Author Topic: Mean trick at swildons sump 1  (Read 21940 times)

VivB

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Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« on: September 08, 2007, 05:22:10 am »
Having enjoyed my last and third trip with my husband just the other week, I was starting to get quite into the idea that there might be something to this caving lark.  Bru suggested visiting swildon's hole again (where i had suffered a loss of nerve on my first ever caving trip, in the spring).  Ok says I, and it was arranged for friday.

Of course by friday, we had picked up a couple of gatecrashers, one of whom I had met, the other I did not know.  Oh he's a really good bloke blah, blah goes Bru, so I think, ok, y'know, I trust my husbands judgement.  Except I'm learning about Bru, he will cavewith anyone.  I'm not really a massive fan of strangers, surely it's nicer to cave with people you know and who know you? Fully unforwarned, I bound up like a an enthusiast, because that's what people expect, isn't is?  From a little lady, and i save all my reservations, hello, hello, i say pleased to meet you.  Kitted up, ooo i think, this will be great, get to face those fears.

Into the cave, and straight from the off the boys are racing, with me trying to keep up.  not getting to pick my way carefully, or look at anything, and this constant yappering from our little gang, who are trying to out-bore each other with descriptions or before and after the 68 flood.  So far, so typical.  A nice little excursion around some way-that-has-a-name WGAS,G and down to the twenty.  Being micro-managed, I get down my first ladder, and round the pots, and after some caving get to  thesump at the bottom. 

Ok, I just read that back.  That wasn't how it was at all, i was having fun, in i thought, good company.  The caving was fun, but then it wasn't so fun and coloured the trip...

Ok, says Bru, sump 1, are you up for it?  And i think, yeah - ok.  I've got a tough six months coming up.  I'm not going to have a lot of time for caving or anything fun, i have a degree to finish, on top of everything else.  Face it, i think, do this, and the buzz will keep you going for a few weeks at least.  Affirming stuff!  You can do this.  Burt went first and had a little speaky tube, which worked, and really should get a proper description, but not by me. 
I tried to take deap breaths lying in cold water, which doesn't work.  You're working against yoursrlf led down, but then tried kneeling, which was easier by half.  Deep breaths and a couple of pulls, lovely.  Swildons 2 being a cavey sort of place, we scuttled like sandhoppers to sump 2.  So far, so good.

Back to the sump1, where i started to feel a bit cold.  Piss in your wetsuit, suggests an old hand, who assured me that it was not gross.  We had been underground for an hour, at most.  There is no need.  There can not possibly be a need. 

He and Burt nipped back under sump 1.  Bru suggested that I go next.  I knew that it was a brief duck, so barely pausing for breath i nipped under.  Two pulls, bump bump, went my head, bump, bump.  I'm thinking that not right.  Pull, Bump.   Pull, Bump.  I panic and take in water, I didn't take a deap enought breath!  This can't happen my brain tells me and my arms go up to feel, of course, nothing.  Martin has been keeping my head under with a rock. 

HA HA HA.  So, ok good I'm not going to drown today,  but then it's like, hold on, you f***ers, you have been making the big show of looking after me, protecting where i don't need it, showing me where to put my bleeding feet, for christ sake.  A surge of adrenaline, the bitter realisation that I've probably sucked caver piss and then i'm shaking, and going to peices, and thinking, oh, god, no, not now not here, please, and there's another voice in my head going Ha, they despise you, they are there, laughing at you.  It doesn't matter, that you're 33 years old, working 11 hour days to keep family and home together, and always let your husband go off and do basically what he wants, all the time, it doesn't matter that you do right by people, and make an effort, because there will always be others ready to take the piss, cut you down, make you feel small and scared so that they can laugh.  That muppet has always been you, muppet, the voice is saying.  And then Bru is there and I'm crying and I feel so shit, I start shaking.  And Bru is such a pussy, he just stands there.  Nothing like that has ever happened to him.   The mood just completely drops and everybody is standing looking at me looking sheepish, like i've spoilt the fun, but we do have to get out.  I just went to peices then, and just hated myself for it.  I'm climbing out, thinking, aaagghhh i can't do it, what made me think i could, f*** caving, f***ing degree, it's all a terrble mistake. 

