NEWSLETTER OF THE
SPELEO SPIEL. NO. 144 Page 1. APRIL, 1,979. Newsletter of the Tasmanian Caverneering Club Annual Subscription $4.00 Single copies 40 cents President: President (Maydena Branch): Secretary: Editor : Typist : Bruce McIntosh, c/I1Springvale", Midwood Street, New Town, 7008. Ph: 281282(~), 342833(W). Max Jeffries, 15 South Crescent, Maydena, 7457. Ph: 882256(~). Ian Gothard, 9 James Avenue, Kingston Beach, 7150, S-tuart Nicholas, 7 Rupert Avenue, New Town, 7008. Ph: 283054(H), 284691 (W). Sue Feeney, 115 Brooker Ave., Glebe, 7000. Ph: 346299(W). FORWARD PROGRAMME!, April 8 April 17 April 18 After Easter April 28, 29 May 2 May 3 May 26, 27 June or July Mid. July Dec. 1, 2 Late Jan. early Feb. 1980 Early 1980 Mid. to late Feb. 1980 Junee Florentine: EMC trip. Leader: Bruce McIntosh. Easter trip to Cracroft for 1 week. Leader: Bill Nicholson. Committee Meeting, Wheatsheaf Hotel, 8 p.m. Exit survey gets underway. If you wish to learn the rudiments of this gentle art, drop around and see Stuart for a complex explanation of a simple procedure! Exit mapping co-ordinator: Bruce McIntosh. Mole Creek trip. Leader: Ian Gothard. General Meeting, Wheatsheaf Hotel, 8 p.m. St. John First Aid Course starts. Ph. 237751 for details. City-to-Casino Run for Fun. See Stuart Nicholas for further details, entry forms, etc. H.W.C. Caving trip to Mole Creek. Bill Tomalin requires more T.C.C. leaders for this trip which will probably visit Blackshawl, etc. Rescue Exercise at Mole Creek. See Bill Nicholson or Frank Brown for details. Hells Passage, Wolf Hole. Leader: Ian Gothard. Kubla Khan. Photography etc. Leader: Bill Tomalin. Another Franklin River expedition. See Ian Gothard for info. Completion of survey of Kubla Khan. Leader: Bill Tomalin. Possible Cracroft expedition. EDITORIAL Once again another A.G.M. has come and gone, giving the Club a new committee full of new ideas. It is very pleasing to see some really new faces this year who will no doubt, provide the older faces with plenty of new ideas and renewed vigour for caving.
SPELEO SPIEL. NO, m* -..-c 44 APRIL, 1979. Speaking of older faces, I would thank our retiring President, Bill Tomalin, for his invaluable work during the year, inspired cha:-ring of meetings and knowledge of the ins and outs of various government organisations. A full list of nsssly elected and appointed officers of the Club -:ppears elsewhere in tins editioil. Getting back to things of a nore c;Sjcctj--~e .r_atu.re, thc problem of finance could rear iix ugly head igain in the foreseeable future with the possible removal of our right to the procleeds from the beer-ticket sales. A;?y idees for raising finaxe would be appreciated by the Comilittce since a rise in s~bscriptions is otherwise certain. Money fora 2-epiacement of existi~g gear is always needed and the purchase of totally XY g::r is oc.asimally ~equired (ropes, ladders ~u~d so cn ill zdd.i_~io:~ to ex' ... +;in& stocks) so, if As you may hzve gucsszd, almual subs. are now due end should be paid PROGTLY S--m if-.ycd wi,4h to receive the Spe::.eo Spiel and enjoy(?) the other benefit:; cf inr;,.r,l.ership. Senior $7.59 Family $1 0.50 Search & 9t7sxie Co.-c.~;l.i;-,s-~.:c::.~ : Yo be appointed A. S .F. Delegate : Al..l:;e:l.t Goede Hon. Axdi.to~l: Paul King C.O.G.E.3. Rep.:, Bill Tomalin Contact Addresses: Bruce XcInzosh, IFS-~.ngvale @', Midwood Street, MW TOWJ 7008. Phone : 281 282 (H ) 3tu2rt Nichol~s, '7 Ru~ert Avence, NZW 'TOT;!N. 7CO8. Phone : 283054(~) 284691 (W) CLUB NEWS Our ex-President and Spicl eC:kui9 L-:7Tri.n -.L. Moz~~Y, has finally taken the plunge =d moved home. fk Ray 1-~-~: be fcud at 11 Melita Court, Geilston Bay. Ph: 43S7G3, o 3/
SPELEO SPIEL. NO. 14-4 APRIL, 1979. Page 3. Although not strictly T.C.C. business, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Laurie for the excellent work he has put in over the past few years as editor of the A.S.F. Newsletter. Note: A.S.F. Newsletter editor is now Rosie Shannon, 44 McCaul Street, TARINGA. OLD. 4068. Ph: 07-3708959 (before 8am or after 5pm Qld. time only please!) -That long-time stalwart of caving at Mnydena, Max Jeffries, was appointed. an Honorary Life Member of the Tasmanian Caverneering Club at the recent A.C.M. This is indeed a deserving appointment as Max has done a tremendous amount of work for the Club, beginning with the clearing of the "Khazad-dum Highwaytt about nine years ago. Since that time, he has been an invaluable club member, helping visiting cavers, cutting tracks, clearing existing tracks, keeping the Junee Homestead in good repair and so on, and so on. The list is endless. .Thanks Max!! --. _. .