Tuesday 31 October 2023

Spain Rescue Conference June 2024


 Hello everyone,

SEC has been invited to attend the International Cave Rescue Conference 2024. This event will be held in Cantabria, Spain from the 5th to 9th of June 2024.

The cost of the conference is 80 Euros per person (which incudes basic accommodation, food and conference fees). SEC will be paying this cost for any member who would like to attend the conference.

Of course, the biggest expense is getting to Spain and back home... We can fund a portion of these costs for active members. How much we will fund will depend on how active you have been over the previous 12 months, but we cannot fund all of these costs.

The conference itself looks very interesting and allows for visits to world famous archaeological sites as well as some beautiful and deep caves. See PDF below.

Details on the conference


Wolkberg Caving Trip 11 - 12 November 2023

 As announced at the AGM, Thilo Muller and Gerrie are organising a trip to Wolkberg area for the weekend of 11 and 12 November
Optional extra is caving on Friday the 10th as well. This will be open for reasonably active members and visitors in other words, we needed to see your face at least somewhere during the last 12 months, including the AGM


Saturday 30 September 2023

SEC AGM 2023

The SEC AGM 2023 will be held on Saturday the 14 October at the quarry

09:00+  SRT training
12:00   Braai
15:00  AGM

What to bring:

The quarry is a barren wasteland, devoid of all shade and comforts. SEC will be pitching up some tents for relief and happiness. If you would like to bring a gazebo to supplement the fun, please do so. In addition, it is advisable to bring a hat and sunscreen lotion. It is also recommended to bring camping chairs along.

For the braai please bring meat, drinks, plates and utensils. SEC will provide some side salads and 3 rolls. Please note the club braai tongs have been seemingly missing since the late 90's, should you desire a more evenly cooked meat, do bring some along.

For the SRT training, normal equipment as per usual. Club equipment is available.

Posts with details have been sent out on the SEC groups.

Kind regards,

Thursday 3 August 2023

Hidden Cave 13 Aug

The next club trip will be on the 13th of August at Hidden Cave which is just north of Carletonville. The trip is open to visitors, although preference will be given to members depending on how many people are interested. We will probably split up into two or more groups based on numbers, interest and ability. There are also a few other caves and sinkholes to visit in the area if the cave gets too crowded!

Hidden Cave is not too difficult and no ropework is required, although there are a few small sections and climbs to navigate including a rope ladder. A small entrance in a shallow sinkhole leads to a large cone-shaped collapse. The Waikiki Dancer formations in the bottom chamber are unique to South Africa and definitely worth seeing, while Termite City and the Squeezeball section are also interesting areas to visit.

The cost to visitors is R100 and free to members. We will meet across the road from Red Cap Ranch at 9:00 and drive to the cave from there where we will park in the veld next to the entrance.

The meet leader is Dirk van Rooyen.

Wednesday 31 May 2023

Boons Trip 10 & 11 June

 Hi all. Please keep 10 & 11 June free. Still in the planning.  We are doing one of my favorite caves. Boons. .. meeting at the Spar in magalliesburg at  11am. Drive out to the cave. Set up camp.. cave from 4pm to ..... sleep over...camping facilities are minimalist. ( RUSTIC).. there is a flushing toilet, A boma or you can sleep in a freezing cold cave entrance...
Cave rescue practice on the Sunday am. This cave is WAY underrated, from the dance hall to serious squeezes. Some amazing formations, to serious climbs. Lots to explore. A chance to get to know your fellow cavers around the fire. .... numbers are limited.... please book your spot via email @ sharronre@mweb.co.za. More details to follow. As this is used as a commercial cave, there is a cost for camping, but it won't break the bank.


