GSG Newsletter 131

9 August 2007


Saucy Mary and the GSG's 2007 Annual Dinner

Caisteal Maol is a ruined castle on the Isle of Skye opposite Kyle of
Lochalsh on the mainland. It was occupied by a Norse princess nicknamed
Saucy Mary who married Findanus MacKinnon in about 900AD. They ran a
heavy chain across the water and extracted a toll from every ship
passing through the straits - the Caol Acain (Kyle Akin): which is a
roundabout way to introduce the venue for the 2007 GSG Annual Dinner. It
is being held in Saucy Mary's Lodge, Kyleakin on the Isle of Skye. You
will be relieved to hear that the new bridge is now toll free.

The dinner is on Saturday 27th October. We have booked the entire
Lodge for Friday and Saturday nights at a much reduced rate which
extends to the associated Glenarroch B&B next door, though there is a
supplement for its en suite rooms. Until September I will give priority
to bookings for both nights, and will attempt to allocate rooms to fit
in with your wishes. You can order breakfast or use the self-catering
kitchen and there is a drying room. If you want to arrive earlier than
Friday or stay later than Sunday, ring the Lodge and the proprietor,
Jonathan Supper, will be pleased to hear from you. More details are on
the web and they can be contacted
on 01599 534845. Our vegetarian members will be pleased to hear that Jonathan
is one, and Saucy Mary's specialises in vegetarian cuisine.

We will have exclusive use of the bar on the Saturday night. Since we
will be staying in the Lodge closing time will be 'flexible'. There are
usually four Isle of Skye beers with one on draft and they have been
warned that adequate stocks will be required. They also stock Fraoch,
Grozet & Kelpe and have an extensive wine list with bottles from L9 to
L17.

Please fill in the booking form and return it with your cheque as
soon as possible. Saucy Mary's accommodation is strictly limited to
35/36 in the hostel (10 rooms) and 10/11 in Glenarroch (4 rooms) and it
will be first come, first reserved. This year we are asking you to
select both starter and main course. To help Jonathan with his catering
we are also taking orders and payments for Saturday and Sunday
breakfast. I'll issue tokens for these when you arrive.

Some of you may wish to eat on the Friday night when you arrive. If
so, then it would help if you could indicate that on the booking form.
This isn't a commitment, just another way of assisting Jonathan and
helping the weekend go smoothly. Arrival time on Friday should be after
4pm. If you want food and are going to arrive late then give Saucy
Mary's a call.

Cave Guides

Our local Golden Gnomes, Richard Simpson and David Morrison, have
been busy discovering, surveying and describing caves both in Skye (see
later) and the nearby Kishorn and Applecross area. We hope to have their
definitive work on the caves of the latter areas ready for distribution
for the dinner weekend. We'll also have copies of Caves of Skye
available. It is steadily being rendered more and more out of date by
David and Richard's discoveries, but there isn't time to update it for
the dinner

Annual Dinner Caving

Over the weekend of the dinner there are more than enough caves to
keep everyone occupied either on Skye or on the mainland in Applecross
and Kishorn. Keen diggers will find David and Richard full of
suggestions. If you want to extend the weekend in either or both
directions there is plenty to keep you occupied. For those wanting to
continue to Assynt we'll reserve the hut for the following week.


BCA Membership Cards

Membership cards are being distributed with this Newsletter to GSG
members unless 1) they already have them or 2) they joined the GSG in
the last month or so. If you were expecting one and don't find it please
contact me.

Ivan


Vale: Mark Adrian Campbell, 7.5.66 - 30.7.07

Mark was born and brought up in Northumberland before the family
moved to Northern Ireland, following Mark's father who worked for the
Irish National Health Service.

Mark worked in computers in Edinburgh after gaining his degree in a
related discipline. It was during his time in Edinburgh that he met
Eleanor Yates, who was later to become his wife. After about a decade of
his high flying career he decided on a life change move, with Eleanor,
to Assynt (Eleanor's home). This was an area he knew and loved after
countless visits to see Eleanor's friends and family. They moved in
early 1998 when Eleanor took over Sutherland Gemcutter's from her
father. Mark opened a bike hire in the shop next door. He converted that
to his outdoor shop, Assynt Adventures, two years later and he ran it
with great success.

