SPELEO SPIEL. No. 75. Published by the Tasmanian Caverneering Registered for posting as a periodical Annual subscription $2.00. Decenber, 1972. Club, Box 641 G, G.P.O., Hobart, Tasnania, 7001. Category "Bn. Single co2ies 20 c's. PRESIDEIN?: Albert Goede, 8 Bath Street, Battery Point, 7000. SECRETARY: Peter Shaw, 27 Congress Street, South Hobart, 7000. FORWARD PROGlh'Ull'U. January 20 Saturday. JF 14 Abseiling/prussiking par excellence. This exploratory trip wlll determine whether JF 14 connects with Khazad-dm. Leader: Peter Shaw. January 27/29 Long weekend: Khazad-dw expedition and cave cramming trip. Leader: Brian Collin, February 7 Wednesday: ~eneral meeting at 66 Wentworth St. South Hobart. Meeting starts at 8 pen. Refreshnents and slides welcome. BREAKTHROUGH IN CAULDRON POT ! -A jubilant team of two has bypassed the talus blockage in Cauldron Pot to energe in the strean passage at a depth of 400 ft. The way on is wet but open and should be further explored before Christmas. The bypass passage is slightly larger than body sized and is in clean dry linestone. Cauldron Pot is now the najor, probably the only, contender in the access to Junee naster cave stakes, Watch the next Spiel for further exciting developments. Niagara Pot was the subject of a disappointing trip, Little prospect rerzlains and the cave will certainly be forgotten while other chances exist at Junee. In the Florentine, exploration in Slaughter -house Pot was curtailed when all the rope protectors had to be used on the first pitch an object lesson for further exploratory trips. This cave should receive some attention in the future, not too soon though. On the rope recovery trip in Khazad-dun, the vital connection was made between JF 4 and D 5 which allows us to claim JF 5 as an entrance to Khazad-dum. Consequently Khazad-dum is now 1,054 feet deep! As we go into the new year, several exciting prospects are just around the corner in Cauldron Pot and JF 14. We can expect to see exploration start up of the shafts above Exit Cave. Not ~uch prospect of horizontal caves there, but good chances for pleasant vertical trips. A nerry Christmas to eveqyone and good caving in the new year. Pet er Shaw Ladder Practice. Ladder and prussiking practice is on again at Sphinx Rock on every Wednesday night except the first in the nonth. Leaves 66 Wentworth Street, South Hobart at 6 p.a. Bring a light. If you want to go on the trip to Khazad-dun in January, you must turn up for practice! ItBungonia Cave S". A new book(hard back), published by the Sydney Speleological Society. Contains photographs, both colour and black and white, articles on all aspects-of-the Bungonia Caves and nap of the hundred or so caves. Available from the society for $7,00 which includes postage. A wbrthwhile ~urchase for interested cavers. New cave ~ames. naughterhouse Pot Two hundred yards South of Pendant Pot in Florentine valley: As yet un-nw-nbered. Snall hole in side of doline leads to 85 ft. free pitch after several hundred feet of grovelling. At foot of above pitch, a climb down a rift leads to an undescended 70' pitch. Exploration incomplete. New Guinea Ex~edition. A fouF week expedition to New Guinea in August 1973 is being N.Z. cavers in New Guinea. Peter haw has the circular. once you arrive in New Guinea. Only deep cavers need apply. Puri3ose of the expedition is to break the world depth record.
