Speleo Spiel

Speleo Spiel

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


General Note:
The Tasmanian Caverneering Club was formed on 13 September 1946. Initially, information was provided to members through a circular, copies of which exist back to November 1947. "Speleo Spiel, Circular of the Tasmanian Caverneering Club" was first published December 1960. Eight issues of this are known, up to May 1962. In April 1964 a "Circular" was again issued and seems to have continued, irregularly, until March 1966. Then in April 1966, a "New Series" of Speleo Spiel commenced, as a monthly newsletter. In December 1996 The Tasmanian Caverneering Club amalgamated with the Southern Caving Society and the Tasmanian Cave and Karst Research Group to form the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers. The combined group agreed to continue to publish "Speleo Spiel" as its bi-monthly newsletter, as continues today (2015). Speleo Spiel is a vehicle for recording the cave and karst-related activities, and particularly the achievements, of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers. It also carriers technical and scientific reports, reprints, reviews and other information likely to be of interest to members from time to time.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
No. 338 (Sep-Oct 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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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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K26-03925 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.3925 ( USFLDC Handle )
21533 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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Speleo Spiel – Issue 338, September – October 2003. Page 0 N ewsletter of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers Inc, PO Box 416, Sandy Bay, Tasmania 7006, AUSTRALIA


Speleo Spiel – Issue 338, September – October 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. 338, Sept. Oct. 2003 STC Officers President & Public Officer: Steve Bunton Ph: (03) 6278 2398 (h) sbunton@postoffice.friends.tas.edu.au Vice President: J anine McKinnon Ph: (03) 6243 5415 (h) j mckinnon@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: J eff Butt Ph: (03) 6223 8620 (h) j effbutt@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://tesa.com.au/stc Front Cover: Brett in Genghis Khan (Photo by Geoff Wise) Back Cover: David Chiam and Gavin Brett (Worker Bees) keep an eye on Geoff Wise (Queen Bee) at the Honey Farm on the way back from Mole Creek (Photo by Annette Swinnerton) CONTENTS Regular Bits Editorial 2 Forward Program 2 Stuff ‘n Stuff 2 Trip Reports Midnight Hole 7 Recce to the West 7 Ladies Gumboots Conquer Tassy Pot 8 Mole Creek 9 Other Exciting Stuff Some Caving Experiences in the USA 2 Current STC membership list 13 Warehouse Sales back cover This work is STC copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose o f 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 338, September – October 2003. Page 2 Stuff ‘n Stuff Growling Swallet Entrance It seems Tasmanian caves have caught the renovation bug. After months of bad weather, several rocks and trees have been rearranged around the entrance of Growling. No doubt other caves have been redecorated in a vain attempt to keep up with the Jones’. Study into Tasmanians Views about Forest Harvesting We have received a request from the University of Melbourne to participate in a study of Tasmanians' views about forest harvesting, including alternatives to clearfelling. At our October non-meeting we decided we'd become involved in this study as a club, especially as the Uni will pay the club $5 for each person involved in the study. Several members said they'd attend. The study itself takes about 90 mins & involves our looking at pictures on a large screen and filling in a questionnaire. 8pm Wed 19 Nov (this is in-lieu of our Social Meeting). Coffee & bikkies provided. Studio Theatre, University of Tasmania (next to Stanley Burbery Theatre near footbridge in Churchill Ave) Meeting Structure At the November Business meeting it was decided to revert to the old meeting structure of a business meeting on the first Wednesday and a social meeting on the third Wednesday of each month. From the Gear Store Gear borrowed on a weekend should be returned clean and with payment by the Thursd ay so it is available for the following weekend. Some Caving Experiences in the USA: June 2002 Text and photos by Jeff Butt I had the good fortune to have enough Frequent Flier points for a freebie trip to the USA; and our winter proved to be the ideal time for such a trip. Other impetus for the trip were to catch up with Sarah who was expeditioning in Canada; my wayward caving buddy Dave Rasch who had moved to Washington DC and to visit some of the Americans whom I’d shown around Tassie caves at vari ous stages over the last decade. Via the Internet and my contacts, I worked out a pr etty full month of caving adventures in California, Tennessee/Alabama/Georgia and Kentucky, all places that I’d not managed to visit on other trips to North America. This is a shortish narrative of the highlights, for interest I have tried to point out some of the major differences between caving here and there. Also, I managed to get a good set of photos and so have included some of them to help describe this little story. If anyone has the opportunity to do some caving in the USA and wants some more information from me, then please ask. Canada-just talking about caving. En-route to catching up with Sarah, I found myself in an icy Calgary, Canada. It was a meeting night of the Alberta Speleological Society; so I located the meeting place, a bar and ensconced myself with copious amounts of Guinness whilst waiting for some cavers to show. Cavers are alike th e world over; about an hour and a half after the official Editorial Well, I must say I've been enjoying my recent caving. Gone are the hard, wet, cold trips of earlier this year. Recently I have been doing a bit of "Gentleman's Caving". (Get to a wet horrible crawl and pike). The club trip to Mole Creek over the Hobart Show weekend was a great success with only mino r drawbacks of some key problems. Thanks to Ric an d Janine for organising a great time and for those tha t came along. This Spiel is a little thinner than I’ve been accustome d to over the last three or four issues, I’ve run out of the backlog of material. There is still plenty in it though. Geoff Wise Forward Program N ext Business Meeting ...............................3 December 8:00pm Shipwrights Arms, Battery Point Fruehauf SRT Training ..........................2nd & 4th Weds Get those long lost SRT skills back up to scratch fo r summer. 5:30pm at Fruehauf Quarry, South Hobart Caving in the Junee Florentine .................15 November Contact Gavin Brett Forest Harvesting Survey .........................19 November 8pm, Studio Theatre UTas (more details in Stuff ‘n Stuff) Christmas Dinner .....................................17 December BBQ at 9 Marion Crt, Lindisfarne (Ric & Janine’s) Annual General Meeting .........................3 March 2004 Gear Store Summer will see plenty of visitors appear so there will b e more trips happening, keep your eye on the lis t server


