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Present: Anthony, Duncan, Tim, Jon, Hazel

Well, before we got there, still in the TSG hut even we were discussing with Reading about when to go down. We were both going down Maskhill, and they had a party off down three already. They omitted to say that they were doing string training! We agreed to set of ½ hr after them, they were still getting changed when we arrived and we had to wait at least ½ hr before they managed to get down the cave. When we managed to get down there with Jon rigging (with bizarre y-hangs) we discovered that it was p hanger (ie re-belay) city! There wasn’t a straight drop in the place! It could have been lovely. It was mined granite which went into a natural passage. It could have been beautiful (speaking as a geologist) if it hadn’t been covered in mud and grit. A very muddy cave!!! Anyway, we got down to pitch fuck knows what and decided that we were cold. Anthony Jon and Tim (rigging) had gone down and me and Duncan were still at the top. Reading were down there somewhere.

Anyway, Anthony came up and Jon and me and Duncan (after a minor amount of discussion) went back up to the top, well it was cold and I had a good excuse for not spending hours finishing the cave and bottoming it, so we went back up and spent the next 2 hours after surfacing watching every light that emerged from the vicinity of the cave. Unfortunately they were all Reading.

I did discover a slight problem with getting changed. My oversuit wouldn’t do up and Tim had to battle to get it fastened before getting to the cave. Upon exit, it wouldn’t undo. It wouldn’t go far enough down for me to get my shoulders out of so in the end I ended up zipping it up and squeezing out of the middle of it, most interesting!!!

Anyway, there is a story for Tim to tell about what happened in the 2 hours it took them to emerge after we did. Mostly Reading’s fault of course…

[Tim’s bit:] It wasn’t entirely Reading’s fault – I won’t apportion blame (because much of it might fall on me). I’m just happy to be alive and writing this up on a piss-proof mattress in a caving hut shit hole.

I took over rigging from JB and went down the first wet pitch (in the cave rather than the mine) Ok. The rope I used for the second pitch I rigged was too short and so JB and Ant rigged a longer one from above. It was still too short by about 1m when fully stretched. I still had some rope in my bag so I tied the two ropes together using two figure of 8s as I had seen earlier in the cave (on a ledge area not a free hang.) [End of Tim’s bit]

Upon exit, I had a wee ‘blunder,’ not a very big one mind you. It’s just that I couldn’t get out of my oversuit. Luckily there was just me and Duncan, so there wasn’t an extra person to take a photo (thank God!!!) I’d had problems getting it done up, it wouldn’t go past a point close to the top, but then success. Then it wouldn’t go back down past said point. A hole opened below the zip and it would still zip up, so after much tugging and pushing and pulling we did it up to the top and I contorted out of a large hole in the middle of the oversuit. Oops, no caving on Sunday!!

Hazel Oliver