Polski Związek Alpinizmu

Polish Caving Overview

Opublikowano: 5-06-2013; 0:04 przez mteg | Modyfikacja: 23-03-2022; 16:30 przez Ireneusz Królewicz

PZA, Polski Zwiazek Alpinizmu or Polish Mountaineering Association is a non-commercial federation that gathers outdoor enthusiasts interested in the following activities: mountaineering, rock climbing, ski mountaineering, caving (potholing) and canyoning. Except for honorary members, the federation incorporates legal persons ie. regional or city-level clubs, where most of the actual activities take place. Being a member of the UIS, FSE, as well as UIAA, IFSC and ISMF, PZA is the largest and the only officially recognized caving federation in Poland, similarly to VÖH in Austria, FRS in Romania, FFS in France, BCA in the UK or NSS in the United States. What is different from these countries, is that PZA also gathers many mountaineers (including himalayan explorers), as well as rock climbers, ski mountaineers and canyoning enthusiasts not particularly interested in caving. Due to the vertical nature of the most prominent caves in Poland, the PZA’s caving community is oriented towards sports and exploration caving and leans towards mountaineering. Among approx. 900 cavers gathered in PZA there are many good SRT riggers, some talented climbers, quite a few able cave surveyors and only a limited number of cave scientists. Clubs associated in PZA organize basic cave trainings („kurs jaskiniowy”). PZA issues an official document (the so-called „karta taternika jaskiniowego”) to anyone who has finished this standarized course. Out of safety reasons, we encourage our foreign partners that issue caving permits to make sure their applicants coming from Poland have finished the basic PZA course (read more). The PZA’s caving (potholing) community is represented within the federation structures by the Caving Committee. Its current members (elected 07.05.2016) are:

  • Agnieszka Burczyk (chairman, Tatra affairs)
  • Marcin Pruca (vice-chairman, training)
  • Robert Matuszczak (training)
  • Wanda Cacha (caving licenses)
  • Zuzanna Palińska (media, international affairs)
  • Sonia Dudziak (expeditions)
  • Irek Królewicz (billing formalities, Tatra affairs)

It is easiest to reach the committee members via e-mail: caves pza.org.pl The committee’s mission is to coordinate activities important to the whole caving community in Poland, such as issuing the „Jaskinie” quarterly journal, carrying qualifications for becoming a caving instructor, organizing country-level trainings in rescue and surveying or supporting Polish exploration expeditions abroad. Members are not financially compensated for being in the committee.

Further information

Polish Caving is a quadrennial review of all important activities of the PZA’s caving community. The periodical is issued in English every four years, just before the International Congress of Speleology takes place. Its latest issues are available for download free of charge: