Speleo Spiel

Speleo Spiel

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Speleo Spiel
Series Title:
Speleo Spiel
Southern Tasmanian Caverneers
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


General Note:
The Tasmanian Caverneering Club was formed on 13 September 1946. Initially, information was provided to members through a circular, copies of which exist back to November 1947. "Speleo Spiel, Circular of the Tasmanian Caverneering Club" was first published December 1960. Eight issues of this are known, up to May 1962. In April 1964 a "Circular" was again issued and seems to have continued, irregularly, until March 1966. Then in April 1966, a "New Series" of Speleo Spiel commenced, as a monthly newsletter. In December 1996 The Tasmanian Caverneering Club amalgamated with the Southern Caving Society and the Tasmanian Cave and Karst Research Group to form the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers. The combined group agreed to continue to publish "Speleo Spiel" as its bi-monthly newsletter, as continues today (2015). Speleo Spiel is a vehicle for recording the cave and karst-related activities, and particularly the achievements, of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers. It also carriers technical and scientific reports, reprints, reviews and other information likely to be of interest to members from time to time.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
No. 177 (Jun 1982)
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.
Resource Identifier:
K26-04047 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4047 ( USFLDC Handle )
21657 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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Speleo Spiel No 177 June 1982 Page 1 NEWSLETTER OF THE TASMANIAN CAVERNEERING CLUB Annual Subscription $5.00. Single copies 50C. Non members $1.00. .......................................................................... President : Trevor Wailes 47 Waterworks Rd, Dynnyrne 7005. Ph 344862 Secretary : Andrew Briggs 114 Vantona Rd, Sandy Bay, 7005. Ph 251801 Treasurer: Diana Davies, 391A Nelson Rd, Mt Nelson, 7009. Ph 202669 (Work) Temporary Trevor Wailes (as above). CO-Editors : Chris Davies, 8 Weston Place, Montrose, 7010. Ph 723617 Typist: Jeanine Davies, 114 Vantona Rd, Sandy Bay, 7005. Ph 251801 **********************************************************,******#********* FORWARD PROGRAMME : Wed June 30 PUB MEETING: Wheatsheaf Hotel (free bee;! ). A farewell to our members joining the PNG Expedition. Sat July 3 SATANS LAIR: The last attempt fell thnough due to atrocious weather. Wed July 7 SOCIAL MEETING: Stuart's place, 17 Rupert Avenue. BY0 slides, entertainment and grog. Sat July 10 VOLTERA: And area around the top of Chrisps Road could be a Sunday trip. Sat July 17 GROWLING SWALLET: Again the last trip was aborted due to high water. Push trip and survey. Wed July 21 COMMITTEE MEETING: All office 'bearers please attend. Sat July 24 SLAUGHERHOUSE POT: Exploration with' a view to. linking it to Growling. Trev & Sue's house-warming party. Wed July 28 PUB MEETING: Wheatsheaf Hotel. (Free beer yet again) 1 Sat July 31 GORMENGHAST: Beginners trip little tackle needed. ........................................................................... EDITORIAL -SUCCESS AT LAST! After masses of effort spent over the last ten years to -find a system deeper than Khazad Dhum. Well, now we have it, and thankfully it was a Tasmanian group that did it and, more importantly, it was OUR CLUB. The report is in this issue with (at the time of writingthis "I hope") the survey. Apart from the record breaking trip to Ice Tube, trips have been run to Tassie Pot, Owl Pot and Growling Swallet; the latter of these three being aborted because of high water (lots of it! ) The day was not wasted though, the track was cleared up to the trapdoor stream on the way to Ice Tube and surveyed back to Growling Swallet. Pendant Pot was also visited. The lack of action is mostly due to poor winter weather and the general winter syndrome, and although the Ice Tube trip and report will be hard to improve on for the next issue of the Spiel, we're working qn it! (Continued on Page 8)


