the passage, where you do a belly crawl under a large expanse of Hickmania troglodytes (Tasmanian Cave Spider) webbing. At the far eastern end of this passage, the cave continues down a narrow slimy mud and coarse grit choked fissure which looks very much like the same sort of sediment seen at the back or western end of Lake Charon in Wolf Hole Pseudotyrannochthonius typhlus (pseudoscorpion). Photo by Arthur Clarke 14


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. Following is a brief summary of the speleofauna observed in King George V Cave on Sunday May 2nd 2004: Arachnids: Spiders Hickmania troglodytes Tupua sp., a small unknown pinkish-red spider (Possibly Family Stiphiididae) and large amaurobioid spider ( possibly Family Amphinectidae); Harvestmen Lomanella thereseae Hickmanoxyomma cavaticum ; several mites and a pseudoscorpion: Pseudotyrannochthonius typhlus Other species included beetles: Idacarabus cordicollis ; a styloniscid cave isopod; millipedes; symphylids; and spri ngtails: probably Family Entomobryidae and F. Paronellidae. References: Butt, J. (1999) Fauna collecting & chasing historical graffiti in King George V Cave (H214) – 23/5/99. Speleo Spiel #313 (April-May 1999): 11. Clarke, A. (1999a) An analysis of the early speleograffiti in three caves at Hastings, southern Tasmania. ACKMA Journal, (June 1999) #35 : 33-37. Clarke, A. (1999b) Cave fauna interpretation Hastings karst: Newdegate Cave. Speleo Spiel (June-July 1999) # 314: 1113. Clarke, A. (1999c) The early history of Newdegate Cave and its development for tourism. Cave Management in Australasia 13 – Proceedings of the thirteenth Au stralasian Conference on Cave and Karst Management Mount Gambier, South Australia, 18-24 April, 1999 Pp. 118-125. Clarke, A. (2000) Recent news from Hastings. Speleo Spiel #320: 15. Trip Leaders Claire Brett STC has a list of people who can lead club trips. According to our rules, trip leaders must be financial members, must have been a financial member of STC or a similar organisation for at least 1 year, must have taken part in at least 12 trips and must have “sufficient experience to be sufficiently responsible and to be sufficiently capable to be able to be entrusted with the safety of others”. [That sounds like a sufficiently sufficient statement! It’s this kind of wording that keeps lawyers in a job. Ed.] Obviously the purpose of the trip leaders list is to make sure that people who lead trips are suitably experienced. The current system seems to work well however the club also needs some level of documentation to fulfil our duty of care. As discussed at the October club meeting, I would like to ex pand the list slightly to specify whether trip leaders are “approved” for horizontal or vertical caves (or ladders only). I have assumed that all of the people previously on the list are automatically accepted as leaders for horizontal caves. If you would like to be recognised as a trip leader for vertical (or ladders only), please let me know. The list will be updated over time and changes will be signed off at STC meetings. The following people were on the previous list and will be auto matically recognised as trip leaders for horizontal caves. Please let me know if you would like to be added or if you wish to be recognised for vertical trips (or only ladders) or removed from the list! Damian Bidgood Gavin Brett Andrew Briggs Kathryn Bunton Stephen Bunton Liz Canning David Chiam Arthur Clarke Matt Cracknell Gerry Doherty Stefan Eberhard Joseph Farrell Hugh Fitzgerald Jason Gardner Kent Henderson Alan Jackson Janine McKinnon Greg Middleton Dave Nichols Heather Nichols Steve Phipps Tom Porritt Dave Rasch Richard Tunney Keith Vanderstaay Mick Williams Geoffrey Wise 15


