I don't have to write a newsletter for a while (do I?) Well, I'm sure we're all dreaming of a black Christmas... but for the moment we have to look forward to this weekend's dinner in Yorkshire! While I was having a cold this weekend some people went caving. Sam tells the story:
Before I start on this month's fabrication --- WHERE WAS EVERYONE ?????
Only seven people went, this includes Adam & Rachel (EXCS officially), Sean who was working in Manchester on Saturday, and Janet who took a day off from her holiday in the sun to go caving, even Earl was out for his annual caving jolly. Friday --- I'd arrived at Tony's house, where I was due to be meeting Dave Horsley, Steve & Earl. Since I was planning to be at a friend's house warming party on Saturday night I'd already got a bit of extra stuff (e.g. a few bottles from my famous drinks collection). So I was dismayed to see Dave arrive with an overloaded 205 scraping along the road. He'd conveniently brought ALL the club ladders and three tackle bags of rope to do Sell Gill with + all the usual gear, food boxes and crates of cheap French beer etc.... By the time I'd got the car loaded the front wheels were minimally in contact with the road and I felt obliged to keep my speed down below three figures. Dave didn't manage to finish his French lager on the way up and we arrived at the pub in plenty of time for a beer (or a coke --- whatever's your poison) Sean was there, not talking to Adam & Rachel since they'd not actually met before. Janet, who'd arrived at the pub at five in the afternoon was well in with the local bootleggers, had been wined and dined by some folk in the YSS and offered a job on the Saturday laying cement somewhere. Contrary to rumour the Helwith Bridge still does not shut on time.
Saturday --- I was woken up too early again (8:30am) despite having slept on the floor in an effort to misdirect attention. After breakfast, festering a bit, packing gear etc we were wondering where Adam & Rachel were, we had pretty much given up on them and started driving off for Sell Gill when Dave spotted them in the Pub car park. We agreed to meet them in Horton, and set off.
Arriving at Sell Gill, we found the place deserted, and started down with hopes of a quick efficient trip, This was not to be. We'd got a couple of people down when arrived a merry band of White Rose cavers on their pre annual dinner jaunt. Janet was having a nervous wobble trying to get on the 'interestingly' rigged ladder and eventually retreated following some badly timed 'Get on with it' type comments from the W. Rose bunch. Heartlessly abandoning Janet with the car keys and instructions to go and be warm and comfortable in the pub, we headed on down the pitches and went for a ferret at the bottom. This has changed out of all recognition since I was last there --- extensive mining has linked through to some big passage, another pitch down and a rope ladder up --- all jolly interesting stuff. Anyway we headed back out and found the second party still coming down and..... Janet who'd been persuaded/dragged/bullied (???) into going down anyway (It could have been that they'd rigged their ladder in a spot that didn't require an epic leap from the end of a slippery chute though). Anyway, Steve took a few photos whilst we waited for the pitch to clear and it was soon time to head out. The White Rose lot didn't spend much time at the bottom and so we all went out as one big party. Steve cursed the thick SRT rope and small crab he was trying to Italian hitch people up the pitch with --- particularly people like me who climb ladders like demented ferrets up drainpipes. Eventually we all made it out of the cave, swapped team members and gear and zoomed back for a quick warm up in the pub. Back at the YSS I left folk in the throes of cooking 'sausage surprise' and headed off to my party, which was interesting - particularly the 'Spud gun' a butane powered potato launcher which did succeed in firing a potato 15 ft in the air but more importantly did not succeed in blowing the house up. I got to bed at 5:30 am. Janet apparently raved it up at the New Inn with her new found White Rose acquaintances whilst the CUCC crack caving team opted for an early night (10:00pm by all accounts!!) presumably to prepare for an arduous Bar Pot trip on the Sunday, although perhaps to escape the poor beer in the Helwith.
Sunday --- Despite my best efforts I managed to wake up at 10:30 and drove back to Yorkshire to chauffeur people to the cave. Dave fed me some coffee and off we went. Team Bar Pot was Sean, Steve, Earl, Adam & Rachel, whilst Dave & I decided to go on an entrance spotting ramble taking in most of the Gaping Gyll entrances and the Marton Arms. The caving trip took in the usual sights --- Main Chamber etc. Steve and Adam ferreted off for a while to Henslers Master cave whilst Rachel & Earl were furiously prussiking. As I'd expected, the caving team were a bit late out for their call out at seven, so at half seven Dave & I headed off to go and find them --- luckily all was well and we passed them two minutes later on the road of a thousand bends. Packed the car up, and set off home --- Steve, a veggie, found out that the chips at Wetherby are cooked in top quality lard and so had to buy some biscuits at the SPAR. He'd failed to ask on the way up and had tucked in to chips with curry sauce with no apparent ill effects. So, at least we had a ready supply of custard creams on the way back. Arrived home at half past midnight, at least I'd still got my keys and the windows were intact this time.
Quotes --- Am I allowed to print this?
"Sam, could you pull on my left boob?" --- Janet
This weekend - see Jeremy if it's not too late!
Guess what Earl has in his bedroom...
Tackle.. heaps of it... that means only one thing:
ROPE WASH III: THE REVENGE
This Thursday, December 4th 7:30-8pm. Earl's Room at Churchill L31??? (up the stairs - top floor I think). Food and pleasant company will be provided.
"I am calling for cavers from YORKS I, MENDIP I and YORKS II to do their duty..." --- The Tackle Master.
Lunch is at: Paul Hammond's Flat 6 St Michaels Court 1-2PM Thursday (Caius --- opposite the porters) That's all folks!!