Speleo Spiel, (Page 2.) Decenber, 1972. Precipitous Bluff. After a campaign by conservation poups in which this club. took little part, the nining warden has recornended that an exploration licens'e for the limestone' mar Precipitous Bluff should not be granted. Grounds for the decision were that the long tern value of the area was of greater importance than the short tern behefit to be derived fro:? nining. It is to be hped that the goverment heeds the warden' S recor.mendatkons, (P.s. It now aijpears that the mining company concerned intends to appeal against the wardea7 S decision. ) Letter to the Editor. -6show that the editor is fair minded and oiJen, the following let-Ler has been published des2ite its defamatory remarks. "The Chief Officer, Board of id-itorial Mismanagement, Speleo Spiel, G.P.O. Box 541 G, Hobart, ----Tas 7001. Dear Sirs, re defamation & libel WITHOUT MUCH PREJUIlI,CiB2 I act on behalf of one K.W.Kiernan, the permission of whom I have sought to register complaint in this matter in conflict with his normally checry and helpful attitude of letting matters rcst, invariably leadin;; to escala$ion of defamatory actions to his loss. Fron unbiased perusal of the October issue of the above-nentioned publication I have drawn the conclusion that your editorial policy is tc contiually besmirch the good name, high integrity and ideals of Kr. ICitrmdn, who washes regularly. In the issue to which I refer he has again been attacked by direct naning, inference and psuedo-artistic expression, The attacks are unwarranted and untrue, as is any statement to the effect that anyone has ever hanged himself in the Junee Honestead. It is pEeposterous, ludicrous and irresponsible to nake such claim. Equally it is so to infer that Mr.Klernan has 'headed1 the 'odd caverst reporting the manifestations. He has been present on only one of three occasions these noises have been heard, and on that occasion heard only the closing stages of the sounds, as it was not until that time he was awakened by the terrified screaming of another amber of the party. Mr.1Ciernan has meaely conveyed this information as an extension of his undying search for truth. He has himself souf~ht to show that possums are responsible, after that rats, then cavers, and after that rationally decided never to sleep in the homestead alone. Because of your outrageous attack upon the character of Mr.K., and the irresponsible, ill-researched and unwarranted 3renature release of idormation regarding the matter, please therefore be advised that any intentions he had in the past to provide your organisation with full details of the incidents to date for safety reasons, are irrevocably withdrawn and such will now api~ear in the forthcomin~ issue of that far superior journal of rationality and truth, Southern Caver -7 published by that altogether nore honorable (albeit nearly as thick) organisation, the Southern Caving Society. Clearly there are strong grounds for a claim for uns~~ecified damages on the grounds of character assasination and prenature release of infornation detrimental to the further organised research of Mr.K. as he seeks to half-heartedly investigate the issue(for fear science ii-qinges again on our art-based enviromxnt). He feels he will be forced, as a financial member of your organisation, to bring action unless he receives im~ediately an apology, a free Speleo Spiel subscription for the next 50 years and his September copy of Speleo Spiel which has continually been refused him. All this rubbish is to be stuffed into the toilet bowls of the Hydro Eccentric Condition building to assist in the project to divert all running waters in Hobart to a place suitable for power generation. Yours with as little respect as possible, K. Kiernan( sil~ned ) Parliament House, Parlianent Street, Sandy Bay, Tasmania, 7005. In Praise of Blue Water Rope. Peter Shaw. The club is now using three types of rope for abseiling and
Speleo Spiel. (Page 3). December, 1972. prussiki~zMillers No.4 nylon, Marlowe terylene spinnaker cord and Blue Water kernmantel nylon rope. The table below enables a quick colzparison of the three to be made. Because it is a lard rope the ordinary nylon is only suitable for non-free drops. A comparison of the terylene and the Blue Water is most interesting, as these are the ropes of nost significance for prussiking. The terylene is a loosely woven rope which acts as a giant sponge under wet conditions, but has one advantage in that it has a higher melt in^ point than nylon. On all other counts price, weight, strength, resistance to abrasion and non-stretch qualities the Blue Water rope cones out on top. It nust be close to the ideal prussiking rope, Tests of the ropes' elas-ticity were carried out on a 58' free dro3 at; Sphinx Rock. The rope was narked where it touched the ground. I prussiked up the rope until ~y feet were just off the ground and the amount of stretch was measured. Rope Millars No. 4. !2lE ~rice/100' W9ght/100'fl laid nylon $16 5.25 lb. Marlowe Spinnaker double sheathed $3 3 9.5 lb. cord terylene Blue Water single sheathed nylon $19,40 6.5 lb. Rope Strength Stretch(l65 lb over 58 feet) MilLars No. 4. 