Speleo Spiel

Material Information

Speleo Spiel
Series Title:
Speleo Spiel
Southern Tasmanian Caverneers
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


General Note:
The Tasmanian Caverneering Club was formed on 13 September 1946. Initially, information was provided to members through a circular, copies of which exist back to November 1947. "Speleo Spiel, Circular of the Tasmanian Caverneering Club" was first published December 1960. Eight issues of this are known, up to May 1962. In April 1964 a "Circular" was again issued and seems to have continued, irregularly, until March 1966. Then in April 1966, a "New Series" of Speleo Spiel commenced, as a monthly newsletter. In December 1996 The Tasmanian Caverneering Club amalgamated with the Southern Caving Society and the Tasmanian Cave and Karst Research Group to form the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers. The combined group agreed to continue to publish "Speleo Spiel" as its bi-monthly newsletter, as continues today (2015). Speleo Spiel is a vehicle for recording the cave and karst-related activities, and particularly the achievements, of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers. It also carriers technical and scientific reports, reprints, reviews and other information likely to be of interest to members from time to time.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
No. 315 (Aug-Sep 1999)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
K26-03899 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.3899 ( USFLDC Handle )
21507 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

USFLDC Membership

Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



This item has the following downloads:

Full Text


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 1 STC Officers President: Trevor Wailes Ph: (03) 62 291382 (h) Vice President: Hugh Fitzgerald Ph: (03) 62 343035 (h) Secretary: Liz Canning Ph: (03) 62 242035 (h) Treasurer: Arthur Clarke Ph: (03) 62 282099 (h) Equipment Officer: Jeff Butt Ph: (03) 62 238620 (h) Librarian: Greg Middleton Ph: (03) 62 231400 (h) S & R officer: Jeff Butt contact details above Public officer: Steve Bunton Ph: (03) 62 782398 (h) sbunton@postoffice.friends. Editors: Jeff Butt & Jamie Allison Jeff, contact as above; Jamie Ph: (03) 6273 8160 (h) Webmaster: Hans Benisch Ph: (03) 62 396899 (h) Web Site: tasonline/scaving/ Cover Photo: The streamway leading to Destiny, Growling Swallet. Photo by Bruce Bensley. CONTENTS Editorial 2 Club Matters 2 NOTICE OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2 Bits and Pieces 2 Forward Program 2 Annual General Meeting-Nomination & Proxy Form 3 Membership Renewal Form 3 the 3rd Annual STC Dinner 4 Articles/Trip Reports and . ‘Going Under Down Under’, a UK perspective 5 Resurrection of the Hairy Goat? (8/8/99) 7 The Annual General Meeting-Taking on a position in STC, the Tasks and Time involved. 8 Did your GPS roll over and die on 22/8/99??? 12 A thrash not near Splash Pot-14/8/99 13 Scratch Pot (Hole 10)-21/8/99 14 The Search for Hairy Goat Hole continues!, 29/8/99 14 Another trip to try and find Hairy Goat Hole-5/9/99 14 Number tagging and documentation of caves in the Junee-Florentine karst of Southern Tasmania 15 A New Standard Map Grid for Australia. 16 A Summary of Recent Caving Incidents 16 Ida Browsing (IB47, 224, 97 & 104): 12/9/99 17 Junee Fossicking (Scratch Pot, Junee Cave and surface thrashing around both): 19/9/99 17 The Chain Gang set forth ... Sunday September 26, 1999 18 Sea Change (or SRT change-overs by the sea-side)-3/10/99 19 Editors techno. woes. 19 Classifieds 20 STC Warehouse Sales 20 Copyright 1999 STC This work is STC copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the publishers and the inclusion of acknowledgement of the source. STC was formed from the Tasmanian Caverneering Club the Southern Caving Society and the Tasmanian Cave and Karst Research Group STC is the modern variant of the Oldest Caving Club in Australia. The Speleo Spiel Newsletter of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Incorporated PO Box 416, Sandy Bay, Tas. 7006 The views expressed in the Speleo Spiel are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Incorporated. Issue No. 315, Aug.-Sept. 1999


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 2 Club Matters NOTICE OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING. The AGM is being held at 8 P.M. on Wednesday 4th November at the GEAR STORE, 22 Clutha Place, South Hobart, 7004. Please park in Clutha Place itself, instead of blocking up the ‘slip-road’. Refreshments provided....maybe that will entice you to attend! Please do. Any Agenda Items for discussion should be presented to the Secretary no later than October 14th. (Oct. 7th is the last business meeting prior to the AGM). If you are unable to attend, you may exercise your vote by completing the Proxy/Nomination Form overleaf and forwarding it with your Proxy to the AGM, or by posting it to the Secretary, STC, P.O. Box 416, Sandy Bay 7006. Do you want to know what each STC Position Involves? Then see the Article in this Spiel. NOTE THAT ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS are due at next months AGM. You will be pleased to note that the Treasurer will not be recommending subscriptions increase this year. As a result, the current Subscriptions will stand as: Full Members: $45 ($35 PPD*) Household Membership: $65 ($52.50 PPD*) Student/Concession/Unemployed Members: $35 ($27.50 PPD*) Junior Members: $25 ($20 PPD*) Prospective/New Introductory Members: $15 (no PPD*) Life members (with full ASF Membership) $20 ($15 PPD*) Life members (with Aust. Caver only) $15 (no PPD*). The following category is for nonmembers who may wish to subscribe to the Speleo Spiel. Spiel Subscription $20 (no PPD*). [* PPD=Prompt Payment Discount, to receive this you must pay your subs within 3 months of the AGM, i.e. by Friday February 4th, 2000] If you cannot pay in person, then please complete the SUBSCRIPTION FORM overleaf and forward your remittance by mail to: The Treasurer, STC, P.O.Box 416, Sandy Bay 7006. Thanks for your support. Bits and Pieces NEW ROAD SIGNS, next time you are up the Junee-Florentine you will see that the Forestry Corporation have installed new road-signs (white writing on green background) on all the roads. Thus it is much easier to ‘Not-Miss’ the correct turn-off. Some names have slightly altered, e.g. the “Eight Road” is now the “F8 East Road” (distinct from the “F8 West Road”). So if you’re off to Growling, it’s still the “8” road, just make sure you head East, not West! LOGS GONE, the problematic logs on the Nine Road, the Growling and Serendipity tracks have now been dealt with thanks to a little track-clearing working bee. NEW ADDITION, a new Petzl Stop descender has been purchased for the Club SRT gear. FOUND, one pair of Black Jocks, of “Jocks Rock” Fame, at the K.D. carpark. Well rinsed! They’re hanging in the Gear Store awaiting your claim. If you’re not sure, then try ‘em for size at the AGM!! Editorial When I zipped off interstate leaving Jamie ‘holding the baby’ with Spiel #314, I hoped that it was in good hands. Indeed it was in great hands and Jamie tarted up my draft to make it a lot more professional, the cover even was transformed from black and white to magnificent colour. All I can say is WOW Jamie, thanks for doing a great job! Jeff Butt This time however, we are $ conscious, and so it’s back to the good old black and white format, but we’ve kept the new improved format. It is unfortunate to report that there hasn’t been much caving going on over the last couple of months, so #315 is a bit on the thin side. Despite it’s ‘thin-ness’, the contents are important as we have our Annual General Meeting and Annual Dinner coming up, so we hope everyone takes note of these dates and partakes of these important and fun club events. Jamie Allison and Jeff Butt FORWARD PROGRAM: Meetings: (normally held at the Shipwright Arms Hotel, Battery Point) Wed Oct. 6th General Meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wed Oct. 20th Social gathering from 8 p.m. Wed Nov. 3rd ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, 7:30 p.m. being held at the GEAR STORE, 22 Clutha Place, SOUTH HOBART. Refreshments provided. Wed Nov. 17th Social gathering from 8 p.m. Sat Nov. 27th The 3rd STC ANNUAL DINNER, at Tyenna Valley Lodge, Maydena. Details in this Spiel. Please come. Trips: (Please contact the Organiser of any trip for more details.) Thu/Fri/Sat/Sun (Show day long weekend), a caving extravaganza at Mole Creek. Oct 21/22/23/24 Hopefully permits will obtained for Kubla, Ghengis, Croesus and Lynds (first timers get preference). Other caves also on the visit list. Staying at the Northern Caverneers Hut. Jeff 62238620. Sat/Sun Some Northern Caverneers are coming down for a vertical w/e at Nov. 6/7 Ida Bay. Room for a few extras. Contact Jeff 62238620. Sat/Sun Caving in conjunction with the ANNUAL DINNER including Nov. 27/28 removal of the derelict Scaling Pole from Growling Swallet, relocating lost caves (H.G.H.), track work and . . ???? WANTED: YOUR ideas for about putting them down! STC has Caving lamps and helmets available for hire to Schools, Scouts and other groups with responsible Caving leaders. Contact the Equipment Officer for details.


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 3 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING-NOMINATION & PROXY FORM Appointment of Proxy for the STC Annual General Meeting. I, _____________________________ appoint ___________________________ as my proxy to vote on by behalf at the STC Annual General Meeting to be held on 3rd November, 1999. If necessary/relevant, please indicate any particular ways your proxy should vote on any resolutions under consideration. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ___ ______________________________________________________________________________ ___ ______________________________________________________________________________ ___ in addition, I would like to make the following nominations. I wish to nominate __________________________ for the position of _______________________________________ I wish to nominate __________________________ for the position of _______________________________________ I wish to nominate __________________________ for the position of _______________________________________ I wish to nominate __________________________ for the position of _______________________________________ I wish to nominate __________________________ for the position of _______________________________________ signed _____________________________, dated __/__/99 Return this form to the Secretary, STC, PO Box 416, Sandy Bay 7006, by 5:00 p.m. on 1/11/99, or have your proxy deliver it in person to the AGM. Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Inc. Membership Renewal Form I/We: Member Postal Address type* _____________________________________ _______________________________________________ _____________________________________ ______ (BH)________________ (AH) _______________ _____________________________________ ______ (FAX)______________ (MOB) ______________ _____________________________________ ______ Email: _________@ ________________________ (*Insert “ F ”, “ J ”, “ H ”, “ C ”, “ L-ASF ” or “ L-AC ” as appropriate (see below): F ull1/ J unior2/ H ousehold3/ C oncession4/ L ife with full ASF membership5/ L ife with Aust. Caver subscription only6) would like to renew my/our membership, and enclose the appropriate membership subscription. Note, that if payment if forwarded before or no later than 3 months of the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (i.e. by 4th February 2000), then the PPD (Prompt Payment Discount) rate is applicable. The amount of my/our payment (cheque/money order payable to “STC”) enclosed is $_______ Please forward this form and your payment to: The Treasurer, STC, P.O. Box 416, Sandy Bay 7006. Thanks. NOTES 1. F ull(for persons 18 years or older) $45.00 ($35.00 PPD). 2. J unior (for persons under 18 years of age) $25.00 ($20.00 PPD). 3. H ousehold (for two persons 18 years or older and any number of persons under 18 years of age, all having the same residential address) $65.00 ($52.50 PPD). 4. C oncession (for persons 18 years or older, whom are either Students, unemployed or entitled to some other concession) $35.00 ($27.50 PPD). 5. L ife with full ASF membership (for life members who are actively caving and require ASF Insurance) $20.00 ($15.00 PPD).


