Oxford University Cave Club

About the Club

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Squeeze machine and beer...

Oxford University Caving Club is about caving and potholing.

Is there a difference? Not really; "caving" tends to imply going into underground passages more-or-less horizontal, and "potholing" going up and down passages more-or-less vertical, but most cave systems have bits of both. "Caving" will do for both.

Why do we do it? Because it's fun. (see "why try caving?")

OUCC is active in three sorts of caving:

  • Introductory trips for people who've never been caving before. These are easy trips to give you a taste of what caving is about.
  • Sport caving trips down well-known systems, some easy, some harder, just for the fun and challenge of it, and to improve techniques. These take place on about every second weekend in term, or more often if there is demand. (See for example lots of reports in "DTT", the old club newsletter: maybe these to start with)

  • Exploratory caving - finding places that quite literally no-one has ever been to before, and exploring and mapping new cave passage.  OUCC cavers have been pretty successful in exploration in the UK (especially in Wales) and on expeditions overseas.

It's possible to move from being a complete novice in October to being able to enjoy and take an active part in an overseas expedition in the following summer. Or you can take it a bit more easily. Either way, OUCC will help you build up your skills while enjoying the pleasures of caving in Mendip, Wales, and the Derbyshire and Yorkshire Dales.

You can try out caving without investing any money in equipment; we'll lend it to you. You only need buy some gear of your own after you've decided to stay with the club - and even then there's no rush. For costs, see here.

We're a sociable bunch who have pub or speaker meetings every week in term time, and the caving huts we stay in at weekends have a unique "après-cave" scene.  To keep in touch with what's happening, come along to a social meeting, or subscribe to one of the OUCC email lists.

The club has many very experienced cavers; if you choose to try caving with us you'll be in good hands. You don't have to be fit or fearless: just willing to give it a go.

Caving with OUCC - Frequently-asked Questions


In GB Cave, Mendips