Mendip Meet March 2024

A weekend on Mendip staying at the SMCC hut in Priddy, with trips to four major caves in the area from Friday to Sunday.

The caving activities started with a short trip to St Cuthbert’s Swallet on Friday evening for the team of 7 that arrived early. After the sporting descent of rifts and ladders to Mud Hall a circular route was enjoyed from Gour Passage and The Water Chute to Cerberus Hall and Everest Passage, taking in the notable formations of Curtain Chamber, The Fingers and The Cascade along the way.

Eastwater Cavern was the destination of choice for most on the Saturday, with a trip to the notorious West End Series to see the wonders of Regent Street and the Termite Hills, which lie beyond an interesting collection of natural obstacles to either descend or squeeze through. This was followed by a brief visit to Morton’s Pot on the other side of the West End before returning to sunshine in time for a scenic walk before dinner. Meanwhile, a duo of CSS divers completed a trip to Sump 9 at the end of the Swildon’s streamway. All met up for beer and food at The Hunters’ Lodge, with additional members also coming along to join the evening’s social.

The main Sunday trip was to Chamber 24 in Wookey Hole. A magnificent and sporting trip with a number of rifts to descend and fixed staples to climb to reach the divers’ camp, some impressively large passages and the subterranean River Axe. This same water also flows through Swildon’s Hole, the destination of a second team on a trip to Sump 1 and Mud Sump before heading out via The Wet Way.

Photos from the weekend

  • Heading into Eastwater Cavern

  • Typical tube squeeze in the West End Series

  • Regent Street, Eastwater Cavern

  • Helictite formations, Regent Street

  • Climbing the 20' in Swildon's Hole

  • Swildon's Hole

  • The Wookey team before heading underground

  • Posing by the mammoth outside Wookey Hole

  • The unusual ‘Rillenkarren’ formation in Wookey Chamber 20

  • Ascending a calcite slope in passage beyond Chamber 20

  • Descending one of the many narrow rifts to Chamber 24

  • Traversing the streamway towards Sting Corner

  • Back at Chamber 20, Wookey Hole

Photos by Matt Voysey, Jennie Lawrence and Gary Jones

© Chelsea Spelaeological Society