SPELEO SPIEL NECWSLllSTllER OF THE TASMANIAN CAVERNERRING CLUB, IncNewsletter Annual Subscription $21.00, Each $2.00 Non-members $3-00 PRESIDENT: Trevor Wailes 214 Summerleas Road, Kingston, Tasmania 7050. Ph 291382 SECRETARY: Nick Hume 9 Primrose Place, Sandy Bay, Tasmania 7005. Ph 251934 TREASURER : high Douglas 33 George Street, North Hobart, Tasmania 7002, Ph 343789 QUARTERMASTER: Bob Reid 21 Haig Street, Lenah Valley, Tasmania 7008. Ph 280983 EDITOR / TYPIST: 1 Stuart Nicholas 7 Rupert Avenue, New Town, Tasmania 7008. F% 283054 EDITORIAL ................................... 2 THE INCREDIBLENIGGLYCAVE (JF237) ...................... 2 AGROWLINGGREATFWOD I1 (Dean'sversion) .................. 7 SLAUGHTERHOUSEPOT(JF337) .......................... 8 MIDNIGHT HOLE (IB11) ............................. 8 VALLEYENTRANCE, EXITCAVE(IB120) ...................... 8 POLICE SEARCH & RESCUE SQUAD TRAINING EXERCISE ................ 9 OUT TO THE ELEVEN ROAD (FWRENTINE VALLEY) ......:........... 9 GROWLINGSm-REWGEAVENAREA ....................... 10 PENDANT POT (JF37) .............................. 10 MIDNIGHTHOLE (IB11) ............................. 10 WING STRAWS (AND OTHER HOU COMMENT) ................... 10 (this doesn't rate a mention in the CONTENTS list above!!) Is anyone doing anything? Dean Horgan is active (mainly doing old stuff) but hat about all you other bodies?? We're running out of articles for this mighty mag, so someone will need to do something fairly soon if we are to keep publishing ... Issues aplenty face any organisation in these days of centralisation, decentralisation, government departmental amalgamation and restructuring, and industrial nervousness. The influence of government departments (and non-government groups) on other departments changes, dependant on (among other things) the whim of the government of the day, the influence of major industry and the perceived power of the respective heads of department.
SPELEO SPIEL 267 Page 2 Jan / Feb 1991 A New Year ... New Discoveries ... New Enthusiasm?! Ocir Club is no exception we are facing more "political" issues than ever before. Conservatioc, access, taxation, funding and legal issues are but a few. If we are to survive (whatever definition one choses for that ...) and continue to carry out the aims as "defined" in our Constitution, interaction is the name of the game. As a group of people of common interest, we must establish and maintain liaison with government and industry bodies which may or do influence our activities. If this is not done, we will be bypassed in the seemingly inexorable legislative and rule production process. This has happened to a great extent in South Australia with cave access being controlled via a series of "grades" attached to cavers' "skill levels". The entire cave access and control issue has been successfully negated in Victoria through excellent liaison with the State Parks body. This works to the pint that that body consults VSA before instigating any change! Not very like Tasmania at this time. although PWH have made an effort to get us involved what have we (as a body) done? We must identify and deal with issues before they become a crisis this can only done thrcugh positive interaction with State Government (PWH, Forestry, Mines and so on) pllus various mining, forestry md other land use industries. Our actions must not be antagonistic (or too obviously political we may lose exemption from taxation!) a steering, supportive and informative role is the name of the game: Stuart Nicholas THKm Rolan Gberhard Niggly is the most significant cave discovery in Tasmznia for several years. From a narrow entrance series the cave plunges abruptly downwards in a series of deep shafts, reaching a total depth of 371m. At this level its character changes to one of roomy chambers and mountainous talus hea2s. In one of these chambers a large stream was encountered possibly water from Growling Swallet thus making Niggly an intriguing link in the hydrology of the Junee-Florentine. It is slso one of best sporting trips in the area. A total surveyed length of the system of 174% is likely to increase as a result of future surveying and exploration trips. Chronology of Exploration 18/11/89: While searching for caves between Wherretts TLookont and the headwaters of Chrisps Creek. N. Yume and L. Douglas discovered the entrance of Niggly. Ref: -1eo 260. 1/4/90: Initial exploration revealed several hundred metres of passage, including two short pitches. Progress halted at the brink of a far bigger shaft. Ref: SPeleo &id '61. 7/4/90: On this tri~ the undescended pitch was rigged, giving a fine abseil of 85m. A ~hort pitch belcw this led to the top of a further drop. A survey r~f the upper levels was 3150 commenced. Ref: &Leo SpieL 261. 28/4/90: hlile one tern cmtinueci ealoration and surveying in the upper sections of the cave, a second group headed downwards. Five new pitches were descended, one being a shaft of 103m. A series of chambers at the bottom were explored, but an anticipated corxiection with '2rowling Swallet did not eventuate. Ref : Speleo Svbl a 764.
