Author Topic: Swildons Hole 8/12/15  (Read 2397 times)

Offline bagpuss

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Swildons Hole 8/12/15
« on: December 09, 2015, 07:34:44 pm »
Attendees: Jon, Adam, Dunc, Steve, Ruth, Johnny

We decided to do a Swildons trip as a second trip for our very competent potential new cavers who'd been on a couple of beginner trips with us. Sadly one had dropped off the radar, and the other 2 couldn't make it, so it was club members only in the end.

Due to a mass failure of Bristol traffic lights we took 2 hours to get home from work, and were doubtful we'd make it home in time to head back out of caving. A dash to the chip shop, and a quick grab of the bags, plus some swift driving got us to the barn just as the rest of the club had finished changing.

We made quick progress into the cave, wasn't quite as wet as we thought it would be, although the water felt much colder than our last trip. We went in the short dry way, down Jacobs ladder, through the cave to the top of the 20 where we debated who was going where. Adam & co were keen to head to sump 2, where as neither Jon or I were feeling great so we decided to turnaround at the double pots, and have a bimbly photo trip out of the cave.

I've just got the new DUO insert, and it was a revelation see bits of the cave I've never really seen or noticed before, there are some quite impressive formations in the roof if you look up.

We made it up the pitch without incident (only the 2nd time for Jon) and headed out the long dry way, noting the funny red tiny worms in some of the pools.

We spent some time on the way out taking a few snaps in the old grotto, as we left Jon noted that some of the floor which is gradually collapsing had come away further - is this a new change?

We met the others as they were coming up Jacobs ladder, and had a chilly walk back to the barn (it's been so mild lately it was a bit of a shock to have cold achy hands afterwards!)

We retired to the Hunters for food and drinks, with Steve declining food. He was very happy when we were donated a plate of leftover sarnies from the folk session. I love the hunters, and just wish it was closer to my house..  :beer2:

Over to Adam to post about their half of the trip......

Offline bograt

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Re: Swildons Hole 8/12/15
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 11:44:45 pm »
The reason you missed the folk session was 'cos you took so long over taking the superb pics!  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Aim low, achieve your goals, avoid disappointment

Offline bagpuss

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Re: Swildons Hole 8/12/15
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2015, 09:17:22 pm »
Cheers Bograt  :beer2:

Offline Ad W

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Re: Swildons Hole 8/12/15
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2015, 12:17:35 am »
It was a good trip indeed.  The other newbie has since been in touch and confirmed that they are likely to be looking to get more active with the club in the new year, so we'll see what develops there.

Good shots Ruth.  It kind of makes me want to join in with a camera, but I don't know if I can hack the faffing about!  I'm glad others can though as photos bring so much so perhaps I'll give it a go at some point.  I hadn't noticed you taking a shot of me on the 20', it nicely picks out the split in the arse of the Pav Suit, but not the perforated buttocks...

Having left Ruth and Jon at the Double Pots it didn't take long for Dunc, Steve, Jonny and myself to arrive at Sump 1.  Water levels were pretty low, but then I guess we've missed most of the recent heavy rain that the country was subject to over the past week or so. 

It turned out that Johnny had only been through Sump 1 once before, and then it was from Swildons 2 to 1 as a part of the short round when water levels were low enough for it to be a duck.  I thought he was keen when he suggested that he'd better go first and we proceeded to crouch looking expectantly at one another for a while, until it became clear that my cloth ears had misheard and he was suggesting the opposite.

So I went first, followed by Johnny.  If I'd been quicker thinking I'd have picked up a rock to tap his helmet with as he came through, but it turned out to be unnecessary as he made a fair attempt at staying underwater all they way to Wookey of his own accord. 

We were joined in short order by Steve and Duncan and an enjoyable few minutes of caving followed, following the stream down to through the ducks and creeps to Sump 2.  It's been a long time since I've been to Sump 2 (maybe 10 years?) and I can't remember the bed of the pools beings so loose - I guess that's probably just a trick of the mind.

A couple of minutes were spent discussing free-diving the sumps and all agreed that that should be an adventure for another day, so we turned tail and headed for the surface.  I lead off, keen to be out earlyish and avoid the displeasure of SWMBO, plus it was odds on for a pint at the Hunters. Unfortunately I did for myself in short order.  Not only am I not what I consider cave fit, I'm also quite asthmatic at the moment and neglected to carry a reliever on this occasion - silly boy!  This slowed my progress sufficiently to ensure that by the time we'd caught up with Ruth and Jon in the entrance series time was getting on.

It rained on the way back to the barn, but that kept temperatures mild and changing out of the wind was lovely.  Another first for Johnny was caving in a wetsuit under his oversuit instead of a fleecy which unsurprisingly for most got a big thumbs up overcoming the initial skepticism. 

By the time I decamped to the van it was late enough that if I'd stopped for a pint I'd have been in the doghouse, so unfortunately I had to yet again forego a pint and a bowl of chilli at the Hunters and hit the road :down:.  Still it was an enjoyable evening, and as ever I'm keen to get back underground next week.


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