Wednesday 29 May 2013

Fairy Cave, Hilliers Cave, Stoke St.Michael, Mendip.

When:  29 May 2013  7.30 – 9.30 pm.
Where: Fairy Cave through to Hilliers Cave. Stoke St.Michael, Mendip.,
Who:    Darren T, Rich T, Tricia, Sean.

We met in the carpark as I have a CSCC Key. It was pouring down with rain. The others soon arrived and once we were all changed we made our way to the entrance of the Quarry. There is a combination lock on the gate. The entrance to Fairy cave is at the back of a building to the left of the gate. Trish led the way and we were soon crawling around underground. Fairy cave is quite short but what it lacks in length is made up for by the size of the boulder chokes and small passages. Some places are very tight and Sean and Rich struggled to squeeze through some bits. We found the way to the water duck quite easily and Rich went first. Luckily the water level was low so no need to hold your breath today, however Rich left his oversuit open and scooped up a few litres of water as he went through which made it even better for the rest of us. There are quite a few pretties in Fairy cave and I had brought my new compact camera. I didn't know how crawly it was and had opted to carry the camera down the front of my oversuit and when I got it out to take some pictures of the large curtain formation at the top of the dig passage I discovered that the viewing screen at the back was cracked and not working. Not many pictures today then I thought. We continued over drop out rift and through the connection to Hilliers Cave. A sharp right took us into some very tight and twisty boulder ruckels which led to Upper grotto which is a low passage made of flowstone with some stalls etc. The way on is straight ahead over some shallow pools and then a sharp left into Cambridge grotto. I stayed in Upper grotto while the others went on as I didn't like the look of the tight passage. Once they returned Rich said I should have gone and looked as it was quite magnificent in there. We decided to return the following week with the photo kit and I would man up and crawl in there.
 We back tracked to dropout rift and continued through Hilliers cave  over the small traverse and onto Tar Hall. Its called Tar Hall because the walls are coated with tar which has seeped down through the stone from the Quarry works above. There are lots of flowstone curtains broken on the floor from the explosive blasting from when the Quarry was active. We soon arrived at the base of the climb to the door of the cave. Not long and we all exited to a dry evening. Quite a good trip despite the broken camera lol.


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