© Chelsea Spelaeological Society - Updated March 2018


Trips, meets and events for 2018. At time of writing some venues and dates are provisional. Other items and additional detail will be added as it becomes available. Contact the Meets Organiser - Helen Nightingale for more information.
CHELSEA SPELÆOLOGICAL SOCIETY Caving in Wales, the South of England, and beyond
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Feb 23-25th OFD Prokofiev Series A rarely visited part of the cave, despite being just off the trade routes of Top. The trip will involve some tight squeezes, "interesting" traverses - the opposite sort of interesting to those on the way to Smith's Armoury, a climb, a ladder, and a distinctive lack of footsteps to follow. If we get as far as Five Mile Chamber, one of the most remote parts of the cave, we will be rewarded by seeing unspoiled mud deposits and calcited chokes. This is not a novice trip. To recover, we have gin tasting, and Trevor will cook some food that might go with gin. Bring gin, tonic, garnish (rosemary, basil, blueberries, strawberries, turkish delight, seaweed, cucumber....many things go with gin). Plus a few quid towards food if you'd like to join in. March 16-18 Draenan - Realm of the Baron von Carno This is a large, well decorated section of passage, again not on one of the trade routes. You might like to bring your kneepads for this trip, as it won't all be big and stompy. We should see plenty of pretties on the way. Sunday caving could be Ogof Cynnes via the not very muddy route. It's not all muddy, honest. April 21st-22nd Whitewalls Weekend - Slaughter Stream Slaughter Stream in the Forest of Dean on the Saturday. Local caving on Sunday. May 4th-7th Bank Holiday - Mendip Cave Fest Accommodation is booked at the Shepton Mallet Caving Club hut - but please let me know if you want a bunk. I will need to give them numbers as it’s a busy weekend. There will be caving on Saturday, followed by talks, demos, SRT training etc in Priddy, plus a Stomp and beer at the Village Hall in the evening. It's possible this may lead to table games back at the hut. More caving on Sunday and there will also be digging opportunities and fund raising for Cave Rescue. There might be the Wessex Challenge too. It's a free weekend, but it would be good support the caving community and Cave Rescue. Trips for all levels are available on the Saturday and Sunday. If anyone is able to lead trips on the Friday or Monday, please volunteer, as I might be stuck at work. This is a family friendly event - although children may be best camping (see www.cavefestuk.co.uk for details). There are child friendly trips, and these trips are available with qualified cave leaders - Goatchurch, Lionel's Hole, Pierre's Pot and Read's Cavern (Neanderthal inhabited cave). There are trips to Swildon's - Sump 1 (moist, basic skills) or the Round Trip, GB (no novices) - Great Chamber or Round Trip, Upper Flood (a more energetic trip), Thrupe Lane Swallet (more difficult SRT), Rhino Rift (SRT), Hunter's Hole (easy SRT), St Cuthbert's, Eastwater (Intermediate+), Longwood (Intermediate +), Fester Hole, Rod's Pot &  Bath Swallet (intermediate), Stoke Lane Slocker (soggy!), Fairy Quarry Caves (pretty, intermediate), Singing River Mine (ladder, not difficult), Shute Shelf, Sludge Pit Hole (not difficult, nor pretty), Manor Farm, Honeymead & Little Crapnell. The SRT caves will be left rigged all weekend. You MUST book for the above listed trips at www.cavefestuk.co.uk. I’m sure we can also arrange other things if nothing already organised floats your boat - or muddies your wellies. May 25th-28th Bank Holiday Weekend - Yorkshire Staying at the Craven Pothole Club bunkhouse in Horton-in-Ribblesdale.  Again, please let me know you are coming because I will need to let CPC know numbers for bunks. Saturday (weather permitting) is trips into Gaping Gill, the Bradford Caving Club are hosting the winch meet this weekend. Beginner friendly winched trips into the main chamber, plus many other pre-rigged routes into the cave system. Sunday and Monday are also weather dependent. Please let me know if there is anywhere you really want to go that will need permits. There are very well decorated caves involving no SRT, such as Illusion, so all abilities welcome, SRT or non SRT. June 1st-4th - NAHMO (National Association of Mining History Organisations) Mines Conference - Forest of Dean You don't need to be in a mining history association to go! And it's not just a conference, there are lots of good underground trips too, often to places with difficult access arrangements. This year, there are trips to Gold, Stone, Iron and Coal mines, plus a winch trip, steam train ride (via an old coal mine), wild boar hog road inside Clearwell Caves, beginners SRT training, surface walks and inside talks. Quite a few of the trips this year have been planned so you can do 2 trips in a day, or a full day for more difficult trips. All abilities will be catered for. Trips start on Friday afternoon through until Monday. Confirmed trips include (more may be confirmed, and fully booked trips may be repeated): Doward, Clearwell/Old Ham, New Dunn, Westbury Brook, Noxon Park/Jetty, Wigpool - Meeks/Steam, Old Bow/Lambsquay, Wigpool - Sway/Fox, Devil's Chapel, Tufts, Noxon Park/High Rift, South Oakwood, Brinchcombe, Bixslade, Blakeney, Windrush, Morse’s Level, Monument, Hopewell and Bailey Level. Some of the mines will be mines with natural caves, and you will see pretties or well preserved artefacts. All trips will be guided by people who know the place well. Some of the coal mines are recreationally mined to power hobbyists' coal fires at home. Beginners welcome but may be a bit serious for families. You MUST register and pay for this weekend at www.namho2018.info. Early booking is advised if you want to go on the harder trips or more restricted access mines (there are more easy rated trips this year than normal). Although you have to pay, you normally get a gift. I have a nice slate coaster, tote bags and pint pots from recent years. It's worth the booking fee for the trips you otherwise would struggle to organise for the club or as individuals. Accommodation is at the Dean Field Studies Centre in a bunkhouse, or local camps sites (details on the NAMHO conference website). June 15th-17th - Whitewalls BBQ Weekend Paul will be leading a Classic Round Trip in DYO, plus all the normal BBQ stuff. Volunteers needed to help with this weekend - as it's Trevor's stag night. I'm not allowed a caving pass this weekend as I have to stick on a false moustache and drink copious amounts of beer. July 27th-29th - North Wales - Parys Mountain Mona-Parys through trip confirmed for 28th July - possibly with SRT to some lesser visited areas. This will depend on if they have finished rebolting the place. There's some amazing snottites in there. Its not a massive trip, but very interesting, and lots of weird surface stuff to see too. August 10th-12th - Daren Cocktail Party on the Shores of St David's Sump A weekend of camping at Hard Rock Cafe, combined with my Hen Party. With cocktails and a disco at St David's beach, after caving to interesting and horrible places - Blue Greenies, Forgotten Passage, Helibeds - wherever anybody fancies. Dig prospecting or tourism.  Anybody prepared to go welcome, skirts and wigs optional. August 24th-27th - Whitewalls Weekend and South Wales Cave Fest (Also possible Whitewalls Working Weekend). Details TBC, but it's very likely there will be many trips available. SWCC might have a fête, and general stuff happening. September - Hidden Earth - Date TBC October 15th-21st - Proposed trip to Mallorca Possibility to stay in a villa owned by a caver, with caves on the owners' land. October 27th-29th - SUICRO Irish Caving Weekend November 2nd-4th - Whitewalls Bonfire Weekend December - Curry Weekend - Date TBC January 25th-27th 2019 - Whitewalls Annual Dinner and AGM Weekend Also suggested - Peak District, Otter Hole (October and somewhen else), West Wales, a few more Welsh trips, other stuff..........