Win 300M Spanset Gold!!


Staff member
I've got a photo too!



Well-known member
That's a nice picture, Pegasus; it isn't easy to get this place so evenly and well lit.

Anyway, I suspect we're talking at cross purposes here; both these pictures were taken looking roughly from the northern end of the shaft to the southern end (funny how awkward it is to type with a broken finger), so of course, to the left at the far end of the shaft is the SE corner, while to the right at the far end is the SW corner. However, the 'standard' long drop (80-m descent) is to the right at the near end of the shaft ? hence the NW end. No??  :-\

To the best of my knowledge, Filter's 80-m pitch, as marked at the south-west end, isn't normally done.

This is what I mean by the NW pitch:



Active member
I can't view the pictures at the minute, so rather than assume they clarify things perfectly well, I thought I'd stick my oar in.

I think the pitch names come from the position of the stiles used to access them, the SE55-25 route is using the first stile you come to if you're walking up from parking in the usual lane, the NW80 is accessed by the stile around the top.

There are many concoctions of routes down which the CNCC put in because of increased caver numbers  :confused:

Ignoring Dollytubs, an 80m rope is good for both the NW and SE, but we used to say the NW80* as it's mostly a free hang, where as the SE has a convenient rebelay 55m down and other options so it's the SE55-25 route.  (*copying the motorbike race)

Although the NW80 is just one route, the SE55-25 has options at the rebelay, you can carry on down with the 25m, but that lands quite close to where the waterfall lands so you can rebelay further away and again further down and deviate to clear the waterfall, that needs a 40m rope (SE55-40)
There is also a long traverse across to the rock bridge and you can follow that route from there which needs a 20m for the traverse and a 45 for the rock bridge pitch (SE55-20-45)

In the end we stopped using these names though as people thought they were NGRs.


Staff member
Ok Folks - and back to the competition - 300m (yes that's 300M!!) of Spanset Gold to be won....ending soon..... :eek:


Well-known member

Many years ago I was employed as an instructor by a school caving group, led by a teacher (Mr X) who was himself a competent caver. One day we figured that a group of boys were sufficiently experienced and competent to ?do? Rowten Pot, so we arranged to meet up in Kingsdale, and they would provide the rope.

Arrived at the pot we decided that I would rig and Mr X would watch the boys? progress. So he gave me a tackle bag saying, ?This is the rope for the first pitch?. Now, for those not familiar with Rowten Pot, the most popular route starts as a ~66-m pitch, split into 21-m and 45-m sections. So I started to rig, and reached the ?ledge? area at the foot of the entrance pit, where I lost my footing on the thin coating of slippy mud and started sliding towards the continuing hole. ?No problem? I thought, ?I?m using one of these new-fangled Stops and won?t go down the hole ? and in any case, I?ll fetch up against the knot in the end of the rope?.

Just then the end of the rope flicked out of the tackle bag, and I saw to my horror that there was no knot. However, the Stop did work, and I came to a halt about a metre from the end of the rope (otherwise I wouldn?t be typing this . . .).

I figured that it would be unprofessional to bawl out Mr X in front of his pupils, so I waited until I got him alone. His excuse? ?The rope was packed for carrying to the cave, not for caving.? ?But you didn?t see fit to tell me? And it paid out just like a rope would that had been packed for use.?. I forget what his answer was.


Active member
Reminds me also of a recent twop tip on our club forum, tie a knot in every rope, if you have a handline in the middle of your bag because the guide book says you might need it, then you find you don't, there's a chance that handline will be used on the next pitch with a real chance of someone heading off the bottom of it expecting it to be both longer and to have a knot in like a rope packed for a pitch.


New member
I was volunteered to write about the recent CUCC training weekend at Bullpot farm:

The annual Cambridge expedition to the Austrian mountains is once again looming upon us this year, so naturally it comes the time where people must be well drilled in the arts of common sense and competence. And so a variety of cavers, both old and new, from across (and even outside) the country descended upon Bullpot Farm for a weekend of learning, training and of course mild boozing.

