The day started off relatively smoothly. Bit of ‘house’ watching and then all the necessary faff that goes with any caving trip. Ali donned his wetsuit as P8 was expected to be a tad chilly.
The drive to the cave was very uneventful, parking caused some minor issues as the car park was covered in about a foot of snow, but no matter, we parked just up the road in a little lay-by.
Halfway through getting changed Sam realised he had forgotten his helmet… After some stressing on Ali’s part (as he was the leader after all) Sam persuaded him he would be fine in a neoprene hood with light attached. But about 5 minutes later, after Tom1 also discovered he was helmet-less enough was enough and we piled into the car again to go helmet hunting. After Tom pushing the back of the car to get it out of our snowy parking space we were back on the road.
Little did we know the next disaster was about to strike; a minute into the journey me and Tom saw something small and black fall off the roof of the car. We questioned this and after some cursing on Ali’s part discovered that it was his phone. Back we went to go phone hunting.
We found it in the ditch and at first glance it appeared to be in full working order but we soon realised that about half of the buttons didn’t work. Alas, we needed to get back to the first job of finding a helmet so off we go to the TSG. One helmet was found, which would have to do, so we borrowed that and off we toddled back to the cave. Finding a chicken foot on the side of the road was quite interesting, I gave it to Sam as a present.
The trek there was quite arduous, walking through snow up to your knees across fields is not an easy task; so we stopped to have a rest half way and ate some snow to cool down. The entrance to P8 was half covered in ice but there was enough space to get down. And so continued our very fun and very wet caving trip. After our original plan of heading off at 12, getting there at 4 after all that we’d gone through, it felt nice to be in a cave at last!