Depth through thought

OUCC News 31st May 1995

Volume 5, Number 14

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Last weekend's rescue practice was a sobering success, so thanks to James for his enthusiasm in organising it, for playing victim, and for choosing such an awesomely hideous venue (Lionel's Hole) to manoeuvre a stretcher through. Certainly, we all learnt how quickly things turn to chaos, and how slowly they recover, if the route finding is hard and no one knows the way. James and I chuckled to each other as we heard the rescue come and go in various parts of the boulder choke before anyone actually managed to locate us. I thought that the First Aid component of the exercise was is need to repair, but that the logistics of the hauling were well coordinated. In all, a rather different endeavour to last year, but just as valuable. Thanks to everyone who turned up.

Some other news tonight is that Chris, Alex and James found another 250 metres in Draenen on Sunday. Apparently, a maypole climb off St. Giles led to a pot into a small cascading stream way, and eventually to a sump. Congratulations to them.

SRT Rescue Practice

There will be an SRT rescue practice in New College Gym on Friday 9th June at 8pm, (unless anyone can think of a better venue). This will be a good chance to learn and pass on any skills that we'll hopefully never need and is bound to be followed by a pre-punt party party.
James "You can't choose where you get rescued from" Hooper


Oh Dear. Dear o dear o dear. I'm about to confirm your fears. On Wednesday of Eighth week (June 14) there will be a Spot-the-Grot competition. Can everyone please get a pair of their worst shreddies or caving articles to me before then (preferably washed)? There will be prizes available and forfeits if I don't receive anything. So close your eyes, block your nose and dig into that festering bag of expedition kit.
James "whiter than white" Hooper

Gear Order

I've now got stuff from Bat Prods and Dunlop. This can be collected from James' House (tel: 723057). The rest of the gear order will be in in a week or so. There will be a Cotswold Camping run during the week beginning 5 June. Please speak to James if your interested in going.
The techno-no-no-no-no Tweeb (remember)

Hell Part II

Wanted: some cave leaders to take novices from Brunel university caving in the Mendips on 10-11 June, that's two weekends time. Yes, I'm trying to organise this all over again, but this time it'll work, especially as I've had a trial run. We'll stay at the Wessex, and this time pink waterproofs are allowed so nothing can go wrong. Please help me out.
Pauline Rigby

Wanted: good home for old chair

I'm looking for somewhere to live either from end of August, or end of Sept. Does anyone know of nice houses with a room going spare later on?
Pauline Rigby

Valea Rea Cave: Part II

Following day (about Thursday) we went over that point where we finished surveying. Not too far from this point, there are some more fossil passages, too. We started to survey this passage. It's a wipe rift and its end is a big wall. Gemanata found a new small passage at the right side. While he and Kati were checking it I climbed up on the left side of the wall at the end and noticed there are more passages. I went back and we surveyed that small passage and a chamber at its end. It seemed we had finished the survey and I came out from the passage. I was sitting in a tackle bag and were waiting.... Much later Gemanata appeared at the top of the wall on the right side. He found a passage which leads to the wall, but it isn't so interesting. Afterwards he came back we had a "lunch" and surveyed the passages over the wall. Unfortunately they went back to the main passage. While we were surveying we found small, blue crystals on the wall in a chamber. These are celestines, very rare in caves and made of strontium-carbonate..

Gemanata said there was another maze needed to be surveyed above the main passage so we went there. On the way there, there is a chamber called Vatta which means "cotton wool". The walls are covered by gypsum crystals and there are long and tight crystals like a single hair. These are called "cotton wools". It might be gypsum but Kati hasn't been able yet to analyze it although she is an expert on analytical chemistry. So we started to survey and push that maze and we did it the following day, too. We found some new but short passages and chambers, usually closed by boulder chokes. There are lots of formations, celestines, gypsum and so on.. In a fossil passage the wall was so soft that you could put your finger into it.I almost broke my bam because I fell onto a rock. Awful feeling...

Our last exploring trip started on Thursday in the evening. At first we climbed up from the main passage and there were some passages with very nice dripstone formations. I found a rift and crawled into it but I turned back because there was a squeeze and I didn't want to destroy the formations. During the whole camp I felt I was a vandal. Sometimes you have to walk or climb on the formations.... Gemanata was the volunteer, destroyed some gypsum formations and discovered two small chambers with very beautiful clay formations. We had gone out from this part and checked the rest of this area and then surveyed it. There were a side stream, a huge dripstone wall and some fossil meander- almost in the same territory. After we had finished this work we went to a side passage that is near to the end point of the cave.

We were climbing between huge dripstone formations and we found an upper passage which was so tight and there was another side stream. After we had surveyed it we went back to the main passage and left towards the end point. We had a rest and while Kati and me were eating, Gemanata found some new, fossil passages. We watched it, too but he said it wasn't worth surveying it.

We were almost at the end point but there was a waterfall. Unfortunately, meanwhile the watertable rose and you could hardly climb on that waterfall. My suits were dry and I was tired so I rather stayed above the waterfall, while Kati and Gemanata went down, argued and got specimen from the water. Unfortunately the watertable was too high so they couldn't do anything else there. We turned back and surveyed those non-worth passages....

When we arrived at the bivouac we met three other cavers, Dalma, Gyuri and Zsolti, who came for the weekend. We had "lunch" (it was about early afternoon on Friday) and after it Kati and Gemanata took them for a trip. As for me I stayed in my warm, comfortable sleeping bag....

Suddenly (about 14 hours later) Gemanata woke me up and said we had to get up, so we had breakfast, packed the tackle bags and left. So we three and Zsolti left the cave on Saturday afternoon, after a terrible trip on the stream. Dalma and Gyuri stayed to make a photo trip. The water table was so high, everyone got totally wet without falling.

On the surface we noticed that a lot of snow had melted although it was still too much. The way back was easier only the first part was awful, I always sank into the snow, maybe because I have too small feet. I could see the middle of the tower on the way, it showed obviously how much snow melted. We arrived at the car after dark. While Kati and Gemanata went to get water specimen from a spring we were drinking beer in a bar........