Depth through thought

OUCC News 9th October 1996

Volume 6, Number 19

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Tales from Yorkshire continue this week (with apologies to those of you who didn't see a hard copy of DTT last week).

This weekend is the Draenen Management Committee meeting, so if you have any opinions please talk them through with Chris Densham, OUCC's representative.

Nobby writes...

I thought I would jump on this new address bandwagon thing: This year Will, Olly and I can be found at 53 Cranham St. ( Jericho ), or phoned on 510354.

Meanwhile, we're very short of enthusiastic helpers for Freshers' Fair, so anyone with time on their hands on Thursday or Friday could do worse than pop down the exam schools for a couple of hours. Please? I'll bully you all about this tomorrow night anyway.

Yorkshire Tales

Voted "Best caving weekend for sometime" by the participants This referred to the Saturday 28.9.96 bumbling trip by Joan, Phil + Ditta +Rona, Sara + Luke, Dave, John, Tom, Jo and Sharon. An alternative name for this mode of enjoying oneself might be to use the literary reference "Bunbury trip" or "Bunburying" from Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" - the hero always refers to his friend Bunbury when he wants to go off enjoying himself. Anyway, put off by the atrocious rain, the participants first went to Middleham Castle, which had quite a few holes and climbs to amuse cavers, plus a heraldic statue of Richard III. After that the first refreshment stop of the day in Middleham for lunch and booze. Next we moved down the road to Jervaulx Abbey, a pleasant ruin, which had scaffolding and more holes. Cavers were with difficulty deterred from knocking off signs "DANGER Stonemasons working overhead" (for use in a dig) and "This is a hard hat area" (to adorn a suitable cave). The best venue of the day was the tour of the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham, see URL plus more booze.

The return trip was over the tops in wind and lashing rain via Lofthouse, Pateley Bridge (Nidderdale), Grassington (Wharfedale), Malham (Airedale) and Stainforth (Ribblesdale) to be back in Chapel-le-Dale by dark, a round trip of well over 100 miles.
John Wilcock

Berger Antidote

The night of Nicola's wake was wild, windy and very wet. Suitably fortified with some ace nosh on Sat night, a vague plan was floated to drag Pivo down a classic Yorkshire pot on Sunday. Finally gear & motivation was got together for a trip down Swinsto (OK, so not much imagination). Except Pivo had run off to do the waterfall walk, sensible fellow that he is. So that left me, Martin May and Rebecca Lawson ( Ex Cambridge Speleologist like me with enough wrinkles to be allowed in the Berger) for the trip.

The day was only moderately unpleasant, but Kingsdale was awash from the rain on Saturday night. There was loads of water flowing down Swinsto and we had a great sporty trip, sloshing our way down the pitches and freeclimbs. It got more and more impressive, until we reached the climb down just beyond where Simpson's joins in. The huge cataract of water going over the climb was obviously No Go, so back we went (good job we had decided against a pull through!).

As soon as we started to head out, we realised the cave was filling up even more. Great jets of water were spraying out from everywhere - most of the climbs involved getting several bucket loads of water straight down the neck of your oversuit. Except for Mr May, who bounced along in his wetsuit enjoying it all immensely. The top half of the main pitch looked decidedly intimidating (especially for the Berger battered Becka & me), but Martin stilled our 'lets sit it out for a bit' voices by disappearing straight up into froth-on-a-rope. The pitches were rigged away from the water but some of the take-offs were still pretty hard work against the flow. By the time we reached the first pitch the flood pulse had abated, & the surface was just the same as when we entered. For a Sunday down Swinsto it was a spectacular trip, particularly when seen from the outside. Perhaps Pivo had the right idea though.
Chris Densham

French Gear?

After the wake WE there was a tacklebag of gear belonging to the French cave rescue that I was meant to bring back to France. Unfortunately I left it in the hut at the bottom of the stairs. Did anyone pick it up - we must make arrangements for it to get back to France.
Graham Naylor