Journal Series 5 Number 5

Note that this is a re-print of the original publication, based on a scanned copy. During the process of converting the original paper copy to this electronic version, the original formatting, page layout and page numbers have been lost. All diagrams and surveys have been scanned from the original and are consequently of poor quality.



The Subterranean Wonders of Tunisia: A Brief Index and Bibliography

by K Mansfield and R Mansfield

Caving in Canada

by B Woodward

Additional Bibliography on Lava Tube Caves (2)

by MT Mills

FDS Series, Tatham Wife Hole

by B Woodward


Published by the Shepton Mallet Caving Club

The Mineries, Wells Road, Priddy, Wells, Somerset, BA5 3AU



At long last, the 'Spring' issue of the Journal is published. The delay has been caused by the usual reason – delay in submission of articles. It is hoped that more articles will be submitted in the near future so that the Autumn Journal will be issued within a reasonable time.

Please accept apologies for the quality of the printing of the survey of Arctomys Cave, Canada. A clearer copy of the survey can be referred to in the Hut Log, Volume Eight, page 71.


Subterranean Wonders of Tunisia:
A Brief Index and Bibliography

Tunisia is a country which appears to be poorly documented with regard to caves and caving, perhaps because little has been done and / or there is little to be done. A brief holiday there by members of some of the Mendip Caving clubs did not do anything to alter the status and from a search of the literature available it seems that prospects are not very good.

It is hoped that the literature cited is correct although there are doubts as to the exact references as a third of those quoted have not as yet been seen. This is due to the fact that some of them do not appear to be available outside Tunisia and their National Library seems not to answer letters.

Whilst it has not been possible to visit and describe all the caves, cave dwellings, catacombs and other sites of interest, some brief notes are included with the index. The layout of this article is thus:

A proper name index of site, brief notes on the site, index numbers which refer to the references relating to the site, bibliography.

Our thanks to the Somerset County Library, Anne and Tony Oldham and Pierre Strinati for the loan of material and exchange of ideas and information.


  • CAP MONASTIR. Sea Caves 18 km south of Sousse.

  • CHENINI. Cave dwellings of a sophisticated nature both here and at Kouriat have attracted the attention of most travellers. Dating from the 11th Century these dwellings were so constructed by the Berbers as defences against Arab invaders. They were found to be pleasantly cool and they caught on. Located 50 km south of Medenine. 20. 23. 25. 35. 36. 55.

  • DJEBEL ACHKEL-MATEUR also DJEBEL ICHKEUL. Small cave and bat shelter near the Bay of Bizerta, and north of Mateur. 11. 42.

  • DJEBEL GORRA. The Cave of the Seven Sleepers is not really anything more than a large black space beneath a heap of tumbled boulders. Near Thibar. 38.

  • DJEBEL SAIKRA. Small cave in which bats have been found. 33 26N. 10 17E approx. 15. 32.

  • DJEBEL SERDJ. Difficult to locate accurately but on the Tunis to Maktar road, 12km before Ousseltia and then walking track for 2 kms to mine entrance. Mine gallery eventually leads into a cave chamber 200m long, 70m wide and as much as 35m high. 4. 37. 38. 52. survey 52.

  • DJEBEL TROZZA. Located in the Wadi (Oued) Merguellil, 45 km from Kairouan. Four small caves the largest of which is called El Hamman or El Gamous and is famous for the healing qualities of the sulphurous fumes which rise from it. 31.

  • GAFSA. Small cave east of Gafsa in which bats have been found. 15. 23. 42.

  • GHAR EL KABIR. 47.

  • GROTTE DES CHAUVES-SOURIS also known as Grotte d'El Haouaria, Grotte du Djebel Sidi Bel Abied, Grotte de l'Oued Tabouda. Near Haouaria, Cap Bon. Cave and Roman stone mines which are becoming a tourist attraction. A guide is sometimes available. 15. 16. 29. 40. 42. 55.

  • GROTTE HABITA. Located in a hill called Bon Brima, 30 km from Beja. Well decorated cave 150m long and 25m deep, containing animal remains. 46.


  • GROTTE DE KHANGUET KEF TOUT. 50 km north of Beja. The cave is 250m long with low crawls and large chambers with many formations including helictites. 7. 38. 52. survey 52.

  • GROTTE DU KRIZ. A well decorated cave 130m long near Ain Younes.


  • KEF-EL-AGAB. Near Jendouba. Probably the best known cave in Tunisia because of its archaeological importance. 40m long. Evidence points to it as being a site of Neolithic stone industry. 16. 17. 18. survey 18.

  • KEF EL BLIDA. 47.

  • L'ILE DE LAS GALITE. Cave dwellings. 1. 47.

  • MATMATA and other sites in the vicinity are the most famous cave dwellings in Tunisia. Between Gabes and Medenine. It is said that over seven hundred of these dwellings have been constructed but this is doubted. Ancient Matmata above present day Matmata has long been abandoned but can still be seen. Tourism has arrived and one can now stay in a cave hotel. See the Observer 4/3/1973. 2. 20. 21. 22. 25. 27. 35. 36. 47. 48. 55.

  • REDEYEF. Another small bat cave on the Tunisian Algerian border 34 23N. 8 09E. 15. 30. 50.

  • SOUSSE. Catacombs. Five separate series of catacombs were discovered in 1888 with two hundred and forty galleries containing fifteen thousand tombs, Christian in origin, from the 2nd and 3rd Centuries AD. These have now been much vandalised and the tourist trip (rip off price 20p) offers nothing to see. Finds from the tombs are in Sousse Museum. There is a wartime story of two German soldiers getting lost and their bodies not being found for several months. 17. 22. 25. 47. 55.


  • ZAGHOUAN. Between Tunis and Sousse a large limestone hill rises for approximately 1,200m, and contains many small caves including the elusive Grotte du Cheval. The area has been much visited but one suspects that this is a passing visit and that something could be found here with time. 6. 8. 9. 10. 15. 16. 19. 37.


  1. ANON. Troglodytes de l'ile de la Galite. Mem. Soc. Spel. 7; (42/43), 404-405 (1905/6) (in La speleologie au XXe siecle ed. par EA Martel. part 2 and taken originally from Galbert - L'ile de la Galite. Grenoble, 27pp. no date.)

