Arriving in at the SWCC at midnight, the hut was already full of Southampton and SUSS members so we naturally started on the wine and eventually toddled off the bed around 5am (with some of us needing more help than others).
After faffing and the rest, SUSS managed to leave for OFD 2 due to the amount of rain with a vague plan of where everything was in the system. We found our way to through the Brickyard to Gnome Passage and after discovering a shortcut that took us back to where we’d just been, found the right way up to the Corkscrew via a small scramble and went to have a look at the Judge and Trident. Wandering into a small streamway, Botch and I wandered in the steam, which got very cold and deep very quickly so we abandoned that and went looking for the Maze.
Everyone poked around in the Maze for a bit, trying to see where all the different little passages and crawls went and found some tiny little crystals on the floor in one the passages. Our waymarker at every major junction was a very hungover Gamble who over-enjoyed his gin the night before and was left to make a nest of the tackle bags and previous nights bad choices. We then had a wander towards Cross Rift and explored some of the side passages. Will, Just Liam and Botch wandered off to go and have a look at Midnight Passage. Perched alone on a tall rock waiting for Molly, I enjoyed looking up the walls of the rift until I dropped the tackle bag and had to climb down to get it and back up again with my usual elegance. The roofs were really pretty and appeared have a marbleised effect with lots of little formations at various points. We wandered around following various passageways and managed to work out a loop via Shattered Pillar and collected Gamble. Retracing our steps, Leo and Helen climbed down to have a look at Maypole inlet whilst the rest of us waited at the top with a very forceful Will who was yelling ‘hydrate’ whilst throwing bottles of water at the freshers. We then had a wander out and had a look down side passages in the Big Chamber Near the Entrance.
After a small nap, the obligatory chili was served and the evening began. Rostam began singing and earned the adoration of Just Liam, and most of Southampton went to play a very odd version of Never Have I Ever that you have to know the answers to before you ask the questions and yell the word ‘consume!’; and their freshers read books in the corner. After the loss of most of Southampton to bed around 12.30am, SUSS consoled themselves using the reliable method of a mixture of wine, beer and caving games. Owing to a painful foot and lack of slings, Pan and Sling was out of the question and so strip Jenga was the suggested game of choice as it was left over from a S.CHECC. The alcohol didn’t help as people knocked the tower over many times for which the penalty was a naked room traverse, whilst Helen and Botch attempted a squeeze through the bench when they were tied together with a belt, and my t-shirt did the rounds as Rostam’s and then Josh’s (SUCC) make-shift trousers. Eventually people
couldn’t drink anymore petered out, and we stumbled off to bed about 5am.
Feeling delightfully fresh the next day, Helen, Leo, Will Wood and I wandered off down OFD 1 with Southampton. OFD 1 is a lovely Sunday trip however I was feeling a little iffy with Helen describing my attempt to tackle a slight incline in OFD 1 as ‘like a baby gazelle’. But the streamway is very refreshing (less so when you’re doing the traverse above it) and after a couple of hours pottering around in there, we packed up and went home.