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Want to give caving a go

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philosophizer

Guest
Over the past few weeks I've been looking into caving, and have been transfixed by it.

I was at a loss because virtually all of the world has been 'discovered' and explored, but I want to explore for myself. I want to see things that nobody has seen. To touch things that nobody has touched.

I thought that in this day and age, this was really a pipe dream. I thought that I'd just have to settle for retracing peoples steps, or at the very least, follow a not-very-concise map. But now, caving has given me hope! A land with no 24/7 coverage by satellites. An area of the world that has so much to be explored. So many places where man has never stepped. Places that we don't even know are there. I want to be a part of this.

In all honesty, I think it's watching 'The Cave' first sparked my interest- the whole 'explorer/adventurer' thing.

The only problem is, is that I've never done this before. I can do some rock climbing, so I'm sure this could stand me in good stead, but I'm looking for advice on how to really get into caving. Where should I start? What should I buy?

I live in Merseyside, and am 19 years old, with no car....which could prove a problem, although I am moving to York next month!

Anyway, please share some advice!
 

cap n chris

Well-known member
Merseyside? - you've got a long journey ahead of you if you wish to visit some of the best and biggest caves in the country, such as those in the Mendip Hills and South Wales, boyo.
 
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darkplaces

Guest
The only way to touch something nobody has ever touched before is to dig or be a specialist on expedition.

So you have a long way to reach your goal, so start now. get a couple of torches, head torch is a must, builders helmet and a boilers suit and some wellys. Walking boot are crap, softsoled trainers are better then anything if you don't have wellys.

Find a hole and sit in it. Find someone local via caving clubs or go the other route via the infamous c**tplaces who has members all over the country who might be able to help with some man-made underground. One thing you have to learn is to move underground. Most people start and they are all GERR and GROWL and using lots of energy and pushing and cursing, after a while you learn how to move, to do squeezes properly which is without pushing hard as that just pumps our muscles up making you bigger and so hence less likly to fit in the hole. The climbing will help.

Go for it! Be senseable though. Look back at your route all the time, see if from differant view points for the return journey.

Ignore the current war on c**tplaces the important bit is the underground!

 

CaverA

New member
You have been bitten by the bug!  ;) I'm sure somebody will be able to help you out regarding when and where to cave.
 

spikey

New member
If you're going to York, I'm pretty sure York University has a very well established caving club, and no doubt they would welcome you with open arms.
 

Horace

New member
I'd highly recommend York Uni's cave and pothole club having spent 4 fantastic years there myself. They are very active with trips just about every weekend and currently have one group on expedition in Montenegro and another digging in the Moors at weekends. Also there's no problem if you're not moving to York to study at the university as membership is open to all.
 

Chris J

Active member
c**tplaces said:
The only way to touch something nobody has ever touched before is to dig or be a specialist on expedition.

So you have a long way to reach your goal

Every year the Dachstein expedition takes relatively new cavers abroad and gives them the opportunity to find cave.

I started caving one October and by the following summer I was on expedition, putting in bolts, dropping pitches and surveying cave - there is nothing to hold you back except your own time and enthusiasm.

The best thing to do to start with is find a caving club in your local area - www.trycaving.co.uk

Also you're in a great spot to visit the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District - two great caving areas.
 
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WillDeBeast

Guest
philosophizer said:
In all honesty, I think it's watching 'The Cave' first sparked my interest- the whole 'explorer/adventurer' thing.

c**tplaces said:
get a couple of torches, head torch is a must, builders helmet and a boilers suit and some wellys.

and dont forget a nice big flame-thrower to get all those annoying flying monsters with ( or was that Descent, i can never remember which is which)

On a more serious note, exploring a cave you have never been to before can produce just as much a sense of acheivement as discovering a virgin cave (and its a damned side easier  :-[ ) so learn to crawl before you, er, dig.
 

paul

Moderator
c**tplaces said:
Ignore the current war on c**tplaces the important bit is the underground!

Couldn't agree more!

The best advice is to go with an experienced group of cavers. There are cavers who are in Clubs and groups who are just a group of friends who enjoy caving together. Often it is easier to locate a local club than a more casual group. Try libraries, caving publications and of course the internet. As already said have a look at www.trycaving.co.uk.
 
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