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Present: Gwyn, Mark, Daniel, Al, (Melanie sleeping in car), (Chris and Katrina somewhere else)

My first SRT! Rather daunting at first: had to wait ages for Gwyn to rig up the cave, and it was raining and freezing cold, hands numb etc. But once in the cave and out of the rain we warmed up and things got better. I was relatively slow to catch on to precisely what clipped into what etc, and also slow in descending, but everyone was very understanding and after (quite) a while I seemed to have the hang of it. A solemn warning of the hazards of our sport in the form of a dead sheep at the bottom of the cave; but, of course, it had not used ropes, as we had, and so we were not unduly perturbed, but prepared ourselves, as planned for the ascent. I personally found this aspect of the trip quite difficult too, this time owing to the physical strength required to haul oneself 60 or 50 metres skywrad, but, again, I finally pulled through under the expert guidance of Al and Mark.

The stroll back to the car took place in jet black night, sleet and rugged terrain, but we made it, and made the worrying discovery that Melanie, who had gone back to the car earlier to wait for us in it, was nowhere to be seen. On the other hand, a pair of knickers (Jenny’s it transpired), which we had not been expecting, was attached to the windscreen wipers of Al’s car. The exchange weemed fair, and we ‘phoned the girls, who told us that food had been prepared for us and also that they had Melanie, which was a relief since it meant we didn’t have to fork out for a pub lunch. Accordingly we finished our drinks and drove back to the farm, where food, warmth, fire and music awaited us (and, in the case of music, accompanied us far into the night). And the day drew to a close.