Taking it Further

Once you have become experienced with the basic skills in caving, you may like to learn more and become involved in more activities

Single Rope Technique (SRT)

Learning how to climb a rope opens up whole new opportunities for exploring and enjoying caves. The single-rope technique (SRT) is a set of methods that are used to descend and ascend on the same single rope. Beginners start by learning how to follow a pre-rigged rope. Rigging the rope is a separate skill that is learned only after becoming familiar with climbing up and down the rope. The practice for SRT starts above ground, with the guidance of an experienced instructor. Training can be lots of fun and offer a real sense of achievement. As your skills, confidence and knowledge improve you will be able to start exploring deeper and more complex caves.

Cave photography

A fascinating underground world awaits for those who decide to take up cave photography. Cave photography, as the name suggests, involves exploring dark, dirty and damp caverns to shoot images. There is no shortcut; complete darkness, insects and the damp rocks are just some elements that are encountered. One of the first things one can expect with cave photography is the absence of light. Therefore, photography in caves is unique in that all the lighting must be supplied by the photographer who has to bring lights and use skill and imagination to ‘paint’ the picture. It’s not that easy either to protect photographic equipment in a harsh environment. Shooting decent photos in caves can be a daunting task even for a professional photographer and is well worth the effort and challenge to create on a ‘blank’ canvas.

Cave science

Speleology is the scientific study of caves and other karst features, as well as their make-up, structure, physical properties, history, life forms, and the processes by which they form and change over time. It is a discipline of geoscience as well as a broad area of study that looks at many aspects of caves, combining knowledge of chemistry, biology, geology, physics, meteorology and cartography. Caves hold many secrets to our past. Undisturbed for millions of years, sediments and speleothems reveal information about past climates. As our ancestors and other wildlife sheltered in caves, they are rich in paleontological and anthropological remains. The flora and fauna of caves, as well as microbes, are relatively unknown, and new discoveries are being made all the time. These are but a few of the many different and fascinating branches of cave science.

Cave diving

Cave diving is underwater diving in water-filled caves. It is one of the most challenging and dangerous activities in the world. It may be done as an extreme sport or to explore flooded caves for scientific investigation. There are three main classifications of diving: cave diving, open-water diving and cavern diving. Both open-water diving and cavern diving are considered recreational activities that require recreational-level certifications and training. Cave diving differs from the other two types in that it requires a much different set of equipment and several years of training and certification. Above all, cave diving is admired for its unique challenge and the potential to discover the undiscovered. Cave diving has led to many significant discoveries around the world, both above and below water.