Why the Secrecy?

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Why the Secrecy?

Postby DanielJ » Apr 24, 2015 12:39 am

So, I'm still relatively new on here but I've noticed some people are very secretive about giving others cave info, why is that? I understand not wanting inexperienced cavers to go into very difficult caves but some people are refusing to give simple info about a cave. Also, why is it that you can't post cave coordinates on here? just curious
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Re: Why the Secrecy?

Postby graveleye » Apr 24, 2015 7:48 am

do a google search of "cave vandalism" and you'll see one of the biggest reasons.

The secrecy regarding cave locations can be contentious, but the good parts of keeping locations a secret outweighs the negative.

I know it's frustrating, but I'm telling you, if you get to know some cavers it will all open up for you. I am testimony to that.
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Re: Why the Secrecy?

Postby CaverScott » Apr 24, 2015 8:30 am

:exactly:
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Re: Why the Secrecy?

Postby Scott McCrea » Apr 24, 2015 9:23 am

The majority of caves in the eastern US are on private property. Many times, cavers have worked with these landowners to establish friendly relationships and learn specific wishes each may have. For instance, some landowners don't want any visitors on Sunday. Some only allow visitors during the daylight. Some want to park in a specific place and not to cross their hay field. The list goes on and on. Someone that gets locations on the internet or elsewhere that doesn't have these relationships can unintentionally visit at the wrong time or cross the wrong field. This can and has caused landowners to close the caves to everyone. Everyone loses.

Grottos are the easiest way to get the inside scoop on these relationships. Cavers have spent years, even generations building hundreds of relationships. You can use all of that, easily, by showing up and paying attention.

TL;DR: Go to a grotto meeting.
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Re: Why the Secrecy?

Postby caver.adam » Apr 24, 2015 9:35 am

The reasons everyone else listed are the real reasons for secrecy. When you're new it may seem like people like secrets and power, but those people are really the minority.

1) Protection of the cave
2) Protection of the relationship with the landowner
3) Protection of the unprepared caver
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Re: Why the Secrecy?

Postby DanielJ » Apr 24, 2015 10:53 am

Ok all that makes sense. Since I haven't been around this group at all it just seemed a little odd at first.
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Re: Why the Secrecy?

Postby Chads93GT » Apr 24, 2015 12:28 pm

Yeah dude, its weird at first. Biggest thing to remember is that caving is not like hiking, or mountain biking, or kayaking, or climbing, or canoeing, or trail running, where trails, rivers and rock climbing mecca's are public and you can find anywhere. While all of those activities are usually remote and dangerous, caving by its nature is always remote and always dangerous. What could be a mildly uncomfortable accident above ground, someone could die underground simply by going hypothermic waiting for help to arrive.

also, cavers map caves, and when you are the first person to ever set foot in said cave, its like walking on the moon. No one has ever been there before, ever. If you are mapping as you go, and you tell people where the cave is, dick cavers will literlaly goto the cave and "scoop it" finding all of the discoverys first withouto helping to map the cave. It happens.
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Re: Why the Secrecy?

Postby GroundquestMSA » Apr 24, 2015 8:52 pm

I s'pose I'll do my usual job of contrariety :big grin: ... or at least modulation.

It can be quite frustrating to "smell the whisky," as they say, "through the jailhouse door." Talking to a group of (often justifiably) distant and occasionally condescending people, with all the knowledge and power, can result in some pretty crummy feelings. There are several ways to deal with this. One has been well-outlined in the previous responses; Meet cavers, go caving with them, learn stuff. This way is easiest. However, there is an alternate and potentially equally rewarding way... the opposite. That is; learn stuff, go caving, then, if you want to, meet cavers. This way isn't for everyone. It's slower, harder work, could be dangerous, could be lonesome and scary. I only mention it since there are people for whom such an approach is valuable. I, for example, would never have become a "caver" (if that's what I am) if I could only do so through the popularly sanctioned means. I, after several years of reasonably regular and intensely enjoyable and mildly productive caving, have still been underground with cavers only five times.

This doesn't mean that you should alienate yourself from other cavers. When I started to go underground in earnest, I used, from a bit of a distance, the NSS and Cavechat and grotto newsletters for as much as I could get out of them. You might need to search and scrape and hustle and beg for tiny scraps of information for a while, but you can get lots of such scraps on the internet and from friendly cavers.

Whatever you do, your responsibilities are the same. Be careful, prepare, learn, and respect your surroundings and fellow man. And have fun.
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