Buttered Badger Potholing Club
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The Thrifty Three

TomTom, Mark S, Mark R

Mark S arrived in Sheffield on Friday night on the train.. public transport- times must be hard. We got back to my house and opened a few beers and began talking caving (obviously). It wasn’t long before we began formulation plans for trips over the next few weeks, including one EPIC plan for an upcoming marathon caving adventure. Watch this space.

Talk turned to what to do on Saturday, we ran through the usual classic SRT trips- Nettle, Oxlow, Maskhill. I mentioned that I have always wanted to try and do all three of those caves in one day so when Mark asked “why not” and I failed to come up with an excuse the plan was set. Tom Tom was thrilled, I could tell by the tone of his text messages. 

We assembled at the layby at 10:00 and procrastinated for a while trying to avoid the rain. We had managed to work out that we could do all three caves with 4 bags of ropes of various lengths, 3x 50m, 1x 70m, 1x 100m and 1x20m. We opted to get Nettle out the way first and obviously leave little Oxlow for last.

Having spent quite a bit of time down Nettle Pot recently I rigged to the bottom of Crumble and Beza in just over half an hour, we turned straight round and exited with Mark S de rigging. We were back on the surface in an hour and a half, a good start!

Next cave was Maskhill, Mark S rigged down this using the ropes we had deduced were necessary from both COTPD books. Naturally the 2x 50m ropes I had in my tackle bag were taken to the bottom of the cave un-used. We turned around at the bottom of Pearl chamber, not fancying the extremely aqueous looking Pool Chamber bit, we bounced...Tom de- rigged the whole of Maskhill and Mark and I took bags off him as we went. We were back at the surface in about 2 ½ hours, which felt really leisurely, we were all cold at some point throughout that trip.

Final hurdle before we deserved a pint was Oxlow. We dispatched this to the end of West Chamber and back out in an hour, passing a couple of cavers on the way in who promised to be in touch with the Badgers to join us on a future trip (although probably not a triple trip!). ((Post report note, Cammie has now been in touch!))

We were all back at the cars 6 hours after leaving them feeling weirdly fine. We hadn’t rushed, hadn’t cut any corners but just kept caving and bottomed (pretty much) three Derbyshire classics. What a great day J

The two students of the group decided though that by far the best part of the day was the fact that we had experienced outstanding value for money- three classic caves in one day and only one trespass fee.. Thrifty.

Mark R