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. 77 (Mar 1973)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
K26-04151 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4151 ( USFLDC Handle )
21761 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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Box 641 G, G.P.O., Hobart, TAS. 7001. Annual sub. 2.00 nc coi7y 20 cents.


Speleo Spiel. (NO. 77). Page 1. March, 1973. President: klbert Goede, 8 Bath Street, Battery Point, 7000. Secretary: Peter Shaw, 27 Congress Street, Sth.Hobart, 7000. 0.. b#*.*.D.*o~-De.****** FORWARD PROGUrnlE March 21 March 21,22 March 23 March 24,25 March 24,25 March 28 F. t April 7,8 April 14 April 20-23 April 20-25 Wednesdax. Wine and Cheese party at Urian and Jeanette's, 66 Wentworth St., South Hobart. Bring your own wine and cheese. (mid-week) Exit Cave. Finish track narking, carry out remaining rubbish and look/survey eastern extension. Acting Leader: Andrew Skinner hdve one VSA, one SCS already, but others welcome. Friday. Aqua Mire, Hastings if the creek is low. ~cting Leader: Andrew Skinner. Weekend. Mole Creek, Single rope exploration in Execution Pot. Leader: Peter Shaw. Mole Creek. Proposed track marking in Croesus and Georgies, Acting Leader: Andrew Skinner. Wednesdax: ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING at 8 Bath ~treety~atter~ Point. Meeting starts at 8 p.a. Refreshments and slides welcome. Weekend. Mole Creek. Photographic trip to Kubla --.-..-Khan and other caves. Leaders: klbert Goede and Peter Shaw, Saturda,~. Exploration in Splash Pot (JF 10). Leader. Philip Robinson. Easter weekend. Explorations at Montagu in N.W. --.--m m Tasmania. Leader: klbert Goede. Extended Eaater weekend. Exploratory trip to --. Vanishing =?is. CAULDRON POT AUSTRALIA'S SECOND DEEPEST! A recent surveying trip -to Cauldron Pot established its depth as 862 feet. This cave with its superb entrance pitch and final pitch is dcstined to become a classic for deep cavers. That surveying trip nust be a prime example of unsafe caving. So many violations of the safety code occured that we should probably be thanky ful that everybody emerged alive. p. The Picton River track is proceeding steadily in a rather .patchwork manner with bits of track spread the length of the river in different stgges of completion. It should be ready for the big push to Vanishing Falls at Easter. Peter Shaw. Picton River Track Cuttinpc =king place every weekend. Cone for a day or the weekend. If you have not got a slasher, there are plenty to spare. If you can not use a slasher, you can move cut branches off the track or tie markers on trees. All offers of assistance are welcomed. See Briah for further details. Membership shbscriptions. These fall due anne forthcoming A.G.M. Full membership subscription has risen because 05 the increase in the A.S.F. levy. Rates are: Full mernbers(over 18 yrs.) four dollars and fifty cents. Junior members two dollars kssociate nembers two dollars Pull membership .fee includes $1.50 contribution to A.S.F. and entitles one to receive the A,S.F. newsletter. Junior and associate nelibers wishing to subscribe can do so by paying an extra one dollar and fiftv cents" Unsafe Cavl The fol '?eL owing incidents, which all took place on the recent surveying trip to Cauldron Pot, highlight the need for a greater


