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I would like to have a go at caving

K

Kosta

Guest
Hello,im interested in caving but i have a few queries first.
Is it necessery to be comfortable with abseiling down large slopes to be a practical caver?where should i go about getting hold of the apprpriate equipment and is it necessery to cave in groups?Do(although im not saying i would do this)people go off caving on there own?

Cheers.Btw which is the best place to go if you live in merseyside?


K
 

Stu

Active member
Being able to abseil isn't a priority nor an absolute necessity.

Join a club to which you'll get access to equipment, experience etc. It can seem a little intimidating at first (the club thing not caving  ;)) but you'll soon get used to it and what can sometimes come across as a bit cliquey isn't; it's camerarderie. Get stuck in an you'll easily fit in (the club thing maybe not the caving this time!! :eek:).

http://www.trycaving.co.uk/index.php

This would be a handy start for you.

There are loads of clubs based in the North West and you have relatively good access to both Derbyshire and the Dales.

Good luck.
 

Brains

Well-known member
You are not far away from N Wales either, which has some impressive natural stuff and loads of old mine workings as well - a great time can be had exploring these, with the industrial history and archaeology sides as extras. Of course, you have Williamsons Tunnels under your own doorstep to go at as well.
Underground fun is usually best practised as a group thing, at least until you are competent and have the ability to judge risk for your self. If you here of a particular site, or cant get into somewhere, just ask - the access info is readily available from the right people. Again, a club will help here in finding out where to go and how to get in. In fairness I should point out that a few people reject the idea of clubs and plough their own furrow, but I would say it is simpler with the group structure.
 

Hammy

Member
As an advocator of the 'ploughing ones own furrow' approach (which is much more adventurous and ultimately rewarding) you would need to find a like minded friend of sound judgement, read as much caving literature as you can lay your hands on, have a healthy regard for prevailing weather conditions (rain), make sure you don't fall down any holes and keep looking back so you can find your way back out!!

Clothing needs to be warm and suitable (hence the reading caving literature) and lighting needs to be bombproof (ie good helmet mounted light plus spares).

Asking nicely would provide a whole host of suggestions for initial forays into simple caves from forums such as these, caving shops etc..

For anything more ambitious than simple trips you might consider a day or two with a professional caving instructor who could answer all your questions, provide non technical equipment (clothing etc) and technical equipment for SRT (ie abseiling down ropes and climbing back up them), accompany you on trips and generally mentor you in the right direction, giving a lot of practical advice and information with a very keen eye on safety. http://www.caveinstructor.org.uk/

Clubs, as Stu says can be cliquey and socially intimidating and don't suit everybody!! I know several people in well established clubs who have serious reservations about the technical competence of the people who lead and take responsibility for less experienced club members!

I was brought up on Merseyside and now cave mainly in the Yorkshire Dales, though the Peak District isn't far away from Merseyside. There is a lot more variety of caving in the Dales.
 

cap n chris

Well-known member
If you just want to "have a go" at caving and don't consider yourself a candidate for a long-term membership of a club, starting from the very beginning and learning the trade, so to speak/write, but rather you feel that you'd just like to have a good taste of what caving/potholing has to offer then I would recommend the advice above to get yourself a professional caver to provide a tailor-made day for you; this will enable you have to a first hand insight into what we find so compelling about this amazing "hobby" and will be money very well spent - you'll get to do stuff in a planned, measured and controlled way where you will be the focus of attention. If your enquiry is as a result of seeing caving portayed in the media this will be the quickest and most rewarding way of "having a go".

 

Chris J

Active member
I thoroughly recommend joining a club and picking one which has the right attitude to a novice caver - e.g. will lend equipment and will provide a proper novice trip (possibly even with other novices so you all learn together).

Alternatively start with an instructor and then join a club.

I don't think much of the 'just have a go' approach for various reasons but overall just telling people this is not a good for caving in general.

New cavers need support and encouragement not to be told "just get on with it".

Look at www.trycaving.co.uk and pick a club which sounds like they will do something to help you.
 

damian

Active member
Chris J said:
I thoroughly recommend joining a club and picking one which has the right attitude to a novice caver - e.g. will lend equipment and will provide a proper novice trip (possibly even with other novices so you all learn together).

Alternatively start with an instructor and then join a club.

I don't think much of the 'just have a go' approach for various reasons but overall just telling people this is not a good for caving in general.

New cavers need support and encouragement not to be told "just get on with it".

Look at www.trycaving.co.uk and pick a club which sounds like they will do something to help you.

:clap: :clap: I hesitate to plug my own club ... I'm tempted though ... no I won't ... there are plenty more like us after all. Just choose wisely.
 
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