Speleo Spiel

Speleo Spiel

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


General Note:
The Tasmanian Caverneering Club was formed on 13 September 1946. Initially, information was provided to members through a circular, copies of which exist back to November 1947. "Speleo Spiel, Circular of the Tasmanian Caverneering Club" was first published December 1960. Eight issues of this are known, up to May 1962. In April 1964 a "Circular" was again issued and seems to have continued, irregularly, until March 1966. Then in April 1966, a "New Series" of Speleo Spiel commenced, as a monthly newsletter. In December 1996 The Tasmanian Caverneering Club amalgamated with the Southern Caving Society and the Tasmanian Cave and Karst Research Group to form the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers. The combined group agreed to continue to publish "Speleo Spiel" as its bi-monthly newsletter, as continues today (2015). Speleo Spiel is a vehicle for recording the cave and karst-related activities, and particularly the achievements, of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers. It also carriers technical and scientific reports, reprints, reviews and other information likely to be of interest to members from time to time.
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No. 336 (May-Jun 2003)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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K26-03923 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.3923 ( USFLDC Handle )
21531 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 0 Newsletter of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Inc, PO Box 416, Sandy Bay, Tasmania 7006, AUSTRALIA May – June 2003


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 1 The Speleo Spiel Newsletter of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Incorporated PO Box 416, Sandy Bay, Tasmania 7006 http://www.tased.edu.au/tasonline/stcaving/ 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. 336, May June 2003 STC Officers President & Public Officer: Steve Bunton Ph: (03) 6278 2398 (h) sbunton@postoffice.friends.tas.edu.au Vice President: Janine McKinnon Ph: (03) 6243 5415 (h) jmckinnon@tassie.net.au Secretary : Ric Tunney Ph: (03) 6243 5415 (h) rtunney@tassie.net.au Treasurer : Steve Phipps Ph: (03) 6223 3939 (h). sjphipps@utas.edu.au Equipment Officer and S&R Officer: Jeff Butt Ph: (03) 6223 8620 (h) jeffbutt@netspace.net.au Librarian : Greg Middleton Ph: (03) 6223 1400 (h) gregmidd@ozemail.com.au Editor : Geoff Wise Ph: (03) 6231 1174(h) wiseg@dodo.com.au Webmaster: Dean Morgan Ph. (03) 6229 4405(h) dmorgan@tesa.com.au Web Site: http://www.tased.edu.au/tasonline/stcavin g/ Front Cover: Swinging from the Gallows Pole – David Chiam experiences a sked at Cavex (photo by Geoff Wise) Back Cover: Ric Tunney keeping an eye on the ‘patient’ at CAVEX (photo by David Chiam) CONTENTS Regular Bits Editorial 2 Forward Program 2 Stuff ‘n Stuff 2 Ida Bay Special (Part 2) Introduction to part 2 2 Post Xmas-dinner, Surface surveying at Ida Bay 3 Sandbagged Again Not another toad! 3 Rocket Rod’s Pot 4 Measureless to Man, Exit’s Nostrils 4 Midnight Hole, Surface surveying at Ida Bay 5 Rocket Rod's Pot 5 Rocket Rod's Pot 6 Tidying up someone else’s business! 7 Rocket Rod's Pot 10 Surface Work 11 Giotto Pot 11 Pseudocheirus Flies bloody flies 12 A play in Exit’s Nostrils and More Surf ace Surveying in the “Potholes Area” 13 Surface Work (Ida Bay Area) 13 More ‘fun’ in Rocket Rod’s Pot 15 Pushing more promising holes –Not! 15 Cyclops Pot 17 The Southern Ranges Track and a look around on the back-side of Marble Hill 20 Mystery Creek 20 Cyclops Pot Still trying to find the elusive 2nd entrance to Little Grunt 21 Surface surveying up to Mini-Martin 21 No more excuses – back to Sandbagged Again 22 Other Trip Reports Gormenghast 25 Old Ditch Road, a P-hangering trip 26 Beginners Luck and Owl Pot 28 CAVEX – Search & Rescue Training Weekend at Maydena 29 Other Stuff News from the Gearstore 23 Mystery Creek in flood on 21/05/03, some observations 26 Proposed caving/ speleology display at Tasmanian Museum: January 2005 30 STC Warehouse Sales 30 Current STC Membership list 31 This work is STC copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the publishers and the inclusion of acknowledgement of the source. STC was formed from the Tasmanian Caverneering Club the Southern Caving Society and the Tasmanian Cave and Karst Research Group STC is the modern variant of the Oldest Caving Club in Australia.


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 2 Stuff ‘n Stuff New Members Keith Vanderstaay and Matt Cracknell were made full members at the July committee meeting. Welcome aboard!! Photos for the Web site Our new Web Master, Dean Morgan is revamping the web site and is after some “action shots”. If you have any let him know (dmorgan@tesa.com.au) Building a Drainage Plan of Ida Bay (Part 215th Dec 02 to 25th Feb 03) This is the second of four articles, highlighting the work done to build a drainage plan of Ida Bay from Sept 02 to April 03. The previous article highlighted the first phase of work d one in the area during this campaign, mainly by the “Three Musketter’s”. It concentrated mainly in Little Grunt area and around Bender’s quarry end of Marble Hill ultimately colminating in the discovery of IB-171 Rocket Rod’s. Most of this work had been done in relative secrecy for reasons outline in the previous article’s introduction. This period reflects a move away from this secrecy and started the involvem ent of other members of the club who seemed sympathetic to the sharing of data. It continued with the exploration of IB-171 Rocket Rod’s but also started to look further afield along the Skinner track at previously know caves, but also a number of new discoveries in the area. It involved both increasing the current surf ace traverse network, and the surveying of new caves, some previously found caves that had not been surveyed as we ll the re-surveying of several well known caves who’s data was not available, but would be beneficial to the overall drainage plan. The majority of the new cave surveys ar e included. Due to the time consuming process of drawing up, not all the resuveyed cave surveys are included but they will be published in due course. The table below gives a summary of the trips done over the period Again I hope you enjoy reading them, some are pretty detailled and boring, but they serve as a record to what work was conducted over this time period and to future trips to help not re-invent the wheel. Summary of the trips during this period Cave Date Cave Date 1 Surface Work (Benders Quarry) 15-Dec02 12 IB-97 Pse udocheirus 25-Jan-03 2 IB-170 Sandbagged Again 17-Dec-02 13 IB-175 Exit’s Nostrils 30-Jan-03 3 IB-171 Rocket Rod’s 01-Jan-03 14 Nati onal Gallery & Cyclops Traverse 03-Feb-03 4 IB-176 Measureless to Man, IB-175 Exit’s Nostrils 03-Jan-03 15 IB-171 Rocket Rod’s 08-Feb-03 5 IB-11 Midnight Hole 04-Jan-03 16 IB-168 Disillusioned Pot, IB-106 Coralline Cleft, IB-178 Copyright Fiasco 09-Feb-03 6 IB-171 Rocket Rod’s 05-Jan-03 17 IB-57 Cyclops Pot 15-Feb-03 7 IB-171 Rocket Rod's 12-Jan-03 18 Surf ace Work Southern Ranges Track 17-Feb-03 8 IB-166, IB-115, IB-116 Chuck Key Pot, IB-114 16-Jan-03 19 IB-10 Mystery Creek 18-Feb-03 9 IB-171 Rocket Rod’s 19-Jan-03 20 IB-57 Cyclops Pot 20-Feb-03 10 Surface Work 22-Jan-03 21 Mini Ma rtin Track + Loons Traverse 24-Feb-03 11 IB-104 Giotto Pot 24-Jan-03 22 IB-170 Sandbagged again, IB-173 Mendip Madness 25-Feb-03 Happy reading Madphil Editorial Well finally the Spiel is back up to date…sort of (I was going to get it out a little earlier but I went caving a few times and it got put on the back burner!) May be now I can get a bit of rest before the next one is due at the end of August!! This edition has part two of the Ida Bay trip reports, once again put together by Mad Phil, as well as a CAVEX report and some other stuff that happened during May and June. I hope you enjoy. Geoff Wise Forward Program Next Business Meeting ....................................6 August Kubla Khan ....................................................10 August Steve Bunton as leader Mole Creek ..........................................23 – 26 October Ric and Janine are organising four days of varied caving over the Hobart show long weekend As usual keep an eye on the List server for trips organised at shorter notice


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 3 Post Xmas-dinner, Surface surveying at Ida Bay: 15 December 2002 By Jeff Butt Party: Madphil Rowsell, Jeff Butt Having been down Midnight Hole a few days before I opted out of the post-Xmas dinner trip, and instead opted for a surface day surveying with Phil. We had two sets of survey instruments with us, and took forward and back bearings for all legs. It was reassuring to see the consistency between readings; we did however note that there was an offset of about one degree between the two inclinometers used and decided that we should calibrate all the instruments. Taking both forward and back bearings is standard practice in many places, and ensures that silly errors are avoided. On the surface, this process takes no extra time. First up we surveyed up fr om the Mystery Creek track to Midnight Hole; this completes a survey loop right down Midnight Hole and out Mystery Creek. I located IB-88 en-route up, and we surveyed this in as well. It is true that this work may have been done before; but unfortunately much of the work done before in this area is not included in the STC archive. Then, we headed over to XBenders Quarry to finish off a traverse Phil and Geoff Wise had started to link the start of the Skinner track, along the old Quarry Boundary road to a traverse that Phil and Alan had already done which tied in IB-134 and some of the old blue tape track from the days of the Quarry close-down dramas. Phil took me down to see the entrance of the new and highly secret Rocket Rod’s Pot (IB-171). This small diameter shaft entrance drafts strongly; and just inside on a ledge is a sign explaining that Phil, Alan Jackson and Geoff Wise are actively exploring this cave and to STAY OUT! There seems to be a bit of paranoia here! Lastly we surveyed our way along the quarry benches, tying in the strongly draf ting Exit’s Nostrils (we numbered this IB-175 on 17/12) and a nearby ‘Worm Hole”, i.e. a narrow shaf t ~ 5 m deep (we numbered this IB-174 on 17/12). We also surveyed across to EMP Pot (IB-143). The entrance of EMP Pot is currently blocked by a couple of fallen boulders. We arrived back at the cars about 15 minutes after the Midnight Hole party returned; so that was convenient. Sandbagged Again (IB-170) Not Another Toad! 17 December 2002 By Jeff Butt Party: Madphil Rowsell, Jeff Butt When Allison Moody (from the UK) was here, Phil and Allison did a bit of poking about in the area uphill from the gate of the X-Benders Quarry. There was some unfinished business in the area; so todays tasks were to be a bit of a smorgasbord of activities. We unfortunately did however make one major stuff up, despite having two sets of survey instruments, neither of us bought a tape measure along! Our efforts at Dover and Hastings to obtain one were thwarted....guess we won’t forget next time! First point of call was a large doline up from the gate; Phil and Allison had been grovelling in here; we numbered this cave IB-172. Just across the way were two other dolines with grovelling holes in them; we numbered both of these, IB-170 and IB-173 prior to heading back to IB-170 for an explore. IB-170 proved to be about 20 m deep and 40 m long; a cave developed in a rift system with several short pitches (10 m and 4 m), a couple of squeezes and a few dodgy boulders. At about -16 m there was a small tributary entering; there was a small breeze here, so we headed along this passage for about 5-6 body lengths (i.e. ~10 m). We had to move cobbles to make progress; Phil was at the pointy end with the wrecking bar; I tidied up some of the spoil. We were egged on by the breeze; but the passage become lower and thought it ‘time to leave’. A pity we didn’t have the bloody tape measure; as we could have surveyed the cave as we retreated. All up, the extent of this cave is such that we never got outside of the doline footprint! Next we headed up to Exit’s Nostrils and the nearby Worm Hole, and numbered these IB-175 and IB-174 respectively. There was a go od cool breeze emanating from the Nostrils....probably time to have another look inside here as this cave must connect with something much larger. Little Grunt is below; that is the most likely candidate. With the numbering done, we thought we’d do a surface bash across from IB-1 34 environs to Midnight Hole, along the contact looking for other features. We also wanted to survey this, but without a tape that was a bit of a problem. We did however commence setting a route (tapes left at stations ), with the idea of we’d do the tape measurements another day. After about 3 legs, with bad discrepancies between our sets of instruments I eventually twigged that the drill in Phil’s backpack was causing problems with his compass! At this stage we decided to dispense with the surveying and concentrate on the surface exploring. Contouring along at the contact, we first lost the limestone, encountering an area of mudstone. We then however got back on the limestone, and in some ‘bony’ country about halfway along to Midnight Hole found a shaft about 4 m in diameter and 15 m deep. We taped


