Author Topic: A Digging Trip to ODB in which Mark gets into a tight place  (Read 1113 times)

Online Caver Keith

  • Caver Keith
  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 392
  • The Dudley, SWCC
    • Dudley Caving Club
A Digging Trip to ODB in which Mark gets into a tight place – with apologies to A. A. Milne

This trip report from 2010 just popped up on my Facebook feed and I couldn't resist sharing it on UKC. You've all seen Chunky's fantastic photos and read about his amazing adventures, but it wasn't always so. I remember when he was a novice caver, when he needed plenty of hand-holding, and boulder chokes presented a real challenge. Read on.

While Jessica was away in foreign climes, Mark wanted to get a few “classic trips” under his belt. This coincided with an invitation to assist with the dig at the end of OBD.
We met up for breakfast at the Little Chef near Oswestry and then met up with Alan (NWCC) at the car park near the cave, and everything went smoothly until we got to the boulder choke when ……

So Mark started to climb into the choke. He pulled with his hands, and pushed with his legs, and in a little while his feet were through . . . and then his ankles . . . and then his legs . . . and then his hips . . . and then —
"Oh, help!" said Mark. "I'd better go back."
"Oh, bother!" said Mark. "I shall have to go on."
"I can't do either!" said Mark. "Oh, help and bother!"
Now, by this time Keith wanted to go through the choke too, and finding the choke full, he moved towards Mark, and looked at him.
"Hallo, are you stuck?" he asked.
"N-no," said Mark carelessly. "Just resting and thinking and humming to myself."
"Here, give us a hand."
Keith stretched out a hand, and Mark pulled and pulled and pulled. . . .
"Ow!" cried Mark. "You're hurting!"
"The fact is," said Keith, "you're stuck."
"It all comes," said Mark crossly, "of not having caves big enough."
"It all comes," said Keith sternly, "of eating too much. I thought at the time," said Keith, "only I didn't like to say anything," said Keith, "that one of us was eating too much," said Keith, "and I knew it wasn't me," he said. "Well, well, I shall go and shout for Brendan."
Brendan was on the other side of the choke, and when he came back with Heather, and saw the bottom half of Mark, he said, "Silly old Mark," in such a loving voice that everybody felt quite hopeful again.
"I was just beginning to think," said Mark, sniffing slightly, "that Heather and Alan might never be able to use this cave again. And I should hate that," he said.
"So should I," said Alan.
"Use the cave again?" said Brendan. "Of course he'll use this cave again."
"Good," said Mark.
"If we can't pull you out, Mark, we might push you back."
Keith scratched his whiskers thoughtfully, and pointed out that, when once Mark was pushed back, he was back, and of course nobody was more glad to see Mark than he was, still there it was, some lived in trees and some lived underground, and —
"You mean I'd never get out?" said Mark.
"I mean," said Keith, "that having got so far, it seems a pity to waste it."
Brendan nodded.
"Then there's only one thing to be done," he said. "We shall have to wait for you to get thin again.”
“How long does getting thin take?” asked Mark anxiously.
“About a week I should think.”

So we had no alternative but to make our way back out and spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the Minera “Hoffman” Lime Kiln (http://www.brocross.com/industrial%20history/welsh%20limekilns/flintshire/minera%20hoffman%20kiln.htm).

The Team: Mark (Pooh) Burkey, Keith (Rabbit) Edwards, Brendan (Christopher Robin) Marris and Rabbit’s friends-and-relations, Heather Simpson and Alan from NWCC

Online cavemanmike

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 557
  • ucet
Re: A Digging Trip to ODB in which Mark gets into a tight place
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2017, 06:27:46 pm »
Mark must have attached it wrong. I wouldn't have thought he would get stuck in the boulder choke, unless he was a lot CHUNKIER then

Offline chunky

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 550
  • The Dudley, SWCC
Re: A Digging Trip to ODB in which Mark gets into a tight place
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2017, 09:40:45 pm »
I think this was my 1st trip with you Keith. Can't believe I didn't get through! You was rubbish at coaxing back then....not a cupcake in sight!

Must have been doing something wrong Mike as didn't touch the sides when we did it last year. Just goes to show what a bit of experience does for you.


Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk


Online cavemanmike

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 557
  • ucet
Re: A Digging Trip to ODB in which Mark gets into a tight place
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2017, 09:44:28 pm »
Was the sump open when you last there

Offline chunky

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 550
  • The Dudley, SWCC
Re: A Digging Trip to ODB in which Mark gets into a tight place
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2017, 10:51:16 pm »
It had been open the week before . I think there was work being done on a syphon that was playing up. Keith may recollect better than I though.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk