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Present: Anthony, Duncan, Julia

London is too far away from anywhere useful. At various points on our journey up the M1 (at speeds of between 5 and 8 mph) it looked unlikely that we would make the pub. Hence when we turned up at the Moon in Stoney Middleton at 10:50pm, it seemed prudent to start drinking as though the place was about to shut. Thus, when the pub didn’t shut for several hours, were the foundations for a potential epic layed…

When we staggered out of the pub in the small hours of the morning, putting a tent up seemed somehow less appealing than sleeping inside the Gin entrance to Carlswark. So, pits and mats in hand, we wobbled up the hill. Found the entrance no problem, shinned down it, and laid out our pits in the small chamber at the bottom (which was reasonably dry). So far, so sensible.

What was less sensible was to do a bit of exploring in dry grots by the light of the silvery zoom, which was what myself and Dunks decided to do. We didn’t get too wet, and turned up at the bottom of the Eyam Dale shaft.

At this point the stupidity level was ratcheted up a notch when Duncan decided to shin out of the shaft (~35 foot, usually laddered). This he successfully did, and then it was my turn. The bottom bit is quite wide, and the crux is about 10 feet up where the climb narrows to the shaft proper. This was as far as I got before lobbing of. Despite being thoroughly pissed, I had time to think about how useful it would have been to take a helmet, and think about how to land during my gentle descent. Hence I didn’t hurt myself as badly as I would have when I hit the ground, though I did hurt my knee quite badly. Therefore I set off back to the Gin Entrance via the underground route whilst Duncan went overground, arriving back in 2 minutes and assuring Julia that I wouldn’t be long.

I thought it would be easy route finding since there was only one junction. However, being full of ale and not having much light, I got a bit disorientated and spent an hour sat on a rock shivering and waiting to be rescued. Eventually I got too cold, and thought it might be a good idea to look on the other side of the rock. Lo and behold there was the way on, and I staggered along it arriving back at the Gin entrance a mere 2 1/2 hours late.


 Got underground and set off caving, too fast for a pissed Julia, so I went back to my pit. A while later Duncan turned up at Gin Entrance, which confused me a bit. he’d managed the thru’ trip, said Anthony had fallen off the pitch but was okay, and would probably be back in half an hour. He said I shouldn’t worry, so I didn’t for a while…kept nodding off and waking up to find an absence of Dour. An hour or so later I felt like getting up and going to look for him, but I was warm in my pit, didn’t know the way, and figured Dunks knew what he was on about. Lots and lots later a light appeared, a very cold and freaked out Anthony, pretty much soaked to the skin. He wasn’t very capable of anything (?!) and needed to be undressed and inserted into his pit. However the next morning his knee hurt lots and provided the perfect jacking excuse!