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 4 6. L ife with Aust. Caver subscription only (for life members who are no longer actively caving and do not require ASF Insurance, but would like to receive the Australian Caver ) $15.00 (no PPD available). ..... the 3rd ANNUAL STC DINNER (theme: Caver of the 21st Century) It’s that time of the year again................. why not come along to the 3rd Annual dinner (read 53rd Tassie Caving dinner!), being held at the Cockatoo Cafe, Tyenna Valley Lodge from 6 p.m. on Saturday November 27 th. Food, drinks, caving antics and all that other fun stuff. Be square and be there, be absent and you’ll miss the fun, frivolity and all the other un-serious stuff. Dinner Antics include: Embarrassing Awards (if you have got anything on anyone, then please convey). Pre-dessert Squeezing competition. [This would be just too ugly after dessert!] for the best costume. FOOD: Commencing with pre-dinner drinks at 6 p.m. Dinner (selected from the normal Cockatoo Cafe Menu) from 7 p.m. ACCOMMODATION: There are several accommodation options as well (e.g. in a bed with sheets under a roof, or if you prefer, in a tent under the stars) with or without a “cook-your own” supplied breakfast. COSTS: Prices aren’t finalised yet, as it depends on how many people turn up. The more that come, the better the deal and the more fun to be had. Estimates are: Annual dinner ~$25 STC members, ~$30 non members. Lodge Accommodation (i.e. a bed with sheets and breakfast) $20-$25. Camping (but with use of facilities, showers, TV etc.) $5, add $5 for breakfast. Some Associated Caving/Surface Projects for the Weekend include: Removal the derelict Scaling Pole from “Scaling Pole Aven” (to be renamed Bolt Ladder Aven??) in Growling Swallet. Relocate the lost Hairy Goat Hole (JF15). Cave numbering (lets tag some of those 75 “X-numbered” caves) Track relocation/taping (e.g. tried to walk the Satan’s Lair track recently?) add your own project to this list!!


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 5 RSVP (with your $20 deposit) to Jeff Butt by the AGM on Wed Nov 3rd ‘Going Under Down Under’, a UK perspective. Party: Bruce Bensley, Ged Campion & Tasmanians by Bruce Bensley (Wolverhampton, ENGLAND) Although I have been heard to say in times of strife 'Caves all look the bloody same to me.' I know that this is not entirely true. Having visited caves in a handful of different countries, it's usual to see something new with every trip made. This is certainly true of the Tasmanian caves we saw set in beautiful temperate rain forest surrounded by lush green ferns, fallen trunks laden with mosses and towering eucalyptus. Ged, who was committed to a family holiday based in Manly, could not entertain the idea of sitting on the beach day in day out. This was surely an opportunity to explore caves in another zone of the world. Remembering an article in Caves & Caving, a few contact names were acquired. Several possibilities were also identified from his significant caving library at home and the Internet. All that was needed now was an additional body which is where I came in. I was pleased to be asked to tag along and readily agreed to add Tasmania to the itinerary having visited Sydney, Cairns, Melbourne and Canberra on a previous backpacking trip. We arrived in Hobart, jumped in our hire car and found some lodgings in the Telegraph Inn. The next day we headed up to Mole Creek. That evening just before dinner, Ged and myself hurriedly drove out to Wet Cave but were drawn into Honeycomb cave by the sight of some mystery cavers skirting around the woods. They were soon encountered within and informed us of our error. After a quick look we moved on and from the clearing at the end of the track, past the old gum tree a short path into the woods led us to the entrance of Wet Cave, tucked away in a sunken stream bed. The advice was kept not to venture out of other entrances and risk getting our balls blown off by the farmer. The profile of the cave was typically low and wide and of course flowing with icy water. Unfortunately our trip was short and we raced back to home cuisine and duck billed platypus watching. The next day we teamed up with the infamous Debbie Hunter, who kindly offered to take us through Marakoopa Cave. Little did we know how difficult it was going to be to allowed access to Australian caves so we were grateful for her influence. Inside we glimpsed a quality show cave but were glad to leave the concrete and railings behind. Treading carefully we followed Debbie upstream on an informative speleo trip which deposited us high up in the woods. It wasn't long before I picked up a couple of leaches but narrowly escaped the attentions of a grass tick. We picked our way towards the path out following an unobvious route through a confused topography and taking in views of other entrances in the vicinity. That evening we returned to Hobart and went in search of the Shipwright's Arms and the South Tasmanian Bruce, Ged, Jeff and Arthur trogged up for a summer walk to Slaughterhouse Pot; photo by Bev Campion. Ged and Debbie Hunter in Marakoopa 1; photo by Bruce Bensley.


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 6 Caverneers. Over a pint or two of Cascade Pale Ale and Guinness, Arthur and Jeff were roped into a through trip from Slaughterhouse Pot to Growling Swallet. At a prearranged spot on the outskirts of town our full-time cavers pulled up in an old but faithful Torana. Without much delay we were soon on our way. After picking up a few provisions at a local store (the owner of which originating from only a couple of miles from where I was born) we hit the unmade logging track up into the forest following the dust trail to the Junee Resurgence. Leaving the girls on the viewing platform we climbed down and into the cave just far enough to see some Hickmania troglodytes and glow worms. Small trout could be seen on our way back to the car obliviously basking on the streambed and enjoying the cool resurgence waters of the cave in the sweltering temperatures that day. A small piece of twig thrown a little upstream was instantly taken without hesitation. Continuing by car up the main drag into the forest, carefully avoiding passing logging lorries in the dust storm we'd churned up, we eventually branched off to the right along an inconspicuous narrow track with a number for its name. Our fancy hire car picked up plenty of scratches from the encroaching vegetation and looked ten times worse when we'd washed it. The track dead-ended and we kitted up and followed Jeff along a path who, not wishing to get too hot was wearing not much more than a pair of jocks. Arthur, was more concerned about not getting lost and wore a dazzling fluorescent pink pair of beach shorts and a pair of white wellies a sight never seen in the UK. Is this how Tasmanians go caving? With the aid of blue ribbons marking the route, and conveniently fallen eucalyptus trunks forming pathways we made our way to the spectacular Growling Swallet entrance which was fortunately only purring at the time. After dropping down for a closer look we continued a little way up hill to the Slaughterhouse Pot entrance a much more modest opening. We were glad to duck out of the heat and into and a short crawl through to the head of a muddy pitch. Nobody likes shifting bags so we were glad to find the insitu Bluewater ropes intact. At this point Arthur pulled out a descender of The final pitch in Slaughterhouse Pot, Ged down below, Jeff on abseil and Arthur at the pitch h ead; photo by Bruce Bensley. Arthur doing battle with Windy Rift, photo by Bruce Bensley.


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 7 a type not seen before. This thing called a Whaletail could probably take out an Ox. After a little DIY to hold the gate shut on this strange device, Arthur carefully lowered himself down to Jeff who freed the offending rusty wing nut. A stooping bedding plane roof with a handful of gleaming straws led on to another pitch which was beautifully sculpted at its foot. No more muddy walls. Progressing into an active streamway ground was made more kind of caving. Jeff's homemade ladder consisting of sections of plastic piping and knotted climbing rope took us down a level. While Ged and Jeff disappeared to Herpes III, I opted to scratch around for snails and freshwater shrimps in the Trapdoor streambed. Each tiny specimen was dunked into Arthur's alcohol vial which was probably not such a bad way to die. The muddy cavers returned and Ged was strangely enthusiastic about the place. Somehow I don't think I missed much. Back up the passage and round to the left was Scaling Pole Aven with said items propped up against its banded walls a good photo opportunity. Arthur, who wasn't supposed to be in the picture, was scratching around on the floor on hands and knees for specimens. Failing to move him on though, an interesting action shot resulted...Far better. The team returned back up the ladder and headed for the connection with the Growling Swallet streamway, a larger passage scattered with shiny and dark rounded rocks. Climbing upward and out past a series of small cascades, we encountered more of our little glowworm friends as we neared the exit. Then just after an awkward climb a moody light from outside greeted us. Our thanks to the Caverneers for a great trip. Resurrection of the Hairy Goat? (8/8/99) Party: Dave Rasch, Jol Desmarchelier and Sapphire McMullen-Fisher by Dave and Jol The aim of this trip was to try and establish the locations of tagged and untagged holes in the vicinity of Splash Pot and further south, and for Sapphire to inspect various fungi in the ‘old growth’. One hope of the trip was to relocate Hairy Goat Hole (JF-15) which had been ‘lost’ since the early 70’s. To put things in perspective, here are a few quotes from some old Spiels: From Speleo Spiel 222. “Hairygoat Hole (JF 15) was first explored in 1970. Although only 45m deep it received a number of visits due to the presence of an encouraging draught. There have been no visits since and at the time the cave terminated with mud and boulders blocking a narrow draughting crack the status of Hairygoat Hole needs urgent revision.” From Speleo Spiel 225. “Many moons ago (when some of our present members were mere children) a small pot called Hairy Goat Hole was located on the hillside between Splash Pot and the top of the Junee Quarry Road. The feature of this hole ("I remember it well...") was a good draught and a remarkably small entrance shaft which led to a down-sloping rubble ramp and a medium sort of chamber. The draught was issuing from a rift / crack in the far side. Recently there has been some interest in furthering the exploration of this hole, especially as nearby Splash Pot (once said to be "finished") has had something of a revival.” The first and obvious necessity is to find the entrance(!)’ One of the reasons that caves in this area are of interest is because somewhere underground a substantial volume of water (from the downstream end of Niggly Pot) must flow on its way to the Junee Resurgence. The question is, is there a cave entrance that grants access to it? We headed in on the KD track, and after showing Sapphire the KD swallet we wandered back along the track a short distance and found a couple of shafts on the way. We then contoured around to Splash Pot where we obtained a GPS fix. From here we followed the contact south until we emerged from the forest into open bracken and fallen logs. From here, we spaced ourselves 20 m apart and contoured around the hill heading south. In total we found seven holes, listed below. Can anyone shed light on any of these holes i.e. do they have JF numbers? Have they been checked? Hole A1: 7 m off the LH side of the track approximately 100 m short of the KD entrance. Entrance is roughly circular about 1 metre in diameter. Rock-tossing suggests a pitch around 15 m. Marked with a pink tape. Hole A2: 10 m uphill from A1, hole at the base of a fallen tree. Rocks indicate 10 m+. (This hole was marked ‘Hole 8 20/6/99’ on a previous trip). Hole A3: Small swallet 25 m south of Splash Pot, on the contact. Looks cho ked but might yield to some work. Hole A4: 10 m from A3, 3 m drop to sloping ramp on contact. Bearing is 150 magnetic from Splash Pot. Hole A5: Tight swallet in LH branch of the Splash Pot valley (Splash Pot is in the RH branch of this valley). Hole A6: Two holes side by side, on the contact. LH hole is a 3 m pitch, looks blocked. RH hole takes a dribble of water. Also looks blocked. Hole A7: Pothole on limestone ridge 300 m south of Splash Pot. 5 m pitch to sloping dirt ramp. Rocks dropped and more heard beyond. There is a large (2 m diameter) tree about 2 m downhill from the entrance. A GPS fix was obtained here, but this has a +/-100 m error. There is a possibility that ‘Hole A7’ is in fact ‘Hairy Goat Hole’. After communications with Stuart Nicholas (who was involved in trips to J F15 back in the ‘70’s), he emailed me with some photos of the entrance taken back in the early ‘70’s. My immediate reaction to these photos was that the entrance we found was NOT HGH, however Jol’s reaction was that in fact it WAS HGH, so ??? Stay t uned for further trip reports, I guess!