And then i'm also really cross, too.
What give anyone the right to set themselves up as alpha male
I am a woman, not stupid, or incompetant
The world is mine
When I wake up
I don't need a man to tell
me what time of day it is

And that is the sad story of my hijacked caving trip, which should have been my and bru's beautiful thing together but was infiltrated by bad elements.  it's five in the morning and I should be writing about the dose-rate response characteristics of diode detectors, but it's just in my head, and i feel as bad now and i thought i was going to feel good, if you know what I mean.  Some sort of massive downer.  I've been post-natally psycotic, before, and it feels like that.  I'm obviously not tough enough for this caving lark.  It's funny, but the trips for me are as much about how you feel in a cave as what is there.  Each cave feels different, each group changes how it feels.  Swildon's for me now is shame, and hurt, and it will be a long time, I feel, before I do this again.

Turns out Bru knew about this trick in advance and didn't bother to mension it (despite talking about caving incessantly).  Thanks, 'm8', see you l8r
« Last Edit: September 18, 2007, 10:48:33 pm by cap 'n chris »

Offline bru

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2007, 08:08:44 am »
 :down: gutted that this happened on what was supposed to be a trip to build up your confidence.  Note to others, don't play this trick on people.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2007, 08:11:35 am »
"Tricks" underground are the stuff of 18th century schoolboy pranks and should have no place in caving whatsoever. I hope, Viv, that your unpleasant experience hasn't put you off caving but rather has merely put you off caving with people you have no reason to trust.

Online Elaine

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2007, 08:24:55 am »
You come caving with me Viv. I know what it is like to summon up all of your courage to do sump one. I wouldn't be mean to you.
Wot tiny writing!

Offline Bob Smith

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2007, 08:37:45 am »
a pity this happened to you, stick with the caving, but find a group you trust. Swildon's is not the best cave to dick about in at the best of times. There are some stunning things to see elsewhere so please don't let this put you off.

Offline Stupot

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2007, 09:01:49 am »
That's terrible, I am all up for light hearted harmless humour underground, but that stunt was just plain irresponsible and a dangerous prank to play on someone who is inexperienced in passing Sump 1.

I know this trick gets played all the time and I have had it played on me several times, the difference is I know it's coming.

Don't give up Swildons, it's a cracking cave.

Stu.
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Offline bubba

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2007, 09:25:29 am »
That sounds horrible :(

Holding a rock over someone's head after a duck/sump is an old "prank" but I've always thought it's just plain fucking stupid tbh. It might be funny if done to someone who's very experienced with that sort of thing and who probably knows what's going on, but to do it to someone who's new to such an extreme experience is just irresponsible.

I went through sump 1 on my first Swildons trip and it was just me and a total caving novice so i found it pretty damn scary. Of course, that scared feeling gives way to euphoria after a few seconds once you're through, but if somebody had played such a trick on me I would have been terrified and upset.

I just hope this hasn't spoiled caving for you, and that you can put this behind you and have some good, fun trips to restore your confidence.

As you now know, who you cave with is crucial - you need to be with people who you can ultimately trust and depend upon to help you if things go wrong, and people who you would do the same for in return.

Don't let this put a halt to your caving career - one day you'll be confident enough to breeze through Swildons and enjoy every minute of it :) :)



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Offline Hughie

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2007, 10:05:53 am »
Quote
As you now know, who you cave with is crucial - you need to be with people who you can ultimately trust and depend upon to help you if things go wrong, and people who you would do the same for in return.

Absolutely right. I've always done this. Avoid the wankers.

As said before, don't let this bad experience put you off.

Offline Ship-badger

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2007, 10:21:38 am »
Viv, most people (me included) would not have had the guts to write what you wrote on a forum. Well done.

Get yourself some better caving partners. Good luck with the degree.
Going down in the woods today!

Downer

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2007, 12:00:22 pm »
That makes me so bloody angry I don't know what to say.:furious: I hope you shoved him off the ladder, ha-ha-ha, that's another really funny trick.

You - not tough enough for caving? I don't think so! Just not tough enough to laugh it off when people you trust try to drown you. That's quite normal, actually! I bet we see you in Swildon's Two again soon - just make sure Stu doesn't pick up any more tossers to cave with next time. Pity he was in on the trick, you'll have to deal with that, maybe he's learned something.