Page 3 SPELEO SPIEL 267 A Mew Year ... New Discoveries ... New Enthusiasm?! Jan / Feb, 1991 27/5/90: The second trip to the bottom completed the survey traverse. A large stream was discovered beneath one of the lowm chambers. 6/5/90: Surface surveys from Ice Tube and Lady Binney Corner to Niggly were. undertaken, thus allowing the cave's position to be plotted with accuracy. Ref: SDeleo Spiel 262. 30/9/90: All ropes still remaining in Niggly were finally removed. A previous attempt had been thwarted when a ladder broke, luckily without injury to the caver hanging off it at the time. Pitch Details All bolts are 8mm terriers; no hangers were left in place. Instead, plastic bolts (most fitted with a conspicuous tag) have been screwed into the anchors. This will make them relatively easy to relocate, minimise clogging of their threads with mud and grit, and thus reduce the need to place more bolts in the future. In addition 4 to bolts, rigging on recent trips was accomplished with the aid of slings,.wire traces, and an assortment of climbing chocks. Pitches are as follows: Natural anchorsNatural anchors. Traverse out to calcite bridge before rigging. Traverse left to bolt at chest height. Climb up in rift before edge gf pitch. There is a bolt on a flat rock surface out to the left overlooking the shaft. Climb down on rope to edge. From here it is possible to reach out to a bolt that will hang the rope free. Allow an extra 15m of rope to rig an exposed traverse along a ledge on the right. There is a bolt on the left wall (head height) at a narrow point in the rift above the shaft. A flowstone boss on right allows a Y-hang to be constructed. Natural anchors. Leads down to a tributary stream and sump at -363m. Cave Description Niggly Cave is located at the head of s dry valley on the southern side of the saddle between Wherretts Lookout and Florentine Peak. A short but impressive section of ravine carved in the limestone leads up to where water cascades off the overlying impervious beds in the form of a waterfallMost of this flow enters Niggly, the entrance of which is located imediately behind the waterfall. In times of high flow some of the flow adopts a surface course down the ravine: the distance that it travels before sinking in the streambed depends on how high the flow is. Inside the entrance is a short section of open passage leading to the first pitch (lh), still within sight of daylight. Although rubble nearly fills the passage at the bottom. it is possible to squeeze through into more open passage beyond. The way on is still partly filled with accumulated sedircent. but becomes more spacious
SPELE'I SPIEL 267 Page 4 Jan / Feb 1991 A New Year ... New Discoveries ... New Enthusiasm?! heading downstream. The passage follows a joint to the north, narrowing again at a point approximate?.: l0h from the entrance. Here a meandering vadose canyon less t,han Im in width and generally several metres in height continues for some distance until the second pitch is reached. At 'he base of the second pitch is a chamber where thinly bedded horizontal bands of less soluble material give the cave walls a serrated texture. A similar rugosity along the passage that follows suggested its name of Tigertooth Passage. It consists of more narrow vadose passage, heading now in an easterly direction along gentl:: dipping beds. A narrow band of small. densely-packed marine fossils are exposed along much of its length. After 200m a larger passage is encountered (Helictite Passage). This parallels Tigertooth Passage cp to the point of intersection, and has been explored upstream though in fact it carries very little water for over 300m. It becomes progressively smaller in this direction, and an area of bifurcation and breakdown is finally met. Downstream of the junction of the two passages is relatively open going. However, at various points easy progress is hampered by the presence of stretches of calcite false floor at mid-paesage height. A layer of flowstone several centimetres thick ha been deposited on clastic s~diment thaf obviously once partly filled the passage. Subsequent erosion has flushed away the underlying sediments, leaving a layer of suspended flowstone. Clasts are still preserved on the underside of the remaining false-floor. whlle a meandering flow has incised a narrow channel through it 3+ some points. It is an unusually good example of its type. Other speleothems are 3j~o abundant. including helictites and heligmites, neither of which are common in the J~mee-Flor~nt~ine. At a depth of -75m the essentially horizontal form of the cave changes dramatically, with 85m deep rit bemg encountered. It is large and cylindrical in crosssection. with an 3scending rift entering from the east part-way down. A stream presumably once joined from this directior.. contributing to the shaft's early formatisn. It is possible to bridge along the rift above the pitch in an easterly direction fgr some distance. Old stream deposits and calcite that are present in places, suggest intriguing sequences of erosion and deposition. At the bottom of the 85m pitch are two more drops (7m and 25m) in close succession. More vadose canyon then winds down to an elongated chamber and the next section of vertical development. At this point (-2041~1 the system becomes substantially more s~acious. Additicnal shafts seem to join here from above. The next three pitches (26~. 