-0n your next trip to Britain, why not visit a guy by the name of Steve Worthington? Steve stayed at the Editor's house earlier in the year for a few days, after spending six months in Niugini and a total of about twelve months away from home. He is a great guy and has had extensive climbing and caving experience all over the world. His address is: 12 Machan Bank Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield 7, England. Ph: 0742-583641. To ring from here using ISD, tune up your digit and dial 0011 44 742583641!!! -On the subject of Niugini, some members will recall a gentleman by the name of Bill Lehman who joined T.C .C. in 1970 and has just spent 3 years working in Niugini. Well, he's back! Having been involved in a survey of Exit some years ago, he is going to provide Bruce with the data he acquired which should help the Exit Cave survey project considerably. -During the middle of the year, there is a proposed S & R exercise to be held in Kubla Khan at Mole Creek. The proposal is to haul a dummy victim out through the bottom entrance from Cairn Hall. The organisation is being done by Frank Brown Jnr, and any comments on this exercise should be directed to him. Frank will be at the next committee meeting to discuss the exercise further, so if you are interested, come along. -Note from Quartermaster: If you borrow gear please fill out the gear registration book and please bring gear back promptly. Remember, it may be you that needs rescuing and if all the gear is in your house or flat and your name is not in the book, it could be a trifle embarrassing. -For more years than I care to remember, Therese Goede has been dutifully typing this fine publication and I would like to thank her for the many hours she has spent slaving over a hot typewriter. Our new typist is Sue Feeney who did a marvellous job on one edition last year and has offered to do it full-time this year. -Just a brief note on pre-trip procedures: If you are going on a trip, particularly an extended one, make sure someone knows where you are going and when you expect to return. This information should be written down by" you and given -to the person concerned with suitable instructions as to what to do should you fail t.o appear by the nominated time. -hother note on safety: The next St. John's Ambulance Brigade First Aid Certificate course starts early in May (3rd), so make sure you enrol now. It is not hard (the Editor is doing one right now!) and everyone should have a working knowledge of first aid. For further information phone: 237751. 0 0 4/
SPELEO SPIEL. NO. 144, APRIL, 1979. Page 4. -If you, as a trip leader, anticipate being sued for damages after a caving accident, a good plan is to take out personal risk liability insurance. Premium amounts to about $26 and you are then covered up to $250,000 damages should you be taken to court. This is a good idea for any leader in any potentially hazardous sport. -Peter Murray has requested that everyone stay out of the surface climb (original entrance) in Genghis at Mole Creek for scientific reasons. Apparently, there is a bug in there which must be preserved and left in peace for the time being. -Maps of the sections of Exit surveyed earlier in the year have been received from Rauleigh Vebb and Gordon Taylor. These will be correlated with the main map and, together with future work, published in the Spiel from time to time. Note: Anybody interested in helping with this project, contact Bruce McIntosh or Stuart Nicholas, Helpers are needed! CAVE RESCUE REPORT 1978-79 For thy newer members I thought a brief history of cave rescue involving the Tasmanian Caverneering Club would be beneficial and highlight the importance of such an organisation within the caving clubs and polsar in Tasmania. 