The weekend was scheduled to begin on the Friday night with an introductory talk from Mark Dougherty but, due to the fluid definition of punctuality that most cavers use, it was pushed back to the Saturday morning. This of course did not mean the act of socialising was cut short, and as people trickled in the fires were lit and drink was drunk and the act of introducing oneself continued on into the night.

Saturday is where the training began proper, with the aforementioned introduction talk running the trainees through the realities and general hazards of expedition caving. This included a description of the set up out in Austria and the dangers of the cold within the caves and the shifting weather outside them. Following this was a first aid workshop by Martin Green. We went through the basics: DR ABC, bandage application and actions to take to prevent hypothermia amongst other useful hopefully lifesaving knowledge. Following this was a set of role-plays, featuring casualties buried under avalanches of chairs, wound gushing with cardboard reading ?blood? and surprisingly chatty hypothermics.

Next was a guide through various surveying equipments by Wookey. From the miserable reliability of a compass and clino to the tech magic of the DISTO X we were all given an outline on all available solutions for the collection and storage of cave mapping data, plus of course an intro into drawing a sketch map of the cave. These skills are of course best honed in the field, so we got kitted up and headed into Bullpot of the Witches to obtain some valuable and well sought data. Small groups were made to facilitate the splitting of the various equipment on offer, some unlucky groups supplied with ancient equipment while others were blessed with more modern solutions. The groups disappeared into various passages, all recording mildly accurate data and drawing cave sketches with the appropriate artistic liberty.

Once the data was collected we headed back to the farm for the important process of the recording of the data. It was initially planned to stay in the cave to have a demonstration of various rigging techniques but we decided a tactical retreat; the midges were out in full force and moral was far too low to convince anyone to stay with those flesh eating beasts for longer than necessary. The data was inputted into Survex and we all marvelled at the map we made while simultaneously ignoring comparison to the perfect survey on the wall, in the interest of personal pride. To make up for the lack of practical rigging work Mark gave a presentation on general expo rigging practice, stressing the importance of minimising rub points, maximising ease of use and keeping safe while doing so. That concluded Saturday?s training so the real work of drinking and merriment began. This unfortunately led to some cavers trying their hands at the hair dressing business, leaving their victim with a mullet that should have stayed in the 80?s?

On Sunday Tony Clause arrived. Mr Seddon left kit orders in the main room like presents on Christmas day, all neatly wrapped and labelled, although unlike Santa he remained to distribute further goodies at competitive rates. The resulting excitement, retail frenzy and friendliness lead to a large delay in the set plan and after a 2 hour deviation from schedule we were herded away from Tony?s van and back inside for a discussion on rescue techniques. Mark described getting a casualty up a rope, down a rope and the ever popular cut the rope technique. One keen caver was wearing their shiny new SRT gear, so naturally they were used as a live model for all these techniques. After trying with some success to demonstrate these techniques using a hook in the dining room roof in the interest of sensibility we moved to a large tree outside. Mark expertly demonstrated how to perform various mid rope rescues using the live model, until he got strung up on the model?s hand jammer. Without the heart to cut a brand new safety cord what followed was 5 minutes of flopping around until we had the heart to help lift them to freedom.

After this Martin was back to show us the machinations of the stretcher and neck brace, teaching us how to secure and co-ordinate a potential casualty in the case they have to be carried out of a cave. Then came Wookey once more with a bolting class. We discussed the importance of bolt placement, correct drilling and the not so obvious trick of drilling clockwise as opposed to counter-clockwise, which has apparently been an issue in the past. We then returned to a thankfully less midgey Bullpot of the Witches to put into practice the stretcher theory we had previously discussed. A helpful volunteer had a tragic and disastrous fall in a conveniently accessible piece of cave. Here we learned how packed cave rescues actually are, with the main issues being moving around the packed cave as opposed to moving the hopefully Oscar nominated casualty.

And with this the weekend came to an end. It was great to see the folk we?ll caving with on the expedition come Austria time and the training will come in very useful in whether for general caving or in emergency situation. I?d like to thank everyone who contributed to making the weekend possible and gave great advice to keep us from getting ourselves killed out in Austria.