« Last Edit: September 08, 2007, 12:11:13 pm by Downer »

Dep

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2007, 12:29:45 pm »
A great write-up Viv which eally conveyed the feeling of the moment etc etc.
Silly pranks can be great fun, but as a few have already said there's a time and a place, and that was clearly the wrong on both counts.

The first time I went through Sump 1 I was coming out after a Round Trip, I was happy enough to do the sump but still understandably nervous, and so I commented to the person ahead of me that silly games would not be appreciated at this point (I was aware of the rock-trick) and as an experienced and sensible caver he took me at my word and helped me through.
Since then I have also been in a position to play the trick on various people; but as these are all people I know quite well I know that the trick would not have been appreciated - and so controlled myself.

If he is the person I think he is then your 'friend' has a sadistic streak. I'll pm you the rest.

VivB

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2007, 01:28:22 pm »
My 'friend' is Martin, I don't know him from adam, and now i never will; I will be avoiding him in future.  Bru knew about that trick generally, but couldn't have believed that someone would do that to a person on their first time though.  That is not the kind of people we are.  I came back and downed most of a bottle of sambuka, after which i wrote the trip report, and now I feel like shit today.  I did not choose to go caving with him.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2007, 11:04:27 pm by cap 'n chris »

The Weasel

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2007, 02:02:48 pm »
I rarely, if ever, post here, but couldn't let this pass without comment. As other's have said, it was a shitty, stupid stunt (say that one fast and you'll know what I mean!) to pull. Caves aren't playgrounds and people's confidence can be fragile underground, I know, to my own cost, at times! That doesn't make you an idiot, or a wimp.

I'm guessing you were the only female on the trip?  The giveway was the description of the testosterone fueled bullshitting on the way down.  Been there, been on that trip (metaphorically speaking), got pissed off etc etc.  This sort of thing epitomises the worst of the alpha-male attempts to impress the girlies that can be so off-putting from some cavers. And no, guys, this isn't an anti-bloke rant, it's just a simple observation from nearly 30 years of caving.  It happens, we all know it. And it tends to be worse when there is only one female in the group.

I can well imagine how upset and angry you were, and it's difficult to deal with the aftermath of something like that, but hopefully writing about it helped, although I'm willing to bet you still feel like shit (even without the sambucca). Don't give up on caving, but don't be afraid to refuse to cave with people you don't know and trust.  There are plenty of people in this world I don't want to be in a potentially serious situation with, that's for sure.

Hope you get some better trips in the future!  If you want an all female trip, where we can take the piss out of the bloke psyche (and they can wonder if we're all talking about their attempts to cover up small bodily parts), I'm sure there are people who will be up for it.  I certainly would!

Offline Hughie

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2007, 02:09:08 pm »
And me - girlie power!!


Oh bum, that was me (Anne) not Hughie - I forgot to log him out!!

Downer

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2007, 02:31:16 pm »
This has got me thinking. No-one wants to be a kill-joy but where do you draw the line? I've been known to drop to my knees while wading along a  shallow stream and sn-worded at the people following who were nervously edging round the non-existent pothole. I can't see the harm in that. But causing someone to panic under water and choke is about as funny as loosening a ring hanger.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2007, 02:54:37 pm »
where do you draw the line

Perhaps when someone is knowingly pushing someone else way outside their comfort zone for no justifiable reason this would count as beyond the line. 

Offline Geoff R

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2007, 03:03:40 pm »

Having a fun time underground is great,  but IMHO playing tricks underground on others is stupid, potentially very dangerous and completely unacceptable, regardless of the situation or persons involved.

It is TOTALLY unacceptable in any situation involving sumps, water, heights or novices   :furious:

We regularly cave with just one girl in our party and I like to think our team dynamics work great. 
We each have nothing to prove to the others; no personal competition; equal expectation of speed, safety and intended achievement ....... the difference ?   

I hope this thread is taken as a very serious warning to anyone >thinking< of playing tricks.
 

 
....  SRT, the only way to cave !!!

