Depth through thought
OUCC News 14th October 2009
Volume 19, Number 11
|DTT volume 19 (2009)
Editor: Andrew Morgan email@example.com
Hi folks, I hope you all had a good summer. Hopefully you managed to get some caving in, instead of enjoying the relatively fine weather! If you did some caving, why not send share your experiences, and send a write-up of your trip to DTT? I'm a little short of articles at the moment, and it would be nice to have something that will inspire our new recruits. Articles don't need to be long and can be about anything caving related, for example you could articles could be about: trips, digging, expedition, remembering your first caving experience, gear reviews, and other caving news etc.
It really was a most civilized weekend. The change on Leck Fell was mere grade 2 at the most, the cave – Lost John’s – was pleasantly close to the road, and the company was most enjoyable. Pete and I had met with Tony Seddon and a northern lass called Kate to engage in a cheeky Friday trip. Pete was on rigging practice, the other three had all the tackle and I just followed, enjoying the caving and the conversation. And it struck me that this was the first purely sporting caving trip (i.e. not expedition or digging) I had done since the beginning of February. And what fun it was: lovely rift passages and majestic shafts, including the fine Battleaxe pitch. As I traversed to the head of that pitch, I couldn't help thinking about how Si Goddard had once done the trip with his leg in plaster…………
And so it was down to the master cave and a quick furtle upstream. Wading downstream seemed unnecessary on such a civilized outing, so we had a quick look for the way on to Box Head Pot for future reference until that too degenerated into crawling in water, and I couldn’t help but think how it was forecast to rain about 4pm. So it was time to turn about, Tony had to drive to Mendip yet that day with the Starless River van after all. But we soon got distracted again and I found myself half climbing, half prussiking up some dubious rope hanging down to the stream. At the top it was clearly not the main route to Lyle Caverns, as the way on was up an aven, and the belay was on the tiniest thread of rock. Time to descend somewhat carefully.
So, onwards and upwards, as I assisted Tony with the tackled bag stuffing as he derigged, and before we knew it we were out to admire the fells once more. Tea and rope washing at the NPC was followed by beer in the Marton, and much more beer in the Hill Inn as we waited for the Friday night OMC arrivals with Chris D, Si and Pete D. A very pleasant evening followed and I even managed a bit of a lie in on Saturday. Which was great for me, but not so great for Paul Windle who had driven up from Lancaster to meet us only to find his caving team still in bed. Eventually a plan emerged, ropes were packed for Bull Pot (Kingsdale) and breakfast was eaten. Then it was just a case of repeating "its not flyable" to Si every few minutes and the four of us were on our way.
It was another really pleasant little trip in fine company. This cave had been my second ever SRT trip on the 26th May 1996 and the cave seemed much shorter than I remembered it. The only confusion seemed to be between the need to carry a handline to go and visit the sump and the fact that my “Top of the Pots” book said there was no way on at the bottom. The latter indeed proved correct, although at the base of the 5th and final pitch we did try to persuade Paul to insert himself in a filthy tiny duck (he does like that sort of thing) if he was going to insist there was a way on…………… Actually it transpired later that the sump was actually at a perched level somewhere between the 4th and 5th pitches, but we missed it in our quest for depth.
It was all amazingly relaxed, yet efficient, and we were out for tea and cake in Bernies, not to mention a good moan with Ray Duffy. Then there was nothing to do but head back to the Old School House, enjoy the fine red wine and food provided by Si and OMC respectively, and hope we didn’t need to rescue Chris and co from Tatham Wife Hole. Thanks to OMC for having us and every else for a fine time.