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Essential Caving Books

Minion

Member
A conversation with a new club member this afternoon has prompted a thought, what are the 'essential reads' for cavers?

My main focus is Blaenavon, Llangattock over to Trefil, so I'd start with:

- Chelsea SS Llangattock Exploration Journal (Vol 19, 1992)
- Limestones and Caves of Wales, Trevor D Ford, 1989
- Darkworld, Martyn Farr, 1998
-A Caver's View of the Clydach River, Theo Schuurmans, 1987
-Caves of South Wales, Tim Stratford, 1995

General Caving Books:
- The Geology of Western Europe, M.G.Rutten, 1969
-Karst: Important Karst Regions of the Northern Hemisphere, M.Herak and V.T. Stringfield, 1972
-British Caving: An Introduction to Speleology, C.H.D Cullingford, 1953 (I have a signed copy  :sneaky:)
- The Underground Atlas, J Middleton and T Waltham, 1986

What would everyone else add to the list?

May also be worth adding to the UKCaving Wiki??
 

Fulk

Well-known member
Subterranean Climbers (about the Trou du Glaz System)

1000 Metres Down (about the Berger)
 

Mark Wright

Active member
Gouffre Berger - L'esprit d'?quipe (about the Berger) - Available from www.gouffreberger.org - ?40.00 - All profits to GPF

Mark
 

cap n chris

Well-known member
Minion said:
A conversation with a new club member this afternoon has prompted a thought, what are the 'essential reads' for cavers?

For a new club member, the first and best book to get and read in its entirety is:

http://amzn.eu/ecxmNqf

 

AWW

New member
I can't remember the author but Speleology, the study of caves is a great book for the science.
 

Huge

Well-known member
Subterranean Climbers
One Thousand Metres Down
The Darkness Beckons
Adventures Underground
Swildon's Hole - 100 years of Exploration
Lechuguilla - Jewel of the Underground

More local books:-
Tony's guides
The Draenen special Caves and Carst Science
SWCC's 50th Aniversary Newsletter
 

tamarmole

Active member
Disgusted from Cornwall. said:
Alpine Caving Techniques and On Rope.

Good call, gives you two differing perspectives on vertical techniques.

On the techniques / equipment front Caving Practice & Equipment is well worth laying hands on (although it is getting a bit long in the tooth).

In terms of inspirational texts Subterranean Climbers, Beneath the Mountains and Ghar Parau  get my vote.

A decent first aid manual is a good investment.

Also grab as many area guides as you can as they do go out of print.
 

Tommy

Active member
Macdonald Starters: Caves.

A masterpiece of the genre.
Highly educational, and packed cover to cover with detailed images with elucidating explanations for the nascent caver.
 

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Kenilworth

New member
Huge said:
Subterranean Climbers
One Thousand Metres Down
The Darkness Beckons
Adventures Underground
Swildon's Hole - 100 years of Exploration
Lechuguilla - Jewel of the Underground

More local books:-
Tony's guides
The Draenen special Caves and Carst Science
SWCC's 50th Aniversary Newsletter

I wouldn't let a beginner anywhere near the Lechuguilla book. There's little chance they'll ever see Lech or anything like it in person, so best to avoid unrealistic portrayals of caves and caving.

Subterranean Climbers and The Darkness Beckons are excellent. Two somewhat obscure American books worth reading are The Grand Kentucky Junction and Letters From TAG. They are both very candid and informal and give a good idea of the emotions and motivations that are part of years and decades-long endeavor.
 

Fulk

Well-known member
I read and enoyed an Americann book called ? I think ? Under Plowman's Floor; I believe that this is a fictionalized account of the story of the link-up between the Mammoth Cave and Flint Rdge Caves Systems. Anyway, I thought that it was well told, and gave a good insight into the motivation of cavers (guys driving for 8 hours or more just to go caving, for example).

Do you have any comments on this, Kenilworth?
 

Kenilworth

New member
Fulk said:
I read and enoyed an Americann book called ? I think ? Under Plowman's Floor; I believe that this is a fictionalized account of the story of the link-up between the Mammoth Cave and Flint Rdge Caves Systems. Anyway, I thought that it was well told, and gave a good insight into the motivation of cavers (guys driving for 8 hours or more just to go caving, for example).

Do you have any comments on this, Kenilworth?

I have read it, but I have trouble with even well-written fictionalized stories. If you're going to tell the truth by lying, then you don't need to stretch and degrade and misrepresent any true story for your basis. The Grand Kentucky Junction is the actual story of the same project. It is a collection of accounts by the individuals personally involved, and so all the work and egos and excitement and misery shine through the untrained writing.

 

Fulk

Well-known member
OK Kenilworth, thanks for that insight. But ? what the hell, I enjoyed it!

I guess I'll try and locate a copy of The Grand Kentucky Junction.
 

Kenilworth

New member
Fulk said:
OK Kenilworth, thanks for that insight. But ? what the hell, I enjoyed it!

Nothing wrong with that! I only meant that I always get distracted comparing the fiction with fact and can't enjoy the story.
 

jbaer

New member
My favorites:

THE CONCISE CAVES OF DEVON
THE CAVES OF CORNWALL                                                                                                                                                                             
THE C & MINES OF ANGLESEY                                                                                                                                                                       
THE CONCISE CAVES OF NORTH WALES                                                                                                                                                                           
A BIBLIO OF N WALES CAVES                                                                                                                                                                       
THREE BELOW GOWER                                                                                                                                                                         
THE CAVES OF THE SOUTH GOWER COAST                                                                                                                                                                     
THE CAVES OF CARMARTHEN                                                                                                                                                                       
THE CAVES OF WEST WALES                                                                                                                                                                           
THE CAVES OF CLYDACH GORGE                                                                                                                                                                           
THE CAVES OF THE SOUTCROP                                                                                                                                                                       
CAVES OF THE C N OUTCROP                                                                                                                                                                         
THE CAVES OF THE S EOUTCROP                                                                                                                                                                             
THE CAVES FOREST OF DEAN                                                                                                                                                                         
THE MINES FOREST OF DEAN                                                                                                                                                                         
THE C & M SYCHRYD GORGE                                                                                                                                                                         
THE CAVES L NEATH VALLEY                                                                                                                                                                       
THE SILICA MINES L NEATH VALLEY                                                                                                                                                                                 
THE CAVES W BANK AFON TAWE                                                                                                                                                                             
THE MINES OF IRELAND                                                                                                                                                                       
THE CAVES OF CO. CORK                                                                                                                                                                                 
All books on Scotland                                                                                                                                                                           
THE CAVES OF MALTA                                                                                                                                                                         
A PHILIPPINE CAVE INDEX                                                                                                                                                                             
THE MENDIP CAVER                                                                                                                                                                               
SIXTY YEARS UNDER  EARTH                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                         

 
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