Offline Ed W

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2007, 03:19:25 pm »
Viv,

Sorry to hear you had a bad time in Swildons.  However, knowing Martin I am sure there was no malicious intent in what he did.  Yes a practical joke went too far and you feel pretty down about it at the moment, but Martin is in no way a nasty piece of work, and certainly not a liability underground.

I know precisely how you feel, I had a similar "joke" played on me many years ago, and I really didn't see the funny side of it.  I lost my rag with the party I was caving with, several of whom I had only met that day. To cut a long story short my instant judgement on them was way off the mark, and I still cave with them to this day, 15 years later.

Don't let this incident put you off caving!
Size matters not, look at me Judge me by my size do you? And well you should not...

Offline Sewer Rat

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2007, 03:47:52 pm »
I dont post here often, but I feel I must make a few comments.
I am really sorry that this happened to you on a trip, so early in your caving days.
Pranks can be dangerous, in all activities.
I see pranks played on apprentices on building sites all the time, like nailing sombodys work boots to the floor with a nail gun through the sole!
Its life, and life is a bitch, These things add to life experience. They are the things that colour our stories.
I am in the habit of singing through long crawls in mud or water, and many different people, have held onto my wellies to make me stop.
Singing turns to gargling  and spluttering etc and laughing.

Yes you were the victim of a comon trick that was ment to be funny.
You didnt find it funny.

From your words, you come across as quite a strong minded, confident person.
Surley the way to deal with this was to take Martin alone to the side of the group Tell him how you felt, and call him all the wankers under the sun to his face, clear the air, and join up with the rest of the group. Being grown up and dealing with it there and then, would have given you a lot of respect, even from Martin. Letting the event fester in your mind and ferment into somthing bigger with alcohol, then going on as public rant (which you are alowed to do, it is a free country) was not the way forward. either as a repremand to the offending party, or getting it off your chest.

I am sure that Martin thought that you would see the funny side of his prank.
I am sure that he did not see it as dangerous
and I bet that he is quite upset that he upset you.
Have you never played a trick on somebody and regrettted it afterwards?
where two worlds meet, Worlds that are worlds apart

VivB

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2007, 04:10:28 pm »
Yeah, thanks for that.
To be honest, i just got into caving to see something of my husband whom i thought i had a connection with, but who caves 3 nights in seven, on average.  He has always enjoyed the responsible nature of the trips he does, and the company he keeps, and has always impressed upon me how carefully he undertakes that.  On reflection, I would like to say that that has not always been my experience.  Also, no, i am not a confident person, but if i stand at the sidelines people call me stand-offish, so i forced myself in this case to be sociable.  Gives me pause to think better in future, so yeah, i learned a lot.
Whatever, I'm not bothered by who is responsible for shagging my trip, and people can cave with whomsoever they choose, but the experience of having my mojo messed with by people i don't even know has put me right off.

VivB

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2007, 04:19:58 pm »
And no, I have not ever, never, played atrick on someone.  I'm the one who always had the trick on them.  how did they know eh?  And you're the one who points and laughs.  We are a different species you and i.  Spent my childhood in tears from being picked on, worst years of my life, guess thats why i got mad.  I wish with all my heart that i could have done what you suggest, that adds to the shame.  I'm not a caver, i'm not hard, i don't pretend to be.
And whatsisface did apologise, and i accepted it. 
Nuff said end of.

