SpanSet IRATA course - Hidden Earth 2019


Well-known member

So I won the Spanset course through UKcaving but I have decided that I would not be best placed to use the course to full. I was contacted by a friend a month or so ago who congratulated me on the course, I mentioned that I didn't think I would have time to progress the idea of going on the course due to Holidays from work etc. (and that I had no immediate plans to be sacked).

He said that he was considering doing the course in the future, so I ummed and arred about it for a while and had some back and to with Pegasus.

So with some consideration I have handed the course over to Joe Daniels, who will be familiar to some for his assistance to Laser scanning projects such as the Majlis Al Jinn project in Oman.

More recently he was involved in the China laser scanning project

Joe is also one of those crazy divers who like to provide work for us muggles out in Tresviso. I helped him and Rob carry equipment out of Silvestre in September. That was a tough day for all.


Well-known member
Although I'm not going to be the eventual user of the course, last week I had a fantastic Thursday afternoon with Pete Ward over at Spanset where he gave me the full tour of the factory and then we had an inspirational chat about Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Cuetzalan, Wales, the NCC, the DCC and Disley Underground Group's Projects.

Pete joked about probably needing the conversation recorded, on reflection I think this would have been a great idea. But I didn't have the foresight to do this.

Although I'm not going to be taking the course I feel like I've got a lot of value out of meeting Pete, though I have to admit a lot of the tonnage of those slings they have there went right over my head! Being able to lift a really heavy machine with just a few slings is just incredible.


Active member
Hi Alastair
It was great to meet up and a really nice idea to hand the prize on.
The team at SpanSet are always keen to support caver's, so Joe should be in safe hands.
Personally I am looking forward to the next chapter of revelations from Winnats Head and hope it has caught your imagination like it did mine.
Keep in touch


Hi All,

So, firstly apologies for this having taken so long for me to organise and do. Secondly thanks to Alistair for kindly agreeing to let me take on the prize he won. Also to Roo for helping me out with logistics, I'd packed my life into a couple bags and flown in from Romania a few days before the course started and needed help organising my life. Finally, an absolutely huge thank you to Spanset who were massively understanding and accommodating with my delays in contacting them and booking the course.

Why has this taken me so long? Essentially a mix of living abroad, mental health troubles, moving back to the UK and working overseas then covid has left me fairly pushed on the motivation and ability to take on more things. Thankfully, some of those issues are getting cleared up. Sadly for you lot, it looks like I'll be active in the UK a little more now than I have been over then last number of years.

So, turning up at spanset back in October and having a look around the training facilities was really quite impressive. Its was immediately evident that they wasted no time with having a second rate facility, everything was well organised and laid out.
The course itself matched the expectations you have when you walk in, I was lucky enough to be one of two people booked in that week for the IRATA course, which gave us plenty of room to swing about. That said, the venue would accommodate a much larger group with ease.
The days were well organised and nothing felt rushed or stressed, which was nice as life outside the warehouse was far from that. They even provided a pretty good lunch menu.

All in all, it was an incredibly well organised week with a good instructor who made the whole experience fun and stress free. I'll certainly be looking to return when I want to step-up the next level.

Thanks, and sorry for being a bit useless.

Sent from my SM-A516B using Tapatalk


Staff member
Hi Joe, thanks for the post  (y), it's great when winners thank the prize givers...and a what's a little delay....  ;)

Got to use the graphic (see original post from Alastair) of Joe, when he was being assessed.

I'd like to add my thanks - SpanSet are so supportive of UKC - they advertise on the forum, offer fab prizes, give away digging equipment (remember these beauties?) and employ a fair few cavers as well  ;)  (y) (y)