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caving with epilepsy

Hi all
I have a caving friend who has just been diagnosed with epilepsy, she has blank outs and is not able to do anything for a couple of minuets.
Ime after some advise for her on how she should continue caving including SRT.

Has any one been caving with a epileptic? Anyone on here have the condition and is willing to share their stories/advise?

She is worried  her caving life is over  and that she will no longer be able to enjoy the sport, she has already had do give her driving licence in which is gutting for her.

sensible comments only please




Active member
We used to go caving with an epileptic bloke.  We top roped him for a while then stopped bothering after he got an actual autolock descender, I think it was an Anthron.  We changed to use 10mm rope rather than 9mm in case we had to have 2 on a rope at any point and never really went that deep or through difficult bits, not because he couldn't but because I was a bit wimpy.  He always carried a survival bag and food in case we were stuck for a while.
Although we thought about it and thought we were prepared, he never had a seizure when we were caving, but did one morning which stopped him coming.  Thinking about it now, we weren't really prepared at all, but he was happy enough with our efforts.  He got work abroad after a year or so and sold his gear so I assume he's not caving anymore.



  As I'm sure your friend is finding out, epilepsy is massively variable in severity. There's loads of good info out there so I won't repeat it - www.epilepsy.org.uk  is great.

From personal experience it's a pain in the arse! Eventually it is often controllable through medication but it can take a while to get that sorted out. I have a mild form which is controlled and I now have no problems; in fact I'm a qualified caving instructor (well, CIC trained) and also have instructor qualifications in climbing, mountaineering and paddlesports. None of the NGBs have an issue as long as my health is in order, the strictest are the DVLA but I've been driving for 10 years, now with no bother.

I push myself (physically) a little in caving and other sports and feel it helps me a great deal.

Everyone's different but I hope she will keep her chin up, so to speak.