  2. ANON. Les troglodytes du Djebel Matmate. Tour de Monde, (7.4.1906).

  3. ANON. Section de speleologie. (activites en Tunisie). Bull. periodique. Com. Nat. Spel., 34-35 (Jan/March 1951).

  4. ANON. La Grotte du Djebel Serdj. Rassasseur (3),18 (1952). (reference uncertain and may be incorrect).

  5. ANON. De speleologues locaux explorant pour la premiere fois une riviere souterraine pres de Teboursouk. La Depeche Tunisienne, (21.6.1955).

  6. ANON. Aven principle du Zaghouan ou Grotte du Diable. Rassasseur, (17),6-9 (1955).

  7. ANON. La Grotte du Khonguet kef Tout. Rassesseur, (19), 9-11 (1956.). illus.

  8. ANON. Aven principle du Zaghouen. Bull. periodique Com. Nat. Spel. 6,(3),104-107 (July/Sept 1956);

  9. ANON. La Grotte mysterieuse. (Djebel Zaghouen).

  10. ANON. La Grotte du Cheval. (Djebel Zaghouen). 2-3 (1958).

  11. ANON. La Grotte du Djebel Ichkeul. Rassasseur, (23),

  12. ANON. Grotte de l'Independence. Rassasseur, (28),2-3(1958)

  13. ANON. Annee 1958. (activités). Bull. periodique Com. Nat. Spel. 2,47 (1959).

  14. ANON. Group speleologique. (activités). Bull. periodique Com. Nat. Spel. 10,(4),49-50 (Oct/Dec 1960)

  15. AELLEN, V. and STRINATI, Pierre. List des chiropteres de la Tunisie. Tev. Suisse Zool., 76, (17), 421-431 (June 1969).

  16. AELLEN, V and STRINATI, Pierre. Chauves-souris cavernicoles de la Tunisie. LOR map illus. Mammalia, 34, (2), 228-236 (June 1970).

  17. BARDIN, P. Note sur le gisement neolithique de la Grotte du Kef el Agab (Djebel Hairech, Tunisie septentrionale). Bull. Soc. Sci. nat. Tunisie, 4. 23-24 (1951).

  18. BARDIN, P. La Grotte du Kef-el-Agab (Tunisie): gisement neolithique. Libya, 1,271-308 (1953). map. illus. figs.

  19. BARONE, R. Richesses souterraines. Essai pour une speleologie scoute. Vichy, Les Eclaireurs de France. 1944. 76pp. illus. (no text on Tunisia but a photo of La Grotte de Zaghouan).

  20. BRUUN, Daniel. The cave dwellers of southern Tunisia: recollections of a sojourn with the Khalifa of Matmata. translated from the Danish by LAEB. London, W Thacker. 1898. xii 335pp. illus. (cave dwellings pp. 39,41,45,85,88,102,159,246).

  21. BUTLER, Reg. Cave dwellers of southern Tunisia. Country Life, 136, (3525), 762-763 (24.9.1964). illus.

  22. CARRINGTON, Richard. East from Tunis: a record of travels on the northern coast of Africa. London, Travel Book Club. (1957). 232pp. maps. illus. (pp. 35/6 catacombs at Sousse, 91/114 cave dwellers)

  23. CASTANY, Gilbert. Orogenese quaternaire dans la region de Gafsa. Bull. Soc. Sci. nat. Tunisie, 6,151-160 (1952/3).

  24. CASTANY, Gilbert and others. Le quaternaire marin de Djerba. Ses calcaires oolithiques. Bull. Soc. Sci. nat. Tunisie, 7,93--106 (1953/1). (mainly of: geological interest with reference to what should more accurately be termed pseudokarst).

  25. CLOUGH, RT. Underground in Tunisia British Caver 18, 9-10 (1948). (catacombs at Sousse and cave dwellers in southern Tunisia).

  26. COQUE, R. Les croutes qypseuses du sud Tunisie. Bull. Soc. Sci. nat. Tunisie, 8, (3/4), 217-235 (1954/5). (Pseudokarst).

  27. DARBY, Ben. Cave dwellers of southern Tunisia. Country Life, 136, (3530), 1150 (29.10.1964) illus.

  28. DE LAUNAY, L. Les richesses minieres de l'Afrique. Paris, Beranger. 1903. 400pp. (p.248. Chott el Djeria).

  29. DELEUIL, R. and LABBE, A. Contributions a l'etude des chauves-souris en Tunisie, Bull. Soc. Sci. nat. Tunisie, 3,(1/2), 39-55 (1954/5).

  30. DELEUIL, R. Une nouvelle chauve-souris pour la Tunisie: Otonycteris hemprichi Peters 1860. Mammalia, 21.(2) 190 (June 1957). (in a cave at Redeyef near the Algerian border.)

  31. DE ZELTUER, F. Notes sur quelques cavernes de Tunisie. Spelunca, 5, (17/20), 79-80. (1899).

  32. DOMERGUE, C. and GELPE, J. Le Gouffre du Djebel Saikre, pres Medenine. Bull. Soc. Sci. nat. Tunisie, 8, (1/2),81-84 (1954/5).

  33. FODOR, Eugene and CURTIS, William eds. Fodor's Tunisia 1973. London, Hodder & Stoughton. 1973. 262pp. maps. illus. (caves and cave dwellers pp.131,144-146, 149,165,179-180,223,236-237,239,247,250,255).

  34. GADEAU DE KERVILLE, H. Voyage zoologique en Khroumirie. (Tunisia). Paris, 1908. 316pp.

  35. GOLDMAN, Noah. Berber troglodytese Windy City Speleonews, 11, (5),79 (Oct. 1971). Brief summary of article by June Goodwin below.

  36. GOODWIN, June. On the steppes of Tunisia home is a whitewashed cave. Christian Science Monitor, (7.12.1970), Illus.

  37. GRUNEISEN, Alain. Tunisie 1967. Bull. Spel. Soc. Avignon, (6),35-40 (April 1968).

  38. GRUNEISEN, Alain. Tunisie 1971. Bull. Spel. Soc. Avignon, (9),7-8 (July 1972).

  39. HENRY, Jean-Paul and MAGNIEZ, Guy. Un aselle interstitiel de Tunisie: proasellus bagradicus n. sp. Annales Spel., 27,(1),183-193 (1972).

  40. HOULET, G. Tunisie. Paris, Guides Bleus Illustres. 1967, 328pp. illus. (p.133. Grotte des Chauves souris).

  41. HUBERT,M.Araignees capturees dans des grottes de Tunisie et description de deux especes nouvelles. Rev. suisse Zool., 77, (1),189-195 (March 1970).

  42. KAMANN, H. Die fledermaus rhinolophus-mehelyi Matschic 1901 als glied der saugetier fauna in Tunesien. Zoologischer Anzeiger, 161,227-237 (1958). map.figs.