Page 2. safety consciousness in the club. 1. The mpe w2s rigged incorrectly through a rappel rack on the entrance pitqh, forcing 'the brake bars open instead of keeping them closed, When weight was taken on the rope, the bottom three bars spran4; open, before the caver concerned scrambled back over the top of the pitch, 2, k ra;~;?el rack was clipred into a waist-length krab instead of the sit-harness krab on the entrance pitch. When the aistake was noticed, ten foot down the pitch, the caver concerned balanced on a small ledge and transferred the rack to the right krab without first settiw up some protection, 3. k light faled in the upper section of the bypass 2assage. The caver concerned returned to the entranoe chanber in the dark and returncd to the surface alone. 4 At the second pitch, a newcomer to the cave was first down the rope, gassed the belay for the third pitch and sto12;:ed on a ledge partway down the third pitch, when he had reached the end of the rope. 5. On the final pitch, a caver got into trouble trying to pass the bolts and dislocated his shoulder, This could probably have been avoided by a greater knowledge of the technique required. 6. The rope ip-otector was not placed on the overhang on the final pitch, By the time the last man had prussiked u;3 the pitch, n both the outsr and inner sheaths of the terylene.had been almost completely severed. That everybody emerged from the cave uninjured can only be ascribed to luck. Although the club is usually extrenely safetyconscious, the preceeding events show what can hapl)en when we get a bit lax, Peter Shaw. New Cover. The credit for our new cover goes to Therese. Any resemblance between the cover drawing and your friendly neighbourhood phallus is purely CO--incidental. P.S. North West l?eport. Last S~~turday, Des Robertson, John Boden, Brian Parsons and I, took a party of 8 Monash Uni. cavers through Kubla. A bcaut. bunch of fellahs and one very game girl. She coined a nel-1 word in caveformations when she pointed out(very loudly) an imuense Iiphallactitell which she found interesting!?! The trip went very smoothly and the shu-L-ters clicked rapidly. The river klph appears to have -diverted itself in Cairn Hall and now disappears under the SouthEast wall instead cf running to a sump at the end of the Hall. True, the water is still high in the sqp but there is a dry stretch where once ran the Alph. We're going in soon with lilos to check where the hell it is gutng., Anyway, after the trip with Monash, we were invited to the Mole Creek pub where much beer flowed. The landlady was riost helpful and ofi~red to prepare sandwiches etc. She actually asked for the captain of the team,(some of the Monash blokes had trogs printed on their shirts with It54 B.C." written underneath it transpired that the lady thought it meant llBcwls Clubll!!) He. filning in Kubla. We are now getting down to the fine details of naking a movie in Kubla. We have decided on an outside generator and a battery of floodlights less pollution and no noise. If any of your nob find telephone cable in the cave, don't move it yet we will clear it all out of the way! and incidentally, I wonder what the cave will look like under 3000 watt floods! We will not nake any move at all in the filming until we have details worked out to the Clubs' satisfaction. If you have any technical ii?fornation re. Movies underground, please let us know. We're amateurs and anything will help. Bill Tomalin.


Speleo SpieL Page 3.. March, 1973. TRIP ddPOBTS5 werial exi~loration of S.W. caving areas 22.12.72. Party: Peter Shaw, Jeanette and Yvonne Collin, Jim England(pi1ot). Purpose of the flight was to survey a route to Vanishing Palls and check that Vanishing Palls was worth visiting. Firstly we headed several low passes over the falls. The falls drop into a pool but no water can be seen further 6own the gorge. Subsequent examination of the slides showed a large entrance on the western side of the gorge while the east// 3ocE,,,a ern side appeared to be doferite. Further down the gor{{e the water reSLYCRQL / appeared and seened to be coning from a short blind valley leading into the main gorge. Several dolines were visible on the ridge on the western VRN,SC(,~~ side of the gorge. Prom Vanishing Palls, we headed for a large depression two miles south .o% Federation leak. On the Huon map, this is shown as a shallow depression, half a mile in diameter, k ,Lwith four streams flowing into it from opposite corners. As we flew towards the area in the upper reaches of the New River, several prominent cliffs appeared to be limestone. After locating the depression, we followed the strean in it to where it sank into a large entrance at the foot of a cliff on the N.E. side of the depression. If the cave trends in a N.E. direction, prospects of a large cave are small as the New River is only a short distance away. On our way back to Hobart, we examined the stream flowing off the western side of the ridge north of Precipitous Bluff. All appear -ed to be flowing right down into the New River. Lake Timk 17 ,l8/2/73. Party: Peker Shaw, Yvonne Collin. The original plan was to walk in via Search Camp but the weather was so magnificent that it seemed a waste to spend the day in the forest, so a change of plan was made. Without map or route / A guide, we headed up Mt.Eliza anqlunched on the shelf near Mt.Anne. Prom here, we tackled-the problea of crossing Mt.Lot. By four o' clock we were on the Bumit of idt.Lot and looking at the problem of getting down to Lake P" one. ~fter a lot of steep traversing and retracing of steps we fx ally reached Lake Picone and camped just on dusk. Next morning, webqQeaded pa'st Lots Wife and then down to Lake Timk for lunch. With wet suit on and rope rig,.~ed, Peter crawled into the swallet, and then retreated. Although the lake was quite low, there was still a large volume of water thundering down the narrow slotfi$ugt.inside the entrance. Exploration is going to be possible in eBreb8drought conditions only. Peter Shaw. Exit Cave 17/2/73. Party: hndrew Skinner(kcting Leader), Wes Carpenter, Ros Bell, Roy Skinner, Piona Skinner,. Xath ~edlock(SCS) David Ni~hols(SCS))~.land local residents Basil Bradley and Peter Martin. Roy sugqcsted dwnuld be fun to go via the DfEntrecasteaux for a change. Thr* hours laty ... we reached the entrance of Exit at 1 p.a. After a short lunch~the arty set off to vlsit the high level sections before the tal'us. TR~ ,reflectorisea narkers placed on a previous trip in the Ballroom area now seem to need-qome minor repairs. Thc reflector tape has peeled off several, but ca'abe repaired with araldite. The;"Collonade and the Hamer Paszage areas were also visited. These 'areas are in urgent need of re-narking with reflectors. The party split up at 2.30 with Roy taking Ros, Fiona and the locals back to the entrance whilst the others went:


