Frequently Asked Questions - caveclimb May 2017

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Frequently Asked Questions...


Where are you based?

In the Mendip Hills of Somerset, near Cheddar Gorge.  Our activities run in various venues within 6 miles of Cheddar.

Do you operate in other areas?

Yes.  We often run sessions in Devon using Pridhamsleigh Cave.  We also travel to Wales where we use the very popular beginners caves Ogof Clogwyn and Porth yr Ogof.

Are the activities dangerous?

The activities and the venues used have an extremely good safety record.  Minor bumps bruises, scrapes and scratches are to be expected but anything more serious is very, very rare.  In over 20 years of operation not one of our several thousand clients has yet broken a bone.  Hazards do exist on the crag and in the cave, and we do expect our clients to observe the safety rules that have contributed to our excellent record.  

How many can participate?

From 1 - 32 persons.  Our capacity for caving is 32 persons at one time.  We can (and have) provided for a group of over 60, with one half of the group caving while the other climbs.

Who can participate?

Schools, scouts, families, individuals, friends, sports clubs, groups, corporate teams, stags, hens, etc.  The caves we use allow a choice of routes and obstacles that can be varied according to the abilities of the group. (The sessions are not ideal for anyone who is severely claustrophobic, very overweight and physically unfit, or suffers from a serious medical condition).

What do I need to bring on my trip?

For climbing and abseiling clothing suitable for for the weather conditions.  Training shoes or walking boots are suitable.  For caving  wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes, that you do not mind getting slightly dirty. Bring at least two warm layers for your upper body. An old pair of gardening cloves will save your nails from damage. Cotton and denim are not recommended as they do not retain warmth when wet. Ideal clothing would be tracksuit trousers, thermal vest and fleece or woollen sweater. Please remember to bring a towel and a complete change of clothes if you are visiting Swildon's Hole.

Suitable footwear in caves is very important as floors can be slippery and some climbing is involved. We recommend Wellington Boots with a snug fit and a good tread. (Walking boots, work boots or army boots can be used but they do not grip well on smooth surfaces). No trainers please.  We can provide Wellingtons but we need to know what sizes are required.

What equipment is supplied?

We provide all essential specialist caving equipment. This includes:- a modern comfortable caving helmet, a bright reliable lamp (made by Petzl), a cavers belt and a water resistant caving over suit.  For some caves we provide Knee pads. We can provide Wellingtons but we need to know what sizes are required..

Will we get wet?

Climbing and abseiling you will only get wet if it is raining and you have not brought appropriate clothing!  Dry Caving can still result in dampness (usually the bit you sit on) and you might like to bring some spare clothing.   If you are visiting Swildon's Hole you will get soaked from head to foot, so don't forget a complete change of clothing!

Can we join another  group?

Sometimes, if a suitable group is running.  We usually avoid mixing groups together unless they are of similar types.  The ideal session for a small family group, may not suit a group of very confident and energetic young men.  We like to give our customers an experience which is just right for their abilities.

Will the weather affect the activity?

It may.  Caving in Goatchurch Cavern will not be affected but very occasionally Swildon's Hole becomes too wet, especially for younger children. If this is the case we will use an alternative cave.  Abseiling can be done in any weather but climbing cannot.  If we judge the conditions unsuitable for climbing we will switch to abseiling or we may offer caving as an alternative.

How small are the cave passages?

That depends on you.  If you are confident and you want to go squeezing, you can.  If you are not so sure about it there is usually another more spacious alternative.

Are the activities very strenuous?

Climbing and abseiling are not.  Caving is a very physical activity but easily within the capability of anyone with average fitness (or even average unfitness)  There are plenty of rest-stops, and the instructors are very well practiced in providing a push or a pull when it is most needed.

Will we be in safe hands?

Absolutely the best.  We only use the most seasoned, experienced instructors - experts we completely trust with your safety and our reputation.  All our instructors are fully qualified and we are licensed by the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA).  Please also remember we have been doing this a long time - we are all very, very experienced!

Do you offer discounts for larger groups?

All groups from youth organisations (schools, scouts, colleges, etc) are eligible for a special discounted rate as part of our commitment to support adventure activities for young people.  For other groups making large or block bookings we can offer discounts in some circumstances.

Can people with special needs participate?

Very often, yes.  Contact us and we will do our best to facilitate and include.

What is the minimum age?

8 years old for youth group bookings, but we can accommodate younger children as part of a family group.

What is the maximum age?

Our current record stands at 73 years old!

Can we do a weekend course?

Yes, you certainly can.  We can tailor the activities to suit you.  Caving is our speciality and we often run bespoke caving weekends which includes training in caving techniques.

Can we do a week of activities?

Yes, you can.  We can arrange other activities such as kayaking and High Ropes to be included.

What other caves could we visit?

For groups who have completed the double day of caving the natural progression is a longer trip in Swildon's Hole.  This will take you down to the sump, where the brave can dive through to the caves beyond.  There are many other caves in the Mendip region which we can take you to - each with their own challenges and fascinating features.

We need accommodation - can you help?

Yes, we can.  Take a look at this link, or contact us for further advice.

Is there somewhere we can have lunch?

Yes, there is the Burrington Inn, only 200 metres from our usual caving, climbing and abseiling venue.

For booking and booking enquiries please use our online booking form

For more information, queries or enquiries please telephone 01934 741623 or email us

For booking and booking enquiries please use our online booking form


For more information, queries or enquiries please telephone 01934 741623 or email us

 
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