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 8 The Annual General Meeting-Taking on a position in STC, the Tasks and Time involved. by Jeff Butt It’s coming up to that time of year again, the “dreaded” Annual General Meeting. Does any of the following sound familiar?? “Oh yeah, another Annual General Meeting coming up. Boring, boring and I tell you, you have to be careful not to get a job, perhaps it’s best not to bother turning up. Yer, but it’s good to support the club, so maybe I will come, and anyway there’s always some food and drinks supplied, so I may as well go along and get some value out of my subs. I can hide in the back row and avoid getting voted into some job I don’t want. I definitely don’t want any jobs, I’m just too busy. Anyway, if someone voted me into a position, I wouldn’t have any idea of what to do. I’d never volunteer to take on any job for the same reason. Anyway, those people who did the job last year did such a good job, they can just do it all over again. ‘So and so’ has been doing that job for donkey’s years, so they may as well keep doing it. If you do a good job, then you get stuck with the job for ever.” Well you might be able to identify with at least some (but hopefully not too many!!) of these comments, I’m sure we’ve all had things like this cross our mind at meetings attended in the past. This article is an attempt to try and break down some of the barriers, and to take the ‘scariness of the unknown’ out of the STC positions. By providing “Job Descriptions” and an estimate of the time required for each of the positions you can get an idea of what each job i nvolves and the sort of responsibilities the person doing them has. Talking with someone who has done the job in the past certainly is a good way to learn what has to be done, and allows you to pick up some good tips about how to m ake doing the job easier. The Positions. Firstly, the positions are divided into two groups, the Executive and the Committee. Each of these two groups is made up of the following positions. EXECUTIVE President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer Minute Secretary COMMITTEE Scientific Officer Public Officer Search & Rescue Officer Editor Sub-Editors Karst Index Officer Equipment Officer Archivist/ Librarian Map Archivist Webmaster List Server Manager Electronic Archivist plus General Committee Persons and of course there are Members In the days of small clubs, nearly every member ends up with a position on either the Executive or Committee (sounds a bit like “too many Chiefs, not enough Indians”, but in reality, it is just “sharing the combined load”). Indeed some members have dual or multiple roles which places an added burden on those people. In an ideal world all the work would be shared around. What does each position involve? “Job Descriptions” for each position are given below. Note that these are my interpretations [in due course it would be good to get the Office Holders to fine-tune these Duty Statements] based upon the STC Constitution and from my experience with many similar organisations. By reading each description you should get a good i dea of what each position actually involves. An estimate of the amount of work involved with each position is also given to give you a guide. Some people may think that these times are under-estimated, others over-estimated. It is very hard to give an exact amount of time, but the quoted times should give a realistic idea of the time involved once the ‘learning curve’ is behind you (i.e. when starting a new job, it will take more time, but very quickly you’ll ‘know the ropes’ and will be able to complete the same work in much less time). Some positions have the potential for considerable extra time being s pent, for example adding early STC literature to the STC Electronic Archive, compiling and archiving survey data etc. EXECUTIVE Job Description-PRESIDENT The President should lead and represent STC. He/she has overall responsibility for the decisions of STC and the activities of all the members. He/she must have a proven commitment to STC and ideally should be an active caver. Skills in communicating, negotiating, chairing meetings, listening etc., will be needed by an effective President. Duties: Generally oversee the operation of STC and ensure that the Objectives are being met. Convene an AGM in the fourth quarter of each year. Convene the monthly Business meeting. Call and convene a meeting of the Executive when there is urgent business to attend to. Countersign cheques as necessary. Liaise with groups such as the Australian Speleological Federation as necessary. Estimated Time Required: 1 hour and 2 meetings (1 Business, 1 Social) per month. Job Description-VICE-PRESIDENT The Vice-President should assist the President, and exercise the powers of President in so far as may be necessary in the absence of the President. He/she must have a commitment to STC and ideally should be an active caver. The vicepresident’s position is often seen as a ‘training ground’ for future Presidents. Good skills (or the ability to develop


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 9 these) in communicating, negotiating, chairing meetings, listening etc., will be needed by an effective Vice-President. Duties: Assist the President with overseeing the operation of STC. Exercise the powers of President in so far as may be necessary in the absence of the President. Countersign cheques as necessary. Estimated Time Required: <0.5 hours and 2 meetings (1 Business, 1 Social) per month. Job Description-SECRETARY The Secretary deals with the day-to-day written affairs of STC, by receiving and co-ordinating correspondence, and by producing and distributing meeting minutes and agendas. The Secretary is often the first contact with STC, and therefore must be knowledgeable about STC activities, caving areas and contact people. An ability to take notes and to summarise meeting decisions clearly and accurately is essential. Good writing skills are needed to enable efficient replies to letters, and distribution of minutes. Access to a computer and the Internet (the easiest way to distribute minutes/agendas) is essential. Duties: Hold the key for the mailbox (currently P. O. Box 416, Sandy Bay, 7006). Regularly clear the mailbox and receive all correspondence. File letters/accounts received and present them to meetings. (Accounts need to be approved for payment at a meeting, prior to payment.) Forward bank statements and approved a ccounts to the Treasurer. Forward other tabled correspondence to the appropriate person(s). Write letters/replies to letters, and file a copy of letters sent. Obtain a copy of the minutes of meetings (as recorded by the Minutes Secretary) and file these. Circulate minutes of meetings to members (within 2 weeks of a meeting). Countersign cheques as necessary. Estimated Time Required: 3-5 hours and 1 Business meeting per month. Job Description-TREASURER The Treasurer deals with the day-to-day financial affairs of STC and ensures that STC remains financially solvent. He/she receives and banks money, issues cheques for accounts payable and maintains a comprehensive set of financial books and an Asset register which are audited annually. He/she also acts as Membership Secretary, and maintains a membership list. An ability to meticulously record all transactions clearly and accurately is essential. Good numeracy and writing skills are required for maintaining legible and clear financial records. Access to a computer and the Internet assists with carrying out this position. Duties: Maintain two sets of financial books, the STC Main Account and the STC Science A ccount. The Main Account is used for normal STC business. The Science Account is used for Scientific endeavours. Currently both a ccounts are held with the Commonwealth Bank, 81 Elizabeth Street, Hobart. Issue receipts for all money received. Transfer money recited by other STC officers (Equipment Officer, Librarian etc.) Issue cheques as necessary and have them countersigned by another member of the Executive. File Bank Statements. Close the Books on 30th September each year, and prepare a Financial Statement for the period October 1 to September 30. Annually have the b ooks audited by an Auditor (Currently Diane Hext, P.O. Box 148, Rosny Park 7018. phone: 6247 8051). At the Annual General Meeting present a copy of the Financial Statement, the Assets List and the Auditors Statement to the meeting for Acceptance. Forward a copy of the Financial Statement and the Auditors Statement as an Annual Return to the Office of Corporate Affairs. Forward a copy of the Financial Statement and the Auditors Statement to the Editor for Publication. Membership-List Duties Maintain a register of all Membership forms. Maintain a list of all members, addresses, contact numbers and email addresses. Periodically forward an updated copy of the Membership list to the Editor to facilitate distribution of the SpeleoSpiel and/or any other publications. Estimated Time Required: 3-5 hours and 1 Business meeting per month. Plus 5-10 hours for the Annual Return. Job Description-MINUTE SECRETARY The Minutes Secretary assists the Secretary by recording the minutes at meetings. (The Minutes Secretary job may well be incorporated into the SecretaryÂ’s job.) An ability to take notes and to summarise meeting decisions clearly and accurately is essential. Accurate and neat writing skills are needed to enable legible transcripts of meetings to be obtained. Duties: Record minutes of meetings and forward these to the Secretary for filing. Estimated Time Required: 1-2 hours (at each Business meeting) per month. COMMITTEE Job Description-SCIENTIFIC OFFICER The Scientific Officer is responsible for assessing applications that seek to draw upon the funds in the Scientific Account for the purposes of conducting Scientific projects in the Speleological Sphere. Duties: Assess applications seeking financial support from the STC Science account. Make recommendations to the Executive in respect of applications seeking financial support. Estimated Time Required: < 5 hours per annum.


