19 October 2012

DT; on the third day we got wet

We had been due to have a morning of climbing on the Wednesday but plans changed. Part of what we have to do was to complete voluntary tasks that would us 'money' which could then be spent in the 'shop' to buy things such as waterproof clothes, climbing gear and safety equipment. Although we had completed enough tasks to afford all of this we unfortunately misread the brief that said out order needed to be in half an hour before the shop opened rather than half an hour before shop shut. This meant we were heavily penalised and had to make new plans. We rescheduled the climbing for another day and were taken out on an expedition.

All I remember from this stage was wading through bogs and seeing the other trainees sinking into muddy water. No that's not true I also remember the rain! We had to walk from one point to another passing several places marked on the OS map. This was a pretty upbeat exercise.

In the evening we were led up the side of a hill in horizontal rain and pitch black. We had a head torch, belt and battery pack each and had to carry out 45 minutes of sweep searching the hillside looking for a cave opening. Eventually we found it though it was barely visible and looked rather like a hole in the ground. While most of us, with sodden feet, huddled under a parachute 'kisu' trying to keep the wind from ripping it out of our hands, a small group were led into the cave and taught how to get the rest of the group down. I had visions of a cave with a narrow entrance that I would have to wriggle through so was pretty nervous, being a little claustrophobic. In fact the 20m entrance was vertical rather than horizontal so I was upright the whole way down. Some amazing guys in the team talked me through everything I had to do; where to put my feet, where to slide and what to hang on to. Once at the bottom we settled, shivering and having the compulsory 30 minute team debrief. Nowhere was even and most of the cave floor was a bunch of rocks. Wet too, obviously.

I had an hour's sleep before getting up at 4:30 to make it to.....well, that's another day!

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