David Loeffler's Caving Log

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This list was started 2005-10-23, so much had to be reconstructed from hazy recollections and archives of old emails. There are definitely some trips I can't place at all: for example, I went to Bull Pot of the Witches at some point in my first year, with a party that included Simon and Alex Cheesman, but I can't work out exactly when. I need to get hold of the old CUCC club logbook, and check some details in that.

Index by cave

Yorkshire: Alum Pot / Long Churns 1 2 3 4 — Big Meanie 1 2Birks Fell Cave — Bull Pot Kingsdale 1 2 3 — Bull Pot of the Witches 1 2 — Death's Head Pot see Big Meanie — Easegill Caverns 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 — Gaping Gill 1 2 3 4 5Gingling HoleGreat Douk PotHammer Pot — Hardrawkin Pot 1 2Heron PotHurnell Moss PotIreby Fell Cavern — Jingling Pot 1 2 — Juniper Gulf 1 2Little Hull PotLong Kin East / Rift Pot — Long Kin West 1 2 — Lost Johns' Cave 1 2 — Meregill Hole 1 2Nick Pot — Notts Pot 1 2 — Notts II (Committee Pot) 1 2Pen-y-Ghent PotPillar HolesQuaking PotRowten PotRumbling Hole — Sell Gill Holes 1 2 3Simpson's Pot — Swinsto Hole 1 2 3 — Tatham Wife Hole 12 — Valley Entrance 1 2 (see also Simpsons' and Swinsto pull-through trips) — Washfold Pot — Yordas Pot 1 2

Derbyshire: Giants HoleJames Hall's Over Engine Mine — Oxlow / Maskhill 1 2Nettle Pot — P8 1 2Titan

Mendip: Box Mines 1 2Charterhouse Cave — Eastwater Cavern 1 2 3Fairy Cave / Hillier's Cave — GB Cave 1 2 3Gibbets Brow ShaftGoatchurch CavernHunter's Lodge Inn Sink — Longwood Swallet / August Hole 1 2Pen Park HolePriddy Green SinkRod's PotRose Cottage CaveSt Cuthbert's SwalletSandford LevySidcot SwalletSinging River MineSwan Mine — Swildon's Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7Thrupe Lane Swallet

Wales: Ogof Agen AllweddBridge CaveOgof Craig y Ffynnon — Ogof Daren Cilau 1 2 3Ogof DraenenEglwys Faen — Ogof Ffynnon Ddu 1 2 3 4 5 6Little Neath River CaveLlethrid SwalletPant Mawr Pot

Overseas Trips: Ardeche 1 2 — Austria 1 2 3 4 5 6 — USA 1 2 3China


Prehistory

Prior to joining CUCC in 2001, I did several trips to the Mendips with various outdoor centres - visiting Goatchurch Cavern, Sidcot Swallet, and Rod's Pot in Burrington Coombe - and a few trips with Cotham Cave Group, taking in Swildon's Hole and a couple of digs near Red Quarr; plus a guided trip round Box Mines.


2001-2002

2001-10-14: CUCC Novice Meet to Peak District. Cave: P8. I recall nothing about it except that it was rather damp. I have stronger recollections of the hut and its breathtaking squalor, and of getting amazingly drunk on someone else's bottle of "Olmec" tequila.

2001-11-10 to 2001-11-11: CUCC Yorks 1 meet. Saturday: Easegill Caverns, Wretched Rabbit to Eureka Junction, then a detour through the old high level caverns above Stop Pot before emerging from County Pot. I got very, very tired, and nearly smashed up my face rather nastily by slipping on a muddy boulder (fortunately my lamp took the force of the blow). Sunday was a pull-through of Yordas Pot, enlivened by a caver from the University of Huddersfield getting hideously strung up at the entrance.

2001-11-24 to 2001-11-25: CUCC Mendip meet. Saturday: Longwood Swallet / August Hole, my first light failure. Sunday: GB Cave.

2002-01-25 to 2002-01-26: CUCC Yorks 3 meet. Saturday: Gaping Gill - Bar Pot in heavy, heavy snow, staggeringly picturesque but very cold. Sunday: Sell Gill Holes (dry route) - the trip when Phil Endecott found a live toad.

