Surpise Ledge-sounds of caving Cd

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Postby Tim White » Aug 22, 2007 9:36 am

"The worse (narrowest) place" that Scott refers to is the old step-across. You had to get up from the belly-ledge crawl to make the transition to step down to a single foot hold before being able to move up onto the land bridge. This spot is still narrow and a mishap would make for some air time.
Be safe,
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Postby caverjules » Aug 22, 2007 9:48 am

good thing I didn't "know" about the 400 ft dropoff when I was going over that ledge. :notlistening:
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Postby graveleye » Aug 22, 2007 10:01 am

this is a good thread for me. See I learned a while back that cavers do tend to lie.

"Oh it's a dry cave"
"Oh it's an easy climb"
"Oh there's only a small hands and knees crawl"
"It's a short ledge, just don't look down, it's not that far"

Yup... I learn fast!!
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Postby CaverScott » Aug 22, 2007 10:22 am

graveleye wrote:this is a good thread for me. See I learned a while back that cavers do tend to lie.

"Oh it's a dry cave"
"Oh it's an easy climb"
"Oh there's only a small hands and knees crawl"
"It's a short ledge, just don't look down, it's not that far"

Yup... I learn fast!!


It is a dry cave! I mean you might get a foot wet.
It is an easy climb (the rope is straight and you get to stay upright!)
It is a small (short) H&K crawl. Maybe 50-75 feet at the max.
It is a short ledge. You should not look down. "It IS not THAT far" is relative you know :laughing:

Now, I have a dry cave I need to show you!
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Postby graveleye » Aug 22, 2007 1:57 pm

:rofl:
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Postby Herman Miller » Sep 15, 2007 8:10 pm

lol all of this gets me psyched for my move from las vegas to real cave country ie virginia :):):)
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Postby Mike Warshauer » Oct 16, 2007 7:45 pm

I listened to that DCG Audio of Surprise and Ellison's, and it was really, really good!
Eric Jacobson seems very perceptive and articulate.
Many thanks!

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Re: Surpise Ledge-sounds of caving Cd

Postby danegarreau » Dec 2, 2015 8:20 am

I hate to revive an almost 10 year old thread......but I'm trying to find out some info for a horizontal trip through Fern Cave.

If you come in via the sink entrances, the ones that SCCI owns, the borehole spits you out right at Surprise Pit. Much like in this video.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpu1pfdGVko

Is there a way around the pit? Is this the "Torode's Ledge" that everyone is referring to?
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Re: Surpise Ledge-sounds of caving Cd

Postby trogman » Dec 2, 2015 10:28 am

danegarreau wrote:I hate to revive an almost 10 year old thread......but I'm trying to find out some info for a horizontal trip through Fern Cave.

If you come in via the sink entrances, the ones that SCCI owns, the borehole spits you out right at Surprise Pit. Much like in this video.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpu1pfdGVko

Is there a way around the pit? Is this the "Torode's Ledge" that everyone is referring to?


That's the one. According to the story, there was no ledge there when it was first discovered, and Bill Torode dug the ledge out to make the pit easier to access. You can read all about it in Jenifer Pinkley's book about Fern Cave. http://jenniferpinkley.com/fern-cave/

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Re: Surpise Ledge-sounds of caving Cd

Postby Herman Miller » Dec 2, 2015 5:36 pm

lol all the memories I cant even remember why I thought I was going to be moving to Virginia but now all my caves are full of ice and bears lol.
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Re: Surpise Ledge-sounds of caving Cd

Postby l lambert » Dec 2, 2015 7:05 pm

There is a ledge around the pit. It is (or was) a bit more intimidating than the breakdown bridge. As I recall, at one point I had one knee on the ledge and the other leg dangling in the pit. :yikes: This is what I thought was referred to as Torode's ledge. Of course there could be more than one Torode's ledge.
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Re: Surpise Ledge-sounds of caving Cd

Postby speleo » Dec 2, 2015 9:24 pm

I did the Surprise ledge several times in the 1970's at 19-20 years of age, and probably not smart enough to be worried about it at the time. I think it would bother me a lot more today. The one that scared me the most was the ledge in the Ellisons attic which goes above Smoke I drop to the All in One Pit. A friend who was with me that day kept telling me what an idiot I was for crawling out that ledge while he was following me across. It seemed much narrower than the ledge in Fern, but again I am thinking back a long time. I wonder if others who have done both ledges remember it that way?

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Re: Surpise Ledge-sounds of caving Cd

Postby l lambert » Dec 2, 2015 10:13 pm

I've done both. Traveled Torode's ledge in the 70's also and the attic ledge in the 80's. I recall the surprise ledge as narrower in one spot. In fact, I had no extra gear on Torode's ledge but had a pack in Ellison's. I remember as the pack was pulling me off balance into the void. I do remember paying a lot of attention on that attic ledge!
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