Joel Corrigan

New member
For the last 15 years or so the Dachstein Expedition regulars has been running an annual Expedition Training Workshop aimed at passing on vital skills to the next generation of cave explorers.  It is organised on an at-cost basis by volunteers with a wealth of experience aimed at potential Dachstein attendees and anyone else who is keen.  This year was no exception and we had 53 attendees from all over the UK.  The advisors this year included: Matt St Clair, Joel Corrigan, Ian Holmes, Tom Chapman, Rich Smith, Jim Leigh, Ruth Allen, Rob Harper, Tom Foord, Sam Deeley, Dan Workman, Tony Seddon, Dave Powlesland, Andy Harp, Nicky Harp, Ian Peachy, Chris Jewell.  All of them gave up their weekend & paid the same amount as everyone else.  The core of these workshops is SRT (basic and advanced), SRT rescue, rigging, cave surveying, first aid, emergency procedures (flooding, shelters etc), kit, rescue, photography etc..  Typically we?ve always organised a cave rescue practice on the Sunday but this time we made the most of the facility and stayed at the wall.  Over the years we have seen hundreds and hundreds of ladies and gents benefit from the weekends and our model has been adopted by some of the other expedition crews; we don?t mind as imitation is the most sincere form of flattery ;-)  And we?d like to win the 300m of rope because our needs are greater than most & we?ll put it to good use!!!

The article below was written by Tania Rose Esteban, a student at Leeds Uni, and formed part of her online blog.  I?ve done a bit of factual tweaking & cut out some of the in-jokes but it?s essentially unaltered in scope.  Please bear in mind that her?s is a snapshot view of the weekend written by someone who is relatively new to the caving scene.  Tania took plenty of decent pics of the weekend but I'm too much of a technophobe to work out how to glue them onto the write-up ;-(     

Joel Corrigan

This weekend was all about SRT, caves, sheep and the industrial valleys of the wonderful country that is Wales! I went down with the Leeds University Speleological society to the Rock UK/Summit Centre (Merthyr Tydfil) to further enhance my caving expedition skills. This is all in preparation for the rather excitingly named ?Dachstein Expedition? which will be going ahead this summer, as well as how YOU can join Matt St Clair, Joel Corrigan & Ian Holmes on a caving expedition.  More of that later but first our trip down south began 10:30am, Friday 27th March?

We arrived at a rather late time of 7:30pm, but earlier than the rest.  Joel (one of the event organisers), was suspended 12m in the air rigging the equipment for the following day, and so we decided a nice dinner would suffice until he was within audible shouting distance. When we returned from the small village, the car park seemed rather more packed than before, so we made our way to the meet and greet hallway areas, bumping into a few budding cavers.  I met another fellow Zoologist, Kieran, and he told me that he was studying at Cardiff Uni? a brilliant place for research as is Leeds. His research was fascinating! Victoria was a very funky archaeologist and Raphael a smiley German student, both at Cardiff again. Meg, a French exchange student, was telling me all about the trip to Austria, and what a great time it is for students to get involved with expeditions now. We then popped into the climbing centre where we were astonished by the size of the walls? I mean this really does beat the Leeds wall and Edge!

Later after a brief meeting and hearty salad for dinner, a furious networking session with a group of lovely cavers was had!  We chatted about our research (how sad?), hopes for the summer, and the thought of what lay ahead the next day.  By the time we got to bed my contact lenses were peeling off my eyeballs (it was that long a day)?but I fell fast asleep to the sniffling and constant rotations of my top bunk bed partner?

Day 1
Morning came rather soon whilst everyone was slightly hungover and reluctant to emerge from their roosts.  I couldn?t stay in bed any longer, so I quietly snuck out to have a shower and sniff out some wifi (no luck with the internet I?m afraid).  Despite the long drawn-out morning, an energetic meeting was had about the plans and details of our training.

First up, basic SRT training! The basics of kitting up with your descender, hand jammer, chest jammer, cows tails, D-ring, friction karabiner (don?t ask me where these names come from!), chest harness and of course the sit harness from which you attach all these marvellous metallic pieces of kit.

