Caving

Dom and Ollie descending

Nine intrepid explorers spent a fun-filled weekend in the Mendips exploring Goatchurch Cavern and Swildon’s Hole. This Band of Brothers set off together by minibus on Friday evening to travel to the Mendips where they were to stay at the Cerberus caving cottage.

The hired-in oversuits, helmets and lights were tried on before celebrating their fit with curry and ale whilst following the Wild at Heart DVD which was to guide us throughout the weekend.

Fran & Taylor in Goatchurch Cavern

Saturday morning saw us start the day in proper caving tradition with a full English breakfast, before dropping in to the local caving shop in Cheddar for vital supplies.

The first cave on our list was Goatchurch Cavern, a classic introduction to Mendip caving. Since the local area was under severe flood warnings and several roads were impassable, we were pleased to test our mettle with a dryish cavern to begin with.

Goatchurch Cavern

Leaving ladders and ropes behind, we passed by the Tradesman’s Entrance and climbed up to the Main Entrance higher up the hill. A final check of the lights and in we went, leaving daylight behind and following Fran into the dark.

Mart at a key point!

Through The Maze and down the Giant’s stairs, we scrambled down the Coal Chute and through the Boulder Maze to the Water Chamber, bypassing Jacob’s Ladder to dare the Coffin Lid.

Going down…

Now the real test as, one after the other, we negotiated our way through the dreaded Drainpipe, a flat-out crawl to try anybody’s nerves.

Ian shows how it’s done

Honour satisfied, our heroes went on to complete the round trip by way of the Trademan’s Entrance before heading back to a well-deserved dinner of Spaghetti Bolognese at the ‘Larkshall’ caving cottage where Fran first started caving twenty year’s ago.

Rene celebrating!

Mat sitting pretty

Steamy photo of Rene & Ollie!

Swildon’s Hole

Swildon’s Hole entrance with stream

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