Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 1 Newsletter of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Inc, PO Box 416, Sandy Bay, Tasmania 7006, A USTRALIA ISSN 1832 6307
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 2 CONTENTS Regular Bits Editorial 3 Stuff n Stuff 3 Trip Reports JF 237 Niggly Cave Dickon Morris 4 MC 130 Devils Pot Janine McKinnon 5 MC 1 Kubla Khan and MC 130 Devils Pot Alan Jackson 6 JF 390 Lawrence Creek Rising Janine McKi nnon 6 JF 2 Cauldron Pot Janine McKinnon 7 IB 11 Midnight Hole Petr Smejkal 8 JF 2 Cauldron Pot Janine McKinnon 9 JF 8 Junee Resurgence Janine McKinnon 10 JF 99 The Chairman Janine McKinnon 12 JF 237 Niggly Cave: Klockerfest day 2 Andreas Klocker 12 Junee Florentine: Klockerfest day 3 Nat Brennan 13 JF 392 Warhol: Klockerfest day 4 Laure Gauthiez Putallaz 13 JF 392 Warhol: Klockerfest day 5 Mark Euston 14 JF 392 Warhol: Klockerfest day 8 Mark Euston 14 JF 392 Warhol: Klockerfest day 9 Dickon Morris 15 JF 46 3 Constitution Hole Alan Jackson 16 JF 36 Growling Swallet: Klockerfest days 8 & 10 Liz Rogers 17 Southwest Tasmania: Klockerfest day 11 Laure Gauthiez Putallaz 18 JF 392 Warhol: Klockerfest day 12 Mark Euston 19 JF 237 Niggly Cave: Klockerfest day 14 Dick on Morris 20 JF 620: Klockerfest day 15 Mark Euston 21 JF 398: Klockerfest day 15 Dickon Morris 21 JF 14 Dwarro w delf Janine McKinnon 22 Other Exciting Stuff Reminiscences of a Tasmanian Caver Albert Goede 23 JF 15 Hairy Goat Hole Peter Shaw 25 A VSA micro expedition to JF Peter Freeman 26 STC on the world wide web Yoav Bar ness 27 MC 130/131/ 132: Maps of the Devils Pot System Alan Jackson 31 STC was formed in December 1996 by the amalgamation of three former so uthern 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. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or re view, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without writte n permission from the publishers and the inclusion of acknowledgement of the source. STC Office Bearers President: Sarah Gilbert Ph: 0449 184 233 (m ) email@example.com Vice President: Alan Jackson Ph: 04019 245 418 (m) firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary : Phil Jackson Ph: (03) 6243 7038 (h) pmjackson @ dodo.com .au Treasurer : Geoff Wise Ph: 0408 108 984 (m) email@example.com Equipment Officer: Geoff Wise Ph: 0408 108 984 (m) firstname.lastname@example.org Librarian : Greg Middleton Ph: (03) 6223 1400 (h) email@example.com Editor: Matt Cracknell Ph: 0409 438 924 (m) crowdang@ yahoo.co.uk Search & Rescue Officer : Andreas Klocker Ph: 0437 870 182 firstname.lastname@example.org Webmaster: Yoav Bar -Ness Ph: 0468 360 320 (m) ydbarness @ gmail.com Web Site: http://southerntasmaniancaverneers .wordpress.com/ Front Cover: Under the Broken Column, IB -10 Mystery Creek Cave. Photo by Franois Fourie. Speleo Spiel Newsletter of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Incorporated PO Box 416, Sandy Bay, Tasmania 7006 http://southerntasmaniancaverneers.wordpress.com/ ABN: 73 381060862 ISSN 18326307 The views expressed in the Speleo Spiel are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Incorporated Issue No. 400, Jan. Feb. 2014
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 3 Editorial Finally another Speleo Spiel hits the press. If you like numbers then you will have noticed that this issue is number 400. Hedonistic ideas were mooted regarding the content of this issue S ome have come to fruition while others have b een shelved for a rainy day T his issue s Trip Reports suggest that hard cavers dont have any friends or family to spend Christmas with, they just manage to hang out with each other, in the dark, rolling in the mud. We are then given several examples of h ow to end your caving trip before it starts. Klockerfest leaves no stone unturned, no wall free of bolts and no fragile habitat intact in a frantic bid to be the most obnoxious caver in the universe. In Other Exciting Stuff we get a taste of caving through the ages. We start with Albert recount ing some of the earliest significant discoveries by STC This is followed by a bit of news regarding JF 15 Hairy Goat Hole Speleo Spiel #400 just wouldnt be complete without some reference to this elusive cave now w ould it? A couple of VSA cavers then remind us how different caving in Tasm ania really is compared to the m ainland. Finally, Yoav summarises the comings and goings around the new STC website. The fact that this issue contains more than 20,000 words indicates that STC is alive and well and still at the pointyend of caving in Australia, despite almost 70 years in existence. Matt Cracknell Stuff n Stuff SETTLEMENT AREA ARTICLE John Webb (Norske Skog, and now also a member of STC) has published an article on karst management activities in the Settlement pine plantations where STC has been helping to explore and document caves. Theres a very nice cave map and a photo of two handsome cavers in the article. This article and more in Forest Practices News vol 12, no 1 January 2014 is on the F orest P ractice A uthoritie s website at http://www.fpa.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/95458/F PN_vol_12 _no_1_Jan_2014.pdf Alan Jackson Cave Diving Qualifications Janine has been accepted by the Australian Speleological Federations Cave Diving Group (ASF CDG) as an Advanced Cave Diver its their top level qualification. She now joins Andreas as STC membe rs that hold this qualification Ric Tunney JF 382 Dissidence JF 392 Warhol The conjoined JF 382 Dissidence JF 392 Warhol system (see p. 19) is 3970 m long. This moves it up one on the Longest Cave L ist from 10th to 9th place, pushing past Mystery Cree k Cave. Ric Tunney Air Time An ABC radio interview with our new S TC member, Pax a nd (Michael Packer) some photos can be found at http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2014/02/1 2/3943343.htm?s ite=hobart Ric Tunney R olan (unit of distance) def. A Real value number indicating the minimum distance two survey teams may be separated by whilst in Exit Cave as defined in an Authority to Enter Limited Access Cave (regulation 17). It is equal to the maximum distance from which a PWS officer can be heard yelling "Oi you're too close" Geoff Wise
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 4 Trip Reports JF237 Niggly Cave Dickon Morris 25 & 27 December 2014 Party Andreas Klocker & Dickon Morris. When I arrived in Tasmania my first priority was to start exploring the magnificent cave systems that Phil 'Divisive POM' Rowsell had waxed lyrical about. Alan 'Whipped by the Missus' Jackson was eager to snap up what he described as 'another useful POM' (I'm Welsh in case any convicts still recall the difference). On my firs t trip down to Hobart for caving I was shown the overall survey of the Junee Florentine area by Alan, a dataset that he maintains religiously. It s an exciting area but what particularly excited me was the obvious 2 km section of base level master cave tha t abruptly terminates several kilometre s from the resurgence at Junee C ave. I was informed t hat this was the end of Niggly C ave and which was the closest bit of master cave to the rising which ends in a rockfall that had been visited only briefly on sever al occasions. Alan then proceeded to rattle on about several caves that were close to connecting to a cave called Khazad D m, producing a system with unimpressive stats that went nowhere other than a sump that had received minimal pushes. I didn't care, my target was acquired. Niggly is (roughly) 375 m deep. It has a (totally unnecessary) 180 m free hang and is extremely muddy and tiring in its bottom section. It is possible to push the bottom on day trips but given that (from Hobart) it is at least a 10 ho ur return trip to the end, this does not seem to be a terribly efficient way to get things done. I proposed that an underground camp would be a good idea. Andreas Klocker (a surprisingly sane and normal Austrian academic) conferred and the wheels were set in motion. Laure and Mark not understanding the misery of underground camping, put their hands up for a place on the trip and we had a team. On the 25th of December people around the world suddenly care a great deal about the families that they have negl ected for the past 12 months. They rush home to be with them for a few often very strained days consisting mostly of excessive consumption of food and that great lubricator of arguments, alcohol. The reason? A tale about a mythical virgin birth that suppos edly happened 2 000 years ago and collapses at the merest hint of scientific scrutiny. Myself and Andreas, the only two active members of the pathetic Tasmanian caving community lucky enough to be without family commitments for this day of consumption (my family live in the motherland of the Australian nation and I'll be fucked if I'm trekking all that way to drag up old arguments) decided to escape the orgy of gluttony and head underground. Prior to the camping trip, it was decided, a reconnaissance trip w ould be necessary to suss out a camping spot and look for potential leads. I was also keen to see the nature of Australia's deepest cave, in particular the infamous bridging traverse over an 85 m drop prior to the 200 m pitch. So it was that on the 25th myself and Andreas left Hobart early bound for the JF. We found the cave without too much difficulty and began our descent. Rolan Eberhard had ropes in the cave and had kindly allowed us to use them. We rather foolishly assumed that th at meant that they were rigged of course the y were not. Instead they were coiled at the pitch heads and all the metalwork and webbing had been taken ou t [ That went wel l didnt it!? Ed. ] Feeling somewhat foolish we exited and took a quick trip down Growling Swallet instead On the 27th we were back with a large assortment of karabiners (unfortunately mostly pristine specimens poached from my climbing rack) and some tapes. The first pitch just inside the entrance is straightforward with only a slightly awkward take off. After a section of pleasant fault plane passage the second pitch was reached and proved to be even simpler. Below this pitch is Tigertooth passage; 200 m of beautifully sculpted meandering passageway which unfortunately has a propensity to grab cowstails, footloops, shockcords and anything else that may be dangling from your harness. A mild annoyance but nothing more. In any case the addition of an inlet halfway along doubles the amount of water in the passage and hence its dimensions. Eventually this passage plu mmets over an 85 m pitch, the obvious way on which was the originally explored route to the bottom. Now the more popular route is to continue on over the top of the pitch into a fossil meander that was clearly left high and dry by the formation of the 85 m pitch. This involves a wide traverse with one leg on each wall and nothing but blackness visible between. Its not hard but the penalty for failure is certain death, rather like walking a pavement (do convicts say side walk as rebel colonists do?) where all the easily avoidable manhole covers are missing, replaced by 85 m drops. Some more fun traversing in the rift leads to three consecutive pitches equating to a total drop of around 50 m leading to a sizeable and fairly innocuous chamber which becomes so mewhat less innocuous when you are informed that the loose boulder slope that you must now traverse ends in a 200 m drop. We rigged a line across this and found ourselves standing on jammed boulders at the top of the pitch with an enormous pile of rope at our feet. This was duly rigged to the very reassuring p hangers which I believe Alan placed and then rebelayed to the bolts of the main hang which goes off a totally terrifying The Angry Hobbit aka Dickon Morris. Laure Gauthiez Putallaz
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 5 chockstone held in place it seems by a lot of gravel that would be at least 30 degrees past its angle of repose were pressure to be removed After gaining 200 m depth with greater ease than I hear is possible anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere we dumped our SRT kits and negotiated our way down to the main streamway. This was far e asier than expected and we didn't get lost once. It was so easy in fact that we completely forgot about Alan's advice that we should flag the route. Fortunately our noses performed as well on the way out. When the main passage is encounter ed it really is v ery impressive true master cave without a doubt. The stream is sluggish and free of cascades and must surely be at the water table. Mud coats every surface, even the roof 10 m above your head suggesting that it must flood to the roof on occasion. Given o ur intention to camp here this was clearly a concern to some extent. My fears however were quickly a llayed by the following facts. T he mud is very dry and although I have not tested the drying properties of cave mud empirically common sense would dictate that in complete darkness and 100% humidity it takes a while to reach this state. Survey tapes left by Petr and Rolan last winter were still in place suggesting that despite our extremely wet spring there had been no significant flooding since then. Finall y it is well known that Mount Field is no longer able to build up a significant snow pack in the winter. I t is my theory [ hypothesis Ed. ] that the elimination of extreme snow melt events has also eliminated the possibility of extreme flooding in Niggly. That is not to say that I would put that theory to the test by camping in the cave during the winter. The ideal camping spot rapidly presented itself a remarkably flat and large area a good distance above the stream and certainly safe from any summer flo oding. With the main goal of the trip accomplished we set off towards Junee C ave. The passage is very straight and devoid of side passages, a cave with great purpose in reaching its destination and providing ample justification for the fast flow through re corded from Growling to Junee. Apart from a couple of annoying, slippery climbs over mud banks the passage is joyous stomping for over a kilometre until the first rockfall is reached. Apparently the way through here to the second and final rockfall is obv ious but in our tired state (when will I learn that JF caves are deeper than those on Mendip and that one chocolate bar is not sufficient fuel?) it eluded us. We did, however climb to the top of the rockfall where an exciting, low hanging fruit of a bolt c limbing lead was spotted. Thoroughly satisfied with the day s work we exited and made it out just before dark. To cap it all off I (accidentally) cleaned up two wallabies outside Maydena one of which was slung in the boot and proved to be delicious. MC 130 Devils Pot Caon de los Vejestorios Janine McKinnon 26 27 December 2013 Party: Janine McKinnon & Ric Tunney. We started a project two summer s ago to rig down this canyon and the waterfall route in Devils Pot. The route joins the lower level passage se veral metres past the final pitch landing point for the traditional route. This allows for a round trip to be done if both routes are rigged. We had finally returned to finish the job. Rigging down to the second rebelay on the waterfall pitch, where our ef forts had stopped last time, took less than an hour. Ric then added a third rebelay to get to the bottom of this pitch. We added a bolt at the top of one climb that has a difficult overhang, for use of a handline. The other climbs are not difficult. The bo ttom pitch is now rigged out of the water for normal flow rates, but does not have a rebelay. This might be an advisable addition if parties plan to do the trip in high flow. In discussion later that evening we decided that a fourth rebelay on the waterfal l pitch would be a good idea to get a bit further away from the water in higher flow. We also thought another rebelay near the bottom to stop a rub on tender 9 mm rope was advisable. The top pitch had only one rebelay bolt just over the lip of the canyon, and as the pitch is about 20 m, and the primary rigging points a couple of smallish trees on the ridge above, we decided to add another bolt. We returned the following day to complete these tasks. We left the cave rigged so Alan could join us on 28th Decem ber to complete the su rvey of this section of Devils P ot. A visiting group of SUSS cavers also joined us that day to rig the traditional route and complete the first round trip. The story behind the naming of this canyon (t his one is for Greg) We had jus t returned a week earlier from Mexico. We found ourselves drinking Mexican beer on the night of the 27 th somehow. So the name had to be in Spanish and Alan would be disappointed if we didnt include old farts in there somewhere. Rigging Notes Ric Tunney December 2013 As it approaches Devils Pot the taped route follows the unconformity between the limestone and the overlying impermeable mudstones. It then drops down to cross Short Creek at a pond just below a waterfall over the mudstones. Just below the pond, Short Creek drops into a limestone canyon and the cave tag is on the RHS. Traditional route Start is at lowest point (on LHS) of doline. Cross Short Creek and make way down and around doline to left. Route is down steep gully then vertical drop into doline. P1 20 m: Belay around tree at top of gully. Rebelay with short tape around tree LHS 4 m down. Rebelay on bolt RHS 6m further down. Rebelay on bolt RHS 3 m further down. Some parties may wish another rebelay with tape around rock about 4 m before bottom. 17 m drop to base of pitch. 44 m rope. Route then goes down to rib between further drop into doline and big descending tunnel. P2 is down the tunnel. P2 20 m: Wire trace around sharp rock 2 m above floor on RHS 15 m back from lip of pitch. Rebela y on bolt RHS 5 m
