Young Rangers Caving expedition to Goatchurch Cavern, October 2011
Saturday’s expedition was led by Andy and Kirsty, instructors from the Charterhouse Centre and began with the group getting kitted up with helmets and lamps, caving suits and belts and welly boots before setting off in the mini-bus to Burrington Combe.
The two groups explored the complex network of chambers and passages of Goatchurch using such caving techniques as the controlled “bottom slide” , the headfirst dive through the “superman squeeze”, climbing down the vertical crack known as Jacob’s ladder and wriggling through numerous tight spots! The route names say it all: midget’s staircase, the cracks of doom, the boulder and water chambers and the drainpipe. The expedition went from the top to the bottom of the cave system, approximately to a depth of 30 metres.
As well as the challenge of the expedition, Young Rangers learned about the geological history of these three hundred million year old limestone caves and saw fossils such as brachiopods and crinoids in the carboniferous limestone.