1Cqrn. and 15m1 are essentially art nf the one -mrtical dro~ broken hy two ledges. Horizontal development predominates again at the bottom, and the cave becomes more complex. The streun that has heer. followed from the entrance sinks into talus in a large chamber at the base of the pitch. Rockfall resulting from ceiling collapse into underlying passage is a feature of this area. The lowest point in the initial chamber is at its southern end. Here an 8m drop leads down to a smaller chamber where a sizeable stream enters as cascade from a passage 10m up one wall. A short section of streamway at the lower end of the chamber continues for a several metres before sumping at a depth of -363m. The 3kwio:is continuation from the initial chamber is 'o the north. A talus slope siwals the pint where a massive north-east to south-west, trending passage is intersected. Its northern branch consists of a 30x1 high talus cone preceding an elongated chmber that extends for several hundred metres. Its floor is an undulating field of talus with low points at depths ,~f -366m and -355m. Thick deposits of
352 5 SPELEO SPIEL 267 A New Year ... New Discoveries ... New Enthusiasm?! Jan / Feb, 1991 mud at lower levels indicate that this area has been flooded at times, though it is hard to judge how recently this has occurred. The southern branch of the chamber continues for an additional 120m. It is far less spacious than the northern section, being wide but generally only 1-3m in height, A thick covering of mud is also present along its lengthAt the southern end is a route down through rockfall to the deepest point !-371m). There is a 40m length of major streamway hereIt sumps in rockfall at both upstream and downstream ends. Speculations It is clear that Niggly Cave is an important component in the hydrology of the region (see Figure 1). The active streamway at the bottom may well represent water from the Mainline and Dreamtime sumps in Growling Swallet, located less than lkm sway. However, at this stage the possibility that water in Niggly includes flow 5-m either Black River in Growling, or from Porcupine Pot and other caves to the north-west, cannot be dismissed. Both Black River and Porcupine Pot contain major streams that are presumed to emerge at the.Junee Resurgence, although hydrological ( connections have not yet been formally demonstrated by dye tracing. Some or all of these streams may unite before appearing in Niggly. However, a more easterly course l l is more likely in the case of the Porcupine Pot stream. Water from other caves to the north Tassy Pot, Owl Pot and Udensala probably also bypass Niggly. The considerably smaller stream that enters Niggly below the last pitch is also of interest. A likely source for this tributary is Bunyips Lair (JF236). This is a swallet at a similar altitude to Niggly, but further to the east. It has been choked with debris and the water cannot be followed underground for any great distance. Evidence of a complex history of development is found throughout Niggly. Streams that are no longer present, or now adopt different underground courses, appear to have contributed to its present form. he example is the fossil continuation above the third pitch. The trend of passage takes it towards an area to the immediate east of Niggly where a number of additional caves are located. All appear to be blocked a short distance underground, though they presumably represent former swallets that may have been associated with an early phase of Niggly's genesis. Similarly, Casamassima (JF238) a large doline entrance a short distance downhill of Niggly appears to be a fossil sinking-point of the Niggly stream. The currently active swallet entrance and Tigertooth Passage are undoubtedly more recent in origin. Tigertooth Passage has not been subjected to the sequence of events that produced the prominent false floors that occur in Helictite Passage and downstream of where it is joined by Tigertooth Passage. Thus Helictite Passage, which trends back towards Casamassima, is likely to represent an earlier phase of development Postscript On February 23 a trip to Niggly continued exploration of the easterly-trending rift at the head of the third pitch (85m). The rift extends for a considerable distance to a point where a vertical drop is reached. This pitch (ca.25m) led into a spacious chamber where one or more trickles of water enter. A route through poorly consolidated rockfall at the base of the chamber gave access to a continuing vadose canyon containing two short pitches. Exploration halted at the brink of a further vertical drop. It is likely that this area will be found to connect back to known sections of the cave, probably in the vicinity of the top of the sixth or seventh pitches.
