Life in a Hole with MECET
What is MECET?
August 2011 there was an idea to form a caving team based in the United Arab Emirates to explore caves in the region. The idea was not to just for a small group of cavers but to form a large network of cavers from all over the UAE, Oman, the Middle East and anyone from any other country that wanted to join us; to be the hub for caving activity in the Middle East. The idea was also to make sure that each member of the team was trained to same safety standards and process the skills necessary to safely enter, move through and exit the caves.
From this idea with the support of James Falchetto of TraksPro I developed a plan that was put into motion and MECET (Middle East Caving Expeditionary Team) was born. First we ran a training course to teach the necessary skills to go in the caves. The first course started with a group of ten awesome individuals, we trained together twice a week for 5 weeks up to the first trip into 7thHole on the Selmah Plateau and have done many successful trips since.
We didn’t know where MECET was going to go or if it was even going to grow from the original team. The plan was to make it grow and since we put the plan in motion MECET has quadrupled in size. Now we have around 40 members (some more active then other) and have done multiple trips to the caves in Oman and have also done trips with cavers from France and Belgium to the Selmah Plateau. One of the ideas behind MECET was that not everyone can always make it to every trip. So if we had a large enough team that we could do multiple trips a every month or so with different team members that have the same basic skill set. While not all of the members are as experienced as other we all know the basics and work as a team to make sure we all make it through as a team.
The team aspect of MECET is the most important. The Team is all we have; there is no rescue service to get someone out if they are injured, that task falls to the team. A few of the members of the team (including myself) are Rope Rescue Certified and we all attend regular training to practice rope techniques and recuses. We support each other, lookout for each other, we go in as a team and we come out as a team.
I have had some of the most wonderful trips with MECET, each and very one is a journey, accomplishment and amazing experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Posted below is video from one of your most recent trips. Thoufic, Pike, Thoby and I descended just over 150m into the bottom of “Arch” (one of four entrances into the Selmah Plateau System) .Then its followed by over 2km of crawling through tight passages of rock, mud, water… and took about 3 hours. Arch then meets up with then main passage for about 4km of hiking, scrambling, rope obstacles… and exits into Wadi Khaftari. The exit in the wadi is over 500m below the starting point and camp; it is over a 3km up hill hike back to camp, food and beer. I can’t wait for the next trip