Page 4. Farch, 1973.


Speleo Si3iel. S N (S~VIPLI OED) CHG E 800' a. o~*~~ee~~o~~~~*e~d~40o*~~~o~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~o~~*~e**~e~~ee~~~o~~**~**~~ through the talus. The bottom of Mini Martin provided an interesting diversion on the way to the Grand Fissure, We left sone gear near Camp 2 with a candle burning. The markers in the Eastern Grand Fissure have also deteriorated a little but could easily be repaired. Time T,vas short so we turned back at the beginning of Conference Concopse, The gear was picked up near Camp 2 and track narking work comenced in Edies Treasure. Aluminium pegs and! plastic tape were used to itfence off" the less damaged areas. The final chamber at the end of the low Dassace was closed off. To further use this chamber would ruin the-onlyvrenaining extensive gypsum needles in Edies Treasure. About half the remaining rubbish was renoved from Camp 2. One rucksack full remains. The remainder of the ruSbish from Camp 1 was also removed. The padlock was placed on the gate. The party reached the road at 9.30 p.m. andrew Skinner.


Spqleo Spiel. Page 6. Hastings 18/2/73. Party: imdrew skifnner(~cting Leader), Kath Medlock, David Nichols went undergound whilst Ros Bell piked out at the first pitch. Fiona and Roy Skinner poked around on the surface. The trii3 was initially planned to go downstrean in Newdegate to scrub--bash some talus. However, Steven Jager, part-tine guide at Hastings had located an entrance upstream from the bridge on Hot Springs Creck. The entrance is at the base of a dolouitc cliff, not threc metres above creek level. (The creek was dry). The first chamber was a large fissure with a slope of 30'. Following this there was a 22 metre pitch, rather tight and desceneing through typical Hastings mud. The top of the pitch was below the level of the creek. At the bottom there was a horizontal passage with anple mud. To the right (towards Newdegate) a tight, slip?ery vertical squeeze was negotiated to a small ledge, about 7 metres vertically from the botto1-3. of the ladder pitch. A further clirnb clown over talus brought us to a small chamber with a passage leading off steeply in the direction of Newdegate. This was not pushed. The lowest point reached in this section was approx. 45 metres below the entrance. Returnirg to the bottoa of the pitch after a hairy, auddy squeezeclimb, a passage leading downward towards the creek was noticed. k tight low crawl was pushed to a larger chanber which trended dowb wards on a 45O angle towards the creek. The fissure was descended without gear until it became hairy. ut this stage we were 50 netree below the extrance and 47 metres below the creek. The fissure was still trending downwards strorgly, showing no sign of becoming smaller. Hydrolo~&cal ~~ossibilities: The fyct that the cave was up to 150' below the creek nakes for interesting speculation. Next dayl~on.19th) an SCS party found it full of water up to about 30 metres below the entrance. Two inches of rain had fallen the previous night and the creek was full to the brim. Mystery Creek in Newdegate started flowi 17 hgurs after the rain started. It is unlikely that any(or little 7 water is flowing underground along this section of Hot Springs Creek in swer as it seems to run along an anabranch. ~fter rain, the holes in the dolomite under the the creek may slowly fill up with water when the surface creek starts running. If there is enough rain, the underground drains,;? may spill over into Newdegate S Mystery Creek and run down that channel. Mystery Creek nay be an anabrahch at a higher level than the main underground flow, taking the spillage in high water. Also fossil creek swallet in the neighbouring gully to Newdegate further conplicating the natter. Due to ttmismanagenentH a fluoroscein test of the water in fossil creek was inconclusive. The possil~ility of understanding the subterranean hydrology at Hastings l~lalces the new cave a very najor find. P.S. SCS have adopted the name "Aqua Mireff due to its qost outstanding i eatures --water and mud. Andrew Skinner. Mole Creek 