2002-02-08 to 2002-02-09: CUCC Wales meet. Saturday: Ogof Ffynnon Ddu through-trip, from OFD 1 entrance to Cwm Dwr, with John Heathcote (extremely exhausting). Sunday: Bridge Cave (the log incident).

2002-02-22 to 2002-02-23: CUCC Yorks 4a meet. Saturday: ??. Sunday: ??. (I definitely went on this trip according to the old email archives, but I have no recollection of it, unless I am mixing it up with the January one. But I'm pretty sure I was wearing a club SRT kit for Bar Pot, whereas I had bought my own by this date.)

2002-03-08 to 2002-03-09: CUCC Peak meet. Saturday: Oxlow Cavern / Maskhill Mine exchange (in some order). Sunday: Nettle Pot. This was the time when Martin and I were stuck in an unheated car while Becka had to walk back to Castleton, as the car had an electrical fault.

2002-07-?? to 2002-08-?? (two weeks): CUCC Austria expedition 2002. I didn't do much actual caving, as I wasn't there for very long, and it chucked it down spectacularly with rain most of that time; standout trip was the first descent of Gaffered to the Walls.


2002-2003

2002-10-20: CUCC novice meet to Swildon's Hole.

2002-10-26 to 2002-10-27: CUCC Yorks 1 meet. No idea what caves got done, although old emails make it clear I was there.

2002-11-23 to 2002-11-24: CUCC Yorks 2 meet. Saturday: Tatham Wife Hole. Sunday: Swinsto Hole. This was the meet when the Newark bog incident occurred.

2002-11-30: Inaugural CHECC Seminar; I went to Ogof Daren Cilau with some random people from Lancaster, and was completely ground down to nothing by the entrance crawl. Emerged somewhat hypothermic, shivering so hard I could barely stand.

2002-12-30 to 2003-01-03: CUCC New Year meet.

2003-01-24 to 2003-01-25: CUCC Yorks III meet. Went up a day early to survey Maracaibo, in the Easegill Caverns with Mark. Failed to get through the duck at the end, but completed a Lancs -> Wretched through trip. Saturday: unable to do Juniper Gulf with the others owing to advanced knackeredness, so went to Sell Gill Holes and did the Wet Route with Mark (while Steve took some novices down the Dry Route). Got strung up nastily at the first Y-hang.

2003-03-22 to 2003-04-05: CUCC Ardeche trip. Caves visited (in some order): Aven de Noel, Aven de Saint-Marcel, Goule de Foussoubie, Aven du Marteau, Grotte du Barry, Fontaine de Champclos / Aven de Mont-Blanc. Standout trips were the first three: Noel is stunningly decorated, and has a memorable entrance pitch; Saint-Marcel has an immense railway tunnel passage in the lower section which showed the marks of a recent cataclysmic flood; and Foussoubie is ludicrously wet, to the extent that you are already swimming in more than two metres' depth of water when you pass under the entrance arch. Caving in an inflatable boat is rather fun!

2003-06-??: RRCPC meet to Birks Fell Cave.

2003-06-20 to 2003-06-22 - CUCC rescue training meet. Friday: hauling training in Bull Pot Kingsdale with Tom Redfern from CRO. Saturday: large-scale hauling practice, shifting James Cranch from Fall Pot to Kath's Way in Easegill Caverns. Sunday: More hauling, again in Easegill Caverns, with Jenny and Olly joining us while some of the others did a pleasure trip.

2003-06-28 to 2003-06-29 - CUCC Yorks meet. Details are hazy but I believe Saturday was Bull Pot Kingsdale with Pete and Olly, while Sunday was possibly Hardrawkin Pot. I have a faint suspicion that we may have left on the Thursday and done Top Sink to Lancaster Hole in Easegill Caverns; the trip definitely happened around this time (at a time when Pete was still prone to falling off traverses, which fits as he joined in spring 2003).

2003-07-12 to 2003-08-?? - CUCC Austria expedition 2003. T/U 71h (according to the logbook), almost all in Steinbrückenhöhle, including four trips to Razordance (of 13, 11, 11 and 15.5 hours).

2003-08-??: Ogof Ffynnon Ddu with UBSS, Top Entrance to Cwm Dwr through-trip.

2003-08-??: Eastwater Cavern with Andy Atkinson and other UBSS people; in through Boulder Chamber, down Dolphin Pot, West End series as far as Regent's Park, out via Upper Traverse.

