Monday, 10 March 2008

Jodrell Bank and BigVertigoMendoza - 08-09/03/08

Months and months ago I suggested to Dodge and Havoc, 'we should have a crack at Jodrell Bank', Dodge was all 'no way, not a chance and not in a million years'. Havoc on the other hand seemed to think the idea was a goer, so we started recceing the place.

On our first attempt, with Bungle, we were busted by a stealthy ninja security guard, hell, he was brandishing a torch as we made our entry, so we left it for a couple of weeks.

Fast forward those two weeks, and once again, we were approaching the 250ft high dish under cover of darkness. Myself, Havoc and Userscott quietly made our way closer, the sick, knotted feeling in my stomach was growing with every step I took, but Havoc and Scott’s confidence was contagious and we found ourselves outside the fence.

Within seconds Scott was over, closely followed by Havoc, closely followed by me. We ran onto the steps of the beast as she moved slowly past us, and found ourselves climbing a ladder to the first gantry; we’d already travelled 25 metres from our entry point as the telescope assumed its position. The giant stopped within view of the control room and we could see the astronomer working away. F*ck!

We were frozen to the spot as a security guard made his rounds, lying low like we've never lay low before, eventually he disappeared, we quickly made the decision that we’d seen enough for one night, we needed to get out of there, Scott was first down, followed by Havoc, followed by me, making the ten foot drop onto the grass and running full tilt towards the fence and quickly over.

We’d achieved what we wanted to achieve this evening, but wanted more…we returned the following day. This time there were four of us, myself, Havoc, Userscott and Bungle. I'd spent the day as nervous as hell, seriously thinking about giving it a miss, for whatever reason, I just had a bad feeling.
We found an alternative access point, I stalled, then went over the fence, then stalled again, Scott came running over, 'you're gonna be fine, it's ladders all the way', I followed him across the empty ground and up the first ladder, then stalled, Bungle was behind me, 'get yourself up there Bungle, son, tell 'em I can't do it, I got the fear!'.

As soon as my hand touched the rungs of the ladder, I felt the panic and terror set in, I'd be no good freezing on a ladder, not on a site like this, so I quickly made the decision to head back down and act as ground crew, keeping an eye on security whilst the other three made it to the top.

I was gutted with myself, but still sat at the bottom grinning from ear to ear as I watched the three of them make it to the top and disappear into the control box, what a buzz, even for me sat on the ground, stunning work, guys, I'm really, really proud of you!!

Over the past 48 hours or so, I've spent 40 or 50 minutes, sat, stood, lying, climbing the Lovell Telescope, does it constitute an explore, in my eyes, yes, I did it, we did it, and we didn't get caught!!

What next? Something less high I hope...

TnM :->

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