  43. LATASTE, F. Etude de la faune des vertebres de Barbarie. (Algerie, Tunisie et Maroc). Actes Soc. Linn. Brodeaux, 39,129-289 (1885).

  44. LATASTE, F. Catalogue critique des mammiferes apelagiques sauvages de la Tunisie. Paris, Exploratiom Soc. Tunisie. 1887. 42pp.

  45. LAURENT, P. Presence de l'Oreillard d'Europe (Plecotus auritus Linne) dans le sud Tunisien. Bull. Mus. national Hist. nat. Paris., 11, (3),279-282 (March 1939).

  46. L(AURES), M. Tunisie. (review of journal En Atlantide). Annales Spel. ,5, (4),190 (1950). (pub. 1951).

  47. MARRINER, John. The shores of the black ships. London, William Kimber. 1971. 256pp. map. illus. (caves etc. pp. 104,115-116,130,137-138,158,171).

  48. NORRIS, HT. Cave habitations and granaries in Tripolitana and Tunisia. Man, 53, (Art 125), 82-85 (1953) figs.

  49. OLIVIER, Ernest. Matciaux pour la faune de la Tunisie. Bull. Sci. Bourbonnais, 2,117-133 (1896).

  50. OLIVIER, Ernest. Phinopoma microphyllum en Tunisie. Bull. Soc. Zool. France., 34,(1/2),148 (March 1909).

  51. ROLLET, R. Travaux effectues d'Octobre 1951 a Octobre 1952. Bull. periodique Com. nat. Spel., 75 (Oct/Dec 1952).

  52. ROLLET, R. Explorations en Tunisie. Annales Spel., 7, (2),108-110 (1952). surveys.

  53. SEURAT, LG. Faune des eaux continentales de la Tunisie – eaux souterraines. Archives Inst. Pasteur Tunis., 31,(3/4), 311-335 (Dec 1942) illus.

  54. THINES, G. and TERCAFS, R. Atlas de la vie souterraine. Paris, Boubec. 1972. 162pp. illus. (p.133. Grotte de Seboub).

  55. TOMKINSON, Michael. Tunisia: a holiday guide. London, Ernest Benn. 1970. 96pp. map. illus. (caves etc. pp.5,50,63-64,73,83-86). also, 2nd. ed. 1971. 3rd ed. 1972.

  56. ULLASTRE, J. and MASRIERA, A. Cavernas del norte de Africa. Geo y Bio Karst, 6, (23), 17-21 (Dec 1969).

Kay Mansfield & Ray Mansfield, June 1973


Caving in Canada

In July 1972, Martin Webster, Tim Reynolds, Janet and Brian Woodward boarded a Canadian Pacific flight from Gatwick to Vancouver under the auspices of the Trowbridge Cage Bird Society. A few key words e.g. tweet, tweet, budgie and millet spray were memorised and uttered at appropriate intervals, this fooled HM Customs officers and we were soon on our way to a memorable holiday in the Canadian Rockies. The ten hour flight was notable for the magnificent views over Greenland, Baffin Island and the endless lakes, rivers and forests of the Canadian Shield, also one unfortunate passenger became egg bound in the ladies toilet which caused a few feathers to be ruffled.

On arrival at Vancouver, Brian flew off to San Francisco while the others spent a week in Mount Ranier National Park. Tim, Janet and Martin were impressed by the snow clearing operations at Mount Ranier, especially as it was late July. Not surprisingly, this was due to the heavy snow fall the previous winter, 1100 inches compared with a normal average of 700 inches.

A week after our arrival we met up in Vancouver with Pete Thompson and Linda Hastie, who had driven the 2500 miles from Hamilton to pick us up and who were to be our guides for the next three weeks.

Our first plan was to have a look at Nakimu Cave (Ford 1971) in the Rogers Pass and we beaded East through the Fraser Canyon on the Trans Canadian Highway. The first night was spent in Kamloops, this was Injun Country and in the local bar it was apparent that the local fire water was heap good. The next day we arrived at Rogers Pass, only to be told that a Park Warden had been attacked by a Grizzly and the trail to Nakimu was closed. The mind boggles at the thought of the path to Swildon's being closed by a rampant rabbit. The only other cave in the immediate vicinity is Raspberry Spring. This involves diving (Boon 1972) and as we were not suitably equipped this necessitated a change of plan. We therefore made an abortive attempt to climb Mount Sir Donald to see how the other half lives. Although we didn't get to the top we did get some idea of what we might expect later on, i.e. cold glacial melt streams, mosquitoes, thick pine forests littered with dead trees (dead fall) which made walking with heavy packs rather difficult and more mosquitoes. Pete also had the uncanny ability to pick out the most difficult route imaginable, a gift which he has developed over many years.

Two days later we met up at Lake Louise with Ian and Lorraine Drummond, Meri Fish and Graham Turner. This marked the start of a trip to Arctomys Cave, just North East of Mount Robson on the Alberta / British Columbia border. The cave was first descended to a depth of about 250 feet in 1912 (Wheeler 1912) and had a quick visit by Mike Goodchild in 1971, but no further progress was made on this solo trip. In retrospect, we should have questioned our guide as to why no one else had visited the cave over the past sixty years.

From Lake Louise to Jasper is the most scenic route one could imagine and is well worth a visit for anyone in the area. In Jasper we bought enough food for five days and set off for Arctomys Cave. After about ten miles our guide decided that we were on the wrong road and we returned, eventually we headed west on Route 16 and met the others and their vehicle where the road crossed Moose River. By the time we arrived, Ian and party had divided the food and tackle up; they had packed their share and left ours – in a rather large pile, presumably the English eat more than Canadians.

At 6p.m. we set off to cover a few miles before dark. The 'trail' along the Moose River was marked by fluorescent tape – a fact we discovered after stumbling through thick forest and dead fall for about two miles. This trail was a figment of someone's imagination and eventually it became too dark to see the tapes and we slept by an impressive <word missing>. Next morning, Graham, Lorraine and Meri decided to return while the rest carried on. Eventually we reached Resplendent Creek – a large tributary of Moose River and followed it until a 'crossing place' was reached. The creek was wider, deeper, faster and colder than we would have liked but eventually we tied Martin to a rope and he reached the other side after a cold swim. At this point we decided things were getting silly, and as it was now evening again, we camped on our side of the river, a decision which Martin didn't appreciate. However, this proved the right decision as the river was shallower the following morning as the river slowly increased in depth during the day as a result of glacier melt.

