Depth through thought

OUCC News 27th October 2010

Volume 20, Number 6

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Editor: Andrew Morgan

Trips this term:

Madre de Dios 2010

If anyone hasn't seen the current issue of Descent (216) check it out. There is an excellent article and photos by Ben Lovett of an expedition to southern Chile by OUCC cavers.

Poetry corner:

This poem was written by our resident poet Jamie Jordan to encourage the loaning of kit before the freshers weekend, and it deserves to be immortalised in the annals of DTT! Judging by the success of the freshers weekend it sounds like it did the trick and hopefully will encourage people to lend their kit for the next weekend to allow our keen freshers to return underground!

There is a land (or so they say)
Where cavers can roam free;
A land of hills and rain and sheep,
Llethrid and OFD

Next week we'll take some freshers there
And force them underground
And though they own no caving kit
We'll keep them safe and sound

Our hut has many wellies
But fewer lamps and suits
So may I have your unused gear
To lend our new recruits?

I'd be forever grateful
For anything that's spare
I'll pick it up in Oxford
Or you can take it there

The freshers must be cared for
To save OUCC
So dig into your Bernie's Bags
Let's have a loaning spree

Boggarts Roaring Holes

Fleur Loveridge

Due to the "K Factor" (not at all like the X Factor) we hadn't actually departed Ingleton til midday. But not to worry, we were with one of the original explorers, so finding the cave and doing the trip should now be a breeze of maximum efficiency. Right? Er, no. After Paul Windle had announced that the multiple shake hole that matched the guide book description definitely wasn't the entrance we all had to walk around on the fell for at least another half hour searching for a non existent hole. Still this error at least gave Keith a chance to catch us up, and finally we were heading underground.

Boggarts in an entertaining little cave. Little being an appropriate word. Never is it really tight, with only one proper squeeze, but never is it particularly spacious either, although the fourth pitch is quite elegant. Essentially you descend a pitch and then enter a rift or a crawl. This has usually been enlarged somewhere (or some length) to permit exploration progress and then you pop out at another pitch, usually with a sporting constricted take off. You then repeat this sequence nine times until you arrive at the bottom. Paul was quite keen to see the bottom as apparently on the first descent Pete Hall had been so disappointed when he finally reached it that he immediately de-rigged and exploration ceased. It certainly wasn't an extensive bottom, but we managed to fit all four of us down there.

Paul even suggested it was diggable...................

Then came that joyous moment that I had forgotten all about. The moment when you start prussiking up your first Yorkshire pitch after returning from expedition, get to the top and go, "is that it?" The last cave which Pete and I had been in was Lukina Jama (-1392m) and Boggarts was different in just about everyway conceivable while still being a cave that involved using your SRT kit.

And so Pete and I began the process of stuffing the filthy ropes back in the bags and heading back surface-wards. Every so often thrashing and cursing noises from the pitchhead above would remind us that it was a year since Keith had been caving and probably several since that cave had pitches. The head of the fourth pitch was particularly entertaining on the way out, as the exit rift/crawl was someway left and slightly higher than the actual pitch head. Then there was the customary dead sheep to thrutch past at the bottom of the first pitch.

We reached the surface after a respectable 5 hours or so to enjoy a beautiful evening on the side of Ingleborough with views of Bowland to the south. Over a beer in the Marton I asked Keith if he had enjoyed his trip. Although he didn't say "no" he wasn't quite ready to answer in the affirmative. But within 48 hours he had declared himself a masochist and on for more. The years may roll by, but the joys of a good caving trip never really leave you.