Depth through thought

OUCC News 29th May 1996

Volume 6, Number 15

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There's a comment from Tom Houghton on the rescue practice this week (yes, he's a real doctor), and lots of stories from the Yorkshire weekend.

Come on, get those remaining Proc articles in....

Rescue Practice: a reply

Blimey! Very impressive. Steve makes the point about the rescuee's head flopping about in the stretcher. It might be a good idea to include a cervical collar in the rescue kit. These tend to be bloody great neck-shaped lumps of urethane and aluminium, but you can get varieties made of stiff foam which can be rolled out flat and bundled in with the stretcher. Not perfect, but better than nothing. Make enquiries of your local friendly casualty department or ambulance service. It might be worth putting one on any casualty, regardless of injury, if your stretcher doesn't include some sort of built-in head restraint. A casualty with a lower limb injury may have sustained a 'quiet' neck injury as a result of the fall, and even if they haven't it can't be much fun to be trussed up and hauled out of a cave with your head flapping about like a donkey's scrotum. See Ya,
Tom Houghton.

Ramblings from the chair

Thanks to everyone who came along to last weeks TGM and helped to get through everything reasonably quickly and efficiently. For those of you who weren't there here's a quick resumé of some of the things talked about:

One final thing, there were some passionate pleas by Meet's Secs past and present to treat them well, and try to repay all the effort they put into getting things organised by offering to help where you can. Right chairs hat off, now for some caving write ups ....
John "No it isn't a lampshade, honest" Pybus

Old Lags' weekend in Yorkshire

Last weekend provided a welcome relief from the run up to finals. We left Oxford in the rain behind and made our way, via overloaded platefuls of grease at Cannock, to Southerscales. It hadn't been raining (for a change) in Yorkshire, so all the trips people had assumed would be rained off were in fact still on.

The next morning I ended up on a trip with Richard Gregson, and Dani. We had been going to do Juniper, but enthusiasm for that soon dropped so Link was decided upon as a suitable substitute, so we headed for Bull Pot Farm. Whilst walking over to Link Richard and Dani noticed that no one was down Lancaster so, outvoting me, the trip was changed to Waterfall Passage. It was a part of the cave that I'd never seen, the only other time I'd been that way was when horribly lost with Will, looking for Fall Pot!

The caving was enjoyable, a gentle reintroduction to Yorkshire caves. And it was whilst in the classically Yorkshire Waterfall Passage streamway that I discovered that Richard had matriculated at the same college as me - the year before I was born. Back on the surface, we had a ridiculously easy change. The weather was warm, and Richard produced fold out chairs to sit on while the kettle boiled in his camper van.

On Sunday, I didn't feel like a Brown Hill trip, so joined those doing a pull through in Simpson's (Urs, Nicola D, Richard Gregson, and Graeme on his second trip having come along with Urs' cousin Suzanne ) Everyone enjoyed the trip, apart from Richard spending an hour stuck at slit pot. Graeme discovered that caving is indeed the best hangover cure possible, and that abseiling is great fun.

Jim, Sara and Dave Horsley had been into Valley Entrance and left us a ladder. Although several other trips had come along and added their own by the time we got there, and everything was rather tangled.

When we got to the surface, our planned Grade 1 change next to Richards Camper wasn't to be. We were caught in a particularly vicious shower which didn't die down until we were all inside, drinking Tea and Nicola's Whisky - There are some definite advantages to Caving with Old Lags.

Black Shiver

Olly and I had a long standing mission. To bottom the pot. But first we dedicated ourselves to bimbling in Ingleton and sampling cider in Southerscales, till the middle of the afternoon. We were joined by Martin from the Bradford, who is planning to come to Spain this summer. Suffering from four hours sleep I asked Martin, who had done the cave before, how many hangers and maillons he thought we would need. I was somewhat surprised as he made a pile of all the remaining ones we had left (about 25). "So how far will this get us?" With his infectious laugh he replied, "About to the top of the fourth pitch." Hmmm. I scraped a few hangers together chucked in a few wires and tapes and thought "Sod it."

The cave starts off with four short pitches with crawling in between. Olly hadn't really done much rigging before but competently managed to rig the first few pitches, using lots of naturals. I carried on in this vein with nice wire belays etc. It really is a pleasant cave. Not too wet but enough water to make it enjoyable. Before long we got to the top of the big pitch, Black Rift (p82). Olly rigged the top half before I joined him half-way down and did the last bit. Its been ages since I did a decent sized pitch and I loved every minute of it. At the bottom, the cave becomes much more friendly. A fun cascading streamway with the odd climb and a pitch into the spacious North Chamber. It was here I realized I had carried down about 15 hangers and maillons too many. Hmmm. Martin is a SECRET SRT FREAK and was sort of expecting silly pointless traverse lines..... Still he enjoyed himself and, I think, we pretty much converted him to sensible rigging. He'll be a great member of expedition. We derigged efficiently, singing and joking. Thanks to Olly for suggesting the trip. An excellent day that was about to become much better....
James "What's a rigging guide?" Hooper.

Brownhill Brownhill...

It happened again. On Sunday morning after four hours sleep I woke up still tipsy at 8am. and jumped into a "teashop in Ingleton escape pod." Back to Southerscales where Steve and I endeavoured to enthuse people to help derig Brownhill. We wanted five people on the trip but ended up with three: us and William Stead. We got down to the sump in an hour and twenty for a ceremonial toilet stop. I do like this cave. Loads of variety, formations, a big pitch, squeezes, climbs, a sporting streamway. I grapped the diving bottle that's been there for years and that I've been dreaming of carrying for the last 9 months. It was nice to hear that familiar bang, clang, clang, ting, ping, clang again.

Bill derigged as Steve and I made up new words to the YMCA song. - "Old fart, there's a place you can go, It's the Berger, it's easy you know, when you're forty or fifty or so..... Old fart, you know the Berger's the game, You can do it, with your Zimmerframe, When you're ninety, you can do it again....." As we got nearer the surface, the gear we were carrying increased to stupid, heroic proportions. The last half-hour was a bit of an epic as I carried a bottle, a tacklebag, chained ropes and two prussik bags. Typically it was then that my hangover really started to set in. We were greeted by rain and clag at the entrance and plodded down the bleak hillside with satisfied grins. A fast change and then Guinness in the Marton Arms.
James "Let's do it" Hooper.