Next day, Pete, Ian, Tim, Martin and Brian crossed the river and followed a good trail to the Moose River about two miles from the crossing. From this point the climb up to the cave started. The going was difficult and involved a climb of about 2500 feet, through the forest and many dead trees hindered progress. Eventually we got separated in some dense avalanche brush; at this point we were about fifteen miles from the road and we only had vague directions on how to locate the cave. More by luck than judgement we all emerged in a hanging valley just above the tree line and the cave was easily located about 100 yards north of Arctomys Creek.

The cave entrance (6 feet by 2 feet) was in an insignificant depression. After a short climb down we soon left daylight behind. The general trend of the cave was south and it descended down the dip of about 32°. Numerous short climbs of 6 to 10 feet were easily passed and at a depth of about 220 feet a small stream entered from the roof. The previous limit of exploration was soon reached at the top of a 13 foot pot, which was just free-climbable. Beyond, the cave continued to descend rapidly via short climbs and at about 1,000 feet from the entrance we found evidence of another explorer – the almost complete skeleton of a bear. More climbs were negotiated, the largest being about 20 feet and a handline was required on one 12 foot drop. At about 1,500 feet from the entrance the obvious way on became too tight, the stream disappearing down a small hole. At this stage we thought that the cave had run out on us and Pete, Ian and Brian started to survey out while Tim and Martin poked around in a passage in the roof. After half an hour or so they returned with the good news that a 50 foot pitch had been reached. Martin had abseiled this and regained the streamway beyond the constriction. At this point it was realised that we could not finish the cave in one trip and get down to camp at Resplendent Creek. Tim and Ian volunteered to push on out to let Janet and Linda know what was going on and to bring some food up the next day while Martin, Brian and Pete continued the survey out. Eventually, the latter three surfaced at about 10:00 pm only to find that it had been raining and all their clothes were soaked. Fortunately they didn't have much in the way of clothes so the situation was not as bad as it could have been. The chances of getting back to camp without getting lost in the forest were negligible so they resigned themselves to a cold night out. A fire was soon lit and Martin tried to convince himself that wet suit socks and shorts were the ideal gear to spend the night out at 6,000 feet. The highlights of the evening were when some ashes blew on to Pete and set his shirt and socks alight. The fire also had a rubber fetish, as Tim's wet suit found to its cost.

Next morning, Tim, Ian, Linda and Janet arrived with some welcome food and Martin, Brian and Pete soon set off to get as far as possible down the cave. The pitch which Martin and Tim had found the previous day was reached and 230 feet beyond, the stream was rejoined. At this point the cave took the form of a high narrow fissure going down dip with a good outward draught. The caving resembled that in Dowber Ghyll for those who don't know the way, as it was necessary to climb up and down the fissure to find the best route. One or two climbs were a bit awkward but the thrill of finding new cave passage overcame these obstacles. The roar of falling water was soon heard and it became more and more difficult to keep carbide lights going in the narrowest sections of the cave. Eventually the fissure opened into a high aven down which water poured. This inlet was much larger than the stream we had been following and it was impossible to get anywhere near the base of the waterfall and keep carbide lights going. With the amount of water entering the passage at this point it was essential to have electric lights and the exploration had to cease at this point, about 1,000 feet below the entrance. Three cold cavers then surveyed out to Websters Pit. At the top of the pitch the thought of another cold night's bivouac was too much and the survey went to the wind. We eventually reached camp just as it was getting dark and the methods of crossing Resplendent Creek varied from the naked exhibitionist dive to the more dignified colonial approach of Tim. A memorable end to a good trip.

Arctomys Cave has depth potential of about 1,800 feet, which would make it the deepest in Canada. The cave is being pushed this year by the Alberta Speleological Society (affectionately known as the ASS-olers), with Phil Collett joining the trip to keep the SMCC in the picture.

After the walk out, everyone was tired, so caving was left for a few days while we went to soak up the sun and views in Bugaboo Provincial Park. Eventually, after being intimidated by the climbing, we headed for Crowsnest Pass. Over the past few years, the Ptolemy Creek / Andy Good Plateau area, just south of Crowsnest Pass has produced a number of good caves (Canadian Caver 1969-1973, Vols. 1-5), the deepest being Yorkshire Pot and the McMaster University CC had a trip planned for this cave. Unfortunately, the main party would be arriving when we had to leave, but it was decided to have a look at the area and rig the pitches in Yorkshire Pot for them. By now we had become accustomed to the long walks to Canadian Caves and thought nothing of the 3,000 feet climb and 9 mile walk up to the Andy Good Plateau. Pete didn't join us as he had to drive back to Calgary to arrange an air drop of food and caving gear on to the plateau. As we had no stoves we slept at the tree line about 900 feet below the plateau. The following day, a short trip down Gargantua (Morris 1970) was made and we also looked into Mendips Cave but this was unfortunately blocked by ice after about 30 feet. In contrast, Yorkshire Pot was open as a party of American cavers had dug through the sixteen feet of snow covering the entrance some weeks earlier. Before Yorkshire Pot could be rigged we had to wait for the caving gear to be air dropped by Pete. This tackle, along with a mountain of food, had been 'packed' into some rotting kit bags and piled into a single engine plane. At the appropriate time Pete leaned out of the plane and dropped the bags one by one. The idea was to land the bags on a large snow field on the col. It was obvious after the first bags landed half a mile away that Pete's aim left something to be desired, but he did improve and the most impressive drop occurred when one bag opened up just after leaving the plane. The shower of tin cans made a magnificent technicoloured splash as they hit the rocks and split open. Separating the wet suits from the beans was a bit messy, but the chipmunks enjoyed a good meal.

The following day we rigged the first five pitches in Yorkshire Pot and placed two bolts on the first pitch, which is rather unstable at the top. This marked the end of our caving as we had to leave the following day.

The walk back was rewarded with a booze up in the Summit Inn, a fitting end to a good holiday.

Figure 1 – Provisional Survey of Arctomys Cave


  1. Ford, DC 1971, Canadian Caver May 1971

  2. Boon, JM 1972, Canadian Caver May 1972

  3. Wheeler 1912, Canadian Alpine Journal p.24-25

B Woodward, July 1973


Additional Bibliography on Lava Tube Caves (2)

A recent development in this fast growing branch of speleology (called 'vulcanospeleology') has been the publication of bibliographies of relevant articles. A 'Bibliography on Lava Tube Caves' by Russell G. Harter published as Western Speleological Survey Bulletin No. 44 dated June 1971 was the first to appear and in its 52 pages were detailed some 507 references. More recently a 14 page supplement to the above has appeared containing a further 195 references some of which are stated as unchecked.

