Give me first time suggestions - Fulford Cave Colorado

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Give me first time suggestions - Fulford Cave Colorado

Postby caseynshan » May 12, 2014 2:55 pm

Feel free to make suggestions...

First Time Caving

Family (kids 13 & 11) - We've done multiple active backcountry trips as a family
We have done commercial trips at Jewell Cave and Glenwood Springs.
We are heading to Fulford Cave this weekend.
We have the permit. Decontamination is not a signficant issue.

I've read the folowing sites
http://www.coloradocaving.com/fulfordcave.html
http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/whiteriv ... &actid=102
map- http://www.coloradocaving.com/images/fulfordmap.jpg

We plan on taking this light and will be happy to spend a few hours and don't expect to make it deep into the cave, but open to any suggestions.

CURRENT PACK LIST
BASICS
multiple copies of map
12 light sources.
helmets (mostly bike helmets currently.. trying to grab some kayaking helmets)
knee pads elbow pads
water
snacks
warm gear
gloves

EMERGENCY BACKUP
first aid kit
emergency kit (duct takpe/multi-tool etc)
hiking pole
some basic climbing equipment.. maybe 2 harnesses and a little bit of webbing and Ds/ATCs
extra batteries
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Re: Give me first time suggestions - Fulford Cave Colorado

Postby Caving Guru » May 12, 2014 4:43 pm

You guys sound pretty prepared. Some things that I noticed that you didn't mention are foot wear and socks. In general for caves I prefer to wear hiking boots because they are durable, don't fall off (say in mud), have good ankle support, and are waterproof. For socks, I wear ski socks because they keep my feet warm. I would also suggest that one of you guys brings a watch or something else to keep track of the time while you guys are in the cave. And after the cave trip is done I like to have trash bags to put my dirty cave gear in. I also like to have a change of clothes once I am out of the cave.
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Re: Give me first time suggestions - Fulford Cave Colorado

Postby Extremeophile » May 12, 2014 5:36 pm

As with any new caver, I strongly recommend talking to people in a local grotto and going with someone that knows the cave. It's important that you learn the importance of cave covservation, proper equipment, and safe caving practices.

If you do go on your own make sure to tell a responsible person where you're going, when you'll return, and who to call if you don't. Recommend that your primary lights be helmet mounted so your hands are free. There's a fair amount of climbing required to get around Fulford. Fulford is relatively cold (39F) and a bit wet, so dress warm.

If you do get into trouble, the national NCRC cave rescue event is taking place in Manitou Springs, so you may provide them with some much needed practice. :cave softly:
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Re: Give me first time suggestions - Fulford Cave Colorado

Postby caseynshan » May 12, 2014 7:31 pm

Thanks for the suggestions.

Yes, we are planning on boots and ski socks and cold/wet weather gear/no cotton.
We have headlamps, but will likely have to utilize duct tape to get them to stay on helmets.
Also plan on garbage bag for clothes per whitenose regulations.

I think we are pretty good at knowing our limits.(We did pretty tough non-technical canyoneering trips over spring break)
I should have met up w/ the grotto group before hand, but too late now.
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Re: Give me first time suggestions - Fulford Cave Colorado

Postby caverdan » May 13, 2014 9:38 am

Sounds like you are prepared to me. :clap: I would take a large black trash bag for each person in case you sit in one spot for a while. They work great to put over you and trap heat, easy to carry and insurance against hypothermia. If you haven't been in before, I'd take flagging tape to mark intersections with. Remember to remove it all on the way out.

Surface watch is a must. Tell them to call the Eagle County Sheriff if you don't show up or if there is a problem. They will get the ball rolling with the closest rescue group. If they need help (Vail or Eagle County SAR), they will know how to get ahold of the local cavers and those attending the NCRC class in Divide. We all train together through the CCRN (Colorado Cave Rescue Network) :kewl:

Let us know how your trip goes. I'd like to hear about how much snow is up there. Oh yea, I heard the ladder in the culvert is in need of repair and has a couple of rungs missing and sharp objects protruding from it.
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Re: Give me first time suggestions - Fulford Cave Colorado

Postby caseynshan » May 13, 2014 10:11 pm

Thanks for the trash bag hint.

Regarding Surface Watch. We won't have anyone with us.
My plan is to text message my sister. If she receives no message by a certain time she will call have Eagle County Sheriff.
It appears as if ATT has pretty good coverage at least to Yeoman Park.

