Thanks all those who contributed gear for the novice trip last Sunday.
This weekend we may need even more, so if you can help please get a labelled
bag of gear to the hut by Friday night.
In this issue is a draft list of e-mail addresses for OUCC members.
If anyone can add useful names, correct errors, or fill in the blanks,
please let me know.
Plans for Mendip Madness progress. 13 UBCPC cavers are joining
us, WUPS have been invited, Tufty sniffed the idea knowingly, and it looks
like CUCC will be staying at the Wessex that week end (6/7 November). Anyone
who wants to help with logistics should see me or Jim.
Climbers amongst you us will be pleased to hear that Noel Crane returned
safely from the Himalayas yesterday, with stories to tell and slides to
La Verdelluenga '94
OUCC summer expedition to Spain
For many years OUCC has been travelling to the Picos de Europa undertaking
the exploration of the caves of the Ario basin. One of the most promising
areas lies on the upper slopes of La Verdelluenga in the "Top Camp" area.
Due to exploration in other areas, Pozu Jultayu (2/7) and Sistema Sierra
Forcada (8/11) very little has been done in the area since 1986. This year
a thorough reconnaissance trip was based at "Top Camp". It was found that
the potential of the area in terms of undescended shafts was still considerable
and further, that a series of mild winters had reduced the snow plugs in
a large number caves that had been abandoned in the past due to snow blockage.
The broad outline of the plan for the 1994 expedition is to return to
this incredibly promising area. In recent years our allocated area has
been increased and now covers areas 11 and 13. The reconnaissance of these
areas will be our secondary objective. All past expeditions have contained
a large training element, our intention here has been to so organise things
that relative newcomers to caving can take a full and active part in the
expedition, and have as much fun as the old lags. In '94 the large amount
of surface work, Shaftbashing, will enable newly acquired SRT skills to
be put to excellent use in original exploration.
As yet we don't have a full expedition committee and we haven't settled
on dates and the finer points of logistics. We strive to maintain a semblance
of a democratic process and to this end there will be a meeting on Wed
3 Nov at 8.00pm in St Hugh's (just before the internationally acclaimed
expedition slide show) so come along and make you feelings known about
next years expedition.
The Committee (to date)
|| Expedition Leader
|| Expedition Caver
Not A Novice Trip.
Well, as John and James had done a lot of caving before a more challenging
introductory trip was organised (OUCC promises value for money, allegedly).
So a trip down Longwood/August was quickly organised. The idea proved quite
popular and pretty soon we had a couple of legals (Urs and Sarah) a couple
of mathmos (John and James) and a couple of spazmos (Jim and Chris). After
a few false starts we ended basking in the autumnal sunshine in Longwood
while we gave the ICCC boys a head start. The entrance was nice and trickly
and at the bottom the exciting rush of water could be heard in the August
series. A very wet shower bath gave us all a pretty good soaking then down
into the main chamber. We caught up with the ICCC crowd at the top of the
second pitch. They let us go first then headed out the cave muttering about
the lack of time. After a quick look at the pretties the mathmo's and the
spazmo's dropped down a wonderfully splashy ramp into the lower streamway.
Urs and Sarah headed out as Sarah was beginning to feel the ill effects
of wearing the fully ventilated BownSuit (Ideal for tropical caving) We
bimbled on downstream until it degenerated into low wet crawling. John
insisted in going to the sump; the rest of us didn't. Upstream we followed
the stream into the fossily chambers. An uneventful trip out brought us
to the surface at 6.00pm. Back to the MNRC to get changed.
Top tip for those Sunday evening munchies: The Horse and Jockey in Binegar
(about 2 miles NE of the MNRC, just follow the main road through the village)
does an excellent deep-pan pizza for about a fiver takes about 20-30 min
to get them served up but if your not in a rush they're worth it (this
was a D Bell recommendation).
Depth by Electronic Mail
This is a message for all you new arrivals, Some of you will have been
issued with a university E-Mail address and VAX account. Now's the time
to put it to some use. A fair number of OUCC members are on E-Mail (This
does not automatically make them TechnoDweebs) and use them to exchange
useful information on parties and caving etc. (You can also use it to make
witty and incisive contributions to OUCC's premier organ DTT, although
that would be a first). So next week (Maybe this week) DTT will publish
the Definitive OUCC.DIS. If you want to be included just drop a line
to GUILFORD@OX.VAX (the man responsible for the fine organ
that you are currently handling).
Car Thefts in Mendip
As the government continues to incarcerate single mothers and their offspring,
thefts from vehicles continues in the Mendips. Currently the line taken
by OUCC trips to the worst trouble spot (Charterhouse area) is to change
at the MNRC, empty the car completely and obviously (any essentials such
as change of clothes can be locked in the cave entrance). This seemed to
work on Sunday when we left our cars parked at Longwood, they were left
unmolested while a minibus parked a little future down the road at GB was
broken into and a couple of rucksacks taken. [Editor adds that Caving clubs
on Mendip have started operating stakeouts, which have resulted in a number
of arrests by the police (of the thieves that is)]
PC Jim (mind how you go)
A challenge has been offered by the Metallurgy Dept. to take on the Cave
Club at Laserquest. Run around in the dark with loud music and shoot people.
Ten Cavers needed for team - next Wednesday before the meeting. Takers?
OUCC E-Mail Addresses
[deleted as obselete - EP2]
Obituary: Klaus Cramer
German and Austrian cavers are mourning for Klaus J Cramer, born 17 July
1932, who was killed on 9 August 1993 whilst climbing the flank of Akher
Chioh, a 7020m peak in the Hindu Kush range, by an ice avalanche released
by an earthquake. It was as if Earth itself had shook to call home the
geologist who had loved her dearly and who had looked at so many of her
hidden corners above and below ground.
The Munich speleological society thus has lost a founding member and
chairman (since 1976), the German cave & karst research association
a former chairman (1980-93), the Salzburg society and the Austrian association,
as well as the European and international speleological unions, a very
active member. And many of us now miss a friend and a fellow caver, a trusted
comrade, of robust good humour and infinite knowledge.
Undaunted by tight Alpine shafts and meanders, Klaus had been active
in cave exploration right up to the present. He didn't specialise
in cave photography, but was held in high esteem by that demanding bunch
as a patient "flash slave" and model: at least we retain many good pictures
of him! More often, his camera was heard clicking on the surface where
he meticulously recorded Man's sins against Nature.
In Society and Association affairs, he was one of the characters that
are so sadly lacking in modern politics - a democrat, but with clear-cut
aims, never dominating, always persuasive, happy to let others enjoy themselves
after their own fashion, but an eloquent (sometimes verbose) defender whenever
caves and karst were under some new threat. The same traits guided his
journeys to the mountains of the Middle East. Far from the haughty
We-pay-and-we-trek attitude, he mingled and made friends with the local
population, wearing their clothes and sharing their food. The climbing
expeditions he took part in turned to the neglected 6 and 7km peaks, avoiding
the fame and infame of the "8000s club", and made a nearly unprecedented
point of carrying every item of rubbish back down from their camps. In
a strange but fitting twist of fate, his body (and that of his rope partner
Anita Burkhardt-Fendt killed by his side), were the first ever in that
part of the world to be retrieved from the glacier at 4300m altitude by
a daring Pakistan Army helicopter crew (who didn't hesitate to stretch
the chopper's altitude specification), rather than being buried on the
Farewell Klaus --- you'll be with us in our minds when we now go caving