Application for Grant Aid

Submitted on: 27 Feb 2016

Expedition details (GPF2016a-001)

Expedition Name (& Club): SUSS go Pester Serbia (Sheffield University Speleological Society)
Destination country: Serbia
Region: Pešter Plateau
Lat: 43.2508 Long: 19.5113 Elevation: 1254 m
MEF funding: none

Leader: Mr Jack Dewison
Total cavers: 22
Cavers ≤25 yrs old: 18
Cavers 25-35 yrs old: 3
UK/nonUK cavers: 21/1
Eligible for grant aid: 0
Alex Pitcher nominations: 1
Expedition dates: 1st Jul 2016 - 17th Jul 2016
Duration (days): 17
Man-days in field: 275 Man-days travelling: 56
Brief Expedition objectives:

List a short summary of the main Expedition objectives.

- Investigation/shaft-bashing of entrances reported on the Pester plateau, SW Serbia, and exploration of these caves
- Systematic prospecting of the area
- Personal development of team members
How can the GPF support your Expedition?:

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

- The expedition has potential to find many new caves, with the possibility for significant length systems. The limestone in the area generally has a depth of 300-400m, and outcrops over an area of 300km2.
- There are a lot of up and coming cavers as part of the team, which combined with the experience present in SUSS will make for a very successful expedition.
- We will be working closely with ASAK, a caving club from Belgrade.This will mean members of the expedition will learn about the differences in techniques and culture, and make connections which will help future expeditions, whether to Pester or elsewhere.
- However, as this is not an established expedition, we do not have substantial existing reserves of equipment.Therefore grant money will be used to buy vital equipment for exploration, as well as communal camping/logistical gear.
- There are a large proportion of student cavers in the team(SUSS,ULSA,NUCC) who will find it more financially challenging to attend the exped.
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.

- The Pester plateau is an exciting new area with a lot of potential, the plateau lies at 1150–1492m with peaks up to 1700m. It is in close proximity to some of the largest caves in the region, e.g. the Usacki system to the north, which was explored by ASAK in 1974, and is now the second longest system in Serbia at 6200m long. However, so far the main area of the plateau has not been highly investigated, and although some entrances and surface shafts are known, these have not been explored. Therefore the main aim of the expedition will be to thoroughly investigate these.
- There is also potential for significant finds to be made from a concerted effort in surface bashing, as the region has not been subjected to much scrutiny from a speleological standpoint.
- This expedition will also be great for the personal development of the team members, several of whom are new to expeditionary caving. As the aims of this expedition will necessarily include plenty of activity at fairly shallow depths, it is ideal for passing on skills to the next generation of cavers. In addition, support from the many skilled and experienced members of SUSS, both before and during the expedition will ensure that there will be great skill development of all expedition personnel.
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 Inner Dinarides mountains in which Pester lies as formed from Jurassic limestones which are part of the “Sava” nappe, which outcrops in several regions in Serbia and Montenegro. Some of these other outcrops have been found to be very fruitful caving areas. For example the Durmitor area of Montenegro, where caves up to 300m deep have been found; and the western edges of Kosovo, where there is the Velika Klisura system (8500 m long, 310 m deep).
- Additionally, a small team of lead expedition members will be going to the area at the beginning of May to finalise exact details for logistics, as well as to undertake any additional research which may be possible from resources and records which cannot be found in Britain.

Expedition Finances


Travel plans:
- 1 x vehicle to drive from UK carrying kit, with 3 drivers (Estimated £500 for vehicle insurance/wear and tear and £700 for petrol total ).
- Remaining expedition members to fly to Belgrade (Approx £200 return + £45 coach to heathrow) and get public transport as close as possible to pester, (24 Euros each way, train to Vrbnica)

# from UK: 22 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from UK: £6,330 Flights/Public Transport UK - Belgrade 19@£270pp
1 x Vehicle UK - Serbia @ £1200

# from outside UK: 0 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from outside UK: £0 N/A

Travel total: £6,330 Travel p.p. from UK: £287
Travel p.p. from outside UK: £0


Total: £1,650 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £75 Camping is free
Food budgeted ~ £6 pppd.


Total: £1,665 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £76 3 x Drills + Spare Battery @ £200 each + drill bits and bags to total £700
Gear Tent - £30
Hanger Plates, Thru Bolts, Spits, and other rigging kit - £200
200m 9mm rope - £250
PMR Surface Radios - £150
Handheld GPS units - 2@£100
Water Containers - 3@£25 = £75
First Aid equipment (inc containers) - £60
Exped Total: £9,645 Exped cost p.p. travelling from UK: £437
Exped cost p.p. travelling from outside UK: £0
Mean Exped cost per person: £438

Other Funding

Total: £8,140 Comments:
Applied to University of Sheffield Alumni fund, awaiting decision.
We are in the process of seeking sponsorship from a number of equipment and food companies, which if successful will reduce the costs of gear and subsistence.
Personal contributions: 22 @ £100 pp (expedition fees)
22 @ £270 pp (travel costs, drivers capped to same level as flyers)
Total shortfall: £1,505 Mean shortfall per person: £68

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 Tony Seddon
Affiliation: OUCC

Reason: An experienced expedition caver who knows most of the members of the expedition.

Permission obtained?: Yes
Referee 2: Mr Ben Wright
Affiliation: BPC

Reason: An experienced expedition caver who knows most of the members of the expedition.

Permission obtained?: Yes

Expedition report author: Jack Dewison


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