3,4/3/73. P,a.r-ty,:. Ye$zr Sha-W, Yvonne. C.olliq .and northern branch nonbers, Frank . . ~rown(on Sat. ), Bob ~oolhouse(on Sun. ), Richard and Lorna Schmidt Peter Dowde, Martin, Ricbard, Godfrey; and ~arvey(fron SUSS). Saturday was spent in a very leisurely manner. Frank took us up Little Triniier valley and showed us the entrances to Execution Pot and Lon~ Drop. On the way back, we visited Lit-tihe Triniier cave and spent a i3leasant hour or so underground, After lunch we moved around to the cliffs above Naracoopa and abseiled and prussiked for a couple of hours. On Sunday, the key t.o Kubla was collected from the Howes and a through trip too'k place. Signs of cave degradation were seen at the Jade Pool where the previously white formation had been dirtied by cavers who had traversed in the water rather than around the edge of the pool, Carbide dumping in the area at ths foot of the Khan was also noticed, although what at first appeared to be carbide on some of the formations turned out to be natural on closer


Speleo Spiel. -Page 7. March, 1973. examination. '\//e emerged after a pleasan* five and a half hours undergmund. Surely one of the spectacular sights in this cave, as well as the Khan and the Pleaspre Dome, is the view of the foot of the ladder pitch, from the top of the chimney into the stream passage. The ferns glowing in the daylight are in narked contrast to the darkness of the entrance chamber. Pet er Shaw. Cauldron Pot 10/3/73. Party: Ihilip Robinson(Leader Peter Shaw, Stuart Nicholas, Leigh ~leeson(SCS), Chris Harris(SCS 1 Having failed to persuade a party of mainland ;iheaviesft(??) to survey Cauldron Pot(presunab1y dus to its aqueous nature) a Tasmanian party had to be organised. For Chris and Leigh it was their first real S.R.T. trip. At about 11.00 a.m. we abseiled the 135' entrance pitch. Though raining the water level was reasonable. Peter, Leigh and Stuart disappeal.eC with all the rope. Philip and Chris surveyed down the hy ass. It is a constricted tunnel 4' X 1' in places, sloying at 459 55' for 280'. Eighty feet down this passage Chris's light refused to work. There was no alternative but to return to the surface. Leaving a survey cairn, Philip shot down to join the other three at tho last pitoh. The rope traverse rigged, Petcr jumared down to below the third bolt. Leigh then managed to get across but I Stuart had sone difficulty. With frozen hands he eveatually had to retreat. To add to his discomfort, climbing back up the short cas.cade, he sli;~;3ed and pulled an arm out of joint. Now this was serious and very l3ainful. He rested as Philip crossed the traverse and abseiled the 115' pitch to inform the others. Leigh soon prussiked out with the stove and brew. Philip and Peter quickly recovered the ropes from the high level passage and surveyed from the smp. Back ui2 the big pitch Stuart had managed to force his arm back in. Needless to say this had been an unpleasant operation. Philip and Stuart surveyed out as Peter and Leigh derigged. Somehow the survey book renained quite dry despite the copious supplies of water. fle gathered at the base of the bypass with heavy haversacks 5 in all, full of wet rope and hardware. How to finish the last bit of survey and also remove the tackle? Peter and Leigh volunteered out with two bags each, a fantastic effort up the very awkward bypass passage, The survey was thus completed. ut -862' Cauldron is hustraliats L. second der-pest cave. Pitches of 135', 50f, 48', 36', 4519 115' (all with waterfalls) lead to the large chamber(l60' X 7ot), then onto the sump. Trip lasted 12 hours. See next Spiel for survey. Philip Robinson. .~..**.....*................*.***..**... (please turn to page 8 for start of ~nnual Report.) But reme~nber it takes two to make a wedding. ? Finally I would like to thank the out-going offiae bearers =* for a job well done. I have been president for six years out of the last sevcn and as I shall be away from Hobart for apmox. six months during the coming year I shall not be available for re-election. xnyhow, it's time for a change! Your President,