2003-08-24: Pen Park Hole with Steve Cottle and other UBSS people.


2003-2004

2003-10-25 to 2003-10-26: CUCC Yorks 1 meet. Saturday: Easegill - County/Wretched. (I have no recollection of this trip at all, but I was definitely there and I'm sure we didn't do anything else). Sunday: Easegill again - Pool Sink, with Earl, Franklin, Mark Lalancette, Franklin and (?name?) another fresher.

2003-11-08 to 2003-11-09: CUCC Swales 1 meet. Saturday: Ogof Ffynnon Ddu - OFD II to Cwm Dwr through-trip. Sunday: OFD again - wander in upper levels, taking in Swamp Creek with its interesting formations. Stuart's novice meet, among several others, and my first as meet leader.

2003-11-22 to 2003-11-23: CUCC Yorks 2 meet. Saturday: Alum Pot - Long Churn / Dolly Tubs route. Sunday: Little Hull Pot epic (very late return, freezing cold weather).

2003-12-27 to 2004-01-04 (I think): CUCC New Year meet.

2004-01-24 to 2004-01-25: CUCC Yorks III meet. Saturday: Juniper Gulf, with Nial and Mike Tanner. Transpired to have been pirated by not one but two other groups, much to my irritation. Sunday: Simpson's Pot pull-through.

2004-02-07 to 2004-02-08: CUCC Mendip meet. Saturday: Swildon's Hole (short round trip) with Stuart, Olly and Nial; mud sump perfectly passablen after some bailing. Sunday: GB Cave, with above people plus Mark and James Hickson. Failed to climb up into Great Chamber.

2004-05-22: CUCC Yorks VI meet to Gingling Hole. Not too bad as far as the Impossible Rift, Big Rift route really serious beyond the splitting of the ways at 'Ammered 'Ole.

2004-06-18 to 2004-06-20: CUCC Yorkshire meet with Stuart, Nial, Martin, Olly, Mark and possibly some others. Friday: Alum Pot by the direct route - a truly storming free-hang. Saturday: Cow Pot surveying practice. Sunday: hauling practice in Sell Gill (dry route).

2004-06-26 to 2004-06-27: CUCC pre-Expo meet, with Mark, Pete and Nial. Saturday: Ireby Fell Caverns. Met Brian Outram and Phil Underwood's brother Austin underground. Sunday: Hardrawkin Pot - we bottomed it this time, getting very wet at the bottom - followed by Great Douk Pot.

2004-07-06 to 2004-08-14: CUCC Austria expedition 2004. T/U estimated from logbook: 97 hours. (If I'd realised that at the time, I would have done a gratuitous extra trip on the final day, rather than frittering it away on pointless surface work.)

2004-09-??: President's meet to Mendip. Saturday: Longwood Swallet. Sunday: Box Mine and Swan Mine.


2004-2005

2004-10-30 to 2004-10-31: CUCC Yorks 1 meet. Saturday: Easegill Caverns, Wretched Rabbit to County Pot via Stop Pot, with James Hickson and two freshers (joined by Nial for the way out). Sunday: Valley Entrance with Phil Endecott and some freshers (the great macaroni cheese incident).

2004-11-27 to 2004-11-28: CUCC Yorks 2 meet. Saturday: Jingling Pot, teaching Nial to rig and Rupert and Sarah to SRT. Generally dull. Sunday: Swinsto Hole pull-through with Stuart and Sarah (and others?).

2004-12-11 to 2004-12-12: CUCC Yorks 2.5 meet. Saturday: Quaking Pot, with Stuart and Wookey. Hideous, no redeeming features whatsoever; I got stuck at the top of the third pitch and had to turn around and go out. Sunday: Notts II. Route: upstream to Curry Inlet, back to main streamway, upstream 'till I got bored, back down to sump and out again. Photos on CUCC site.

2004-12-28 to 2005-01-03: CUCC new year meet.

