Saturday 22nd December
Andy S, Rachel, Chris L, Dave H, Dani, Tim, Tricia and Sam (Tricia's son)
We split into two groups at the cave entrance - myself with Dave, Chris and Sam, leaving Tim with the three girls to make thier own way. Rach and Dani have a somewhat incomplete knowledge of the system so we contrived a number of rendez-vous points. First RV point was Gnome Passage, so, having made sure the girls were on the right path through the Brickyard, I joined my chaps in the Big Chamber Near The Entrance. We went over the mini traverse and then took a right turn towards Gnome Passage. We heard the distant giggle of female voices en-route indicating the girls were in more or less the right area before arriving unexpectedly in Arete Chamber (woops - missed a turn there somewhere).
We got back on track and arrived in a quiet and deserted Gnome Passage. After musing on the possible fate of the girls we were just setting off into Edward's Shortcut when they appeared, having paid an unplanned visit to Shale Chamber. I pointed them towards Salubrious then caught up with the boys before the ESC traverse, which presented no particular terrors to our team. So it was we arrived at Shattered Pillar, Selenite Tunnel and finally the Crossroads just as the girls arrived from the other direction. While the girls were doing the Selenite/Cross Rift circuit I sent the lads down into Maypole Inlet before taking the crawl to intercept the girls.
I helped the girls down the Maypole Inlet climb and into the Main Stream. We finally caught up with the chaps at the Second Oxbow where it was decided to re-divide the groups. I would start back with Dani (pressing dinner engagement in Bath) and Tricia (only wearing a boilersuit and in danger of geeting cold in the deep water ahead). The other continued together to Top Waterfall.
Dani, Tricia and myself had an uneventful exit from the cave and emerged to admire 'sunset over Swansea'. Meanwhile the others reached their objective and then Rach successfully navigated her team back to daylight to emerge about half an hour after us, making a trip time of 4.5 hours.
A grand day out.
Oh no! Not that old bloke from Cheddar Caving Club again!
Sam admires Selenite Tunnel
Dave takes an optional traverse
During a quiet moment Tim reflects on the route finding abilities of his female companions
It's that OFD black limestone and red mud
Bugger! I slipped on my bum!
Having successfully hypnotised Tricia into a Jesus delusion, Sparrow turns his mysterious powers on Dani....
That's a girt big'un!