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 10 Job Description-PUBLIC OFFICER The Public Officer is responsible for fulfilling the requirement set out in the Associations Incorporation Act (STC is an incorporated body). This includes being the legal spokesperson for STC in the event of any litigation. Skills include being knowledgeable about STC’s activities and the Associations Incorporation Act. Duties: Ensure that Corporate Affairs is notified (using ‘Form 6’) within 14 days if you change address. Ensure that Corporate Affairs is notified (using ‘Form 4’) of any change to the Constitution within 14 days. Ensure that Corporate Affairs is notified (using ‘Form 6’) of any change in Public Officer within 14 days. Act as the representative for STC in the event of any event of a litigious nature occurring. Estimated Time Required: < 2 hours per annum. Job Description-SEARCH AN RESCUE LIAISON OFFICER The SAR Liaison Officer must have extensive cave rescue experience and have the respect of both the caving and police SAR communities. He/she must be able to motivate STC members to practise in cave SAR, and to ensure that call out lists and procedures are adequate. The SAR co-ordinator will be aware of the competence of a cross-section of cavers (both within STC and within Tasmania) and be familiar with the major caves and karst areas in Tasmania. Duties: To maintain an Up-to-date Search and Rescue ‘Call-Out’ list. To, in conjunction with the Tasmania Police (Search and Rescue) plan an Annual Search and Rescue Exercise. To liaise with Police Search and Rescue and attend (bimonthly) Search and Rescue Liaison Meetings. To be aware of STC’s resources and know how they may be required for a Search and/or Rescue event. To encourage members to submit incident reports, filing these, and from time to time publishing an analysis. Estimated Time Required: <1 hour and 1 Liaison meeting per month. Plus 10-20 hours for the Annual Caving Search and Rescue Exercise (CAVEX). Job Description-EDITOR The Editor should ensure that STC regularly publishes material keeping Members and the Speleological Community at large up to date with the activities of members of STC. The Editor should be proficient with Word Processing and Desk-top publishing software. Access to a computer, printer, scanner and Internet is essential. Duties: Seek and Collate articles for STC Publications (SpeleoSpiel and any other publications) to give a good coverage of the activities of STC members. Produce the Speleo-Spiel six times a year. Produce an Annual Publication if enough material/interest is available. Obtain membership list updates from the Membership List Secretary to ensure that all members receive copies of the Newsletters. Mail out Newsletters to all members on the Membership List. Ensure that copies of all publications are archived with the STC Librarian, State and National library services. Maintain a Mailing list for distribution of Publications to members, subscribers and other Speleological organisations. Ensure all publications are securely archived. Distribute electronic copies of all publications to the Electronic Archivist for inclusion in the STC archive. Estimated Time Required: 15-20 hours per issue of the Speleo-Spiel and 1 hour per month for maintaining Mailing lists. An additional 20-30 hours per issue of any additional publication would be required. Job Description-SUB-EDITORS The Sub-Editors should assist with the duties of the Editor. The Sub-Editors should be proficient with Word Processing and Desk-top publishing software. Access to a computer and the Internet is essential. Duties: Assist the Editor with his/her duties. Estimated Time Required: 5 hours per issue of the SpeleoSpiel. An additional 5-10 hours per issue of any additional publication would be required. Job Description-KARST INDEX OFFICER The Karst Index Officer keeps the records relating to new caves/karst features that are discovered in the different karst areas. He/she allocates number tags and forwards information to the Australian Speleological Federation for inclusion in the National database. He/she should have a good knowledge of STC activities and a good knowledge of the karst areas of Tasmania. Good communication and office skills are required. He/she should also be good at encouraging people to number the caves they have fo und as well as complete Karst Index forms. Duties: Allocate numbers to new caves/karst features. Encourage discoverers to physically affix number tags to new caves/karst features, and to fill in Karst Index Forms. To maintain comprehensive records of caves and karst features in all the karst areas that STC investigates. To maintain records of number tags and who has them to prevent duplication, loss or missed numbers. Regularly forward cave and karst feature information to the Australian Speleological Federation for inclusion into their Karst Index database. Estimated Time Required: <1 hour per month (for the current level of surface exploration). Job Description-EQUIPMENT OFFICER The Equipment Officer has custody of the STC equipment except when it is being used by members. He/she ensures that all equipment is a ccounted for and that it remains in a Safe and Serviceable condition. A strong interest and knowledge is required about caving equipment and the safety thereof. Being able to effect minor repairs is essential, as is storage space (~1 room/garage).


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 11 Duties: Have custody of the STC caving equipment, except when items are on loan. Maintain records of the where-abouts of any STC Caving Equipment. Make equipment readily available for use by STC members. Maintain an inventory of the STC equipment (an Equipment Assets List) of STC. At the end of the financial year give an updated Assets list to the Treasurer (for the Annual audit). Present a copy of the Assets List to the Annual General Meeting. Forward a copy of the Assets List to the Editor. Forward any money received for hire of equipment to the Treasurer. Maintain and/or arrange for the repair of equipment as necessary. Be responsible for the safety (i.e. retire/condemn/replace) of all equipment (i.e. encourage and co-ordinate testing of equipment and/or replacement). Be aware of all fixed rigging left in caves and keep records as to the date of installation and the condition of this equipment. Maintain Rope Logs for all STC ropes. Estimated Time Required: 5-10 hours per month. Plus 2025 hours for the Annual Safety Audit and Inventory. Job Description-ARCHIVIST/ LIBRARIAN The Archivist/Librarian has custody of the STC Library/records except when they are being used by members. He/she ensures that all materials (books, magazines, journals etc.) are accounted for and that it remains in a sound condition. A strong interest in Speleological literature is an advantage and storage space (~ 1 room) is essential. Duties: Have custody of the STC Library/records, except when it is on loan. Maintain records of the where-abouts of any STC Library materials. Make the library/records readily available for use by STC members. Maintain an inventory of the library (a Library Assets List) of STC. At the end of the financial year give an updated Assets list to the Treasurer (for the Annual audit). Present a copy of the Assets List to the Annual General Meeting. Forward a copy of the Assets List to the Editor. Forward any money received for sale of publications to the Treasurer. Estimated Time Required: 2 hours per month. Plus 5 hours for the Annual Inventory. Job Description-MAP ARCHIVIST The Map Archivist has custody of the STC Maps except when they are being used by members. He/she ensures that all Maps are accounted for and that they remain in a sound condition. A strong interest in Speleological Maps is an advantage and storage space (part of a room) is essential. Duties: Have custody of the STC Maps, except when they are on loan. Maintain records of the where-abouts of any STC Maps. Make the Maps readily available for use by STC members. Maintain an inventory of the Map library (a Map Assets List) of STC. At the end of the financial year give an updated Assets list to the Treasurer (for the Annual audit). Present a copy of the Map Assets List to the Annual General Meeting. Forward any money received for sale of maps to the Treasurer. Estimated Time Required: <1 hours per month. Plus <2 hours for the Annual Inventory. Job Description-WEBMASTER The Webmaster is responsible for maintaining STC’s Web page ( He/she should have a strong interest in the Internet and access to a computer and the Internet are essential. Duties: Maintain the STC web page, ensuring that it is ‘up-to date’ and ‘accurate’. Estimated Time Required: < 2 hours per month. Job Description-LIST SERVER MANAGER The List Server Manager is responsible for managing the STC list server. He/she should have a strong interest in the Internet and access to a computer and the Internet are essential. Duties: Maintain the STC list server. Liaise with the Treasurer/Membership Secretary to ensure that new members are added/removed to the List server, if/as they wish. Estimated Time Required: 1 hour per month.. Job Description-ELECTRONIC ARCHIVIST The Electronic Archivist is responsible for maintaining the STC html format Archive. He/she should have a strong interest in the Internet and access to a computer and the Internet are essential. Duties: Regularly update the Archive as new STC publications are produced. Liaise with the Editor to ensure that electronic copies of all publications are procured and added to the archive. Encourage others to assist with updating the Archive backwards through the days of non-electronic publications (i.e. encourage others to assist with sc anning and the typing-in information). Distribute copies of the Electronic Archive as appropriate. Ensure the safe storage/archival of the Electronic Archive. Estimated Time Required: < 2 hours per month for updates. Although 5-10 hours per month could easily be spent for a couple of years updating the Archive for the ‘early days’ and


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 12 any interested persons are encouraged to approach the Electronic Archivist to offer assistance with this task. Job Description-GENERAL COMMITTEE PERSONS General Committee Persons can help any members of the Committee with any of their functions. Several Committee positions have large workloads, and assistance given to these officers greatly assists them as well as gives some training to the General Committee Persons. Duties: Assist members of the STC Committee or Executive in any way possible.. Estimated Time Required: 2-5 hours month could easily be spent assisting any of the STC Officers with larger workloads. Job Description-MEMBERS Members are the basis of the existence of STC, and also have responsibilities. Duties: From the Constitution: Every applicant for membership must pay the current subscription and entrance fee (if any), at the time of his/her election to membership and undertake to observe such other matters of ethics and etiquette as may be prescribed from time to time and acknowledge that he/she has read and agrees to be bound by the Constitution, Rules and Bylaws of the Organisation. Such undertakings and acknowledgements shall be in a form prescribed by the Organisation. In the case of persons under the age of eighteen years, a suitable waiver and indemnity from the parents or guardians must accompany the application. Every member shall Practise Minimal Impact techniques, Make every effort to protect land and any property thereon used for caving. Give adequate consideration to safety and consider the conse quences of their actions at all times. Whilst caving, or on the surface, any person upon experiencing any form of abnormal discomfort shall communicate immediately with other members of the Party and steps should be taken to procure first aid. abide by any rules, regulations or directions of the land owner or controlling authority. How does one get a position? Basically people are elected into the position at the Annual General Meeting, alth ough sometimes this can happen at a General Meeting if/as the need arises (e.g. someone moves interstate etc.). Nominations for positions are called for prior to the AGM (as in this Spiel), or people can volunteer for a position. At the AGM the names of those nominated for each position are put forward, a seconder is required, as is the consent of the nominee. If more than one person has been nominated for the position a vote is taken to see who is elected to that position. What are the Benefits of having a position? No, this is not a joke, there are definitely benefits arising from having positions of responsibility with a recreational club. It can help you with your work, looks good on your C.V. and demonstrates that you have the right sort of personal qualities that an employer may be seeking. You will acquire new skills and knowledge. Some people revel in the “Power” or “Perks” or a position, however, in a small recreational club, Power and Perks aren’t a reality (nor should they be). Instead you will receive Re cognition and Appreciation for doing a job well, and a sense of Personal Satisfaction will come from this. So I’ve got a position, now what do I do? For a start you consult with the person who has done it previously to do a ‘hand-over’. You can expect to receive help from the outgoing officer with your new job. They will want you to do a good job as well. The Job Descriptions above will also outline your main duties, and in due course, full details of what each position demands will appear in the slowly evolving “Members Manual”. Anyway, I hope that you all have a bit of think about which position you might like to do and that there won’t be too many people avoiding the AGM, or hiding in the ‘back-row’. If you still feel that you don’t have the time or resources to take on a position, then please consider taking on an assistant role by volunteering as a General Committee person. See you all at (hard for me to avoid, as the AGM is at my place!) the STC AGM on Wednesday November 3rd. Did your GPS roll over and die on 22/8/99??? With all the Y2K hype, many people might have missed another significant date, namely 22/8/99. On this day, all the clocks on GPS satellites ‘rolled-over’ from week 1023 to week 0. {There was a note about this in Speleo-Spiel #309, see page 15.} Many GPS’s were affected in some way. STC’s Garmin 12XL didn’t seem to miss a beat; however my own Garmin 2 went back to pre-school. It took about an hour to find just one satellite, and couldn’t find anymore. On the next reboot, it found 2 satellites after another hour. It took another couple of re-boots to get it’s act together to get an accurate fix. On subsequent reboots, it ‘found itself’ in reasonable time, but still wasn’t as good as it was prior to the roll-over. According to those that know, by 21/9/99 GPS performance should be back to normal (i.e. all GPS’s should have downloaded updated Almanacs by then and have worked out that “there are positions after the end of time”. If you happen to have a GPS on the shelf and haven’t given it a burl for a while, then you might like to give it a tentative test drive to see how it performs. Hopefully it hasn’t given up the ghost, but unless you try it, you’ll never know. JB