Speleo Sjiel. Page 8, march, 1973, TASMANIAN CAVERNEERING CLUB Annual Report 1972-73 The past year has not been as active a year for the club as thc previous one but that was perhaps not to be expected considering the hectic pace of 1971-72. There has been a decline in membership despite the fact that four new members joined the ranks. Most of thc caving was done by a small core of very active members and the trips have generally been difficult ones. We should keep in mind that this is not everybody's cup of tea and that the club programe should include a variety to suit all tastes. For example, exploration of sea caves has recently become very popular in N.S.V. and with our coastline there is almost unlimited scope'for exploration. In any case exploration is not the only aspect of caving interest in surveying, photogrzphy, fauna collecting, etc. has declined desi3ite the tremendous potential in our caves for a wide range of activities. Exploration. Once again the Junee-Plorentine area seems to have been the focus of our activities. In Cauldron Pot a major breakthrough was i:lade enabling t\e cave to be extended to an estimated depth of 740 ft. Niagsra Pot was also in the news with the discoveq of several large chambers. JP 14 offered plenty of excitewnt and was finally linked vith Khazad-dum on a combiheCd trip with Victorian and N.S.1N. cavcrs. Hopes of extending Khazad-dun were not realised and the Junee master cave if it exists continues to elude us. In the Plorentine Valley Gormenghast was surveyed and a good deal of surface exploration carried out in the vicinity of Growling Swallet resulting in several new finds. At Idole Creek several new caves were discovered and a number of trips also went to Ida Bay. At Mt.unne scrub bashing had its rewar'd when the probable resurgence of the Lake Timk drainage was discovered unfortunately there was no way in. decently interest has switched to the Bracroft area which has considerable caving potential and a lot of work is being done to flrovide a better access track via the Picton River Valley.. Techniques and Equipment, P There has been a spectacular change in our cavin;; techniques during the gear. The introduction of single rope techniques has revolutionised exploration of deep 2ots and several 1:ierlbers have made a c'onsiderable investment in specialized personal equipent. The club equipment situation has also continued to improve with the purchase of a considerable amount of rope and nqw .ladder bags. A club charger for miners1 cap lamps was built by Bill Lehnann and thanks to our quarternaster has been used very eff ectivelv. S eleo S ieh The Spiel has now conpleted seven gears of continuous publica ion and has recently required a cover and new(netric!) for*" mat. I am t,rateful to peter~ha6 who has been the editor and to rqy 'wife Theres; who has continued 'to cut t'he stencils and take care of the diskxibution. The Spiel continues to fill a real need some members even read the forward programe! Back handed praise for our publication has coms from as far away as South-xustralia! Conservation. This continues to be a major issue and one in which the club has not taken as much interest as it should. Precipitous Bluff appears to have been saved from limestone mining for the tine being. The pro2osed state reserve at Ida Bay is at last receivirg serious attention frcm the National Parks and Wildlife Authority and a decision can be expected in the near future. The club has assisted with the gating of King George V Cave at Hastings while a new chain and lock have been provided for the Exit Cave gate which is now being kept permanently locked. The cleaning up of camp sites in 3xit is an exanple of practicing what we 2reach. Inter-club relations. Close ties have been maintained with a number of mainland clubs and also with the Southern Caving Lociety. There is talk among the ounger members of working towards a union between the two clubs an$ this would imdoubtedly have a nunber of advantages. The annual generzl meeting seens an approp?iate time to test the feeling of the menbership as a whole on this matter. (Turn back to page 7 please).

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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