Oxford University Cave Club

"The Lemming"


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1997 - Lev Bishop

I was returning from a trip down Pool Sink. Water levels had risen significantly and when we emerged we found the pool which gave the cave its name, despite there being no sign of it previously. Because of this we split the party into two groups of three, one to check that another party had left County and one, including me, to head off with all the gear. In our group only Andy knew the way. I had given my light to Rob after his failed. It was about 9pm in November and very foggy indeed, with visibility something near 10m.

Inevitably, we got lost, and after about an hour decided follow a stream downhill into the valley, to avoid hypothermia. Unfortunately this stream happened to flow into Cow Pot, into which I slipped*, falling down the 20m entrance pitch. Apparently I regained consciousness after a few minutes and shouted to Andy and Bernard and they went for help. I only remember being cold and confused until Rob returned about an hour later and explained things to me and gave me a survival bag.

The CRO showed up from their interrupted annual dinner and pulled me out with help from various Red Rose cavers. Then followed an unpleasant trip to the hospital at Lancaster (unpleasant because the ambulance men wouldn't even release the straps on the stretcher so I could breathe - not helped by Jo's suggestion that I imagine I was being crushed to death by a beautiful woman). My injuries were: gashes on right hand; cut to head (couple of stitches); alleged broken pelvis (I don't believe it).

I could walk the next day, and was fully recovered and caving after a month. Bernard hasn't been caving since.


see also: DTT 6.24

* Andy recalls that Lev vaulted over the wall surrounding the pot, not apparently giving much too thought as to just why anyone would wall round an obscure bit of the fell. Steve