Depth through thought

OUCC News 29th October 1997

Volume 7, Number 13

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Apologies to Nobby for disobeying his countermand to avoid publishing his letter but, well, what the hell.

The PDCMG meets on November 9th, so if you have anything you would like raised about Draenen or pineapples then please let Chris Densham, our representative, know before then.

AC Irvine Fund

Just a reminder for all those who received money from the AC Irvine Fund to go to Spain this year that, now is the time to be writing your reports. They must be submitted to Dr Sills in Engineering by the 1st Nov (Saturday of 3rd week).
Fleur Loveridge

Cheap gear

This Thursday there will be the following discounts available at the YHA (by the Plain) if you can show your a student/club affiliated .

up to #50 - 15% off up to #100 - 20% off over #100 - 25% off

If people want to buy stuff as a group let me know and I'll try and organise it ( I'm planning on getting a 50 rucksack so it shouldn't be too hard to get the full 25%).
Andy King


1) Anagram: CDEHIIL Free sausage roll to all those who can solve this riddle (presented on November 15th). Answers on a post card please - to Harvey Smith, 42 Burman Rd, Shirley, B90 2BG.

2) For any cavers, old and new, not going to Wales on the 8th November, you are cordially invited to an stomptastic party to celebrate my 21st birthday. The party starts at 8pm in Lincoln College, Lower Lecture Room. There'll be music, dancing and lots of reproductive-potential-destroying squeezes. Please bring booze and come dressed as someone from ANOTHER CONTINENT (and any traditional caving music you'd like to be played).

There'll also be a picnic boozy type feast (bring food and booze to share) on the Angel and Greyhound Meadow, meeting at Queen's Lodge at 1pm - if it rain's we'll be in the Queen's College, Old Taberdars Room.
Keith Hyams.

Journals for sale

The Club library has some copies of "Caves & Caving" surplus to requirements. They are an incomplete run from number 25 (Aug 1984) to number 72 (summer 96); all in good though not pristine shape. The missing numbers are 26, 33, 34, 40, 46, 54, 55, 61. I make that 39 copies in all. £20 the lot; help support the OUCC library !

There is also an incomplete run of "Cave Science" / "Cave & Karst Science": 14.3 (Dec 87) to 22.3 (Dec 95). Missing 15.1, 16.1, 18.3, 18.3, 20.1, 21.3, 22.2. No reasonable offer refused.

Other library news: the latest "Speleo abstracts" came with a CD-rom index to all abstracts 1989-96. So for that in-depth (ha!) Cave Literature Search, you know where to come.
Steve Roberts

Letters to the editor

Freshers' choice

I was approached by a young woman at Freshers' Fair recently, and she seemed keen to join the club. Suddenly she recoiled in horror. No, it seems it wasn't the thought of claustrophobia or any of the usual excuses as she exclaimed ""I thought it said Oxford University Rave Club". Well, there is always Mendip madness....
Jo Whistler

Letter from Poland

Sorry, I am still alive. I was abducted but by a job not aliens, but now I have more time. If you can give my new e-mail address to others it will be nice. I heard news from the last Picos' expedition. OUCC look for new areas for caving. Unfortunately, polish area in Picos (beyond the ridge) is "under exploration". In last two years they found and explored a few deep caves (1* >900m and 2*>700m depth). If you want any contact with them - "no problem". I think you should stay in Picos. If any one says that your area is finished is not true. An example: Old French cave (A-1) in polish areas is deeper than 900m now (for last 30 years the depth of this cave was ~300m). Maybe you should use a more sophisticated techniques of exploration (boom!, diving, etc.), but is still enough to explore, I think. I think ideas to go somewhere in Yugoslavia or Albania is crazy. You have only one life.

Maybe you want visit Poland in winter. This year the weather in mountains will be very interesting (lot of snow, low temperatures, ...) Winter caving will be very interesting for many newcomers in OUCC.
Wlodek (

Ultimate Draenen Tourist Trip

Caving with the Hungarians appealed to a sense of adventure, enthusiasm for fostering international relationships and the desire to skive work on a Friday. With minimal prior warning 11 Hungarians had descended on South Wales with the plan of a trip down Draenen (aka most beautiful cave in world (Densham pers comm)) but with only one leader in the form of Moha who had got pretty much involved in the early exploration but knew little of the new (i.e. Oxford) stuff. Me and Chris duly volunteered our services.

Caving the Hungarian Way

We divided into an 'extreme' team (their words not ours) of Chris, me, Attila (real name), Baloo (the bear), Fugee, Balasz (interested in formations) and Csaba (stiffed upper lip) for Dollimore's and a less extreme team for sitting in the sun, drinking in the Lamb and Fox and having a look at the big passages near the entrance. With national pride at stake, the extreme team set off at a fair pace, and were in Megadrive in next to no time.

You're not Singing anymore.

Things got quieter and quieter as we approached the breakthrough to Dollimore's, but everyone was suitably impressed when we hit the big stuff to gauge by the swift increase in volume. The plan was to visit Circus Maximus, then Luck of the Draw and finally come out via the round trip. The Circus was fantastic. Absolutely fabulous formations really well protected. Many thanks to whoever relaid the tapes to produce nice viewing platforms. Chris had been one of the original explorers, who had been pretty much blown away by what they found, so much so that they failed to spot a few interesting digs, which will be worth a return.

Who ate all the Pies?

I had my own lardy incident, forcing myself through a squeeze into some dig which I could not physically reverse. No worries as there was enough room to turn round and dig my way out. Duly fortified we checked out Luck of the Draw as far as Medusa's children then on our way out. The round trip seemed less appealing as time was getting on so we left it and were out by midnight. Nice trip and a mini-sesh back at WhiteWalls. The surveyors have now ticked off Killer Tomato, Circus Maximus and some of Sleepcrawler so we'd better find something new to occupy them.
JC and CJD