Buttered Badger Potholing Club
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Testing

Luke N, Lizzie, Mark R
29/05/13

Last night’s dig was somewhat a test of commitment…

I left work bang on 5 and rushed home, Lizzie and I were to meet Luke at 6:30 at the farm. It wasn’t until I got home that I realised I had forgotten to call in and collect the SDS drill I had managed to borrow for the evening. I got back in the car and headed off again to pick it up. When I eventually got home I had just enough time to rush down some dinner and realise that the drill wasn’t an SDS drill at all.. just a cordless hammer drill! I packed it anyway.

We got to the farm at about 6:30 despite having to take a detour because the Hathersage road was closed. The wind and rain was typically terrible for the farm and we sat in the car not wanting to get out, waiting for Luke to arrive. Luke got there about 20 minutes later and we started to get changed. It was then that I realised my SRT kit which I usually keep in the box in the boot was not there! Frustrated, we took Lizzies kit out and I headed home again to collect my SRT kit and would catch up with them in an hour or so. The next kick in the balls came when I got to the bottom of Winnats pass only to find since we came through, Castleton had been closed by the police for an hour! I turned round and went the long way home, skirting the Hathersage diversion.

I was about half way home when I got a call from Luke to tell me the rope was still in my car so they had to sit and wait in the field for me to return!!!... this was not going well!

Just over an hour after I had left I got back to the field, we rapidly got changed and Luke discovered he had managed to come without his helmet or light!!!!!!!

At this point we probably should have called it a day and gone to the pub instead but we persevered and found a spare emergency torch for Luke to use.

We got underground and managed to cap a couple of boulders with the hammer drill using an SDS bit jammed in the chuck and stuck a load of new boards in the bottom of the dig. I spent most of the time hammering at a large boulder and Luke and Lizzie spent it trying to sort out the top edge of the dig.

We emerged quite late and headed home, perhaps it was just bad planning and preparation, perhaps bad luck or perhaps our bodies sub-consciously telling us they didn’t want to go underground again after the recent here dayer… whatever it was, we got some digging done and that’s all that matters. Tonight will be better!

Mark