Yorkshire Subterranean Society



Taking in the Three Peaks



Purpose built SRT wall

Conditions of use for the YSS SRT facility, Helwith Bridge.

Risks - “The British Caving Association recognises that caving, cave diving and mine exploration are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.”

Although the SRT facility is an artificial environment the risks involved are no less serious than when underground in a cave or abandoned mine.

The soft flooring is designed to provide a more comfortable landing for users. IT DOES NOT MAKE THE ROPEWORK ANY SAFER. Broken and sprained limbs are common on this type of flooring and uncontrolled falls are likely to result in injuries to yourself or others.

Going beyond your capabilities above or below ground could well result in an accident. Any accident may result in an injury despite the safety systems in place to avoid it. You must make your own assessment of the risks.

Our Duty of Care - The rules of the SRT Facility set out below are not intended to limit your enjoyment of the facilities. They are part of the duty of care that we, the Club, owe to you, the caver, by law. As such they are not negotiable and if you are not prepared to abide by them, then we cannot allow you to use our facilities.

Your Duty of Care - You also have a duty of care to act responsibly towards the other users. Statements of ‘Good Practice’ are posted around the centre adjacent to the relevant facilities. These describe the accepted methods of use and how you are expected to behave towards others.

Unsupervised SRT - When you are underground, you and your party are self-sufficient and need to be able to deal with any situation as it arises. This is exactly the same in this facility. We, therefore, expect that you are competent in whatever techniques you are practising, or that you have in your party sufficient numbers of competent people to watch you. When registering, you are required to agree to this, to confirm that you are prepared to abide by the Rules below and that you understand the risks involved in your participation.

Anyone who has not registered is must not use this facility.

Unsupervised SRT is just that! If you are not confident in the use of any equipment or technique then do not attempt to use it without the close supervision of someone who is competent to do so.

Under 18s – All under 18s must be directly supervised by a suitably-competent adult at all times.



General Safety

  • All users must complete a self-certifying registration form which will be kept on file by the YSS.
  • You must exercise care, common sense and self preservation at all times.
  • Report any problems with the wall, equipment or other users’ behaviour to the YSS immediately via the telephone numbers displayed at the facility.
  • Label anything you consider dangerous at the same time using the labels at the facility.
  • Be aware of the other people around you and how your actions will affect them.
  • Do not distract people.
  • Wear a helmet at all times, secure footwear and avoid carrying loose objects. Never stand directly under someone on a rope.
  • Check around you generally before moving and specifically below you before beginning to, and while abseiling.
  • Ensure that people standing in the floor area are kept to a minimum. If it is necessary for other people to enter the facility (e.g. trainer) then they must wear suitable protective equipment (i.e. helmets) at all times.
  • Do not exceed 6 people on the ropes at any one time.
  • Ensure that any novices are closely supervised by competent people.



  • Ensure your own equipment is fit for purpose and fitted correctly.
  • Ensure the floor areas are clear.
  • Ensure that there are no loose items, either on surfaces or on you, which could fall.
  • Before loading each anchor, ensure it is visually sound and the blockwork or steel surrounding it is free from obvious defects.
  • If you choose to use our fixed ropes, then before loading each maillon or karabiner, ensure it is correctly positioned and done up. Also inspect the rope for any obvious damage.
  • Ensure that, between you, you have the equipment and experience to rescue someone stranded mid-rope in a timely fashion from whatever situation they may find themselves.



  • Only use standard, modern rigging and techniques.
  • Cowstails should be used for protection at all pitch heads and during all SRT manoeuvres.
  • Electron ladders are not items of PPE must only be used in conjunction with a lifeline. Traditional “body” belaying must never be used. Two bottom anchors are available and it is recommended these are used.
  • The low-level traverse line anchors are designed to practise rigging and progression along pitch heads from the safety of the ground. Because of the substrate they are installed in, these anchors have not been designed to BSEN12572-1:2007 and must, therefore, not be used for anything other than ground-based practice. These anchors are clearly marked in red.


There are many club organised caving weekends, with a mixture of easy and difficult caving.  Over the past few years we have given lots of people the opportunity to experience caving with our "Try Caving" events.  These are quite popular and quite a few people have subsequently joined the club. We have YSS members caving most weekends so it is easy for new cavers to tag onto the easier caving trips and find people to help with more training.


Old School House
Austwick Road
Helwith Bridge
North Yorkshire
BD24 0EH

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