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 4 this and continued on; finding IB-73 en-route not long before running into the track to Midnight Hole. Time to head home; it was a bit of a funny day with us only half doing several things. The exceedingly grotty state of my caving gear be lied the fact that we only spent about 2 hours underground, and never go more than 25 m from the surface! IB-170 is somewhat of a grot-hole. Rocket Rod’s Pot (IB-171): 1 January 2003 By Madphil Rowsell Party: Madphil Rowsell, Alan Jackson New Years Day, time to head back and look at the freaky pitch “A Date with destiny”!! Hopefully it had stabilised by now. I had an early night last night which was good, stuff new year celebrations, more important things to do! I was rocking when Alan came around. I hadn’t been caving for quite awhile now, so it would be good to go again and get my adrenaline fix. I was pretty wasted when we finally got to the cave, guess it was all the eating at Xmas!! We rigged our way back down and finally we were back down the jumble of rocks above the rock bridge. My date with destiny had come. Thankfully there were no unexplained crashed which really inspired confidence. I had a look at the wall again, did a few drop tests and decided to put in a 'Y' hang, mainly for safety and then see what I could get in further down. The bolts went in pretty quickly which was good news for Alan having to sit around all the time. Once rigged, I got him to come down onto the rock bridge with the gear and I headed off again. It was really nice wash pot. I dropped down about 6m and over the annoying rib of rock and found a good place to put in a re-belay which gave a good free hang. More bolting, but at least I could chat to Alan this time. It wasn’t long before I was off. An interesting place, th e two pots connected by a narrow rift for some of the way down, but then they became separated by solid rock. I put in a deviation and dropped on down to the floor. There was a nice safe place to hide around the corner. There was a little stream here coming in from a rift that looked like it connected back into the other pot. I left it while Alan headed on down. The way on was down tightish rift taking the "stream", but it was Alan’s turn to push. He headed in and said it went and opened out into a better rift after a short distance with a drop to another wash pot of 10m with the rift continuing on after. Man was he shitty!! I went and had a look. A nice open rift, but needed a rope to go any further and we sadly had none! Man was this place a shit hole. Pretty demoralising too as it had been clean up until now and we had got coated for a gain of 10m of horizontal passage!! “Let the squalor begin”. We survey our way back. On the way up the pitch Alan swung onto the rock platform to see what the score was with the other pitch, but he couldn’t see that far. We still couldn’t work out whether they were connected or not. We tied in the survey and headed on out. I was tired when I finally got out, but pleased with the days work. A shame we didn’t have any more rope. The data will be really interesting to look at to see where we are and how deep we have to go. Measureless to Man (IB-176), Exit’ s Nostrils (IB-175): 3 January 2003 By Jeff Butt Party: Jeff Butt, Madphil Rowsell, Wayne Tyrril Several aims for the day; including to survey in the new hole we found between Midnight Hole and Rocket Rods Pot, then to look at the new cave. Headed up to Midnight Hole; first decided to survey in IB-12 which was meant to be nearby. About 50m away from Midnight hole found a nice drafting pitch entrance, but couldn’t find any number tag. We suspect that this is indeed IB-12; perhaps the large fallen log has covered the number tag? Some sonic estimation puts the entrance pitch at 15-20 m, then there is a ramp below and rocks rumble for a short period. Given the proximity of this to Midnight Hole, one can’t help but wonder if this feature joins Midnight Hole. It’s definitely one to have a look at sometime! From then, headed back to the ‘log-slide’, and from a marked tape surveyed our way around to the new hole, tentatively called “Measurele ss to Man”. Linked in IB73 en-route. At the new cave, got Wayne to drop it whilst Phil and I surveyed in the vicinity. Affixed the IB-176 number tag to the hole, then headed in to join Wayne. At the bottom of the entrance pitch (~13 m), a small passage headed off, there was a hole leading to a ~8 m drop, but this was too tight to negotiate. However, horizontally there was a narrow passage leading off, which the bottom dropped out of, presumably leading to the same shaft. Not having an excess of rope, we decided that this would be left to another day, so headed out to resume the surface survey. Headed along the contact to join one of Phil’s earlier survey traverses to Rocket Rods Pot (IB-171). In the vicinity of IB-134, there wa s a marked sinkhole feature with a nice limestone headwall. A tight rift heads in,


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 5 but is blocked a short distance in. We decided to tag this feature, and affixed the IB-177 number tag here. We went for a quick sticky beak in Exit’s Nostrils (IB175), and got side tracked trying to enlarge one of the gaps that looked down into a chamber. It was quite amazing, it started as a 2 inch gap and by the time we had exhausted ourselves, we had opened it up to 4 inches and it looked quite promising. We had hit solid rock now, so would need some better tools next time. After this, we headed up to EMP Pot (IB-143), and surveyed our way down to on e of Phil’s survey markers in the quarry (QC4), thus completing a major survey loop in the area. The day was done, so we headed back to Arthur’s Francistown abode to kip for the night. Arthur had an older couple from the UK (Ernie and Ruth), members of the BCRA staying there, so we ended up talking cavin g for the evening. Midnight Hole (IB-11) Surface surv eying at Ida Bay: 4 January 2003 By Madphil Rowsell Party: Madphil Rowsell, Wayne Tyrril, Jeff Butt Ernie and Ruth Shield (BCRA) Bit of a mish mash day, Jeff was taking the two pommy cavers into Mystery Creek to look at glow worms, while I said I would take Wayne through Midnight and meet them at the entrance. Af ter that we would head up to Exit’s Nostrils (IB-175) and have another bash, and may be head over to IB116 area and survey those caves into the traverse network and possibly drop IB168. I was pretty tired when got to the cave, been up here on consecutive days! This would be a really easy trip as Wayne was pretty competent so I didn’t have to look after him. Great trip, bombed on down, rigging alternate pitches. Wayne loved the acoustics on the last two pitches. His singing was a bit painful, but he enjoyed it. We met Jeff and Ernie at the bottom. We opted not to do any touristing, but to head on out as we could do something more useful. We headed back to the car and had a bit of lunch and debated what to do. Back up to Nostrils was the call, to have a bash and see if we could break through. Ernie came up too as I think he was a bit interested. We spent about an hour bashing away but not making really any progress. It really needed a lump and a cold chisel to bash some of the edges off. I think Ernie was a bit bemused by the carry on, being a pommy digger he would have just used a bit of bang!!! I had another go at the squeeze, but it was still too tight. Wayne tried too but no go. Amazing as when you look at it you would swear you would fit through there! I got Jeff and Wayne to hold my legs and I had a look down head first, there was quite a big chamber underneath and some possible leads. Definitely worth perusing, great draft! After a while I got disgruntled as we weren't making much progress and I suggested we bail and come back with better tools another day. People agreed and we headed back out to the kit at IB-174, the worm hole. Ernie was on full pommy exploration fever and had a go at getting in the Worm Hole, but he didn’t fit. After much barracking, he persuaded me to drop it. It had to be done I guess. It was a short drop to the floor with a very narrow rift heading off towards the quarry, it may open out into a small chamber. No draft and not really promising. We measured the drop and I climbed out! Ernie called it a day so we headed off to IB-116. We got Wayne to drop IB-116 while Jeff and I surveyed the traverse I had set with Arthur (04/12/02) from IB-167, tying in IB-115 & IB-116 back up to the Skinner track. Wayne reported that IB-116 was a drop of 22m to a small chamber but it didn’t really go anywhere. I was too tired to go in and survey it. I will have to do that another time. Everyone was pretty tired and we nearly called it a day, but I managed to persuade the troops to head along a bit further and survey down to IB-168. It would be good to tie another piece of the jigsaw in. We surveyed down and tied in IB-169, IB-106 and IB-168 which was great. Enough for today, time to get out of here. Man was I tired, I crashed early in readiness for another big day tomorrow!! Rocket Rod’s Pot (IB-171): 5 January 2003 By Jeff Butt Party: Madphil Rowsell, Alan Jackson, Wayne Tyrril, Jeff Butt Today Wayne and I were particularly lucky, Phil and Alan had allowed us to come along on a trip to the highly secret Rocket Rod’s Pot. The entrance, is a small hole amongst limestone outcrop, in the vicinity of IB-134 and not more than 10m from the ‘blue taped’ track from the “booth” to the top of the quarry, used in the days that the Quarry was ‘out of bounds’. The strongly drafting entrance hole (of about body-size) is a ~40 m entrance pitch, that drops through the ceiling of a large spacious chamber. Phil, Alan and Geoff Wise have surveyed much passage at this level and beyond. Our task for the day was to head to the cutting edge of things, to drop some undescended pitches. From the extensive survey work that Phil, Alan and


