Caving in Tasmania – our “rest” day

GENGHIS KHAN – 18 April 2018
After my mammoth effort in Kubla Khan, I decided to forego Tuesday’s trip into Tailender, particularly as Garry said it was a very physical trip, so, I stayed back at the cabin, washed everyone’s dirty overalls, and laid around drinking tea and reading trashy novels.  I was rearing to go on Wednesday. Genghis Khan is one large chamber and apparently it takes from 2 to 4 hours to see everything.  Clearly, that wasn’t with photographers on the trip.

Garry had left his overalls on the clothes line overnight, it was frosty when we woke and his overalls were frozen solid.  We had a leisurely morning in the cabin enjoying a long breakfast.

The caretaker of the caravan park had free range chickens and Andrew and Mel enjoyed feeding them our left over crackers each morning.  Andrew would really love to have chickens on his farm at Bathurst but his wife Tess is holding out for an architecturally designed chicken coop, so he might have to wait a while.

We left the cabin at 10.30 and arrived at the car park half an hour later and set off on the same track, pealing off only half way up the hill, easy as!

We entered the cave at 11.25am, there is a locked gate but it’s an old one and sorely in need of some WD40, it was a squeeze to get past it, Andrew had to push it with both feet to open it, and it would be impossible to open it from the indisde.  Going in backwards was definitely the way to go.

After the gate there were a series of small downclimbs.  Garry put in a hand line, you didn’t need it to go down but it would come in handy going up as the first climb had no hand-holds.

More down-climbing through a rock pile and then we were in the one large chamber.  We negotiated over to the left hand side where there was a large rock slab that had fallen off the ceiling.

Above the rock slab was a maze of straws and Anthrodites – star-burst shaped formations.  Garry was quick to start setting up flashes for a photo shoot.

Our model for the day, Melissa and the photo taken from my camera, piggy-backing off Garry and Andrews flashes.

Murray posing now for the photo shoot.

Once the photo of the straws were taken, Murray and I ventured around looking for other chambers and passages.  We found one that neither of us was willing to go down, then joined Garry down a side passage that he knew of.

This formation was fascinating, it was like candle wax.

I’m not sure of the name of this formation but it was like a straw with small branches down its length.

Another strange straw formation.

And hundreds of Anthrodites on the ceiling, virtually everywhere you looked.

This shot gives you an idea of how large the chamber was.

This was my effort at an arty shot, I lit the formation up with my head torch, it was only small, perhaps 30 – 40cm from top to bottom.

And another effort at an arty shot, this time trying to capture the light off the drop of water.

Garry was determined to find a chamber that was further down so we followed him into the depths of the rock pile.

Still dropping down through rocks, we came to some formations.

The guys worked their magic with the flashes and we started another photo shoot.  Everyone got to pose (carefully) behind the stal and the straws.

Even our guru photographer Garry.

Then a shot from another angle, this time with Mel in it.

After 5 hours under ground, I’d had enough and exited the cave, heading back to the car to change into warmer clothes, the others followed about half an hour later.

It was an easy day, and it was actually nice not to have to hurry through the cave and lazily enjoy what it had to offer.

The others exited the cave at 5.25pm and met up with me at the car.  We headed back to the cabin and after showers headed into Mole Creek for a pub meal.  It wasn’t a late night as we had another big day coming up.

 

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