CNCC teams up with data mining company in quest for caver data

By Clare Cotton

In a bid to find out more about who is going down caves and why, the CNCC has reportedly teamed up with notorious data mining firm Dalesbridge Analytica.

Our source inside the CNCC has given Dankness Below unprecedented access into the data collection undertaken when cavers book caves.

The online booking system collects user data via embedded cookies, downloading a backdoor RAT system on to users machines and sending the data back to Alexander Pitch at Dalesbridge Analytica HQ.

The data has allowed the CNCC, in the past, to make targeted Facebook adverts via the “Descent Caving Group” and “Cavers of Facebook” online pages.

Such adverts have reportedly included phrases such as “We send £900 to the Mendips for locks, let’s fund our online system instead” and “Take back pothole”

The system also collects data using a clever survey aimed at users signing up to the online permit system. It includes questions such as “Do you think the CSCC is very bad?”, with possible answers that include “yes” and “yes”.

The software also tracks users locations when they book permits, which has left some users very concerned. One local belligerent was particularly enraged: “I told everyone I did Langstroth Pot through trip. What if they find out I was in Yordas?”

Preliminary statistics have been uploaded on to the CNCC website. Whilst they are done in notoriously unreliable MS Excel, and use pie charts to obscure data, they have confirmed that caving is dominated mostly by old men, which, really, explains everything. 

Coronavirus and Caving

Update 14 May 2020 – COVID-19 – STAY SAFE

We understand the predicament you’re all in: some of you are climbing the walls, perhaps you’re dreaming of digs yet to come.

Luckily the BCA has provided us with some rules for Caving with Corona, and a statement on the caving situation ahead.

  1. No caving until February. We have legal evidence that the caves need a winter to flush out the corona-filled air. This is because the low temperatures and 100% humidity of caves preserve the virus.
  2. Before February, some permits can be issued if you are an “essential caver”. Reasons for essential caver status is not limited to securing gates, photocopying surveys, filling in digs, taking stal core samples and writing BCA policy.
  3. Landowners will be asked to physically block the entrances of caves. No action needs to be taken on Mendip.
  4. An American style decontamination procedure must be undertaken before and after each trip. All of your kit including ropes and software must be soaked in ethanol. Take ethanol wipes for cleaning bolts as you cave and try to avoid touching the walls. The tradition of soaking yourself in ethanol post trip is encouraged.
  5. Post February, we have planned “regional cave hubs”. This will allow the over 70s to self isolate alone but still go caving. Consequently the over 70s should restrict themselves to the following caves: Yordas, Jugholes, Reservoir Hole and Porth ye Ogof. The under 70s should avoid these caves for the foreseeable future.

We hope these 5 simple rules for Caving with Corona are clear.

Remember, Stay Alert, Save Stals, Protect the CNCC

Get fit with Dankness Below

By guest reporter Flo Drips

Here at DB, we know many of you will be cooped up at home, just itching to get out. We’ve all got a list of caves ready in mind for when we emerge from quarantine, but until then, it’s important to keep fit.

Follow our cave-specific exercises below, tailored to the area you want to visit. To make the most of these exercises, fill a tacklesack with sandbags, bits of rope, a drill, your mates bottle of water that they won’t even drink, or whatever you normally carry underground. 

1. The Titan – with your bag, do 400 squats. Once finished, shout “fucking hell I still have to do the entrance pitch”. Do 100 more squats.

2. The Mendip – find a local elderly person and offer them assistance. In return, they’ll give you a “permit”. Use this to crawl 200 meters, then treat yourself to a pint of cider. 50 bicep curls with a 500g weight.

3. The Otter Hole – part block your baths plughole and fill it. Run two kilometers, then come back and watch your bath slowly draining before you do the rest of your exercises.

4. The OFD – fill a paddling pool. Run up and down the street occasionally throwing yourself in the pool. Then throw some sand on yourself.

5. The BCA – ponder an exercise regime. Appoint a working group to consider whether we should vote on doing it next year.

6. The Darren – find a gravel driveway, crawl up and down it 150 times. Remember to take a sleeping bag!

7. The Draenan – find a local suburban estate; the sort of mundane grey Barratts one where nothing changes and the streets just go on and on, merging into each other. Wander around this at random for about 12 hours, then argue with a stranger.

8. The Stoney Middleton – crouch walk for 4 kilometers, thinking about how you should have done “the Titan”

9. The North Wales (Millwr tunnel special) – cut the bolt off your shed, shout “fuck the Grovesnor” then go for a long walk.

10. The Cornwall – similar to the North Wales, but film yourself cutting the bolt off and put it on Facebook. After doing several hundred squats, fuck your sister and/or aunt.

