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. 331 (Jun-Jul 2002)
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:
K26-03918 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.3918 ( USFLDC Handle )
21526 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

USFLDC Membership

Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



This item has the following downloads:

Full Text


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJH June – July 2002 Newsletter of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Inc, PO Box 416, Sandy Bay, Tasmania 7006, AUSTRALIA


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJH The Speleo Spiel Newsletter of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Incorporated PO Box 416, Sandy Bay, Tasmania 7006 ABN: 73-381-060-862 The views expressed in the Speleo Spiel are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Incorporated. Issue No. 331, JuneJuly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egular Bits Editorial ...............................................................................................2 Forward Program...................................................................................2 Stuff ‘n Stuff.........................................................................................2 Dear Dorothy.......................................................................................20 Warehouse Sales..................................................................................23 Trip Reports Baader Meinhof.....................................................................................3 Ida Bay surface work.............................................................................4 Hustling Creek karst area & Riveaux cave..............................................4 Baader Meinhof: Mega trip....................................................................6 Accidental caving in Enzed....................................................................7 Owl Pot.................................................................................................8 Kahazad Dum & a brief surface sortie around JF-10...............................9 Winter Solstice weekend at Ida Bay.....................................................12 Midnight Hole.....................................................................................13 Midnight Hole logbook installation ......................................................13 Playing cavers in a sports climbing area: Hillwood..............................21 Other Bonza Stuff Invertebrate fauna in Riveaux cave (Hustling Creek karst area).............10 Rope/scone testing working bee...........................................................14 Insurance, insurance, insurance............................................................15 Notice of amendments passed at the EGM............................................16 Notice of upcoming EGM....................................................................21 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. 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJH Stuff ‘ n Stuff Upcoming EGM Although we just had one we are having another. Notice of this with the proposed addition to our constitution is found on page 16. STC says “hello” To new prospective member Sarah Joyce who is embarking on a speleologically related honours project, and Dave Hounslow in England who is now a full STC member. Gear Store News Gavin Brett has designed and built a very 'high-tech' rope washer. See photo next Spiel. The next time you clean some ropes, give it a try and give Gavin some feedback. The Caving Lamps have just been given an overhaul, we are now back to having 14 fully functional lamps, with minimum durations of 8 hours. The club SRT gear is also about to be overhauled. It's probably time to update your own cowstail/safety loops too! We currently have 840 m of serviceable rope, but about 140 m is soon to be retired (the forthcoming droptesting will assist in this decision making). Our old ropes sales are progressing well, this year we have now earned $290 from retired ropes. Soon there should be enough $'s earned to allow us to get some new rope. Midnight Hole-Tree Warning The large Eucalypt standing 2 m from the entrance of Midnight Hole has suffered badly in recent windy times. This large tree is now leaning at 20 degrees to the vertical over the entrance to Midnight, the crown of the tree resting against some other trees. These other trees appear to be temporarily holding the tree up. The root system is broken and has lifted about 40-50 cm out of the ground on the side opposite the entrance to Midnight. Sometime soon this tree is going to fall over. What impact this will have remains to be seen, but it is likely that earth movement so close to the entrance could result in earth/rocks going down the entrance pitch. I'd suggest that if the day is very windy, you give Midnight Hole a wide berth....till the tree has stabilised (i.e. fallen over). Wild Care STC has been joined as a “ cave care ” organisation with WildCare. Cave care projects are being organised. Springwater farm issue Spring water farm is the access to Baldocks Cave Sassafras Cave My Cave and others. The owners of this farm are hoping to find an alternative to cavers using the road through their land. This road is currently the easiest access to the caves and is the only access to Sassafras Cave The road is a crown reserve road, but not public. Springwater farm has recently wr itten to caving clubs, and even some individuals of the clubs suggesting combining forces to l obby for an alternative road/vehicular track across Sassafras ridge from the Northwest. There are some important issues to be considered. These include opening up the beforested and becaved ridge to misuse or if not, risking land owner-caver alienation. Discussion can be had on the list server, or contact an office bearer if you want to see the proposal. The Return of Mad Phil Welcome back the to archevil archivalist Mad Phil. We have the pleasure of his company, trip reports, cave (GVWRU\WDOODo we have a bonza Spiel for you??!!! Do you crave roller-coaster excitement and rope rubbing suspense??! Do you want to feel the blood rush to your ears and your bladder go slack?? Then check out the incredible conclusions of our recent EGM on page 16!!. Then I suggest you turn to see who took the cover photo!! And if that doesn ’ t do it for you thrill at the amount of 10mm rope we bought between 1989 and 1986 see page 14. This spiel is a bit shorter, but a bit more on time than the last. It contains some important club stuff and it might even be a bit controversial. Thanks to everyone who contributed. Joe )RUZDUG3URJUDP R ope Practise ......................................As of 6 October Daylight saving isn ’ t far away … hip hooray. Fruehauf ’ s Quarry in South Hobart is the venue. Wednesday evenings between the weeks of the social meeting and the business meeting are the goa. H ealy Cuthbert Memorial Lecture ..............11 October This is in memory of those involved in the tragic Mystery Creek Cave accident 13 years ago. Bunty is the guest lecturer and will inauspiciously be presenting slides and commentary on “ Caving ” At 7.30pm be at the Tas Uni Life Sciences lecture theatre (immediately on the uphill side of Churchill Ave) K ubla Khan ..........................................30 November Ric Tunney is trip leader; STC members (of 12 months standing or more) to contact Ric on first come, first in basis. 3DJH 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJHdiscoveries (and pointy archivy stick) for another 6 months I believe. Welcome back. History for sale Life member Stuart Nichols recently moved house and found a box of STC collectors items in the process. They are left over from when he organised the 1985 ASF conference. Up for grabs are the following “ musthave ” STC memorabilia: 1985 ASF conference T shirts with the “ Speleomania ” logo. Chesty shape in a sunny yellow – small sizes only...................................$2 “ The Last Straw ” T shirts, smaller sizes again....$5 TCC skivvy with a cartoon of a guy smashing stals with a hammer – priceless humor.......................$7 Maps of Growling Swallet and Serendipity.......50c Tasmanian Cave and Karst Research Journals Volumes 4, 5, and 6. To be priced and included in a sale of spare journals in the STC library when Greg gets back. The helmet puzzle in Spiel 330 Extremely impressive are the brains of Ric Tunney, and Arthur ’ s friend Joss Brooks from Pondicherry, India, who, without a moment ’ s hesitation, gave an adequate solution to the buried cavers ’ conundrum. Others of us were stumped for weeks. To save writing to England for the official answer we will assume that Ric and Joss (who independently solved it the same way) are correct. Their solution is as follows: As caver D can see the colours of the two helmets in front of him he would deduce the colour of his own helmet if these were the same (i.e blue if both helmets he could see were red). Because he doesn ’ t call out an answer, caver C realises that D (behind him) is looking at two differently coloured helmets. Caver C then easily deduces his own helmet colour as the opposite of that which caver B (in front of him) is wearing. He calls out the answer. A point of contention raised (finicky in my opinion) is that the question requires that whoever calls out the answer is 100% certain of the colour of his own helmet. One hundred percent certainty isn ’ t possible as it relies on the muteness of the caver behind him. It was pointed out this caver could be: thick as two planks; have mud in his mouth; lost his spectacles; unable to see past caver C; or plain unwilling to co-operate. In which case caver C can ’ t assume anything. Speak up if you have any other solution or opinion. Baader-Meinhof Pot (IB113): 26 April 2 002 By Jeff Butt Party: Alan Jackson, Phil Rowsell, Jeff Butt. Before giving you the details of our activities on this wet ( “ Forty minute Creek ” was flowing well) and grotty day, it is worth telling a bit of history first. IB113 was discovered and explored in 1986, a survey appeared in Southern Caver 57, May 1994. At the base of this cave (-68 m), there was a strongly drafting wet flattener that was too tight to negotiate. The strength of the draft suggested that the cave beyond had to lead into Exit Cave. In January this year Dave Rasch and I introduced our digging fiend Phil to this lead (see the article in Spiel 328, p17). Phil and Dave had a bit of a dig on this trip and made some progress. On a later trip, Andras Galambos (who had previously been further into this flattener than anyone else) and Phil returned and dug their way through the flattener. Beyond it there are several small pitches leading to a large chamber from which there are several options, both with pitches. The