2005-02-19 to 2005-02-20: CUCC South Wales meet, attended by me, Mark, Emma, Sarah, Toby, Letty and Rupert. Saturday: OFD, attempting to find our way into OFD III (unsuccessfullly). Route: OFD II entrance, Gnome Passage, corkscrew climb down into Chasm Passage, upstream in Salubrious Streamway, at which point we got lost for a while. (Note: One valid route at this point is to follow the streamway upstream to junction with clay figures, then turn right, through a short unpleasant crawl into the bottom of Chasm Passage. This is not the best route but is perhaps the easiest to find.) Across Poached Egg Climb and through some easy horizontal stuff as far as the Crevasse. (Note: Two ladders are ideal here, one for the climb down to the crevasse and one for the pitch after it. A good amount of rope is essential, 30m for the traverse and more for the pitch. This avoids the sort of tedious arsing around we got into.) Beyond here the route is through some very boulderous passage, to a point where the passage dips into the floor and the route across can be accessed by either a traverse (6m rope) or a climb up (sling useful). Sunday: Little Neath River Cave. Access problems appear to be mythical.

2005-03-30 to 2005-04-06: CUCC Ardeche meet, attended by me, Mark, Simon, Nial, Stuart, Emma, Sarah, Letty, Lucia, James Hickson, Mike Tanner, Phil Endecott, John Heathcote and possibly some others I've forgotten. The list of trips here is mainly reconstructed from the date stamps on my photos, and since these only cover a handful of caves, it is unreliable.

2005-04-22 to 2005-04-23 (I think): unofficial Wales trip with Emma, Olly and Sarah. Thursday: while waiting for others to turn up, did Eglwys Faen - almost, but not quite, doable in dry grots - and later on Ogof Daren Cilau, as far as the White Company formations, a somewhat easier trip than my last visit. Friday: Ogof Craig y Ffynnon - fine trip but the crawl in the middle is much longer than you think!

2005-06-05: somewhat bibulous CUCC Peak trip. Oxlow Cavern -> Maskhill Mine, with Nial (Mark and Sarah going the other way). I may have got them the wrong way round; the one we descended has a long passage going down at 45° ending in a short pitch with utterly bonkers anchor placements, which I rigged with a double bowline tri-hang (worked very well as it turned out - not even Mark complained). Waited ages for the others to turn up, which I think says more about Mark's rigging style compared to mine and Nial's than it does about the caves. T/U perhaps 5h.

2005-06-16 to 2005-06-19: post-exam meet to South Wales with Pete and Nial (Mark joining us for Saturday + Sunday).

2005-07-24 to 2005-08-20: CUCC Austria expedition. 77 hours underground: 22.5 in Eislufthöhle, 27 in Steinbrückenhöhle, and 26.5 in Hauchhöhle.

2005-09-03: Hammer Pot. CUCC trip with Mark, Djuke, Tony, Simon, Toby, Olly M, Nial and Stuart (plus several members of CRO later on). T/U 14 hours, four of them stuck in Stemple Rift.

2005-09-17 to 2005-09-18: CUCC President's Meet to Mendip. Saturday: Eastwater Cavern, with Nial and Toby, plus a random guy we met in the cave. Route taken: in through choke, Upper Traverse, Dolphin Pot + 35ft pitch (which seems to only require a 30ft ladder), Thirteen Pots to bottom and out again via a route over the top of the Upper Traverse which is suprisingly pleasant. T/U perhaps 5h. Sunday: Rose Cottage Cave (very pretty Wessex dig) with Nial, Frank and Toby for 1hr, followed by tourist/digging trip to Hunters' Lodge Inn Sink with Nial and Toby, plus Tony Jarratt, Fiona from the Wessex and various other diggers; T/U 2.5h.


2005-2006

2005-10-09: ICCC freshers' day trip to Swildon's Hole. Team: three parties, of which mine constituted Darryll, myself and three freshers. Route: main streamway as far as Sump 2, detours to Barnes' Loop on the way down and Tratman's Temple on the way out. T/U perhaps 4h.

2005-11-05 to 2005-11-06: ICCC Yorkshire meet, coinciding with fireworks at BPF. Saturday: Tatham Wife Hole, with a crack team of myself, Clewin, Jan, Jarv and Rick. Went right to the bitter end, despite high water conditions rendering everything below the ramp pitch somewhat aqueous, and the final pitch downright silly. But who cares, it's a definite tick. T/U maybe 4h. Sunday: Bull Pot Kingsdale with Sandeep, Hannah (ex Cardiff UCC) and Trevor. Major fuck-up on the fourth pitch concluded with me knot-passing over Trevor mid-rope; we should never have gone down there in the first-place, it was downright dangerous, far too much water. My ambition to get to the bottom of the fifth pitch is still unfulfilled. T/U maybe 3h.

