Caving is the exploration of natural underground passages and chambers, usually formed where water has dissolved away limestone, or other similarly soft rock. It is an adventure sport and as such has inherent risks. However, with good guidance, training and the correct equipment, these risks can be reduced to a reasonable level.
As a sport, caving involves a combination of climbing/abseiling, hiking/fell running and, on occasion, swimming. It isn’t all crawling and squeezing through tight passages, in fact those are usually the bits that most cavers would try to avoid, where possible! Actually, the majority of caving involves walking along passages and climbing/scrabbling up slopes and walls – and occasionally, pausing to admire the stunning views and formations.
People are attracted to caving by a number of different elements. Some are attracted to the truly magical sights; incredible formations and passages, often tens of thousands of years in the making, some of which have already remained unchanged for thousands of years. Others particularly enjoy the sport side; the varying physical challenges that caves provide in climbs, ducks and rough terrain. Many go caving for the exploration – basking in the realisation that they are some of the first people ever to enter a chamber or passage, or to glimpse an as-yet-unseen formation.