Hi Ian, Faye, Leif and Dennis,
My apologies for the late letter of thanks for 'Hosting' me and for taking me
through both Diccan and Alum Pot.
The caves were [for me] definitely challenging, as they say 'anything that doesn't kill you makes you stronger', Diccan has the longest series of pitches
that i have ever had to pass, and dealing with the noise of the water, the cold
and the physicality of the cave was at times almost overwhelming and made for
some 'interesting moments', I apologise to you Dennis for re-rigging the 'Short
redirect' on the second last pitch before the sump, I was buggered and just
couldn't get it at the time, now i have had time to think about it I would have
done it differently, but at the time i just couldn't put it together.
The exit up Alum was spectacular! I took far more time than i should have
taking photos of the bridge, the Long Churn window, and the view and was very
upset when I found they were all out of focus except for a few 'not so bad
ones', the climb out was exhausting but very rewarding, in all this trip is now
my bench mark by which I will rate other caves. [time to visit 'Tassie' I
I would like to say 'thank you Ian' for rigging, It was impressive watching
you lead the way, you made it 'look' extremely easy! and for making 'almost'
every pitch easy for me to pass! also a big thank you to Dennis for your
patience and words of advice along the way, Faye and Leif: thank you both for
choosing and rigging such a beautifully challenging exit pitch, It will stick in
my mind for ages.
I didn't get on any caving trips the next day so my wife and I did the
touristy thing and visited Malham Cove, saw the nesting peregrines, then Gordale
Scar where I chatted with a couple of Aussies from south of Sydney who were on a
climbing holiday around Europe.
On the Monday we did the Gaping Gill winch meet. My wife had never been in a
wild cave anywhere, and had never been on a winch 300ft above a cavern before
either, so i was surprised that she lapped it up and spent ages poking around
the cave. We didn't get to leave the main cavern but it has whetted my appetite
to return and have a proper look around!
So again my thanks for a great introduction to UK Caving, I hope that in the
future I might be able to do the same for any of you here in Oz, although the
caves here on the mainland might be very tame in comparison! what ever happens
you can contact me by email or through the club: http://bmsc.caves.org.au/ I
hope to make your acquaintance again in the future, Safe caving.
Kind regards Ric Webber