Here’s a collection of stuff I’ve done recently that haven’t featured in a trip report. Hopefully this will keep Chris pacified!
Jeff convinced me to go mine exploring after having spent loads of time underground getting drunk at Ben’s 30th. Which was awesome btw. We went down a 100m shaft to go dip our genitals in some very cold water for an inordinately long time. The stuff you land on is really crap as it’s broken bits of wood and lots of nails (fun…). you then go wading and there’s a dry room with loads of machine stuff in there (on the way out we took lots of piccies) including one of Wade & Something & Wade). You wade through channels of water, to see a big old waterwheel. Pretty cool and well worth the trip. Jeff did some photography, I recovered from my hangover.
OHA bolting with Peachey (prior to the UCET smoke test)
Following my epic in OHA I went back with Peachey to do some bolt climbing. Peachey was brilliantly organised and packed everything. We had a really full and really quite heavy tackle sack each plus a little tackle sack and darren drum. We slogged along the first bit and turned right down the 1.5m tube rather than left down the 1.5m tube… All the stuff on the right isn’t really on the survey…
Corrected we battled the sandy crawls and before long climbed up 1 handline too early and had to climb down again. Eugh… We SRT’d up the next handline (naughty I know) and before long we got to the canals. Peachey made some really funny noises, he wasn’t best pleased. He was under the impression by this point that I was causing him great misery by taking him here. Worse was to come. We looked at the in situ rigging with a view to re/additonal bolting as the SRT is a little challenging due to the sheer volume of crap. Everywhere.
After much blood, sweat and tears (Peachey said he’d rather be in a cafe and doesn’t like caving) we got to Sump 1. We were flagging and not in high enough spirits. We faffed around with the siphon for quite a while but didn’t get it working. We put the one stainless steel bolt we’d brought and put it in at the end of the traverse line. We carried all the virtually unused stuff back out and were relieved to be alive. We drove back to mine had a sleep and a slow recovery day on the friday. Can’t wait to go back! (The smoke test was kind of positive).
Murphy’s pot and Milennium
I went on a jolly back to the area and had a poke around a few digs (Millennium and Murphy’s) and had more of a chat down a cave than actual digging. It was really interesting to try and work out how the caves formed and where they were in relation to the far end of OHA using the Pantymwyn vein. We had a good poke around trying to find where the draft was and could hear the others in the other dig. This was done by lighting cigarrettes and seeing the smoke drift. I have never experienced a more cancerous way of caving (apart from all that RADON, ho ho ho). I went to the pub and had a great chat with UCETters about the system.
Lots of freshers, very similar trips. The only one of any great note was my trip with Wayne, Eleanor, Thingy, Dave and the fresher who got stuck. The only reason I write this is for the immortal line ‘You are NOT stuck, that is a FACT, NOT an OPINION’ courtesy of Dave who had taken over looking after said fresher as my patience was at a low ebb. All in all a cracking trip with great newbies.
Drowning Hallam in P8
I took Will, Jack and Tommy caving during the wettest week we’ve had in a long while. So I decided to go to P8. I picked them up at the train station (shudders at the thought of the city centre) and drove via the SUSS hut to pick up kit. They spent their time ripping the piss out of each other and I joined in with the appropriate ‘Your mum’ comment to show that I was, as they say, ‘one of the lads’. They had a good rant about SHU Climbing Club whose £30 membership only allows you to borrow club kit (no discounts anywhere) which entirely consists of climbing shoes and harnesses, no trad or actual climbing kit. Hilarious, almost as bad as High Peak… um err… sorry, the Mountaineering Society.
The entrance was just shy of a vertical sump and after reassuring them it doesn’t sump (the water level was due to fall…) I got them to come down after me. Perhaps I shouldn’t have given them false confidence but we had to turn around at idiot’s leap as in Will’s words there was a ‘metric fuckton’ of water going over the pitch. It was pretty impressive. It made me want to see the main chamber but common sense made me turn round. I belayed them out (on request) as there was quite a lot of water…
They all survived.
Getting Wet with Henry
So in this really wet week I went caving with Henry, down speedwell. I got to carry lots of kit for p-bolting through a lot of water to try and get to Cliff Cavern. There was a lot of water. It was a lot of fun. We didn’t make it. Henry carried more and got neck deep. I on the other hand was only nipple deep for about 2 seconds. We got to the JH turning and didn’t fancy the swim as water was flowing over the boulders, and quite a bit too. We had a look at the Titan JH sump that had lots of wriggling red cow worms… yummy. Going back was awesome, we took some pipe with us. Going downstream was like how I’d imagine mechanically aided walking to be like. Lift off just a touch and then suddenly you’re at full extension. Henry dropped the pipe and eventually we found a pipe downstream (exactly the same only filled with silt… a different pipe!) We washed it out using the power of the bung and headed home for tea and medals. I hadn’t done speedwell before (was pretty cool), bonus.
A troop of us went out to the TSG to join GUPA for the annual party. The friday saw some drinking but was moderately exciting, the saturday…
I’m getting ahead of myself , I went to help GUPA Stuart shepherd his Gooper Troopers down Oxlow. I rigged and had 2 tackle monkeys in tow (eventually). I popped a new fixed handline down west whirl passage and had fun tying the rethreaded alpines (oh joy…). Initially I did it to all the bolts but it was very tight (insert bad joke here) requiring a hand jammer to tie the last knot. After untying it I rebalanced the system.
We had the second lot join us after a while and me and my 2 monkeys headed out in no time at all. We got changed and I went back to the entrance to wait for the others (Joachim joined a little later). On the way I met a Nettled contingent of DCCers and had a good natter about Nettle. Good to catch up with Tom Howard too. We waited for a long time for the GUPA girls, but they were fine and Michelle was only in a slightly murderous spirit. Back in the TSG, GUPA dressed up and many caving games were played. There was singing and then bottle throwing by cambridge for 5 minutes before they went to bed… at 10pm! Awesome night, ta Glasgow – see you at CHECC.
I was too ill to manage the Gaping Ghyll Trip on the Saturday of that weekend… WHY IS THERE NO TRIP REPORT OF THIS FRESHERS?! But could manage the sunday trip. I spent a long time on the surface walking about and tried to convince James (new one not Rhodesey) into doing some speleology. We popped down to see Rachael folornly looking for the way on. She should have read the rigging guide. I found the right way (missed the bolts at the bottom though!) and peered over a large drop to see the other group in the main chamber. We eventually got there (after some grumpy mumbles from the rigger) and joined a slightly bored group at the bottom. We went down and did the extra bit at the bottom (not the proper trip – I’d quite like to do that as I’ve missed it somehow). We went out, a couple of people got strung up but that’s par for the course. I think they all enjoyed GG a lot more…
Wayne, our Creg replacement bus service, wussed out on this trip (I retaliated by saying York is really rubbish) and so it was only me, Henry and Steven (Outdoor ed steven). I picked Steven up and got to Oxlow for 13.45 when Henry arrived eating. We had a quick fun trip filled with lots of chat – That’s what happens when Radio Rockliff and Rostam start to broadcast. I think Steven got a word in, can’t remember. There was a lot of talk about bolting.
Getting bored now… Fresher’s s’posed to be writing this so all I’m going to say is Eldon Hole, Last Sunday, South Gully, Rachael Rigged, Fashionable Freshers (Laura Ashleigh), Cold, A very mini rescue at a deviation. Done