Derbyshire Training Camp 2009
Derbyshire Section Training Camp
The venue for the 2009 training camp was the Orpheus Caving Club, to which we owe many thanks for welcoming us, especially Simon Brookes for keeping us (and it) in order!
The Friday night saw the car park jam packed and a curry and vibrant conversation, along with lead smelting, continued until the early hours. Some people even managed a late night caving trip !
John Taylor and Christine Grosart devised a programme for the weekend and with thanks to the Derbyshire Section, laid on numerous delights such as a barrel of very acceptable beer, a Barbeque and a pool session at Buxton swimming pool.
The weekend was split into two groups, covering various topics and sessions.
Christine laid on a powerpoint presentation, labelled 'Technical and Team Diving'. This attempted to encompass skills and diving techniques used abroad and in different types of caves, untypical of Uk style diving - with the aim of refining these skills to enhance the quality and safety of diving at home and abroad, due to the increasing number of members operating overseas. This included staging equipment, scootering, decompression, polishing diving techniques and skills and line management in non-uk caves.
Christine's morning session was followed by a 'What If' session by Colin Hayward. This was warmly received and the more serious message of avoiding and dealing with various incident pits was delivered.
On Saturday Afternoon a group then headed off to Buxton Swimming Pool where trainees and QDs alike were given carte blanche to play with kit, ride scooters, try out rebreathers, lay line, get tangled up in line and practice drills they had encountered in the morning theory sessions.
Following Christine's repeat session on Sunday morning a group went on to Holme Bank to further practice skills.
Concurrent with Christines sessions on Saturday and Sunday John ran training and information sharing sessions focussing on the practicalities of exploring sumps in the UK. This included discussions and practical demonstrations on three main topics; line laying, surveying and transportation of equipment. The sessions began at the cottage in the morning and were then continued underground in the afternoon.
Each morning Simon Brooks ran a line laying training session and a 'Peg Board' was available which participants used to demonstrate their own belaying practices and innovations.
Following the line laying activities Clive Westlake ran a training session on surveying and integral to this were demonstrations of surveying software.
Group discussions on each subject including equipment packing were a big feature of these sessions and these discussions proved to be an ideal opportunity to share innovations, lessons learnt and variations in technique.
The morning sessions were continued in the afternoon in Bagshawe Cavern where Clive and Simon laid and surveyed lines with participants.
Following Saturday's session in Bagshawe a team made the first ever through trip from cave to resurgence and this was repeated on Sunday by one particularly enthusiastic trainee.
On Saturday night when all had returned from Buxton Pool and Bagshawe Cavern, we were treated to a slideshow from Clive Westlake whilst the BBQ fired up. A good evening was had by all; Rich Hudson was treated to a birthday surprise (see picture), while others were engrossed in the brain-frying activity of drawing up surveys on laptops!
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