Bristol Exploration Club
The Bristol Exploration
Club is one of the "elder clubs" of Mendip. They foster their own reputation
for worldwide expeditions by their slogan "The BEC gets everywhere" seen on
stickers in the most unlikely places :-). They certainly visited the Totes
Gebirge of Austria well before expeditionary caving abroad became
From 1965 to 1969, the BEC held expeditions to Austria, in the first couple
of years working with the Austrians in Raucherkarhöhle, then later doing
much work in the already known cave of Ahnenschacht, on the slopes of
Schönberg, in the north of the western massif of the Totes Gebirge. This is
now a very major system, but even in 1967, it was a very serious proposition,
being remote, and with a very deep entrance shaft, which became epic in the wet,
especially when tackled on ladders, as was the way in those days.
The BEC's explorations were reported in a series of articles in their
frequent (then monthly) newsletter the Belfry Bulletin, as well as in
other more widely available journals. Not all references in this list have CTS
numbers, as most are too early, and nobody seems inclined to produce
retrospective CTS volumes.
- Belfry Bulletin 214,
- Belfry Bulletin 222,
- Belfry Bulletin 237 pp 93-97, Ahnenschacht 1967
- Belfry Bulletin 239 (Jan 1968) pp 23-26,
Scientific work on 1967 trip
- Belfry Bulletin 246 (Sep 1968) pp 130-138,
Ahnenschacht 1968, Alan Thomas
- Belfry Bulletin 249 (Dec 1968) pp 198-204,
Drainage development in the Western Totes Gebirge, Mike
- Cave Research Group of G.B. Newsletter 116 (June 1969) pp
7-9 A brief account of the history of the
- Descent 5 (July 1969) pp 31-35, British Team
challenges Austria's Ahnenschacht, A.R.Thomas.
- Mendip Caving Group Newsletter 77 (August 1969) pp
1-3, Austria 1969, Greg Smith
- Belfry Bulletin 259, (Oct 1969) pp 169-170, New
Austrian discovery (near Feuertal Ice Cave), Dave Yeandle.
- Shepton Mallet Caving Club Newsletter 6(5) (Oct 1969) pp
65-70, Ahnenschacht 1969 ... near Ebensee, Austria,
- Belfry Bulletin 261 (Dec 1969) pp 200-203,
Ahnenschacht 1969, A.R.Thomas.
- Shepton Mallet Caving Club Journal 4(8) (Dec 1969) pp
15-21, Ahnenschacht 1969 ... near Ebensee, Austria,