Mark had a long love of mountaineering and the outdoors, from treks
along Hadrian's Wall in his early teens to mountaineering with his
university club. At this time he also enjoyed paragliding and messing
about with cars, banger racing and building et cetera.

More recently, after moving to Assynt, Mark joined Assynt Mountain
Rescue Team in 1998, becoming Deputy Team Leader a short time later. He
spent the next decade running the businesses with his family and a large
amount of time caving, climbing, canoeing and mountaineering. He was an
active member of the Oban Mountaineering Club, the GSG and SCRO. Mark
enjoyed several foreign forays with success on tree continental summits,
discovered a few new Scottish caves, and spent the last two winters
touring Spain with his family. He was now just beginning to introduce
his young son Iain, born in 2002, to the delights of caving and
climbing.

Mark died as a result of a sudden, severe and totally unexpected
asthma attack. Mark leaves Eleanor and Iain and will be very sadly
missed by all.

Chris Warwick


Caving

ASSYNT

  • Rana Hole - Since March the equipment at Rana has been upgraded,
    the depth has increased, the way on is looking hopeful, but (there
    always has to be a 'but') water is now causing us a major problem.
    Taking events in sequence the weekend of 21/22 April found the boulder
    'snappered' in March to be adequately shattered and the remaining pieces
    submitted to the sledge-hammer and formed part of the 139 loads
    extracted. The last of these dislodged the upper roller so we stopped
    operations.

    The 2007 Mendip Migration (or M2) started on Thursday 26th April with
    the arrival of Norman Flux, Mark Brown and the Mk 5 Fluxcavator or
    Tri-cycle Winch. This has three cycles mounted side by side, a
    friendlier arrangement than the tandem. With assistance from Roger and
    Mark & Matthew Tringham, this was wheeled up to Rana. The headgear was
    reconstructed so the tower hinges down above the winch and the flume was
    lifted to allow the Diablo roller to be removed for respoking. Over the
    next two days the new winch was installed, the shaft enlarged near the
    top, the flume repositioned, and Julian bought and brought a second B&Q
    extension ladder. Half was used near the bottom, but one section is now
    used at the entrance with its bottom resting on the scaffolding platform
    leading to the fixed ladder. This gives easier access than swinging
    around on the wire ladder, though hauling has to stop while it is in
    place.

    Over the following week there were digging trips almost every day
    removing another 347 loads some of which were just water as ponding
    caused problems. More engineering work was done and Julian started
    flattering the tip. We think this is to make a helicopter landing pad
    though Julian claims it is to better blend the tip into the local
    landscape. He has also started cutting back the heather and peat below
    the tip before it is covered and using it to cover the bare top thus
    encouraging vegetation to grow.

    The next digging weekend started on the 26th May with 73 loads
    removed from an increasingly muddy bottom. On Sunday another 35 were
    dredged out of the deepening pool. This was repeated on Monday thanks to
    assistance from Peter (Snab) MacNab and his friends in the ISSA
    (International Society for Speleological Art).

    We were back on the 24th June to find the deep pool still there. The
    previous fortnight had been very dry and there was almost no flow at the
    bottom of Rana. Roger Galloway, Annie Audsley and Preston White spent
    the first hour baling and damming to encourage the water to flow away
    along the narrow rift towards Belh Aven. This allowed digging to start,
    but, as we later found, also sent mud into the outflow channel raising
    the overflow level. Including some containers full of water 105 loads
    were removed resulting in a deep hole (Hole 2) near the outflow, a 'dam'
    across the middle with a channel through it, and a shallower hole (Hole
    1) at the foot of the ladder. By Sunday morning Hole 1 had filled with
    water and digging concentrated on the other with Julian and Martin
    extracting another 70 loads. Most of the team then disappeared
    southwards.

    At this point we had what appeared to be a developing passage
    running horizontally towards Belh Aven, but filled to the top with
    sediments. Julian and Ivan quickly dug into this hoping to reach a point
    where the passage and its fill descended, and we could persuade the
    water to drain away. It was very easy digging: we got into it about two
    metres, but that wasn't far enough. It does widen to a very passable
    size quite quickly and the roof as far as we dug was almost level.