Speleo Spiel – Issue 338, September – October 2003. Page 3 starting time a couple of bods turned up; by this time I was well lubricated, and into talk-fest mode. Chatting away, I learned that the world is smaller than I thought; we knew several of the same people; they’d even read some of my stuff about drop testing ropes etc. Invites were given to do some caving another time... a bit later on being better, as at that time there was too much snow melt. Next I headed up to Jasp er to join Sarah; who had been skiing with a Canadian Parks Cave Specialist (Greg Horne), another person who I’d taken caving here a few years back. California First port of call in the US was sunny California. I had several contacts here. Anne and Peter Bosted (they’d been here caving earlier in 2002) were in San Francisco; Dave Decker (who had visited a couple of years back when the USS Carl Vinson was in port) was nearby in Monterey and Paul Nelson (who I caved with at the ASF conference in Bathurst) was down in Los Angeles. Virtually as soon as I arrived, I lucked in a trip with Dave and some friends from one of the San Francisco Bay grottoes to some granite (Yes, Granite) stream caves at Millerton Lakes. About a 5 hour fast drive is typical for these parts, the food en-route was likewise fast. Dave was considerate and gave me a choice between Burger King and McDonalds! These caves were virtually a canyon with a roof and contained much polished granite, water falls and plunge pools. It was quite a sporty series of caves developed along the course of a stream. There was lots of refreshing water, so me interesting climbs and a couple of unexpected dunkings! Despite being near the 100F (38C) mark outside, the temp erature in this aquatic environment was somewhat cooler 58F (14C). The locals all had wet-suits on; I survived OK in thermals. Dave was very kind to me and dropped me off in Yosemite en-route back to Monterey; where I ogled at th e above-ground rock scenery of Half Dome, El Capitan as well as some of their tall Sequoia’s (Redwoods). I managed a couple of trips with Anne, Peter and Paul in th e Sierra Nevada’s. Again, it was hot on the surface, five hours in the car, warm underground and I soon learned why most American cavers wear knee-pads.....lots of crawling and small gnarly passages. We had a trip to Church Cave and a small forest service ‘tourist cave’, called Boyden Cave. Ann and Peter did know where to get good food (genuine Vas que sheep-herders food) though, I really enjoyed the slow food! I learned about Poison Oak and the truth of the saying “leaves of three, let it be”. Despite being warned about this stuff, at times it’s everywhere and despite being careful it gets you. After an encounter, a nasty rash comes up quite quickly. Poison Oak is also quite sneaky, in that, because you can get a dose by indirect touching, i.e. get some Poison Oak oil on your clothes first and later touch your clothes! Californian caves are not immune from people damage. In Church cave, there is a formation, call the Lions Tail (cause that ’s what it looks like). Anyway, someone broke it off. A good repair was effected with the aid of a metal rod up the centre and some glue. It looked as good as new, only a slight mark could be noticed at the break line. It was unfortunate that I just missed out on a mini-expedition to Liburn Cave, California’s longest at ~30 miles; Peter has been exploring and surveying in here for some years. TAG-a foray out East Time to head East, leaving the poison Oak behind.....but into poison Ivy and Chiggers country...give me leeches and snakes any day! Poison Ivy also fits the “leaves of three, let it be”, and by now I had got this little rule firmly entrenched in my head. The Chiggers are little animals that burrow in to the skin and attempt to se t up home there; fortunately humans aren’t the correct host, so the animals don’t thrive, but the body sets up a reaction akin to hives and one gets a bad itch that seems to linger for some weeks. ..the effect is a bit cumulative as well. First port of call out East was Nashville, Tennessee, where I wa s looked after extremely well by Doug Strait. That night we went out with some other cavers to a local eatery, and yes, they were playing C & W music! Doug was a kindred spirit; retired early, lives a fairly frugal lifestyle, has my sort of wardrobe, loves caving and showing visitors around; we got on fabulously well. Doug shares a house with another lo cally famous old-time caver by the name of Gerald Moni. Can't See The Caves for the Trees! The Repaired Lions Tail