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 6 Geoff have done, it was very likely that Rocket Rods would drop into Little Grunt (IB-23) below. The nature of the cave, as we descended the multiple pitches (some quite technical) was more like a JuneeFlorentine cave than an IB cave....however, the mud that accumulates on gear, fr om the liberally coated walls does in fact tell one that it is IB, and not JF! I must say, that Phil, Alan and Geoff have done an exemplary job in exploration to date; paths are well defined to minimise environmental damage, there is some track marking and pitches are well rigged utilising bolts and available natural anchors. It was quite refreshing to see a ‘new cave’ so pristine! Also, they have been very systematic in their exploration; surveying all ‘mad e ground’ as they have advanced. After the entrance pitch we traversed a large chamber, the path going through rock fall on the right-hand side to avoid flowstone floor. There were many good speleothems, many pendulites to boot. We traversed a dodgy rockfall area to reach a ~ 25 m pitch, broken with a couple of re-belays. From here, one kept on in the same direction and dropped a small muddy pitch (~6 m), traversed a rockfall slope that guarded a ~40 m pitch. From the bridge at the top of the pitch, a nice shaft with one re-belay and one deviation lead to the floor of a narrow rift. There was a slot in the floor that dropped ~8 m into a narrow rift. After traversing over this for a short distance (through passage with much mud liberally coated on the walls), one reaches a short pitch of about 8 m. At the bottom of this, another short passage lead to the ‘cutting edge’, a drop of about 25 m. This pitch was well endowed with natural anchors, and dropped into a large talus covered chamber. There were several options for con tinuation. Phil and Alan checked out a short dr op at the base of the main drop. Wayne and I sat around obediently to see what Phil and Alan found. After some ferreting around, Phil and Alan were faced with a body sized horizontal tube; quite tight and committing. They played around with this for a while before deciding that this wasn’t good and proceeded to survey out. Meanwhile (against orders), I had climbed a short drop, on rope and traversed sideways into another chamber; this lead to a short 6 m drop and a larger ~20+ m drop. Phil was a bit annoyed that I’d found the way on and was instructed not to drop the next drop; so I stayed put [ Madphil’s coment: It’s not about finding the way on, it about systematic exploration and surveying approach. After 9 trips in here of this steady systematic it gets a bit frustrating when people (on their first trip in the cave) are rushing around with Exploration Fever while your surveying a blind lead!] After a while, Phil, Alan and Wayne joined me. Meanwhile I had ‘exploration’ rigged the 6 m drop, but for fear of death (not by the rigging, but by Phil) had opted not to drop the pitch. Phil and Alan dropped this 6 m pitch, that led to a window in another pitch of about 20 m. Rigging options weren’t great, so Phil placed a bolt (later a perfect thread was found in the same area, but this couldn’t be seen from above) and descended to a ledge in the rift system. This ledge wasn’t well endowed with ‘bomb shelters’, so Phil wedged himself in the end of the rift and called for us in turn to come down. Descending last it was interesting to see the other three wedged in the corner of a rift with packs on top of their heads as protection against falling debris. The rift did continue, but another bolt would be required. Also, Phil, Wayne and I were tired from our previous days of activity, and so we all decided that we’d pull the pin and head on out, surveying as we went. About 8 hours after entering RR, we emerged to the mosquitoes and parading lyre-birds. RR is quite an interesting cave; as said before more like a JF cave than an IB one. It has been well rigged and well explored with the surveying keeping pace with the exploration. Phil revealed to me that today’s data put us about 70 m above the level of Little Grunt, and we were about ~20 m horizontally from a large aven (~40 m high) in Little Grunt. The fact that we had breeze with us all day, suggested that Phil is on the right path. Rocket Rod’s Pot (IB-171): 12 January 2003 By Madphil Rowsell Party: Madphil Rowsell, Alan Jackson, Jeff Butt Back again, getting a bit sick of the place really. It seemed to be turning into another Baader Meinhof!! A muddy hole with that elusive connection! Maybe today we can finally get through and my soul can rest easy!! Hopefully we could also keep Jeff under control this time, he seemed to be a bit prone to exploration fever last time! This was Alan’s 9th and my 10th trip down here and we had so far done a good job of slow systematic exploration, it had been a bit disrupted last time. The ropes were all really muddy which was not so good. You had to be real careful as could easily go out of control. It wasn’t too long before we were down at "let the squalor begin" and the small pitch beyond. I headed down the next pitch first as I wanted to garden the large boulder on a ledge near the bottom. It had moved on me last time. It took a bit of shifting but finally she went. Man did it make a noise and it was only dropping about 10m. It gave me the willies as I thought the vibrations may bring something else down. I left Jeff to supervise Alan bolting the 6m pitch, and headed on down to the limit of out previous exploration. I took awhile to decide where to put a bolt, man was there a lot of loose stuff around. Finally I found a place that would give a free hang down to the next platform with a 10m drop below to the floor. It


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 7 took ages to drill this bolt but I finally headed on. Down to a ledge. Lots more loose rocks in the gully, I wanted to keep away from them. I ummed and arred for a bit then said I was going to set another bolt. Groans from above but I thought it safer. I really didn’t want to get too close to the boulders. It didn’t take long before I was off again. It didn’t look too good at the bottom, a boulder slope floor to a mud choke. Nightmare. A Baader again, F***!! Everyone looked at the pool with dismay. There was a real tight rift in front of us with a chamber behind. You wouldn’t get through the gap, but it might open out if we dug. Thankfully Alan had brought the wrecking bar down. The three of us took turns in digging. It didn’t look promising as the water would drain into where we were digging. Finally we got through, but there was just a small chamber the other side. Nightmare. I thought of the name “Welcome to Alkatraz” as that’s just about what it was, a pretty squalid and demoralising place. We started on out surveying as we went. Jeff said he was happy to de-rig and left Alan and I to carry on surveying. As Alan started up some boulders let go, some quite big ones by the sound of it. Thankfully Alan was OK, but it was a bit of a close call!! A small one had hit him on the shoulder. I was glad I had put the 2nd bolt in to keep the rope away from the gully now!! We continued on surveying again. With that completed we headed out. We decided to de-rig this area as the only lead was a long the bolt traverse! Save that for another time. We plodded on out. Everyone was pretty tired by the time we got out. The bags were heavy with both rope and mud. Another pretty demoralising trip down there for not much gain and worse, a dead end. We will have to push the other shaft of Date with Destiny to see if that goes. Man does this place wear y ou out both mentally and physically. What happened to my nice easy drop into Little Grunt!!! The survey data showed we were about 40m vertically from Little Grunt. Nightmare! Tidying up someone else’s business! 16 January 2003 By Janine McKinnon Party: Madphil Rowsell, Janine McKinnon, Ric Tunney, Tom Porritt The plan for the day was to ha ve a “touristy look” at Oh Yeh (IB-166) a new cave recently found by Madphil for Ric, Tom and myself, find some old tagged caves in the area that had been misplaced (they weren’t lost it was us who didn’t know where they were anymore), do a bit of surveying and check out a couple of untagged holes. Oh Yeh is a classic example of how untrue the old adage (which I had always subscribed to) of “this is right near the track so anything nearby will already have been found” is. It’s about 10 ft from the Exit track and a very obvious pot indeed. Madphil rigged it and we all went down to check it out. It was a straightforward descent involving two pitches of 14m and 24m respectively with a re-belay 6m down the second pitch. You landed in a quite well decorated chamber at the bottom. Unfortunately that was it, no continuation. Worth a look and not a bad practice pitch for beginner SRTers. IB-116 & IB-115 needed surveying so that was our next task. IB-115 was a very small hole and Phil and Ric knocked this off quickly while Tom rigged IB-116. IB-116 again was essentially a single pot choking off at the bottom. When Phil joined us at the bottom that just about took up all the ava ilable standing space. There was a small continuation, which did seem to lead to another pitch (sound of an echo), but would be a nightmare dig. We surveyed out and the job was fairly quickly knocked off. Next, it was to check out IB-114, reportedly never been dropped. This proved slightly more challenging. It was a very narrow vertical rift and Phil went in to check it out first. He quickly decided that it was too tight with gear on etc and came out. To m headed in and pushed most of the squeeze, but di dn’t like the drop below him. Tom had laid down the gauntlet so Madphil stripped down to his furry and had another go. Many and varied noises issued forth for our entertainment before Phil dropped in to a little chamber 8m deep or so. He had managed to get his helmet out of sight of the entrance and if you’d seen the size of this rift you would be as impressed by his tenacity (stubbornness?) as I was. The chamber didn’t really go anywhere, a potential dig but better options elsewhere. Th is little exercise of “can I get my head out of the daylight” had consumed over 1.5 hours! Ric had headed back to the car at the start of this exercise, as he wasn’t feeling too well. We decided to take absolutely no notice of his pikery and continue on with our agenda. It was still only about 4 PM so we agreed to allow ourselves 2 hours to find IB-91, 92, 93, 94, 95, and 96 that had mislaid themselves. We found IB-91 and IB-92 quite quickly and were feeling very pleased with ourselves which was of course a mistake – and so then spent a half-hour floundering around with no luck. I found IB-94 about the same time Phil found IB-95 and Tom IB-96. That only left IB-93 to complete our day’s agenda. Do you think we could find it? We had a sketch map of each of the cave’s relative positions and it was marked right next to IB-94. There was a doline next to IB-94 but no hole with a tag. We finally had to admit defeat and headed back to the car at 6.30 PM. Surveys of IB-116, IB-115 and IB-114 are shown over the next several pages


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Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 10 Rocket RodÂ’s Pot (IB-171): 19 January 2003 By Madphil Rowsell Party: Madphil Rowsell, Alan Jackson Jeff Butt wasnÂ’t around this weekend, so we decided to head down to the stream way passage and have a look at the blockage we had got to last time. We were gearing up and I looked down at my SRT gear and no croll. Nightmare!! Monz had borrowed it when we did Trafalgar Pot. I was pretty sure we had had a good check to see nothing was left. God knows where it had gone, still not much I could do about it now. Alan suggested bailing, but I really wanted to check out this river passage. Luckily I had my tibloc with me, so changed my basic from hand jammer to chest and used the tibloc for my hand jammer. It would be an interesting trip. Hopefully I wouldnÂ’t get in to trouble. I guess if need be I could always get Alan to lower down his jammer. We made our way down to the base of the 2nd pitch and over to the climbs. Funny as Alan bulked at the second one this time, he had pushed it last time! I didnÂ’t really mind and climbed on down. We soon were both heading down the stream way to the blockage. The way on was blocked by an constriction of river gravels and boulders, it didnÂ’t take long to get through with the bar, and I came out and let Alan push past the squeeze and explore the new passage that headed off. He seemed to go for quite away so I pushed on through. It was reasonable sized stream passage with a lot of meanders, some pretty tight. The stream started dropping down a series of little climbs, ending up in a tight drop of 4m. Alan had tried to push this but he got wedged hanging


