Frequently Asked Questions
What prior experience is required?
As a relatively new club we lack the training facilities or capabilities offered by some of the larger Yorkshire caving clubs, and so membership to York Caving Club is aimed towards those with some prior experience underground, ideally some existing ropework skills and a moderate level of fitness.
We organise several trips each year that do not require any ropework skills, and so people with plenty of experience underground, but only little ropework experience, are welcome to join on the understanding that several of the trips each year may not necessarily be suitable for them straight away.
To attend any trips involving ropework, you will need to have some prior ropework experience, gained preferably through caving (although a good understanding gained through climbing, combined with a general aptitude to learning such things will often provide the required skills that we can build on with some in-situ training). If you have any questions about this, get in touch, and even if your prior experience is too limited, we can at least point you in the direction of some clubs who will be able to offer complete training.
What does being a member involve?
We have no probationary or induction periods, and we do not enforce a minimum number of meets that members must attend each year. Being a York Caving Club member basically involves enjoying caving and being around cavers! You can cave as little or as often as you like, although we generally encourage members to have a regular involvement in the club, ideally a combination of caving and socials.
What do I get for my membership?
Your membership fee allows you attendance on all our events (with no additional trip fees), and unlimited use of and access to the club equipment. You will have access to the member area of the website, where trips and socials are organised.
What is BCA membership?
All full members of the club are required to have British Caving Association (BCA) membership. We will organise this for you (if you do not already have this through another club). BCA membership provides you with public liability insurance, and is a requirement of most caving clubs and for most trips. Some clubs factor this cost into their total membership fee, however, as some of our members already have BCA membership through other caving clubs, we show the two costs separately.
Do I need to live in York to be involved?
Not at all, we encourage members from all over Yorkshire and beyond. Most socials and meets are based in Yorkshire (although we often venture down to Wales, the Mendips, and the Peak District) and so if you live outside of York, personal transport is advisable to allow you to get too and from events.
What gear do I need to provide myself?
We are unable to provide personal caving gear (although some members have spares that may be available to borrow). To buy the clothing (wellies, wet-socks, undersuit, oversuit, kneepads, helmet and light) will cost up to £300, with the SRT (ropework) kit costing a further £150. We are always happy to help you to buy all the equipment you need.
How do I pay my membership?
We don't have any fancy online payment facilities as this would cost too much so the best way is by bank transfer to the club account. When you fill in the membership form someone will email you back with the bank details. You can, if you prefer bring cash or a cheque to the pub!