As ever, my thanks to every forum member who entered this competition There have been some excellent entries and oodles of entertaining tales to read, marvellous
Choosing a shortlist was hard, however these are my favourites:
Paul - Backup light: a receptacle for dead batteries. So made me chuckle
aricooperdavis - I was in complete darkness in a small airbell with an 8m sump ahead of me and a couple of smaller sumps behind me.
PeteHall - 40m up, as I looked up to clip in a cows tail in at the pitch-head, my helmet fell off, complete with my only back-up light!
PeteHall - I reached out for the brown glow ahead of me that represented my light shining through the mud. I grabbed the only thing I could see, promptly switching off my duo in the process!
AliRoll - and mud like chocolate ganache sticking to every inch of my body
Pitlamp - There then followed the most careful of unpacking exercises, by feel.
Wardy - I learnt a few things went well together that day;
Stinkies are good with back up lights
Ladders are good with lifelines
caving is good with your mates
Brains - and he exited the cave by feel alone, negotiating crawls, squeezes and boulders on the way out. Eventually emerging at the top of the climb to the river bed it was cloudy night with steady rain on the trees, or to put it another way, as black as the cave and no audible cues to direction. Continuing blind he crossed the river, following the path up zigzagging past the crags and over the badger sets to reach the car with eyes like saucers!
The Old Ruminator -
Mr Dinwiddy - I was trying to get at my first aid kit which was now deep inside the front of my oversuit, along with gloves, a rescue kit, some rigging gear and other caving clutter.
Rob - During this I learnt that old school Casio watches are not useful backup lights.
tim.rose2 - I'm please to add caver no.4 managed the rest of the trip without loosing any more kit; we had been a bit concerned he'd emerge from the block house bollock naked.
rm128 - Then... boom . "My goodness" I said, although I may have pronounced it differently. I was knocked off my feet and everything went dark, which is strange as my main light was an Oldham - still not sure how that happened. I lay there in darkness for quite a while, not knowing what had happened or where I was. Eventually I decided that I probably wasn't dead after all, largely because I suspect the dead don't feel pain. On turning my main light back on, I remember 2 things about the scene: (1) an almost spherical ammo box still attached to me, (2) Mars Bar everywhere.
lumenchild - my grip on that scaff bar was so tight I had to almost pry my own hand from it,
Over to random.org.....and the winner is
aricooperdavis - CONGRATULATIONS!
PM me so I can arrange gettng your shiny new back up light to you!
Thank you Fenix