Depth through thought

OUCC News 1st May 2013

Volume 23, Number 1

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Editor: Andrew Morgan

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DTT has been non-existent so until now this year. Please send items for me to include in DTT, no matter how small! I'm trying to lead by example by including a write-up of a weekend 4 months ago.

Varsity weekend, 24th-25th November 2012

Andrew Morgan

The weekend started with everyone meeting at the pub. I stayed out rather late with some of the other old lags (they know who they are). This was a beginners mistake.... After the inevitable faffing in the morning, we eventually got organised, and decided on who was going with who, and where. Nick, Ben, Gareth, Siobhan (CUCC) and I decided on a trip to Tatham Wife, and eventually we set off somewhat later than planned in the afternoon.

With a fairly clear day it didn't take us long to find the entrance, where we got our kitted up in our harnesses. Incidentally, the last time I went down Tatham Wife, I managed to get my central maillon stuck about a millimetre open as I was doing up it. Various things were tried to loosen it, including one of our party using a maillon, which probably looked dodgy from a distance, as he groped around near my crotch. Eventually it was removed involving a slings, a boulder, and one of the other members of our party standing in the a sling to prise it apart. I completed the trip using a carabiner as a make-shift central maillon. Anyway, I digress and there were no such dramas this time.

The cave was pretty wet, but not excessively so, and we had a fun time splashing down the streamway. We went through the duck to the head of the final pitch, where we called it a day to make sure we wouldn't exceed our callout. Nick was a wuss and did the bypass to the duck, which actually harder, and he had to negotiate about a 4 metre climb down that he entered head first. We were fairly slow on the way out, not helped by me somehow managing to get the nose of a karabiner on a deviation stuck in between the cam of my hand jammer and the rope (don't ask - I don't know how either). "Ah, this isn't good", I thought. I managed to get it unstuck, only for the krab to go into the hole at the top of the jammer "doh!". Anyway, that was trivial to remove and we headed out.

It was getting a little tight with our 9 pm callout, but Gareth and Nick made a complete beeline back to the car, despite it being pitch black with horizontal sleet. Being completely soaked, and with the sleet and wind, it made it a grade 4 change. We hurried back to the hut, arriving 15 mins before our callout, with loads of nice food to warm us up.

After dinner the main event started: the Varsity match. This involved the standard games, such as the pan and sling game, the squeeze competition, and moving a bottle as far away as possible. There was a game that was new to me, involving pairing up with someone who had to remain in contact with a chair, while the other in the pair removed a krab from a sling attached to a chair. The chair was moved further away each round. I paired up with Pete, and with me sitting on his lap, it was no doubt it was the best fun he'd had for a while. Anyway we were rubbish, and kept getting told off for holding the door frame etc. I'm not sure who won the Varsity match, no doubt Oxford, but it was good to meet many new faces, as well as seeing a few old faces again.