My plan is for us to arrive around 11 (about 3 hours from Denver)
15 minutes getting organized at car
40 min hike
2-3 hours in cave
20 min hike
We should be back in 4hrs 15 mins (3:15pm)
Add buffer of 1 hour.
Tell sister to call Sheriff if no text message by 4:15pm..

Suggestions welcome.

casey
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Re: Give me first time suggestions - Fulford Cave Colorado

Postby caverdan » May 14, 2014 7:10 am

Your sister is what I consider surface watch. You tend to loose track of time while caving. I would give yourself more time before bugging the sheriff. Personally... I'd tell her if you don't hear from me by 8:00pm, send someone looking.
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Re: Give me first time suggestions - Fulford Cave Colorado

Postby Caving Guru » May 14, 2014 5:05 pm

Yeah, I agree. A one hour buffer seems way too small. You don't want to get the Sheriff worked up if you guys are a little late. 4:15pm seems a little early for a cut off time. At least for this past weekend, I headed to these two caves totaling about a mile of passage. It took about a two hour drive from the DC area leaving at 8am. We got in the first cave around 10am. We took our time and didn't get back to the car until around 5pm. So we got back to the DC area around 7pm. And if you guys have never been to Fulford Cave before I don't see how you can be making all these approximations.
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Re: Give me first time suggestions - Fulford Cave Colorado

Postby caseynshan » May 14, 2014 7:29 pm

Makes sense. 5 hour buffer it is...
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Re: Give me first time suggestions - Fulford Cave Colorado

Postby caseynshan » May 16, 2014 6:30 pm

How wet is fulford.

Do you recommend ski pants or just fleece pants/tights

gloves... same.. ski gloves or more thinner polypro gloves.
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Re: Give me first time suggestions - Fulford Cave Colorado

Postby Extremeophile » May 16, 2014 7:55 pm

caseynshan wrote:How wet is fulford.

Do you recommend ski pants or just fleece pants/tights

gloves... same.. ski gloves or more thinner polypro gloves.

It's drippy in places but you don't need to get wet. There's a shallow stream passage that's optional and you can rock hop to keep your feet dry. You don't need thick insulated clothes. If you keep moving then you can get by with long underwear and shorts. There's probably still snow on the trail so you may get wetter post holing up to the entrance than you will in the cave. The culvert entrance is the easiest access. There are other entrances nearby but they require a bit of climbing. Just past the Big Meander is a hand line that I inspected last fall and looks to be in good shape. I probably wouldn't trust any other fixed lines you see. Fulford is on my list to improve the fixed rigging, but I haven't had time yet.
Good luck and let us know how it goes. I'll be surveying a cave near Salida tomorrow.
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Re: Give me first time suggestions - Fulford Cave Colorado

Postby Extremeophile » May 16, 2014 7:57 pm

Also, don't wear ski gloves. You need something with more dexterity. My favorite are the cheap nitrile coated polyester, but leather is fine too.
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Re: Give me first time suggestions - Fulford Cave Colorado

Postby caseynshan » May 18, 2014 9:18 pm

Returned.

Quick trip report. Glad we took hiking tape to put under a few rocks so we didn't lose our way.. (although we didn't go very far.)

Yes, tougher than we anticipated. The road was closed which added about a mile and a half to the hike. (It is supposed to open this week.)
There was significant snow on the trail.. so lots of post-holing.. would have been much easier w/ snowshoes.
Very icy inside. We had to sit and slide multiple times as the floor just a skating rink. (the rope at the at the beginning was frozen to the ground for part of the time)
I think a beginner should wait another month. :) Polypro gloves became soaked and icy within minutes.
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Re: Give me first time suggestions - Fulford Cave Colorado

Postby caseynshan » May 18, 2014 10:35 pm

oh, 1 more thing, no cell phone coverage in sylvan state park. Have to go almost back to eagle.
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Re: Give me first time suggestions - Fulford Cave Colorado

Postby caverdan » May 20, 2014 8:09 am

Glad to hear you made it to the cave. We have a pretty good snow pack this year, so I wouldn't be surprised if the higher caves in that area stay snowed in till July. Look me up next fall if you want to go caving in Williams canyon. They open up to us grotto members after labor day. :cavingrocks:

Oh yea, how bad is the ladder getting in the entrance culvert? Are the rumors true that it needs replacing?
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