RRCPC Newsletter
Volume 42 Number 1 Article 4
May 2005

"Hilti Capping"

The following is a letter from Tony Tanner intended for Sandra to read in case she was "short at the dinner". (Sam Lieberman points out that Sandra will always be short, at dinners or otherwise!)

Dear Sandra,

With reference to the RRCPC Member-ship skills and training survey which was included with the News Sheet; I noticed that under caving activity at No. 10 was the very old 'sport' of "Hilti capping". It was some years ago that I had the pleasure of catching and capping my last Hilti and I thought they had become extinct. I have looked in many books of reference (have not been to your library yet) and cannot find a thing, so Ian Lawton is one up on me.

To put you in the picture about these proud animals. They are difficult to spot as they take on the colour of their surroundings, keep very still, and do not make a sound except when trodden on. They have a tough skin with warts, much like a toad. They have a defence mechanism which is very effective, they fire squirts of excrement at all and sundry when approached. This is not too bad providing they have not been feeding on the fruit of the fig tree recently. No doubt you can see why they need capping before they are skinned and stuffed ready for cooking.

The first one I caught was in Herbert's wellington, but I let it go as I think it came from the Tip, a lot of his food did. A word of warning about the Capping, and this is where the sport comes in - the Hilti has what looks like an arse at both ends so it is best to wear a wetsuit.

Happy hunting.

Tony Tanner

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