• Hello From Descent

    The publication date for issue 289 is the 10th of December, meaning subscribers should receive their copies during the week leading up to that date. It is also available from caving suppliers such as Inglesport and Starless River, or from our new website

    New Descent board here:

WIN a Rab Solar 3 Sleeping Bag worth ?135!!!

yrammy

Member
My late husband Bosh looking dapper at the 1st camp down the Gouffre Berger.
 

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yrammy

Member
On an ice climbing course in the Cairngorms we had the choice of carrying a tent or sleeping in a snow hole. We chose the latter - a nice two chamber affair with a neat connecting window to allow the transfer for tea , coffee and vesta beef curry.  I spent the night freezing and damp. My pal Jo spent the night wondering if the roof was going to fall in. Our husbands spent the night  gently snoring and farting. 
 

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Hi Jane
Don't need a bag but would like to share with you a few pictures of our camps in caves and jungle. It is not real camping as we provide tents, sleeping bags, 2 foam mattress, a pillow. We now also have changing tents and this year a sauna tent! This is a bit different from horror show camps in the Goufre Engins or in the Barrangasse in Austria.
 

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chunky

Active member
At the beginning of 2020, blissfully unaware of what the rest of the year had in store, a group of us headed out for what would become the last expedition of the Mulu caves project to date. No tents, but when you have a gourmet chef like Badlad preparing your supper you really don't need other creature comforts ;)
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Sent from my SM-M315F using Tapatalk
 

Badlad

Administrator
Staff member
Ah, yes, Chunky, what fine memories from a year ago.  Our two night camp in Blue Moonlight Bay,.  What an epic.  Seven hour track cutting to the entrance, my boot fell apart and you lost half a camera along the way.  Fabulous cave though and a cracking campsite when we eventually got there.  The leads bummed out and what an epic derig on the last day.  Packs so heavy the shoulder strap broke on yours.  I've pinched a couple of your shots to show the kitchen ingredients and one of our 'friend' we shared the camp with.  :eek: :eek:  ..and this is several hours underground down two pitches and across a river (although I expect he didn't come in that way)

wl


wl



No underground camping since of course but it has got me thinking about my first underground camp.  Three nights in the Old Grotto of Swildons Hole, Mendip.  As fifteen years olds we decided this was the best way to explore the cave.  Took a day to get set up, then we explored to sump one and got one of four of us through the sump, third day we tried to get to Swildons four.  We found Tratmans Temple and spent several hours trying to bail a sump.  Found out years later it was the wrong sump.  Then it took a day to clear up and out.  Took four days to do what should take an hour or so  :LOL:  I can't imagine that our parents had a clue what we were really up to but you could get away with adventures like that back in the day  ;)
 
We had slowly poured ourselves into the Devon Spel?ological Society caving hut, 18 children, 10 staff and Ursa the collie. (If you know the hut this was an achievement in itself.) Boxes of food were unpacked, dinner cooked and then instructions of what to pack in rucksacks for a long hike was disseminated. The first excitement of a week underground & overground was being dropped on the edge of Dartmoor as a full moon rose over the tor. I was asked to lead the group slowly into the moor following a leat edging round the contour above a small valley. My first time on Dartmoor and only 2nd camp with the children?s outdoor education charity. Shortly a flat (ish) piece of ground was found and tents were erected below the brow of a hill under a moon so bright we didn?t need torches.
Morning started with a delivery of hot coffee to me snuggled still in my tent. I put my head out to a sparkling crisp landscape with a tent encased in ice.  I couldn?t think of a better place to be.

PS, the porridge promptly fell off the stove; aubergines spirited themselves out of rucksacks not to be put in the evening stew; the table in the barn is capacious enough to play chess underneath while mixing birthday cake on top; Pridhamsleigh Cavern,  a digeridoo, espresso coffee & ghouls in the attic make for the best cave game, ever!
 

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Henry.M

New member
We decided against a tent for this New Years Dartmoor pre-lockdown camping trip, to prevent having to share a tent 'indoors' and aid airflow with the ol rona. Well... it certainally helped airflow! I haven't had such a cold night (woefully under clothed!) in a while.
The beautiful snow clad Dartmoor in the stunning clear moonlight did make it worth getting up at 3AM to go for a 'warm up walk'! Typical phone camera unable to capture the true beauty of night time snow. A truly fantastic was to start the new year just before lockdown put an end to all camping for the time being.
We got to our campsite only to find that we had forgotton all of the cuttlery - doh! Cue an evening spend trying to eat curry with a plastic packet rolled up as a spoon, can't say I reccomend.
 

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Keris82

Member
I went on a caving holiday with some friends from the MCG in 2019 to a fantastic campsite called Camping Gouffre de la Croix in the Vercors. This was the second time we've been there.