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 6 before lip. Rebelay on bolt 3 m below lip. 17.5 m drop to floor. About 40 m rope. Caon de los Vejestorios route Start is from LHS of Short Creek, about 20 m downstream from the waterfall which is just below the pond where the taped route crosses Short Creek. Cross the creek, descend into the doline & curve back towards the streamway along a rocky rib. Route drops down RHS of rocky rib into narrow canyon. You can see the abovementioned waterfall, falling into the canyon, from the pitch head. Canyon Pitch 30 m: Belay from two small trees, slightly on LHS of rocky rib, 5 m from lip of canyon 5 m & 1.8 m tapes. Drop into canyon and rebelay on two bolts 8 m down. 38 m rope, but a 55 m will reach to start of next pitch and helps with downcli mbs in streamway. Across the Misty Void Pitch 28 m: Belay from two bolts on RHS at log jam. Rebelay on 10 mm bolt LHS 5m down. Move out onto wall LHS of waterfall. There are now three rebelay s on bolts, each about 3 m apart and 1.5 m offset to move away from waterfall. About 6m above the bottom there is a choice of routes, either straight down in spray, or rebelay on bolt LHS to drop down dry to stream behind rock wall. 50 m rope. Handline (tape) 3 m: Bolt LHS. Sometimes the plunge pool below is very we t. Bolt Outta Hell Pitch 23m: Tape through thread in floor 7 m before lip. Bolt LHS. Y hang from two bolts LHS to give clear drop. If water is coming down passageway, this pitch will be wet. Notes: All directions looking downstream B olts are 10 mm x 50 mm stainless steel Throughbolts; hangers left in situ Dec ember 2013. MC 1 Kubla Khan and MC 130 Devils Pot Alan Jackson 27 December 2013 Party: Alan Jackson & five SUSSers (Deb, Phil, Rod, Dennis & Thomas). Deb Johnston asked if Id guide a mob of visi ting SUSS cavers through Kubla between Christmas and New Year. I was up north anyway and saw it as a great way of escaping family. Nothing spectacular to report; Kublas still there. 28 D ecember 2013 Party: Alan Jackson, Janine McKinnon, Ric Tunney & the f ive aforementioned SUSSers Ric and Janine had been beavering away at their canyon project in Devils Pot the previous day or two and since I was in the area and had some SUSS cavers to entertain we descended upon the cave. Ric sunned himself on the surface while the rest of us caved. Some went the traditional way into the doline while some others descended the new route down the canyon. Its an awesome canyon and a pity it is so short. Janine and I headed right down to the bottom level passage, via the flood overflow passage (which was not flowing like it was back in April when I surveyed it). The last pitch, Bolt Outta Hell, was rigged so I took the opportunity to complete the survey loop from the top of this pitch to the base of the adjacent pitch on the no rmal doline route. Two legs and it was done. Janine and I headed back out the way we came while the SUSSers did their exchange and derigged. We surveyed the canyon route as we went so I could position it better on my map. The next task was to check the di veability of the sump in Devils Anastomosis and descend the flowstone ramp that had stopped us back in April. Janine liked the look of the sump. We descended the ramp and found a sump pool at its base (the survey later indicating that the two pools are le ss than one metre apart, so no point returning to dive it, although someone should do it as a free dive/duck just to prove theyre a hero). The passage continued with a lofty 15 m high ceiling and a flat sandy floor for about 40 m before terminating in a l ow, calcited choke with a nice draught. Without the draught it would not be considered a good prospect and even with the draught it elicits no enthusiasm from me. As we exited the cave we bumped into the SUSS mob who had followed us down the hill for a qui ck look at the upper levels of Devils Anastomosis We marched up the hill to Devils Pot and made our way back to the carpark. Ive now updated the map to include the data collected on this trip. The maps (plan and vertical sections) are now ready for publi shing, appearing on pages 30 and 31 of this issue. JF 390 Lawrence Creek Rising Replacing the permanent line Janine McKinnon Diver: Janine McKinnon Support: Ric Tunney [ oxymoron Ed. ] Prologue: On a trip to the cave last summer with Ken Murrey we fo und that the permanent line in the cave had broken. I decided that a replacement was warranted, as the cave has had a permanent line for divers to follow to the second restriction for many years. In the low visibility, and frequently high flow, it is much quicker and easier to follow an existing line than run one yourself. I planned to leave the cave beyond the second restriction free of line. Thus divers could run their own jump past this point as they have had to do in the past. The status quo would be re stored. 30 December 2013 This was the first dive here since last s ummer. I planned to remove any old, broken line and start placing the permanent replacement line. The water level was not very high and the flow rate reasonable. As I checked my gear at the start of the dive though, I found my inflator hose for my buoyancy compensator was leaking a small stream of bubbles. It hadnt been doing that on a dive three days earlier. This was a concern as the small leak could become a major failure point without warning. Or it could just stay a small stream of bubbles. I decided to dive anyway but keep the dive time short and not venture a long way into the cave.
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 7 As it turned out, the old line was a tangled mess just inside the entrance restriction and there was no line beyond that. I started layin g the new line and progressed 5 10 m before reaching the steep slope dropping off to the left. Visibility was about 1 m, and I decided that a better plan would be to lay a temporary primary line, and follow with the permanent line afterwards. Of course I hadnt bought a primary line with me, just a jump reel (which has too little line on it). I left the bag and line safely (I hoped) tucked into a small hole and exited the cave. Dive time: 30 min 7 January 2014 Leaking hose replaced, primary (temporary) line to hand, and I was back for attempt two. I thought I may get the primary line laid AND then permanent one installed as well today. Famous last thoughts. It had rained over the weekend bu t I, amazingly foolishly for a lon g term Tassie resident, had not actually checked how much rain had fallen in Maydena (20 mm on the previous Saturday) It had only drizzled a bit in Hobart ... Yes, I know. We got quite a surprise to see the stream flowing briskly and the water level at t he resurgence almost a metre higher than last week. Still, I had been in moderately high flow in there before, so it was worth a shot, seeing we were there. I realised I had a bit of a problem as I approached the entrance restriction. It was a battle. I finally dragged myself through the entrance but it took many minutes. Once inside, where I should have made easier progress as the passage is a little wider, this didnt seem to be happening. I clawed my way a few metres but it was getting harder by the minu te. The flow rate was still increasing. There was little t o grab to pull on as the rock is very friable and broke off as I pulled on the few hand holds I could find. The flow kept pushing water into my mask and trying to push my helmet off. My second stag e regulator (the one I wasnt breathing from) kept free flowing when the water pushed in the mouth piece and I had to keep turning it inwards. Eventually I turned the tank off. I had progress ed about 5 metres past the entrance and could not move forward an y further against the force of the water. I was using my feet against the roof to stop being pushed backwards and they werent strong enough to push me forward. This was stupid and pointless. Time to leave. The next bit of excitement was turning around. I didnt want to go out backwards through the squeeze. Being small has its advantages sometimes. I was able to turn around in the confined passage, by lots of wedging bits of myself as I turned. I was then spat out the entrance as soon as I stopped bracing, with a fair bit of banging about as I was pushed through. Lucky all that cold water insulation provides a lot of padding. Good argument for wearing a helmet too. Dive time: 35 min Achievement: zero. JF 2 Cauldron P ot Poles Janine McKinnon 2 January 2014 Party: Andrzej Ciszewski, Ewa Ciszewski, Michal Ciszewski, Janine McKinnon & Ric Tunney. A family of visiting Polish cavers had contacted us in pursuit of a caving trip. They would be around for the first week of January. Rolan (Eberhard) had already ar ranged with me to return to Cauldron Pot on the weekend of 11 12 January, to follow up the lead we found in the cave last s ummer ( McKinnon 2013). I perceived a wonderful convergence of interests. I would use the Poles to rig the cave, and give them a great Tassie caving experience at the same time. All winners. The Poles stayed with us the night before the trip and we got a 7.30 am start from home. We dropped in on the SUSS group (from Devils Pot trip the previous week) at the house they were renting in May dena, and arranged for the Poles to stay there for a couple of nights and join them on their caving trips. This took half an hour and we left them at 9 am. The day was fine and we had a pleasant walk to the cave. They were all amazed at the forest and decl ared it worth the trip in its own right. They were impressed with the entrance to Cauldron, as everyone is, of course. They have caved all over the world (just back from China two months ago) and said it was unique, in their experience. And that was before they went down! I started down the first pitch in front, and we all gathered at the start of Bills Bypass, after photo time, naturally. I wanted Andrzej to see it before anyone started down. He is a stout, somewhat rotund man in his sixties, with back problems, and I was a little concerned what Bill would do to him. He seemed happy to proceed, so I headed in first with the next couple of ropes. [Having fun yet Janine? Ed.] R. Tunney
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 8 Michal had the rope for the third pitch, so he rigged that and headed down. Unfortunately he missed the rebelay b ut that was no problem. I just put it in as I came down. Michal rigged the next couple of pitches and Ric rigged the bottom pitch, as some arm and leg length are useful getting the traverse rebelay rigged. We were all at the bottom after a couple of hours. Everything was going smoothly and they were all enjoying the trip immensely, as far as I could tell. After lunch, and a poke around the chamber, we started out. Andrzej went up first, with me following. He waited at the top of each pitch until he saw me at the bottom, and then headed onwards. I never caught up with him. Even in the loving embrace of Bill. I obviously neednt have been concerned about his fitness or caving ability! Forty years of uninterrupted international caving trips and expeditions was showing. The others all arrived at the top only 10 min or so, apart. It was thoroughly enjoyable, and inspiring, to cave with a couple in their fifties and sixties and their twentyfive year old son, who were all so efficient, capable, delightful, and work ed so well together. We left them at Maydena with the SUSS group, who had returned earlier than expected from their Growling Swallet trip. REFERENCE McKinnon, J. 2013. Cauldron Pot, 9 Feb. 13 Speleo Spiel, 395: 4. Rigging Guide Ric Tunney January 2014 P1 Entrance Pitch 41 m [ ~ 55 m rope]: Walk around lip of doline to broad ledge at cliff line beside waterfall. Belay with tape around tree on LHS of waterfall, with backup to upside down bolt underneath small ledge about 1.5 m above ground level. Rebelay o ff two bolts immediately above lip 8 m down, LHS of rock slab about 3 m off the fall line. (Use a maillion rapide on the lower of the two bolts as a standard size carabiner is a little too long in the spine and creates a bit of bad leverage on the bolt due to its proximity to the edge.) Rock here was clear when bolts were installed in 2005, but bolts were hidden under moss 2013; bolts are on smooth rock just before corner.) Rebelay off bolt at rub point on projecting rock about 6 m further down. Rebelay off bolt LHS in corner about 10 m further down above final free hang to bottom. P2a First Cascade 14 m [36 m rope for P2a & P2b if tape is used around natural ] : Belay to eyebolt on LHS, with backup to excellent natural above bolt. P2b Second and T hird Casca des 2 m & 4 m : Two bolts on LHS. P3 Chute Pitch 15 m [22 m rope]: Belay on eyebolt on LHS at top of pitch. Tie in to previous pitch rope if back up desired. Rebelay on bolt RHS around corner 5 m down. P4 Eleven Metre Pitch 11 m [15 m rope]: Bolt on L HS 2 m back from lip. Rebelay on bolt on RHS 1 m past lip. P5 Diagonal Pitch 14 m [30 m rope will reach to P7]: Belay on eyebolt 2 m back from edge on LHS. Rebelay on bolt on LHS at lip. Second rebelay bolt in roof approx. 8 m further down to left gives freehang to bottom. P6 Four Metre Cascade 4 m : This can be easily freeclimbed or a short rope can be belayed around the extremely dangerous looking boulder at the top of the climb. Or the rope from P5 can go down to P7. P7 Bolt Traverse Pitch 35 m [ 43 m rope]: Belay off eyebolt in floor on RHS. Descend and traverse around right hand wall; 5 m round and 3 m down (away from waterfall!) to two bolts. The top one is an old carrot and hanger with some tape do not use. Rebelay from the bottom bolt, an 8m m stainless Throughbolt with stainless hanger and a hero loop. [Leave hanger on bolt during de rig.] Rebelay on bolt about 10 m further down at lip of free hang. Drop to bottom is not totally dry! Pitch 8 Au Cheval Pitch 5 m up, 15 m down [18 m rope]: Fi xed 5 m rope in situ on up climb. Rig descent rope off same natural as fixed rope. P9 Firehose Pitch 15 m : Downstream. Not dry! Use naturals. Notes: All directions are facing downstream; e yebolts are o riginals from early exploration; a ll other bolts are 8 x 90 mm Powers SS Throughbolts; r ope lengths will just reach bottom, depending on size of loops and knots. The cave was last derigged by a mainland group in January 2014. We had intended the hangers to be left insitu. The tags for the locations were re moved on the rigging trip with that intention. However the de rig party removed the hangers, contrary to instructions. Now the bolts have no markers or hangers. They may be a little difficult to locate in some instances. IB 11 Midnight Hole Petr Smejka l 7 January 2013 Party: Ross Anderson (WASG/CLinc), Milos Dvorak & Petr Smejkal. I think it was a couple of months ago when Tony Veness advertised an invasion of some mainlanders, who were interested in caving at Ida Bay. I agreed to take them to Midnight Hole. Midnight Hole was my first caving trip in Tasmania with Ric and Janine and I had not been there since then. I thought it would be good to visit again and try to find the entrance this time just with the help of Alans notes. Milos Dvorak, a newcomer to T asmania and the UTAS Chemistry D epartment, was also a member of the trip. So far Milos has been bushwalking at Mt. Anne, Col l ins Cap and around Mt. Wellington. He surprised me with his interest in caving and I thought that the trip to Midnight Hole wo uld be a good introduction. A month before the Midnight Hole trip we did SRT practice so Milos would be up to the trip, except for the usual beginners hesitancy, Milos seemed ready to do some SRT in cave.