Following the appearance of the first the compiler, finding many important articles from non-American sources, had been omitted, prepared an additional bibliography containing 177 references which has recently been published in a British Caver Vol. 60, p.25-34 (July 1973). In the intervening period the supplement was published with the result that a couple of references were duplicated, and to endeavour to avoid this happening again this second additional bibliography has been prepared, to assist other researchers in this field, but only contains references up to July 1972 which was the latest date of any included in Harter's supplement.

The references are listed below according to author and a location and subject index appended – in the case of subject, only the most important have been so included, where these have been checked by the compiler.

  1. ANON n d. (1847). The Caves of the Earth: Their Natural History, Features, and Incidents. London, Religious Tract Society. p.58-61, 179-180.

  2. ANON. 1863. Interior Items. Alta California (16th Aus.) p.1.

  3. ANON. 1883. California, in Resources of California, p.12 (Jan.)

  4. ANON. 1884. Sacramento Union (29th Feb.), p.4.

  5. ANON. 1909. Spokane Spokesman - Review (10th June). reprinted in Journal of Spelean History 5, (2), 38 (Spring 1972).

  6. ANON. 1936. Yorkshire Ramblers Club Journal 6, (22), 365 (review of JOLY, R de)

  7. ANON. 1939. California: A Guide to the Golden State. New York, Hastings House, p.464,501,502,560,561,596.

  8. ANON. 1947. Lava Beds National Monument. Pacific Pathways 2, (5), 4-9 (June)

  9. ANON. 1948. California Highway 89. Sunset Magazine, p.24, (July).

  10. ANON. 1952. Speleological Notes. Monthly Report of the Stanford Grotto 2, (4), 35 (Jan.)

  11. ANON. 1965. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Log Book. Cave Exploration Group of Last Africa Newsletter (1), 38-43 (Feb.)

  12. ANON. 1963. Subway Caves. Speleologist (Spel. Soc. Amer.) 2, (2), 22. (Feb.)

  13. BAKER, MS. 1899. The Lava Region of Northern California. Sierra Club Bulletin 2, 318.

  14. BALATKA, B. 1958. Pseudokrasove zjevy v sopecynch horninach sovetske Armenie. Ceskoslovensky Kras 11, 213.

  15. BANCROFT, HH. 1888. Works. San Francisco, History Co. 35, 488.

  16. BARTRUM, JA. 1947. Lave Injection of carbonised tree trunk and other interesting minor volcanic phenomena at Auckland. New Zealand Journal Science and Technology. 28, 188-194

  17. ibid. 1930. Unusual depositional stalactites in a lava tunnel at Mt. Albert, Auckland. New Zealand Journal of Science and Technology 12, 188-192.

  18. BIRCHBY, SH. 1946. East African Scrapbook: Hans Meyer's Cave. British Caver 15, 49-50.

  19. BISHOP, W. 1967. News of Members. Wm. Pengelly Cave Research Association Newsletter (9), 2 (Sept.).

  20. BREWER, WH. 1930. Up and Down California. New Haven, Yale University Publishing Co.

  21. BUTCHER, D. 1949. Exploring our National Park and Monuments. Boston, Houghton Sifflin & Co. p.172-175.

  22. CAMPBELL, T. 1960. Three Auckland Lava Caves. New Zealand Spel. Bull. 2, (35), 115-116. (Sept.)

  23. ibid. 1961. Auckland Caves. New Zealand Spel. Bull. 2, (37), 184. (Sept.)

  24. CHAMBERLIN, RV. and WILTON, I. 1943. New Genera and Species of North American Linyphiid Spiders. Bull. Univ. Utah 33, (10), Bio. ser. 7,(6), 22.

  25. CHARLES, MB. Know your California. 6th edition.

  26. CLARKE, RJ. 1965. Some Ethics of Cave Archaeology. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (1), 25,28-29. (Feb.)

  27. ibid. 1965. Report of the Archaeological & Ethnographical Officer. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (2),15-16,19. (June).

  28. ibid. 1966. Introductory Notes on the Use and Habitation of Caves by Man South of the Sahara. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Bull. 1,71-72,77-78,33,91-92 (March).

  29. DAUBENY, CGB. 1835. Abstr. Proc. Ashmolean Soc. 1,(9), 8.

  30. DILLER, JS. 1897. Physiography of the United States. New York, American Book Co. p.254-5.

  31. DRURY, A. 1947. California, An Intimate Guide. New York, Harper & Bros.

  32. ibid. 1951. The National Monuments in California: Part I Motorland 69, (2),6. (Aug.)

  33. DUFF-MacKAY, A. 1965. Report of the General Zoological Officer. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (2),12-13. (June).

  34. ibid. 1963. Report of the General Zoological Officer. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (4). 10. (July).

  35. DUNKAN, JK. 1854. Topographical report of Lt. JK Dunkan, USA Topographer of the Western Division, reprinted in Journal of Spelean History 5,(2),31. (Spring 1972).

  36. ELLIS, BM. 1970. The Electrical Measurement of Cave Temperature. SMCC Journal 4,(10),3,5. (Dec.)

  37. FAIRBANKS, HW. 1899. Stories of our Mother Earth. San Francisco. Whitaker & Ray, p.146.

  38. FINCH, RH. 1926. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Volcana Letter (82), 1pp. (22nd July).

  39. GAIMARD, P. 1938-50. Voyage en Islande et au Groenland execute pendant les annees 1835 et 1836. Paris, Arthus Bertrand. Geologie et Mineralogie Atlas plates 14 & 16. Histoire du Voyage 2, p.86,88,224,234,293-294,313,314,320. Physique p.410,481.

  40. GARDNER, A and BATT, R. 1952. More Lava Caves of Auckland. New Zealand Spel. Bull. 1, (4),6-12.

  41. GEZE, B. 1959. Volcans, Canyons et Cavernes D'Afrique et D'Amerique. Grottes et Gouffres (19),7. (May).

  42. GIBBS, G. 1954. Report of George Gibbs upon the ecology of the central portion of Washington Territory, reprinted in Journal of Spelean History 5, (2),32. (Spring).

  43. GIBSON, IL. Preliminary account of the volcanic geology of Fantale, Shoa, Ethiopia. Bull. Geophys. Obs. Addis Ababa 10,59-67.