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. Cavex 2004 – ‘a cave odyssey’? Damian Bidgood and Alan Jackson Cavex 2004 (our annual ‘cave rescue’ exercise) was conducted on the weekend of 30th-31st October. This year Damian and I, (with some encouragement from Stu Nicholas), decided that a more serious vertical rescue should be attempted, particularly with the ASF Conference being held in Tasmania this year (an increase in cavers with limited experience in Tasmanian caves increases the chance of a rescue being required). KD was chosen and a rescue conducted from the bottom of the 21m pitch (start of the st reamway section), so about 100m down over 4-5 pitches. The focus was to hone our vertical hauling skills and test out some recently acqui red Police gear, not patient care (as Rolan’s photo testifies). General feedback from the multitude of people who took part suggested that it was a valuable and rewarding exercise with people getting more of an idea what is involved in the whole rescue process. In all it took about 12 hrs to brief teams, locate and extract the dummy to the road. Factoring in proper patient care and stab ilisation and this would blow out to the order of 3 days! The moral of the story is: ‘Don’t hurt yourself in a cave, the consequences are bad, but if you do then we’ll get you out eventually!’ Thanks to all those who attended, I was pleasantly surprised at the range of organisations represented on the day, and how civil they all were to one another (Police, SES, STC, FPB, CCV, DPIWE/Parks, CRV, Pandani Walking Club and whoever else I’ve left off). Thanks, and thanks again. Alan Jackson From a Police point of view I think in general the day went very well. All members underground worked well together in an efficient, timely and professional manner, even with long hours underground and at times, long periods of waiting around. As it has been some time since a multi pitch vertical rescue has been conducted in Tasmania, I think that we have proved we still have a competent capability in this area. The debrief did identify some points of improvement as expected, such as initial taskings of the first group in, i.e. get to the patient(s) and start treating them. Comms underground needs improving and also better education of how to use the different types, a better appreciation of what gear to take into a cave, we will have to take a lot more than a normal trip. Logistical support for people such as refreshments, food etc… when coming out of the cave, and surface parties for carrying the stretcher. Last year’s workshop was an attempt to work on some skills, the skills required to conduct these events need ongoing practise and between Alan and myself, we are happy to organise more training other than the annual Cavex for people who want it. A lot of the things raised in the debrief will be present and thought off in the real situation, a lot more resources will be available in a real cave search and or rescue situation as opposed to an exercise. Such things as bushwalkers made available for stretcher carrying, helicopters to winch out etc… when weather permits. I think we have shown that between STC, Police and SES we have a tight efficient group of people willing to work together and look after each other, offering different skills and experiences to get these jobs done. I especially thank fellow STC members for their support and the important roles they played in the exercise. A special thanks to Alan Jackson for helping me with the organisation of it, he had big boots to fill and did a good job filling them [oh gee, shucks. Ed.] Damian Bidgood Patient care at its best, the dummy makes it to the road. Photo by Rolan Eberhard 16


