The day started with a healthy organic faff, nonetheless ridiculously long, Monseigneur Botch, head of the group of heathens, trying his very best to sort out the 20 odd cavers walking around aimlessly in a morning haze mixed with the alcohol still lingering in our veins. Since Natalie wasn’t caving that day I took over SUSS’ complaining department and loudly dragged my feet and whined around, until the hut itself grew tired of my shit and I fell down the stairs, right before Olly decided to fuck with me, gave out my kneepads to Catherine (I let her keep them because it gave me an additional reason to complain) and stole my sexiest buff.
However the enthusiasm of the freshers was contagious, and the little troupe’s mood was excellent as we set off in the mist, rain, and flooded paths. The way there was extremely merry, sliding down hills on the wet grass (Leo using the Lack of Friction of his PVC suit to impress us with some cool ass slides, with that smug Leo look) and crossing a tumultuous river.
We got in the cave, Alfie leading the way and getting really excited by the pretty unimpressive entrance crawl, which certainly brought a smile to my lips.
“When there are that many people down a cave, we usually call it a ‘Sussterfuck’ ” explained Liam as we were waiting for Master Botchusbye to take a shit (“It was a really good shit” -Botcharbaboobii 2K17). I retorted that I had literally never heard that term, but he assured me that at least him and another person said it. I asked him if the other person was his ego. People went “ooooooooh”. The cave applauded. Drips of the water giggled as they tapped the rocks. Metaphorical shades dropped on my face very slowly with a bad guitar riff in the background. This was it, my biggest moment of glory.
Turns out loads of people say sussterfuck.
I successfully stuck caving Mathilda in Liam’s head as we were making our way through, stopping to hear Louise explain to the younglings how conservation tape is a natural occuring phenomenon in caves.
Our pace was good and our spirits high, and we made it to Hall of the Mountain King (mud hall) in good time. An obligatory mud fight happened while Liam was struggling to get his wellie unstuck from the slimy mud; Olly jumped along and I tried to push his head in the sea of mud at our feet (payback for giving my kneepads away), but he resisted. Determined, I thought that if he wouldn’t kindly bend down to meet the mud with his face, then I would bring it to him in a similarly brutal fashion. I splattered a generous handful of mud on his face and got some in his eye; I was quite pleased with my revenge, so we called a truce. In my anti-eyes holy crusade I also got some mud in Louise’s and Katheryn’s (sorry to you both.)
We went to wash ourselves of the thick layer of mud that covered our oversuits and helmets and faces, hanging out in the stream way with Olly blowing froth on us like we were in some low-budget movie that couldn’t get good quality fake snow, until we realised that we had to crawl back through the same mud we had happily washed off.
On the way out of the chamber we walked past a glorious, magnificent, unbelievable hermaphrodite made with the mud of the chamber. I instantly fell in love with such an angelic creature and asked Lord Boocharafloobadaboo to marry us on the instant. He pronounced us caver and caver, and I licked my mindblowing wife/husband’s shoulder before parting with her towards the end of the cave. So long, my love. My heart longs to spend some more enchanting minutes by your side.
We stopped in a big chamber with a satisfying echo, where we started a scream competition:  I was instantly disqualified after my half-assed attempt, Liam was all right, Jam’s was more impressive, but we hadn’t seen anything yet because when Katheryn opened her mouth she emitted a barely human shriek that echoed on the walls of the chamber, like a demon whose little toe had been stepped on by Satan’s high heels. I was almost surprised her glasses didn’t shatter to pieces. Liam begged her to stop, and so she did.
The few of us that had gone and explore further in the cave came back and, once Katheryn showed them her strange talent, we made our way back presto.
This is where I started feeling faint – probably explained by the two dirty pints I had downed in a futile attempt to impress the Freshers the night before right before passing out in the bunk room. The way back was made a little painful by my now aching stomach and my legs devoid of all energy; I was very thankful of the easiness of the cave, as well as the fruit bar and the twix snicker given to me by Louise and Liam respectively.
We made it out of the cave early, and walked back to the hut for an afternoon of lazying around and shamelessly criticizing the American ways.
And this concludes my trip report. I was looking forwards to fresher season because meeting new people is always exciting, but I didn’t realise that along with new brains to get to know freshers would also bring a joy and an enthusiasm to the group which I truly appreciate.
8/10 very fun trip would recommend.