CUCC Expedition Handbook

What you need to do to join Expo



Medical Form

Next of Kin record


You have to be individually invited to come on the CUCC (Cambridge University Caving Club) Expo. You cannot just turn up and assume that you can join in. This is important as our relationship with the local caving club - whose permission we have to apply for every year - depends on this. Get in touch with CUCC at

Your permission to attend must be confirmed in writing by the expedition leader before the expo starts.

We have to know when you are arriving and when you are leaving so that we can ensure we don't have too many or too few people at any one time for (a) the food we buy in advance, (b) the transport up and down the mountain, (c) rigging top camp, cairned routes and caves at the beginning of expo, (d) derigging caves, bringing gear down from the mountain and storing equipment at the end of expo, and (e) bed space at base and our bivvy camps, (f) the water supply at top camp.

Deposit and Bank of Expo

You must have an account opened with the online Bank of Expo before you arrive on expedition. This is done by paying your deposit to the expo bank account. Your online username and password for Bank of Expo will be emailed to you when your deposit has been received by the expo treasurer. The amount of the deposit depends on the number of weeks you will be attending.

If you are late paying the deposit you may need to pay your entire expected cost, not just the deposit, before you can attend. The expo treasurer will tell you what is required.


A very strong suggestion for expoers is that everyone gets insurance in case of a rescue; this can be ruinously expensive (running to millions of euros for multi-day rescues!) and so you almost certainly need to get cover for this.

In the past, Snowcard has been the most popular option but feel free to find something else if it seems more reasonable but make sure it covers what you need: expedition potholing with ropes in unexplored caves, helicopter rescue, repatriation to the UK, adequate reimbursement of costs incurred in coping with accident (clothing cut off a broken leg, for example). The policy option you need (in 2018 - check for the current year!) for Snowcard is "Max Adventure" which covered "original cave exploration in an area which has "organised local cave rescue". This does not seem to be available in 2019.

Snowcard insurance is not available for people who are not "normally resident" in the UK. Attempts to find equivalent schemes for other countries have not proved successful. If this applies to you, you may wish to consider joining the local Austrian cave club (see below).

It is very difficult to find out whether any insurance policy actually covers expedition caving or not. Some have complete exclusions for, say "potholing and climbing which normally requires guides or ropes", some are less explicit.

Local Austrian cave club membership

If you are a member of the local cave club then some of your rescue expenses would be covered by that club. However this may be a long-term committment for membership fee payment by CUCC Expo, it is not just a matter of individual choice.

Once you have agreement to do this from the expo organisers, here is the form to fill in for VfHÖ membership: download from here and needs to be emailed to hoehle (at) which goes to Robert TWC (The Wonder Caver).

Cost of VfHÖ membership is €30 per year. There are details of how to do the bank transfer on their website but generally Robert turns up at the dinner and cash is handed over. But do not let this informality mislead you: a renewal fee will be due every year thereafter and the expo may be responsible. To avoid this, you need to explicitly cancel your membership in writing before the end of the calendar year - email to the address above will suffice. This is why you need to understand the implications of using this mechanism to get insurance and get agreement from the expedition.

The Austrian Speleological Association (VÖH) offers insurance for leisure time activities to their members in cooperation with the Allianz-Elementar insurance company. All members of caving clubs within the VÖH organisation (except Caving Club Ebensee) are automatically assured to the following conditions. To choose a club to become a member, please visit:

Insurance sum:

The insurance is valid for all leisure time accidents, except accidents in residental areas and households. The insurance is valid world wide. The insurance sum is subsidiary with other insurances.

Invalidity: Invalidity will be paid from 25 - 100 % (no benefit below 25 %).

Exclusion of liability: Reasons for exclusion of liability are influences from alcohol or drugs, using aircrafts, air- and motorsports, explosives, war, diving (pressure chambers are not covered), expeditions in glaciated areas outside of Europe and participation at competitions.

All statements without guarantee.

Contact person for questions (also responsible for forwarding claims to the insurance company): Thomas Exel Tel: 0699/ 18 21 91 17

Medical Form

At the start of expo we have asked people to fill in an anonymous form for their health and medical details that will be kept secure in the potato hut and at top camp and will only accessed in the case of an emergency.

If anybody has any suggestions for updates to this form or other things apart from basic medical details, history and requirements (and your insurance details) please suggest this by emailing the expo list (having first asked a 2018 expo member to show your the previous email correspondance on this matter).

Next of Kin record

Please write the contact details of your next of kin above your name (you have your own page for "Money owed to...") in the Bier Book at base camp as soon as you arrive.

This is in addition to listing your next of kin in your medical record which you will have submitted in advance of expo. This duplication is for safety and in case your contactable next of kin has changed address or phone number between you submitting your medical form and you arriving at expo.

Your mobile phone number and email

You will include your mobile phone number and email address in your medical record, and you will also write them into your page of the Bier Book on arrival at expo.