SPELEO SPIEL 267 Page 6 Jan / Feb 1991 A New Year ... New Discoveries ... New Enthusiasm?! l 1 + lkrn + Figure 1: Cave develoment in the vicinity of Niggly rave, JuneeFlorentine. From a SMAP by S. Nicholas. 1: Three Falls Cave, 2: Owl Pot, 3: Tassy Pot. 4: Porcupine Pot, 5: Growling Swallet, 6: Serendipity, 7: Ice Tube, 8: Mainline and Dreamtime sumps (Growling Swallet), 9: Niggly Cave.
Page 7 SPELEO SPIEL 267 A New Year ... New Discoveries ... New Enthusiasm?! Jan / Feb, 1991 HOH TO MAKE AM EASY TRIP INTO AN EPIC THE GREAT TALK OF THE ENGLISHMAN, THE IRISHIWJ, THE ROMANIAN AND THE AUSTRALIANA GRMLJNG GREAT FIM)D I1 (Dean's version) 25/26 November, 1990 Participants: Trevor Wailes, Patrick Troy, Florian Baciu, Dean Morgan, numerous Police S&R people, numerous TCC members, two Ambulance drivers, one ANM employee and a vast array of media personalities. Trev and I were still discussing where to go while getting out of the cars at the end of the Eight Road and finally deciding that a trip into New Feeling would be a good place to take the others. The water levels in Growling Swallet were not low but certainly not anything that you would worry about, especially as we were not going down to the sump so we couldn't get trapped by high water levels anyway.-~kce down at Stal Corner, we left the main streamway and headed off into New Feeling where a few hours were spent looking around the bottom stream passage as far as the top of the last pitch we hadn't bothered to bring a rope for this as there was nothing worth looking at down the bottom.. Around 2pm we started making our way back to the streamway to be sure of getting out of the gate on time. As we neared the Growling streamway it sounded louder than usual and after crawling through the squeeze above Stal Corner, we were greeted with the sight of torrential amounts of water rushing down it! We realised that we had to try and get further upstream as a further small rise in water level would see it backing up to where we were. Wading upstream was out cf the question, so we climbed high into the roof and traversed along, finally reaching a swirlpool which had to be crossed in order to gain entry to the Yorkshire Drain, a streamway parallel to the main GS Entrance Series, but taking much less water. The swirlpool was crossed by one person traversing around the edge and securing a rope to belay the others across. From here one could appreciate the force of the water in the main streamway as where usually two cascades could be seen, water was flying off the top cascade horizontally and smashing into the opposite wall. Even the Yorkshire Drain was tricky in some spots. After some time we came into the main streamway at one of the large chambers which usually is 20 metres wide with a waterfall in the middle, but today it was a 20 metre wide waterfall! We thought about staying here but it would have been cold and wet so the decision was made to attempt to get to the next chamber where we hew a dry spot existed up one side. This chamber was reached by traversing along the walls; it turned out to be the perfect bivvy site as it was indeed dry, but the stream could be seen and hence water levels easily checked. The next 17 hours were spent huddled under space blankets which kept us surprisingly warm. Around 9am the next morning we decided to make a go at getting out and thankfully were able to do so without any drama were met at the entrance by ShR personnel. As we