Oxford University Cave Club

Expedition to the Picos de Europa, Spain, 1994

"La Verdelluenga"


A Typical Morning at Top Camp

"We need to drop more pits", Gavin suggested.


Gavin Pointed towards old top camp, now shrouded in clag. Bill, the Gower Pot Man, always ready to try any new caving technique, threw his sleeping bag in aforementioned direction. There was a dull thump, and Bill started digging in the spot.

"Nice soft caving this", Steve blurted too fast for anyone to understand.


"Nice soft caving this", Steve repeated, almost, but not quite, too fast for anyone to understand.

"That", Rob interjected pedantically.


"That. Nice soft caving that. Not this, Steve. You aren't doing it; Bill is. So it's that, not this", explained Rob

"Look at that", squealed Anette, holding a strange millipede in her hand, fascinated as ever.

"This, not that", Rob muttered.

"It's got a furry tummy", observed Tim.

"No it hasn't", said Anette. "It's got hundreds of legs".

"Oh", said Tim.

"Thousands", said Rob.

"Why, have you counted them?" asked Ben.

"Just because I haven't counted them, doesn't mean there aren't thousands", Rob replied with his usual remarkable insight for the vital.

Meanwhile, Bill had given up digging with his sleeping bag and had found a clean, flat bit of rock. Flat, sound, safe.

"What is it?"

"A rock, I think", said Bill (real Bill).

"Wow!", said James, and rushed off to melt snow on top of the snow pole.

It was indeed a rock. That is until Wlodek got involved. Then, within moments (well, five minutes), and a frenzied bolting bonanza later, a hideous loose and dangerous boulder choke had appeared with Wlodek half way down it.

"F---! Oh F---!"

"Tea's up", Michelle cheerfully

"Where?", said Rob.

"What?", said Michelle.

"Up where?", said Rob.

"Oh, up yours", retorted Michelle

"So who's going caving?", Gavin tried again worriedly.

"Everyone", said everyone.

"Even Tim?"

"He hasn't decided yet.", said everyone

Tim Guilford