Spring GIAG 2016
Saturday, 13 February 2016
I arrived at the Chapel 20 minutes early with Mike, which of itself is an achievement. We coaxed in 25 caving-virgins and sorted equipment. Miraculously, pairs of wellies were found. With minimal faff, 40 cavers descended upon the thief, helmets picked up and breakfast was had. My breakfast was interrupted with the news that Lincoln had left with two of his passengers stranded at the thief, but after a brisk scenic walk around Ingleton he was found leaving the bathroom.
At Birkwith, we divided into four groups and set off. We started in Old Ing, where with a great group of Canadians/Americans, almost every emotion was experienced and vocalised. Impossibles were passed and ohmagawd echoed through the cave. We lost one caver, left on the surface with her guardian and Shepherd, Kristian. Date to be announced.
At Calf Holes, some clusterfuckery was has with a long surface wait whilst Matts group ascended. Fortunately, the Canadians/Americans really enjoyed this, with sing-songs and wartime spirit. With the second ladder rigged, we were mostly underground by the time Kateys group arrived. We were met by Brendan who took some excellent photographs and some other intriguing ones featuring pineapples underground. Coming out of Brow Gill into a beautiful sunset with clear views of the Dales finally silenced our group. Momentarily.
Psyched, keen and stoked we ran over to Birkwith and tried to encourage the freshers to explore the sump to a surprising success. My back up light was considered long lost after being knocked from a freshers helmet and washed down stream, but fortunately Nathan surfaced having found it. Good bye, my free guilt-ridden consolation pint!
Back on the surface everyone was busy changing and refuelling with chocolates, chanting of Leeds-based curries for all. Gear was stashed and cavers invaded Seven Spices, after the Akmals-man consoling me for my unsuccessful birthday bash. Hed gotten the wrong idea when Id initially book a table for 40, called back with an amendment of 30 and a third time to cancel it altogether because he was being arsey with me. “It was not to be, was my only response. Seven Spices was an excellent substitute, springing out random stools and tables when wed taken up all the other seating.
It was great to see that our advertising at the refreshers fair paid off, regardless of the gender bias. Surprisingly 22/25 attendees were female. Luke has been suggested as the cause of this result due to his persuasive and dashing persona. Thanks to John, Lincoln, Matt, Mike, Carl and Kristian for driving; to Nat, James and Sarah for leaving Leeds at dawn to rig; Katey and Carl for derigging and obviously everyone for turning up.