Speleo Spiel

Speleo Spiel

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Speleo Spiel
Series Title:
Speleo Spiel
Southern Tasmanian Caverneers
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Subjects / Keywords:
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. 382 (Jan-Feb 2011)
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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K26-03862 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.3862 ( USFLDC Handle )
21470 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 1 N ewsletter of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Inc PO Box 416 Sand y Ba y, Tasmania 7006 AUSTRALIA ISSN 1832-6307


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 2 Speleo Spiel Newsletter of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Incorporated PO Box 416, Sandy Bay, Tasmania 7006 http://www.lmrs.com.au/stc ABN: 73-381-060-862 ISSN 1832-6307 The views expressed in the Speleo Spiel are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Incorporated. Issue No. 382, Jan. Feb. 2011 CONTENTS Regular Bits Editorial 3 Stuff ‘n Stuff 3 Trip Reports Arrakis, 11-12 Dec. 10 Various Artists 4 Burning Down the House, 27 Dec. 10 Chris Chad 7 Growling Swallet, 31 Dec. 10 Chris Chad 8 Slaughterhouse Pot-Growling, 3 Jan. 11 Janine McKinnon 9 JF-39, 3 Jan. 11 Chris Chad 9 Exit Cave, 9 Jan. 11 Matt Cracknell 10 Splash Pot, 30 Jan. 11 Chris Chad 10 Splash Pot, 6 Feb. 11 Alan Jackson 11 Other Exciting Stuff Eeewwwgenana Chris Chad 12 Bulmer Cavern Expedition, New Zealand Alan Jackson 13 Book Review: Raising the Dead Stephen Bunton 16 Surveys Various Surveys 17 STC was formed in December 1996 by the amalgamation of three former southern Tasmanian clubs: 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. This work is STC copyright. Apar t 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 Office Bearers President: Geoff Wise Ph: 0408 108 984 (m) geoff.p.wise@gmail.com Vice President: Jane Pulford Ph: 0437 662 599 (m) jlpulford@yahoo.com Secretary: Janine McKinnon Ph: (03) 6243 5415 (h) jmckinnon@tassie.net.au Treasurer: Sarah Gilbert Ph: (03) 6234 2302 (h) sgilbert@utas.edu.au Equipment Officer: Gavin Brett Ph: (03) 6223 1717 (h) gavinbrett@iinet.com.au Librarian: Greg Middleton Ph: (03) 6223 1400 (h) ozspeleo@iinet.net.au Editor: Alan Jackson Ph: 0419 245 418 (m) alan.jackson@lmrs.com.au Search & Rescue Officer: Matt Cracknell Ph: 0409 438 924 (m) crowdang@yahoo.co.uk Webmaster: Alan Jackson Ph: 0419 245 418 (m) alan.jackson@lmrs.com.au Web Site: http://www.lmrs.com.au/stc Front Cover: the 68 m Gom Jabbar Pitch in MW-1 Arrakis, Mt Weld. Photo by M. Cracknell


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 3 Editorial It’s 2011, in case you hadn’t noticed. With the exception of a few Mole Creek caves, wh ich have been buried by mudslides (Westmorland Cave for example), all Tasmanian caves should be that little bit bigger than last year. Fat cavers rejoice. The time to go caving has never been better – but if you buy that argument then really you should put off caving till next year, when they’ll be even bigger. There are two major Australian cave-related conferences on this year. Chillicon, the ASF conference in Queensland at Easter and the ACKMA conference in Ulverstone in May. Tony Culberg is organising the ACKMA one so at least you can be sure that the books will balance and that all procedures will be constitutionally correct. I am not endorsing either of these events, mostly just hoping that the ACKMA one attracts one or two decent cavers who are capable of heading south and being useful to me. I don’t have high hopes. Read the Petzl warning below. This is scary shit. Alan Jackson Stuff ‘n Stuff INFERIOR COUNTERFEIT PETZL PRODUCTS Petzl have recently become aware of dodgy fakes coming out of China that don’t exactly meet the safety standards you’d hope for from a life-supporting device. Check the link and be confident that you don’t have any of this gear before you cave again! http://www.petzl.com/us/outdoor/news2/2011/02/11/warning-regarding-presence-counterfeitversions-petzl-products ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING It’s that time of the year again. The AGM will be held at the Civic Club, 134 Davey St, Hobart. Please note that it starts at 7:30 pm (which is half an hour earlier than GBMs). By the looks of things we need a new secretary and treasurer, so come with an op en mind and weak arguments. KARST CONSERVATION Toby’s great grandfather co-fo unded the Dolomite mine up at Smithton, and an interest is still held by the family to this day. One day Toby may well inherit a share in the business and will be able to continue smashing that pesky cavernous rock up into bits to be applied on farmers’ paddocks. The photo contains Toby and his Poppy (Gilbert Hine) perusing an annual report. Chris Chad C. Chad


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 4 Trip Reports MW-1 Arrakis, Mt Weld Weekend Various Artists 11-12 December 2010 Party: Serena Benjamin, Matt Cracknell, Sarah Gilbert, Alan Jackson, Janine McKinnon, Jane Pulford, Ric Tunney, Amy Robertson, Tony Veness, Geoff Wise. Day 1, Party 1 Janine McKinnon The long-talked-about trip to Arrakis finally got underway at 6.30 am on a pleasant Sa turday morning. The weather report for the weekend wasn’t that flash, but as water was probably going to be a bit of an issue at our proposed campsite at the cave, we thought a few rain showers would be good. The two cars rendezvoused at Banjo’s in Huonville (where else?), loaded up with coffee, muffins, breakfast, and Amy, and then convoyed to the trail head. We noted that all (2) forestry gates were padlocked open. After the distribution of group gear, and consumption of festive home made chocolate-covered raspberries (thanks Alan) and shortbread (thanks Serena), we headed off into the Ghania at 9 am. The track was as unpleasantly muddy and Ghania -shrouded as I remember ed, for the first 1.5 hours until the first major creek. It improves a bit from there to Trout Creek, half an hour later. This is the last surface water before Arrakis. It then took just over an hour to get to the Arrakis doline. Old trip reports talk of the (slightly) sub 2 hour walk in. Th ey were either very fast, or the track has deteriorated a lot in the intervening 25 years. A bit of both I think. We set up camp, with several of us bivvying under the overhang in the doline and the rest setting up tents, bivvies and a couple of hammocks, nearby. The group then split into two for the activities for the weekend. Alan, Janine, Serena, Geoff and Ric were rigging and bottoming the cave that afternoon. The others were going surface trogging, and doing the cave Sunday morning, de-rigging as they exited. I was kitted up and started to rig the entrance pitch at 1.30 pm. Alan was showing off his shiny new trog suit and the others were kitting up at a more leisurely pace, expecting to be waiting a while before they started down. Alan was ready to go by the time I had the pitch rigged and he followed me down to the obvious spot for the installation of the safety line needed to get to the pitch head without risking slipping to one’s doom. Once that was in I was off again down-slope. All was going well so far. The others started down behind us. Then I struck a problem. Without spending pages in lengthy explanations, I had basically misinterpreted the description of the approach to the big pitch in old trip reports. I ran out of rope long before I got to the pitch head. Alan and I discussed this for a few minutes and we decided to use the 10 m rope I had bought for a climb at the bottom of th e cave (just in case it really needed a handline). I tied it in to the safety line and was off again. I aimed for the side (LHS) where the most recent bolts were placed but I still had insufficient rope to get across to there. I also didn’t really like the look of the approach, nor the presumed rigging point. I went to a small ‘gully’ on the approach line and ran out of rope again. Camp and entrance pitch. Alan and I had one of those shouted discussions over 40 m and then I tied the 76 m rope for the big pitch in. I started down the gully I was in, but decided I didn’t really like the look of it as a place to rig th e drop, even th ough I thought this was where Nick had originally rigged from. That really just left the RHS wall. I came back up to a small alcove, got off rope, and called Alan down for a second opinion. As he was on rope when he reached me and after a brief discussion, he headed to the ledge above me on the right hand wall to have a look. The ledge itself is a little airy near the end, without a traverse line, but it led to a good site for rigging the drop. Plans back on track then. Good. I came up and we started looking for somewhere to rig a backup/traverse line to get to the proposed pitch head. This took a looong time. We couldn’t find anything trustworthy. Loose rocks, crap rock, no threads. We were desperately trying not to put a bolt in but hopes were fast fading … M. Cracknell


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 5 It was about this time, I gather, that Ric, back up the doline where the others were waiting at the top of the safety line, was overcome with cold and boredom, and piked on going any further. The other two stoically hung in there, probably gnawing off the less necessary bits of their anatomy for stimulation, as they waited interminably. Just as we were about to admit natural anchoring defeat, Alan found a rock jammed solid ly at the back of a small alcove. We both checked it carefully and declared it good enough. Forward movement was on again. We rigged this fairly quickly and moved out to the end of the ledge to decide on bolt placement. This was fairly quickly achieved and I put in one bolt, conscious of how little rope we had. Alan occupied himself doing some gardening whilst the bolt was going in. He cleared the worst of the loose stuff but it was still a ledge to be treated with rock-kicking respect. The rebelay bolt went in fairly quickly after and then I was FINALLY away on the big pitch. We weren’t sure if we had much spare rope so I put in a really tight (Jeff Butt patented) loop, or lack thereof. At the bottom I found we had a few metres to spare so Alan re-jiggered the rebelay on his way down. The others started down to the pitch head whilst Alan and I moved on down the cave. They caught up to us looking for the crack we were supposed to rig the 3 m pitch from. After finally finding it, we declared it not the right size for the nuts we had, and a bit dodgy anyway, so we put a bolt in above the drop. On down to the next pitch, which has a corroded old spit that is only part way into the rock. This is totally unnecessary as there are thr ee good naturals in very convenient spots. Alan rigging the last pitch – a three way tie. Luckily the 8 m climb proved to be very easy so we were all able to get to the chamber at the bottom where the stream comes in. We headed downstream first with all of us going almost to the end of navigable passage, and Alan and Serena going just those few metres more into the grovel than Geoff and I. Then we went upstream to the end of the easy going stuff. No point crawling in water when the Eberhards and Jeff Butt have been there before. The trip out went easily. Alan and I had decided that a second bolt on the pitch head of the 68 m pitch was a better idea than the single one we had put in, and so he re-rigged the pitch at the rebelay, to give us the extra rope at the top. We had seen that we had enough. Just. Alan waited there for me, as Geoff and Serena went out and then we decided where to put the second bolt. As usual, the best place was out of my reach for manipulati ng a drill, and so Alan put in this bolt. We re-rigged the pitch head so that tomorrow’s group would have the mental reassurance of two bolts at the primar y anchor. I headed up last and was out at 7.30 pm after a very enjoyable but ineffi ciently slow trip. Amy was cooking dinner for us, which was a wonderful treat. All I had to do was get changed, get a glass of port from Tony (who had carried in a small cask!) and start eating the pre-dinner nibbles people had supplied, whilst I waited for my tuna and lentil dinner to be ready. Alan grovelling at the end of the cave. Day 1, Party 2 Matt Cracknell While Alan and the others were rigging Arrakis we went for a little walk in the immediate vicinity of the aforementioned cave entrance. None of us had been to this area before and were keen to see if we could find some “new” caves. Amy had brought with her a contour map generated from LiDAR*1 data which showed some interesting karstic-looking landscape features that we decided to focus our attention on. Within about 10 minutes we had found a couple of small cave entrances. The first cave we encountered, given number MW10, is a small opening about 1 m in diameter with a pitch of ~6 m. There is the potential for a small lead at the base of this pitch. Further up the gulley (immediately west of the Arrakis entrance) near MW10, a cave with a rifting entrance >8 m wide was found and numbered MW11. MW12 was found at the top of this gulley, close to 1 Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR ) is a remote sensing technique that employs an airborne laser sca nner and Differential GPS (DGPS) to generate dense 3D point cloud data sets of the Earth’s surface. High frequency laser pulses (~ 200 kHz) are transmitted from a laser scanner and directed toward the ground beneath an aircraft. As the light from the laser pulse interacts with objects (i .e. tree canopies and ground) and is reflected back to the scanner, the ti me taken for the laser pulse to be reflected back to the scanner, and its intensity, are recorded. From these measurements the distance from the s canner to the object interacting with the laser pulse can be calculated. In a ddition, the intensity of the pulse can help distinguish between “solid” objec ts, such as the ground surface, and leaves and branches which are effec tively non-solid to the laser pulse. By knowing the exact position (using DGPS) and attitude (using an Inertia Measurement Unit) of the laser sca nner and the direction in which the laser pulse was transmitted, 3D georef erenced points of reflectors can be constructed. This allows for high re solution Digital Elevation Models to be generated, even in areas with thick vegetation. J. McKinnon J. McKinnon


