The Craven Pothole Club Record

Number 44, October 1996


Club Rules & Constitution, Membership List and related matters are incorporated in the Craven Pothole Club Handbook published biannually.

Published by the Craven Pothole Club, Ivy Cottage, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire. Copyright - Craven Pothole Club. No part of this Record may be reproduced without permission from the Committee of the Craven Pothole Club.

Contributions to this publication are welcome in any form and can be accepted on MSDOS disk. (ASCII or Word preferred)


Dr. R.A. Halliwell, Academic Office, The University, HULL, HU6 7RX

Tel No: 01482 465948(W) 876544(H) 466441(FAX)

E-mail: R.A.Halliwell@UK.AC.Hull.Admin


In some ways this is both a sad Record and a joyful one, a Record which epitomises what the CPC stands for. It is sad because we have lost part of our strong links to the past with the deaths of Fred Austin and Johnny Frankland. It is a joyful one because we can, yet again, report new discoveries made on the GG Meet. The articles by Mary Hunkin and Elaine Hill both show what the club can mean to new members. Barry Andrews shows us what dedication to digging can achieve whilst Nigel Graham manages to maintain a smile on an expedition that through no fault of its own didn't manage to achieve as much as it would have liked. A cross section which illustrates the Club's magnificent past, its lively state at present, and the warm welcome it provides to people who wish to sample our way of caving.

Stories abound of Fred Austin and the very active role he and his brother Tom played in the club's history. I'm not sure how many of the stories are apocryphal and so I will leave them to the obituary writers. One thing is for certain we will all miss Fred's cheery greeting whenever he met a fellow member. Johnny Frankland likewise has a special place in the Club's history. Although the CPC has on many occasions assisted the rescue organisations I believe that the Club has only ever needed assistance on three occasions in our 67 years of existence; Phil Smyth in the newly discovered (by CPC) Lizard Pot, Stewart Evans in Lancaster Hole, and Johnny Frankland - the iron man of Penyghent. Full details of the accident are given in the CPC Journal for 1951 and the accident is also described in several books on the history of Yorkshire caving. However until reading the obituary kindly provided by Hugh Bottomley I had not fully appreciated the extent of Johnny's achievements.

GG has come and gone again and was a great success again. Something of the sheer experience and enjoyment of Gaping Gill comes through in Mary Hunkin's article but there is a significant point in Jo's report as Joint Meet Leader. She comments on the difficulties of trying to ensure an equitable distribution of work between the people in the camp. But what about the people who do not attend at all or, even worse in some ways, arrive to do a day's caving and then leave without providing any help towards the running of the meet. This was the first year for several that I have been present all week rather than just at the weekends. It reminded me just how much all club members owe to the few who camp and work hard at Gaping Gill. The meet is important to the club financially and subsidises many of our activities; why do you think our subscriptions are so low compared to other clubs. It is also important as a publicity exercise; both directly in attracting new members to the club and indirectly for caving in general, by providing member of the general public with their only chance to see the impressive main chamber of Gaping Gill. If the Gaping Gill Meet was to fold because of lack of support and appreciation of the hard work of the few then it would be a sad day for the whole club. Any extra help with the hard work involved in the meet, especially from members who have not assisted in the past, will always be welcome. Who knows, you might well find that it is habit forming.

Ric Halliwell

Meet Reports

Brown Hill Pot (29 April 1995)

Present: Patrick Warren (nearly!), Biker type#2 (leader - in spirit!)

Scene 1: 1 A motorway service station somewhere in Scotland. Mid afternoon, post torrential downpour, enter stage left, a triumvirate of biker types. Biker types refuel and repose to comfy seat, brews and drip dry area. Biker types engage in predictable chit-chat about lines, tyres and shed-draggers. Conversation turns to proposals for following weekend

Biker type #1 "Yeah, so do you fancy coming along on this run then Andy ?"

Biker type #2 "Well I'd like to but, I think l'm leading this potholing trip on Saturday"

Biker type #1 "Can you not put it off or summat ?"

Biker type #2 "Not really, its a bit late in the day for that and l'll be up to my neck in it with the committee if I don't show, but l'll just check"

Biker type #2 fumbles in pocket and whips out CPC programme of events

Biker type #2 "yes here we are, April 29, Brown Hill Pot, leader biker type #2"

Biker type #1 "but April 29th was yesterday !!"

Biker type #2 " you must be mistaken ?~

Biker type #2 looks around assembled biker types for support - none given

Biker type #1 & #3 "So we'll see you next weekend then"

Biker type #2 exits stage southbound chased by a flea in his ear

Anyway that's what I did on the day, I can only offer my sincerest apologies to those people who may have shown up and suggest that I was affected by a temporary mental aberration. My penance incidentaly is to lead Car Pot on behalf of an indisposed member later this year. Patrick gets a mention because he was the only person at the cottage inclined to go!

Andy Roberts

Marble Sink (7 October 1995)

Present: Andy Roberts (leader)

Maybe it is those opening lines in Northern Caves that scared folk off, or possibly it was my meet report from the last attempt, it might even have been the dismal weather and prospect of toiling up to the allotment from Horton, there is even an outside chance that consumlng Iarge quantities of alcohol at a member's premises in Leeds was a more attractive proposition, whatever the reason, the low turnout precluded any attempt on this pothole. It has been suggested that venues of this ilk ars unsuited to club meets, I would hope that this is certainly not the case and that when the event reappears next year, non-members of the FB club (an "in" GG jibe) will vote wlth their wellies.

Andy Roberts

Bull Pot of the Witches (5 November 1995)

Present: Andy Bradley, Barry Hunkin(P), Mary Hunkin(P), David Kaye, Karen Lane(P), Roger Stevens, Brian Varley (Leader), Dennis Webb

It was on a dry, sunny and crisp morning that the party gathered at Bull Pot Farm. Neville Lucas, the Leader, was not able to attend and so I, because of my advancing years, was appointed as replacement leader. Without tackle we would be obliged to limit our exploration to the upper section of the system and in an effort to have some idea which part of the pot we were in any time the survey was given a good dose of looking at.

I particularly wanted to visit the Gour Chambers for two reasons; one, I think it was 1952 when I was last in them and secondly on one of my attempts to get back into the chamber I may have left my spectacles at the beginning of the squeezes.. To this end we set off in the direction of the Gour Chambers first with the intention of doing the rest of the system later.

The squeeze has not increased in size since my last visit and so four of us had to remain behind and let the others progress forward. Dave Kaye decided to guard the first chamber until the others returned from the wet upstream passage.

Having gathered again below the daylight pitch we started our exploration of the upper system. I don't think we were lost at any time but none of us who had previous knowledge of the system could say exactly what part of the pot we were in. If we had looked at the survey again all would have been revealed but I had left the Mars Bar box and the survey near to the entrance for safe keeping.

Mary and Barry Hunkin and myself decided at this stage that we should conserve energy and let the rest of the party rush around looking for new extensions to the system. Dennis Webb led the field in this pastime but unfortunately without success. We returned to the surface after about four hours underground to find the sun still shining, to bring to an end a day which i think we all enjoyed. I was hoping to meet up with our party again at GG, especially mary and Barry, but I was not able to make it to GG, maybe at the Dinner.

Brian Varley

Crianlarich 1996 (20 - 28 April 1996)

Attending: Howard Beck and Dave Milner (joint leaders), Ted Wood, Steve Kelley, John Allonby and dog (Jimmy).

Sat 20th: The week started well with a traverse of the Carn Gorm - Carn Mairg group on the north side of Glen Lyon, which provided a fine 8.5 mile horseshoe. In contravention of the forecast the day proved fine. Starting at Inverar John soon set the pace up the first bump, Carn Gorm (1028m), disappearing into the distance leaving a smouldering streak across the hillsides.

At the first summit Dave and Howard found no sign of John or Jimmy, though a trig point laying in ruins suggested they had passed that way. The two legged it along the broad ridge straining at the distant skyline for a rare sighting of the Lancashire racing snake. He wasn't to be seen again until reaching the van!

Sun 21st: Awoke to a glenful of cloud and drizzle that soon changed to determined rain. Over endless brews we decided upon Ben Challum (1025m), thankful later that the fathomless clag spared us the frustrations of repeated false summits. During the descent the day rapidly improved, with views, and even sunshine on our shoulders (makes us happy, tra, la, la).

John was still frothing at the mouth with Munro madness, when a return to the "Workhouse" found an unsuspecting SuperTed leisurely unpacking his car.

"Fancy a walk, Ted?", ventured the racing snake.

"Aiy, p'raps."

Next Ted knew he was half way up the Ben Lawers range, not to return until three tops later.

Mon 22nd: The day dawned as only a filthy Scottish morning can. After a protracted sacrifice of burnt pig to the weather gods (the Munro bagger's pantheon doesn't come cheap) we sped across the wastes of Rannoch Moor to browse the gear emporiums, tea shops and bookstalls of Fort Bill. Returning through Glencoe it was clear that the gods were appeased since the weather transformation was nothing short of miraculous.

With only a short day remaining however, we ascended the secretive Sgor na h-Ulaidh (994m), tucked away behind Bidean nam Bian, between there and Glen Etive. From the summit the distinctive dome of Ben Nevis could be seen in all its glory, while on the return to the road the low evening light of a westering sun etched into dramatic relief the notched Aonach Eagach, evoking memories of days teetering along that lofty arete.

On returning to Crianlarich a diversion to a proper pub resulted in Howard enjoying his dinner the following morning before departing for the hills. I suppose it was worth it, for how many pubs can sport a stuffed bear, a parrot in a cage, longjohns drying over a log fire, decent music, a two headed lamb, a stuffed shark and a barman wearing a kilt and caterpillar boots!

Tues 23rd: The Orchy Hills were the chosen venue for the day, Dave and Ted traversing Beinn Achaladair (1038m) and Beinn a'Chreachain (1081m), while beforehand John and Howard headed east to pick up two remote bumps, Beinn a'Chuirn (923m) and Beinn Mhanach (953m) before setting off in hot pursuit of the others. These summits can be recommended for the views of Rannoch Moor and beyond.

Wed 24th: Ted Wood set off on a 61 mile cycling circuit linking Glen Dochart, Glen Lyon, Loch Tay and Glen Lochay, while Dave and Howard on the other hand accompanied John and Jimmy on their last day north of the border, on an ascent of Ben Vorlich (943m) in the Arrochar Alps. An approach via the north ridge and return by way of the ridge known as the Little Hills provided an entertaining outing offering splendid views down Loch Lomond and across to Ben Lomond.

Thur 25th: Ted, Dave and Howard returned to the upper reaches of Glen Lyon to climb Stuchd an Lochain (960m) above Loch an Daimh. Despite a high starting point the climb seemed no less of a strain, a fact not helped by a nithering wind.

Fri 26th: Ted departed for the Isle of Arran (didn't make it but that's someone else's story) to see his brother. Meanwhile back at the workhouse, persistent rain and low cloud kept Howard and Dave nailed indoors all day. Such hardship is hard to credit (more violins in the background). Later in the day Steve Kelley breezed in to swell the throng to three.

Sat 27th: A fine sunny day dawned in Glen Dochart with the trio stuck for choice of beckoning summits. A traverse of Beinn Dubhchraig (978m) and Ben Oss (1029m) from Auchreoch provided an excellent day and a superb vantage point for contemplating neighbouring Ben Lui (1130m), appearing from this angle as a fine pointed mountain. The most difficult part of the whole route was the crossing of a ladder style so high that oxygen was almost a necessity.

So that's that for another Scottish "winter meet". Where were you all. Despite the poor turnout the week was enjoyable and productive. In contrast to previous meets perhaps the workhouse contributed to this outcome? I suppose as a joint leader I should now come clean about the so-called "workhouse".

The workhouse has for decades been the venue for memorable sojourns marked by varying degrees of discomfort, wet firewood, iced up beards, rooms full of dripping clothing, frozen taps, hot and cold running mice, rising damp in the food boxes. Now, however, the character of the workhouse has been changed out of recognition.

Recently extended and modernised, the now well appointed bothy includes a purpose built kitchen complete with microwave, fridge, toasters, unlimited instant hot water, his and hers showers and toilets, heaters in every room, etc, etc. In order to preserve their character the snug and loft dormitory are to remain as they were, although now it is even possible to answer calls of nature in the dead of night without feeling the need to get fully dressed.

Howard M Beck

North Wales Meet (25 - 27 May 1996)

Present: Ric Halliwell, Pat Halliwell, Steve Pickersgill, Barbara Jenkins, Rob Scott, Howard Beck, Tamlyn Beck, Sarah Blick, Bob Jenkins, Jenny Jenkins, Sarah Jenkins, Jan Hoggarth, Dave Hoggarth, Simon Ashby, Alison Catt, Steve Warren, Jo Warren, Patrick Warren.

Camping at Nant Peris.

Saturday: Up and away reasonably early with a couple of car loads to Llyn Ogwen. From here, Tryfan was ascended by its North ridge, and was found very exciting. The South ridge was descended and then Bristly ridge ascended or by-passed as you like. The Glyder's were traversed in pleasant weather and a cunning routes found down to the top of the Devil's kitchen. Here, the flank of Y Garn was turned and the path back to Nant Peris located. Thus a steady trickle of people picked their way down an impossibly steep grassy hillside above the camp-site and back for tea.

Sunday: It was raining in the morning. Went to Llanberis and looked in many tea shops in the rain. It was still raining when we walked back, and it continued in the evening. Come to think of it, it rained all day. (Several of us did manage to get underground by going on the bus tour of the hidden hydro-plant, at least it wasn't raining down there - Ed)

Bank Holiday Monday: After raining all night as well, and with no sign of an urgent stop, most people opted to have a leisurely breakfast and pack up. Since we are within easy reach of home, Jo and I went Westward Ho! and sunned ourselves in Anglesey, looking at carpets of Spring Squill on Holy Island, and the famous Newborough Warren pillow lavas (what do you mean, you've never heard of them). By five o'clock the sky was as clear as you've ever seen it over Snowdonia. Every detail of the Welsh 3000's could be seen. Cutting particularly dashing profiles from our viewpoint were the Nanttle ridge, and the hills of the Lleyn peninsula. Oh, to be on the hills in these conditions.

It took a week to dry the tent out.

Patrick Warren

Eighteen Birks under the fell (15 June 1996)

Attending: Barry and Mary Hunkin, Simon Ashby, John Webb (complete with instruments of torture), Jan and Chris Little, Karen Lane, Patrick Warren, Andy Roberts, Robert Scott, Sue and John Allonby, Mike and Robert Scratcher, Ben and Russell Myers, Edward Whitaker, and Howard Beck (leading); Peter Rose, Len Cook and Alison Catt (surface).

Some of the hottest weather so far saw a strong team descending, some intent upon bottoming the cave. Rumours of moving boulders (what's new) in "The Block" region prompted the leader to recommend the lower Moonmilk streamway by-pass as an interesting alternative.

Most of those who were not heading for the Sewer Series turned about at Elbow Bend, while Barry and Mary decided they had had a splendid trip and returned from the boulder chambers at the end of the wet beddings, accompanied to the surface by the leader.

While affecting their exit Barry, Mary and Howard met Russell, Mike, Ben and Robert doing a LIFO trip as far as "The Block", accompanied by the master of the art himself, Edward.

After a quick trip to Shale Cavern S Ashby, P Warren, A Roberts and J Allonby rigged the 44ft pitch. Unfortunately the latter pair missed the way on in the rifts before the so-called Slimy Slit, but SA and PW were successful in reaching the sump.

Despite the attractions of a golden orb the leader entered the cave a second time and, hopeful of at least reaching Whitehall, hurtled downstream. John Webb, Karen, Rob Scott and the Littles were met at the head of the wet 15ft cascade, where with some reluctance (violin music in the background) the leader turned around.