Speleo Spiel – Issue 338, September – October 2003. Page 4 Gerald had the misfortune to break a femur in a caving acci dent a few years back; a flood pulse washed him over a short pitch in McBrides cave. Tennessee is the “T” bit in the “TAG” area (A=Alabama, G=Ge orgia); this area is extremely well endowed with caves, there are about 13000 known ones (roughly T:8100, A:4100, G: 500) and is well known as a major sport caving area. TAG is a mecca for vertical cavers; the caves are quite simila r to here, but are only half the depth (~130 m), have more crawls, more water and more immersion, but the water is wa rmer (~14C). Most of the caves in the TAG area are on private land, and yes, they do have landowner problems. Th ere is a list of several hundred ‘out of bounds’ caves, but with 13000 to start with, that still leaves heaps! First caving port of call was Snailshell Cave (47895’ long, 144’ deep), this cave contains quite a bit of water, including one 2400’ swim! We had a fun time here; the water at 58F (14C) felt quite warm to me and I survived OK without a wetsuit, but did appreciate the flotation device Doug loaned me. We opted out of the 2400’ swim, but did several ~200’ swims. We were to return to this cave later on (with Dave Rasch) and a 16’ Canadian canoe; this made the 2400’ swim somewhat more attractive. Next day was a sporty through trip to a cave called Solution Rift, the cave had 7 pitches (24’, 18’, 30’, 23’, 167’, 31’ and 36’), a series of full-immersion passages called the ‘Burr tubes’ and an exceedingly sweaty Half Mile crawl. The crawlway contained much chert (a feature of a particular limestone layer of the area). I immediately knew why all TAG cavers use knee pads and many also use elbow pads too. I also witnessed some other strange habits. For example, ropes are never packed, they are coiled and then attached to ankle straps and then dragged through the cave like a ball and chain....this is easier than dragging them through in a pack?? In the normally wet caves that I visited, this means that the rope gets a cleaning between pitches! Ca ve packs are tiny, as all they hold is some basics like lunch. From pack carrying in the extensive amount of low passages I decided that I need to put carry handles on the packs I make, and I now do! Near the end of this trip, in some low-airspace passage, we passed Beavers nests (their dam outside makes the airspace even lower!), then emerged through a waterhole in a farmers cow-paddock. Quite a diverse trip! The first SRT cave visited was a famous pit, called Neversink, basically a 162’ blind pit, about 50’ in diameter. Tensionless wraps are common for rigging the rope, with a mat on the edge of the lip .....yes we are in the land of IRT, Indestructible Rope Techniques. Racks are also in vogue. Doug is older than me, and his ropes are nearly as old....he say’s they are “good to the last drop”. I must admit I was a bit nervous about some of the rope ages and rope practises. [On my request, Doug did give me a sample of his 29 year old Bluewater 7/16” (11 mm) rope for drop testing; I brought it home and found that it was still going strong after 6 fall-factor 1 falls with 80 kg! ...so I felt that Doug’s judgement was sound.] I tried the Mitchell system out, but found it particularly hard on my knees and it was difficult to rest...I’ll stick to the frog system, but it was good to at least try it out. Some of the caves here have bats, we wa tched an emergence flight of Gray bats from Sauta Cave; it was quite impressive. And of course, the fire-flies that abound in the forest are also very impressive; the on/off nature of their light does make them hard to catch! Caving in TAG is very social on the weekend; we crashed out at the local cavers camping place (yes, beer, campfires, but no tents..everyone sleeps in their trucks), and was introduced to about a dozen of the colourful locals, with names such as “Hazard” (he likes explosives), “Mud Puppy” and so on. Here I also caught up with the TAG cavers who had been he re a few years ago, Andy Zellner and Ashley Chan. Our party of 11 headed off to do an exchange trip down the FowlerBleeding Ghyll system. Unfortunately our group somehow lost the last pitch, so we didn’t end up making the connection a nd swap over. A pig-out at the local Western Sizzler for $7.99 plus tax for all you could eat (some of the other rather obese patrons looked like they were regulars!!) capped off a fun day. Next day we had a party of 8 and headed off looking for a cave up some cove (cove is the local equivalent for valley). It was a bit like looking for a lost cave here; we did however have a GPS fix, good to about 200’ but when the place is covered with poison ivy, being 200’ away is as good as being nowhere near the cave. D oug descending Neversink Pit. A Flouo equipped Doug coiling a rope.


Speleo Spiel – Issue 338, September – October 2003. Page 5 A Kentucky Interruption I had a brief escape from TAG, to head up to Kentucky, where there is another major karst area, including Mammoth Caves National Park (MCNP). Here I’d arranged to do some volunteer work for the Cave Research Foundation (CRF) by assisting with a week-long cave surveying and cartography course that local survey guru Pat Kambesis was running for Western Kentucky University. The CRF have a wonderful facility at Hamilton Valley, on the edge of MCNP-I’d worked out a food/board deal for assis ting with the field work. For those who don’t know, Mammoth Cave is the longest cave on the planet, some 500 km in length. I probably saw less than 1% of it; as I was primarily helping students come to grips with surveying and sketching. I must admit, that I was generally amazed at the quality of the sketching I was seeing; it pu t most sketching I’ve seen done here to shame....though admitted it was painstakingly slow during the first few days! I managed to see a good variety of caves in and around the MCNP, including Dogwood Cave, Hidden Cave (the area experienced an earthquake whilst we were underground, it soun ded like a train going overhead!, no damage or alarm, we just thought it was a train!!), the Roppel entrance to Mammoth Cave (a local caver dug his own entrance into the system), Lost Trooper Cave (in the town of Bowling Green; where a huge hole appeared in a local street when a cavern collapsed; they all live on karst here, and have attendant probl ems such as groundwater pollution, collapses etc.) and of course Mammoth cave (well a tiny part of it!, but we did pass the underground Restaurant and Rest-rooms). One of the most poignant messages that come through from my week at Hamilton Valley was the message that cavers should “Map what you Survey”. This is one step better th an the “Survey what you Explore” adage that I think everyone here now practises. I, like many others are guilty of not getting maps out....”Map what you Survey” is my New Years Resolution!! During this week I also was fortunate to be able to see a demonstration of Micro-gravity and resistivity techniques used to locate voids; both were quite sensitive techniques, but used expensive equipment. I also had several cultural experiences, such as a meal at the local diner in the town of Pig. More in TAG Then, it was a mad-dash back down to Nashville; arriving just befo re Dave Rasch flew in to jo in us for a fun filled week. Doug is also an electronics engineer; so he and Dave had lots to talk about. Doug has done a lot with cave electronics, he caves with a fluorescent caving lamp; lots of light fo r little power. Doug also has built up a Magnetic radio; this consists of a pair of coils, the smaller (transmitter) goes underground to some point that you want to know the location of on the surface (i.e. a point directly above), the larger coil gets walked around the bush and by using the receiver you can locate the point directly above the receiver. The accuracy is amazingly good, to within inches! This system is often used when people want to dig a quick way into some long system. With the use of a couple of formulas and taking a couple of other measurements, it is also possible to determin e the depth of the receiver below the transmitter to with a couple of feet, which is probably a very good thing to do before you start a digging project! Our first caving foray was to be Ellisons Cave, the deepest cave in TAG (in Georgia) (1063’ (324 m) deep, 64028’ (19.5 km) long). Andy and Ashley had organised an exchange trip through Ellisons cave for us. Ellisons has a couple of major shafts, Incredible Pit 586’ (179 m) and Fantastic Pit 440’ (134 m). And of course, everything’s a lot bigger in feet! Dave and I headed in with Ashley and Ryan. First up was the ‘Warm-up’ Pit (125’), then Incredible Pit. The edge of this pit had an amazing number of rope wear ‘flutings’ in it...in America the ropes are a lot stronger than the rocks! Anyway we had the luxury of 2 ropes down Incredible Pit, which meant that we could abseiling down next to each other (a pseudo tandem abseil). This was quite an amazing experience; whilst Dave and I chatted and looked around, the walls moved by, but it seemed that we weren’t moving as we were travelling at the same rate. The main tourist drag in Mammoth Cave. D ave descending Fantastic Pit, Ellisons Cave; Doug is on the adjacen t B alcomy pitch in the background.


