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A Grand Day out for Derbyshire CRO


Saturday the 13th October DCRO had a scheduled training exercise in Peak Cavern. The scenario was 6 missing cavers from the ?Pretty Clueless caving club? missing somewhere in the system?..

Over 25 team members went underground, including 2 divers. After extensively searching the Peak end of the system all 6 were located ? having got themselves into some pretty hairy situations. One had prussiked half way up Victoria Aven then realised they didn?t have a descender (or know how to use one?) and another had somehow manage to freedive the 220m Ink Sump and needed retrieving. Although these scenarios sound a little far-fetched they were very useful in challenging the team members to overcome the problems, source the right equipment and rescue the ?Clueless? cavers.

Whilst a large contingent of the rescue team were occupied underground and before we had had time to set-up a reliable comms' network a real shout came in! Unfortunately for the tourist, but fortunately for cave rescue the incident was a broken ankle in Blue John show cavern and it would be a joint call out with Edale MRT, Buxton MRT and East midlands ambulance service. The team consigned to the surface for the training were mostly redirected to help at Blue John, leaving a skeleton crew of surface comms' in cave dale and one controller left at the van ? dealing with comms, logging and any other issue from both incidents on his own.
With the use of a back rope and ambulance chair (plus a healthy dose of pain killers) the Blue John casualty was brought to the surface and sent on her way to hospital in the ambulance.

Meanwhile some very muddy cavers (the search involved all the filthiest places in Peak ? the wind tunnel, Cohesion crawl, the 1947 series?..) emerged to find they had missed all the excitement.

After washing off (or not in some cases) we converged on a pub in Hope, hoping for pie. We were not disappointed by the pies or pints and then had fun with a caving themed quiz ? including guess the cave from a small section of the survey, guess the cave from the first two lines of it?s description in Caves of the Peak District and of course guess the cave from the photo. Surprising no one guessed Ivy Green cave for the photo of a pretty curtain that Allan found, and no-one else has ever seen??. We did resist the urge to have a guess the cave from the grid reference or guess the cave from an audio recording of the shaft lid closing?? maybe next year!!!