Saturday 28 June 2014

4 out of 6 ain't bad...

The Dig Weekend at the Brickworks Dig was so popular that the exercise needed some careful planning. It was decided that while one team was down the dig, I would take one group into Top Entrance for a quick trip, then we would return to take our turn at digging, while Brendan would take a group into Pant Mawr and return later to take over digging from our team.

In spite of having been caving for the last 9 years, this was my first try at leading a trip into OFD (something to do with being navigationally challenged) so I decided to keep thing simple by doing a short 'tourist trip' to the Trident and Judge, taking in the Corkscrew, Swamp Creek, Shatter Pillar, President's Leap, Selenite Tunnel and Salubrious Streamway. With a group comprised of Helen, Phil, Becca, Loz and Darren, we soon found ourselves at the Corkscrew climb down. Phil's shoulder had been playing up as soon as we got into the entrance, and he felt that relying on his dodgy shoulder to support him through the Corkscrew would not be sensible, so he decided to head back. As Helen knows Top Entrance well, I asked her to accompany him back to the entrance while the rest of us made our way slowly down the sand crawls towards Swamp Creek.

We met up with Helen again at the Trident and Judge and continued with the trip. All went well - 9 years of Keith and Brendan tutting in despair every time I failed to identify areas of the cave was finally vindicated. The most difficult part was tearing Darren away from all the 'pretties' - stals, curtains, helictites, and the roof of Selenite Tunnel being just a few. It's so lovely to go caving with people who are overwhelmed by how beautiful the caves are!

Once back at the entrance Helen left us and went off to squirrel around down a muddy tunnel and the rest of us went back to the club ready for our turn to dig.

Keith was waiting for us at the club, and for some reason didn't seem too impressed that I had set off with a group of 6, and come back with 4! I later found out that Phil and I had our wires crossed earlier, and that he had thought Helen was taking him an alternative route to join up with us, so had waited at the entrance and even wandered around some of the passages looking for us, before he gave up and went back to the club! Just goes to show how important it is to make sure we all understand the same thing.

Helen wasn't long in joining us, and although we were all ready to dig, there was no digging to be had, as one of the pumps had failed and there was a problem with bad air, so we were forced to drink tea in the sunshine for the rest of the afternoon.

Present: Jess B., Becca K., Loz A., Phil L. Darren, Helen N.


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