Depth through thought

OUCC News 27th October 1999

Volume 9, Number 19

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Presumably lots of people went caving this weekend, but noone has sent in reports so this week's DTT is full of poetry instead. Just to remind you then that this is your organ, so to speak, so if you want to read about caving then send in stuff about caving. Anyone is welcome to write, and the deadline is 5pm on Wednesday evening. E-mail is best.

Richard Parkin is trying to start up a University Free Flying Club (Hang gliding and Paragliding to you), and is contacting punters of other adrenalin sports to see if anyone is interested. So if you'd like to fly over the top of the Blorenge as well as burrow underneath it, contact, or ask me what it's like


I found a computer poetry generator on the web at and fed it "Beneath the Mountains". This is what it came up with:

Beneath the Teresa Series. above.
an incredibly long way to Yorkshire
Simon was beginning to the ways.
Simon was late his finger moved further up there.
must be careful...

Lev Bishop

Meet News

Many thanks to everyone who helped out with the intro day trips. I hope to see some new faces on Wednesday nights. Now the club van is better, so it will be available for the intro weekend this weekend, at the MCG in Mendip. We will need plenty of leaders, so if anyone is interested let me know...

To clear up any confusion, the dates for Yorkshire weekends this term are 5-7 and 26-28 Nov, there was a mistake in the termcard. I'd also like to confirm that Bull Pot Farm is booked for us 27th Dec to 2nd Jan. Come along, it's bound to be THE millenium do.
Rich Doyle

Can't do numbers...

As the observant may have noticed, the end of 7th week (Yorkshire meet) is 26-28 November, not 19-21 as stated in the termcard. And it's the 7 that was right. -
Hilary Greaves


As anyone anywhere Oxford hopefully knows, the hallowe'en party has been postponed till next week. I still don't know where yet, so I'll send an email round nearer the time. Wherever it is, appropriately silly attire and lots of alcohol will be obligatory. -
Hilary Greaves

Good Head from Steve and Chris

"uuurghh - it's going all over the place - more bog roll!" - slurp , grind - "how's your end feel?" - "Pretty pockmarked, I'll give it some more lube and a good seing to..." - "yuk, I hate licking the rubber" - "well try using paraffin, then" - "hmmmm, much better, it really sticks when you spin it round" - "I like your tweaking technique, but I'll stick to the between-the-hands methods" - "Ok, just pass me the coarse carborundum paste"

!! carborundum paste ???

Fear not, this scene involved only U-certified engineering components. No animals were injured or disturbed in the above scene. (Any more than they were already). valve.jpg (12988 bytes)

The White Van lives again, after only about 6 person-days of work, a fair sum of money and several major new components (like a new cylinder head). It would have been ready for Sunday, except for a minor cock-up on my part - the initial assembly had the middle two cylinders' plug leads swapped, so it was only running on two barrels. Not spotted till Sunday morning as it ran smoothly and nearly as well on 1000 good cc's as previously on 2000 rather crap ones!

If Tim manages it, a picture of the offending item (burnt out exhaust valve) is attached. Not shown is the completely cracked-up cylinder head that contained it, as (a) it would squash the scanner (b) it's been thrown in the skip. The valve had been on the way out for some time, as its adjuster had been moved all the way to the limit by some previous owner in a vain attempt to compensate for the horrors happening within.

It should now be fine, but take it steady. 60 mph max, please, and report ANY suspicious noises or "not running well" feelings to me immediately, so it can be checked over and if necessary fixed before the next weekend. ps - thanks to Chris and Jo for giving up whole days of their time to help 
Steve Roberts

The Power Breather (TM)...

While driving to Yorkshire at the weekend I was intrigued by radio reports of the latest fad to sweep British athletes and sportspeople - power breathing. The idea is to exercise your breathing muscles by breathing through a resistance valve. "There's no other exercise to strengthen these muscles" said the resident expert. "It really works" said some bloke who tows jumbo jets around for a hobby. Apparently even the England rugby team are using them to warm up so it must be a good idea.

Well, never wanting to miss an opportunity to push back the bounds of modern speleology I wasted no time in identifying the cheap caver's alternative. All you need is a muddy pool of water and a short length of hose. Place one end of the hose in the water and the other end at a lower altitude (this is important). Now simply breathe in through the lower end of the hose for as long as possible. The reward for success is not the mouthful of gritty sludge but rather the satisfaction of watching your siphon system in action. The original power breather has a variable setting for increased resistance. However, this may be reproduced by just increasing the viscosity of your muddy puddle. Indeed this happens naturally as the water level drops. The frequent blockages in the hose will require repeated exercise against increased resistance until all the water is gone and the warm up is over. "I felt all light headed with the excitement of it all" said one caver. "You can blow bubbles too" said another.

So, if you too want to try the new power breather why not make an appointment to visit our secret testing laboratory hidden deep within the heart of the Yorkshire dales... (pirates welcome).
Rob Garrett

From our French correspondent

I was summonned to see the Colonel this morning - head of the Gendarmarie of Isere and responsible for radio communications nationally. I had got stuck in a traffic jam and turned up 20minutes late! I thought I was going to get a PV! Anyway I walked into the guys office and there were two other Gendarmes with him aswell ..Gulp. They stood up and shook hands and the second one said "salut Grahm" - phew I know him. Anyway they seemed happy to see me and were arranging the purchase of some system Nicola MkII radios. It looks now as though the Speleo Secours Francais will be launching a production of just over 50 units now.

Next week I have to provide 2 for a national rescue training event and in november for an international training event (we have orders from Switzerland and Belgium aswell - but not from the english!). I guess youheard Paul Mackrill took two of the prototype devices on the China expedition where they were used over 1200m through rock. I will set up a web page soon of the details of the device.
Graham Naylor (taken from a letter sent to the Editor by Paul Cooper)