toni

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2007, 04:56:05 pm »
Hi Viv  :clap2: I'd like to say well done for naming and shaming. Like you I am at the start of what I hope is a long and fun caving pastime. I have only done 4 trips myself, Peak Cavern, P8, Giants and Heron Pot in the Yorkshire Dales. All very exciting and fun for their own reasons! I can say that they were exciting and fun because I was made to feel very secure and and never taken too far out of my comfort zone. There were challenges for me, but made to be enjoyable, with a shot of adrenaline added, and I can thank my partner (JB) for that.
I'm sure your husband has learnt his lesson and is mortified that you have been made to feel the way you do, no doubt feeling the same emotions as you do, for very different reasons!
Please don't allow other peoples warped sense of humour ruin what could be an extremely enjoyable time, time spent with your husband. I'm sure he will choose more carefully in the future.
Like you, i have never 'played a trick' on others and especially not to the detriment of their feelings. Life is a Bitch, but it doesn't mean we need to go out of our way to make things harder!!! I feel that the people who choose to take the piss out of others, do so to cover their own insecurities, unfortunately, at the expense of others.
My first thought on reading your log was, you should have hit the f****r over the head with that stone to see how funny he found it then... But then i thought, I wouldn't bring myself to his level!!!!
I'm inviting you to come on a trip with Jules and I. Let me know when you are free, you are more than welcome to bring your hubby, if you've calmed down enough  ;)
I'm personally in the process at looking at caving clubs to join, so i can be independent of Jules and he can spend time with his caving buddies. Having someone at the same level of experience would be a massive help. I have to say, I'm finding it hard because it is a testosterone based past time and that comes across on the web sites or its for people who want to go out and play silly games and get completely arse holed, maybe this is the nature of the beast  :blink:
Don't give in Viv,
Hope to hear from you soon.

« Last Edit: September 08, 2007, 05:04:20 pm by toni »

Downer

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2007, 05:28:20 pm »
And no, I have not ever, never, played atrick on someone.  I'm the one who always had the trick on them.  how did they know eh?  And you're the one who points and laughs.  We are a different species you and i.  Spent my childhood in tears from being picked on, worst years of my life, guess thats why i got mad.  I wish with all my heart that i could have done what you suggest, that adds to the shame.  I'm not a caver, i'm not hard, i don't pretend to be.
And whatsisface did apologise, and i accepted it. 
Nuff said end of.

Oh dear. Is this the same Viv with those shining eyes in GB? You're having a bit of a reaction aren't you? As we all used to say, "Don't let the bastards grind you down!"


You know, not everyone here thinks the same way as Sewer Rat. There is no way the victim of a trick, underground or anywhere else, is under any obligation whatsoever either to see the funny side or to have a row with the perp to clear the air. Why do people think that caving, or should that be Caving?, sets aside all normal rules of behaviour? Same mind-set as takes ridiculous risks underground that they wouldn't dream of taking on top, I suppose.

I can't help but wonder how you all managed to get to Sump Two and back to One in less than an hour. Experienced cavers would but not someone on their third ever trip unless they're being rushed off their feet. A comfortable pace for beginners is about an hour and a half to Sump One without even going through it! Another black mark for the leadership, I'm afraid. I can't see how you'd even have time to lifeline the Twenty properly at that rate, let alone look at anything on the way. There again I'm old and slow and always have been :)

As for being 'ard, I regularly cave(d) with dainty little females who don't appear to have a single molecule of testosterone in their blood. I don't care what other people say, going underground isn't a matter of proving you have balls, it's just trecking about with a lot of obstacles that need skill to manage safely and confidently. Sure it can take some bottle but that's different. But in one respect I do agree with SR. If the guy is the one I think you mean, he is quite well known - as a skilled caver, not merely as a prat. I imagine he is feeling well-chagrined now.



« Last Edit: September 08, 2007, 05:33:33 pm by Downer »

darkplaces

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2007, 05:35:55 pm »
I hate 'pranks' and see no point in them anywhere, its just bullying plane and simple. It cant be excused.

You would have been perfectly in your right to give the chap a good kick in the balls!

Offline ian.p

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Re: Mean trick at swildons sump 1
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2007, 06:19:46 pm »
Quote
I'm not a caver, i'm not hard
if being hard was a prerequisit for caving then there would be a lot less cavers in this world. determination and a wish to face new chalanges and see new things are far more importent and from your previos posts id say you apear to have a plentifull suply of both.

one of the things i realy like about caving is that it is a non competitive sport and theres a lot more to being a good caver than how 'ard a trip you can do in the end people will tend to judge you more on wether they can realy on you to help them when they need it then they will on wether or not you can get to sump one and back in under 10 minutes.
ive also heard of the trick you describe i dont think its a perticuly nice one theres a big diference between painting somones face with mud whilst theyre stuck in a squeeze or faking a pothole in astreamway and making somone think theyre about to drown whilst theyre still trying to gain there confidence.    

its a shame youve had a bad experiance with somone but the vast majority of cavers are realy nice people (though i may be biased!).