    On Monday, Norman, Ivan and Andy Peggie took more scaffolding up the
    valley. We constructed an improved and wider walkway for unloading the
    kibbles, improved the monorail attachment to the tower and started
    thinking about a second handrail. While Norman continued working on the
    flume, Andy and Ivan repaired the channel through the dam and baled Hole
    2 into Hole 1. This allowed us to cross Hole 2 onto a patch of mud and
    poke some drain rods borrowed from the hut along the passage. We managed
    to get five into it before they hit something solid. Five rods is 15' or
    4.65m so this is definitely more than a solutional pocket in the side of
    the shaft.

    On Tuesday Norman completed fitting a better buffer/deflector at the
    top of the flume while Ivan attempted unsuccessfully to get the water to
    flow away by baling from Hole 1 into Hole 2. We left hoping a few good
    bursts of rain might flush out the mud that all our baling had sent into
    the outflow channel. We were to be disappointed. On 3rd July a Tuesday
    trip by Julian delivered 50 sandbags to the dig, and found the water
    level had risen 0.5m above the dam.

    We made plans for dealing with the water and arrived on Saturday 14th
    July with several lengths of 25mm electrical conduit (Thank you
    Preston!), some flexible water pipe and connectors. Plan A was to insert
    the conduit into the passage and encourage the water to flow away. We
    didn't manage to get it in as far as we had the drain rods, even by
    hammering, so plan B was attempted. This was to build up the dam and
    bale from Hole 1 into Hole 2. Some sand bags were filled on the ledge
    above the dig but 25 were sent down from the surface. So we did set a
    new record for hauling: the lowest total ever at -25! A failed attempt
    at raising the dam between the two holes was followed by building one by
    the outflow. Rapid baling into this did slowly drop the level, but I
    suspect that that dam was still leaking and a better method of water
    management is needed.

    Julian had a second-hand extending ladder that was carried up to Rana
    on the Sunday. This was very necessary as the lowest ladder in Rana no
    longer reached the bottom of the dig and was swinging from ropes tied to
    its top. As well as repositioning and adding ladders we constructed the
    framework of a new platform a couple of metres from the bottom.

    Unless we find that the water level has dropped markedly at our next
    visit, we are going to have to indulge in some serious hydraulic
    engineering. We have a plan, but we need dry weather both before and
    during the weekend for it to work.

THREE NEW DIGS

With progress slowing in Rana, members haven't been slow to find
other places to dig.

1) 3-G's Cave (NGR NC 26991 16648) - Named after the discoverers -
Derek Guy, Peter Glanvill and his daughter Phillipa - this is a flood
sink for the Lochan an Claonaite drainage. They found it on the 29th
April and after some digging, banging and more digging they have
declared it a cave. The low entrance is protected by a boulder dam.
After a couple of metres a bedding full of mud lies ahead with low
crawls to the left and right for two or three metres. A draught has been
noticed and though there is no walking passage yet and a lot of
clearance is required Phillipa is confident that it will go.

2) Torran Pot/Uamh an Torran (NGR NC 19915 09972) - Discovered by Snab
on Tuesday 29th May, this is a 6m deep shaft above Knockan Crag. He and
his ISSA mates excavated the remains of several sheep from the bottom
and left it covered by a metal grill to stop it swallowing more
livestock. It is named after Snab's dog who passed away during the trip
north.

3) Humps Hole (NGR NC 272 163ish) - Roger Galloway, Martin Hayes and
Mark Campbell during a line search of the moor near Claonaite found a
promising sink on Saturday 15th July and started pulling boulders out of
it. Roger and Martin reinforced by John Crae returned on Sunday and
concentrated on stabilizing the entrance. They found another void and
though there is no passage as yet, they thought it promising enough to
be named and recorded.

  • ANUSC - During M2, Peter Glanvill heard a stream just after the
    Sphincter and started a dig towards it. After a couple of visits with
    assistance from Mark Brown and Paul Brock he was about 6m in. The
    digging is easy, the roof continues to ascend and there is a strong
    draught. Could this become a Sphincter bypass?

    In June Andy Peggie continued the survey of the Farr Series assisted
    by Derek Pettiglio and John Crae. This 'substantially completed' the
    data collection according to Andy.