1976 l1Operation Ferretu, Mole Creek (Spiel 112) This was the first exercise held in Tasmania and was quite successful in pointing out the exceptional difficulties that are associated with a rescue of that type. The cave used was Herbertls Pot. 1978 h exercise was planned for early 1978 but was cancelled. (See 1977-78 Rescue Report) 'loperation W~rnguano~~, Maydena (Spiel 136) Following a two year spell and the cancellakion of an earlier exercise, IiOperation WomguanoK came into being. This exercise, I feel, was more successful in the aspect of testing the G.Q. Paraguard stretcher and drag mats together. The main point brought home was not the difficulties involving stretcher usage, .but the medical problems associated with such an operation. Khazad-dun Incident (See Rescue Report 1977-78) Midnight Hole Call Out (Spiel 1 This was the first callout for Club members for many years for an overdue party and it was handled with very few problems. A State alert was issued. 1979 Khazad-dun Callout (Detailed Report N/&) A rainstorm, overdue party and a potentially long technical rescue gave way to an extensive callout. Full reports of the above exercises and callouts are in their respective Speleo Spiels and I hope the newer members can find time to read them. Juddfs Cavern Incident: 25th March, 1979 Misinterpretation of callout times (mid.day instead of midnight) brought Rescue Officer, Tony Power on duty and the Geeveston policeman heading down to Farmhouse Creek to find our party in various states of undress before heading off home. No Clubs were notified except ours. All was forgiven. 0 51
SPELEO SPIEL. NO. 144 Page 5. APRIL, 1979. Entrance Cave Incident: 26th March, 1979. Not finding the trip leader home on Sunday night or at work on Monday, morning prompted me to make enquiries. spector Massie informed Dover Police and the Hastings '.P.W.S. Ranger who checked the cave car park and found no car. The party leader's employer failed to notice him arrive at work and so accounted him not there. All was forgiven. ----------A major step was achieved for Cave safety last year at a symposium in Kingston where reps. from clubs around the State converged to discuss, debate and report on the safety aspects of their respective sports. As the findings of the caving group are too extensive to print here, the minutes of the meeting can be obtained from me. ----------Eighteen months ago I became S,& R. officer. My aim then was to pull the S.& R. section of T.C.C. out of the doldrums and mould it into an efficient part of the organisation. This I have done but not without the help of the Committee and Bob Cockerill, Alex Teruds, and others of the Southern Caving Society, Frank Brown Jr., and those men of starched shirts, Inspector Maurice Massie, Keith Harper, Graeme Galloway and Tony Power of Police Search 8i Rescue. Without such an organisaticn the Midnight Hole and Khazad-dum callouts would not have gone off so smoothly. I am now at the stage where a Cave Rescue Team will be formed soon on the same basis as the Cliff Rescue Team, i.e. regular training sessions, testing rescue equipment for modifications and so on, in snall parties. All in all the past year has been very busy. Safety standards are improving but, more important, members are becoming more safety conscious which is where it all starts. Keep cn trogging ............ Bill Nicholson, Cavsar Officer. Further Comments on irKhazad-dum Communicationsn and Cave Communications in Gensral (See Speleo Spiel-March 1979) As was stated in the letter by Bruce IvIcIntcsh, a telephone line was set up in K.D. during the main period of exploration. It extended from the camp site (50m from the entrance) to the bottom of the 70' pitch, a point approximately midway, in terms of depth, between the entrance and the sump. The installation of this line was, if I remember correctly, not without problems. The wire sed was a light gauge doubled single strand type normally used for door-bells and such things and hence was prone to breakage frorr sharp bends and links. The telephone in the cave was kept sealed in a large tin when not in use. Reliability of the system proved to be surprisingly gocd, with only a couple of breakdowns occurring during its life of (I think) about fifteen months. The problems involved in keeping a system operative which extended for the entire length of the cave would, however, be quite considerable. Something in excess of 1 mile of double wire would be required and in many places this could not easily be protected from the ravages of passing cavers, a flooded stream and general corrosion.
SPELEO SPIEL. NO. 144 ', APRIL p 1 979. Page 6. The stream passage in the bottom half of the cave would present most problems. In many places the passage is not particularly wide or high an2 a wire strung through these areas would be prone to breakage by cavers. As well as this, the environment is particularly adverse, being continually wet and a satisfactory method of joining the wires could be difficult to find. In any full-blown cave rescue, the efficiency of the corn-unications system is going to be absolutely critical in determining the outcome of the exercise. iLt this point in the state of the art, a practical solution to the problem is the use of telephones, however, establishment of permanent lines in caves I do not regard as being desirable for two reasons: (a) in the event of an emergency, the proper operation of the system is always in doubt it may not have been checked for some time and the hurried movement of people and gear could easily disrupt it. (b) ethically and/or aesthetically the line may prove undesirable, depending on the cave and the persons assessing it. A system suitable for quick installation in any cave, should the need arise, would be far better than a permanent one. It could be used anywhere in the State and during installation could easily be checked for faults as it progresses through the system. The ultimate underground communications system is a two-way radio but problems involved in the use of these in a cave far outweigh those involved in a telephone system installed as required. Perhaps some experimentation could be carried out during any forthcoming S & R exercises or an exercise could be held for the specific purpose of experimenting with various systems. Regardless of the system, the prime requirement is familiarity and expertise in its operation by all potential users. 'IJould anyone interested in the problem of cave communications, please send any comments, suggestions and so on to me since it is a subject in which much work remains to be done acd is of personal interest to me. Suart Nicholas TRIP REPORTS Party: Stuart Nicholas, Eveline Tulp (~VASG), Rauleigh Webb ('dASG), Chris Rathbone (ttDittoti, CCT) Support: Bruce McIntosh, Simon Stops, Sam Steane Itsuper Support1': Gordon Taylor, Peter Cover Since their last visit to Tasmania, both Kauleigh and Ev had become very enthusiastic about 2 trip to Khazad-dun, Australia9s deepest known pot at just over 32lm. They finally made it over here during January of this year, armed with many lengths of rope and still shiny jumars. After much planning, packing and repacking of gear, we arrived at the entrance about 09.30 Saturday. Unfortunate1 due to a misunderstanding, Gordon Taylor from NUCC (Canberra 7 who was staying at the Homestead with Bruce NcIntosh, missed out on the trip proper and I most sincerely apologise for this. We set off underground at 10.15, The weather was fine with little prospect of rain. The forecast indicated possible thunderstorms on the Vest Coast but fine elswhere over the weekend period. 0 0 71
SPELL20 SPIEL. NO. 144 Page 7. APRIL, 1979. Prior to our going underground, we arranged with Bruce McIntosh to have some "sherpasi; at the entrance by about 21.30 for an expected return between then and midnight, After a few minor naviga.tion problems, we reached the top of the last wet pitch (the second last pitch in the cave) and noticed the stream was slightly muddy and appeared to be a little higher than normal. Decided to shoot down and up again without wasting any time. After looking at the bottom sump, we jumared back up to the Brew Chamber and noticed that our means of exit was completely blocked. the last wet pitch was in full flood and definitely not negotiable. Owing to the cold in the Brew Chamber, a decision was made to go back down to the bottom chamber where there were no drafts and more room. A message to that effect was left in the Brew Chamber floor. By 06.00 Sunday, the stream near the sump had dropped considerably and I had made a decision to start heading out when Gordon Taylor (NUCC) and Peter Cover (KC) appeared bearing gifts of food and other desirable items. After yet another brew and some food, it was decided that Chris and Stuart should head straight out to call off the S & R sta2dby which had been set up. Peter and Gordon would assist Rauleigh and Ev to partly derig the cave. Chris and Stuart made the surface about 03 30 and the others appeared around 14 30 having left the gear at the top