An enjoyable meet, well attended (my thanks to all) in splendid weather. Those visiting Birks for the first time were (I think) suitably impressed by its sporting variety. Noted was the fact that some boulders had moved in the vicinity of The Block and fresh rockfalls were encountered in Lower Moonmilk Streamway. The Bradford Crawl as usual required some digging, the Connection Crawl seemed bigger than ever and the first inlet by the entrance provided a lukewarm shower-bath.

Howard M Beck

Zen and the Art of Motor Car Maintenance - The Chartreuse

I fancied leading a meet in a warm cave that was less than ten minutes walk from the car park. Antro del Corchia was perfect for the relaxed caving holiday that I had in mind and the meet was duly announced at the 1994 AGM.

It appears that quarry owners the world over are of a breed and the new owner of the marble quarry containing the main entrance to Corchia had blown up the entrance. Also a refuge close by had been razed to the ground and caver's cars left in the village below were having tyres slashed.

I have usually (and quite unsuccessfully) tried to keep a healthy distance between fire, knives and explosives and myself. Two hundred miles seemed an appropriate distance and the "European" meet was transferred to the Chartreuse.

The meet itself was to be centred on the Dent de Crolles system with a through trip from Trou de Glaz to Guiers Mort being the primary objective. Time permitting we would rig a couple of the more obscure pitches and visit some of the more esoteric regions. Finally a traverse from Trou de Glaz to Grotte Annette Bouchacourt was planned.

Routes from England were varied but all had, as a common denominator, the advantage of missing everything to do with the opening ceremony of the Olympic games. John and Sue Allonby drove direct, Ric and Pat Halliwell arrived via the Pyrènèes and Alan and Becky diverted to Christine and Andy Hayter's new domicile in Germany.

John and Sue arrived first and, because they had a small tent, were tucked away in a corner of the camp site. They set camp and then took Chamechaude (the highest peak they could see from the site) by storm and then sat back to await later arrivals. Ric and Pat arrived next and, ignoring the camp site manager, plopped their tent (plus a tackle tent) in the shade and joined Sue and John in an assault on Grande Som the highest peak in the Chartreuse. I've never really fully understood the logistics of what happened but, essentially, John ran up the thing, ran down a different route, (to look at some Chamois which turned out to be cows or sheep, I forget which - Ed) circumnavigated it and then plodded up it again before the rest were up it. Sue merely ran up it whilst Ric and Pat made a more leisurely ascent (I'm glad to say I hadn't arrived and don't need to report my performance).

It appears that the assistant camp site manager and his friends had a reputation in the area for car fettling and, in the early evening, a perfectly normal looking and sounding car arrived at his tent close to the site office. Within minutes the bonnet was up and head scratching, Gallic nose tapping and engine tinkering started. This continued until darkness with no sign of progress or, more to the point, regress apparent.

Next day caving could be avoided no longer and Ric and John flogged up the hillside to Guiers Mort to check the rigging of the cave as far as the connection at Cascade Rocheuse. The rigging was a little ropy (groan!!!) with a rebelay so short that the upper rope sang middle C if plucked. There was nothing that our own riggers haven't presented us with over the years and the bottom was half declared, cautiously, acceptable all the way to the connection.

Whilst Ric and John were pathfinding Sue and Pat were taking a long ridge walk above the camp site and Becky and Alan were taking the (as informed by Andy) six hour drive from Limburgerhof to the Chartreuse. Now, as we drove all the route through France at 95mph (or if you are a gendarme 95kph) and it took us close on ten hours, I can only conclude that Andy has gone completely metric and uses 100 minute hours.

Meanwhile the vehicle fettling had continued and the problem pronounced solved. Everyone piled into the car and of it went for a spin. Quite literally it appears since it arrived back with a smashed wing and the roar of a long departed exhaust pipe. Head scratching and nose tapping continued into the evening.

Tuesday was a Tour de Vercors day for Sue, John, Pat and Ric. It seems John has been to the Vercors twice before but had only been to the Berger. It was, he felt, time to complete his education with a guided tour of the major cave entrances. Becky and Alan spent the day getting the Chartreuse into some kind of context and they were impressed.

Things were serious on the voiture front and by the time we returned to camp the wing was in the rubbish compound and the front wheels were off. Reinforcements had arrived in a Sherpa Van masquerading as a petrol bomb complete with rag hanging out of the filler cap.

Wednesday was planned to be the first through trip. The plan was for an early start and to rig straight through. As it happened there was a torrential downpour overnight that continued into the late morning. The start was delayed and the trip changed to rigging only.

Sue came up to the Col du Coq car park and then walked back to the camp site completing a round trip of Chamechaude. Ric, John and Alan started up the Death Meadow track with rucksacks heavy enough to make the meadow name frighteningly prophetic.

Once in the cave Ric sprinted off whilst John and Alan hid their surface gear under some rocks and then followed on at speed. Each was determined not to be caught up or left behind by the other. This is a brilliant method of ensuring rapid progress as long as you know where you are going. If, however, you don't know where you are going (and we didn't) it's an equally rapid method of getting two people hot, sweaty and lost (which we were). Grovelling down three hundred metres of one metre high passage carrying two hundred metres of rope and rigging gear, twice, is not fun.

Back on course the four Lanterne pitches were rigged alongside a commercial guide's gear. We then left the beaten track and dropped down P36 into a set of meanders with a number of pitches (one more than the guide declares) until the top of P11 (an original and romantic name for a final and connecting pitch) was reached. On the way out we tested the in-situ tat and derigged pitches with adequate gear. In fact we found we could detackle right the way back to the bottom of P36.

At the top of P36, whilst we repacked the tackle bags, I found to my great pleasure that I was the baby of the trip. The pleasure was short lived when we also calculated that the three of us had brought more than ninety years of caving experience to bear on the cave. We left the gear at the top of P36 and squelched our way out with rapidly deteriorating lamps pausing only to bury our SRT gear at the top of the Lanterne pitches. The cave was now well set for several trips.

The site mechanics had by now decided that the rear wheels were surplus to requirements and removed them. It also seemed necessary to stand next to the Sherpa van petrol-bomb-fuse smoking innumerable Galloise.

It was Becky's turn to do some caving the following day and she joined Sue, Ric and John in a trip to check the route from Trou de Glaz through to Grotte Annette Bouchacourt. John decided that low passage is fun really and led Sue astray, back along the purgatory of the previous day's cock up. John claimed that he had decided that Sue really should see the Serpentine River. His cover though was blown when "Oh Bugger" was heard echoing all through the system. The top of the Lanterne Pitches was sweaty and steamy yet again.

The route to Grotte Annette Bouchacourt takes the classic through trip route across hairy traverses and past some magnificent shafts. Sue and Becky turned back at the top of Puit Fernand and Ric and John carried on down and along Diaclase Annette to the top of a twenty three metre pitch which was found to be rigged with new rope. Once again it appeared that a classic through trip was fully rigged. Safe in the knowledge that we now had two through trips rigged, they turned back .

The car mechanics had been equally busy during the day and, having no more wheels to take off, had removed the rear window.

Friday was a day off caving for all. Ric, Pat, Sue and John took a walk/scramble up Cheminèe de Paradis which is (as the name suggests) a chimney route up onto a ridge above the Guiers Mort Entrance. Splendid views across the Dent de Crolles drainage area were enjoyed by all concerned. Alan, Becky and baby Gordon had a tourist day around the Chartreuse culture vulturing in the museums.

In the evening Christine and Andy Hayter arrived just in time to witness the mechanics decide that there was nothing else to take off the car and start on the Sherpa van.

An early start the next day for the first through trip from Trou de Glaz to Guiers Mort. John, Sue, Ric and Alan had a splendid and gentle trip through to the top of P11 and then at the bottom of the pitch (in Champs Elyses) took lunch. The caving from here to the bottom of Cascade Rocheuse is magnificent passage with many floor formations amply justifying the passage name Galerie des Champignons.

At the bottom of Cascade Rocheuse there was a little panic as we could not find the end of either the rope or the ladder we knew to be at the top of the pitch. They ended quite high up and hidden in a huge flute and, once located, a short scramble was all that was required to reach them. From here on out it was stomping passage all the way to the bottom of Puit Pierre. It may be large passage but entertainment is to be had in the form of keyhole shaped passage where progress is along the slippery floored phreatic tube with a tumble to the horrifyingly deep vadose trench being the pay off for clumsy footwork.

We rigged Puit Pierre with our own rope to speed up the changeover at the piano wire rebelay and then were faced with the Reseau Sanguin (a ridiculous rat run with a howling freezing cold wind) with a tackle bag bigger than the flat out grovels.

Saturday is obviously a day of rest for mechanics in France because our erstwhile engineers were using the car for a post to hold up their badminton net.

Sunday was a day off caving for all and John and Sue spent the day in the immediate area having a look at the local climbing crag. The rest of us took a circular walk above the entrance to Guiers Vif. This was a gentle stroll of forest tracks and a traverse of an alpine meadow to the Pas de Mort (why do the French involve death in everything) route down to the Guiers Vif. The Pas de Mort track started sensibly enough following a joint or fault feature down through the woods. Failure, however, to spot the final right hand turn would lead to a two thousand foot free fall to the valley below. The track, assisted by chains and steel "staples", emerges onto the cliff face and turns into what must be the most dramatic path in the Chartreuse. A visit to Guiers Vif is but a short diversion and well worth the small additional effort.

Back at the camp site all the wheels were back on the car and it was being driven tirelessly around the village sans exhaust. Early evening saw the wheels back off again.

Monday was a further day off for everyone and we went for a train ride from somewhere to somewhere else and back again. (Chemin de Fer de La Mure). This is a cracking trip giving splendid views of the back side of the Vercors as well as passing high above several man made lakes that form part of a hydro electric scheme.

Back to the caving fray on Tuesday with Ric and Alan starting a through trip from Trou de Glaz to Grotte Annette Bouchacourt to meet everyone else at the far entrance. Familiarity with the cave paid dividends and in no time at all we were at the top of P23 at the far end of Diaclase Annette Bouchacourt. Ric fastened on the rope and started the descent. About six metres down he discovered the brand new rope in a huge tangle. It had merely been tied at the top and thrown down but not descended. This left a nagging doubt about whether the final pitch down into Grotte Annette Bouchacourt would be rigged. Logic said it wouldn't but there was nothing we could do now except go and look. This we did after finding the (reasonably) obvious route through the Labyrinth and, as expected, we were in a rope free zone. We turned back only half an hour from one entrance but probably three hours from our exit.

We took our gear back to the car and then had to make the long trip round to Grotte Annette to let everyone know we were safely out. During this time Andy had solo explored Grotte Chevalier, a huge cave passage a little further east than Grotte Annette Bouchacourt.

Tuesday was our last day in the Reseau de la Dent de Crolles with Becky, Pat and Ric doing a Trou de Glaz to Guiers Mort through trip whilst Alan, John, Sue and Andy removed all the tackle from the upper cave. We met a party from the Eldon who planned the same trip which turned into a cast of thousands trip but enjoyable all the same. Detackling was hard work particularly carrying the gear (as well as Becky, Ric and Pat's surface gear) down to the car park. The day was finished off with washing of the ropes and kit followed by a group curry.

The mechanics had a good day as well and had all the wheels on, the back window in and, from the sounds of it a new exhaust. They did however drive the thing round and round and round even unto the early hours of the morning. Handbrake turns seem to be a French speciality.

The following day was time for home for Becky and Alan but the rest took themselves off to find the entrance to Grande Glacier. This cave had at one time been down as a must for a visit but we had been unable to locate it on any map. A multiplicity of degrees and doctorates were brought to bear on the problem that had defeated several French who are supposed to understand their Grid systems. It turns out that the map changed from one grid system to another, after the guidebook had been published giving the old references, requiring much algebra to convert from one to the other. Having narrowed the entrance down to within a square kilometre it was eventually found after a mere two and a half hours searching.

After the others left, Ric, Andy, Pat and Chris went up the Tèlèphèriques des Glaciers de la Meije - La Grave and visited the Grotte de Glace. This is an artificial cave which has been carved out of the ice and contains many ice sculptures, most tastful!

Many thanks to John and Sue Allonby, Ric and Pat Halliwell, Andy and Christine Hayter and Becky for supporting a cracking meet.

Also thanks to the French car mechanics who came so close to being voted honorary Englishmen due to their style and procrastination

Alan Weight

Brown Hill Pot (14 September 1996)

Present: Patrick Warren, Paul (over there) Massey, Michael Ashmore (P), Frank Johnston-Banks, Andy Roberts (leader)

Having been previously assigned to this hole (see previous report) and failed comprehensively to get anywhere near the entrance the leader took the unprecedented step of rising with the quarry wagons in order to assure the seamless link between printing of meet card and actually getting underground. Only two other people had expressed an interest in this event, one of them having been hoodwinked in the pub the previous evening, so provisional arrangements were made to ladder all the small pitches and use rope on the big pitch, avoiding tackle chokes in the confines of the entrance. Only one thing could unhinge these plans and that was a mob of novice members showing, fully expecting a ladder trip. A spirited run up the valley of the kings confirmed the leaders suspicions that the meet would not be fully subscribed, but then lo, over the last rise was a solitary vehicle accompanied by FJB, this was quickly followed by MA, PBW and PM. Unfortunately three of the assembled team had no idea what was involved in the days excursion and it looked as though we may be on ladders after all. Hmmm... me thinks, come this way boys, opens car boot to reveal a mass of tackle and then rustles up a piece of paper with lines on it, this here is the main way on, its not a very good print and that bit there is actually two lines very close together. And so it was decided that rope would be used on the big pitch and the non SRTers would accompany us to the head of Puits lan Plant.

The entrance was quickly located, Velcro Pot is a 26ft deep bodysized vertical tubet and the way on, Le Boyau is a 10" horizontal slot at its foot, problem being that the slot was completely choked with shingle and after a brief attempt to kick a way on it was possible to insert a welly up to ones shin, this was as far as we got in Brown Hill Pot. Fortuitously another entrance, Floyds, is but a short walk away and before long all of the party were insinuated in its relatively pleasant clutches. All that is except FJB who after not many metres had decided that sunning oneself on the surface was a far more salubrious activity. The Quaking Pot type entrance leads quickly (or should that be shortly ?) to the delightful first pitch which is directly above the first In Brown Hill, at the bottom of which JAR and PM waited for more tackle, whiling away the time fixing lamps, as you do. The tackle did not arrive and things were beginning to get very Marble Sink-ish with groans and curses indicating that not all were happy cavers. Eventually a person who should know better exclaimed, I don't like the look of this, I'm going out. At which point the leader called an EGM and all agreed, if somewhat reluctantly to concur with the person who should know better. Pity really, because l'm told that the difficulties were largely over and what remained was a fine sporting pothole.

The events of the day I think highlight a deficiency in the meets card in that the description of a meet is scant to say the least and by not highlighting particular difficulties in a given cave can cause people to attend unsuitable meets which may have a consequence to the leader on that day. Remember that not all members have cave guides or are familiar with the shooting box above the 8uttertubs bridge layby, a brief indication of the severity of the trip, big pitches, wet pitches, tight bits, wear a wetsuit or not, inclusion of an NGR, may all help a new member to decide to attend. All this could be done on a two sheet meet card. Maybe we could get this together for 1997?

Andy Roberts

Nothing changes

" One of the finest 'potting' days I can remember. How often have you heard and used this phrase? How many times have you recounted the one particular incident you remember more than any other? Well - why not write it? And so share it with others! Laughable or serious let me have it - ED "

The above appeared in the first edition of the CPC Journal, published in the same year I was born! I share the sentiments of the then Editor (Albert Mitchell) and would urge you to keep your contributions coming in so that other members, especially those who are more mature and possibly less active, can share your experiences

Ric Halliwell

Gaping Gill Winch Meet 1996

Present: everyone who was there.

In an ideal Gaping Gill world, the sun would always shine, the worksheets would be completed with no hassle, the beer tent roof would remain intact, no TV crew would arrive, the tea would taste like tea and the coffee like coffee but wouldn't it be boring?

