Depth through thought

OUCC News 14th March 2007

Volume 17, Number 10

DTT volume 17 Index

DTT Main Index

OUCC Home Page

Editor: Peter Devlin:

Note from the editor

This week's DTT is skinnier than a skinny thing. Please send me trip write-ups: somebody else who attended the last Wales weekend must have some impressions worth sharing!

Here are the trips planned for Trinity Term (2007):

Penwyllt Quarry re-opens

Peter Collings-Wells writes: Hi All We have learnt that Tarmac are re-working the quarry for 12 months. Work started on 5th March. Beware quarry lorries trundling down the Penwyllt road, especially the steep narrow section near the top! Also of course KEEP OUT! More details on the news section at Pity the railway isn't still working . . . !

Potholes on the BBC

Steve Roberts [this week, our comedy correspondent ;-) ]writes: The BBC website has a picture special on "Potholes". Close inspection reveals, that while many appear to take quite a bit of water, their depth potential is limited.

Digging the wiki

Tim Guilford writes: Would you put into DTT next issue a comment please about a new page on the club Wiki aimed at recording what digging and other exploration kit is where in Ogof Draenen? Anyone shoould feel free to update it when they move something, add something, or lose something in the mud. The aim is to help anyone associated with the club avoid carrying lump hammers unnecessarily, or arrivng at a dig site disappointed to find that their favourite little nun has run off with a rogue. Contact John Pybus for instructions as to how to get in. [see for wiki instructions]

Girls go Caving

Peter Devlin [club weekend 9-11 March]

Steve suggested that the club weekend at SWCC would be a good opportunity to take Katie and Catherine caving again. Wives were consulted, conversations held, plans were finalised, more conversations were held and plans were refinalised (i.e. adjusted around birthday parties), so the four of us eventually staggered into Penwyllt by 10pm to find things settling down for a proper evening of cavers' antics. Katie and Catherine found plenty of entertainment away from the adults and Steve and I joined the revelries.

The games got underway with some notable performances from all and sundry. Chris and Tim's duo table traverse was a highlight, but for me the image of Nina sitting on Tim's head in the baked bean tin game was particularly comical. Nobody was more surprised than me when I managed to do the table traverse and I enjoyed the "knocking your opponent off his bottle with a broom" game.

After leaving the gathering I dozed off to the dulcet melody of Steve's snores and before I knew it it was 7.30 and the girls were up making noise. An early breakfast and we were almost ready to go. Phillip wanted a mega gentle trip and with low water levels we were considering a children's trip into OFD1: we asked the girls did they want a wet or a dry trip and they opted for wet. Sadly at this point Phillip's car wouldn't start, so we went ahead without him. Into OFD1 we paid a brief visit to Gothic sump and then set off for the streamway. Once at the streamway each of the daughters was clipped to her father and we set off. Water levels were not high as such, but neither were they low and while the force of the water gave Steve and I no difficulties, Katie and Catherine found the force of the water intimidating .... this is one of the few cases where my weight works in my favour ;-). Avoiding potholes was all the more important for the girls and at one point the water was waist high on Steve and I so we carried the girls. At the first scaffolding bar the girls did well, but we decided to turn back soon after, as the girls were starting to get cold and their protests were becoming a little more strident. On the way back to the step I saw that both of them were getting better at reading the cave: traversing to stay out of the current and picking the side where the current was less forceful.

Once out of the stream we bimbled up the escape route to extend the trip somewhat. As this passage is smaller in character the girls started to play the "let's get Pete stuck game" which involved them finding a feature of inestimable interest in a spot I couldn't possibly get into.

On the way home we stopped off at the animal sanctuary (on the road between Abercrave and Glynneath) and had a pleasant interlude.

When Catherine and I got home and started to tell Karen about the weekend, Karen was concerned that Steve and I had been injudicious in the trip done with the girls. Her initial response was something along the lines of "I don't mind if you put the child off caving". The glint in Catherine's eye as she told her story convinced me that she had had fun and though she had been nervous in the streamway, she had pushed the boundaries of her comfort zone a little further.