Author Topic: Online Log Book: 2006  (Read 51103 times)

Offline Les W

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« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2006, 10:53:32 am »
Sounds like you had a cracking trip Chris

I have never abseiled the nave I have always laddered it (needed to return that way :D )

Edwards short cut IS a short cut, but only if you are returning from that part of the cave :)
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2006, 11:16:03 am »
I didn't know Edward's Shortcut leads to Abercrave, Gosh, you learn something new every day  :wink:

Offline Andy Sparrow

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« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2006, 11:38:17 am »
You beat us to it Mr C!  We were going to write up the OFD this morning before going off for todays Welsh caving trip.  It was an excellent trip and the Abercrave Inn afterwards was good fun, with Mr Castle being on his best form.  Anyway, here are some pics from Monday....

Don't ask!

Bumbling down Salubrious


At the Trident


Rigging the Nave

Mel abseils the Nave

Part of a superb stal flow between the pitches

Between the pitches

Last pitch - Mel abseils down to the Second Oxbow

Yours truly

Maypole Inlet

Mr C on Edward's Shortcut traverse

All out - but Mr C has some energy to spare!
Andy Sparrow



Offline chriscastle46

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« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2006, 09:58:44 am »
That picture of me by the Trident is terrifying; I seem to be turning in to Cap'n Chris. :(   I must start a diet and get to the gym immediately, or maybe tomorrow...........

andymorgan

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« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2006, 11:49:06 am »
You actually look like you are dead in that picture... True to form though it seems like you were bought round by the presence of a woman!

Melanie lloyd

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« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2006, 01:55:14 pm »
Quote from: "andymorgan"
You actually look like you are dead in that picture...



He's our very own El Cid.....we take him on long trips and prop him up with a stalagmite to boost moral.

El Chris.     :lol:

Offline chriscastle46

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« Reply #31 on: March 27, 2006, 10:31:05 pm »
Quote from: "andymorgan"
You actually look like you are dead in that picture... True to form though it seems like you were bought round by the presence of a woman![/quote

Indeed, it took Mel to make me rise again!

Offline chriscastle46

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« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2006, 10:33:23 pm »
What went wrong with the quote thingy?

Offline Les W

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« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2006, 10:50:42 pm »
Quote from: "chriscastle46"
What went wrong with the quote thingy?


It looks like you had a bracket missing from the closing quote tag
If you go and edit it in it might sort itself out :)
I'm a very busy person

Offline Andy Sparrow

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« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2006, 10:50:54 pm »
Quote from: "chriscastle46"
What went wrong with the quote thingy?

You left off the last bracket
Andy Sparrow



Offline Cap'n Chris

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« Reply #35 on: March 28, 2006, 05:14:32 pm »
Standing in for Hebden on the Saturday trip to Swildon's didn't require much effort since it failed to happen for lack of interest; this is becoming a regular theme of late. OK, so Brendan apparently rang in the morning but since I was out caving in the morning anyway this wasn't of much use as he couldn't get in touch with me: being contacted at least a day in advance of these club trips is necessary.

With about 24hrs to go to the next scheduled ladder/line training event evening I have not heard from anyone so have made alternative plans for my evening's caving although frankly I imagine that the climbing centre isn't available on Wednesday - since it hasn't been all year anyway; and also I can't do Friday since I'm, ironically, out climbing!

I'm going to have a break and just be a simple club caver for a while so please consider me out of the loop when it comes to organising stuff for the foreseeable future. i.e. don't ring me `cos I'm on holiday from club work.

Offline Andy Sparrow

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OFD 1st April
« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2006, 12:56:21 am »
OFD Great Oxbow Series  1st April 2006
Andy & Mel, Neil & Judi, Dani (gooseberry)

To get into the Great Oxbow Series from Top Entrance you have two options – either by the exposed traverses at the end of Midnight Passage or by scaling the aven annotated as ‘skyhook' on the survey.  The skyhook system involves hauling up a self-locking device which is kept in the SWCC key cupboard.  The gentleman of SWCC checked the fixed-aids list to confirm that the pitch was still rigged for this type of ascent, confirmed that it was, and showed us how to use the gadget on their practice bolts.  Neil and Judi arrived but, meanwhile, Dani, by her admission, did nor have her  caving or navigation head on and had gone to Agen Allwedd by mistake.  Eventually, at about 12.30ish, we entered the cave.  I say ‘ish' because it was then we realised that none of us had a watch.  We ambled along, down Edward's Shortcut, into Midnight Passage.


Neil in Midnight Passage

Eventually we found ourselves looking upwards, to where two lengths of orange string vanished into darkness – it was skyhook time.  I attached a ladder and lifeline to the gadget, connected it to the string, and hauled the assembly upwards.  The aven is 11 metres and even our combined lights could not really illuminate what was happening above.  There was some resistance on the line so I pulled a bit harder… and the string broke… a tangle of ladder, lifeline and string landed at my feet.  


