Mendips 2014 (alternate version)
Friday, 10 October 2014
After turning up a fashionable half an hour late to the chapel, we embarked on my favourite trip of the year: Mendips!
Upon arriving in mendips was pleasantly surprised to see the Shepton hut had undergone a major refurbishment, it now had a brand new extension containing luxury changing rooms, under floor heating, a drying room and a kit store. The lounge now had perfectly plastered and painted walls, instead of just breeze blocks like the year before.
Friday night was tame in comparison to Saturday night, we stayed up talking and playing the usual caving hut games, krab and sling, door traversing and mattress surfing down the stairs.
Louis was pretty tired and made the rookie mistake of sleeping in a room full of drunk caver’s, we decided it would be a good idea to erect a jenger tower of stuff around him as he slept. BJ then began to traverse said tower causing it to collapse, Louis was not amused and proceeded to throw the furniture we piled on him around the room.
The next morning Nathan, who had been sleeping next to Nat, was forced to sleep downstairs after his sleeping bag had been rained on through a sky light during the night.
Word of Nathan’s recent contraction of scabies quickly spread among the caving club, most people were terrified of sleeping near him, i think someone opened the window on purpose to shun him away.
The following morning I set off down a crowded Swildons hole with: Peachy, BJ, Matilda, Lincoln, Emily, Clara, Rob B, Rebecca, Rochelle, pabwo, Caroline and Louis. In addition to our group, Cardiff & a large group of scouts were also there caving.
The start of the caving trip went pretty smoothly, we ran into mesh at sump 1, he had decided not to go through as he didn’t see the point in getting wet and so sent his freshers ahead without him. The whole of our group went through the sump and we had a quick look at sump 2, I was quite impressed with the way fake rob moved through the cave he was quite slick for a fresher.
On the way out peachy sent me ahead with a small group of freshers who were waiting at the top of the ladder pitch, just so they didn’t have to wait around getting cold, this made the trip out more interesting as we accidentally went the wrong way through the wet route which was slightly harder than the dry route with more opportunities to get lost.
I hadn’t done this route before and got a bit lost, leading to a brief moment of panic and tears when I told the freshers I didn’t actually know what I was doing, or where we were. Fortunately & embarrassingly we were saved by a scout leader who pointed us in the right direction and spotted us up one of the climbs.
The group I was leading couldn’t be happier after we realised where we were and climbed out into the evening sunlight.
Back at the hut chris and his many kitchen assistants were preparing a glorious pork and vegetable stew with extra meat, this went down quite well with the hungry caver’s.
Shortly after dinner we headed over to the hunters for a drink and catch up with cardiff caving club. I was pretty tired and to head back to the hut before everyone else to have a nap. Unfortunately when
I got back to the hut all the doors were locked meaning I had to climb in through the kitchen window.
Later that night I was awoken by Matt and Nathan and made to join the fun down stairs. Starting with the ambrosia tin challenge, I had a reputation to uphold and competed 100 tin cycles nothing compared to my record the previous year of 149.
Congratulations to Rob for beating my record with 153 and George for coming second place this year with 134.
A squeeze machine was obtained from Southampton caving club, John went out of his way to find a permanent marker to write ULSA in big letters on the front of it, George had particular difficulty with the squeeze machine after we decided to tie him up and tried dragging him back through.
While sat reading climbing magazines with Luke, I heard a bang in the kitchen, it turned out the kitchen floor had been covered in washing up liquid – Rob had body surfed – face planted into a table leg and cut his eyebrow. Several people followed suit and we began skating on serving boards.
Nathan and I headed to bed at around 2am, I woke up at about 3am to the sound of clanging metal and the sound of something hitting the walls and ceiling in the room below.
I went down stairs to find people were playing frying pan tennis with a metal cup, Rebecca picked up a rubix cube and tried to hit it across the room it smashed into all of it’s constituent pieces like a colourful firework.
The next morning the new plastered and painted walls were covered in dents and scratches, lindy did a good job of repairing the damage with pollyfiller and paint presumably left over from the recent construction work. John tried sanding ULSA off Southampton’s squeeze machine, this took a while as the ink had soaked deep into the wood.
After a faftastic morning I managed to blag my way onto another Swildons trip. After sump one Mike, Kristian and I took a detour towards Swildons 4. The trip consisted of some tight squeezes and a few muddy ducts with very little air space. Normally the trip would be done in the opposite direction, this meant all of the bailout buckets were on the other side of the ducts. This made the trip particularly dodgy when mike had go through what were basically sumps and bail them out from the other side. We finished the trip in the middle of the main stream way between sump one and the entrance and headed back to the entrance.
On the way back peachy managed to reverse into another car, his car now has a dent in the back the other car was absolutely fine, a running theme with the micra.
With the trip coming to an end we split into two buses a: go to Birmingham on the way back and have curry bus; and a head straight back to Leeds bus. I chose the latter and spent most of the journey back writing this on my phone, while the others slept, my thumbs are aching a lot now.