The weather on the first Saturday for tackling was far from ideal: horizontal rain and Inglebubble somewhere in the clouds, and to cap it all there was a flood roaring down Main Shaft. However, by elevenish it had stopped raining so until the water levels dropped, Fell Beck City was erected and the usual arguments ensued over who had nicked who's space.

By late afternoon the gantry builders swung into action (luckily not literally), the engine/winch emplacers emplaced and the dam builders were, well, damned as the dam poles had been left in the damn barn.

Harpic's Beer Advert

All the major jobs were completed by Sunday evening including a performance of the The Two Cable Shuffle. The "dance" involves grabbing hold of the old winch wire and running elegantly towards Newby Moss until you either fall into a bog (you will lose artistic impression marks for this) or you come to a graceful stop. Next, wind on the new cable ensuring that you remain in perfect rhythm with each other, any loss of synchronicity and you will be performing the Bog-Pit Diggers Stomp next year. Finally return to your original partner and drop it down the shaft as it is the "new" guidewire. These movements should be performed in a smooth, dignified manner that is becoming to a member of the CPC.

The following Saturday dawned hot. The tractor left a hot Clapham with a monster load which the trailer took exception to and twisted its wheel in a fit of pique. The walk up was steep and hot and my rucksack was heavy.

The first Saturday night in the beer tent was memorable with some wonderful singing. Fell Beck City (Population : drunk) was swinging again.

On the caving front the diggers were at it again. There also seemed to be an irrational desire to stuff people into North West Extension. Many trips were made to Far Country and one specialist trip was made to the Blowhole to assess candidate suitability for the Fat "Misbegotten's" Club.

Warning: A serious section follows

One problem that was bigger than usual this year, in fact it seems to get bigger as time goes on is, yes you've guessed it, the worksheets. Unfortunately, the winch has to be run for the public not just Club members and their guests. Therefore, we need a crew of at least eight whenever the public are being winched. You wouldn't think that finding a crew would be difficult but just you try and get the work sheets filled. I think it's about time awards were introduced for the most creative and the lamest excuses of the week as I heard some corkers throughout the meet. Flippancy aside, why should it fall to the same people to fill in the gaps? Is this fair?

On a happier note we now have an excuse for a party every year (as if we need one). We were on tenterhooks all week waiting for a call from Canterbury, and it finally happened on Thursday when the arrival of Ben Davey was announced. The cake is on Ben next year and the beer on Allan and Kim. I hope Ian appreciated the chorus of 'Grandad, we love you'. Kim, you could have come, you know, as we had three midwives in camp at various times. Never let it be said that CPC can't cope with every eventuality.

The mandatory TV crew arrived to cause maximum inconvenience and annoyance on Bank Holiday Sunday. However, they were only able to annoy us as they were made to wait their turn in the queue (approximately four hours) and not allowed any slow rides. What was especially annoying was the reason they were there: to film a marriage blessing in Main Chamber. They also seemed to get some interesting footage of the bog tents complete with zips and banging lids as background music! Call me old fashioned but I reckon a gimmick like this demeans marriage, will it be the first underground signing of a decree absolute next year?

Detackling Tuesday dawned dryish so at least the tents weren't dripping, just sodden. Talking of taking down tents, please put back any stones you take out of the beck, it is surprising how many are left stranded on the banks and they get very lonely away from their friends and embarrassed at being such eyesores for the rest of the year.

Even though the sky was dry the fell most definitely wasn't, and the trailer, which was still in a bad mood even though its poorly wheel had been mended, got bogged. Well and truly bogged. It was eventually debogged by brute force. However, it had its ultimate trick in reserve: as the tractor was in sight of the road the trailer shed a wheel! Thus providing a memorable and far from boring end to the meet and a new club excuse for anything and everything: "the wheel fell off!"

Jo Warren

Toad in the Hole

"You'll find him in the Old Farts' corner!" yelled Steve Kelley across the crowded beer tent, provoking wild laughter from the Wiltshire Worzels. I was looking for Harpic (who else qualifies for such an honourable title apart from Harpic? Yes I know it's dangerous downwind of Fritz and Thunderthighs too, but they are not old). Anyway, sure enough, there was Harpic with Bucketgob and A.N.Other, the three wise monkeys of the GG Week BeerRelief tent (beer inside, relief outside...)

"You've got to be qualified to enter the Old Farts' corner," growled Harpic, very clean and not at all round the bend (as far as I could see!) Alas, unable to compete successfully in this compulsory qualifying round for an instant musical fart, I resorted to a verbal dung-throw of my own. "How's the Old Misery doing, then ?" I shouted, near enough to be out of reach. There was an expectant pause from the Muppet rows ranged on either side of the arena, relishing the heady brew of traded insults. "It takes a miserable old sod like me to make a success of being a miserable old sod!" thundered Harpic, a trifle superfluously. We only get away with it because neither of us can hear the other, a comic giveaway in itself!

Ah well! This was GG Week 1996 and it takes all sorts - including us. For which we feel highly honoured, being good candidates for the old farts brigade ourselves! What else can be said about that unique experience, GG week? The fun, the friendship and camaraderie, the activities, the laughs, the weather, the bogs (both kinds), the food, the friendly insults (who says I am too big to get through the Blowhole, Roger? You forget what a powerful incentive a kick up the rear can be when you think you're stuck!) Well we for two had a most enjoyable time, routing our earlier reservations about surviving a week in the wild under canvas. After all, Barry forgot his sleeping bag at Nidderdale camp and was frozen at night. Fortunately, he remembered his living Sleeping Bag this time..!

We pitched our two tents on the ridge, and towards the end of the week the true basis for the advice they gave us not to pitch there became clear. Well we weren't to know it was the camp's night-urinal, were we? Stand up Howard, Ric, John (Allanby) et al, dramatically silhouetted against the sky-line, legs-astride in true John Wayne style. Didn't see any six-guns, though... Spoil-sports! Still, we had the last laugh when Pigtail Pete and Sanjay pitched their tent in the very spot where....!

Caving got off to a cautious start with us despite kind offers from Elaine, Chris and Jan, to set something up. Later, Reg Parker took Barry on several enjoyable caving and walking trips, while I cried off and played toad-in-the-hole in the tent, knackered even before the real action had begun, and savouring the never to be repeated pristine condition of a new fleece and oversuit, an anonymous mud colour by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, tea-tent duties possessed allure of their own. Dècollettè Collette should get a medal for performance, as should one-man-and-his-dog Tony Whitehouse, together with the irrepressible Tamlyn, Hannah Kaye, the two Johns, Clinton(Guiness) etc. Tony's wall to wall endurance porridge I can recommend. Alas, poor Yorick, for the mushy peas - by the time I reached the pea-pot one cold morning the mush was cemented hard in the bottom of the pan and the last remaining pea had fled. Anaemic, cold and clammy green mush - close your eyes and it could be mint ice-cream! Things hotted up when Collette groaned "I've gone and hurt me coccyx!", adding archly to Henry (Rose) "Have you ever hurt your coccyx?" You could have fried an egg on the poor man's face! It soon became time for the teatent to double up as the sick bay when jolly Yolly joined the walking wounded, Reg spiked his eye, and Barry and I injured our backs.

Among the entertainments on view from the booking in tent was 'Oggie and 'is 'at, an enormous frypan helmet shaped like a convex cow-pat; Mal dressed up in the bottom half of a pantomime giraffe outfit; various assortments of mud wrestlers; sane people called "The Public"; and these wacky Klondyke miner types, caked in dry mud before going down and caked in wet mud on return. Constant calls from below for more tea sparked rude debates on whether it should be sent down already milked in the teapot or with separate milk. If they don't like it then let them eat cake, we quoted, whilst Rob Scott busily computed the cost of a new teapot. Alex (eager for some soccer) agreed to find players for a Gaping Ghouls v. Gaping Gits kick-off, and I foolishly agreed to find the football. In the (non)event, he couldn't find players, there wasn't a football to be had this side of Leeds United, the match was off, and thus everyone's reputation was saved from challenge.

Our thanks to each and everyone at GG for the sheer fun of it all! Even the rain provided a laugh when we were cooped up in our tiny tent in the pouring rain, and Steve P brought a message to us from his mobile phone. With headroom only, the rest of his delicate frame stuck out the rear of the tent like a trussed chicken in a cold bath! In the event, we had to leave GG early; and thanks to Dave Allanach we made it back in time for our trip to Moscow. Overground, underground, wombling free, sums up the experience of GG for me... Where else could you view the fabulous Glover's Cavern (thanks Ric), or experience the mud sump in the NW Passage, or join so many enthusiastic Leaders on all the various trips we sampled? And the anal delights of that slimy Freudian mud, rebirthing through the squirmy tight passages, not to mention the holes and caverns, must surely add up to 3D psychotherapy! If psychologists do it in the mind, then cavers do it in the caverns, and some of the processes seem to me to be very similar. All in all a wonderful week, thanks to Jo Warren, Dave Milner et al for organising it all. Here's to GG 1997! See you at the AGM if not before.

Mary Hunkin

Interesting quotes around GG

Heard (by BJ Jenkins) at or about Gaping Gill

In The Crown after a GG sub-committee meeting:

Chris Armstrong (Unimog owner): "Who's leading GG this year?"
Steve Pick: "Dave Milner."
Chris A: "Is that 'im wi' whiskers?"
Steve P: "Yes."
Chris A: Well that narrers it down a bit."

Ben Myers after riding up the winch for the first time this year (Terry having already agreed it's a good hang.)

"That rock flake was a bit close. A lot closer than ever before."

Us: "That's because you've grown, Ben."

Harpic after seeing me washing inside our "modesty screen" - a windbreak.

" Aye. In certain lights you can see right through it. But all I got was a tantalising glimpse of a subtle and diaphanous* shape."

*Dictionary: light and delicate; almost transparent

Steve Kelley after hearing Harpic's comment.

"This does raise the obvious question. Is Harpic's sight as bad as his hearing?" ( Thanks Steve )

Paul Norman as he bit into a bacon butty.

"I'm a vegetarian."

Conversation between Dave Milner and Barbara Jenkins as Steve Pick and John Milner were sorting the communications.

Dave: "I leave those ampy things to the experts. I was baffled when they could tie knots in the wires and the wiggly amps could get through. I don't want to know how it works. Just tell me when it works."

BJ: "I've never understood how words travel along wires. And what happens when they come to the boxy thing? Do they get trapped in the plasticky stuff when you don't hear them."

Dave: "Yes and after going round all those knotty things in the wirey stuff I bet they come out jumbled. If we can't hear them they must get trapped somewhere."

BJ: "We'll be deafened when we undo the boxy thing and all these jumbly words escape."

Reported by Steve Pick midweek after a visit by some Germans.

Steve: "Ich kann kaum Deutsch sprechen." (I can speak a little German.)

German visitor: "In that case we will speak English."

Heard in The Crown on Tuesday at the end of the meet. The names have been omitted to protect the guilty.

"If I don't feel like it and ..........'s too tired we won't come on Friday."

Heard on the last night in the beer tent, "We're definitely the wrong side of clean."

Centenary Way 1996

The majority of members will be aware of the events during the 1995 winch meet, which resulted in the discovery of Centenary Way.

For those new to the club, a dedicated team spent two weeks digging, which resulted in a break through being made on the Saturday of the bank holiday weekend. This left us just enough time to explore, survey and de-tackle before the end of the meet. Due to the limited time scale, some possible leads had to be left until the following year.

1996 saw Ric, Paul and myself return with a decontaminated big lamp, scaling poles and enough bolts to re-rig the dales. We had thought the rift in the roof above the third mud climb was approximately 50ft high, opening out and draughting. In reality it was less than 20ft high and nothing more than a series of solution features. The low rock arch in the rift passage was almost sumped due to roof drips. This was bailed out with the water disappearing through a one inch air space under the left hand wall. A good two hours digging made less than a body's length of progress. Eventually enough mud had been removed to allow Paul to slide in head first to have a look. The air space could be seen to continue for some distance, however due to the nature of the mud and the effort required to remove it, we decided to subcontract this going lead to Pete Jones and Tom Thompson for the price of three pints. Pete, Tom and Andy Roberts spent a full day working at it, eventually being rewarded with approximately 60ft of unsurveyed crawlable air space before it closed down again. This area definitely draughts in, for this reason we have retained the free hold to the property and more importantly, we have not been paid the three pints. The end of the terminal rift was in fact terminal with no prospect of advancement at floor level or in the roof.

To summarise all possible leads have now been checked, I believe there is now no real prospect of any further discoveries. The draught in the floor probably connects to the end of known passage, via the air gap created by mud shrinkage.

Mal Goodwin

South East Pot Extension, Gaping Gill

During the 1996 GG meet a number of us had decided to potter about the Bar Pot end of the system. Originally we were looking for ways to get beyond the choke at the end of Far South East Passage; such a large phreatic tunnel surely couldn't just end? The choke itself is absolutely huge and after much poking about we realised that time would perhaps be better spent elsewhere. In early August Far South East Passage had been resurveyed as we'd found large differences in its length, depending on which survey was consulted. The final aven was found to be under the south east end of the flat boggy area over the stile from Bar Pot. Flow markings pointed in a north westerly direction so it is possible that the big choke goes all the way up to an ancient blocked sinkhole, with no extension beyond at all.

Further evidence for this was gained when Patrick Warren and I had a trip to the nearer parts of Far Country to see if the South East Passage fault is exposed. We found the familiar brecciated zone crossing "Top Passage" (over Echo Rift) just where it suddenly enlarges to walking size. There appeared to be no development on it at all here. Incidentally we also noted the Porcellaneous Band about 20m further on at the lip of the rift down to the pitch at the end.

One fact which became apparent is that flow markings in both South East Passage and Far South East Passage appear to converge on South East Pot. We'd always believed that something was missing in this area and it was with this in mind that Steve Kelley, Dave Morris and I descended South East Pot on 19/8/96. The large chamber forming the first pitch was found to be more complex than expected and whilst rigging this pitch I spotted what appeared to be a large hole in the south east wall, some 15m below the level of the Porcellaneous band. Simon Parker and Patrick Warren confirmed this when they derigged later.

On 24/8/96 Steve, Dave and I went down to try to reach this hole. We rigged an SRT descent down the loose scaffold covered hole between South East Pot and Bar Pot ("Rigging Ticket Route"). This allowed a swing to be made rightwards along crumbling ledges to reach the hole at the start of an open walking sized passage. Unfortunately by this stage our watches showed that we were due out to work on the winch half an hour later. We made it - just!

Needless to say the three of us were back next morning, along with Tom Thompson. We walked along a short section of 4m high passage (named "Robin's Rift", in memory of Dave's long term dive partner Rob James). This led to the top of a 9m pitch down into an echoing boulder floored chamber. Upwards from the pitch head the chamber could be seen rising into an aven; it looked to get smaller but issued a small shower of drips. At either end of the chamber floor were further pitches, down which rocks were eagerly thrown. Both of these produced a deep reverberating splash! We were obviously now close to the level of the South East Pot sump and perhaps on the track of Fell Beck? This prompted the name of "Lost River Chamber" for the spot where we now stood.

The pitch at the north west end was tackled as a short descending traverse over mud covered boulder jams to a wet vertical section, the total length of the pitch being about 15m. The rope dropped straight into the deep water of a fissure canal cum sump. A low wet arch at the north west end was left for the time being (no-one was wearing a wetsuit) so this pitch was derigged and the south east one descended. It started as a slide down a steep mud slope (evidence of severe backing up of the sumps) then a vertical drop through hanging death, straight into deep water again. At least this pitch was dry!

"Sump 2" was slightly larger than the north westerly one, extending back under the alarmingly thin floor of Lost River Chamber. In fact stones thrown down a hole in the chamber floor fell directly into this rift. At the extreme south east end a substantial streamlet was descending noisily in an immature fissure. A possible continuation south eastwards up a mudbank from the top of the vertical drop was seen, but left for next time. The team was delighted at having literally walked into an interesting extension which is clearly visible from the Bar Pot to Main Chamber trade route. After an enjoyable trip of around 8 hours we celebrated in the beer tent, as is traditional.

