Application for Grant Aid

Submitted on: 27 Feb 2015

Expedition details (GPF2015a-003)

Expedition Name (& Club): UK/Ireland - Iran 2015: Women's Caving Exchange (SUSS/GSG/DCG)
Destination country: Iran
Region: Tehran
Lat: 35.6961 Long: 51.4231 Elevation: 1181 m
MEF funding: none

Leader: Mrs Katie Rockliff
Total cavers: 4
Cavers ≤25 yrs old: 0
Cavers 25-35 yrs old: 4
UK/nonUK cavers: 3/1
Eligible for grant aid: 0
Alex Pitcher nominations: 0
Expedition dates: 11th Apr 2015 - 26th Apr 2015
Duration (days): 16
Man-days in field: 52 Man-days travelling: 12
Brief Expedition objectives:

List a short summary of the main Expedition objectives.

UK/Ireland - Iran 2015: Women's Caving Exchange
We will spend a week in Tehran region and one week in Kerman region. We will be staying with local female cavers and have arranged to cave with them and help out with surveying and exploring new caves in the two areas. We hope to build on international relationships, pass on knowledge and skills and learn about the female caving scene in Iran.
How can the GPF support your Expedition?:

Please explain the aspects of the trip which make it eligible for Ghar Parau funding.

As an all female team we hope this will facilitate caving with women in Iran to pass on our experience and learn from the cavers we spend time with. Building relationships with Iranian cavers will hopefully allow for future caving expeditions of this type both in Iran and the UK. We have a variety of different caving experience within the team and we will share our skills prior to the expedition to create a good dynamic team for caving in Iran. Because of the small team size we will all be able to contribute significantly towards planning and running the expedition giving us all valauble experience for leading future expeditions. Exploration continues in both the caving areas and our hosts are keen for us to help with surveying and further exploration in new caves.
The costs of the expedition will be met by the team members. We will put any funding we recieve towards survey equipment for the expedition and to facilitate travel for us and our hosts to the caving areas once in Iran.
Detailed description of objectives:

Give a more detailed account of the purpose of the trip, including any particular known caves you intend to visit, specific areas where you will explore for new cave, and scientific experiments you will attempt.

Following a number of expeditions to Iran, Simon Brooks had identified there where many women cavers in Iran who caved with their families. He suggested a groups of girls to form a team and begin a female caving exchange with Iran. Over about 4 years this idea has gradually formed into a plan for an expedition. We have spent this time building up relationships that Simon had established when visiting.
The delay has also resulted in a calmer political situation which will hopefully make it easier for us to obtain visas despite the lack of embassy in the UK.
The attached maps highlight the areas we are hoping to visit both sourced from the iranian cave directory (1st, 2nd and 3rd edition).
The first week will be spent in the Kerman region of Iran. Our objectives here are to meet with local cavers and join exploratory teams in the area. Cavers in the area have recently found new cave that has not fully been explored or surveyed. We aim to help survey and map these caves. We have discussed with our hosts for the week that we would like to cave with local cavers but also help with any exploration currently happening.
For the second week we will travel to the Albourg mountain range near Tehran where we will cave with our hosts and other local cavers. We aim to build relations with local cavers and explore the caving region.

Previous work in this area:

Give details of any previous work in this area by your own and other teams. Include references to reports and articles published on the area, and the names of any local cavers or academics with whom you have discussed the Expedition.

The decision to go to Iran has been based of discussions with various cavers in both the UK and Iran. We have read recent articles in descent (165, 196, 207 and 232) and other journals (verband osterreicheicher Hohlenforscher und verbands der deutschen Hohlen und karstforscher: Die hohler v64 1-4 p125-133 the research project Ghar-e-Bournic, Tehran province, Yorkshire ramblers club journal, Issue 6 series 13 2008, salt, diapers, karst, caves and more in southern iran, etc) to get a feel for what the caving area is like. The iranian cave directory (3rd edition) and caving in iran website ( have given us a good idea for what to expect from caves in Iran. As any exploration during the expedition will be lead by our hosts their knowledge of the area will guide us to ensure any surveying or exploration we do is relevant and useful.

Expedition Finances


Travel plans:
Travel by air from London to Tehran. Meet team member flying Dublin to Tehran. Take overnight bus to Kerman and meet our host for the week. Use local transport or private transport provide by host/local cavers to access caving areas.
After 1 week take night bus back to Tehran to meet our host for the second week. Use local transport or private transport provide by host/local cavers to travel to Albourz mountain region to explore caves in this region for a few days and then travel back to Tehran.
Travel by air from tehran back to London/Dublin.

# from UK: 3 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from UK: £2,757 Visa: 3 x £395 = £1185
Flights return london to tehran: 3 x £400 = £1200
Overnight bus return Tehran to Kerman: 3 x £24 = £72
Travel to caving areas: 3 x £100 = £300

# from outside UK: 1 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from outside UK: £674 Visa:1 x £100 = £100
Flights return Dublin to Tehran: 1 x £450 = £450
Overnight return bus Tehran to Kerman: 1 x £24 = £24
Travel to caving areas: 3 x £100 = £100

Travel total: £3,431 Travel p.p. from UK: £919
Travel p.p. from outside UK: £674


Total: £968 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £242 As we will be hosted by local cavers accomodation costs will be minimal.
2 nights hostel/hotel accomodation (if needed) for 4 people: 2 x £100 = £200
Food: expected costs £12 per person per day
16 days x 4 people x £12 = £768


Total: £578 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £145 2 x survey equipment (compass, clinometer, notebook, pencils, tape measure)
= 2 x (£250 + £10 + £4 + £25) = £578
Exped Total: £4,977 Exped cost p.p. travelling from UK: £1,305
Exped cost p.p. travelling from outside UK: £1,060
Mean Exped cost per person: £1,244

Other Funding

Total: £0 Comments:
Total shortfall: £4,977 Mean shortfall per person: £1,244

Referees and Report

Please give the names, addresses and phone numbers of two suitably qualified people whom the Committee can contact. You should ensure that they are aware of the objectives of your trip, and that you have their permission for the Committee to contact them.

Referee 1: Mr Simon Brooks
Affiliation: Orpheus caving club

Reason: Simon knows all team members well and has a wealth of experience of caving in Iran. He has helped provide vital information for planning the expedition and contacting local cavers.

Permission obtained?: Yes
Referee 2: Mr Henry Rockliff
Affiliation: BCA

Reason: Henry has caved on expedition and in the UK with all team members.

Permission obtained?: Yes

Expedition report author: Katie Rockliff