On occasion a caving expedition can meet the criteria needed to apply to the Mount Everest Foundation, which include exploration and education and research of mountainous areas of the world. As of autumn 2021, there is now a new protocol in place for a caving expedition to apply to the MEF.
The purpose of the Ghar Parau Foundation is to provide grant-aid assistance to British caving expeditions that travel to all corners of the world.
In particular the charity looks for expeditions whose aims and methods include an element of innovative exploration or scientific study, distinguishing them from the typical sport-caving venture.
2021: This year’s expedition continued cave exploration in the Urdon Gorge (Tresviso, Cantabria). Despite the coronavirus enforcing a reduction in expedition participants, >2.6 km of new passage was surveyed, with still strong potential for further discoveries to be made.
While covid restrictions continue to affect the certainty of foreign travel, five hopeful expeditions received GPF grant aid during the latest round of funding. The GPF Committee allocated £5,650, plus 5 Alex Pitcher awards of £100 each for young cavers going on their first expedition abroad.
Browse the archive map to find out more about the funded expeditions’ objectives.
2020: A smaller-than-usual team of cavers and divers revisited Izvor Licanke in Croatia to push its current terminus. In its sixth year now, the expedition completed exploration of sump 4, finding passage beyond and a fifth sump. The cave length now extends to >1.6 km.
2019: There have been British caving expeditions to the Dachstein plateau, high in the Austrian Alps, for over 50 years. In 2018 the expedition made the historic connection between WUG Pot, high on the plateau, with the monster 112 km Hirlatzhöhle system, yet the search for a higher entrance to WUG Pot continues. Read more, and on the successful use of the GPF-funded Cavelink set for making deep trips safer.
2019: With the Ghar Parau Foundation now being an independent charity, the GPF needs an identity (i.e. a logo). Therefore we are starting a logo competition, looking for a design that reflects what the Foundation does or its link to the cave Ghar Parau. The winning logo will win a heavy duty Warmbac oversuit!
Entry details can be found here.
2019: The Scurion Raffle at Hidden Earth, won by Phil Hawcroft, raised a total of £1,229 in aid of the the GPF! Thanks go to Maxine Bateman and Meg Gorry for their relentless selling tactics. A further £351 was raised by the silent auctioning of the silver Caver’s Cup, crafted and generously donated by Sam Drake.
A big thanks from the GPF to Sam, Rolf, Ceris and everyone who bought tickets.
During a weekend celebrating 50 years of British cave exploration and science at home and abroad in December 2017, a series of lectures were presented at the Royal Geographical Society by leading British cavers. Many of the expeditions discussed were recipients of Ghar Parau Foundation funding.
These talks are now freely available to view at the event page.
The charity is embarking on a fundraising effort to enhance the size of the investment fund, with all the money raised going towards supporting British cavers carrying out science and exploration abroad.
Cavers travelling abroad on expedition have had many concerns regarding their travel insurance – is cave exploration covered? Will the insurer actually pay out?
The BCA have been working hard on behalf of their members to solve this problem and are pleased to announce the launch of BCA Member Caving Cover.
Find more details and get a quote online at: https://www.bcacavingcover.co.uk
Since 2007 the Ghar Parau Foundation has awarded £108,725, benefiting 190 British caving expeditions.