Depth through thought

OUCC News 8th June 1994

Volume 4, Number 25

DTT Volume 4  index

DTT Main Index

OUCC Home Page


An excellent weekend's caving was had in the Dales last weekend, so thanks to all the organisers, cavers, cooks, and toe-nibblers. We did, however, have one near accident in which someone fell some 15ft off a ladder carrying a heavy tacklebag. Luckily there was a lovely soft pool at the bottom, and no injury. But remember: you're a long way from a place of safety, so if you think you might need a rope on something, insist.

Video & Slide evening

Next Wednesday there will be a general video and slide evening. Can everyone please scratch their brains to see if they have any caving video's or interesting slides that could be shown. I know there is an old O.U.C.C. film somewhere that I'm sure everyone would like to see. Also if old photos, caving memorabilia, personal log books, club log books (Steve?), first pair of underpants that went caving etc. etc., could be brought by everyone it would be good. If your not sure its suitable, I'm sure it will be. Thanks.
James (A Foolish Ferret)

Expedition News

AC Irvine Interviews

The A C Irvine interviews are this weekend. Those concerned need to phone the porter's lodge at St. Catz. on Oxford (2)71700 tomorrow (Thursday) or Friday to find out if they will be needed for an interview on Saturday. Makes sense? I hope so.

Excitement Reaches Fever Pitch

Less than a Month to go, then we're off to Spain, hurrah! All that's left to do is sort out the transport, who's going when, how are they getting there, when are they coming back? The more people who let me know exactly what they are doing, the easier my life becomes, and remember; A happy leader makes for a happy expedition.

In a similar vein, we need to sort out Insurance, Again, as soon as you know what your dates in Spain are going to be, then let me have the money, and I can sort it out.

So sort out your life, make up your mind, sell the children into slavery, you're going to Spain.

Van Plan

After extensive consultation with Gav. we have plucked a figure of 150 pounds return to travel in the van (75 pounds one way). We can take out gear for those members of the expedition who are travelling by less orthodox routes (bicycle etc). But please bare in mind that we only have a limited amount of space and weight capacity. So if you must bring an inflatable elephant, please ensure that you've squeezed out all the helium before you pack it.
Jim ("there's a rainbow in my soul")

Gear Order

Nearly all the gear order is in now. Please collect it from me (Gavin) asap. Tel 59716(H) 283603(W).

First Aid Training Course

Richard Ward has kindly agreed to give us an expedition first aid training course. It will be held on Monday 27th June, just before expedition so you fuckwits wont forget what a bandage looks like before it matters. It is likely to last all day, and should provide excellent training. Amazingly, its completely free! So far we've got away with it, but. lets face it, OUCC is an accident waiting to happen. So, if you can come (and you don't have to be going on expedition) please let me know asap: I need to give Richard an estimate of numbers).
Tim Goldfish (Expedition Pleasure Officer)


Joan has lost her SRT kit, in a white bag, and her helmet and Arianne which were in the hut. I lent my helmet and generator to James to take to France; he sent it back in the van, but I haven't got it back yet (I wonder if Mr Mann knows where it is: the jet I mean - ed). If you have any of the above, please return it.
Gavin Lowe

Don't lose your marbles.

"We were wondering if you'd like to come down marble sink with us", said Pauline having just offered me a lift up to Yorkshire.
"Do you think it's within my capability?"
"Dave thinks it is."
What more persuasion could I need?

Having dragged myself on my side through the tight crawl leading to the first pitch I was under no doubt that this was a 'Dave Lacey Approved Cave'. The guide book had indeed suggested that it would be worthy of this status. "Retains interest to the bitter end.", it stated.

Wriggling out head first into the top of the pitch I decided that whatever Dave and Pauline had done to rotate their legs underneath them was too athletic for me. There was only one thing for it therefore, and that was to launch myself head first down the pitch and attach my descender when I managed to dangle the right way up. "I wonder if I can remember the Italian hitch?", I said, grabbing hold of the rope disappearing down the pitch. Dave sounded worried.

Well, I'd said that I fancied a challenge, and I was certainly provided with one. Having failed to deter us near the entrance the cave tried to frighten us out by menacingly rocking a large flake that Pauline was climbing down. Then it resorted to providing us with an endless tight rifty crawl in which it grabbed hold of us like a vice at regular intervals and squeezed as we tried to wriggle free. This was only punctuated with climbs and pitches designed to prevent our escape back out.

"This is the bit where the going gets easier", announced Dave. We surged forward on our knees for what must have been, well, almost three metres - and then back on our sides again. As we approached discovery pot, I discovered two things. The first was that my ankle, which I had twisted rather badly, wasn't going to get any better. The second was that this didn't really matter since the rest of my body wasn't working any more anyway. I informed the others of this and we made the sensible decision that now was the moment to turn around. For me, the length of the trip turned out to be perfect, since had we not gone as far there might have been a few wasted milli-joules of energy unused in my body, and if we'd gone one metre further I would have had to be rescued one metre from the entrance. So, a very successful and satisfying trip. Even being too stiff to put on my caving gear on Sunday turned out for the best since I had a very pleasant day wandering around the waterfalls walk nattering to Joan.

So, thank you Dave & Pauline for the invite!
Harvey Smith.

A Poem

At 6 we met for the Dales,
By 12 I reached Southern Scales,
For the very first car,
Was last there by far,
But we had the liquor and ales.

The next day we bimbled and went,
Across to the hill Penyghent,
The Pots combination,
Of clean stimulation,
Was how our day was to be spent.

Behind Tim, John, two Steve's and Paul,
I splashed along the long crawl,
Then the finest stream pot,
With formations the lot,
Eleven short pitches in all.

The level of water was low,
But my carbide just wouldn't go,
So I gave it a prick,
Then used electric,
As I didn't want to be slow.

The effect of the vodka was worse,
That night than the previous verse,
As it cleaned Ian's toes,
His nice nails I chose,
To trim with the skill of a nurse.

The following morning was grim,
As my head had decided to spin,
But outside there was sun,
and Meregill to be done,
So I thought I'd go caving again.

A perfect weekend all along,
In which nothing much did go wrong,
And if this limerick,
Makes you want to be sick,
Don't ask for a Manilow song.

by BILLabong (The Bard)

Washfold Pot

Tony, Dave and I did this excellent little cave last Sunday, and because of its relative obscurity I thought its joys deserved a brief write-up. Walk up from Selside, Turn right at Alum Pot, and walk as far again to where an old sheep washing fold gives the game away. Pop down a blank but easy climb into a lovely meander, scrambling over old gours, then up a small climb to hit a bedding plane flat-out for a couple of metres. Sweet jolliness continues in this small scale lulling you into a Grade two sort of a Sunday feeling. Then, suddenly, after climbing up a bit, you are braced precariously out over the middle (yes, the middle) of a 40 metres shaft. Rigging any less excellent than Tony's would have led to a nasty take-off, but this was pure pleasure. The pitch, though wet, is a sensory spectacle.

Then crawling off along a streamway, and into a sporting climby rift with a bit of chockstone traversing before eventually you plop into the final two pitches. The bottom of these, just before a muddy sump, is exhilaratingly wet, though the bottom half (at least) can be free-climbed in the dry. Fling a bit of mud around, then you're off out again to reach the surface about three and a half hours after going down. An excellent beginners' Grade V.
Tim Guilford