Giving it a Go – Coppy Gill Exit
Sunday, 2 October 2016

Turned up late to chapel, obviously there was still much faffing so no one noticed. Wrestled K. Brook because he thought that I was hiding his fire extinguisher. Kristian almost fulfilled his dream of having his very own small Japanese girl when Yukk O))) was bundled into his boot and driven off. Got people and gear into cars and we were away. Road dominance was exercised when I overtook Alice by shortcutting through the Ilkley backstreets. Success.

Breakfast was had in Inlgeton, with the group divided between Inglethief and Bernies. Peachey was excited at the prospect of purchasing a garage in Kettlewell for £35,000 for an ULSA hut. Wob suggested this should be called the K.U.N.T Hut (Kettlewell ULSA Naughty Tavern), a fine name in my opinion, despite the use of an acronym within an acronym.

Determined to have no responsibility I tagged onto a trip to Birkwith first and got to witness Rowan Scott spiriting away fresher Alice in a rubber dinghy down the canal, presumably to have his way with her. Next was Old Ing. Again, escaping the responsibility of looking after freshers, Rowan led me and Natalie through a roof tube high in the ceiling. Missing the way on the first time past we had to backtrack but eventually found our way out of Dismal Hill, a good little trip that was a more interesting take on the usual Old Ing in and out.

Not yet content Rowan set off to find Coppy Gill Exit for some more excitement. He eventually located the shakehole containing Coppy Gill Exit (or entrance in this case). The entrance is an uninspiring muddy puddle that continues as crawling passage under a shelf, passable by lying face up and utilizing the couple of inches or so of airspace. Mr Scott tried to go in feet first on his back only to quickly retreat, unhappy with his choice of entry style. By this point an audience had gathered and it was time to get a move on. Ignoring Rowan’s warning I entered the Sam Allshorne way but managed to swing my feet around in the pool in the small space under the overhanging entrance meaning I could then continue on my back but head first instead of feet first into the crawl. The low airspace in the entrance duck only lasts a couple of metres or so, and a bit further on is just enough space to turn round or flip over so it isn’t that bad.

Beyond the entrance consists of constant flat out crawling in water although airspace was never an issue. Along the way were a couple of interesting awkward spots and bends but nothing particularly challenging with the exception of what I hesitate to call a crux very close to the end of the passage (some breathing out was required). Here Rowan lacked the determination to squeeze through and was forced to go back the way he came after I’d already passed through. I pressed on and very soon found myself back in Birkwith where the main canal starts ‘“ stoked! Route-finding wise the crawling bit was very easy, just follow the water and broken straws. I de-robed, had a piss and hightailed it out of there, confident that Rowan was still struggling back through Coppy Gill Exit. It was at least 20 minutes after I got back the junction before Rowan resurfaced, looking as though he had been repeatedly shot at, the new wetsuit now a bit worse for wear. This very short trip would serve as an excellent source of obligatory punishment for naughty cavers in future.

A very good GIAG overall, freshers seemed to have fun and everything fell into place thanks to the organisation of the committee (I might help one day). The gay zebra (gazebo) was a good addition as was the rubber dinghy. 10 on 10.