**Boons trip** there is still camping space available. The farmer has wavered the camping cost. So cost will just be the visitor fee of R100 for non members...extra bonus you get 2 days caving for the price of one...you will just need to learn how to carry a stretcher through the cave 😀. I know emails are a tad old fashioned... but then so am I ðŸĪĢ... it's just easier to fool the boss into thinking I'm working if I use emails rather than spending the day checking my phone.... Thanks. Sharronre@mweb.co.za

Friday 17 March 2023

Yom Tov and Quarry cave - Trip report

 Saturday, 11th March 2023

Yom Tov and Quarry Cave

Trip report

Trip leader: James
Members: Kyle, Dane, Josh
Visitors: Anna, Robert, Wesley, Billy-Jean, Paul, Michelle


Yom Tov

It began as any other day. Except it was different. Today was the expedition that would surpass all frontiers of human knowledge and exploration. An expedition so ambitious, so daring that few would even venture, and even fewer come back intact. The disposable-nappy-filled entrance of Yom Tov cave had claimed many an adventurer. The sheer sight of such turbulent passage has been known to drive men mad. But not this day. We were cavers, we were already quite mad.

We arrived on the property, gear was sorted and the new property owner’s slight surprise of a caving expedition arriving on their back lawn was elucidated. With the newfound blessing, we set forth.

The cave entrance lay as it had for millennia, with a copse of trees and bushes hiding the path to the depths. The ground rapidly changing it’s point of perspective. Ignoring reasoning and rationalism. Once again, we climbed down into the earth.

The nappies were squishy beneath foot. Dirt and probably mud collected on top. The excitement of the cave overcoming the horrors beneath. The strewn disposable slope guided the path to the throat. Don’t worry, it was assured, it gets wider past the squeeze. This is followed by a rapid descent to the mesa above the canyon. A gentle bump on my helmet informs me that I should now change my head position. The rope is tied around an awkward rock edging off the side opposite to the climb, John’s instructional words from a previous trip are wisely remembered - as long as we don’t play with the rope too much it won’t come off. One by one we start climbing down to the running level of the cave. Tall passages are to be found here, we do find them. We also find water. I investigate how much water by walking into it. It is concluded that the cave is flooded.

After a quick review of the options, we agree to relocate to an alternative cave. Quarry cave it is. Kyle volunteers to go fetch the ladders while the rest of us exit and go to Quarry.


We arrive at Quarry cave where we climb the chimney entrance and enter at once into a large chamber. The light around the entrance having a parish-like feel. A scree slope leads to the base of the chamber. From here the formations that have spread on the high walls are to be found. Milky flowing stone lit upon through the lighted dust. The shadows in the formation beckon us to explore deeper.

Ladder 1.

“Does anyone have a multi-tool?” 

“I have a spanner in my car.”

“Can try my Gerber.”


The ladder being fastened, the tactical descent approach is explained. Yes, you can put your feet in the rungs or you can view the ladder in a more handline existential sense. The rungs are there but they don’t really exist. We all descend down the mud, occasional jutting rock, slope. Each of us displaying the techniques that make the human race such a well-ranged and balanced species.


A short journey through the second chamber is followed by the main feature of the chamber. The massive mud slope going up and beyond the other side. In preparation for the ascent, Kyle revises some laws of physics and at the top of the slope ties a rope for the rest of us to climb. Our summit has a lovely mudslide on the other side, no need for gravitational revision. We arrive in a large chamber, formations and dunes. The stalagmites are pristine white. Water drips from the ceiling, the steam rises off of us confirming the humidity is as high as it feels. The back of the chamber is an archway of crystals, becoming a winter passage, it leads to a rim pool nestled in the rock. The water is clear and still.

We sit in the fourth chamber, lights off for a moment in the dark.
Someone interrupts the chain of thought by turning their headlamp back on, no doubt having reached some sort of profound conclusion.

Gully overhang (Ladder 2,3)

The second set of ladders is more technical. A steep ascent up a mud wall using the first ladder of the set followed by a gully overhang. The wire ladder is designed to be as light and portable as possible., this is traded off for stability and joy.

The gully overhang consists of a rock bridge going over a sloped gully. The gully passes beneath the bridge.

The ladder hangs off the top of the bridge and drops down to the slope of the gully. Once resting on the slope of the gully, the ladder follows the gully beneath the bridge, to the bottom of the slope where the cave levels out again.

We descend the ladder one by one at a time, climbing off the rock bridge onto a ledge just below and then climbing onto the ladder. The wire ladder pushing off by your feet in a direction opposite to your will lets you know that you are good to go. It’s a climb down from there to the sloped plate of the gully. Here we rest our backs against the slope and slide down in a highly controlled manner using the ladder. We reach the bottom having found a new sense of joy.

