Protecting caves and enhancing caving through education and inspiration

 

The caving community has traditionally used secrecy as a primary strategy to protect caves from inexperienced cavers, and protect inexperienced cave visitors from caves. While secrecy has its place in some circumstances, a complimentary approach is to educate potential new cavers and experienced explorers alike on the techniques and equipment needed to visit caves safely and responsibly.

 

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Get started caving

Interested in caving? Figuring out how to get started is often the most difficult part. It usually starts with a grotto (caving club) in your area.

 
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Cave Survey

Exploration and scientific documentation go hand-in-hand. Surveying and publishing new discoveries is the best way to improve our understanding of caves, and better manage and protect them.

 
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Vertical caving

Descending, ascending, and mid-rope maneuvers are important skills for exploration when the angle increases.

 
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Caving gear

The equipment used to safely and efficiently visit caves is ever-changing. Utilizing the right gear and using it properly can enhance both the comfort and enjoyment of spending time underground.

 
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rigging

The proper use of either natural or artificial anchors to rig hand lines, vertical ropes or traverse lines requires knowledge and experience. Rigging vertical pitches underground comes with some unique challenges.

 
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cave cartography

Turning cave survey data into a finished map requires knowledge about data reduction, loop closure routines, and computer drafting software.

 
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climbing

One of the greatest technical challenges in cave exploration is lead-climbing. The equipment and techniques for aid climbing underground have evolved in recent years to allow for faster, safer and lower impact ascents.

 
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Videography and photography

Capturing and sharing the wonders of caves through photos and videos helps to educate and inspire current and potential new cave explorers.

 
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projects

Having a project gives meaning to life. There are a vast number of ongoing exploration and mapping efforts around the country and the world.


Photography by:

Dan Austin
Kasia Biernacka
Peter Bosted
James Hunter
Jean Krejca
Rainer Straub
Shawn Thomas
Max Wisshak