Irish Student Caving Forum 2019

Hosted by TUD Dublin, in Kiltyclogher.
April 19th to April 22nd 2019

Header Picture - Pollnagossan Cave Cleanup, written 10th May 2019, By Paul McCarron

The 2019 Irish Student Caving Forum was hosted by none other than TUD Caving Club - formerly known as DIT Caving Club. This year it was hosted in none-other than Kiltyclogher! This must mark the 5th year now in a row apparently that the forum has been hosted at Kilty since the "incident" which had apparently happened in County Clare the last time we students got together. At least everyone is familiar with Kilty, and this year QUB decided to host the tent city, with everyone pitching tents at the back of Kilty.

My weekend trip began on the 18th April, thanks to my abundance of annual leave from placement I had left over. I decided to head down a day early and stay in the Hoo to get an extra day of caving in - tossing this idea around in the pub on Wednesday night, Robert decided he wanted to tag along and enjoy the banter with those who had travelled over from England in the Hoo! So at 12 noon I picked up Robert, all of the associated caving gear from the club store and began the smooth, overfilled car journey down to the Hoo!

The journey was smooth as per usual, with the trusty passat surprisingly not breaking down! Arriving at the Hoo, we noticed some activity, of course two cars full of cavers from England had been enjoying the atmosphere around the Hoo. Simon, Botch, Louise, Rowan, Brendan, Ben and Merryn were busy making undertaking meal prep. We unloaded the car, packed everything into the trailer then heading to get some food. Especially before the usual evening banter was to be had!

The Friday we all arose after a night of drinking and story telling! Robert and myself would use this extra day to our advantage by getting the club trailer down to Kilty (my first time towing) after which we would head to Proglish to help rig the cave. Packing the trailer quickly, we left the Hoo at around 12 noon before making a much needed stop at our first cave of the weekend, Pollna-clancies, the finest dining adventure of the lands, before our arrival at Kilty. Here we started the building of tent city much to Roberts delight. I went off to socialise with the locals and find out what had been happening over the last month in Kilty.

After this, we speedily drove to Proglish to assist in the rigging adventures. On arrival to the cave after a 20minute bog walk in the 20 degree heat, we found Eszter and Fergal ascending back up the first pitch in Proglish shouting they had forgot the Karabiners to rig any further! Typical Eszter! Both Robert and myself then lashed down the cave to finish rigging with Robert using me to his advantage as the test dummy! Cave complete, time to see what Eszter and Fergal were up to - failing to rig Taga! Not their fault however, DIT forgot to give us enough Karabiners, rats! Back to the cars and another 20minute bog walk to hatefully experience.

I will eventually finish writing this write up