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 6 the contact between the Neoproterozoic dolomite and Permian mudstones (and diamictite). This cave, like MW11, has a rifting entrance and was seen to be >10 m long and deep. A promising draft was blowing out of this cave when we found it. We hugged the contact and h eaded northwest toward the karst feature identified on the LiDAR contour map. As we neared this feature a dramatic increase in the density of quartz-filled vugs and veins was noticed. The abundant quartz mineralisation within the Mt Weld karst appears to be very similar to the silica boxwork seen in many of the caves at Hastings. Anyhoo, back to the caving ... it was easy to see why the feature we were heading for (numbered MW13) was identifiable on the LiDAR contour map. The entrance collapse/doline is ~25 m in diameter and blocks of dolomite hang over at least one pitch ~20 m deep. In the southwest corner of the entran ce doline a large rift can be seen heading into the ridge. Further up the hill southwest of MW13, we found MW14 and MW15. Both caves are openings within fractures and boulders in the dolomite. After “finding” all these caves in the space of a couple of hours, I was keen to see th e contact in the immediate vicinity of MW15, so we head ed up on the adjacent ridge in search of Permian. Alas, we didn’t find it, what we did find was that the ridge was composed of resistant, apparently silicified, dolomite. This situation suggests, at least in this area, that the contact has been removed from above (unroofed) and the landforms are now being controlled by compositional contrasts in the dolomite. This may have something to do with finding caves not at the contact but several tens of metres below the contact. On the way back to camp we bee-lined for another feature identified from the LiDAR co ntours. Unfortunately we missed this one (by the barest of margins as the group on Sunday found it) and found ourselves back in the gulley west of Arrakis. It is important to note that GPS coordinates were collected for all the features numbered during this afternoon’s surface wandering. However, as none of us wanted to lug the drill and batteries up the hill we did not tag any of these caves. Nevertheless, each feature has been given a generous helping of flagging tape with number and date added. Later that afternoon while some people were getting water (be reminded that Arrakis is called Arrakis for a very good reason) down the hill and others were bumming around, I decided to go looking for Crystal Cave. After a bit of rooting around I found it. Wow ... what an amazing sight. The quartz mineralisation mentioned previously had suddenly got very large indeed. Quartz crystals up to 2-3 cm big adorn the walls of a small section of this cave. Almost enough excitement to give a geo hot flushes. About 100 m or so southeast of Crystal Cave, in the guts of a steep-sided gulley, I did manage to find some water. A small stream was observed to flow off the contact into a cave. This cave is about 2 m in diameter and at least 15 m deep on the first step. I didn’t have a GPS or flagging tape so this one is out there with nothing to identify it. Later in the week over a couple of emails, a few of us were inspired to research names of planets in Frank Herbert’s Dune series. It seemed like a good idea to name some of the caves we found (the word fo und is used loosely here as I am aware that K. Kiernan a nd G. Middleton did a lot of surface work in the Mt Weld area several decades ago) on the weekend with the Dune theme. So I encourage those who go up there next (my list is full for a while) to maintain this tradition. Day 2, Party 1 Alan Jackson It was so long ago that I can hardly remember now. Geoff didn’t come with us – his sleeping bag would have got too cold without him or something. Serena, Ric, Janine and I headed off for a look at the big LiDAR hole from the previous day. We found it, along with various other small to medium-sized caves on th e contact. By approaching the big hole from the left, then cutting behind a detached block, Serena and I got a better line down the entrance pitch. I got a rock or two to continue further, so it’s certainly worth a look. I muffed up the numbering of some of the other ‘new’ holes by labelling a new cave with a number assigned the previous day by Matt and co. I fixed it by changing the number in the GPS and on the pink tape of Matt’s hole, but no doubt it’ll cause confusion for some poor sod in the future. We managed to find the other LiDAR hole that Matt mentioned missing, lower down the hill. It was fairly large and the mud slope entrance was treacherous without a rope. Without a light it was impossible to say the cave doesn’t go, but it would appear to be blocked – it needs another look, much like the whole area. Rigging Alan Jackson Again, memory is fading … From a read of the literature it would seem that it is essential to rig the cave a di fferent way for each trip, so I don’t even know why I’m bothering with this guide. Entrance pitch – if you’re a hard man you can climb down a narrow rift. There were only girls present on our trip so we rigged off a rock in th e mud (many other trees would have been acceptable if enough rope was handy) and then there is a nice new shiny 8 mm stainless steel bolt over the lip a metre or so. It has a plastic marker on it (but no hanger). The number 7 (?) hex in the keyhole makes a good start for the mud slope approach (if you’re happy with a single anchor approach to a 70 m pitch …) We followed the left wall (when abseiling) the whole way down, tying off to a few taped naturals. Once you drop the first little step to the top of the 70 m pitch proper you start getting nervous, so there is a jammed rock up in under the bottom of the step, if you’re clever. Traverse th e ledge against the wall (right if walking forward, left if abseiling and facing back up towards the entrance). One sh ould find two marked 8 mm SS bolts up high. There is then a single bolt down a few metres for a rebelay. Good pitch. The next annoying little pitch is crap. We got sick of trying to get natural pro to work so we whacked in a single bolt on the left wall (as walking down the cave) above the lip. One could back it up to some friends/cams in the nice flared crack a few metres back or follow Rolan’s lead and bang in a few pitons.


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 7 The last pitch has three good natural tape anchors and the worst spit in the history of SCS. We didn’t use it, but you could if you were feeling nervous. If you need a handline on the climb at the bottom then you should seriously consider taking up mini golf for your adrenalin rushes to save yourself the long drive and walk to the cave. Rope lengths – look at the survey and add a few metres for knots and rebelays, or read whatever trip reports Janine did but actually read them properly and take enough rope. Into the abyss. JF-228/JF-402 – The Trouble With Burning Down the House Chris Chad 27 December 2010 Party: Chris Chad, Janine McKinnon This trip had a pre-requisite of no gear from the gear store. The Stan Murray Area just got blank looks, so I suggested Burning Down the House as a bit of a horizontal interlude in an area about as far away from Junee as one can get whilst still contributing water. To hide the fact this was just another of my locate-old-caves-for-my-maps trip, I came up with the concept that we c ould check out a sump or two for our intrepid club cave diver. We dropped Ric off at the Gr owling car-park, as he was planning a stroll up to Ice Tube, and headed in to where we thought would be a good spot to walk in from. It was raining/snowing so I lent the somewhat unprepared Ric an umbrella. There was a waypoint in the club GPS for JF228 but being a bit wary of such things I had checked it prior to leaving home to find that converted to AGD66 it was suspiciously rounded to the nearest hundred metres resulting in narrowed eyes and shaking heads. In the end I found Rolan’s maps to be the most useful reference. JF-228 was the original cave explored by SCS and named Trouble Pot, with TCC coming along later, pirating the cave through the JF-402 entrance and subsequently calling the cave Burning Down the Hous e. It looks like that name has stuck. It was supposed to be an easy five minute walk from the cars, but the underg rowth in the area was utterly horrendous. The ferns were up over head height and so thick the fronds were sticking together like Velcro. It was much worse than Cave Hill. Half an hour later we had bashed our way into a dry creek bed, but had failed to find our target. I sent Janine upstream while I cursed ferns and those who like ferns, and she shortly found something cave-like which we assumed was JF-228. We searched everywhere for a tag but didn’t find one. Our map was sitting safely beside Janine’s computer but a cursory look seemed to match what I remembered of the JF-228 entrance series, however we were surprised to find the cave sumped after the first slippery down climb. Apparently, the JF-228 connection does sump under heavy flows, and there was a lot of snow around and the forest was very wet, so we concluded this was JF-228, agreed that it would be unpleasant lugging diving gear down the climb, argued about which way was back towards the car, then stum bled down into what turned out to be a rather large doline to the north. We knew JF402 was to the north but had thought it would be further away, but the cursed undergrowth made it difficult to gauge distance and the GPS couldn’t see enough sky to be useful, so we figured this was probably JF-402 … once again we couldn’t find the tag. We headed into the cave, finding quite spacious and pleasant passage that eventually led to a sumped passage. We soon found the bypass up through breakdown and followed a series of tighter crawling tubes and passages including a crawl with water up to my goolies that elicited a girlish shriek as I plunged my way through. Janine wasn’t too happy with the obvious signs of flooding though this part of the cave, and I found myself having to laugh at myself as I tried to belly crawl up a slippery mud slope at one point, feeling like a pet lizard trying to get out M. Cracknell


