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We started in the early nineties mostly as an alternative to climbing on rainy days. At first caving will appear as a non-gracious sport without any techniques or much scope for development. Having visited your first cave you might come out thinking: "now I've done this: I've seen this cave, now I've seen them all". If you stay with it for a while though you will realize that this is far from the truth and that there is enough "in" caving to last you a lifetime.
We became true cavers through a number of trips starting with our first exploit underground into Goatchurch Cavern in 1992. The followed years with mostly climbing on the menu with the occassional trip down Swildon's Hole, Fairy Cave and other classics around The Mendips in the UK.
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Alongside the activities in the Mendips we enjoyed learning the skills and techniques of SRT'ing with Tim on trips up in North England.
A major event on our caving path was on our roadtrip to Mexico and Guatemala in 1999 where we were driving around in Daisy - a van full of caving gear (unfortunately no SRT kit). We had an divine trip into a cave system called Lanquin and got a taste of what real exploratory caving could be like. We also had a cave diving trip into an amazing system on the Yucatan Peninsular.
Back in the UK in 2001 we made another trip of major importance to our interest in caving - a day trip into Ogof y Daren Cilau in South Wales. Considered one of the hardest caves in the country (that is accessible) we had a great time in this cave of caves. We've been back many times since.
Mathias moved to Grenoble, France - another major caving area of Europe and the world and has had numerous exciting trips down the caves of the Vercors.
Caving is like applied yoga. Imagine you are doing yoga in a classroom, learning how to extend your arms by nudging your shoulderblade a couple of degrees to the right: this is all extremely useful in caving. Rather than burling your way through a narrow squeeze you can apply your yoga body knowledge and "yoga" your way through. It's an absolutely brilliant combination of the two sports. You will discover how gracious caving then becomes. In the extreme cases knowing how you twist and turn your corpus is essential to get trough ultra tight squeezes.
We have loads of stories and photos from the caves we've done. Check it all out, left right and below. If you're still left with the "why do this", try reading this.
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