Anyone tried caving (potholing)?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 09, 2011 at 12:15 PM

From the age of 17 until I had my first child at 27 I was an avid caver (speleologist)here in the UK. I spent virtually every weekend crawling, climbing, scrambling and abseiling through muddy or rocky caves. Yesterday, for the first time in about 4 years, I went underground again (I'm now 45) and it struck me just how perfect a paleo sport caving is. A bit of a duh moment!! Caves provide natural obstacle courses and whilst there is no way Grok would have lived in these caves beyond the entrance (you need a light and rope to get further in) I was struck by how cosy and warm it was down there when there was a gale blowing outside. So my intention for this new year is to get my caving kit on on lot more than I have been doing. Mind you the aches this morning remind me of just how fit I was without realising it when I was a regular caver!



on January 09, 2011
at 05:48 PM

No....not technique...scary monsters. :)


on January 09, 2011
at 05:14 PM

Yes I have seen the movie Descent - I thought it was the most hilarious film I've ever seen!! Absolute nonsense - why would you take ice axes underground? And their ability to climb up diagonal ropes was incredible. Don't judge caving by that movie!



on January 09, 2011
at 02:11 PM

I am scared of tight places, I couldn't do that. Also I watched the movie Descent...lol. I don't know if you have seen it, maybe you shouldn't. :) Honestly though I can see how it would be an intense workout, have fun getting back into it.

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2 Answers



on January 10, 2011
at 05:35 AM

Any type of rockclimbing should do. You don't have to be underground. I have often noticed that all the twisting around and balancing during climbing manages to exercise just about every muscle in the body, including those you didn't even know you had! I have visited a few underground caves and a fair number of mines, but most of my climbing has been above ground. However, I generally stick to situations that are not super lifethreatening. Every diehard rock climber I know, meaning people using ropes and pinions, has eventually fallen and had severe injuries and damage. It's not worth it to me to risk life and limb. I like to exercise and climb, but I don't often take extreme risks.



on January 09, 2011
at 04:30 PM

I did it with some friends about a year and a half ago. I had gone a lot with my dad as a teenager but fell off until last then. In America we have the white nose problem so caving in certain areas is off limits because of the fear of spreading the fungus any further. It is one hell of a workout though.

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