flattener deserves description. It is about 12 m long, 1 m wide and is about 15 cm high. In the bottom there is a body width 10-15 cm deep gutter which gives you about 25-30 cm of space, just enough for your body. There are a couple of near right angle bends in it, one of which necessitates having ones head facing the correct way (right on the way in) to get around. In addition the flattener contains copious amounts of mud and a small stream flowing in the bottom of the gutter which makes it something of a wet and disgusting obstacle. On 21/4 Andras, Phil and Alan Jackson returned, dragged ~140 m of rope through the flattener and dropped a series of pitches (the ‘ left ’ route) to reach a depth estimated to be about 200 m (the survey data collected today showed this to be 186 m). Phil will no doubt report on this trip in a separate article. Our task today was to survey these finds and to look at the ‘ right ’ route. However, Alan had light problems right at the start, so Phil and I decided to survey from the number tag in whilst Alan fixed his lamp. Fortunately Alan ’ s ‘ fixit ’ was a good one and we continued on surveying to the bottom of the cave that was reached on the previous exploratory trip. Time was against us, so after derigging back to the large chamber, we decided to head out. The dug-out flattener is something of an uglier obstacle on the way out, as it is uphill and a pool of mud slurry builds up in front of you, making it somewhat more arduous to get out. I distinctly remember saying to Phil (as the liquid mud level rose to half way across my face) “ Please remind me that I never want to come back to this place! ” Also, the squeeze point seems more of a rib-buster on the exit than on the entry...for me this squeeze point is as tight as the crux squeeze of Close to the Bone in Splash Pot! It is something of a relief to get back into the chamber on the outside of the flattener, but of course by this time 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJHone is totally covered in mud which seems to have penetrated all nooks and crannies. By the time one exits the cave (a 10 hour trip today), one can ’ t help but think this cave is something of a “ grot-hole ” But, there is still more cave to explore, surveying to be done and gear to despite not really wanting to go back, I guess I probably will. From a GPS location taken on the surface, IB113 lies above the Dribble Passage in Exit, so perhaps a yet unexplored route will lead us there. Ida Bay-Surface work: 27 April 2002 By Jeff Butt Party: Alan Jackson, Phil Rowsell, Jeff Butt. After a grunty trip in IB113 yesterday, we opted for an easier day today. The aims were to do some track work on the Skinner track (remove the logs that have fallen since Arthur Clarke cleared it a couple of months back) and to GPS some cave entrances. We had a bit of a cooks tour, taking in various tracks and caves on the right (uphill side) of the Skinner track, in the vicinity of National Gallery, Cyclops Pot and Milk Run. In all we relocated and GPS ’ d quite a few cave entrances; (IB211, IB224, IB37, IB38, IB47, IB49, IB50, IB53, IB57, IB58, IB59 and IB83) Some of these we have already GPS ’ d, but prior to the removal of SA (Selective Availability) so it was good to get more accurate updates. Phil also forced himself down a formerly log filled hole ( “ Toluso ” for “ Told you so, there is cave under those logs ” ) right next to the track leading to Big Tree Pot, getting a few metres depth down into a small choked streamway. He also grotted around in the base of another doline, “ Lookat ” for “ This is worth a Look At ” but opted out of the required digging. All in all it was an interesting and restful sort of day. Hustling Creek karst area and Riveaux Cave : ?/?/2002 By Janine McKinnon Party: Members of the Native Forest Network, a group of cavers. Earlier this year, a group of cavers were taken by members of the Native Forest Network (NFN) to a State Forest area near Mt. Riveaux, on the south side of the Huon River west of the north flowing Picton River The intention of the trip was to investigate some caves east of Hustling Creek that were reported to be in or near coupes that are earmarked for logging in 2003. It is feared that logging operations could affect the karst. Getting to the area was not easy; once you get out to the Picton River it ’ s a fairly long distance and there are three Forestry boom gates to pass. I believe that the NFN members were unable to obtain keys to these gates. The first gate along the Riveaux Road, was just west of the Picton River Bridge. This gate is normally open during the day to allow access to the start of the Huon River Track. After the turn-off to the Huon Track, there is a second boom gate where the Riveaux Road becomes more of a roughly surfaced logging road as it climbs around the northern side of Pear Hill and proceeds west for about 3km. The road descends into a rainforest gully at the point near the third boom gate (approximately 5-6km west of the Picton River ), where the road is about 1km south of the Huon Track and about 100m higher. Just east of Hustling Creek itself, there is an area of Ordovician limestone (mapped as dolomitic micrite and overlain by Quaternary till); the limestone outcrops around two or three of the gullies east of Hustling Creek This area has been named as the “ Hustling Creek (HC) ” karst area by the Australian Speleological Federation (ASF). Further west of Hustling Creek and north of Red Rag Scarp, another separate area of carbonate rocks has been mapped. In this western area, Precambrian siliceous dolomite (with recorded karst features) extends across to Agate Creek just east of Blakes Opening (under logging coupes that abut to the present World Heritage boundary). Although tentatively named as the Red Rag Scarp (RS) karst area (to record it as a separate and distinct area from the Hustling Creek limestone area), this dolomite karst area may represent an eastern (or southern) extension of the Blakes Opening (BO) dolomite area that has already been previously recorded by ASF. The logging road (Riveaux Road) crosses an un-named creek gully with nearby limestone outcrop at about GR722268. The third boom gate is located just before this creek crossing. A short way down this creek there Formation in Riveaux Cave 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJHis a streamsink swallet in limestone outcrop: a draughting but impenetrable inflow cave, already known to Forestry Tasmania; this was tagged as HC-1. There was evidence of siltation including clayey mud and silty sand in the creek between the road and the streamsink swallet. It appeared the road had either been constructed before the area was checked for karst (as is required by the Forest Practices Code), or Forestry knew about the limestone (and possibly the sinking stream), but didn ’ t care or didn ’ t report it to the Forest Practices Board (which is also a breach of the Forest Practices Code). An attempt has been made to ameliorate the situation and minimise impacts from road runoff by placement of natural brush and coarse rock sediment traps and diversion channels, but the damage to the karst may have already been done. Besides this, there is a massive high bank of loose and unstable clay (partly supported by logs) on the lower downslope side of the road crossing, barely 40-50metres upstream from the swallet entrance. Further west in the next gully across, there is a resurgence cave, that is also known to Forestry; this cave was tagged HC-2. It has been named as Riveaux Cave since it is deemed to be taking waters that are more or less draining off the NW slopes of Mt. Riveaux. Although it has also been locally referred to as “ Roberts Cave ” (reportedly named after its discover: Robert Orr, one of the local foresters), an application will be made to the Tasmanian Nomenclature Board to have the name “ Riveaux Cave ” approved and accepted as the official name for this cave. There was a considerable amount of loose sand in the streambed of the cave and on the floor of the cave, particularly in the upper reaches of Riveaux Cave There was also a fair amount of unconsolidated clay amidst pieces of broken limestone at a site that may be indicative of a recent rockfall at the far end of the cave, downstream from a waterfall tributary inlet. The amount of loose sediment seemed quite surprising really and probably unnatural, considering that source streams to Riveaux Cave rise in old growth forest and rainforest. (It is believed that there was a wildfire through this area in the 1930 ’ s.) It would seem highly probable that much of this sand and clay sediment has entered the cave quite recently, via the swallet (HC-1) and possibly other entry points – all emanating from erosion of the clayey skeletal soils by the recent surface disturbance due to road-making. Riveaux Cave has some nice stream passage with moonmilk deposits and flowstone, plus other good speleothems including straws, banded “ baconrind ” shawls, remarkable crystal-edged shawls and f rom Drysdale & Taylor 2001 Provisional coupe boundaries and principal drainage lines of the study area. The coupe numbers are in red and the drainage names used in this document are blue. The contour interval is 20m, and the valley bottom is ~100m a.s.l. Cropped view of roadside sediment bank near HC-1 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJHwhat appeared to be calcified tree roots. At least three inlet tributary streams were identified in the side passages within the cave and the total surveyed length of the stream passages exceeded 600 metres in length. Due to time constraints, some upper level chambers in Riveaux Cave were not surveyed. It was a long way back to the Picton River Bridge, so no further surface exploration was done. The swallet (HC-1) is a streamsink in a gully situated between coupes 27B (to the east) and 28A (to the west), being near the SE corner of 28A. A considerable part of the catchment of HC-1 lies within the southern half of logging coupe 27B and in the report to Forestry ( Riveaux Karst Study ), this area was recommended as a protection zone. The resurgence cave (HC-2) itself is situated at the southern end of another coupe: 28D, further to the west. Forestry have been advised that the limestone may extend north and west beneath coupes 28A, 28B, 28C & 28D (abutting to Hustling Creek) and possibly coupe 29A (west of Hustling Creek). This is an area of about 3 sq. km. north and west from HC-1 to the Huon River. The recent geological map shows another area of the same limestone just north of the Huon River. The Red Rag Scarp dolomite further west includes dolines and dolomite bluffs that lie within forestry coupes 29C and 29E and an enigmatic lake of possible karstic origin that occupies the corner of two coupes (29D and 29E). In the recent report to Forestry, the catchment area to this lake in