  • Uamh an Claonaite - A videoing trip by Fraser Simpson and Peter
    Glanvill between sumps 3 and 6 during the M2 allowed Simon Brooks to
    check Belh Aven for the red dye tipped into Rana by Tony Jarratt earlier
    in the week. He didn't find any. Water flow in Rana was low and any dye
    that made it through the mud might have been too dilute by the time it
    arrived in Claonaite 7.
  • Cnoc nan Uamh - During the M2, Simon Brooks supported by Tony
    Boycott continued his underwater dig in the static sump at the end of
    Far Passage. They hauled out seven loads of silt/mud and Simon
    penetrated about 2.5m past the airbell. Simon thinks he must be at least
    ¾ of the way through and one more trip should do it.
  • Smoo Cave - Also during the M2 J'Rat and BEC member Paul Brock
    abseiled directly down into Colin Coventry's inflatable. Colin has a
    promising mud-filled dig at the end of the stream passage. It's not at
    the top of the aven where we've all looked before, but part-way up and
    level with the top of the stream passage. He would appreciate some help
    if any diggers are in the area.

KISHORN

  • Cave of Queens - Simon Brooks guided by David Morrison and Richard
    Simpson, dived the downstream sump. ,After a bit of a struggle kitting
    up he eventually penetrated about 7m to a depth of 4m. where it narrowed
    still more making further progress very unlikely.

SKYE

David Morrison and Richard Simpson continue their efforts to render
our stock of Caves of Skye increasingly incomplete by regularly finding
more caves.

  • New Cave - In May they dug into an 8m long cave in Heast. The walls
    are liberally covered in moonmilk so it has been named Moonmilk Cave. It
    is near the Burrell Collection, but another 250m further up the hill.
    They went looking for the Allt Aulavaig Caves near Ord and found them
    all. One of them (no. 5?) was extended from 2m through a couple of small
    chambers to an exit giving a 7m through trip. A dig in a nearby
    resurgence revealed a short length of tight passage North of Ord they
    searched for Mossy Cave, but failed to find it. Can anyone help?
  • New Cave - Iris Cave - In June David reported that they had just
    dug into what is probably an abandoned downstream extension of High
    Pasture Cave (HPC). From the iris infested entrance a slide down enters
    a chamber 4 x 2m and about 1.5m high. Downstream is 5 to 6m of lowering
    passage, upstream there is 25m of crawling to walking passage
    reminiscent of HPC and heading towards it. They are digging the end and
    extending it further towards HPC.

    Bones in a high level oxbow have been examined by Steve Birch and
    some with cut marks have definitely been butchered and are likely to
    have been washed through from HPC. There must be a chance of connecting
    the two caves and David and Ritchie could do with some help with the
    dig. There is also the big question of where this passage joins HPC.
    We'll take the Heyphones along and radiolocate the end of Iris Cave at
    the Annual Dinner if not before.

    In the 150m gap between Terminal Chamber in HPC and its resurgence is
    Uamh Gloine Bhriste (Cave of Broken Glass). In dry weather David and
    Ritchie just about doubled its length. They pushed upstream for 28m
    ending in a good sized but unstable chamber. Hanging blocks discouraged
    staying around to look properly for the way on, but the stream appeared
    to issue from a low undercut of rock.

APPIN

  • Uamh nan Claig-ionn - This cave was chosen to be the first in
    Scotland to have BCA approved eco-anchors (or P-hangers) installed by
    trained installers ie Peter Ireson and Ivan. The first trip in April did
    most of the work but the resin used to glue the anchors into the wall
    set so fast that there wasn't time to move between pitches and we ran
    out of nozzles. We did install 11 anchors but needed to complete the
    Y-hang, and add a deviation on the 2nd pitch. We returned in July with
    Mark Lonnen, Irina Erchova and Rachael Huggins for a full SRT descent
    and completed the installation.

    A later trip by Peter and Mark added a traverse line on the entrance
    climb and trundled the loose slabs at the top of the 2nd pitch. We've
    not removed any of the existing anchors yet. Several look perfectly okay
    and may be so, while some old spits are a) corroded and b) have been
    installed in a really silly place. Next time we are there we'll fill
    them with mud or, if we have any, resin.

