Depth through thought

OUCC News 17th January 2001

Volume 11, Number 1

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Welcome to the new caving year, and volume 11 of Depth Through Thought. Time to remind everyone that I'm always keen to receive articles, news, trip reports, reviews of gear, speleobard comps., or anything new you care to come up with. Iy would be especially nice to hear about club members' trips over New Year. You might even hear something from me about how to break into showcavesŠ

Expedition News

Rich 'El Heffe' Doyle

OUCC will be returning to Xitu this summer, with two major leads in mind.

* The head of Chunder Pot, which appears to be a capture, may provide a link to a fossil series. Large London Underground style passage has been found recently in the Culiembro resurgence cave, so can we make a link?

* Day pushing trips to the upstream limit should be possible if demand is high. The limit is a 10-15m waterfall that may be bolt-climbable. The Xitu stream comes from Oliseda, so there is a lot of potential passage to be found upstream.

Graham Naylor has high hopes for Chunder Pot, and will be bringing two or three hard (but friendly) French cavers along.

Tim Guilford hopes to produce a video feature, especially if some of the original Xitu team are there. His digital camera does not require vast lighting, and should cause negligable distraction from pushing.

An expedition mail-list is now available. To subscribe, send a mail to with the words 'subscribe xitu2001' in the message body. Then, after a quick confirmation, you will be up to date with the latest gossip, and able to influence discussions. And if you want to come on expedition, which of course you do, let me know! Adios mis amigos....

Daft caver productions presents..

Keith Hyams

Party of Party's (sort of my birthday party, but a few months late) This Friday 19th January, 9pm till late At 105 Banbury Road. Theme: Rubics cube (with whipped cream) - come wearing one item of clothing of each of the following colours - red, green, blue, yellow, white, black - by the end of the evening you have to end up wearing all the same colour from head to toe by swapping your clothes with other people. Prize for anyone who manages it: you get to snog whoever you most fancy at the party (optional).

Please bring - lots of booze, and whipped cream (preferably not in a metal spray can, this is an environmentally friendly party as far as possible). It will be very big and lots of fun. Lots of groovy people will be there. They will all be very drunk. So will you.

Some highlights from new year...

Keith Hyams

Team Clusterfuck does Cow Pot: Epic tea drinking session in Ingleton followed by an attempt to find Cow Pot in exactly the opposite direction to the correct one ('The posts are there, Lev was to the left of them when he fell down Cow Pot, so it must be over there' says some unidentified incompetent) whilst Paul dreamt of having his own sheep so that he could 'put his hands in it' when he got cold. After our mistake was eventually pointed out to us and we found the entrance, Rich hurriedly got to work on rigging the 30m entrance pitch with a 20m rope, making doubly sure not to tie a rope in the bottom of it lest it should save him from lemminghood when he discovered his deficiency. We didn't get much further than the start of the traverse in the end (where we were greeted by cavers exclaiming: "Oxford?!? In Cow Pot?!? With Ropes!?! But I thought you lot didn't use ropes down Cow Pot!!!) despite having spent at least 4 hours caving!

New Year's Eve: More sedate than BPF has been known to be on 31st December, but fuelled with much merriment nevertheless. And a ferocious jenga battle (the version where you chuck the blocks very hard at particular people rather than the pointless version where you just stack 'em all up and then wait for them to fall down again) to rival even the most vicious of brussel sprout wars.

Return to Aygill on New Year's Day: 'If it hadn't been for this trip 4 years ago I would probably never have joined the club", I said to Olly (CUCC) who was joining us (OUCC - the 'Oxford University Christmas Chorus' - never before have the caverns of yorkshire heard such harmonious praise for Mr. Christ or his virgin mum) as we got changed at BPF. I was referring to the trip with Kev and Fleur on New Year's day 1997 which had shown me just how much fun caving can be when no-one else has got a clue where they're going either. We'd been aiming (in '97) to get to New Year's Chambers but had had to turn around before then so as not to miss our callout. I'd carefully preserved the plastic bag covered instructions that Fleur had copied out of Northern Caves and dutifully brought them to every Yorkshire meet (especially the New Year meets) for the past 5 years in the hope of one day making it to the elusive New Year's chambers. "So you can stop caving after this trip then" replied Olly. 'Hoorah - I've been trying to do that ever since I started', I thought. As I pulled from my pocket (a chequebook so neat...) the carefully saved instructions and put them into the pocket of my TSA I felt like I was holding the key that the bloke in 'The Fifth Element' saves for millions of years whilst he waits for the aliens to come back to earth and save humanity. But despite the harmonious praise heaped on the holy one (JC and his mum) by the christmas choir, it was not to be, for the high water levels in the cascades forced a premature jackulation of the choir boys and girls. Which I means I'll have to keep caving. B*****ks!

Lev's Mobile

I have finally been forced (under severe duress) into the ugly world of mobile phone ownership. This time I have a phone which is truly mobile, in the sense that it even carries on working when you disconnect it from the charger. The number is 07811 445054.