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CHECC '19 Comp. Entry Thread: "Our club over the last year"


?Our club over the last year? ? Sponsored by BCA. Prize of ?75 for winning club.


Write a short piece about what your club has been up too over the last year.
Tell us everything from Fresher trips, expeditions and holidays, interesting or unique trips and any difficulties you?ve had that the BCA or CHECC can potentially help with. Look forward to reading!

Post your entries below!


New member
NUCC Caving 2018-19

This year, we have had lots of new keen people joining the club, including several people who were already a part of other ?adult? caving clubs ? SWCC and NPC! We have also encouraged people to try caving for the 1st time and our Peak freshers trips were very successful, despite all the rain!

Over the summer NUCC also reached the dizzying heights of University News publication for the rescue of Yordas the Duckling named after his place of rescue shivering and cold down the first pitch of Yordas cave in the dales. Yordas was rescued in a Daren drum, (previous content yeeted into the cave, sorry Alex) from which he was taken all the way back to Nottingham and rehomed with a bird sanctuary. Article here (https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/sport/news/news/uon-caving-club-called-in-to-rescue-yordas-the-duckling.aspx?fbclid=IwAR0nwqubFi-JcXRwJi-3uC7ObA1SQL6XaPg8wQTbuYiFHg3rkGfINJpZvBI).


We have had trips this term to every caving area, with our freshers day trips a joint weekend with SUSS in the TSG, as well as a joint weekend with ICCC in SWCC in Wales. These were very successful trips, with many people returning on subsequent trips to continue caving! It was nice to have joint trips with SUSS and ICCC again, strengthening our bonds between these 2 clubs in particular.


Our next trip was to the Belfry in Mendips, where we joined for their bonfire night weekend. This was a fun time, and a chance to again meet more of the caving community. We did several trips, including caves that we hadn?t done before, such as Lionels and Bath to Rods. We all joined in on the fun in the evening, with some people getting on the roof, I had a go at fire poi and we all enjoyed the disco. Thanks Belfry! Also a special thanks to CHECC for giving us the 10 free nights at the Belfry!

After that, we went to Bull Pot Farm in Yorkshire. We had some longer trips here doing Lancaster to Wretched Rabbit in a record breaking 12 hours, a photo trip in Shuttleworth and a bumble around the scaffold nightmare of Notts II. This was the 1st chance for freshers to try SRT which went without a hitch and it was a fun if tiring weekend! We have also ran more Wednesday trips this term, to Jug Holes and Brightgate in Matlock, as well as to Carlswalk and Winnat?s Head.

Training has again been successful this year, with an organised system of 3 sessions at the climbing wall before a fresher can go on an SRT trip, as well as a catchup session if needed. Thanks a lot to Natalie and David for sorting all this! We also recently were gifted with the presence of Nigel Atkins, who came to talk to us about kit and different rescue and rigging techniques. Thanks Nigel!

We have continued weekly Thursday socials this term, highlights being a bonfire night complete with a guy, pumpkin carving, a good helping of pub, and a board games social.

This summer a small number of the club went on a club holiday to the Vercours in France for Caving, Kayaking, Via Ferrata and Wine as a recce for a more major trip this year which is already brewing with much excitement. This might be the beginning of an expedition of our very own, but first we need to get competent leaving the country.



We have now made a 5-year plan for the club, including making an informal alumni group for the members leaving this year (and other alumni that we can find). We are also going to have another holiday to the Vercours this summer, hopefully with more members to have fun in the south of France! We have received funding from Nottingham Uni in the form of Distos, a toughcam and various bits to get us ready to survey and put our club name on things, maybe even abroad! We?re hoping to set up an expedition in the next few years.

Louise Ranken (President) and Benedict Claxton Stevens (Treasurer)



New member
Aberystwyth Caving Club
Deri Williams

Another CHECC, another ?Year in our club? report. It doesn?t feel like all that long ago that I was asked to write the last one, and similarly left it to the last moment. Despite being the most predictable thing in the universe, the passage of time in our minds is always skewed. The drinking probably doesn?t help. The year feels like it has barely begun, but at the same time, we?ve fit in numerous trips and a whole weekend away in Westminster?s hidden hut. The freshers are new enough that I sometimes forget their names but feel so established that I?m often confused that they don?t know former members from the club?s recent history.

Thankfully, I am not completely reliant on my fallible meat-memory. ACC has maintained a dedicated tradition of record-keeping since early in the club?s fifty-three-year history. The logbooks are open-source and uncensored. We bring them on every social and away trip to be added to by whichever drunken caver is most to remember where we left it. Between the phallic doodles and in-jokes are trip reports, sketches or our adventures, and sometimes ketchup. Needless to say, this resource is almost entirely responsible for my being able to write this report.

As per usual for Aberystwyth caving club, new freshers were scarce. We successfully recruited only one fresher who persisted the entire year, but we?ll get back to him later.

The weeks following last year?s eventful CHECC were quiet, and people soon disappeared into the festive season (Or at least the logbook doesn?t mention any trips, but that might be because I?m the only person who takes the logbook seriously). But then January came and with it an explosion of trips. A month of Mountain halls, Mines, and a Mendips weekend. We carried this momentum through to February with another weekend away, this time in South Wales. I think all cavers will agree that a day underground is best followed by an intoxicated night away from civilisation and the moments that truly cement a sporting club into a friendship circle.

In March we held our AGM, in our usual unique approach towards democracy and voting systems. We elected a long-overdue president, who was finally in the country for long enough to be eligible to stand in the three years she had been nominated. And that fresher we elected our social secretary in absentia and on a drunken promise that he was happy to do the job.

The rest of the year went well, with a long weekend up in Yorkshire, full of novel and tricky SRT trips. This included in a trip down Alum pot, led and rigged by the then president of Lancaster (to whom we are grateful). CHECC does, occasionally, enable more than irresponsible drinking.

Come September, and we?re back foraging for freshers. As noted in the past, our high average age (by student standards) means we attract more lonely masters students than freshers, those who think the holes in their life left by graduated friends can be filled with holes in the ground. But this year we had a secret weapon: A fresher (ish) social sec. This guy was young, and fun, and was still keen for colourful cocktails and sambuca shots. Maybe by this, or our new highly-competent president, or random luck, we actually had a decent harvest this year.

Couldn?t get any freshers to CHECC though.

Best of luck for the coming year,
Aberystwyth Caving Club.


New member
Manchester's Year

Well, it?s been a busy year for MUSC, full of ups and downs, but overall the club is in a better position than it was this time last year.

That?s not to say that things were bad. On our first weekend trip after CHECC last year, we had our fancy Christmas meal at a place in Castleton, and we got a fair bit of caving done too, so we had a pretty good time. It?s just a shame that there weren?t very many of us. Both (yes, there were only 2) freshers from that year were there, but the club was still looking pretty small. Semester 2 was fast approaching, though, promising an influx of keen and na?ve students to revitalise the club.

I don?t know where these keen and na?ve students went, but we never saw them. Maybe they joined Manchester University Skydiving Club by mistake. That entire semester, MUSC didn?t gain a single member. We still had plenty of nice trips, of course, ranging from the Peak District, to Yorkshire, all the way to South Wales. Not the Mendips, though, thanks to the weather, but I?m sure we didn?t miss out on any good caves.

Apart from our failed Mendips trip, everything went smoothly. Possibly too smoothly. Whilst they were certainly fun, none of our trips that semester were exactly unusual or difficult. Getting to the bottom of Alum Pot (or near enough) is probably the most interesting thing I can mention. The end of the semester was the exception, as our president had organised a reunion for MUSC?s 60th-ish anniversary. Staying at the TSG, turnout was expected to be low, but a good 30 people came along, with former members from all the way back to the ?80s attending. Some of us got a bit of caving done, but the highlights of the weekend were another nice meal in Castleton, featuring speeches from 6 former presidents, and a lot of caving games. Everyone was very? enthusiastic, shall we say. The former members made the students look mature by comparison, which was quite an accomplishment. We also managed to confirm what we had long believed: Manchester hadn?t had a single cave rescue in living memory.