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 9 On 7 January 2014 Milos and I left Hobart and arri ved in Francistown (where all the mainlanders were resting) at 8 am. I expected a group of three but the day before had resulted in some physical ailments that affected the health of two of the group. Ross, Milos and I were ready and keen to go to Midnigh t Hole, the remaining two of the party decided to go to Mystery Creek with Arthur. We arrived at the car park at 9 am t o find the entrance was not as hard as I expected. In summary, we lost our way just once or twice. We entered Midnight Hole and our wa y t hrough was nice and smooth. After we got through the Matchbox Squeeze I tried to convince Milos and Ross to have a look in Expletive Hall but the water level at the start of Railway Tunnel discouraged us. We went to Mystery Creek instead to meet with Arthu r and the others. We met approximately at 1 pm at the end of Skyline. After lunch, Ross went to do some 3D photos. Milos and I went back to Matchbox Squeeze where we turned into Railway Tunnel. I had never been in this part of Mystery Creek before and I fo und especially the rockfall at the Bohemian Chamber a bit confusing. I have to admit that it was even more confusing on the way back but that is another story. We had a short 5 min ute look in Expletive Hall and then we left the cave. We met with Ross and t he other cavers in front of the Mystery Creek entrance. Apparently, Milos and I got out of the cave slightly more dirty than Ross (comparison shown in the figure).We returned to the car park from where Milos and I went back in Hobart. Arthur took the other s for an afternoon trip in Hastings. JF 2 Cauldron Pot Revisiting a downstream climb Janine McKinnon 12 January 2014 Party: Rolan Eberhard, Stefan Eberhard & Janine McKinnon. Rolan and I were returning to attempt the climb that we had seen on our way out from the far downstream end of the Cauldron streamway last s ummer ( McKinnon 2013). Stefan was visiting from Western Australia for a few weeks and decided to join us. The cave had been rigged the previous week, and I had arranged for a visiting group of m ainland cavers to have a jolly down there the following weekend... and to, by the way, de rig as they came out (please). Another win win; they get to do a great cave, and only de rig, and we get to do an easy wander down and up a rigged cave. Lovely. I see m to be developing a knack for this sort of organising. Ric had exited last on the previous trip and pulled the bottom section of the entrance rope back up, and tied it into the last belay. This is a good idea as the bundled rope tends to get jammed betwee n the logs if left hanging. He also pulled all the rebelay loops for the streamway pitches that were in the water, up tight, so they didnt flap about and get abraded. I started down the entra nce pitch first, at round 10.30am. The plan was to meet again in the bottom chamber, and I just kept going, releasing the tied ropes as I went. The rope we had used on the small climb above the bottom pitch was actually the Au Cheval rope, so I replaced this with a short rope and tape as I passed. The water levels were significantly higher than the previous week and the bottom half of the cave was quite splashy. I was pleased I had worn my plastic suit. I reached the bottom after roughly an hour and waited for the others at the climb up to the Au Cheval pitch. They arri ved about 10 min utes later. We didnt stop for a break here but just rigged Au Cheval and headed down and into the low crawl at the bottom. It was smaller than I remembered; the consequence of a memory that seems to soften unpleasantries [ Thats how she manages to live with Ric, obviously Sub Ed. ] Stefan was on the lookout for a small, reddish beetle that he had found a single specimen of in the cave in the past. Rolan and I were looking as we crawled through the mud, and hawk eye Rolan found two, five m etres past the end of the crawl. They were tiny. Really tiny. No more than a millimetre long. I would never have spotted them. Stefan was happy. That was one objective for the day achieved. We continued on and soon arrived at the climb under the boulder. T his was just as I remembered it, however it wasnt as scary this time. Familiarity lessens fear I suppose. Stefan recognised it as one he had attempted on a trip with Judy Clarke (sometime in the 90s?). He had only managed to climb the first steep slope ( up about five metres) before the rain of boulders, rocks and dirt suggested that this wasnt the smartest idea, so they had abandoned it. We (Rolan), however, had come prepared this time with a belay rope, and rigging and bolting gear. Lunch was hastily ea ten as we prepared for Rolan to climb. I had originally been planning to belay him, but now that Stefan was here I thought that a better idea. He has much more counterbalancing weight than me. So Stefan belayed, Rolan climbed, and I ate more lunch. Rolan p ut in a long trace around a boulder on the left about five metres up and then started traversing across the steep and unstable slope. At the other side he placed a tape around a large boulder as a rebelay and climbed up and around the boulders there. He was now about ten metres above us. The whole area was very unstable and despite his taking great care, and moving very slowly and deliberately, we experienced a fairly continuous rain of dirt and small rocks. I was worried one of the large boulders would com e rushing down at us as they looked very precariously perched on loose dirt and stones. Milos (right) and Ross, who did not look as though he had been caving. P. Smejkal
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 10 He disappeared out of sight and was gone 5 min utes or more, and then reappeared to announce the disappointing news that he couldnt climb any further as he couldnt get around the large, overhanging boulders. He detected no draught All this effort to get here again and our hopes were dashed so quickly. Despite the lack of a positive outcome, at least another cave lead has been crossed off the list. Time to retreat. Rol an retraced his steps, we packed up, and started out. It was still early (around 1 pm) and so we were in no rush, and wandered back up the streamway looking up high for other possible leads as we went. We didnt quite know what to do with all this spare ti me we had now. Trips never finish this early! Rolan climbed up at one likely spot, and explored ten metres up the rift before being unable to climb higher. The rift continued upwards. Another promising upwards lead was spotted by the ever observant Rolan i n the small chamber just before the crawl. Whilst he climbed up I went to look at a draughting hole that Stefan had found on the opposite side of the chamber that was too small for him to fit through. I squeezed through and found myself on a shelf above th e passage we had just returned from. I was unable to climb down though. I returned to the chamber as Rolan re appeared. He had climbed some tens of metres upwards and found himself looking up an aven. He thought it might parallel the final pitch in the mai n cave. This is worth a look, even though it appears it will just join two known parts of the cave. With no other objectives to complete we decided we may as well head for home. After confirming with Stefan and Rolan that they would exit together, and pull the ropes tight again, I started up Au Cheval pitch, and out of the cave alone. I really enjoy ed that. I dont feel the psychological pressure to keep up with anyone else. I didnt see them again until they joined me at the surface about 40 min utes after I got out at 4.30 pm. It was a warm, sunny afternoon. We had a leisurely beer and chat back at the car before heading home after a thoroughly enjoyable days caving. REFERENCE McKinnon, J. 2013. Cauldron Pot, 9 Feb. 13. Speleo Spiel, 395: 4. Postscript: D espite telling one of the visiting mainlanders several times that the hangers were to be left in situ, AND sending an email to all the members of the de rig party outlining what was to be done, including leaving the hangers in place, they removed the hange rs on the de rig. We had removed the tags on our trip as they were no longer needed (with the hangers staying in the cave). N ow the bolts have no hangers, or place markers. They may be a bit difficult to find for the next party. JF 8 Junee Resurgence P ermanent line replacement Janine McKinnon 14 January 2014 Divers : Janine McKinnon, Ken Murrey & Michael Packer (Pax). Support: Peter Freeman & Ric Tunney. The permanent line that runs through the first sump of JF 8 was laid by TCC in 1981 and 1982, over ma ny dives. It has certainly stood the test of time. The resurgence takes extremely high flow and fierce currents for much of the year and it is a testament to how well they did the job that the line has remained intact and t au t for three decades. However all things decay with time, and this line reached the end of its useful life when, last summer a section broke whilst we were in the cave ( McKi nnon 2013). This meant the whole line was now no longer trustworthy and needed replacing. Summer came to an end before I got the job planned. So, with summer here, line purchased, and plan for how to re line determined, it was all go. I had expected to have to do this job alone but fortunately Ken was visiting and offered to help, and Pax bounced with enthusiasm (l iterally) when I mentioned it and asked if he was interested in being involved. It was looking like a lot less solitary task than I had thought. I cut 100 m from the 400 m roll of line, and put that aside. I then found an old travel bag large enough to fit the spool of line still coiled as I had bought it. I had decided to go with the Telstra 7 mm polypropylene line (called that because Telstra use it to pull cables). Several cave divers who have lined sumps recommended it as the line they use. It is quite cheap (at $65 for 400 m spool), compared to $143 per 100 m roll of 8 mm rope that was the alternative I had found. This is significantly thinner than the current line (which looks like 11 mm rope) so I just hope it has reasonable longevity and that I have made the right decision using it. Mind you, the old rope is far thicker than any permanent line I have seen in a cave. Ric and I met up with Pax at Ja ckman & McRoss and he jumped in to our car. We managed to fit his diving gear in too, which I thought was a bit stunning as I usually fill the car with my stuff alone. We met Ken and Peter at the Maydena shop at 9 am and convoyed to the car park. It took about an hour to get us divers, and all the gear, to the beach near the sump. The flow was higher than usual summer conditions and I decided to start the dive from the end of the A small pile of gear. J. McKinnon
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 11 beach, not the usual mid beach launching off spot. This made the swim to the start of the sump much shorter. High water is needed to get across the rocks from there though. Ric and P eter headed out to the warmth and sunshine as soon as their sherpaing job was finished. They would return to help bring gear out when we reappeared at the cars. We had discussed our plan over lunch at our place on Saturday. We would follow the old line and lay the new one along the same course, using the same tie offs where possible. W hy tamper with a successful job? Pax had been very keen to head in first with the bag of line. As a very good diver and generally all round practical person (he is an engineer enough said) I thought he would probably do a better job laying the line than I So he was the lead diver. Ken was to follow and tidy up any loose bits, and put cable ties where needed. I was following last to check how it all looked, and fix any bits that looked wrong. I gave them a 10 min ute head start and started in, checking the new line, and expecting to run into Ken before half way. I just kept swimming and swimming. The line was lying nicely and tied off to the old line with cable ties at interval s. This is temporary until the old line is removed on a later trip. I caught Ken just before the end of the sump. Pax was already out into For Your Eyes Only (FYEO) chamber. The job had been achieved so much faster than I had expected. Pax had carried in camera gear (I had his tripod) and Ken and I had Go Pros, so a pleasant hour or so was spent in photography in the chamber. For the return, I started out first and inspected the line again as I went, mainl y looking a t placement and tau tness. All looked go od. I will check again on the old line removal trip. The tie offs need closer inspection. I arrived back at the car three and a half hours after starting the exercise. It took another half hour to get all the gear back to the cars l onger for Pax as he di dnt have a personal Sherpa like Ken and I. It was a hot afternoon, with lots of flies and the odd passing tourist. After a leisurely lunch we all moved up to the KD car park and walked in to Cauldron Pot, so Ken and Peter knew how to get there for the de rig trip they were joining a few days later. Note: I was using 2 x 7 l tanks (Ken had my 10.5 l tanks). The flow was strong enough to require reasonable effort on the swim in (I have done it in higher flow, but with the bigger tanks). I used 70 bar from each tank and just reached the end of the sump with less than 10 bar to spare on thirds on each tank. I used 10 bar total from each tank on the trip out. Any future divers should not underestimate how high air consumption can be in this sump when the flow is up. REFERENCE McKinnon, J. 2013. Junee Cave, 16 17 Feb. 13. Speleo Spiel, 395: 6. JF 8 For Your Eyes Only. M. Packer
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 12 JF 99 The Chairman Janine McKinnon 16 January 2014 Party: Peter Freeman, Janine McKinnon, Ken Murrey & Ric Tunney. Ken and Peter were down here for a couple of weeks caving holiday. We suggested that a trip down the entrance pitch of The Chairman would be a pleasant, easy day. They were keen to go to the bottom but, having been there several times in years gone by, I was happy to pass on that bit of the trip. They had a pile of ropes they had obtained from the gear store for various trips they planned during their stay at Maydena, where they were based for the fortnight. We all duly arrived at the Maydena rendezvous and convoyed to the trail head, donned packs, and sta rted the walk in along the Threefortyo ne track. I did think their packs looked small to fit all the rope, but it was only a passing thought and I said nothing (the sharp observers amongst you may get a hint of where this tale is going). The track is in sur prisingly good condition for the little use it has had in recent years, and only a little light clearing and retaping was needed to tart it up. This did take a bit of time though and we finally arrived at the cave 1 h r 10 min utes after starting. It was a warm, sunny day and the pit looked inviting. We trogged up and I got our rigging gear out and set up the approach line. I then turned to Ken and asked for the 97 m rope that they had, so I could start rigging the pitch. The look on his face got the message across instantly, but there was a five second pause before he uttered those dreaded words but I thought you were bringing the rope for the entranc e pitch we have the others. No, you have all the remaining long ropes in the gear store (Cauldron was al ready rigged). We told y ou to bring the ropes. Ooops ... c ommunications error. A rethink, and we decided to try and get down the entrance on the ropes they had bought for the lower pitches. It might just work. Spoiler alert: Missed it by THAT much (lets see who rem embers their sitcoms of the 60 s). Ric started down first and managed to rig to the thir d rebelay without a knot in mid drop. This was well done, I thought. I came next and hung at the second rebelay whilst he rigged past the third, and looked down, and saw rope swinging in the br eeze (so to speak). Guesstimate: 10 m too short. So that was a short caving trip for us. Even shorter for Peter, who decided not to go down at all, even to see the view. Ken went down and was the de rig guy. Meanwhile, we headed for home, and the other two took their time checking out Rift Cave entrance and other sights along the way. I cant remember when I last had such a short caving day. Next time I think someones pack looks too small for the gear I expect them to h ave I might say something. JF 237 Niggly Cave Klockerfest d ay 2 To seek the deep Andreas Klocker 19 January 2014 Party: Rolan Eberhard Andreas Klocker & Petr Smejkal Quite a few months ago I promised Rolan to help finish off the re survey of Niggly, arguably one of the most impressive caves in the J unee F lorentine and according to some, the deepest. According to some others Tachycardia holds this title. If one would take a slightly more scientific approach than a single number, add an error bar and think about cave tag heights, one could probably not distinguish the depth of those two caves, but how would we be entertained if we wouldn't be able to fill so many pages of the Spiel with those great arguments between Alan and Rolan? we would be bored to death! So off we went. Rolan, Petr and I met at Maydena this lovely sunny Sunday morning (while the other members of STC s Northern Branch enjoyed a trip into Cauldron Pot) to finish off the survey of the Mother of God Passage (luckily Rolan and Petr ha ve surveyed through he rockpile leading to Mother of God the previous trip, which would have been less than pleasant); this is definitely one of the most impressive passages I've seen, and no matter what the final survey shows for depth, Niggly has style, whereas Tachycardia (from what I have heard hopefully I'll never head in there) is probably one of the deepest choss piles, second only to Udensala (second once again ... ). Getting down the cave to where Rolan and Petr left their last survey marker went quickly and smoothly helped by the fact that we all knew the cave from previous visits. And as usual, the big pitch didn't get shorter, only my Stop got skinnier again (luckily I didn't notice how skinny while in the cave). After crawling through the mor e unpleasant rockpile we got the survey gear out, and to my surprise Rolan didn't have a DistoX ... but if I had brought Alan's DistoX, which I was looking after at the time, and we would have surveyed Australia's deepest cave using it to push Tachycardia of f its throne. I would hear Alan's ranting until the end of my life. And who wants that? Surveying to the end of the cave (current end that is, until Dickon and I toughen up a bit and push harder) went quickly with long survey legs through big tunnel, and a final survey shot to the absolute deepest point! After a quick food break we headed back. Rolan started out with a head start since, now being 50 years of age, he is officially too old to tandem prusik. Petr and I then followed (after some confusion in the rockpile) and tandem prusiked up the big pitch. It was the first time for Petr to tandem prusik, and being the top person on the rope, with all that rope tension between his legs, I think his mind for most of the trip up was on his future family planning. Same a s every time I'm in that cave, the way up never seems to end, and once I exited the cave I felt as though I had been run over by a log truck. Maybe at some point in my life I'll get fitter, get rid of my beer muscle, and finish a Niggly trip in greater style. I got back to C amp Growling with a dinner waiting for me cooked by the others who were all already asleep. Rolan and Petr drove back to Hobart.
