Author Topic: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018  (Read 3264 times)

Online Pegasus

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'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« on: October 11, 2018, 10:14:29 pm »
Post your qualifying entries for the 2018 CHECC Grand Prize on this thread - looking forward to reading them  :coffee:

Offline ihemartin

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2018, 06:00:10 pm »
Hi there!

I'm Izzy, the current president of Adventure & Expo Plymouth  :)

Our club is a little different from the other clubs, in that we share caving with climbing, hiking and slacklining. It sometimes seems like caving has to compete with the other sports but I think it works really nicely. The sports being joined into one giant family means that non-cavers get into caving, and, shock horror, cavers have a go at above ground activities!

Our wonderful ex-caving sec Noot always went on about how amazing the CHECC grand prize was and how awesome SRT was. I must say, myself and others on the committee last year didn't take it too seriously, but when I went to CHECC for the first time as a lowly kit sec, I realised how amazing it all was. Since then, the club has been taking caving more seriously. We managed to get not one, but three new SRT kits through money the university gave us because they don't quite understand what we do, but know it can be dangerous if they don't give us money for kit. As well as shiny SRT kits, we managed to top up our krab collection, too! A recent kit inspection has left us 8 helmets down, so we're working on replacing them in time for CHECC. We're also looking to replace some of our ropes, so sadly it's looking to be an expensive year.

We have been proactive this year in getting people involved in caving. Our alumni Duncan has kindly been helping our new caving sec Sabrina run beginner caving sessions up on the moors. We've had a lot of uptake from this and the feedback has been very positive. As well as these trips several times a month, we ran our First Weekend trip and the caving was heavily subscribed. It revealed quite a few keen members who are either experienced or naturals at the sport. Indeed, I was surprised about how many people were joining the club for the caving, not the climbing this year at the fresher's fair. I may be biased, but it also seems that we have more women interested in caving this year, which I for one am very pleased about. Our first weekend also introduced our members to pan and sling and other classic games, so we are already training hard for CHECC. You have been warned.

We have a pretty large group of our members heading to Shepton Mallet this weekend to join the SMCC for their weekend and we are heading to SWCC the weekend after.

It's only November but I feel that we are seeing growth in our caving community within our happy outdoors family.

As president, my goal for Adventure & Expo this year is to get as many people not needing the club as possible. We don't want our members to need us to enjoy the wonders of caving. We are going to create a network of confident, and most importantly competent cavers and I would personally like to thank CHECC in advance for their role in this goal.

P.S. Shout out to our famous alumni Josh Bratchley for helping out with the Thai cave rescue!!!

P.P.S If any other caving clubs want to share any caving trips at CHECC and take us along, it would be much appreciated!

Offline blhall195

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2018, 09:08:07 pm »
Hey there,

I'm Brendan the ULSA (Leeds) treasurer 2018-2019.

Having stuck around to do a PhD it's been interesting how things have changed over the years. My perspective on the club has shifted significantly over the years. As a fresher, I was torn between joining either the kayaking club or the cavers, I made the ultimate decision to become a caver because of the people and most of those reading this will know why. Although as interesting as the people who join the caving club may be reliving the same year, again and again, does get a bit dry so we do our best to do something different from time to time.

This year a few of us travelled out to represent ULSA at the Irish student caving forum, a smaller more pleasant version of CHECC with an interesting selection of Chinese food, the first time I've seen anything other than chilli or bolognese cooked for over 70 people at a caving weekend. We also went to Tresviso for some expedition caving over the summer.

The ULSA website (https://ulsa.org.uk/) has been upgraded to the 21st century, it might look cosmetically a little similar to the SUSS website but it's very different under the hood. We've also tried our hand at documentary making, due to be released later this month... 


Offline Samouse1

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2018, 12:16:21 pm »
Hello!

I'm Todd, MUSCs president. Manchesters caving club has sadly been dwindling in recent years, but a core group of experienced cavers is leading our club into new strengths! This year we have had quite a significant intake over last year, and our freshers are showing excellent progress already, in competency and enthusiasm. I personally think fear that some of them may be too good!

Our freshers trips in peak cavern were successful, as was our first weekend away, to South Wales. Our SRT training weekend in Yorkshire was very popular, and we reached capacity on that weekend! Bonfire night at the farm was, as usual, an exellent time, with some wonderful caving in Easegill to boot. Our other trips since last CHECC have been successful as well, and mostly without incident, though arrogance can lead to downfall!

 Over summer I represented MUSC on the Cambridge expedition out in Austria, and my tales of wonder have tempted several others to join next year. We are also liasing with a geology department worker about the possibility of a dig somewhere, and hope to be exploring new passage soon. To help with this, the union has kindly given us funding to buy our own Disto, and we plan to put this to good use. Hopefully Manchester will soon be back on the surveying map!

Looking to the future, our plans for trips go throughout the country, and we hope to expand our numbers more. Here's to another good years caving!

Offline bauton

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2018, 10:53:03 am »
Hi there,
This is going to get a bit self-indulgent but bear with it.
As some of you may know I have been starting up a new student caving club in Birmingham (BSCC). This came to me as an idea at last year’s CHECC. If Lancaster can restart it’s caving club, why can’t I start one in my city, I’ve been to a committee meeting before, how hard can it be…
I soon learned, the difficulty of setting up a new club lies in having no money, no kit and no members. So since January this year I’ve been going about this by tirelessly asking friends, family and total strangers whether they would like to come caving with me (often with understandably horrified responses).  But I am nothing if not trying (as my mother says), so I persevered, and organised two successful day trips (with the help of DCC at Alderley Edge). These were met by responses along the lines of “that was interesting, but, NEVER AGAIN”.
And this got me thinking, why do I go caving? After some long pondering and soul searching I concluded: it’s the camaraderie, stupid :beer2:.
With this in mind, and fresh from virgin cave in the Austrian Alps, I set about planning how to get new student members for the new academic year…
Badly.
I missed Aston Uni’s and City Uni’s fresher’s fayres due to getting the dates wrong and emailed completely the wrong people who’d offered to help at the uni mountaineering club (turns out there’s several). This just left me handing out leaflets to random passers-by on UoB campus, with the now all-too-familiar, horrified looks. All the student unions didn’t want to know me. But my persistence, pandering and pleading payed off. I managed to gather to my bosom a small hardy band of coerced student cavers. However from this meagre membership we have been doing socials and going on trips and getting the word out. The club started growing. We even found an indoor cave to practice in (thanks to Creation Climbing). By commandeering whatever kit we could. Rehashing old defunct helmets and headlamps, repairing shredded oversuits and raiding RUCC for everything else (sorry Jo). A few trip and membership fees trickled in to the bank and begging letters have been sent to anyone who’ll listen. A committee was formed, a constitution written (thanks Rostam), funding grants applied for and another term planned, BSCC is finally taking shape.
Now with some members, some kit, some money and some small recognition from the SUs. Student caving is back in Birmingham!
Thank you everyone who’s helped. ;D

Online Pegasus

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 10:59:54 am »
Quote
and begging letters have been sent to anyone who’ll listen

Send one to me - I am a caver because of Birmingham University Speleological Society (as was) and keen to help - I'll listen   :)

Online Big Bad Botch

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2018, 08:43:41 pm »
Our Club, SUSS, has been busy as always this year. Kicking off with a successful CHECC, in which we actually put some effort in to the comps, which paid off (especially in our winning video), we’ve followed it up with more-than-weekly evening trips, fortnightly weekends away, a summer expedition, and only one major rescue.