The ladder goes up!

We were not getting into Great Oxbow Series by that route.  This left the dodgy traverses option.  Well, there was no harm in going down and having a look, so we continued down Midnight Passage towards the ominous sound of the rumbling main stream.  The passage ends at a ninety foot pitch with the route onwards following a sloping ledge over the huge stream canyon.  We rigged a rope and I led over, past a straddling section, to a sandy floored section of passage.  The girls came over without any problems, and then finally, Neil who de-rigged as he came.



Dani looking very cool with a 90 foot drop below

  The next traverse is short but my least favourite as it relies entirely on traction on a narrow ledge.  We reached a platform of boulders and I led on down the last traverse which presented us with a problem.  The traverse is easy enough, if quite exposed, but then opens out and requires a 5-6 metre chimney descent between the walls to another boulder platform.  There are no belays above the chimney and no obvious way to rig the traverse and descent.  Neil suggested traversing towards him at a lower level, which I did, finding it easy.  This was the solution but it meant lowering the girls down a 6 metre pitch from their boulder stance, which we did without any problems.


Belaying Judi up the rope ladder

 The way on was a climb up a rope ladder into Great Oxbow Series and we were finally romping off again down walking passage passing superb formations.  


Pretties!

The survey led us into a small tube that doubled-back from the main route that leads towards Marble Showers.  I had been this way before but had forgotten about the 10 metre calcite chimney en route, which delayed us a bit.  Eventually we were all up and passing excellent delicate formations.  



Up the calcite chimney

This part of the cave has a much more virgin feel that the thoroughfares around Top Entrance.  The main passage ends at a horrible traverse over a deep pitch but this can be bypassed easily and we were soon marching down the most wonderful railway tunnel with outstanding formations including a truly classic set of orange stalactites and stalagmites surrounded by a floor of calcite crystals.




 
Excellent formations

Thus it was we arrived back at the skyhook pitch, but this time at the top.  And there was a disturbing surprise.  The pitch was NOT rigged for a skyhook ascent.  The string had been threaded through a delta maillon attached to a ring-bolt.  Just as well the string broke – if the skyhook had partially engaged with the maillon it could have failed in use – and the consequences of that don't bear thinking about.   We abseiled down and headed out trying to guess what the time was and whether we were going to meet our 7.00 pm ETA.   We went back along Cross Rift which was very pleasant and made good time back to the entrance, and then SWCC, to discover the time was 7.15 pm and we had had a 6.5 hour trip.   A very pleasant Chinese meal followed before we headed back to Swansea.  Ã¢â‚¬ËœI think', said Mel as we drove back, ‘that when we get our house we should wallpaper one room with the OFD survey and mark off all the bits we've done, until we've done it all!'  Sounds like a plan to me.
Andy Sparrow



Offline Cap'n Chris

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« Reply #37 on: April 06, 2006, 09:30:25 am »
The SWCC fixed aids list sounds like it needs attention

Melanie lloyd

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Re: OFD 1st April
« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2006, 09:44:17 am »
[/quote] ‘I think', said Mel as we drove back, ‘that when we get our house we should wallpaper one room with the OFD survey and mark off all the bits we've done, until we've done it all!'  Sounds like a plan to me.[/quote]



More of an inducement re. our marriage plans ......Kiss kiss hug hug!  :wink:

wallop

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« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2006, 10:24:56 am »
Sounds like it was a really good trip!
when did you say the next trip was???  :wink:  :wink:

Offline Dani

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« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2006, 05:15:03 pm »
You know you're in for a good trip when Andy is leading and you hear an 'ahh, I'd forgotten about this bit' coming from ahead.

The trip was fantastic  :D  and thanks to Andy and Neil for guiding us safely around it and I'm glad Andy wrote the report as although I had a great trip, I'm not entirely sure where we went; it was mostly dark and there were lots of rocks with the occasional hole in the floor.

When I (eventually) arrived  :oops:  and the others were talking about sky hooks, I thought I had wandered into a Marvel comic 'Skyhook and the Warmbac Warriors' :D  Maybe a title for the next book Andy?

I must say that I thought we were all very brave and there was relatively little swearing (bearing in mind that traverses aren't my favourite thing in the world, particularly those that drop off into complete darkness), although I'm a bit disappointed not to see the photo that bears some resemblance to a female anatomical feature (guess who had the camera!)

Anyway, fantastic trip (with a great warm-up), good company and relatively few bruises!

Melanie lloyd

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« Reply #41 on: April 08, 2006, 12:16:40 am »
Quote from: "Dani"
I'm a bit disappointed not to see the photo that bears some resemblance to a female anatomical feature.