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 13 Junee Florentine Klockerfest d ay 3 A surface d ay Nat Brennan ( modified by Andreas Klocke r ) 20 January 2014 Party: Nat Brennan, Mark Euston, Laure Gauthiez Putallaz & Andreas Klocker The previous day had been enough caving for everyone (especially Andreas) to warrant a surface day. So Andreas, Mark, Laure and Nat set about to check some hole Alan found near Constitution Hole and tape the way up to Warhol ready for the next day s push. The hole had (in order) Laure, Nat and Mark try to squeeze down into it. It was very committing with minimal movement of the arms on the way back up, which set b ack Laure and Nat. Mark however, who geared up in a combination of Nat's and Laure's gear, cleared some dirt and rock to make the hole slightly bigger, and committed. It went down 5 m (?) then petered out. This was lucky since just as Mark was finishing th e sketch he knocked a 2 m long log down which fell end straight down into the entrance plugging it up completely. The new addition was then added to the sketch map of course. (Not sure if there is a time requirement for something to be in place for it t o qualify for being in a survey map as the log will eventually rot ). The cave was then tagged as JF 616. Once that was tied up and it was established there were no other entrances in the area, we started the slog up the hill to Warhol, Nat flagging as we w ent. There may be a better more direct route, but this one worked well. It turns off at the Constitution Hole track and then winds up the hill. Wherrets Swal let was the next item on the to do list with Andreas being sure there is an entrance tha t of cours e goes straight into the master cav e. Laure managed to find an SRT free way down and Andreas and Nat helped her poke around the bottom in a desperate search for a way on. Laure went down a horrible grotty tight rock pile and after she surfaced sweaty and puffing we gave up hope and headed up. Waking Mark from his nap, we trekked back to camp after a good productive day. JF 392 Warhol Klockerfest d ay 4 Warhol rigging Laure Gauthiez Putallaz 21 January 2014 Party : Nat Brennan, Mark Euston, Laure Gauthi ez Putallaz, Andreas Klocker & Ken Murrey. After a pleasant summer day in the forest, Northern Branch expedition Day 4 (i.e. Tuesday) was spent rigging the previously known part of Warhol. Ken walks in bright and early at 8 am to C amp Growling, only to fi nd the three mainlanders and adopted Tasmanian more worried about the temperature of the milk for muesli than the caving preparation for the day. A couple of hours later, we find ourselves geared up and at the entrance of Warhol. As I made the request of r igging some of the cave, I head in first, abseiling off a very redundant tree plus natural anchor that would progressively get stripped of its backups during the course of the expedition as more slings/biners/ropes were needed in the lower parts of the ca ve. I proceed to rig the shorter second pitch with the end of the entrance rope. Mark and I, feeling like getting covered in mud, explore a few side passages at that level: inflows where no leads are found. Two convenient natural anchors are used by Ken and Nat to rig the third pitch, dropping in an elongated chamber that can be followed for a few tens of meters. In a few places, small inflows are present that might be climbed, without much prospect of them leadi ng anywhere. While some of us wa nder around, Mark proceeds in rigging the fourth pitch off an upside down natural (the sling would pop out as soon as the tension was off the rope, held only by a chockstone of small size and crumbling appearance). According to marks in the mud, that is obviously how i t was done before so we accept our fate and watch the anchor carefully as everyone gets down the pitch. This pitch leads in a rift like chamber that we climb down on fragile knobs to the top of the fifth pitch. A very strong breeze is felt at the squeeze that marks the pitch head. Getting confused about pitch orders and previously reported leads, Mark goes down looking around for an alternat iv e way on. In the process of placing a redirect, he climbs on a rubble covered ledge on the left hand side, 3 m belo w the top of the pitch. Feeling confident, he disconnects Camp Growling Laure Gauthiez Putallaz Nat in JF 616 Laure Gauthiez Putallaz
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 14 from the rope and follows a horizontal meander traversing over some 30 m drops. During that ti me, I run a quick there and back to the surface to bring down missing equipment. A quite happy Mark comes back to a slightly less happy and more hypothermic support group that thinks only about warm spaghetti and pesto at that point. The fifth pitch is dropped to the bottom and several possibilities are looked at to approach the final pitch. Mark and I clim b down, bridging across some drops; An dreas and Ken rig the original sixth pitch through a rift. A blue and white beanie is spotted on the floor. Arriving at the top of the last pitch, we realise that the appropriate drill bits (who wants to tag a cave in a cave?) have been left at the Squeezy P itch head. Surprisingly, no one feels like rigging the single spit left in place by the first explorers. Out of energy and gummibears, we head up the pitches swiftly as we are leaving most packs behind. The remaining energy is spent watching the fourth pitch upside down anchor. We bushwalk back to Camp Growling to cook some pasta and get the gear reasonably clean ready to bottom the cave next day. JF 392 Warhol Klockerfe st d ay 5 Mark Euston 22 January 2014 Party: Nat Brennan, Mark Euston, Laure Gauthiez Putallaz, Andreas Klocker & Ken Murrey. After the previous day's hilarity of bouncing the cave repeatedly to get the gear we needed, we decided to have a more boring day and come prepared. So with about five 8 mm d rill bits strategically scattered across different rigging pouches and gear bags, we went in to continue our epic mission to bottom a 130 m deep cave. We entered the cave a bit before 11 am, having had a nice sleep in until about 9:30 am. I went down first with the drill to put in a rebelay on Squeezy Pitch. The expansion bolt didn't bite for a few turns so it pulled out about 1/3 of its length, but it seems pretty solid. It's in a position where you could continue the pitch straight down and bypass the cli mbs (which are a bit sketchy), but you would probably want another rebelay just past the hole in the floor that you would abseil through. Laure wanted to get more experience bolting and rigging, so I waited for her at the top of the 19 m pitch, which is the final pitch on the old survey. Being the control freak that I am (and wanting to get more experience myself) a pottered about with the hammer looking for good spots to place the bolts. Laure was soon there and we decided on an approach/backup line in the meander (about 4 m from the pitch head) and a Y hang at the pitch head. Laure managed to drop the protective foam from my drill, but she was able to retrieve it when she abseiled down. Andreas and Nat followed Laure down and set about looking for leads. I came down to the news that there was absolutely no way on in the floor. Water was coming in but it was going between calcited boulders with barely a cat sized space between them. The old map had indicated leads roughly at the height of the pitch head so w e started scrambling up. Ken was abseiling down and we got him to look across but he couldn't see anything. Nat and I pushed Andreas up a slimy mud climb where he reported seeing footprints but no good leads. There was a tall meander but it was getting sma ller and would need to be bolt climbed, but it didn't look promising enough to be worth it. We started back out and derigged the 19 m pitch. I was up first and decided that I wanted to have another look at the roof m eander near the top of Squeezy P itch. I got the others to take cover whilst I did the traverse, which I now decided was actually pretty bloody scary, in an awkwardly hunched over if this footholdbreaks you're dead kind of way. When I was across I yelled out to the others that they were safe, t hinking that they'd start ascending, but I didn't communicate that very well. I continued along the meander trying to count how many metres I'd travelled before I gave up and decided that I was clear of the known cave by at least 20 m. I also paid more attention at the pitch head and noticed a breeze, so I was pretty confident that I'd found a way on. I returned to find the others still at the bottom getting quite cold. I apologised and we all headed out. We were out of the cave at 5 pm and had enough time to clean our gear in Garth s Creek JF 392 Warhol: Kloc kerfest d ay 8 A way on Mark Euston 25 January 2014 Party: Mark Euston, Laure Gauthiez Putallaz & Dickon Morris. Mark, Laure and Dickon went to push the going lead in Warhol. Andreas and Liz stuck to their plan of photographing in Growling. Dave and Nat were pussies so they went to Growling, too. It was the first day of the middle section of Klockerfest 2014 the Australia Day long weekend. Laure and I got acquainted with Dickon "I don't speed on the Midland Highway because it's not worth getting a speeding fine, but I'll happily do 170 km/h on a narrow road with lots of wildlife and big trees in a total shitbox of a car with two passengers that I've only just met" Morris on the drive there it wa s not a good first impression [ Good first impressions are not Dickons strong suit SubEd. ] It was a late ish start due to the drive in and we left camp a bit before midday. I went down first to de rig the rebelay from Squeezy P itch and pull that rope b ack up to be used as a traverse line to get across to the ledge and for the sketchy traverse just after it. Laure and Dickon followed and surveyed to the top of Squeezy P itch. The undescended pitch has a narrow meander for about 3 m leading up to it. I wen t in with bolting hammer and spent about 10 min utes flattening out spots to bolt. I knew it would be a tight fit with t he drill, so I flattened about five spots just to be sure before coming back out for the drill. The drill wouldn't fit for my preferred o ption, so I went for the backup plan which also didn't fit. Dickon and Laure turned up at this point and made themselves comfortable, with Dickon eventually falling asleep.
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 15 After an hour of struggling in and out of the meander looking for somewhere to bol t, I managed to get two bolts at about head height on the right hand wall. A redirect on the floor on the left hand side prevented any rub and we were ready to drop the pitch. Descending through the squeeze was pretty straight forward and then there were enough footholds to put the redirect in once your head had cleared the squeeze. I descended 3 m onto a two person ledge and placed a rebelay. I could now see that the pitch was opening up into a fairly big chamber. I descended down another 15 m to a 3 x 5 m ledge with a few large boulders on it. I looked over the edge to see another 2030 m to the bottom so I called out for another rope and Dickon headed back to the top of the Squeezy P itch where Ken's rope from the 19 m pitch had been left. I disconnected s o that Laure could come down and she bolted the second rebelay. When the rope arrived she rigged it and was the first one down. Dickon followed and they report ed that the large chamber takes a small amount of water, which flows down a 1 m wide meander for about 10 m before hitting a 10 m pitch. The only rope we had nearby was at the entrance which is one of two backups for the entrance pitch. Dickon went b ack to scavenge that rope while Laur e and I went back to the Squeezy P itch to continue the survey. We u se d the bolts on the big pitch as stations (using forward and back legs to avoid disturbing the compass, of course) and it added up to a 40 m pitch. I call it The 30 Y ear Pitch as it had to wait 30 years since the original exploration to be found. No one e lse likes this name, but I found it so youse can all get stuffed [ spoken like a true protg Ed. ]. Dickon gets the rope from the surface and is back and down the pitch by the time we reach it with the survey. He does about the worst rig imaginable with o ne bolt pulling out 1/3 of the way and the other over halfway and one side of the Y hang is rubbing. He blames the rock I call it Sketchy POM Pitch and point out the perfectly placed chockstone 2 m up, but our sling is too short to fit around it so we do n't bother re rigging. The pitch goes back into a meander which descends a bit and then has an impassable (but short) squeeze before what looks like a bigger and clean washed section of meander that has good airflow and a constant trickle of water. We can' t go any further but we're pretty sure that it's going, so we decide to come back the next day and try to widen the squeeze. We start heading out at 7:30 pm and get out of the cave after dark. We return to camp to find the others had only got out about 30 min utes before us and Laure quickly takes charge of the cooking, which had been going at a Nat pace until then. JF 392 Warhol : Klockerfest d ay 9 'Straya d ay d iscoveries, fuckin' oath Dickon Morris 26 January 2014 Party: Nat Brennan, Mark Euston & Di ckon Morris On my first trip into Warhol upon my arrival in the Junee Florentine we had dropped a 40 m shaft at the end of the fossil meander that had been discovered a few days previously. Or more precisely Laure and I had listened to Mark w h inging for o ver an hour about how tight and awkward the pitch head was to bolt. We found continuing passage at the bottom leading to an 8 m drop that was christened 'S ketchy POM P itch' by one of the ever supportive felons (Mark Euston in this case) that I for some rea son choose to cave with. A very tight rift led on and we decided to leave that for the next day. On 26 January it is very un Australian to do anything other than consume enough ethanol to get a car acros s the Nullarbor and intimidate/beat up/ sink the boat of anybody that stirs the xenophobia that lies within every true Aussie. Fortunately I am not Australian, have no cultural commitments on that day and can do what I like. Mark Euston and Nat Brennan, who joined me on that day s trip do not have that get out of jail free card and should probably have their passports revoked. In fact I think I'll write a letter to the esteemed Tony Abbo t t notifying him of their infraction. We progressed quickly to the final rift. I enthusiastically got stuck in and with surprising ease managed to find a way through. It was tight but certainly not as tight as I had anticipated. A short section of easy crawling and an awkward squeeze led to a junction with an inlet where the passage appeared to widen. Having pushed plenty of virgin passage in my time I offered the lead to Nat who, being a mainland caver, I assume still feels immense excitement whe n finding chambers the size of a phone booth. The passage progressed quite pleasantly for a little over 10 m before a black space was visible ahead. At th is point I became a little over excited and then very disappointed when the passage dropped a couple of metres into an aven chamber which closed down significantly on the far side to a tight muddy passage. A passag e typical of many gr otty, no hope holes from my home caving area of the Mendip Hills. Its only redeeming feature was the draught that continued to blast through. Clearly unhappy to be a Caucasian now coat ed with brown mud on Australia D ay Nat raced through the miserable sect ion with me hard on her heels. A very awkward and protracted squeeze followed which Nat slipped gracefully (if such a term is ever appropriate in the sport of caving) through and I grunted my way through, lubricated by frequent expletives relating to the f emale anatomy. Immediately the passage opened up on a ledge above a short pitch. I do not recall the train of typically mindless yet slightly educated conversation that led to the selection of names but it was agreed that those that we settled on were quite brilliant. The nasty meander was christened 'Tony Abbot t allowing us to curse a name as we hauled tackle through the passage that contains slightly less shit than its brainless, racist, uneducated namesake [ Lets not forget that Mr Abbott is a Rhodes Sc holar and owes much of his education to the Mother Country SubEd. ] The pitch that ends the torment was named 'Vote of No Confidence'. It was p ossible to free climb 'Vote of N o Confidence' which led to 50 m of pleasant, draughting and expanding stream p assage leading to another pitch. This was only partially descended off a very dodgy chockstone and, feeling somewhat cold and miserable after our experiences with Tony we decided to exit, leaving the survey for next time. Phil Rowsell Jnr's (Alan Jackson for those unaware of the similarity of those two personalities) bark is worse than his bite when it come to slacking surveyors. In any case I wanted to drink at least one beer on 'Straya day.
