Your State's Toughest Cave

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Your State's Toughest Cave

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Sep 28, 2006 1:16 am

For you... okay? Some caves are harder for some than others.

Horizontal and Vertical caves and a brief descript as why.

Me?
Horizontal: Little Brush Creek Cave = lots of cobble crawls and bridging over freezing cold water. Lots of fun but tough after the first six hours. going in. But mainly because going out means going up hill (in the cave) and the cave breathes in the freezing cold air from the outside... because it's winter, the safest time to do the cave.

Vertical: Neilsen's Cave (see Alpine Karst magazine) = so much vertical it's not even funny. The cave is cold at around 40 degrees and the trip to the bottom include (in order) ... 315' entrance drop, a 1000' long tight twisty crawl (with vert gear on), a 40' long traverse over a 60 foot canyon, a 60 foot drop, another tight - twisty keyhole shaped crawl (still with vert gear on) a 70 foot drop, a 12 foot free climb up, through a small room that looks like being inside a glass of chocolate milk bubbles, a 300' free hanging dripping wet rappel, another up climb over a house sized piece of break-down, down a slightly slanting 100' drop, through nice canyon walking passage and down another 70' drop into yet another canyon to the known bottom of the cave... to get out... do everything in reverse.

So what's your hardest cave(s)? Horizontal and Vertical.
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Postby graveleye » Sep 28, 2006 8:03 am

I've never been in it, but I would imagine Ellisons would be Georgia's toughest cave. I guess I'll have to wait until they get the elevator installed to find out though. :tonguecheek:
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Postby Adam Byrd » Sep 28, 2006 10:50 am

Ralph,
What state are you in? This could be a good thread.
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Postby cob » Sep 28, 2006 12:20 pm

graveleye wrote:I've never been in it, but I would imagine Ellisons would be Georgia's toughest cave. I guess I'll have to wait until they get the elevator installed to find out though. :tonguecheek:


Actually, I have found Ellisons to be rather freindly, physical, but freindly. A great place to get lost.

PS: don't wait for the elevator... My mother went backpacking for the first time at the age of 48... 11,000 feet. You can do it.... If you want to.
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Postby cob » Sep 28, 2006 1:37 pm

Hmmmm.... tuff one.

Missouri:

For deep in cave waist deep mud and chest deep water? Hard to beat Carroll.

For cold? A little known cave called "Grin and Bear it"... 300' feet into it one does a total submersion and at the end, come face to face with a bear skull.... The cave "ends" after 2000+ ft at a 2 inch air space with wind HOWLING out of it... still need to go back and map it. But it takes 45 mins. on a 95 degree gravel bar to warm back up.

For pure physicality with best pay off? The "Love Cave"... 2300 feet of hands and knees crawl after which it busts open with 60' foot ceilings and 100 ft wide passage and goes like that for another 2500+'....

Arkansas:










I can't say.

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Postby Sean Ryan » Sep 28, 2006 3:53 pm

New Jersey: Crooked Swamp. I've never been in it, but it's New Jersey's only cave fatality.
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Postby Phil Winkler » Sep 29, 2006 8:05 am

Delaware: Beaver Valley Cave. Exploring it is 2 minutes of sheer agony. :D
http://www.caves.org/grotto/cccc/Cave_DE.html
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Postby George Dasher » Sep 29, 2006 12:28 pm

Thank you Phil.

I'm glad someone added some objectiveness to this subjectiveness.
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Postby NZcaver » Sep 29, 2006 3:44 pm

Phil Winkler wrote:Delaware: Beaver Valley Cave. Exploring it is 2 minutes of sheer agony. :D
http://www.caves.org/grotto/cccc/Cave_DE.html

Ah, proof that you CAN create an caving article that's longer, more complex, and more time-consuming than the cave itself... :laughing:

Interesting!
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Sep 29, 2006 6:40 pm

Adam Byrd wrote:Ralph,
What state are you in? This could be a good thread.

For the moment Utah but will be moving to Tennessee (Chattanooga) for a few years.

Basically yes knowing how hard a cave can be is one thing.
But what I am looking for is the toughest cave YOU'VE (the reader) done so far in the state that you live (or frequent for your caving trips) ... personally... both Horizontally and Vertically (meaning you had to put on a harness and use vert gear to get in and out of the cave).

Like I said some caves are easy for some others are just plain kick butt (physically). Just want to know what's yours for the sake of ... well whatever!

:grin:
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Postby AMF » Oct 2, 2006 7:37 am

Phil Winkler wrote:Delaware: Beaver Valley Cave. Exploring it is 2 minutes of sheer agony. :D
http://www.caves.org/grotto/cccc/Cave_DE.html


Helps when its the only cave, too! Longest, deepest, toughest... must be the best in the country!
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Postby jumar » Oct 2, 2006 10:16 am

For the moment Utah


So are you still here in Utah Ralph? I thought you had already left.
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Postby Sean Ryan » Oct 2, 2006 10:20 am

Ralph E. Powers wrote:But what I am looking for is the toughest cave YOU'VE (the reader) done so far in the state that you live (or frequent for your caving trips) ... personally... both Horizontally and Vertically (meaning you had to put on a harness and use vert gear to get in and out of the cave).


In that case, I switch New Jersey's hardest cave to Leigh Cave, which is essentially the only cave in New Jersey anyone visits. Everything else is of Beaver Valley quality (no offense, Delaware).
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Re: Your State's Toughest Cave

Postby Lava » Oct 2, 2006 11:22 am

Ralph E. Powers wrote:
Vertical: Neilsen's Cave (see Alpine Karst magazine) = so much vertical it's not even funny. The cave is cold at around 40 degrees and the trip to the bottom include (in order) ... 315' entrance drop, a 1000' long tight twisty crawl (with vert gear on),


I was there three weeks ago and don't remember the crawl being 1000' - seemed more like 100' to me. But I don't deny that the cave required a bit of effort. Really cool cave!

Two-bit Pit in Indiana is hard. 6 drops with a 200' long 11" wide "crack of doom" after the third drop. Follow that with a 2000' wetsuit crawl before finally reaching borehole.

Kazumura in Hawaii is hard. There are only two short crawls, but 20 hours, 15 miles, and 17 pull-down rappels later we were just totally zombified.
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Oct 2, 2006 10:07 pm

jumar wrote:
For the moment Utah


So are you still here in Utah Ralph? I thought you had already left.

For the moment... still waiting for things to make the move to come to pass.
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