Carno Inclinations

As most members probably know the Club purchased a set of surveying kit worth several hundred pounds. Over the years this has been subject to considerably use and has been involved in interesting exploits such as bouncing boulders on Eric leg incident. Last significant use was in the surveying the far reaches of Carno Adit where the clino unfortunately became detached from its lanyard and was believed lost down a hole in the desperate depths of Car Crusher North.

As time went by it became apparent that it was unable to find its own way home and that an expedition to search for it would be necessary and so after several false starts and some scepticism from the loser that it could be found, the time was deemed right on the occasion of Helen Wray's birthday party due to the dry weather ,and so a party consisting of me, Paul Stacey, Martin Upfold, Andy Todd, Vicky Stratton & Chris Fry set off on the rescue.

Although there is no one part of Carno that is particularly difficult it rather like doing a Commando assault course for 9 hours. First there is the Adit then there is the crawl then the greasy pot, the ledges, the crawl, the climbs, the pitch, the crawls etc. Eventually after about 4 hours we reached the site of the lost clino . I had brought along an old 13 amp plug minus the pins which could be dropped at the same spot to get an idea of where the clino might have gone to ,so while Paul and Martin went of to the end of the know cave to recover some other equipment, we played drop the plug.

After several goes, it became clear that the clino couldn't have gone down the suspect hole as each time the plug was easily seen and every possible cranny had been searched so we decided to cast the net wider. As I was climbing out the pot a ' found it' cry appeared and indeed Chris Fry had spotted it sitting on a boulder about 4 foot down on the opposite side of where it was thought to have gone and it was soon retrieved apparently none the worse , fortunately for the loser it was narrowly outside the 5 minutes he had promised to eat his hat in if we found it.

Then we began a slow retreat waiting occasionally for Paul & Richard to catch up which was just as well as my elbows were beginning to disintegrate and Andy's belay belt was made of some strange material that had decided to swell up. Paul and Richard caught us up at the pitch lugging an amazing collection of ladders chisels & belays. Eventually we exited at 6 PM after a nine hour trip and arrived at the Cottage to find that the Barbecue was just starting. It was about a month before my elbows had healed enough to do serious caving and It was certainly the hardest trip I had done that year but well worth doing from the variety of the caving not to mention the £200 worth of Club kit that had been recovered , It also means I'm no longer eligible for the 'I'm only going in Carno once' T shirt.

Chris Crowley