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 16 JF 463 Constitution Hole Invasion Day Alan Jackson 26 Januar y 2014 Party: Peter Freeman, Alan Jackson & Ken Murrey Constitution Hole is proving to be a rather tedious exercise in cave exploration, so far yielding a complex web of interconnecting passage crammed into a relatively small space. Various bits and piece s still require a better look and a survey so yet another trip has been completed in the vain hope of ticking off all the jobs. I was hoping to get all the bits below Hang Glider Pitch done today so the rope could be pulled up once and for all. There are several small loops, climbs, drops etc. around Hang Glider Chamber that could be done if sufficient enthusiasm could be mustered but the only one I really had on my mind was the likely connection between station XX101 and XX75 at the north west end of the cave. Another team, earlier in 2013, claimed to have checked this and confirmed the connection but had not surveyed it. So we dumped packs and SRT gear at the bottom of Hang Glider and headed up North by North West to the climb up in rockfall at station XX 44, scrambled up and over to the big junction at XX95 and turned left. We wound down through the rockfall to XX101 and then slid into the muddy depths below. Footprints beyond where Id originally turned around suggested that others had indeed checked this area but they ran out before I did a final climb down into a small chamber overlooking a further downclimb with a pink tape poking out of the mud XX75. 32 m of mostly vertical surveying connected XX75 with XX101 and we placed a tick in that box. There a re myriad ways on in this area and theyve hardly been pushed hard, but theyre mostly covered in inches of sticky mud and should be left for the next generation. This had been the only job Id originally planned for this end of the cave but on the way in Id noticed a sketchy climb into higher passage heading north back in the lofty chamber above the muddy rockfall dungeons wed just surveyed. It was worth a look so I climbed about 8 m (the first 4 m was very dodgy but the top 4 m was easy) and pursued 50 m of passage to no conclusion. Returning to the others I convinced Ken to join me for some surveying, rigging the 5 m just in case tape Id stuffed down my trogsuit on the bottom section of the climb for Ken. The passage was 1 3 m wide and generally 2 3 m high with solid bedrock walls but large blocky floor. Everything was encrusted with popcorn and other crusty bits. The passage ascended gently and then split into an upper and lower level the lower level was looked at but not surveyed, crapping out aft er 10 m). The upper level continued then narrowed off at a junction. The northward passage continued on up, which Ken Profile view of JF 463 Constitutio n Hole survey network. A. Jackson
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 17 investigated while I checked the passage on the right, which curved back to the south east for a few metres before the floor dropped away into a narrow climb/pitch of some description. Ken returned to report continuing passage beyond a couple of small breakdown chambers. With Peter sitting back further getting cold I decided to call the survey and leave it for another day. I was toying with calling this passage Invasion Day but settled on Dumb Drunk and Racist instead. Getting back down the climb without the handline would have been very difficult. We left the black tape in place for the next trip but the whole ~ 8 10 m drop should really h ave a properly rigged rope for subsequent trips. We collected Peter and made for Hang Glider. Sending Peter and Ken on their way, I had a rummage around the chamber, investigating a few routes and passages I hadnt seen before but considered none of them w orth the effort of surveying the line plot is confusing enough already in this area without more bloody overlapping stuff. Sections of the cave had been rigged for over twelve months and some ropes had seen a lot of traffic so I figured it was time to ge t the gear out. Also, it seemed unlikely that a return trip would be achieved anytime soon, at least not with people generally getting sick of this cave, the only cavers showing any interest in the Junee Florentine being intermittent mainlanders (who were now well and truly focused on shinier prospects in Warhol) and me tied up with the Kubla survey and Vietnam until May. So the cave is now derigged. The only gear left in the cave are the bolt hangers on pitches 1, 2 and 3 (Hang Glider), the black tape on t he climb into Dumb Drunk and Racist and the dropped rigging tape in Just Out of Reach (which Nat and co still need to go and retrieve for me!). We collected a paltry 97.5 m of data, bringing the cave total to ~ 2 450 m. Ive provided some line plots (plan and section) of the cave so far, just to prove what a nightmare drawing the survey is going to be; its a mess and will only get worse. JF 36 Growling Swallet Klockerfest d ays 8 and 10 Liz Rogers 25 and 27 January 2014 Party: Nat Brennan, Andreas Klo cker, David Taberner & Liz Rogers I arrived from Melbourne to discover the motley crew of interstate visitors had had a productive week in the Junee Florentine caves. More importantly, they had completed the food shop and established camp above the entran ce to Growling Swallet. A comfortable start on Saturday morning saw us back at Growling Swallet with no need to stop along the way or set up tents no excuses for hanging around up top. With the other half of the group heading off to Warhol, the aim for o ur team was pathfinding to support Andreas's later intention to drag dive gear to Dreamtime. We supported this by diligently investigating most of the leads along the way, something I would not want to do with 30 kg of dive gear on board. Plan view of JF 463 Constitution Hole survey network. A. Jackson Growling streamway. L. Rogers
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 18 The secondary mi ssion (for everyone else) and primary mission (for me) was photography. I was especially interested in getting some shots of the waterfalls, even in the low water conditions we found. This was hampered towards the end of the cave as we progressively decided this was the end, we weren't going to find the end, ooo, what about over here...? and chased Andreas across the boulders and down climbs. Still, we managed a few shots on the way, including some fun on the way back through Herpes III as Andreas obligingl y lay down in the mud and pulled various expressions on request. After a sunny Sunday spent on the Z caves, Andreas, David and I returned to Growling on Monday with the express intention of going not very far, and taking many more pictures. This was my fir st weekend of caving photography with a new toy giving me the ability to get all of my flashes off the camera. I also took advantage of my underwater video lights to light the waterfalls. Andreas and David were very patient with various tripod rearrangemen ts and shouted over the waterfall instructions and we got some good shots. Most importantly all of the photo gear survived the trip. My little orange pelican case picked up many more scratches, but the camera inside was clean and dry. The advantage of taki ng underwater gear caving is you can put it underwater in the cave, and not have to stress about your friends/models/victims dropping something expensive in something wet. Many thanks to David, Andreas and Nat for all photographic assistance rendered, and Laure, Mark and Dickon for tent pitching, shopping cooking and strobe washing ... I'm looking forward to the next trip. Southwest Tasmania Klockerfest day 11 Tourist surface excursion Laure Gauthiez Putallaz 28 January 2014 Party: Nat Brennan Mark Euston, Laure Gauthiez Putallaz & Dickon Morris. Dickon, Mark, Nat and Laure decided to spend the day enjoying the sun with a trip to see Lake Pedder and the SW wilderness. The only flaw to that plan was a longer than youwould want it commute in the Dicko n mobile. As scary as it sounds, we made it alive to Strathgordon at around 2 pm and met a local guide who gave us info about nice day walks we could do in the area. As Nat had climbed Mt Anne the week before, we set off for Mt Sprent. A little more than 2 h ours later, we enjoyed 360 views from the summit: the Western Arthur s, the shimmering ocea n, Frenchmans C ap up north, Mt Field and Mt Anne in the distance. Salami and gummibears were had. Nat was so kind as to carry the pack while I ecstatically ran dow n the scrub free part of the trail. Some swimming and snake seeing was enjoyed at Billy s Beach amongst obnoxious French bikers. The Dickon mobile and its o ccupants made it back to Hobart only to find that no one there sells beer on a public holiday. Klockerfesters, quartzite and a view of Tasmania s Southwest from Mt Sprent Laure Gauthiez Putallaz Andreas in Herpes III. L. Rogers
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 19 JF 392 Warhol Klockerfest d ay 12 C onnecting with JF 382 Dissidence Mark Euston 29 January 2014 Party: Mark Euston, Laure Gau thiez Putallaz, Andreas Klocker & Dickon Morris It was the first day of part 3 of K lockerfest 2014. Nat, Liz and Dave had flown out leaving Laure, Andreas, Dickon and I to have an easy day in Hobart and mentally prepare for Tony Abbott. Laure and Andreas had not met Tony Abbott and we weren't sure if Andreas would fit. Laure and I went first to start surveying, whilst Dickon and Andr eas attempted to further enlarge Tony Abbott s Narrow Mind. Surveying Tony Abbott s Narrow Mind was about as miserable as you'd expect due to the narrowness and slimy mud. I went first with the book and no gloves as I was just going to get my hands muddier i f I kept putting gloves on and off. There were usually enough big parts for me to turn around or get my body out of the way so that Laure could shoot to the station. We got to the aven fairly easily and set up a marked cairn to begin the survey of Tony Abb otts Colon (a tighter and slimier part), which we were able to get in just two legs. I went through the final dogleg squeeze and was directing the laser to a point from where you could see on when the DistoX batteries ran out. Bugger! We only needed two mo re shots to at least get through the horrible part and set up a permanent station. I came back and we retreated to the aven to decide on our next move. Andreas and Dickon were through by this point to hear the bad news and unfortunately none of us knew ho w to calibrate a DistoX. Laure and I reshot some legs and the compass matched up quite accurately. We also put the book down to give us some right angles and took north, east, south and w est shots. From memory they w ere all within a degree except w est whi ch was out by a few degrees. We decided to carry on anyway, reasoning that a suspect survey was better than no survey. Dickon found a way over the final squeeze that Andreas could also get through, whilst Laure and I continued the survey. Dickon then rigge d the downclimb as a pitch (Vote of No Confidence ) to make coming back up easier. We all kit ted up here and our ha rnesses got liberally coated in slime from the 10 cm pi t of mud that fills Tony Abbotts Anus. The others set up a permanent station and I shot down to it, then Andreas and Dickon took over the survey. They surveyed upstream in what is now called Stop The Boats Streamway, whilst Laure and I head ed down to re rig the 10 m pitch. On the previous visit with Dickon, Nat and I, we'd just slung a boulder, but the boulder was a bit dodgy and it was an awkwardly low pitch head. Dickon had seen an oxbow passage on the left that would make for a good Y hang, so we headed there. There was a good natural column (of rock) right at the start of the oxbow which we used as a backup. The walls were a bit muddy which made it hard to see the rock, and the limestone wasn't that great 20 mm layers of good rock separated by 5 mm layers of flaky shit. After a bit I was able to find a spot on each wall that I was happy with, and the backup was pretty bombproof anyway. The next pitch was quite a bit trickier and I probably spent 20 min utes faffing with different options before getting into it. The pitch has a large chockstone at the edge with a slope so it would need a rebelay. My first attempt was to try climbing under it to see if I could rig straight from the rebelay point, but all of the smaller chockstones underneath the big one that you need to climb on looked a bit sketchy, so I decided it wasn't worth the risk. I w anted to put a pair of bolts on the left hand wall at the top of the chockstone, but the limestone here was even muddier and flakier than that on Oxbow Pitch. It's the best place to rig from so maybe with a good natural backup it would work. In the end we slung a large (2 x 4 m) boulder on the right and just Indestructible Rope Technique (IRT) 'd the first edge then put in a rebelay about 2 m below on the left hand wall. I went down first and reported that the water was all flowing into rockpile on the floor There was a bit of cursing from the others up top. I had a quick run up the slope on the left and that shut down pretty quickly and then went down the slope that doubles back underneath the pitch. There I could see a way through the rockpi le and decided to dart in while the others were coming down. I initially had to move a few boulders and then slipped down into a small cavity and then slid down a rock that had detached from above to form a flattener. It had a lot of dirt on it which was easily kicked do wn ahead of me. After this I hit small streamway and got excited and starting following it down. It was mostly hunched over but it was easy enough to move through. After 10 m or so I started noticing footprints and after travelling a bit farther and seeing plenty of footprints I was sure that I was in Angry Wank s treamway in Dissidence. I continued on for another 20 m or so trying to find a marked station that we could tie in to, but I reached a bit where the wat er went down and the only humansized passage went up, turne d me around and dropped back in to where I'd been. Apparently Alan and Andy had had the same problem when Andreas proving that there is a connection between JF 382 and JF 392. Laure Gauthiez Putallaz
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 20 they were retreating after having surveyed in there. I decided to head back and tell the others that we were in Dissidence, but they'd al ready figured that out as they'd found the elusive final station of the Angry Wank survey "RP 1083". We were disappointed that our extension of Warhol was over but al so pretty relieved that, after five days, we could finally de rig Warhol and say good ri ddance to Tony Abbott. Andreas, Laure and I finished the survey while Dickon took the drill and a few other bits of gear and headed for the surface. I head ed up last to de rig. Laure was given the rope from the final pitch which gave her a full pack so she went ahead to start making her way through Tony Abbott solo. Andreas and I filled two packs with the remaining bolting and survey gear, the ropes from Oxbow and Vote Of No Confidence pitches and our harnesses (Dickon foolishly tried to get through Tony Ab bott with his harness on and apparently let out as many expletives as if he'd met the real Tony Abbott). The two packs were pretty heavy as everything was coated in Tony Abbott s slime, but Andreas and I were able to pack pass through the hardest bits. We m et Laure and pass ed p acks to her through Tony Abbott s Narrow Mind. We put harnesses o n at the bottom of Sketchy POM P itch at 8:30 pm. Some cursing of Tony Abbott and rejoicing that we n ever have to see him again helped to raise spirits. Andreas headed up f irst, then Laure. I pack ed up the food that I had been feeding to Laure and Andreas and went to put my harness on when I realise d that it was still in Andreas's pack. Fortunately Laure was able to relay the message before Andreas got to The 30Year Pitch and he brought my harness back which Laure lowered down to me. I head up and de rig ged Sketchy POM P itch and just as I took the last sling off I got the message that Dickon (who had returned from the surface to collect another pack) left some gear just past Tony Abbott s Narrow Mind. I sigh ed mutter ed some expletives about Dickon, and start ed re rigging the pitch. I couldn't be bothered putting the hangers back on so I just IRT rig ged it off the chockstone that I originally wanted to rig off. It turns out that you fend off the wall just enough to avoid any rub points so a redirect isn't needed, but future trips should use one as the bolt is there anyway. I saw the gear on an obvious ledge obvious when you're heading in, but completely hidden when you're hea ding out. I had to take my harness off to get through Tony Abbott s Narrow Mind so I curse d Dickon some more. Gear collected, the de rig could start again. I found Laure waiting fo r me on the big ledge of The 30 Year Pitch. She took my pack and I told her t o leave the empty pack at the top of the pitch as I'd need it for this rope and the next one. Dickon wa s waitin g for me at the top of Squeezy P itch, having come back in for his third load of gear. I was pretty tired at this point, and sick of taking hanger s off, so I took my pack and head ed straight out whilst Dickon took over the de rig. I reach ed the surface at 11:20 pm to find Laure and Andreas recovering. They head ed off to start dinn er while I wait ed for Dickon who was out at 