Speleo Spiel No 177 June 1982 Page 2 CLUB NEWS AND TRIVIA -* Chris still wants to hear from anyone interested in doing a deal for the purchase of cap lamps. Does anyone have any dead lead acid batteries? Car, motorbike, caving batteries, etc, can be sold for scrap, and help pay for the purchase of new cells for the club see Chris. The track to Ice Tube was cut and surveyed from Growling Swallet the weekend prior to and the one after the bottoming trip. The relationship between these two incredible caves should be interesting. With regard to the "last" Ice Tube trip the sources of information are unknown but both Julia James. Rawleigh Webb (WASG) and Terry Reardon (CEGSA) sent their congratulations on the TCC's success in breaking the Australian Depth Record. Many thanks for their well wishes and interest. FOLKS: Did you know that the Club has a library? It includes a number of recently purchased books and, now, bound Speleo Spiel Yearbooks, with more to come. Thanks Trev. The library is at Stuartts place so why not have a browse and a borrow. The McKinnon/Tunneyhouse-warming is reputed to be late in Julylearly August the date is still to be finalis'ed! Caving Equipment have moved.their shop yet again (are they moving up in ehe world)! The new address is: 230 Sussex Street, Sydney, Ph 02-264'-2095. Opening specials include : 20C m Roll Bluewater I1 $350 (No hulk discount. Postal address is North Cape la~~~intted jackets $ 65 still PO Box 230, Milsons Pt. 2061). Friends No 1 $24.20 No 16 $25.20 No 2 26.20 No 24 27.00 No 3 2@.0C! No 4 35.60 2" tape .80/m Jumars 59.00/pr Gibbs 23.75 QUOTABLE QUOTES Scene: Outside the shop at Maydena, Saturday, the morning of the Ice Tube trip. Stefan: very patient. "Oh ... these trips which start with all this .... ing around always end up as epics". ++++++++++ Scene: Stuart first arriving at the Ice Tube doline after looking over the area for caverns some years ago. Stuart "Ke spent hours up here. and never found a rBazoo". Stefan (finder of IT): "We didn't find any Razoos either". Trev : "What 'S a razoo"? hick: "A place where people come and p&y to see Ra's in cages". ++++++C+++ Scene: At the doline after the IT trip. Rolan was asked how his new foot Gibbs rope walking system went on. "Not too good oh the first few pitches, but really well on the last one"! ++++++++++ After IT was all over, someone asked if it was a "hard trip", someone equally anonymous answered "The trip you don't come back from is the only hard one". (Very profound Ed's note). ++++++++<-+


Speleo S2iel No 177 June 1982 .P Page 3 ICE TUBE 5 JUNE 1982 AS YET UN-NUMBERED "Let's attack the Australian depth record with a quick trip to the bottom". "Will we survey it"? "Curses". "Should do really". Our plans for this trip weren't quite as nonchalant as this. The trip had been programmed before. Various problems were encountered essential members were out of the State, metres? of snow blocking the approaching roads, and various other excuses. When the moment arrived plans went like clockwork, Mike Martian fshould be Martin) ensured a good night's sleep by spending it at hospital! Malcome Handel booked his standby flight from Sydney (very keen). 1 laid off the grog, well, almost. Stefan and Rolan did what they would usually do for late teenagerson a late Friday night? NYck Hume played squash and got beaten (unusual) and Stu Nicholas polished his prusikers. 8 am Saturday saw us fit and weil, loading almost half a kilometre of ropes, traces and rope protectors idto various vehicles. We were confident and determined a little unusual for the TCC. Stefan, working at Mt Field National Park would meet us at the ANM Barrier. By 10.30 am we assembled at the top of the Nine Road on the western slope of Mt Field West, gear was grouped in piles for the known pitches and extra rope, enough to take us 400 m plus for the new ground. The plan was for two parties to descend. Rolan Eberhard, Malcome Handel and Nick Hume were to rig and place bolts, where necessary, down to new ground. Stu Nicholas, Mike Martin and myself, Trevor Wailes, were to survey as completely and quickly as possible down to them with the extra rope, etc. Stefan Eberhard would protect, following the survey party after giving them a good start. The walk in was assisted by the previous week's track clearing efforts in the area between Growling Swallet and the Trapdoor stream this represented over a pitiful half kilometre. It wa.s a good dry day for the Florentine Val'ley in winter and a sweat was worked up during the l& hour walk in. Di Davies and Albert Goede were met on the track, surface surveying up to Ice Tube. At length we arrived at the huge doline (not really so huge) which had seen, and was to see, more effort expended than most other surface features. A small clearing served as a camp and change area and the group changed in good spirits though only Stuart and Mike had not experienced I ce Tube before. Organisation was smooth as was the whole (hole) trip. NH, MH and RE descended the mud slope to the lowest ceiling section of the entire "system" which is the entrance, with a ceiling height of 3 metres. The survey group started irnrnedia.tely and took the first point from the rift wall adjacent to the higher entrace where from inside the cave daylight can be seen. (Is this cheating)? Surveying down the open rift to where the water sinks. I originally planned to mark down ceiling heights but soon discovered, as men,tioned, that the lowest point of the cave ceiling was the entrance. Once inside the boulder floor dipped steeply and the roof was undefined in the snaking serpentine passage above. This entrance scree slope is the lvngest "horizontal" section in the cave. A climb up and over or a grovel under a rock projection gives way to the first pitch. This pitch gave the system its name "Ice Tube". Apparently the rift