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 13 A thrash not near Splash Pot-14/8/99 Party: Dave Rasch, Jol Desmarchelier by Dave and Jol This trip report could be considered a continuation of surface exploration in the vicinity of KD (see “Surface Exploration near Khazad-Dum”, Spiel #314). The aim has been to revisit and complete/check (e.g. to purge those old surveys where the compass had been ‘playing up’ the survey of each) cave, keep and eye out for missed leads as well as link entrances by overland survey so that the relative positions of the caves underground can be accurately established on computer. During a recent trip south of Splash Pot, we relocated what we thought might be the infamous and elusive Hairy Goat Hole (JF-15). This cave was reported in the early ‘70’s to have a significant draught issuing from a crack in the wall of its final 15 m pitch. Unfortunately the crack was sub-human despite best efforts. Later, it appears that this cave wandered, despite the fact that it had been firmly tethered to a large tree visible from Splash Pot. The intention of this trip therefore was to grab a couple of ropes and descend the 45 m or so of pitches in HGH to try and facilitate this longitudinally-challenged cavern in reaching its full potential. After stopping at the hardware store in West Hobart to purchase a few useful tools, 11 a.m. found us parked near ‘Jocks Rock’ at the start of the KD track (the name of this particular rock will become apparent to anyone visiting the KD car-park area over the next few months). Despite the forecast, it turned out an unusually beautiful and windless morning in the Florentine valley so we decided that since our objective was less than 500 m from the car, and what with us commanding the very latest in hand-held auto-location technology, we would attempt a bee-line directly for the cave entrance (plus or minus the requisite so-many metres). We unsheathed our instrument and set off into the lush regrowth forest somewhat smugly, ha, who needs tracks? Ten minutes later saw us back on the road, soaking wet from the water-logged foliage and bruised from many a slip on hidden logs. We’d only made 100 metres, and the GPS was dithering this way and that way. We hatched Plan B, which was to switch off said GPS unit and follow the KD highway up the dry valley to Splash Pot then traverse left around to HGH. 15 minutes along the track we hit upon Plan C (our very nearly final and penultimate plan), which was to use the GPS ‘Goto’ facility to establish an initial bearing (aha!) then head off the track again, left and up the hill, occasionally using our survey compass as required. Well, the forest started out quite open and easy to navigate, but hardly 50 metres up the hill the mossy open forest gave way to headheight bracken and a maze of fallen logs, and we found ourselves again stumbling, cursing and falling about (especially trying to avoid impalement on those nasty celerytop logs, where all the branches have broken off to reveal dagger-like remnants). We were also keenly aware that this was a karst area one really has to separate the vegetation and l ook before placing each foot down. Topping a gentle rise on the approach to a small dry valley, we stopped for a bit of a rest, and looking down saw right beside us a black hole about 3 m in diameter lurking beneath a couple of logs, with a bit of warmish air issuing forth. It did not seem likely that anyone had visited this hole previously because it was not in a sensible location (being near the top of a rise), it was hundreds of metres below the contact and not visible from more than 3 metres away. Rocks tossed down the hole made a satisfying trundling noise for several seconds, so all plans of heading up to HGH were forgotten. We were quick to gear up and toss a rope down the hole. An initial 4 m drop led to a 0.8 m wide constriction in which a large Y-shaped log had thoughtfully posted itself. However, a bit of a squeeze and a rebelay from a short thick stal on the left saw us past this obstacle and abseiling 12 m down into genuine pristine new cave. We were greeted by a chamber about 7 m by 5 m, with some formation and one wall that looked like it was draped with 12 m high brown curtains. In quite a number of places near the floor we could see deep scratches made by sets of claws, with digits spaced 1 cm apart. We furtively glanced around...was that a rustling sound in the darkness?. The cave floor dropped a further 2 m to a lower level, where a flowstone feature was completely covered with scuff marks up to several metres off the floor. Peering down through a 30 cm diameter circular hole in the middle of the floor revealed that what we were standing on appeared to be in fact only 30 cm thick, and below...oops, a large pitch). Returning to the main chamber, we visited a rift-like horizontal side passage which turned out to be blind and about 11 m in length. Visible against one wall were the bones of a large animal (I think a kangaroo). The skull looked to be about 15 cm in length. Back at the pitch, we rigged a couple of tape anchors and I managed to slightly enlarge the hole in the floor, sufficient to drop through the sphincter-like constriction (a greasy layer of mud helped!) where I rigged a rebelay and quickly arrived at the end of the rope hanging in an impressive-looking pitch. I could see down some 25 metres to what looked like a wide ledge. I dropped a few rocks and these bounced further and there was a distinct splash of a pool of water even though no pool could be s een. Returning up through the hole afforded me a few minutes of amusement then we surveyed out of the cave. During the two hours spent in the cave, the GPS had redeemed itself by somewhat by successfully averaging the cave entrance position, so the location of this cave is known quite accurately. In view of the heavy scratches on the walls, we agreed on the name ‘Scratch Pot’ after rejecting something similar as being in poor taste. In terms of surface exploration being conducted in the area, this is ‘Hole 10’. Next we dropped down into the nearby valley, where Jol quickly located a low limestone bluff with what appeared to be a substantial breeze issuing forth. Venturing only a few metres down into this hole, which in appearance was like an animal lair, the existence of the draught was verified, issuing from a 10 cm diameter hole in a small side chamber. We will return to this hole (Hole 11) in due course. Both of these caves are of significant interest due to their location. It is interesting to conjecture about the existence of more holes this far below the contact.


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 14 Scratch Pot (Hole 10)-21/8/99 Party: Dave Rasch, Jol Desmarchelier by Dave and Jol This was a return trip to ‘Scratch Pot’ to complete surveying this new cave. The cave was rigged to the pitch reached previously. From here, we rebelayed from some formation down about 5 metres then dropped free to a sloping continuation where we placed another rebelay round a knob on the floor. We abseiled down to a ledge, placed a trace rebelay. At this point there was a window into an adjacent pitch and below this a bridge of rock several metres thick. Placing a redirect on the right wall round a small stal, we abseiled to the floor of a chamber about 5 m in diameter, littered with animal bones. Looking up we could see another aven about 40 m high. A smaller chamber leading off proved to be terminal, particularly for a somewhat fresh-looking possum! There was no draught here. We lassooed a rock flake and Jol prusiked several metres up to check a lead, but to no avail. We headed out of the cave into light drizzle. [Scratch Pot has a depth of 77 m. Hopefully the survey will be in the next Spiel. Ed.] The Search for Hairy Goat Hole continues!, 29/8/99 Party: Dave Rasch, Jol Desmarchelier, Andras Galambos by Dave and Jol We headed south from Splash Pot along the contact until we cleared the forest and entered the ‘Bracken Zone’, seeking to return to ‘Hole A7’ to establish whether in fact it was the long-lost HGH (JF-15). We must have headed a little too high up the hill because we accidentally found ourselves in the next dry valley over where we located a pitch in the valley floor (‘Hole 11’ which might be JF19). The GPS indicated that with respect to ‘Hole A7’ we had gone too far around the hill and were a little high in altitude, so we headed down then back north across the gully, immediately coming across a 4 m diameter by 8 m deep pot (‘Hole 12’) with a very faded pink tape lying on the ground nearby. This pitch might be JF21? We surface surveyed from here: 75.4 m at a bearing of 047 mag. to ‘Hole A7’ which Andras quickly descended, reporting a 9 m pitch tapering to two tight continuations, obviously we hadn’t found Hairy Goat Hole (JF15), but this might have been JF16. Diagonally downhill from here Jol reported another small hole so we surveyed 53 m due N magnetic to ‘Hole 13’ which turned out to be a small collapse of soil only 2m deep. However, uphill 30 m from here at 194 magnetic we found ‘Hole 14’, a 2 m by 0.6 m slot entrance under a long ‘canoe’ of bark which turned out to be more interesting: a tight vertical entrance slot led down a 5 m dirt slope past some formation to a short vertical pitch which proved terminal, total depth 17 m. From the bottom there are two windows in the pitch wall on opposite sides which Andras duly posted himself into, with the report that. one continuation led to further down-climbs of 2 m then 3 m to constricted passage, the other hole some 4 m above the floor led into a tight horizontal continuation with upwards and downward leads, although too tight to inspire interest. Returning to ‘Hole 12’ we then surveyed 32 m at 079 magnetic to ‘Hole 15’ (‘Stuck Hole’) which proved too tight for Andras after 3 m. We gave up at this point and started traversing north towards Splash Pot but losing height so as to cover new gro und. ‘Hole 16’, a 3 m deep by 4 m long chamber, was located beneath the roots of a large fallen tree. There is some conti nuation visible beneath a small pile of rocks but no draught present. It remains to link these holes into Splash Pot by surface survey. As for Hairy Goat Hole?, perhaps next visit. [The distances and directions quoted in this article are based on the reduced survey data. Ed.] Another trip to try and find Hairy Goat Hole-5/9/99 Party: Dave Rasch, Jol Desmarchelier by Dave and Jol 2Sunday the 5th of September proved to be rather wet in the Florentine, so we decided rather half-heartedly to check out a few holes near KD. The first hole we looked at was ‘Hole 8’ (named on 20/6/99) (? and also reported in Spiel 222 by Stefan Eberhard). This hole is about 17 m uphill from the track and is beneath the trunk of a fallen tree. The entrance is circular and about 1 m in diameter. It drops vertically 6 m to a conjoined pair of 3 m diameter chambers which were raining water on this occasion. Back downhill next to the track (marked ‘Hole A1’ on 8/8/99) a similar sized hole led down a sloping 8 m passage to a small terminal chamber. From here we headed up to Splash Pot then south al ong the contact around the hill but higher up that on previous trips (the ground was essentially horizontal at this altitude), where we located two horizontal caves (Holes 17 and 18). ‘Hole 17’ was 1.5 m high passage leading about 8 m horizontally to constriction and boulders, and nearby ‘Hole 18’ was 6 m horizontal to a 4 m free-climbable pitch which was blocked. Both of these caves have clumps of Olearia (?, well clumps of a distinctive plant something like that) growing around the entrance. Further around the hill (but not yet in the JF19 valley) we came across a sizeable cairn built on a fallen tree using a number of lumps of clean-washed limestone. Although we looked hard, we found no holes near this cairn and can only conclude that it served as a landmark to turn up or down the hill (does this prompt any memories out there?). We zigzagged down the hill getting progressively more waterlogged in the rain, following a ridge of exposed limestone until we found ourselves back at ‘Hole A7’ (not HGH) and ‘Hole 12’ (JF 21?) and familiar ground. All the trips over the past few weeks lead me to think that we are getting to know this particular hill quite well. Can HGH still be there, only metres from where we have trodden? Or do we have the wrong hill?!