We managed to keep up caving, even as the harsh winter drew in. Our Christmas weekend was particularly taxing, with the heavy snow in the Dales making the approaches to the caves easily the most dangerous part. Myself and Olly had a particularly memorable exit to Washfold, finding ourselves in the dark in -4 conditions, with the car 40 mins away. Luckily Louise was waiting in the car to assist leaden fingers with removing frozen shut SRT kits and cardboard stiff oversuits.

Over New Year a few of us made it up to Bullpot Farm for some fun with ULSA, CUCC, and others. Even a traditional New Years Eve Peterson Pot trip couldn't damp our spirits (or at least not for too long), and everyone made it back to bring in the New Year with good friends and more than a bit of merriment. The ULSA-provided ‘freegan’ meal of roadkill venison and bin vegetables was a particular favourite, and really brought the new year in with style.

The winter dragged on well into second semester, the Beast from the East giving us a run for our money (the cooking oil in my house froze!) but again we weathered it, keeping regular evening trips running. Slogging through snow up Peak District hills to the lids of Oxlow, Maskhill, JH etc really made sure a determined bunch kept on, even with the predictable exam period slump on top of the cold.

Things were starting to thaw out by the Annual Dinner, which proved our undoing somewhat. As you may have heard, 5 of our members needed rescuing from a Providence Pot - Dow Cave through trip, due in part to meltwater flooding into the system. This turned into a serious rescue due to difficulties in locating the team, the rescuees spending almost 24 hours underground in total. Despite this, the mood at the dinner was jovial, and the members made it out in the morning with the help of UWFRA, CRO, and some SUSS Alumni to some leftover moroccan curry. SUSS went on to do the UWFRA 3 Peaks Challenge in the summer, raising some money and good publicity for the team. We can’t thank them enough.

Keeping active in projects too, SUSS organised a big cleanup project of an old dig in P8, pulling multiple carloads of stuff out. SUSS members were also instrumental in digging out the newest section of P8 just last weekend, with around 30m of new passage found

SUSS have also been active in the recently formed Cave Biology Group, with 3 of us driving down to Cheshire to survey the sandstone caves. We are still finding our feet here, but managed to collect some good specimens and send them off for ID, as well as produce some surveys of the caves themselves

A few of us, along with some ULSA, managed to make it to the Irish Student Caving Forum again this year. Again, great craic, with plenty goodwill despite the looming Brexit break-up (a theme which featured on their excellent t-shirt design). The Irish Forum is a step above in terms of comfort, with expertly prepared curries, fresh baked desserts etc, all over a long weekend in a town hall. CHECC still has some things to learn!

The rest of the year was mostly spent preparing for expedition in the summer. Many of us took the Surveying workshop at NCHECC, as well as organising training weekends of our own in both the Dales and South Wales. Most of us were pretty new to this whole expedition lark, but with some help from more experienced members (some of whom had been to Mulu, Meghalaya, and the Loser Plateau earlier in the year), we all felt pretty ready by the time September came around.

The main event of the year was surely our expedition to Tresviso, in the Picos de Europa, Northern Spain (generously sponsored by UKC ;) ). Here, we were linking up with the existing Tresviso Caves Project to look at the upper reaches of the mountain, which hadn’t been looked at much since LUSS went there in the 80s. On our radar were a few deep potholes that still had promising leads, including our main objective Flowerpot, with its 2 series: Bill and Ben. I won’t bore you with too many details here, but you can read all about it in our UKC thread at https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=23537.0

We had an absolutely brilliant time, around 25 of us camping out there for two weeks. Our home away from home in the mountains was truly beautiful, often being above the rain that plagues the ‘adult’ lot down the hill (who needs showers, beds, and bars anyways?) We even managed to befriend the local shepherds, who assumed to form of huge creatures resembling a cross between a St Bernards and a Lion, but were very friendly. Drills were dropped, storms weathered, and Don Simon was drunk, all in the service of finding some significant extensions to a few of the caves. The shorter Bill series in Flowerpot was almost doubled, and many others were extended or ticked off. For a bunch of newbies I reckon we did fairly well.

Unfortunately the late date of our exped meant that it ran right up against freshers season, with only one weekend between, this being Hidden Earth. Despite this, we still made a good showing, members giving talks on Tresviso, the Cave Biology Group, CHECC, and Mulu (as well as Rostam’s regular slots). It was heartening to see so many student clubs making a showing there, bringing a bit of CHECC to the oldies ;)

Freshers was manic as always, but went well, managing to take around 60 new people around Peak Cavern over our Peak Freshers weekend. Plenty interest as always, with a lot of women in the mix this year! A select few of these have kept at it, visiting the Dales and South Wales, and are now gearing themselves up for their first CHECC. Let’s hope they survive
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 08:56:00 pm by Pegasus, Reason: Added club name to opening sentence »

Offline CaverTom

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2018, 09:00:37 pm »
Kent University Caving Club:

Hello Fellow Cavers,

     I’m happy to say that Kent University Caving Club (KUCC) is attending CHECC and entering into the runnings for the Grand Prize. It has been a difficult year for us Kentish Cavers but the horizon is bright.

     Last year we only had a total of nine official members on the book, lost access to our training wall, had our funding massively cut, and failed to go on any SRT trips. For clubs of another sport, I am sure this would have spelt the end for them but us cavers are made of tougher stuff. We choose to go where the majority of people will take great lengths to avoid and we call it fun, even if at times it is only second rate fun. So in the face of this great adversity, the new committee realised it was do or die, and developed a battle plan to resurrect the club. There was only one way to save the club and that was to become a cult.

     We had been blessed greatly by the divine because anyone who knows anything about cults, knows that you must have a strong leader, with a charismatic personality and we had a, ‘Long John,’ our now glorious El Presidente. This is a man who has refused the devil’s poison, choosing only to consume Nesquik flavoured milk in its stead, consuming upwards of six pints per caving night. This same legend is impervious to the cold and is often spotted around cave entrances, in just his iconic neon boxers. This man, with the help of a small but highly effective group of committee operatives would make KUCC great again.

     The next step was to run an indoctrination camp, which we held in Wessex Caving Club and called our summer trip. This was interesting as the majority of people in attendance, were either new or inexperienced cavers and was a good opportunity to build a solid core of cavers for the new term. During this trip we entered the Wessex Challenge, went to the beach, developed a chant, learnt some SRT, consumed copious amounts of alcohol, and even did a bit of caving. This is also where we learnt that none of the committee are particularly good at waking up before twelve in the morning.

     The next big event was freshers, which was an overwhelming success -it turns out that when people move away from home for the first time they are especially vulnerable to cult indoctrination. We had over two hundred email sign ups, took over twenty freshers caving for their first time, and have tripled the size of the club, with numbers still rising. After the welcome talk we did a pub crawl that lasted to 3am on a Monday night.