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 8 of a fish tank. The cave got somewhat less pleasant through the rockfall and I was wondering if this was going to be a good day out after all. Happily we broke out into more sensible passageway which soon intersected a delightful little streamway and some truly delightful passage that I would like all caves to be like. We followed this and the stooping/crawling flood overflow passage to the end but didn’t push the final rockfall. The last bit of this cave is a true delight. Janine didn’t like the upstream passage very much, so no dive trips are likely! We made our way back out and after a bit more spirited discussion we realised that both our senses of direction were a bit out and a happy medium was found, with us wandering back down the dry gully. I found a patch of bare, sunny rock and headed for it only to discover I was perched in the edge of a dirty great big doline. I called down to Janine to inform her she was in a flamin’ great hole, and soon she reported she had found a cave and along with it a JF-402 tag! So it turned out the first cave we explored was untagged. It needs a tag and is only 30 odd metres from JF-228. We went into Burning Down the House via the JF-228 rather than the JF-402 entrance. It wa sn’t sumped after all! As it turns out, you can spot both the JF-228 and JF-402 dolines on the aerial photos if you know where to look, despite some cock recently proclaiming in the Spiel that no caves in the JF are evident on the aerials! I thought it was a pretty good cave. We headed back to the road, and I wanted to find JF-11 Rainbow Cave and JF-226/227 (the source of the Burning Down the House stream). The road was blocked further up by a tree, and enthusiasm for further scrub bashing was low so we went and picked up Ric, and bought him back to help clear the road. The small forestry road I hoped would take me to JF-227 turned out to be far too overgrown to pass in a vehicle, so we gave up and went home. A surface survey has been done, so it is more a matter of digging this up. Ric managed to lose my umbrella, so if anyone happens across a big black umbrella … At this rate I’ll manage to ruin the karst with all my lost gear! JF-36 Growling Swallet Family Trip Chris Chad 31 December 2010 Party: Chris Chad, Louise Chad, Sophie Chad, Toby Chad I was allowed to choose the outing and chose a trip to Growling on the basis of the current excellent track condition. We arrived to find the parking area clogged with vehicles, but had an enjoyable walk in, with the other tourists leaving as we arrived. Water levels were reasonably low, and a pleasant lunch was had at the entrance. I had plans to do a few surface odd jobs in the area, but just like any other trip, the rest of the party weren’t too enthusiastic! Toby enjoyed the muddy bits best, but the Forest Trolls clearly didn’t have small children on dad’s shoulders in mind when doing the track work, so there was a bit of blood and a few tears by the end of the walk out. Exposing the family to ‘severe hazards’. We popped into the Maydena Adventure Hub on the way home to find out what the story is with the new Tim Shea gate. Alas, this road has been closed except to tour groups due to vandalism of the Transe nd repeaters at the top. We will all have to be content with riding recumbent bicycles to Junee Cave from now on. Chris, Toby and the new sign (with spelling mistake corrected – presumably by Chris and Photoshop). C. Chad L. Chad


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 9 JF-337/JF-36 Slaughterhouse PotGrowling Swallet through trip Janine McKinnon 3 January 2011 Party: Tony Veness, Jane Pulford, Ric Tunney, Adrian Slee, Chris Chad, Igor, Janine McKinnon. This was a tourist trip we put on for a visiting caver from Brazil. We thought it may as well double as a club fun trip, and happily others thought so too. We planned and advertised the trip before we actually met Igor, and by the time he arrived in Hobart it was pretty well locked in. On Sunday, as we talked to him about caving, and started sorting out gear for him to use, it quickly became apparent that he was very inexperienced, or rusty, at abseiling. So Ric did a hasty trip up the mountain to give him some practice. I was starting to think that good old Mystery Creek might be a more appropriate option, but we already had a cast of keen punters for the through trip. We made it very clear to Igor what the trip involved, showed him some photos of Windy Rift and the GS streamway, and he was still very keen, so SH/GS it was. We got underground around 10 am with no dramas. Igor seemed to think he was stuck a few times in the entrance passage, which made me wonder how many tight cave passages he’d been in before. Chris had already gone through ahead of him. Igor is not a particularly big guy – about Alan’s size [ I’ll have you know that I work very hard on my muscles and I consider your observation very insulting – Ed. ].[ She didn’t actually SAY you’re a bit of a weed – SubEd. ] Does my bum look big in this ? Jane tunnels into Slaughterhouse Pot. The ropes are getting very stiff and I had to rig Ric’s Stop as a bobbin as I couldn’t thread it (I had changed with Igor for this reason, mine is a bit more worn and was useable as a “Stop”. Just). Time to change them in the next year, methinks. The abseils all went smoothly, if a bit slowly with eight cavers. Chris and Tony got bored at the front and disappeared off ahead, which was a good plan. We all met up at the junction, had lunch, and did the Trapdoor waterfall viewing thing. This all took about 2.5 hours. Jane examined the emergency c ache up on the shelf, and itemised its contents for the archive. We all decided that the jelly beans with the 1994 expiry date probably weren’t useful as emergency food anymore. Then it was onward and outward. Igor found the ladders difficult and fell the last metre on the third ladder going out, but luckily he was unhurt. Then we got to the top of the Windy Rift. Chris went down and through with no problems and I came next, planning on being directly ahead of Igor, in case he needed a bit of advice. He was put on belay for the climb down. He found it extremely difficult and I had to climb back up to just below him and position his feet for him. Then we got to the rift traverse. Not to drag this out too long, I thought at one point we were in real trouble. He obviously hadn’t done anything like this sort of caving before and was not very strong either. Eventually I talked him out of the rift, but I feel a bit guilty that my patience was slipping there, some of the time. The trip up the streamway was rather slow but uneventful. The water level was moderately high for January but certainly not winter flow level. Everyone cruised along, enjoying themselves, I think. Igor seemed happier now and did all the climbs without a belay, although I am still wondering whether I should have insisted he use one, even after he refused the offer at each climb. At this point I need to emphasise that Chris did the whole streamway without getting his feet wet. He wants this duly noted. He was alone in this achievement, although some of the gumboot brigade did try to stay dry. We got out at about 3.30 pm. Everyone had an enjoyable trip and Igor did say that he enjoyed his day. It was certainly the hardest caving he has done and a real challenge for him. He acquitted himself well, in those circumstances. In hindsight, Mystery Creek would have been a more appropriate cave for him. I think I will have to vet the experience of any visiting cavers a bit more conscientiously in the future. JF-39 Chris Chad 3 January 2011 On emerging from Growling Swallet [ see trip report above ], I decided to pop up the creek a bit and find/GPS JF-39. It was easy enough to find (I wish all cave entrances were so obvious), but is still choked. I did the climb, startled the cave crickets, and searched for the tag, but didn’t find it. The rest of the group nicked off to the cars without me. J. McKinnon