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004. Given name Family name Expiry date Postal Address Phone (H) Phone (W) Mobile E-mail Members Yoav Barness 31 Mar 2005 14a Smithurst Ave, South Hobart 7004 62238898 62267611 0413926353 redpa nda@fastmail.fm Abigail Barrows 1 Dec 2004 Flat 3, 75 Molle St, Hobart 7000 0400 275 120 gotu_ginko@hotmail.com Serena Benjamin 31 Mar 2005 33 Coolamon Rd, Taroona 7053 62278338 0404424363 serenab@utas.edu.au Damian Bidgood 31 Mar 2005 c/Police S&R, 76 Federal St, North Hobart 7000 6230 2267 damian.bidgood@police.tas.gov.au Claire Brett 31 Mar 2005 4 Clutha Pl, South Hobart 7004 6223 1717 0419 731 969 claireb@keypoint.com.au Gavin Brett 31 Mar 2005 4 Clutha Pl, South Hobart 7004 6223 1717 gavin@keypoint.com.au Andrew Briggs 31 Mar 2005 2/28 Sawyer Ave, West M oonah 7008 6228 9956 6220 3133 andr ew.briggs@hobart.ta sed.edu.au Kathryn Bunton 31 Mar 2005 PO Box 198, North Hobart 7002 Stephen Bunton 31 Mar 2005 PO Box 198, North Hobart 7002 6278 2398 6210 2200 sbunton@friends.tas.edu.au Liz Canning 31 Mar 2005 124 Wentworth St, South Hobart 7004 6223 7088 6233 6176 Elizabeth.Canning@dpiwe.tas.gov.au David Chiam 31 Mar 2005 40 Wyett St, West Launceston 7250 6331 1653 davidchiam@dodo.com.au David Chitty 31 Mar 2005 PO Box 230, Beechworth, Victoria 3747 5728 1804 0419 280 614 agati@netc.net.au Arthur Clarke 31 Mar 2005 17 Darling Pde, Mt. Stua rt 7000 6228 2099 6298 1107 arthurc@southcom.com.au Matt Cracknell 31 Mar 2005 PO Box 14, Geeveston 7116 6298 3209 0409 438 924 crowdang@yahoo.co.uk Jol Desmarchelier 31 Mar 2005 C/o 25 Delta Av, Taroona 7053 jol.desmarchelier@anu.edu.au Gerry Doherty 31 Mar 2005 PO Box 315, Geeveston 7116 6297 6219 gerdoh7@iprimus.com.au Rolan Eberhard 18 Fergusson Ave, Tinderbox 7054 6229 3039 6233 6455 rolane@dpiwe.tas.gov.au Stefan Eberhard 31 Mar 2005 2 Churchill Ave, Margaret River, WA 6285 08 9757 7411 scientist@westnet.com.au Joe Farrell 31 Mar 2005 joefarrell@iinet.net.au Hugh Fitzgerald 31 Mar 2005 124 Wentworth St, South Hobart 7004 6223 7088 6226 1740 Hugh.Fitzgerald@utas.edu.au Jason Gardner 31 Mar 2005 5233 Huon Highway, Geeveston 7116 6297 0070 6298 3209 Albert Goede 69 Esplanade, Rose Bay 7015 6243 7319 goede@tassie.net.au Kent Henderson 31 Mar 2005 PO Box 332, Williamstown, VIC 3016 9398 0598 9398 0598 0407 039 887 kenthen@optushome.com.au Kenneth Hosking 31 Mar 2005 11 Marine Terrace, Battery Point 7004 6223 8031 6231 2434 0418 122 009 hosking@netspace.net.au Alan Jackson 31 Mar 2005 207 Albion Heights Drive, Kingston 7050 6229 8365 6231 5474 0419 245 418 ajackson@lmrs.com.au Ben Jackson 1 Dec 2004 Flat 3, 75 Molle St, Hobart 7000 0400 275 120 sisforspacemonkey@yahoo.com.au Max Jeffries 18 South St, Maydena 7140 Ron Mann 10 Swinton Pl, Rose Bay 7015 6243 0060 6220 5246 Janine McKinnon 31 Mar 2005 PO Box 1440, Lindisfarne 7015 6243 5415 jmckinnon@tassie.net.au Greg Middleton 31 Mar 2005 PO Box 269, Sandy Bay 7006 6223 1400 6233 2336 ozspeleo@optusnet.com.au Dean Morgan 15 Cades Dve, Kingston 7050 6234 3113 6234 5061 0438 294 405 dmorgan@tesa.com.au Dave Nichols 31 Mar 2005 Excell Lne, South Hoba rt, 7004 6224 4737 6226 1831 D.Nichols@utas.edu.au Heather