Depth through thought

OUCC News 14th June 1995

Volume 5, Number 16

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I have just been sent the new OUCC key to Draenen. The conditions for use are roughly as follows. You have to contact Tim Long at least two days before you plan to go, and get permission. This is usually a formality, but sometimes the MCC do restrict access (weekend of June 24th, for instance, it looks like we aren't allowed in because of the Cavers' Fair). Parties are restricted to 6, and the cave is not regarded as suitable for novices. You must sign in the book on entry, and sign out on exit. The lock may be changed without notice, and if it is then we lose the key (and the deposit). The key belongs to MCC, and they can recall it if anyone misbehaves...

Other courtesies are important as well. If you plan to "work" there, make sure people in MCC know where and why and when and what with. If you find something (new passage, or a bat), let Tim Long know within a few days. Anything you explore, you must survey to Grade 3 at least, and send Tim the survey notes. Get stuck in: Draenen is about to overtake Daren in length...

Spain '95


The van will be leaving on Wednesday 28th, two weeks to go. If you are planning on coming in the van can you get a cheque to Urs (OUCC Boca Del Joon Exp. 1995) for £75 each way a.s.a.p.? The ferry is booked from Newhaven at 22:30 but those travelling in the van should meet at the hut at midday. If you're flying out, or want stuff taken out in the van, leave it CLEARLY LABELLED in the hut. The van will be packed on Monday 26th. Can all those who can help meet at the hut from 10:30 onwards? Ta,


There's a possibility that the University has a cheap insurance scheme for members but (and Dave is finding this out) it is not known if the cover is adequate. So can people please get a cheque to Urs for the BCRA insurance cost according to the table below a.s.a.p. and then if the University scheme does prove O.K. you'll get money back? You also need to tell Dave the dates that you'll be out of the UK for, and coutries to be visited if this is non-standard.

Days out of UK non-BRCA 	BCRA
up to 8 	23.80 	  	19.50
9-17 		36.75 		30.00
18-25 		44.10 		37.30
26-31 		49.25 		41.50
32-42 		63.00 		52.50
43-61 		81.90 		69.25

If you are not a member of the BCRA and would like to join then it costs £18 plus £3 registration fee. As well as cheaper insurance it entitles you to cheaper admission at the conference, a years subscription to Caves and Caving, and Cave and Karst Science, and is thus a good thing. You need to tell Dave your full name and address (for publications) and add the cost onto your cheque and Dave should do the rest. If you are a member, remember to renew your membership a.s.a.p. and let Dave know your membership number. I hope this all makes sense, speak to Dave (01865 60132) if you want to know more (or about policy details).

Gear Order

Thanks to all those who helped out at gear mending on Saturday. It was a great success and a lot of work got done. Thanks too to Sharon and Urs for fixing the Force Tens and Slugs respectively. The rest of the gear order should be coming in this weekend so if people want their gear you'll have to make arrangements with me (james.hooper@, tel:01865 723057).
James Hooper

Expedition Party

There will be a pre-expedition party this Saturday at Dave's house at 8pm. (26 Burchester Ave., Barton). Bring booze. (John will be buying barrels at the post 1km party so spend all your money now.)
James Hooper

Dancing around a Maypole in St Giles

The day after the Mendip practice rescue saw me, Alex and James wandering around St Giles (the Oxford Northern extensions in Draenen that is), armed with a maypole, and not a posh spring frock between us. We'd had a look first at an aven in Galeria Garim

After doing a bit of taping along the Boulevard, we reached Peter Bolt's hole. It was about 4m up, & didn't look particularly inspiring. James fancied it though, & as soon as we had hoisted up the pole plus ladder, he was there. Well, I'm afraid to say Alex eventually reappeared at the bottom of the climb (which turned out to be 7m), and was characteristically up-beat about his find: "It's alright, but it's not quite head height in places. It carries on, though". So when James & I found ourselves surveying down the cascading streamway, it was a real pleasure. Every time we came to a side passage, a triangle was scratched and we carried on. With 150m in the book, the passage lowered to Breadfruit dimensions and sumped. Alas, it was 9pm on a Sunday night.
Chris Densham

My Weekend

I didn't go caving last weekend, but then that isn't to say that I didn't have anything to do with cavers... On Friday night, I arrived at New College School Gym intending to take part in the SRT rescue practise which had been organised. Instead I found that the plan had changed. We had been usurped by a bouncy castle and were to spend the evening fishing for bicycles in the Thames. Will, armed with rope, jammers and a pair of wellies, gained himself a bike, at the expense of someone who'd left theirs at the bottom of the Thames. While most of us enjoyed the spectacle, drank Guinness and listened to a band in what used to be the Queen's Arms, and is now an excellent Irish pub. Later as ever however we ended up drinking Vodka, and attempting to repeat OJ's "Sober Solo Naked Chair Squeeze," to his piano accompaniment...

The next morning we met again, this time for the A.C. Irvine interviews. Strangely it seemed that apart from Iain, we all wear better clothes for SRT practice than we do for interviews. And as the candidates before us came out brushing down their blazers, James wonders if we can hide the least respectable of us (me??) behind Iain and Anita. When we enter the room however, we're welcomed by a hardy looking explorer in pink/orange* T-shirt and orange/denim* shorts (* delete according to memory/taste) and feel somewhat more at ease.

After we've shared a bit of bullshit about C9's depth potential, and how we've given up on 2/7 (?), it was off to the hut for gear mending. This started off in very business like fashion but before long we'd found the cartons of wine. I don't remember too much of later that day, but I do remember Catherine's and Anita's bikes changing colour, as did Will and Urs's lips, and also the hut wall. Later on apparently we visited some pubs, but all I remember is a pool of Red Wine coloured vomit, in a gutter somewhere...

On Sunday it was the much looked forward to punt party. Well done Tom for travelling all the way from Liverpool to spend 20 mins on the river getting rained upon. Thankfully James had organised a BarbeQue, and we all went back to his house to shelter from the Oxford summer weather. After all the organisation James had put into making the punt party a success, he'd not quite managed to book a few hours sunshine. Still it was good to see Tom, Phil and Ditta, and if all else fails you can always go to the Harcourt Arms...
John "Sober as a ferret" Pybus