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 15 Number tagging and documentation of caves in the JuneeFlorentine karst of southern Tasmania by Arthur Clarke Introduction: Since STC was formed in December 1996, there has been no number-tagging of caves in the Junee-Florentine (J-F) karst. STC inherited a masonry drill, which was originally purchased by TCC with the sole expressed purpose of using it for number-tagging caves. It is doubtful whether the drill was ever used for number tagging, unless it was used by Rolan Eberhard when he number-tagged nine (9) J-F entrances in 1995, or shortly before: JF-246-248; JF-255259 and JF-263. Number tags for Junee-Florentine caves: There are currently about sixty-five number tags made up ready for placing on Junee-Florentine caves, including gap numbers: 250, 261 to 262 and 264-299. (These are all the older style, four inch long, one inch wide 3 mm thick aluminium tags with rounded ends tags that SCS used to have in stock; each tag has a 3/16th inch wide hole at each end for affixing to the rock.) Of this lot, the "JF-250" one is the only tag currently stamped with a "JF" prefix. Prior to knowing about the existence of these tags and the missing JF gap numbers, I produced another lot of tags similar to the ones I was using for cave numbering at Ida Bay. These are made from 1 mm thick stainless steel plating, measuring 5 cm by 10 cm, with square corners and 6 mm holes in each end, designed for use with a proprietary plastic sheathed masonry screw. The tags that I produced are all stamppunched with numbers and prefixed with "JF" for numbers from JF-403 to JF-425. Its high time we started tagging our known and new unnumbered J-F caves, and it seems likely that "JF-250" will be used to attach to the entrance of the new cave known as "Scratch Pot". While its fresh in our minds, we could do some number-tagging on those other "holes" described along the Dwarrowdelf to Khazad Dum traverse, as shown in Jeff Butt's article in the last Speleo Spiel #314 (p. 15-16). These "Holes" have currently been a ccor ded "JF-X" numbers (see below) ... and it's past time to start filling in some of the 45 or so number gaps in the "JF" numbering sequence. Apart from the unallocated or unused number tags mentioned above (nos. 250; 261 to 262 and 264 to 299), there are another six "missing" tags, that to my knowledge have not been allocated to any caves: JF-241-245 and JF-249 all part of a selection of "J-F" number tags issued to Bob Reid (of TCC) on 16/11/1988. (It is possible that Bob or some other TCC person has used these tags to number caves, but there are no documented records of numbered caves for these missing tags. Rolan Eberhard was unable to locate any of these six tags, when he was involved in documenting and numbering J-F caves in 1994-1995.) Recording the known caves in Junee-Florentine: The last (or highest) numbered cave at J-F is JF-402 for B.D.T.H. (which I tagged over a decade ago, before I knew about the other missing gap numbers). Since there are some 45 unused or unallocated numbers, we actually only have 357 numbered caves in the Junee-Florentine karst and an additional 153 known but un-number tagged caves plus the ones that have never been recorded. Sixty-one (61) of these untagged caves have been a ccor ded with the so-called "X-" numbers, following along the cave documentation principles formulated by ASF; another ninety-two (92) of them were accorded with "JF-Z" numbers by Rolan Eberhard w hen he was documenting caves during his assessment of the karst sensitivity zones for the Junee-Florentine, while working with Forestry Tasmania. Cave documentation can become problematic and tedious later on, particularly if new caves remain undocumented: unsurveyed and/or not physically number-tagged with no "Karst Index Cave Summary" forms filled in. Sometimes the only record of a new cave is the brief mention in Speleo Spiel. Some new caves have no recorded d ocumentation at all and become "forgotten" caves, that are sometimes told to us in stories at the pub. Number-tagging caves: Caves without number tags are easily lost; some of these may be re-discovered by other cavers and even claimed and re-named again as a "new" cave discovery, if not properly recorded and documented in the first place. It is quite likely that some of these un-numbered or untagged caves that are re-discovered again, end up being a ccor ded with more than one "X-" number. As a general rule of thumb, all new cave discoveries should be reported to the STC Karst Index Officer or Records keeper, who can then issue or prescribe a number tag to be used for fixing to the rock, preferably as close as practically possible, beside the cave entrance. Ideally, a Karst Index Cave Summary form should be filled in as well; this form can be added to, as cave exploration and surveying progresses. Number tags should be placed at cave entrances where they can be easily seen. In the early days of number-tagging caves in Tasmania, there has been an unfortunate practice of placing some number tags down inside the cave, where they are not readily observed from the cave entrance. Examples of such instances that come to mind include Hobbit Hole (IB-15) at Ida Bay and also in the Junee-Florentine, as quoted by Jeff Butt on page 16 in last Spiel #314, the same "in-cave" tagging applies for JF-9 (Un-named) and JF-10 (Splash Pot). Another problem of number-tagging (or losing number tags) relates to tags not being properly attached to the rock, sometimes just tied to a twig near the entrance, or the actual locational position of the tag. Since many of our caves are located in rainforest or wet forest environments, some tags can become "lost" due to overgrowth with moss or ferny foliage. The ideal option for posterity, is to record the actual position of the tag relative to the entrance on the Cave Summary form and similarly, to take a photo of the cave entrance which shows the position of the tag relative to the entrance. (This photo should be retained with the club's copy of the cave summary form or the club's list of records for that karst area and its caves.) Documentation of number-tagged and untagged caves: Any cave that is reported or documented in any form of publication should be number-tagged and have a "Karst Index Cave Summary" form filled in for that cave. There is often value in number-tagging all new caves found even small or short caves. Although these small caves may not be of interest to recreational or sporting cavers, they can


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 16 have speleological significance in terms of understanding the geomorphology or hydrology relationships to other known systems, especially when surveys are drawn up as demonstrated by the Figure on page 15 of Speleo Spiel #314. When new caves are found and reported to a STC meeting (or documented in Speleo Spiel), but not immediately number tagged, a temporary "X-number" is usually assigned by the Records Keeper. These "X-" numbers are only ever used once; when that "X-number" cave is physically number tagged the "X-" number is recorded in the literature or on Cave Summary form, but to avoid confusion in the published literature, it is never re-assigned to another unnumber tagged cave. Hence, this explains the reason why the "X-" numbers in the J-F area are currently up to JF-X73 (see below); twelve of these former "X-" numbered caves have now got actual number tags attached so now we currently "only" have 61 untagged caves with "X-" numbers, plus the 92 untagged "Z-" number caves. Documentation of untagged “J-F” caves during recent era of STC: Since STC was formed, some seventeen (17) "X-" numbers have been assigned to new caves that have not been numbertagged, in the J unee-Florentine karst alone: JF-X57: Un-named; Speleo Spiel #303: pp. 5-6. JF-X58: "Cleobora Cave"; Speleo Spiel #303: p. 8. JF-X59: "Un-tagged Cave"; Speleo Spiel #305: p. 8. JF-X60: "Tiny Hole"; Speleo Spiel #305: p. 8. JF-X61: Un-named; Speleo Spiel #308: p. 9. JF-X62: Un-named; Speleo Spiel #308: p. 9. JF-X63: "JF-X???" or "Kangaroo Cave"; Speleo Spiel #309: p. 6. JF-X64: "Hole 1"; Speleo Spiel #312: p. 10. JF-X65: "Hole 2"; Speleo Spiel #312: p. 10. JF-X66: "Hole 3" or "Oxhole"; Speleo Spiel #314: pp. 1516. JF-X67: "Hole 4" or "Stonefish"; Speleo Spiel #314: pp. 1516. JF-X68: "Hole 5" or "Runny Right Nostril"; Speleo Spiel #314: pp. 15-16. JF-X69: "Hole 5A" or "Left Nostril"; Speleo Spiel #314: pp. 15-16. JF-X70: "Hole 6" or "Peanut Paste"; Speleo Spiel #314: pp. 15-16. JF-X71: "Hole 7" or "Bethin"; Speleo Spiel #314: pp. 15-16. JF-X72: "Hole 8"; Speleo Spiel #314: p. 16; (also in Speleo Spiel #222: p. 4). JF-X73: "Scratch Pot"; reported to STC cavers; see this Speleo Spiel #315. (A number "JF-250" has been allocated for this cave, but it is not a recommended practice to quote the number in publication, until the tag is actually attached, unless there is a very firm determined proposal and commitment to fix that particular number tag to the cave entrance in the very near future.) So.... lets see a few more caves with number tags attached! A New Standard Map Grid for Australia. Ken Grimes, from the ASF surveying standards informs us that for a variety of reasons, the standard Australian Map Grid has now changed to “GDA-94” (Geocentric Datum of Australia, 1994). [Full details can be found at]. The two other grids in standard use are AGD-66 (Australian Geodetic Datum, 1966) and AGD-84 (Australian Geodetic Datum, 1984). Note that they have changed the order of the words from AGD to GDA, perhaps to avoid confusion?? The standard 1:25,000 and 1:100,000 Topographic maps used here in Tassie are all based on AGD-66. Apparently the difference between AGD-66 and AGD-84 is only a couple of metres, so for Cavers purposes, it hardly matters which one you use. However, the difference between GDA-94 and AGD-84 is about a couple of hundred metres (to the North-East) over most of the country. (See the example given below.) So, once the new maps come on line, when you give grid references you will have to quote which map datum you are using, otherwise you could be off beam somewhat. If you are using a GPS with a new map, you’ll find that current GPS’s wont know about the GDA-94 map datum (they do know about 60 other map datum’s though). Amongst this large lot is a datum called WGS-84 (World Geodetic Standard, 1984). Apparently WGS-84 is within a few cm of the new GDA-94, and so if you use this datum you’ll be fine. An example of different positions given by the different datums is shown for Khazad Dum-JF4. Map Grid GPS position (all 55G UTM) 6 fig. grid ref. change in position AGD-66 0464401 5270700 644707 reference AGD-84 0464399 5270698 644707 2 m West & 2 m South WGS-84 0464513 5270883 645709 112 m East & 183 m North New maps will be published with a conversion figure for changing Grid References from one datum to the other, this will just be a standard additive correction, e.g. to convert from AGD-84 to GDA-94 (for anywhere on the map), increase the Easting by 114 m and increase the Northing by 185 m. Anyway, this probably wont bother us here in Tassie for some years.....the mapping of the state using AGD-66 hasn’t been finished in 1999. By the time it happens, the surveyors will probably have changed to another new improved map datum. A Summary of Recent Caving Incidents Zilcho here over the last two months! Nice to see, but then there has been close to zilch caving too! JB