Unfortunately, one of our members seemed to view this as a challenge. At the start of MUSC?s week-long stay in Yorkshire, one of our newer members (okay, fine, it was me) encountered his first deviation in Flood Pot and managed to completely mess it up, getting hypothermia and causing our first cave rescue incident. No real damage was done, except to MUSC?s otherwise spotless reputation, and the rest of our week went well. We only had to abandon two of our five or so trips due to getting lost or stuck.

After summer, of course, came freshers? week. The club was still small, having not grown at all over the year, and we desperately needed new members. We put a lot of effort into convincing freshers that caving was more fun than it sounded, and almost 30 of them actually fell for it! Running 4 freshers? day trips to Bull Pot of the Witches across one weekend was more than a little challenging, especially for the two drivers ferrying freshers between Manchester and Yorkshire, but the freshers loved it. Quite a few of them have stuck around, and on a couple of weekends since, the freshers have outnumbered the older members, which is a nice change. The club has definitely turned a corner, and I am certain that the coming year will be even more eventful and exciting than the last.



New member
OUCC's entry!

I joined CUCC(c) last year and since then we have done loads of amazing things. We went to Yorkshire in easter to practice SRT, including of course alum pot where we got some amazing photos. Over summer a few of us went to Austria for the Dachstein expedition. This was an incredible experience and we absolutely loved all of it. We got some underground and above ground adventures with a trip to a (nudist) spa that meant we had to hike 3 hours down and up the mountain in one day! We have many new freshers this year and naturally we had lots of freshers trips through OFD. We went to the bonfire weekend at BEC and amazingly no one died! 😉 In the future we want to go to Ireland in Easter and again to Austria for the expedition.


New member
Our club over the last year 2019

Over the course of the last year we've had our fair share of ups and downs with some great trips away and caving to be found along the way.
Kicking off the new year a group of SUSS went to the Irish Student Caving Forum and had what can only be described as a great time. As well as this brief international excursion we ran weekends in all the major English caving regions including a few joint weekends with NUCC and GUPA.

As summer fast approached some of our members (and in the final breakthrough trip one of our new members for that year) proved that you don't need to go on expeditions abroad to exotic lands to find exciting new passage, discovering a small chamber and passage at the end of a long term dig in P8.

For many of our members exam season came and went and it was clearly time for a holiday.  Around 10 of us initially went up to sample some of the sport trips that Northern Spain (near Matienzo) had to offer (Tonio-Canuela, Rio Silencio, Rubicera-Mortero). After a slightly longer than expected first trip the rest of the week went more or less according to plan with some great caving trips and even a day on the beach. The second week we were joined by around 10 more and spent the week Canyoning in Rodellar ,a sport remarkably like caving but out in the sunshine (a fact that was enjoyed by all).
Upon returning from Spain we jumped straight into fresher's season and began all the standing around ,posters and evening trips in the cold and (ever earlier) dark that that time of year entails. Despite the low volume of recruits this year on our give it a go trips we've been able to  run several other successful weekends in the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak district since the start of the semester with our new members jumping right into the thick of it (one inadvertently starring in a documentary being made by another group in the cave!).  Some of our members also returned to Ireland for a long weekend at SUICRO. Alongside our weekends away we've been training up our new members in SRT and getting them underground to show off their newfound freedom. 

Despite our issues this year with numbers /recruitment I'm happy to say that the ones we have are keen and raring to go (a fair proportion even made it to CHECC) leaving us feeling positive about the future, whatever that may hold.


New member
Link to above with pictures: https://docs.google.com/document/u/0/d/1zF7uIfFtjvBG2rT-rVWEIfS1e-lqGwQ7OtObKnP84gA/mobilebasic