Speleo Spiel No, 290. October 1995 Page 3 The New Drill. The new TCC hammer drill has now been used in anger and believe me, you are going to get sick of drilling holes before the dnll does! l battery lasts around 20-30 number tags(!) and there is still a spare battery if that is not enough! "The hills are alive, with the sound of a hammer dnll ..." Speleo Spiel has hit the Internet! As of next issue, Spiel subscriber's onlv will be able to receive the Spiel via E-mail! The big advantage of hs is that you will get it at least 2-4 weeks earlier than anyone else as you wont have to wait for it to get printed and posted out to you! The Forward program may even be up to date! Just as importantly, you will be able to E-mail articles for the Spiel to me! Deans E-mail address is:firstname.lastname@example.org Isn'tthat a nice easy one to remember! Contact me if you want to be on the subscribers list. Slide Night's As suggested in the last Spiel, we are now going to hold regular slide nights on the first Wednesday of every month. Dean will bring the projector, you just bring along any slides of anything worth seeing. They don't have to be caving shots, just any good photo's. The first night will be on Wednesday the 4th of October from 9 pm. Don't forget to bring some slides! C.L.A.G. NEW3 I The New(?) Garth! In the last Spiel there was mention of the need for another TCC rep on the Cave Leadershp Accreditation Group now that Garth has gone. Well I am pleased to say that Tim Sprod has been voted m as the replacement. Tim has been a member of TCC for many years, although he has been over in sunny England for the last couple. He is an expenenced cave leader wth many Hutchin's School trips led by him as well as being on the ongmal COOEE caving committee with the Education Department a few years back. With his background and experience I think he will be a valuable addition to C L.A.G. What's On With CLAG. CLAG is slowly getting itself going, competencies for the 2 levels of cave leader (Level 1Horizontal and ladders and Level 2Vertical) have been pretty well finalised and there is a national ASF meeting early next month to ensure all states are in line with each other and agree with the National standards. !! RSVP to Stuart Nicholas 283054 for the Annual Dinner !!
Page 4 October 1995 Speleo Spiel No. 290. Logbooks for would be CLAG accreditees have been produced and it is planned that the first assessment of prospective Level 1 Cave Leaden will be held on the weekend of November 4-5th, 1995. Ths assessment process will cost participants $100 and involve an assessment of caving, and cave-leadership skills during a caving trip Further details can be made from CLAG, PO Box 416, Sandy Bay. 7005 or from Bruce Morley, Executive Assistant, Tasmanian Outdoor Leadershp Council. GPO BOX 399 Hobart 7001 Phone (W) (002)308337 To assist prospective Level 1 Cave Leaders (or cavers in general) to develop their skills, a Cave Safety (1) Workshop is being held on Sunday October 22nd. This full day workshop (costing $50) will cover all facets of pre-cavelin-cave and post cave safety related issues. Topics to be covered will include:what is adequate clothtng, weather considerations, trip intentions, group communications, backup equipment, first-aid considerations, lost party member, lost group(!), rigging ladders and belay lines, what rescue gear to take, how to rescue someone on belay, a 2-pulley haul system, how to handle potential disasters, care and cleaning of gear, retiring gear and more! A variety of methods (overheads, notes, video, and practical demonstrations) will be employed to make this an informative and interesting day. An essent~al part of the day is that participants will get to practice the demonstrated skills. For fiuther information contact CLAG or TOLC as above. Jeff Butt. Caving Safely By Video! CLAG has just acquired 3 caving vtdeos called "Cave Safe. Part's 1,2 and 3. These c ideo's were produced in Pommyland and are very well put together and informative w~th everyone I know that has seen them learning a few very handy tip's. Part 1 covers organising a tip, choosing the best equtpment, safety precautions, negotiating obstacles, how to survive in an emergency, and cave formation and how they are formed Part 2 covers choosing ropes, selecting safe anchors, tyng knots, lifeline safety, rigg~ng ladder pitches and avoiding problems and hazards with pitches. Part 3 covers SRT with kitting up, abseiling and prusikmg, riggmg pitches, pull through trips and problems and emergencies. If you want to hire these for a look ( and I recommend you all do) cost is $5 per video per week or $1 0 for all 3 per week. Ring Dean to book your video night.. !! Don't Forget The Annual Dinner on 6th of October 7pm !!
