Author Topic: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip  (Read 648 times)

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« on: July 10, 2020, 08:50:32 am »
I think that you all deserve a photo splodge after all the bickering and wittering over caving related acronyms. Of course after the lockdown as well. Peter Glanvill wanted to do a third clean up session in Barnes Loop with the battery pressure washer so I said that I would come along and help carry the kit and hope for a few photos.
Pete Rose kept ringing up saying that as it was the 52nd anniversary of the great flood we were doomed and a hurricane was coming in. I was starting to get the jitters. Well, we arrived at the Wessex hut in the pouring rain so backed up to the washroom to change. Peter's special weather app said that the rain would stop at Priddy after 25 minutes and it did. Off across the field carrying all the kit after putting the cave fee in the box in the porch. I decided on a simple photo set up as the pressure washer would soon mist up everything. TG 4 camera, Youngnuo slave flash, and Skyray torch. I thought about the on-camera flash exclusion box but did not take it. Peter had brought a rope for the " Old Forty " climb. A certain Mendip caver had fallen down it on a solo trip breaking a leg. He had to crawl out of the cave and across the fields to summon help. We safely arrived at the bottom of that though the only belay point that I could find was a thin bit of stal. Peter wanted to look at Rolling Thunder the inlet at the bottom of the climb. I waited as it looked to be a very wet grovel. At the Twenty we found it already rigged so left our ropes and ladders there. We arrived at Barnes Loop without incident and Peter commenced two hours of pressure washing whilst I endeavoured to get some photos in the foggy wet atmosphere. After a while all the camera gear got soaking wet and that was it.
On the return we met the other party who kindly lined us up the Twenty first. I did explain that at age 73 my ladder climbing technique might be a bit slow. It was good to see three young people caving. One was on his first trip. On the way out I managed to fall into one of The Double Pots and Peter's camera and flash set up stubbornly refused to work. Nothing much has changed in 55 years. We met two more cavers having a trundle around the upper series then the walk back to the Wessex to change. The soggy rope bag and my big camera box were getting a bit of a trial by then.

In the upper series.

P7090003 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2020, 08:56:33 am »
Peter in Rolling Thunder.

P7090016 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

Had enough of that.

P7090023 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

The Twenty. I could not get a climbing shot as I was lifelining.

P7090034 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

Surprising how many nice bits of Swildons there are. A rushed shot that would benefit from backlighting. Here Peters's camera failed.

P7090050 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

Online JoshW

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2020, 09:05:29 am »
lifelining on the 20? I assumed mendipians just rattled up the ladder?   :tease:

nice shots, god I miss caving.


Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2020, 09:08:34 am »
Pressure washing in Barnes Loop.

P7090067 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

P7090069 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

P7090090 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

P7090098 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

P7090108 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

P7090111 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

P7090120 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

P7090139 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

P7090174 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

P7090190 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

P7090195 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

P7090196 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

By now it was like a Turkish bath in Barnes Loop and all of my camera gear was soaked. I accidentally set the camera on " Dramatic " whilst trying to dry it getting these last two photos which worked in an odd way.

P7090201 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr

P7090206 by Nicholas Chipchase, on Flickr


OK. Back to the acronyms.

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2020, 09:09:53 am »
lifelining on the 20? I assumed mendipians just rattled up the ladder?   :tease:

nice shots, god I miss caving.

Real Mendip cavers dont use a ladder.

Offline MJenkinson

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2020, 09:30:45 am »
Thanks for the conservation work - a lovely bit pf passage.

Online PeteHall

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2020, 09:35:32 am »
Real Mendip cavers dont use a ladder.

It's pretty sketchy on the way down without a ladder!  :o

Much easier on the way up  :thumbsup:
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Online JoshW

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2020, 09:39:33 am »
Real Mendip cavers dont use a ladder.

never had the bollocks to free climb it, one day though!

Online PeteHall

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2020, 09:48:59 am »
Watch someone else do it first. It's quite committing, but not difficult if you are tall enough.

I'm 5'10" and it's quite a stretch for me, but I'm not that flexible. If you are taller, or more flexible, it should be fairly straight forward  :)
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Online JoshW

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2020, 09:51:23 am »
Watch someone else do it first. It's quite committing, but not difficult if you are tall enough.

I'm 5'10" and it's quite a stretch for me, but I'm not that flexible. If you are taller, or more flexible, it should be fairly straight forward  :)

i'm what people would affectionately refer to as a lanky streak of piss ha. I will have to watch someone do it at some point and just get on with it.

