Sunday, 11 December 2016
‘Thanks for breakfast!’ I wanted to say that but I seem to miss the right moment somehow. SUSS people seem so efficient. They pack up their stuff quickly and leave quickly for caving. I feel a pinch of sadness. I know what will happen to those people, who don’t go caving… They magically turns into cleaning fairies..!!
Nathan, Ben, Ashley and I are in Nathan’s car, heading to Simpson pot. Some fun minutes later, Ben realises he forgot to bring his SRT kit ‘“ we head back to the hut. Some more fun minutes later, Nathan realises he forgot to bring his wellies ‘“we head back to the hut. I am lucky: I forgot to bring my camera, now I can get it thanks of silly Nathan. [[The lesson of ‘you need to check if you have everything you need before you leave’ learnt.]] I’m sure we passed the Sam Allshorne couple of elderly entities and their dog 4 times, and I enjoyed pointing out the Sam Allshorne herd of sheep and fluffy-looking horses 4. We drive through the mist and arrive at near Simpson pot. Typhon, George, and Rob are faithfully waiting for ropes (and us).
We walk up the steep hill. I feel a bit unfit. I look back if Ashley is catching up, but instead I see the beautiful sight of the bottom of the valley in the mist, which reminds me of scenes of the Lord of the Rings. This is fun! This is fun! I now feel more stamina and I don’t feel unfit anymore.
Arriving the entrance, three fast ninjas enter first, two novice ninjas next, and two old ninjas the last. Starting from crawling. I see formations look like the surface of snow and snowflakes on the walls and ceilings, and tiny tiny water bubbles on the wall (I wonder these will become like snowflakes too over the long years). Nathan lights the formation with his bright light while I take photos. Arigato!
Climbing down a little pitch, Nathan tells me I dropped something. [[I don’t believe that.]] Then, he picks up my descender and a breaking crab’¦ Oppsy! Arigato, Nathan again.
Pitches ‘“Abseiling down. Pitches ‘“Abseiling down. I take a sexy photo of Ben. Pitches ‘“Abseiling down.
Rob is waiting and saying something to me from the bottom of waterfall. I don’t catch very well and I started swing around, thinking something there at the bottom. Rob catches the rope and helps me to land on the rock.
Looking down, Ben is disappearing into a small hole, which half of the hole seems submerged with muddy water (the Blasted Hole?) and Typhon is behind him. It seems easy, only about 2 meters of duck ‘“I shall pass through the hole head first. [[[PANIC!!]]] Where is the bottom! No Bottom!! [[[PANIC!!]]] Quickly, I push my body through. Cold water is above my chin and getting into my oversuit. My body is getting heavier and heavier. I tiptoe to keep my face above water, moving forwards. When I get out of water, I am absolutely drenched. Calming myself down and squeezing water from my buff, I remember the fact I CAN swim’¦ Feeling a bit miserable and cold, I decide to wait for Ashley to catch up. I want to see how panicked Ashley will be when she passes through the hole. ‘¦She passes through with grace like a water nymph. [[Upsetting]]. We march through and catch up with others.
It’s another pitch. Typhon is ready to abseil down, but somehow swings into the wall. It looked painful, but it’s Typhon ‘“he never loses his smile. I take a tackle bag from Ashley. I check my descender and ready to go, but my leg suddenly slips down and hear the shout if I am alright from the bottom. Oppsy!
Ashley pulls through the rope as she lands. Ashley comes up to me and informs that Rob is weeing. ‘¦The voice of Rob echoes in my head ‘Yuko, there will be plenty of clean water in the cave. You can just drink from it’’¦I silently swear to myself that I won’t drink any cave water.
We regroup in front of Slit Pot (a tight squeeze with a deep pitch just after). Rob swears something incomprehensible. The Slit Pot is left rigged! George, Typhon, and Nathan go through quickly. Ben struggles a bit, but it’s Ben ‘“he challenges anything and never gives up. While waiting, I am getting cold and my body is shaking, Mama Bear rubs my back to keep me warm. With Rob’s encouragement, Ben didn’t take long to get through the squeeze. Rob, even with two dangling tackle bags, slips through real fast. Then, Ashley’s turn. Thinking I am supposed to be the smallest, it would be funny if I get stuck. ‘¦I GET stuck!! My camera (in my chest pocket) doesn’t let me pass through the squeeze. In my head, I hear the soothing voice of Mama Bear ‘Yuchan, I think it’s better to put your camera away from your chest pocket. You may get stuck’. Oh, well! I slide down my body lower, keep my body horizontally, and push through. Ashley was waiting for me at the bottom.
We are reaching to another pitch with waterfall. There we find SUSS people. I thought they left us hours ago! I feel a bit shy because I didn’t thank them properly for sorting breakfast out.
…So much water is falling down!! I need to abseil down slowly, pushing my legs firmly against the wall, but water gets all over me. My short legs cannot keep my face away from falling water and I cannot breathe. After Ashley gracefully abseils down [[Agh, long legged creatures!]]and Typhon comes back from a wrong route, we march through with team SUSS.
While we are waiting to prussic up, a free spirit Typhon starts climbing up the three-and-a-half-Typhons worth of a wall in an attempt to take a shortcut, but it turns out to be the opposite wall he needs to climb up’¦ Thanks of one of the SUSS, who rigged another rope, others can go up. I go up and march through alone, thinking to find Typhon who went up first, but instead I find a SUSS fresher who seems to be struggling to prussic up. I offer him help to hold the rope, but Ashley appears just in time to tell us that is not the right way.
Three of us together start to head to the exit. The SUSS boy occasionally asks me if that’s the right direction. I only can answer Ashley probably knows the way. Unfortunately, because of the water, Ashley gets confused and decides to regroup with remaining SUSS people, leaving me with the SUSS boy. Soon enough Ashley with SUSS people confirm that it’s the right way. Ashley and I march through, leaving three SUSS people behind and quickly come out from the exit.
Trip was superbly fun! Nathan predicted I would like this cave. The silly boy was right. I learnt a lot today. Thanks everybody: Rob for being superbly encouraging; Ben for never giving up; Typhon for never losing his smile whatever happens; Nathan for driving and saving my descender; Ashley for keeping me informed (about Rob’s wee); George for being George, and Yuko for writing this fantabulous rant. It is regrettable that I didn’t sing the Simpsons’ tune though.