      This success has been monumental for the club, making us healthy again and putting us in a strong position to apply to our union for additional equipment funding, due to our membership increase. Furthermore we have managed to secure the use of a climbing wall which is even better than our previous one, making training more efficient and fun. In turn this is increasing the number of SRT competent cavers in the club, with an SRT pilgrimage to the North planed in two weeks time.

     We have also made a conscious effort to broadcast ourselves and caving more, building recognition on campus. This in part was aided by the Thai football team and their prolonged caving trip. Having the effect of terrifying many people but at least making caving seem less obscure and drawing some of the more adventurous spirits in the university towards caving. Furthermore, we increased our media presence by advertising caving in our university newspaper and taking part in a mental health awareness campaign. There is still a lot of work to be done but we are on track, growing caving awareness in Kent, a county which has a notoriously low number of caves.

     Going forward there are a number of exciting ideas, adventures, and socials in the pipeline. There is a growing desire in the club to take on more challenging caving trips and to even become involved in expeditions. Hopefully, in the near future there will be a camping trip in Daren and at the start of next term we have our leadership weekend, which will cultivate the next generation of Kent cave leaders, to guarantee the continued success of the club next year. Preliminary plans for the summer trip are also being conceived, with Ireland or France seeming to be likely destinations. I also am planning on convincing a group of Kents to represent us at Dachstein this year. The future of a university caving club is always precarious but I can confidently say that it is very exciting time to join our club, and if things continue on their current trajectory, the sky's the limit - or in caving’s case, a tight squeeze, several kilometers underground is the limit.     

Be excellent to each other,
Thomas McNeill (KUCC Social Secretary)   

Offline nobrotson

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2018, 10:11:31 pm »
Great to read of the success of the efforts of Kent, I look forward to meeting some of you at the weekend. Keep it up!
the man is mentally ill. I have seen him eat a plastic pie.

Offline AdamC

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2018, 10:34:57 am »
Aberystwyth Caving Club - by Deri Williams our soon to be departing ex-pres

While the past year and a bit can’t be said to be the most successful year for ACC recruitment, it has been a very fun year. My time in Aber will be coming to an end soon, so it makes me happy to have had so many high points in recent times in a club that even in it’s too-common low points has forever changed me. And no high point is as high as seeing real wonder in the faces of people who you’ve worked so hard to bring them all this way.

Particularly notable examples include a Craig-y-Ffynon trip at our last AGM, where 2 hours of bitching and moaning gave way to silence and gasps of awe at the hall of the mountain king.
Or my first Northern lights trip, here I learnt of the little-visited treasure hidden in OFD.



Though I’m not gone quite yet, I consider our recent Mendip weekend away to be the swansong of my era in the club. We successfully gathered several recently graduated members that had formed my committee back in 2015, along with several friends we’ve made along the way. We did a reasonable amount of caving during the days, and an unreasonable amount of drinking during the nights. While nothing we did surpassed some of the extremes we had in the past, we had fun. For a weekend we existed in a bubble outside of time. As always, returning to reality was disappointing.

I mentioned low recruitment numbers, but that’s not particularly new to ACC. However, our intake over the past year and a bit has displayed a strange trend: Most of our recruits have not been freshers, but but 3rd year’s or masters students. It has become so common that we’ve created a term for them; Crusters. While freshers are notable for being unreliable and with low retention rates, crusters are characterised as having longer attention spans and determination. Unlike a fresher, who signs up to so many clubs they can hardly remember, a cruster is usually more certain in their choice. They are also more adverse to clubbing, and more likely to have a quiet pint (or ten).

The downside to so many of our recruits being crusters is that their lifespan at Aberystwyth is almost spent.  As a student club, our ability to function relies on maintaining a conveyor belt of knowledge, and these reliable but short-lived members aren’t the optimum components to carry on the cycle. There is, fortunately, a back-up: The FACCers. These Formerly ACC members are reserves of wisdom that can patch holes in the conveyor belt.

As I prepare to move away from Aberystwyth I’ve pondered the role of the FACCers as I will soon join their ranks. It is a mostly selfless role: you provide your expertise and sacrifice your weekends to lead trips. All this while looking at something that shaped a key phase of your life while having to accept that you no longer define its identity. How much this holds up I’ll find out soon enough, though this thought towards the future reminds me of my exploration into ACC’s past. While searching through our archives I located a trip report from over forty years ago, and had you changed the names I would not be able to differentiate it from our modern shenanigans. This has left me content that whatever superficial change will come, the heart of ACC will endure.

-Deri Williams, ex-president and eternal member of Aberystwyth Caving Club

« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 11:02:16 am by AdamC »

Online Pegasus

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2018, 02:35:09 pm »
Entered so far are:

Adventure & Expo, Plymouth  :thumbsup:
ULSA  :thumbsup:
MUSC (Manchester)  :thumbsup:
BSCC (Birmingham)  :thumbsup:
SUSS (Sheffield)  :thumbsup:
Kent  :thumbsup:
Aberystwyth  :thumbsup:

If you don't post on this thread, you aren't entered  :o :o

Offline frawleyh

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2018, 05:13:53 pm »
‘Our Club’ UBSS
The last year has seen all sorts happen for/to UBSS and I’ll try and summarise the most interesting! 
With trips running every 2-3 weekends and pub meets on a Tuesday, there is plenty to get stuck in with. Christmas dinner at the hut proved to be popular as usual with many turning out for a great night.
The New Year brought a few new cavers following our ‘Re-freshers’ event and a change of committees in March. Over the Easter holidays, some UBSS members went to the Ardeche with CUCC in preparation for Expo to Austria in the Summer! A couple of UBSS cavers joined CUCC in their annual expedition to joined forces with CUCC for their six-week expedition to the Loser Plateau in central Austria. This was enjoyed greatly by those that attended and hopefully we’ll continue to send some UBSS cavers in the future. Yet again, members of UBSS went out to Ireland to continue our surveying for the next edition of 'The Caves of County Clare'. The UBSS dig in Pierre's Pot is proving productive with over 33 working trips so far and 28 different people involved! A joint trip to the slate mines in North Wales again proved popular a few weeks ago and there was even movie time underground via a projector!
More recently the UBSS hut on Burrington has had a summer makeover! Various working parties have been out to sweep, hoover, repaint inside and out, replace kitchen appliances and mattresses and generally turning it into a more desirable place to stay! Big thanks to many of our members for doing their bit and making that happen- it looks great!
Freshers this year was similar to last – over 150 email sign ups and 500 flyers were distributed! Our welcome evening/talk with free food and drink for the students was well attended with around 30 new cavers signing up for the freshers weekends! These were held in Mendips and South Wales and were enjoyed by everyone! We have unfortunately hit the same problem as last year where we have great attendance at the first few weekends, then freshers tail off, leaving us with a small retention of new members each year.
One way we’ve attempted to overcome this this year is by holding a series of well-attended talks (with free food/drink!) about all the ‘pretty’ and exciting places caving can take you. The talks have covered French caving and the Dordogne, the BEC trip to the Philippines, Mulu National park and recently, a first-hand account of the international rescue of the young Thai football team and their coach over the summer. It was incredible to hear from Connor how it all unravelled and the sheer quantity of aid that was required to extract them from deep in the cave while water levels were rising.  Thanks to everyone that has done an evening talk (Dickon, Anya, Elaine, Cat, Connor), they have been really interesting and hopefully have inspired more people to cave!
The other focus of the last year has been preparations for our Centenary next! It is amazing that we’ve got this far, and are continuing to get new people underground. The university and student’s union are keen to support us with publicity and recognition of this incredible feat so watch this space!
Helen
UBSS Secretary

Offline RClements83

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2018, 08:54:25 am »
I'm the Meets Seretary of OUCC.

