Baker's Pit, Devon
I started caving with Exeter University Speleological Society in my first year as an undergraduate in 2014. I quickly fell in love with the sport, and with the amazing people who introduced me to it.
Now, as a PhD Student, I'm still going caving with Exeter University, and I look forward to more adventures to come.
The Dachstein Expedition
Every year I head out to The Dachstein Alps in Austria on the Dachstein Caving Expedition. Our aim is to discover, explore and map the thousands of caves that this karst landscape contains.
This is an absolutely magnificent experience, and one of the last places on earth where we can truly explore somewhere completely new.
In 2018 the expedition team managed to find a connection from the high caves that they'd explored on the tops through to Hirlatzhöhle in the valley bottom, making it the 20th longest and 9th deepest cave in the world.
Camping in Ogof Daren Cilau
Camping underground is a bizarre experience of physical exhaustion and sensory deprivation. You carry in your food, cooking equipment, clothing, and sleeping bag, so are pretty much self sufficient whilst underground.
The first camp in Daren, The Hard Rock Cafe, is a long trip from the entrance, but still the isolation only really kicks in when you wake up in darkness with no sense of the time.
Devon Cave Rescue
Caving is a reasonably safe sport, but whilst the likelihood of an accident is slim, the consequences of being injured underground are severe. As such cavers have formed a number of cave rescue organisations across the country, all manned by volunteers, to rescue those who get into trouble underground.
I am a member of Devon Cave Rescue Organisation, and as such have the opportunity to get involved in helicopter training, remote emergency care training, and other fantastic training exercises.
Related links and resources:
- Exeter University Speleological Society: Website - Facebook Page - Instagram
- Devon Cave Rescue Organisation: Website - Facebook Page - Instagram
- BBC News Article: Caving in the UK 'The last true wilderness'
- UKCaving Profile: aricooperdavis (account required to view)
- Flickr Photostream (mostly caving related)
- Dachstein Expedition '19: UKCaving Posts 1, 2, 3