the SE of Coupe 29E was recommended to be included in a protection zone. Considering the extent of carbonate rocks and known karst in this area of forest coupes, it would seem inappropriate for a continuation of forestry activity or road-making activity in this area, due to the likelihood of further mobilisation of clays and grit from any surface disturbance. References Calver, C. & Everard, J., 2001. Geological Atlas, Picton Tasmanian Geological Survey. Drysdale, R. & Taylor, M., 2001. Riveaux Karst Study Unpublished report submitted to Forestry Tasmania, January 2002. Forest Practices Board, 2000. Forest Practices Code Addendum NFN have advised the latest three-year forestry plan includes coupe 29B for logging in 2003-2004. This coupe is the furthest upstream coupe. It runs about km wide along the Huon River near the Huon Track, for about a kilometre downstream of Agate Creek and it abuts the World Heritage Area. Forestry still have to build about 3km of road this summer to reach this area. So, instead of working their way up the river, Forestry are going to start as far upstream as they can. And rip into as much country as they can. Baader-Meinhof Pot (IB113): Mega trip: 6 May 2002 By Jeff Butt Party: Phil Rowsell, Jeff Butt. Following on from the trip on 26/4/2002, I stupidly found myself agreeing to accompany Phil back to bad old Baader. This trip ended up being something of a mega-trip, with us arriving home at 0530 the following day! We left Hobart about 0930, as I had a couple of business things to do in town before we left; and soon enough we were wandering back through the Quarry and up to Baader. the trip in was smooth as we had virtually nil gear. As a delaying tactic, I suggested to Phil that we survey some of the side passages on the outside of that disgusting flattener. With those leads mostly surveyed ( there are couple of extra blind pits that could be dropped for completeness) I could nolonger delay heading through that disgusting flattener. As always, the fear and loathing is generally worse that the doing, and we were soon down the small series of pitches and back to the ‘ big room ’ with about 130 m of rope at our disposal. Starting with the 110 m rope anchored at the top of a slippery boulder slope, we headed down to a drop of about 15 m, this lead to another drop of similar magnitude. Across the other side of a chamber with a large flowstone wall, lead to a ramp, which lead to a more sizeable pitch. About 8 m down a narrow ramp in a very awkward position, I placed a bolt on the left-hand wall. A chock deviation about 6 m further down gave the rope a nice free-hang down the lower parts of this pitch, all up about 30 m. Here we emerged into a rift-like passage that barreled on. We imagined that soon we ’ d be into Exit cave. What poor deluded souls we were. The lofty passages narrowed, then lowered to a grovel through water filled passage that one had to lie in. Further on this passage fined down even more, till even a keen Phil was stopped. Another dead-end! So, a connection to Exit wasn ’ t to be ours today. It is interesting, but higher up the cave has a discernible breeze, but in the lower passage none seems to be absent. Perhaps the ‘ way ’ is via the upper regions of the lofty passages?? The survey data may shed some light on this in due course! With the exploring and surveying done, we decided that we didn ’ t want to come back and so we should derig the cave. Both of us knew that we were in for a latenight epic by making this decision, but such is life. As we headed out, the amount of gear grew. On the wrong side of the flattener we had about 200 m of rope, most of it 10 and 11 mm in diameter. Phil bore the brunt of getting the gear through the flattener doing about 3 trips. I was flat out just getting myself through; it was something of a relief to be on the outside of this obstacle again. My ‘ plumbing ’ suffered on the exit trip, 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJHbut the idea of doing repairs there in those conditions was out of the question, so I decided to bear things till be made it out of the cave. With packs full of rope (pigs), we decided to pull the remaining ropes out as lengths. As we accumulated ropes, the ‘ snakes ’ we were towing, turned into thick ‘ cobras ’ I think that the cobras killed the pigs, as the pigs definitely became much more of a dead-weight as we headed towards the surface. It was a relief to make the surface at 0130. Two hours later, with our ~350 m of wet and mud laden rope we made the car. The drive home was something of a challenge. As I crawled into bed at 0600 I contemplated my next challenge, which was fronting up to a check-up appointment with my gut-surgeon at 0900! Actually I think I need to see a brain surgeon as there must be something amiss in that department for doing a trip like we did. Phil has processed the survey data and flashed it in front of me, but I don ’ t have a copy of it at hand. But from memory, the ‘ right-route ’ placed us at a s imilar depth to the ‘ left-route ’ at about 186 m below the IB113 tag. We are still about 30 m a bove Exit stream level, our base-level is at about the same level as the base of the Mini-Martin/Skyhook Pot system. Horizontally we are about 50 m away from Dribble Passage, but running parallel to it??? However, after the trip we noted some erroneous behaviour with the compass we used on the trip, so it is possible that we have some compass errors with the data collected on this trip??? Though, I for one wont be rushing back to Baader to re-survey it, the memory of this strenuous late night trip is somewhat to strong in my memory. Accidental Caving in Enzed: January 2002 By Ric Tunney Party: Janine McKinnon, Ric Tunney, Kerry Silverwood (Buller Caving Group) Janine and I were in NZ, mainly to do some walking. But we had arranged a permit for Honeycomb Cave, so we had our caving lights, helmets and trog suits with us. This was fortunate as it started raining on the first day of our first walk. The rain was typical NZ rain; the resultant flooding killed people. After a night near an exposed Fiordland saddle with lightning hitting the peaks, we ran away to the safety of our car and drove away to the warm, and, most importantly dry, northwest of the South Island. Honeycomb Cave, Oparara Honeycomb Cave is about 30km north of Karamea, the last town on the road running up the west coast of South Island. As we drove past Westport, we stopped in to visit Kerry. He handed us a map (about 2m long!) and arranged to meet us at the cavers hut later that night. We picked up the cave key at The Last Resort in Oparara. This place is a trap for walkers finishing the Heaphy Track. It offers a cross between motel and backpackers accommodation but doesn ’ t even have a common room or kitchen. The Last Resort run tourist caving trips to Honeycomb Cave. We drove to the carpark at the end of a rough windy dirt road. Cave guide Aaron was there farewelling a tour group. The guides live in the caving hut rather than returning to town each night, so we walked the kilometre with him to the hut. This walk is quite difficult as one has to avoid the multitude of Department of Conservation (DoC) signs threatening dire threats to pirate cavers. The hut seemed quite comfortable with three rooms. We were taken aback, however, by Aaron ’ s tent in one room. To protect from mossies, he said. This was a relief as our greatest fear in enzed is sandflys. Even so, we put up our tent outside. You never know who ’ ll be a snorer. Kerry arrived that night, so we sat and chatted and examined the map which occupied most of the floor space. Next morning was the day to go caving. But Kerry had disappeared. He returned after breakfast to tell us the mossies had driven him away at 1am to a cooler, roofed, mossie-free location. This surprised us as he had spent most of the previous evening mocking our fear of sandflies and explaining that enzedders were immune to all biting insects. Honeycomb Cave has 14 km of passage in an area around 1 sq km. That doesn ’ t actually leave a lot of limestone! The limestone is about 70m thick and unconformably overlies granite. The Oparara River crosses in one direction and has cut a number of parallel passages. Three small right-bank tributaries have each cut a number of passages. This has created a maze of intersecting passages. Many of these have holes in the roof. Moas fell into the holes and the cave had been a major source of moa sub-fossils. DoC had only issued us a permit if we had a local (Kerry) to guide us, as they regard the cave as being very important. We entered the tourist entrance to start a grand clockwise tour. There are moa bones here! Janine ’ s light died because we hadn ’ t charged it. There are moa bones here! Janine stumbled on using the light of a Tikka. More moa bones! We went up a stream which had cut into the granite bedrock. Moa bones! There had been large granite boulders on the granite pavement, now buried in limestone. The cave has cut between the boulders. Pushing past the granite walls was like caving in pseudo-karst. Moa bones, ho hum. We passed under daylight holes with greenery and fabulous light effects. Bones. We went out of the cave, into forest and back into the cave. Damn bones, I have to step around them! We popped out to the Oparara River and went back into the cave. Why doesn ’ t someone kick these bones out of the way? We saw some wonderful spiders and egg cases. Bloody bones. We came out at the Oparara River 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJHagain and waded down it to a large fossil entrance. If I could find a good rock, I could smash these bones and make the caving easier. We arrived at the tourist entrance. Another feature of this cave is the work done by DoC to protect it from either earthquakes or rogue moas. DoC has tied the cave together with large quantities of red plastic tape. We weren ’ t too sure that this tape was strong enough, but as visitors we were too discreet to raise any doubts to our host. This was fortunate as we later discovered that most of the caves in the area are held together by this tape. (We pondered have DoC cave management practices led to the coining of the expression “ bureaucratic red tape ” or do they have a sense of humour in their choice of cave marking material? Probably not. Is this irony?) Yes, this is a great cave to visit. Kerry returned home that evening while we stayed in the area, visiting a few other caves, some limestone arches on the Oparara River and a bit of the Heaphy Track. Charleston It was still raining elsewhere in South Island. Trains were falling into rivers, towns were being cut off by floods and swimmers were being swept down rivers out to sea. So we decided to stay in the area and do some more caving. We moved south to Westport and stayed at the “ Tripinn ” backpackers hostel. This was fortuitous as Jerry (one of the owners) was a member of Buller Caving Group. So he and his wife were tolerant of having dirty caving gear hanging up and scaring the backpackers. We met up again with Kerry and headed off to Charleston, about 30min south of Westport. Half an hour ’ s walk saw us at Hole in the Wall, another limestone arch well worth a visit. A little back towards the car we went in to Hollywood Cave. Hollywood Cave This is a sporty and fun cave of reasonably small dimensions. The entrance is a scenic rift in rainforest very reminiscent of many Junee-Florentine entrances (as are the entrance of “ Name Later ” and “ Golf Course ” caves in the same area. ) Apart from a narrow vertical rift some 40 ft deep near the entrance that requires chimneying, the cave is quite easy to negotiate. The passages are narrow and there was not a lot of water in the streamways, so our feet were all that got wet. The cave is well decorated and the 3 interconnecting streamways give variety and navigational interest to the tripas we had local guidance we didn ’ t need to test our abilities in that regard. Three hours underground gave us a leisurely and fairly thorough look at the major areas of the cave. Te Tahi Cave After lunch at the car we went to Te Tahi Cave. This is another cave used as an adventure cave by the local tour people. The tomo entrance has handlines down to its lip to make it easier for the adventure tours to start their abseil. We didn ’ t have any vertical gear with us so we avoided this entrance and blundered around to a nearby climb-in entrance. This is at the base of an absolutely beautiful, fluted wall covered on moss and ferns. The cave has an enjoyable streamway with little waterfalls. The adventure groups seem to avoid the wet bits and follow a drier side passage equipped with corroded and broken electron ladders. They can get away with this as their legal system provides them excellent protection. The dry upper levels were fairly uninteresting (to me!) but the lower streamway sections were excellent! The marbling was beautiful. The limestone in this area is very light-coloured. This makes the caves seem light and airy compared to our dark Tassie limestone. The streamways were varied in size with the usual waterfalls to climb, pools to avoid and a very wet and fun section about 70M long and 1 M high called “ the Rat Run ” very similar to a waterslide (although not as steep). After a couple of kilometres one pops out through an excellently muddy tube to near the river. Crossing the river is a good way to clean up. From here it was an easy walk up the road to the car. Time underground-about 3 hours. The next day we went to Metro cave To be continued… Owl Pot (JF221): 8 June 2002 By Alan Jackson Party: Alan Jackson & Chris Minnucci Highland snow, gale force winds, bushwalker ’ s alert … the weather had them all. However, they didn ’ t mention a caver ’ s alert once so it looked like a perfect day to be underground. After introducing Chris to vertical caving in Midnight Hole earlier in the year it was time to get him going back up the ropes, and Owl Pot offered a warm welcome (actually quite a cold one!) As per usual the Nine Rd was a slippery slimy poo hole, and foreseeing this we ditched the Barina and took a 4WD instead. A wise move. The snow was tumbling from the sky, so we were happy to be underground within ten minutes of getting changed. The trip was all in all enjoyable, perhaps a little too much water on the second pitch to make it excellent, and the bottom pitch had surprisingly little water in it (one can only assume that its source was frozen solid in snow still.) Chris learned the ropes quickly (no pun intended!), and is keen for more in the future. 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJHKhazad D m (JF4):derig & a brief surface sortie around JF10: 10 June, 2002 By Hugh Fitzgerald Party: Geoff Wise, Alan Jackson, Hugh Fitzgerald We three volunteered to retrieve the remnant rigging placed in Khazad D m some months ago that which had survived a prior derigging trip by another party a few weeks before. We chose the coldest and wettest day of the year to date for our excursion. The first winter snows had settled on Tasmania over the weekend. Both Mt. Wellington and Mt. Field sported a thick layer of the stuff, despite a warmer spell on the Sunday to help melt their caps. Wild winds had also rocked the south of the state, bringing down trees, stripping off weatherboards, causing general havoc and mayhem. With these ominous signs afoot, we consulted the goat viscera before our trip. All bode well for a quick jaunt underground. Figuring on a short day ’ s work, I planned to poke around in the KD streamway for a Splash Pot connection. If that proved unfruitful I had also done a bit of homework on the old Speleo Spiel entries for Hairygoat Hole. Any spare time could be spent traversing the surface where many had searched unsuccessfully before … We got on the road by 8:30 am, equipped with two bow saws to tackle fallen trees. We encountered none, finding the road clear right to the KD carpark. Kitting up, we hit the track and arrived at the JF4 entrance at 10:30 am. The stream was pounding down into the swallet, and was wetter than I had ever seen before. This was Geoff ’ s first visit to KD, and he was up for a sporty time getting into the cave. Crossing the stream to the Serpentine route meant getting wet from the outset. I managed to limit the damage to waist level, hoping to keep myself dry and warm for the hours ahead. We each attempted the crossing in a slightly different way. The usual boulders one hops across were well submerged under surging sheets of water, so finding footholds was interesting. We all made it without mishap, and headed down the Serpentine route to the dry bypass. This streamway is normally dry; today it was carrying about 10cm of water, arising from overflow at the entrance heading down this route. All this water didn ’ t look like much fun. Luckily it was the Dry Way that required derigging. Down we went, admiring the “ American style ” ropework on the way. It ’ s a lucky thing we use 11mm rope in this outfit. The main problem is the positioning of the old Loxin eyebolts, which are not ideally situated for SRT rigging. The eyebolt anchors require some creative rigging if one intends keeping the rope free of rock. The second pitch was a new one for me: a 15m drop about ten metres from the base of the first (4m) drop. On my previous trip down this route we traversed over the top of this pitch and followed descending passage to avoid the pitch altogether. (On the way out I bypassed this pitch by climbing up the passage and traversing above the drop. It is possible to save oneself the bother of carrying extra rigging for this pitch). We raced down the next three pitches to the streamway where we admired a pounding waterfall and surging river. Considering the amount of water here, our route had been surprisingly dry. It ’ s not known as The Dry Way for naught, I suppose. I ’ m sure the stream passage dimensions were slowly expanding in front of our eyes, through the energy exerted by this awesome hydraulic power. I had hoped to view the streamway from here down to the Serpentine route connection, but any further movement downstream was out of the question. Instead, some time was spent poking around looking for a connection to Splash Pot in the area immediately to the true right of the base of the 50m waterfall. No luck was forthcoming, so we began the return trip, pulling out ropes and rigging gear as we went. Derigging is a slow process: I spent many long moments shivering at pitch heads while Geoff and Alan removed bolts and packed ropes. I was soaked through after prussiking up the 21m pitch from the streamway, and my inactivity didn ’ t help me keep warm. Serves me right for letting them do all the work. We headed back to the entrance to find the water level up even more. We all got wet crossing the stream, and stood about in the cold admiring the hail which had collected on the gear we had left at the surface. Total time underground was 3 hours 40 minutes. With a few hours of daylight still ahead of us I pulled out the Hairygoat Hole notes and we set off through the rain to the entrance of Splash Pot. On the way we passed the JF-9 entrance, which I had never seen before. From here we could hear the swallet gurgling into the Splash Pot entrance – luckily we weren ’ t visiting that hole today! We tried to get the Garmin 12XL GPS unit fired up, but it couldn ’ t locate enough satellites in such forest. Taking a compass bearing from JF-10, we headed south to begin working our way over the ridge where Hairygoat Hole was once situated. Walking through the rain we found a few dolines; as the rain solidified and began bouncing off our helmets we decided to forego further searching and head back to the car and warm dry clothes. The old reports about Hairygoat Hole make for interesting reading. Among the names of those who have visited this mythical place appears one Arthur Clarke. Arthur has been interrogated about his attendance on a trip to Hairygoat Hole on October 18, 1970 (as reported in Speleo Spiel #52). He cast his mind back to the day in question (his first trip to caves in the Junee area, and one of his first trips as a member of T.C.C.), and recalled losing a crowbar, possibly on this trip. The implement had presumably been brought 3DJH