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 10 IB-14 Exit Cave – Hammer time ... Doo Do Do Do ... Do Do ... can’t touch this Matt Cracknell 9 January 2011 Party: Yoav Bar-ness (WASG), Serena Benjamin, Matt Cracknell, Jane Pulford Yoav was back in Tasmania after a 6 year hiatus and was keen to get underground, so I suggested that we go to Exit. He said yes, so that’s what we did. The aim of the day was to continue the survey in Hammer Passage. It appears that most of the main passages had been surveyed in this area and all we had to do was tidy up a few loose ends. As we should all know this only leads to more loose ends but that is a story for another day. The walk in was reasonably uneventful apart from a few new tree falls across the track. The water in the D’Entrecasteaux was as low as I’ve ever seen it so none of us got wet feet on the river crossings. The trip to the back of Hammer Passage also went smoothly. Once we were there we split into two groups. Serena and Jane were given the task of honing their sketching skills with a few bits of sketching paper including line plots of survey data and passage wall dimensions. Yoav and I took the survey instruments and went off to get some more data. The day went relatively smoothly except for not finding the end of anything and the acci dent with the club Disto. I somehow managed to crack the LCD screen. The Disto still works but reading anything other than the most recent measurement to one decimal place (always rounded down) is a little difficult. Hopefully we can find a replacement part and get it up and running again. Worthy of note is the large sediment bank in the vicinity of survey stations 100808-25 to 100808-27 (I know that doesn’t mean much to you but it is all in the data). This sediment is at least 2 m thick and consists of cycles of clay/silt deposition covered by flowstone. One cycle is between 10-15 cm thick, giving >15-20 cycles in the sediment. What is exciting (to me) is that it is possible to date the flowstone, either using C14 isotope ratios (for deposits less than ~40,000 years) or using U-Pb radioactive decay series dating. The later can be dated back substantially further in time. The long and the short of it is this sediment bank may hold many 100,000s of years worth of sediment/climate reco rds (i.e. what’s causing the cycles) that can be given dates. Not only for the time of deposition but for the time between cycles of sedimentation. Next all someone has to do is get some money to send samples off for dating (it is not cheap) and then organise a permit to go and dig up some of the sediments. Then that aforementioned someone needs to interpret the data, establish that the data and interpretation is significant in some way shap e or form and then add this information to the dark reces ses of the academic world to be forgotten in a couple of years. Ah ... I love science. JF-10 Splash Pot – Ouch! Chris Chad 30 January 2011 Party: Serena Benjamin, Chris Chad, Ken Hosking, Alan Jackson Alan decided to return to Splash Pot for reasons I’m not sure even he understands. When I saw his intent on the listserver, I was thinking to myself that no one would want to take on that horror show, yet never-the-less a few days later I found myself at the entrance, full of bravado and convinced I would not only fit through Close To The Bone (CTTB) but it would just be tight, and not too difficult. The entrance series were a bit disconcertingly tricky compared to what I was expecting. The first series of pitches were enjoyed by all, though I couldn’t help but notice that the limestone, rather than having been sculpted into smooth, skin-friendly chutes, was looking a whole lot more like a horrible oversized ch eese grater. At the base of these pitches, Ken sensibly elected to turn around and make his way back to the surface. We had given him a few surface odd jobs to do if he got bored but he chose to have a snooze instead. I was feeli ng good and so elected to follow Alan and Serena through CTTB. CTTB wasn’t quite what I imagined it to be like, and the passage of time was apparent with Alan’s commentary being along the lines of “this first bit isn’t too bad … oh … hang on”, “don’t worry, that was the worst bit … oh … hang on” and “I don’t remember this being this tight”. We all struggled through OK, and emerged at the head of the next pitch series. I remember thinking that CTTB was OK, but was cognisant of the number of gravity-assisted manoeuvres I had performed in making my way through. We made our way through the rest of the cave without incident and took a look at the big Harrow the Marrow pitch. The time it takes for a rock to hit the bottom is a bit unsettling. Visitors should note you now have to go upstream a ways to find a good rock. There are plenty of nice stra ws around to look at, with many of them quite interesting. For a sporty cave like Splash Pot I found them marginally distracting and detracting from the experience, particularly because I was constantly worried that I would be the klutz that would bring them all smashing down. At the spots where the signs threaten the visitors, I could just see them having to be replaced with “Use extreme care. Please leave the straws intact as the original explorers have done … at least until Chris Chad came along and stuffed it all up (please feel free to urinate on his corpse).” Luckily I managed to make it through OK. Being careful is no mean feat when caving with speedy cavers like Alan and Serena. We left the cave rigged so Alan can entertain some climbs in Mad Englishmen and Dogs. I don’t really remember the trip out. The extensive bruising would suggest I was set upon by a group of thugs. I think Alan got stuck in the second squeeze and cried like a girl. A good day’s caving, but like fishing, I’m going to need a good twelve months before the memories dull enough that I think it’s a good idea to go back.


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 11 JF-10 Splash Pot – Back So Soon? Alan Jackson 6 February 2011 Party: Serena Benjamin, Alan Jackson, Janine McKinnon It was strange really. It had only been a week since our last visit but both Serena and I were keen. I even managed to convince Janine that it would be a fun trip and then, when collecting stuff from the gear-store, Gavin seemed disappointed that he’d only received 12 hours notice and didn’t have time to arrange tagging along too. Anyone in their right mind would have been hiding in a darkened room. I had a fair idea that Chris was doing something along those lines, after his efforts the previous week. The aim for the day was to start ticking off the numerous climbing leads in the far re aches of MEAD. The drill, bolts, dynamic rope, bit of static, tapes, nuts and draws made for reasonably full bags but not horrendous between three of us. CTTB in the down direction was its usual ‘not so bad’ self. Janine, being such a midget, fell through the squeezes and her miniscule lim bs allowed her many more freedoms in the restrictive confines of this nasty passage. I was jealous. We made a brief stop to throw a rock down Harrow the Marrow for Janine’s entertainment and then started up into MEAD. It’s quite a long way and much of it is annoyingly low or tight. We headed right to the back end (station 297), assessing each potential climb we passed on the way. The best-looking one was the aven on the left 5 metres from the end of the passage (where the 8 m high aven is marked on the map). There was a good open passage at the top and the second half of the climb looked pretty simple. The bottom half was steep and featureless though. I clambered up the wall and placed the first bolt while Janine and Serena pushed me onto the wall. I then used the etriers to place a second bolt before the first lip. A nice little natural spike was in reach from here and I got a tape around it and scrambled into the alcove. Above this a (VERY) dodgy hex placement gave me enough psychological protection to trust the hand holds up to another reasonable tape placement right on the final lip. My feet let go on me twice during this manouevre but the hand holds proved to be good. I then cobbled together a selection of naturals to rig a static line for the others. There was a really good draft at the top of the pitch and after a 10 second look to see if the passage was worth the effort, I called the other two up to explore it so they didn’t get cold on me and start pining for the comforts of home. All up we explored about 100+ metres of new ascending and horizontal passage. It was mostly quite large passage formed along the dip of the limestone with a triangular cross section and dolerite and mudstone floor. The draft, so prominent at the top of the climb, was never really plainly obvious again and a bit of smoke might solve this question mark. All the passages ultimately sealed off where the rubble met the ceiling. Interesting, but no breakthrough. The other two had baulked at sq ueezing the survey gear in back at the car so we left it rigged for a survey trip in the near future. My natural rigging, having survived Janine’s ascent, then Serena’s ascent and then Janine’s descent, spat the dummy when I got on with my pack full of drill and other gear. The, I thought, better of the two threads popped off a fist-sized chunk of rock and it hurtled past my face and down the pitch. The anchor didn’t fail totally, but the remaining thread was looking a tad thin. Serena eyeballed it and found a much better option in essentially the same place (I’m assuming that I mi ssed it originally because it wasn’t until the piece popped off that the better larger thread was revealed …) – anyway, we survived. The ascending lead marked on the survey on the opposite wall to the 8 m aven was quite drippy and not terribly inviting. Worth doing one day, but not then. Instead we started heading back down the passage. The next lead, the 4 m step up in a short side passage right on the sharp corner 10 m down from the other two climbs, was also looking a bit wet and unpleasant, so again we continued. Another 20 m along the passage is a soft crumbly sediment bank on the left with a view up into a narrow vertical slot with a high aven the other side of a central pillar/arte that projects out into the main passage. There was a small dribble of water coming in part way down. This looked interesting and worth pursuing but it was a good 25 m at least and we were already at the wrong end of the day to tackle this one. A couple of metres on is a short climb into a side chamber which allows one to scramble up in the narrow vertical slot mentioned before from the other side. This would save a couple of bolts and 20 minutes of effort to tackle this climb. Looking at the survey I’m a bit confused here. Part of me wants to place this climb in the side passage marked with a question mark and an 8 m step up but it doesn’t quite fit. I drew the survey up off Jeff’s notes and I think there might be some detail lacking in this area that I will check when we’re back to survey the new bit we found. The last climb for the day wa s at the downstream end of the long straight section with a big sediment bank on the right wall (as heading out) – it’s pretty obvious on the survey. The passage kinks right then left and the way out is via a small crawl, but up high the passage continues dead straight. It was only a ~4 m climb but the first two metres were overhanging. There was a blade of rock at the overhang which I could just reach up and jam a large hex into and I attached the etriers. But because it was overhanging my feet kept swinging under and any bolt placement I could achieve was going to be only a few centimetres above the chock placement. Suddenly I had an epiphany and called for the skyhook! I’ve been taking the club’s skyhook along on aid climbing trips for years and never had a good opportunity to use it, so I was ecstatic. Basically my life is now complete. The skyhook notched over the blade perfectly and I connected myself to it with a draw. This gave me enough extra height to make a bolt sensible. A second bolt got me easily into the window. The passage went straight for about 8 m before narrowing off. About three quarters of the way along a junction to the right was blocked by a large round dolerite boulder (about 450 mm in diameter). How it ever got to be sitting up there is beyond me. I manhandled it out of the way and squirmed down but it simply led to a drop back down to the known passage below and another straight passage pinched off after ~8 m. Another one ticked off the list.