The last sections of the cave are reached. A section of passages that have a selection of small climbs and crawls. The group sets off for individual exploration. The discovery of a loop allows for the prospect of infinite fun. Some of the sections have rock that appears to have iron ore in, a compass is used to test the hypothesis and creates a new theory that suggests that South might be North. Another trip may have to be organised to confirm this.

Having explored and reached the end of the cave it’s time to turn around. We return the way we came, and now we get to do everything again. The thought of rest invigorates us and so we set off for the outside.

The passage out seems quicker, and climbing out of the cave, the sun always brighter.

Thanks to everyone for making this an awesome trip. And special thanks to Kyle for helping to set up the rigging.



Saturday 4 March 2023

Chaos Cave Trip - Weekend trip - 18th to 21st March


Hi everyone 😁

We have a very exciting trip to Chaos coming up! We shall be doing a long weekend trip and staying over at the farm and hopefully will even stay one night in the cave itself ðŸĪĐthis is our 4th largest known cave in the country and absolutely stunning!!!! The trip plan is to work on bolting some routes that we would like to climb and explore, including the new section of cave where the maypole was found - huge potential for a large new section of unknown cave. We will also explore the cave and try and see as much as possible while we are there.

We have planned for the weekend of the 18th and 19th of March and have permission to stay over for the weekend, as well as having asked for permission for the 20th and 21st as well since the 21st is  a public holiday and most of us are getting a long weekend. We will have free access in and out of the property, and so if anyone is unable to stay for the full duration of the trip, you may leave early.

If we don't get access for the 20th and 21st, don't worry 😉ðŸĪŠSteve and I are planning to find secondary options in the area to keep the weekend full!

Please contact Steve, Ed or myself if you are interested in the trip.

Please also note that this trip is for SRT proficient members only - the cave is not without its risks and it will be a hard trip with a lot going on, but loads of fun!😁 We have created a group for everyone interested to join, and we will post relative info for trip planning there.

Look forward to hearing from you all ðŸ˜


Friday 3 March 2023

Yom Tov Cave Trip - Saturday 11th March 2023


Hi Guys. We are doing a trip to Yom Tov Cave next week Saturday the 11th of March.
Yom Tov is a visitor-friendly cave with a crossed system of aqueduct-like passages at times knee-high in water.
If you enjoy caving and you enjoy a reflection of water, then journey to the depths.

Meeting at Oaktree 09:00 am.
Is a visitor trip.
Meet leader is James .
PM me if you would like to join, (let me know if you need a helmet).

Sunday 5 February 2023

Sinkhole Dig 11 February 2023

The next club trip coming up will be on the 11th of February at a property next to the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve. Steven and Nadia from Specialist Technical Animal Rescue assisted the property owner with the rescue of a donkey and a duck out of a 6m deep sinkhole in December 2022 and in the process discovered a blowing hole worth checking out.

The plan is to meet in the Rhino & Lion parking lot at 9:00 on Saturday and then drive to the property together from there. We will rig a bipod and rope down into the sinkhole and start working on what seems like a fairly easy dig with good potential. The problem with these projects is that it might keep us busy for the whole day without reaching an end, or it might end after 30 minutes and there is no way to know beforehand which it might be. The amount of people who can partake in the digging at any given time is also limited so there will be a lot of sitting around and doing nothing! Please let me know if this sounds like something that might interest you and hopefully the day will result in a new discovery. If not then it will be a good rigging, digging and SRT training session!

The trip is open to anyone who is SRT proficient and the fee for non members is R100. Please bring a chair, enough water, snacks, sunblock as well as a rain jacket or umbrella as they are predicting rain.

We have to give registration numbers of all the cars going to the property so we will probably take as few cars in as we can. Please PM Dirk van Rooyen if you are interested.

Friday 20 January 2023

Stinkhole Geological Sampling 29 January 2023

We are going back to Stinkhole on the 29th of January with two geologists to take samples of the interesting minerals and speleothems.

 The trip is for SRT proficient members only. There is also another sinkhole on the property to check out as the rains might have opened up a new entrance.

Prepare for a relatively long trip so bring enough water and snacks for the day.

Please message Dirk van Rooyen if you would like to join.