The others did the more advanced SRT and Joel swanned around cursing at the ineptitude and lack of safety of the various uni caving club tackle masters with their incompetent uni SRT kits? scary times.  He did have a good point however, as many of the cowstail knot-tails were terrifyingly short!  And he was very knowledgeable about ALL aspects of caving; I don?t think I?ve met anyone who is generally that cave keen.

Everyone also had a go at some easy rope access-style ropework, tight re-belays, tension lines, rope to rope transfers, knot bypasses, etc  as well as cave surveying (attended by Rachael and Luke from my club using clinometers, compasses and DistoX?s). 

A bit more swinging around on ropes, rock climbing, and bouldering rounded off the day nicely and brought us to the evening where we learnt all about the kit we?d need & watched Joel?s rather insightful home videos (Erm, these were NOT my home movies!!) which left us feeling inspired about the trip this summer. Dinner was a bit of a brawl over the last morsel of lemon tart piece.  Luckily I didn?t want pudding?just as well, the guys went back for more! We all went to bed buzzing with butt-ache and the clinking sound of our SRT kit ringing in our ears.

Day 2:
The next day we went to a first aid workshop given by Rob Harper (a vet), involving getting wrapped up in tinfoil (like our chicken counterparts), how to prevent hypothermia, blood loss, broken limbs, painkillers, rock fall, etc?  Also a cave rescue session in the Wall was executed ? a very brief intro to French style cave rescue with their system of counter-balance vertical hauling. That rescue dummy looked awfully heavy!

As well as this, we attended a fascinating talk by an amazing cave photographer (Andy Harp with his wife Nicky; what talented individuals).  To our delight a 12 month old puppy chewed at our feet whilst we sat staring in amazement at his incredible shots.

A final bit of SRT and rock climbing rounded off the trip, and we headed back to our dark van and journeyed through the Brecon Beacons back to Leeds. Such fun! 

And a bit of information about the expedition itself.

A motley crew of 40+ cavers, with a range of ages, will descend upon the Austrian Alps for the Dachstein summer Caving Expedition 2015 from mid August to the end of the first week of September.  It is as well-renowned for its deep, tortuous and hard alpine cave systems, as the Austrians are for lederhosen and beer. A staggeringly high peak of 3000m dominates the landscape and below that the possibility of a 1,500m deep cave system is tantalisingly closer than ever before.

The Winter project requires dry, frozen, stable conditions to explore the further reaches of the105km long, 1.1km deep single-entrance monster cave, but unfortunately the snow can make the approach hike a 2-6 hour slog.  This trip is not for the faint-hearted, as after the walk/climb to the entrance a 10-18 hour caving trip in extremely cold conditions is the likely scenario, followed by almost a week of climbing and diving whilst living far inside the cave.  The team are pushing the Wild West area & camp in a gigantic chamber called Sahara.  Trust me when I say these cavers are literally rock hard and (sorry), rather insane! 

But nevertheless, it?s a most exciting trip to be had if you?re fed up of a gentle walk up Ilkley Moor, and if your local Hyde Park snowball fight isn?t quite giving you enough frost nip?get your crampons and ice axes at the ready and sign up to this winter?s expedition! For more info head to their Facebook page and have a chat with them; they?re a really friendly bunch once you get past the grimy remarks and jokes about your incompetence (I kid of course).

As for THIS summer, the project involves attempting to connect the hysterically named ?Wot-Have-U-Got-Pot? (or Schmelzwasser as the Austrians call it) and the Hirlatz Hole. So for the fit and keen there will be the opportunity to take part in the exploration of the mighty WUG Pot (800m+ deep and 6km long) which requires camping underground for 4 days at a time. But do be warned: this is a dangerous, cold, flood-prone pothole that demands skill, ability, bloody-mindedness & a twisted sense of humour which I must say was provided by the bucket load this weekend (I can?t remember or understand most of it, but do join us if you want to hear some). 