Anybody recognise this?

andymorgan

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Re: OFD 1st April
« Reply #42 on: April 10, 2006, 09:53:55 am »
Quote from: "Melanie  lloyd"


More of an inducement re. our marriage plans ......Kiss kiss hug hug!  :wink:


Start running now Andy!!! The ball and chain can be very difficult to remove!

P.S. if I saw a woman with an 'anatomical feature' looking like the one in the picture I would be a little worried.

Melanie lloyd

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OFD 16th April.
« Reply #43 on: April 16, 2006, 10:08:05 pm »
O.F.D 16th April.  Columns Open Day.

Andy Sparrow, Melanie Lloyd, Steve Lodge, Liz Freeman, Aggie and Daisy Forster (Guests) And my new second hand Nova at last.



It was this size!

Had Andy rung the S.W.C.C by 10 A.M to confirm our intent to see the columns we would have seen them. Fortunately he didn't ring and so we had a much better, more involved and brighter (due to my Nova) trip exploring the incredible maze of tubes above and on either side of Maypole inlet.
 


Aggie in a small tube.

 These made a really interesting and worthwhile excursion, and the fact that we didn't have a survey made it all the more fun. It was also more fun now that I could finally see where I was going (thanks to my Nova). The series consists of some lovely walking sized phreatic tubes and also a fair few mud floored, hands and knees crawl type stuff. Most of the tubes contain interesting formations and at times are reminiscent of mini selenite tunnels. ( they looked so beautiful when lit by my Nova.)



Shine on.



Just the three of us.

Now and again they dramatically intersect the roof of the main streamway which you could hear roaring away about a hundred feet below.  Leaving this user friendly (and well lit ) playground we exited the cave via Cross Rift, Selenite Tunnel and back up Salubrious. It was just about then the battery on my Nova packed up!



Love me love my Nova.

still, can't complain. A lovely, interesting,  non-strenuous three and a half hour trip, we left our fave cave and  got back down to S.W.CC just in time to see everyone  dressed up in their finery and about to leave in order to celebrate  O.F.D's  60th Birthday. (Funny, I thought it was much older than that!)



Happy cavers.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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St. Cuthbert's Swallet, Easter Bank Holiday Monday
« Reply #44 on: April 18, 2006, 08:27:00 am »
Don't know that it really counts as a club trip but Hebden, Grass and me visited St. Cuthbert's Swallet yesterday and did Maypie* Series. There was more water here than I had encountered on previous trips.

Managed to get the rope (eventually) up through the first loop and then accidentally pulled it back down again!

Find the entrance easy nowadays - s`funny, I used to think it was really hard.

I think Mr. H rather enjoyed his trip. I did a quick bit of mental arithmetic and make it 8 abseils and a further 16 climbs/ladders**.

* Private joke; hi Ken!
** Counting everything remotely vertical. I expect there'll be a few comments about this observation.

Offline Dani

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« Reply #45 on: April 18, 2006, 05:49:40 pm »
So Mel, have you got a new Nova or something?  I've always thought you were perfectly happy with the lighting arrangements you've been using! :D Glad you had a good (and well lit) trip.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Swildon's Hole. Sunday 23rd April 2006
« Reply #46 on: April 24, 2006, 08:54:26 am »
Swildon's Hole to Sump 2
Gary A, Brendan H, Danny B, Cap'n Chris.

A pre-committee meeting trip, including a pop through Sump 1 for two sumping-newbies, Gary and Brendan.

We met and kitted up at 2:30pm. At the cave entrance we met a group of three exiting, a big chunky chap wearing a dayglo oversuit and a young chap carrying a big tackle bag, accompanied by a quiet "leader" at the rear.

Since the water levels were low and we were wearing wetsuits/neofleeces it was decided to go down the Wet Way since no-one else had been down this way before and we needed to cool off a bit. No sooner did we arrive at Water Chamber we met a group of two bedraggled girls and a sheepish male saying "Do you know the way out?" - so the others waited while I quickly led this poor little huddle to Jacobs Ladder whereupon they bumped into their "leader" (whom I presume was the quiet bloke with the other two we had met at the surface). Anyho......

Rush back and join up with the boys and head off down to the twenty where we have a friendly chat with two ladies, one of whom reported that she had just had an epic trying to get back up the ladder (why don't people do an assisted haul with a loop of rope 2:1 rather than just a direct line?). The 20 was devoid of all other gear so it was safe to presume we had the rest of the cave to ourselves (true). Down we go and all good fun, B falling in to the 2nd pot for good measure. The gang were quiet so I guessed there was some apprehension about the sump, playing on the minds of G and B and suppressing their otherwise lively banter on normal trips. We take Barnes Loop as it is so pretty and use my dyneema sling to assist the flowstone climb/slide to rejoin the streamway, leaving it in situ for the return. We find the green glove dropped in the streamway by the lady who had the epic.