Over this year we've been caving in Wales, Yorkshire, the Mendips, and the Peak District. We had a joint weekend with OUMC on the Gower, where we had a look at some rarely visited caves, took climbers caving, and had a go at climbing. We visited Mendip CaveFest and got to see some more unusual Mendip caves there.

Over the Summer we've had cavers caving in both Spain and Austria.

This term we've had some popular day trips to the Mendips and the Forest of Dean, and weekends in the Mendips and Peak District. We're getting new OUCC t-shirts this year too. Some of our more experienced cavers have visited Quaking, and we've started to teach some of our keener new members SRT. Hopefully some of them will come back for more caving next year!

Next year we're planning a trip to Hungary, in addition to involvement with Ario and maybe some other expeditions too.

Rosa

Online aricooperdavis

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2018, 09:48:11 am »
It's nice to read that lots of university clubs are doing well this year - it's funny to see the Freshers I met in first year doing their own digging, or going on expedition, or being recognised for their cave photography!

I'm Ari, I'm about on UKCaving reasonably often, and I'm in Exeter University Speleological Society. I have been caving with EUSS for more than 4 years now - I foolishly stayed on to do a Master's last year and now a PhD in Exeter, so I have another 4 years ahead of me too ;D

This year has been quiet for EUSS. As it gets easier for students to sign up we get fewer and fewer of the spur-of-the-moment sign-ups that we usually rely on, so we ended last year with *just* enough cavers to form a committee. We've got a good bunch of Freshers this year, who are cool and fun and like caving, but I suspect it's no more than replacement rate for the graduands we'll lose at the end of the year. We've got enough kit, we've got enough money to make our weekend trips extraordinarily cheap (£20 for a weekend in Mendip, covering accomodation, transport, food, and caving!), but we've not really got enough interested cavers :-\

This has been a running theme for the last few years, so this year is all about forward thinking for us. We are having a good look at what we do and how we do it in order to get EUSS back on the right track. We're looking at how we maintain links with our alumni, how we cater for people socially, and how we groom train our new recruits to get them leading the way. We're thinking about how we communicate with our members, how we provide opportunities for people, and how we get them involved. We're moving away from leading trips for our members and moving towards going caving together with our members. It's nothing revolutionary, but it's setting a course for the future, and I think it's a good one :beer2:

We had 4 EUSS members on the Dachstein expedition this year, pushing exciting new depths and having an amazing time. We have 3 EUSS members getting involved with Devon Cave Rescue to learn new skills, get involved with the wider community, and fly around in helocopters. We have negotiated an indoor SRT training location on campus for those chilly winter months. We've nearly got around to authorising our treasurer to sign cheques.

So we're only a small group at CHECC this year, but we're an awesome one, ranging from Debbie "Car Keys" Shackleton who's in her 6th year of EUSS membership, to Jacob "Christmas Socks" Minihane who's in his first. We'll be joined by our Designated Survivor and keenest alumni Andy McLeod who's a hero and a godsend and has made glitter stencils for us, and we'll probably bump into some other ex-members there. Please come and say hello, and come caving with us, and drink with us, and get weird with us. (Plyms - we'll trip share if you need, we'll find you at checc).

We're deeply disorganized (sorry Pegasus!!) but we do love caving, and are up for a good time!

Also, I'm really sorry if Debbie does her Irish accent again.

Offline Jifer

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2018, 05:29:53 pm »
Hiya,
I’m Jennifer, treasurer of ICCC (Imperial), Jack the secretary also made this actually make sense.

Last year we had quite a few people coming on one trip and ended up with about four, myself included, that decided to stick around. This year we’ve had a huge amount of interest from new cavers, 34 new cavers so far this year: CHECC will be our first trip not to be oversubscribed and we told people it wasn’t a caving trip! As usual we have been running SRT training sessions on a tree in a London park, overlooked by gym goers and passersby.

Every year we run a winter tour to Yorkshire. Last year’s taught people lots of things, including some healthy respect for waterfalls. We also had a rescue training session (courtesy of Tony Seddon), which we plan to repeat this year. During Easter we went to Sardinia and did far too much caving and far too little drinking. We camped in Su Palu which is considered by many of us to be the prettiest cave we have visited. We also took an inflatable whale pool float to a rather wet cave -  sadly it was a deflated pool float at the end!





As usual, over the summer we ran an expedition to the mountain of Tolminski Migovec in Slovenia. This year, 9 novice (“slovice”) cavers attended the expedition, including Louise Ranken who is a Nottingham student. This was around twice the usual number of novices and,  when applying for GPF funding, concerns were raised about the average age being so low! Despite this we survived, had a very successful year and surveyed 2.6 km of new passage, taking total length of the system to over 40 km!

System Migovec (the cave we explore in Slovenia) is very vertical, which is challenging for novices - all of us going for the first time noticed a huge improvement in our SRT over the course of the expedition!  This year, as well as pushing deeper leads, we ran a digging project further down the mountain  (Coincidence Cave, seen in our video entry).  This was found to go for several 10’s of metres before becoming a tight draughting rift. The constriction has since been blasted to reveal an undescended  pitch ready for next year.



At time of writing it's been 2 years, 58 days, 4 hours, 17 minutes, 59 seconds since the last rescue, which we count as mildly successful. May this carry on increasing.



It’s a funny thing, I’ve gone from the scared fresher of last year (CHECC last year was my first SRT trip) to leading a horizontal trip for freshers. Plus some tentative, please check what I’m doing rigging. It’s a wonderful thing to experience and makes me very excited for future trips!

Checc out our website for more in depth details on our activities, https://www.union.ic.ac.uk/rcc/caving

Offline ihemartin

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2018, 06:53:21 pm »
*Updated post from last entry*

Hi there!

I'm Izzy, the current president of Adventure & Expo Plymouth  :)

Our club is a little different from the other clubs, in that we share caving with climbing, hiking and slacklining. It sometimes seems like caving has to compete with the other sports but I think it works really nicely. The sports being joined into one giant family means that non-cavers get into caving, and, shock horror, cavers have a go at above ground activities!

Our wonderful ex-caving sec Noot always went on about how amazing the CHECC grand prize was and how awesome SRT was. I must say, myself and others on the committee last year didn't take it too seriously, but when I went to CHECC for the first time as a lowly kit sec, I realised how amazing it all was. Since then, the club has been taking caving more seriously. We managed to get not one, but three new SRT kits through money the university gave us because they don't quite understand what we do, but know it can be dangerous if they don't give us money for kit. As well as shiny SRT kits, we managed to top up our krab collection, too! A recent kit inspection has left us 8 helmets down, so we're working on replacing them in time for CHECC. We're also looking to replace some of our ropes, so sadly it's looking to be an expensive year.