It is this cave that gives Matt, Joel, Ian and his team the best hope of breaking into and connecting to the massive Hirlatz Hole; then it will become a 1.5km deep monster system. Over the past few years teams have shortened the distance between these two mega caves to under 400m horizontal and 100m vertical.  If the connection is made the journey from top to bottom could well be the ultimate adventure challenge involving winter mountaineering, caving and cave diving taking several days to complete.

This is the main project but there are plenty of others: trying to connect PL2 to WUG to create a higher entrance; day trips into the Hirlatz Hole to take equipment for the winter project, prospecting in the mountains to discover unknown caves, investigating previously explored caves to see if the ice plugs have melted.  Many of these are suitable for cavers of all abilities. 

SO just think of all the mud, sweat, darkness, smelly feet, lack of sleep? I mean- ADVENTURE, EXCITEMENT, HEROIC APTITUDE, SWANKY CV BOOSTER (a ?what scenario shows teamwork skills? drill), and most of all FUN 3 weeks of caving during one of the most exciting times in caving exploration history in Europe. The price really is fantastic too (?250 for 3 weeks).  Here?s a little break down courtesy of Joel:
? Expedition fees (to go towards metalwork/hardware, ropes, communal food, etc) ?60 for the duration;
? Weekly allowance (fresh veg, fuel, etc) ?10 (so ?30 for the duration);
? Accommodation of approx ?3.50 or ?4 a night = approx ?80 total;
? Travel: very rough guide but maybe ?100

The team are insistent that it?s not necessary to be a pro but the willingness to have a go!  I think I may be going to simply take the photographs, document the expedition and have a nice hike and climb until I feel ready to undertake the caving trips- so if you fancy a nice sight-seeing holiday, come along! It?s not just all about that hard-core exploring, there?s plenty of other activities to do and get involved with: rock climbing (trad, sport and aid, apparently), via ferratas, glaciers, mountaineering, Alpine pub crawls).  And if deep dark caves aren?t your thing, there?s even an ice cave nearby that makes for a stunning tourist trip, just so you can pose with those new ice axes you?ve bought (lads).

For all you animal lovers out there, Joel tells me there are marmot colonies nearby, gams in the hills at dawn (similar to chamois), foxes, snakes, etc? Where you?ll be based in the Wiesberghaus at 1850m is about 100m below the transition from the superlative carpeted green slopes to more bare alpine karst scenery- a haven for wildlife, and wild ADVENTURE!
This is the greatest cave exploration project in the world: no discussion!! Matt, Joel & Ian will be organising & will appoint key people to the role of ?Dachstein Reps? as some of the lifers cannot commit 100% these days.  If you feel you would like to assist in the organisation then please make yourself known. Dates are 14th August - 7th September & go to their dedicated Facebook page for more information: info.

Tania Rose Esteban


Alastair chose not to go into detail about his time with York University, so perhaps I will. 

I was first presented with the opportunity to go caving when I turned up at the freshers fair in York, and after an inspiring 5 minute sales pitch from someone who, at the time, seemed a little over-keen about spending his weekends underground, I put my name down for the Longchurn trip the next day. I certainly didn't realise quite the extent of the opportunity I'd signed up for by sticking my name on the YUCPC mailing list. I think opportunity is perhaps the theme that crops up again and again when I think of everything I learned with the club.

The proximity of the York to the Dales & Peak, or rather the distance to Wales & Mendip, meant that learning SRT was a necessity. Weekly (now twice-weekly!) training sessions using the ropes in the sports hall with a plethora of more experienced members present and a training tick-list with everything from knowing how to put on SRT gear on to a variety of mid-rope rescues meant that progress was fast, and that there was always more to do. Training always just felt like a laugh with friends, but in hindsight I, and all the other new members, were always pushed, and by the end of my first term at Uni, aided by weekly trips, usually to the Dales, we were becoming happy with rebelays, knot-passes, deviations, mid-rope change-overs, and I'd rigged my first cave.

Come the new year, some of the older members announced a meeting about some sort of trip in France. I went along thinking it sounded vaguely interesting, and to find out what this Beger thing was, and by the time I left my name was down on the "probably" list and I'd been roped into the organisation. "But how can I be helpful organising something like this? I barely know how to cave!". "Oh, you'll be useful - we'll tell you anything you need to know". And they did.

