Author Topic: Essential Caving Books  (Read 2548 times)

Offline Minion

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Essential Caving Books
« on: March 30, 2018, 05:17:32 pm »
A conversation with a new club member this afternoon has prompted a thought, what are the 'essential reads' for cavers?

My main focus is Blaenavon, Llangattock over to Trefil, so I'd start with:

- Chelsea SS Llangattock Exploration Journal (Vol 19, 1992)
- Limestones and Caves of Wales, Trevor D Ford, 1989
- Darkworld, Martyn Farr, 1998
-A Caver's View of the Clydach River, Theo Schuurmans, 1987
-Caves of South Wales, Tim Stratford, 1995

General Caving Books:
- The Geology of Western Europe, M.G.Rutten, 1969
-Karst: Important Karst Regions of the Northern Hemisphere, M.Herak and V.T. Stringfield, 1972
-British Caving: An Introduction to Speleology, C.H.D Cullingford, 1953 (I have a signed copy  :smartass:)
- The Underground Atlas, J Middleton and T Waltham, 1986

What would everyone else add to the list?

May also be worth adding to the UKCaving Wiki??

Offline Mattrees

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2018, 06:11:25 pm »
The Darkness Beckons, Martyn Farr.

Offline Disgusted from Cornwall.

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2018, 06:20:28 pm »
Alpine Caving Techniques and On Rope.

Offline Fulk

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2018, 06:28:04 pm »
Subterranean Climbers (about the Trou du Glaz System)

1000 Metres Down (about the Berger)

Online Mark Wright

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2018, 07:08:41 pm »
Gouffre Berger - L'esprit d'équipe (about the Berger) - Available from www.gouffreberger.org - £40.00 - All profits to GPF

Mark

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2018, 08:21:27 pm »
A conversation with a new club member this afternoon has prompted a thought, what are the 'essential reads' for cavers?

For a new club member, the first and best book to get and read in its entirety is:

http://amzn.eu/ecxmNqf


Offline Chocolate fireguard

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2018, 08:29:40 pm »
Underground Adventure.  Gemmell and Myers. First published in 1952.

Printed in facsimile in 1990.

ISBN 0 905903 19 6

Offline rhychydwr1

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2018, 08:58:49 pm »
Anything by Tony Oldham.

Offline AWW

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2018, 09:00:34 pm »
I can't remember the author but Speleology, the study of caves is a great book for the science.

Online Huge

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2018, 09:30:51 pm »
Subterranean Climbers
One Thousand Metres Down
The Darkness Beckons
Adventures Underground
Swildon's Hole - 100 years of Exploration
Lechuguilla - Jewel of the Underground

More local books:-
Tony's guides
The Draenen special Caves and Carst Science
SWCC's 50th Aniversary Newsletter

Offline tamarmole

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2018, 11:26:58 pm »
Alpine Caving Techniques and On Rope.

Good call, gives you two differing perspectives on vertical techniques.

On the techniques / equipment front Caving Practice & Equipment is well worth laying hands on (although it is getting a bit long in the tooth).

In terms of inspirational texts Subterranean Climbers, Beneath the Mountains and Ghar Parau  get my vote.

A decent first aid manual is a good investment.

Also grab as many area guides as you can as they do go out of print.

Offline Topimo

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2018, 12:17:52 am »
Macdonald Starters: Caves.

A masterpiece of the genre.
Highly educational, and packed cover to cover with detailed images with elucidating explanations for the nascent caver.

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2018, 12:47:52 am »
Subterranean Climbers
One Thousand Metres Down
The Darkness Beckons
Adventures Underground
Swildon's Hole - 100 years of Exploration
Lechuguilla - Jewel of the Underground

More local books:-
Tony's guides
The Draenen special Caves and Carst Science
SWCC's 50th Aniversary Newsletter

I wouldn't let a beginner anywhere near the Lechuguilla book. There's little chance they'll ever see Lech or anything like it in person, so best to avoid unrealistic portrayals of caves and caving.

Subterranean Climbers and The Darkness Beckons are excellent. Two somewhat obscure American books worth reading are The Grand Kentucky Junction and Letters From TAG. They are both very candid and informal and give a good idea of the emotions and motivations that are part of years and decades-long endeavor.

Offline droid

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2018, 05:40:24 pm »
The Cave Explorers, Jim Eyre.
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Offline Fulk

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2018, 07:30:11 pm »
I read and enoyed an Americann book called – I think – Under Plowman's Floor; I believe that this is a fictionalized account of the story of the link-up between the Mammoth Cave and Flint Rdge Caves Systems. Anyway, I thought that it was well told, and gave a good insight into the motivation of cavers (guys driving for 8 hours or more just to go caving, for example).

Do you have any comments on this, Kenilworth?

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2018, 09:35:52 pm »
I read and enoyed an Americann book called – I think – Under Plowman's Floor; I believe that this is a fictionalized account of the story of the link-up between the Mammoth Cave and Flint Rdge Caves Systems. Anyway, I thought that it was well told, and gave a good insight into the motivation of cavers (guys driving for 8 hours or more just to go caving, for example).

Do you have any comments on this, Kenilworth?

