Oread Halls

 

Anthony Hitchcock

The main entrance is a narrow slot about 3,5m deep with plenty of footholds to aid decent. You drop into a large chamber called Annie's Hall. This chamber is low and wide with a sandy floor. It extends to the right for 20m and is worth exploring. The way to go however is straight ahead as you enter as if you are following the left-hand wall. Soon you will find a low entrance to a small passage that changes direction sharply left and then right into the main stream passage. There are places in this section that require crawling on your stomach which is unpleasant in winter when the passage is wet. Soon there is a branch to the left that extends for 20m and terminates in two narrow parallel passages. Continue down the main passage for a short distance until you find a side passage to the right. At this point you will notice light ahead. If you go straight you will enter the lofty chamber with the skylight entrance (top hole). John Meyer who discovered the cave recorded the first exploration and names of early explorers neatly on the wall. This is an interesting historical record, but we strongly discourage any form of marking on cave walls.

The passage beyond the Skylight chamber is low and wide with a sandy floor and rocky breakdown in places. It soon bears left and becomes tight and broken up in places. Caution should be exercised when exploring this area as it appears unstable. The passage continues and becomes increasingly constricted until it is too narrow to proceed further. Return to the Skylight Chamber and to the side passage mentioned earlier which is on the left as you head out.

This passage is low (1m) and undulating with a small streamlet that has cut a furrow in the sandy floor. As you progress the corridor widens until you find yourself in a 20m long by 6m wide and 3m high chamber called the Grand Hall. The first thing you will notice is that the chamber is defaced with ugly graffiti. This destroys what would otherwise have been a lovely sandstone chamber. A 2m climb at the end of the chamber leads into a square rocky crawlway that soon bears sharp right and becomes very low and sandy. The sand partially blocks the route, which becomes a labyrinth of interconnected passages and low shelving chambers mostly less than 40cm high. At this point it is advisable to retrace ones steps as the rocky plates could collapse.

Give yourself about one to two hours to explore this cave. Please remove all papers, batteries and other materials that you take into the cave.

Cave details:

 
Type: Table Mountain Sandstone
System type: Horizontal
Entrances: 1
Surveyed: yes
Length  
Rope required: no
Ladder required: no

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Survey:


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