With a couple more terms worth of caving under my belt I felt marginally less daunted by the Berger, but this slight increase in confidence was rapidly eliminated as we passed through the meanders and arrived at  Puits Aldo, where I was passed the tackle sack and told, "Go on then. You may as well rig this". "But...I've never even rigged on spits before!". "It's OK, I'll tell you what to do".

And so it continued. I could go on and on. Always being pushed out of my comfort zone just far enough that I felt a sense of achievement, but not so much that I didn't want to come back. But more importantly, there was always patience, and there was always opportunity. In hindsight, every time I learned something, it could have been done quicker by someone else. But that's not the point, because if the quick option was always taken, I'd not have learned anything new. And nor would anyone else in the club. And with an average turnover in membership of 3-4 years, it wouldn't have beeen long before anyone who knew anything had left, and we'd not have a club any more. And that's the reason they did it, and the reason that I did it too.

Eight or so years later, and it's only looking back that I realise the extent of the opportunity that YUCPC gave me. Such as my first taste of expedition caving with them in Montenegro, and how that lead to our search for pastures new, and big discoveries in subsequent years, with hopefully more still to come. Our return to the Berger in 2011, this time reaching the bottom. Joining the Huautla expedition when sump 9 was dived for the first time. Joining a recce trip to China last year and coming back with 10+ km of survey data. I could keep on listing more and more.

But if someone asked what the best thing about training at York was, I'd have to say it was that it never seemed to be an "us and them" situation with newer members and older members, but much more of a group who just share techniques and experience during training, and share stories and ambitions at the bar afterwards. Long may it continue.  :beer:


New member
I'm not eligible, I guess, to participate in this "contest", but I'll chip in anyway. All of my cave-specific training has come from books and reading this and the NSS forum. And from practice and trial and error. Ninety-five percent of my caving happens with my brother and/or wife. I have learned surveying and cartography and vertical this slow way, but it has been and is a joy.

General lessons can be applied to caving too though, and I wrote about this in my caving journal this past winter. This was written during a thaw after a couple of weeks of living alone in my van, hunting a two-thousand-acre parcel (in Virginia, US) for caves every day through the coldest part of the year:

The luxury of decision. What to do with a January rain, warmed by whatever does its work above? It slants from my left to right. Blows over and beyond the rounded pasture where I?ve already gone, stooping like a sick man at every hopeful hollow.

I open the little side door and window of the van, on the side away from the wind, to let a little air in while I fix my tea and oatmeal. I listen to the rain and eat. I was joking about the luxury of decision. I?m sure not going to sit in a van all day and mope. And the unwalked land yells out to be seen, no matter the weather. But I?m tired.

I remember working with dad when I was maybe 10 or so. He was and is a self-employed fence builder, and at that time he worked alone almost every day in the winter, everything done by hand. Sometimes though, when he wanted help with a particular thing he would take us from our schooling and to work. Or mom would help him. On a particular day, he wanted help driving steel fenceposts. My job was to line up the posts. We would mark the ground every 10 or 12 feet and lay out the posts, and then dad would eyeball them into position as I held and adjusted them. It sounded like this, ?Bottom way out. Top to you. Bottom out two inches. Top to you. Woah top out. Bottom to you just a hair. Alright.? Then he would approach the post, lean it over and slide on the driver, careful not to move the bottom. Then he would drive the post and walk back to eyeball it while I fine-tuned it by bending the top in or out. And on and on. On this day it was cold and raining steady and I was so miserable that over and over I almost asked to stop. I wondered just why on earth we were doing this. But dad never gave any hint that he was uncomfortable, just pounded and walked and gave out his low, squint-eyed calls. At lunchtime, we sat in the truck and ate rolls of ham and cheese. We were soaked, and I desperately wanted dad to call off the afternoon?s work. We finished eating and sat in silence for a minute. Dad grinned at me and said, ?Miserable ain?t it?? Then we went back to work. He taught me something, then and later, about putting things in their place. It seems like people give a big priority to physical comfort. If it hurts a little they don?t want to do it, and won?t. When we find something that motivates us enough that we?re willing to voluntarily ignore some pain and misery, we start to realize how superficial physical pain is. Are we really willing to sacrifice anything good in exchange for comfort? I?m still not blessed with the stoic endurance dad is, but I?m willing to happily put up with a lot of discomfort, thanks to his example. So of course I?m going to walk in the January rain. Not because it?s important, as it was for dad to provide for his family, but because the rewards are greater than the costs.