11:45 pm. On the walk back we found an enormous tree had fallen near ly lengthwise along McCallum s T rack, breaking a limestone boulder in half. JF 237 Niggly Cave Klockerfest d ay 14 STC s toughest man de rigs Black Supergiant Dickon Morris 31 January 2014 Party: Mark Euston, L aure Gauthiez Putallaz Andreas Klocker & Dickon Morris Not really much to say about this trip but I suppose the 400th edition of the Spiel should be filled with as much (very) mildly amusing intra club banter as possible, reflecting previous editions. I would hope to maintain some form of British decency but expect that I shall fail and stoop to immature personal attacks on at least a couple of occasions. So despite our grand plans the underground camping did not happen. The first problem was that all the other team members were soft as kangaroo poo. The second was that Andreas had returned from a trip to the final choke with Rolan and declared, with typical Germanic optimism, that it was a shithouse lead. That left only the bolt climb that we had spotted on the recce, hardl y worth subjecting yourself to four days of misery. Thirdly Warhol was still going strong. However we still had to pull out the ropes that Rolan had left for us. When Warhol connected with Dissidence and was derigged we had no excuses le ft to stall the inevitable Niggly trip. As we would onl y need to bounce to the top of Black Supergiant it would be an easy trip with the notable exception of the need to remove a 200 m rope. Amazingly we made the same mistake that we had on the December trip and forgot to bring any metalwork but on this occasion were able to scavenge enough karabiners from the various tackle bags that we had with us. We mad e rapid progress to the top of Black Supergiant and before long I was down at the rebelay with 200 m of empty space beneath me. Again I had the chance to contemplate the terrifying chockstone off which the pitch is rigged and was glad I did not have to descend. The rope was rapidly pulled to the top, a very long brown snake of nylon looking none the wor se for its two year stretch (no pun intended) underground. With the rope out of harm s way it was time to do the first thing that occurs to anybody who finds themselves at the top of a 200 m pitch; throw rocks over the edge marvelling at the nine second dr op and the sound of air rushing past the tumbling boulder. With that primal urge satisfied it was time to face the reality of carting a muddy 200 m rope out of the cave. Unfortunately all three of my companions are massive soft cocks and, sputtering nonsen se such as 'I'm old enough not to need to prove myself in this manner', suggested that I do it. 10 kg is not really a lot of extra weight to carry out of a cave (ask Andreas who does it every trip), it was the bulk of the package that made the task particu larly unpleasant. Holding 10 kg at arms length while negotiating a narrow rift is not tremendously easy without some specific training so I elected to crawl at floor level in Tigertooth passage with the mass of rope on my back, managing to get myself wedge d at floor level a couple of times. Niggly is now derigged. The leads at the bottom described in the previous article still remain unpushed. To bounce to the
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 21 bottom of the cave and check these leads would be easily achievable in a day trip, however if thes e leads go in a big way then it will be unrealistic to expect to be able to push and survey them in a big way without resorting to the misery of underground camping. From what I am told by Andreas the passage becomes very small and immature beyond the firs t rockfall and considering the amount of space around this point it is likely that the stream has cut down to a lower level relatively recently. Generally speaking when this happens the old large level is left high and dry but is often rather prone to choking up. Nevertheless there is still a large distance to be covered to reach Junee and the water must get there somehow. Given the fast flow through times that I hear have been recorded much of th is cave must be air filled. A very exciting prospect! JF 620 : Klockerfest Day 15 Z cave with a breeze Mark Euston 1 February 2014 Party: Mark Euston & Laure Gauthiez Putallaz. The last day of caving for Klockerfest 2014. Dickon and Andreas were kee n for JF 398 while I wanted to return to JF 620, one of the s tring of Z caves on the e ast ern slopes of Wherre t ts L ookout that we'd tagged on day 6 [ Some of you may notice that the Klockerfest day 6 Z caves report is missing. I have been assured that it will be published in a future issue Ed. ] On that day I'd gone in and found a squeeze with a good breeze followed by a 4 5 m drop. I dropped a ladder down and found a slope leading to a < 10 m pitch that I was unable to climb down. I was pretty keen on this cave as it had done a few twists and turns so I thought it w as past the zone where debris would block it up. To save weight, Laure and I brought a 30 m rope to do both pitches and left the ladder behind. The first pitch through the squeeze proved to be quite awkward so I'd recommend a ladder for future trips. On th e slope I could see lots of moisture droplets with my light going past me fairly fast. The air was blowing into the cave. We slung a boulder at the bottom of the first pitch and then just IRT'd it over the second. The chamber is a nice cookiecutter pitch but the floor is all mud and boulders which have blocked up the rest of it. There was some smaller stuff off to the right that went down a bit and I squeezed through into a small chamber where I saw a footprint and some strange caving contraption made of 4 0 cm of 25 mm webbing, two metal rings for adjustment and a small metal hook. It was pretty badly corroded and had probably been there for over 20 years. Just back from this squeeze, in what is probably the lowest part of the cave, is a small hole, probabl y 15 cm in diameter. You can very faintly hear the whistling of air in this hole but you can't really feel any air around it. The air is definitely stronger at the much larger squeeze before the first pitch so that air is going somewhere and making a noise that can be heard through that hole. I think it's a pretty good prospect but it's probably at least a few day s work. T here were als o quite a few bones in the cave most looked large enough to be a wallaby or even something bigger. They looked piled up s o I'm not sure if the first visitor had done this. Laure and I surveyed out with Laure doing her first book and sketch job. We had arranged to meet Dickon and Andreas at JF 396, which is farther up the hill from JF 398, and if they weren't there then they were probably still pushing JF 398. We tried to straight line it to JF 396 but we got deflected by some large limestone cliffs. We found an untagged entrance that was mostly just a small overhand with no breeze and marked it in the GPS. A little bit farthe r down we found a large rift that opened up right in front of us. We weren't able to find a tag but we didn't look very hard and it's a fairly large feature, so we also marked that in the GPS and continued on. We weren't going to make it to JF 396 in time, so we decided to just return to the track which we followed down to the Niggly track junction. Here we dropped our packs and headed up the Niggly track where we found Andreas's pack and a bar of chocolate waiting to be eaten. We made voice contact with th em and 20 min utes later they came back out. Dickon was ecstatic and already making plans to come back for a serious push, whilst Andreas was feeling lucky to be alive. JF 398 Klockerfest Day 15 JF's next big s ystem ? Dickon Morris 1 February 2014 Part y: Andreas Klocker & Dickon Morris JF 398 is a large and rather obvious swallet that i s passed on the walk to Niggly C ave. It seems to have been of little interest to previous explorers in the JF despite the fact that it is noticeably cold in the depressi on. On the way up to de rig Niggly Cave I made a quick investigation of the swallet and found a very large draught to be blowing from the hole, the tape marking the entrance flutters in the chilly breeze. The majority of the draught emerges from a gap in t he boulder choke that would admit a rabbit but cert ainly no human over the age of seven The following day we returned with the aim of finding a way in. After a couple of hours playing a very sobering game of boulder jenga it was possible to get through in to a small, unstable turning chamber. My nerves were fried by this point so I backed out and exited the cave to sit on the forest floor refuelling while discussing the prospects with Andreas. I felt happy to be in one piece and wasn't tremendously keen to re enter the choke. Still, huge discoveries are rarely easy, risks must be taken and the draught was still there. Over the next 15 min I made easy progress through the choke involving narrow squeezes between boulders with some short digs required to enter larger cavities. The choke is large and open, made of very clean washed boulders that are evidently pummelled with water while the sink is flowing, which is probably most of the time apart from late summer. The way on is very obvious solely due to the stre ngth of the draught which is impressive. Before long I had progressed to a depth of around 10 m. At this point it appears that the choke is becoming a little more like a solid cave (or at least the boulders are getting much bigger and more uniform in their orientation). The last blockage will require some careful work to figure out a way through but is very passable and with the draught still
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 22 blasting through the cave is a very enticing prospect. A return is planned for the end of the month. The swallet is in a very interesting location. Most of the major caves in the JuneeFlorentine tren d south east towards the Junee R esurgence. The nearest major conduit to JF 398 is Niggly C ave almost 1 km to the north. It is therefore likely that the system associated with JF 398 will fill the completely blank space to the south of Niggly and not join with that system until beyond the final blockage. JF 14 Dw arrowdelf Training trip Janine McKinnon 9 February 2014 Party: Andreas Klocker, Janine McKinnon, Michael Packer (Pax), Liz Rogers (VSA) & Ric Tunney. This had been planned to be an SRT training weekend for three VSA members. They all have basic training in SRT but wanted to have the efficiency of their kit assessed, have some training in more advanced SRT techniques (off set rebelays and tricky rigging), and get to practice those techniques in a multi pitch cave. Thus they decided a weekend with STC was the best plan to achieve all that. The plan was a day (or part thereof) on the wall at Fruehauf, followed by a day s caving in the JF somewhere. A diving friend of mine, Pax, decided that hed like to try caving, so he jumped onto the list. The plan partly worked. The training happened, a caving trip went ahead, but unfortunately two of the three VSA members missed their flight from Melbourne, so numbers were somewhat reduced. I had only planned to go part way down Dwarrowdelf as all trainees were unknown quantitie s for prusiking speed and skill and caving fitness. The top of the 67 m pitch was the absolute turn around point, with the option to turn sooner for any that wished. I started down the first pitch around 10 am. Rigging, and descending to the bottom of the 55 m pitch went smoothly. It was decided that this was a good turn around spot Liz had camera gear and th e 14 m pitch was rigged with two ropes for her to take photos there. That filled another half hour, with lunch. Ric and Pax started out and Andreas and I helped Liz with photos on the 55 m pitch. I then came up last, de rigging. We had used the 97 m, 10.5 mm rope for the second and third pitches, and I had found it a bit of a pain. Thick and stiff to use, and bulky to pull up on the de rig. I dont think Ill use it there again. Otherwise, all went smoothly for the exit. Pax was fast for a first time caver and managed all the tricky bits well. Liz had no problems. Having fewer cavers than anticipated also made for a quicker trip. I was out, and all ready to walk, at 3.30 pm. This had been a fast and smooth trip for a training trip. Both Liz and Pax agreed t hat they wouldnt have liked to go down any further though, as they were sufficiently tired and sore from what they had already done. So they had had a fun and instructive day without it turning into an exhaustive epic. The most exciting part of the day wa s the trip home. The early return to Hobart was stymied by the large tree that was across the road just short of the gate. It was too big to move and we didnt have the chainsaw. Luckily Ric has explored the area well while waiting for me when I have been diving i n the Junee Resurgence nearby. He knew of a route across logged ground that he thought the Subaru could drive, that would bypass the tree. To save you all the suspense, he was correct. It was about 500 m cross country, and we had a few n ail biting moments, but the Sub y did it easily. Not so easy was the deep gutter beside the gravel road we were aiming for. Ric took it at an oblique angle, at speed, and got across before the car realised it shouldnt have had the ground clearance to make it. I was a little concerned at one point when one of the back wheels was a foot [ Thats 30 cm now Janine! Sub Ed. ] off the ground, but all was ultimately good. No damage done. We were very chuffed with ourselves, and happy that we had only lost an hour or so. We got out to the highway, drove down it 2 km and hit a traffic jam of about thirty cars. A tree had fallen over the road on the outskirts of Maydena, and hit the power line. The bloke at the front of the queue said he had been there over two and a half hour s (this was that really windy day that hadnt been forecast). I think we spent about an hour waiting. IB 10 Franois Fourie
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 23 Other Exciting Stuff Reminiscences of a Tasmanian Caver Albert Goede The year 2014 is an appropriate time to reflect on my past caving activities as it is sixty years ago that I went on my first caving trip as an eighteen year old. It also marks the publication of Speleo Spiel # 400 an invaluable record of caving activities in Tasmania since I first started editing Speleo Spiel (New Series) in 1 966. Congratulations to all those dedicated editors who have kept it going ever since. I arrived from Holland with my family in 1951 and later that year became an apprentice compositor at Mercury Press. A couple of years later the Tasmanian Caverneering Cl ub had some publicity in the local press after taking the Governor of Tasmania (Sir Hugh Binney) through the Binney Caves at Hastings. I decided that exploring caves was what I wanted to do especially since I had just been reading some of Norbert Casteret s books on cave exploration in France. After making contact with the club secretary I went on my first caving trip on the January long weekend of 1954. The trip to Exit Cave was led by Leo Luckman who had been shown the entrance to the cave several years earlier by a local bushman but the party had no time to go beyond the entrance chamber. On this occasion we camped near the entrance. To help to explore this cave for the very first time was an unfor gettable experience. The glow worm display was spectacular and four of us ended up exploring the cave to the first major rockfall. A few weeks later my second trip was to the Wolf Hole at Hastings. It was led by Edie Smith, a geologist, and four of us were belayed down by her on ladders (my first experience of ver tical caving) and went to explore new ground and discover a lake that was later at my suggestion named Lake Pluto. I was well and truly hooked on caving but it was to be several years before I was involved in other major discoveries. Caving equipment was b asic in those days. A pair of overalls, a mining helmet made of high density cardboard or bakelite, a pair of army surplus boots with leather soles that had to be prepared for caving by hammering in an assortment of triple hobs and star muggers to provide some grip. They did a lot of damage to flowstone and tended to accumulate clay in muddy places. A dry battery powered bicycle lamp worn around the neck on a lanyard and a carbide lamp completed our personal equipment. Plastic and fiberglass helmets did not become a vailable until late in the 1950 s. Also around this time commando soled walking boots started to replace army surplus leather soled boots a great improvement With regards to club equipment, the club had just replaced rope ladders with home made wire ladders by cutting duralium rods into sections and drilling them near each end t o take galvanized steel cable. Each rung was held in place by winding copper wire around the cable both above and below and soldering the wire to the cable. Solid rungs we re later replaced by thicker hollow ones and soldered wire by crimping sleeves on to the cable. Manila rope was in the process of being replaced by nylon climbing rope also a great improvement although they had so much stretch that when you untied yourse lf at the bottom of a ladder pitch and let go of the rope it could easily Author exploring in Kubla Khan. Easter 1957. From the archives of A. Goede From the archives of A. Goede Author negotiating The Narrows of the River Alph with inflatable dinghy. December 1957.