Offline rhychydwr1

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2020, 10:36:06 am »
At first I thought MRODOC was drilling holes in the speleothems.  But then as as went up I realised he was using a water jet. :o

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2020, 10:49:12 am »
For the record I had bought a new attachment for the washer, delivering a rotary jet and am able to make more comments on its use. If you are in close proximity to the washing face you get all the fine particles of grit blasted into your face and eyes. Secondly you don't need any more pressure than these washers deliver as you risk damaging stal.  No stal was damaged but you hear curtains vibrating under the pressure.  Don't use it on thin stal, helictites etc. Start from the top down. Quite a bit of mud high on the stal out of reach suggesting it dates back to the great flood of '68. However some of the stuff I removed was smeared on mud and it wasn't on the  beaten track - suspect where people with muddy kit had been poking about. I hope people will notice the difference. Anybody wants to lend a hand cleaning Trat's Temple let me know as there we will need a rope and bucket with somebody filling the bucket periodically. I have collapsible buckets for ease of transport. Going in as a twosome after months of not caving proved hard work carrying as we were ladder, lifeline, washing kit, and two sets of camera equipment. For any photographers out there I found out what had gone wrong underground but couldn't sort - the channel code had altered itself on the wireless trigger for some mysterious reason.

Finally for those interested in cave conditions, the cave was pretty dry with hardly any water in the Dry Way. What was interesting is the volume of water coming out of Rolling Thunder almost matched that coming down the Old Forty.

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2020, 11:07:24 am »
Why flash on camera doesn't work underground (same location as OR's shot of the OR). Plus  two WCC members after a post lockdown dash down Swildons.

Offline ObviousSpectre

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2020, 01:13:30 pm »
The two of you flew up that that ladder quicker than the three of us managed it  :lol: There must be some secret Mendipian technique that I don’t know about. Excellent pics, by the way.

Offline darren

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2020, 02:57:52 pm »
lifelining on the 20? I assumed mendipians just rattled up the ladder?   :tease:

nice shots, god I miss caving.

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Offline dugadig

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2020, 11:26:11 pm »
 :thumbsup:Very nice pictures and thank you for the cleaning up.

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2020, 09:58:24 am »
In a way the trip and cleaning were quite cathartic. You get a great sense of achievement seeing muddy stal gradually emerging into the pristine state that the original explorers must have found. Muck begets muck and so a deterioration process ensues. It has always astounded me to see muddy prints on stal way off the beaten path or on stal that can be avoided. Both pillars in Shatter and Withyhill have mud marks on now. Time can be short in reversing the process as our work with Andy Freem showed in the short while that we filmed at Fairy Cave Quarry. Eventually, mud will get more stal deposited on it and cleaning requires more vigorous methods of removal. Unlike physical damage muck is insidious. It accumulates over time so the process becomes unnoticeable. Only by restoring the stal to its original state can the deterioration been noticed. Peter G. has done great work in bringing this to our attention. Why should most caving clubs not invest in a battery sprayer as some have become ridiculously cheap now? Surely it's in our best interest not only to protect our caves from further deterioration but also to try and restore then to what they once were.
I enjoyed the trip though it left me feeling rather achy after the long lay off. I realise now that a few exercises might have eased the burden on long-unused parts of my anatomy. Good too to get some photography done. My usual way blast off a lot simply and edited them down to a few. I took 200 on the trip and got what I wanted using fairly simple setups. Minimal editing afterward though I now find Photoshop haze filter a must-have. I still shy away from the manipulated and overcooked images I now see all over the web. The phone apps that are destroying the true art of photography.
“My passion has never been for photography “in itself” but for the possibility – through forgetting yourself – of recording in a fraction of a second the emotion of the subject, and the beauty of the form; that is, a geometry awakened by what’s offered.” — Henry Cartier Bresson.
True photography has to be in the head of the photographer. His expression of what he perceives not a robotic AI induced accumulation of soulless pixels. Ah, perhaps I am too old school. I did have professional photographic training but I suppose that counts for little today. The camera is evolving and might eventually morph into a mobile phone. The process has begun. Hardware is becoming more intuitive. It gives you what you think you want to see but degrades your own artistic input. Photography like art used to signify the creator. A statement. You can recognise the work of a particular individual because it came from his perception and imagination.



Offline mrodoc

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Re: Post Lockdown Swildons Trip
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2020, 10:38:31 am »
You note I like that post. Well I would wouldn't 1, to misquote Mandy Rice-Davies.

 

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