I pull on my dirty pants and, gingerly, my sweater and coat. My toboggan. I hang my feet out the door and wrestle on my boots. An hour later, walking the bank of the Little River, I spot a male coyote walking the opposite side. We are heading in opposite directions, each moving purposefully. The rain is in my eyes and at his back. He stops when we near each other, but doesn?t run, the river is between us. We look at each other and I nod, ?Miserable ain?t it?? We walk on.


Active member
Dear all

looks like caving is in for a great future with the training ranging from formal sessions to shared experiences with valuable lessons.

My own caving was shaped with this mix - Every now and then a formal session enabled me to see where I was struggling, but the lessons learnt on adventures with others provided both valuable experience and probably more important strong friendships that have lasted and been the foundation of many expeditions.

The challenge of this comp has been to rule people out, but here are a few that caught my eye;
I cannot decide if Alastairs apprenticeship constitutes training or human rights abuse, but he will certainly come out stronger.
The Badgers are emerging as a great new style of club and I look forward to hearing more of them in the future.
Mrs B has my sympathy as well as a challenge, but why educate when the adventures result in so much humour?
As my daughter is currently taking her first steps underground I liked the tales of the young and with great photo's to keep their memories for the future.
The film quality by the Dudley is brilliant and tempted me, so please do more they are really entertaining.
I was also tempted by Badlads entry, not based on content, but because Pegasus seems quite happy with the bag under the kitchen table! 

So on to the top 3
Ian's perseverance and shared experiences needs a special mention, training is just as much about chance meetings and clubs provide a great opportunity for that.
Rigs-F-all showed me how the more recent trend for weekend meets with guest trainers / speakers both educates, motivates and bonds a team ready for an upcoming challenge. Keep it up.

The winner and a really deserving one is Joel, Tania and the Dachstein team.
The reasons for me were clear;
They have been doing training like this for a long time and hopefully will continue to do so with some extra rope
It is open to all as are their expeditions.
The training costs are really low as are the costs to join their trips and that makes it more accessible to talented cavers no matter how rich or poor.
The rope will definitely get used in anger and we hope it can be part of the trip that makes the connection - good luck.

So thanks to all who entered and as for the Dachstein, well it looks like there will be some Gold in them there hills.


Joel Corrigan

New member
I would like to thank the members of the Academy, the judges.......!

That's brilliant news & we (the exped members) are very grateful to Spanset, UK Caving, Pete Ward, another nameless Dachstein veteran who kicked me up the ass as I wasn't even aware the competition was happening, Tania (for being motivated enough to write the original blog), all those girls and boys who have assisted on the training events over the last two centuries (seems like it's been that long, anyway), attendees past & present, and all those who have been quietly supporting and rooting for the project since time began.  From a personal perspective I can't decide if I owe Snablet a lifetime supply of beer or a smack in the mouth for introducing me to the finest location for raw & undiluted escapism in the world!!  It really is like a hardcore version of Narnia & it's dominated many people's lives for a very long time.....  And those of you who don't understand what all the fuss is about should come with us for what is potentially the last rodeo for some of the old cowboys!!

Many thanks & now all that is missing is my free copy of Duncan's book!!!!


Staff member
Hi Joel - congratulations!!

We'd like to get the rope to you via Caver Post - please pm me to arrange collection (from near Ingleton, more specifically my kitchen  ;))

Thanks, Pegasus


Staff member
Joel Corrigan said:
Many thanks & now all that is missing is my free copy of Duncan's book!!!!

What about the Mountain Equipment Jacket??  It rains in Austria  ;)