We have been proactive this year in getting people involved in caving. Our alumni Duncan has kindly been helping our new caving sec Sabrina run beginner caving sessions up on the moors. We've had a lot of uptake from this and the feedback has been very positive. As well as these trips several times a month, we ran our First Weekend trip and the caving was heavily subscribed. It revealed quite a few keen members who are either experienced or naturals at the sport. Indeed, I was surprised about how many people were joining the club for the caving, not the climbing this year at the fresher's fair. I may be biased, but it also seems that we have more women interested in caving this year, which I for one am very pleased about. Our first weekend also introduced our members to pan and sling and other classic games, so we are already training hard for CHECC. You have been warned.



A bunch of our members joined Shepton Mallet Caving Club for their new members weekend and had a great time with plenty of caving going on.

We also recently had a trip to South Wales Caving Club and took our members down OFD II. It proved interesting as one group had a bit missing from their survey, the bit they wanted to get to, and the other group had a survey so old, that everyone decided it very much needed to be replaced. Despite being absolutely lost for three hours, the members all had a really great time. One new member assumed that caving was all about getting horrendously lost! Though we will be updating our OFD surveys before we go again...

It's only November but I feel that we are seeing growth in our caving community within our happy outdoors family.

As president, my goal for Adventure & Expo this year is to get as many people not needing the club as possible. We don't want our members to need us to enjoy the wonders of caving. We are going to create a network of confident, and most importantly competent cavers and I would personally like to thank CHECC in advance for their role in this goal.

P.S. Shout out to our famous alumni Josh Bratchley for helping out with the Thai cave rescue!!!

P.P.S If any other caving clubs want to share any caving trips at CHECC and take us along, it would be much appreciated!

Offline Louise123

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2018, 09:52:12 pm »
THANK YOU!!
Firstly, a massive thanks from us, the NUCClings to UKCaving and CHECC! For those who don’t know, last year we were fortunate to win Ultimate Caving Club of The Year. We are extremely grateful for this, and as you will see, winning has helped us continue to develop the club and most importantly to take more young and keen people caving!! Hope you’re enjoying the SRT Kits Lancaster!

FRESHERS
We have continued to increase in size as a club, welcoming a generation of cavers from freshers to post-grads, as well as some people from Nottingham Trent University. These may be the keenest bees we’ve had yet- all our trips this term have once again been oversubscribed, showing how keen people are to try caving!

TRIPS
Just before the summer this year, we had a great joint trip with the university Climbing Club. This involved a day of climbing in the peaks, and a day doing the Peak round trip in Peak Cavern. This was a great opportunity for all of us to try something new, despite the differing opinions of when to be awake in the morning!
After beginning this academic year with committee training weekends to some classic systems in peak and Wales, we returned with freshers to many old favourites from last year, namely Peak Round Trip, as well as OFD1 and OFD2. In peak we joined up with SUSS to induct newbies into the caving community with caving games and a pineapple hunt, while Alex gained a new nickname (not to be put in writing). South Wales saw the joint forces of Nottingham, Cardiff and Imperial, where we turned the tables and put our fledgling cavers in charge of navigation in OFD2 for a mighty treasure hunt- under the close supervision of our suddenly clueless leaders. We have however been able to try more challenging trips, such as a couple of groups going to Daren Cilau in South Wales. Our Mendips trip was a great chance to meet other clubs, as that weekend, we joined UBSS at their (fairly minimalistic) hut. We enjoyed a bonfire and fireworks together. It was a lovely weekend with several trips down Swildons, among others. Our trip to Bull Pot Farm in Yorkshire was particularly successful, with 20 people. Despite few of us knowing Easegill well, we had some fun trips on both Saturday and Sunday and hope to spend more time getting to know it in the future.
We have also begun Wednesday afternoon trips this term to keep up with demand, with groups going to Giants and Cumberland and Wapping.

SRT TRAINING
SRT training has been really successful this year, with two weekly training sessions on Tuesdays at the University climbing wall. Thanks to Natalie’s unending efforts- at and in preparation for the wall- we have trained many people in SRT skills, ready to try some SRT caves! She has also created a syllabus for our training sessions, so future years will have a guide in all the essential skills to safely enjoy all that SRT caves have to offer.

SOCIALS
We have continued to have regular weekly socials this year, some of the best ones have been the bar crawl and the bonfire social. We have made sure to have some interesting non-alcoholic socials as well, with a fun board games social!

KIT
This year we have continued to learn about kit inspection and maintenance. After conducting a bi-annual inventory, we retired some of the old kit, and have created a system to keep track of the age and condition of kit. We have also invested in ToughTags to label our club kit with. Only time will tell if they are tough enough for the job ahead!

EXPEDITIONS
Several of our members have gained much more experience from going on expeditions with different universities – Louise joined Imperial College Caving Club in Slovenia, Lydia joined Sheffield University Speleological Society in Spain and Jacob, Lydia, Ryan and Alex joined Cambridge University Caving Club in Austria. In Austria, there was an all-NUCC team (Jacob, Ryan and Alex) that found some brand new cave passage – the first all NUCC team to find new cave in recent times! Several of us had never been on an expedition before. We discovered new cave, learned bolting and surveying techniques and had the opportunity to live on a mountain for several weeks in the summer. Thank you to these clubs that invited us to join!! Somehow Alex, Ryan and Jacob managed to defy death and drive no less than 700 miles across Europe with any brakes in the NUCC mobile (aka Jimny).

STICKERS
This year we made stickers!!!! BEC, we’re coming for you..!

PLANS FOR THE COMING YEAR
We intend to continue having many joint trips, both with other university caving clubs, as well as another joint trip with the Climbing Club, and a joint trip with the Wilderness 1st Aid society, who have kindly agreed to teach us some first – in return we intend on taking them caving of course!
This year we are organising our own holiday to Ireland in the Easter Holidays! The plan is to attend the Irish Student Caving Forum, cave hard and drink the odd pint of Guinness. We have not had a NUCC holiday in a few years, so we are really excited about this! We are hoping to use this as a chance to spread our wings and train more people in skills they may use on expeditions, in preparation for an expedition of our own in coming years!




Offline pmccarron97

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2018, 11:00:42 pm »
Hi Everyone,
I’m Paul, the current captain of Queen’s University Belfast Caving Club (QUBCC) for the 2018-19 academic year.

I’m pleased to say that QUBCC will be attending CHECC this year. Many people would say that QUBCC is the number one Student Led caving club in Northern Ireland (mainly because we are the only one). Normally you don’t see us at many mainland events, usually due to cost, planning, drivers and people being able to organise it well in advance – but we’ll be here this year so watch out.

So lets jump into a bit of background on the club;
There isn’t much solid information about when the club was formed, and the only relic of information we can seem to find dates to our old-old-old website. It states that the club was founded in the 1980’s by a “crowd of bored alcoholics, 60’s throwback hippies and a surfing priest” (http://caving.club.qub.ac.uk/old/oldsite/about.htm/). To some that have been amongst us over the past few years attending various events, that probably sounds about right. What we know for certain is that QUBCC has been an active club since then and I’m pleased to say over the last year we’ve been flat to the mat running trips when we can, and with around 60 paid members this year, things are looking good for the club in membership terms, however when it comes to new active members, this is where things start to dive a bit, this is mainly due to being able to run trips, i’ll follow up on this shortly.

We mainly cave around the Fermanagh region, some would say it’s our bread and butter – but really it's closer than taking the 5 hour drive down to County Clare, and it’s in Fermanagh you will find “The Hoo” – Ireland’s only caving hut, looked after by none-other than Sean ‘Miner’ – a past QUBCC member. If you’re interested in Caving over in Ireland, drop me a message and we can discuss about organising a trip.

So what have we been up to over the last year?

We try our best to hit up trips as frequently as possible and as much as funds allow. Trips last the full weekend, and we cater for pretty much all a member needs, from food, to gear and a roof over their heads. Since last November we’ve hit around 1 trip every 3 weeks, mixing it up between horizontal caving and vertical caving – really just what our members are looking forward/wanting to do over a particular weekend.

Probably most of our members favourite trips are our annual new years trip, the Irish Student Caving Forum over Easter and SUICRO in October.

For many freshres, the new year’s trip will be their first time being able to take their SRT training and apply it in a caving environment. I particularly enjoyed last year’s ‘New Year Trip,’ this was thanks to a mixture of things - mainly the fact that we as a club finally explored some caves we haven’t been to in a long time and also, when caving on new year’s eve we just made it back to the accomodation 5 minutes before the clock struck 12! (No thanks to the two students who thought they could leave the radio running and headlights on in the car without starting the engine every once in a while!

The ISCF is the annual meetup for all student cavers in Ireland. This year it was our turn to host it, and we believe it was hosted successfully with the major theme of the event being the impending “Brexit Crisis,” and was actually hosted over the border in Kiltyclogher, County Leitrim – the event could be referred to as a “mini CHECC,” with around 50-60 people in attendance, except with better food (the grub was impeccable this year, thanks to our secretary Liam, we had everything from starters, mains and deserts - all freshely prepped by Liam and his volunteer members), better accommodation (the local community centre/hostel) a pub quiz, t-shirts (designed by myself), talks and caving. Tony Seddon was also kind enough to pop over and open his shop for students looking to purchase! The ISCF is a must visit if you are ever wanting to keep yourself busy over the easter break. This up-and-coming ISCF will be hosted by Dublin Institute of Technology Caving Club (we hope), so keep an eye on the Ireland Section of UKCaving for more information.

Thanks to the Shieffield guys and other folk who traveled across the pond to attend the ISCF this year. It was fantastic learning some of the traditional caving songs and also for us to teach them some of our classics. We hope to see you all again!




We also kept ourselves busy over the summer, running multiple trips again around Ireland. Most of these trips again were weekend adventures, however we also lent a bit of a hand in doing some work around ‘The Hoo,’ getting it fixed up in time for freshers season. The main project at the moment is replacing the fireplace, installing a back boiler and getting some heating into the hut - I hear it’s already caused everything to be covered in dust, but we all look forward to it being completed soon, especially in time for these colder months, where the fire just doesn’t cut it anymore!

As for the new academic year, things have unfortunately been off to a rocky start. Our first freshers trip was a great success, being able to take roughly a group of 15 people caving over the weekend, many people thoroughly enjoyed it and it was mad.
However, since then, our biggest issue has been getting drivers. Specifically, with my car breaking down right when it's most needed (typical!), it’s meant we’ve had to cancel and reschedule trips a few times, and so people have started to loose some interest. However, with more trips planned over the next month and a half and into the new year we are hopeful we can kick things off again! After all, refreshers is just around the corner.

QUBCC haven’t taken part in any expeditions over the last number of years – however, I am particularly keen to get involved – talk to me over the weekend to discuss! We have however some past members such as Steven Muh who have been to New York and are taking part in a trip to Tasmania. There’s also Jock who has been to expeditions in Vietnam.

Training
As for training and equipment, QUBCC are fortunate enough that we are able to run training twice a week, namely on a Wednesday and a Sunday (yes we’re that keen!). Our training wall is pretty good, and allows for easy teaching of freshers thanks to the ledges which are in situ at the top. However, our biggest issue facing the club is the quality of our equipment. A lot of it is starting to reach its end of life and we have been quickly going down in the amount of available SRT kits we can make use of (from 12 to 8 and I can further see this going down again at my next quarterly audit). So we’ll most likely have to spend a bit of cash just before the end of year on getting this sorted out!

One issue the club has started to face however this year, is caused by our older members starting to leave the club, and has resulted in us now trying to organise new methods of getting our current student members trained up – however training alignment just didn’t work out for us last year with the SUI (Speleological Union of Ireland) due to them running most of their events in County Clare, over examination periods and so pretty much all of our members couldn’t attend.

For the rest of the academic year:

However! Best not look on the bad side of things – along with CHECC this weekend, we have our second freshers trip running, a drip planned for mid December, our classic new years trip planned and a number of refreshers trips planned and also the possible trip to England over the summer. We are all really looking forward to it and hope it shapes up to be a fantastic year!

But that’s pretty much it. We look forward to what the new year brings and I’m very keen as the current captain to outreach to other clubs, especially in England as we are looking to possibly have a summer trip over, much like what RUCC did this summer coming over to Fermanagh (hope you enjoyed it Jo!) and we are always happy to host other clubs

Oh, and we also updated our website on Monday, check out the new design here: http://caving.club.qub.ac.uk/

Cave Safe,
Paul McCarron
QUB Caving Club Captain 2018/19

Queen's University Belfast Caving Club Captain 2018/19
Club Website: http://caving.club.qub.ac.uk/
Personal Website: http://www.paulmccarron.net/

Online Pegasus

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2018, 05:40:51 pm »
Entered so far are:

Adventure & Expo, Plymouth  :thumbsup:
ULSA  :thumbsup:
MUSC (Manchester)  :thumbsup:
BSCC (Birmingham)  :thumbsup:
SUSS (Sheffield)  :thumbsup:
Kent  :thumbsup:
Aberystwyth  :thumbsup:

If you don't post on this thread, you aren't entered  :o :o

Also entered:

UBSS  (Bristol)  :thumbsup:
OUCC (Oxford)  :thumbsup:
Exeter  :thumbsup:
ICCC (Imperial)  :thumbsup:
NUCC (Nottingham)  :thumbsup: Reigning Champions  ;D
QUBCC (Queens, Belfast)  :thumbsup:


If I've missed your club off this list, please let me know  :)

Offline mattamos

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2018, 08:19:53 pm »
The first year of LUSS!


LUSS looking fabulous on the first Freshers Trip. So many smiling faces!!!



A short write up about the first couple of months in this new academic year at Lancaster by Matt

After the last year of planning, organising and recruiting students from all walks of life, it was just an absolute joy and excitement to fill all our freshers trips.

It was the year of the phoenix for LUSS. For years LUSS had lain dormant, viewed through rose tinted glasses of its forebears and embodied in the passages and caves uncovered in its heyday. The student body had lost sight of the enormity of caves in the vicinity and forgotten the caving heritage formed at Lancaster. Then, come late 2017 three excited students met at an adventure talk on campus and the words Lancaster University Speleological Society were uttered and the Phoenix in the ashes stirred. Before long the excitement built into a frenzy of activity, and the collective energy of new members grew. There were hurdles, but most of them were knocked over by the amazing caving community who sent them flying before we were even close. The phoenix grew feathers (in RED and BLUE cordura naturally) as the club was kindly kitted out by the BCA. Throughout the year, we fostered enthusiasm of members, taught and learnt, and felt part of the illustrious history of LUSS. This was all as a build up to our FIRST OFFICIAL YEAR.

Fast forward to October 2018, the first year as a fully operating club and the first year welcoming a new cohort of freshers. The exec struggled to contain the energy of the young guns and every trip was full and there was a unending thirst for caving. Challenging weather on the first freshers trip resulted in many wet freshers, but this was by no means a dampener. Even after valley entrance, an exploration to great douk and yordas, they still had the energy to go through thistle and runscar... Twice! Summoning all their Mars bar reserves the exec just about kept up! Enthusiasm levels throughout the day were extraordinary despite the waist deep water, conversations were had about karst and cave formation, and fast friends were made. It all took its toll though because the minibus was very quiet with only a smattering of snoring on the way back to uni.



Over to Zander to describe the second Freshers' Trip:
Such was the interest in caving we had to run a second caving trip, which of course is no chore to Old Ing and Calf Holes. We arrived in the late afternoon with just enough light left to rig the pitch in to Calf Holes. We split in to two groups, taking one cave each and swapping over under cover of darkness. The twinkling of distant head torches was immensely useful when locating the other group once above ground after the first cave. The entrance to Calf Holes was a big step for many people; having never been on ropes before, the pitch head dangle delivered excited/nervous grins prior to being lowered. Much fun was had squeezing freshers through the hole in the floor that would eventually lead us in to Browgill Cave. A spectacular view of the main waterfall was accompanied by assurances that there was a more friendly descent down the staircase just around the corner. Though once people develop their SRT skills, we will definitely return to have a crack at the committing waterfall pitch. Old Ing had very little water and people managed to stay relatively dry (unlike previous LUSS adventures in Old Ing). The bedding crawl in the roof was searched for and enjoyed by all. These caves proved to be an excellent first trip for many new cavers, pushing them slightly beyond their comfort zone and in to the fun zone.



Just the other week we ran the first SRT training, which was again well attended. The training commenced in the YSS, with students learning the terminology and techniques before getting stuck in on the ropes. Our great location close to the Dales allowed us to put the newly learnt skills into practice and we finished off the afternoon with a trip down alum pot. We started down dolly tubs, down to the bridge over the greasy slab. Some of the freshers even made it down to the very bottom. Everyone handled themselves excellently and we had good speed with us on the way back out. This trip created a hunger for more roped caving, which hopefully will never cease!






Here the phoenix analogy runs dry as they sore off into the bright sky. We on the other hand are off to go and get muddy in the dark! We are very much looking forward toward the future.
A couple of stats:
 - We’ve taken 29 people on trips this year
 - 51 members on our database
 - 6 the number of SRT kits we have graciously been given or loaned

Thanks
I posted in UKCaving last year trying to thank the numerous people and organisations who have made LUSS’s resurrection possible. We have even more to add that list now, so many so that I don't even know where to begin. The BCA, CHECC, other university clubs, non university clubs, individuals, UKCaving, and many many more. Our tremendous thanks to all of you, and to the whole community, you have been amazing!!! And finally, thank you for the reading this!

Matt, all the exec, and all of LUSS

Offline pjh5000

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2018, 12:41:24 am »
Greetings from Reading University Caving Club! 2018 is our 50th anniversary year, so we were determined to make it a good one!

We were riding a wave from last year's good haul of new members (building upon our recovery from some very tricky years), and there was an idea being bandied around, about doing some kind of reunion trip with our previous members. It quickly became apparent that no-one was really prepared to put in all the thousands of hours needed to organise such a thing, and some kind of foreign adventure seemed much more appealing!

Ireland was the closest, we'd heard lots of nice things about it, and already had vague ambitions of going there, but as winter turned into spring, the two people most keen on an Easter trip there, realised that they lacked the logistical competence to bring the price within reach of the humble student...

Southern CHECC at the SWCC proved an inspiration - why don't we just go here for 4 days? We did lots of hardcore caving in OFD, including the longest RUCC exploratory trip we've done in a long time, well off the beaten track. We saw some stunning crystal pools, many incredible stalactites, as well as lots of other amazing formations, before descending down the Skyhook. On Easter Sunday, we had the privilege of going to see the Columns.

Over the course of the year, we went on 5 trips during the Autumn term, 5 during the Spring term (including Northern CHECC for the first time ever!), and we even managed to fit in 2 trips during the exam season!

All of a sudden, Ireland was back on the cards again! This rapidly morphed into a far more ambitious plan for a 10 day trip, instead of the long weekend we had initially anticipated. Thanks to some incredible budgeting and organisation work by Jo Meldner, we kept prices incredibly low, achieving £250 per head - which covered everything, with a lot left over to treat ourselves to some gigantic pizzas! Among other things, we used Tesco vouchers to obtain some dirt cheap ferry tickets. In total, 11 RUCC members went, including a good proportion of current students.

Before we set off, we sent out requests for help to all of the Irish people we knew, along with anyone else who vaguely knew the country. The Irish have a reputation for camaraderie, but even so, we were astounded by the response! Everyone was extremely helpful and welcoming, and arranged for people to turn up during both the weekends, to show us the lie of the land, and to guide us to the best caves...

The Hoo was described to us as everything a caving hut should be, which turned out to be totally accurate - if you've not visited, you should! The road between the Hut and the nearest town crosses the border at least three times, resulting in us having to obtain a multiple entry visa for one of our non-EU members - somewhat problematic, since The Hoo - a place with no electricity - doesn't exactly do booking confirmations...!

We explored a lot of fantastic caves (quite like the ones in the UK, but wetter!), most notably Marble Arch. Our Irish friends who were there initially were unable to take us down due to the weather, but they said "it's a showcave, so you can't possibly get lost" - over the course of the next 3 days, several RUCC groups went down there, and then proceeded to get lost in a number of completely different places... We weren't helped by the 'interesting' descriptions in the Irish cave books ("turn left at the place that used to flood"), so we put together our own guide, which we hope will be of more practical use to future student club trips to Ireland.

Among our many other adventures there, we went to a gig in a cave - three people in weird costumes (one of which was wearing an animal skull as a mask) did lots of shouting and wailing - very atmospheric... We also jumped into a lake next to a prison in the pouring rain, hoping desperately not to be mistaken for escaped convicts - as you do...

