Author Topic: Great moments in caving  (Read 1348 times)

Online Duck ditch

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Great moments in caving
« on: May 21, 2020, 07:08:57 pm »
During the lockdown I have been reminiscing about caving trips etc.  Apart from discovery which can get into a completely different league, I have been considering the best moment I have had in British caving.  It’s hard to nail it down to one moment but mine is:

Otter Hole.  I was well aware that the hall of 30 was going to be good.  It wasn’t an anti climax at all and the tide blocking us in added to it.  But the magic moment for me was the gour passage beyond rising up to a crystal pool.  It just got better and better.  I didn’t know about this passage so it was all a surprise.

A close 2nd was the traverse of the gods in nick pot.  Looking down to the specs of light of my fellow cavers far below me.

Two completely different moments showing the diversity of caving

Online PeteHall

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Re: Great moments in caving
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2020, 08:09:29 pm »
Rowten Pot on ladders and carbide. The ladders on the big pitch, twisting and glinting in the dim daylight from above and the soft warm glow of a naked flame.

The first time I was underwater in a cave and not entirely focussed on the next air surface. Wookey Hole, between chambers 1 and 3, I suddenly realised how beautiful it was to be weightless in my favourite environment, I stopped thinking about getting to the end and started just apreciating where I was.

Daylight and beer after we finished opening the Nenthead traverse and completed the 16km through trip for the first time (in decades?).

Standing naked under the waterfall in Gaping Gill main chamber after a long sweaty trip. (I didn't even considered the possibility of someone dropping a stone down from the surface, but having now had that thought, I won't be doing this again!)
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Offline scratch

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Re: Great moments in caving
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2020, 08:50:06 pm »
Gaping Gill and other big pitchers on ladder, somebody's carbide blowing up.

Offline Fulk

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Re: Great moments in caving
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2020, 10:56:07 pm »
Dihedral Route, GG – the first time I did it I was utterly gob-smacked by the exposure, the waterfall, the sheer specatacle of it all.

Offline Loki

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Re: Great moments in caving
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2020, 11:25:06 pm »
Again a tough call but:
My 1st caving trip at 10yo down ofd1. The whole trip was spectacular in my eyes and was the reason I chose the caving club at uni in freshers week. Never looked back.
Worst moments? Coming back from white river series in peak to find 5 arches dumped off. That was character-building.
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Offline caving_fox

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Re: Great moments in caving
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2020, 09:55:19 am »
Choice of two for me really, both very similar experiences: Finally finding NorthernLights in OFD, and also completing the round trip in Draenen.

Not being based in Wales I tended to only manage a few of trips a year, maybe one or two to each cave. As anyone who's been there knows navigation in both is a bit tricky in places. So we'd turn up, I'd persuade a team to head for my targets, we'd get lost. Come back six months later: It'd be too wet. Try again we'd get past the lost bit, and get lost in a new bit. Then people had had enough and want to visit somewhere else. Then we'd get lost. Then we'd get through but everyone else was too tired, or someone couldn't manage an exposed climb and we'd have to turn around.

Then one trip everything just fell into place, the right team, the right weather, a bit of persistence with the navigation, and bingo, Got there. Feels absolutely amazing, all the more so for the challenge of having struggled for so long to achieve it.
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Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Great moments in caving
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2020, 10:28:02 am »
Any trip when MR O'Docs camera actually worked.

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Great moments in caving
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2020, 10:30:24 am »
Getting to the sump and back in Daren Cilau just after the discovery when my mate and I had not a clue where we were going. Took 13 hours and we had four Nife Cells.

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Great moments in caving
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2020, 02:56:25 pm »
Doing the Trou de Glaz to Guiers Mort through trip just using Pierre Chevalier's book and survey as the guide. Superb trip and the bit where we realised the sump had dried at the Guiers Mort  end and we could virtually walk out with the breeze blowing round us was terrific.

Offline blackshiver

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Re: Great moments in caving
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2020, 11:19:59 pm »
Getting to the sump and back in Daren Cilau just after the discovery when my mate and I had not a clue where we were going. Took 13 hours and we had four Nife Cells.

I will second that with exactly the same experience. I can still remember to this day sitting at the far end of the entrance crawl totally exhausted and sharing out two mars bars each then waiting for the sugar hit to kick in. The two of us made it to the pub, got completely wasted and staggered all the way back to Whitewalls.
I woke up in the middle of the night and took a wrong turn somewhere,  ending up in the charging room in the pitch dark - where I “got lost” and eventually gave up looking for the door. Happy Days.
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Offline Mr Mike

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Re: Great moments in caving
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2020, 08:45:12 am »

Daylight and beer after we finished opening the Nenthead traverse and completed the 16km through trip for the first time (in decades?).


Happy days those, Pete! Remember students in half barrel boats at Nentsberry dig?

Online PeteHall

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Re: Great moments in caving
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2020, 09:34:32 am »
Remember students in half barrel boats at Nentsberry dig?

Got a picture somewhere... In fact, here it is on your website  :lol:



The only other time I've been boating underground was canoeing into a sea cave in the Orkneys... https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=22352.0
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

 

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