4200 lb. 60 inches, Marlowe S. Cord. 5000 lb. 18 inches. Blue Water 7000 lb. 4 inches. TRIP REPORTS. Midnight Hole 11/11/72. Party: Phili;? Robinson, Ross Mansfield, Peter Shaw, Glen Kawle and Bazil Rathbone. 1~126~ magneticu said the map and signs. Not another route finding blunder? We wandered into the bush. To my surprise the hole was found without difficulty. Arned with 300' gleaning white terylene, 300' nylon and the usual ironmongery we entered at 11.30 a,m. Midnight Hole is just a matter of stepping off one pitch on to another. 701, 30t, 1201, 30t, loo', 180' abseils laker all were down A somy looking rope was discovered on the fifth pitch, pesunably abandonec at the 1970 conference. This was duly hurled ?.own the 180' into Entrance Cave. Prussiking out allowed some time to admire the scenery. The big free hanger is inpressive. The 'newt rope was disappointing. It is too heavy, soft, the jwnars do not slide easily and they slii3 when nuddy. Peter, Ross and Philip all slip7ed badly on the 120' terylene pitch. This was disconcerting to thc extent a nylon rope was lowered from Glen and Bazil. Trip lasted only 5* hours emphazising that S.R.T, ~mkes the descent of pots much easier. Two main points came fro~i this 'practice session. l/~wnar on clean ropes. 2/Rope protection must be taken i?ucli more seriously than is done at present. Philip Robinson. Khazad-dun -12/11/72. Party: Philii) Robinson, Glen Kawle Bazil Rathbone and Ross Mansf ield The loss of 240' of rope down a deep rift prompted the organisation of a recovery trip. Conditions were somewhat different to two weeks i~reviously. Snow well down on Tyenna Peak, sleet and intermittent hezvy rain were sufficient to raise the level of water a considerable degree fron a trickle to a torrent! The narrow rift was descended by Glen, a mere 80' to the JP 5 streamway. The bag of rope was jamsed in some rocks near the bottom. A 2$ hour trip, then back out to the pouring rain. Philip Robinson. Niagara Pot 18/11/72. Party: Peter Shaw and Bill Lehmann. After a ponpt start at 7.00 a.m. from Hobart, we rcached Niagara Pot by 9,45 and were underground by 10.15 intent on exploring the big chanbers at the bottom. At the top of the third pitch, we attempted to place a bolt with no success. we could not find sufficient firn rcck to put one in. st the top of the fourth pitch, we placed a bolt in an ideal placement and then continued downwards to the big chanbers, which we reached at 12.30. Explor~tion was carried
Speleo 3131-~~1~(Page 4). December, 1972. out with scmt success. ull we could find was a lot of loose talus. Only one lead onwards remains which we did not, explore to completion In one corner, a shaft filled with talus heads down to a short pitch, about fifteen feet. As the ropes were a long way away and we were both tired, we did not return to this passage. We started upwards at 3.30 and were on the surface at 6.00 p.m. after a denoralising trip. It is not a very nice cave, although it is not super severe as some people would hdve it. Peter Shaw. Florentine Valley 3/12/72. Party: Peter Shaw and Bill Lehnann. Purpose of the trip was to plumb the estinated 150' depths of a hole we had diacovered several months ago near Trapdoor Swallet. Armed with 300' of brand new, never been underground, bright and shiny Blue Water rope, as well as 120 feet of terylene and 100 feet of nylon, we grovelled into the tiny entrance. The 100 ft. between the entrance and the top of the pitch is awkward and very muddy. The tcp of the pitch is interesting because rocks drop ed down any of the holes in the floor end up down the pitch; the floor is perched. After rig,,ing the Blue Water, Peter set off down the drop, touching the wall after twenty feet and then dropping sixty spacious feet to the floor. '(hile anyone is on this pitch, it is i~nperative that anyone at the top of the drop does not move. Due to the shape of the hole at the top, it was necessary to use a tackle bag and six rope protectors on this pitch. Bill followed Peter down, putting on the rope protectors and cursing as he did so. An examination of the muddy, rubl~le strewn chamber revealed only one way on, a narrow rift which loLaksd asthough it closed off at the bottoln. Clambering down the rift, Peter. dislodged a rock CRfiSH, CRA3H . -. ?. .CRASH! 'We might need a rope heret1. The terylene was tied to a large boulder and lowered down the drop. No rope protectors left, just the one tackle bag which we used to pad the edge. Peter abseiled down the slope to the edge which was like a knife. To go on without rope protectors would be foolhardy. The rope hung free for fifteen feet to a ledge and then dropped another forty feet to the floor of quite a large chamber. kfter Bill had had a look at the way on also, we withdrew, reaching the sunshine after five hours underground. Suggested nzae for the cave is Slaughterhouse Pot. Pet er Shaw. Cauldron Pot 9/12/72. Party: Peter Shaw and Bill Lehmann. Cauldron Pot has been laddered three tines previously but on each occasion only one person has been to the bottom of its 140 ft. entrance pitch. Theorising that one man on his own will not push very hard, we headed for Cauldron Pot with