had expected the rescue party had gone in through Slaughterhouse Pot thinking that we were trapped beyond the first (main) sump or the Trapdctor sumpNobody including Trevor and myself thought that cne could be trapped far 17 hours only one hundred metres from the entrance. We would like to express our thanks to people involved in the rescue effort. If anyone has any grievances or complaints about missing their Sunday night TV, send them to "Water Wings Wailes"! On a more serious note. I would like to point out that the space blankets (aluminised thin plastic film) that Trevor md I had could have saved lives. Last time I way caught in the cave for "mly" 14 h01irs and we all suffered mild hypothermia. This time. with one less layer of clothing but with the addition of the space
SPELEO SPIEL 267 Page 8 Jan / Feb 1991 A New Year ... New Discoveries ... New Enthusiasm?! blanket, the cold wasn't a problem and we could have stayed for a number of days if necessary. I recommend no one leave home without one tucked into their helmet! Once again, thank you to everyone involved in the rescue effort. Dean Morgan SLA-E FOT (JP337) 1 &ember, 1990 Party: Stuart Scott and Janine Hopkins (Police S&R), Trevor Wailes, Stephen Bunton and Dean Morgan (TCC)This trip was simply to derig Slaughterhouse Pot and collect some gear that we had left at our bivvy site in GS the weekend before. Bunty and I went in through Slaughterhouse Pot and out Growling Swallet, with the others doing the opposite. Bun%y and I ended up having to struggle up the GS streamway with full packs that we could only just lift which was good test of Bunty's leg as it was still recovering from being broken! The whole trip only took us just over two hours, after which we went back to the car and waited for the others who turned up a couple of hours later. Stu Scott had a fe~ choice words to say about Slaughterhouse Pot as he had not been in there before. As Trev said, "The only thing its got going for it is it's a through trip!". Dean Morgan KIDNIGHT Horn (IBl1) Party: Patrick (the Irishman) Troy and Dean Morgan. 2 December, l990 Patrick was leaving Tassie the next morning and he wanted a look in Mystery Creek Cave so a quick trip was had through Midnight Hole with only a couple of hours spent underground. The water level was surprisingly low considering it had been drizzling for a couple of days. We ended up back in Hobart by 4pm so Patrick could do some shopping before he left. Dean Morgan VALLEY EHPRANCK, EXIT CAVE (IB120) Party: Dean Morgan, Stuart Nicholas and Peter Shaw 16 December, 1!390 Stuart has asked me to report on Sunday's "Exit Running Trip". A brief report in keeping with the time spent underground. Dean suggested that we exit via Valley Entrance rather than enter it. We left the top of the quarry at 9.15am and were underground via the side entrance at 10.00. kan lead off at a steady pace with myself and Stuart sweating along behind. Exit Cave seemed warner than I remember it. An hour later we were lunching in the Grand Fissure, always an impressive spot. After a quick snack, we headed up the Western Grand Fissure, through Kellers Squeeze towards the Acoustic Chamber. Somewhere near the Acoustic Chamber, we reached the handline hanging down from the Valley Entrance passage. Dean scrambled up the rope while Stuart and I muttered the sort of comments that are made by vet, van cavers when confronted with something that looks bloody strenuous.
