Depth through thought

OUCC News 19th January 2005

Volume 15, Number 2

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History of Geology Group

forwarded by Fleur Loveridge

History of Geological Speleology and Cave Finds Torquay 21st to 24th April 2005

The study of caves, their formation and their contents, has attracted the interest of a variety of researchers over the past few centuries. In the early years some speculated that the great bones and teeth found lying in caves belonged to dragons and that these cave deposits were clear evidence of Noah's flood. Kent's Cavern in Torquay provided a focus for nineteenth century exploration into Quaternary fauna and excavations at the nearby Brixham Cave were central to the human antiquity debate.

The History of Geology Group in cooperation with the Devonshire Association (Geology Section), Pengelly Cave Studies Trust and Southwest Regional Group of the Geological Society is organising a conference on the History of Geological Speleology and Cave Finds in Torquay from Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th April 2005. There are two full days of events. Scientific presentations will be given on Friday 22nd at the Torquay Museum in Babbacombe Road, Torquay. On Saturday further presentations will be given in the morning at a joint session with the Devonshire Association. In the afternoon there will be a field visit to the Joint Mitnor Cave at Buckfastleigh and the day will conclude with an evening visit, reception and dinner at Kents Cavern. On Sunday morning visits will be arranged to local classic geological sites if there is any interest.

I have an outline programme, registration and accommodation information as a PDF which can be made available on request. Alternatively queries should be addressed to the secretary,

Professer J D Mather 4 Crockernwell Court Crockernwell Exeter Devon EX6 6NA
Email: <>

Draenen Grade 2+ Survey Update


An intrepid team, somewhat against the odds it seems, managed to actually gain entrance to Draenen on 2005-01-15 and completed a survey to replace some mysteriously missing survey data. This is somewhat of a milestone in the Draenen Grade 2+ public survey project, pending data entry and processing details there will (real soon now) exist a publicly available dataset including elevation data that links the entrance with the Dollimores series.

With luck JPNP has now been suitably embarrassed into providing a full report for the next issue of DTT.

Roraima 2004-5: The Lost World Expedition

Keith Hyams

With the exception of Dave Barrett who is still sunning himself in Venezuela, the members of the 7-strong OUCC expedition to Mount Roraima (Tony Seddon, Pip Crosby, Martin Laverty and Lenik, Dave Barrett, Arry Fraser and Keith Hyams) are now all back in the UK. The expedition was a great success, with a thoroughly good time had by all and significant speleological discoveries made on the tepui. These included the extension of the existing Roraima Sur cave and the exploration of an entirely new large sandstone cave, La Cueva de la Pared. More details to follow at some point. It is hoped that the collaboration with the Venezuelan Speleological Society can be continued with a follow up expedition in 2006 or 2007. If anyone is interested in leading this expedition, please get in touch.

Extending my Vocabulary

Peter Devlin

As a novice caver I am still getting up to speed with caving terminology. Here are some observations on common caving terms based on Sundays cracking trip to OFD.

Sporting: Wet, lots of water, occasionally up to my neck. Any more water and you probably need to consider bringing diving gear.
Complex: JC's description of the boulder choke in which we got lost. I managed to go in one entrance and come out another and still be on the wrong side.
Stuck: I thought I was stuck, but since I managed to get through it was argued that I couldn't have been stuck. I clearly need to work on my understanding of this term.
Lags: People who know meanings of the above ... and neglect to warn you of getting stuck in a complex choke before going swimming in a sporting streamway ... probably with good reason as you might decide not to go caving.

 Many thanks to JC, Simon, John and Martin for an excellent trip and Chris for suggesting it.