• New Editors for Descent

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WIN A SCURION 900!!!!

Pegasus

Administrator
Staff member
WIN A SCURION 900!!
worth over ?500

wl


wl


(y) Many thanks to Rolf at Scurion for this fabulous prize (y)

Lots of information about this excellent caving light here:
https://www.scurion.ch/jm19/en/lamps-en-eg/model-overview/scurion-900.html

Available to buy in the UK from Starless River:
https://starlessriver.com/shop/scurion-speleo-900-with-4-cell-battery/

To enter, post on this thread on the theme 'light and dark'.

All types of posts are eligible - from poetry to artwork, trip reports to photographs, short film to short story + more.

3 entries per person.

To give folks plenty of time to get creative, the closing date for entries is New Year's Eve at 8pm.

A shortlist of 10 will be compiled (the number of likes each post receives will be taken into account when compiling this list, so do vote for your favourites!).

The 10 shortlisted entries will be put into a traditional Santa Hat.  In addition, those shortlisted entries made by forum members who have posted 20 times or more on UKC will receive an extra entry into the hat as a thank you for supporting the forum  (y)

The winner will then be drawn out of the hat!!

Once again, many thanks to Scurion for their generosity.

Looking forward to seeing the entries  ;)

Good luck!!



wl

 

JoshW

Active member
Going more metaphorical with my light and dark.

I'm fairly open with the fact that I've struggled over the years with depression, and I think more people (especially blokes, f*** you toxic masculinity), should be too, and able to chat to people about having issues, as it's nothing to be ashamed of.

I've found over the years real solace in caving, and I'm able to come out of dark patches in my life through the calmness and serenity the underground offers me. An opportunity to stand back reflect on what's going on in my life whilst just being able to move through caves and emerging into the real world into the light both physically and mentally.

The sense of camaraderie I've found in this strange little sport has helped massively. A particular gang I've hung out with over the last few years has been Badlad and his digging chums. I love that it really didn't matter that I was the youngest of the group by a reasonable margin, and we just hung out, digging away, having a laugh and setting the world to rights.

I feel incredibly fortunate that I've found caving, and was taken under the wing of an experienced caver (who mostly wanted a flash monkey), and knowing how beneficial caving can be for mental health (until you get involved with the politics!), have tried to get as many people involved in caving as possible through scouts and keep them involved in caving through my role in youth and development on the BCA council.

I first realised that I was suffering from depression after reading a book 'I had a black dog, his name was depression', which is also a video on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiCrniLQGYc&feature=emb_logo.
I urge any and all of you to read/watch this as I think it makes what it's like to suffer from depression/depressive moods so much clearer, and that it's not just a sad feeling, in fact you can be happy yet depressed, and vice versa.

I was interviewed a couple of years back for a podcast called misfits and rejects where I talk about my struggles with realising I was suffering from this darkness, and if you can stand listening to my voice for about an hour or so, I've been told it has helped people. It was episode 140 and can be found on most podcasting apps I believe.

So blokes (and everyone really), be open about feeling shit at times, reach out to mates for a chat, and if you think a mate is struggling reach out to them.

There are buckets of resources out there, and local NHS trusts each have their own counselling services which are superb (unfortunately shamefully underfunded, but there none the less).

My inbox is always open on here for those who just want to reach out, ask for advice or just want to vent about something that's not helping their mental health.

EDIT: been reminded that there was a thread about this book/video earlier this year, so I've linked this for convenience, please do take a read of it, you are not alone https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=27459.0
 

Ian Ball

Well-known member
There is a joy of exiting a Simpson or Rowten or Swinston or (Turbury Pot?) pull through and approaching the exit barrel seeing the old halo of light around the wearing lid. 

Since the rather impressive lid improvements by Mr Ian P, ths joy of this has been diminished somewhat.

Please read JoshW's post above.


 

wellyjen

Active member
Experiences of Light and Dark from 40 Years of Caving.

Borrowed lights on my first caving trips, which failed underground every time. Having to use the slivers of light from others to find my way. Clues here and there to the shape of the rock. Building a feel for how the cave is changing and how to move through it.
Daylight is blue. You only ever notice this when you see the entrance again.
Back at the entrance after dark. Which way was it to the cars?
Knocking a stinky. Plunged in to darkness. A spark and a pop and the cave is back again.
Shaking a carbide generator and getting a huge flame to expand the warm sphere of yellow you inhabit.
Trying to get the electric back up on a Petzl Laser to actually switch on. The dim beam probing in to the dark of the pitch below. Can you spot any spit sleeves in the rock?
Narrow beam from an Oldham. Look exactly where you are stepping.
Yorkshire light rock. South Wales dark rock. Derbyshire mud!
Shall I set the LED light to bright, very bright, super bright, or vaporise bulldozer? So many options. Been down here loads of times, but never been able to see that before.
Don't point your light directly at my eyes!
My eyes, my eyes, I'm blind!
A dark spot following my gaze, every place I want to put a foot, or hand. It'll fade away.

Jen
 

Keris82

Member
This is one of my favourite photos I took. It is my boyfriend paddling in to Grotte de Gournier in France a few years ago. It was one of the best caving holidays I have been on and I'm dying to go back again when we can all travel freely again. At the end of this lake is a pitch you have to climb out of the boat them traverse around the waterfall. It's such an incredible cave.
 

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Mark

Well-known member
JoshW said:
Going more metaphorical with my light and dark.

I'm fairly open with the fact that I've struggled over the years with depression, and I think more people (especially blokes, f*** you toxic masculinity), should be too, and able to chat to people about having issues, as it's nothing to be ashamed of.

I've found over the years real solace in caving, and I'm able to come out of dark patches in my life through the calmness and serenity the underground offers me. An opportunity to stand back reflect on what's going on in my life whilst just being able to move through caves and emerging into the real world into the light both physically and mentally.

The sense of camaraderie I've found in this strange little sport has helped massively. A particular gang I've hung out with over the last few years has been Badlad and his digging chums. I love that it really didn't matter that I was the youngest of the group by a reasonable margin, and we just hung out, digging away, having a laugh and setting the world to rights.

I feel incredibly fortunate that I've found caving, and was taken under the wing of an experienced caver (who mostly wanted a flash monkey), and knowing how beneficial caving can be for mental health (until you get involved with the politics!), have tried to get as many people involved in caving as possible through scouts and keep them involved in caving through my role in youth and development on the BCA council.

I first realised that I was suffering from depression after reading a book 'I had a black dog, his name was depression', which is also a video on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiCrniLQGYc&feature=emb_logo.
I urge any and all of you to read/watch this as I think it makes what it's like to suffer from depression/depressive moods so much clearer, and that it's not just a sad feeling, in fact you can be happy yet depressed, and vice versa.

I was interviewed a couple of years back for a podcast called misfits and rejects where I talk about my struggles with realising I was suffering from this darkness, and if you can stand listening to my voice for about an hour or so, I've been told it has helped people. It was episode 140 and can be found on most podcasting apps I believe.

So blokes (and everyone really), be open about feeling shit at times, reach out to mates for a chat, and if you think a mate is struggling reach out to them.

There are buckets of resources out there, and local NHS trusts each have their own counselling services which are superb (unfortunately shamefully underfunded, but there none the less).

My inbox is always open on here for those who just want to reach out, ask for advice or just want to vent about something that's not helping their mental health.

EDIT: been reminded that there was a thread about this book/video earlier this year, so I've linked this for convenience, please do take a read of it, you are not alone https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=27459.0

The like button just doesn't cut it

Having lost several friends to depression over the years, and one very near miss this last year, Josh's interpretation of the "light and dark" theme really hits home to me (& I suspect several others on this forum)

I know there will be some other worthy entries, but to me this should be the outright winner.

I hope the Scurion comes your way Josh and stays lit
 

Wardy

Member
Well said Mark and well written Josh, plus I hope you like the Scurion.

The big question is what to do with this thread until New years eve?
Fastest competition ever.
 