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 11 freely by his chest. He struggled back out. I found a possible route over the top, but it needed widening. I persuaded Alan to head back and get the hammer while I did a bit of drawing. Once back it didnÂ’t take long to open it up enough to drop down. It looked good with the passage really opening up. We headed on with anticipation, then Nightmare. The way on was blocked with formation. Mostly flow stone, which was a nightmare. No chance of digg ing out the floor of solid rock. Buggar I through we might be into something good this time. I guess it was another aven, giving rise to the formation. This seems to be the trend. It was pretty frustrating. We couldnÂ’t have gained more than 50m or so. We surveyed back out and headed back up to the base of the 2nd pitch and sat and had some lunch. It was only 15:00, I still wanted to have a look at the other side of Date with Destiny. Alan didnÂ’t seem too enthusiastic but agreed. I think he was pretty cold. I headed down the pitch and swung in onto the ledge. I could see the floor of the other aven not far down (about 10m) which wasnÂ’t encouraging. I threw a couple of stones down and I surprised that they seemed to continue on rattling down. I headed over a bit further and had a better look. Bingo, I could see another drop in the far right hand corner. Maybe we would get into Little Grunt yet. There was also a reasonable amount of natural rigging here so dropping this would be pretty straight forward. I shouted up to Alan that he should come on down but surprised when he said he didnÂ’t want too. Bummer. I thought he would be game for this. He must be well cold, better head out. I took it pretty slowly jamming out with the tibloc. It did the job but you just had to be real careful at re-belays not to drop it!. We de-rigged the cave on the way out as the ropes were pretty dirty and they had been in here for a while. I was rooted by the time I got to the top. A bit of a demoralising trip. I had really hoped the stream way would have opened up big time. It was beginning to dropping really well too. The blockage was pretty terminal really. It may be worth another look checking out the rift high er up, doing the Austrian touch. It was also good to check out the parallel shaft at A date with Destiny as we definitely have a good lead there and hopefully this might put us back on course to the big aven in Little Grunt?? Who knows!! Surface Work (Ida Bay Area): 22 January 2003 By MadPhil Rowsell Party: Madphil Rowsell, Kathryn Harris I managed to persuade Kathryn to head down to Ida Bay with me again and do a bit of surveying which was really nice of her. I borrowed Jeff's instruments too so she could read then as well. It should be a bit more interesting for her, rather than just being tape monkey. I wanted to survey the loop that I had set up with Tom and Janine the other day (16/1/03) It would be good as it would tie in 10 or so caves. We also had JeffÂ’s altimeter so we could compare the alto readings to the survey figures and hopefully it would give an idea how good the survey is. We headed up to near track start and started surveying. It was a bit slow to start, but it soon got going. We surveyed our way down to IB-124, IB-100 and on to IB-23, but we still couldnÂ’t find IB-101.We surveyed on to IB-90 and we decided to knock the surveying on the head as it was obvious we werenÂ’t going to do the loop I had envisage. I thought we would head over to IB-125 and tape the track back to Little Grunt. The only problem was I was lost again!!. We had headed more up hill from Grunt and didnÂ’t have a clue where we were! Still we had stumbled on a good looking karst feature, a big doline with others around. I had a good look around while Kat tried to get a fix with the GPS. I found a couple of interesting holes, before heading back. The GPS was miles out, EPE of 100, but I put in IB-94 coordinates and used it to give us a rough direction of where we were going. I went and had a look in one doline and found a tag, IB-102. Comet Dust!! Man we are all the way over there. At least I knew where I was now. We headed down to IB-94 setting a traverse, then across to IB-125. Since we had a few satellites now, we use the GPS to head back to Little Grunt and I was amazed how close it was. Our traverse with Tom and Janine that ended up in the March Fly Gully must have just missed Little Grunt!! Kat had had enough so we headed home. Giotto Pot (IB-104): 24 January 2003 By Madphil Rowsell Party: Madphil Rowsell, Tom Porritt, Ric Tunney, Janine McKinnon This one had been on the car ds for a while. I wanted to see what the possibilities were at the bottom, and we would re-survey it while we were in there. It was pretty hot heading in and I was glad to get underground. I geared up and headed in with Janine. I did a bit of a recky to start. It had a climb down that ended up looking down a thin rift. Man it was pretty tight to get through! Possible but I luckily remembered that Jeff had said there was a bypass. A quick look around and bingo. Easy money, I was soon wandering


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 12 down the rift further on. Lots of pebbles around. I guessed that was the pitch when I could hear the kaboom of one of the pebbles going down. Going to have to be real careful here! Rigging pretty easy, good back ups and I rigged the main pitch off a big chock stone at the top of the pitch. Took a while to get the corr ect trace length to wrap around this stone but eventually headed down. Great free hang, a really nice pitch. Thankfully at the bottom there was a good bomb shelter. I was worried about stones heading on down the subsequent pitches so hid in the bomb shelter until everyone was down. I was really pleased that everyone was pretty careful and not much rained down. The passage continued on down through a squeeze to a small chamber that was blind. The way on turned out to be a short climb up to the left onto an old bank of fill, with the next pitch off the other side. I should have checked this when I first got down as I could have carried on rigging, well out of the death zone! It didn’t take too long to rig though, lots of naturals. It was only about 10m, with another pitch heading straight off again. This took a bit more jiggery pokery to rig and needed a rebelay halfway down. The final pitch was only 6m, in a narrow rift. You could have almost free climbed this, but it was very muddy and slippery, so I rigged up a rope. It dropped into a little chamber. The passage headed back under to a very tight T junction rift where both ends shut down, choked in mud. Not good. Janine had come down now and things had got a bit cramped. She asked if anyone had seen the slit in the wall. No! Oh yeh interesting. Just near the floor of the pitch, there was a small window 0.1m wide about a 1m high that dropped about 3-4 m into water. You couldn't see right down it, but could hear the stone drop into water. It looked like it opened up a bit after the constriction, but it was hard to tell. I thought there was a faint draft coming through it too. It would need a bit of widening. Interesting, worth putting on the list, but well down! The show was over so we headed out surveying as we went. It took awhile to survey out, and I think Ric and Janine got a bit frustrated, waiting for us. Half way up the big pitch, I had the nightmare of the ‘D’ maillon opening, coming out of one side of my harness and sending my cowstails down the pitch. Obviously some what alarming!! Thankfully my croll didn’t pop off and after awhile I got things sorted and headed on. Once everyone was up the big pitch, good team work ensued to get the kit out an d finish off the survey. A nice trip, really great main pitch. The continuation was interesting, but a debate to whether it is worth it. Flies bloody flies – Pseudoche irus (IB-97): 25 January 2003 By Geoff Wise Party: Madphil Rowsell, Tom Porritt, Geoff Wise It seems pretty stupid packing thermals for a day that lived up to the forecast of 36 degrees but anyway that’s how it goes I guess. The air was black with the swarm of flies when I arrived at the car park and Phil decided to have a look for Bradley-Chesterman. Phil found the IB-5 entrance and we headed down and fo und the IB-4 entrance as well. The idea was to put a traverse in for later surveying but we gave up as the return trip to the road became a mini epic through th e scrub. Back at the cars I discovered a couple of leeches had latched on. However we finally found a use for the seasoning from Phil's bloody noodles. It is extremely effective in removing the leeches! We headed up the track dreading the climb up the quarry in the heat, not to mention the entire fly population of southern Tasmania following us. We surveyed a traverse along th e IB-90's and then geared up for Pseudocheirus. Phil headed down to the bolt but found that it was damaged when apparently the wrong type of hanger had been put in and he didn't want to rig off it. Anyone going to this cave should not use this bolt. We ended up rigging the pitch off the left hand side, dropped into rather large passage and escaped the marauding flies and mossies that had already driven me insane. Judging by the size of the pa ssage this cave should go further than it does. We had a look around and surveyed. Tom rigged a tape handline down to a lower level but without rope the climb would have been difficult so we didn't bother to fully explore the lower passage. Phil got stuck in a squeeze at the top of the flowstone ramp and had to suck his gut in to get back through. That effort finished off the surveying so we headed up the pitch and into the flies again. Once out it was back to the cars and head home, glad to be out of reach of the bloody flies.


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 13 A play in Exit’s Nostrils (IB-175) and More Surface Surveying in the “Potholes Area” 30 January 2003 By Jeff Butt Party: Jeff Butt, Madphil Rowsell Today was to be a bit of a ‘clean up’ tasks day. First up we headed to Exit’s Nostrils (IB-175) armed with some persuasive implements. We spent a solid hour and a bit nibbling away at the edges of the solid rock to enlarge the slot into a vertical squeeze of about ~22 cm width. At this level Phil could just squeeze through, and headed through for a look. What’s there isn’t very encouraging; lots of blocks dropped from the ceiling, some low grovelly spaces, but nothing very attractive. The normally strong breeze was very fickle today; making it hard to select the best avenue to investigate. But, it is worth coming back again for a look on a day when the cave should be (or is) blowing hard. We dispensed with our hardware, and headed off to the Comet Dust (IB-102) environs for some surface surveying. Phil had done quite a bit of surface surveying in the area; today we were doing some extra traverses to tie up a few loops and connect in some other tagged caves that had not been surface surveyed into the ‘net’ before. Trogging in this area did indeed pay dividends; as not only did we relocate several tagged caves, but we also found several promising looking holes. Some of these, as evidenced by the old blue tapes present, had obviously been looked at, and some may have been looked at before and recorded in Spiel 263, the Quarry Special Issue. However, it seemed highly likely that others had not been looked at and there are several promising holes to return to. All up we surveyed about 600 m of traverse; with forward and back readings for all legs. Today Phil took the brunt of the Suunto work (with his new dual unit instru ment); as I’d accidentally brought an old pair of spectacles along; these ones have magnetic material in the frames and disrupted the readings by a few degrees...a lesson I’ve learned some time ago, but had forgotten about. There are definitely advantages in taking both forward and back bearings! Surface Work (Ida Bay Ar ea): 3-4 February 2003 By Jeff Butt Party: Madphil Rowsell, Jeff Butt We had a large selection of possible jobs to tackle over this two day stint and had a boot load of gear to cover all contingencies. In the end, we needn’t have bothered taking caving gear down with us, as we spent the entire time surface surveying. First off on Monday, we headed back in to where we were on 30/1/03, and surface surveyed in to our everincreasing web of surface traverses a promising looking cave that Phil found that day. Stones dropped ~20 m plus down the entrance shaft, and there appeared to be a slight breeze. We affixed the IB-178 number tag to this feature. After that we surveyed a loop from the Skinner track up to the contact, in the Cyclops Pot environs, then traversed along the contact to National Gallery and then back to the Skinner track. We tied in many numbered caves, IB-47, the IB-50’s an d the low IB-60’s, though we didn’t locate IB-60. En-route back, we had a bit of a foray on the downhill side of the Skinner track, and found several interesting features, but no number tags. An old red tape was found near one large sinkhole...we wondered if this was IB-105, a cave Phil has not yet relocated; but since we couldn’t find a number tag we can’t tell. All up we surveyed 4 pages of data, ~ 650 m of traverse. We were taking both forward and back-sights for all legs. On Tuesday, we headed back up one of our surveyed paths to the contact, and then headed the other way along the contact (towards Mini-Martin), picking up other caves en-route. There are a selection of different ettages of cave numbers in this area, in the 20’s, 40’s and 60’s. A short distance along the contact, the limestone disappears; one finds oneself on a large sloping hillside (? old landslide) with many large fallen trees (? unable to root well on the old landslide surface). We then headed back to the Skinner track. We again returned to the area we looked at yesterday, on the low side of the track, and surveyed in all the interesting features lo cated down there. Today’s effort was 6 pages of data, ~950 m of traverse; totalling about 1.6 km of surf ace traverse for the 2 days effort. Quite a productive effort; we now know where a lot more caves are than we did before. When Phil processed the data he was very pleased, all closures were within one me tre. Taking forward and back-sights really is worth it. During the instrument reading process, generally both sets of instruments would agree very well, but every now and then one of us would mis-read an instrument and the resulting inconsistency would alert us to both re-read and get it right!


