It appears that there's no pub nearby either. Hmm, it looks like a cross between a Ray Mears' programme and a Caving symposium. Sounds impressive though but the expression "Middle of nowhere" does spring to mind.
It's truly heartwarming to see this much enthusiasm for expeditions but why ponce about in a known cave when you've got the opportunity to explore? Took me years as a youngster to get invited on exploration trips and yet I offer that golden apple to anyone with motivation! Most of you are aware of the legendary Dachstein Caving Expeditions in Austria, I assume? We're heading off for a month from 9th July and take all sorts of wasters on the trip. Group consists of seasoned veterans to students who've never left the country before (about 25 of us in total). Objectives range from easily-accessible surface shafts to truly horrendous deep potholes. Loads for everyone. We split into small teams depending upon objectives. Definitely not a tourist cave area but we're generally quite relaxed: if people want to prop up the bar that's fine. Couple of caves where there could be buried treasure: will lend you a crow bar and send you off digging. Yeah, right...
If anyone wants to come along then please get in touch as we always need more people. Some of your mates may be going; so far the list of personnel is:
Cardiff Uni:- Ian, Rhys, Grace, Louis, Annie, Dave, Thom, Ruth, Matt, Alys, Jason, Pippa, Hannah, Daf, Bea.
Non-student cavers: Jim Cochrane (BEC), Martin Groves (SWCC/CDG), Mad Phil Rowsell (BEC), Rich Hudson (TSG/CDG), Sarah Phizacklea (Nelson Speleo Group), Joel Corrigan (er, none), Donald Rust, Louisa Rust, Clara Rust, Harlan Rust, Steffen Greschner (some German club), Peter Huebner, Clemence, Johann.
Give me a shout if you're interested. Dirt cheap (Â£50) plus transport. email to email@example.com
Come on: let's see how motivated the cavers of Britain are.
Er, think I was just recruiting for the Austrian expedition, wasn't I? Southampton Uni are (or have been) a part of the Dachstein Caving Expedition: they don't have their own project out there. Over the last few years the clubs involved have been: Cardiff Uni, Southampton Uni, Portsmouth Uni, Reading Uni, BEC, TSG, SWCC, CDG, plus loads more that I can't remember. Hope that's cleared up.
Well, last time I posted something on this site about the Dachstein Expedition I was inundated with interested expedition cavers - NOT! Well, never one to give up easily let's try again...
Dates not fixed yet but probably a month-long period in July and August '06. This is one of the premier regions of Austria with some of the biggest potential in the world. To give you an idea, the resurgence for the Hirlatz Hole (93km long, 1.1km deep, single entrance) is at 500m altitude, the current 600m deep cave we're pushing is at 2100m altitude, giving us a depth potential of 1.6km. As if that weren't enough, the mountain range goes up to 3000m, and the realistic depth potential of the area is a staggering 2.5km!
Pushing the deep caves is hard and requires fitness & experience. However, there are countless shallower caves and surface shafts that are ideal sites for people to gain skills. We organise workshops before departure covering areas such as surveying, rigging, emergencies etc.. Cost is minimal and the rewards are great. The keener you are the more you'll get out of it. Tend to camp at remote cave entrances but we've got a couple of huts in the mountains so pretty luxurious.
We're the only team pushing a huge mountain range and we need more people. Every year we have upwards of 25 cavers of all abilities but it's not enough. Our team is a mixture of students, grizzled veterans, and pub athletes so there's a place for all. During the winter we push the Hirlatz itself as it's a only possible when the mountains are frozen. There are approximately four or five regular big European projects being undertaken by the Brits so if anyone wants to get involved or just wants to know more before they commit then please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the ideal project for any uni clubs out there wanting to join an exped en-masse.
Some information for the terminally bored.
Exped dates: Weekend of 7th July til 6th August.
Come for a few weeks or a month.
Those coming this year: Lots of old gits like me; Cardiff Uni, Reading Uni, Southampton Uni, Aberystwyth Uni, plus a few more individual students and real people. Expecting about thirty this year over the whole period.
Pig Pen 2: 450m deep pothole, wide open, awkward.
Gowling Hale: 600m deep, bit of a beast, need to camp, undescended shaft, depth potential 1.7km.
M54: our local cave, quite civilised, <200m deep, wide, wide open at end.
Trouserfiller: ring-twitching site involving abseiling over 800m high cliff to pendulum into entrance. Very exciting.
Hidden Hole: Nasty, hard cave c.400m deep but we're not pushing the end; going for some shallower leads.
Dozens of other caves need pushing and that's why we need a big team.
As I've probably stated before, the caving can be as hard or as easy as you want to make it. Pushing the limits of the deep caves can be appallingly difficult but exploring the shallower sites is within everyone's grasp.
Newcomers to expedition caving are very welcome as we despise the elitist elements prevalent in some of the expedition circles. Lots of training events organised over next couple of months.
Get in touch via the forum or contact me on email@example.com
Sorry not to have replied for months but I get there in the end... I've got a crap memory but have vague recollections of a mate of Tim's being down DYO as I was climbing an aven. Was that you? In fact it must be as I have a feeling that you were part of the support crew for one of the big diving trips to Sahara in the west of the Hirlatz a few years back?
Regarding the cave entrance: we call it Trouserfiller but the Austrians call in Bruschenworst hoehle or similar. Can never remember. And yes, it is the one in the cliffs 800m above te entrance to the Hirlatz. Awesome location for a bloody cave. We're off again on the 5th July for a month. Will be a cast of hundreds: Cardiff Uni, Reading Uni, Aberystwyth Uni (sp?), Southampton Uni, BEC, CDG, etc.. Month in the mountains for me with a clipboard!