a couple of ropes to put two people at the bottom of the pitch and have a good look around. If nothing was found it would still be good sport. The pitch was quickly riggee. and Peter dropped over. Unfortunately it was rigged from the wrong spot which meaht that the last fifty feet was under a stream 02 water. Bill dropped in, cursing the mater, snd we had a look around the chamber. Looking up the shaft with its curtain of water was very spectacular. The limestone dips very steL:)ly, causing the en-Lrznce chamber to have a flat eteep roof. a florjr of very loose talus dropped for fifty feet at not so steep an angle until it met the roof, at which point the stream was disappearing. We began clearinf; the talus out of a likely looking hole, until we realised that what we ware trying to knock out was supporting what we wwre standing on. Fifteen feet from this point in the western side of the chamber, Bill found a small side passage and disappeared into it, It was a very steeply dipping two foot wide :>assage with dry, non grotty limestone. Ye shot off down the passage to emerge after some time on the main stream. The entrance blockage had been av~ided! Elation! We were standing at the top of two small drops. ~t a corner in the passage we could see a third drop down which stone rattled for quite a while. Happy with our days exploration, we headed back up, neasuring the length of the bypass passage with a waist-length. The prussik back to the surface was fast. Peter covered the first fifty feet up the small waterfall in thirty seconds. Length was 3101, which with a very conservative awle of dip of forty five degrees, gives a depth gained of 220' 171~s forty feet for the entrance chamber plus 120' for the entrance pitch which gives a total depth of 380'. Prospects are very good. From here on it will be wet. Mani2ulating one bag of gear up.Bill's Bypass will be very awkward, two would be impossible. The structure
Speleo Spiel. ~ .(page 5). December, 1972. of the streaLl passage is very similar to parts of Growling Swallet. The waterfalls that we can see so far are very steep cascades which are drier than steep drops. Time will tell. Meanwhile Cauldron Pot is a very attractive prospect. Pet er Shaw STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS More news of Cauldron Pot has just come to hand. Cauldron Pot 16/12/72. (C.P. now approx. 550' deep. ) Party: Peker Shaw, Bill Lehnann and Brian Collin. With good prospects for a deep cave, we could not wait to get back to Cauldron Pot. The rope was rigged, differently to the previous trip, fron the tree near the nuuber, which gave a free drop, after the initial thirty feet down the wall. d tackle bag at the top and two rope protectors at the start of the frec section were needed to 2rotect the rope, with a tail hanging down the section against the wall to avoid having to move the protectors on the way up, The trip down Bill's Bypass was more difficult with tackle bags, but we soon arrived at the previous limit. k bolt was placed and sixty feet of rope rigged to get us into the stream and down the next two ten foot cascades. Another bolt was placed ~ith the linestone provin:; rather reluctant to take it. A 120' rolje was tied to it and Peter descended the waterfall. The first twenty feet was down a stet;; slippery dip chute, and then a tension abseil for 20' enabled th2 worst of the water to be avoided. The rest of the rope was anchorcd to a large talus block and thrown down the next drop. This was a fifteen foot section which could be clinbed, followed by a 25' 13itch. Here again the water could be avoided by skilful abseiling. Pollowing the passage down steeply around several corners we arrived a-L the next drop. s third bolt was placed an6 Bill abseiled down to one side of the water. This pitch was abou-b forty feet. ~t the foot of this drop, a climb up into a snall chanber gave some res;,ite from the thundering water. Down the streanway, a 120' rope was tied to a large block of talus and Peter descended with some misgivings. s ten foot drop, ten feet of passwge and then nothingness. The water was crashing down into a wide shaft with an estinated de;)-Lh of 100 feet. There was no immediate way of avoiding the water, and progress was halted, The next party must either use wet suits or avoid the water. At the top of the pitch is a steep slab across which it would be possible to place a bolt traverse. At the foot of the pitch, the character of the cave seem to change to large chdubers rather than steep narrow passages as was the nature of the cave so far. Back up the waterfalls, we went to the foot of the bypass. Prom here, it took us an hour and a half to negotiate the three hundred feet of constrictions to the entrance chamber, R w~lcone break was had in the entrance chamber, as we admired the rope hanging down the centre of the shaft. No trouble was eigpericnced in prussiking up the 140' to the surface and the change over tc the tail went smoothly. The gear was hauled up and we were away after an eleven hour trip. Practice will now be had in horizontal bolt traverses. Cesare Maestri, were are you now?
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