Speleo Spiel No 177 June 1982 ----.-.-. ---.----Page 4 from where the pitch begins bells out into a water shoot and develops into a sewer like vertical drain which was freezing cold, white spray lashed, and with an accompanying icy wind. Fortunately, this pitch is now eliminated by penduluming onto a razor sharp ledge (Malcolme's cuss?) 7 metres down. Here a wedged knot belay continues down an 18 m dry shaft ( "Phreds Downf a,ll") The water is regained here and more scree slope leads to a 28 m pitch (Degenerated Man's Pitch). This pitch. which has an awkward take off over a rather restricted lip, is dry for the first 7 metres and gets progressively damper towards the base 28 metres below. This is a very cold and damp spot to wait when returning. From this small chamber a choice of routes arises either wet or dry. The wet is very wet and the dry is across a rather hairy traverse (Placebo Effect) on poor rock. The traverse ends in a mud climb down into the rift below followed by more climbs down ?n serpentine passage and the third pitch is reached. Stuart, looking ghostly white and losing concentration, suggested he abort and return to the surface. This jeopardised our, surveying but as Stefan had caught up he took over Stuart 'S post. Our survey continued down the "Short Pitch" (6.5 m) closely followed by the 4th pitch (19 m). Half way down this pitch is an "Inlet rift" leading back to the main drain (wet pitches). Two difficult climbs in serpentine rift led to the "Ramp" pitch of 30 m: A beautiful pitch, a classic to prussik, with no protectors, just .4 m from the shaft wall, and dry. The stream is regained briefly here after a 3 m climb down followed by more serpentine passage, with the stream dropping 50 m in a large aven. After a delicate manoeuvre in the rift, with no floor for 50 m (Vertigo Traverse), a small hollow in the rift is reached. There are now two bolts, the rigging party having added one for safety. A pendulum out 7 m to a changeover under an overhang and a free drop to the ledge 45 metres below follows. Stefan had descended "The Fabulous Spangley Pitch" first and was shouting up to me, but, the pumping sounds of the waterfall distorted all intelligible voices. I soon discovered what he was saying as I neared him. A knot frustratingly 2 metres off the ground with the continuing rope hanging down "The Fabulous Spangley Pitch pt 2". Unfortunately Stuart's rhome made rappel bars were tight on the frame and,a totally disorganised sit harness with accoutrements made for a wastage of about 15 minutes and a lot of warm words and effort was spent freeing myself. Mike followed and swung himself into a slope and so avoided the changeover. The following 12.5 m wet pitch was quickly descended and the continuing serpentine passage surveyed to the "Handline" pitch. Here the rigging party waited for the rope we were c.arrying. Another bolt had been placed and the group quickly descended this very wet 44 m pitch (Killing Joke). A short stretch of serpentine passage with climbs led to the termination of the previous trip. As we arrived the lead group was on its way down into new ground. This pitch "Maelstrom" 36 m was so incredibly wet it wa.s indescribable. The Maelstrom fury of spray at the base was bitterly cold and excited shouts indicated yet another pitch which was already being rigged. At this point we knew we had already beaten KD and it was still going down. This pitch of 13 m (Never Forever) was dry (rela.tively) and the mud encountered here was ominous for we knew scope for more depth was running out. Rolan abseiled first followed by Stefan, Nick and myself holding the tape. The stream ran disappointingly down a c,obbled slope into a sump. A short climb up into a narrow serpentine rift was a possible continuation and here Rolan and Stefan were trying


