• Descent 298 publication date

    Our June/July issue will be published on Saturday 8 June

    Now with four extra pages as standard. If you want to receive it as part of your subscription, make sure you sign up or renew by Monday 27 May.

    Click here for more

SRT training in Yorkshire Dales

kay

Well-known member
Having spent the last 10 years visiting only purely horizontal caves, I'm beginning to think (and even the thought scares me rigid) that I really should take the first few steps towards SRT. Since I'm the sort of person who likes training courses, and since I'm petrified of falling and have absolutely zero confidence in my own abilities (the GG winch is great because someone else is looking after me, and I have no worries at all about that), I'm beginning to think about finding a course. Does anyone have any recommendations within the Dales?

Even having asked the question means my stomach is now spinning like a mad thing.

(Yes, I know I'm not really cut out for caving and ought to stick to show caves)
 

Stu

Active member
The guys... and girls at Ingleboro' Hall. It's worth staying in the hall too.
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
Join a well established caving club. Any half decent club will be able to get you sorted out with a minimum of fuss and expense.

I am NOT denigrating the excellent skills of people who train folk in return for payment; there is a place for this in the world of caving.  Many of my friends do it for a living.  But I do not believe that learning how to cave from a proper caving club is in any way inferior.  Remember, the words "professional!" and "competent" do not have the same meaning.  Lots of amateur cavers have a high level of competence, both in SRT skills and in passing on these skills to caving friends.
 

cap n chris

Well-known member
Pitlamp said:
Lots of amateur cavers have a high level of competence, both in SRT skills and in passing on these skills to caving friends.

Assuming this is entirely true (a) how does someone who doesn't know the right people find out who to approach and (b) are these people happy to freely give up several days of their free time to strangers? If the answers to both are "(a) easily" and "(b) absolutely" then there would appear to be no problem and the progression for Kay is a no-brainer.
 

Peter Burgess

New member
cap 'n chris said:
Pitlamp said:
Lots of amateur cavers have a high level of competence, both in SRT skills and in passing on these skills to caving friends.

Assuming this is entirely true (a) how does someone who doesn't know the right people find out who to approach and (b) are these people happy to freely give up several days of their free time to strangers? If the answers to both are "(a) easily" and "(b) absolutely" then there would appear to be no problem and the progression for Kay is a no-brainer.
Firstly: Pitlamp said "friends", so we are not talking about total strangers. One would hope that if a "stranger" joined a club, they would first get to know who they were caving with to the extent that they were no longer "strangers".

Secondly: "Several days of free time" would, I hope, be spread over a period of time, say, a number of easy practice sessions and some easy trips, all of which could and should be included in the normal schedule of club-arranged activities. So nobody is really giving up their time, as passing on one's knowledge is all part of the fun and social dynamics of club life.


 

Geoff R

New member
While Peter is right that passing on knowledge is all part of Club activity (and so it should be); it can also pass on bad habits, perpetuating misunderstandings and place club members in a potentially difficult position if anything should regretfully go wrong in our litigation society.

This is SRT we are talking about, not "Club good caving practice"

Im all for Club SRT training if it can be properly arranged
Until it can, you either have to take the goodwill of Club members to demonstrate and then take it upon yourself to practice and learn over time, or you pay for a proper private course; a quick and good solution, but it costs you. 

just my thoughts.   

 
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
Are you implying that only a paid for course is "proper"?  If so, I disagree.

Just out of interest my own club held a full SRT training weekend last Saturday and Sunday, which I believe was successful and enjoyable. Plenty of other clubs offer similar things.  There is nothing less good about club training just because it doesn't cost money.  I don't accept that someone with a bit of paper saying they're qualified is necessarily better than someone who hasn't got that piece of paper.

As I indicated above, I know plenty of people who offer professional instruction who are extremely good at it.  But good training is by no means exclusive to people who get paid.
 

paul

Moderator
Pitlamp said:
Are you implying that only a paid for course is "proper"?  If so, I disagree.

Just out of interest my own club held a full SRT training weekend last Saturday and Sunday, which I believe was successful and enjoyable. Plenty of other clubs offer similar things.  There is nothing less good about club training just because it doesn't cost money.  I don't accept that someone with a bit of paper saying they're qualified is necessarily better than someone who hasn't got that piece of paper.

As I indicated above, I know plenty of people who offer professional instruction who are extremely good at it.  But good training is by no means exclusive to people who get paid.

Totally agree.

 

cap n chris

Well-known member
Pitlamp said:
Are you implying that only a paid for course is "proper"?  If so, I disagree.

Kay asked about details of a "course". Surely few, or no, courses are offered, to a professional/competent level of expertise, to the general "caving public" for free?

Perhaps I'm wrong.
 

paul

Moderator
cap 'n chris said:
Pitlamp said:
Are you implying that only a paid for course is "proper"?  If so, I disagree.

Kay asked about details of a "course". Surely few, or no, courses are offered, to a professional/competent level of expertise, to the general "caving public" for free?

Perhaps I'm wrong.

The once-a-year DCA / BCA Cavers Workshop training event at only ?10 per day is damn near free...
 

kay

Well-known member
I am a member of a club, and I can indeed get SRT training/practice from fellow club members, and have no doubt about their competence

But a) I'm not going to take to this like a duck to water, and I feel I need more input that I can reasonably expect my fellow cavers to give me. They already put up with quite enough from me!

b) There's no guarantee I am going anywhere with this. I might well step back at the end and say 'well, thank you very much, but I didn't enjoy that one bit and I never ever want to do it again'. I feel I can do that to someone I have paid to teach me, but I don't think it's fair to do that to someone who has given up their own time for free.

I did a grade 3 climb at our local climbing wall this lunch hour, and felt quite shaky for some time afterwards. I really don't like this vertical stuff. I really wouldn't inflict me on friends.

 

Peter Burgess

New member
cap 'n chris said:
Kay asked about details of a "course".

She did indeed, but this is inevitably going to turn into a discussion about whether 'paid for' training is better than 'volunteered' training. Why? Cos this is UKCaving and that's what happens on UKCaving.



 

Peter Burgess

New member
kay said:
I am a member of a club, and I can indeed get SRT training/practice from fellow club members, and have no doubt about their competence

But a) I'm not going to take to this like a duck to water, and I feel I need more input that I can reasonably expect my fellow cavers to give me. They already put up with quite enough from me!

b) There's no guarantee I am going anywhere with this. I might well step back at the end and say 'well, thank you very much, but I didn't enjoy that one bit and I never ever want to do it again'. I feel I can do that to someone I have paid to teach me, but I don't think it's fair to do that to someone who has given up their own time for free.

I did a grade 3 climb at our local climbing wall this lunch hour, and felt quite shaky for some time afterwards. I really don't like this vertical stuff. I really wouldn't inflict me on friends.

If its the exposure you are bothered by, then a few sessions on a good climbing wall might help. If its like our local leisure centre you can more or less just turn up, pay, and have a go with paid instructors to advise.
 

Peter Burgess

New member
Kay: It's worth remembering that SRT is not the be all and end all of caving, despite what the SRT anoraks might suggest. There is plenty of good caving to be done (even in the Dales!) without having to dangle on a rope on every trip.
 

Peter Burgess

New member
Geoff R said:
While Peter is right that passing on knowledge is all part of Club activity (and so it should be); it can also pass on bad habits, perpetuating misunderstandings and place club members in a potentially difficult position if anything should regretfully go wrong in our litigation society.

A paid instructor with bad habits, or an unpaid volunteer with bad habits? Both may have an equal chance of being blamed for a subsequent fatal accident. The difference? The paid instructor is probably insured. The volunteer probably is not. Who is the best protected person in this trio? Not the dead casualty. Not the volunteer. The paid instructor who has the insurance! BTW, no amount of insurance cover in the world will protect you from a criminal charge if the accident was caused by criminal negligence. What is more important? That the training is first class, or that the trainer is properly insured?
 

cap n chris

Well-known member
The training should be first class.

Are club SRT training providers regularly peer reviewed by similar/other SRT training providers?
 

Peter Burgess

New member
I'm not saying that a professional trainer is no better than a volunteer, just that anyone can do a bad job, professional or not. We all have our bad days, don't you think? I know several cavers who would be my first port of call if I wanted advice and help on any techniques unfamiliar to me, SRT included. I don't feel I necessarily need 'proof' of their competence, by peer review or otherwise.

 

cap n chris

Well-known member
Peter Burgess said:
....this is inevitably going to turn into a discussion about whether 'paid for' training is better than 'volunteered' training. Why? Cos this is UKCaving and that's what happens on UKCaving.

A Visionary in our midst!

Can you pick some lotto numbers for me, Peter?  ;)
 
Top