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Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 15 More ‘fun’ in Rocket Rod’s Pot (IB-171): 8 February 2003 By Jeff Butt Party: Madphil Rowsell, Alan Jackson, Jeff Butt The aim for the day was to check out the pitch that parallels the main 40m shaft, to find out what secrets it held. We headed up the hill with ~300m of rope, and rigged as we headed in. It was a pleasure to have clean ropes to work with, mind you they wouldn’t stay clean for long! At the fourth pitch (the main 40m shaft), Phil descended 12m to the floor of the large window and ensconced himself there; Alan and I followed to join him. We dropped a short drop (~7m) to a ledge of debris, and there was another drop (~18m) in front of us. At the base of this drop there was an impossibly tight rift and also a ‘rabbit burrow’ leading off into the side of what seemed to be a large aven. There was a good draft here, and when we managed to get stones through the burrow, the resounding reverberations told us that indeed there was something big there. Phil’s survey work suggested that this should be the large aven in Little Grunt....but alas it was not possible for humans to get there! Considerable work (e.g. small mining project) would be required to make this accessible for humans. The limestone in this part of the cave is very honeycombed. In the side of the ~18 m pitch there was a window through to another chamber, this must be right above the large and inaccessible pitch. Unfortunately this window and 3m down-climb just lead to a small ‘wash pot’ chamber, with a small stream heading along a narrow and jagged passage. The place sounded quite ‘hollow’, but there was solid rock in the floor. We did wonder just how thick the walls actually are, and in hindsight, wished that we’d given them a sounding bash to see what they sounded like. At the entrance to this ‘wash-pot’, behind us was yet another window which after a careful on-rope manoeuvre, gave one access to another chamber with a pitch leading to a big black rift barrelling off. Whilst Phil and Alan surveyed thei r way through to here, I rigged and dropped this pitch to find footprints! So, we’d just joined back into the known cave. After a bit of a look, I found ‘Slime Way’, and relayed the message back. I think we all felt pretty confused about just what this cave was actually doing! I relayed a description of the area up to Phil and Alan and then we all realised that the aven around the corner was actually the base of the original 40 m pitch. So, all up, we’d managed to use about 100 m of rope to do a loop to get the bottom of this 40 m pitch! It all felt like a bit of a wasted effort! But, one never knows until one goes and has a look and we did find a currently impassable possible route that leads to Little Grunt. Today was Phil’s 12th (and Alan’s 11th) trip into Rocket Rods. Phil was a bit jaded by the unwillingness of a way to be found to Little Grunt and so we decided to de-rig on the way out. En-route out we stripped the hangers from the spits; installing plastic marker bolts in the spits, except for the surface-most three bolts (as we’d run out of markers). Ten hours after entering Rods we were back on th e surface, with significantly heavier packs that we had on the way in; the weight of the mud on the ropes/gear/us really does make a difference. (IB-168, IB-178) Pushing more promising holes – Not! 9 February 2003 By Madphil Rowsell Party: Madphil Rowsell, Geoff Wise, Ric Tunney, Janine McKinnon Another day checking out new caves. It should have been an exciting prospect, but instead I was pretty disillusioned with the club really. All the hard work I had put into the archive had just generated a lot of shit and I really didn’t know why I bothered. Come to that why was I in Tassie?? I thought I was giving the club a taste of the future, instead I found myself battling with luddites who didn’t seem to trust their fellow club members and needed some sort of agreement to sign, if that would make any difference. It seemed crazy!! I tried to shove it to the back of my mind and concentrate on why I was here and member of the club, to go caving!! Geoff and I met Ric and Janine at the booth. I distributed some gear and we headed on up and over to IB-168, a cave Alison Moody had found on the 13/10/02. It had taken a long time to get back here! The rigging was not the best, a bomb proof anchor but not much else to get you through the squeeze. I did a bit of rearranging of the big boulder at the top of the pitch and opened it up a bit more, wedging the thing in place with another boulder. I managed to get two chocks in a side crack which hopefully would be OK as a deviation and sort something better out once through the squeeze. Man the squeeze was a bit gnarly; it ripped my oversuit twice which was really annoying. Once through, the place opened out into a nice rift pitch of about 20m. Pretty bare again, so another chock in a crack for a 2nd deviation. It worked pretty well as long as they all held. I headed on down and put a dodgy rebelay 5m or so off the bottom. The passage headed off down to a small crack, but no obvious way on. Bummer. At the end the crack was just wide enough to squeeze into a T junction and left a bit to be a good bomb shelter. Geoff came on down after the inevitable


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Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 17 thrashing in the squeeze, and said Ric and Janine decided not to come down as it wasn’t going anywhere. There wasn’t really much to see in any case. The only encouraging thing was that at the end of the rift there was a small hole in the floor that was blowing air quite strongly making a spider's web move quite rapidly. Interesting. It would take quite a lot of work to open this up if it did at all. It may be worth some attention another day, but a long job. We surveyed our way out. I decided to call this Disillusioned Pot. While we were dropping IB-168, Ric had had a look at IB-106. He said it was a rift about 40m long. I suggested that we surveyed it with them doing all the work. It would be good practice for them and another knocked off the list. Geoff was happy sitting on surface eating a bit of lunch. It was just a long horizontal rift choked out at the end by formation. Ric read instruments and Janine did the book. It only took about 5/6 legs. The final lead of the day was near IB-102 which I had found with Kat (22/01/03) and now tagged IB-178. I had high hopes for this one as it was in a great area, above known Little Grunt passage. Rigging wasn’t too bad, a tree and a good chock at the top of the open rift. I open this one up for someone else to drop and Ric volunteered. He headed in but the news was not good, a pitch of 20m or so into another blind rift! Janine wasn’t going to bother to come on down, but I told her this was all part of exploration, dropping endless crappy holes until finally one goes. I think a lot of people forget this sometimes! The bottom was pretty disappointing. A largish rift that ended in a muddy puddle with a small hole heading off to one side where the water drained. There was no draft. Not a good digging prospect. Janine appeared and helped me survey the place. It was only about 7 legs again. Bit of a disappointment really. I decided to call this Copyright Fiasco as a re flection of the times. Time to go home. It was not a bad day in all, crossed off three caves on my list which is good, just need to draw them up to finally cross them off. As my mate J-Rat in the Mendips said “you have to kiss a lot of toads to find a princess”. There’s a lot of truth in this, that’s what exploration is all about a numbers game!! Cyclops Pot (IB-57): 15 February 2003 By Madphil Rowsell Party: Madphil Rowsell, Alan Jackson It was nice to head in some where different to Rocket Rods for a change. I still felt pretty disillusioned really. Annoyed about the archive an d really wondering why I was here sometimes. Still it was another days caving and finally we were heading in to drop Cyclops pot after numerous aborted attempts. We headed on down the Skinner track and decided to head on past Oh Yeh (IB-166) to try and find a nice way up. I think I managed to pick probably the steepest part of the hill to climb up. Alan was not impressed. I think it would have been easier to head up from Oh Yeh. We eventually hit the contact around IB-61 and wandered along to IB-57. At least I knew where I was! We geared up and headed in down the rift to a short little drop. Rigged a bit of a hand line come abseil line to get down and make getting out easier. The pitch was a bit further along with a good permanent bolt a bit further down. So much for the supposed squeeze, easy money. It was a really nice drop in a big wash pot; free hang all the way. The second pitch was straight after, down a bit of a cobble strewn climb which wasn’t so good. I did a bit of gardening with the stones making a great whirring noise down the next pitch! A nice bolt placement again, easy rigging. The pitch was huge wash pot again, fantastic free hang. Around the corner a short pitch (naturally rigged) lead to a wash pool with drop off at the end. Not so nice this, exposed and a large rock boulder on the left that looked well dodgy. It had a cr ack halfway up the back. There was a bolt on the far wall, but I used the boulder for a ‘y’ hang. If it let go it would be a quick trip to the bottom, as it was the size of half a car! I was a bit freaked by the time I had rigged this and was glad to drop on down. Fantastic echos, not quite as good as Big Tree but getting close! Up until now the cave had been relatively clean, but we hit a rift passage to head down which was a bit more muddy. I got to the final pitch head and drew a blank as far as rigging went. I was really amazed that people had got down. I found the dodgy rock bridge that Jeff had mentioned. We didn’t like the look of that and it was too far back from the pitch. I felt totally unenthused. We spent sometime looking for bolts, but couldn’t see any, I was sure there was one. Alan headed out on the short rope and had a look the pitch head but still couldn’t find any bolts. He came back in and debated what to do. I suggested he put in a bolt at the top of the pitch head and I would put one in around the corner where we would get a good free hang. He did his bolt OK, complaining about positioning, but that’s all part of the job!! Bish bash bosh, mine was in and I was heading down another fantastic pitch, awesome cave. At the bottom, the rift headed on down to a low boulder blockage, presumably the sump but now dry. It was drafting too which was good. Digging prospects looked really good. You could see th at after a short distance it opened out into a wide flattener about 4-6" high, diggable. Another Baader Meinhof job! We headed on back up and found Trevor’s big stone in a hole off to