6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJH Mud-baking crowd on the shores of Lake Pluto. Persons as per “ party: ” list above (anticlockwise from foreground). Photo by Arthur Clarke Winter Solstice Weekend at Ida Bay: 15 – 16 June 2001 By Joe Farrell Party: Bruce Terry, Joe Farrell, Claire Brett, Heather Nichols, Ric Tunney, Gavin Brett, Alan Jackson, Jeff Wise with the addition of Arthur Clarke (official photographer) on Sunday. Exit Cave was on the agenda for the day. This meant Ric had get a key the elusive key from Hastings! This fiasco it was "safely" ungetterattable until someone else arrived. Stay tuned for the next exciting fiasco... Anyway we got underway to Exit Cave by something past 10 so that was OK. I was feeling very unenthused so I got as far as the top of the quarry. An approaching exam and the prospects of a very long wet trip through soaked rainforest and flooding cave sent me plodding back down Marble Hill to study in the Pajero. It took a good hour to find the hidden keys. In the process I broke the end off just about every piece of fallen wood in a 50m radius of the cars. In desperation (it was starting to rain again), I even poked a stick down a small burrow to see if a bush rat hadn't absconded with them. After a short study and a short snooze I heard voices. They were back and had made it a grand total of 70m into the cave! A nice 2 hour bushwalk they said. Pity about the neck-height swollen torrent blocking up the passage. I got changed again and we set off (minus Claire) for a much shorter peek at Mystery Creek Cave also known as Entrance Cave. We wanted to see if as much water was going into Entrance as was coming out of Exit. There wasn't. In fact there was little enough that with careful rock hopping you could still keep your feet dry. Being rather short on gear we didn't spend much time but had a look at the glow-worms (not so bright any more), the Cephalopod Streamway waterfall, and the some of the party did the Laundry Chute upwards. "Short on gear" was two people without helmets and one person also without a light. We weren't sure we'd even be going in but couldn't resist. It's such a fun cave. We called it a day but still wondered why Entrance was not in flood as 25mm fell in the saturated catchment overnight. It was then back to Arthur's for Dover woodfired pizza, excellent home made wine, China stories, china teacups, and six handed 500. An instance or two of reneging (arising from variation between Tasmanian and Mainland rules) meant Arthur, Bruce and myself lost to Alan, Claire and Gavin by a piddley 1090. On Sunday it rained all day and we Wolf Holed. That is after we found it. Geoff and I led Heather astray. We were already behind the rest of the party and added this extra frustrating thrash through the wet greenery and decaying logs for an exhausting half an hour. We eventually found the road and started again. The walk is 400m up a fairly stiff hill as the crow flies. Only three of the party had been to Wolf Hole before. Two were Alan and Geoff who have a dig happening somewhere up the end. They took off to continue that while Arthur showed the rest of us around. The entrance pitch is really nice. Still entirely in daylight it is very forestry and ferny with a hole twice the diameter of abseil hole at Honeycomb. A big tree fell in once. It now looks bizarre as the trunk is left upside down with its roots in the air. There are two entrances to the dark zone at the bottom of the 30m pitch. They are opposite each other but both rejoin underground so we took the less impacting way opposite the ropes. It is a well trogged cave. The mud is sticky like wet paint and there are deep footprints everywhere. The floor is therefore trashed but the 'R\RXQHHGPRQH\"'R\RXKDYHWRRPXFKMXQNDW\RXUSODFH"+HUHVDWLPHKRQRXUHG VROXWLRQIRUERWKSUREOHPV6HOOLW7HOOSHRSOH\RXZDQWWRGRWKLVE\DUUDQJLQJWRKDYHWKH QDPHDQGSULFHRIZKDW\RXZDQWWRVHOOSXWLQWKLVER[6HH-RH 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJHceiling is exceptional. Straw cluster after straw cluster all the way through. All white. Ric and Gavin climbed down a very steep hole on Arthur's advice but didn't find the streamway he had described. We viewed an area of large calcified mud platelets and "shlipp-shlupped" on to lake Pluto through a confusing area of many passages all on the same level. According to Arthur it's possible to become disoriented here. Lake Pluto was fantastic. Nice sandy mud banks to bask on, shrimps to spot, formations to light up reflecting them into the black water, and Mars Bars to eat. Definitely a highlight of my Weekend and caving in southern Tassie. We were just getting into group-photo pose for Arthur's digital camera on the shores of Lake Pluto when we saw light far up the end of the chamber. It was Geoff and Alan wading back prematurely from their dig. Alan was crook in the stomach with something. It was pretty dire. At one stage he thought he was going to vomit in a squeeze and he and Geoff would have to crawl back through it. We convinced him to hold out a bit longer so we could have him in the photo. The camera had internal problems too so we only got a couple. It took a while to get everyone up the pitch even though we had two ropes down it. It was Claire's first SRT in a cave so it was good to go in pairs for the less experienced SRTers. Arthur had his bug collecting kit so it kept Heather and I amused while people prussiked. He was looking for springtails but didn't find many heaps of other stuff though including something that looked like a cave beetle that he didn't reckon was. Despite the wet and muddy conditions it was a jolly good weekend. From the Exit Cave experience we've learnt not to attempt anything too ambitious on future winter solstice weekend trips. Thanks heaps to Robyn Claire and Arthur Clarke (again) for their wonderful hospitality and company. Midnight Hole (IB11): 29 June 2002 By Alan Jackson Party: Alan Jackson, Tyrone Blyth, Meredith RobertsThompson I was moping around on Saturday morning feeling sorry for myself that no one had wanted to come to Cyclops Pot with me when two old school and uni mates rang up and said ‘ we ’ re in Hobart and want to go caving ’ My faith was partially restored in the caving fraternity, and within an hour we were headed south to Midnight. It was raining quite a bit and I feared that maybe Mystery would be full, but the creek crossing showed us otherwise (quite similar water levels to the Midwinter Ex. trip.) We slogged up the hill, moseyed on down the pitches, posed for photos in the squeeze and wandered out via the Laundry Chute, the little waterfall and a glowworm show. Both beginners were thoroughly impressed with their first vertical caving foray and returned home happy and a little tired. Midnight wasn ’ t quite as exciting as Cyclops would have been, but when no other member of the so called ‘ caving club ’ is interested in actually going caving, I guess one has to settle for less exciting trips. P.S. I ’ ll be bitter and twisted about this one for at least seven millennia. Midnight Hole (IB11): Logbook installation: 21 July 2002 By Jeff Butt Party: Bruce Terry, Mark Nelson, Stuart Baird, Jeff Butt. I ’ d been talking about installing a log-book in Midnight Hole (to record the number of trips and correlate to any wear on the new bolts) for sometime. I ’ d also promised to take some people to Midnight Hole. For today ’ s trip, things came together and both objectives were achieved. Firstly as a point of interest, we noted that at the start of the track, adjacent to the Registration Booth, was a sign saying “ CAVE CLOSED ” “ Ranger, 8/7/2002 ” So I guess that the heavy rains over that period had caused Parks to consider the cave to be too Dangerous, and thus CLOSED. Secondly, it is worthy of note that the large Eucalyptus adjacent to the entrance of Midnight Hole, is slowly succumbing to the root damage caused by strong winds. On the trip of 29/9/2001 (see Spiel 326, p20) the ground in the ‘ changing area ’ was seen to be heaving up and down about 20 cm with wind gusts. Now the ground is permanently risen in this area and a large root lies about 30 cm out of the ground. The Eucalypt leans at an angle of about 20 to the vertical, toward the entrance of Midnight Hole. The crown of the tree is leaning up against some other trees and it appears that these are temporarily holding it in place. I guess the land-gales we had a couple of days prior to this trip have further damaged this weakened tree. I wouldn ’ t be surprised if on a subsequent windy period (perhaps this coming Spring) the tree collapses. If/when such an event occurs, it is likely to have an impact on the entrance of Midnight Hole. Only time will tell! Anyway, on today ’ s trip, we had a very smooth descent down Midnight. At the base of the first pitch, I installed a half steel post, with a logbook holder (made from 90 mm PVC tube) attached. Inside is a small notebook (waterproof paper) and several pencils. On the cover is a request for parties to indicate date and number of people on the trip. The request also states that leaving a name or club/group is optional as the primary aim is to get an accurate idea of the number of 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJHtimes the P-hangers are used. If you are visiting Midnight Hole, please take a minute to fill in the logbook. Thanks. We w ill periodically swap this logbook over ....something for any club members to consider if they are planning a trip to Midnight Hole in 6 months or so. Please talk to me if you want to do a logbook change over, so I can give you a replacement book and new pencils etc. We ended up having a quite a speedy trip down Midnight; in two and half hours we were all through the Matchbox squeeze. We then did a bit of whirlwind ‘ Pretzel ’ tour (our route on a map had many closed loops, and looks like a Pretzel) taking in most of the passages in the cave. A pleasant four hours was spent by all. Rope/Scone Testing Working Bee: 10 August, 2002, (and it is time to buy some new Rope!) By Jeff Butt Present: Hans Benisch, Alan Jackson, Geoff Wise, Ric Tunney, Janine McKinnon, Andrew March (NC) & Eric, Liz Canning/Hugh Fitzgerald and Dexter, Bruce Terry, Jeff Butt. Rope/Scone testing is becoming a bit of an STC tradition, and it was good to have a large cast of participants along for the 2002 session. Many people make short work of both the rope testing and the scone eating! Today we had 10 club ropes and 4 private ropes to test. The 80 kg weight was hauled upwards 43 times and the table below summarises the results. Summary of test results. No. of samples Performance of rope samples when subject to consecutive Fall-Factor 1 falls with 80 kg load. Rope Diameter Broke-fall 1 (Fail) Broke-fall 2 (Fail) Broke-fall 3 (OK) Held at least 3 falls (Good) STC 9 mm 4 2 2 10 mm 3 3 11 mm 3 3 Private 9 mm 2 2 11 mm 2 2 Totals 14 0 2 2 10 All STC ropes tested passed, although two have little reserve capacity. Two of the private ropes failed whilst the other two passed. It is interesting to note that one of the failed 9 mm ropes was a ~15 year old Bluewater rope that has seen little use. Contrary to popular belief, all ropes, even when properly stored do deteriorate with age. Use it, or lose it applies here. The other 9 mm rope that failed was a dynamic rope cowstail of unknown age that was only recently retired......if you’ve got an old (anything over 3 years) cowstail, then it’s prudent to retire it. Note that it is possible to subject a cowstail to Fall Factor’s higher than 1 (in fact, up to 2 is possible) which places significantly higher forces on the rope. A cowstail that breaks on the second fallfactor 1 fall would be odds-on to break on the first fall-factor 2 fall! Just make sure that you aren’t riding along with these odds! One of the Private ropes was a piece of 29 year old 11 mm Bluewater rope (still in active service in the USA!). We subjected this rope to 6 falls, and it was still going strong! The owner of this rope has many others of a similar vintage and states that there is nothing wrong with them....he says they are “Good to the last drop”. I guess our testing verifies his thoughts, but there must come a time when any rope ages to the point of becoming dangerous....but for 11 mm Bluewater ropes this probably exceeds the active caving life of most cavers! For thinner ropes the length of your caving career is likely to be foreshortened if you don’t retire your rope at some stage!!! The other private rope was a 10 year old piece of 11 mm Kinnears Static rope which has swelled to 12 mm diameter (and shrunk 20% in length). Because of the ‘shape changing’ the owners of this rope felt it to be suspect, but it did pass the test. A table summarising the STC serviceable Static ropes is shown below. Ropes in the shaded squares in the table are those which are nearing the end of their useful lives based on: their ability to withstand drop-testing; their stiffness; and the amount of wear and tear they have been subject to. 