Depth through thought

OUCC News 15th March 2006

Volume 16, Number 4

DTT Volume 16 Index

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Editor: Peter Devlin:

A note from the editor

We are never short of space to squeeze in a little write-up of a caving trip, so please contribute to DTT. This is a fairly skinny DTT, so please send me pieces so we can start next term with a bumper edition.

Easter (April 13-17), Dales staying at BPF

Here are the trips planned for Trinity Term:
Week 2, 5-7 May,         Dales staying at BPF, NB: rescue practice,             coordinator: TBD
Week 4, 19-21 May,     Wales staying at WSG, hopefully a Draenen trip,    coordinator: TBD
Week 6, 2-4 June,         Dales staying at BPF, no permit,                             coordinator: TBD
Week 8, 16-18 June,     Wales staying at WSG, hopefully a Draenen trip,     coordinator: TBD

As you can see we need people to coordinate weekends. Organising a weekend is not that much work and if we share it around it spreads the load.

Bye George Pot

Pete Eastoe, Club weekend [club weekend 24 to 26 Feb '06]:

Myself, Simon G, Geoff and Gareth set off to complete a trip to Bye George Pot relying on the two assumptions that the cave was permanently rigged and that I would be able to remember the route from a previous trip at the end of last year. Unfortunately the latter turned out to be an assumption too many.... After crawling around in increasingly tight and unfamiliar looking passage, it was Geoff who eventually found a way on matching my description, bringing back with him tales of a near fatal cardiac experience on encountering a very realistic life size, trans-gendered caver lovingly sculpted out of mud. We decided to abandon hope of doing the through trip, dropped our SRT kit and headed for the first waterfall pitch along a very cold stream way and up a series of waterfalls. Returning back through the Hall of the Mountain King, lovingly watched over by our new underground friend, provided several laughs, as the climb, covered in a foot or so of very sticky mud, became increasingly slippery.... As a first route finding trip it quickly became apparent that finding the way on is not quite as simple as left, left, right, left, although the piece of paper was ultimately right! Thanks to those on the trip for being patient and hopefully there will be a second attempt in the not too distant future!

Roberts-Devlin instant de-rigger (patent pending)

Peter Devlin, Club weekend [club weekend 10-12 Mar '06]:

Three-quarters of the way through rigging Battleaxe traverse I found myself running out of maillons. Steve had packed 35 maillons and we definitely hadn't used them all, so Steve went back and selectively took out the maillons I had used further back. He then handed them to me one by one. Between that and helping Roman, Jill and Richard across Battleaxe traverse, Steve must have done the traverse at least a dozen times.

When we got to the start of the really wet bit at the bottom of the cave (i.e. when the goolies start to get wet) Steve and I decided that we had already seen the end of the sump and did not need our experience to be further enriched. We agreed we would be wimps together. The way out was the usual fun: trying to estimate how long it would take those ahead to get up the big pitch.

Johnny Braindead, who had come along for the craic found our missing maillons at the bottom of Centipede pitch: I felt gratified that I had invited him along, thus sparing me the wrath of an irate gear officer.

Jill, Roman and Richard did extremely well for their first major SRT trip.

On Sunday I had great fun getting out of Hurtle Pot with dive gear in 2 or 3 inches of snow.

Secrets of the Ancients Revealed

Steve Roberts, [Lost John's, 11/03/06]:

It is always pleasant to be treated with proper deference. Helmets were doffed and forelocks tugged as I distributed largesse in the form of tacklebags and sundry other items on the Leck Fell car park. One member of the party, inexplicably, viewed me with somewhat less respect; where the club gets these rebellious and uncouth specimens from I cannot say. Possibly he is not a member of this University.

He soon had his justly-deserved come-uppance. Frankly, if a chap does not have enough maillons to do the job, he should own up to it straight away instead of trying to conceal the matter. I simply have no patience with feeble excuses of the "someone must have dropped them somewhere" variety; they are neither clever nor original. It is behaviour up with which I will not put, and I told him so quite candidly, while producing a few maillons by means I am not at liberty to disclose.

With this encouragement, he was able to make a reasonable fist, considering his youth and impetuousness, of "rigging" the traverse, though he did have to make (to my mind) excessive use of some unsightly bits of metal, resembling thin pitons, which some vandals had somehow inserted into the rock. Gentlemen, have, of course, always regarded use of such aids as distinctly "not on", preferring instead to meet their doom in silence, or with a vigorous cry of "God save the King" rather than descend to such, shall we say, un-British methods.

I must break off now. The memsahib has already brought my evening gin and tablets. This waistcoat is really most uncomfortable. Why are the buckles at the back? What a nice white van. Hello trees, hello sky..

Irish Student Caving Forum

For any of you interested in caving in Ireland over Easter, check out

The website states "Here is a fairly crappy web page to advertise the event anyway, with any luck it'll get gradually less crappy as we approach the impending weekend". I guess if you have pubs serving Guinness and Fermanagh caves you don't need to over-market ;-)

Email: Aileen Connor []