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Descent (175)
  • Descent (175)
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Descent (175), December 2003


Descent (175), December 2003

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Descent (175), December 2003

In Hensler’s Footsteps

Four years of relentless digging have produced the first new entrance to the Gaping Gill system in almost fifty years. Dave Haigh tells the tale, with his fellow diggers’ contributions, of the trials and tribulations that opened the route through Hensler’s High Aven.

Our Biggest Liability

On 8 November British cavers awoke to find that BCRA’s caving insurance policy had expired, leaving access agreements in limbo and liabilities unprotected. We report how the caving world reached this sorry state, and its immediate aftermath.

Gear Review

Speleo Technics Nova

Two cavers, with different viewpoints, offer their thoughts on the new light that everyone wants to learn more about: Speleo Technics’ Nova.

Britain’s Earliest Cemetery

Remains collected from Aveline’s Hole on Mendip were largely destroyed during the Second World War, but a re-examination of surviving fragments has revealed the importance of this site.

Nobody Said it Would Get Harder

The first part of Dave Nixon’s article on the discovery of Titan shaft produced a lot of feedback from cavers eager to learn more of this massive project. Without further ado, therefore, here is the next instalment of the Titan dig.

When to Retire Your Rope

How long a rope should remain in active use is an oft-asked question: three years, five years, only if it survives a drop test? Bob Mehew presents an interim report on the findings to date from a long-term testing project – with surprising results.

The Descent Caption Competition

Cavers produced a mammoth set of entries in their hope of winning a tackle sack stuffed with 50m of rope, donated by Caving Supplies. You’ll find the winner and near misses here; read and enjoy!

Come Cavers to Upton

The recent Hidden Earth conference was both well organised and a pleasure to attend. This is the first part of an extended report, with details of talks and events throughout the packed weekend.

Mind Over Matter

In a special Christmas competition, Descent joins forces with Oregon Scientific to bring readers the chance to win an outstanding Outbreaker Mountain watch.

Cover: Ben Lovett in Ogof Fynnon Ddu. Photo: Chris Howes

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Publication date:
December 2003
Back issues:
In stock

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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.

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Descent (175), December 2003

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