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 24 disappear out of reach. In 1954 most of the foundation members of the club were about to retire from the sport and a small group of enthusiasts had to keep it going. Edie Smith was a very capable leader and inspired my interest in geology to such an extent that I decided to try to go to University after completing my five year apprenticeship at Mercury Press. It involved going to night school for another three years after completing my apprenticeship training in order to get my university entrance requirements. One of the subjects was geology and this further fuelled my interest in the field. In about 1956 Edith moved to Canberra to a new job with the Bureau of Mineral Resources. Befo re she left she was made the clubs first Honorary Life Member and I inherited her job as club treasurer since someone in the club had discovered that I could add up numbers even if it involved pounds, shillings and pence. Most of the remaining active memb ers were primarily interested in cave photography using 35 mm colour cameras that had become all the rage. To light the cave scene flash bulbs and electronic flashguns were used. I had no transport so cave destinations were determined by those who did have cars. They were often more interested in taking photos than in exploration. At Christmas 1956 the Australian Speleological Federation was formed in South Australia as caving clubs had been proliferating around the country during the previous few years. Fr ank Brown and I were the two Tasmanian delegates. Afterwards an expedition was held to the Nullarbor Plains under the leadership of Elery Hamilton Smith. About sixtyfive cavers took part. T ransport consisted of three two ton steel tray trucks and a VW hea dquarters bus. Each truck carried twenty cavers with all their personal gear, as well as enough petrol, water and food for a sixteen day journey. In those days the Nullarbor was a truly remote place. Roads were unsealed from Port Augusta and there were no roadhouses. It was a memorable experience although we mainly visited caves that were already known. To me it was an introduction to the Australian outback and a totally different kind of karst landscape. It was also where I first met Joe Jennings, a geomor phologist who had recently arrived from England to take up a position at ANU. He had also initiated the Canberra Speleological Society together with Edie Smith and others. We were also int roduced to the diprotodon, a S outh Australian invention that was used to light up the large chambers found in some of the Nullarbor caves. It looked like a musket with a balloon at the rear end that had to be inflated before use. The charge consisted of a pound of magnesium powder with rounded grains. At the mouth was a candle that had to be lit before use. When the trigger was pulled, the powder was blown outwards and with a little luck was ignited by the burning candle that produced a flame about a metre long and half a metre wide. The trick was to hold and point the flame at right angles to the area to be photographed. Up to a dozen cameras were set up on tripods and were opened just before the trigger was pulled. The drawbacks were that photographs were frequently overexposed and a few beards were also singed. In fol lowing years there were some refinements by people such as Alan Hill of SA and Norm Poulter of WA but the development of faster films and more powerful electronic light sources saw its demise in the 1960 s. At Christmas 1957 I got my opportunity to make a c ontribution to the exploration of Tasmanian caves. A weeklong trip was organized to Mole Creek. The trip reports in our archives included one on the early exploration of a cave in about 1948 that had been named Kubla Khan. After a ladder descent into a lar ge chamber the party reached an underground stream that could be explored downstream but the members found the climbing route too difficult and the water too cold to push the exploration. This stream is now known as the River Alph. It says much for the ear ly abundance of unexplored caves that it took the club nearly ten years to return to the site. I had bought two rubber dinghies at an army surplus store and we would use those to explore the stream. I was able to persuade a young caver (Jim Poynter) to com e with me and we set off downstream. At one place (The Narrows) we had to manoeuvre the ding hies sideways after climbing onto a narrow ledge but we eventually made it to a large chamber (Cairn Hall) and discovered the spectacular flowstone formation now kn own as the Pleasure Dome. At the downstream end of the Cairn Hall the water came up to the roof preventing further exploration. Then the other members wanted to go and photograph the new discoveries. It was even written up in the daily paper ( The Mercury ) We soon discovered that to reach Cairn Hall lilos had an advantage over dinghies as long as you did not mind getting more than a little wet and cold. Waterproof bags were made out of old car inner tubes clamped at each end to carry in Author inflating the dinghy. December 1957. From the archives of A. Goede Sib McIntyre (now Sib Corbett) surveying ne ar the entrance to Damper Cave. December 1960 From the archives of A. Goede
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 25 A hole near JF 15 Hairygoat Hole P. Shaw P. Shaw the photographic ge ar while keeping it dry. In 1958 I decided to keep a promise to my mother to return to Holland. My father had been killed in an accident in 1954 and the following year my mother returned to Holland with my four younger brothers and sisters. I wanted to sta y in Tasmania to finish my apprenticeship and to complete my University entrance requirements. The plan was that I would study geology at the University of Amsterdam. I was very reluctant to leave all my caving friends and my beloved Tasmanian caves. Members of TCC did not expect to see me again and made me the second Honorary Life Member of the society. As it turned out Holland and the University of Amsterdam were not to my liking and I returned a year later homesick for Tasmania and my cavin g friends as w ell as being stony broke I arrived in time to find a night job waiting for me as a compositor at The Mercury which paid extremely well. One of my caving friends lent me money and within days I was enrolled as a part time science student at UTAS in the s ubjects of geology and geography. The second year I did chemistry and physics while reducing my job to half time. Needless to say I did not get much opportunity to go caving. However, after two years part time study with good results I got naturalized and was able to qualify for a Commonwealth Scholarship. That enabled me to complete the last two years of my degree in a somewhat more relaxed atmosphere. During that time I was able to take part in a couple of major trips during the Christmas period. One memo rable occasion was a trip up the Gordon River using two wooden punts with new outboard engines that had somehow been arranged by our TCC president Doug Turner. We found only a few small caves but it was a memorable trip and we managed to get to the juncti on with the Franklin River. With the benefit of hindsight it was a pity we did not make it further up the Franklin where in later years spectacular evidence of early A boriginal occupation would be discovered by another caver, Kevin Kiernan, in what is now known as Kutikina Cave. During another Christmas period I was able to arrange for a party of five to be flown into the New River Lagoon area at a reasonable price to explore the limestone at Precipitous Bluff where geologists had reported the presence of caves. I managed to persuade a local character, Vern Reid, to fly us there in his Tiger Moth seaplane from Cockle Creek one passenger and luggage at the time. Vern wanted to be paid up front but I insisted that we would pay the other half of the fare only when he came back to bring us out and he agreed. We camped on the edge of the lagoon with conditions varying from a tropical paradise to an Antarctic blow with heavy rain. We found two major outflow caves and explored and mapped one of them Damper Cave. The second cave, later named Quetzalcoatl Conduit, was not explored because at the entrance it had deep water almost up to the roof. It was eventually explored, mapped and named during an SCS expedition in 1973. I completed my BSc in 1962 majoring in Geology and Geography. My ambition to become a field geologist had been dampened at the end of second year as a result of working as a field assistant for the Mines Department during one summer in western Tasmania. Instead I decided to do Honours in fluvial g eomorphology in eastern Tasmania with the Geography Department. I did not do it in karst because I wanted to keep caving as a recreational interest. After obtaining first class honours I got married and moved to Canberra on an ANU scholarship. My superviso r was well k nown caver and geomorphologist Joe Jennings but again I opted for a topic in fluvial geomorphology. I managed to get in some caving with the Canberra Speleological Society, especially at Bungonia where I nearly succumbed to high carbon dioxide concentrations while explorin g Argyle Hole (B 31), a 274 met r e deep vertical system. On the way down someone observed that a candle would not burn. This should have been a warning but as we all felt fine at that stage we decided to bottom the system and paid for our sins. To this day I do not know how we all managed to get out of there! Canberra saw the birth of our first daughter in 1964 and the suspension of my scholarship at ANU in early 1965. I was offered a tutorship at ANU which I did for one term. Then came an opportunity to join the staff of the Geography Department at UTAS so in May, 1965 we arrived back in Hobart. We arrived in the middle of a breakup of TCC with most of its active members forming a new breakaway group (Southern Caving Society). My attempts to heal the rift were not successful. Since I owed so much to TCC, the oldest caving club in Australia I felt I had to do my share to ensure its survival. The next ten years was to become the most active period of my caving career but that is a nother story! To be continued ... JF 15 Hairyg oat Hole Not a hairy goat but close From: Peter Shaw 27/10/2012 4:55 PM Hi Alan I see from the latest Spiel that you a re still looking for the Hairyg oat Hole I have recently been scanning my slides into digital format and I came across the attached photos. They arent of Hairyg oat Hole, but if you can recognize the hole in the photos (it didnt go any deeper than what you can see), then Hairyg oat Hole is very close on the up slope side of this one. I wou ld estimate within 100 m Good luck. Peter Shaw
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 26 A VSA micro expedition to JF Peter Freeman Tasmania, January 2014 Party: Ken Murrey & Peter Freeman (both VSA/STC). Accompanied and aided at various times by: Ric Tunney, Janine McKinn on, Mark Euston, La ure Gauthiez Putallaz, Natalie Brennan & Alan Jackson. Ken Murrey and I had mooted a New Year trip to Tasmania for a while, but we firmed it up with limited lead time so it was all a bit late for recruiting others, and it turned out to also be too late to book the ferry. Fly in was therefore required. The implications of this for taking our own ropes were mitigated by our joining the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers (STC). Our target area was JuneeFlorentin e, the location of most of Tasmanias interesting an d challenging vertical caves. Both Ken and I had previously done some caving there, so we had a few items on our wish list and we were equipped with reasonable information and documentation. Our real asset though was the assurance of assistance from STC me mbers, and the fact that STC was already planning activities in that area at the same time as ours. JF 221 Owl Pot 11 13 January 2014 Travel through Hobart airport, car hire, food purchases, etc, all went routinely on the Saturday. We called in on Ric and Janine, who handed over some of STC's ropes for us to use and provided useful information updates (not to mention lunch). After driving to Maydena and settling into our accommodation, Sunday dawned for our first outing. Our cave was to be Owl Pot, an inte resting and rewarding cave, but at the same time a straight forward task. Our descent went well until we found that the 97 m rope that had been recommended for pitches 1 & 2 combined didn't actually reach. We therefore had to exit and rerig pitch 1 (which is actually a gentle but horridly muddy slope) with a shorter rope. The end result was that on this day we found ourselves one rope short for the bottom. Monday saw us return to Owl Pot with an extra rope, and we completed the descent. We both enjoyed thi s cave. The final pitch, abseiled beside a waterfall into a splashy chamber, was a joy (though I soaked myself on the way back up by inadvertently swinging into the water). The horizontal extension from that final chamber was not entered as we hoped to mak e a start on our next cave that same afternoon. However, time ran out so we adjourned to the Giants Table accommodation t o microwave more frozen meals. JF 8 Junee Cave 14 January 2014 For this day, Ken had arranged to assist Michael Packer and Janine in re lining Sump One of Junee Cave. Junee is the resurgence for most of the vertical caves that lie a few kilometres NW in the Florentine Valley. Sump Two is yet to be passed. Ric and I helped transport tanks etc as far as the first sump. Although only a coupl e of hundred metres in length, the horizontal wade up the streamway is fun, despite the ever present 6 7 C temper ature in these Tasmanian caves. The re lining went smoothly, and some photographs were taken in the between sumps section known as 'For Your E yes Only'. JF 99 The Chairman 16 January 2014 Wednesday was an enforced non caving day, since the hire car sustained a tyre puncture and had to be driven to Hobart for rectification. On Thursday a misunderstanding diminished the day's achievement. The plan was for Ric and Jani ne to help Ken and me on P1 of Th e Chairman and for Ken and I to then bottom the cave. However, Ken and I thought the others were bringing a rope for the first pitch, wh ile they thought that we were The result was that Ric and Ken visited the dangling end of a too short rope hanging down the impressive large daylight hole, while Janine and I accepted part way down that rope as the sensible option. Still, it was nice to see the place there certainly are some girt big oils up in those woods. JF 223 Tassie Pot 17 January 2014 On this day Ken a nd I did manage to descend Tassie Pot (having run out of time to start it on the Monday). This is a great cave, though again considered an easy option by Tas manian standards. We spent some t ime puzzling over the location of Pitch 1's first rebelay, even though Ken had successfully found it and used it one year ago. Eventually we made our own rebelay, and down the 42 m pitch we went. The highlight of this cave is the 71 m Pitch 4. A fine drop, landing you around 240 m underground. Our rented, verylow clearance, boy racer Falcon XR6 wouldn't face the Nine Road extension, so by this time Ken and I had become very familiar with the long walk from the To Westfield Road signpost. JF 2 Cauldron Pot (Klockerfest d ay 2) 19 January 2014 Saturday was declared a rest day, but on Sunday we tackled Peter and the Wolf Laure Gauthiez Putallaz