of the first wet pitch (end of the horizontal streamway), Following an extended period of eatinc> and discussion, we made our way back to vehicles at the end of the road, It appears that a flash storm during the Saturday afternoon was the cause of our problems and, at peak, the stream was flowing very strongly indeed (the large boulders just at the entrance were apparently well covered by water) iiith a successr"ul end to the trip, m behalf of Eveline, Rauleigh and Chris, I sincerely thank all those who helped or were prepared to help should the need have arisen, Deserving of a special mention are Bruce McIntosh, IVax Jeffries, Steve Annan and especially Gordon Taylor and Peter Cover vrho both braved the early morning apathy syndrome to come and see what we were up to in Australials deepest known pot. I would also like to thank the A.N.M. 0peration.s Nanager, Jerry Cross, for organising men and machinery to assist sh~uld the need have arisen. Notes: (a) (b) Everyone on the trip was quite capable of negotiating the cave with i7norma11i stream levels, In retrospect, the decision to keep going down seems the wisest move, Had we started out from the top of the last wet pitch, we would have been trapped by the rapidly rising stream with no dry place to rest and wait out the flood, The wet pitches would certainly not have been safely negotiable either up or down during the flood peak, We had sufficient food for probably another 15 to 20 hours of "normalf! eating and fuel for a similar, possibly longer, period, Cold was the mai.n problem, although towards the end of the stay, our clothes had dried soinewhat and we were keeping relatively warm with less exercise. Possibly a ;;space blanket" or some type of biwy bag would have helped. If anyone finds a billy with.an enamel cup, a spoon and sorue tea, coffee and soup in it down near the sump (pqssibly in the stream), Stuart Nicholas owns it and would zppreciate its return! Don't worry about the rappel rack somewhere at the foot of the 92 foot pitch itss not worth bringing back! Stuart Nicholas. 9 "g/
SPELEO SPIEL, NO. 144 Page 8. APRIL, 1979. N.B. A more detailed report has been' submitted to Police S & F; and a similar one will be submitted to the A.S.F. Newsletter for publication. ___---------------___ Picton-Cracroft Saddle Judds Cavern and the Matchlight Hole: 27 to 29,1.79 Party: Geoff Fisher, Chris and Diana Davies (Piaydena branch) Danny Moore, Adrian kiest (Non-members ) Off to a 7 o'clock start on Saturday morning for all but Diana who walked in solo on Sunday morning, More than 5 hours later we arrived at the Cavern and pitched camp in the ~!Iyrtle/~assafras grove which surrounds the cavern creek, After recovering from the walk and eating, the four of us donned helmets and lamps and headed into the cavern, The other three decided to try and keep dry by taking the high route, while I trudged up the creek, They were soon forced to come down to my level, The stream flowing through the Cavern was swift, and not quite deep enough to get the naughty bits wet ('specially if you're 1.8 metres tall). The Cavern itself was massive and apparently confined to one level, wit.h a long succession of extensive chambers, some having small well-decorated off shoots. Towards the end, a tributary branched to the left of the main stream. Ceoff followed this to its end in a small siphon. A little further on, progress was stopped where the roof sloped d~wn to a siphon. Exploration could possibly be continued by those who are careless of what they get wet, and who have low oxygen requirements, The party was underground for more than 90 minutes and moving at a slow walking pace for most of the time, in which case, a little quick arithmetic proves the cavern to be massive, at least in the experience of the party, Formation in the cave was isolated and limited. The following day, Sunday, Geqff, Adrian and Danny decided to attempt to get a better view of Federation Peak by crossing the plains of the South Cracroft and climbing an un-named ridge of an un-named peak. I opted out, still savouring the delicacy' of yesterday's buttongrass and tea-tree, and decided on a restful day of exploration in the local area, The explorers returned within the hour, having viewed some magnificently dense stands of tea-tree, Danny and Adrian decided to continue the search for the view in other.directions. Geoff and I donned caps and also headed up along the Federation Track which moves up the side of a ridge