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 12 We’d had enough for the day so we left a cache of climbing gear and headed out. We did a few re-bolting jobs on the way out though as we figured we should use the battery power we had left (surely a flat battery weighs less than a full one). The spits in the cave are already 11 years old and I’ve never liked the approach to Harrow the Marrow. Janine had brought along some stainless steel 8 mm through bolts for the job. At Harrow the Marrow we placed two bolts up high on the right hand wall (when facing downstream) which w ill replace the large dolerite boulder in the stream 4 metres back and the first spit. This spit is located just before the initial waterfall in a very low position. The problem with that is that the second spit, located 4 metres further out on a traverse over the pitch head, is about 2 metres higher than the first spit. If you fell while accessing the second spit, or if it failed, then the resulting drop and pendulum would be catastrophic – at best smacking you headlong into the wall; at worst shock loading the first spit and either popping that anchor or slicing the rope on the big swing. Not so nice. We had no rope with us so we couldn’t install more bolts on the traverse ledge or the rebelay for the main free-hang. Next time. We also re-bolted Tend’n Down pitch – replacing the two spits with new stainless bolts more or less immediately above the old spits. This gives the same hang line but moves the knot on the y-belay to a more access-friendly height. Our last job of the day was to replace the bolt for the short ladder that provid es straw-friendly access to Tiptoe Passage. Because this spit still had a bolt and hanger in it the steel bolt was looking pretty manky – I had to hit it with the hammer to bash all the corrosion off so the spanner would fit on the head! This now has a stainless bolt with a stainless hanger and it’ll get a stainless maillon on the next trip to replace the temporary krab. Now only the trip out was left. My bag was pretty heavy with the drill and spare battery but thankfully the others’ bags were pretty light and there’s a fair bit of communal pack passing and hauling through the nastiest bits of CTTB. Janine had made a few comments (not unlike Chris had the week before) that CTTB hadn’t been as bad as she’d anticipated. I replied with ‘spoken like a woman who hasn’t been back up CTTB yet’. It was a real slog and Janine now has a full appreciation for the cave. Serena had a splitting headache for the whole way too, which didn’t help. It was different to the normal headaches she gets in that it didn’t go away when I wasn’t standing next to her. We made the surface around 9: 30 – 10:00 pm, so it had been a pretty long trip (11+ hrs?). The ladies did well and if they’re half as sore as I am while I write this trip report, then my thoughts are with them. *I’ve since had a look at the survey data (Splash Pot and KD) and the new passage we found beyond station 297 is interesting. This is a pretty high section of cave (MEAD has a lot of up in it) and station 297 is only about 80 m vertically lower than the JF -10 entrance and about 70 m vertically from the KD entran ce series (JF-4) – the latter being essentially over the top of station 297. With the 2030 m of extra ‘up’ that we ad ded, this gap is getting pretty small. The surface isn’t far away (evidenced by the large volumes of dolerite, mudstone and other crap filling it up). That draft is bloody encourag ing and we need to find out exactly where it comes from and pursue it relentlessly. Other Exciting Stuff Eeewwwgenana Chris Chad The Chad family were up north visiting the in-laws for the weekend, so I thought I would take the opportunity to sample some of the northern karst delights. I even got some advice from a respected caver who originally hails from that part of the state, and decided perhaps the Eugenana karst with its associated quarry might be worth a visit, with the excuse of visiting the Eugenana Arboretum to tempt the non-cavers of the family. What was intended to be a simple detour on th e way up or back soon became bigger than Ben Hur, and before I knew it, the extended family were tagging along. We arrived, and as feared it was lightly drizzling. Apparently Tasmanian rain is a potent mix of strong acid and concentrated viral cultures, so the others whinged a bit and retreated for a cup of hot chocolate, leaving me and the dog to suss things out. I was appalled to discover part of arguably the best farming country in Australia had been converted into a “tree museum” undoubtedly filled with the next generation of noxious weeds. I had hoped they had established their garden on the rehabilitated remains of the quarry, but they had instead concentrated on the good bits. If I had my way, planning laws would prevent this stupidity, but with farmers condemned to be worse than Satan these days, there would probably be little support. Toby and Chris get interpreted. The site does allow some acce ss to bits of the quarry, but largely the main quarry is surrounded by threatening signs with apparently the only access via the depressing caravan park at the northern end. Within the arboretum you can look at rusty things in the old laydown area, but there is a marginally interesting limestone hill with the middle cut out of it, and the remnants of an old lime slaking kiln, which at first glance looks lik e a proper pot, but closer inspection reveals it to be a circle of bricks (calcite box work!). Some lame caves were observed choked with the red soil of the area, and I reverted to reading the L. Chad


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 13 interpretive signs and thinking what a bugger it must have been back in the olden days with 32 mm blast holes. I was also somewhat perplexed why they were carting lime all the way from Eugenana to Newcastle for steelmaking. Surely they could have just had a crack at the Timor karst and get in before all the fuss 60 years later! Toby then turned up; restoring my hope he will grow up to enjoy the outdoors. I gazed across at the water-filled quarry and thought about the stories of jumping off cliffs and bloody noses told by my source. I wondered if the quarry would be the only one giving that individual a bloody nose after today. We took a photo looking disappointed and left. The Eugenana karst has been described in the club literature previously, and there is at least one real cave. I have failed to read any of it as it all seems to be about pseudokarst, at which point I seem to exhibit all the symptoms of a minor stroke and can’t continue reading. In good weather and with good company, I have to admit it has the potential to be a pleasant day out. Further Reading: Kiernan, K. 1974 The Eugenana Area Southern Caver, 5(3): 9-10 (a reasonable summary but still a bit painful) Bulmer Cavern Expe dition 2010-11, Mt Owen, New Zealand Alan Jackson AJ in a random cave entrance. The kiwis have run an annual expedition to Mt Owen almost every year since the mid 1980s. In recent years at least, it is as much a fun social caving event as a serious cave-pushing exercise. I figured it was time I saw a bit more of the world and joined some expeditions to real caves and Bulmer looked like a relatively laid back and inexpensive way to dip my toes in the waters of international cave expeditions. New Zealand, being only a few hours away with a nicely geared exchange rate and a culture not dissimilar to our own, was a good venue. I abandoned the family on Christmas Day (heaps cheaper flights than on Boxing Day) and caught up with Bulmer stalwarts Lindsay Main and Alice Shanks. They’ve more or less been the driving force behind Bulmer since the beginning. I spent Boxing Day at their house while Christchurch got smacked around by lots of small earthquakes again. The biggest was a 4.9 that was right under the CBD and caused quite a lot more damage to buildings. Welcome to Christchurch – the wobbly city. I spent the day towed along behind Cyclone Alice buying last minute food and supplies and packing them into boxes. The 27th was relaxing day, and Tim Moulds (a WestAustralian who had flown in late on Boxing Day) and I took in the sights of Christchurch. The 28th was meant to be expedition launch day but the weather packed it in. The west coast mountains got about 400 mm of rain in a day which meant two things – the chopper couldn’t fly and all the roads between Christch urch and Murchison were underwater. The 29th was a beautiful day though and all the roads were open again. Unlike most of Australia, where if it rains heavily then the floodwaters take months to meander sluggishly across the flat continent, New Zealand is steep and the floods, while frequent and severe, don’t hang around for long. We had a slow day ahead of us as the Australian Pearse Resurgence diving team alr eady had our chopper booked for that day. We got shunted to a 4 pm departure time. This meant a sedate pace and leisurely drive to Murchison and then up the Owen River valley. The first view of the looming Mt Owen massif was inspirational stuff. So much marble! I opted to walk in with Lindsay and Alice (a few had left already before we got there) but most of the ‘hard men’ were keen on the chopper. Admittedly, if I’d been there lots of times before then I don’t suppose I’d have been keen to walk again either. The walk in involves crossing the Owen River five times (up to mid-thigh deep and swiftly flowing after the heavy rains) and then following Bulmer Creek (the water that resurges from Bulmer Cavern) up to a series of impressive marble bluffs that don’t look navigable from any angle. The result is very wet feet and burning thighs. It was only a ~2.5 hour walk and we only had tiny day packs on (thanks to the chopper). The scenery and vegetation were fabulous. Upon arriving at Lake Bulmer the scenery got even better. The lake was chockers with water thanks to the recent heavy rain, but not spilling down the dry valley (it is a slowly leaking sink hole lake). Soaring marble cliffs, vast scree slopes and wonderful be ech forest. Camp was mostly set up by the time we got there, and dinner cooked, so we ate and then set up our individual tents. This was to be home for a little over a week. Lake Bulmer – very full! I won’t give a blow by blow account of each day’s activities but in summary: A. Jackson A. Jackson


