A warm welcome to all our Freshers! We're glad you chose to join us (or are thinking about it at least). You'll be able to enjoy regular caving trips, lots of socials, and a bunch of new friends.
Joining the Club
Club membership is currently £20, of which £10 is payable when you join and the remainder by week 10 once you’ve had the chance to see how great caving really is! You do need to also join the student union (YUSU) which costs £20 but you need to do this to join most clubs anyway. This provides you with full use of the club equipment and training facilities. Each day-trip has an £8 trip fee (although this is variable and your first trip is free) to cover petrol costs. Longer events such as weekends away might also have some accommodation costs too – but rarely more than £5 or £6 per night!
Not only is caving more fun than being at home – it’s also usually cheaper!
As soon as you've joined, you'll be able to have full access to this website. This includes the member forums which will keep you up-to-date with upcoming events, trips and general club banter. All you have to do after joining is give us a couple of days to add your email address to our database, and then you should be able to go onto the login page and put in your email address and click ‘password reminder’ – your password will be emailed to you immediately. If you join at the freshers fair, you will be immediately added to the database!
Your First Trip
If you have never been on a trip before, you need to bring the following...
Clothing to suit the time of year / weather
- A towel
- Change of underwear
- Some money to buy breakfast and (cheap) evening meal
- Some water or other drink is good to take along
You won't wear any of your own clothes (apart from underwear!) in the cave. The club supply a furry undersuit to keep you warm underground and a protective oversuit. All the safety kit is supplied by the club so you don't need to worry about that. Plenty of experienced members are on hand before we set off to make sure you have the all the correct stuff.
The agenda for your first trip...
Meet at the caving store which is situated on the end of the sports centre (facing the main entrance, go right along the car park then turn left at the end). The beginners trips are quite basic so we meet at 9am (usually trips meet at 8am). If you can't find the caving store, you can meet us outside the sports centre entrance (we'll keep checking for you!). We'll get your kit together from the container and load up the cars.
We'll head off to the Yorkshire Dales where we'll stop at Inglesport for some food. When we're suitably filled, we set off to the cave. Your first trip is likely to be a cave called Long Churn. This involves no rope-work so it's ideal for novices. We park and get changed outside by the cars and set off on the short walk to the cave. We'll spend about 2-3 hours underground before heading back to the cars. Normally we'll stop at Skipton on the way home to get some food (usually pizza/burger/chips).
Our expected time of return to York for the first trip will be approximately 10pm although this does depend on how quickly we get organised and how long we stop for food etc.
Further Trips & Weekends Away
Your first trip will be quite basic to get you familiar with what caving is all about. After a couple of training sessions, we'll take a trip to a much more elaborate cave system. This is likely to be Bar Pot entering into the Gaping Gill system in the Yorkshire Dales. Here you will use SRT (single rope technique) to gain access to the HUGE Gaping Gill main chamber (big enough to fit York Minster in it). With the largest underground waterfall in the UK, it's a truly spectacular sight!
From here, we go on regular trips to the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District. In addition to this we arrange yearly trips to South Wales and the Mendip Hills to visit a massive choice of spectacular cave systems. You can explore places only a handful of people have ever seen and see cave formations beyond anything you'd ever see in a show cave.
We go on several weekends away (or sometimes longer).We usually stay in cottages owned by larger caving clubs across the UK such as Bull Pot Farm and the School House in Yorkshire, the Chapel in the Peak District, SWCC in South Wales and the Shepton Mallet Caving Club in the Mendips (Somerset). These are cheap bunkhouses (around £5 a night) and are a good place to meet other cavers. Weekend trips are normally once or twice a term and involve lots of caving, not to mention large quantities of alcohol.
Missed the first few weeks?
It's not a problem if you've missed the first few weeks of term. It's best if you can come along at this time, but we'll always be able to fit you in! Just drop in to our training sessions, every Tuesday night from 8:00pm in the Main Sports hall. We welcome any new members at any time, so just come along and have a chat.
Take a look at our training page.