Recent reports

Sell Gill Holes - 07 Dec 2008

Sunday December 7th 2008

Members present: Anna Barnard,  Catherine Moody,  Chuck Holder,  Mark Sims,  Thomas Blakey

Report by Catherine Moody

SNOW!!! And lots of it! A very pretty drive through the dales, changing in thick snow, followed by many snowball fights on the way up to the cave (including some vicious throws from Chuck which I still need to get revenge for..). While Chuck was rigging, I considered throwing snow at him but didn’t want to be the cause of him falling to his death so instead me and Anna made snow angels and then a snowman – we named him Bernie :)

This was the first time I’d done rebelays and deviations in a cave and I’d only done them once at training so it was a little slow going but lots of fun. Chuck rigged the first pitch, Tom rigged the traverse and deviation on the second, with Chuck again rigging the third. Due to the placing of the Y-hang, the third pitch head was a bit awkward and involved a swing out over the ledge – Anna decided to just go for it and ended up crashing into the wall, so I went a bit more cautiously! :s

At the bottom we went for a potter around, and discovered the way on to what we were told were the pretty bits was sumped so we had to turn back :( Jennie was supposed to be on the trip and as it was her birthday we’d brought a candle. Despite her absence we lit the candle and stuck it in a mars bar and with a helmet pointed as spotlight, attempted to film us singing happy birthday. Turned out that Marks camera stopped filming after about the first 5 seconds, oh well! But it was at this point Chuck noticed that his stop made an amusing shadow on the wall, and we then spent a fair amount of time taking pictures of cave-porn silhouettes… Mature, us? :p

On the way back we started to get geeky, and noticed that some of the lines on the rocks looked like spectra, and proceeded to pick out IR carbonyl and hydroxyl peaks (felt slightly sorry for Tom, being the only non-chemist!)

Back up the pitches.. Chuck led with me following. The bottom pitch was a bit of a bugger to get back onto the ledge, and I could hear the others down below laughing as we both struggled (until they had to do it themselves – but by that point we could tell them how not to do it and they made it look a hell of a lot easier!) The other 2 pitches, which previously had just been a trickle, were now substantially wetter due to all the melt water, however Mark and Tom did an efficient job of derigging and we were soon all out into the freezing cold. A very brisk walk back to the car park, where me and Anna were delighted to find the toilets were still open so we could get changed in the relative warm. Once ready we all trotted to the pub for a very welcome pint in front of the fire before the drive home. :)