First trip to Swildon's Sump 1

PeteHall

Moderator
Last week, my eldest son Daniel made his first trip to Sump 1 in Swildon's. We want to Barnes Loop last year and he would have been fine carrying on then, but after a time check he reminded me it was time to turn around. Although we actually had time to continue, I was impressed by his discipline and didn't argue; we had agreed to turn around at that time, so it was the right thing to stick to it and turn back.

With one thing and another, we haven't managed a trip with just the two of us since, so this was the first chance to continue further into the cave.

We made it to Sump 1 in good time and Daniel gave some serious thought to going through, but decided to save it for another time. This turned out to be a good decision as we met the One Mile Under Club (formerly Essex Lorry Drivers Caving Club) at the 20 and he got a bit cold waiting to climb back up; being wet through wouldn't have helped!

On the way home, we stopped off at Hidden Earth to clear the club stand and go to the closing ceremony.

I've just found my camera in a barrel of wet kit, so here are a few photos.

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mrodoc

Well-known member
Impressed! I think my granddaughter might manage it now. How things have changed since I was a teenager. Sump 1 was a serious trip as you had the 40 to contend with as well as poor lighting compared to today and clothing has improved dramatically as well as harnesses etc etc. I was 16 when I first dived the sump. By the 90's I had got one of my daughters through aged 14 and strangely enough she was the only one in the party not wearing a wet suit - didn't seem to bother her but she has become a cold water swimmer so started early!
 

tomferry

Well-known member
Impressed! I think my granddaughter might manage it now. How things have changed since I was a teenager. Sump 1 was a serious trip as you had the 40 to contend with as well as poor lighting compared to today and clothing has improved dramatically as well as harnesses etc etc. I was 16 when I first dived the sump. By the 90's I had got one of my daughters through aged 14 and strangely enough she was the only one in the party not wearing a wet suit - didn't seem to bother her but she has become a cold water swimmer so started early!
Without stealing the thread, are you referring to doing it with carbide ?
 

PeteHall

Moderator
I really must get around to doing Swildon's with a Stinky and a woolly jumper (via the 40, of course).

Even with modern equipment and clothing, I think cold is the biggest factor with young kids. They have a lot less body mass to keep warm and less energy reserves.
 

Wardy

Active member
Like Pete says set a target and go for it, but never be afraid to turn round
Keeping them moving and not pushing too far to ensure they come back for more is the key
 

tomferry

Well-known member
I will happily come along and do it up to the ladder pitch . Will have to check my helmet premier is up and running with no leaks . I am not doing the ladder on the stinky though :poop:
 

Speleofish

Active member
Isn't a stinky a little modern? Surely candles and a couple of hurricane lamps would provide a more authentic experience...
 

Fulk

Well-known member
The MNRC have a 'proper' rope ladder – they might let you borrow ir for a tad more authenticity.

Seen here in use in Long Churn:
 

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