161 - Down Squeeze Up Dreamtime Sherpa

Tue 07 Aug 1990
Andy Waddington

Second Account

This write up is going to suffer from a lack of definition of the boundaries of the domains of one or several simultaneous and vaguely coordinated trips. If you think what you did sounds enough like what we did at about the same time, you could try adding your name to the list.

Well, it all started with the novel experience for AW of walking up to 161, with caving gear and by the proper path. Once he had worked out what all this funny shiny SRT was supposed to do (roughly), AW set out to follow Jeremy down the entrance pitch. Ignoring the crowds taking the piss just because he had both Claude loops and a cow's tail clipped in at the top he plunged on into the depths apace. Ah, well, not very apace actually. Come on you stupid bastard, FEED ! Well, that sums it up, really, lots and lots of wingeing 'cos the rack won't feed, and Waddington has basically forgotten what to do in the dark.

By the time we reached the squeeze, AW was almost back to being a smoothly functioning entity - at least he got through the squeeze faster than Jeremy. Then a guided tour of the phreatic level until we found an enormous mound of tackle bags. Oh, shit, I remember now ! But by this time there is no escape. Paul and Juliette arrived from Dreamtime, and Jeremy set off up.

Why does it always happen ? Just about this time, the little Austrian bastard in the local Geo-control centre turned the gravity right up to maximum and switched the rock into its most greedy tackle-bag snagging mode, having first ensured that mud was nice and evenly spread over everything. Ahead, Jeremy is grunting and muttering, but Waddington becomes obscured in a small pulsating blue cloud. Only the occasional arm or leg emerges from the sphere of high-density profanity. It just happens that swearing at inanimate objects is Andy's favourite way of passing the time in a cave.

Of course, even with gravity turned up full and the cave echoing to novel new combinations of insults to tackle's parentage we get to the top of Dreamtime where Waddington staggers across a loose, avalanching boulder slope, wondering "I wonder where that traverse line goes ?". Its Jeremy's turn to shout and winge and enquire whether Waddington isn't slightly put off by the 30m drop just to his right. "nah, seems alright to me...", stagger, crunch, BOOM!, teeter, etc. Up the second pitch surrounded by people with radios in all directions, mainly trying to account for missing cavers before they get entombed for a year....

This is where the personnel/trip distinction gets really fuzzy...

A brief episode to retrieve a tackle bag from a place it can't possibly have got to punctuates the bottom of the entrance pitch, then up to the surface (very slowly) to find Jeremy's face leering happily over the edge. Jeremy has a radio and is expressing his great desire to come down and drag some more tackle, but this is tinged with his immense regret that the first pitch is occupied by ascending bodies and he can't get down, so tragically he is obliged to get changed... Much swearing from below... Much giggling from above... Much milling around on the surface... Much wittering from emerging knackered cavers on the first pitch.

Jeremy sets off to walk down carrying a load the size of Rover's trailer, while Matt sets off carrying the drill, which is an error, so he has to go back. Eventually back to the car park and down in still vaguely working Waddo-wreck so Jeremy can take Rover up for everyone else. Everyone at base camp seems to be tremendously pissed. Wasters ! hours. Andy

Main write up of this trip

Edit this entry.

No survex files found for this date.
No wallets files found for this date.
Logbook trips on this date:
    161 - Uncle Tom Cobbly & all go derigging
    161 - Dreamtime derig
    161 - Down Squeeze Up Dreamtime Sherpa