by Mark Russell
1984-85 was a year that saw CUCC introduce many new members to caving, and at the same time found us continuing (and, dare I say it, refining) all the best old rituals. The obvious direction for this particular piece to therefore take is the usual one, ie. a commentary on the year.
I will not steal anyone's thunder by commenting on last summer's expedition; for that, I suggest you look to Mike Richardson's article. Anyway, anything I said would be open to severe criticism since I was not actually there - another good reason to refer you to the experts! We are returning this summer, and a very gratifying number of new members seem keen to go. There are also mutterings of going to Turkey next year, so maybe my predecessor's yearning for "Something more exotic" will be satisfied.
The year's Cambridge-based caving has been very well supported, both by the indispensable experienced members and by the hordes of novices. Yet again, I must thank the experienced members for taking the novices down caves that they themselves have often done several times before - and this does not include Carlswark! However this year's novices have been a very sociable bunch, and this has I am sure more than made up for the nth descent of Swildons or Simpsons by the more experienced members.
Mentioning Simpsons leads me to discuss the general caving tastes of the club this year. Most caving has been done in Yorkshire, and here there has been a definite movement towards through trips where possible, something perhaps suited to the high number of novices who dislike climbing ladders even more than more experienced members. High technology is also beginning to get a grip on the club, with more members becoming expert at SRT, aided by our purchase of 200m of rope. This is a very satisfying trend when viewed from the point of view of expeditions, but makes our labour in building 100m of ladder seem slightly less worthwhile!
All that remains is for me to thank this year's committee for their invaluable help, and th more experienced members who have provided both leadership for meets and the transport needed to get 15-20 to Yorkshire. And finally, thanks to all the rest of you who have provided such an entertaining (?!!) year, and good luck for next year - may it be as successful as this last one.