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 14 Day 1 – Walk/fly in and camp set up. Day 2 – Familiarisation trip in Panorama entrance via the main ‘bypass route’ to the start of the Wild West and back out. Day 3 – Tourist trip – in the main entrance, ogled pretties in the Road to Nowhere passages, down the 70 m Mutiny Pitch, Bear Pit, Lions Den and out Panorama entrance. Day 4 – Panorama entrance to Wild West again to check on a potential lead I’d spotted on Day 2. Didn’t find much new stuff but re-found some old stuff that raised some eyebrows and needs looking at properly at a later date. Day 4 – Rest Day – easy trip in Panorama entrance and through to Eye in the Sky entrance. Had a slow trip back through Eye in the Sky passag e climbing every side lead and aven we could spot. Day 5 – Long day in Panorama entrance, via Wild West to Awesome Aven/International Streamway area. Found a bit of new stuff and surveyed some previously explored but hardly known stuff. Day 6 – Rest Day (in theory only). Turned into a bit of a long surface day traipsing over the ‘Tops’ looking for new entrances beyond Poverty Basin (close to Vice Roy). Day 7 – Another long day in Panorama entrance to Wild West area then into Remembrance Chamber to help with a ~40 m aid climb. Day 8 – Hellish walk out in the rain back to the cars with (very) full packs and back to Christchurch. At about Day 5 my knees were starting to complain a bit from overuse. Obviously, being male, I ignored the aches and pushed on through the pain, doing another big three days. I could hardly walk when I caught up with Loretta in Christchurch and I’ve still got pretty bad knee pain now (a month later). I’ll be on a Zimmer frame by the time I’m 35. There were multiple trips each day into other areas of Bulmer, other nearby caves and surface trips. Generally there were four or so independent parties doing something somewhere. About ten of us were there for the whole expedition and another seven or so did 3-4 days stints, so there were at least twelve or thirteen of us in camp every day. Tim Moulds ascends ‘the ra mp’ in the Powder Room. Tim Moulds traverses the Bear Pit. John Atkinson (one of Hugh Fitzge rald’s original caving buddies) on ‘the slabs’. The cave was truly awesome. It is essentially a 66 km long, 750 m deep three dimensional maze – very complex with interconnecting passage all over the place. Essentially its early development appears larg ely phreatic, with a giant network of massive boreholes rising and falling throughout the whole system. Each of these phreatic tubes then has A. Jackson A. Jackson A. Jackson


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 15 undergone a period of vadose cutting down, so you’re left with keyhole-shaped passage – a big tube on top with a narrow slot dropping out the bottom. There wasn’t a huge amount of rope work. There are certainly lots of vertical sections, and there are vertical entrances high on the massif that drop into the tunnel network below via steep, narrow vadose canyons (like Tasmanian caves), but over the 25 years or so that they’ve been pushing it they’ve managed to find a multitude of bypasses and shortcuts that avoid the pitches and nasty bits. There weren’t vast quantities of pretty stuff, but some intensel y decorated areas were pretty impressive. There was very little water, and therefore very little mud (lots of powder and dust though), which meant that I wore the same caving suit the whole way through without cleaning it and I was still respectable at the end. A quick shake and an airing was all that was required at the end of each day. The surface scenery was gob-smacking. The huge bluffs and slabs of exposed marble were majestic and harboured a wide range of karst features from minute, razor sharp karren to vast depressions tens of hectares in size. Sexy marble. Poverty Basin – a large catchment forms a stream in rainy conditions that disappears under an immense scree slope over the back end of Bulmer. The weather was fantastic more or less the whole time. We lost a day at the start thanks to the intense rainfall event but once on the mountain we only got about 10 minutes of drizzle one morning and then a reasonable soaking on the last day. This wasn’t really a problem other than it made the walk out diabolically slippery. I came down hard on my left thigh at one stage and gave myself one hell of a corky. Even Loretta was mildly sympathetic when she saw it, which was impressive when one considers her usual reaction to my caving-inflicted injuries. A party returning home across ‘the slabs’. So all in all it was a great experience. According to the regulars it was a fairly low-achieving expedition in terms of metres of new passage discovered and surveyed but that didn’t concern me so much. I was more than happy with the cave (which was all new to me), the setting and the people. They were a great bunch. I’m even toying with going back next year … There was even something in it for the botanist in me. A. Jackson A. Jackson A. Jackson A. Jackson


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 16 Raising the Dead – an Australian Story of Death and Survival By Phillip Finch Stephen Bunton I usually don’t watch TV shows or movies that have dead death or suchlike in the title but sometimes it’s worth reading the book. In this case the book is a must read. It is well researched, well written and action packed to the last. Yes, fact is more powerful than fiction anytime – you couldn’t have invented a more incredible tale. Most people will be familiar with the story of cave diver David Shaw who drowned trying to recover the body of another cave diver who drowned in Boesmansgat (Bushman’s Hole) in South Africa in 2005. Shaw videoed the recovery and in so doing filmed his own death. The gruesome but intriguing footage was shown nationally on Australian television and can be viewed on YouTube. I am not into cave diving at all. I consider it a bizarre form of ritualised suicide; you get dressed up in all this clobber and go out and drown yourself! But not since Martyn Farr’s cave diving book The Darkness Beckons and its update have I read such a “can’t put this down” volume. Raising the Dead in some ways gives an up to date account of the sport of cave diving, which has now expanded into the technology of re-breathers and this was interesting. It also gives a well-chronicled account of Shaw’s life as one of the main players in pushing the boundaries of this technology. The book seems to be all over in the first chapter, we all know he drowned, even before we start but that is only part of the story. His cave diving career is inexorably linked to his career as a commercial pilo t instructor and the lives of other cave divers, particularly his good friend Don Shirley. David Shaw was also a devout Christian and for me, as a non-believer, I found the fatalism of his religious faith interesting. The effect his death had upon his also deeply religious wife was quite confounding and disturbing. That made the book gripping to the last. Any more said about this book would definitely spoil it for you. Typical Bulmer passage – big and dry. J. Atkinson


