Depth through thought
OUCC News 19th January 1994
Volume 4, Number 10
|DTT Volume 4 index|
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
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
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.
p.s. I really do like Barry Manilowe...
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.