Soon we arrive at sump one and I quickly pop through, shine my light from the other side so it defines the size of the sump for the others, and then pop back to show how simple it is. This done, everyone goes through without any ado. Smiles and handshakes on the other side and we discard our hoods and continue downstream, taking in the sights, explaining paragenetic processes and taking a detour up the landing (for later route-finding and also for the joy of sliding back down) before completing the journey to sump 2, via the enjoyable ducks. A quick chat about more caving malarkey and then head back upstream.

An uneventful but enjoyable return to the surface with Gary and Brendan successfully route-finding up and out via the short dry way/Jacobs Ladder.  2 hours 45 minutes of underworld tourism and a gentle bimble in this fab cave.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Pen Park Hole: Wednesday 26th April 2006
« Reply #47 on: April 26, 2006, 10:54:56 pm »
Kindly guided by Graham who is usually safe behind a beer glass. Thank you, Graham!

Judi, Stephen, Liz, Andy H & me.

Wow! What an impressive hole. Wow! What impressive crystals. Shame they built a city over it.

Fan-flippin'-tastic!

Offline chriscastle46

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« Reply #48 on: May 02, 2006, 08:51:16 pm »
Tues.25th April. Calf Holes/Browngill
Chris Castle, Ken P., Andy P.
A post-drive easy trip. A slight embarrassment when I led the way along the wrong track, but we were soon there, rigged a rope after waiting for a couple of blokes to emerge. They gave us directions which we all immediately forgot. There was only one wrong turning to take which we did, getting into a low crawl before locating the stream to the left and a fine waterfall which we by-passed to emerge from Browngill Cave. Andy went back through the cave; Ken and I paced ourselves.

Wed. 26th April.
Same people.
A bit of a cock-up owing to being out of practice and inexperience.
We had a look at GG, meeting some geezer who'd just soloed Lateral Shaft!
Rigging was very slow, and the rope on the Fourth  Pitch was too short, don't know why, it was 40m long. Ken was going to tie our spare on when I realised the time was getting on and we came out, taking a long time to de-rig. Andy jammed all the bags at the top of the first pitch, making it extra awkward to add to the fun.

Thurs. 27th April.
Ireby Fell Cavern
Same personnel
We took the Traditional route, we wanted to get to Duke Street. Nothing went wrong, easy rigging. We wandered down the hundreds of metres of twisting canyon to Well Pitch, then trusted a bit of tat on Rope Pitch. From here there is a splendid keyhole passage which intersects Duke Street, down which we walked to the sump.

Fri. 28th April
Swinsto Hole
Same again.
The pull-through trip before driving home.
At the entrance I suffered from paranoia that we were at Simpson's, I could'nt remember it at all after about 12 years since I was last there.
Anyway, the First Pitch had a dubious-looking rope rigged, so we could get out again if we did'nt come to the Long Crawl. The Long Crawl could be said to be distinctive, and we definitely crawled along it.
The next short pitch had a decent-looking rope which must have been OK as we all used it and lived to tell the tale. From here we had to rig the pull-throughs, no problems, and the low water made life a bit easier, especially on the ledge on Main Pitch, which I remember as being bloody horrible. We were soon below Slit Pot and the final pitch/cascade to the Final Chamber below the Great Aven. I'd not seen the collapse before, very thought-provoking. We followed the obvious route down the boulders to the right with care and followed a low wet crawl which I suppose was Philosopher's Crawl to the Master Cave and the Valley Entrance Pitch. We were going to chuck a rope over the bridge, or make Andy free-climb it, but in the event we trusted the rope that was there.
On the final section Ken insisted the way was to the right; Andy and I waited until he realised that the Milky Way was the wrong way. Not much water in the duck.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Redcliffe Caves, Bristol: Tuesday 25th April
« Reply #49 on: May 03, 2006, 08:07:12 am »
A guided tour ably led by Alan Gray whose knowledge and research on this subject is extremely comprehensive.

The caves are an interconnecting series of what appear to be freestone voids with frequent pillars left which act to separate open spaces, chambers if you will; the rock is friable moist old red sandstone picked out for the glass industry with the spaces subsequently used for storage of a variety of imported products although there is evidence of utilitarian use by the city in the form of sewerage stratigraphy. Although originally dwelt in by a Hermit employed by Lord Berkely in C14th, there are few inscriptions within which predate C18th.

Quite an eerie place and certainly would make an excellent "scare the crap out of people" location for Halloween guided tours and/or conversion into something similar to the London Dungeon!

The caverns were used in the Second World War as an air raid shelter and more recently for filming a variety of underground scenes for TV.

Definitely an explorer's prime bit of real estate literally within the centre of Bristol.

 

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