Once you have mastered the basic skills and met your new friends – test your limits and explore the world – one cave at a time.
Learning to climb a rope properly opens up a whole new aspect to the sport of caving.
Training can be lots of fun and offer a real sense of achievement. As your skills and knowledge improve you’ll soon be exploring deeper and more complex caves.
If you’re good with the camera how better to test your skills than a place with no light?
You bring your own lights and use your skill and imagination to ‘paint’ the picture. However it’s not that easy – just how do you protect your photographic equipment in a harsh environment?
It is every explorer’s dream – to boldly go where no one has gone before.
The highest mountains have been climbed, arid deserts crossed, frozen poles reached and deep oceans explored, however there still remain caves on our planet yet to be discovered - cave passages never walked down and wonderful formations yet to be gazed upon. Caving Expeditions abroad regularly discover exciting new caves, as do those UK diggers searching for new cave passage closer to home. You may get to name a cave you found, or its features and yours may be the first footprints down its passages - ever!
Speleology is the scientific study of caves.
Caves hold the secrets of our past. Locked away and undisturbed for millions of years, sediments and speleothems can reveal much about past climates.
Lifeforms in caves are relatively unknown, microbes especially so, hence new discoveries are being made all the time.
Our ancestors sheltered in caves and consequently some may be rich in archaeological deposits.
There are many different and fascinating branches of cave science. If you are a budding scientist there may be grants available to help your study of caves.
Cave diving is at the extreme end of the sport and requires serious training, specialist equipment and a cool head.
Cave diving has led to many significant discoveries both above and below water. The Cave Diving Group of Great Britain has a long heritage, being the oldest diving group in the world.
As a non-competitive sport you may wonder where a caver’s life might lead.
You won’t win an Olympic medal or come first in a caving competition – there aren’t any. However, you may meet lifelong friends or even a partner.
You’ll certainly travel off the beaten track and experience cultures and people as they really are, often in isolated areas. Some cavers turn the rope skills they learn underground into a career, such as in the Rope Access Industry or just use the team building skills and strength of character caving teaches to enhance their own personalities. If it leads nowhere else then there are always the parties!