Depth through thought

OUCC News 3rd June 1992

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Again a gap of two weeks, and so much has happened that some reports will have to wait 'til the next issue. Sorry kind authors, but please keep the copy flowing.

OUCC seems to have started caving again. Congratulations to those who made the discoveries in Carno this week (and thanks to the local team for opening the cave in the first place). This weekend trips are planned to two of the South's great tourist caves: Otter Hole and St. Cuthberts. These trips take quite a lot of organising, and local help, so get 'em while you can.


Those with a keen Zoological bent may like to attend George McGavin's talk about Insects of the Caves of Thailand, Upper SCR, Jesus College, 8.15, Thursday 4th June. This is an Entomology Society event, so I doubt they will welcome hordes of sweaty drunken cavers.

Expedition News

  1. Personal Contributions: June the first has come and gone. Deadlines have now all passed. This means that if you have not paid all of your personal contribution then it is overdue, and you should pay it to Sean NOW. The expedition is having a cash flow problem, and we need all the help that we can to get over it.
  2. Tackle Mending: There will be a tackle mending and serring out session at Harley Road on 14 June. Everyone who is coming on the expedition is requested to attend, and all the other help that we can get would be very welcome. Please keep this date free.
  3. Red Van Mending: This, like a lot of things (ask Ian for details), is also due on 14 June. Whether it takes place depends on the availability of materials and people. The van is a CLUB asset, so if you are a CLUB member you will be only too glad to come and mend it...
  4. Putting Gear Together: If you have got lots of shiny new gear from Petzl and you don't know how to join it all together, come to Harley Road on 15 June and we will show you. We will also provide drills and other tools.
  5. T Shirt: The design process is a long one. If you want a T Shirt then tell Sean.

Less than a month to go now.
David Monaghan

Caving news...


Last Sunday saw a fine and productive Carno trip by the massed forces of OUCC and some of the Carno crew. Team wimpy old farts (Sherry, Mark, Jim, and Steve Phipps) went surveying up towards Car Crusher (actually, Steve is not an old fart but decided to join us when he dicovered that his flask had shattered inside and his sandwiches had got wet - he wasn't going to the far end without them!). Team hard young things went to the far end to look at some leads (Gav, Tony, Richard, JC, and Chris - who is in fact a Carno hard 'mature' person). The surveying trip went well, covering most of the passage to Car Crusher, which we eventually found by following the passage that Steve had declared a dead end.

There is a strong draught going into Car Crusher, and it seems like a good place to look for a way on. No-one has found one yet but its a complicated place and I for one want to go back for a look. Bill Gascoine has a theory that them is a Carno Adit Master cave, yet to be found that passes near the start of the cave, past the end of Car Crusher and on past the far end of the cave. Whilst us daft young things were furtling around further in the cave, Bill, who says that 'Age brings sense' went to blast the choke 20yds from the start. (Sherry reports)


Pushing the Waterboys...

Gavin, Richard, and Tony romped along to the Northern end of Carno with the intention of checking out the leads in the area around "C" sump. Finding this proved no easymatter due to the large number of passages heading off, in various directions and at various levels.

Eventually we met J.C. (now Doctor Jonathon by the way) and Chris, who is a Came regular and knows his way around. He pointed us in the right direction and suggested that fame and glory awaited the caver who passed a duck which was nearby (a painful sounding process), through which the sound of rushing water could be heard. This obstacle took the form of a small but comfortable passage filled with water to the depth of about a foot. The crux was to be found beyond a slight bend, where the roff lifted to give two feet of airspace, but the walls closed in above the water to just over a boot's width apart.

Nothing daunted, J.C. flung himself into the fray and was actually in the worst bit when his FX2 died. This forced him back out, having displaced enough water to allow Tony to pass the duck more comfortably. J.C. followed, armed with Gavin's headtorch, and after some bailing Chris splashed through also. They followed a small stream, flowing from left to right, from a restricted inlet up a ten foot climb, down to a slot through which the water disappeared.

