Please note the information regarding this Saturday’s rescue practice that commences at 09:30 at Porth yr Ogof Car Park.

The objective is to locate an overdue team with uncertain information about their intended cave/s for exploration. This scenario is intended to increase familiarity with cave locations amongst a wider number on the SMWCRT call-out list. Finally, we hope to increase the number of route cards and basic surveys for caves of the area, so we will ask each search group to generate notes on the approach route and underground character of each cave searched, to aid future search in the event of a call-out.  


A few notes here to assist in a smooth start to the event and to help you to appreciate the typical role for participants.

1. Please arrive at 09:30h and look out for a SMWCRT colleague to guide you to the back of the Porth yr Ogof car park (location details given in earlier e-mail notice). We need to minimise the space occupied to avoid disruption to public use. We also require that some cars have ease of access to depart shortly after the briefing. Some drivers will be asked to take small groups off to other parking locations, in order to more quickly search specified clusters of caves around the area, according to the instructions/ direction of surface control.   


2. The weather forecast is for freezing temperatures with occasional sleet showers. You are likely to spend significant time hiking and searching for caves, interspersed with periods underground, sometimes in very short caves. Please bring cold weather clothing to supplement caving gear, helmet and lights and do carry hot drinks and food. It is likely to be minus 7 degrees, factoring in the wind chill on the open moor northwest of Blaen Nedd Isaf farm.


3. Please bring along a GPS, if you have one (or Smartphone with equivalent app, if you are confident of mobile data coverage). We have OS map co-ordinates for all caves that will be searched and the GPS could greatly increase the efficiency of cave location (not always guaranteed).


4. The traditional map and compass could be a useful fall-back if GPS coverage is poor at the bottom of the deeply incised valleys. A notepad and pencil will be helpful for the objective of note-taking related to route to cave, precision of the map co-ordinate of the cave entrance and on the cave layout and obstacles. Notes on locations with effective radio coverage and signal strength will also be very helpful. 


5. The practice will close with a debriefing back at Porth yr Ogof car park at 15:45hending at 16:00h.


A full briefing will be given tomorrow (Saturday) morning asap after 09:30h, before allocation of the various essential roles to those in attendance. The ambition of the exercise will need to be tailored according to numbers present.

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow morning although I will stay overnight at SWCC Penwyllt and will catch up with several colleagues there, tonight.
Best wishes,
P Dennis
Training Officer, SMWCRT