Depth through thought

OUCC News 21st October 2009

Volume 19, Number 12

DTT volume 19 (2009)

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Editor: Andrew Morgan

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Another Old Lag Threshold Passes

Steve Roberts

It was thirty years ago today... more or less ... since I was finally persuaded, having been a member of CUCC for 4 years without going caving, that I should venture underground. It was great. 80-seater coach to Stony Middleton. Hungover fresher sick in helmet on the way. Merlin mine and Carlswark cavern in relays, the limited number of helmet-mounted stinkies being passed from novice to novice as they completed their trips. I loved it. A lifetime of comradeship, excess of many kinds, lunacy, pain, exhaustion, wonder and total exhilaration lay ahead, did I but know it.

30 years on - Swildon's for the nth time (where n must be about 50? 60?); a standard novice romp to sump 1 and back (my finger slipped there and you nearly had "to sump 12 and back" but let's not worry about that). What a nice cave. The pleasure never wanes, especially with such a keen bunch. Rachel, Chris and Will powered their way down and out again, obviously enjoying every bit. Rachel grooved to the texture of the rock. Chris climbed like a demon. Will fell in double pot #1, making him an official "son of Mendip".

Jamie Bigfoot led out, taking only a couple of interesting diversions, and we emerged to the last of the daylight after about 3 hours underground. Champagne in the car park before changing, to finish a grand day out.

Thank you to everyone who's caved / put up with me over rather more than half a lifetime; long may it continue.