2005-11-19 to 2005-11-20: weekend in the Mendips with Ann. Saturday: Thrupe Lane Swallet. Tried and failed to find the route to the High Atlas via the Railway Series. Later did a Hiller's Cave / Fairy Cave through trip. Sunday: shaft-bashing with the Shepton Mallet crew on the hill by the dry ski slope at Sandford, with a quick glance into Sandford Levy along the way.

2005-11-26 to 2005-11-27: ICCC Yorkshire meet, timed to coincide with the CHECC seminar. Saturday: Long Kin West. My idea, so of course I had to find the place; I had grave doubts of my ability to do this, so I took along my GPS. Alas, I copied the coordinates out of Northern Caves 2 with two digits transposed. Doh! Finally found it and got to the bottom with no further incident; Sandeep rigged the entrance pitch, then I took over, while Clewin and Rick followed and did the derigging. Sunday: Heron Pot – short and sweet.

2005-12-10 to 2005-12-11: ICCC Mendip meet. Saturday: St Cuthbert's Swallet, led by a friend of Ann's called Sean. Nice trip, although shorter than I expected – we were in and out within three and a half hours. The Great Gour was rather impressive. Sunday: Gibbets Brow (Shepton Mallet dig). Ann, Neil and Phil dug while Tonic and I surveyed, which was by some way the muddiest surveying I've ever done.

2005-12-?? to 2005-12-30: CUCC New Year meet.

I've lost a day here somewhere; I definitely went back on New Year's Eve. There must have been something happening on the 30th, but I can't for the life of me remember what.

2006-02-24 to 2006-02-26: Boston Grotto trip to West Virginia.

2006-04-23: Boston Grotto trip to Morris Cave, Vermont. Quite fun; the place reminded me a bit of a classic Mendip cave (maybe Eastwater), but it was much shorter. Apparently it's the longest cave in New England, but it's still well short of half a mile long -- we visited pretty much every inch of it in a single trip.

2006-05-13: Germany Valley Karst Survey trip to Hell Hole, Germany Valley, West Virginia. Good trip; first really sporting caving I'd done for some while. My first experience of US-style indestructible rope technique rigging. Surveyed some new passage – but only 30 feet of it.

2006-06-23 to 2006-06-25: CUCC expo training meet, Yorkshire. Friday: trip into Easegill with Mark and Aaron, to replace the rope on Arson Shaft, near Stake Pot; replaced the rope on the upper 15m pitch but not the lower one, as I had forgotten my spanner (doh!) and the spanner built into my Petzl bolting hammer couldn't remove the ring hangers. Also failed to find the route into Pristine Way, and left one of my krabs in the rig, so a revisit is needed. Saturday: Nick Pot with Olly. Wandered around for absolutely ages trying to find the entrance, and then failed to spot the P-hangers at Trousers Flake, so didn't bottom it. Sunday: surveying practice in Yordas.

2006-07-15 to 2006-08-19: CUCC Austria expedition. 105 hours underground: 63 in Steinbrückenhöhle, 25 in Hauchhöhle, 17 in Tunnockschacht.


2006-2007

2006-09-17 to 2006-09-18: CUCC Yorkshire meet, with John, Olly, Stuart and Emma. Saturday: abortive attempt on Meregill. Took ages to find the place, and on abseiling down I landed in chest-deep water, with all ways on sumped (I nearly got pulled under trying to swim in SRT kit with a tacklesack tied to me). Turns out what we were using was the Mere Entrance, whereas we should have used the Aven Entrance which bypasses the mere. Ended up going to Valley Entrance; the stream wasn't quite high enough to float us down the cascades, but we had some fun visiting Toyland on the way out. Time underground maybe 3 1/2 hours. Must remember to bring jammers for the next trip, to get up the aven just beyond Toyland; and I'm rather tempted to find out what the "revolting tube" in Carrot Passage is like. Sunday: Aquamole Pot. Was going fine until Olly (second down the big pitch after me) noticed a hideous rope rub that I'd totally missed! Fine cave though. Maybe 4 hours underground. Memo: 55m isn't quite enough rope for the last pitch, it really needs 65.

