Dec 172014
Diving Dreamtime sump

About the cave Growling Swallet is a major sink in the Junee Florentine karst area in Tasmania. Water from the river that rushes into the cave entrance has been dye traced to emerge in the Junee resurgence, several miles away. Unlike other caves in the area Growling has an entrance that doesn’t require ropes or SRT, just a few very sketchy free climbs. The name describes the noise of the river rushing in when in flood, and as you would expect caving is only possible in low water conditions. The way through the cave alternates between following the water and climbing up and over it. From a caving perspective this means that even on the way in (usually downhill) there are [read more…]

Nov 042014
Tassie cave rescue exercise

  Since getting back from my trips after to France and Komodo, it’s been all work on the weekend front. Our Elk resupply trip and a weekend in Mt Gambier to talk at the CDAA AGM were followed by a trip down to Tassie to participate in a cave rescue exercise. The Tassie exercise was co-ordinated by Andreas of the STC, and partially funded by an ASF grant to get Al Warild down south from NSW to run it. Cave rescues in Tasmania are likely to be vertical affairs and the 4 day course focussed on rigging and lifting stretchers up and out to sunshine. The group attending included cavers from NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and all corners of Tasmania. Personally speaking, [read more…]

May 132014
Waterfalls in Boulder Jenga

About the cave Tassie has some beautiful caves, which are also known for being somewhat of a summer-only destination. Not that it’s any warmer underground in the JF in summer…but it can be a touch drier. The cave pictured above is JF398, the entrance of which was discovered and tagged back in the 80s. Earlier this year the massive boulder pile that fills the entrance down to 35m below the surface was passed, and the cave named Boulder Jenga. Exploration occurred during one of the driest periods of the year. A small stream above the entrance sinks into the cave and recent rain made our trip last weekend a little wetter than initial exploration. About the trip With the key [read more…]

Mar 182014
Sump one in Junee Cave

  About the cave I talked about Junee Cave last week, after our long weekend trip two weekends ago. The weekend was photographically focussed and I was keen to capture the straws and decorations in the dry cave between sumps one and two. Since we had to go through the water to get there it seemed silly to miss the opportunity for underwater photography, although I didn’t have high hopes for great images. About the dive While the defining feature of For Your Eyes Only may be the straws that line the ceiling, the defining feature of sump one is being cold. And dark. And often very silty. When I last visited in 2009 we had a large group of [read more…]

Mar 112014
Straws in Junee Cave

About the cave Junee is the master drain and resurgence for a wide swath of the Junee-Florentine karst area. Many of the large, deep caves in the vicinity have had their waters dye traced to arrive back on the surface in the river flowing out of Junee. The tourist walking track through the State Park leads to a viewing platform in the forest. A quick clamber over the edge lands you knee deep in the chilly river, and three trips upstream into the dark zone put our dive gear at the edge of sump 1. About the dive Sump 1 is dark and silty, with greenish water and black walls. We had relatively good vis on the way through and [read more…]

Feb 182014
Images, suspended

About the cave These images are from the Junee Florentine in Tasmania, from a cave called Dwarrowdelf. I was down there the weekend before last, with the intention for the trip to refine my SRT technique and get some practise in. After Saturday on the climbing wall in Hobart improving rope lengths, on Sunday we headed to Dwarrowdelf. The cave was selected as it has a series of SRT drops in a row without much (any) horizontal cave in between. As well as nailing down my skills and improving the speed of my rebelays, I was keen to attempt taking pictures while on the rope. From previous caving adventures I have shots of people leaving the bottom, and appearing or [read more…]