11. The CaveFest – five tricep dips, ten pushups, fifteen sit-ups, then invite everyone in Crickhowell to your sex cult.

12. The Cave Diving Group – force the people in your house to carry your exercise equipment to the bathroom. Get in the bath and float around for a bit (bonus points if you use a nice brown bath bomb). When you get out, grunt a bit and stare into the distance to remind everyone how hard you are.

13. The Gaping Gill – run downhill to the bottom of a local hill, do 15 star jumps and a 100m crouch walk in some sand. Then get someone to winch you back to the top.

14. The CNCC – email your neighbour and tell him you’re exercising in his garden. You have a right to roam there! Once there, 200 squats whilst he hoses you down with cold water.

15. The Grampian – nobody knows what this involves, and we don’t think anybody has ever tried it.

And finally, 16: The Jungle Exped – pay several thousand pounds to do any of the above exercises and infect yourself with Ebola. 

Try doing one a day at first, then gradually make it harder. Remember, you shouldn’t be doing the “Red Rose” at this time. This famous sex club has temporarily closed and besides, it’s bad to get within two meters and share fluids with people in a vulnerable group. 

Stay positive. Follow this plan, and when we get through this you’ll be flying through caves like never before! 


Council of Southern Caving Clubs Clutches Cash for Concrete

Reports from our undercover journalist inside the Council of Southern Caving Clubs (A body that represents landowners in the Mendip hills) has revealed a hitherto unprecedented fraud in the making.

Rumors have uncovered a drastic set of proposals submitted to the British Caving Association’s upcoming AGM, that includes the creation of 2 new committees of 9 people each, and a further 7 positions on council.

Whilst we do not have all the information, we can reveal that one of the proposals constitutionalizes the Hunters as an Access Controlling Body, and creates a new position of “Gate Secretary” whose job it is to close caves. This would expand the council from its current membership of an efficient 38 people, to a British Caving Citizens Assembly of over 60.

Further, we can reveal the true conspiracy at work: travel reimbursements.

The BCA’s generous travel reimbursement of 60 pence per mile will be funneled by these 25 new council members into a scheme of concrete manufacture and deployment. This follows on from work over the past 20 years by members of the CSCC to deny access to caves.

Our source inside the CSCC, a Mr. Phil Swallet, has told us he is “definitely not involved with the concrete industry” and is “merely concerned about conservation”.

Another member of the CSCC, who asked not to be named, told us: “I worked for 15 years as part of the BCA trying to persuade the government that cavers do not want access to caves. It didn’t work and we lost to those CroW types. Then, I moved on to trying to ban children from caves, but that hasn’t worked either. Now I’m at the end of my tether, and it’s time to concrete the fucking things to make sure they are preserved ready for future generations to forget about them”.

The council, which already spends thousands of its member’s money transporting computer illiterate council members to inconveniently placed meetings, has refused to comment.

The DB Publishing Group position on #ballotgate

To dispel any rumours, we’ve been forced to make a statement on the position of both our publications (including our sister site Darkness Below) on the BCAs #ballotgate. 

Here at DB, we believe electronic voting is wrong. This was confirmed by an article on our sister site https://darknessbelow.co.uk/bca-ballotcast-or-ballotgate/

Whilst it may look like the author (a distant cousin to our own writer, Toby Throttlewank) is very bitter about the BCA membership emphatically giving him the boot when he ran for BCA council, this is not the case. 

And whilst it may look like our sister site is using an overly verbose writing style and cherry picked contextomy to disguise the lack of any real point, we assure you that this isn’t the case either. 

We think the article is very clear and we are trying to set out the facts. Electronic voting is wrong, because cavers, invariably, are wrong. 

They’re wrong about access. They’re wrong about conservation. They’re wrong about what they themselves really want.

If we take the memberships views into account, the big issues in caving might be decided within a year, rather than on a multi-year basis. Consider the CRoW debate: if we had electronic voting, the issue might have been settled very quickly, rather than letting everyone say their piece over and over again.

Electronic voting will stop the ceaseless and important machinations of the BCA. If a small crowd of extremists can’t stop the BCA from changing anything by using constitutional minutiae and spurious complaints, then due process is not carried out.

Put very simply: in the new system, someone from the north will have just as much of an impact on a Mendip AGM as you have. Is this what you really want?

Do you really want to wrest the big decisions from a small group of superior, highly intelligent and very wise caving politicians, and instead hand those decisions over to an electorate? Ridiculous.

Please consider voting against electronic voting. We don’t understand it and therefore it’s wrong.

Yours, The DB Publishing Group


New BCA Library funding “definitely not for porn”

The BCA is today denying allegations that a new grant to the library will mostly be spent on preserving their burgeoning collection of old-timey pornography.

