Depth through thought

OUCC News 23rd February 1994

Volume 4, number 15

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Last Wednesday saw OUCC's brief yearly flirtation with democracy at the AGM. For those of you who were absent, just to say that nothing of great import occurred, though we did agree to buy some new (NiCad) lights, and to reintroduce the direct charging system again instead of the so-called honesty box for non-club trips (the honest box seems to be self-emptying). So, don't forget to sign on the book out sheets if you use club gear, and you'll get charged 50p for the event. We did, however, elect a new committee, so welcome to them, and thanks to all those outgoing officers who have kept us above water (well) over the last year. There were two contested posts: Loris, and Meets 3ecretary (Urs had to stand against herself, but luckily she won). Oh, and the other news is that members of last year's expedition are to be invited to pay a E10 bale-out to this year's expedition, needed because of an apparent accounting cock-up on last year's expedition (well I never).

Sherry has a proposal about electronic distribution of some of OUCC's surveys and descriptions. Read it below, and why not comment back to DTT in the following weeks.

Me and my ceiling tiles now live at 31 Wellington Street, Jericho. 511849.


Ceilidh: This has been postponed until next term, or even cancelled.
Next Wednesday: Celia Myers will be giving a talk on bats. 9pm St. Hugh's' bar.

The New Team

President: Steve Roberts
Chair Pauline Rigby
Secretary Will Jeremy
Meets Secretary: Urs Mead 
Inedible Equipment:  James Hooper
Treasurer: John Pybus
Lamppost:  Chris Vernon
Van: Sarah Thingumy (sorry!)
Loris: Gavin Lowe

Expedition Update

Expedition Report
The 1993 report is now ready; this beautifully bound tome is yours for the minor sum of £2.50. It includes a beautiful A3 survey of Sistema Sierra Forcada, a full account of exploration, plus many other witty, incisive and useful articles pertaining to last years expedition. Jim will be along this evening with a few copies so grab them while they're hot.

Over the years we've come to rely on a fairly small group of sponsors, this particularly applies to food sponsorship. Now since that nice Mr Major and his friend Mr Clarke tell us that the recession is over (Green Shoots! Green Shoots!) The time is ripe to try and expand the number of sponsors.

The process of acquiring sponsors is fairly simple; you identify a supplier who produces or distributes some goody you simply need, you write to them, telling them how much you like their product, how useful it will be for expedition use, send this off with a snazzy looking prospectus and wait and see.

So all we need to do now is identify possible suppliers, this is where YOU come in. Can you think of any tasty/useful stuff that would be good on expedition, try to be a little bit practical here, everything has to be carried up the mountain, and survive reasonably well over a very wide range of temperatures and humidity for several weeks. Got some ideas? Well find the address of the company and get in touch with Rob (food) or Gavin (equipment) and they will help sort out the details.

Ghar Parau/Sports Council are going to give us E250 this year. Considering the huge number of expeditions underway this year I think we have done quite well.
Captain Jim

Getting Wrecked With Harry

Canyoning down under
Those members of OUCC a little longer in the tooth will remember Harry (let's face it: how could you forget him!), who departed for sunnier climbs down under about three years ago. Harry suggested we spend Xmas & New Year with him and Gay getting gripped and wrecked in various ways in the Blue Mountains (this was a couple of weeks before they got burnt to cinders). We spent a couple of days climbing, me and Mark being crap and getting gripped on 14's, Harry and Gay doing tough stuff on 19's and 20's. Harry then decided we should do some climbing together - the (large) number of people who've been sandbagged by Harry went up by two: Mark got desperately pumped getting up one 'easy' climb, and I failed to get up the other 'easy' climb at all. Fortunately after that it was time to go canyoning - something we felt more at home with since it is like caving with the roof taken off. We did Claustral Canyon; it was quite an epic just finding it! After missing the 'obvious' path to the right and blundering about in the bush getting more and more grumpy, we eventually found our way into Claustral.

Initially the canyon is a walk through the strip of rain forest in the valley bottom. It was really beautiful, tree ferns grew all around, lizards basked on rocks...really Jurassic man! Soon the canyon deepened and three 20m pitches dropped us into the canyon proper. Really tall and steep sided with ferns clinging to wet walls and just a thin strip of sky at the top. There were some long swims through freezing water, the coldest I've ever been in Australia, and then the canyon opened out and we were walking and clambering over huge boulders that made us feel really small. Eventually we had to leave the canyon via a break in the canyon wall. Climbing out the exit was far more gripping than the canyon itself, especially in sopping wet boots. Once out the top we headed back to the cars. Mission accomplished: We were totally wrecked. I'm getting really keen on this canyoning thing!

For those of you wondering, Harry and Gay escaped all the Bushfire nastiness (although the flames came within 6km of Harry's work).
Sherry Mayo

From Gerhard

Dear All, My new e-mail address is <> Despite administrators' claims to the contrary, mail sent to my old address <G.Niklasch@> seems NOT to be redirected to the new one. If you have been trying in vain to reach me between mid January and now, please try again using the new address. Thank you. Gerhard Niklasch

From Sherry Mayo

As those of you that subscribe to the caversnet may know an anonymous ftp site for speleology has just been set up. This is a place where you can do an ftp login and download caving info. At the moment there is only a little stuff at the site as it has only been in existence a few weeks, but the site managers are after contributions. I suggested that asking people to contribute surveys of caves they have explored would be a good idea along with a little info about the caves and caving region. They have asked me if I could contribute any surveys and info. I was thinking of uploading some of the OUCC surveys of Picos caves along with a little info about the club and about the Picos expeditions, and references to where you could find more detailed info (i.e. Procs 11,12 and Proc.13). Of course I wouldn't do this if anyone in the Club had serious objections. The only possible objection I could think of was that this may in some way detract from people buying the Proc. I have to say that I think this is pretty unlikely as the info on the FTP site will be limited and the surveys of scanned quality (and it is just as likely it will encourage people to get a Proc if they are that interested in the stuff). Its also worth bearing in mind that most of the info I was thinking of including will probably be in the next edition of "Great Caves of the World" whenever it comes out. Personally I'm all for spreading our fame as a well'ard caving club as far and wide as possible Anyway let me know what you think and you've got any objections.
Sherry Mayo