Speleo Spiel No. 290. October 1995 Page 5 I TRIP REPORTS B As promised in the last Spiel, here are the ... NEW ZEALA~D TRIPS! WAITOMO, EASTER 1995 Luckie Strike. After the introduction to Waitomo streamway caving in Uranui, (complete with dead sheep at the tight streamway exit!) we were keen to have a look at something else. The locals were particularly fond of a cave called Luclue Strike so Trev, Chris, Simon the backpachng Pom, and I went to have a look. We were told that we may need a ladder for one of the climbs if we weren't that confident on climbing, so naturally we didn't take one! (New Zealand had just won the Challenger series for the America's Cup and some pride in Australian sporting prowess had to be restored!) The trip commenced with Trev giving the hire car a bit of stick (as usual) until he came off the road on a corner. Fortunately the car wasn't visibly scratched, only Trev's ego.. Finding the cave entrance was pretty straightforward as you just park the car and follow the stream running through the paddock until it goes into a cave! Quite a pleasant contrast to the Florentine scrub bashlng ... We were told there was a dry upper entrance and a wet streamway entrance so we entered the dry upper entrance and bridged our way along 4m above the streamway. After a bit of this I decided to climb down to the streamway which had become a turbulent series of cascades and were a little like a water slide with a few small (deep) pools in between. Needless to say this was pretty effortless and heaps more fun! At one point I hesitated above one of the pools to enquire about how we were going to get back up, but any foolish thoughts on my part were soon dispelled by an "encouraging" foot-in-the-back followed by a splash and a pleasant swim to the next waterfall. Other thoughts of the recent death of a local caver in a waterfall were going through my mind too At the end of th~s cascade series was a reasonably large chamber with some excellent decoration and the atmosphere in this chamber was really pleasant. [Eds note: "Pleasant atmosphere!?!?! I thought they went over for some hard caving!] If you were going to have a party in a cave, this would be the place to do it as it was a more like the Atrium in the Sheraton Hotel! The chamber that followed was more of a Gymnasium. Travelling through this part of the cave was more or less a jog on the flat pebbly stream bed interrupted at one stage by a large waterfall which had to be walked through. Some easy climbing was required in the larger chamber and at the end of this chamber the streamway constricted again and some bridging, climbing and squeezing was involved. Mer half an hour of ths I turned around to go back to look at some leads in the first chamber while the others went on to the Blade waterfall. Eventually we met again in the first chamber and proceeded to go up the cascades. Simon was wearing a wetsuit and was pretty glad to get back in the water! Going back up was a bit like going up a waterside and required a group effort. !! RSVP to Stuart Nicholas 283054 for the Annual Dinner !!
Page 6 October 1995 Speleo Spiel No. 290. Usually someone would stand in the pool (if it was& too deep) and give someone a leg up and then the person up the top would divert the water and help everyone else up. Sometimes this plan would fail 'accidentally' although thls only seemed to happen when Chns was at the top diverting the water causing individuals to go flying back into the pool followed hotly by a surge of water and much hilarity. One waterfall required an ingenious Trevor to climb up and then rig a sling to step in. We later found out that there had been a brief downpour in Waitomo while we were underground which explains the difficulty we were having and we went out via the lower streamway entrance. This is really a top cave with a bit of everything for everyone. What made it all the more exiting was going in, having a look around by ourselves and not quite knowing what was around the corner. P.S. Where are you supposed to use the ladder? John Steen. Black Water Rafting. (the original) 'her hours, $55 NZ through Ruakuri Cave king m the home of 'the origmal cave rafting' I thought I should try it out. The Blackwater Rafting outfit offer 2 basic trips, of either 3 hours or about 6 hours. The longer trip offers the thrill of abseiling in a cave, then rafting through it on inner tubes, while the shorter is simply tubing through part of Ruakuri Cave. I went for the shorter trip (because I'm a cheapskate and can't quite see the point of paylng extra dollars for the abseil. ? he shorter tour is well orgmsed, (move 'em In, wetsuits on, through the cave, IiEXT') 'rlmmm, n~ne tours per day, 12 people per group, $55 each .. could be a gn;r ihrough Growl1ng7~?77 'The tour cost entitled the touree to 'free entry to the Waitomo museum of caves' l Trevor had aiready managed to get us that one), transport, and showers, soup and toast afterwards And wetsuits and innertubes. The firsr hour was spent getting wetsuits and lights together, complete with cute little white boots and spunky purple pants (just to separate us from the other tourists). The h~oup was then transported up to Tuakuri Caves, where we were instructed in the fine art of 'eeling up', and instructed to jump into the pleasantly murky looking Waitomo River with our rubber inner tubes. Then a short walk up the hill to the cave entrance where the guides (thankfully) split the group in two, separating the six (screaming) teenage girls from the rest of us. The water level in the cave was down a little, reducing some if the thrilling aspects of the trip. However, floating through long passages where the roof was covered in Glow Worms was impressive. Of the people in the group, 2 were 50-odd year old Fransciscian grandparents, and the other three were thirty something Aucklanders. Not the most athletic of people, but quite able to manage this. !! Don't Forget The Annual Dinner on 6th of October 7pm !!