2006-09-30: CUCC Wales trip, to Ogof Daren Cilau, with Mark, Toby, Emma and Nial. (Sarah was on the meet but volunteered as casualty for a rescue practice in Agen Allwedd.) For a change, we turned right instead of left in Big Chamber Not Near The Entrance, and followed the main route as far as the Time Machine (which was actually rather disappointing). 8 1/2 hours underground. Bloody hard work, and we were pretty cold when we turned around; I'd like to go back there not on a photo trip and see how much further we can get. (Memo: take a harness next time; climbing ladders with a sling harness is really shit.) Jacked on Sunday, hence only a one-day trip for the purposes of this log.

2006-10-14 to 2006-10-15: ICCC Derbyshire novice meet. Saturday: P8, with Dan, Marc and four freshers (Tom, Charles, Ben and Deh Chen). Turned into a minor epic as Deh Chen was unable to climb the ladders, and had to be hauled up, and even assisted up the 1.5m entrance chimney. We also contrived to miss the turning for the second pitch bypass (apparently a bold step across high up in the rift above the streamway between pitches 1 and 2). We were only underground for 2 1/2 hours, but it felt like much longer, particularly when me and Marc were trying to do a two-man haul with no pulleys or spare gear. Sunday: Giants Hole, with the same team minus Deh. This went much more smoothly; we rather ambitiously attempted the Round Trip -- through the entrance series, down Garlands Pot, along the bottom of the Crabwalk, up the rope climb at Eating House, through the Giant's Windpipe and back over the top of the Crabwalk to the bottom of Garlands again. Made it out after only 3 hours 20 minutes, just in time to meet team P8 driving over to pick us up. Absolutely cracking trip; I certainly enjoyed it, and I gather the novices did too. It's nice and varied without having any one difficult section. (Maybe next time I should bring a rope for some psychological belaying down the slot into the Crabwalk though.)

2006-10-21 to 2006-10-22: ICCC Mendip novice meet. Saturday: massive faff as we waited for ages for Chris to appear, then drove all the way to Tynings to find it was locked, before going back to Swildons to face the enormous queues. I think I belayed 15 people down the ladder and 17 up it or some silly numbers like that; Imperial, Oxford, Manchester, Cardiff, Aberystwyth and Wessex were all down there at once. At least I've refined my italian hitch technique to a ludicrously fine point now. T/U perhaps 4h. Sunday: Ann kindly volunteered to show us round Singing River Mine; it's a nice place, for a mine, and good fun to wander round as it's quite mazy but not big enough to get dangerously lost in. (We split into two teams, with Ann leading one, and me exploring more or less at random leading the other; eventually we met up and Ann directed me towards some of the nicer parts before heading out.) T/U 2h ish.

2006-11-04: WSG fireworks meet. Saturday: OFD with Sarah, Steve and Alys; complete failure to find the way through to OFD III yet again. T/U not sure, perhaps 4 hours. No caving on the Sunday (climbing at Morlais instead).

2006-11-25 to 2006-11-26: CHECC seminar, Mendip. Saturday: Charterhouse Cave, with Andy Atkinson, John and Adam. Short and sweet, perhaps 2 hours underground. It's very pretty, although it's not quite clear to me why it needs to be quite as rigorously protected as it is. The cave pearls were nice though. After this Andy took another party down Charterhouse while the other three of us went down GB Cave for 3 hours; it was kind of epic with the amount of water that was flowing (after several days of rain on the surface), rendering the waterfall climb in the main passage rather exciting. Still couldn't find the way to Great Chamber; some of the SUSS lads told us to follow the route towards Bat Passage and shear off up to the left once we met the first bits of conservation tape, but that didn't seem to work. Sunday: Priddy Green Sink / Swildon's Hole through-trip, with Ann, Simon, Kevin and Clive from the Wessex. Absolutely stunning trip -- yes, it's tight, but not so much so as to be miserable, just enough to be fun; and the Swildon's 4 streamway is impressive. Only took 5 hours as well.

2006-12-28 to 2007-01-02: CUCC New Year meet, Bull Pot Farm.