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJH Amounts of Serviceable STC Static Rope, by diameter and age, 10/8/2002. Years Diameter. (Totals) 2001-1998 1997-1994 1993-1990 1989-1986 19859 mm (234 m) 136 98 10 mm (285 m) 181 23 81 11 mm (318 m) 215 103 Total lengths (837 m) 181 m 159 m 313 m 81 m 103 m You will see that we currently have 837 m of serviceable rope; this includes the 200 m (now shrunk down to 181 m) we purchased in 2001. If one excludes the ropes ‘ permanently ’ installed underground (e.g. Slaughterhouse Pot), then we have about 700 m of rope in the Gear Store. Over the coming year I expect to retire about 200 m of rope, which w ill bring us down to about 500 m of serviceable rope in the Gear Store. It is definitely time to start thinking about buying some new rope as very soon we are going to find that we will be short of rope for trips...especially (as happened earlier this year) if there is more than one vertical trip happening at the same time. Already there is a paucity of ropes in the 30-50 m range and this is only going to get worse with time. We have more than enough ‘ shorties ’ In fact our median rope length is just 14 m, the average is 20 m and only 10% in number of our 42 ropes are longer than 40 m. (Actually the distribution of rope lengths looks like a log-normal one.) To date in this financial year we have earned $290 from se lling off old rope and $ 300 from trip fees (which were instigated to gather funds for new rope) which is enough for a roll of new rope. So, I hope that there will be some support for buying some new rope at a forthcoming meeting. I suggest that 10 or 11 mm is better value for money in terms of longevity than 9 mm; though for carrying underground 9 or 10 mm is better....these two facts taken together suggest that 10 mm diameter is probably the best all-round rope for us to have. Incidentally, we still have ~ 500 m of rope of retired rope to get rid off...and much of this is not stiff 11 mm Bluewater!!! So, if anyone you know wants a trailer tie-down rope, a rope for a dog-run etc. etc., then please come and check out what ’ s available in the Gear Store. Prices are elsewhere in this Spiel...see the add for STC Warehouse Sales. ,QVXUDQFHLQVXUDQFHLQVXUDQFH6WHYH3KLSSVLike so many other organisations, STC has been affected by the recent upheavals in the insurance industry. The club obtains insurance through its membership of the Australian Speleological Federation. In 2001, the ASF was unable to renew its existing policy and was only able to find a new insurer after months of exhaustive searching. Inevitably, the new policy is considerably more expensive than the previous one and is considerably less generous in its coverage. Members should be aware that the protection offered by the new policy leaves a lot to be desired. At the time of writing, I am still trying to obtain clarification on a few points, but it is clear that there are some important exclusions. Most significantly, there is no member-to-member or participant cover with regard to caving trips. This means that if you take somebody caving, you may find yourself personally liable in the event of an accident. The good news is that, with this considerable exception, we do have both Public Liability and Directors' and Officers' Liability Insurance. The bad news is that the new policy imposes some obligations on the club. Various changes made by the ASF to its By-Laws have imposed further obligations on us. 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJHResponding to the situation An EGM was held on 7 August to overhaul the club's Constitution and Rules. The amendments that were proposed sought to achieve various objectives to bring the Constitution into line with Tasmanian Incorporation Law, to fulfill the obligations imposed on us by the new insurance policy and by ASF By-Laws and to improve the club's risk management. After some healthy debate, all the motions were passed. Official notice of the amendments is included elsewhere in this Speleo Spiel Members are advised to read the amendments for themselves. However, a summary of the most significant changes is as follows: 1. A procedure has been introduced for recording club activities, particularly caving trips. Steve Bunton has produced a Club Trip Record Form, blank copies of which can be found in the gear store and (hopefully) on the club's website. Copies can also be obtained from Steve himself. 2. The dates of the financial and membership years have been changed. The current financial year will now finish on 31 December 2002 and the membership year will finish on 31 March 2003 giving ever yone a free six-month extension of their membership! 3. The duration of Prospective membership has been reduced from six to three months. The cost is now $25, with a reduced rate of just $7 for those who are already members of the ASF. I have produced a new membership form, blank copies of which can again be found in the gear store and on the club's website. Copies can also be obtained from myself. A number of financial motions were also passed. As well as setting the above rates for Prospective membership, the trip fee for members was increased to $2. Looking ahead One matter that was left unresolved at the EGM was that of insurance costs for life members, which make up almost 40% of the club's membership. Both Incorporation Law and ASF By-Laws require us to ensure that all of our financial members are also members of the ASF, which requires us to pay a capitation fee. Failure to do so, as well as being illegal, would invalidate our insurance. The number of life members means that, unfortunately, the club cannot reasonably bear their insurance costs. A motion to impose a compulsory insurance fee on all our life members was put before the EGM but was lost, owing to a feeling that it was unnecessarily harsh. A more reasonable solution was proposed during the resulting discussion, but an amendment to the Constitution is required to implement it. A further EGM will therefore be held on 4 September (see the notice elsewhere in this Speleo Spiel ). The proposed amendment to the Constitution defines a new membership category, "Friends of STC", which closely resembles life membership. The important difference, however, is that Friends of STC are not financial members of the club and hence do not have to become members of the ASF. The new category will enable inactive life members to retain a link to the club, without requiring them to pay any insurance fee. Looking ahead, I feel that STC should seek to amend some of the ASF By-Laws on membership and to work at reducing ASF fees by, for example, considering the future of Australian Caver Fortunately, I have been invited to sit on an ASF committee that will consider these very issues. The committee will make proposals to be debated at the ASF's next AGM in January 2003. In the long-term, it is hoped that a solution will be found to the public liability "crisis" and that sanity will prevail. Until then, we will have to cope with the situation as best we can and carry on caving! 1RWLFHRIDPHQGPHQWVWRWKH&RQVWLWXWLRQ The following motions were passed at the Extraordinary General Meeting on 7 August 2002: Motion 1 It is proposed that the following amendments be made to the Constitution: 1.1. That Article 6.2 be replaced with the following: "An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called at the discretion of the Committee, or upon the wr itten request of not less than 10 per cent of the voting members of the Organisation." 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJH 1.2. That the following be inserted as Article 8.11: "The Organisation shall lodge an annual return with the Commissioner for Corporate Affairs within six months of the end of each financial year." 1.3. That Article 11.7 be replaced with the following: "The Public Officer shall notify the Commissioner for Corporate Affairs in writing within fourteen days of his or her appointment and of any change in his or her address, and shall lodge a notice with the Commissioner for Corporate Affairs within one month of any amendments to the Constitution or Rules. The Public Officer shall also maintain a record of the official activities of the Organisation. The Public O fficer may be dismissed and replaced by the Executive at any time. Should the position become vacant, the Executive shall appoint a replacement within fourteen days." 1.4. That Article 12 be replaced with the following: "Amendments to the Constitution shall be made only by a resolution passed by a majority of not less than three-quarters of voting members as may be present in person at an Extraordinary General Meeting or an Annual General Meeting. Wr itten notice of such a meeting, and of any proposed amendments to the Constitution, shall be given to all financial members at least seven days in advance of the meeting. Amendments to the Constitution shall be communicated to all financial members within thirty days of the amendment being passed." 1.5. That Article 13 be replaced with the following: "Amendments to the Rules shall be made only by a resolution passed by a majority of not less than threequarters of voting members as may be present in person at a General Meeting. Amendments to the Rules shall be communicated to all financial members within thirty days of the amendment being passed." Motion 2 It is proposed that the following amendments be made to the Constitution: 2.1. That Article 5.7 be replaced with the following: "Persons may be eligible for Prospective Membership for a period of no longer than three months from the date of acceptance. Prospective members shall have all the rights of a Full member, but shall have no voting rights." 2.2. That Article 6.1 be replaced with the following: "An Annual General Meeting shall be held during the first three months of each financial year." 2.3. That Article 8.2 be replaced with the following: "The financial year of the Organisation shall be from the first day of January to the thirty-first day of December inclusive." 2.4. That Article 8.3 be replaced with the following: "Subscriptions, fees and levies may be fixed from time to time by an Annual General Meeting or by an Extraordinary General Meeting. All moneys and pertinent details thereof shall be handed to the Treasurer." 