|CU 1972 Contents Page||Next:|
Tackle and Technique
The Club is still beset by transport problems, and the year's routine has followed its normal, well-tried course.
As usual we started with a trip to P8 on a very wet day in October, the pitches being damper than even we had expected! Although some novices were deterred, the undaunted ones later ventured to Yorkshire, where a pleasant day was spent in Sunset, Hardrawkin and Middle Washfold. Sunday, however, found Sell Gill in flood; we seem to attract the rain! The most eventful trip of the term was an attempted Round Trip in Swildon's which aborted at Greasy Chimney when one of the party managed to dislocate his shoulder. He was brought out under his own power with the joint still out of place; about six hours elapsed between the accident and the casualty surfacing: - thanks to Fred Davies, members of the Shepton, et al.
After a mini-trip to Kingsdale (10 caves in one day!) everyone assembled at Brackenbottom for the Christmas Vac Meet. We started after New Year, and missed Christmas Eve in the Crown - an occurence unlikely to be repeated! The Penyghent trip went without a hitch, both parties surfacing after 5½ hours and a total of 12 people reaching the bottom. The next day Phil and Dave braved Dow-Prov, while the rest of the so-called 'hards' ventured into Washfold, but not very far!! Slit Pot in Simpson's gave one or two small rotund figures an amusing few minutes, and a trip down Little Hull nearly caused another rescue when the walls of the third pitch decided to descend with Andrew. Fortunately he was only slightly bruised, but he has been heard to mutter dire things about Little Hull.
He could not have been too upset, because later in January he was dashing around in OFD II (and III?) with Clive and Noel.
The Lent Term produced yet another onslaught on the Round Trip - no problems this time even at the Greasy Chimney. A weekend was spent on Casterton Fell, getting lost in Lancaster and messing around in BPW and Aygill. After one or two private ventures at the start of the Vac the Club duly assembled in South Wales at the beginning of April. A very enjoyable time was spent in OANF (Little Neath, to you), OFD and DYO,
By this time abseiling had become standard practice in the Club, speeding up descents of big pitches considerably. Prusiking has not yet really caught on - climbing ladders using a brake-block on the abseil rope as protection is the current method of ascent. The pre-Tripos meet made full use of this, with bodies dashing in all directions in Alum and Diccan. After exams had been disposed of, everyone (except the rowing fraternity) headed again for Craven, and bottomed Washfold among other pots.
Andrew, Evan and Dave Harrison spent several days digging various sinks at Twyn Tal Ddraenan, unsuccessfully - the amount of labour needed was sadly not forthcoming. Meanwhile Nick, who was working at a kiddie's camp nearby, did Eglwys Faen: and again, and again, and again...
Our expedition to the Jura in Eastern France proved most enjoyable, though most of the caves were huge resurgences and top entrances were scarce. As an account of our activities is included in this Journal, let it simply be said that strange things come about from using 'school-boy' French! Later Nick, Nigel and Jont caved their way down through the Alps, Nick and Jont ending up at the Pierre St. Martin where they made several important discoveries.
August and September found Andrew, Martin and me spending weekends in South Wales and Mendip as light relief from law school or the military. The conclusion of the year's programme was the President's Invite Meet, although it was hardly the climax. Poor attendance produced a few trips on Casterton and Leck and the rediscovery of Slit Cave in Littondale after a lot of hard prospecting in this 'virgin' area.
And then P8 - not as wet a usual.
Other events of the year include three weddings. The Jack-Muff became Mr. and Mrs. Upsall and moved to Yeovil; Phil and Anne became Mr. and Mrs. Shuttleworth; and John and Cilla became Mr. and Mrs. Lees. Congratulations and best wishes to all of them.
After a little research following a reading of Bakers 'Caving' we discovered that a club called the Troglodytes was active in the University in the early 1920s. Further hunting uncovered write-ups of some of their expeditions which make very good reading. We were also lucky enough to locate a founder member, Mr. John Churchill, and to persuade him to come and see us. He gave a very interesting talk, describing among other things the discovery of White Scar Caverns. CUCC now claims an age of 50 years, which makes us one of the oldest university clubs in the country!
Unfortunately there is a sad note to close on. During the summer, after a fleeting visit to the Jura, John Palmer moved on to Switzerland. He has not been seen since; only his motorbike and rucksac were found after extensive searches of the Saas Fee glacier and the surrounding clints. He was one of the characters of the club, and is missed by us all. We extend our sympathy to his parents and relations.
|CU 1972 Contents Page||Next:|
Tackle and Technique