A Christmas Caving Trip

I arrived in Castleton with my emergency snow shovel and sleeping bag under the pretext that if it started to snow I could claim that I was snowed in and avoid going to work the next day and just carry on caving, yay! (Alas, I had to earn some money at some point). I met up with NUCC at the TSG and in the chaos, it was decided that I would be going with MUSC (Manchester uni. speleological club) for the first time into Peak with some freshers who had never been caving before.

But you’re meant to get into Peak before 10am and MUSC were still having breakfast in Tilde’s café at 9:15, and I thought NUCC were disorganised! Guess that’s student clubs all over but since we had the TSG’s treasurer with us he talked the guides into letting us in, so long as we were out before Christmas carols at 4pm, and we were on good terms with them until we got further in… In the low duck beside a puddle, just before the chamber with the slide in it, there is a locked door, to which we didn’t have the key…que ‘runner’. When Ben came back he put the key in the lock and SNAP, the key broke in the lock, we were mortified, we considered getting into the puddle and climbing over the flood grill just to avoid owning up, but we sent the Ben back and luckily, they had a spare key to give us after a telling off.

So we carried on, without a survey because nobody had one, and Rhiannon and I were relied upon to lead them to as many sumps as we could. In my excitement I swam through the Mucky Ducks, that was stupid because I was cold for the rest of the trip, I thought I learned my lesson in Yorkshire!

We were out before the Carols began so some Brownie points there followed by a very cold, but festive, shuffle back to the TSG for tea!

By Frances Porter, 02/12/17