magfish: (the hills are alive)
[personal profile] magfish
hurrah for trying new things! this weekend was spent in wales in the fine company of [ profile] willmate, [ profile] nisaba and [ profile] denalyia, during which we were introduced to the wonderful world of caving by [ profile] willmate. i've always been totally daunted by the idea of caving - for some reason, the idea of going underground into a dark and dingy cramped little space scared the bejaysus out of me. it wasn't that i'm especially (if at all) claustrophobic, but i got the same sick feeling in my stomach at the thought of caving that i used to get when i thought about diving. anyway, being the stubborn old boot that i am, the fact that i feared it meant it was inevitable that i would eventually have to grasp the nettle and go underground...

and i had a fabulous time - i have no idea why i thought i'd hate it, as it actually seems to be totally up my street. ok, i know we only did two really REALLY easy routes (even i could tell that they were pretty straightforward and unchallenging, despite not finding them entirely so this weekend), but i thoroughly enjoyed the experience. it was like climbing and hiking and paddling and rolling around in the mud and adventure playground trekking and more climbing all rolled into one, and it was FUN. although it wasn't like any climbing i've done before - we were wearing wellies, for starters! i'm actually amazed at how much grip you actually get on a vertical wet rock face in a pair of wellies - i wonder if us rock climbers have missed a trick there? it was a bit of a challenge for me to stop myself climbing like a climber (technique, showing off your skills and a lot of fancy foot/hand work) and climb like a caver instead (brute force, getting the job done by hook or by crook, technique be damned), but i think i cracked it on sunday afternoon as i was pushed by my feet across a rock table on my stomach... i had to be pushed as i was too busy laughing uncontrollably at the thought of how glamourous i must look to have any strength to pull myself across under my own steam.

in some ways, it reminded me of my abortive attempts to learn to dive - there seems to be the same sense of camaraderie amongst cavers that i found in my six months in the diving world, as well as the same obsession with kit, the same degree of pre-trip faffage and the same sort of post-trip discussions around the fire. although i've yet to decide which group is more insane... ;-)

i can't be bothered to type it out again, so i'm just going to lazily link to will's post instead. ;-) if you want to see some pictures, there was a lot of climbing down great big rock piles like this, crawling through holes like this (aka the corkscrew) and a lot of this and this.

now: when can we go again??! *bounce*
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.

September 2006

171819 20212223

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags