Depth through thought

OUCC News 2nd October 1996

Volume 6, Number 18

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Outside, the Yorks weekend was a washout, but inside it was crowded, warm, well provisioned and friendly. Thanks to all those who helped out and organised things. Pivo, who came all the way from Budapest for the weekend, sends a special message of thanks to all the OUCC cavers who have shown him such generosity and friendship recently.

Expedition Dinner

This year's expedition dinner will be in Wales on 23rd November, with accommodation at the WSG hut in Penderyn. Should be a good laugh, so let Pauline know if you want to go.

Expedition Report

This year's expedition report promises to be a very fine publication, and should be finished this month. If anyone would like to order a copy extra (you didn't go on expedition, or you did but you want one in the outside toilet too) please let Pauline know because it will help in production planning.

A walk in the hills.

"Let's go and do Little Hull", I suggested to Bruce and Chris (the Henley on Thames Potholing & Croquet Club), "I haven't been done there for a few years...". Bruce had been there about 10 years ago, and we sold a "good trip" to Chris. We glanced at the guidebook to confirm our vivid memories of its location: "up the track, through a gate, track turns right, head up the fell straight on, it's on the top". Yup.

2 hours later, we were saying things like "Well, it is a long walk; you always forget how long a walk it is, don't you...". The awful moment dawned when well behind me, over my shoulder through the mist, I saw Pen-y-Ghent receding into the distance. I hailed some passing Pennine-wayers, and stole a look at their map (it was not to be the last time this happened). Reader, if you set off to do Little Hull, make sure you start off on the correct section of the Pennine way out of Horton.

Right, back to Sell Gill, turn left up the hill, and head for Hull Pot. Trudge trudge trudge. Bastard Motorcycle scramblers. Aha! an entrance. Bruce persuades me it's not there but over there instead. Trudge trudge trudge. We ask more walkers for a look at their map. By now the map in "Northern caves" is a hazy distant memory of no use. "Could it be one of those over there ?" says Bruce. At this stage, all I can reply is "Frankly, I couldn't give a shit", especially as I have just seen Hull Pot behind us. Bugger.

Back to "my" entrance. It's not an entrance at all. But hooray, Chris had found one by the wall. Looks just right, stream going into a low wide crawl. Pity about the dead rabbit in it. I set off. My light immediately fails. Out.

Wrapping the cable so that it doesn't internally short out results in a steady light and my head being pulled back over my right shoulder. Okay, lets go. crawl crawl crawl. Ummmmm.... could that be daylight ahead ? Out after fifty feet, and I walk back over the top to where Bruce and Chris are getting ready. They look at me aghast and I collapse into helpless giggles. A walker looks over the wall and suggests that I am not in a fit mental state to go underground.

We all do the through trip and find a way on! Not exactly the Berger. Through the "pathetic gallery of the starless dribble", over "the tiny pebble pile", past "the hall of the 1", and finally down "mild drizzle" climb to the "1000mm inlet" and the terminus. The walk down was enlivened by myco-agricultural collections.
Steve Roberts

Great Douk

In typical Yorkshire fashion, it was absolutely tipping it down on Sunday, so Alison, Fleur (who wanted a wet easy trip to wash her oversuit) and I (displaying rather too much cleavage) set off down Great Douk. It was fun and splashy but extremely wet; the stream was very strong, resulting the next day in a knowledge of precisely which muscle in your leg you use for lifting up your leg forward to knee height (it's the one just above and behind your knees, on the outside of your leg, for anyone who is burning with curiosity).

Going up the cascades was interesting, but not as fun/scary (delete as appropriate) as when we came back down them again and the volume of water had increased, making slipping a real and dangerous possibility. One bit was steep and I didn't like it. So I sat down in the stream torrent, stretched my legs out and allowed myself to slide forwards a couple of feet, so that my legs hit the wall in front. For one glorious moment I sat there, with the pressure on my legs more than anything I've ever experienced, as all the water pressed on me, going around, up and over my head, making me feel like a peacock.

On the way out we met the CRO, which confused us at first, we thought there couldn't possibly be someone being rescued in Great Douk. No, they were just checking the cave out to see what it was like in flood conditions, and one happened to be wearing his oversuit with CRO on it. They were a little surprised to see us, maybe they thought we were nuts to get so wet? They were probably right.
Sharon Curtis

For Sale

Some caving equipment of Nicola Dollimore's has been returned from France. I have been asked to find good homes for it; the best thing to do seems to be to offer it for sale, money to the Dollimore Berger-improving fund. So far I have a wetsuit (two piece) an oversuit, a helmet and some SRT gear, all in good shape. The clothing would suit someone female, about 5 foot 4, of medium build (i.e. Maarten need not apply!). If interested, contact Steve Roberts.

Skiing in Romania

Is anyone interested in going skiing near Sibiu, Romania this new year? I visited the area last January with Steffi, Katinka and a coach full of University students from Budapest. Needless to say, a good time was had by all. It will cost about 200 pounds plus flights, including all ski equipment hire and accommodation. There may even be a little caving thrown in to help you unwind from those hard days in a comfy hotel with hot and cold running snow. Contact Chris Vernon (01628) 662643

Address Change

Sharon Curtis now lives at.

6 Broughton Close,
OX3 0RQ.