Speleo Spiel – Issue 338, September – October 2003. Page 6 On account of Ashley not being that familiar with the route, we saw a lot more of the cave than expected. There was some amazing formation down below, gypsum, dog-tooth spar and the ice-like Epsomite “North Pole” formation was particularly special. Eventually at the Gnomery we met the others, swapped stories, then headed on our re spective ways. At the base of Fantastic Pit hung a single 11 mm rope and there was an amount of water coming down. The story here was that we were going to Tandem prussik up; Dave hadn’t yet experienced this technique. I was a little apprehensive given that I hadn’t inspected the rigging, I imagined it was another IRT job. Anyway, we set off up, doing about 7-8 m at a time, then resting whilst the other ascended. About 80 m up, there was a twang and the rope moved. This made us feel even more apprehensive, and we resorted to extremely delicate prussiking. We made it to the top, to find a couple of protectors over the edge; the rope then ran back about 10 m (with another couple of protectors on it) to a chamber festooned with 9 bolts! A coupl e of bolts at the lip would have suited me much better.... but, when in Rome! All up, a truly excellent ~9 hour trip, a great birthday present indeed. For the rest of the week Dave was with us we did a variety of other trips and had a variety of other exotic American experiences including shopping at the local “Piggly Wiggly” supermarket, and looki ng for bargains at the “Airline Lost Baggage Centre” (a place that has a huge warehouse of supposedly lost luggage items). One cave we visited, Valhalla, had been closed for ~ 10 years after a double fatality. This is a particularly unlucky story. A group of three were there, two had descended the ~228’ entrance pitch, and were standing away from the danger zone....when all of a sudden a block (~ 60 cubic metres) from the ceiling detached and fell on them; literally squashing the life out of them. Another excellent trip was McBrides cave, a 9 pitch (13’, 23’, 34’, 25’, 90’, 28’, 38’, 23’, 15’) 435’ deep through trip. It had an amazing amount of variety, wet low passage, washed scalloped streamway, amazing cherty crawls, large spectacular shafts, large deep pools, a few crappy bolts and some dodgy tat to round out the experience. We made a return trip to Snailshell Cave, equipped with Doug’s 16’ canoe. This made short work of the 2400’ swim, but we did have to lower/haul down/up the 90’ cliff around the doline. Another interesting diversion was to a ~half-mile long train tunnel through a hillside. This tunnel was a strategic transportation route during the American Civil War and was strongly defended. The length of the tunnel necessitated three ventilation shafts, each ~180’ deep. As tr ains enter/leave the tunnel massive aircurrents and amazing acoustics occur. On a previous occasion, Doug and companions have dropped one of these shafts, made a dash along the tunnel between shafts and headed back up another. By this time Dave had to zip back to th e high stress of his work with National Geographic at Washington DC. My time in TAG was also running out; managed to fit in one more trip to a cave with some history, a cave (Saltpetre Cave) used for Saltpetre mining during the American Civil war. There was an amazing amount of infrastructure left inside the cave, vats in various states of decay, ladders, tools, old signatures (I saw some dated 1813 and 1857), and ‘tally marks’ (presumably counting the number of bags of earth mined). Saltpetre ‘mining’ is really a bit of a misnomer. Soil in the cave (presumably old bat guano deposits, rich in nitrates) is mined and then placed in large straw lined vats. Water is repeatedly poured over this material to leach out calcium nitrate. When this liquor is concentrated, it is reacted with wood ash (potassium hydroxide) to give potassium nitrate (Saltpetre) and calcium hydroxide. The potassium nitrate was then use for making gunpowder. Locals were encouraged by the Confederate powers to mine saltpetre for the cause. They published “how-to’s” for the people to practise this art. I saw a R yan at the North Pole formation in Ellisons Cave N egotiating a pool in McBrides Cave. R uins of a Saltpetre Vat in Saltpetre Cave.


Speleo Spiel – Issue 338, September – October 2003. Page 7 copy of these notes; unfortunately they did not explain how to go caving, or how to safely negotiate 90’ entrance pitches...but I guess the people back then were pretty innovative. With the caving over, it was time to zip home. All up I had an excellent caving holiday in the US, I must say that it was made excellent due to the hospitality, time and effort taken by the many American Cavers who put me up, showed me around etc. Thanks again to them all. Midnight Hole (IB-11): 7 October 2003 By Janine McKinnon. Party: Steve Paulson (visiting NZ caver), Ric Tunney, Gavin Brett, Janine McKinnon. We had a visiting NZ caver staying with us for a week or so and he wanted to go caving, trouble was all it had done for several weeks we ather wise was rain and snow. Everything was flooded, so we thought Midnight was a reasonable consolation prize. It was all pretty straightforward really. We got to the entrance at 10:50am and were walking back along the track from Mystery Creek at 1:50pm. We’d even spent some time poking around in various parts of Mystery creek and, of course, the obligatory glow worm gazing. As it wasn’t actually raining on this day (a rarity around this time) the streamway was at normal levels, although there was a bit more water dripping down the bottom pitch of Midnight than usual. It was a pleasure to be doing the trip with a group of people all of whom were experienced, confident and organised. Hence the fast trip through! Despite what the timing may imply we all took our time on the pitches to admire the viewsthe big pitches are classics, no matter how many times you’ve done them. Recce to the west: 17 October 2003 By Ric Tunney Party: Gavin Brett, Janine McKinnon, Ric Tunney The limestone at Ida Bay is reputed to extend far to the west of Western Creek Swallet (IB-18). We know the area has been looked at in the past, but the trips have not been documented. The first warm day of spring was approaching, so we decided it would be a fine time for a visit. An hour's walk from the cars saw us at the saddle on the Southern Ranges track. We headed to the lowest point, a few hundred metres west of the start of the Valley Entrance track, and headed off into the forest. Our aim was to head diagonally right (west) down the hill till we reached the unconformity between the limestone and the overlying mudstone called by cavers the "contact". From the altitude of IB-18 & IB-19 nearby, we estimated this would be somewhere between 200m and 250m. It was typical open Marble Hill rainforest and we power ed on for a while without finding any limestone. We crossed a blue taped track traversing the hillside. We certainly weren't the first here. It's a pity peoples' secretive natures prevent them documenting their discoveries. After half an hour we stopped and let the GPS locate us. Oops we were at 180m, still in mudstone with some loose dolerite rocks and Valley Entrance was only 200m away. In our keenness to find the contact, we'd come too low and had gone too much to our left (south). So we made a sharp turn to the right (west) and angled up the hill as we traversed. Half an hour passed with still no sign of limestone. The GPS said we were a bit high, but not much. Then we saw a Tree. This is not to say it was the first tree we'd seen that day. In fact we'd been unable to see the forest for all the trees that kept getting in the way. But this was different. This was a Tree; it was entitled to its capital letter; The very cherty crawlway in McBrides Cave.