2.5. That Article 8.4 be replaced with the following: "Ten percent of all income, excluding any fees collected on behalf of the Australian Speleological Federation, shall be set aside in a separate account for scien tific research purposes only." 2.6. That Article 8.5 be replaced with the following: "Members who are financially in arrears for more than three months shall be deemed unfinancial and as such shall forfeit all privileges and rights until all outstanding dues are paid." 1RWLFHRIDPHQGPHQWVWRWKH5XOHVThe following motions were passed at the Extraordinary General Meeting on 7 August 2002: Motion 1 It is proposed that the following amendment be made to the Rules: 1. That the following be inserted as Rule 2.4: "The membership year shall be from the first day of April to the thirty-first day of March inclusive." Motion 2 It is proposed that the following amendments be made to the Rules: 2.1. That Rules 5, 6 and 9.4 be deleted and that Rules 7 to 9 inclusive be re-numbered as Rules 5 to 7 inclusive accordingly. 2.2. That the following be inserted as Rules 8 to 11 inclusive: "8. Official activities of the Organisation 8.1. Caving trips In order to be recognised as an official activity of the Or ganisation, a caving trip shall meet all of the following conditions: (a) The Organisation shall hold a signed disclaimer for each participant (b) The trip shall have a designated leader, who shall be an approved Trip Leader as defined elsewhere in the Rules. (c) The leader shall notify the Organisation of the trip in accordance with the procedure described elsewhere in the Rules. 8.2. Meetings Meetings held in accordance with the provisions outlined in the Constitution and Rules shall be regarded as official activities of the Organisation. 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJH8.3. Other events In order to be recognised as an official activity of the Organisation, events other than caving trips or meetings shall meet all of the following conditions: (a) The event shall have a designated co-ordinator, who shall have been approved by the Executive prior to the event. (b) The co-ordinator shall notify the Organisation of the event in accordance with the procedure described elsewhere in the Rules. 9. Trip leaders 9.1. The Executive shall maintain a list of persons who are eligible to lead caving trips. STC Map No. 7HDX1.STC18 H D-X1 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJH 9.2. A person may be included on this list only if all of the following conditions are met: (a) The person is a financial member of the Organisation. (b) The person has been a financial member of the Organisation, or of another organisation with similar objectives, for at least twelve months. (c) The person has taken part in at least twelve caving trips. (d) The Executive considers the person to have sufficient experience, to be sufficiently responsible and to be sufficiently c apable to be able to be entrusted with the safety of others. 10. Notification of official activities 10.1. Wherever possible, prior to the commencement of a caving trip, the H D-X2 STC Map No. 7HDX1.STC19 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJHleader of the trip shall notify the Public Officer. If this is not possible, the leader shall instead notify a member of Executive and shall then notify the Public Officer at the soonest possible opportunity thereafter. 10.2. The procedure for the notification of a caving trip to the Public Officer or a member of the Executive shall be determined from time to time at a General Meeting. However, the notification shall include the following details: (a) The date of the trip. (b) The place or places to be visited. (c) The names of the participants. 10.3. The co-ordinator of an event other than a caving trip or a meeting shall notify the Public Officer of the event prior to its commencement. 10.4. The procedure for the notification of an event other t han a caving trip or a meeting to the Public Officer shall be determined from time to time at a General Meeting. However, the notification shall include the following details: (a) The date and time of the event. (b) The nature of the event. (c) The location or locations of the event. 11. Conduct of caving trips 11.1. The trip leader shall ensure that the party is sufficiently experienced and equipped for the trip being attempted and shall ensure that the trip operates in accordance with the provisions laid out in the Constitution and Rules. 11.2. The trip leader shall consult with other members of the party, but shall have the final say in all decisions. 11.3. The trip leader shall at all times be in control of the party, except in the event that he or she are unable to so do, in which case the most experienced available person shall take control." 1RWLFHRI([WUDRUGLQDU\*HQHUDO0HHWLQJ An EGM will be held at the Shipwrights Arms Hotel, Battery Point at 8pm on Wednesday 4 September 2002. The following motion will be considered: "It is proposed that the following be inserted into the Constitution as Article 5.11: Friends of STC: A member of not less than five years' standing may be made a Friend of STC, in recognition of outstanding services rendered by such persons to the Organisation. Friends of STC are entitled to receive free copies of any newsletter produced by the Organisation; however, they are not members of the Organisation. Friends of STC are not required to pay a subscription; neither shall they incur any personal insurance or affiliation costs. The procedure for the resignation or expulsion of a Friend of STC shall be the same as that for a member." Dorothy’s reply to Samantha who had a close call in Spiel 329: Dear Samantha, Rocks and stones whizzing around your ears do make you think don ’ t they? From your comments, I can see that you were thinking about the “ what-ifs ” “ What if one of those larger rocks hit and injured me, or worse still knocked me unconscious? ” “ Who would be there to assist me, or do a midrope rescue. ” I ’ m sure you are aware of the so called “ harness induced pathology ” a fancy name for the fact that someone in a harness hanging unconscious on a rope can die in 15 minutes. Solo caving does have heightened risks, and despite not intentionally heading out on a solo trip, this is what you ended up doing. It is true that you did have a margin of safety in that your friends were only a few hours away from you, and presumably would have come looking for you if you weren ’ t within view or earshot of them when they made it to the top entrance. However, a few hours is a considerable time if you are hanging about injured. Worse still, it ’ s a death sentence if your injuries cause you to be hanging unconscious. If you had four or more in your group, then splitting up would not have been a problem, as you would have maintained a good level of safety; your initial team having become two smaller teams. However, as a group of three, you should have stayed together, with you all taking the horizontal entrance out, or all prussiking out. Caving is very much a 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJHteam activity; being part of a team maintains the safety of it ’ s members, not to mention reduces the workload of the task of carting gear through a cave. You obviously realised this latter fact, by working out how you could derig the cave as a team. yours in caving, Dorothy. Dear Dorothy, I was recently on an overseas trip where I met some locals and went caving with them. I must say that I was totally shocked at some of their techniques, especially the use of the socalled Indestructible Rope Techniques (where thick wiry ropes are allowed to run over edges etc., sometimes rope protectors were used, but not always). I felt decidedly unsafe using these rope practices and voiced my concerns to the locals. They were quite adamant that their techniques were very safe, and as evidence stated that they’d being caving this way since the year dot, and have never had an accident. I had no answer to this claim, and felt unable to complain again, however I felt decidedly nervous about caving with them and my anxiety levels were such that I can’t say I enjoyed my caving. How would you have handled this situation?? yours anxiously, Alex. Playing Cavers in a Sport Climbing Area: Hillwood: 4 August 2002 by Stephen Bunton Party: Stephen Bunton and Alex Wilson Alex is one of the new generation of climbers and as such has been introduced to the funky new sportsclimbing area, Hillwood, just East of the Batman Bridge over the Tamar River, in the state ’ s deep north. For some time Alex had been keen for me to visit this area to go climbing but since all the climbs are hard and I ’ m getting softer, I was less than enthusiastic. Things changed when he mentioned “ caverns measureless to man ” For those who want more details the Hillwood area is featured in the national rock-climbing magazine ROCK # 48 Oct-Dec 2001. The area is either dolerite or basalt and very similar to Lost World, in that the caves are in located in collapse features, which are very much like dolines. The climbs are on the ends of the igneous rock columns and therefore have a chequer-board appearance. The first cave, near the so called Rock of Ages, was supposed to be directly beneath one of the climbs and “ you just rig off the bolts and abseil down ” One person is said to have “ run out of rope ” Considering climbers use 50 metre ropes this was encouraging, even if they used it doubled. I don ’ t know how a climber would prussik out on double ropes considering the remedial prussik rigs that climbers use. The other cave, below Cave Rock was a “ walk in ” cave and was supposed to have been explored “ 30m without a head-torch ” Again this sounded promising. When we located the first cave we named it, with tongue very much in cheek, Cave of Ages. My GPS fix had it 29m above sea level. If we ran out of rope we ’ d be below the Tamar River.(Actually I have been below sea level before in Tasmania. The mine at Roseberry is about 500m ASL and the pit is about a kilometre deep!) Cave of Ages (HD-X1) proved to be the fizzer we thought it would be, after looking at the entrance squeeze. It ’ s just a short rift and a small chamber between collapse blocks. We surveyed the cave and then finished off the morning by doing an near by climb. After lunch we carried our packs full of technological overkill up to Cave Rock and located Cave Rock Cave (HD-X2). This was an impressive walk-in cave with two large manferns in the entrance and a sizeable entrance chamber. A short climb down led to another chamber and then a squeeze which led through collapse blocks to the head of a 4m pitch. We returned to the surface to get the gear and then rigged a short rope. I descended the uninviting pitch off the only belay, a rock wedged in the floor backed up to a thread somewhere. As I descended most of the belay decomposed as the debris surrounding the wedged rock, fell in on me. It was a horrible slot type thing which opened out to a flat ceiling below and I was more than a little worried about getting back out. In the end I climbed up onto a boulder on the other side and therefore only had to step across and chimney back up. Again we surveyed the cave. For Alex this was an exciting but less than text book introduction to caving which he admitted he thoroughly enjoyed. We finished off with a couple of climbs in the warmth of the afternoon sun. So now the “ caverns measureless to man ” have been measured thanks to the efforts of psuedo-caver and the psuedo-climber having visited the psuedo-karst. The maps are on pages 18 and 19. 