Coming Soon: Descent 289, the start of the new editorial era …


The first issue edited by the new team of Chris Scaife and Carolina Smith is about to hit the streets. Make sure your subscription is up to date, so you don’t miss out on all the big news!

Chris Scaife has told us at DB Towers that having their first issue finished is a satisfying feeling. We hope this is the first of many, and we look forward to working with Chris and Carolina in the future.

Here’s what to look forward to when your copy drops on your mat …

Chris Scaife, tells the story of how this all came about and then interviews former editors Chris Howes and Judith Calford about their 34 years at the helm. Descent has always been famous for the quality of its photos and this issue reproduces some of the most stunning photos from the new book by Max Wisshak and Hazel Barton on Lechuguilla Cave. So that’s another one for the seasonal wish list!

The weather hasn’t exactly been very pleasant since summer gave way to a wet, blustery autumn and things got a little hectic for a while in Mayo when a caver was swept into a sea cave on Ireland’s west coast. As John Kelly reports, this led to a major rescue in a dramatic situation.

As all cavers know, size matters. Rainer Straub and Herbert Jantschke describe their expedition to survey and photograph giant stalactite in Cuba. Closer to home, Phil Murphy gives an informative account of caving club accommodation in the Yorkshire Dales down the years, while cave photographer Martyn Farr considers the use of drones underground in caving and photography.

When Hades CC member David Hardwick was looking for caves in his local area, everyone he talked to told him to ask the Fishmonger. It’s now been 25 years since the breakthrough into a Gloucestershire cave where numerous archaeological specimens were found. Chris Howes reminisces.

All the regular features are back and the 2022 Underground Crossword is even bigger and better than last year’s, so get ready to pit your wits against this puzzle by Martin Wright. Brian Tilbury has contributed a caving poem entitled My Friend, and in the Write it Down! slot, Philip Judson reminds us that it ain’t over ‘til it’s over with Finding Your Way in the Dark.

We hope this taster gives you the incentive to either take out a new subscription or renew your old one, so don’t hang about, head over to the subscriptions page on their shiny new website and guarantee yourself the best read in British caving.