Speleo Spiel No. 290. October 1995 Page 7 All up, the trip was enjoyable, if a little short on adrenalin. Probably the most dangerous parts of the day were the BWR guide's dnving, and getting into a wetsuit. However, judging from the reactions by the other members of the group, the trip is well worth doing for those who have never been near a cave, and is probably unlike anything they will ever do. Kelly Miller. Vrenui, the first part ..... Easter Friday. Chns Davies, Trevor Wailes, Gavin Wailes, Travers Wailes, John Steen, Kelly Mdler and Simon the Backpaclung Pom. Although the Waitomo region has caves, pots and holes in abundance, getting into them (legally) is another story. Caves such as the renowned Lost World have commercial trips running so permission is near impossible (or expensive). A limited number of other caves were able to be accessed with permits. Urenui was suggested to ease our way underground. Access to the Prickle Pot entrance was via what passed for the local airstrip. The Waitomo countryside is remmscent of Footrot Flats, if this suggests anything about the slope of the runway. Trevor had made a reconnaissance trip earlier we saw the telltale fish-tails. Imagine a beautiful virgin white Lancer (Mitsubishi that is) after meeting a field full of moist cow pats.. Prickle pot was a nice little 30 metre pitch. We had vague instructions that most of the cave was upstream, and the exit was downstream. Which stream? We spent some time stuffing around looking at the various passages before descending a short watery climb into an ankle deep streamway/bog. The water disappeared over some flowstone into a small hole in the floor. Kelly had a look, deciding that it really didn't look interesting enough to get wet for this early in the week. Upstream was a long series of slowly moving streamway with a few small branches. Travers discovered on of the hazards of NZ caving after that we muddied the water so that we didn't see the eels! A large aven with clean blocks of limestone was eventually reached. There didn't seem to be any easy way on, and the wet feet of the party voted to head out. The Wades mob managed to get ahead as the others explored side passages on the way out. Back to that uninviting hole in the floor nah. Chris had a good look around on the higher level before passing on the bad news. It is however, still wet. The hole was wide, but flat, with a sharp right turn to get out. Once through, the streamway was followed, some crawling, some climbing, until reaching a low crawl in the stream, with about 15cm of airspace. Unable to find any way over, Chns took the initiative, helmet off, head first, on his back in the water, with instructions to pull him out should his legs start thrashing around in a wild manner ... Reassuring.. !! RSVP to Stuart Nicholas 283054 for the Annual Dinner !!
Page 8 October 1995 Speleo Spiel No. 290. Through the first constriction, another followed. With comments like "I don't think Trevor would have got Gavin and Travers through here" and much procrastination (KM of course!) we eventually backstroked through. A short flat out crawl through shallow water followed and we were rewarded with a beautiful blue light (some of us aren't used to leaving caves in daylight), followed by a face to face encounter with a sheep skull! Quote of the day: Travers Wailes as Trevor was clearing out a tight spot: "Your not digging, are you?. .He's digging! Het7 Digging! 1'" Urenui, the second part .... Easter Sunday h'eily Miller, Davtd Nichols and Peter Venvey. Dave and Pete turned up the next day (after drinking the South Island dry?"?) There was a lot more to Urenui, so armed wrth ~deas about where to look, Dave, Kelly 2ild Pete ventured back m (Chns wanted some vertlcal practice, so did a quick m-out trip) Once back in the large aven previously reached, a way was found up the blocks. There was a large clay-coated passage, but no signs of recently running water. The upper levels were quite well decorated wedding cakes, flowstone, stals, some crystals. Reaching a fork, we took the upper level passage. The passage was smaller, but In places snow white icing tickled down, coating the walls, even the floors. In one place a mosquito was caught in it, suggesting that the rate of deposition was rapid. and that we were also not far from the surface. Talking to the local cavers 1ater.they told tales of Gypsum Flowers on trashed caves that had regrown in the space of ten years, suggesting that fertilisers were responsible. Whatever the reason, it was quite impressive. Further down the same passage. Waited an amazing and unexpected sight The remnanb of perhaps hundreds of visits of artistic (and not so artistic) cavers. The passage ended in a small clay-lined cavern, filled with a modem form of cave art: cats, dogs, sheep(!), cars, a perfect replica helmet and a carbide lamp, various rudey b~ts and pieces, witches, wizards ect,ect,ect ... There's now also a map of Tasmania (geographically speaking) complete with the inscription "TCC". Don't know who put that there though! The other higher passage was a large wandering rifi, until degenerating into a low crawl over pebbles and getting beyond the point of comfort. There were some very large, and very thick stals growing up from the floor. Somebody later tried to tell us that Urenui was Maori for 'Male Genital' Not sure about that one ... Getting out was no problem, until that wet hole in the floor. There were two witnesses to Petes declaration the "maybe [he] should cut down on the Guinness". Definitely a rebirth experience. Uneventful until the digging spot, this time Dave and Pete the unbelievers, Kelly now the brave. its easy when you know how. !! Don't Forget The Annual Dinner on 6th of October 7pm !!