YORKSHIRE

There have been trips into Sunset, Great Douk, Rift Pot (Marble
Steps), Tatham Wife, Notts Pot, Rowten Pot, Cow Pot, Marble Steps and
more during the last three months. Peter Ireson and Mark Lonnen continue
to feature heavily in the cast with Ross Davidson as new GSG Caving
Secretary aiming to keep the cave count growing faster Peter Dennis
travelled from Wales to join the Cow Pot meet, added Bull Pot, and did
the round trip again a few weeks later for Notts Pot.


Progress at High Pasture Cave

There have already been exciting developments this year from the
archaeological digs in and around the cave. The corroded remains of what
appears to be an early socketed iron axe head were found in Bone
Passage. If true this is a rare find probably dating from between the
8th to 5th century BC. Taking the history further back, a uranium
thorium date from a stalagmite boss above a deposit of cow bones in Bone
Passage came in at around 4000 years BP. The cow bones would have been
placed several hundred years earlier. A surface trench has found the
infilled remains of structures older than the entrance stairway. One is
possibly an earlier entrance. There are also walls arcing around the
present 'cavers' entrance that might have been intended to divert water
down it as an early flood control measure. In another trench digging has
found possible postholes in the basal clay with associated flint tools
that appear to be Mesolithic. This pushes human occupation of the site
back many thousands of years BP. All this greatly increases its
significance, and the variety and quantity of finds and the lengthy
period of occupation must make it one of the most important sites in the
Western Isles.

The website contains many
photographs of the work and the finds. There is a report on the
Specialists Meeting and Seminar held in Skye during June. This brought
together all the 'ologists concerned in interpreting the finds from the
cave with about 40 folk attending. Unfortunately neither Ivan nor Tim
Lawson were able to be there.

From the 4th to the 8th September there will be Open Days at the site
including on-site events, displays and guided walks including displays
of prehistoric craft skills. You are welcome to visit any day and you
should find work progressing from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm Mondays to Friday
until the end of September.

Ivan


2007 Meets and Events

See the events page.

New Caving Secretary

The GSG now has a new Caving Secretary. Ross Davidson volunteered to
fill the post and as an active caver he's already got ides on how to
fill the meets list, but before he does he'd like to hear which caves
should be booked in Yorkshire, which other areas in the UK deserve to be
visited, and how many weekends to leave free for local trips arranged at
short notice. Contact him with your requests at 07794 740021(mobile).


Membership News

New Members

New members since March are:- Richard Boyle, Peter Hardyman, Andy Wright.

New Addresses

Peter Dennis, Iain Greig.

Other Changes

Paul Archibald mobile;
Chris Chapman work email;
Nathan Critchlow-Watton mobile;
Ross Davidson mobile, work;
Lisa Kamphausen email;
Graham Marshall email;
Hugh Penney email;
Derek Pettiglio mobile;
Carol Walford email.

  • Alison Jones has been caught up in the chaotic National Health
    Service jobs market for junior doctors. She writes:- "In a few days I
    finish my current job, and due to a slight lack of employment in this
    country, am moving to New Zealand. We will be in Whangarei (North
    Island), a few kilometres from a small cave system called Abbey Caves,
    which has some nice formations for the first 6 months, then head to the
    southern end of the north island for the rest of the year. Any GSG
    members who find themselves in NZ would be welcome to stop by. Any post
    sent to Rosemary and Bob should eventually find its way to me. Best
    wishes, and look forward to seeing you when we return (after a year, or
    maybe 2 or possibly 3.......) Alison :-)"
  • Other freshly graduated GSG doctors have fared better. Dr Julian
    Warren has a post in York and Dr Hugh Penney will be going to the Royal
    Alexandra at Paisley then move to Oban in December. Congratulations to
    both on passing their final examination.
  • Julian and Carol Walford have now both 'retired' and though Julian is
    indulging in consultancy work back at Dounreay, he is finding more time
    for midweek trips to Assynt.
  • Mary Harrison is another retiree and will move to Croy once her new
    house is built there. Until then she is promising to help with
    redecoration at the hut and is planning an extended touring holiday
    around South America - saves renting in Inverness while waiting for
    house building to complete.