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 17 Surveys From trip report – SS 381:16-19 From trip report – SS 381:16-19


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 18 From trip report – SS 381:16-19 From trip report – SS 381:11-13


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 19 From trip report – SS 366:6 From trip report – SS 381:11-13


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 20 From trip report – SS 381:11-13 From trip report – SS 381:16-19


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 21 From trip report – SS 381:16-19 From trip report – SS 381:16-19


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 22 From trip report – SS 381:16-19 From trip report – SS 381:16-19


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 23 From trip report – SS 381:16-19 From trip report – SS 381:16-19 – [ This is the first use of the name Nasty for this cave. The word was written on the field sketch in capital letters with an exclamation mark, re flecting my experience during exploration – Ed. ]


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 24 From trip report – SS 381:16-19 From trip report – SS 381:16-19


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 25 From trip report – SS 381:11-13 [ My apologies for this one being out of numeric order. It was bigger than the rest and refused to comply with my formatting wishes – Ed. ]


Speleo Spiel – Issue 382, January–February 2011 – page 26 Given name Family name Postal Address Phone (H) Phone (W) Mobile E-mail Members Guy Bannink 52 Grays Rd, Ferntree 7054 6220 2456 0438 551 079 gbannink@bigpond.net.au Serena Benjamin 33 Coolamon Rd, Taroona 7053 0449 183 936 serenab@utas.edu.au Damian Bidgood 54 Cornwall St, Rose Bay 7015 0400 217 117 damian.bidgood@police.tas.gov.au Claire Brett 4 Clutha Pl, South Hobart 7004 6223 1717 0419 731 969 clairemday@hotmail.com Gavin Brett 4 Clutha Pl, South Hobart 7004 6223 1717 gavinbrett@iinet.com.au Kathryn Bunton PO Box 198, North Hobart 7002 Stephen Bunton PO Box 198, North Hobart 7002 6278 2398 6210 2200 sbunton@friends.tas.edu.au Liz Canning 124 Wentworth St, South Hobart 7004 6223 7088 6233 6176 Elizabeth.Canning@dpipwe.tas.gov.au Siobhan Carter 17 Darling Pde, Mt. Stuart 7000 6228 2099 kstokescarter@gmail.com Chris Chad 20 Acton Crt, Acton Park 7170 6248 6990 6230 5838 0437 125 615 chris.chad@hydro.com.au Arthur Clarke 17 Darling Pde, Mt. Stuart 7000 6228 2099 6298 1107 arthurc@internode.on.net Matt Cracknell 32 Windermere Beach Rd, Claremont, 7011 0409 438 924 crowdang@yahoo.co.uk Pat Culberg PO Box 122 Lindisfarne 7015 6243 0546 Tony Culberg PO Box 122, Lindisfarne 7015 6243 0546 culbergf@bigpond.com Rien De Vries 45A Mill Road, Collinsvale 7012 6239 0497 Rolan Eberhard 18 Fergusson Ave, Tinderbox 7054 6233 6455 Rolan.Eberhard@dpipwe.tas.gov.au Stefan Eberhard PO Box 280, North Beach WA 6020 08 9203 9551 0401 436 968 stefan@subterraneanecology.com.au Kate Edney 66 Wellesley St, South Hobart 7004 kate.edney@gmail.com Hugh Fitzgerald 124 Wenworth St, South Hobart 7004 corky@internode.on.net Sarah Gilbert 36 Tasma St, North Hobart 7000 0449 184 233 sgilbert@utas.edu.au Albert Goede 69 Esplanade, Rose Bay 7015 6243 7319 goede@iinet.net.au Michael Helman 118 Strickland Avenue, South Hobart 7004 mphman@gmail.com Fran Hosking PO Box 558, Sandy Bay 7006 6223 8031 6231 2434 0418 122 009 fhosking@utas.edu.au Kenneth Hosking PO Box 558, Sandy Bay 7006 6224 7744 6231 2434 0418 122 009 hosking@netspace.net.au Ian Houshold 134 Fairy Glen Rd, Collinsvale 7012 0419 744 500 ian.houshold@dpipwe.tas.gov.au Alan Jackson 45 Gormanston Road, Moonah 7009 6231 5474 0419 245 418 alan.jackson@lmrs.com.au Max Jeffries c/o Helen Maddox, PO Box 618, New Norfolk Simon Kendrick 1283 Glen Huon Rd, Judbury 7109 6266 0016 6234 7877 0414 908 466 kend_sim@yahoo.com.au Andreas Klocker 182 Pottery Rd, Lenah Valley 7008 6232 5335 0404 197 887 andreas.klocker@csiro.au Ron Mann 52 Loatta Rd, Rose Bay 7015 6243 6049 6235 0521 Janine McKinnon PO Box 1440, Lindisfarne 7015 6243 5415 0427 889 965 jmckinnon@caverneer.net.au Greg Middleton PO Box 269, Sandy Bay 7006 6223 1400 0458 507 480 ozspeleo@iinet.net.au Dean Morgan 44 Forest Oak Dve, Upper Coomera, QLD 4209 07 5526 2244 0407 738 777 DeanM@resco.com.au Bill Nicholson 21 Saladin Circle, Clarendon Vale 7019 billnick@iprimus.com.au Steve Phipps 5/460 Como Parade West, Mordialloc VIC 03 9580 6959 03 9239 4532 0422 460 695 sjphipps@csiro.au Tom Porritt PO Box 60, Millaa Millaa, QLD 07 4056 5921 07 4056 5921 Norm Poulter PO Box 399, Kingston 7051 normal@iinet.net.au Jane Pulford 405 Liverpool St, Hobart 7000 6231 1921 0437 662 599 jlpulford@yahoo.com Ivan Riley 3B Aberdeen St, Glebe 7000 6234 5058 6223 9714 0427 626 697 iriley@telstra.com Amy Robertson PO Box 177, Geeveston 7116 6297 9999 0407 651 200 amyware@yahoo.com Dion Robertson PO Box 177, Geeveston 7116 0428 326 062 dion.robertson@forestrytas.com.au Adrian Slee 28 Carr St, North Hobart 7000 0458 545 788 rapidgeo@gmail.com Aleks Terauds 60 Belair St, Howrah 7018 6244 3406 6244 3406 aleks.terauds@optusnet.com.au Richard Tunney PO Box 1440, Lindisfarne 7015 0427 889 965 rtunney@caverneer.net.au Tony Veness 405 Liverpool St, Hobart 7000 6231 1921 Trevor Wailes 214 Summerleas Rd, Kingston 7054 6229 1382 6229 1382 trite@ozemail.com.au Geoffrey Wise 1/213 New Town Rd, New Town 7008 0408 108 984 geoff.wise@onecare.org.au Friends of STC Bob Cockerill 14 Aruma St, Mornington Heights 7018 6244 2439 susancockerill@hotmail.com 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 202A Nelson Rd, Mt. Nelson 7007 Phil Jackson 8 Malunna Rd, Lindisfarne 7015 6243 7038 Barry James 52 Edge Rd, Lenah Valley 7008 6228 4787 Kevin Kiernan 6239 1494 6226 2461 Kevin.Kiernan@utas.edu.au

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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