Speleo Spiel No. 290. October 1995 Page 9 Once out, we discovered a great way to wash off Floating down the Waitomo River, leaving a wake of mud in an already muddy river very pleasant. Kelly Miller. AND BACK TO TASMANIA AGAIN... Dreamtime/Growling Swallet. Florentine Valley. On 7th of May, Dean Morgan, Garth Cornelius, Kelly Miller, Leigh Douglas and Nigel Williams vis~ted Dreamtime in the Growling Swallet system. Sometime in mid August, Leigh was instructed to write a trip report or else note; Yeah, it must be working!!] In the 3 months that have passed Dreamtime has become a fuzz. With prompting from Kelly, I shall attempt to retell this fantastic trip. Apologies if the story seems disjointed or important things have been missed out. The dnve down and the walk in were quite uneventful. The Dry Bypass was too wet to bother with so we went down the main passage. The water did seem to be up a Me. though it didn't pose a problem. Dean turned out the turnoff to 'New Feeling' (I was supposed to take the police into it during the last S&R exercise, however, when we got there we could not get through). Soon enough we were at the main streamway sump I hadn't been down th~s far for at least 4 or 5 years and I'd forgotten how scary it was negotiating the keyhole climb near Windy RI& with the river rushing below you. All went well until we got to the second ladder climb up into rehge aven where we found the second ladder was washed up high by the recent floods. Super Dean saved the day and free climbed up and threw the ladder down for us mere mortals to clamber up. Soon we were in new territory for me as we entered the Trapdoor Streamway. We stopped and looked at the parched, cracked floor in Scaling Pole aven and then we oozed our way through the black stinking mud of Herpes 3. ( Herpes mud under ones finger nails make a great memoir of the trip lasting for months). At the 30 metre ladder, Kelly and I clipped our ascenders on the fixed rope for a self belay. I was glad of it when I rested. I'm sure some of those rungs are almost a metre apart! We stopped for lunch in Mnnline and brewed up a cuppa In Kelly's stove. We were surprised to see little white yabby things(?) flitting about in the water. We didn't sit around for too long as we were getting cold Kelly had frozen feet at this stage, her new army boots she was trying out were great for a tropical jungle, but not for snow melt water at 7 degrees Cels~us From memory, the Dreamtime area was a roomy streamway passage with a mostly sandy bottom. Garth commented there were no footprints in front of him which indicated heavy flooding had occurred in the not too distant past. !! RSVP to Stuart Nicholas 283054 for the Annual Dinner !!
Page 10 October 1995 Speleo Spiel No. 290. At the rockpile at the end of Dreamtime we all lay down for a siesta while Garth continued on looking for the way through. He returned after some time cursing his Slut's in Hell' for some thmg or another. I assumed he didn't find the way on. I was quite relieved as I was ready to head back and it was getting late. The trip out was slow for me and I was grateful as Dean and others patiently waited at the bottom of ladders and other les obvious places. You sure lose your cave legs when you haven't caved for a while! By now, Kelly's feet where quite numb from the cold and by the time we reached the Growling main streamway, my light had died. Thank goodness for the spare lamp that Dean had lugged in and almost out. It was difficult to tell we were out, as it was now night and very dark. I felt stuffed, but,quite fantastic. The clock in the car said 7pm or thereabouts. We'd been underground for around 9 hours On the way through Maydena we stopped at a takeaway called Harry's. I can definitely recommend this place as he gave us a hot chocolate on the house, and his chps were excellent. Also the service is friendly and fast. All those years f hearing Nick, Stefan, Rolan and Trev's stories of the mythical Dreamtime, I was very pleased that it had become a reality and what's more was I could do ~t. Thanks to Dean for a great trip. Leigh Douglas. Bigger than God's Underpants! According to informed sources there has been a 501(!) metre pitch found in a cave called "Jama" in Slovenia. Can you imagme carrying that rope up Wherret's Lookout! Drop a rock down there and you probably won't hear it hit the bottom! Whoa! For sale(s). Brother WP-1450DS word processor. Only 8 months old. 3 115 inch disk drive, IBM compatible, Built in printer with excellent print quality, framing programs, spreadsheet programs, spell checker, file management programs, nice and portable and very easy to use. What more do I need to say? New $1 100, sell at the bargain price of only S6501 A mere spit in the ocean! also* Black Diamond rock climbing harness. Just like the one that broke in Cliifhanger! Don't believe the movie though, try it out for yourself. Only $60. Ring Dean for details on either of these excellent products! !! Don't Forget The Annual Dinner on 6th of October 7pm !!
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