Depth through thought

OUCC News 12th November 1997

Volume 7, Number 14

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All of you who promised (or vaguely agreed) to provide stuff for the OUCC Proceedings 14, please could you now help speed along its provision. Because (he said rather sheepishly) things might actually be progressing....

SRT Practice

There will be an SRT practice this Friday evening from 7pm at New College School Gym on Saville Road (off Mansfield Road). All are welcome whether you want to try out the techniques for the first time or practice your blind folded knot passes.


Having found out how to spell 'ceilidh' its now my job to remind you about Harvey's birthday party this Saturday. If you are going from Oxford can you let me know so that I can sort out the van if required. Cheers,

PartLy Cei idh

But by the end of Sat night many of us will be totally Ceilidh, and ready to party through to Sunday morning. In fact, with over a hundred guests, a live Irish band, loud stereo equipment and no time limit it's going to be a pretty mega bash!

So, Oxford cavers, make sure you get that minibus filled, and up to Solihull on Saturday evening, to prove that the OUCC party spirit is as alive in Oxford as it is amongst the seasoned veterans coming down from up North. Lets show the novices what OUCC is REALLY about!

Oh yeah, and don't forget to bring loads of food & booze.

Dallimore's' Rescue

Dallimore's Cave's turning chamber claimed another victim a few weeks ago! A team from Southampton University Cave Club thought they might have a go at the Curious Love Extensions, so lovingly pushed by Tim, Gavin, Pauline and others in the club several years ago. The victim (his name was Neil - I met him in South Wales at the weekend, and he has very long legs! - ed.) apparently got went in head first and got into trouble in the turning chamber. Not being happy, he tried then to reverse back up the slope to exit the series, and failed. He ended up upside-down in a position Pauline will remember so well. After an hour, someone went off to call the rescue. An hour after calling the rescue, with no action evident, a second 999 call was placed. This time the operator, having taken details, asked "now what do I do?". Another hour, and extraction of unfortunate caver was underway - he was passed a rope and helped himself reverse up the turning chamber slope to safety. The rescue team were apparently in the Hunters shortly after for the traditional liquid lunch.

Welsh Politics

Many thanks to all those who have offered money for the Pwll Du Cave Management Group coffers - total pledges were 90 pounds. This is just about the right amount for us to offer for the privilege of staying on-board with the Coal Board. I'll be on the scrounge tonight to make good your generous offers.

While the club was enjoying itself in Draenen this Sunday, I dabbled in the cave politics. Much more tiring than caving, I can assure you! The productive things that came out of the meeting were decisions to:

The less productive parts of the meeting involved enduring with as much humour as possible a series of complaints about surveys, survey data, minutes of meetings, reports in Descent and 'Cataclysmic Breakdowns' between the Gd 5 surveyors and everyone else. If you hold any CSS Gd 5 survey data then J.S. would like to hear from you. That's you told.
Chris Densham

Wales Weekend

A clusterfuck was in the offing. I'd awoken on Saturday morning in a rotten caravan overlooking some Welsh moorland. I'd joined Tim at the Morgannwg Cave Club's annual shindig at the Lamb and Fox and was beginning to regret it. A stinking hang-over and no idea where or when the Van Rouge would turn up, who would be in it, and what they wanted to do. Things were beginning to pick up after a greasy breakfast in Abergavenny, and a plan was hatched to head to the SWCC hut at Penwyllt via the Dragonman for maximum tea drinking. This was pretty sound since the van (Andy, Lev, Mark, Brendan, Emma and Ken) was there already. We'd persuaded Ben and Lou to come along as they seemed optimistic about route finding in OFD, then Martin Laverty and a pal (Martin) turned up from Cardiff, so 12 of us set off for Top Entrance.

The plan was to seek out a cunning route into the Chasm, then have an exchange between the Nave and Maypole inlet. Inevitably chaos ensued. Exchanges like "Do you know your way through the Labyrinth?" "No!", hardly inspired confidence. Couldn't find the cunning route, but contrived a fairly exposed traverse over some bottomless to get to the Chasm anyway. The party split with Ben leading me, Andy, Emma and Brendan through Edward's Shortcut, via some really pretty bits to Maypole inlet. The fixed ladder was sportingly wet and the main-stream looked distinctly dodgy. Even the sight of Tim's party wading up to us could not tempt us in, though Tim falling off the climb out of the stream was pretty entertaining. In contrast to the route finding fiasco on the way in a swift and efficient exit was made.

Sunday's trip was down Draenen. The start of the day was far from auspicious as Brendon, Emma, Ken and Mark disappeared over the hillside as soon as Andy and Lev's backs were turned, but this gave us ample excuse for a swift pint. I'd never been up Gilwern Passage and this seemed an ideal opportunity. The entrance was wettish, and we were fortunate to run into a party on their way out of Gilwern who gave me some top tips on finding the way through the boulder choke at the end of Gilwern. Andy's party had no trouble in finding their way into White Arch passage which was a pity as they were looking for the main stream. Nevertheless they had a fine trip up through Megadrive as far as the Chapel. Back up Gilwern there were some lovely formations, though showing considerable signs of distress. Brendon encountered his first squeeze in the boulder choke, which was well worth it as Forever Changed beyond is a fine passage. There was a fair bit of water in the stream flowing into Breadfruit Boulevard so we gave the duck a miss, and got out in time for a mild telling off for being late. Nice trip and well worth a latish return to Oxford. JC