Mendips IV

Mendips Day Trip

Sunday 13th March 2005


Michhele Ghodrat, Ardiel Clark, Lyndon Leggate, Clewin Griffith, Sandeep Mavadia, Alison O'Brian, others.

Swildons Hole

Sandeep, Clewin, Adriel...

My second trip to the Mendips in as many weeks surely there's a vaccination against that? And the same cave, it just can't be healthy. Down we went, apparently I was the one who knew the way to the cave entrance which was a bit un-nerving considering I wouldn't trust myself to find Buckingham Palace if I had just walked down the Mall.

We got to the cave entrance and faffed for a few minutes while a group of four were exiting. We entered the cave, down the very familiar slides at the entrance series. We got to the climb down through the rift and everybody made it down easily enough. Then we got at the ladder, Clewin rigged this with the usual efficiency and speed. I went down first; this meant I could hold the ladder straight as the rest descended. Next down was Chang'n'Chong and then Adriel. All of whom made it down perfectly. Clewin decided he couldn't be arsed with the ladder so in his infinite wisdom he abseiled down instead. Onward we went, a couple of climb downs later at the twin pots we met a couple who had just done the short round. All went well as we climbed and bimbled to the sump.

The excuse I was waiting for was right on cue from Clewin "go through that and tell me if it's the sump." I was even more up for it thanks to Jarv's Mig light on my head rather than a FX3 [Ed: RatFink Sandeep was clearly forgetting that Jarv's light wasn't/isn't properly waterproofed yet...]. Through I went, it was an unusual feeling, I went for the head down and quickly through rather than the lying down flat in the water and then pulling yourself through method. Sump 1 is so short I didn't really get a chance to feel the cold on my head, I was thinking about getting through and that was all. As soon as you get out on the other side you can feel the new cold water inside your wetsuit, a nice reminder that you really just did that. I had a look at the traffic sign, Wookey hole 1 1/2 miles. I had a little look round and headed back, I could really tell how short the sump was from the other side, I could see the light from the FX3's on the other side. I got back to the other side and sat around for a while. Adriel out of the blue said she wanted to try and she was off, this was even more impressive because it was only her second weekend with the club. Her first word when she got back was "hotdogs!" thanks to the floats made out of hot dogs near the traffic sign; American imperialism is even in the Mendips!

We decided to start moving so that we could get out at a decent time and not get cold. Chang'n'Chong were in front for most of the time except for a few climbs. At the ladder I went up first as Clewin Belayed from below. Chang'n'Chong made it up fine, Adriel had a little difficulty but after a bit of huffing and puffing she was up too. I tried to haul the tackle sack up but it got stuck around a rock lip too high for Clewin to reach so he decided to climb up unattached.

While Clewin sorted out the rope I tried to roll up the ladder and messing it up totally, it was only bodge'd together later with a sling and an extra crab. With Chang'n'Chong in the lead we were going like a bat out of hell and were only slowed when instead of climbing up through the rift they decided to climb into a little hole a bit further on. It was Chang'n'Chong out first followed by me and then Adriel finally followed by Clewin, surealily crawling out of the bottom of a tree.

Sandeep Mavadia