Author Topic: Starting caving again - when?  (Read 2493 times)

Online Badlad

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Starting caving again - when?
« on: May 09, 2020, 04:10:12 pm »
Hi all, northern cavers and anyone hoping to cave in the northern caving region.

As CNCC Access officer I'm keeping an eye on any government announcements or advice from partner or sister organisations which may effect caving.  The BMC document detailed on another thread is very useful.  Much of it could apply to caving when certain restrictions are eased (see here - https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-launches-covid19-recovery-plan-for-climbing--hill-walking). 

It is certainly our aim to help cavers return to the days when enjoying the sport you love was easy.  I guess even now it might be possible that a few cavers have been underground during lockdown perhaps on solo trips close to home but the vast majority have been compliant with the spirit of advice to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.  Over the coming weeks and months the advice is likely to change so that at least some caving activity can take place.  This is going to require that restrictions on essential travel, social distancing and exercise will have to change.

Whatever people do choose to do once restrictions are eased it is worth emphasising that public perceptions of caving do not necessarily match reality - especially over perceived risk.  Whilst caving incidents are unlikely to have any real effect on our NHS, they would have a larger effect on rescue services and potentially a catastrophic effect on our image.  Even now I am assured that Cave Rescue is ready to respond, as always, should they be needed though no one wants a call out at the best of times but certainly not in the midst of this pandemic.  Anyone visiting the Dales should be aware that sentiments can run high.  Some local people are vulnerable and scared of the virus and this should be respected.

As lockdown eases, as it surely must, on behalf of CNCC I would ask that everyone exercises more caution than in normal circumstances.  Cave well within your capabilities.  Pay strict attention to guidebook and local warnings.  Check and double check all your equipment functions properly.  Try a little refresher training in a safe environment before committing to a vertical trip.  Watch the weather more closely than ever before - we are in a fantastic spell of weather here in the Dales but you can just guarantee that at any resumption of caving the usual unpredictable weather will have returned.

It goes without saying that if anyone is unwell or showing any of the well publicised signs of the virus then they should stay away from any future caving activities that are allowed.  I expect we will start off caving with those in small social bubbles going on easy trips, either as independents or from small clusters within a club.  The full functioning of clubs, club huts, meet lists, social events, instructed groups must be much further off.  Who knows when we can enjoy that apres-caving pint in a pub with our friends again.

I shall try to update you all with any news likely to affect caving up north.
Be extra safe
Cheers
Tim Allen
CNCC Access officer


Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2020, 05:59:39 pm »
Your prediction of the weather going pear shaped once things ease may well be quite prophetic:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/features/52504850

Yes please, do let us know when we can start caving again and thanks for your efforts.

Offline Duck ditch

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2020, 07:37:46 pm »
When things ease up maybe it might be wise to flag where you are going so we can spread out. 

Also be thoughtful to the locals and practice social distancing from them.

Here in The Ingleton and Bentham area we have had 5 deaths including a friend.
 I have no idea how many people have recovered.   I think this seems high for this area.

I was talking to somebody who works on the waterfall walk today and she reckons it had a lot to do with the day before the shut down when the waterfall walk was mental.  Who knows but it’s worth thinking about even if you think it’s all an overreaction.

Offline JasonC

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2020, 08:49:29 am »
When things ease up maybe it might be wise to flag where you are going so we can spread out. 

The CNCC's booking system will be very useful for this, where it applies.  Another good reason to use it

Online Ed

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2020, 10:18:23 am »
When things ease up maybe it might be wise to flag where you are going so we can spread out. 

The CNCC's booking system will be very useful for this, where it applies.  Another good reason to use it

Just need to get Stump Cross and Wharfedale on it. Otherwise folk will continue to pirate trips - which gives no true indication of traffic

Online PeteHall

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2020, 07:18:57 pm »
Well I found our illustrious leader's announcement today rather thin on substance.

I guess caving with family is ok now, so long as you don't need rescuing... :shrug:
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Online Ceiriog Chris

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2020, 07:27:37 pm »
Anybody want to adopt me , very capable digger  :)

Offline RichardB1983

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2020, 09:10:30 pm »
Well I found our illustrious leader's announcement today rather thin on substance.

I guess caving with family is ok now, so long as you don't need rescuing... :shrug:

I suspect when the full statement is released tomorrow - with details of what you can and can't do: that it'll be "sport with those you share a household with" and not family as such. So no caving with family members that you aren't living with.

i.e. same as now - you are allowed out of the house to run/walk/cycle with members of your household - but from Wednesday you'll also be able to play sport, go fishing, sit in the park or sunbathe - and you'll be able to drive to get there. The briefing to political journalists seem to indicate these measures.

The other item in the briefing is that you will be able to meet up with 1 member from outside your household - but must stay 2m apart.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2020, 09:17:41 pm »
Actually, in that case I'm renewing my fishing license on Wednesday, as I can walk to the river, and will hopefully be having fresh trout for tea! Fish can't catch coronavirus, can they?  :'(

Offline mikem

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2020, 09:46:42 pm »
Not an issue if you're going to eat them...

