Depth through thought

OUCC News 19th January 1994

Volume 4, Number 10

DTT Volume 4  index

DTT Main Index

OUCC Home Page


Welcome back everyone to the start of a thrilling term's caving, starting with a weekend at the WSG, and all detailed in the soon-to-arrive brand new term card (Chris?). Below, scintillating news about Hungarians caving in Italy, about OUCC's Easter plans, and about James' abominable musical tastes.

Expedition Meeting

Our glorious expedition leader wants to remind everyone that there is an open expedition meeting at 8.30pm, next week (26th January), in St. Hugs. Be there, here the latest (e.g. What the exploration club decided to give us).

Easter '94

Caving in the Vercors

This Easter OUCC will be having a new event: a trip to the Vercors! This is a beautiful chunk of limestone near Grenoble in France. At the top of the chunk are some impressive mountains, and inside those mountains there are some superb caves. What's more, an excellent guide book is available, written in English, available in Blackwells price #7.95. It is called Vercors Caves, by Des Marshall. If you want to look at a copy, I have one.

We would be going for around a week, so the deepest caves would be beyond our scope. However, the guidebook describes a wide range of cavesthat would make excellent day trips. If you are planning to come on the expedition to Spain this summer, and haven't been on an expo before, then caving in the Vercors will give you a fine opportunity to practise your srt skills. There are also caves with large underground rivers and lakes (bring your rubber dinghy!), and, of course, much better formations than you will ever see in Britain. Our French correspondent, Graham Naylor, lives only a short drive away from the best caving area. He has offered to look into finding some accommodation for us,which would probably take take the form of a gites. The best way of getting ourselves and our gear there will almost certainly be to drive - it is only 8-10 hours from Calais. COST: This will be highly dependent on numbers, so if you think you might be interested PLEASE get in touch with me asap. No firm commitment is required yet - I just want a rough idea so that I can get a reasonable estimate together of how much the trip is likely to cost. Also, tell me whether you have a preference for the week beginning or ending with Easter, although ferry prices may determine the best time. It should be brill!
Chris Densham

More Tales from Hungary

Before Christmas we decided on go around Rome to caving. In Hungary it is not normally for cavers because of Rome is a expensive place for us and a little bit long way from home (more than 1200 km). But fortunately we have some friends there, a Hungarian girl (Steve where are you now - ed), who is now a baby-sitter there (anyway she is the best girl-cavers in Hungary, she have been to the bottom of same 1000 m deep caves, for example Pozzo della Neve, close to Rome) and her boyfriend Simone Re who is one of the best cavers what I have ever seen.

We have got a van - a Fiat Talento - from the Hungarian Telefon Company, it was free, one of us work there as a "delivering manager" (I am not sure to use this expression - maybe something like that is the good). The first trouble (and maybe the last) was at the Italian border at Tarvisio, because of the car papers was not good enough for this car to carry 8 people, just for 3. (of course it is a car for working, not for travelling) And we have not got enough money, of course, and they counted it. The third trying at the border in Passo Predel was successful, we had to left there just our spare petrol (you know in Italy the petrol is nearly twice expensive as in Hungary), about 80 litres in the forest in a good hide out. This border problem kept about 4 hours at night, and it was terrible despite of a Slovenian customer nobody spoke English. It was a hard work. We have arrived to Rome the next day morning, and immediately picked up our to friends, and went further to Napoli direction.

We had a nice night in the first camp-site in Monte Lepini. First we descended into Pozzo Commune (near to a very nice village Carpineto Romano), which is 220 m deep, and very wet. It has a large entrance sinkhole, and it leads to a big chamber, where from we had to follow the water in a 1-2 m wide meander, which was braked with some descend ( 30, 15, 5). After it we arrived to two very wet 25 and 30 meter deep shaft, which was rigged with long bridges to avoid the water. After it we arrived for a long duck, where we decided on to go back, because of after it only one pit is and the end sump. Next day we took a nice trip on the surface, we have seen the entrance for example Pozzo Consolini, which is only 620 m deep, but a trip to the endpoint and return 33 hour for good cavers, and you can not make a bivouac in the deeper parts. I think is a little bit crazy, because of the first part seems to be easy (big pitches 90, 130, and 2x 60 m), and all of the trouble in a 1 km long meander are. I can count in may one hand how many people have been to there. After it we came over to Monte Ernici where we stayed in house which is usually used by the Italian cavers, but I am afraid it was a hotel long time ago, but now it has not door nor windows. But it was very comfortable, and colourful (we had a pink room). We could make a pretty good trip to the Grotte degli Urli ("The cave of scream"), which is 567 m deep, not too hard (it was a 13 hours trip, and not a big run), but sometimes very nice. The first part was some little pitches (6, 8, 26 m), with squeeze entrances, and after it a wide, speedy descending passage to -280 m, where was a very tight 10 m long tube ("Santa Barbara"), which was the key point the trip. After it some shafts, and we have arrived to - 410 m, where was a bivouac. The following part was quite hard: half km long tight, sometimes chocked meander, and there was a stream, sometimes with short cascades (Rio Negro). This leads to a too tight rift, where the by- pass was much bigger than the streamway. I think the limestone changed there. Here was some very nice stals, and a fossil sump which was covered by vast calcite crystals. This passage leads to a much bigger streamway, than the first was (Rio Bravo), where we have to descend three times, close to the waterfall, with difficult traverses to arrive the end sump. It was dived some years ago by a girl, and she find more passages, and stopped before a pit! The possibilities more than 1000m. But the by- pass at this time nobody found. This was the all caving program because of in our van not everybody was really cavers - the girls! - and we had to the next two day we spent in Rome, which is interesting too big city. We bought some additional Christmas present for home, some beer, and we had a big meeting in a night with the local cavers. It is all. The way to home was easy, no problem at the borders, but we had to take a little side way for the petrol, we picked it up, and after 16 hours driving arrived to Budapest. If somebody interested in to caving in this area we have addresses, friends, just ask us, we can help.
Moha from Hungary

Depth Through Sound

Imagine the situation. After weeks/months/years of contemplation you have just beaten Gavin out of Quaking. Filled with emotion your last energy reserve seeps away as you remember you offered to drive back to Oxford...

You come to a junction. Do you...
a) continue your struggle to stay awake while everyone else sleeps behind you?
b) Put James' "Best of Barry Manilow" in the now permanently installed walkman?
c) Slam in a copy of your favourite CD?

If you answered...
a) you have just crashed. Oh dear.
b) You have either forgotten to give the club a copy of your favourite album, or you share James' taste in music. Oh dear.
c) Oxford's most happening club can cruise down the M6 bringing an excellent finish to a day "going underground: stuck between a rock and a hard place"

So, please bring a copy of your favourite tapes. It'll be worth the effort to get a good collection.
James Hooper

p.s. I really do like Barry Manilowe...

Lost and Found

Gavin has lost his furry suit. Light Blue, Nearly New. Last seen crawling away in November. Please let Gavin know if think you may have an idea where it is.

Tim has also lost a furry suit. Its a new, green, Bat Products number, and I left it at the Penderyn hut on our last visit there. If anyone sees it this weekend, please grab it.

Found? Nothing. What do you expect: this is a cave club.