Speleo Spiel – Issue 338, September – October 2003. Page 8 all the previous ones had been merely trees. A Eucalyptus regnans that towered over the forest. We've seen the tall trees in the Styx; this seemed taller. For half an hour we traversed west, moving from Tree to Tree. Enormous ones with many branches and 5m girths. Tall ones towering over us. Then we saw a Tree who's top was exceptionally high way, way up there. Oh, its base is way down the hill. In an area of special Trees, this one was exceptional. We rushed downhill to its base, ignoring the limestone cliff it was standing on. Unfortunately, we didn't have survey gear, or we could have measured it. After all this, looking for caves was a bit anticlimactic. At the base of the limestone cliff we found a swallet and just downhill from that there was a doline with a cave and some unmarked blue tape. The discoverer hadn't marked the blue tape, so we don't know who to ask about it. We didn't have any gear so we didn't enter. We were three hours from the Southern Ranges Track and we'd used up our allocated time, so after poking around in the vicinity we decided to head back (east) around the hillside at a lower level and then drop down to the D'Entrecasteaux River and take Skinners Track from Exit Cave. We found a good-sized rift with an unlabelled blue tape, but again we didn't enter. Cutting down to the D'Entrec asteaux River in this vicinity was a mistake. There was a stretch of 500m of cutting grass and bauera which had Gavin impersonating a bulldozer. But once we reached the river and crossed to its southern bank it was easy going. We returned to the car park after 9 hours' walking. Generally, the area was disappointing for the lack of limestone and karst features we found. I suspect a lot of muck has come down from Moonlight Ridge and covered the hillside, unlike on Marble Hill where very little stuff has come down and the limestone is generally exposed. On the steep hillsides the going is relatively easy, but on the flatter bits there's more scrub. On our next trip we'll drop down the Valley Entrance Track and pick up the Western Creek Swallet Track. I suspect the blue taped track we crossed continues on from Western Creek Swallet. Until we find an easy line from the D'Entrecasteaux River, the Southern Ranges Track is the preferred entry, despite the 300m climb over the saddle. It was also a bit disappointing we only made a kilometre west; the limestone is reputed to go on for a few more. Maybe we'll have to move faster next time and not look at the trees. Ladies Gumboots Conquer Tassy Pot (JF-223) 18 October 2003 By Geoff Wise Party: Gavin Brett, Alan Jackson, Geoff Wise We met at Gavin’s place early and for a brief stop in New Norfolk for fuel and food we were on our way to the Junee Florentine and Tassy Pot. It was a glorious day, all the peaks were visible and it almost seemed a waste to head underground when you could be standing on something high and looking at everything. Alan had packed the chainsaw just in case there were any trees over the nine road, but except for a couple of small ones that could be pushed out of the way or driven over the road was clear. While we were gearing up it was noticed that we all had what has been described by one member of the club as “Ladies Gumboots” (short and/or having a wide hole at the top). It was therefore lucky that certain laws were changed in Tasmania a few years ago or we many have had to turn ourselves in to the police. After a few harness adjustments it was off to tackle the 10m walk to the cave. We had a 100m length of rope for the first three pitches. Alan headed off rigging. There was one fixed bolt on the second pitch, it seemed a bit out of place as the rest were spits. I also found a hanger the same as the fixed bolt at the bottom of the pitch. There was a strong breeze blowing through the glory hole, I got quite cold by the time it was my turn to drop the pitch. Waiting for the others to drop the last pitch cooled me down too, sitting on my cave pack stopped the cold for a while. The seventy metre rope from the Goodbye Chamber was not quite long enough, a shortie was added to allow you to get on and off the rope. We had a brief foray into the passage at the bottom (we piked when it got crawly and wet) and then began to head back up. The rebelay was an effort, the stretch in the rope meant that after changing over my croll the safety attached to my hand ascender was tight making it difficult to change it to the top section. A (Ladies Gumboot clad) foot in the rebelay loop managed to get me passed. The rest of the trip out was uneventful if a little tiring after a decent period of no caving. It was nice to get out in sun light and to only have a minutes A lan & Gavin at the bottom (Photo by Geof f Wise)