  44. GLOVER, PE. 1965. First Presidential Address. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (1),2-40 (Feb).

  45. ibid. 1965. Report of the Botanical Officer. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (2),19-20 (June).

  46. ibid. 1965. A List of Plants Associated with the Lava Caves of Suswa mountains. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Bull. 1,28-50. (March).

  47. GLOVER, PE. & EC., TRUMP, EC., and WATERLIDGE, LED. 1966. The Lava Caves of Mount Suswa, Kenya. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Bull. 1,4-27 (March), reprinted from Studies in Speleology 1, pt.1, 51-66 (July 1964).

  48. GREBE, WH. 1956. Die Hohle Nanarita in El Salvador (Zentralamerika). Vienna, Die Hohle 7, (4),97-105 (Dec).

  49. GRIFFITHS, JC. 1969. Modern Iceland, London, Pall Mall Press. p.9-10.

  50. HANKS, HG. 1884. California State Mineralogist's Report 4,112-114.

  51. HARRINGTON, ER. 1948. Desert Ice Caves, Compressed Air Magazine p.7-9 (Jan.)

  52. HEALD, WF. 1951. Scenic Guide to California. Susanville, HC. Johnson. p.44.

  53. HERRMANN, P. 1907-10. Island : in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart. Leipzig, Wilhelm. 1, p.30,36,41,65,73,82,206,203,214-215,328-329. 2, p.2,4,5,63,65-66. 3,p.48-53,81-84,85-86,106-113,178-179,227-228,239.

  54. HOCHSTETTER, F. von. 1864. Geologie von Neu-Seeland. Vienna, Stadtsdruckerei. p.166-179. also translation by Fleming, CA. Geology of New Zealand. Wellington, Government Printer (1959).

  55. HOOVER, MB. and RENSCH, HE. & EG. 1933. Historic Spots in California Valley and Sierra Counties. Stanford Univ. Press. p. 206,410-413,441,143.

  56. HOOVER, MB. end REUSCH, HE. 1948. Historic Spots in California. Stanford Univ. Press. p.169.

  57. HOPSON, RE. 1949. Tern Cave in Northern California. Nature (Aug.).

  58. HOWARTH, FG. 1972. Cavernicols in Lava Tubes of the Island of Hawaii. Science 175, (4019),325-326 (21st Jan.)

  59. JAMES, GW 1914. California, Romantic and Beautiful. Boston, Page Co. p.16-18.

  60. JOLY, R. de. Aux Iles Fortunees, La Geographie LXII, (3-4)

  61. JORAN, M. 1900. Caverne de la Betsboka (Madagascar). Nouvelliste de Rouen (14th May) reprinted in Spelunca Bull. 6, (21-22).52-53 (1900).

  62. JUGOVICS, L. 1942. Salgotarjan es Barna Kornyeken, elofordulo bazaltok es bazalttufak. Budapest. Foldtani Intezet Evi Jelentesei az 1936-1938. evrol. p.966.

  63. KAHRAU, W. 1972. Australian Caves and Caving. Melbourne, Periwinkle Books. p. 9,20,23,107.

  64. KERR, MB. 1902. Ice Caves. Sierra Club Bull. 4, (2),159-160. (June).

  65. KIDSON, P. n.d. Iceland welcomes you. (pamphlet) pub. Icelandair

  66. ibid. 1971. Iceland in a nutshell. Reykjavik Iceland Travel Books, p.107,115,189-190,202,207,219.229.

  67. KING, C. 1905. Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada.

  68. KING, C. 1971. Original exploration of Cave 6A. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Bull. 2, p.6.-8.

  69. KNUTSON, S. 1972. Oregon Caves Longest in the Pacific Northwest. Speleograph. 8,(6),66. (June).

  70. KUCHLER, C. n.d. (c.1909). In Lavawusten und Zauberwelten auf Island. Berlin, Alfred Schall. p.38,46,71-73,75,100,104,116-117,159,165, plates 30 & 49.

  71. LOUCEK, D. 1958. Lavova jeskyne Nanarita V Salvadoru. Ceskoslovensky Kras 11, 220 (summary of GREBE, WH above).

  72. MASON, EI. 1965. Construction and Use of the Group's Ladders. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (1),35-36 (Feb.).

  73. ibid. 1965. The Maypole Series, Cave 18, Mt. Susua, Kenya. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (4),9. (July).

  74. ibid. 1968. Cave Rescue. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (4),2. (July).

  75. ibid. 1968. Report of the Survey Officer Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (4),9. (July).

  76. MATSUMOTO, Y, 1971. Lava Cave in the Temie Peninsula, Fukue Island, Nagasaki Prefecture. Yamaguchi Caving Club Cave Study (4),1-22. (March).

  77. McCALL, GJH. and BRISTOW, CM. c.1965. An introductory account of Suswa Volcano, Kenya. Bull. Volcanique 28, 1-35.

  78. McCLURE, J. 1943. California Landmarks. Stanford Univ Press. p.115-122.

  79. MIDDLETON, BN. 1965. Personal Notes. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (1), 46, (Feb.).

  80. ibid 1965. Report of the Hon, Caving and Equipment Officer. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (2),10. (June).

  81. ibid 1965. Report of the Survey Officer Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (2) 10. (June)

  82. MITCHELL, D. 1967. Tube Caving in Washington. Huntsville Grotto Newsletter 3,(9),146-147 (Oct.)

  83. MONTORIOL-POUS, J and DE MIER, J. 1971. Estudio Vulcanospeleological del sistema Surtshellir-Stephanshiller (Hallmundarhraun, Islandia). Barcelona. Speleon 18,5-17.

  84. MOORE, GW. 1952. Hollow Hemispherical Cave Deposits. Monthly Report Stanford Grotto 2,(4),31 (Jan.).

  85. MUIR,J. 1874. Modoc Memories. San Francisco Bull. p.1. (28th Dec.)

  86. ibid 1918. Steep Trails. p.89.

  87. ibid ed. 1894. Picturesque California : The Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Slope. New York and San Francisco, J. Deuing Co. p.224,227.

  88. NAUM, T and BUTNARD, E. 1967. Le Volcano-Karst des Calimani (Carpathes Roumaines). Ann. Spel. 22,(4),725-755.

  89. NICHOLAS, E. 1957. Madeira & the Canaries. British Caver 28,4

  90. NORTON, J. 1971. The Canary Islands : a concise guide for the visitor. London, Robert Hale. p.8,9,13,65,66,70,72,73,75,105-106,121-122,140,142,145.

