When: 25 Sept 2013 20.00 – 22.00 pm.
Where: Lloyd Hall, Gough's Cave, Cheddar Gorge.
Who: Darren T, C Castle. N Dennis, S Clegg, S Tidey, A Sparrow, R Sparrow, Max and J Durber.
Lloyd Hall is a subterranean river chamber in the depths of Goughs Showcave, not accessible to the general public. We assembled outside and got changed into our gear, some of our group opted to abseil and some were going to climb the rickety fixed ladder to the divers platform in the chamber. Chris went on ahead to do some rigging as we faffed about in the showcave. Andy advised that it would probably be best if we split into to groups as there would be a lot of waiting at the pitch if everyone went at the same time. It so happened that all the girls in the group went off and did the X-tream caving circuit, which is a 1 and a half hour caving taster trip around some of the less accessible parts of the cave http://www.cheddargorge.co.uk/x-treme/adventure-caving.
We then climbed round one of the pools on show and disappeared behind it, over a few boulders and into the bedding plane. Its an uphill crawl with about a foot of room from floor to ceiling, this opens out into a chamber with the rift to the right which is the way down to Lloyd Hall. As Andy Judi and myself were going to traverse along the rift to the ladder we went first. Max and Sean were abseiling down. It was quite good fun traversing along a rift using your feet to push yourself against the wall behind you with a forty foot drop to the water below. Don't think even a stick person could fall down though, as the rift got tighter the further down it went. Once on the ladder it was a longish climb down to the wooden platform that is the divers platform where you would need to put your diving gear on if you want to explore this cave anymore. The water level was very low and you could see the different colour to the rock where the level has sometimes been. This was some 12 feet or so above where we were. The water is from an underground river which resurges outside the entrance to the cave further down the road.
We sat and waited for Sean and Max to abseil down to us. After 3/4 of an hour or so it was time to climb the ladder back to the top. We regrouped and then the girls arrived. They wanted to go down to the chamber so went back to the showcave to do the X-tream caving circuit. The bedding plane was fun sliding down head first into the puddle at the bottom. If you fancy spending £20.00 on an exciting challenge then have a go at the adventure caving in Goughs Cave as its a good introduction to the sport of caving. Thanks to Chris for organising this trip and maybe we can do the Hairy Ring sometime.