For years Oxford University Caving Club has fuelled expeditions based on Mornflake instant oats, and this year was no different. To mark thirty years since the discovery of Xitu, the first 1000m cave explored by British cavers, we returned there this summer with a view to tick off unexplored leads, or follow them to...? As well as this we also wished to bottom the cave in double quick time to allow a team of British cave divers to complete one of the worlds deepest through trips, down Cueva Culiembro, dive through flooded passage to Xitu and then exit up 1136m of cave into the Spanish sun.
Sadly we didn't see a great deal of sun this year, infact the Ario plateau seemed to be firmly lodged in a dreadfull rain cloud for days at a time. As we found out, Xitu has quite a sudden reaction to rainfall. As such great care was required to look after ourselves, and through these periods of rainfall we had no choice but to not cave, the choices being that or risk flooding... We ain't silly.
So, the diving goals were not possible, however we did manage to get almost to the bottom in our little windows of dry weather. Everyone had a fantastic time, and no doubt it will remain in the minds of all who were involved for many years to come, as a fantastic expedition.
I would like to extend the thanks of all expedition members to Mornflake for your ongoing support of our expeditions. This generous support has helped many an expedition, and never goes without mention from OUCC members. Aswell as a solid breakfast, the cans themselves are of course of endless uses, from toilet roll tubs to sugar pots to candle holders.
The picture was taken at base camp, situated in The Hall of The Mountain Dwarf, ~-550m, Pozu Del Xitu, 2011, as well as a selection of other nice pictures. All credit for these shots goes to Ross Hemsley.
Once again, big thanks for your support, I look forward to some more porridge and honey next year.
Sponsorship Officer OUCC Xitu 2011