  91. ORR, PC. 1949. Island Hopping. Museum Talk 24,(1),61-68. (Spring).

  92. OZORAY, G. 1961. A Califoriari 'Lava Beds National Monument' lavabarlangjai. Karszt es Barlang 1960/1.

  93. PAPADAKIS, J. 1968. Crystal Ice Caves, Speleologist (Spel. Soc. Amer.) 2, (2),1,3-19. (Feb.)

  94. PARK, MJ. and DOERR, JE. 1961. Report on Investigation of Lewis Riverhava Caves Area, Washington, October 22nd 1961. US. Nat. Park Service. reprinted in Jnl, of Spelean History 5, (2),37,43-47. (Spring 1972)

  95. PETRIE, JS. 1942. Commercial Caves, NSS Bull. (4), 59 & 61 (Sept.).

  96. POWERS, A. 1949. Redwood Country. New York, Duell Pearce and Sloan. p.192,196,201.

  97. PRIOR, TA. ed 1971. The Shepton Mallet Caving Club Iceland Expedition 1970 Organisation. SMCC Occ. Pub. 6 (April).

  98. RAYMOND, RW. 1880. Camp and Cabin: sketches of life and travel in the West. New York, Fords Howard & Hulbert, p.208-224 reprinted in Jnl. of Spelean History 5,(2), 32-37. (Spring 1972)

  99. RENWICK, K. 1960. Notes on Australian Caves. Cave Science 4, (30),281. (May).

  100. RIDER, ? 1925. California. p. 239,240,253.

  101. SAGGERSON, EP. 1963. Geology of the Simba-Kibwezi Area. Geol. Surv. Kenya Report (58), p. 35. plate 7d.

  102. SAINT-AMANT, M. de. 1954. Voyages en Californie et dans l'Oregon. Paris, L. Maison, p. 353-363 reprinted in Jnl. of Spelean History 5,(2),39-42. (Spring 1972).

  103. SALVATOR, L. 1896. Les Cavernes des Ilses Lipari. Spelunca Bull. 2. (6/7), 62-64. (April/Sept.).

  104. SCHARZBACH, M. and NOLL, H. 1971 Geologischer Routenfuhrer durch Island. Koln, Sonderveroffentlichungen des Geologischen Institutes der Universitat Koln, 20.

  105. SCOTT, Commander. 1945. Romance of the Highways of California. Pasadena, Commander Scott Productions. p. 227-8.

  106. SEARLE, EJ. 1964, City of Volcanoes. Auckland, Paul. p.46&48.

  107. SIMONS, JW. 1964. The Cave Exploration Group of East Africa. Studies in Speleology 1,pt.1,p.73-4.

  108. ibid. 1965. Some Basic Principles of Cave Formation and Methods of Sedimentation Part 1: Cave Formation. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (1). 5-7,11-12,19-20,24. (Feb.).

  109. ibid. 1965. Report of the Hon, Secretary. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (2) 5,7-8. (June).

  110. ibid. 1965. Report of the Palaeontological and Osteological Officer. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (2),13-15, (June).

  111. ibid. 1965. Two New Caving Areas in Kenya. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (2) 25-32,34,36. (Dec.)

  112. ibid. 1965. A New Section of Lava Tunnel at the 20-21 Series, Mt. Suswa, Kenya. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (3), 41-43. (Dec.)

  113. ibid. 1965. BN. Middleton - An Appreciation. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (3),52. (Dec.)

  114. ibid. 1966. The Presence of Leopard and a study of the food debris in the leopard lairs of the Mount Suswa Caves, Kenya. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Bulletin 1, 51-69 (March).

  115. ibid. 1968. Report of the Palaeontological and Osteological Officer. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (4),12, (July).

  116. ibid. 1971. New caves in the Chyulu. Hills, Kenya. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Bulletin 2, 33-39.

  117. STEWART, J. 1870. Description of lava caves at Three Kings, near Auckland. Trans, N.Z. Just. 2,162-163.

  118. SZABO, J. 1972. Az Agasvari barlang e Matraban. Foldtani Kozlony I, evf. Pest. p.11-12.

  119. SZEKELY, 1953. Az Agasvari Csorgolyuk barlang. Budapest Foldrajzi Ertesito II. evf. l. fuzet. p.122 (Marc).

  120. SZENTES, G. 1971. Caves formed in the Volcanic Rocks of Hungary. Budapest, Karszt-es Barlangkutatas 6, 117-129.

  121. TANNER, W. 1965. The Discovery of the Double Letterbox Cave, Mt. Suswa, Kenya. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (3),38-41. (Dec.).

  122. THORODDSEN, Th 1908. Lysing Islands. Copenhagen, SL Moller p.63-64,116,139,188,189,198,213,217,292,316. 6,8,56,89-91,112,113,118,180-181.

  123. TILDEN, F. 1951. The National Parks. New York, Alfred Khopf. p.114.

  124. TORII, HS. 1957. Expeditionen in japanische Hohlen und deren Beschreibung. Vienna, Die Hohle 8, (4), 107. (Nov.).

  125. ibid. 1965. Die Lavahohlen am Fusse des Fudschijama (Japan) und deren Tierwelt. Vienna, Die Hohle 16, (1), 18-24 (March).

  126. TUBBS, D. 1972. Speleothems of Dynamited Cave. Xanadu Quarterly 3,(1),1-4. (Spring).

  127. ibid 1972. More notes on Lava Caves. Xanadu Quarterly 3,(1),4. (Spring).

  128. UENO, S-I. 1971. The Fauna of the lava caves around Mt. Fuji-san: Introductory and Historical Notes, Bull Nat. Sci. Museum Tokyo 14, (2), 201-218.

  129. UENO, S-I. and MORIMOTO, Y. 1970. The fauna of the insular lava caves in west Japan. Bull. Nat. Sci. Museum Tokyo 13. (3),443-454.

  130. UENO, S-I., PAE, SK. and NAGAO, F. 1966. Results of the Speleological Survey in South Korea 1966 : General Account, with Brief Description of the Caves Visited. Bull. Nat. Sci. Museum Tokyo 9, (4),465-499 (20th Dec.)

  131. VAN SOMEREN, VGL. 1939. Coryndon Memorial Museum Expedition to the Chyulu Hills, April - July, 1938, Part 1, Jnl. E. African and Uganda Nat. Hist. Soc. 14, p.9-10.

  132. WACE, B. 1971. Islands of perpetual spring. Geographical Mag. 44(3),163. (Dec.).

  133. WATKINS, R. 1969. The Modoc Indian War or the War of the Burnt-out Fires. Stop Press (Sydney Spel. Soc.) 13,(5), 79-82. (May).

