Author Topic: Monday 27th May - Hilliers to Fairy  (Read 920 times)

Offline bagpuss

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Monday 27th May - Hilliers to Fairy
« on: May 27, 2013, 09:54:48 pm »
Attendees: Tim, Ruth, Steve and Emma (9)

Emma was keen to head underground again, having been to some of the easier Mendip/Welsh caves she was after more a challenge. We had been considering Aggie, but as Dave was away with the key we decided to head to Fairy Quarry instead.

Having been ill with a bug all weekend I didn't really have my caving head on. The day started well with me forgetting firstly the CSCC key, and then the rope. After 2 trips back to my house, and a trip to my parents to pick up a carseat and leave call out details we were finally off!

A quick picnic was had and it was onwards into the quarry and to the cave entrance. Much easier to find in the daylight! Emma was life lined down the slightly awkward entrance pitch - easy to brace with long legs, not so easy with small short ones. She looked slightly dubious about me life lining her down, and closely observed by figure of 8 as I tied her on!

We moved past through the fallen in sections of the cave. I know that it all came down years ago with the quarrying, but it still makes me nervous. First point of interest was the chamber with the tar coming down the sides of it.



Emma enjoyed it when we reached the orange coloured formations. I was at the back and Tim at the front, it was nice to hear the exclamations as Emma saw new things. We were careful not to disturb the sleeping bat we spotted on the wall.



On we went to a section with a bit of a drop at the bottom. We rigged up a hand line for Emma and had her on a cowstail to cross over the drop.

Sorry if the photos/description are in the wrong order, I was mainly concentrating on Emma not falling into any holes. We enjoyed looking over to the crystals in this bit of passage.





On we went to Cambridge Grotto, Emma continuously mocking our slow progress through anything tight (aren't small people annoying!) We all heard a really strange noise when entering the grotto area. I'm not a believer in the supernatural, but have head odd noises at this point before. I think it must be something to do with the water, but I thought it sounds like a sheep, which caused much 'baaa-ing' for the rest of the trip.







We had a slight debate whether to continue to Brenda's chamber, time declared it was at least 10m of nasty crawls, in reality it was through a choke, a few short squeezes and we were through.





Back we went to the grotto for a short stop and some tang fastics (which sadly did not survive the Fairy duck on the way out without getting covered in cave water)


We headed back to the mini canyon to decide how to get Emma up it. With a bit of creative rigging and handy 'foot holds' from Tim she was quickly over. Tim and I wished we had a bit of rigging to help us over being big girls blouses when it comes to exposed bits of cave. It was then onwards to the squeeze. Emma declared I'd made it look easy and she wouldn't get through it - she did though.

We then reached the duck. I'd bailed out of doing it last time I'd been in the cave due to the high water level, but due to the dry weather we'd had it was merely a rather cold puddle. I went through quickly, but Emma wasn't so sure. After a bit of a moment and me sitting in the puddle for quite some time she decided to go for it, going through it so quickly she didn't even bother with the supportive hand I was holding out. Her wetsuit under her boiler suit saved her from the worst of the cold.

We stopped to admire some cave pearls as we headed out


Emma found some cave mushrooms on our way out. Excuse the out of focus photo, I'd forgotten my dry bag for my camera and it was starting to play up.


We were soon at the exit, despite us hoping for sun we came out to wind and grey skies. Emma loved the trip, and wants to head out again during half term this week.

Special thanks to Steve and Tim for their patience!

Offline Dingley Dell

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Re: Monday 27th May - Hilliers to Fairy
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2013, 10:50:07 pm »
Hilliers is squeezier than I remembered, just enough to make you feel like you're properly caving, but plenty of pretties to keep things interesting.

No patience required, it was fun....apart from the A37 drive out - definitely in my top 10 of least favourite drives!

Offline bagpuss

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Re: Monday 27th May - Hilliers to Fairy
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2013, 10:54:02 pm »
Chips n Gravy made it all better though

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Monday 27th May - Hilliers to Fairy
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 10:08:50 am »
Glad it all went well and enjoyed the photos. Yes we really loved digging the Fairy - Hilliers connection --- not.  :)

Offline Dingley Dell

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Re: Monday 27th May - Hilliers to Fairy
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2013, 06:26:06 pm »
Chips n Gravy made it all better though

Certainly did, plus a big filthy kebab  :thumbsup:

Offline bagpuss

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Re: Monday 27th May - Hilliers to Fairy
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2013, 06:30:55 pm »
Glad it all went well and enjoyed the photos. Yes we really loved digging the Fairy - Hilliers connection --- not.  :)

Thanks Nick, you diggers are crazy people, thanks for all the hard work!  :beer2:

Hope to return as a club evening trip to explore some of the other non leader caves, didn't have time yesterday due to the trip taking longer than intended.