On The Trip Planning
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A couple of checklists to run through in the morning before going caving.
Trip planning checklist:
- ▢ Latest weather forecast acquired. (Preferably Met Office mountain weather.)
- ▢ Forecast discussed with all involved parties.
- ▢ Route descriptions (Northern Caves, NFTFH) identified, read, discussed.
- ▢ Nature of trips discussed with all members.
- ▢ Does everyone have suitable thermals / oversuit for the trip?
- ▢ Route leading / surveys / etc. discussed with involved parties.
- ▢ Consideration of trip difficulty (given weather, given how much sleep people got).
- ▢ Trip destinations reassessed and confirmed.
- ▢ Rope and communal gear packed.
- ▢ CONFIRM STOPPER KNOTS. (Preferably pack so both stopper knots exposed.)
- ▢ Final trip roster agreed.
- ▢ Call outs discussed & agreed.
- ▢ Call outs placed with nominated parties.
- ▢ Level of rescue + first-aid equipment discussed and agreed.
- ▢ Mobile phone to be taken to cave entrance? (e.g. Bar pot has signal.)
- ▢ Storm shelter / extra food / Thermos to cave entrance? (Winter blizzards.)
- ▢ Plan for minibus keys discussed and agreed.
- ▢ Clear plan of anticipated meeting place & turn-around times
- ▢ Anticipated exchange plan, particularly re: route finding. (Leader's don't exchange?)
- ▢ Derig plan, discussed with all teams.
In cave, leader checklist:
- ▢ Should I rig this pitch, or call the trip at this point?
- ▢ How will this bit of the cave change, if the water levels rise?
- ▢ When would we be back on the surface, turning now? Turning after descent?
- ▢ How tired / happy / warm is everyone?
- ▢ Have I spoken to everyone since the last pitch / in the last hour?
- ▢ Does everyone have a clear expectation of when we will see each other again? (Particularly exiting the cave - how many pitches ahead should people get? Wait to pass crawls together?)
- ▢ Have we discussed how to get back to the minibus in darkness / fog / blizzard? [Waiting just within the entrance where its warm, and going back en masse is safest.]
- Gaping: Mobile up top? Leave Bar rigged? Navigation back to Clapham?
- Easegill: Compass for navigation back in a Blizzard / Fog? Back bearings?
- Leck fell: Compass for navigation back in a Blizzard / Fog? GPS to find Notts I?
- East Kingsdale: Compass for navigation back in a Blizzard / Fog? GPS to find King/Vespers?
- Allotment: Compass (preferably GPS) to navigate home?
- Masongill / Fountains Fell: Maybe not if it's wet? :^)