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 18


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 19


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 20 the side. I found that at the far end the bank was just mud and this could be easily removed. Man was it muddy but I made good progress kicking a lot of the mud ahead as there seemed to be an opening below it. I made quite a bit of progress, but I couldn’t quite squeeze passed the stone. I knocked it on the head. Alan had suggested that he might take a day off work, so we debated options again. I persuaded him to head back down here again and to have a good dig at the sump and to survey the place again as we have seemed to have lost the data. It would also mean we wouldn’t have to de-rig it so it was a nice easy trip out. Man it was quite funny heading up the pitches, both of us complained about being tired!! We haven’t done consecutive biggish pitches for awhile. We got out after an 8 hour trip. We took the direct route down the hill and came out right at Oh Yeh (IB-166). A better route, but a bit of a gnarly climb down at the end to get to the path, still far better than the massive detour we took on the way up. A really good trip. It restored a bit of enthusiasm into me again. A fantastic cave, great free hanging pitches. It will be interesting to see what happens with the dig. I later learnt that there was one spit at the last pitch but in a very odd position, high up on the right. Impossible to see if you didn’t know where it was. I felt a bit annoyed putting more bolts in, but it is not really good caving practice to drop such a bit pitch on a single spit with a pretty dodgy natural anchor far up the passage. The Southern Ranges Track and a look ar ound on the back-side of Marble Hill 17 February 2003 By Jeff Butt Party : Madphil Rowsell, Jeff Butt We surveyed up the Southern Ranges Track, starting from the Track junction in Blayney’s Quarry. We did several loops through here on account of all the steel and distorted magnetic fields. Headed up the Southern Ranges track, tied in a marked cave (IB-165) en-route and a couple of other interesting features. Surveyed up to the ‘fissure’ which we (SCS) used as a reference point for their surveying wo rk on the back-side of Marble Hill. Also surveyed further along the track tying in the starts of the Halfway Hole track and the Valley Entrance track. We had considered walking around Marble Hill to IB113 environs, but we had a bit of trouble locating the tapes for the Halfway Hole track (I was looking in slightly the wrong place!). So, we bashed down the hill, down the Great Expectations valley to Great Expectations (IB-129) to ta ke the Great Expectations route to Halfway Hole. We descended and contoured, picking up the other known caves (IB-142, IB-141). We then seemed to drop down a bit low, and got off the track....but that paid dividends as at the bottom of a large cliff was a ‘mine st yle’ entrance, with an extremely strong draft. Definitely one to pursue at a later date...and most likely another entrance to Exit Cave. We did manage to get a 2D GPS fix here, which will help us return. After a bit of wandering around on the hill, we did relocate the Halfway Hole (IB-136) doline (which is also associated with IB-137 and IB-140) and were back on the taped track (the tapes were in reasonable condition given that nobody has really been here for nearly a decade). We thrashed up the track back to the Southern Ranges Track and headed back (in the rain) down the hill to camp at the car-park. Made good use of the registration booth as a shelter in which to cook dinner. Once again, it shows that if y ou go for a bit of a wander you’re almost guaranteed to find something of interest! The survey tally for the day was the ‘regulation 6 pages’, and must have totalled around the 2 km mark. Mystery Creek (IB-10): 18 February 2003 By Jeff Butt Party: Madphil Rowsell, Jeff Butt We’ve done a couple of trip s to Mystery Creek cave as part of our re-surveying effort, and thought that today we’d finish up. After doing a few loose ends, we spent most of the day working in the labyrinth down the back-end of the cave (beyond the old 20 gallon drum). Part of this area was roughly surveyed by a trip done a while back, but only the main drag was surveyed. Today water levels were down about 0.5 m, and so there was a lot more passage (mostly unpleasant!) accessible. We knocked off all the dry stuff first, before going and lying in the water and grovelling downstream as far as we could. Several of the former ‘sumps’ now had air-space, and so we got to some ‘new’ places and surveyed them all in. All up, quite a productive day surveying, though there were many short and unpleasant legs. We totalled 544 m over 112 legs, bring the total surveyed length in Mystery Creek Cave thus far to be 2242 m. One more trip to the cave should ‘knock’ the job on the head.


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 21 Cyclops Pot (IB-57): Still trying to find the elusive 2nd entrance to Little Grunt: 20 February 2003 By Madphil Rowsell Party: Madphil Rowsell, Alan Jackson, Janine Mckinnon, Ric Tunney We were heading back down to have ago at the dig. Ric and Janine wanted to come, so I told them the mission, no problem. Nice walk in, only SRT gear. We took the route up from Oh Yeh rather than the scenic route I took Alan on last time. Much better. Alan and I went in and surveyed in the first pitch while Ric and Janine were gearing up and then waited for then to come on down. Ric was having light problems which was a nightmare. Alan had a spare Duo which would have been OK, but Ric had decided to go out. Annoying but a good decision really. We told Janine to head on while and we continued on surveying on down. We were quite surprised that as we progressed down, Janine had disappeared. We plodded on doing our usual thorough job expecting to bump in to Janine. Guess she must have headed on to the bottom. Finally we dropped down in to the last chamber. A magical pitch that one. Janine had been down here for about an hour! Ha Ha, now the fun begins. We headed down to the dig. We started by machining out the floor. I had brought the hand pick down which was invaluable. We all had turns hacking away. There was some good banter bouncing around, nice to have a good laugh! I think Ric would have hated this!! Janine wasn’t used to this but was giving it everything. I think she was a bit bemused by the goings on. Everyone had their specialty; I dug, Janine went in and cleared back the muck and Alan, kept digging at the floor. It worked quite well rotating around and we finally started to make forward progress. I got quite excited at one point as it looked as though it would open up a bit once around the corner. Once I had managed to dig nearly around the corner however, the view was not so good and it looked like it remained pretty gnarly with about 3" air gap for someway. Dirt disposal was a nightmare too as the passage was pretty narrow and you could not push the dirt to the side and continue on like Baader Meinhof. Everything would have to be pulled out, becoming more of a problem the further you dug. I decided to pull the pin on this one. It was getting late in any case and I wanted to have a look at Trevor’s rock, before we left. I went and had a look at the rock. I did a bit of mud excavating and put my legs down to have a feel what was around. I was sitting down facing the wall. I moved about a bit and found I could slip on down. Wild, really wondered why I hadn’t done this last time. I dropped into a little rift 0.5m wide so well negotiable. Major excitement!! I headed over the boulders and looked with dismay. The passage closed down after only 3m or so to a tiny little drain hole which took the water. Mega disappointment!! I headed out dejected. We decided to build a little dam across the passage to channel the water down Trevor’s stone, to see if it would flush it out a little more but also keep the dig dry. It wasn’t a very good dam, but would work for awhile Alan and I finished off surveying while Janine headed out. It didn’t take long before we too were plodding out de-rigging as we went. I managed to rip the leg of my TSA a corker on the way through the “squeeze” on the first pitch. Good trip really and I didn’t feel quite as tired as last time. Good to have re-surveyed it. A real bummer about Trevor’s stone. I really thought we had hit the jack pot then, but that’s the way it goes. Still it’s another thing crossed off the list. We had made reasonable progress digging 2-3m which wasn’t bad. It needs a revisit sometime, but it would be better to check out the Masochistic Wa y first to see how close the passages are as to progress will be a lot of hard work! Ida Bay-surface surveying up to Mini-Martin (IB-8): 24 February 2003 By Jeff Butt Party: Madphil Rowsell, Jeff Butt Today’s objective was to surv ey the Mini-Martin track from the Skinner track. The day was particularly humid (“close” in Phil’s lingo) so surface surveying was a good activity. The surveying went along smoothly; again we were taking both forward and back readings to prevent any of those ‘blonde moments’ clouding the good data. We put a new number tag on Mini-Martin (IB-8), on one of the exposed rocks on the ground. The original tag was on the large Eucalypt; it is still there, but about 5 cm deep under bark! The new tag should be a bit more permanent. After surveying in this new tag, we headed down to where ‘4 tapes’ was and split up, looking for Machete Pot (IB-107) and other caves in the area. The old Kokoda Trail isn’t very easy to follow anymore, there’s only the odd bit of light blue tape about. We located IB-32 pretty quickly, but despite a long search didn’t relocate Machete Pot. We dropped down the hill too far, can’t have been that far from Old Ditch Road, and later rendezvoused at the small saddle about 100 m south of Skyhook Pot. It was a sticky trudge back up the hill to Skyhook Pot and our gear. Time was against us for surveying in the caves in the vicinity of Milk Run (IB-38), so that task awaits another day. We headed back to the road-head, and set


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 22 up camp. Apres’ dinner wa s to survey down the road towards Bradley Chesterman, we surveyed about 600 m down the road, with 30 m legs from plastic box to plastic box, which we leap-frogged. Finally enough was enough; it was time to crash out; we’d surveyed enough for the day. No more excuses – back to Sandba gged Again (IB-170): 25 February 2003 By Madphil Rowsell Party: Madphil Rowsell, Jeff Butt We got up early at 08:00 and straight into action. We decided to finish off the survey we started last night down to the road junction and then pushed on and tied in both entrances to Loon's cave, IB-2 and IB-3. It wouldn’t take too long. It was amazing the speed that we could survey at in the light, but you couldn’t get any easier that this, open road! We finished in just under 2 hours. We did think about doing Bradley Chesterman, but suggested we left that for another potential fill in jo b. (I really think Jeff is still trying to find excuses not to go in to Sandbagged Again (IB-170)!!). No more excuses left I was surprised how long it took as there seemed to be more passage than I thought. It would be interesting to see where the passage we dug goes as we both didn’t think


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May June 2003. Page 23 we had got out of the doline!! We headed on out with a good sense of achievement, finally knocking off something we had been putting off for awhile. We headed over to Mendip Madness (IB-173) and decided to survey this. It was only very short, but we might as well do it properly. A short drop to enter a small little rift system, one side basically mud from the doline the other the wall of the limestone. Not much passage at all but it looked like it took a lot of water at times. No real promising digging opportunities. We headed on out. Since we still had sometime left, we headed into Bradley Ches terman (IB-4, 5 & 6) and finish that off. Man was I tired though. I got a bit grumpy as I was so tired, but got over it and things progressed pretty well. It was good to do as it was more cave(s) crossed off the list. It only took about 40mins which was pretty surprising. The survey data of Sandbagged Again (IB-170) and Mendip Madness (IB-173) was interesting as it seemed the dig passage in Sandbagged Again was heading straight to Mendip Madness and therefore probably not worth pursuing. The surveys of IB-173 Mendip Madness and IB-170 Sandbagged Again are shown on the following pages. News from the Gearstore By Jeff Butt Old ropes put to good uses We have had several hundred metres of old rope sitting around in the gearstore for ages....but recently there has been a run on it, and we are currently ‘sold out’. But of course, we’ll generate more ‘dead rope’ in due course. It is good to have funds in the bank instead of old rope in the store. You may be interested to know that the last of the old rope went to past active members: Life member Therese Gatenby’s husband, David is building a Low-Ropes course at Triabunna High School. Our old ropes are ideal for the purpose. Therese probably cav ed on some this rope a couple of decades ago! Master knotsman (and former caver) Frank Brown has also found that our old rope can be turned into excellent doormats. An example of Franks work is shown in the picture of an Ocean Plait door-mat (made from 17 m of old 9 mm rope). If anyone has some old rope that they’d like made up into a mat, then Frank may be commissioned/persuaded to do this. You should contact Frank directly via "Frank Charles Brown" BOWLINE@bigpond.com 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 336, May June 2003. Page 24


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May – June 2003. Page 25 Gormenghast (JF-35) 18 May 2003 By Geoff Wise Party: Matt Cracknell, Steve Phipps, Geoff Wise It was a small turn out of three for a trip that had been advertised on the list server with plenty of notice. None of us had been up to the eight road environs since the place was logged and we were amazed at the change in scenery. We geared up at th e car park and headed off on the Growling track, taking the appropriate turn off for Gormenghast. This was a cave that I had wanted to visit for some time, having read Mervyn Peake’s books set in the castle Gormenghast I wanted to see why it was named as such. It became obvious fairly quickly; you wouldn’t want to be underground here when it started to flood! (The castle floods in the book) We headed down following the stream, although Steve said there was a dry bypass somewhere that avoided the climbs. Anyway we got down to some tightish stuff and worked our way through. At that point Steve said he was feeling tired and would stay put while Matt and I bottomed the cave, perhaps 20-30mins away. Matt and I pushed on quickly and were soon at the streamway down the bottom, grovelling along in some well decorated passage. We were soon at the sump, the only way on was with diving gear. It must have been an effort to get the gear down here for that. We turned around and bar a few stops for photos we got back to Steve and began to head out. Steve found the bypass on the way so we avoided the water, although there was one slightly stretchy climb. We were then soon out in the sunshine, a nice four hours underground, although my bony knees were a little sore. I took the scenic route back, meeting the others just before the turn off. We then met a group of people heading in to see Growling Swallet, they must have read the article in today’s paper and thought it a nice Sunday outing. We stopped off at the Possum Shed in Westerway on the return journey fo r cake and milkshakes.


