CUCC Expedition - People


Andy Waddington (Christ's 1975-8) started caving shortly before university, and joined CUCC at the first opportunity. Didn't miss a single term-time meet in his three years as a student, and only missed one vacation meet - keen, or what ? CUCC Secretary 1976/77 and Junior Treasurer 1977/78. Invited to join Austria expedition in 1977 and formed part of "team youth" who found and started exploring Eislufthöhle.

Took a major part in 1978 and 1979 expeditions which finally bottomed this cave at -506m. Tried to organise a change of area for 1980, but had underestimated the politics involved, so returned to Loser where he and Mike Burgess found a new way on just inside the entrance to Stellerweghöhle, subsequently to become CUCC's deepest ever exploration. Missed 1981 owing to caving in Mexico and being at the International Congress of Speleology in the USA, then came along in 1982, 1984.

Next joined expo early on in the exploration of Kaninchenhöhle in 1989, and again 1990, 1993, 1995 and 1996, 1998. He used to jointly hold the record for expedition attendance with Mike Richardson (12 times), though hasn't done anything like as much caving on the last few expeditions (and the record expo attendance is now up to 22).

Recently Andy's main rôle has been as a link with the early expeditions and as archivist, pulling together many of the scattered and fragmented details of past exploration into what has become the website you see around you (see site genesis article). Many of the surface photographs on the site, and just a tiny number of the underground ones were taken by Andy, who also did most of the image mastering work for the site.

Apart from CUCC and Austria, Andy joined the Northern Pennine Club in 1976, becoming its Recorder and Librarian shortly afterwards, and holding that post for fourteen years. He now holds the newly created post of NPC Webmaster. In 1981, took part in the annual Proyecto Espeleologico Purificación of the Association for Mexican Cave Studies, visiting the Purificación system for two months. The project surveyed over 5km of new cave that year, taking its length over that of the UK's Easegill system.

Also took part in NPC trips to Cueva Culiembro in the Cares gorge of the Picos de Europa in Northern Spain. This was originally a spin-off from the Oxford University Caving Club expedition, later getting permission independently. The main objective was for three NPC divers to push the main upstream sump. Not a diver himself, Andy's main rôle here was as sherpa and surveyor. Other trips, not all under the aegis of cucc/exCS, have seen Andy caving in the USA, French Pyrenees, Vercors, Belgian Ardennes and Majorca.

Photo © Mike Thomas, 1988.08.10