studded with dolines, We found one likely looking shaft which was blocked by tree roots and continued on up the track till we stumbled on a cave numbered ':211 and with a label declaring it to be "The Matchlight Hole:i, Geoff and I pushed into the cave and took the left tunnel at a fork soon after the entrance. \ie were well satisfied after crawling in and out of this short section, but were stunned when we took the right fork. The tunnel opened into a large chamber which had extensive and delicate formations. Moving away from the cave entrance, the chamber narrowed off and many superb straws, curtains and columns and rim-pools were exposed. At the other end of the chamber, and seeming to circle back under the entrance, wzs an operi walking, passage, very dry and with good formation both large and small-, A most interesting aspect of this passage was a number of shafts dropping about ,O metres to what may 0 0 91
SPELEC SPIEL, lJ0. 144, APRIL, 1-979. Paw 9, have been a lower level but, alas and slack, we had no ladders, Geoff and I retxrned to camp most pleased and found Adrian snoozing in his tent to escape the march flies and Danny and Diana somewhere in Judds Cavern. Later, all five movcd out to look at the Matchlight Hole, Vie took camera, flash and machete and opened up the shaft found earlier, The shaft was a bottle-neck with a 5 metre drop. A sassafras of appropriate length was cut, and the still difficult descent was made. The cave was tiny, having only about 15 metres of horizontal crawling space, but was notable for the collection of bones on and in the calcite deposits at one end of the cave, There were two large skulls, possibly wombat, one of a platypus, and several smaller skulls. Out came the camera and flash but the batteries were dead flat, CURSES!! TVith great difficulty, the party left this small cave provisionally called '[The Sassafras HoleE and, mainly due %c Geoffls pole climbing ability (simian inheritance?), made it safely to the surface. We then moved on to further inspect the wonders of the Matchlight Hole, That left Mondey for walking out in much hotter and drier conditions, The area around Judds Cavern offers good prospect for further caves, although the forest can be very dense, !*.at about it? Chris Davies Growling Swallett: 24,3,79 Party: Sue F'eeney, Ceoff Fisher, Tim Douglas, Chris Davies, Diana Davies (all T.C,C, Maydena Branch, plus Tim) Converged on Maxts place having decided to tackle Growling Swallett, h11 marks to whoever called it that, i!e failed to coerce pIax into joining in he wanted to visit his bees after the traditional cup of coffee and drawing of the map, We wandered along the McCallumls survey track, impressed by the amount of work that must have gone into cutting it (192O1s?), Followed the "growlingK up a gully to find a not inconsiderable amount of water being swallowed by a large impressive entrance. bJe used two ladders, (one as a header) on a IOm, pitch not far from sight of the entrance (may not be necessary with less water about). The descent from the pitch was reasonably steep following the main water channel and many small waterfalls, A short section after a sharp turn in the stream under flowstone, brought us tc a large chamber; no formations but an abundance of glow-worms, Back into the water and down less steeply to a series of sand banks, \!e peered dow the rapidly diminishing channel-which was rather too full of water for comfort and decided to turn back as we agreed that the sump mentioned by Max must be near, On the way out, Tim and I had a look at a side stream and found a small area of good formation, de eventually rejoined the mainstream, collected the ladders and headed out to find the others, Returned the ladders to T?ax and sampled his latest f~ourrnet's delight, Milo-coffe (ivjof fee?) not bad, I1e threatened to return, Diarla Davies
SPELEO SPIEL. NO. 144. Page 10. APRIL, 7979. iW. Bobs & Juddvs Cavern: 24 & 25,3.79 Party: Bill Nicholson, Dave Williams and New Town High Students. l,!e camped at Pine Camp on Friday night and on Saturday proceeded to Mt. Bobs. ;;e turned back near Lake Sidney as tine was short. Made Juddts Cavern at nightfall, Sunday morning, I showed the party through the first section of Juddl.s Cavern, 1:later was up a little but Dave and the students were quite impressed with the cave, We left soon after to walk back to Farmhouse Creek, A very good weekend. Bill Nicholson,
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