Nichols 31 Mar 2005 13 Willow Ave, Kingston 7050 6229 4362 0414 294 362 nichols5@iprimus.com.au Steve Phipps 31 Mar 2005 133 Waterworks Rd, Dynnyrne 7005 6223 3939 6226 2251 sjphipps@utas.edu.au Tom Porritt 31 Mar 2005 PO Box 60, Millaa Millaa, QLD 07 4056 5921 07 4056 5921 Dave Rasch 31 Mar 2005 25 Delta Ave, Taroona 7053 6227 9056 dave_rasch@hotmail.com Hayley Shields 12 Dec 2004 49 Talone Rd, Blackmans Bay 6227 1653 0438 671 508 hshields@postoffice.utas.edu.au Aleks Terauds 60 Belair St, Howrah 7018 6244 3406 6244 3406 Andrew Thompson 26 Oct 2004 45 Moodys Rd, Allens Rivulet 6239 6321 0408 309 887 Richard Tunney 31 Mar 2005 PO Box 1440, Lindisfarne 7015 6243 5415 rtunney@tassie.net.au Keith Vanderstaay 31 Mar 2005 754 Hastings Caves Rd, Hastings 7109 6298 3209 0429 983 209 hastings.caves@bigpond.com Trevor Wailes 31 Mar 2005 214 Summerleas Rd, Ki ngston 7054 6229 1382 6229 1382 trite@ozemail.com.au Amy Ware 31 Mar 2005 8 Salisbury St, Orbost, Vic 3888 5154 2056 5161 122 0407 651 200 amyware@yahoo.com Mick Williams 31 Mar 2005 PO Box 288, Geeveston 7116 6297 6368 Geoffrey Wise 31 Mar 2005 117 Upper Maud St, Ulverstone 7315 6425 3645 0408 108 984 Geoff.Wise@don.tased.edu.au David Young 5 Dec 2004 34 Mt Royal Road, Kingston 7050 6229 4318 0416 262 373 Friends of STC Bob Cockerill 14 Aruma St, Mornington Heights 7018 6244 2439 6233 6832 Mike Cole 1/17 Twentysecond Ave, Sawtell, NSW 2425 02 9544 0207 0408 500 053 mikecole@tpg.com.au Brian Collin 66 Wentworth St, South Hobart 7004 6223 1920 Chris Davies 3 Alfred St, New Town 7008 6228 0228 Therese Gatenby PO Box 153, Orford 7190 0428 391 432 pelicansrest@yahoo.com.au Steve Harris 17 Derwentwater Ave, Sandy Bay 7005 Nick Hume 8/71 Mt Stuart Rd, Mt. Stuart 7000 6231 0348 Phil Jackson 8 Malunna Rd, Lindisfarne 7015 6243 7038 Barry James 52 Edge Rd, Lenah Valley 7008 6228 4787 Kevin Kiernan FPU, Royden House, Patrick St, Hobart 7000 6239 1494 6233 7716 Kevin.Kiernan@utas.edu.au Stuart Nicholas PO Box 24, North Hobart 7002 6234 3799 0409 781 248 stunich@pin6.com.au Armchair Cavers Robyn Claire 31 Mar 2005 c/o 17 Darling Pde, Mt Stuart 7000 62282099 62981107 c/o arthurc@southcom.com.au Geoff Crossley 31 Mar 2005 All membershi p en q uiries should be addressed to the Treasurer. Current as at 03/11/2004.Current STC Membership


Speleo Spiel – Issue 344, September – October 2004.

The Tasmanian Caverneering Club was formed on 13 September
1946. Initially, information was provided to members through
a circular, copies of which exist back to November 1947.
"Speleo Spiel, Circular of the Tasmanian Caverneering
Club" was first published December 1960. Eight issues of this
are known, up to May 1962. In April 1964 a "Circular" was
again issued and seems to have continued, irregularly, until
March 1966. Then in April 1966, a "New Series" of Speleo
Spiel commenced, as a monthly newsletter.
In December 1996 The Tasmanian Caverneering Club
amalgamated with the Southern Caving Society and the
Tasmanian Cave and Karst Research Group to form the Southern
Tasmanian Caverneers. The combined group agreed to continue
to publish "Speleo Spiel" as its bi-monthly newsletter, as
continues today (2015).
Speleo Spiel is a vehicle for recording the cave and
karst-related activities, and particularly the achievements,
of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers. It also carriers
technical and scientific reports, reprints, reviews and other
information likely to be of interest to members from time to


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