apres cave !
Left : James Powell, our company's lawyer, on the first
ladder pitch on a beginners' potholing trip down Giant's Hole,
the deepest cave system in England. Potholing is more serious
and involves abseiling or climbing down ladders into vertical pitches
such as this. These electron ladders or abseils are protected by the
use of safety lines held by our qualified tutors. This descent of
Garland's Pot involves laddering down a modest waterfall.
Potholing trips at Rock Lea may also involve tighter squeezes than anything
experienced on novices CAVING trips. Easier "Caving" trips do not involve
the vertical sections or the really tight stuff encountered on our advanced
"potholing" trips. ( Click to see the difference ! ) Dates of advanced trips...
What if it rains ?
Our underground activities for novices are in safe sections
of caves which don't have serious flooding problems, so they
are largely weather independent. However, advanced trips do
go deep and may be below the flood water table and might have
to be cancelled after very heavy rain or rapid snowmelt to
avoid clients having prolems.
Is caving suitable for youngsters ? Yes we often take groups
of teenagers on easy trips...and we often run week long and
weekend training programmes for school and youth groups who
are "up for it". Phone to discuss.
" So what's it really like underground ? "
Below is a typical customer's unsolicited comment.
It's an open letter from one of the 500+ Rover Associates
who've been here caving over recent years from Land Rover,
Range Rover & Discovery production teams ....
Harvey Liddington, Range Rover Assembly
Production Manager wrote as follows :-
Having come up and met with you some weeks prior to
our experience at Rock Lea, you'll recall the definite
NO my team said to the idea of caving being even remotely
associated with our weekends' itineries. However, having
experienced mountain biking, abseiling and the total
professionalism of your instructors, my team were more
than eager when you suggested we adjust the programme
on the soggy Sunday morning and explore the "dry" caves.
We donned our caving suits, wellies, helmets and lamps &
jumped into the minibus to make our way to the caves.
Under your team's expert instruction we made our way to
Giant's Hole. After half an hour we reached what seemed to be
a 20 foot drop, over which considerable amounts of water ran.
Our first thoughts were 'Very nice, are we going back now ?'
'No' was the unuttered reply ! Out came the flimsy looking
six inch wide wire caving ladder and soon we were taking turns
to tie into the safety rope and descend down to the passage
below. Water was splashing into our wellies and onto our heads.
We we frightened, no ! Apprehensive ...? Yes !!!
We soon left the wet river bed and made our way along a narrow
vertical rift, including one area which required hands and knees
briefly. We reached another narriow rift the 'Crabwalk' and the
next task was to climb up and straddle the rift's narrow gap.
We managed this feat thanks to the patience and skills of your
instructors before heading back at the 'Blowhole'.
To sum up, our weekend was one of excitement, enjoyment,
excellent food and hospitality which can only be attributed
to the professionalism and total commitment of all the staff
and yourself Iain. Thank you once again. I hope to publish
the team's stories in the next Land Rover Magazine..."
- " P.S. We will
all be back very soon."
- (and they all were...to
man ! and the article appeared as promised
- within a week or two !
Harvey's wife, Bev, later came back with a
- group of her friends and
Harvey for more caving trips the same year).
More case studies & comments from delighted customers...
Details of a multisports holiday for individuals &
multiactivity weekends for individuals which both
include sessions of caving abseiling & potholing....