The next trips took place over the weekend of 7th and 8th September. Present on the Saturday were Mal Goodwin, Steve Kelley, Paul Norman, Dave Morris, Pete Jones, Tom Thompson, Dave Hoggarth and the writer. On the way into the cave a small amount of fluorescein was added to the sink in Far South East Passage, south east of Bar Pot big pitch. (Note that this water is also believed to show itself briefly in "upstream" New Hensler's Crawl before sinking beneath the south west wall.) Several photographs were taken on this trip and Tom wore a wetsuit to investigate the lowest levels conclusively. The arch leading north west from the first sump closed in but at the south East end an awkward looking duck was noted which might possibly be forced in the direction of Sump 2. Both sumps were plumbed; Sump 1 gave a maximum sounding of -25m but in Sump 2 the weighted line didn't stop until -37m.

Everyone else concentrated on the high level continuation up the mudbank from the rebelay on the pitch down to Sump 2. The use of a digging tool helped ascend this short but treacherous section. At the top we emerged (at floor level) in the middle of another rift chamber sloping up to the left (north west) and down to the right (south east). Uphill was completely choked by silt after about 7m. Downhill soon led to another (dangerous looking) alternative shaft down into the Sump 2 rift, which we didn't descend. From this point however another short mudbank climbed more easily into the start of a handsome rift passage. This was 5m high with a solid mud and boulder floor. A pea green stream trickled towards us - confirming the destination of the Far South East Passage water from high above. Those at the front unanimously agreed on the name "Bill Spencer's Chamber" in memory of a much loved CPC member who died earlier in the year. Bill would have been fascinated by these discoveries.

Pleasant going ended after about 15m when the large solutionally formed rift finally ended. The only way on was an immature tube delivering the green water. A damp crawl led to a short dig after about 8m. Only 2m beyond was a substantial blockage which would be more difficult to pass. There must be a high but probably narrow aven close beyond as the tested sink is almost overhead. This point is perhaps 60m horizontally from the start of the extension but the surveyed length will be longer as many sloping survey legs will be needed. After brews all round (courtesy of Pete - thanks!) everyone left the cave leaving it rigged for the survey team.

Next morning, bright and early, the second wave (Andy Roberts, Henry Rose, Patrick Warren and Edward Whitaker) zoomed into Bar Pot and down the Rigging Ticket Route. At this stage there was still a very large boulder perched on the landing at the point where the extension is entered. Edward had won the contract on this (who else but the acknowledged guru of trundling?). Forty minutes work with the trusty bar finally saw this rendered safe before the team then set about the job of surveying the extension. They managed to do most of this in one go; no mean achievement in view of the muddiness of the place and off vertical pitches. When the last of the data was safely recorded the only remaining job was to strip out all the rope (including Bar Pot). Even Edward's "Lifo" reputation became somewhat tarnished under the pile of muddy gear he carried! At the time of writing the final survey is yet to be completed and will be published in a future edition of the CPC Record.

There seems little doubt that the main way on will involve diving the deep shafts into the GG phreas. The present end of the upstream branch of Deep Well in Far Country is at 38m depth and some 450m away along the South East Passage fault. Thus a long deep dive can be expected. Access for divers to the new sumps is not easy and mud covered poised blocks can be expected, just like those seen above water. The aven at the top of Lost River Chamber has not been climbed but it appeared to become less mature higher up when viewed with a 100 watt lamp. All of the passages and pitches in this extension are formed at different levels in a large phreatic rift. This is effectively another part of the great shaft starting at the head of Flood Entrance Pot's big pitch and ending in the depths of the active phreas. The vertical range of this is therefore (at least) 115m. Although the extension is controlled by the South East Passage fault zone it is offset to the north west from the line of the main route to Bar Pot. The profile of this huge rift is not unlike some of the deep phreatic features following mineralised faults in the Castleton and Bradwell area of the Peak District. Could it be that these massive phreatic vein cavities are not unique to Derbyshire?

Although no great length of passage has been found in this extension we have at least revealed a useful piece of the "development of Gaping Gill" jigsaw. Dick Glover always said that the dry weather flow from Main Chamber to Ingleborough Cave was in a deep phreatic zone (in view of the long flow through times of dye during low discharge). One day it will no doubt be possible to dive into the sumps in the South East Pot area and swim all the way to Terminal Lake - an infinitely pleasanter option than the Far Country crawls!

John Cordingley


Great Excavations or A Tale of Two Diggers

Around about December 1991 Janet Harland of the Airedale caving Club came round to my house to ask me to give her a lift to remove some boulders from a small hole she had found a couple of weeks earlier on Ingleborough. So started a project that has not finished yet.

We went up the next weekend with a small lifting device which Janet promptly christened a ratchet gadget. The offending boulder was removed after some difficulty. It dropped the hole about four feet to thick mud and digging began in earnest using an old tin can. The next few weekends saw the hole go down by about another six feet and it had started to take the unfortunate name of Janet's Hole. Then work stopped for a few weeks due to the foul weather (my excuse for getting soft).

It was around this time that two ex-cavers came up who I had been down Otter Hole with some years before; Pete Lodge (Spludge) and Pete Caleb (Capt). They expressed an interest in digging with us so the team then became four and made life at the dig a lot easier. Progress was made a quite a fast rate with four people and soon we had to use a ladder much to the disgust of Janet who doesn't mind GG Main Shaft on rope but hates anything over 10 feet on ladders.

The mud we were digging out was thick sticky stuff and we had dug down one wall leaving a large bank of the stuff on the opposite wall with the idea of shoring it up the next week. The Capt went down to do the last shift of the day and promptly got his wellies stuck and had to be pulled out leaving them well and truly in place, so digging had to carry on just to get them out.

The weeks turned to months, then a year, and still we had not removed all the mud. Every Sunday night at my house was a mammoth cleaning job as everything was caked in thick, black sh...

On one occasion Splodge's Carbide lamp blocked up and after cleaning it ended up with a two foot flame for a few seconds. This caused Janet to shout down that we might need to use a bit of bang some time but we were not planning on using a thermal lance.

About twenty feet of glacial mud had been removed when we came upon some very large jaw bones. Naturally they were brought to the surface to take back with us. However on getting ready to go home we went to get them only to find that Harvey Lomas' dog (Sweep) had eaten them. You never know they could have been the first discovery of Tyrannosaurus Rabbit and Sweep had eaten the lot. He also attracted a bunch of cavers over to our secret dig with his barking. It is difficult to pretend that you are doing nothing when you are covered in mud and have a bucket full of it in your hand.

After about 18 months the shaft started to close in and we thought the end was near but decided to carry on to the bitter end. Two weeks later Janet, Splodge and myself went up (The Capt had his daughter with him and so couldn't come). I started digging first but could not remove a rock due to the restricted nature and the fact that I had tennis elbow (which is strange as I can't play tennis), but I could hear things dropping below my feet. So I came out. I only just got off the ladder before Splodge set off down like a rocket. He had heard the noise as well and wasn't going to give Janet a chance even if she had wanted to go down. After ten minutes of pulling rocks about the floor collapsed to reveal a 20 foot water worn shaft. A second ladder was sent down and the intrepid caver went down into the unknown. The bad news was that at the bottom of the shaft we had to start digging again in guess what, mud! We just don't seem to be able to get away from the stuff. Back at my house we told the Capt who was sick as a parrot after spending all that time digging with us only to miss the weekend when we find something.

The dig still had the name Janet's Hole and three of us thought that it wasn't an appropriate name for a pothole that was going to go down to depths unknown to man, or at least deeper than it was now, so a secret vote was carried out. The result was Janet wanted Ratchet Gadget Pot and the rest of us wanted Harland Pot. Janet said she didn't think it was right to name it after her but the vote had been taken democratically (3 to 1) so that was that.

The problem then was to get the buckets up and down through the restriction (not really a bad restriction but it sounds good). A platform was built above the tight bit to allow the buckets to be thrown through to the person at the bottom and this worked well. Even though Splodge had stopped coming up after meeting his future wife (Oh dear, love for a non-caver cocks everything up) and a slight accident in Swan Dyke Pot, work continued at a steady pace. However eventually the Capt got fed up of walking up Ingleborough and dropped out. I was surprised that he had lasted that long as he likes his digs close to the road. So it was back down to two.

To make things easier and safer for two people, a crude winch was acquired and the shaft lined with conveyor belt. Also, much to Janet's delight, we decided to start using SRT as the ladder had to be pulled up to stop the buckets catching. We got some very funny looks from some very straight walkers on the day we took the new gear up the hill. I carried the conveyor belt with the winch on top and janet had four lengths of 3x3 wood stuck out of a tackle sack, plus a lump hammer, wire cable and a cordless drill jammed on top. Some people do the strangest things like walking when there are good holes to dig.

Work progressed for about another 18 months at a very slow pace with breaks for things like Otter Hole, Eric Clapton Concert, flying around in an RAF Wessex (Janet wants to know if anyone has a very cheap second hand one) and Austria, all trivial compared with the serious task of digging.

Around about March '95 a spike of rock appeared which seemed to be part of the cave as more and more of it was revealed. I put a crowbar behind it and gave it a yank and it moved about a quarter of an inch. Further digging showed it to be quite large so we put the winch cable around it and started and started to try and hoist it up. As it moved up the bloody floor moved down and I moved faster than John Allonby at last orders. Eventually we got the offending rock on to a ledge behind the conveyor belt. Then Janet came down as she had heard the din on the squawk box, her first words were "------ Hell".

The next weekend we set off up to the dig with renewed enthusiasm and after an hour or so we had pushed all the mud down and removed several rocks to reveal the top of a small rift passage. Janet tried to get down, and probably could have (I tried to help her by standing on her shoulders but all I got was a load of abuse) but I doubt if she would have got back out again.

Discussing it later we decided that more drastic measures would have to be taken. First we hired a cordless drill which turned out to be a load of rubbish and wasted a weekend. The next week Chris Smith, one of the few remaining cavers in the Bike Pedalling Club (that's a mountain biking club!!) came up with their drill and power pack and we got quite a few holed drilled. Two weeks later after a lot of detective work we tracked down a Craven drill to Edward Whitaker, but couldn't use it as we had just come back from Scotland and were a bit tired. Eventually we got the drill off Andy Roberts (and no Howard I didn't put a 30 amp fuse in) who had just got a phone which made him easier to get hold of. Eventually we finished off the drilling and a week later Dr Nobel's chemical laxative open up the rift enough to get in.

To get the spoil and mud out it was decided to build a second platform near the bottom of the shaft and take the spoil out in two stages. First from the bottom on to the platform, then one of us would go to the top and winch it out. It is time consuming but we are going down slowly but surely. Two YRC members gave us a lift one weekend and we dropped the bottom by about four feet.

The last time Janet and myself were up there it seemed to be closing in but then the opposite wall suddenly started to open out so it still looks promising. At present we are about 130 feet down and are still optimistic of finding the deepest cave in the world, or at least in that area. Only time and energy will tell. The dig is no secret any more thanks to Sweep. It is about 150 feet from an old CPC find (Mayday Hole) looking towards Bridge Pot and Long Kin West.

Barry Andrew

Northern Cave Diving News

We've had some pretty awful visibility in the Dales since the last issue of the Record. Indirectly this is the reason for not much having been found - not due to divers going soft but because many have grabbed the chance to enjoy the pleasanter conditions in several foreign sumps. Plenty of new discoveries have been made overseas lately but that's another story.

Phil Murphy and Phil Howson have passed the sump in Dentdale's Popple Cave but the way on becomes too small. The underwater dig at Leck Beck Head has seen plenty of progress and in Dale Barn Cave Martin Holroyd has advanced to 640m from base in the Downstream Sump. A conclusive dye test here traced the water to the rising outside Dry Gill Cave. Detectors in several other resurgences (including God's Bridge) were all apparently negative.

Joint Hole remains as popular as ever with tourist divers but small extensions continue to be made. Jason Mallinson and Andy Goddard have gone a little further in The Shallow Route sumps; if a connection can be made with Midge Hole this will become Britain's second longest underwater cave system. In Sump 2, The Blue Rift (see CPC Record 43, page 15) has seen extensive digging by Russell Carter, Andy Goddard, Paul Monico and the writer. Some very large boulders were moved with a winch but only 10m of progress could be made beyond. The submerged squeeze into this is horrendous.

The recent CPC discoveries in Gaping Gill include two new sumps which have yet to be dived (see separate article in this issue) and both are very deep. Elsewhere on Ingleborough Jason Mallinson has progressed a little further into the Alum Pot sump which is getting shallower...

No exploratory work has gone on in our winter project at Malham Cove Risings. However Dave Brock, Ian Lloyd, Mark Goodwin and the writer have recovered all the Lycopodium spore nets and detectors used in the recent large scale dye tests. The final results will take some time to be prepared but an interim report appears below.

John Cordingley

Water tracing in the Malham Area

In Record 42 details were presented of a major water tracing project in the Malham area being organised by the YSS. Your Committee agree that the Club would provide some assistance with the costs of the project in return for details of the results. The Record article also asked any members who could to assist with the project. The article below is based on the preliminary results which are now available. It is intended that a more detailed report, including the outcome of the Lycopodium spore traces, will appear in a future Record when the time-consuming analysis of the samples has been completed.

In the week prior to the commencement of the exercise there was a reasonable amount of rain, particularly on Wednesday 1 May. Over the next 19 days rainfall was minimal. The tracers were therefore injected into sinks on falling water levels which steadily decreased until by Sunday 19 May very low flow conditions existed at all the monitoring sites. A considerable volume of rain fell in the next fortnight and by 1 June the system had had a good flush through.

Detectors were positioned in the Aire River passage on Saturday 20 April by two divers and the remaining sites were equipped with detectors on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 May. All tracers were injected into the sinks at 2000 hours on Friday 3 May and the first samples were taken at 2200 hours on the same evening.

A total of 31 sites were monitored during the exercise, including four sites in the Aire River passage only accessible to divers. Thirteen of the sites were subject to regular sampling over a four day period with the last samples being taken at 2200 hours on Tuesday 7 May. Twenty-seven of the sites were visited and samples taken on Wednesday 8, Sunday 12 and Saturday 19 May when the majority of sites were cleared of detectors. A final visit was made on 1 June when 3 divers removed the detectors from Aire River passage and the remaining surface sites were cleared. Approximately 1300 individual samples were taken during the exercise and all samples were randomly numbered and the examination carried out blind. The examination of the plankton nets for Lycopodium spores is still continuing.

The results to date are as follows:

Sink: K2

Grid Reference: 869673

Method: Optical Brightening Agent

Location Date Result

M/C Main Rising Sun 12/5/96 Positive

M/C 100m Rising Sun 12/5/96 Positive

M/C 700m site Sun 12/5/96 Faint trace

M/C Main Rising Sat 18/5/96 Positive

M/C 100m Rising Sst 18/5/96 Positive

M/C 700m site Sat 18/5/96 Positive

Sink: Boggle Cave

Grid Reference: 871647

Method: Fluorescein

Location Date Result

Stainforth Wed 8/5/96 Faint trace

M/C/Main Rising Wed 8/5/96 Positive

M/C Main Rising Sun 12/5/96 Positive

M/C 100m Rising Sun 12/5/96 Positive

M/C 700m site Sun 12/5/96 Positive

Cowside/Scalebar Sun 12/5/96 Faint trace

Sink: Gorbeck Cave

Grid Reference: 865658

Method: Rhodamine

Location Date Result

Aire Heads North Mon 6/5/96 Faint trace

Aire Heads South Mon 6/5/96 Faint trace

Aire Heads Centre Mon 6/5/96 Faint trace

Based on information supplied by the YSS

Sunburn in the rain - Norway '96

Trevor Faulkner revealed that the Norwegian cavers have nicknamed our expeditions' quick fire techniques "Rape & Run". I'd prefer "Deflower & Run", but this year, the caves were too shy! We did not even find many of our other objective, delicious wild cloudberries, either, due to a late Spring. Still, we tried, in 3 weeks of July-August 1996 tramping cotton-grass marsh, steep granite slabs, hay-fever grass, pinewoods and dense birch scrub, in weather from very hot sun to constant drizzle.

So this is no cascade-by-climb romp through sparkling striped marble. Perhaps previous expeditions have spoilt us: remote Elgfjell's fossil caves and camp-site lemmings (1989). Or 900m+ long Blåfjellgrotta, teasing us for three long, cold but deeply satisfying pushing/surveying trips (1990). Or Toerfjellhola, the region's longest and severest to date, pushed to its sump during a 1993 l-week mountain camp. (Sadly, I saw little of it; stopped by a too-Bold Step; and by the too-tight lower entrance dug openish by Carol White and, ironically, me.)

We started this year in Okstinden, the mountains NE of Mosjoen, arriving late Monday 22nd July, and camping on the North shore of the great Rossvatnet ("vatn": lake). No Midnight Sun, but I could write my log inside my tent at the darkest hour of 1-2am. This is the furthest North the South Nordland expeditions have gone.

Ensconced in the bar of the MV "Colour Viking" as the ship left the Tyne, Emma Porter, Alan Marshall, and Nigel Graham had high hopes, as Trevor summarised an impressive itinerary. We basked in the sun on deck, played Liar Dice, enjoyed a superb meal in the buffet and sipped a beer as we watched the cabaret, described by Emma as "sad" in her bizarre nightclub argot. Expedition? Ruddy fine sea-cruise this. Only the occasional languid wallow as the ship settled herself more comfortably on the flat North Sea reminded us where we were. We drove almost to Okstinden in blazing sunshine. Workmates ask, "Norway? Isn't it cold?". It is, in Winter. This all had a bearing on things, as we will see....

We traced vegetated marble exposures on Steikfjelletts lower slopes, until a swallet showed itself! Quickly, we kitted up and grovelled down the jagged, hands-and-knees crawl until it closed in, too wet and low, within sight of the entrance. Emma emulated (but wore rather more than) Svetlana, the cabaret's contortionist star-turn, so as to wriggle into an apparent side-passage, but it was just an alcove. Rift Sink was not to be the find.

Emma charged off down Steikfjellgrotta, taking part of the same stream, followed by Trevor and I. Good-size streamway narrowed, became shuffly and crawly, then too small, but gave us nearly 80m length and 40m depth by trig.: but only because its estimated gradient was a handy 30*. (Sin30 = ´). Still not Blafjellgrotta, but it's early days yet....

Artfjellet gave us superb views of the classical meanders of the modern river on Spellfjelldalen's flat glacier-cut floor. Pity the most memorable cave was a small, shallow, pot containing an eponymous Dead Deer - to Emma's disgust. She and Alan pushed nearby shakeholes, but all ways on choked. An estimated 2km sink-rising possibility for Alan and Emma had no ways in. Trevor and Nigel had even less luck, though a lamb must have thought its luck was in by the way it hounded up to us to be stroked like a dog. Must have been our wellies.

In beautiful weather, we trekked up Holbekkan (I'm not translating "bekk", "fjell", "dale" and "fors"/"foss" in a Yorkshire publication!). Above its head tarn and 6m(!) cave, we were rewarded by magnificent scenery from the fringe of the summit snow-fields of Hekkelfjellet. Going higher was very tempting, but would have been foolhardy. Even I, not quite an acrophile, felt the call of the summit. We returned along Spellfjelldalen, opposite Artfjellet, past a few minor limestone features and one cave (L.2m). Oh well...

Mosjoen is an attractive town, with a bustling modern shopping-centre surrounded by old, small, houses, all of wood of course. Norway's equivalents of Settle suggest prosperity, but as everything is so expensive I wonder if the residents do enjoy a relatively higher standard of living than us.

Licking huge ice-creams (at huge prices), we left Mosjoen to go sweaty jungle-bashing on Steinlikammen, crunching tinder dry lichen and stumbling over forestry trimmings on outcropping limestone ridges. "-Hola", as in "Skardhola", means "-Hole". Unfortunately it can signify simply a deep, narrow cwm. As in Skardhola.

The weather turned from hot sun to dank drizzle as we approached the top, and the sweaty jungle-bash became akin to a slow-motion car-wash. Worse, the higher-altitude steep grass and greasy slabs above crags, became nasty in the rain.

"Come over the flat bit!" Emma called to me at one point.

"If you think that's flat", I answered, surveying the slippery, inclined ledge, "I'm glad you're not machining bits of my model engine!". Shaking, I followed, clutching wispy saplings. Emma and assisted me on several nasty cliffy things (and subsequently on Ogof Draenen's difficult climbs). I love mountains, but not exposure, and have the climbing ability of an arthritic crab.

"It's cool looking down!" (from that traverse) she exclaimed, her slip into '60s slang making me feel ancient. She was 1 when I started caving. My reply, as I gripped the next grass-root, was a little uncharitable.

So, where were the caves hiding? Starting the inexorable move South, we dined that evening in a layby as we tried to make contact with Edgar Johanssen, a farmer from away up North. Trevor collected strange looks from passing motorists as he stood at the roadside, cup in one hand, large sign saying "EDGAR" in the other...

We did meet next morning, and visited the Laksfors, a very impressive cascade, local tourist attraction and an excellent place to wreck cameras, my Norway trip tradition. Trevor has a theory that the word "Moln" (mill) associated with a bekk or vatn implies a swallet. It produced a lovely stream cave before. Not this time! Despite fine marble in the stream bed, the "moln" was just a plunge-pool below a cascade on a marble/granite contact, with no sinks. Hmmm...

Hmmm indeed: NE of the town of Trofors, is the superb and rather unusual Almdalselv gorge incised in the bed of a glacial valley. The gorge runs N-S but sidesteps dramatically via four right-angle bends. It appears to have been cut along three parallel, N-S, thick, vertically-bedded marble bands; or one band side-stepped by two faults, perhaps before the movements which pushed the whole mass into its present position and near 90* dip. Its river was very benign, but we noticed it had been partially dredged. Drawn into it by its charms which included huge marble boulders among the igneous choss, we followed its lovely cascading Kingsdale-in-Summer sized stream up to find.......caves!

Water sinks into a small passage, obstructed 4m in by a flake, resurging a short distance down valley. A dry hole nearby rumbled its come-on.... "Svetlana" Porter upheld the BEC claim to "Get Everywhere". The rest of us did not fit. She was soon back, unhappy at being in exclusive company of loose rock above a rift. Encouraged, we retreated to the local camp-site, met Keith Bryant (living in Sweden), and tucked into Edgar's excellent home-cooked elk steak. We settled on "Angel Delights" or something, the cloudberries being off. If you've never had elk, I thoroughly recommend it!

Next day, we took crowbar and hammer to the tight entrance of Almdelsvgrotts. The "Little" of the Mendip "Little & Large" duo wittered about her "heart bleeding", but "Large" wielded the hammer enthusiastically! We had not brought a chisel, as there wasn't room in the car.

Indeed, when we gathered Alan and his gear at his home, we all had to leave stuff behind. Packing Trevor's Vauxhall Carlton saloon was a masterpiece of 3-D topology and brute force. Alan curled round his big bag of caving kit in the front. Emma and I occupied minute nests on the rear seat, separated by a food-box wall. I slipped my shoes off so as to store my feet more easily. When the sweets were passed around, a minute cross-joint in the wall would momentarily sprout a wiggling little hand, all I saw of Emma for mile after cramped mile. Unable to see out of my side window, she missed much of the better scenery. It was a mystery how she'd managed to fit that enormous sports-bag, containing bits of SRT kit (rescue gear), pyjamas and a scrubbing-brush, in with her. I did not see it creep into my car at her Wolverhampton home.

Finally, Emma's cave was open, to 50% of the team anyway. Even then, Alan feared he had cracked a rib on the sill. I could only peer in and listen to the crashing of demolished boulders - the entrance enters the roof of a short streamway.

Keith, Edgar and I noted a few impenetrable sinks upvalley. Shame about the rain, steady since early that morning. The river was noticeably higher. Left, West, at a T-junction, a very steep gully rose to a shallow col a few hundred feet above. Right, the gorge rose steadily to its inlets. Keith and Edgar carried on, so to avoid splitting the team into two incommunicado groups, and as my rucksack was back at the caves, I returned to inform the others.

I met them coming up the gorge. The cave had not gone far. Trevor had his ammo box with him, but Emma and Alan had left their packs, anticipating a short foray upstream, and I followed suit. Enthusiasm took us well upriver, beyond the confluence at the top of the gorge, but we found nothing of interest in the soggy forest, and eventually turned back.

Umm, that river's risen a lot, we thought... We managed to cross it, but the gorge was now impassable a short way down. A bit of a pickle, was this. A fallen tree luckily provided a retreat bridge over the very-troubled waters.

We had one possible exit. The Westerly gully and its col are an earlier exit for the river, through an impressive ravine known as Bjornkloven (we guessed it means The Bears' Cleft). From its vicinity, we gained an excellent view of the old N-S glacial valley and moraine lake, its recent gorge and the successive west-flowing outlets.

The top 50ft of the gully back into the gorge looked impossible from above, so, the Bears' Cleft it was. It started decently, steep but steadily down through trees. Then it bit. It became a fantastic ruckle of angular granite boulders, clad with treacherous greasy lichen or loose moss concealing the gaps between them. We took an hour to descend 1000 feet, picking our extremely cautious way down that impressive, but dangerous, ravine. Views out over Svenningdal, the main valley, with its farms, road and railway, taunted us. Alan provided one light moment. He rested against a birch tree, which obligingly fell, taking him with it, pure Laurel & Hardy.

We descended the final boulders and, greatly relieved, found a path back to the forestry track. As we walked back to the car, the others appeared in theirs. They had returned to the gorge before us, and fought their way down-river, with great difficulty.

This team cock-up cost us all next day, as the rain stayed in. Trevor and Edgar attempted to recover the rucksacks by climbing right over the ridge via another gully, and descending the "impossible" one, but the river was still impassable. No packs - but gallant Edgar presented Emma with a wild-flower posy. Keith and I quietly planned to attempt the river next morning, two days after we left our packs, but the river was now low enough for us all to ascend the gorge and recover them. We had considered the possibility of having to abandon them, losing items of caving kit and cameras. We would have had to report the loss to the Norwegian police, as insurance apart, anyone later finding the rucksacks could unwittingly have initiated a search for three missing people. Watery sun appeared as we walked back down the gorge for the last time, and I felt a moment of anti-climax. And relief.

The river had been indeed been dredged, following flooding problems, so a Government officer inspecting the work told us.

Oh, let's go caving! At Mosjoen, to invade Oyfjellgrotta (L.3000feet, VR.350ft.). No virgin, is this well-known "adventure-caving" venue. David Heap et al (EGSCC & KCC) surveyed it in 1967, adding to earlier work by Bjorn Grimsby. He had also visited Almdalselv, but not found any caves.

To find Oyfjellgrotta, take the Oyfjelldalen road SW from Mosjoen's trading estates, and park near a large shed shortly before a gate across the track. A path leads to the wooded cwm holding the impressive entrance, via a very steep scramble (fixed tree-roots) and an airy cliff-face traverse.

A steep sandy slope with ice formations descends to the foot of a large, steeply-ascending phreatic tube to the handsome main chamber (fixed rope - well, we trusted it...). A short vertical drop has a handline. An easier alternative climb is beyond a short but delicate traverse: I chose the Stallone rather than Bonnington route, both ways.

From the chamber, a deep canyon takes the stream out of one corner. The next bit reminds one of Eastwater Cavern, with one big difference. Oyfjellgrotta is pleasant. Cross the canyon on a jammed boulder, and descend an entrenched "bedding-plane". (It isn't really: the dip is almost vertical). A short chimney drops to a ledge above the fine lower streamway. Down slope is an easy climb down to the stream, a series of climbable cascades down to the sump.

To my regret, the first cascade stopped me, as I could not reach any holds and the fast-flowing stream threatened to push me off the last foothold. The other four (Edgar had stayed in Mosjoen) were soon back as the next, larger, waterfall was too wet to descend.

Upstream, I could not straddle up another cascade. I waited on the ledge, then out of the draught up in "Eastwater". I heard the others' voices through intervening holes, and thought they would reach the main chamber. I did not know that the streamway is impassable. After some thought, I "followed" them up the dry way. They were not there. I returned part-way, but could not hear them, so made my cautious way to the chamber and chipped painted names off the walls. (The working-weekend at Ivy Cottage had been Expedition Training). Eventually I heard Emma call, "He's up here!" in a surprised voice. They had been concerned because I had not remained on the ledge, but mine was the most obvious alternative.

Upstream from the chamber, an exposed traverse leads to more chambers and bits of streamway between chokes and sumps. From another "climbable" (not to me) waterfall in a boulder chamber, the upper streamway rises towards the very tight upper entrance. Emma succeeded in exiting, but returned through the cave with the others to my boulder-chamber waiting-room.

We met Edgar back at the cars, and drove to our Svenningdal friend, Odd Johansen. Odd was relaxing after a wedding reception on Saturday - it was now Tuesday after all and celebrating winning enough on the Norwegian lottery to buy 24 islands, on the bank's advice. We enjoyed his enthusiastic but mercifully "dry" hospitality, and excellent ice-cream bought by Edgar, and camped overnight on his lounge floor. The BEC was treated to the luxury of a proper bed, in the guest room. Our host was impressed by Emma, and apparently made an impression on her. At any rate, she looked bemused.

Edgar left for home next morning, after showing us an impressive periglacial erosion feature just beyond the West portal of the Tosen (road) Tunnel. Blasting a cliff for the new road had sectioned a huge, milled, river-bed pot-hole. An amalgamated pair of pots some 25m deep, have a smaller pot open in the wall. The base and remnants of the sand and gravel infill are just above road level. It is a spectacular thing we had unknowingly driven past several times on previous trips, and Edgar and Trevor tape-surveyed it.

We explored the limestones of Laajroe, near Leirevatnet. Alan chose not to accompany us, to rest his painful chest. Emma gained painfully-sunburnt shoulders. Being first to spot impressive-looking Laajroe Resurgence Cave from across the valley, I wasted no time yomping over to it, in response to the BEC rep. teasing the WCC reps. over Almdalselv Grotta. Once I had confirmed it to be more than a rock-shelter (a common trick played by shy caves), Trevor offered the lead to Emma and I.

A steep ramp leads up into a dry, dusty and loose chamber. A low side passage containing rounded granite boulders meets the stream flowing from and into boulders on its way to daylight alongside the entrance. We dug a roof crawl into a gloomy little chamber. As we contemplated the fragile continuation, a light appeared in front of us, from Keith, in a deeper recess of the "main chamber". We crawled through to him. The cave grudgingly gave us a bit more: a passage dipping down to a sump, and two very loose low-level passages. Emma explored one to a dangerously-loose limit, Keith pushed the other to a glimpse of daylight above the stream.

We sketch-surveyed the 60-ish m cave by body-length, and followed Trevor round the limestone ridge to the presumed sink.

A very large shakehole ending in an overhanging cliff looked really promising, but gave nothing but a boulder-chamber. Assorted other limestone exposures looked pretty, but were cave-less to the point that we played under a 2m long rockbridge over a small stream.

On the return, Emma and Keith picked their way off the hill via a deep gorge which proved disappointing. Trevor had suggested Emma and Nigel, but I was put off by a nasty traverse further back in the same valley. Trevor and I examined a stream flowing down Kringlotheia. We had some luck. Just below the stream sink, an easy fossil crawl led to an exit high in the valley side. ("Gulp! ") Scrambling back uphill, we almost fell down a shakehole into a streamway. I soloed downstream, through a crawl opening into short but reasonable passage, down a noisy little cascade, to an exit at the head of a waterfall. Back in the security of the cave, I estimated distances back to Trevor, in the shakehole. Upstream, we wriggled past a skylight and a schist band to emerge in our original valley close to the choked sink. We had followed the Kringlotheia stream.

Descending was alarming, as the hillside is peppered with short crags, but we made it as the 10.30pm sunset lit the mountains across Tosenfjord in a rosy glow. We plumped for the luxury of a "hytte" (hut) on Tosbotn camp-site, and teased Emma over her pyjamas. Yes, she does give as good as she gets

The rubric on an OS map tells us that the representation of a road or path does not imply a public right-of-way. On the Norwegian equivalent, it may not exist. With the sun beating down (being not too far S of the Arctic Circle) we made an early navigation error on new forestry tracks, and took a short-cut (!) right over a hill we should have walked round. We did not find the path the map said went straight up the cliffs we could see beyond the trees and chest-high ferns. Up slab after slab, mostly dry but small seepages made some greasy bits on the steepest and most exposed moves. Rounding a few overhangs, we were finally out of Lesdalen and into the hidden valley with the dotted stream-lines shown on the maps. After all that effort, there was no marble here, let alone karst features. We did find an easier descent back into Lesdalen though - but still no path. Ironically, as we returned on the correct forestry track, we found a cavelet cut into by the track, but totally choked.

Meanwhile, Keith had kayaked across Tosenfjord to investigate possible features in a deep valley on its S side. No luck there either.

So, on to Langfjord, in the footsteps of Dave & Shirley St.Pierre. In drizzle, we found an idyllic fjord-side camp-site on the hydro-electric power-station lawn.

Next day's long walk started with a quick look at the sumped resurgence at the road-side. A strong stream emerges, cooling the beer someone had weighted down in it. Bog-splodging along a dry (!) valley produced nothing, but we eventually picked up a path serving scattered summer-houses in old farmhouses. The first two were locked but clearly in use. Rounding a corner, Keith almost stepped on a dog snoozing on the path. Hair-raising barking sent Emma leaping behind Alan and I - not that I was any less worried. So that's why she chose the BEC rather than Cerberus; It was a friendly spaniel, once it had recovered from its fright.

The dog's owners proved to be a Bronnoysund family staying in the refurbished house of what had been the wife's parents' farm, Dyrmoen. Apparently, quite a lot of these remote holiday homes are still owned by the original farmers' family, rather than by off-comers. The family put us right for the path up over the hill to Tosholaksla, where a large stream sinks and rises. Well, yes, it does... in granite landslip boulders. Gloomily, in the drizzle, we ate our lunch. So did the midges. Svetlana's rig would not have been vampire-insects-proof.

Keith navigated our retreat from this high-hanging valley down to the Dyrmoen valley, where now we started finding limestone! The broad river sinks into its valley floor, and eagerly we attacked it. TF and NG entered the main sink, for a couple of metres to a sump. EP and AM grovelled in a short, mud-choked passage above. KB went cave-sniffing in the dry valley-continuation. The shallow profile from the sink to the resurgence is not helpful.

Keith found an enormous shakehole, perhaps 100 feet across, with a pair of still pools, one of which appeared to sump in a wide entrance. The water was too deep to investigate in fleece suits, and an apparent passage above was merely a tiny sliprift. However, Keith pushed a shattered cave nearby, ferreting very carefully among the fallen slabs. Still no streamway though. In the rain, and the midges, we were as dampened spiritually as corporeally. We teased Emma, gently. Perched on a boulder, knees drawn up, head down, oversuit hood rising to a jaunty point, she resembled a little gnome. Tolkein would have been inspired by the sight of us five, sitting in that lonely, dripping-wooded shakehole. She looked up at us and smiled her famous Cheshire-cat smile, if a little wanly.

We found decent footpaths for most of the route back and ripe cloudberries. Within yards of the car, we found caves! All slip features, one a short but roomy chamber just above the beach, the other two a short distance away. We have sliprifts on Portland - where are the lovely marble stream caves?

Next morning after breakfast-in-rain, we continued to Nevernes, on the coast, and visited our friend Eina Aasved, who had ferried us to Tettingdal in 1992. After coffee with him and his daughter, in his fine fjord-view home, he took us to the site of an 1860s one-man iron-mine. A short trip in his speedboat ended at the steps up to the verandah of a summer retreat, empty at the time. Uneasily, we tramped round the verandah to the shaft behind the house. Eina had visited the mine in his youth, but we found it recently filled in. We briefly picked over the spoil heap for specimens, before deciding we ought to return. We were, after all, in somebody's back yard.

The camp-site near Bronnoysund gave us another chance to shower, cook and eat in comfort indoors and to wash and dry clothes. Apparently the wedding-reception in an adjoining sports club ended at 5am, but I was hibernating.

The site manager informed us that Northern Europes' oldest cave-art was a few miles away, so we had an evening trip. Asking directions at the nearest farm gained a guide, the daughter of the family, who pointed out not only the faint, very highly stylized paintings (Lowry-esque, and flat-out like animal-skin rugs) and sun-sign engravings, but also millstones. Monshols (Cat Hole, L.160m) was the site of a locally important trade in millstones carved from fallen slabs around the entrance. I do not know what the rock is, but it is rich in tiny tooth-like garnets: mills shear, not crush, the grain. The roughly-finished stones - perhaps supplied rough for the miller to dress when installed - were sledded down the screes in Winter, and sold in the nearby villages.

The cave is a huge, hading rift in igneous rock, possibly a relict sea-cave like famous Torghatten, the huge hole right through an isthmus a few miles away. It looks out over a narrow coastal plain broken by small hills reminiscent in misty weather, of tropical cone-karst. Notable spongework on the cave walls may be vugs: the passage may be on a mineralised fault.

Monshola also resembled Holinnhullet (L.150m), in a cliff above Bjoru farm near Somna. This is a huge passage, (also in granite?), but with unexpected botryoidal stalagmite deposits and a lot of hanging death boulders.

Perhaps our finest wild camping was in a huge private forestry and hunting estate along the S flank of Tosenfjord, where we saw just seven other people. Six elderly gentlemen had rented a hut for a fishing holiday; the seventh was a berry picker we spotted one afternoon. Oh yes, we were in a beautiful forest, but caves? We found nothing significant. We had a gentle encounter with an unusually brave female elk, which kept but ten yards away from us, languidly gazing from one to another of us, between munching huge leaves.

And that was about it for 1996. Trevor's discovery list, the basis for future formal reports, gives a few more sites. We left the area via another short walk in hay-fever grass, followed the beautiful coast road South on our way home, and fitted in a very brief, unsuccessful, second look at the Steinkjer possibility. There, we had planned to inspect on the way North, what my road-maps had suggested is a complex closed basin swallowing many radial streams. A quick peek at the local maps, however, had dissuaded us, and our homewards-attempt was instigated only by a feeling I had read the wrong map. I had: but the correct map was no more encouraging.

The caves I have mentioned were the main finds. We surveyed some 540m of passage in 27 marble caves, and 310m in known (but unsurveyed?) non-carbonate caves.

One aspect of the whole trip was the lack of foreign, especially non-Scandinavian, tourists. The camp-sites were fairly busy, but mainly with Norwegian holiday-makers, and we found one small site deserted since last year, a sad little group of unlocked huts and shower-room.

And the significance of the calm sea-cruise? Ian Chandler was to have joined us after sailing his yacht across the North Sea to Bronnoysund, having raised a crew via an advertisement in "Descent". The weather was too calm, and it took him so long to cruise from Southampton to the Shetlands that the 600 Nautical Mile voyage to Bronnoysund was no longer viable.

For our Grand Finale, we walked up Glittertinden (2472m), Northern Europe's highest mountain at about 8000feet (vying with nearby Galdhopiggen (2469m), the actual heights depending to some extent on snow cover). Unfortunately, unlike the previous day's beautiful weather, overcast wreathed the summit snow fields and the way-markers in clag. We knew we were at the top because the steady slope eased to a cairn with a fog shrouded edge lurking ominously close by. We wasted no time here: we were not all quite appropriately dressed against a stiff breeze blowing near-freezing fog in our faces (what's wrong with mountain-walking in caving oversuit and wellies?). Emma worried about frostbite, as a change from sunburn after walking up to Laajroe in a skimpy top. Accompanied by a Danish walker who materialised out of the mist, we descended. Then the clouds started lifting. Typical!


Late in the Expedition, we conceived an Expedition Reunion caving trip. Emma kept her promise of a Round Trip in Ogof Draenen, so Trevor and I joined her a week after the "Fjell Bekk" Meet. Alan could not come, unfortunately, but his place was taken by Emma's friend, Byron ?

I am grateful to Emma Porter for the opportunity to visit Draenen, which took us 8 hours. I'd love to have thoroughly enjoyed Ogof Draenen. It is a magnificent reward for its discoverers, but it is a desolate, hostile, unrelenting, boulder-strewn, decaying, mainly-fossil wasteland, with rare, but attractive, formations. Even its Beyond A Choke streamway is all nasty, greasy boulder chokes and climbs, black rock and dark mud. The Morgannwg cavers wrote in "Descent" that the Squirrel Rifts maze and Agent Blorenge stream are very tight and difficult, but Estelle Sandford (BEC) and Vern Freeman (WCC) advised me that I'd get through it. I did, just! In fact there is just one short squeeze.

Ogof Draenen certainly compensated for the lack of Norwegian discoveries, but........ Anyone for Oyfjellgrotta?

Nigel Graham

(apologies to Nigel and any Norwegian readers, I failed to find the special codes to produce the correct accented letters to go in some of the names - Ed)

Caving Books/Publications Challenge

I have spoken to several people over the last two months about their favourite caving publications. I have deliberately used the word publications because some people wanted to include some individual (not series) Club publications which might not be considered by everybody to be books. The challenge I have set is to come up with a list of their/your top ten favourite/most inspirational caving publications. The ten do not have to be in order. I have had one response so far and I still have to make my own list.

If any other readers would like to send me their lists before December then I will combine them all to come up with a list of publications which will give new members some ideas on what to read and maybe suggest a few new ideas to longer standing members. So get your thinking caps on and let me have the details of your ten favourite caving publications.

Ric Halliwell

Distant Caving

A report in the June 1996 "Astronomy" Magazine included an article on the Galileo space probe's visit to the asteroids. A photograph of asteroid 243, Ida, showed that many of its craters are named after caves including:

Fingal, Lascaux, Lechuguilla, Mammoth, Orgnac, Padirac and Postojna.

The apparent explanation is that because Zeus was supposed to have been born in a cave on Mount Ida it was agreed that all the craters on asteroid Ida should be named after caves throughout the world. The names will not become official until they have been voted upon by the International Astronomical Union in 1997 but proposed names are usually accepted.

Some Observations on Scottish Hill Walking, Mountain Tables and Other Phenomenon.

The dramatic increase in recent years of peak-bagging has led to an almost unprecedented attention to the classification of mountains both north and south of the border. This state of affairs is such that some attempt at clarification is perhaps necessary to avoid any confusion.

Sir Hugh T Munro was the first to make any meaningful catalogue of mountains, namely the 3000ft summits of he Scottish Highlands, formulating his tables in 1891. Prior to that time no one had any clear idea just how many individual 3000ft mountains there were in Scotland. Since then however the tables, which have become known as Munro's Tables, have been revised several times and now contain 276 summits, with almost as many 'tops'. The latter are 3000ft points that owing to lack of sufficient re-ascent or lateral separation do not qualify for individual mountain status.

Thus Scottish mountain summits of 3000ft (914metres if you are that way inclined) or more have become known as Munros, and the practice of climbing them, Munro Bagging. So far so good. But what about the other mountain categories, which for better or worse seem to be here to stay, and seem to be proliferating faster than the breeding rate of Scottish midge.

Besides the Munros there are the Grahams, Donald's Tables, Corbett's Tables and Macleod's. While there are only three summits qualifying for Macleod's Tables, and all of those are found on the Isle of Skye, the Corbetts number 223 and those featuring in Donald's Tables run to 87 with an additional 138 Donald's Tops. A Donald by the way is a hill in the Scottish Lowlands rising to 2000ft or above, in contrast to a Corbett, which is a peak in the Highlands over 2500ft, but not exceeding 3000ft which of course would make it a Munro. A Graham is any Scottish hill between 2000 and 2499 feet, excepting those in the Lowlands which are Donalds (obvious isn't it).

If you have followed it so far then we can now introduce the Murdos, of which there are 444 qualifying summits. These have to be over 3000ft with at least 30 metres drop all round. The list includes all 276 of the Munros, 160 of the Munro Tops together with 7 additional summits!

Not to be outdone, the South has devised its own Tables, known as Wrights, Wainwrights (groan), Relative Hills, the Bridges Tables, Simpsons, Deweys, Mosses (take a breather then we shall continue), not to mention Lewises, Buxtons, Hewitts, Nuttalls and Marilyns(?). Scotland parried with the new classification known as Whitakers. The criteria for inclusion of Scottish summits in Whitaker's Tables are as follows:

1) They must be 3000ft or higher

2) Have a summit area that is flat but not necessarily level, and with an area not less than 3/4 square mile

3) Must have access routes that can be negotiated with hands in pockets

4) At no point must there be any risk of inducing giddiness.

The 1996 (first) edition of Whitaker's Tables includes the following Scottish mountains:

Name Height Mtn in order Grid Ref

(metres) of altitude

Ben Macdui 1309 1 988989

Braeriach 1296 2 953999

Cairn Toul 1293 3 964972

Cairn Gorm 1245 4 005041

Beinn a'Bhuird 1196 5 093006

Ben Avon 1171 6 132019

Lochnagar 1158 7 244862

Ben Alder 1148 8 496718

Geal Charn 1132 9 561988

Creag Meagaidh 1130 10 418875

Carn a'Coire Boidheach 1118 11 226845

Chno Dearg 1047 12 377741

Ben Wyvis 1046 13 463684

Carn Mairg 1041 14 684513

Beinn Mhanach 954 15 373412

Carn na Caim 941 16 677822

A'Bhuidheanach Bheag 936 17 661776

Ben Chonzie 931 18 774309

Moruisg 928 19 101499

Beinn a'Chleibb 916 20 251256

Hillwalkers' registers seem to be springing up all over the place, so much so that one must wonder where it will all eventually end. In Strider, the official magazine of the Long Distance Walkers Association, there appears a suggestion on classification, not of the peaks, but of the peak baggers themselves.

Munroist has been around for some time, but "Brideist" and "Mosser" have yet to receive acceptance among those with a penchant for bagging the 2000ft summits of England and Wales. Those who complete all of the Murdos might be termed Murderers and those stomping over all of the Nuttalls, perhaps Nutters. Maybe before too long we shall see further classifications of English hills, for instance Dodds, for which the title Dodderer might be appropriate for those who have collected all the summits!

In the book Relative Hills of Britain, whatever they might be, the author uses the term Sweats (Summits in Wales and England Above Two-thousand feet) and suggest Sweaters for those completing them. Other categories of British hills could be Swalenghs (Summits in WALes and ENGland), pronounced swellings. There could be Tophatts (Table of Peaks and Hills Above Two Thousand), and Tophatters for the walkers. What about Wetbootts (Welsh and English Tops, Bridges or Others Over Two Thousand), and the Corbetts could be followed by Morbetts.

On the topic of the colloquial for mountains, I remember several Scottish meets past coming off Aonach Eagach down the side of Clachaig Gully, when we met a Kiwi walker prancing up the path. "Call these mountains. Back home we call 'em hills", he called, to which Suggy (alias Gripper) promptly retorted. "Oh, we call 'em Bastards".

As yet no one has come up with a title for what must be the most commonplace category of ascent, for Munros that have been climbed totally in cloud and drizzle. These could have been called Macleods, but unfortunately that already applies elsewhere. Perhaps Clags would lend itself? And those whose preference it is to climb clouds with solid centres, obviously are Clagrats.