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 27 Cauldron Pot. This had been planned as a de rigging trip before our expedition began, and we were joined by Mark, Natalie and Laure. Cauldron is an even more impressive sight on the surface than The Chairman, with a waterfall plunging into the tree trunk ridden hole. After descending this drop, clear of the water thanks to three well placed re belays, the way on is down Bill s Bypass. This feature is notorious, b ut actually not as arduous as I had expected. In any case, the next section compensates: a series of small pitches down the Cascades wet but fun. The final cascade leads directly onto a pitch that drops into a large waterfal l chamber. As with Owl Pot and Tassie Pot there is some more horizontal cave to explore here, for the keen, but we omitted that. Our trip in had been easy as the cave was prerigged, but on the way out we (mainly Ken) de rigged and brought out the ropes, as requested. The return was, for me, unfortunately marred by injuring my left leg muscle near the bottom of Bills Bypass. The ascent of the rest of it was slow and painful, even with Laure carrying my pack for me (she'd ascended first and dumped hers before coming down again thanks Laure!). The prus ic up the daylight pitch was not badly affected. My verdict on Cauldron Pot: a fabulous cave. I loved the Cascades. It is also my personal deepest. My problem with this place is that it left me requiring six days rest for my leg to heal. And six days in Maydena, semi immobilised and usually car less, is a severe sentence. You can only spend so long looking for platypuses. JF 392 Warhol (Klockerfest d ays 4 and 5) 2 1 and 22 January 2014: During my convalescence Ken accompanied Andreas, Mark Natalie and Laure for two days in the ongoing exploration of Warhol, a longknown but neglected JF cave. Extra length was discovered and surveyed on these days, and subsequently the cave was con nected to the known deep cave Dissidence. I'm a caveconnect ion fanatic, and I enthused to Alan Jackson about this connection likelihood as we walked up to Constitution Cave (see later). However, Alan lamented that it wouldn't make Dissidence deeper, and it wo uld leave them with one fewer Junee Florentine caves in total! JF 463 Constitution Hole 26 January 2014 After my convalescence, and some non caving tourism, finally the weekend came for Ken and I to accompany Alan into Constitution Hole. This is a recent discovery, with a few odd spots that still required surve ying and/or pushing. It's a relatively easy cave, with short ish pitches, but my leg, only 80 % healed, made the frequent little climbs ticklish. Alan did accomplish most of his objectives, and also found a new lead trending NW. Whether Constitution Hole w ill yield much more remains to be seen. The next day was spent by Ken and me in cleaning and packing, and on Tuesday we made an uneventful (except for a 4 hour flight delay) return to Melbourne. Summary A good trip! The large hole in the middle for me, du e to minor injury, was disappointing, but none of the caves that we descended was a disappointment. Tassie Pot and Cauldron Pot have become new favourites for me. Any lessons? For myself, I noticed for the first time that passing a rebelay, upwards, where there is a large sideways angle ( i.e. a pendulum on the way down), needs thought. The cowstail that you're hanging on doesn't let go as you ascend, so picking the exactly correct time to reach out and yank it off is important. Constitution and Cauldron eac h had one of the high angles. Live and learn! Our accommodation at The Giant's Table establishment is recommended if you can afford it. At the airport, DON'T accept an upgrade to a Ford Falcon XR6. Thanks to STC for the use of their ropes (via Geoff Wis e), and special thanks to Ric and Janine and Alan for their hands on assistance and guidance. STC on the world wide web Yoav Bar Ness February 2014 Congratulations to all on reaching Spiel #400, and may your socks stay dry for the adventures to come. In the last calendar year, STC switched over its web presence to a n up to date Wordpress installation. Special thanks go to Alan and LMRS for hosting it up to this point. Here is a bit of a time capsule, idea brainstorm, and review of what's happened wit h the site since the transfer. It will hopefully serve as a handy reference and conversation starter into the future. STC has a Wordpress site : http://southerntasmaniancaverneers.wordpress.com It's almost entirely a direct port of the previous version of the site, but cosmetically and functionally more complex. At the moment Sarah Gilbert and Matt Cracknell also have the passwords, and if you have a reason/desire to access it please let me know! Nat and Laure ready to eat their lunch. Laure Gauthiez -Putallaz
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 28 About Wordpress Wordpress .com is a free hosting service that is linked to, but slightly different from, the free open source Wordpress .org software. Pretty much, it runs a limited but stable form of the open source software and offers additional co mmercial services. It's used by millions and is reliable and secure. If we'd re ally like, we can pay them $18 per year to register a domain address -if for examp le, we'd prefer to remove the wordpress section in the middle of the address. Conversely, if we find we have more elaborate projects required, we can arrange our own hosting and run the .org version which will give us much finer control. Things we can do (but certainly don't need to): Include t ime stamped blog posts alongside the current timele ss pages. There are a few example trip reports -(thanks especially to Janine!) We can also pull down the rather random trip reports (Sorry Janine). Multi user accounts we can set up different logins and passwords for anyone who would like to contribut e or adopt a section Post our back library of Spiels annual reports, or whatever else we choose to. Post more photos! Post some videos! Get on a social network Run surveys Archive and share content behind a password Setup separate landing pages for Southe rn Caver, Troglodyte and other newsletters (t he effort required to host and post these files for our sister clubs is negligible and it's a great way to help out ) Things we can do if we really want to, but will take more work Automagically post STC Cavi ng listserv posts that have a certain text string in their subjects (i.e. web updates) Set up a payment gateway (P aypal) that can be used for paying gear hire fees and membership fees Install a 3 d viewer for people to see a cave structure Install a n imm ersive photosphere viewer to introduce people to caves Sell STC kit! It would be a very easy thing to upload our logo to a printing service like Vistaprint, CafePress, or Redbubble, and they would handle payments, printing, and delivery of products we coul d sell. This could be a basic income stream mechanism that would take me only a few hours to set up, a nd then we could all sport STC T shirts and drink out of STC coffee mugs. Stats and Insights We m oved the site over in April 2013, and these stats were pr ocessed on 7 Feb 2014. We are using 72.6 mb (2 %) of our allocated 3072 mb. 1) Number of visits each month I'll make a hypothesis that our monthly visitation rates will be highest in summer and lowest in winter (Table 1) 2) Average per d ay The number of v isitors to the site each day has generally gone up (Table 2) In February 2014 we had notably high traffic. 3) Search Terms Leading Visitors to STC Site Apr 13 Feb 14 It appears that Janine McKinnon, Stephen Bunton, and Ric Tunney are leading the populari ty contest. I don't know about that airquotes Stephen Bunton I have no idea about janine is serena, jennifer and janine mckinnon atlanta ga westminster schools, or john hawkins salt, but I have met rescue practice dummy (Table 3) 4) Locations of Visitors to STC Site Apr 13 Feb 14 Things I have learned while looking at the country stats (Figure 1) : Tasmania appears to be of some interest to the large island to our north known as Australia. The Czech people are keen armchair cavers, or alterna tively have a secret agent in Tasmania Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec T otal 2013 255 108 198 624 728 738 373 672 481 4,177 2014 872 280 1,152 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Monthly Average 2013 11 3 7 20 23 25 12 22 16 16 2014 28 47 31 Table 1. Number of visits per month. Table 2. Average visits per day for a given month.
Speleo Spiel Issue 400, January February 2014 page 29 Figure 1. Number of searches by country The United States and the United Kingdom both seem to have an active caving scene, and our profile is growing over there. The Poles, Swedes, Spaniards, Swiss, French, and Austrians are on their way. The Kiwis really should pay more attention to us because we ALSO have amazing glowworms! I didn't know there were any cavers in the Maldives! We have a footprint in Malta, a limestone island in the Mediterranean, and amazingly, in Grenada, which is one of the most rem ote Caribbean Islands! 5) Pages viewed on STC Site Apr 13 Feb 14 Our most popular pages are the Spiel the Landing Page, and the Contacts Page. Caving comes a distant fourth. We can consider consolidating or dividing pages based on the info here. Wrap up It's your site! If you have any ideas or requests, just bring them up at the next meeting. You can also reach me at email@example.com And, as a reminder, the site is at http://southerntasmaniancaverneers.wordpress.com Enjoy! Search Term Views southern tasmanian caverneers 15 janine mckinnon 5 jan ine mckinnon tasmania 4 southern tasmanian caverneers troglodyte 4 stephen bunton 4 ric tunney 3 hobart caving club 3 hickmania troglodytes 3 tasmanian caverneers club 2 growling swallet 2 hobart caving 2 southern tasmania caverneers 2 mystry cre ek cave 2 janet blanden tasmania 2 squeeze cave 2 arthur clarke tasmania 2 http://southerntasmaniancaverneers.wordpress.co m/spiel/ 2 "steve bunton" tasmania 2 janine is serena 2 A ll other search terms 1 Page Views Spiel 774 Welcome 720 Contacts 250 Caving 237 Photos 201 Home page / Archives 151 Library 121 Forms 107 History 101 Meetings 92 News 86 Links 76 Research 74 Store 68 Softly 56 Mailing 50 All others pages less than 10 Table 4. Counts of individual page views Table 3. Search term number of views.
A A B B D C C D MC131 tag MC132 tag MC130 tag DP33 DP36 (bolt) DA24 DA21 DA28 DA75 DP31 (bolt) DP32 DP132 (old bolt) DA10 DA13 DA12 DA19 DA23 DA1004 Notes on survey methods: (1) Passage alignment based on survey traverse of all passages shown. (2) Survey instruments: Handheld laser rangender (DistoX) with integral compass and clinometer; estimated precision of readings .05 m & .1. Suunto manual compass, Suunto manual clinometer & handheld laser rangender (Leica disto); estimated precision of readings .5 (comp), .5 (clino), .05 m. (3) Passage dimensions estimated and/or measured during survey traverses. (4) Passage detail sketched approximately to scale during survey traverses. (5) Survey standard approximately equivalent to ASF Grade 54 or better.1.5 5 2 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.3 1 0.5 2.5 0.5 1 1 0.5 9 2 2 2 1.5 10 3 3 1.5 0.5 1 1 1 1 2.5 0.5 2 5 5 1.5 0.5 1 1.5 2 0.5 1.5 2 2 2.5 4 1.2 3 1 1 0.4sump passage sumps during periods of ow ephemeral stream passage ephemeral stream channel dry surface gully dry surface gully dry surface gully MC131 entrance doline MC132 entrance doline very steep fern-covered slab MC-130 entrance doline main stream sinks here during periods of low inow overow stream passage only ows during periods of moderate to high inow steep mud-covered slope with medium density fern cover small vertical entrance connects to lower fossil passage (daylight hole) (narrow open active stream canyon) very steep vegetated slope within doline very steep vegetated slope within doline steep vegetated gully preferred access point for recreational cavers handline required on steep owstone ramp very low very low steep decorated passages survey data suggests historical connection now blocked with decoration sediment oor with thin white gypsum crust sediment oor with thin white gypsum crust sediment oor with thin white gypsum crust sediment oor with thin white gypsum crust gour pools 5 7 10 8 2 2 3? very tight 1 1 14 14 10 5 2 2 1 1 2 3 3 1.5 1 1.5 20 1.5 1 1.5 10 40 15 3 3 7 35 20 20 30 15 5 13 6 6MISTY VOID PITCH P23 22PURGATORY PITCH P40 ~P30 (steep sloping pitch with sheer drops of 5 and 13 m total vertical drop of ~30 m) SATANS STEP P14 cross section at connecting pitch pitch head / oor of upper level passage BOLT OUTTA HELL PASSAGE DEVILS POT MAIN ENTRANCE DEVILS ANASTAMOSIS ENTRANCES BOLT OUTTA HELL PITCH P23 LUCIFERS LEAP P23 HIGHWAY TO HELL GOOD INTENTIONS PASSAGEDEEPEST POINT (-125 m below MC130 tag) SENSITIVE SUBSTRATES! DO NOT ENTER SENSITIVE SUBSTRATES! DO NOT ENTER SENSITIVE SUBSTRATES! TAKE EXCEPTIONAL CARE SENSITIVE SUBSTRATES! TAKE EXCEPTIONAL CARE SOFT ERODIBLE SLOPES! MOVE CAREFULLY SOFT ERODIBLE SLOPES! MOVE CAREFULLY SENSITIVE SUBSTRATES! DO NOT ENTER1 1 ACROSS THE MISTY VOID PITCH P28 CAN DE LOS VEJESTORIOS P30 1 1 25 0.5 0.5 1 0.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 25 0.5(access to stream canyon) ephemeral stream channel EPHEMERON Devils Pot System (MC130 Devils Pot, MC131-132 Devils Anastomosis)Mole Creek karst area Tasmania PLAN Surveyed by David Butler, Anna Ekdahl, Sarah Gilbert, Alan Jackson, Han-Wei Lee, Janine McKinnon, Chris Sharples, Ric Tunney (26,27,28-04-2013 & 28-12-2013) Drawn by Alan Jackson (2013) Surveyed Length ~1030 m Surveyed Depth ~125 m (zero datum MC-130 tag) Ntrue 0 50 m 30 40 20 10 bones boulders/rocks calcite/owstone ceiling height (metres) ceiling ledge cobbles column (plan and section) cross-section (with view direction) crystal (dog tooth spar) drop os/ledges minor (with height in metres) entrance helictites mud passage wall passage wall underlying or continues (too tight) roots sand/silt/sediment shawl slope direction arrow stalactite (section) stalagmite (plan) stalagmite (section) straws survey station permanent (tag) survey station relocatable (cairn or survey tape) timber / log vegetable/ood debris vegetation small ferns vegetation tree fern vegetation large shrubs and trees vertical section alignment see Vertical Sections sheet water pools and high ow areas water sumps water small ow water stream inlet water stream outlet/sink water theorised or underlying LEGEND A AMap prepared by Alan Jackson (Southern Tasmanian Caverneers) for the Resources Management & Conservation Division, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water & Environment, Tasmania. Not to be copied or distributed without permission from DPIPWE.
MC132 tag DA21 DA10 DA13 DA12 DA19 MC131 tag DA24 DA28 DA75 DA23 MC130 tag DP33 DP36 DP31 DP32 DP132 DA10 DP31 DP132 DA1004 main stream sinks here during periods of low inow approximate alignment of active stream canyon very low PURGATORY PITCH P40 DEVILS ANASTAMOSIS ENTRANCES SATANS STEP P14 MISTY VOID PITCH P23 BOLT OUTTA HELL PASSAGE DEVILS POT MAIN ENTRANCE BOLT OUTTA HELL PITCH P23 LUCIFERS LEAP P23 HIGHWAY TO HELL GOOD INTENTIONS PASSAGEsump/duck? DEEPEST POINT (-125 m below MC130 tag) very steep owstone ramp from higher passage connection to C-C section connection to D-D section~P30 (steep sloping pitch with sheer drops of 5 and 13 m total vertical drop of ~30 m) connection to Good Intentions Passage connection to Highway to Hell connection to Bolt Outta Hell Passage connection to main fossil Devils Pot passage connection to Bolt Outta Hell Passage EPHEMERON Devils Pot System(MC130 Devils Pot, MC131-132 Devils Anastomosis)Mole Creek karst area TasmaniaVERTICAL SECTIONS(refer to PLAN for section location)Map prepared by Alan Jackson (Southern Tasmanian Caverneers) for the Resources Management & Conservation Division, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water & Environment, Tasmania. Not to be copied or distributed without permission from DPIPWE.Surveyed by David Butler, Anna Ekdahl, Sarah Gilbert, Alan Jackson, Han-Wei Lee, Janine McKinnon, Chris Sharples, Ric Tunney (26,27,28-04-2013 & 28-12-2013) Drawn by Alan Jackson (2013) Surveyed Length 1030 m Surveyed Depth 125 m (zero datum MC130 tag) A 290 A 110 B 180 B 360 C 300 C 120 D 300 D 1200 50 100 130 m
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