I have read it, but I have trouble with even well-written fictionalized stories. If you're going to tell the truth by lying, then you don't need to stretch and degrade and misrepresent any true story for your basis. The Grand Kentucky Junction is the actual story of the same project. It is a collection of accounts by the individuals personally involved, and so all the work and egos and excitement and misery shine through the untrained writing.


Offline Fulk

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2018, 10:45:05 pm »
OK Kenilworth, thanks for that insight. But – what the hell, I enjoyed it!

I guess I'll try and locate a copy of The Grand Kentucky Junction.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 10:57:06 pm by Fulk »

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2018, 03:57:53 am »
OK Kenilworth, thanks for that insight. But – what the hell, I enjoyed it!

Nothing wrong with that! I only meant that I always get distracted comparing the fiction with fact and can't enjoy the story.

Offline Duncan

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2018, 08:16:40 am »
Yochib: The River Cave, by William C. Steele
A somewhat obscure book that deserves to be more widely read. Outrageous, nerve-wracking caving in an extremely flood-prone Mexican stream sink in the 1970s. Includes an utterly terrifying account of being caught in a flood, and an heroic rescue by Mike Boone.

Offline jbaer

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2018, 02:27:39 pm »
My favorites:

THE CONCISE CAVES OF DEVON
THE CAVES OF CORNWALL                                                                                                                                                                             
THE C & MINES OF ANGLESEY                                                                                                                                                                         
THE CONCISE CAVES OF NORTH WALES                                                                                                                                                                             
A BIBLIO OF N WALES CAVES                                                                                                                                                                         
THREE BELOW GOWER                                                                                                                                                                           
THE CAVES OF THE SOUTH GOWER COAST                                                                                                                                                                       
THE CAVES OF CARMARTHEN                                                                                                                                                                         
THE CAVES OF WEST WALES                                                                                                                                                                           
THE CAVES OF CLYDACH GORGE                                                                                                                                                                             
THE CAVES OF THE SOUTCROP                                                                                                                                                                       
CAVES OF THE C N OUTCROP                                                                                                                                                                           
THE CAVES OF THE S EOUTCROP                                                                                                                                                                               
THE CAVES FOREST OF DEAN                                                                                                                                                                         
THE MINES FOREST OF DEAN                                                                                                                                                                           
THE C & M SYCHRYD GORGE                                                                                                                                                                           
THE CAVES L NEATH VALLEY                                                                                                                                                                         
THE SILICA MINES L NEATH VALLEY                                                                                                                                                                                 
THE CAVES W BANK AFON TAWE                                                                                                                                                                             
THE MINES OF IRELAND                                                                                                                                                                       
THE CAVES OF CO. CORK                                                                                                                                                                                 
All books on Scotland                                                                                                                                                                             
THE CAVES OF MALTA                                                                                                                                                                           
A PHILIPPINE CAVE INDEX                                                                                                                                                                               
THE MENDIP CAVER                                                                                                                                                                               
SIXTY YEARS UNDER  EARTH                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                         


Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2018, 06:23:52 pm »
Beyond the deep.
William stone and Barbara am ende.
Got so engrossed in it had to read it again  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Offline pwhole

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2018, 09:37:34 pm »
Limestones and Caves of the Peak District by Trevor Ford et al.

Published in 1977, but I so wish he'd managed to do an update. I guess we'll have to do that between us ;)

Offline JAA

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2018, 09:33:56 am »
Race against Time is particularly good and one of the first I bought.

Christmas 1992 my dad bought me (after much pestering) Northern Caves 1 which for some reason the gift shop in Reeth sold and which id looked at every morning on the way to school.

I read it absolutely cover to cover. That’s likely what inspired me.

Offline ryanctj

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2018, 12:19:35 am »
A mix of guidebooks and inspiration for the beginner caver:

The Complete Caving Manual by Andy Sparrow
The Great Caving Adventure by Martyn Farr
The Darkness Beckons by Martyn Farr
Alpine Caving Techniques by Georges Marbach/Bernard Tourte
Caves Of South Wales by Tim Stratford

Offline MarkW

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2018, 11:54:40 am »
Agree that these General Caving books are great:
>The Geology of Western Europe, M.G.Rutten, 1969
>The Underground Atlas, J Middleton and T Waltham, 1986
>Karst: Important Karst Regions of the Northern Hemisphere, M.Herak and V.T. Stringfield, 1972
I believe there are many others! Always glad to discover new books on topic!


Online David Rose

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2018, 03:08:07 pm »
No list of essential cave books would be complete without mention of Beneath the Mountains: Exploring the Deep Caves of Asturias, by, er, me and Richard Gregson.

It has long been out of print, but if you can't source a hard copy, you can read it for free via the OUCC website.

http://www.oucc.org.uk/btm/beneath.htm
 

Offline irnbru

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Re: Essential Caving Books
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2018, 09:57:20 am »
Can highly recommend this one:

Wookey Hole - 75 Years of Cave Diving & Exploration

It's now only £16 which includes P&P in the UK...Can be bought from here: https://cavedivinggroup.org.uk/product/wookey-hole-75-years-of-exploration/