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May – June 2003. Page 26 Old Ditch Road (IB-131), a P-hangering trip: 1 June 2003 By Jeff Butt Party: Jeff Butt, Andras Galambos, Mark Wright. Old Ditch Road was already rigged courtesy of the Old Ditch Road to Garage Door through trip that Geoff Wise and myself did on 26/4/03. I put out the feelers for helpers, and Andras and Mark were available, so we had a quorum. The aim was to install P-hangers in the cave and derig it. Since Old Ditch Road is often done as a pull-through trip it made most sense for the installed hangers to be suitable for either Pull-throughs or Down/Up trips. Details of the final bolt placements is summarised at the end of this trip report. Note that if you want to do a pull-through trip you will need 80 m of rope (2 by 40’s) and one small sacrificial sling. With the cave already rigged the trip in was quite easy, though there was still five packs of gear to deal with. En-route down we discussed the bolting options at each pitch. When possible we also did so me drilling to facilitate a quicker trip up with the setting glue-gun. At the top of the final pitch, I sent Andras and Mark down into the Ballroom for their first look into this part of Exit Cave whilst I drilled the rebelay hole on this final pitch. With six holes drilled, I cracked open the glue and started inst alling P-hangers. With the first nozzle we got five hangers installed on the last two pitches, and the old spits rehabilitate d. Here “rehabilitated” means the spits were either drilled or bashed to below the surface of the rock, then grouted w ith glue and powdered with drill dust. We then retreated upwards, derigging as we went. The final three hangers on the first two pitches were done with a second nozzle. All up, we spent about nine and a half hours in the cave...goo d work does take time; and we were close to the ‘hour per hanger’ mark which seems to be the rule of thumb for P-hangering. With heavy packs we headed back to the car, and arrived home just before the pumpkin hour. Positions of P-hangers Notes for Pull-through trips Rope required Allow 120 m if all pitches are to be tied back to each other. Approx. 110 m is the minimum amount of rope. 80 m of rope, with at least one length of 40 m. Pitch 1 (7 m) From the window off the balcony; one hanger just over the lip on the right. A small sling on the jug on the left should be used as a second anchor. Pitch 2 (38 m) Two on the wall over on the far side of the pitch. Y-belay from both for a free hang. You will need the rope on the first p itch to safely reach the two hangers. Last person onto this pitch can retrieve the rope from the first pitch just before they abseil down. Pitch 3 (12 m) Two on the left ha nd wall, up at face height, just underneath a ceiling ledge. Y-belay from both. If most of the load is taken on the right-most hanger, then the rope hangs free of the lip 4 m down. Both hangers can be easily reached. Pitch 4 (35 m) Two on the right hand wall, at face height. Ybelay from both. 7 m down is another hanger, just below a sharp horizontal rib; the hanger is 1 m to the right when you are on rope; rebelay from this. Obviously ignore the rebelay anchor for a pull-through. However, DO NOT prussik back up, as the horizontal rib just above the rebelay hanger is a potential killer. Mystery Creek in flood on 21/5/03, some observations. By Jeff Butt. On 20/5/03 I took a TAFE group caving in Mystery Creek Cave ; water levels in the cave were very low, less than ankle deep at the entrance. We had a long trip and emerged from th e cave at around 2300, it was fi ne and starry at that time. We camped at the road-head overnight, or over-morning I should say, as we didn ’t retire till about 0130, by which time it was starting to drizzle. I was woken at about 0300 by heavy rain falling on the tent. Rain continued through the rest of the night, and my normally dry tent did leak due to the pooling around it. There were some periods of very heavy rain, particularly in the 0900-1100 period. After about 1200 the rain lightened significantly and progressively disappeared as the afternoon wore on. (We did run into the rain again late in the afternoon as we approached Hobart, where there was still local flash-flooding.) Anyway, we walked in to check out the entrance of Myster y Creek Cave at about 1300. First though, we had the obstacle (the bridge was removed earlier this year after sust aining flood damage) of Mystery Creek itself to deal with; at


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May – June 2003. Page 27 the track crossing the normally placid creek was a seething and roaring mass of white water. We crossed on a log about 20 m downstream of the normal crossing point; the log was strongly vibrating with the flow. Minor creeks in the vicinity of Mystery Creek were also flowing strongly. Without the log bridge, we could not have safely crossed. We estimated that the creek was flowing at ~3 m/s, was 0.7 m deep and 3 m wide; which gives a flow of ~6 cumecs!! It looked like a small Grade 4 river. At the entrance to Mystery Creek Cave itself the water was ~0.6 m deep and flowing very fast; there were pressure waves 0.3 to 0.6 m high over the boulders in the area. The entrance definitely wasn’t safely enterable. Interestingly, more water seemed to be emerging from under the wall on the right, just inside the entrance than was flowing down the surface creek entering the cave. When we returned to cross Mystery Creek at about 1400, the level had risen around another ~5 cm. We did some estimates amongst us, and the range that came up was 50 to 80 mm of rain fell in the ~ 10 hour deluge. Some rough calculations are illuminating: If we say a flow of 6 cumecs persists for 10 hours as a result of the run-off, then 50 to 80 mm or rain suggests that the catchment is 4.3 to 2.7 km2 in size. From looking at the 1:100000 map; th e catchment of Mystery Creek is about 3 km2, which after calculating back the other way says 72 mm of rainfall, so our estimates seem reasonable. Rainfall figures for nearby localities give similar orders of magnitude e.g. Hastings Chalet 13 mm in the 24 hrs to 0900 21/5 44 mm in the 24 hrs to 0900 22/5, a total of 57 mm. The catchment of Mystery Creek is much higher in elevation than is the Ha stings Chalet, one would expect a greater rainfall in the Mystery Creek catch ment than down on the flats. The volume of Mystery Creek Cave is roughly 500 m by 20 m by 20 m=200,000 m3. If there was no loss (i.e. flow to Exit Cave), then an inflow of 6 cumecs would fill it up in ~9.5 hours! The high level flood debris observed in the cave suggests that the cave does significantly pool at times. We also checked out Bradley Chesterman and Loons Cave. The stream in Bradley Cheste rman was ~0.7 m deep and flowing swiftly, too swift to walk agains t. The lower entrance of Loons Cave was sumped out, with a small pool filling the doline. About halfway between this entrance and the road a spring was ejecting water (presumably from Loons Cave) about 20 cm high above the surface of the wate r in a pool a couple of meters in diameter. Meteorologically, we had an active low pressure system (s ee the accompanying Mean Sea Level Analysis chart) move across Tasmania, the flow around the low, directed a strong and moist south-easte rly airstream onto the South East of the state. The orientation of the Mystery Creek catchment, i.e. sl oping down to the east would also maximise the rainfall potential of this event. Also, as judged by the heavy period s of rain there were some large active rain-cells in the accompanying cloud bands. This was a very similar meteorological situation to that which caused the flood that resulted in the Mystery Creek disaster of July 1990. Despite checking the weather forecasts on the morning of 20/5; I must say I was surp rised at how much rain fell. To see the transition of Mystery Creek from barely a trickle to a ra ging Grade 4 creek in flood in less than 12 hours was quite educational. My only lament is that I didn’t have a camera w ith me to take some record shots for this article; a set of before and after pictures would tell the story! My companions, who were TAFE students doing a caving certificate obtained an excellent experiential learning experience from this episode. We all contemplated what scenarios might have unfolded had the rain come 6 hours earlier whilst we were deep within the cave; “what-if’s” are always good food for thought!


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May – June 2003. Page 28 Beginners Luck and Owl Pot: 25 June 2003 By Jeff Butt Party: Damian Bidgood, Jeff Butt. This was a trip to suss out a couple of possible venues for CAVEX 2003. I had hoped that we might be able to use Beginners Luck and Owl Pot for the Navigation and the Verti cal Hauling workshops respectiv ely. We found that both caves would be well suited to our intended purposes. In our so rties there are a couple of things of note, so I thought I’d point them out. Beginners Luck (JF79-82) The only survey of this cave that I know about is the one done by Steve Bunton, Andrew Briggs and Tim Sprod; drawn by Steve Bunton, which was published (as Figure 7.3 on page 78) in “Inventory and Management of Karst in the Florentine Valley, Tasmania”, by Rolan Eberhard. This survey has incorrect number tag information. I have redrawn this survey (for use in CAVEX 2003) with the correct number tag information (see below). Number tags JF79, JF80 and JF82 were located and verified. No number tag could be found at the large walk-in entrance, which by default is JF80. This corrected number tag information agrees with th e entrance descriptions shown it the ASF Karst Index. Owl Pot we installed a P-hanger on the entrance pitch, it is located on the left hand wall, about 1.5 m past the first step, at a height of about 1 m above floor level. We also rehabilitated the two old spits at the head of the second pitch. We noted that the Reids Swiftchem resin now has a different colour mixed into the hardener; it is now black instead of red. This means that the mixed glue is more of a limestone gray colour (rather than st rawberry); which makes the rehabilitation work and the newly installed P-hanger blend in very well with the rock. JF82 Womguano SCALE Fatboy’s Flattener squeeze Turd Corner Passage extends 50m to a sump and beyond 10pJF79sump at lower level Surveyed 25/9/91 by S. Bunton, A. Briggs, T. Sprod Grade 44 Drawn S. Bunton 29/9/91PLAN 5p magnetic North 5m pitJF8110cJF80 (no tag)Archaeological SiteBeginners Luck (JF79-JF82)The Keyhole floor canyon 0 5 10m 2c