Speleo Spiel – Issue 338, September – October 2003. Page 9 walk to get back to the car. Although realising there is a 100m+ length of rope to clean the next day always puts a dampener on things! Mole Creek 23 – 26 October 2003 By Janine McKinnon, Annette Swinnerton, David Chiam and Claire Brett (Photos by Geoff Wise) Thursday 23/10 Devil’s Pot (MC-130)& Devil’s Earhole (MC-9) By Janine McKinnon Party: Ric Tunney, Sarah Joyce Janine McKinnon This was the only “vertical” day of the weekend. We had hoped for a good turnout for this trip as it is very easy (compared to vertical trips we usually have on offer down south) and very scenic. Oh well. We got off to a fairly early start (8:15am) as we had to catch the rangers at Marakoopa before they went off to field jobs in order to obtain the keys for the permit caves we planned to visit later on in the weekend. Despite being given the impression (in the letter we received from Parks) that we would be given all the keys for the various caves booked on this morning, we were given NONE (as we weren’t doing any locked caves that day) and informed that we had to collect the keys for the caves we had permits for each day. So every morning we had to go up to the rangers’ station. Not a very trusting or helpful attitude by Parks, but at least the ranger was very friendly in his unhelpfulness! Anyway the trip up to “D evil’s Pot” was quick and uneventful. The track (pad) is in excellent condition, someone has been doing work on it-thank you to whoever! The rigging was done as per usual from the dogwood trees in the small gu lly with a rebelay (where you can actually stand on a ledge for the changeover) half way down. The sun was shining and the waterfall was running well, so the view from the bottom of the doline was at its best. Sarah decided not to do the second pitch into the cave proper as this involves a proper “hanging” rebelay on a vertical wall and she felt her skills for this were a bit rusty. As the noise from the waterfall entering the cave near this pitch would have made communication with her whilst on the pitch impossible this sounded like a sensible decision. Ric and I decided to do it anyway, even though we’ve been down several times before. We were all back at the top and derigged 2 hours after starting into the pot. None of us had been into Devil’s Ear hole, but we had been given some fairly vague verbal instructions on how to get down and what gear we needed. After some lunch we headed around to the doline, taking with us the two 10m ropes we’d be en told we needed. Our information was that we needed one rope on a cliff getting down into the doline and another at the entrance to the cave, so we were pretty chuffed when we got to the cave entrance without finding any cliffs. We thought we’d found a better way down! We rigged the entrance pitch (really, just a very big boulder you need to get down to the cave floor)-very easy as there is a permanent hanger thereand left the other rope at the top as we didn’t think we needed it (you can see what’s coming, can’t you?) The cave is short but high ceilinged and worth a visit I think. We headed off to the left and after 20m or so found ourselves on a balcony overlooking a chamber about 10m below. There was no way down without a rope (and the balcony overhung so a handline wouldn’t do) and we couldn’t be bothered going back up to get it, so we looked from afar! The chamber appeared to have a few pretties in it and also appeared to be the end of the cave. The cave went a similar distance in the opposite direction from the bottom of the pitch, so we’d basically seen it all in 20 minutes. We were back at the caravan park by 4pm. Friday 24/10 King Solomons Cave (MC-119) By Janine McKinnon Party: Ric Tunney, Sarah Joyce, Janine McKinnon, Hugh Fitzgerald, Liz and Dexter Canning. After some problems obtaining the keys for today’s trips (which are all too long complicated and boring to go into here) we finally got ourselves to the cave at about 9.30am. It is much more convenient being able to go into the tourist caves on our own, having been given a key, than the old system of going in with a tour. There’s not much to say about the trip really-we followed the “yellow brick road” (or white concrete path to be more accurate) to the end and came back! It is pretty enough to be worth a visit. As there were large quantities of mud off the path, and not much “wild cave” beyond the tourist parts anyway, we decided to stay on the path so as not to traipse mud onto the path. We were out well before the first tour of the day. Haile Selassie (MC-10) By Janine McKinnon Party: Ric Tunney, Sarah Joyce, Janine McKinnon, Hugh Fitzgerald, Liz and Dexter Canning. What a bunch of pikers we had for this one! It is located right next to the path from the car park to King Solomon’s Cave. All (except Dexter!) planned to go in and I headed in first. We had no information at all about this cave (or the other two visited later in the day) and just inside the entrance there are two choices of direction to go-left or right. I chose left and did a short traverse over a drop and then down the other side to the bottom. The dozen or so dead beer cans added a certain character to the cave! I followed a passage about 50m (a guess) to the left where it terminated. I called to the


Speleo Spiel – Issue 338, September – October 2003. Page 10 others to join me and they all expressed a complete lack of enthusiasm and left the cave (could it be said that they were actually IN the cave when they hadn’t got out of the daylight yet?) I went back and had a look at the other direction but it didn’t look inspiring so I figured this was it and that it had been gated because it was so close to the tourist path-wouldn’t want to lost any tourists down there. Hugh decided (he’d been on baby duty) that he’d have a poke around and set off. As I’d already checked out the left he went right. And didn’t reappear for ages (40 minutes or so) but returned w ith tales of great sights to behold. So much for my assessments and theories! As we were all getting hungr y, and lunch was back at the caravan park (logistical mistake) we decided to go back and return later in the day. Diamond Cave (MC-6) By Janine McKinnon Party: Liz Canning, Janine McKinnon More piking after lunch! Sarah decided to stay and sun herself at the caravan park for the afternoon, Ric drove back to the parking area for Diamond and Kohinor but decided to go surface trogging instead (although he had found Diamond before lunch and found the entrance to Kohinor whilst Liz and I were in Diamond). Hugh was on baby duty for this cave. The cave is of quite small dimensions and Liz and I spent the first 40 minutes or so squeezing down little holes and generally poking about on the “left hand side” of the cave. We found our way to some lower levels, and could hear a stream still lower down through a 20 ft vertical tube. It looked descendible but I thought it might be a bit awkward to get back up, and Liz wasn’t too inspired to go down here either, so we kept looking for an easier way down. We had a poke around the few passages in this area of the cave but couldn’t find any other way to the water in that part of the cave (ah, the lure of the streamway!), so headed back towards the entrance. We found another route heading down and Liz decided to wait at the top of a down climb whilst I went to see if it led anywhere. At the bottom of the climb there was a steeply bedded rift heading down further and I could hear the sound of water. I thought I’d just pop down to see if I could get to the stream before I told Liz to come down. Getting down was pretty easy as the rift sloped down at about 60-70 degrees and was only a couple of feet deep, so you could use you feet and knees (and any other piece of anatomy that might do the job) to aid climbing (or slithering really). At the bottom it was VERY muddy and a short passage led to where the stream came in. Excellent. I had a quick run along the stream for 50m or so until it got low and crawly-at which point I thought I’d better go tell Liz it was worth a look. Quite a pretty little stream it was. This is when things got a b it interesting. The short bank leading up to the base of the rift was very slippery mudI had great trouble keeping my footing-and when I tried to start bracing my way back up the rift I just kept slipping off! I must have spent 10 minutes trying to get off the base of the climb. Liz by this time had come looking for me and appeared at the top of the rift. I must have been waiting, subconsciously, for a cheer squad because with her in position I had yet another go at it-changing my plan of attack yet againand this time started to make upward progress. About halfway up the slipperiness of the mud reduced somewhat and the going got easier and less precarious. For some strange reason Liz decided she’d forego going down to look at the stream and we headed out and emerged after 1.5 hrs underground. Kohinor (MC-114) By Janine McKinnon Party: Hugh Fitzgerald, Janine McKinnon. Baby duty changed hands and Hugh and I headed into Kohinor. We found our way pretty quickly into a large rock fall chamber which was well decorated. There was even a series of stals in line that looked like a mini “Khan’s Army”. We had a good look around the upper levels of the chamber-admiring the flowstone on the walls and other formations around-and then made our way to the floor of the chamber. Hugh found a route through some smallish passage and we came out into another chamber with a high level entrance visible. Hugh had a go at getting up to it but was turned back not far from the top by a short vertical bit. We found a way out the back of this chamber and after some more small, grotty passage found the sump (I love sumps-particularly the deep, blue sort) or terminal lake; we didn’t know which it was. It was very picturesque. We had a look around the other parts of the cave and exited after 1.5 hours again! Saturday 25/10 Today we had more bods on board the Friday night arrivals so we broke into two groups. Steve, Kathy and Grace Bunton and Hugh, Liz and Dexter opted to do Tailender and then family stuff in the afternoon. Ric, Janine, Sarah, Helen Roberts and Geoff Wise were going to do Croesus and then we’d meet back at the Mersey River to have lunch with the other party (with Sarah heading off home) before doing Tailender themselves. Croesus Cave (MC-13) By Janine McKinnon Party: Ric Tunney, Janine McKinnon, Helen Roberts, Sarah Joyce, Geoff Wise This was Sarah, Geoff and He len’s first trip into this cave so it was planned to be a “look at the pretties” trip. We strolled, in a relaxed manner, up the stream “ooohing” and “aaarhing” at the general splendour of