2007-01-20 to 2007-01-21: ICCC Yorkshire trip. Saturday: Swinsto Hole with Sandeep, Jutta, Thara and Marc. It had been pretty miserable weather for several days prior to the trip and the water level was pretty high, although I still just about contrived to keep my upper body dry through the Long Crawl. The main pitch was obviously too wet, with the P-hangers steering us straight into a huge spout of water and no means of rigging out of it; there was a spit which would have given an almost dry descent, but I'd forgotten to pack any hangers, so out we went. The Long Crawl is even less fun when you have to do it twice. 4 hours underground. Sunday: Notts II with Sandeep, Gerardo, James, and two novices (Ben and Joe). Wandered upstream as far as Curry Junction, looked briefly at Curry Inlet and the main streamway (until it got to neck-deep wading and I wimped out) and then out, with a visit to the grotto by the rock bridge (just above the nick point in the streaway) en route. Again 4 hours underground.

2007-02-03: ICCC Mendip trip (Anne's birthday). Saturday: Eastwater Cavern with Chris, Marc, Joe, Adele and Alex. Across the Upper Traverse, down Baker's Chimney, Dolphin Pot and the 10m pitch, and down the 13 Pots. Chris and Alex left us at the bad step, while we contined to the bottom, meeting some lads from Kent UCC on the way. Met up with Chris and Alex again on the way out: they'd failed to find Baker's Chimney (muppets). C+A went out across the traverse while the rest of us took the alternative route across the top via a tight squeeze. 7 1/2 hours underground.

2007-02-10: CUCC Derbyshire trip. Saturday: Titan->JH exchange, with Nial, Pete, Aaron and Tom. Meanwhile Becka, Julian, Patrick (CPC) and James (DUSA) were going down JH and out of Titan, and Tony, Sarah, Emma, and Stuart down Titan and out of Peak via White River series; quite a complex piece of planning, which ended up working out remarkably well. Titan turns out to be far more nerve-racking to wait for than it is to actually do. 7 hours underground. A foot or so of snow on the ground enlivened proceedings considerably; a lack of appetite for carrying bags of wet gear 500 yards from the car to the hut to dry led to a teashop fester on the Sunday.

2007-04-01 to 2007-04-21: Hong Meigui CES expedition to Tongzi, Wulong County, Chongqing, China. Caverns formerly measureless to man were found (and measured). 5277m of passage surveyed, about 1/3 of that doing notes and 2/3 doing tape. T/U not a clue, but must be in the region of 60-70 hours.

2007-05-05 to 2007-05-07: ICCC Yorkshire trip, with Tom, Jarv, Thara and James. Saturday: Meregill Hole. Turns out Aven Entrance is pretty tight at the top, and it was dry, so we did the Mere (but I was a muppet and packed the ropes for both at once, leaving me rigging the next pitch with a 20m rope when I should have used a 40). Some airy traversing was called for to avoid (nonexistent) water. The Main Drain is absolutely cracking. 7h underground. Sunday: Easegill, the Magic Roundabout: good fun, but remember to turn left and not right at the top of Arson Shaft, as Quality Street is really shit. Aquarius Pot isn't rigged but everything else is, although some of the gear is excitingly corroded. 6 1/2h ug. Monday: Alum Pot with Thara (everyone else jacked). Took almost exactly 9 minutes to prusik out, which makes the 1 min 23 record for a 40m prusik at HE06 look particularly scary. 2h ug.

2007-06-15 to 2007-06-17: CUCC Expo training trip. Easegill again -- to Cape Kennedy on Friday, and survey practice around Fall Pot on Sunday.

2007-07-09 to 2007-08-09: CUCC Austria expo. 60ish hours underground (not much, owing to spending too long in Razor Dance).


2007-2008

Not much caving this year, as it was the year I finished my PhD, and also I did climbing and hiking trips in the vacations instead.

2007-11-??: Trip to County Pot in Easegill with Sarah, Toby and some SOC people. Embarrassed myself by taking the wrong turning and ending up at Platypus Junction.


2008-2009

2008-10-18: CUCC Mendip novice trip to Swildon's Hole. Cast of thousands. Sarah and I turned around between the pitch and the Double Pots owing to cold and general frustration.


2009-2010

2009-09-19 to 2009-09-20: CUCC 60th anniversary Yorkshire dinner. Saturday: Gaping Gill -- in via Dihedral Route, out via Flood Entrance. "Fine situation" doesn't even begin to describe the Dihedral descent. Sunday: Alum Pot -- down the main shaft and out via Long Churn.


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Last updated 2009-10-08