  134. WELLER, EV. 1923. Natural Curiosities of California. San Francisco Examiner, p.A2. (9th Sept.).

  135. WHITNEY, JD. 1865. Geology of California. Philadelphia, Sherman & Co, p.351.

  136. WILLIAMS, H. 1949. Geology of the MacDoel Quadrangle. Calif. Div. Mines Bull. (151), p.43-44. (Nov.).

  137. WILLIAMS, LAJ. 1965. Report of the Geological Officer. Cave Exploration Group of East Africa Newsletter (2), 11-12. (June).

Location and Subject Index

  • Archaeology: refs 26-28,47,114,115.

  • Australia: refs 63,99.

  • Basalt Analysis: ref 76.

  • Canary Islands: refs 1,6,60,89,90,132.

  • Chad: ref 41.

  • Ecology: ref 47.

  • El Salvador: refs 48,71.

  • Ethiopia: ref 43.

  • Fauna/Flora: refs 33,34,46,58,128,129.

  • Formation (Cave) Theories: refs 1,29,38,47,63,76,83,88,93,108,120,127.

  • Hawaii: refs 38,58.

  • Hungary: refs 62,118-120.

  • Iceland: refs 1,36,39,49,53,65,66,70,83,98,104,122.

  • Italy: ref 103.

  • Japan: refs 76,124,125,128,129.

  • Kenya/Uganda/Tanzania: refs 11,18,19,26-28,33,34,44-47,68,72-75,77,79-81,101, 107-116,121,131,137.

  • Lava Formations: refs 16,17,76,84,126,137.

  • Madagascar: ref 61.

  • Mexico: ref 10.

  • New Zealand: refs 16,17,22,23,40,54,106,117.

  • Romania: ref 88.

  • South Korea: ref 130.

  • USSR: ref 14.

  • United States: refs 2-5,7-9,12,13,15,20,21,24,25,30-32,35,37,50-52,55-57,59,64,67, 69,78,82,85-87,92-96,99,100,102,105,123,126,127,133-136.

MT Mills, July 1973


FDS Series, Tatham Wife Hole, Yorkshire

Since the Earby Pothole Club opened up Tatham Wife Hole in 1967, it has become one of the classic Yorkshire pots, ranking with Simpsons, Swinston and Meregill in its popularity. The cave is situated west of Ingleborough on the bench above the old granite quarry near White Scar Cave.

In wet weather, a small stream sinks in the shakehole which marks the entrance of the cave. From the entrance, the cave follows a rapidly descending rift via two short pitches to a depth of about 300 feet. The rest of the cave is developed primarily along a fault running East-West and drops a further 200 feet along a horizontal distance of about 1500 feet. Below the last pitch, a high aven disappears into the roof and beyond this point the passage narrows down. Eventually it develops into a low canal which terminates in the sump at a depth of 509 feet. The water from the cave has been dye tested to the Granite Quarry Risings which are about 100 feet lower than the end of the cave.

The possibility of finding more cave beyond the sump tempted Pete Kaye to dive there in March 1968. After about 30 feet he reported that bad visibility and large mud banks prevented further progress. Since that time a number of people have talked about diving the sump, but not until Dave Yeandle became a water baby and acquired a demand valve was anything done.

In November 1972, Phil Collett, Dave Yeandle and Brian Woodward plus three ULSA members set out. They left the cars in thick mist and drizzle and headed for the cave with two sets of gear, under the leadership of Dave (I know where it is) Yeandle. It's amazing how elusive caves can be in the mist and we wandered about for an hour or so in the wet and snow trying to convince ourselves that we were not going round in circles. There wasn't a sheep to be seen when a ragged figure, complete with welly's and great coat, appeared out of the mist going in a direction approximately 180° to us. At this stage we were willing to follow anyone and our saviour, Stephen Crabtree, led us to the hole in about two minutes.

The cave was quickly descended and we reached the sump without further incident. Dave kitted up and launched himself into the sump, which was quite cold due to the melting snow. The line reel only contained about 170 feet of line so, after about five minutes, we realised he had joined the death or glory brigade. About half an hour later the line twitched and after what seemed a long time, Dave emerged to say that the sump had 'gone'. By this time everyone was getting cold and, as Dave had trouble finding the way back through the sump and had been stuck for some time, it was enough to deter Phil and Brian. The exit from the cave was made under very wet but sporting conditions as rain had been falling on the surface.

Two weeks later, Dave, Brian and Phil visited the cave again with the object of exploring and surveying the new series. Fortunately, Martyn Farr and his other Welsh mate laddered the cave while the divers carried the three sets of gear.

All three soon passed the sump, which is about 150 feet long. The first 30 to 40 feet are quite roomy with good visibility but after this the next 40 feet, continues over some mud banks which reduce the passage height to about one foot in places and visibility to nil. A large air bell reached and the sump then continues for a further 60 feet. On the far side, two ways can be taken, one is a crawl in the stream while, on the right an oxbow lends off and rejoins the stream after about 40 feet. At this point the passage opens out into a high aven, the stream turns left while a large rift (The Invisible Rift) continues along the line of the fault for about 300 feet before closing down.

Following the stream, boulders are soon reached over which it is necessary to climb. About 150 feet further on the stream emerges on the right hand side of the passage. It then turns left after a further 50 feet and disappears along a passage blocked with boulders and gravel. At this point the main passage, which is phreatic in origin, is about 15 to 20 feet wide and 15 feet high. This can be followed for a further 200 feet until the way on is completely blocked with large mud covered boulders. The whole of this area appears to sump to the roof in very wet weather. Phil remarked that it looked like a Freeze Dried Sump – hence the name.

This, unfortunately, was not the master cave one finds in dreams and a survey was made on the way back to the sump. Returning through the sump visibility is very bad. The sump is 8 to 10 feet wide and it is possible to miss the highest part of the passage. Care must be taken to find the best route. Somewhere along its course, the sump contains two foreign objects – a fin and a line reel; one final point, the line is belayed on the far side to a rather delicate piece of stal and anyone diving the sump should not pull on the line.

Figure 2 – Survey of FDS Series, Tatham Wife Hole


  1. Brook, D. ULSA Review 2, 12-13, 1967.

  2. Kaye, PH. CDG Newsletter, New Series No. 9, 1968.

  3. Yeandle, D. ULSA Review 11, 43-45, 1973.

B Woodward, September 1973


 Journal Series 05 Number 5