Speleo Spiel – Issue 338, September – October 2003. Page 11 the cave and noting the large quantities of platypus turds on all the banks. We went as far as the start of the rockpile before turning back. It’s a pity our “cave blaster” light is not working at present to illuminate the higher formations. On the way back we met the resident platypus foraging in the stream. It’s the closest I’ve ever been to one as it swam past me, almost brushing my leg as it went! We were out after 2.5 hours underground and arrived back at the cars to find that the other group hadn’t been into Tailender because the key didn’t fit the lock! They were just heading off to do other things so we went down to the river to have lunch and plan our alternative move. Kohinor (MC-114) By Janine McKinnon Party: Helen Roberts, Janine McKinnon, Geoff Wise With no other permits or keys for the day (except Lynd’s, but we didn’t want to go there as the river was high) we decided that I would take Geoff and Helen into Kohinor. Ric was piking again. After the sights of Croesus my companions seemed less than inspired by this cave. We wandered all over, as per yesterday, with Helen suffering from a serious case of N.S.W caving deja-vu (she has just moved here from the Sydneyish area). I did point out that nothing in N.S.W is as well decorated or untrogged. But I will give her the point that the crawly bits were very similar! Note to myself-do this (or other similar small Mole Creek caves) BEFORE going into Croesus! We were out and back at camp in plenty of time for showers, pre-dinner drinks and nibblies and time to get to the pub for our planned caving group dinner. Sunday 26/10 King Solomons Cave (MC-119) By Annette Swinnerton (MCCC & NC) Party: Claire Brett, Annette Swinnerton, Kathryn Bunton, Grace Bunton, Geoff Wise, Helen Roberts First attempt to enter King Solomon was halted by an unfortunate attempt to get the key from Parks staff (It was a cave guide who had only been given one key to pass on – Geoff) on duty on Sunday Morning. And so the advice was to just go there and someone would be there to let us in. A Ranger turned up and didn’t have a key and so Geoff was designated to follow her back to the office where it was discovered that the key was not missing, simply in the key return area that had not been cleared from the previous day. Second attempt at King Solomon was a little rushed. We entered the cave for our “self guided tour” and had 30 mins before the first tourist group was due, and we had to be out of there. We decided to try to do the proper caving thing and use our own lights and not to rely on the well-placed floodlights facing the formations, or the track lights to help us navigate the steps or the concrete walking track. Our plan was going well and we were experiencing the cave in a new (dim) light when, we turned a corner and all of the lights in the chamber were on. We had caught up to Henry Shannon who was surveying the cave. After a quick chat and a good look around in the well-lit chamber we pressed on. As our eyes had now acclimatised to full lights we then needed to cheat and use the lights as we went along. The benefit of this was we could navigate the stairs a lot better and we had a much better view of the formations, which are all spectacular! After reaching the end and taking a few photos and playing with some lights on, some off, to get the best perspectives, we decided to head back before the tour group entered. Self-guided tour over we exited the cave and found no tour group formed to enter after us, no need for rushing after all. But a good reminder of the beauty of the underground, even if easy to find, blindingly obvious, concrete, handrails, and well lit tracks. Perfect for the armchair caver or someone who needs a reminder of what all the squeezing, grovelling, climbing is all for, the hope of finding natural beauty. Kohinor (MC-114) By David Chiam Party: Steve Bunton, Gavin Brett, David Chiam This was the first time Steve and Gavin had been to this cave so I let them lead it. Ten minutes into the cave Steve’s light decided to pack it in so now Gavin was in charge of leading the pack. We struggled to find the way on past the first chamber. Once we found the crawl out of the first chamber into the larger chamber we were on our way. There were a few decorations in the larger chamber. When we got to the daylight hole that marked the end of Kohinor and the start of Maze-Puzzle, we decided to turn around. I had been in Maze-Puzzle a couple of Sarah, Helen, Janine and Ric take a break on the Golden Staircase, Croesus Cave


