Depth through thought

OUCC News 17th November 2004

Volume 14, Number 11

DTT Main Index

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Editor: Pod:

Christmas Gear Order

A quick plug for the Christmas Gear Order. Simon Goddard is putting together a gear order from Dragon Caving to go in before Christmas. Prices are not finalised but if you want to order stuff please get your requests to Simon as soon as possible.

OUCC-Alien-Keywords: quick, efficient

Asopladeru La Texa 2005 News

John "Expedition Dogsbody" Pybus

It's the expedition everyone loves, but no-one can spell.

Preparations for next summer's expedition continue apace. We now have an expedition website at <> to provide you with useful information and all the latest news. There'll soon be more there, but you can check out the prospectus and find out what the committee have been discussing in your absence.

If the thought of spending next July/August caving in the Picos de Europa appeals get in touch with the committee to register your interest, or talk to someone who has been out before to find out what it is really like. With two caves to look at, and the potential for the kilometer deep system, why on earth wouldn't you?

Calling all photographers

John "Proc 14" Pybus

The editors of Proc 14 (yes they do exist, and are actually doing something) are looking for photographs to use for the next volume of this illustrious publication. Covering the years 1992-1997 Proc 14 will contain material on 8/11, F64, C3/C4 and the other caves explored around snowpole, as well as the golden years of OUCC's Draenen involvement, and work such as Carno Adit.

Would any readers who took underground pictures on any of these expeditions and didn't manage to lodge a copy with the club library (that'll be all of you since Steve doesn't have any pictures from those years!) please let Hilary or myself know roughly what you have.

I know also that the club library is very keen to archive a copy of these photos; even the ones that don't make it into the Proc. Many of the pictures taken on expedition are places which may never be returned to as the systems have been bottomed or easier entrances found and it would be a shame if OUCC loses the only record made of some fabulous caves. The club is willing to pay for duplication/transport costs so there's no excuse not to dust off those slides from the attic and wallow in a bit of expedition nostalgia.

Club helmets and lightsets

John "the hats are breeding" Pybus

At last weeks TGM the club decided the current system of everyone providing their own batteries for helmets borrowed from the club was not working very well, so it is changing! From now on club helmets will come with batteries from club stocks.

When you sign out a helmet from the hut it will come with a battery installed and a spare in case it runs out during a weekend trip. Both of these must be returned at the end of the weekend. You'll have an extra charge of 75p added to the trip costs to cover battery usage.

Please help make this system work effectively and only change batteries when they need it. Remember that club batteries will be clearly marked (and will be filled with red electrons rather than the conventional blue) and if the gear officer catches you with one in your own helmet it's liable to end up being inserted somewhere other than a battery box...

[I for one really do not wish to spend huge amounts of time inspecting either your helmets or your boxes - pod]

UBSS Bonfire Night 

Joshua Birdsall

Short (for people who don't have time to read about silly caving trips)

So right, UBSS Bonfire night, lots of People, UBSS and OUCC, one colony of tents, one roasted lamb, scores of kebabs, gallons of alcohol in all forms, a horrifying amount of trifle, tons of firewood, including several whole trees, one giant bonfire, and many many fantastic fireworks. A brilliant little party. Oh, and some people went down some caves, awful thing to do really.

Long (for people who love to read about silly caving trips)

The UBSS Bonfire weekend started early Tim, Lou, pod, Gareth, Rosa, Chris, and Josh left the hut some reasonable time after the prearranged 6:30 meeting time. 2-3 hours later we arrived happily at the wonderful, soothingly rustic, UBSS hut which we had all to ourselves. Tim sorted out the lights, while others moved in, and still others began the grand foraging escapade for wood and kindling. There was talk of caving but it soon gave way to a warm fire and pints and cold beans (for Tim).

Saturday morning came lazily upon us. We sorted out breakfast and began the grand-migration to the tent colony we founded behind the hut. The UBSS folk began showing up. Then we set about collecting more firewood. Gareth, pod, and I soon set about getting a hold of some 'sizable' logs. Axe and saws in hand we went to work. About an hour or two later we had managed to chop and saw some large fallen trees into 'draggable' proportions. By that time we were quite 'beat'. We managed to drag three of the sections down the hill to the hut when the bum from UBSS with the chainsaw showed up and cut up half the forest in five minutes. It was quite emasculating actually. But we didn't have to drag anymore logs, as UBSS also supplied a large workforce of freshers that carried the bite-sized logs the chap with the chainsaw supplied. I've decided I quite like the chap with the chainsaw.

Gavin (in his nice new rental car) arrived sometime approaching noon with three novices: Peter, Tom, and Matt. One of whom apparently had quite a celebration the night before, I heard they had to stop three times on the way up. Everyone busied themselves preparing for the bonfire. Some built the woodpile, others attended the fire over which the lamb would be roasted. Eventually trips were organized and we were off to the caves. The novices went off to Swildon's and who knows where everyone else went. Swildon's was good to us, and we were lucky not to encounter any large masses of other cavers. Peter and Tom seemed to really enjoy themselves. The drive back to the hut was uneventful except for the cow herding incident (You know you're a city boy from the States when a bunch of cows lost in the middle of the road makes you excited).

We returned to find the Bonfire in full swing. There was an abundance of food and laughter. Kudos to the UBSS people for a wonderful meal. You know life is good when you can stand around a mammoth fire eating roast lamb and watch fifty other people with silly looking lights on their heads laughing and enjoying themselves. A fantastic fireworks display followed (and not a single car was blasted in the process). As the fire began to burn lower the night's hubbub gave way to quiet groups of old and new friends. Beer gave way to whisky and snippets of caver songs were heard. The younger crowd seemed to move inside the hut where table traverses and squeezing through chairs kept the laughter rolling. I think only one UBSS guy got really stuck.

The breakfast call came all too early or not early enough for some. Some of the OUCC crew left early that morning. Others, after the usual delay, organized a trip down Longwood. It was too wet for a round trip, but it provided quite enough sport. Tim provided us with an off-road adventure across some cow fields on the walk back.

All in all a splendid weekend. If you weren't there you were missed, if you were what are you reading this for.

Damn, I love caving.