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Workshop: introduction to caving · February 2021

Updated: Jan 16, 2022

Between 16 February and 10 March 2021, Module I of the Introductory Caving Workshop was completed in Santiago, RM.


Photo courtesy of Wilfredo Sepúlveda

Due to mobility restrictions, the workshop is organised in several independent modules that will take place in Santiago and surroundings during 2021 (you can check the complete workshop information here:ón-a-la-espeleología-2021).

For the first module (with a duration of two days in the field) almost 30 people signed up, which is surprising for a country like Chile, where caving is a little known activity. As Natalia is alone for the moment in the whole process of organising and running the workshop, five groups of 5-6 people each were organised in order to be able to follow up all the participants in a safe way.

GROUP 1: 16-17 FEBRUARY 2021

Photos courtesy of Claudia Arancibia, Wilfredo Sepúlveda and Natalia Morata

It was also interesting to note the wide age range and the diversity of the participants' profiles. In addition, although the first module was held in Santiago, we were visited by people who travelled from other regions. Those who came from further afield came from Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales.

In total, for the first module on the wall, there were three intense weeks of activity.

GROUP 2: 18-19 FEBRUARY 2021

Photos courtesy of Leonardo Rivas, Edgar Galaz, Wilfredo Sepúlveda and Natalia Morata

Before the activity in the field, two theoretical sessions were organised on the origins of modern caving, equipment, basic notions of karstology and the workings of the French Caving Federation (see presentation at the end of the article).

In the field, participants learned how to use and regulate equipment, how to tie and recognise basic knots and saw several basic rope progression manoeuvres on three circuits on the wall: climbing up and down, overcoming fractions with and without pendulums, passing a deviation, passing a knot, changing direction, progressing along handrails, descending and ascending a zip line and some fortune techniques.

GROUP 3: 23-24 FEBRUARY 2021

Photos courtesy of Ángel Bajares, Jaime Neira, Wilfredo Sepúlveda and Natalia Morata

These exercises, once well assimilated and mastered, will serve as the basis for module II, in which we will learn slightly more complex progression manoeuvres and some self-rescue techniques.

GROUP 4: 25-26 FEBRUARY 2021

Photos courtesy of Wilfredo Sepúlveda and Natalia Morata

For the organisation of module II, there were two hurdles to overcome. The first was to obtain more anchors and ropes to extend the circuits, as the consumption of installation material is considerable. In this sense, the support of Outchile, Petzl's distributor in Chile (, will allow us to have the necessary material to carry out the activity, thus overcoming the first hurdle. For us, who carry out our activities on a voluntary and self-financed basis, having the sponsorship of one of the world's leading manufacturers of caving equipment is, in addition to being essential for us to function, a great sign of confidence that encourages us to continue with even more enthusiasm to spread caving in Chile.

GROUP 5: 09-10 MARCH 2021

Photos courtesy of Wilfredo Sepúlveda, Andrés Barríos and Natalia Morata

The equipment and material used for the first module (some not yet available in Chile) had to be brought from Europe with the support of Centre Terre ( and Natmor Ltda. (


The second stumbling block is the current and future mobility restrictions. We are currently unable to confirm dates for Module II and a repeat of Module I, in response to requests received. However, as soon as the healthcare landscape allows, we will notify you via our social media. In the allocation of places, priority will be given to the participants of module I.

Guide used for the workshop:

"Manuel technique de Speléologie", 2018, 3ème édition,


Activity registered in the International Year of Caves and Karst:


Other useful links:

Translated with (free version)

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