Elphin Caving Centre

This year's maintenance programme hasn't really started yet, while
the excavation for the shed extension is languishing unfinished. Most of
the rooms could do with a coat of paint and other items such as the FM
aerial which isn't working properly need fixed. Mary Harrison

We have had a blitz on the nettle population treating them with
Roundup at irregular intervals and the brown patches around the fence
testify to its efficacy. Feel free to continue the campaign whenever you
are there.

Our crop of trees round the hut is growing well. Those in front of
the conservatory are being trimmed to reveal the view. After
consultation one rowan growing too close to the holly was felled by
Julian Walford. The hedge though thin in places is growing vigorously
and being encouraged to grow more densely by periodic trimming.

Hut fees are L5.00 per night for non-members and L2.50 for GSG,
Bradford and BEC members. Reduced to L3.00 and L2.00 for children,
students, the unemployed and OAPs. Camping is at a reduced rate of L2.00
only when the hut is full. Day fees are L1.00 for members and L2.00 for
non-members.

If you want to stay in the hut at any time please contact the Hut
Warden - Peter Dowswell - to check if there will be space (01463 229250). There will usually be a few bunks spare if
large groups are staying. Even if all bunks are occupied the bed-settees
by the fire are recommended and spare mattresses in the front bunk room
can be used in the conservatory.


Assynt News

  • The Alt reopens - The new landlord of the Alt is Mike Dwyer who comes
    from several years running the Castle Hotel in Portmahomack. With his 13
    year old daughter and partner Katrina (a vet) they opened for business
    on Friday 22nd June just as we all arrived for the Midsummer BBQ
    weekend. The Alt has gained a new coat of paint, soft furnishings and
    some heat exchangers outside the beer store. The walls are somewhat bare
    compared to yesteryear, but there are still a couple of caving photos
    and the opportunity to donate a few more.

    Mike has Caledonian 80/-, Deuchars IPA, McEwans 70/-, Kronenburg,
    Fosters and Strongbow on tap. He is planning guest ales from local
    breweries eg Isle of Skye, Black Isle, Seil or Oyster plus a selection
    of 'local' malts.

    His initial plans were to serve light snacks during the day with
    evening meals Monday to Saturday and Sunday lunches. He's already
    changing his plans as he learns what his customers need: he was serving
    meals on his first Sunday evening! They had a great first weekend, and
    then discovered how variable trade can be when Monday arrived but
    customers didn't!

    We were impressed with the one meal we have had there so far. Good
    food and more than enough of it. There were even some chips left over in
    the extra large bowls he provided for our table.

    Mike is keen on organising events and on our second weekend there
    he'd organised a guitarist for the Saturday evening. This proved almost
    superfluous when a stag party arrived attired in 'arab' costume (except
    for a particularly hairy mini-skirt clad specimen) and accompanied by
    three pipers in full flight. I'm glad we were in the conservatory
    section as the volume in the bar must have approached painful.

  • Ullapool High School - Caving Cancelled - After several years of
    trouble-free caving trips into Cnockers, Highland Council chose this
    year to ask for some unspecified form of paper qualification. They may
    be thinking of the Local Cave and Mine Leader Assessment (LCMLA) scheme
    that runs in some other UK caving areas. One hasn't been developed for
    Assynt, and requiring it for Cnockers is rather like asking for a
    Mountain Leadership Certificate to go round the paths at the Knockan
    Centre. I am sure one could be developed, and GSG member John Crowsley
    who lives in Scourie, is a CIC and gives and assesses LCMLA courses
    could easily do so. The teachers at Ullapool High School are less than
    impressed with Highland Council who also want the cave guide to be
    employed by the school in order to be covered by the Highland council's
    adventure activity licence. Groan!

Internet Caving

The satellite imagery available on
Google Earth and on
Microsoft's Live Search Maps
is all very well, but of poor
resolution over areas of real interest to us such as Assynt and Skye.
Another site - Multimaps - now has much
improved imagery. Whilst still not as good as that for Edinburgh, in
Assynt it is good enough to see the shakeholes opposite the Bone Caves
and to see a light coloured patch that might just be the tip at Rana
Hole.

