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Winster Cavers News Archive

Welcome to, our adventurous perspective on the world around us

As we add more and more material to, the home page starts to become a little cluttered!  Here, therefore, are many of the not-so-new news items and announcements that have been "archived".

December 2010 - Canyoning in La Réunion, the volcano Piton de la Fournaise and new photo galleries

At last, here's our new page about canyoning in La Réunion - and another about the active volcano Piton de Fournaise. There are also three new photo galleries - one of our canyoning trip in the Fleurs Jaunes, another of our trip to the Grotte de la Grande Ravine, and a third of the volcano Piton de la Fournaise. There's also now a video of our trip in the Fleurs Jaunes.

Canyoning in the Fleurs Jaunes, Cilaos, La Reunion - photo gallery
Canyoning in the Fleurs Jaunes, Cilaos, La Reunion - video
Canyoning and caving in the Grande Ravine, La Reunion - photo gallery
Piton de la Fournaise, La Reunion - photo gallery

November 2010 - New photo galleries.

Two new photo galleries are now on-line: One from our recent travels to Sicily, and another from a Derbyshire lead mine, Maury Sough.  Follow the links below to view...

Mount Etna Lava Caves - photo gallery
Maury Sough / Lead mine, Derbyshire - photo gallery

August 2010 - Etna again!

For the Winster Cavers, the lure of Europe's most active volcano is just too much to resist - September saw us off on our travels again, to visit our Mount Etna and, of course, our friends at Hotel Corsaro.   We also spent some time visiting the are around Trapani....  Follow our latest adventure in our Sicily 2010 Travel Blog.

19th August 2010 - Iceland write-ups and photo gallery

The write-ups of our Iceland trip are now underway - to whet your appetite, we've just published a small photo gallery of Icelandic lava caves, and a page with some microscopy images of volcanic ash from Eyjafjöll.

14th July 2010 - Back from Iceland, next stop Sicily!

Iceland proved to be incredibly interesting and a photo gallery and more information will be published on this site very shortly. Circumstances have dictated that our hoped-for trip to see some Indonesian volcanoes later this year has had to go "on hold", but instead we'll be returning to Sicily in late August to spend some time in the West of the island around Trapani and Erice, and of course we will be visiting Mount Etna and our friends at Hotel Corsaro.

25th May 2010 - Volcanic eruption in Iceland stops

Would you believe it - the eruption at Eyjafjallajökull has now stopped, at least for the time being. Time to plan some caving and glacier trekking in Iceland instead then, though there's always the chance something will start up again before we arrive in June! For all you lava-hungry hopefuls out there, you can still check for daily updates at the excellent website of NORDVULK - the Institute of Earth Sciences - Nordic Volcanological Center.

Completed 26th April 2010 - "From Ore To Orchids"

The 26th April saw the completion of our latest film - here's the synopsis:

Since mediaeval times, mankind has left an indelible mark on the landscape, shaping it, working it, tending it – and continues to do so today.

"From Ore to Orchids" explores some of the unlikely and sometimes uncomfortable inter-relationships between man, industry and nature. A film designed to raise more questions than it answers, "From Ore to Orchids" highlights the unexpected and almost symbiotic relationships that have developed over time, through history, and into the future that we all have the opportunity to influence.

Click here for further details.

24th April, 2010 - Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland - assisting with survey of volcanic ash in the UK

Work constraints are preventing us being able to travel to the current eruption in Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland. Frustrating though this may be, we have some small compensation in that we're helping with a survey by the British Geological Survey to monitor the deposition of volcanic ash in the East Midlands and surrounding areas. And we can't resist letting you know that if you're unable to get to the current volcanic eruption in Iceland, you can, courtesy of the BGS, make your own cut-out-and-keep 3-D model of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

Previous entry:
(The ongoing eruption at Eyjafjallajökull and the earlier eruption at Fimmvörduháls have captivated many - and no doubt frustrated more than a few too, as airspace around Europe is constantly under threat from volcanic ash falling. The Winster Cavers are hoping there'll still be some activity to report back to our site visitors when we go over to Iceland in June, but for those who can't wait, here are a couple of links to various webcams so can you see what's going at at Eyjafjallajökull in real-time:
Vodafone Iceland has this great cam of Eyjafjallajökull.
Icelandic telecomms company Mila currently have three cams: this link accesses a page in English from which you can navigate to any of the three webcams.
Another telecomms company, Siminn, has this web cam.
The Iceland met office lists its various webcams here.)

March 2010 - Walking in the Cirque de Mafate, Reunion Island

This illustrated guide to a four-day trek in La Réunion's awesome Cirque de Mafate is the first of a series of walking and canyoning descriptions that will soon be appearing on this site based on our experiences on Reunion Island in September 2009, including information about the still-active volcano Piton de la Fournaise, which last erupted in January this year (2010).

February 2010 - Nenthead Mines

Busy, busy, busy - the only way to describe the lifestyle of the Winster Cavers. Writing up our La Reunion adventure seems to be taking second place to some more video editing - some of which will be on YouTube very shortly. In the meantime, we have also been taking a lot of underground photos. Newly uploaded is a fresh photo gallery of some shots taken down the impressive Nenthead lead mines.

View the Nenthead lead mines photo gallery

September 2009 - La Réunion

We're back from our two weeks on the tiny volcanic French island of La Réunion (east of Madagascar, somewhere in the Indian Ocean!. We've been walking in the Cirques of Mafate, Salazie and Cilaos, visited the active volcano, Piton de la Fournaise, and been canyoning in the Grande Ravine and Fleurs Jaunes. Here's an overview of the trip, with some useful information. if you're into adrenaline and stunning landscapes, just go there. It's awesome!

We also kept a blog going whilst visiting:: Follow our La Réunion blog at:

August 2009

Well, it's certainly been a busy year so far - reflected in our challenge to write up a gowing back-log of material. Below is a link to a photo gallery of orchids, mostly photographed in the Nebrodi and Madonie National Parks in Sicily, with a few Enta Orchids also. If anyone can confirm the identifications, we'd love to hear from you.

July 2009

We've had a few moments to catch our breath and write up some of our exploits this year - the following article describes walks we did in North Wales last winter.

June 2009

Just launched - a new photo gallery.  We've started with some images from the lava tubes in Hawaii, and a collection of photographs of the most rare and unusual speleothems known as cave pearls. More will follow in the near future, including a gallery of orchids from our latest visit to Sicily.


May 2009

Two weeks after returning from Sicily, we've been out and about in the English Lake District, visiting some of the Coniston copper mines including an introduction to the "interesting" Hospital Level. Two days of good weather meant we were also able to get a long days' walk from Little Langdale up over Tilberthwaite Gill, Coniston Old Man and Swirl How and a shorter low-level walk around Latterbarrow.

The Winster cavers are flying out to Sicily again. This time we'll be heading to the Nebrodi mountains to explore the hiking possibilities in this vast area of limestone. From there we'll be visiting Mount Etna, with a view to reporting back on some new routes on this, Europe's highest active volcano. After a few days at Hotel Corsaro the current plan is to spend some time in the Parco delle Madonie, to investigate some of the walking trails there, but you’ll need to keep an eye on our Sicily 2009 blog as plans may change depending on the weather and of course, current volcanic activity....