PS: Whatever happened to Fell Walking?

Howard M Beck

And now for something completely different - for those of us who were born before 1940

We were born before television, before FAX, portable telephones and Internet, before penicillin, before polio shots, before frozen foods and pre-packaged ready made meals - but we did have "hair raising soups" (tinned soups with built in heating elements activated by lighting the touch paper and retiring to a safe distance). We were before Xerox, plastic, contact lenses, Frisbees and the pill. We were before radar, credit cards, senior citizen's railcards, split atoms, laser beams and ball-pens; before pantihose, dishwashers, clothes driers, electric blankets, air conditioning, drip dry clothes, tights and before men walked on the moon.

We got married first and then lived together (after the boy had asked his girl friend's father for his consent of course). How quaint can you be? We thought "fast-food" was what you ate in Lent and "crumpet" was what we had for tea. We were before "house-husbands", gay rights, computer dating, dual careers and when "meaningful relationships" meant getting on with cousins.

We were before day care centres, group homes and nursing homes. We had never heard of FM radio, tape decks, electric typewriters, artificial hearts, word processors, yoghurt and young men wearing ear rings. For us time sharing meant togetherness, a "chip" was a piece of wood, hardware meant nuts and bolts and software wasn't a word.

In 1940 "Made in Japan" meant junk and the term "making out" referred to how you did in your examinations. Pizzas, McDonalds and instant coffee were unheard of. In our day cigarette smoking was "fashionable" and an evening out was at the pictures (black and white of course). Grass was mown, coke was kept in the coal house and pot was something you cooked in. Rock music was a grandmother's lullaby and A.I.D.S. were helpers.

And it was different on the open road, on the mountain and at Gaping Gill. It was before cycling helmets, bicycles without mudguards, and before the country lanes were dangerous with traffic. It was before frame tents, dome tents, inflatable tents, luxury loos, and before the beer tent (We walked into Clapham for our evening drink - or there was tinned beer in camp). It was before all the sophisticated cooking paraphernalia was available, before camp tables and chairs (we made our own stone tables which were left in situ for use at next year's camp). It was before the introduction of hard plastic helmets, wet-suits, Nife cells, wire ladders and all the iron ware of rock climbing and SRT (when rock climbers actually climbed up rock faces).

It was before the enormous tall rucksacks, when the Rolls-Royce of rucksacks was the Norwegian "Bergen". It was before all the fancy coloured and many varieties of rain wear, (we used a cycle cape or gas cape) when you really had something special if you owned a "Greenfell" jacket.

It was before the luxury of the refreshment tent and the reception tent, before Bill Spencer created his own lawn by the shakehole on which he pitched his mini-tent every year.

It was before booking discs, buzzer in the main chamber and hot drinks served to day visitors as they waited to go out on the chair. It was before the luxury gantries (we walked the plank), before the "armchair" in which we descend the pot, before the plastic swimming pool, before awnings over the engine and gantry.

It was before long-life milk (volunteers walked down to Clapdale farm to bring back a day's supply for the whole camp in a two gallon can strapped to their backs) - but they were given breakfast at the farm.

It was before we catered for children in a big way, before Main Chamber banquets, before the "Gentlemen's descents" and golf on the sand bank, before "The Last of The Summer Wine". It was before weather forecasts on portable radios, camp communication by "walkie-talkie" and before notices at the stile to guide visitors to the pot. It was before Gaping Gill postcards and posters, before Bar Pot, Stream Passage and Far Country, before flood-lights below ground and in the shake hole, before colour photography. It was before smokeless flash powder (but many a good picture was taken using "Crunden's Flashless Smoke Powder").

No wonder we were so confused and there is a generation gap the grace of God we have survived!

Hugh Bottomley

The art of being scalped (or SRT for novices)

In response to the editor's request (Record 42) to know why caver's cave, I have finally put pen to paper regarding my own experiences. In my case the question translates as why does someone with a naturally cautious temperament and claustrophobic tendencies root around in deep, dark spaces underground?

Unlike many similar tales this one does not begin at GG but one cold, wet, winter morning in 1994 at Upper Long Churn. I had been talked into the trip by a friend after expressing the view that no-one would ever get me underground! After much reassurance that the aforementioned passages would not be tight and crumbling, I set off amidst great trepidation. Indeed they were spacious and not collapsing, but what my friend neglected to explain was that they would be waist deep in fast flowing flood water!!! A few weeks later I was coaxed into Great Douk and - intrigued by the pretty formations and the fact that the roof did not fall on my head when I knocked it with my helmet - I found I was enjoying myself.

Attempts to locate a suitable caving club finally landed me at the door of the CPC who duly accepted me as a probationer and later as full member.

Having got to grips with ladders, I have recently ventured into the world of SRT and chose the Lost John's meet as the location for my second trip. For me the major obstacle was a large hole in the floor - probably placed there by some sadistic ancient water system - at which point I promptly froze and had to be talked around with the aid of a rope. That over I bottomed the cave having expected to turn back at the Battleaxe traverse. Despite entangling my hair in my descender (twice!) and edging gingerly around the aforementioned hole on the way out, I felt thoroughly contented.

I have learned a number of things in the almost two years since I first entered a cave. Firstly, fears are a matter of perspective. Although I can still feel uncomfortable in tight tubes and certain traverses, I know they will not actually hurt me. Small spaces also appear much larger than when I first encountered them and wondered whether I would fit through - all without the aid of cucumber oil! (If you don't understand this see Record 42 - Ed).

Secondly, people within CPC have always been helpful, supportive and willing to pass on skills. They have never made me feel daft or inadequate when I have found things tricky - such as the hole in Lost Johns.

Finally I have found that I am capable of things I never thought possible, which has opened up an entire new area of activity. I never expected to feel comfortable and secure dangling on a rope in free space or floating about in underground water, but for some inexplicable reason, I do. I have also gained a number of new friends and contacts.

Weekend work commitments can render club meets a rarity at times, but sometimes this makes them even more enjoyable when they do occur. I shall have to leave myself a reminder to take a hair net on my next SRT meet to avoid being scalped!

PS As regards the Lost John's meet, my thanks in particular to Mike (sorry I don't know your surname) who kept a general eye on me, extracted my hair from my descender and coaxed me around the hole.

Elaine Hill

We've never had it so bad

"From a Poll of Cave-Dwellers, Lascaux, France, 15,000BC"

Poll findings point to widespread dismay among cave dwellers in Lascaux at the state of the neighbourhood's moral health. Particular indignation is reserved for those who have daubed graffiti of a primitive and slapdash nature over the walls of caves, much of it of bulls and reindeer. "This would never have happened 50 years ago", reports one of those interviewed. "In those days, we as a society kept our cave walls beautifully clean. What will future generations think of us in Lascaux if we are unable to maintain our caves in pristine condition?"

One of a collection of spoof letters by Craig Brown printed in the Daily Telegraph on 6 July 1996, intended to illustrate the point that every generation stumbles on the simple truth that the past was always better than the present.

Forthcoming Meets

President's Meet 1996:

Please note that unlike the last few years when the President's Meet has been a walk, Harpic is intending to hold his President's Meet underground so caving kit will be needed.

Millenium Meet:

A permit for the Gouffre Berger has been obtained for the dates 1 to 10 August in the year 2000. The meet will probably be led by Alan Davey.

Dinners and Diners

<< My dictionary defines a dinner as "The principal meal of the day; an entertainment; a feast. Few dinners are feasts; normally they are the chief meal of the day; but in clubs they should always be entertaining. An annual diner is an occasion where members renew old friendships and make new friends and this, surely, is entertainment at its best. Members of long standing look around wondering at all the strange, young faces and saying "Now in my time...." or "It must be 20 years since..." and "I remember the time when...". Newcomers likewise look at these sedate and serious dignitaries and whisper among themselves "Who's that? Surely he never went potholing? Why he couldn't even begin to get inside..." >>

Does this sound familiar? Well it comes from the CPC Journal for 1952 and was written by A Gastro Nome. Of course those strange young faces will now be the serious dignitaries. I look forward to seeing you all at this year's annual dinner.

Ric Halliwell

Vale - Fred Austin

(joined the club in 1948)

Fred (as most of you will know he was my twin brother) passed away peacefully at Ilkley Hospice in July, with me by his side. I would just like to thank his close friends in the club for their visits, and giving me the support that I needed.

The Craven Pothole Club was a big part of his life, even in his last weeks he was still talking about the club - any new digs, and what about his old dig at Kilnsey Cave.

What can you say about Fred? Such a great character, he was well known all over the dales - being a great social drinker, although it did get the better of him in time. There was never a dull moment when Fred was around, he always had a tale to tell, he could probably fill a whole book; two of his favourites were the "Ghost of Gaping Gill" and the "Mysterious wind on Ingleborough". His amorous affairs were a legend, he never found the biggest cave in Craven, but he did hold the record for having "nookie" underground.

Fred joined the club in 1948 while rope ladders were still used, in those days he always seemed to have a light that didn't work but he always managed in the dark.

Before the age that members join the club now, Fred had bottomed all the major pots known in those days, but not always by fair means. With the exuberance of youth , he would sneak down and up while the older chaps tied on the life line. Gaping Gill was the highlight of his year, he loved to take visitors round the passages. He once took a chap through Hensler's Crawl, he never came again. By the way he saw the ghost before he started drinking.

He knew a lot about Grassington Moor's sinks and shafts. He had a very keen eye, noticed a small crevice in the side of Swarth Gill and he got underground without digging.

He was call-out man for the Skipton Area Cave Rescue Team and went out on most major rescues in his younger days.

Fred will always be remembered with affection by the new lads he first took potholing on the club meets, some have now become tigers in the caving world.

A few close members of the club turned out to scatter his ashes in the river at Hubberholme, one of his favourite watering holes.

Thanks again to those who came. He will be greatly missed but never mind, in the gloom of the cave when you hear a sound, on windswept fell when you see a strange figure coming out of the mist, and when you ladies are alone and feel a gentle touch, you will know that Fred is back; "I'll go to heck".

Tom Austin

Vale - Fred Austin

"One of two"

It was said that Tom Austin had perhaps been the most consistent caver of the early post-war group in our club. The word perhaps must be used as one was never sure whether one was in the company of Tom or his identical twin Fred. Unkind people said at one time Fred used to attend club meets whenever Tom could not be present and in this way Tom was able to appear to have a hundred percent attendance at club meets.

Fred like his brother was "part of the bricks and mortar" of the club and was a regular supporter of club activities for at least a quarter of a century. The Austin twins provided a strong link between the clubs early pre-war members (with whom they did much of their early potholing) and the tigers of later years.

Long after his potholing hey-days Fred was a regular visitor to Gaping Gill. It was while on duty in the "Reception Tent" (posh name for the booking in tent) that I would wait until he had signed his booking-in chit before engaging him in conversation and asking him how his brother Tom was; otherwise I could not be sure that it was Fred that was booking in.

Fred was my immediate predecessor as President of the club and I well recall the start of his speech at the club dinner. It was an honest to goodness expression of his appreciation of his membership of our famous pothole club. His opening remarks went something like this:

"Fellow members, isn't it grand to belong to this club. There's now't better than coming and meeting friends with whom we have done our potholing, having a right good meal and a drink or two". Then turning to the member by his side he said "Don't you agree, its just great to be with bods you've done so much potholing with?"

Personally I always found it very satisfying when he (or was it Tom) appeared at the door of the tent and greeted me with "Hello Hugh, how are you lad?" It always brought back memories of the first few post-war years (1946-50) when we were potholing together.

I lost close contact with club members after I went to live and work in Scotland in 1954. It was only at Gaping Gill and the annual dinners that I met up with Fred.

Fred, who became a life member, was on the Club Committee in 1948 and again in 1959 to 1967. He was President in 1971. Not only was he a regular attender at club meets during the years approximately 1955 to 1970 but he took a leading part in club meets. Besides leading club meets at Penyghent Pot, Long Churn, Rumbling Hole and several others, he was co-leader of many meets with his identical twin brother. I was never on any of these meets but I wonder what confusion was caused for a new member who had not met the twin brothers before, when he left one of them at the bottom of the pitch only to find the "same face" waiting for him at the top of the same pitch. Tom and Fred Austin led meets together at Grange Rigg, Swinsto, Rift Pot, Diccan and Alum, Magnetometer, Jib Tunnel and Notts Pot.

Fred of course will be missed. Those club members who enjoyed his company on the hills or below ground are richer for having known him. Now we shall always know that it is Tom to whom we are speaking (unless it is Fred's ghost returned to continue to put doubt in our minds). I sometimes fancy that I can still hear that unmistakable Austin laugh. As Fred lives on in the hearts of those he has left behind he will never die.

Hugh Bottomley

The Austin Twins in 1948!

Fred Austin

It was during the 1950s that I first met Fred Austin on CPC meets. Fred was a regular attender along with Lena who later became his wife. In those days the use of a club bus followed by the use of the "Little Craven" pub in Skipton kept club members together for longer than the underground trips. Fred and twin brother Tom were amongst the fittest and most able cavers in the CPC and both developed an extensive knowledge of the underground systems of Craven and Wharfedale in particular.

While my recent trips underground with Fred have been limited to Gaping Gill meets and easy caves like Long Churn, Dow Cave and Dowkabottom, he seemed to have lost none of his energy and enthusiasm, and I remember having difficulty keeping up with him as he almost ran along the passages of Gaping Gill.

Gaping Gill apart, Fred regularly went on private meets mainly in Wharfedale and Littondale up to about 18 months ago about which time he was complaining of a chest infection which subsequently led to the removal of part of his lung which was affected by cancer. He appeared to regain his health after this operation, but then his liver became affected and his condition deteriorated fairly quickly. He spent his last few days in Ardenlea Hospice, Ilkley, and died on 6 June 1996. He was cremated in Skipton on 14 June, with CPC members carrying the coffin, and his ashes were scattered the following month at Hubberholme.

Fred enjoyed a very full life, and although he had more than his fair share of mishaps, always appeared to be enjoying himself in the company of others. He was a regular visitor to local jazz sessions, and typically had recordings of Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald played at his funeral service.

Fred, Margaret Bell and I were regular attenders at Ivy Cottage and Riverside for many years. He was well known in the dales as "Water-board Fred" and usually monopolised conversation on the local pubs. He often came out with exaggerated remarks and it was difficult to separate fact from imagination. At Horton he particularly enjoyed talking to Mark Thompson (former water bailiff) and to Vernon (Grandad) Hargreaves at the Crown.

Fred went to extremes to entertain, and those CPC members who witnessed his exhibition of sumo wrestling in Ivy Cottage one night have something to remember for years to come.

When Fred, Margaret and I spent the week in Riverside we had a fixed programme, ie one day in Dent, one in Hawes, one in the Lakes, and so on. Carlisle (by train) was my favourite as I didn't have to drive, but the other two weren't so keen and I sometimes went on my own. When I got a pair of binoculars for my birthday Fred's reaction was "No need to go to Carlisle now John, you'll be able to see it through your binoculars!" On another occasion Fred and I were staying in Ivy Cottage with Ann Johnson (Dave's wife). Ann seemed rather apprehensive at having to spend the night with two men who she had never met before, but Fred quickly reassured her "You'll be alright with us Ann, we are both past Presidents of the CPC!"

John Normington

Vale - Johnny Frankland

(A life of quiet courage)

The Club has lost another well known and popular member when John Parker Frankland (always known as Johnny Frankland) passed from this life the victim of that cruel disease: Alzheimer's, on August 3rd.

