Oxford University Cave Club
|OUCC Home Page
|South Wales : Freshers' trip - Ogof Ffynnon Ddu
|Mendip : Freshers' trip – Swildon’s Hole, Singing River Mine, Eastwater, G.B.
|CHECC - somewhere in Wales
|Northern Dales ("Yorkshire") - SRT practice
BEC: Bristol Exploration Club; BPF: Bull Pot Farm; MCG: Mendip Caving Group;
NPC: Northern Pennine Club; Orpheus: Orpheus Caving Club; SMCC: Shepton Mallet Caving Club;
SWCC: South Wales Caving Club; TSG: Technical Speleo Group; UBSS: University of Bristol Speleological Society;
WCC: Wessex Caving Club; WSG: Westminster Speleo Group; YSS: Yorkshire Subterranean Society.
Cost covers: loan of equipment, transport, accommodation,
food on site; but not food in transit or what you spend in the pub! See
here for more information.
Trips must be paid for in advance. Payment is by an online system.
Your first caving trip? Read this important information and complete this online OUCC Pre-Trip information form
Going to the Dales? Going to Spain? Don't know the ropes ? - try SRT Training.
PLEASE help and volunteer to organise a weekend. If no-one organises the
weekends they won't happen.
There is a detailed crib sheet on the website telling you exactly how to organise a weekend. TAKE A LOOK.
Other meets may be organised - please check at Wednesday meetings or via the OUCC mailing lists.
As usual details of the trips will be advertised closer in time. As a reminder: They will mostly be advertised on the oucc-all mailing list. So if you want to stay up to date, please sign up following the instructions on the website: http://www.oucc.org.uk/current/mailists.htm
25th/26th October (end of 2nd week)
South Wales - Freshers' (Novice) Trip
Staying at: South Wales Cave Club
Caves: Ogof Ffynnon Ddu (OFD), Cwm Dwr
If you happen to speak Welsh, you'll have to explain the pronunciation of Welsh cave names on this weekend. But regardless of their names, the caves over there are really great fun to explore. Most of the passages are purely horizontal and quite a few are easily walkable with a boulder-strewn floor, but there are also narrow, winding rifts and some deep holes that we'll have to traverse around. The OFD/Cwm Dwr system is allegedly a total of 68km long and 308m deep, and I don't think many people really know all of it. It is also one of the most complicated underground mazes in the UK and you can easily get lost for a while. We'll try to explore different parts of the system and may even work our way from one of the three entrances to a different one, passing some active and abandoned streamways, calcite formations and flowstone floors. There is a wide range of options, all of them very novice friendly, and we'll try to make sure you'll be on a trip that suits you.
8th/9th November (end of 4th week)
Mendips - Freshers' (Novice) Trip
Staying at: Wessex Cave Club
Caves: Swildon's Hole, Singing River Mine, Eastwater, Burrington Combe
The caves on the Mendips in Somerset are generally a bit smaller and scattered across the landscape rather than forming big systems as in Wales. This means you can actually finish some of them on a single day. But not Swildon's Hole, the biggest cave in the area. The trip there is a classic introduction to caving, and it involves both dry passages, splashy streamways, a bit of ladder climbing and a lot of walking. Eventually, as you get deeper into the mountain, there is a short "sump" - a section of about a meter where the passage is completely flooded. If you are brave enough, you can free-dive to the other side and see the passages beyond, but this diving is really rather unique to Swildon's Hole and even there it's optional, so don't be scared! And there are also plenty of other caves in the area: They are mostly horizontal, may or may not have a wellie-deep stream, require a bit of easy climbing, crawling and squeezing, and they are perfectly suited for people who haven't done any caving before!
22nd/23rd November (end of 6th week)
South Wales - CHECC weekend
Staying at: TBC
You thought how awesome it is that Oxford even has a Cave Club? We are not alone! The Council of Higher Education Caving Clubs is an association of university caving clubs from all over the UK, and once a year they organize a weekend where all of them meet. Imagine hordes of students, all of them into caving (and quite a good part new to uni and caving just as you). Do I have to mention the word "party"? Anyone for loud music, dancing, fancy dress, silly competitions, some drinking and all the other shenanigans? Oh, and yes, there'll be caving as well!
29th/30th November (end of 7th week)
Yorkshire Dales - Varsity Weekend with CUCC
Staying at: Bull Pot Farm
Caves: Gaping Gill, Easegill, Lost Johns, Gavel & Short Drop
On the last trip of the term we will meet with the Cambridge University Caving Club and hold our annual Varsity Match on neutral territory: The Yorkshire Dales. During the day, we'll team up with CUCC and explore the caves of the area: They are mostly vertical and almost all of them require some easy SRT. Again, the trips will be suited for beginners who don't know much about SRT, as long as you've at least been to a training session here in Oxford. And there might even be a chance to squeeze in a horizontal trip, in case the SRT training at "the other place" fails and there are some people left who didn't get a chance to learn what SRT is all about. But the main focus is really on vertical caving, because that opens up a whole range of new possibilities in Yorkshire, including the huge Main Chamber in Gaping Gill, the massive streamway passages of Easegill and the intricate maze of cave systems on Leck Fell. Most of these are actually part of the gigantic Three Counties System, currently estimated at around 80-100km total length, but new bits and pieces get discovered and added to the system on a regular basis.