ChrisJC

Active member
Wardy said:
Well said Mark and well written Josh, plus I hope you like the Scurion.

The big question is what to do with this thread until New years eve?
Fastest competition ever.

Although the bar as indeed been set high, I am sure there are more good entries out there.

Chris.
 

JoshW

Active member
Wardy said:
The big question is what to do with this thread until New years eve?
Fastest competition ever.

"breaking" the competition was never my intention, but thank you for the compliment.

Please do keep contributing to the thread all, it's gonna be done by names in the hat anyway. Sharing experiences through threads/competitions like these is a massive part of the caving community that can help people going.

 

Cantclimbtom

Active member
The other entries were great too. Maybe Pegasus or other mod could be kind enough to donate an old wooden spoon as runner up prize, so there's still something to fight for?
 
This is a compilation of a number of trips in Hang Son Doong. Hope it fits the criteria of light into dark. If not enjoy.
Please see link below


https://drive.google.com/file/d/16IW1vUmHn0Yct2sYQF2nwZFV82gQKQUa/view?usp=sharing
 
I will try again to post a short video with access for all. Compilation of trips into Hang Son Doong that hopefully show light into dark.
Please see link below

https://drive.google.com/file/d/16IW1vUmHn0Yct2sYQF2nwZFV82gQKQUa/view?usp=sharing
 

PeteHall

Moderator
Here is my first entry (though I do have an idea for something more creative that I will work on over the next few weeks).

51735149308_d4ca594340_k.jpg


I took this photo a number of years ago, but I think it really captures the sense of light and dark.

The 'mist' in the mine entrance was actually caused by a strong inwards draught and a BBQ at the entrance, but the effect was quite surreal.

Initially, the smoke filled the whole level, but it slowly settled and I managed to capture this shot using a compact Olympus mu 'tough' camera, using a small tripod and the "sunset" automatic setting.

I was really pleased with the result and have this picture framed on the staircase at home.
 

skippy

Member
?Feeding the demand?
I was in Manchester last week and after work, went for a night run in the South Pennines above the city.
I?m not what you would call an active environmentalist although I like to think I do my bit.
However on seeing this, it kinda stuck a chord with me and had me questioning the longevity of a planet sustaining this level of demand.
The irony of the photo is ?light? is always perceived as positive and ?dark? a negative where by the light in this instance comes across negative (IMO).
 

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This has been a work in progress for many years. It started when I was walking somewhere in Yorkshire on a sunny day with no plans to go underground. In those days, I smoked - hence the matches.

CAVE

The sudden black against the white demands the eye,
A small, compelling patch of night, an unreality
Within the certain presence of the crag.

(Inevitably follow feet the eyes
Take steep possession of the guarding scree
To reach the space imagination dreams
The endless caverns, and the crystal streams,
And halls asleep with Arthur and his knights)

Arrived. The rocks sweat. It is cold.
Chill breaths freeze courage, sharp stone repels.

(A match, a brief struck challenge lights a way ahead;
Into the dark a token foray?)

Hands and knees reveal rough floors, boulders and pools and mud.
Shadows attack each shake of the flame.
The roof dips lower.

(Possible it may be to advance a mile,
Perhaps within Aladdin once was prisoner
Or Ali Baba buried treasure?)

The match goes out. Between the fumble and the flash
As its successor fires, decisions come:
Behind is still a patch of light, there are still
Faint and grey reflections on the rocks,
Intimations of warmth.
The dark presses outward.
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
An interesting point made by Skippy: "I was in Manchester last week and after work, went for a night run in the South Pennines above the city.
I?m not what you would call an active environmentalist although I like to think I do my bit.
However on seeing this, it kinda stuck a chord with me and had me questioning the longevity of a planet sustaining this level of demand.
The irony of the photo is ?light? is always perceived as positive and ?dark? a negative where by the light in this instance comes across negative (IMO).
"

I always cringe when I see satellite images of continents at night time, where all the towns, cities and even roads are shining bright. We can't just keep on chucking energy out into space - unless we're able to find a sustainable source to replace it.
 
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