Depth through thought

OUCC News 25th October 1995

Volume 5, Number 20

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This week's DTT is mostly filled with the prophylactic (as opposed to prolific) ramblings of our man at Queen's (who is not John, although he too qualifies for this distinction of course). Even the editorial is based on James own words, just slightly rearranged. Apologises to Maarten, whose contribution got electronically mangled.

SRT Practice

The first of this year's SRT practice sessions, (to learn about abseiling, caving equipment and general ropework) will probably take place on Friday week (i.e. November 3rd), at New College School gym. If your interested in caving in Yorkshire, or in abseiling, etc. then it's a good idea to come along. This year they'll be at the earlier time of 7-9, so that we'll have plenty of time to go to Rosy O'Grady's, my favourite Oxford Irish pub, where there's a live folk band playing. Let James know if you're interested.

A.C. Irvine Reports

All those who received money from the A.C. Irvine fund to go to Spain (most undergraduates received £210) need to write a report on the expedition, to be handed in to Gillian Sills at Engineering on or before 1st November. (Hey Bill! Yes, Ben? Can you count the number of prepositions used in the preceding sentence? Shutup Ben). It goes without saying that it's worth doing a good job on this, and let's face it, there's loads to write about. Still its more presentation that counts, I reckon. Last year I wrote four sides of A4. Also, there'll be a slide show evening at St. Catz on Friday 17th November, where all people from the University that got money will talk about their holiday experiences.

Draenen Update

Last week's news is that Draenen (a new cave found last year) is longer than Aggy. This week's news, straight from the cavers themselves is Big Country. On Saturday Pete Bolt and 3 cavers banned from the BEC returned to do some surveying near the Oxford Southern Extensions. A mere minutes digging in the north of Gone in the Years broke through to a series of crawls and small chambers heading east. One tube then popped out into the side of a huge chamber. To the left was blackness. To the right, the same. The chamber was in reality a large passage, Big Country that continues south for over one kilometre. The Blorenge has been opened up. Big Country. Pete B. just walked around on Sunday, repeating it over and over again. His second biggest find ever. (After the initial breakthrough). Debate broke out as to whether its bigger than the Time Machine! The passage carries a stream, with five unexplored inlets, but ends in a huge boulder choke. Pete reckons that the cave is now 32k long, but with the new leads it could soon be 34k. And Oxford should be there. I sort of volunteered us for a surveying/taping (and oh let's look at this lead) type trip on Sunday. Anyone interested???

Swildon's Survey

After 3 decades, the new Swildon's survey is now on sale, costing £5. It is smaller than the old survey, and has been well produced by the Wessex, giving details on the history of exploration. Sadly, for romantic fools such as me, it has been metricated (40 foot pot ---> 8 foot pot ---> 2.6m pot, Hmmmm). Still, all bedrooms should have one.
(What, an 8 foot pot ? Ed)

A Mendip Weekend

Having been away from caving for three weeks (and away from Swildon's for months), I was as keen as most to go to the Hunter's and then on to Priddy Green. No surprise there. (For your diaries, and as a cheap birthday plug, I managed to book a back room in the Hunter's for the 6th December). In all 18 new members of OUCC went caving this weekend. On Saturday Catherine and I showed Natasha, Amy and Raph the way down to the first Mud Sump. Water levels were low and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, though I think it's safe to say that British caves are not like American ones. We got out for a glorious sunset and settled for a pizza stop in Biniger. An excellent pub for those after caving munchies (though the Guinness is terrible). The day was so good that I couldn't quite face returning to Oxford. As luck would have it, I seemed to have a sleeping bag and a bottle of vodka in my backpack. Oh dear.... I was dropped off in Green Ore to be met almost immediately by Zot from the B.E.C. "Where're ye goin' lad??"

Novice trip Sunday 22 Oct.

On Sunday eight novices turned up for their first trip down Swildon's, and no one too early because of the clock being changed! Quite quickly all were kitted up although many were missing some bits on their bum. After an uneventful journey to the Hunters', Pip and Joanne, who were really keen, could continue with them further towards Sump 1. Us three went out quite well, and Nicole managed to do so mainly under her own steam. Since Charlie and Tom more or less outran James and Knobby (!) they were out before the big group, who were obviously slowed down because they were now with 8 people. Great time, and I think we will see some of the novices back on another trip. Thanks to all the leaders and those providing gear without bums.
Maarten Krabbendam

The Van Man Frowns

The Van Man would like to point out that looking after the van is quite enough of a job without:

After a trip please

I can usually give you a lift back into town if you are stuck (though buses run into town from Wolvercote every 10-15 mins till quite late).
Steve Roberts