Offline Alex

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2020, 09:45:29 am »
The important thing from the advice is you are now allowed to drive, that has been the restriction that has been stopping me. I am lucky I have John who lives in the same house as me and is a reluctant caver but is willing to go caving. So for me, it seems like a cautious yes I/we can go. I personally will be sticking to easy stuff, mainly to avoid rescues of course but partly John, don't like really hard at least wet caves anyway.

Still can't go caving with my mates though, due to the outside rule and of course social distancing. I can imagine in almost all caves except maybe gaping gill main shaft it would be a bit hard so social distance!

I guess for caving to fully get going the actual social distancing rules themselves would need to end, at least to a close circle of friends.

So expect small numbers of cavers about now, those who are lucky like me to live with someone willing to go caving and those who are willing to solo.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 09:55:14 am by Alex »
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2020, 09:49:14 am »
Mendip. Lockdown. Discuss.

Online Minion

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2020, 10:06:09 am »
Mendip. Lockdown. Discuss.

Isn’t it always locked?

Offline Alex

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2020, 10:20:21 am »
Quote
Mendip. Lockdown. Discuss.

Isn’t it always locked?

 :clap2: :clap2:
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline mikem

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2020, 10:28:35 am »
Only to maintain social distancing of northern cavers... (BTW that's where I started)

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2020, 10:29:27 am »
So expect small numbers of cavers about now, those who are lucky like me to live with someone willing to go caving and those who are willing to solo.

Like many readers, of course I'm itching to get what limited and low risk caving done which might be reasonably possible. But first I'd welcome any guidance which BCA might feel able to give, before getting too excited and sticking any lamps on charge.


Offline mikem

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2020, 10:33:20 am »
& I hope they are in contact with BMC etc to give a coherent message (or maybe just waiting to see what they say)

Online PeteHall

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2020, 10:37:19 am »
So expect small numbers of cavers about now, those who are lucky like me to live with someone willing to go caving and those who are willing to solo.

Like many readers, of course I'm itching to get what limited and low risk caving done which might be reasonably possible. But first I'd welcome any guidance which BCA might feel able to give, before getting too excited and sticking any lamps on charge.

From your perspective Pitlamp, other than public perception, I can't see any reason why you shouldn't have continued your projects all along...

You can't get much more socially isolated and if you needed a rescue, it could wait until this is all over...

The only thing is unnecessary travel, but that's allowed now :)
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Online Badlad

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2020, 10:47:05 am »
I'm not sure what you can expect from the BCA.  Moral is low amongst many BCA officers at the moment and the C&A officer is swamped with NHS work.  In any case advice is probably best left to the individual regions as each might have different views based on differing authorities etc.

As CNCC access officer I will offering what advice I can and keeping in touch with rescue and sister organisations.  However, CNCC do not control or police access to caves and ultimately it is up to individuals to look at all the advice and make their own decisions.

Cheers
Tim

Offline mikem

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2020, 10:48:41 am »
Upper wharfedale (who cover cave & fell) are now advising being cautious & breaking yourself in gently - although this is directed at walkers more than cavers.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2020, 10:52:51 am »
So expect small numbers of cavers about now, those who are lucky like me to live with someone willing to go caving and those who are willing to solo.

Like many readers, of course I'm itching to get what limited and low risk caving done which might be reasonably possible. But first I'd welcome any guidance which BCA might feel able to give, before getting too excited and sticking any lamps on charge.

From your perspective Pitlamp, other than public perception, I can't see any reason why you shouldn't have continued your projects all along...

True - but I value solidarity with all my mates in the caving community and it just didn't seem fair. There was also the issue of the gravely overstretched NHS to factor in.
I can easily cave and even cave dive by walking from the front door but I wanted to come out of this with my self respect intact.

Just seen your last post Badlad, for which thanks. My view is that collective guidance if possible, rather than every (wo)man for him/herself, would put us all in a stronger position.

Offline bagpuss

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2020, 11:24:20 am »
I was talking to my partner about this today. From Wednesday from a personal point of view I don't think our behaviour will change much - we will continue to stick to walking locally from our front door. We collectively enjoy caving, outdoor swimming, climbing and hiking in the mountains and will respect what advice the governing bodies of these sports give out. The spread of infection rate still feels quite high to suddenly change our behaviour.

Are the BCA working on any guidance to clubs in terms of how caving in the future might look? When restrictions are loosened will clubs be looking to give guidance about how people should cave?

Offline Alan Sp8

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2020, 11:35:18 am »
Note - in most cases you will not be welcome by the locals of places like Horton in Ribblesdale or Austwick etc - and you would certainly not be welcome at caves near any farms.
 Is caving actually OUTDOOR exercise ;)

Online PeteHall

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2020, 11:45:28 am »
Note - in most cases you will not be welcome by the locals of places like Horton in Ribblesdale or Austwick etc - and you would certainly not be welcome at caves near any farms.
 Is caving actually OUTDOOR exercise ;)

In this context, that question actually seems much more reasonable than how we usually see it in the CRoW debate.

From the point of view of transmission, crawling over the same damp surfaces in a potentially confined environment shortly after someone else has, regardless of a 2m spacing would appear to carry a greater risk, than say playing football.
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Offline mikem

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Re: Starting caving again - when?
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2020, 11:48:19 am »
Is caving actually OUTDOOR exercise ;)
Not according to Welsh Government...

 

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