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 17 Ida Browsing (IB47, 224, 97 & 104): 12/9/99 Party: Andras Galambos, Dave Rasch, Jeff Butt. by Jeff The Junee-Florentine was closed this weekend for a car rally, so we thought we’d head south for some caving. There was no fixed agenda, so we ended up “Ida-Browsing”. Several ideas were mooted including a return to Baader-Meinhof Pot (IB113) to have a go at that drafting lead; to locate Loo Lane (IB24), perhaps check out National Gallery (IB47), or Comet Pot (IB98). In the end we decided to go to Pseu docheirus (IB97), but first decided to first have a ‘quick look’ at National Gallery (none of us had been there, but we did have a copy of a report by Ken Hosking (1985), describing an incident in which a boulder moved to pin Petrina Quinn in a squeeze, with Ken trapped below). We opted to dump packs and found ourselves trogged up in thermals, lamps and helmets at the entrance. The entrance was superb, a large veil waterfall guarded the ‘gothic’ arch entrance and would be a ‘must include’ on any ‘Impressive Cave Entrances’ list. We ducked through, wondering why we didn’t have our trog-suits on. At the base of the entrance ramp we checked the way on. There were many loose dolerite boulders on the entrance ramp. At the start of the ‘way on’, there was a menacing boulder poised over the first squeeze, and another equally menacing boulder teetering in the entrance of the squeeze. If the top menace fell the cave would be blocked off. We suddenly found ourselves a bit keen to go on, but were also lamenting not having our trog-suits, let alone any other gear with us. After a bit of an assessment we decided it would be OK to try and post the lower menace down the hole. We spent about three-quarters of an hour working on this problem, in a somewhat uncomfortable position beneath the upper menace. We did manage to ‘free’ the lower boulder, but one corner was problematic and despite efforts with our battery belts it remains in a menacing position. If anyone plans to go back there in the near future, note that the lower boulder needs a crowbar and a short piece of rope to deposit it to a safe position; and watch out for the boulder above, as it’s going to go one of these days. We then had a bit of a wander around and located IB50, 52, 54, 55 and 224; gaining good GPS fixes for them all. From the numbering we new that the fifty-series were ‘TCC holes’, and that 224 was an ‘SCS hole’, but that was all we new. The entrance shaft of 224, “Hissing Sid Hole” looked interesting (~20 m), so we decided to check it out. Andras headed in, and soon was having fun at the bottom. He passed one tight squeeze [referred to as “Unsafe Squeeze” in the survey by Jackson (1982)], and descended about another 1520 m through two more squeezes to a cobble filled terminal chamber. Dave headed down a passage leading from a window about 5 m up the pitch, and found himself in a narrow stream canyon. Dave was retorted to say, “If I hadn’t recently been down Splash Pot, I wouldn’t have bothered”. This passage soon became impossibly tight. So that was that for Hissing Sid Hole (apparently named after a Tiger Snake that resided near the entrance in 1982). Since the afternoon was still young, we headed down to Pseudocheirus and wandered down for a l ook. Andras fo und a stainless steel hanger attached to a very small (~5 mm diameter) stainless steel bolt (? a Peter Ackroyd bolt) about 10 m down that was ‘new to me’. A small natural thread about 10 m off the deck gave a great redirect for a well rigged 40 m pitch. We only had a small wander down below, not wanting to track mud around (we were already quite grotty from earlier caving). This cave (currently in good condition) could do with a mar ked track to make one obvious route; currently in several places it is difficult to see any best choice. It is interesting to see ‘Exit sized passage’ outside Exit, and does make one wonder what else, as yet undiscovered is in the vicinity. The day wasn’t over and we didn’t really feel like we’d done much (not that surprising, as we hadn’t!), so we decided to show Dave where Giotto Pot was. We zipped in to the top of the 58 m pitch before exiting to head home. Since our day was rather slack, we submitted to the last challenge of the day, that was squeezing under the main gate at the quarry. We all just managed it, but only hard up against the post and by allowing one’s rib-cage to compress slightly. Quite a fun little day, and a gentle re-introduction to caving for me after a 2 month break, unless you call a visit to Lasseter’s Cave near the NT/WA border ‘caving’. References: K. Hosking (1985) “Exploration and Accident in National Gallery (IB47)”, unpublished. P. Jackson (1982) “Notes and surveys of some caves at Ida Bay”, Southern Caver 50, 1982. Junee Fossicking (Scratch Pot, Junee Cave & surface thrashing around both): 19/9/99 Party: Andras Galambos, Dave Rasch, Jeff Butt. by Jeff First we made a sortie up to Scratch Pot (allocated and soon to be numbered JF250), the new cave found by Dave and Jol Desmarchelier (see the article and survey elsewhere in this Spiel) found to a) have a look and b) retrieve a trace that was left behind. Dave led us straight to Scratch Pot and we headed in. In the chamber below the first pitch, the amount of deep scratches in the region of the second pitch attest to many frantic attempts of trapped animals that had attempted to escape by clawing their way up. The action of water seems to have enlarged these scratches.....or maybe some of our extinct mega-fauna was equipped with claws like Ursus Speleus (the Cave Bear)??? The aptly named ‘Sphincter’ at the top of the second pitch gave one a liberal coating of slimy mud which accentuated


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 18 the exposure present at the rebelay at the top of this 50 m shaft. Just as Dave described, there were plenty of natural anchors, just where needed. At the base of this shaft there were masses of bones, the remains of those poor varmints that didn’t scratch their way to freedom. Some of the bones still had fur on them, and the trickle of water heading down the impenetrable crack below was probably more like mesma than water; we were glad the crack was impossibly narrow. So, we bopped back out. We obtained another good long GPS average on Scratch Pot; so even though it hasn’t been surveyed into the other nearby holes, we have a pretty good handle on it’s location. We then headed over to see Itchy, another hole found by Dave and Jol. En-route (only about 10 m from Itchy) I spied a narrow hole beneath a log, which Andras (still with his gear on) investigated. All he got was what we could see, a 5 m deep narrow slot. Meanwhile the sometimes drafting slot in Itchy was investigated and was found to possess a slight breeze. However, to gain access one would have to move a lot of rock. Perhaps using a ‘mirror on a stick’ would be best first to see if this would be worthwhile or even feasible. We had a thrash around the area, heading more or less directly back to the car, via a sweep parallel to a previous sweep done by Dave and Jol. Several dolines found, but nothing at all ‘hole-like’ was discovered. The day was still young; Dave recalled reading (in an old Spiel) something about a hole between Junee resurgence and the road bridge over the Junee, so we took the back way out of the valley to Junee (just manageable by the Orana). We set off from the bridge up the hill a little and did a sweep though the thickets. A small hole (no tag could be seen) was found, we posted ourselves down a 2 m slide into a small (about 4 m in diameter) chamber. Half a dead PVC glove (brittle with age) was found there, near an impossible (you could just get your body in it, but then there was a right angle bend that prevented any progress) downward heading tube. Hidden around a corner in the chamber was a small (crouching to crawling size) muddy (it looks like this passage is often a wallow) horizontal passage (with many roots) that ambled on for about 30 m, before trending upwards an becoming very tight. [From speaking with Rolan Eberhard, and looking at the Karst Index, I suspect this cave was “The Letterbox”, (JF31).] This cave is another that could do with a survey and a surface survey to nearby Junee Cave. The number tag wasn’t located (perhaps we didn’t look in the correct place, or perhaps the tag has been removed). This shows the benefit of photo-tagging entrances so that, a) you know where to look for the tag, and b) so that you have a chance of identifying the entrance from the photo. If a survey existed, then that would be another way positive identification might be established. Further wanderings didn’t reveal anything else, so we had a quick look in Junee Cave before heading home to catch the final episode of Sea Change; oh what a trap the tele can be! The Chain Gang set forth ... Sunday September 26, 1999 Party: Trevor Wailes, Dean Morgan, Jeff Butt and Stuart Nicholas by Stuart The day dawned wonderfully fine and clear, as organised by yours truly. Not tooooo long after the appointed departure time had passed, Trev arrived, so we bundled many chain saws (large and small) plus other related paraphernalia into his long suffering wagon and took off. The plan was to clear some logs that had apparently come down on the Growling track and the Nine Road and any others in the area that were deemed to be suitable candidates for a bit of a trim... Somewhat startled by the nice new engraved wooden road signs that have appeared in the Florentine, we took off up the Nine Road for our first hit of saw noise and oily smoke. There was a short delay just after turning off the Florentine Road while we changed a part of the car that had tyred of holding air and suddenly let most of it out... Sliding on more or less up the muddy and slippery road (funny things these front wheel drive cars...), we dropped off Dean and his 14 inch device at one tree fall with the idea of proceeding up to the top of the Nine Road, cutting out anything on the way. Someone else had cut out a couple of smaller logs that had been on the agenda. In any case, nature won out, stopping the forward motion of our trusty steed not far above Tassy Pot owing to a severe lack of traction. Jeff set off to walk back down to Dean while trimming some smaller branches sticking out from the road side. Stu pushed Trev's car out of the ditch encountered while turning around and we were united again at Dean's now cut out tree fall. This was at the junction of the side road that used to lead to the Nine Road track into Growling. Back to the nicely signed F8E Road. The first log on the Growling track was only a short way in. It was duly dealt with but part of it also took some revenge, dealing a near death blow to Trev's saw fuel and oil containers. His pack, lunch and axe just escaped. A few smaller logs and limbs were cleared on the way in before getting to the GS entrance for a lazy lunch. Much reminiscing, talking and postulating ensued. Under Trev's guidance we did a quick wander to the area up behind the main GS entrance on the left side for a look-see, then back into the log cutting on the Serendipity track beyond the Growling turnoff. A number of logs large and small were either cleared or made more user friendly on the old McCallums track and also up the hill to near Serendipity. A very large log was not cut through, but a route cleared up and over the right hand end of it, a couple of hundred metres before the Serendipity entrance. All in all, a fun day with some useful work done. No doubt there are many other logs around on some of the older tracks that may need to be cleared sometime. Anyone interested and/or know of logs that need removing/cutting out?? Thanks to 'Sherpa' Jeff for lugging my rather heavy and awkward chainsaw around and thanks to Trev and Dean for helping with the whole day. Hopefully by the time you are reading this, my muscular aches and pains will have subsided the neighbours are also getting tired of the groaning and screaming!