Although Johnny was well known in the Craven Pothole Club very few members knew of his struggle against ill health and physical disability in his childhood days and even as a secondary school boy at Keighley Grammar School. He was born what would today be called a spastic. Until he was four years of age he was dependent on his parents to push him about in a wheel chair. His first steps towards being able to walk were made with the aid of leg callipers. But Johnny was born with a quiet sort of courage and determination and always wanted to be like other boys. He struggled to overcome his disability. As he grew older he was determined, in his own way to toughen himself up. By the time that he started his secondary school education he was sleeping out in a small tent in the garden of his home at Exley Head, Keighley in all weathers. By the time that he was a teenager he began to take charge of his own destiny, and insisted on sleeping out in the winter with snow on the ground. He would tell his closest friends, who were his neighbours (and years later became CPC members with Johnny - John Normington and Stan Peckover) that he wanted to toughen himself.

We have to know something of his family to understand Johnny's struggle during his school-days. His father was well known, being postmaster at Keighley post office while his elder brother Tom, who had left the boys' grammar school before Johnny started there at the age of eleven, was academically and athletically brilliant. Tom's reputation at the grammar school lingered on in the memories of the teachers at the school long after he had left. He was a bright scholar and was captain of the school's rugby team. It was against this background of a very successful father and brother that Johnny struggled to give of his best. It was not without trauma because teachers tended to compare him with his brother which must have left him feeling inadequate and disheartened. For the eleven year old Johnny it was a struggle to write in a straight line, even on lined paper.

I was only ten years old when I met Johnny on the first day of our secondary school education. For three and a half years we sat together at school until our form master separated us because we were both showing very poor progress. Johnny's determination was equal to the situation and during the next term he rose from bottom of the class to the middle, doing better than me. He stayed at school longer than me and became a sixth former and actually played rugby in the school's second team. The disabled boy had overcome his problem and was not a failure.

Another thing that helped him to develop physically was he went swimming every day after school and on Saturdays and Sundays. The Grammar school had a purpose built hut on the shores of the Dee estuary near Kirkcudbright in Scotland. In the summer term of our first year at school, Johnny and I were two of twenty-eight boys especially selected because of our ill-health to spend ten weeks in camp at what was known as the summer school. We slept in tents, had lessons morning and evenings and spent the afternoons playing on the shore and climbing the rocks in front of the hut in which we had our lessons and our meals. It was at this camp that I learned that Johnny always seemed to be in quest of peril. Together we did some dangerous climbs and jumps across gorges with the tide coming in below us. During this camp our tutor and guardian was our school's geography master, Ernest Marsden, father of Keith Marsden (well known in later years as a member of the Keighley Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society). Mr Marsden's wife was "mother" to us 28 boys.

During my last year at school Johnny invited me to join him and another friend for a cycle run into the Dales to explore Attamire cave. Our only equipment was to be our bicycle lamps. However I was not allowed to go. Johnny and our mutual friend set off together in quest of peril.

By the time that Johnny left school Britain was at war and he volunteered for the RAF and served on ground staff, both in North Africa and Italy. After the war I contacted Johnny again. By then I was active in the Craven Pothole Club and in 1948 I introduced Johnny to the Club. While I was in camp at Gaping Gill, Johnny brought a friend of his to meet me. He was a gentleman with a refined Kentish accent. His name was Len Cook and we took him down the pot to show him the Main Chamber and give him "a new experience". While Len was on his way out on the old bosun's chair (forerunner of the comfortable "arm Chair" we use nowadays) Johnny confided in me thus: "What do you think of Len? He is quite a decent sort of chap - but of course, he will never make a potholer!" How wrong can you be?

By now my friendship with Johnny had developed into what was destined to be a 64 years life long friendship and we had many adventures on the hills and below them.

Johnny was still in quest of peril. On one occasion we were doing a pot together which was already laddered. We came to a 20ft pitch but could see no ladder (because we were looking in the wrong place). Johnny began to climb down. I could tell from his cries of anguish that he was in some difficulty. Then came some puffing, panting and groaning followed by a slithering noise and a heavy thud - then complete silence. I feared the worst and shouted: "Johnny, are you alright?" I heard some movement before Johnny called out "Don't come down that way - the ladder is further over to your right."

Johnny and I did a number of pots together, sometimes with Len cook. He was always tempted to wander off the main route. On one occasion he disappeared along a very low bedding plane crawl in quest of further peril. Eventually he enticed Len to follow, calling out "Come on, you can stand up here - if you are eight inches tall." On yet another occasion he ventured to do the long crawl in Hensler's passage. He was alone with no spare battery or bulb for his lamp. He admitted afterwards, he had his anxious moments.

In 1949 Johnny and I had a climbing holiday together in Scotland based at Ballachulish, climbing Ben Vare, Stob Coire nan Lochan and Ben Nevis.

Johnny spent many weekends with Len Cook exploring the How Stean area of Nidderdale and stayed at Mrs Pickrill's cottage where they developed a friendship. Sometimes they slept in the hay loft. On occasions they slept in the cafe under the piano (I don't know why). I was told that they were served with a four course breakfast for 2s.6d. and a four course dinner in the evening for four shillings. No wonder it was a favourite place of theirs. But that was a long time ago.

Johnny's greatest adventure (of the wrong type) was in Penyghent Pot. On June 10th 1951 he descended the recently discovered pot with Dennis and Norman Brindle, Roy Swindlehurst and along with J Lovatt of the Yorkshire Ramblers' Club reached the bottom. This was the first CPC party to reach the end. On the way out while climbing the ninth pitch (ie three from the bottom) Johnny fell from a wire ladder. No bones were broken but he suffered s severe injury to his shoulder. The Cave Rescue were alerted and Arnold Waterfall feared that it was a mammoth task to get Johnny out alive. Potholers were alerted over the radio and an epic rescue bid was on its way. It should be realised that the pot and its difficulties were not fully known at that time. The accident took place at 4pm on the Sunday and Johnny was brought out at 5.40pm the following afternoon. Rescue parties went down in relays, twelve parties in all. Over forty Club members took part in addition to potholers from fourteen other clubs. The disabled boy of his childhood had become one of the club's hardiest tigers. Johnny's father had kept vigil at the entrance to the pot and never lost faith in the rescuers or in his son's toughness. As Johnny was carried across the moors to a waiting vehicle he said "Thank you all for getting me out. You can put me down if you wish; I can walk a bit" - a remark that was ignored of course.

Johnny left forestry work and, encouraged by Len Cook, he became a surveyor for electrical overhead lines with Watshams, who had previously employed Len. When he was a Watshams he became friendly with the landlady where he was in lodgings and subsequently married her, and settled down to married life with his wife Nellie whose first husband was killed during the war. He later left Watshams and joined the North East Electricity Board. A requirement of the job was that he studied for a National Certificate in Electrical Engineering. It is to Johnny's credit that he achieved his Certificate. He was posted to Scarborough where he remained until he retired.

Johnny did not let his Penyghent Pot experience deter him from potholing. He continued to attend Club meets and led the 1956, 1957 and 1962 Gaping Gill meets. He had earlier led an Alum Pot meet in 1949, a year after joining the Club. He was President of the Club in 1967.

It is very sad that Johnny should spend the last ten years of his life as a victim of the cruel Alzheimer's disease. After his wife's death he went to live at Kirkby Stephen, 12 miles from my home. I saw Johnny's problem developing. Johnny's younger daughter, Chrissie, was a qualified nurse and was fully aware of what her father would go through. She took him to stay at a home near where she lived at Ashsteads in Surrey. As Scouting took me to London frequently I was able to visit Johnny when Chrissie and her husband John gave me home hospitality. Eventually he no longer showed any recognition of me. Following Johnny's passing beyond the veil, Chrissie said that she wished to remember her father as he was when he took her to Gaping Gill and down the pot, and would like to return to Gaping Gill which had so many happy memories for her. So Chrissie, her husband and three young children met my wife Bertha and me in Clapham and we walked to Gaping Gill. Here she was made to feel very welcome as "Johnny's daughter". It made her feel very happy and she thanks those who made time to chat with her and afford her hospitality. The Club offers Chrissie and sister Helen its deepest sympathy at this sad time for them and their relative.

Johnny had once said that when he died he would like his ashes put by those of his wife in the cemetery at Scarborough. On September 2nd seventeen relatives and friends were at the grave side to honour his wish. I was there as a lifelong friend but also representing the CPC. The Club had given him the chance to prove beyond doubt that the handicap of his boyhood had been overcome and he could play his part with the Club's hardiest "tigers". Well done Johnny!

I conducted a simple act of remembrance to Johnny by the grave. Considering what he had gone through in his final years on earth it was fitting that words on the head-stone were "At peace". "To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die."

Hugh Bottomley

Johnny Frankland

Penyghent Pot The Hard One

Two incidents occurred in 1951 in Penyghent Pot, a severe long arduous pothole under the shadow of Penyghent.....This very tiring cave became notorious when at Whitsuntide, May 18th 1951, eighteen months after its discovery by the NPC a party of seven BSA members descended......During the return fatigue became apparent in the younger members of the party as they struggled up pitch after pitch fighting against the water in their heavy and soaked clothes. They had very little food.....John Williams had little chance in these cold, very wet, draughty conditions and died before he could be rescued.

Three weeks later came an almost carbon copy incident when on the 12th June 1951 a group of cavers from the Craven Pothole Club led by the brindle brothers, two more hard cavers of the period, had succesfully "bottomed" the cave. they were returning, when one of their group, J.P. Frankland, fell whilst climbing the ninth pitch in a rift passage. The ladder twisted on the small pitch, Frankland lost his hold and was thrown backwards, turning over as he fell and landing in a pool and hitting a flake of rock under the water, which knocked him unconscious. Roy Swindlehurst and J. Lovett went for help leaving Dennis and Norman Brindle to drag the injured caver onto a pile of ropes and try to insulate him from the cold. Frankland soon regained consciousness and found his back sore and stiff. Pain from his ribs affected his breathing and his right arm was also hurt. The cavers' long vigil was broken some hours later when the first of the rescuers arrived with hot drinks closely followed by the apparently ubiquitous Bob Leakey and others who had brought a very strong one piece suit of Leakey's own design which was equipped with straps for lifting. Frankland was fitted into this and carried along the cave and hauled up the pitches. Frankland, feeling the effects of shock, pain and the cold frequently dozed off, but could remember certain areas of the cave quite clearly. As he later recalled, "I cannot distinctly remember the next few pitches, although I recall that leakey was a tower of strength and always on hand at the pitches to pull me clear of the rocks and water - lifting me must have been terribly tiring - I remember that on one occasion the rope pulled my knees up against rocks and the rope to my shoulder chafed my ears, but on the whole I was absolutely at ease on the pitches. Whenever I had to bend my body or lie on my ribs, especially at the top of pitches, I found it very painful." John Frankland tried to crawl at one point to pass under some boulders near to the main pitch but had to give up and ended "being dragged like a bag of rubbish"

During these hazy recollections Penyghent Pot was a hive of activity, with rescue parties being called out from as far afield as Sheffield, Bradford, Lancaster and Burnley. With the tragedy of John Wiliams very fresh in their minds well over 100 cavers from more than fourteen different clubs converged on penyghent with the single intention of getting John Frankland out alive.

No less than twelve different groups of rescuers entered the cave with food and hot drinks to relieve tired and cold men who had already worked hard in the cave. All except one, Bob Leakey, who refused to leave Frankland's side until the casualty was eventually hoisted up the main pitch and man-handled across the bodies of straining cavers through the wet bedding plane and into the rift passages leading to the entrance crawl. At pitch number two some difficulty was encountered and this was solved by George Cornes {who died a year ago - Ed} who climbed the short ladder with the casualty on his back, hauled by strong hands from above. Frankland again recalls, how, "from here to pitch number one we moved very fast and I was amazed at the way man after man took his turn at carrying me. All of them managed to move quickly, to keep their balance and yet look after me despite a low roof, uneven floor and jagged twisting projections. Bruises and cuts must have been abundant and at least one man, I noticed, had a hand bleeding. Getting over the deep pool meant a lot of straining, as I could feel by the way I was moving. Towards the end of the section I drew up my legs due to a pain in the groin."

At the first pitch Frankland asked to be raised to his feet to relieve the pain in his groin, but the pain in his back became worse and he slid to the floor. He seemed at a very low ebb about this time and the ill-fated Williams' helmet which he saw lying in the cave did not help. The patient was rested and given hot drinks as preparations were made to drag him through the entrance crawl, three hundred yards of wet misery.

A partially inflated inner tube was placed under the rubber "drag stretcher" and Frankland placed on this as it rested in several inches of water. Ropes had been run out along the crawl and an abundance of willing hands were ready for this last and most strenuous task. With men each side and ahead the order was given to move. Stumbling and slithering through the muddy water, we began the long trek. After several yards the passage narrowed and some of us had to let go. We watched the patient and two guides leaving, crawling along the miserable passage in a welter of brown, coffee coloured water which broke over their shoulders.

John Frankland relived his ordeal; "bouncing along the crawl. pulled by the mule train (so named by the driver who pulled me clear of obstructions) was one long agony. When we moved I wished we could stop. When we stopped I said "go on and get it over".

"Every pebble felt like a boulder and it seemed to grind every inch of my back. Then I saw a higher part of the roof which meant that there was only the canal left to negotiate. The water was very cold and the rubber tyre did not keep me out of it, but how soft and comfortable this method of transport was for my back. The cold may have numbed my senses for I remember thinking how easily I went along the last few yards." Waiting at the lower end of the crawl time passed slowly, all cigarettes had been smoked and sound ahead ceased. Even the most imaginative had run out of jokes when preceded by a faint splashing, the cry came from the crawl, "he's out".

We cheered - after 36 hours the injured man had reached the surface.

Reprinted from "Race against Time - Jim Eyre and John Frankland, Lyon Books, 1988"

Jottings from the Committee


It was agreed that the donation from Fred Austin should be added to the Special Projects Fund. It was noted that the doors on Bridge End needed replacing as a matter of urgency. The Treasurer reported that he would be writing to those members who had still not paid their 1996 subscriptions.


It was noted that SWS at Dalesbridge were offering members discount on production of a CPC Meets card. It was reported that one club drill and battery pack are on long term loan to Geoff Workman for his Stump Cross project. After noting that need for a drill was unlikely to arise on the spur of the moment but was more likely to be long term, it was agreed that the second drill and battery pack would be stored with Andy Roberts and members requiring its loan should contact Andy. A sample from the middle of the most used SRT rope had been drop tested and withstood six fall factor 1 drops before breaking on approximately a FF1.8. It was suggested that the SRT rule regarding rope protectors was ambiguous and it was agreed that the meaning be clarified by amending the rule to read "Rigging requiring the use of rope protectors should be avoided if at all possible." It was resolved that in line with the recommendation from CNCC, the CPC would vote against the constitutional changes proposed in the current NCA Ballot.

About Members

Life membership:

Peter (Bucket) Gray having been a member of the Club for the required number of years has applied for and been accepted as a Life Member.

The following have been accepted as Probationary Members and will probably be attending meets in the next few months:

Graham John Bromley, Gerald Michael Burnell, Janet Harland, Sarah Jenkins, Sean Lawton Michael Karley, Kevin McDermott, John Melbourne, Estelle Anne Sandford.

SRT Leadership: The following have been added to the list of approved CPC SRT Leaders:

John Cordingley

Peter Gray

Patrick Warren

Change of Address:

Pete Barling, Emma Faid & Simon Parker, Alison Glenn, Neville Lucas.


To Alan and Kim Davey on the birth of their son Ben Aaron (that's the BAD news - sorry couldn't resist it)

To John Helm on the award of his Doctorat en Science from the Universitiè Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, for his work on "Seismic risk associated with the European hot dry rock geothermal energy project".

Forthcoming celebrations:

Steve Pickersgill and Barbara Jenkins are getting married on 25 October. A buffet celebration for this event and also Bob Jenkin's freedom is planned for club members at the cottage on 9 November. All are welcome, please bring a bottle or a contribution of food.

Contributions for the next Record

Please let me have any material for the next Record by the beginning of December. If you can get it to me earlier thaen that is always useful as it enables me to spread the effort involved. Of course if something special comes up near to the deadline I can always have my arm twisted to extend it a little bit.

Ric Halliwell