Weekend Trip 26/27 January
Ben, Helen, Colin, Clewin, Jan, Andy
Mr B drives...and drives and drives. Andy does Pippikin 3 times. The fifth element is discovered.
With the forecast for gales and heavy rain, we decided to go caving in Yorkshire, to see if we could catch a bit of snow too. Soon after leaving college at 8pm we were stuck in traffic on Notting Hill Gate, a little bit later we arrived a Bull Pot Farm. Mr B (true name hidden for legal reasons) raced us North driving (and talking) non-stop through atrocious rain, then complained he couldn't sleep that night, before doing Pippikin-Link on the Saturday, I suspect the man must be on something stronger than tea, probably spare adrenalin from sitting round doing crosswords all day.
Arriving at Bull Pot at 1am, with no key we were relieved to find other people there, in fact OUCC and CUCC plus a few MUCC, aswell as the usual RRCPCs. A quiet nights sleep on a mattress was only broken by talk of vomiting and mystery illness's in the night.
Saturday, 3 masochists decided to do Pippikin - Link with the undisclosed intention of leaving it rigged. While 2 more sensible people did Cow Pot, to have a look at the impressive main drain in semi-flood. While waiting for an hour for some suspiciously Southhampton looking pair to do some SRT training on the entrance pitch to Cow, 'Team Whip Me For Pleasure' was rigging the involved Pippikin entrance series. Finally getting down the tripled rigged entrance pitch 'Team Cow' made headway, on the roof traverse Clewin was unstoppable, starting the rigging about halfway along before, undaunted, descending the big pitch into the abyss which is Fall Pot. But the free hanging Y-hang was to prove his undoing, and plenty of time elapsed before the rope was free, I was able to complete my repertoire of singing and whistling perched on the ledge above the pitch. At this point Team WMFP was probably gurgling somewhere in the Wet Wallows or getting lost around Dusty Junction. Team Cow where on the move again, descending out the roof into Fall Pot which is always a stunning experience, and with water pouring in from every nook and cranny this time was no exception. Climbing down through the boulders below Fall Pot, we looked down into the streamway, looking above us there was plenty of fresh foam on the roof indicating where the water had probably been the day before. Team Cow then beat the retreat, taking a few photos on the way.
Saturday evening at the farm was upto its usual standards, lots of drinking and loud music. Tales were told by the S&M team of crawls in water with 2 inches of airspace. The fifth fundamental element 'Brown' was discovered, to compliment Goo, Stuff, Lard and Beer (1).
Sunday a 3 man team ventured down Aygill, after a brief visit to Bernie's. Missing out on this normal Sunday faffing process was Andy, he had decided once down Pippikin didn't satisfy him and a bounce trip to derig was in order, the two oxford lasses he went with may have been another reason. Aygill was an unexpected pleasure, a Sunday cave, near to the hut, with a couple of nice ladder pitches, done with some old skool rigging and an impressive streamway which stopped us progressing any further, but definitely worth a revisit in dryer weather.
The return journey to London was, again, swift leaving at 5.30pm from the farm arriving back at 11pm. A small oil leak was noticed, but it was nothing much really, the burning smell wasn't too bad, at least smoke wasn't pouring into the vehicle like I had seen on other occasions. If they ever fix the engine, that van is well worth hiring again (2).
- (Ogborne et. al . Proceedings of the 2001 Cave Avoidance Philosophy Conference , pp 81-94 )
- Since the article was originally written, GAV has sadly passed away.