Flushed with success from our Ireland trip, we decided it was time to venture further afield, so a group of us went to Austria. One of our members went out for a month - taking part in the Cambridge epedition, before being joined by two more members at the Eurospeleo conference - where we went on lots of excursions, attended some interesting talks, and socialised heavily, consuming copious amounts of alcohol (some presented to us for free by the organiser). After that, we went to Dachstein, where we were joined by one of our new student members. It was exhilarating to be part of this expedition in their breakthrough year!

We then progressed straight into preparations for the next academic year... We updated our website to add new content, changed the branding to be more in line with our other club publicity materials, and featured our brand new Instagram account to share pictures of all our adventures.

Due to all the preparations we have made in previous years, freshers fayre recruitment is now starting to feel like a well-oiled machine. Our tackle store arrangements have been transformed over the last few years (thanks in no small part to all the incredible efforts of Jo), which has made it much easier to find things when we're getting ready for trips. Thanks to the generous financial support from our student's union, we have invested heavily in new kit, which has increased the number of members we can take with us on trips.

This year we have managed to attract nearly 40 members - more than last year, and notably, the level of enthusiasm is the highest it's been for years. Turn out at our weekly pub meets (rotating between various pubs in Reading) has increased significantly - helped by a new group on Facebook Messenger which was started by one of our new members, and has since grown organically to include virtually everyone in the club.

Among other socials, we organised one of our popular film nights, watching that well known caving "documentary", The Descent. Our trip to Thorpe Park had an unprecedented level of popularity, with 20 people turning up to this! We are also planning to go to London later this term for a sightseeing trip.

So far this term, we have run a day trip, two Wales trips, a Mendips trip with fireworks, and finally CHECC. All of which were very well attended... except rather unfortunately for CHECC itself: I am currently writing this in the car on the way there, being driven by the only other RUCC attendee! Clearly our organisation is a bit 'patchy' to say the least! But two people is enough to enter most of the competitions, right?!

Online Pegasus

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2018, 01:40:00 pm »
Entered so far are:

Adventure & Expo, Plymouth  :thumbsup:
ULSA  :thumbsup:
MUSC (Manchester)  :thumbsup:
BSCC (Birmingham)  :thumbsup:
SUSS (Sheffield)  :thumbsup:
Kent  :thumbsup:
Aberystwyth  :thumbsup:

If you don't post on this thread, you aren't entered  :o :o

Also entered:

UBSS  (Bristol)  :thumbsup:
OUCC (Oxford)  :thumbsup:
Exeter  :thumbsup:
ICCC (Imperial)  :thumbsup:
NUCC (Nottingham)  :thumbsup: Reigning Champions  ;D
QUBCC (Queens, Belfast)  :thumbsup:


If I've missed your club off this list, please let me know  :)

With the addition of Lancaster and Reading that makes 15 clubs entered into the Grand Prize, 4 more than last year   ;D

Welcome to the competition Queens, Lancaster, Birmingham, Aberystwyth and Kent. We miss you Southampton!

Offline BTWynn

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2018, 09:45:16 pm »
The first rule of DUSA is talk about DUSA. Weekly pub nights and lengthy breakfasts give us time to plan pub and breakfast weekends with intermittent cave excursions. We go deep, we go hard and then we go home. Based in the glorious county durham, it's just a jaunty saunter over to the depths of the Yorkshire dales or a more special foray into the cold and clammy peaks. Over the past year we've continued to successfully build, gaining a new clubroom and lots of shiny new cave virgins that have been joyfully - and safely - inducted. This has been facilitated by regular weekends away in training huts. This year we are training in the hope of exploring further afield next summer, and so have been building strength with climbing sessions as well. This has allowed us to make a long-awaited return to CHECC, where we hope to honour our motto, "Chasing Dragons since 1963". If you think about it hard enough, it makes sense.. even if we're not Welsh, Durham has a proud mining history alongside a pretentious uni. So give us a prod if you want to learn the rest of the rules of DUSA.
Credits to Anna Marshall

Offline Diglett

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  • Thom Starnes - CHECC Chair
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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2018, 09:59:18 pm »
Cambridge University Caving Club

Shortly after CHECC 2017 at the Dalesbridge, we headed south to the Royal Geographical Society for the Ghar Parau Golden Age of Cave Exploration weekend where Aidan Marks presented '40 Years in Austria: The Loser Plateau. Cambridge University Caving Club 1976-2017.' Since 1976, CUCC have been visiting the Loser Plateau near Bad Aussee, Austria, to explore the Schwarzmooskogelhohle cave system. As of 2018, the cave is now over 120 km long and over 1000 m deep, making it one of the largest in Europe. The expedition is one of the largest and longest running student expeditions in the UK, and is one of the leading training grounds for students new to alpine caving to learn how to explore new alpine caves safely and scientifically.

March the 14th marked the death of a Cambridge icon - Stephen Hawking. Older members may remember that the tackle store used to be in the basement of Stephen Hawking's house, next to Harvey Court.

Another Easter trip was run to the Ardèche region in the south of France. CUCC have been running trips to the Ardèche, which affords many fine caving trips, for many years (trips in at least 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017). Unfortunately, the main guidebook Speleo Sportive en Ardèche is often of limited use (but well worth getting hold of) and many of the holes can be hard to find. As a result, CUCC members started to create an archive of useful information about caves in the area. It is now quite good, and may be the best English-language caving guide to the area. Contact us for a link to the guide.

Online Pegasus

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Re: 'Our Club' CHECC 2018
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2018, 10:44:44 pm »
Entered so far are:

Adventure & Expo, Plymouth  :thumbsup:
ULSA  :thumbsup:
MUSC (Manchester)  :thumbsup:
BSCC (Birmingham)  :thumbsup:
SUSS (Sheffield)  :thumbsup:
Kent  :thumbsup:
Aberystwyth  :thumbsup:

If you don't post on this thread, you aren't entered  :o :o

Also entered:

UBSS  (Bristol)  :thumbsup:
OUCC (Oxford)  :thumbsup:
Exeter  :thumbsup:
ICCC (Imperial)  :thumbsup:
NUCC (Nottingham)  :thumbsup: Reigning Champions  ;D
QUBCC (Queens, Belfast)  :thumbsup:


If I've missed your club off this list, please let me know  :)

With the addition of Lancaster and Reading that makes 15 clubs entered into the Grand Prize, 4 more than last year   ;D

Welcome to the competition Queens, Lancaster, Birmingham, Aberystwyth and Kent. We miss you Southampton!

Talk about leaving it until the last minute  :o :o

Final list:

Adventure & Expo, Plymouth  :thumbsup:
ULSA  :thumbsup:
MUSC (Manchester)  :thumbsup:
BSCC (Birmingham)  :thumbsup:
SUSS (Sheffield)  :thumbsup:
Kent  :thumbsup:
Aberystwyth  :thumbsup:
UBSS  (Bristol)  :thumbsup:
OUCC (Oxford)  :thumbsup:
Exeter  :thumbsup:
ICCC (Imperial)  :thumbsup:
NUCC (Nottingham)  :thumbsup: Reigning Champions  ;D
QUBCC (Queens, Belfast)  :thumbsup:
Lancaster  :thumbsup:
Reading  :thumbsup:
Durham  :thumbsup:
Cambridge  :thumbsup:

17 in total  ;D