Derbyshire…sorry New Yorkshire Weekend (November 2002)
For several reasons the attraction of York caves gained the next caving weekend in the calendar.
What is worst than a crowded cave?...A crowded cave with ropes. And that’s the nature of SRT in a cave. You may have all the fun and excitement that being suspended in a dark high empty space have (and we had all that!) but ask to E how cold (not cool!) could be to wait (wet of course) for your turn in the rope.
Besides that, now you can say that caving-SRT is cool! And it could be the best way to know about yourself. As my leader in M says, what better improvement to your self esteem than to realize that you are able to climb (prusiking) 300m of rope. With the practice of SRT in a cave you will be able to know how crazy you could be (that what your parents are telling you every time they know about your weekends) and if you avoid killing yourself you will also learn where your limits could be. Oh! And you also will learn the difference between a cave and the stairs in the Union Building.
Thinking in all those teachings that SRT-caving has I decided to miss that pub night, take a shower and go to sleep early. (Do I say sleep?) With all the adrenaline in my body it was difficult to sleep and I felt in deep meditations. Meditations that pretty soon were mixed with the sounds of the jungle.
Personally I never have slept in a jungle but some people say that, depending of the kind of jungle, you can hear the rain, the wind, the leaves falling, the insects jumping and singing, and the movements of the night hunters. Well, Yorkshire is cold and the water in the pipes of the heater does strange sounds, along with the movements of drunk people jumping in the bunk beds, hunting for a bed, for a sleeping bag ( or for food?).
And there all we were, all together in the concert of the windy snoring, the rainy sounds of our stomachs and noses! I learned then that if you want to be a (sleeping) rock in the jungle, you need a lot of ales/beers/ciders beforehand. I paid the price of going to sleep early. Including that L hunted me…a bed. Poor girl, she was drunk and cold so I had to surrender and give her the bed.
Next day in Lancaster shire I saw in a cave the most beautiful white stalactites I have never saw. To my eyes, they had the figure of a ballet dancer with her partner. That was thanks to L’s and P’s curiosity that along with the energetic guidance of E-H (he is like a gnome in a cave, disappearing in front of you, to then appear behind, above or below you with extraordinaire and contagious energy) made that caving Sunday a great one.
And I’m missing to talk about the training sessions, the Tuesday’s Pub with its ghost, the travel-gypsy-dance-music that S, P and I enjoy. But at last all take you to the same. Wherever you are, we, cavers, are the best of the best.