About Caving

What does caving involve?

Caving is the exploration of caves for recreational purposes. Most of the members of the club cave for the sheer fun of crawling through tight squeezes, abseiling down pitches, negotiating crawls and just enjoying the fact that they are in places that very few people have been. Caving is a physical activity but you don't have to be superfit. A trip into the a cave with DIT will rarely go over three hours and won't wear you out too much.

What does caving NOT involve?

Caves do not contain humanoid monsters, huge quantities of moving boulders, flesh eating bacteria or large scale peril, features that are quite common in Hollywood depictions of caves.  Also, there are no giant spiders or masses of bats. (bats are actually quite rare in caves and treated with caution and quiet awe).

But where?

Most of the caves in Ireland are in two areas. Clare and Cavan/Fermanagh.

Clare:

The caves in Clare are largely on the horizontal and so contain many great beginner trips. When visiting Clare we usually base ourselves in Doolin, staying in a rented cottage or the like. The area contains the longest cave in the country - Poulnagollum - at 16 kilometers of passage and counting. In fact the area has almost 100 kilometers of cave passage. The area also has many fine public houses.

Cavan/Fermanagh:

The caves in Fermanagh and Cavan are of a more vertical nature and require knowledge of rope techniques to access the caves, this is taught at our weekly training sessions. Usually we stay in the Scout Hut not far from the Marble Arch cave and can walk to many of the caves. Since we're up north you can avail of excellent offers regarding alcoholic beverages and stock up on bizarre five sided british coins.

There are other caving areas round the country but few have caves in such a concentration to send a trip there. Such areas are Cork, South Tipperary, Sligo, Kerry and Galway.

And how do we do this?

About once every two months we all pile into a convoy of cars and escape Dublin and head for the coutryside and sweet, sweet caving. We head off on a Friday and stay in either a scout hut, parish hall, hostel, holiday cottage or occasionally a campsite. We cave on Saturday and Sunday and fit in a few visits to the pub in between. Then on Sunday evening or afternoon we climb back into the cars and head home.

And what does this cost?

Generally we'd ask you to contribute 30 or 40 euro towards the trip. This will cover your equipment, accommodation, most of the food and the travel expenses. You can pay for beer or other alcoholic drinks and maybe a few meals on the road to and from the caving areas. Generally you'd expect to pay 50 or 60 euro for a weekend of caving which is damn fine value for the fun you'll have.

Are the caves cold?

Not really. The average cave temperature is about 9-10 degrees Centigrade, and is constant throughout the year. So in the summer the caves are cool and welcoming compared to the outside temperature. In the Winter the caves are warm and welcoming when it's freezing outside. In fact, since we move about so much in the caves we often have to take a break to cool down.

Are the caves dark?

A question we get surprisingly often, the answer being a rather obvious yes. Don't worry though, the club has plenty of LED headlamps to light our way through the caves.