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May – June 2003. Page 29 CAVEX Search & Rescu e Training Weekend at Maydena 7-8 June 2003 By Ric Tunney STC Members Present: David Chiam, Matt Cracknell, Sarah Joyce, Janine McKinnon, Ric Tunney, Geoff Wise as well as lots of Police & State Emergency Service people. We all gathered at the Maydena Hall on Saturday morning. It was a typical wintry Maydena day cold, wet and snowy. We started with a group discussion about how a cave rescue would be initiated and how long it could take to get a rescue started. Generally, this means that if someone got injured well into a cave in the JuneeFlorentine, by the time a cav er exited the cave, got back to the car, drove to Maydena to raise the alarm (mobile phones don't work in the Florentine valley), Police Rescue was called out by the local police and drove to Maydena, and a small fast party headed into the cave, it could be around 12 hours before the first rescuers to reach the injured caver. The wilderness rescue paramedic advised a cold, wet injured caver could be expected to live for about 7 hours. Following this we were divided into two parties. Each party was to do two activities throughout the late morning and afternoon. One activity involved using rescue stretchers to carry a person around the hall environs. Each party divided into two smaller teams and made a race of it. One obstacle was the ‘Chasm of Blackberry Doom’ where an aerial ropeway was quickly erected. Four or five people carrying a stretcher are quickly tired out, especially if there are fallen trees to cross. The other activity was held at Beginners Luck Cave. The party had to locate all four entrances using a map of the cave. This was done by doing line searches from entrance to entrance acro ss the surface through regrowth. It is not easy to keep a bearing and line spacing and to look for holes. The party returned through the cave to the car s from the reasonably large back entrance. As some of each party had never caved before, and some of each party were well-built, this was a bit of an adventure; there are a few traverses and lots of crawly and squeezy bits. We all returned to Maydena Hall for a barbeque dinner courtesy of Police S&R. Sunday was a little finer, but colder. Again each party was to do two activities. One activity involved laying a phone line in Beginners Luck Cave and experimenting with inductively coupling phone line to the SES radios. This may or may not have worked as the cave is quite shallow and the radios may have worked through the ground anyway. The other activity was at Nine Road. A simple Z-pulley system was set up for practice on the roadway up the hill a bit from Tassy Pot. Then the parties moved to the top of the second pitch in Owl Pot to practice an actual hall. There was not really enough time for this. The first party only got the haul partly rigged. The second party managed to send a guinea pig (Geoff Wise) 4m down the pitch and haul him up. All on all this was a most successful weekend. Everyone took part with enthusiasm and good humour. As cavers we got to know the Police & SES people a bit, so we'll at least recognise faces if there's ever a real rescue. And we had the big lesson reinforced Cave safely & don't get injured! Cavex p artici p ants g et some instruction on stretcher haulin g – p hoto b y Geo ff Wise


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May – June 2003. Page 30 Proposed caving/ speleology display at Tasmanian Muse um: January 2005 By Arthur Clarke The Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery (TMAG) have agreed to a request from STC to establish a temporary exhibition devoted to caving and speleology that will run for around a 3 week period fro m late December 2004 to mid-January 2005, coinciding with the 25th ASF Conference that happens here during the first week of January 2005. It is hoped that there will be sufficient input to enable the exhibit to happen in two adjoining venues at TMAG: In the temporary display case area (at th e top of the Macquarie Street entrance stairs in the walkway area where you go into the Tasmanian fauna room); and In what is presently the children’s' activity room : immediately opposite this temporary display area. The exhibition will be put together by two people working at TMAG: Robyn Claire and Jo Eberhard (Stefan's mum). Robyn and Jo would like to have the format for the exhibit completed around 12 months from now, so they are requesting that STC members (and anyone else interested in contributing) do some brainstorming NOW to come up with ideas or concepts of what could be included and what they (as individuals or STC as a club) might offer by way of a temporary loan to the museum: e.g., perhaps old caving memorabilia, historic material relating to cavers and caving in Tasmania (or elsewhere??), old or new photographs, past (o ld) or more recent cave survey maps, cave fauna stuff, surveying equipment and any other concepts: perhaps a model of a caver dressed in caving attire attached to a rope with SRT gear on. All ideas are welcome. Please forward your ideas and offers of contributions to Robyn Claire and/ or Jo Eberhard at TMAG asap. The staff at TMAG will also appreciate some hands-on assistan ce with setting up the display closer to the time that it happens. STC WaReHoUsE SaLeS Publications “Caving Safety 1 Manual”, 92 pages, covers Planning, Safety, Maps, Gear, Rigging, Emergencies etc. $20.00 Gear CAVE PACKS, cylindrical in shape, made from Heavy dut y Ripstop PVC material, doubl e 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 carrying the pack in low passages. Strongly made. Available in either Yellow with different co lour trims (navy, green, red, black etc.). So, they don’t all look the same! Available in two sizes, the “STANDARD” (25 litres: 23 cm diameter, 61 cm long) and $55.00 the “SUPER” (31 litres: 25 cm diameter, 63 cm long). $65.00 but 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 ri gging, 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) $1.20 per m Safety NEW STOCK.... Edelrid 10.5 mm dynamic rope (for cows tails, safety loop) $4.50 per m, e.g. Cowstail $12 Space Blankets (don’t be caught underground without one!) Just one left. $4.00 each Lighting Yuasa Gel-cells, 6 Volt, 7 Amp-Hour $24.00 each Metal Lamp Brackets, complete with fixing rivets and c able keeper. $7.50 each Used Metal Lamp Brackets and cable keeper. Good condi tion. Just need to add some small bolts. $4.00 each Used Plastic Lamp Brackets. G ood condition and comes with fixing screws and a cable keeper. $3.00 each Jets (21 litres/hr) for Petzl k aboom (just a couple left) $5.00 each Old Rope.....sorry, it’s all been sold....but there will be more in the future! If you need any of the above please contact Jeff Butt on (0 3) 62 238620 (H), or jeffbutt@netspace.net.au, or write to us: SOUTHERN TASMANIAN CAVERNEERS, P.O. BOX 416, SANDY BAY 7006.


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May – June 2003. Page 31 Current Membership of STC Note: Expiry dates for life members refer to their insurance cover, not their membership Membership enquiries should be addressed to the Treasurer Given nameFamily nameExpiry datePostal AddressPhone (H)Phone (W)MobileE-mail Members DamianBidgood31 Mar 2004c/Police S&R, 76 Federal St, North Hobart 70006230 2267damian.bidgood@police.tas.gov.au ClaireBrett31 Mar 200411/32 New St, Hampton, VIC 31889521 82189896 87890419 731 969clairemday@hotmail.com GavinBrett31 Mar 200411/32 New St, Hampton, VIC 31889521 82189544 0866g.brett@aerosonde.com KathrynBunton31 Mar 2004PO Box 198, North Hobart 7002 StephenBunton31 Mar 2004PO Box 198, North Hobart 70026278 23986234 6566sbunton@postoffice.friends.tas.edu.au JeffButt31 Mar 200422 Clutha Pl, South Hobart 70046223 86206223 8620jeffbutt@netspace.net.au LizCanning31 Mar 2004 124 Wentworth St, South Hobart 7004 6223 70886233 6176Elizabeth.Canning@dpiwe.tas.gov.au DavidChiam31 Mar 200440 Wyett St, West Launceston 72506331 1653davidchiam@dodo.com.au ArthurClarke31 Mar 200417 Darling Pde, Mt. Stuart 70006228 20996298 1107arthurc@southcom.com.au MikeCole-1/17 Twentysecond Ave, Sawtell, NSW 242502 9544 02070408 500 053mikecole@tpg.com.au MattCracknell31 Mar 2004PO Box 14, Geeveston 71166298 32090409 438 924crowdang@yahoo.co.uk GerryDoherty31 Mar 2004PO Box 315, Geeveston 71166297 6219gerdoh7@iprimus.com.au RolanEberhard-18 Fergusson Ave, Tinderbox 70546229 30396233 6455rolane@dpiwe.tas.gov.au StefanEberhard-2 Churchill Ave, Margaret River, WA 628508 9757 7411smecwork@netserv.net.au HughFitzgerald31 Mar 2004124 Wentworth St, South Hobart 70046223 70886226 1740Hugh.Fitzgerald@utas.edu.au AlbertGoede-69 Esplanade, Rose Bay 70156243 7319goede@tassie.net.au KentHenderson31 Mar 2004PO Box 332, Williamstown, VIC 30169398 05989398 05980407 039 887kenthen@optushome.com.au AndrewHogarth31 Mar 2004PO Box 21, Lune River 71096298 1771 AlanJackson31 Mar 20046 Wignall St, North Hobart 70006231 09680419 245 418ajackson@lmrs.com.au MaxJeffries-18 South St, Maydena 7140 RonMann-10 Swinton Pl, Rose Bay 70156243 00606220 5246 JanineMcKinnon31 Mar 2004PO Box 1440, Lindisfarne 70156243 5415jmckinnon@tassie.net.au GregMiddleton31 Mar 2004PO Box 269, Sandy Bay 70066223 14006233 2336gregmi@dpiwe.tas.gov.au DeanMorgan -15 Cades Dve, Kingston 70506229 44056234 50610438 294 405dmorgan@tesa.com.au DaveNichols31 Mar 20041/2 Excell Lne, South Hobart 70046224 47376226 1831D.Nichols@utas.edu.au HeatherNichols31 Mar 200413 Willow Ave, Kingston 70506229 43620414 294 362nichols5@iprimus.com.au StevePhipps31 Mar 2004133 Waterworks Rd, Dynnyrne 70056223 39396226 2251sjphipps@utas.edu.au TomPorritt31 Mar 2004PO Box 60, Millaa Millaa, QLD 488607 4056 5921 PhilRowsell31 Mar 2004c/22 Clutha Pl, South Hobart 7004 ChrisSharples31 Mar 2004GPO Box 1941, Hobart 70016239 66696239 6669chris@sharples.com.au AleksTerauds-60 Belair St, Howrah 70186244 34066244 3406 RichardTunney31 Mar 2004PO Box 1440, Lindisfarne 70156243 5415rtunney@tassie.net.au KeithVanderstaay31 Mar 2004754 Hastings Caves Rd, Hastings 71096298 32090429 983 209hastings.caves@bigpoond.com TrevorWailes 31 Mar 2004214 Summerleas Rd, Kingston 70546229 13826229 1382trite@ozemail.com.au MickWilliams31 Mar 2004PO Box 288, Geeveston 71166297 6368 GeoffreyWise31 Mar 20042/249 Bathurst St, Hobart 70006231 11740408 108 984wiseg@dodo.com.au Friends of STC BobCockerill-14 Aruma St, Mornington Heights 70186244 24396233 6832 BrianCollin-66 Wentworth St, South Hobart 70046223 1920 ChrisDavies-3 Alfred St, New Town 70086228 0228 ThereseGatenby-PO Box 69, South Hobart 70046239 1432theresemf@hotmail.com SteveHarris-17 Derwentwater Ave, Sandy Bay 7005 NickHume-8/71 Mt Stuart Rd, Mt. Stuart 70006231 0348 PhilJackson-8 Malunna Rd, Lindisfarne 70156243 7038 Barry James-52 Edge Rd, Lenah Valley 70086228 4787 KevinKiernan-FPU, Royden House, Patrick St, Hobart 70006239 14946233 7716Kevin.Kiernan@utas.edu.au StuartNicholas-PO Box 24, North Hobart 70026234 37990409 781 248stunich@pin6.com.au


Speleo Spiel Issue 336, May – June 2003. Page 32

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


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