Here is a great big toad we found one night outside my tent. Next is a picture of our BBQ after a hard day's caving and the view of the mountains opposite the campsite. To wake up to that view every morning was the best thing in the world. I wished we could have stayed there forever. I could happily live in a tent somewhere like this.
 

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zzzzzzed

Member
I don?t need a bag either but the competition reminded me of various bivis in the Alps.

We once decided to do a ridge climb in the Ecrin mountains, France.  Having already discovered that we weren?t very good at walking up quickly from the Ailefroide carpark we decided to bivi at the start of the route.  Once there we decided that, as we were only 100m from the start of the climbing, it would be OK to have a bit of a lie in, followed by a leisurely breakfast ? otherwise known as a British alpine start.

By the time we?d sauntered over to the rock and roped up, three teams of French climbers had arrived.  One of them had driven from Grenoble in the middle of the night and walked up from the valley.  Another thing we noticed was that all of the French teams were al carrying big boots, crampons and an ice axes.  Strange, we thought, they obviously don?t know they?re not needed.  All we had was a pair of approach shoes each in our 10L backpacks because, from the end of the ridge, we were supposed to be able to walk back down an almost flat glacier on the western side.

After several hours and 5 or 6 summits along the ridge, including the Pointe des Cin?astes (3203m), all the French teams suddenly abseiled off the east side of the ridge onto the very steep, and very crevassed, Glacier Tuckett.  Suddenly we were alone and we still had almost three quarters of the ridge to go before we would be able to be able to descend onto the flatter, less crevassed Glacier de la Pyramide.  The ridge went on and on, and on, over gendarme after gendarme.  We had to abseil off some of them which meant that retreat was impossible.  As the sun edged towards the horizon the cold became intense and it started to seem unlikely that we could survive a night up there.  Anyway, at the end of the ridge, after several abseils, glissades and much trudging, we staggered back to our bivi spot an hour after dark, probably around the time that the French team arrived back home in Grenoble.

What?s all this go to do with caving?  The only time I have ever felt a similar level of commitment in the UK was the first time I did Simpsons Pot pull-through and we couldn?t find the duck.  Unless you count the time in Simpson?s Pot where I chucked the rope bag through the duck and then couldn?t find the bag (there?s a underwater void to the left just after you go through).  And then there was the time when someone left the second rope bag at the top of one of Simpson?s pitches and we didn?t know if we had enough rope for Slit Pot.
 

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Vulcan

Member
A fair few years ago we kayaked out to an WW2 fort in the Medway to camp for a night. There was a group of us went out with heavily loaded boats.

There where a few 'slightly' larger boats on route.

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The camp was not the flattest ground I have ever camped on.

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Plenty to do when there

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Waiting for the tide to come in the next day so we could leave.

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Yet more pictures of cavers (and some non cavers) not caving.
 

Skulldiggery

New member
I had ideas of having a big 50th birthday party this year but like many other celebrations this was put on hold, so what do you do to make one day very different from all the others? No caves on the doorstep but plenty of secret locations hidden away from now busy footpaths. Birthday under the stars and at 5am the snow falling in your face. Magical!
(Apologies, photo's wouldn't rotate) Happy camping!
 

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Pegasus

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks to all who have entered  (y) - closes tomorrow evening so still time to post those photos, what else are you going to be doing??

A reminder on how to post photos here:

https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=24318.0

Another Rab prize to give away next week.... ;)
 

frizzabella97

New member
Just before starting my nursing degree, I decided I needed one last 'gap yeaarh' adventure in the mountains. We flew over to the south of France to hike a section of the GR10 in the Pyrenees. It was the best way to spend my last few weeks of freedom, and I can't wait to escape again when I graduate.

I loved looking back through old photos of the trip for this competition, but I've carefully selected the camping highlights!

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Our first day on the trail. A long slog up the Chemin de la M?ture - a path carved in the side of a mountain to transport timber down to the sea for ship making. This was definitely my 'oh f*ck what am I doing' moment.

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When was the last time you woke up to a view like this? Worth every mile hiking with a tent on your back

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Stressing out about a stampede of mountain cows running past our tent

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Perfect place for a morning swim in a glacial lake (this was much much colder than it looked)

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Nothing better than a cuppa at the end of a long day!

I know I'm not the only one finding it hard to suppress my need for an escape, but some day soon (hopefully!) we will once again be able venture out into the beautiful wilderness. Keeping my fingers crossed that restrictions will lift by the time I graduate so I can try the GR5 in the Alps out before starting my nursing career. And how cool would it be to have a new sleeping bag for the trip?  ;)
 

Vulcan

Member
I normally do lots of scout related camping in a year. Ether taking my cub pack on camps. This was a recent (in relative terms) one. No people in it for GDPR reasons.

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I also normally go on 4-6 camps (including a week long jamboree) a year to help run a go kart track.

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2020 was a bit of a wipe out for them and sadly 2021 isn't looking much better. I am hoping we may get 1 or 2 in late summer.
 
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