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJH … continued from page 8: Ric and Janine ’ s trip to Enzed Metro Cave This cave we actually did by ourselves! Metro is 8km long with active streamway in the lower levels, terminating in a lake and a navigable resurgence to the Nile river. There are also several kilometres of dry, upper levels with some well decorated sections. As this cave is used by a private tour operator for “ adventure caving ” trips about half of the cave has been modified by digging out trenchways as paths-can ’ t have the punters getting TOO adventurous and walking on unformed pathways! This certainly affected the “ ambience ” of the caving experience for us. There were areas that were unmodified, and there we had only the ubiquitous red tape to show us that many had gone before-and where we were and weren ’ t allowed to go. Due to the easy nature of the caving (mostly just walking) it was possible to cover most of the cave in the 3 hours or so we spent underground. The tour groups use inner tubes they leave near the cave to raft the lake and out the resurgence. Private trips could easily do this using their tubes (although it might be a bit embarrassing if you meet a tour party with one of their tubes under your arm – or bum!). We did not do this bit but it is reputedly only a couple of hundred metres from lake to resurgence. Despite the “ semi-commercial ” feel of the cave it was worth doing, particularly for the decorated sections. A permit and key (to the locked upper-level entrance) from DoC is needed and 2 members of the party must nominally be NZSS members. This may be open to negotiation but as both of us are NZSS members we did not investigate further. A map of the cave is also available from DoC and the permit was easily obtained with a day ’ s notice from the Buller district office in Westport. Access is marked on the Paparoa park map and the road up the Nile River and the bridge put in by the tour operators makes finding the cave easy. The following day we met up with Kerry again. He took us to visit Golf Course and Name Later Caves. Both of these are through-caves. They are in an area of karst covered in rainforest which has been logged using helicopters. There are no roads or tracks. The karst topography is very confusing comprising dolines in dolines in dolines. This means one cannot navigate by following the topography. There are some lightly-taped routes. I am very rarely geographically embarrassed, but throughout the day I didn ’ t have much of a clue. I knew which way was north and where (very roughly) the car was, but I ’ d have hated to try taking a route without local knowledge. This was further exacerbated by our going underground, coming out the other end who-knows-where, going across country to another cave, coming out the other end who-knows-where, and then heading back to the car by going at right angles to the direct line for a grand tour of the area. It was a beautiful area to be wandering around above ground in though. Name Later The name for this cave comes from the fact that the discoverer (Kerry) couldn ’ t think what to call it at the time and kept referring to it as “ the cave I ’ ll name later ” It stuck. This is another short (2-3 hours) sporty but technically and physically easy cave. Well worth doing. Golf Course As Janine really likes streamways, Kerry took us to this cave. A truly beautiful classic streamway cave with polished marble walls and frequent deep, circular pools. Lots of wading up to waist deep, leaps across pools (with a couple of near misses!) and generally a very fun and scenic couple of hours caving. A day with Kerry is as tiring as a week with someone else. Kerry claims to be aged and decrepit, but normal people are mere shadows in comparison. So we had another big rest. Mt Owen We ’ d been thinking of climbing Mt Owen and camping at Buller Lake. But the weather had continued with more rain, floods, and kill-people weather. So we decided on a day walk. This was too simple and easy for Kerry, so it turned into day walk and go caving. We drove from Westport to the Owen River car park on the Owen Valley East Rd. This took about 1.5 hours. We pointlessly jumped the first tiny creek to keep our boots dry. We waded the river. We waded the river. We waded the river. Etc., etc., etc. 13 river crossings. The route to Bulmer Lake leaves the main Sunrise Ridge track at the junction of Bulmer Creek and the Owen River. The creek is followed as far as possible and then we left the creek and climbed the mountain. No more wading! There are tapes to follow from the tributary junction to the lake but some care is needed to follow them once you start climbing. The walk in took about 4 hours, with 800m elevation gained over a bout 9km. We still had 300m vertical to the entrance to Bulmer Cavern we intended to enter. Bulmer Cavern has several (many?) entrances and essentially the whole of Mt Owen is underlaid by a maze of passages on many levels. There are 50 km of surveyed passage to date and the current depth is 749m. All possible leads have not been exhausted. We obviously only had the opportunity to see a tiny proportion of the upper levels of the cave. After slogging up exposed limestone and grass slopes we had a look into “ Whale Mouth ” entrance. This is a cavernous entrance easily seen from a distance. We continued on up around the hillside to the “ Eye in the Sky ” entrance. As the route we followed was through 3DJH


6SHOHR6SLHO,VVXH-XQH-XO\ 3DJHhigh-level fossil and breakdown passageways it was very dry with lots of old formations, stable boulder piles and dust. Large caverns and passages, easy short climbs and only a couple of navigational challenges made for a fun and easy 3 hours of caving. We were wearing walking gear and carrying our Macpacs as day packs. We thought that this time we might avoid the ubiquitous red tape that had dogged us through a lot of our NZ caving, but no! This time the cavers, not DoC, had marked out routes to follow in sensitive areas with long lines of red tape. Their conservation intentions are to be highly commended, but someone should tell the enzeders about the “ fishing line ” technology used by National Parks here to mark sensitive areas. It ’ s far less visibly offensive and more practical and effective where it is placed a foot or so above the ground, not lying on the ground as their red tape is. Anyway, we exited through “ Panorama ” entrance, which, as the name implies, gives stunning views of the surrounding area, and followed a taped and cairned route towards Bulmer Lake. As it was only 4PM or so we decided to see if we could get higher up the massif for a view to the north or east. After about hour and 150m height gained we still were quite a way from what we thought was the top, so it was decided it was time to turn back. We left Bulmer Camp at 6.30PM and after 3 hours arrived back at the cars on last light. What timing! Cave Creek We spent a day with Kerry walking up to the Ballroom Overhang on Cave Creek and visiting a small throughcave nearby. There were a canoe and innertubes hidden near the entrance so it must be used by adventure tour groups. The day was fine and sunny, the karst topography was inspiring and there are only half a dozen river crossings. Our time and energy used up, we farewelled Kerry and left for Dunedin and home. Without Kerry ’ s help and enthusiasm, our trip would have been a failure. We had only been intending to do one day ’ s caving. Instead we spent two weeks in the area. Kerry ’ s local knowledge and guiding turned the trip into a most enjoyable holiday. 3DJH STC WaReHoUsE SaLeS Publications “Caving Safety 1 Manual ” 92 pages, covers Planning, Safety, Maps, Gear, Rigging, Emergencies etc. $20.00 Back Issues of Southern Caver, Speleo-Spiel. There are various issues available. Please contact the Librarian, Greg Middleton ( with your requirements. ~$1 each Gear CAVE PACKS, cylindrical in shape, made from Heavy duty Ripstop PVC material, double thickness material at wear points, strong seams (triple sewn) and all critical stitching is on the inside (to protect it from wear), drain holes, large diameter eyelet ’ s and a simple ‘ draw cord ’ closure as well as adjustable straps Now featuring a handle on the side to facilitate carry the pack in low passages. Strongly made. Available in either Yellow or Blue with different colour trims. Available in two sizes, the “ STANDARD ” (25 litres: 23 cm diameter, 61 cm long) and $55.00 the “ EXTRA ” (31 litres: 25 cm diameter, 63 cm long). $65.00 LARGER OR SMALLER-SIZED PACKS can be made to order, JUST ASK. POA Aluminium Bars for Rappel Racks. $5.00 BATA full-length Gumboots, Size 9, Green with Orange Sole, and steel toecaps. $20.00 Tape NEW STOCK.... Edelrid 25 mm Supertube tubular tape. Ideal for rigging, chest harnesses etc. (White) $1.50 per m NEW STOCK.... 5 cm (2 ” ) flat tape. Ideal for harnesses, rigging, gear bags, belts etc. (Black or White) $1.50 per m Safety NEW STOCK.... Edelrid 9 mm dynamic rope (for cows tails, safety loop) $3.50 per m, e.g. Cowstail $10 Space Blankets (don ’ t be caught underground without one!) $4.00 each Lighting Yuasa Gel-cells, 6 Volt, 7 Amp-Hour $24.00 each Metal Lamp Brackets, complete with fixing rivets and cable keeper. $7.50 each Used Metal Lamp Brackets and cable keeper. Good condition. Just need to add some small bolts. $4.00 each Used Plastic Lamp Brackets. Good condition and comes with fixing screws and a cable keeper. $3.00 each Jets (21 litres/hr) for Petzl kaboom (just a couple left) $5.00 each 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. We ’ ve got ~400 m of the stuff and it ’ s time to get rid of it. It ’ s available in various lengths (up to 20 m), diameters (9, 10 and 11 mm) and includes Edelrid and Bluewater ropes. You might be surprised to find that it ’ s not all stiff and horrible! Prices have plummeted and the price structure is now: < 4 m free or make a donation of 10 cents/m if you wish, 4 to < 6 m $1.00 a length, 6 to < 10 m $3.00 a length, 10 to < 15 m $6.00 a length, 15 m plus 80 cents/m. 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 7006.



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