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 19 Sea Change (or SRT change-overs by the sea-side)-3/10/99 Party: Dave Rasch and Jeff Butt. by Jeff Caving plans for the day were thrown into dis-array, partly due to the changing of the clocks due to the arrival of Daylight Savings Time . have you ever counted how many bloody clocks there are to change in your house! Anyway, not wanting to totally ‘waste’ the day, we decided it was high time that we had a go at doing a traverse of the Blackman’s Bay Blowhole. This trip had been down on the Forward Program for a while as ‘date to be fixed’. Dave knew the area well, and had been involved in an overlengthy lunchtime traverse of this obstacle at some time in the past. This time, however our start was somewhat later, at around 5 p.m., but with DST time here, we did have an extra hour of sunlight up or sleeves. Dave also knew a few important things from the previous trip, like, empty your pockets first, it’s no fun duck-diving for the car keys in about 3 m of moving salt water. For those who don’t know, the dimensions of the blowhole are roughly as shown in the diagram below. On the seaward side of the blowhole there are a number of dodgy blocks, just waiting to fall; on the inland side things are a little better, but still the rock isn’t great, so a helmet is definitely required. Circumstances resulted in us only having one helmet, which we used as our ‘relay-baton’. Dave also knew that it was possible to traverse through the blowhole on ledges on the Southern side, although there are a couple of interesting moves where one has to lean back over the seething water. These moves become a little more interesting when you have a rope under one arm and waves are rushing by beneath you. Once at the inland side of the arch, one can climb a nice rib of rock at inl and-most cliff to exit. A single 67 m length of rope is sufficient to complete the entire loop and give ample rope for multiple anchors. An additional short length of rope is handy for pulling the ‘walked-thr ough the blowhole end’ back up to the surface. There are sufficient trees/fence posts for good anchors on both sides. On the seaside a rebelay from a long tape (~4 m sling) prevents some nasty rubs. On the inland side a small deviation from a leaning tree prevents too much rubbing and dirt-fall. We were using a single rope, so had a nice chunky piece of 11 mm Bluewater. For a more exposed tyrolean we would have used an additional rope for control and safety. Once the rope loop is completed one just has to haul it up as tightly as you can, which is easier said than done as there are quite a few snagging ledges along the sides of the blowhole. Most importantly, if you don’t get the rope tight enough, you get a wet arse when at the bottom of the vee in the rope! With the rope all rigged I set off to try it out, however we hadn’t got the tension right due some problematic snagging ledges. I could see that if the rope de-snagged, I’d resemble a tea-bag, so did a bit of a wall-cling to avoid this undesirable effect. Dave, (who was hanging on another rope to watch and laugh) was requested to retension the rope after I freed it. After he did this I was much more comfy on the rope above the surging waves and successfully completed the manoeuvre. Dave then had his turn and did the whole traverse with only one glancing touch of the rocks inside the blowhole. I had another go, which turned into an arm-pumping session due to another rope-snag, but once this was freed, all was easy. Here is a summary of our method: Abseil down to a point where you just start to go sideways, then change to ascending gear. Connect a pulley (or krabs; or the bottom part of your Stopi.e. in pulley mode) and backup cowstail. NB. It is advantageous if there is some rotational ability in your pulley link e.g. a chain of krabs, or a small quick-draw (a swivel would be ideal), as you have to rotate 180 once through blowhole before you start up again. Down-prussik a few cycles (keep an eye on the angle of the rope through the chest ascender; I found it necessary to pass the rope through a krab attached to a leg loop to keep things safe) and then remove your chest ascender. A leg wrap on the rope lets you remove your hand ascender and you soon zip to the bottom of the vee. Using your arms, you can easily pull-yourself right through the blowhole. As the rope starts to get more vertical, use of the hand ascender stops you slipping back. You now need to get your chest ascender back on, this is where some arm-strength is needed. Hoist in some horizontal rope, hold it and attach your chest ascender. Then just prussik up. Voila!! All in all, it was quite a fun little trip, though we did finish just in the dark. Somewhat more refreshing and physical than watching Seachange on the tele too! Editors techno. woes. You might have noticed a low quality (i.e. BLOCKY nature) in the graphics in the last Spiel?? Well, the original graphics were done on a MacIntosh using ClarisDraw and the WYSIWYG output had the same resolution as the input, marvellous. The graphic files were converted to ‘Pict file’ format to enable embedding into the Spiel, as a nicely formatted Microsoft Word document. This was then emailed to Jamie, who with a PC (running a different version of Microsoft Word) made the final edits. Of course the formatting had all changed, and many symbols ‘mutated’ in making the transference from Mac to PC. So, Jamie unfortunately had to reformat the whole Spiel. The embedded graphics also suffered in the transference process, taking on a very Blocky nature. The final straw was when Jamie emailed the completed Spiel back for archival, all the page-formatting had changed, and many characters had mutated. Don’t you just love Microsoft Software when it does this! JB ~10 m rope ledges A rough schematic of the Blackman’s Bay Blowhole.


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 20 Classifieds 4 SALE: Large size Trangia stoves: $50 each. Phone: Mick Williams 6297 6368 STC WaReHoUsE SaLeS Publications “Caving Safety 1 Manual”, 92 pages, covers Pl anning, Safety, Maps, Gear, Rigging, Emergencies etc. $15.00 Back Issues of Southern Caver, Speleo-Spiel. There are various issues available. Please contact the Librarian, Greg Middleton ( with your requirements. ~$1 each Gear BATA full-length Gumboots, Black with yellow or gr een sole, no steel toe-caps. Sizes 5/6/7/8/9/10 $25.00 pair CAVE PACKS, 25 litre volume, made from Heavy duty yellow PVC material, tape reinforced bottom, strong seams, drain holes, large diameter eyelet’s, adjustable straps. Simple, sturdy and inexpensive. $45.00 each Aluminium Bars for Rappel Racks. $5.00 each 5 cm (2”) plastic Tri-glide buckles, ideal for battery belts, cave packs etc.) $0.80 each Tape Edelrid 25 mm tubular tape. Ideal for rigging, chest harnesses etc. (White) $2.00 per m 5 cm (2”) flat tape (ideal for harnesses, rigging, gear bags, belts etc.) (Blue or Red) $1.50 per m 2.5 cm (1”) flat tape (ideal for handlines, rigging, gear bags, etc.) (White) $0.80 per m Safety 9 mm dynamic rope (for cows tails, safety loop) (Red with Blue/Yellow fleck) $3.50 per m, e.g. Cowstail $10 Space Blankets (don’t be caught underground without one!) $4.00 each Lighting Alkaline 4.5 Volt ‘flat-pack’ batteries (NEW STOCKS!) $8.00 each or 3 for $23.00 Eveready 6 Volt, 0.5 Amp Flange Mount Bulbs (#1417), Blister packs of 2 $3.00 each Jets (21 litres/hr) for Petzl kaboom (just a couple left) $5.00 each Miscellaneous second hand pieces for Oldham headpieces. Contact us for details Tow Ropes/trailer tie downs/yacht mooring lines etc. RETIRED CAVING ROPE, no longer safe enough to use for caving purposes, but more than adequate for many other purposes. Available in various lengths. $1.00 per m, less for the stiffer stuff If you need any of the above please contact Jeff Butt on (03) 62 238620 (H), or, or write to us: SOUTHERN TASMANIAN CAVERNEERS, P.O. BOX 416, SANDY BAY 7 006. If you’ve got something to flog ( Caving gear preferred!! ), then don’t forget that the Spiel might be one way to sell it. (Try the List Server too!) It cost’s members nothing to have a go, so why not! For Sale-lighting stuff Sealed Lead Acid (Gell cell) Caving Lamp. Reconditioned Oldham headpiece connected to a new Yuasa 6 Volt/7 Amp. Hr. sealed lead acid (gell cell) in an Oldham battery case. Belt included. Very reliable. A robust and inexpensive light to cave by. Runs for 14 hours at 3W. $140. ($10 extra for QH option). Sewer Pipe Caving Lamp. Reconditioned Oldham headpiece connected to a 3 D-cell Sewer Pipe battery case, with belt. Run on Nicads (8 hr duration) or Alkaline (18 hr duration) batteries. If you prefer an even smaller battery case, then a 2 D-cell option is available. Very sturdy and compact light; great for expeditions or international travel (you can get D-cells anywhere). Belt included. $140. (batteries not included) ($10 extra for QH option). Gell Cell Charger. Through the headpiece charging; small, robust and portable, runs off the mains or plugs into a car lighter socket. LED’s indicate charging status. $80. QH Cave Blaster light (Really SEE the cave!) 50 (or 20) Watt QH dichroic bulb mounted in a PVC fitting. Convenient to hold in your hand. Secure switch that will not allow a Chernobyl in your pack! Runs off a 12 Volt sealed lead acid battery (extra)-$25. contact Jeff Butt, 62238620 or


Speleo Spiel Issue 315, August-September 1999. 21 It has come to our attention that some of our Life Members out there would prefer not to receive this publication. So prevent us sending you ‘junk-mail’ and to save our money plus a few trees we will remove you from the mailing list, UNLESS you post back the included pre-stamped and addressed card. If you do not respond, we will remove you from the mailing list. If you do respond, then we will gladly keep sending you the Speleo-Spiel and look forward to any contributions you may have. So, please pop the enclosed card in the mail NOW if you wish to stay on the Mailing list. thanks for your time and attention.

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