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Descent (154)
  • Descent (154)
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Descent (154), June 2000


Descent (154), June 2000

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Descent (154), June 2000

A Pioneer Cave Diver

‘... first a solo descent with heavy baggage, nine hours – a night below – a day with jumper and sledge – the arrival of a companion – a shot while dining under the poised blocks since fallen – exit – trousers freezing in the cold night air – a wild career over the misty flats to Taunton and bed ...’ Graham Balcombe writes here of blasting Sump 1 in Swildon’s Hole; he died on 19 March. Widely loved and respected, here is caving’s tribute to this cave diving pioneer.

BCRC Incident Report 1999

Here are the full details of all the accidents, incidents and analysis from the rescues of 1999 – as prepared by the British Cave Rescue Council.

The Abseiling Experience

An SRT trip where everything is doomed – have you been here?

Pitch after Pitch after Pitch

The Dales’ discovery of Trapdoor Pot plunges deep beneath the fells, pitch after pitch after pitch punctuated by squeezes. With names like The Ripper, The Gripper and The Stripper, are you tempted to tackle what lies below: Megatron pitch?

Crewe Caps it All

Not content with having opened up the Climbing Shaft in Derbyshire’s Whalf Mine, members of Crewe CPC tackled the nearby Engine Shaft – and discovered another, unsuspected shaft alongside. Fancy a superb free-hang and a new through-trip?

One Hundred Years of Exploration

In 1895 it was a Frenchman, Martel, who finally bottomed Gaping Gill. One hundred years later Sid Perou, with plenty of cavers to help, filmed a re-enactment of the descent. Now, after suitable editing and splicing new images into the sequence, a video is on sale courtesy of Bradford PC; it is reviewed here by Steve Warren.

Images from the Past

Your replies have identified last month’s image; can you help with details on ‘ballooning’ in Eldon Hole?

Gear Review

Crusader Wetsuit

Crusader Wetsuits are new to the sport – how did the range of longjohns, shorts, wetsocks and more stand up to an underground test?

The Descent Caption Competition

Your last chance to enter the latest Descent Caption Competition has arrived – win yourself one of three books, but be quick off the mark.

Cover: Hugh St Lawrence in The Stripper, the crux of Trapdoor Pot. Photo: Pete Hall

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Product Details

Data sheet

Publication date:
June 2000
Back issues:
In stock

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We regret that due to the volatility of Royal Mail postage charges, we have been forced to remove the option for two-year subscriptions. We have also been forced to remove the option for economy mail to the EU, given indications that Royal Mail intends to remove this service.

All international mail is now being despatched in paper wrapping using Royal Mail customs and address labels mandated by them. We also regret this means we can no longer indicate the last issue of your subscription on the mailing sheet or supply a reminder to renew with the final edition. Please track your own subscription ending or check with us at any time. Subscriptions begun since September 2021 have a comment added in your account (under the tab for the order) which records the final issue to be supplied.


On 1 July 2021 the EU removed all exemptions for tax and customs duty on low value items posted from the UK to the EU, meaning that although VAT is 0% on books and magazines in the UK, it is charged within the EU and the VAT (potentially plus a handling fee) now apply to all orders to the EU.

Ideally, the VAT should be paid at the point of posting, but doing so requires registration with an agent to handle the payments, and this is incredibly expensive and not financially viable. To be clear, all small publishers in the UK are in the same position and we are unable to post any items to the EU with VAT or other duties paid.

Ordering any item from Wild Places, including a Descent subscription, requires that you accept responsibility of paying the VAT and any other local charges on delivery.

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We apologise for the situation, but it is outside our control. We will maintain a link from the left-hand column on the home page with the latest updates. If you are an existing subscriber to Descent and have not replied yet to our enquiries concerning your deliveries, please make contact.

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Descent (154), June 2000

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