Depth through thought

OUCC News 13th May 2009

Volume 19, Number 9

DTT volume 19 (2009)

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Editor: Andrew Morgan

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Digging in Dollimores

Keith Hyams

I'd only given up Draenen digging quite recently, a month or so ago. But I'd given up going to Dollimores - or going through the Last Sandwich to be precise - six years ago. So the fact that I now found myself with Fleur and Pete in a dig in the network of high level passages of MS&D, deep in the depths of the Dollimores series, was really quite mysterious. One of those things that just shouldn't have been. A puzzle.

I tried to make the most of the flat out scrofulous dig with well-caked mud that now lay in front of me. The text had read 'Meet you 11am hut for mystery streamway. It's a goer. Promise.' The prematch hype had promised a large passage you could stand up in whilst digging, with sand that ran through your fingers, it was so loose. We would be in the mystery streamway by lunchtime. At least one thing was true though - it was draughting like a beauty. Having never been to the area before, I went to have a pre-dig look at the nearby pretties. Pretty stunning indeed. On the way back I noticed two digs, one of which looked very tight but passable with minimal work. I entered the squeeze and got through to follow the passage, turning sharply to the right.

A short crawl and I reached an eyehole that looked familiar - I'd come out at the other potential dig. Back at the main dig we took turns to excavate the scrofulous tube. Enthusiasm was waning but with a few more scoops it was just about passable. A flat out chamber on the other side of the dig had a tube left and a tube right. Neither could be gained without whacking the whopping great flat boulder in front of me with a hammer. The boulder was duly whacked, foreign objects duly flew into my eye, and before I knew it I was on top of the boulder contemplating the absurdly tight and committing, but very well draughting tube in front of me. Under normal circumstances this would have been the time to call in the reserves. Knowing Pete and Fleur's attitude to size, I realized I was the reserves. I inserted myself as far as I could without getting horribly overcommitted. The tube seemed to narrow slightly and bend to the right. Still drafting well but I couldn't go any further. Perhaps someone else will. Perhaps it can be dug. Or chiselled. Good draught though - worth a return.

On the way out I contemplated the fact that the last time I'd been to Dollimore's - 6 years ago - I'd returned with pools of blood for knees, and the quite amusing role that had played in the chain of events the next day.