Speleo Spiel No 177 ,June 1982 p---..-P Page 5 to force a wa.y on but wihtout stripping off, the chances looked slim. The survey book tucked in my jacket restricted my movements forward and backwards. The group was already in full retreat, shaking and yawning with cold. Stefan, Rolan and myself began derigging. The "Maelstrom" aven with a totally wa,ter resistant jacket on was soul destroying, every lift of the arms when prussiking sent water streaming down the arms and on down back and front via the armpits. A wet suit and hood is a necessity. At the top of the pitch I thought my arms felt heavy and on examination I discovered my bent jacket arms were holding a couple of litres of ice cold water! The following "Killing Joke1' pitch equally as wet but not free hanging so prussiking was quicker and easier but still uncomfortable to ascend, though Rolan had trouble with a foot Gibbs apparently in full stream. We had decided to tie the ropes together and haul them up the pitches as one line. Stefan removed the bolt hangers and Rol-an and I hauled up 200 metres of rope, some in packs that were tied onto the line. The packs snagged a couple of times but at length they sat in the narrow shoot in full. force of the stream. The packs not only containing rope (unused) but brim full of water. The effort needed to lift them out was a>gony! Our ascent was slow and the lead group were waiting for us at. the top of "The Fabulous Spangley" pitch. After SZ, RE and myself had prussiked out we all set about hauling out 250 metres of rope where it was bagged and allocated. Mike (feeling the cold) along with myself, Stefan and Rolan, set off with all the gear so far. We were all slowing up. Nick and Mal come ha,d very little gear and agreed to derig the three dry pitches and follow us out. We wou1.d all lend a hand with "Phredsl' pitch as it is close to the surface a.nd therefore psychologically easy to derig. The climbs in the dry rj ft were interminable but every one brought us closer to the entrance doline and some expected warmth. I suspect exposure was taking hold of some of us; I was still yawning and couldn't stop shivering and had a distinct aversion to "Degenerated Man's" pitch. The water was cold and I really didn't want another immersion. With Ma.lcome verbally kicking my arse 1 forced myself and my cramped up fingers, arms and legs up "Degenerated Man's". I knew it would be the worst of the two entrance pitches. Hauling the tackle pack after me seemed very silly and it doesn't know how lucky it is not to be still down there! The last pitch out is a nice easy ramp type prussik up to the ledge. On the way up I noticed the limestone pillar belay point for ''Degenerated Man's" pitch had split in half but still seemed secure. At length the pitch ended and all that remained was a grovel up the scree slope entrance rift to the beautiful scent of a dank rain forest. For me it was over but it took a while for it to sink in, I climbed up the side of the doline to find a Shakesperian scene of four dark figures huddled round a fire. No-one said much, all had mouths full of jelly beans, c.hocolate and other revival goodies. Stuart went down the cave feeling somewhat revived from his illness and helped Malcome and Nick derig and parted the remaining gear out to the surface. At length we were all huddled round the fire with cups of tea, soup and 0x0, eating sandwiches, sardines, chocol-ate and more jelly beans. It had been a great effort for a small club like the TCC; a 13 hour trip with a great deal of self control; everyone pulling their weight and prepared to pull more. Tempers controlled, while the slow progression in with surveying and out through tiredness. There had been no food stops or indecision. Everyone had been highly capable and confident!


Speleo Spiel No 177 June 1952 --p.-p Page 6 After a 2 hour walk back to the cars and a veritable bonfire built and stoked by Craig Crosby, our surface support party(!), the survey notes were dug out along with a calculator and the result was 1150 ft. TRIVIA: The survey is from the daylight hole to the sump. Length: 226 m Depth: 345 m or 1,132 ft. One bolt and hanger remain on the "Killing Joke" pitch? Nick and I both bought lace up Dairy Gum Boots and even when shivering and miserable my feet were quite warm in (neoprene) booties and said boots. This trip was the result of a party made up entirely of TCC members with 0 U the assistance of some SCS traces and J d protectors. To all who helped and o wished us wkll thank you. GEAR LIST: --.Phred's Downfall Oegenerated Man Short Drop Inlet The water temperat~re~was 5Oc and the air temperature was 3 c. I\ PITCH --ROPE --l 25 m 3 protectors 2 (l large, 1 short) 4 2 22 m lf It 1 1a.rge and rope from pitch 1 1 medium 1 medium and previous rope 1 medium Fabulous Spangley Hand line Killing Joke 6&7 60m 1 l I 1 medium on pt 2 1 long tracer 2 bolts 2 hangers 9 44 m Several protectors put them where you like. 2 bolts 2 hangers


