Depth through thought

OUCC News 16th January 2008

Volume 18, Number 2

DTT Main Index

OUCC Home Page

Editor: Peter Devlin:

Note from the editor

Please keep the write-ups coming in. In this edition our sole trip write up comes from Cambridge Uni CC member, Edvin Deadman.

Here are the weekends for next term

SRT practice

Hilary Greaves

Can you rescue an unconscious caver from a rope in less than ten minutes? Rig a 15m pitch with only two 10m ropes (or get down it once someone else has rigged it)? Get out of a vertical cave when you've dropped all but one of your jammers down an impenetrable rift? Do a midrope changeover when your light's failed and it's ALL GONE DARK?

If not, come to SRT practice and find out how/practice; if yes, please come to SRT practice and teach!

SRT practice will take place this term on Wednesdays of even weeks (that's Jan 23, Feb 6, Feb 20 and Mar 5), 6pm at Wolvercote bridge (corner of Godstow Road and Wolvercote Green; see here). We'll be running both basic training for newbies (going up, down, passing rebelays and deviations), and rigging and advanced tricks (see above) for 'intermediates', so whatever your skill level there's a place for you!

It's sometimes possible to get a lift from the club hut; if you need that, or you have any other questions, email me (hgreavesxxx at wildcats dot com, remove the "x"s).

Ireby Fell Caverns

Edvin Deadman

After reading the latest eagerly anticipated edition of DTT, I felt honour-bound to send you a trip report - especially as I write up my trips anyway! So here's a short report, just to try to persuade people that I'm not just a sinister online presence...

I woke up on the 30th [December] feeling dehydrated and dizzy. The previous night in Bull Pot Farm had involved far too much of James' mead and Mark's homebrew. I had hazy memories of becoming rather too excited when an equally drunk Tony had decided it would be amusing to introduce me to Pete Devlin. Surely that can't have happened, and sitting in front of the fire place with a cup of tea, I was about to dismiss all of these embarrassing memories as just a dream. Then Pete himself wandered in, saying goodbyes to various people. He wandered over and shook me warmly by the hand, exclaiming how 'surreal' the previous night had been! Bugger.

I still felt a little queasy as we got changed to go caving later that day. Tony had assembled a motley crew to help with a digging project he was involved in at the bottom of Ireby Fell Caverns. A bypass to the 20m long sump was being dug through a silted up roof tube. The dig on the near side involved dragging spoil 100m back through the crawl. So instead, a pumping system had been set up to drain the sump so that we could dig from the other side. As this was quite an effort, the idea was for as many people as possible to come and help dig. Expecting a minimal airspace duck, we were all a bit surprised to see that the sump had been sucked completely dry by the pumpers - it was now in fact the driest bit of the whole cave! By this time I was feeling quite a bit better - caving is a surprisingly good hangover cure. Alas, this was not to last. With about 10 of us digging in the roof tube at the same time, trying to keep up with the person in front, and shovel sand to the person behind we soon used all the available oxygen and all had thumping headaches! By the time anybody got to the digging front they were exhausted, sweaty and gasping for breath and had to leave the tube to recover after a few minutes! The digging was nevertheless great fun; I'd go again. I'm sure the two inches of progress I made during my time at the digging front will have made all the difference...