Speleo Spiel – Issue 338, September – October 2003. Page 12 weeks ago and knew that it was not possible to get through due to a sump being full. On the way to the blue lake (the connection between Kohinor and Diamond when the lake is dry) we saw a frog in a puddle. On the way back to the first chamber Gavin led us through a different squeeze than the one we originally went came through. We thought for a little while Gavin had found a new daylight hole. With a bit more exploring we realised that we had just found the first chamber we hand entered but were looking at it from a different perspective. Steve and I had a discussion whilst Gavin was delicately traversing along a ledge about what if Gavin was to slip. First we were going to pull straws to see who would have to break the good and the bad news to Claire. The bad news was obvious but the good news would she would now be a sole owner of their new home. Once we got out to the cave we headed around to find the entrance of Maze-Puzzle. On the way we found the daylight hole that we looked up at during our caving trip. Haile Selassie (MC-10) By Claire Brett Party: Kathryn Bunton, Steve Bunton, Geoff Wise, David Chiam, Gavin Brett, Claire Brett The locked entrance to the cave is located on the main pedestrian pathway to the King Solomons cave. As we were getting organised to get into the cave, a punter walked past looking quite amused at us in our gear! I don't think he was keen to follow us! We climbed down through the narrow metal grid and into the cave lobby. A cave spider greeted us on the way through. The initial climb down was a bit tricky but with some guidance we all got through safely. We reached an open chamber with a spectacular rasher of bacon on the side wall. Gavin also discovered an opening into another room after crawling through a narrow passage off to the side. You could sit down at the entrance with legs poking through and admire the view! There was a long, thin straw just near the entrance and the floor sparkled. There were no visible footprints inside and we continued the tradition. After a bit more exploring into the cave we retraced our steps. We said goodbye to the cave spider and in a flash we were back in daylight. Genghis Khan (MC-38) By Claire Brett Party: Geoff Wise, Annette Swinnerton, David Chiam, Gavin Brett, Claire Brett After a delicious lunch at Mole Creek (Gavin noted it was his first caving lunch that was not squashed), the group headed to Genghis Khan. After a short walk from the car park we all entered the cave. After negotiating our way down the scramble at the entrance we cruised to the main chamber featuring Genghis Khan. A largish man plonked in the middle of the room. We saw lots of lovely formations on the roof and explored at the end of the chamber a bit further. After dropping back the key, we stopped at the honey farm and enjoyed some honey ice cream ( And daggy photos – See back cover –Ed ). Yum Yum! P retties in Genghis Khan Ric Tunney (MC-13) Kathy and Grace Bunton (MC-119) Gavin Brett (MC-10) Janine McKinnon (MC-13) Bacon (MC-10)


Speleo Spiel – Issue 338, September – October 2003. Page 13 Current STC Membership 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 20044 Clutha Pl, South Hobart 70046223 17170419 731 969claireb@keypoint.com.au GavinBrett31 Mar 20044 Clutha Pl, South Hobart 70046223 1717gavin@keypoint.com.au 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 2004124 Wentworth St, South Hobart 70046223 70886233 6176Elizabeth.Canning@dpiwe.tas.gov.au DavidChiam31 Mar 200440 Wyett St, West Launceston 72506331 1653davidchiam@dodo.com.au Arthu r Clarke31 Mar 200417 Darling Pde, Mt. Stuart 70006228 20996298 1107arthurc@southcom.com.au MattCracknell31 Mar 2004PO Box 14, Geeveston 71166298 32090409 438 924crowdang@yahoo.co.uk GeoffCrossley31 Mar 200444 Pradham St, Farrer, ACT 260702 6286 11130417 437 931gkcrossley@bigpond.com GerryDoherty31 Mar 2004PO Box 315, Geeveston 71166297 6219gerdoh7@iprimus.com.au RolanEberhard-18 Fergusson Ave, Tinderbox 70546229 30396233 6455rolane@dpiwe.tas.gov.au StefanEberhard31 Mar 20032 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 AndrasGalambos31 Mar 20046 Lanena St, Bellerive 70186244 4769baandi@netspace.net.au JasonGardner22 Oct 20035233 Huon Highway, Geeveston 71166297 00706298 3209 AlbertGoede-69 Esplanade, Rose Bay 70156243 7319goede@tassie.net.au AnnaGreenham31 Mar 200457 Quayle St, Battery Point 70046224 75660408 639 132annagreenham@doctors.org.uk 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 SarahJoyce31 Mar 2004PO Box 350, New Norfolk 71406261 18640438 255 259sjoyce@postoffice.utas.edu.au 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 31 Mar 200315 Cades Dve, Kingston 70506234 31136234 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 DeenaPrice19 Oct 2003PO Box 95, Dover 71176298 10216298 3209dmprice@postoffice.sandybay.utas.edu. a HelenRoberts15 Jan 200410 Napoleon St, Battery Point 70046223 44490418 432 221helenmroberts@yahoo.com 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@bigpond.com Trevo r Wailes 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 MikeCole-1/17 Twentysecond Ave, Sawtell, NSW 242502 9544 02070408 500 053mikecole@tpg.com.au 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 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 338, September – October 2003. Page 14 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 duty Ripstop PVC material, double thickness material at wear points, strong seams (triple sewn) and all critical stitching is on the inside (to protect it from wear), drain holes, large diameter eyelet’s and a simple ‘draw cord’ closure as well as adjustable straps Now featuring a handle on the side to facilitate carrying the pack in low passages. Strongly made. Available in either Yellow with different colour 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 LA RGER OR SMALLER-SIZED PACKS can be made to order, JUST ASK. POA Aluminium Bars for Rappel Racks. $5.00 BATA full-length Gumboots, Size 9, Green with Orange Sole, and steel toecaps. $20.00 Tape NEW STOCK.... Edelrid 25 mm Supertube tubular tape. Ideal for rigging, chest harnesses etc. (White) $1.50 per m NEW STOCK.... 5 cm (2”) flat tape. Ideal for harnesses, rigging, gear bags, belts etc. (Black or White) $1.20 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 cable keeper. $7.50 each Used Metal Lamp Brackets and cable keeper. Good condition. Just need to add some small bolts. $4.00 each Used Plastic Lamp Brackets. Good condition and comes with fixing screws and a cable keeper. $3.00 each Jets (21 litres/hr) for Petzl kaboom (just a couple left) $5.00 each 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 (03) 62 238620 (H), or jeffbutt@netspace.net.au, or write to us: SOUTHERN TASMANIAN CAVERNEERS, P.O. BOX 416, SANDY BAY 7006.

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


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