Training and Education

Plamen Statev and Ivailo Ivanov en route to camp 3, “M” Cave System, Bulgaria, 2022г. Picture: © Ivo Kalushev
Due to the specifics of our research and due to the need for a level of training which is not achievable in a standard speleology course, the training of new people in our club is carried out mainly on an individual basis. The club can use the high mountain facility of EMKGI, and for the period 2022-2025 the Institute can provide scholarships covering the entire training and equipment costs for select students. We do not aim to conduct general speleology courses – the club’s training programs will only be for people who are approved to join our research teams.

Do not let the above turn you away. If you want to join our research and experience the magic of the underworld with us, contact us. If it turns out that we can do something together, it will happen 🙂

General requirements for candidate students:

  • Good physical and mental shape, lack of phobias and fears of heights, darkness, narrow places, etc.
  • At least 14 years of age (parental consent is required for anyone under 18, but for the right candidate we can assist with this).
  • Readiness to do a lot of learning (of interesting subjects).
  • Good command of the English language is a plus (but not a requirement).
  • Appreciation for the beauty of nature and predisposition towards conservation.
  • Consent to handle sensitive information with discretion and to enter into NDA with us.
  • Good team work skills and attitude.

Training curriculum:

  • Course in general speleology, including theoretical and practical classes related to karst formation, geomorphology, hydrogeology, speleobiology, basics of cave archeology.
  • Training in vertical speleology – single rope technique (SRT) according to the European and American systems. Practical classes start indoors and gradually move to cliffs, and finally to vertical caves.
  • A short cave rescue course using the specific systems for which our projects are equipped.
  • Basic safety training in blasting activities in caves and for specific situations related to our research methods.
  • The entire program of diving courses and certifications – from beginner level to the level of technical cave diving – according to IANTD (if you want to join the ATI Team).
  • Specific training related to the exploration of new caves in the context of multi-day underground expeditions in vertical, wet cave systems with underground camps and remote research front. Such training takes place after a decision of the current team leaders and after the completion of all basic levels, with demonstrated capacity to join our ongoing research projects.