OUCC Proceedings 13 (1991)

Exploration in Britain

Dallimores Cave : Description

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Proc. 13 Contents.

The cave is located 50m west of the Bath-Wells road, near the road to Priddy, in a depression 300m east of Ores Close Farm. The 6m entrance pitch (ladder and medium wire required) drops into a short descending crawl leading to an annoying puddle. Beyond this the passage descends steeply to Aven Chamber. Continuing down, the passage chokes with mud. From Aven Chamber a short crawl under boulders leads to a flat-out bedding plane crawl to a parallel rift. At the bottom of the rift is a previously abandoned dig (WCC and MNRC), currently being worked by OUCC.

The route to the extensions is a short crawl to the left, 3m below the bedding plane. This leads to 10m of rift passage to a choke. At head height, a small tube leads down on the right, through stal; this soon leads to a short drop into a tiny chamber, The Turning Chamber. A body sized-tube, which must be entered headfirst, continues at floor level; this manoeuvre is more awkward on the way out, requiring a body-pivoting turn up into the Turning Chamber. The tube continues as a tight crawl, before opening out slightly at the top of a rift. This can be descended by squeezing past the nose of rock on the left wall at high level (the Broken Nose), and sticking your head into a small alcove, before reversing down the rift. This sequence is done in reverse on the way out. The rift is descended for about 5m (strenuous on the way up), to a mud wallow. A short, muddy tube continues before opening out into a short section of larger passage. Relief is short-lived, however, as this soon closes down to a tight bedding plane squeeze, Tim's Testicle Tug. This first section of the extensions is extremely serious, and is best tackled using a head torch, and without a helmet.

Beyond, is a short crawl along a muddy tube, the start of which sumps in wet weather. The tube leads to a drop into a larger rift passage, well decorated in places. A small stream flows in wet weather. To the right a series of climbs ascends to a crawl on the right, leading up into a large rift chamber. Halfway up this is a tube leading to a second chamber; this ascends to a point just below the surface. The main passage descends a short pot, and continues to a small chamber where the way appears to be blocked by calcite. The way on is a 3m drop down a very narrow, hammered slot, the Ant-Lion. A ladder is rigged to provide a foothold for the ascent. Some fine curtains are located just below the squeeze, and care should be taked to avoid kicking them.

The passage continues as an abandoned streamway, along a fine rift, descending a 3m pot and passing a muddy climb over a fallen block, for a total distance of about 60m. A crawl under a couple of chocked boulders reaches the start of Curious Love; a short crawl enters a narrower rift. After a squeeze, it is neccessary to crawl at floor level, along a short dug section, leading to some curtains. Squeezing under these one enters a chamber, just large enough to turn round in. Ahead the passage lowers to a bedding plane, about 15cm high by 60cm wide, with a mud floor which is currently being dug.

Exploration continues.

Gavin Lowe