An interesting site of possible relevance to our 'mining' activities
in Rana Hole is
McIntosh Engineering
They publish a Hard Rock Handbook and
the site includes a list of hundreds of Rules of Thumb for the mining
industry. The one that caught my eye was for hoist speed. If H is the
hoisting distance then Optimum Speed (m/s) = 0.405 H½ , where H is in
metres. So for Rana that gives about 2.2 m/s - something for our
cyclists to aspire to.

Andrew Brooks pointed out that the BGS have a new edition of the 1:50,000
Assynt Special Sheet (Bedrock). It is a fully revised replacement
for the classic 1923 Assynt Special Sheet, and incorporates the wealth
of mapping and research work that has been carried out in the area since
the original Special Sheet was published. The new map also includes
extensive cross-sections, annotated photographs, and a diagram showing
the main structures, which help the user to understand the structural
complexities of this internationally famous area. Buy it online for £12 at the
BGS shop.


GSG publications (prices to non-members in brackets)

Caves of Skye          - 6.00 (8.50)  Caves of Assynt    -  6.00 (8.50)*
Caving Songs of Mendip - 3.00 (4.00)  Caves of Schichallion 3.00 (4.00)*
The Southern Highlands - 1.20 (1.50)  Appin Cave Guide    - 1.50 (2.00)*
Appin Cave Guide Supplement    2.00 (2.50)
Buddy reading (Caving in Couplets)  2.00 (2.50)
                  * out of print - photocopies available
          GSG Ties - 5.00, T-shirts 8.00 and sweat shirts 10.00
            Contact Alan to hear what colours are available.

Postage extra - order from:-    Alan Jeffreys, 8 Scone Gardens,
                                Edinburgh, EH8 7DQ (0131 661 1123)
                        or:-    Ivan Young, 45 Maitland Road,
                                Kirkliston, West Lothian,
                                EH29 9AP (0131 333 3084)
                Please make cheques payable to "G.S.G."

Scottish Cave Rescue Organisation News


New First Aid Kits

Kate Janossy has made up four new first aid kits in grey Pelicases
plus a fifth for demonstrations and for use during exercises in a yellow
case. Two of the kits are in the Assynt MRT post at Inchnadamph and the
others are in our Winchburgh store.


New Stretchers Ordered

Our present Gemini stretcher is well scraped and its straps must be
past the usually accepted life for fabric PPE items. As a full
affiliated member team of the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland we
can request medical equipment from the Order of St John though the MRC
of S Medical Officer. We have asked for Slix100 full length and Slix50
half length stretchers, the latter with its articulated skirt to protect
the thighs, plus a spinal splint that is compatible with both. Details
can be found on the
JA&RE REACT
web site.

We'll also be ordering the BCRC casualty bag once it is in production
and hope to persuade AMRT to get the same gear for their Inchnadamph
rescue post. Perhaps we'll have them in time for the October Assynt
exercise.


Assynt Exercise

Our annual joint exercise with Assynt MRT is being planned for the
first weekend in October - probably Saturday the 6th. It is too early to
tell you what is planned, but you should reserve that weekend in your
diary now.


SCRO Clothing

Mark Lonnen has an agreement with a local company to embroider the
SCRO logo onto a variety of different items of clothing in a rainbow of
colours - except I can't find yellow! Some committee members have
ordered a few items and they have turned out very well.

You can view the catalogue in the members' section of the
SCRO website.
The members' link is at the bottom of the home
page. If you've lost the email with the login details just ask Ivan or
Mark. Once you've decide what to order, print out and fill in the order
form and send it with a cheque payable to 'SCRO' to Mark Lonnen,
Hunthall Cottage, Glendevon, Dollar, Clackmannanshire, FK14 7JZ Every
item you buy includes a small contribution to SCRO funds.


Volunteer Time

The most expensive part of running a voluntary rescue organization
doesn't appear in the yearly accounts. That is the cost of the time you
donate to it during callouts, during exercises, while on training
courses and while running the organization. This is now changing as OSCR
(Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator) wants an assessment of the
contribution made by volunteers to appear in the annual report. The
MRCofS also want it from member teams to help them in negotiations with
the Scottish Executive to renew the grant aid they've enjoyed over the
last five years. This time we have hopes of being included. So please
keep a record of the time you spend and the miles you drive on SCRO
activities. Ivan and Dave will be asking for them when they write the
annual report if not before.


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