Caving May 2013

Caving adventure for the Scouts

A group of Scouts from 3rd Winchester (the Worthies) took a trip to the Mendip Hills to experience a day’s caving. Here Scout Charlie Blaxland talks about his first adventure underground!

I had been looking foCaving2_May13Arward to my caving trip with the Scouts so much and I wasn’t disappointed! We set off early on a Sunday morning for our journey to Somerset. On our arrival, we were greeted by two instructors who equipped us with a yellow belt and helmet with a torch. We went into the first cave which was fairly simple to get into. It didn’t stay that easy though! We were soon squeezing through a small gap and heading underground. We had to turn our light on straightaway as it was pitch black and you couldn’t see your hand in front of you. We found ourselves in a huge cave with big chambers to explore. We climbed and crawled through the chambers – sometimes on our hands and knees. It was slippery underfoot and I ended up with a few cuts and bruises. I panicked a bit as some of the crevices were very tight – I got a bit stuck but managed to get out again! 

The second cave we visited was smaller but just as challenging. We had to climb down a steep slope with a rope to help. We eased ourselves through a narrow crack into a chamber and there waiting was a bat. I thought it was a hanging leaf at first and then I saw its legs. It was great to see it and we wandered on without disturbing him. We saw jagged rocks hanging from the top of the caves. Sometimes we had to stand on the instructors knees to push ourselves up to the next level – it was hard work and scary at times and I felt a little claustrophobic – some of the holes were very small and narrow and at times it was best not to look down!

It was nice coming back outside because the caves had been damp, wet and dusty. It felt good to be warm and to breathe fresh air. I lay down aCaving1_May13And enjoyed an ice cream in the sunshine. We were muddy and tired but it had been a great experience. Some people saw us afterwards and said “I’m glad we’re not washing your clothes!” Caving is an activity that everyone should try. It’s so interesting to see life underground and I’d love to go again one day. Thank you to the Scout leaders for organising the trip and to Colin and Nadia for taking us. Fellow Scout Nico Hawes added: “It was really good fun and I recommend it to any young or not so young people who would like a fun experience and day out”