Speleo Spiel No 177 June 1982 ---C---p Page 7 GEAR LIST (CONTINUED) -1 PITCH -ROPE PROTECTORS ---TRACES --W Mae 1s t rom 35 m 1 protector 1 large, l short Never Forever 14 m 1 11 1 large and rope from last pitch The Team was: Malcom Handel, Nick Hume, Stefan Eberhard, Rolan Eberha d, Mike Martin, Stuart Nicholas, Trevor Wailes. Surface Support: Cra 4 g Crosby. S aed*IS\N Trevor Wailes wuwnr.uq7*;*w h s'&R* +++++++++++++ MOLE CREEK EASTER 1.982 HERBERTS POT DOWNSTREAM Party : Trevor Wailes, Stef an Eberhard, Richard Hortle, Malcome Handel Nick Hume Stuart Nicholas Bill Ni cholson ( temporarily) Enthusiasm was as high as the noon-day sun as we proceeded through Farmer Gavin's property. Two membqrs of t.he party decided that the general happenings to that point were dull and uninspiring. Entertainment was therefore provided as these two went cavorting across a nearby paddock in search of the farmer tq gain his permission to visit "Gavin's Ole" (to be spoken in a rich uptown farming tongue). Thanks to Bill Nichol-son and his 4WD, the walk up the hill was avoided., and much time thereby saved. The pitch was laddered and the streamway reached in quick time by all except Bill whose lamp expired just belbw the pitch. He was helped back to the surface by R,ichard who then got lost finding his way down to the streamway! Very low rainfall made for a very low strem and after some s,tuffing around in the rock pile downstream the entourage splashed its way down to the sump along that magnificent streamway. The original discoverers must have had a real buzz exploring t.he cave during the mid. 60's. A short distance upstream from the sump access can be gained to a high dry passage system leading to the "Draughting Hole". The draught blowing through this flowstone encrusted hole is very strong (it blows out carbide lamps) and produces a "running river" type noise. A rock pile beyond that point tends to disperse the draught, but Mal and Stuart followed it up, over and down to a small passage which appeared to be in solid rock, ie, out of the rock pile. The others weren't interested so a retreat was made back up that superb streamway and eventually back to the surface. A really brilliant seven hour trip was capped off by us finding Bill and his 4WD still waiting patiently for our return thanks Bill. The finale was a visit to the hamburger joint and the pub for an extended stay (what happens after the lights are turned off and the vacuum cleaners packed away)? How much scouring has Herbert's Pot had? Is there more to be found? Such a large system ("Master Cave") must have more to it than is presently known? Stuart Nicholas


Speleo Spiel No 177 June 1982 ------p '-Page 8 EDITORIAL (Continued) The next few weeks could be quiet here with some notable members away north. Nick Hume, and Rolan and Stefan Eberhard will be joining the Australian PNG Expedition, and by the time they receive this newsletter there I hope they've found something worthwhile and are in the process of sending us a report for the Spiel. Congratulations in advance we all wish you well. Rumour has it that Bill Nicholson has joined the Army??! But I'm not so sure! Anyway, Bill, either way, enjoy the holiday! The final word in this Editorial is about Membership Subscriptions. They are now overdue -----and this amazing publication will cease forthwith if contributionsare -p----------not forthcoming before the n~xt mailing. Please support your club by --------v-----p. being a financial member! ........................................................................ GENERAL MEETTNG ANNOUNCEMENT Under the more recent jurisdiction, General Meetings have beeq modified, but our constitution demands that we have four GM'S per year. Last year we had one per month which was felt throughout the Committee to be too demanding. As of the last AGM. General Meetings will be held quarterly, which brings us to this note. The first General Meeting of the new Committee will be on Wednesday 4 August 1982. THIS IS A MUST. Bring all ideas good, bad or indifferent along, as there are many gripes to be heard. With only four General. Meetings per year we may achieve more by having constructive arguments if the people concerned are present. As a message to all financial members PLEASE ATTEND ONCE EVERY THREE MONTHS. ........................................................................... MORE NEWS, MORE TRIVIA -At long last Sue and I have agreed on a date (which is still suspect?!?) for our house-warming. Everyone in the Club is invited (can't think off hand of any exceptions). You will of course have to bring at least two bottles and a smile (your's of course). The address is 47 Waterworks Road, Dynnyrne, the date 24 July 1982 and the time 8.00 pm onwards. If you check with the Forward Programme it's Slaughterhouse Pot but seeing as it was brought forward, ie, end of June, well (me, Sue and Gavin) will see you al.1 then. Financial. members and others accepted! 0l.d and new! ODDS MORE THAN ENDS ---Although most of us thought it was bullshit, a survey promised from SS174 and 175 regarding SESAME T and I1 is here in this Spiel 177. Its possibly the first opportunity we've had to publish it as trip reports seem t,o dominate space! Unusual? Not lately! But anyway, they are printed one side only so you can file them away or stick them where you usually throw Spiels to rest in peace. Please don't throw the Ice Tube surveys away as they cost money. If any non members would like to contribute to the Speleo Spiel i.t costs a pitiful $5 per annum for 11 issues (providing we don't have any double issues), mailing included. Let us know with a cheque, money order, etc, and you'll be put on our mailing list. Trevor Wai les ............................................................................


SESAME I JF 210 SESAME I1 JF 211 Surveyed by: Rik Tunney, Janine McKinnon, Andrew Cooper, Trevor Wailes on 30,31-1-82 Plan ASF 4.3 Plan length: 800m Depth : 207m TASMANIAN CAVERNEERING CLUB



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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