The library offers a service where any BCA member can request information about anything that happened in caving ever. However it also appears to have a seedy underbelly to its collections, which were apparently donated by renowned caving-cum-sex clubs the Red Rose and the Croydon.

The collection includes images collected by Eduard Martell, the French speleologist obsessed with the deepest holes imaginable, to more recent (and liberal) English/Welsh interracial DVDs put out by the South Wales Caving Club.

Other videos include “Council of Northern Caving Cocks” featuring Easy Gill (who will let anyone access her simply by filling in an online form) and “Slaughter Stream Slags”, a story too graphic to describe here but involving 3 blokes and a dead dog.

The collection also features 3 volumes of diving themed erotica written by an anonymous voyeur who coins themselves “Old Uncy Sprice”, apparently funded by the CDG. This has a convenent ensuring it is never made available to the public.

The BCA, defending the collection, said – “None of the money is going towards the Caving Erotica section. Most of it is already safely stored by the Cornish, who are desperate for it. Down there, all they have for entertainment is massive artificial shafts, and it shows”



Michael Gove is first case of white nose syndrome found in UK

Dankness is sorry to report today that the first case of whitenose syndrome has been identified in the UK. Michael Gove, Tory leadership candidate, has been diagnosed with the fungal infection after several years of suffering. 

The candidate for prime minister is said to deeply regret gaining the disease whilst partaking in some salubrious London based urbexing. 

Due to the focus of the carrier, the fungus is unlikely to arrive in Wales or the North, however the home counties are said to be at risk.

Rumours abound that the Derbyshire Bat Group alongside Orpheus CC, already paid up members of the Tory Party, are working to tackle the infection within the party. 


BCA zealots smack down Access Bodies

Startling scenes occurred yesterday as the Youth and Development group of the BCA issued a stern word of warning for access controlling bodies: let the kids in, or we’ll boot you out.

The proclamation has sent shock waves rippling through the caving world, with those in charge of access traditionally used to sitting in dark corners cackling over cauldrons.

Dame Christine Fielding, a luminary in Mendip elite caving circles, said:”This is ridiculous. An access controlling body should be left to their own devices. Who cares if they ban people at random? They’ll be asking us to let people from Yorkshire in the caves next”

This is in stark contrast to the BCA stance, who’s jobsworth council member Bill Fern told Dankness: “people should be let in caves whenever they want and anyone who disagrees should be flogged”

The move marks a change to an increasingly authoritarian stance from the BCA, in order to “get the trains running on time” as they bid to actually do something of value for their paying membership.

One of the newest initiatives within this movement is the creation of a “BCA Youth”. Whilst seemingly normal on the outside, they are required to deify ex-BCA chairman Randy Crevice, as well as being taught a number of padlock breaking and lock picking techniques. The youngsters are also forced to recite the countryside rights of way act and take an entire class on the perils of landowner liability. After 6 weeks they are permitted to cave in Swildons but without the wet bits.

The team here at Dankness Below don’t really know what’s coming next for the organisations, but we are sure it will generate a few more articles 

BCA youth in a parade march dedicated to BCA luminaries Randy Crevice and Keith Corvus. 

Hans Bratch rescue found to be GUE plot

Recent revelations have emerged after a dramatic rescue in Tennessee yesterday, when famous child catcher and knight of the realm Hans Bratch was retrieved from beyond a sump in Mill Pond, TN.

The world renowned diver was following one line and removing another, before losing the laid line, which forced him to continue into the cave and henceforth into an airbell. 

The diver was stuck in the airbell for 22 hours, and was quoted by ABC news as saying: “The time underwater was not as good as the Thailand incident. We didn’t have nearly enough ketamine”.

Whilst originally assumed to be a simple mistake made commonly by such experienced divers, the Dankness Below staff have discovered from secret American Facebook groups that the rescue was a secret plot by the Global Underwater Explorers to make the UK based Cave Diving Group (of which Hans is a member) look worse. 

Rumours have circulated that Jarrod Jablonski, founding member of GUE, was seen walking away from the Mill Pond with several hundreds of meters of line and some garden shears the night before. We must inform readers that this is only a rumour, as it is not clear how a GUE diver could manage this difficult dive.

CNCC to gate Easegill after Wretched Rabbit damage

Toby Throttlewank


We report here the unfortunate news that the Council of Northern Caving Clubs is set to put gates on every entrance to Easegill after damage that has occurred in the system. The new system, unusual for the CNCC, will require cavers to email the CNCC for a permit, which includes the keycode to the electronic fitted gates. The keycode, a 14 digit number, will be changed weekly due to security concerns.


DanknessBelow is petitioning the CNCC not to gate the system, and you can sign the petition here: http://chng.it/FJddbjySvy