William (organiser, SUSS), Phil (TS, SUSS), Rowena (SUSS), Felix (SUSS), Anna (SUSS), James, Bill (CASM), Michael Larkin (NUCC), Tom, David, Glen.
Sat 22 – Intro to SRT, Blowfly and B45
I woke at about 4:15 and reluctantly got up and made my way to the station reaching Ashfield around 5:50. I called Will and after some trouble getting coins for the payphone got a left to his place. We carried the gear down and our driver Phil soon arrived.
Once we arrived at Bungonia, we drove to the campsite and everyone took their gear into the kitchen to see what people where missing. The experienced aided those new to SRT, Phil giving ‘a primer on SRT‘.
In typical SUSS fashion it was some time before we were actually in a cave. Since we had a large group we where to split into two groups and entered Blowfly Cave from both sides. Rowena led one group (Rowena, Myself, Tom and Glen), and Phil the other (Phil, Bill, Will, Anna, and David).
After rigging the initial pitch I followed Rowena down and got to give my MTDE Amazonia + Garma and Petzl Stop their first run.
I found the structure of the cave quite odd and unpredictable having to move up and down to pass from one partitioned section to another. After passing through the Kidney Squeeze I passed over the Dragon’s Teeth and met the others at the bottom of their last pitch.

I spent some time trying to climb up within the central chamber (above the passage that goes to another section of the cave) but it became too dodgy. Once the rest of my group had finished getting through the Kidney Squeeze and the other team had finished their descent, we conversed for a little while and then again separated to ascend out of the cave. This highlighted to me that a harness with a low attachment point is not very effective when you don’t have a Croll – oh well, extra fitness for me!

Once both teams were out we walked back to the cars and headed off to do a B4-B5 trip. There where a few climbs before we went down to the B4-5 extension where Bill gave us a narration of the rescue he attended the previous weekend.

Back at camp (I ended up walking as I didn’t have a change of cloths) we took over the indoor eating area and enjoyed hot meals (and hot showers).
I tried sleeping outside, but at some point during the night retreated to the back of the car after being awoken be some light rain – I should have under the shelter as I later found Tom had done.

Sun 23 – Grill Cave and Vertical Training

On Sunday we where joined by my Dad and Michael. After talking to some cavers it turned out the CO_2 wasn’t leaving us many options. We decided to do a short trip into Grill cave so everyone could have a ‘CO_2 experience’ (the first for many people). We headed in and Bill claimed he could already detect the CO_2 at the horizontal ladder. David and I headed down whilst the others went over. I could soon feel the effects. Once we had rendezvoused we spent some time playing around with a lighter trying to get a floating flame – see previous trip.

We went down a small slide head first and then exited the cave. David an I climbed out through an alternate daylight hole near the main entrance/exit.

We then headed to a practice cliff near B4-5 for some SRT practice.

It was an early finish and I got a lift back with my parents to enjoy another early train trip to work the next morning.

Tom’s ‘Trip Report’