The total length of the new stuff is around 50m, the longest single length of active streamway yet found in the cave and both upstream and downstream limits look amenable to physical or chemical persuasion. If you want to work in this area, take a wetsuit, because the duck provisionally named "waterboys") is cold and we had to move quickly back to Twoways before we were warm again.

Alternatively, get Gavin to lead you to his dig in wonderful, glutionous mud: it Looks fun. The cave has something for almost everyone, except that it has limited scope for accountancy. Still, if you prefer immersion in water, or mud, to numbers, then it's worth a visit.
Tony Seddon


Where shall we meet?

Greetings Troglodytes! Many people have expressed disatisfaction with the current OUCC venue on Weds, most feel that NQLR is not a good place for a social meeting and is too far from the bar. St John's has been a very good place in the past, when we could get the Prestwich Rm for instance, and the Bar staff have been very good to us. Since we can't get the Prestwich room very often any more a lot of people seem to think we should try somewhere different. If anyone knows of a suitable college bar, preferably with a social room nearby in their college, please speak out - we need suggestions!

A Welsh tale...

Abandon all rational thought.
You are entering Powys
The Twilight Zone

It was a day like any other summers day in Wales, cloud hung low on Llangattock mountain. Having returned from a trip down Aggen Allwed the heroes of this strange tale set about changing into their dry clothes. exchanging the usual gay banter. Occasionally they could here a strangled cry carried in on the wind, a sheep masturbating perhaps but nothing to worry about.

But it soon became clear that the strange grunting was from a disgruntled local, masturbating perhaps. No he was protesting our presence or more specifically Dr Bown's nakedness (masturbating perhaps). It would appear we were trespassing (Get of moi land, perhaps not).

"Right! I've got your number plate, that's all I need to know.... are you members of this caving club?"; he pointed at White Walls
He looked disappointed and jotted something down.
"I've got the make of car"
"It's a Sierra" added Sherry, helpfully.
"You've seen the signs, you know you're not allowed to park here...we've had trouble here before with cavers getting changed. You'll be getting a summons."
"Have you got any witnesses?" wondered Mark
"I have, there's a 79 year old lady lives in that cottage down there, she brought my attention to you".

He glowered some more then stomped off to his holiday cottage. Well as we had three witnesses that he used offensive language in front of a young lady we were not overly worried about having our freedom taken from us and being thrown in the deepest darkest dungeon in Wales.

Having had enough of this strange behaviour, we repaired straightway to the comfy chairs in the Bear Hotel for a refreshing pint of shandy, and met up with a group from London we had last seen in the 1st boulder choke some hours earlier. They were already enlightened about the long running saga about cavers, locals and running water on Llangattock. Having finished our drinks we went and booked into the campsite. As we finished erecting our tents a well dressed and quietly spoken young man approached us in an obvious state of distress.

"Have you just arrived?"
"Well you better be careful. We were out for the day and we just got back and were setting up our bar-b-que when the woman told us to leave, gave no reason. We weren't making any noise, just told us to leave"

He wandered back to their tents and cars and few minutes later we watched them leave. As this peaceful convoy pulled out, a saloon car with two very clean mountain bikes and a white Ford van, they slowed as they approached the speed bumps and the woman in charge of the site stuck her head out of her office.

"New Age Travellers" she bellowed.

Jim Ramsden

Old Fart's Nature Notes Number 1 - The Mink.

I sat at the sump in Hurtle Pot
and I was thinking of not a lot
when a furry tlung swam up to the line
(and I have seen nothing like it for a very long time).
The only thing that looks like it, methinks
is the weasel's cousin called the mink.
It's bigger than a weasel and is black from head to toe
which is why it was a mink, I willingly do vow.
A muddy pool is a strange place to find a mink,
you might fmd one in a river, but not a resurgence or sink.
Still, the deeper they their burrows do build,
the less chance they have of being killed.