Page 9 SPELEO SPIEL 267 A New Year. . New Discoveries. . New Enthusiasm? Jan / Feb, 1991 A short sharp struggle with a greasy rope, poorly spaced foot loops and the verticality, and then up into narrow awkward canyon. A series of short climbs followed and then up though the rockfall to emerge on the surface at 12.00, two hours after going underground. After a slog up to the Moonlight Flats track, we were back at the car by about 1.30pmI think I'd prefer to do Valley Entrance in the opposite direction. It would be much easier to go down than up. Peter Shaw POLICE SBAEEH h RRSCUE SQUAD TRAINING EXERCISE Party: Police S&R personnel, Dean Morgan (TCC). The three days were spent with the S&R people brushing up on their SRT skills with Owl Pot and Tassie Pot in the Florentine Valley on the first couple of days and the iast day doing a Mini Martin Old Ditch Road exchange trip. I personally noted the improvement in their rope work since the similar exercise af a year ago. Some of them even enjoyed the trips and are keen to go on pleasure trips (! ). There is also a rumour of some Cleo centrefold pictures being taken in the streamway at the bottom of Mini Martin ... The best part of these trips was that I didn't have any ropes to clean! Dean Morgan m m THE ELEVEN ROAD (rnRENTINE VALLEY) Party: Dean and Simon Morgan We started the day trying to find Settlement Road but gave up after a while and thought that we would take a look at a couple of sinkholes that are marked on the 1:25000 tiger sheet towards the end of the Eleven Road. This area was located quickly as it had been logged recently around the sinkholes, but no caves were found in the area. We then headed up the Tiger Rmge hoping to find some sign of limestone. We went quite a way up on the range and then traversed along but all that we found was course marine sandstones and no limestone. Unfortunately we didn't get back into limestone country until we were only about 20 metres from the rodd indicating that the contact is only just to left af the road, about 300 metres distant from the Florentine River and only about 30 metres above it in altitude. Dean Morgan GBXLING SWLLET RRPUGE AVEN AREA 30 December, 1990 Party: Trevor Wailes, Leigh Douglas, Peter Cover. Stuart Nicholas & Dean Morgan There was a draughting hole close to the bottom of Refuge Aven (just on the far side of the crawl at the top of the Windy Rift series) that Trev had found previously that needed a bit of work to get through. With a bit of luck it would lead into Pendant Pot or be another way down to Black River. A few hours were spent enlarging it and a little progress was made. One metre further on the passage opened right out'and a bit of water could be heard although it was starting to look like it was
SPELEO SPIEL 267 Page l0 Jan / Feb 1991 A New Year ... New Discoveries.,. New Enthusiasm?! going to connect back into the passage down near the bottom of top fixsd Ladder. It wouldn't take much more work to get through so a return should be done to finish it off. We then went down to another strongly draught* passage that we knew about near Destiny (but on the right hand side of the Trapdoor streamway). This was a low flattener with a cobble floor which had been pushed previously. I managed to get 10 metres further than previous trips as it seems water has flushed same of the cobbles out making it just big enough to fit through. At the end of it the cobbles came to within 750Bnn of the roof. There was still quite a strong draught coming through and most of the cobbles are loose making it a fairly easy dig. There is just a lot to dig out! It is also trendaway from any of the known passage in Growling, so could be worth the effort-., Dean Horgan (JP371 5 Jrmuarg, Party: Glen, Peter and he (Hills Speleo. Soc, NSW), Dean Morgan (TCC) The mainlanders were keen to do a wet cave but a couple of days of rain had me suggesting Pendant Pot as an alternative. Four people were too many for a cave like this and progress was bit slow we only reached the top of the last pitch before it was time to head out. Once out of the cave we still had half an hour to spare so Glen and I went for a quick look in the entrance of Growling Swallet. The water level was surprisingly low so the our gear didn't even get cleaned! Five people uere too many for any of the better caves in the Florentine Valley as I couldn't stay overniht so I suggested we do Hobbit Hole at Ida Bay since I consider it to be the best cave in that area, Upon arriving at I& Bay the weather didn't look too good, so a trip was made through Midnight Hole instead, This only took a couple of hours including the photo session at the bottom pitch and time spent dodging all the Venture Scouts that were in Mystery Creek Cave! Dean Morgan The observant amongst the ranks may have noted the all new (!) COsegment at the front of the mag. It was suggested the other night and here it is! Apathy is the buzz (should that be snore??) word of the year! When are we going to pull our respective krabs out and go caving? There are plenty more caves to be found, and others to be extended, so lets go and do it!! Read the Niggly Cave description abuve if you need inspiration. kxt issue will have details of who is who now in the club hierarchy frora the 1991 AGM which will have been held by the time that hits the streets.
0 I METRES I I I00
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