Mark “marfan's” Richardson, Chris “Frodo” Haigh, Adam “Gin Fiend” Parkes, Maddie “Digger” Davies
Apologies for not caving
Sarah Nolan - Broken Wing
Chris Adams – Flower picking commitment
It is a special time in a little Badger’s life when they are inducted in the sacred art of SRT, the feel of a tight harness, the snap of a jammer and the awful realisation that you are going to have to prusik back up that 200m pitch you just abseiled down. So it came to pass that Maddie was inducted into the order of Single Rope Technique.
After extensive preparation we met at Badger HQ (Mark’s place) on the Friday night for a thorough safety briefing, last minute SRT practice in the garage and a vast quantity of pizza and beer. Throughout the evening Chris A (who it turn out would not be joining us underground as he had arranged to participate in a flower pressing contest and was just there for the pizza) scared Maddie with talk of the Rowter entrance pitch, a 69m rope which it would take 45 minute to overcome. Maddie, being made of sterner stuff, ignored this talk and set about another beer.
Saturday morning came and we awoke to find that Chris A had already departed to go flower picking or some such, Maddie’s mattress had deflated (as is customary) and that Frodo had joined Nick Clegg in the hamster cage. A quick breakfast of sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, beans, toast, hash browns and tea saw us ready for action, if a little slow.
A quick drive to Rowter farm in suspiciously fine weather and we set about changing in the camp site. As it was Maddie’s first SRT trip we made sure all her gear was present and correct, it then transpired that more attention should have been paid to Adam, who’s helmet was sat on the stairs at HQ. A quick about turn by Chris and Adam followed as Mark guided Maddie into Rowter.
We returned to find Mark and Maddie drinking tea in the main chamber, it was at that point we owned up that Rowter was in fact a dig and that the face was that way, move it sucker…….
With Frodo and Maddie working the face and Adam and Mark on the hauling rope we made steady progress in spite of the fumes emerging from Adam’s suit. After shifting approximately 500,000 buckets, it was time to make for the exit, Chris dragged an overly enthusiastic Maddie away from the dig for the climb out.
Despite Chris “I like skipping more that caving” Adams loser talk the previous evening, Maddie was out in under 25 minutes, only slowed by Adam doing a “Robbie” with his chest jammer at the entrance. A fine performance.
Out and changed, we headed back toward Badger HQ in high spirits, with our thoughts turning to the meal that LUPC would be preparing for us back at base. At this point Mark received at text, grabbing his phone in anticipation of the culinary delights that would await us, he reported that LUPC had failed to leave Liverpool and have been over come by chronic faffing. As more experienced cavers we recognised this problem of old and made haste to the local pub for food, beer, wine and port.
At some stage LUPC arrived, but by this time we’d finished off all the steak, most of the deserts and had a good go at the ale. The drunken fun continued back at HQ until the wee hours when we put a towel over Froddo’s cage, tucked Mark into bed and agreed that if Holly asked, she didn’t have a hamster. What fun would tomorrow bring?????