NSS pre-Convention Camp at Mammoth Cave (updated)

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NSS pre-Convention Camp at Mammoth Cave (updated)

Postby Roppelcaver » Jan 25, 2007 10:41 am

(This information was updated on February 10.

The following is the announcement for the Mammoth Cave pre-convention camp. This announcement materials will also be posted on the <a href="http://www.nss2007.com/">NSS Convention website</a>, including registration materials.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Roppelcaver (Jim Borden)


Roppel Cave Pre-convention Camp

July 14-21, 2007

Organizer: Jim Borden (jimborden@gmail.com)

The Central Kentucky Karst Coalition (CKKC) and Cave Research Foundation (CRF) will be hosting a Mammoth Cave pre-convention camp at the CRF Field Station near Mammoth Cave National Park. The focus of the camp will be various guided caving trips into the Roppel Section of Mammoth Cave, some of which could include surveying, photography, etc.

Camp Highlights

 Multiple trips to Roppel Cave, through one or more of the available entrances, of various lengths and difficulty.
 Vertical skills or wetsuits are not required, although scrambling and some climbing skills are desirable. Some trips may be planned that require vertical skills, but these will be based on demand, and other options will be available.
 Excellent facilities for a caver gathering, including a central meeting hall, bunkhouses, and a large kitchen and eating area.
 Evening programs – slide shows, talks, etc.
 Opportunities for “off-day” activities.
 A display-quality map of Roppel Cave and other handouts.

Facilities and Accommodations:

The CRF Field Station is a world-class research facility located just east of Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. Facilities feature a central building with a large meeting /dining area, computer room, wrap-around decks, deluxe bathrooms, and a spacious, fully-equipped kitchen. Two separate bunkhouses have multiple rooms sleeping four each, each individually climate controlled. The grounds are spacious and open, offering stunning views of Hamilton Valley, and providing excellent camping.

The Cave

Roppel Cave, discovered in 1976, is an 85-mile-long section of the Mammoth Cave System. Roppel Cave became part of Mammoth Cave in 1983 when its length was 49 miles. With five entrances and a vertical extent of approximately four-hundred feet, Roppel is uniquely complex. It has some of most spectacular and beautiful cave passages in the region. Some are highly decorated with gypsum flowers, others are river passages, and many are just plain fun! Exploration is ongoing and an average of three miles of new passage is typically discovered each year.

Cave Trips

Cave trips will be planned and run based upon participants’ interests and abilities. Many trips offered should be considered moderately to extremely strenuous, and participants must be experienced cavers. Roppel Cave is known for a number of superb entrance-to-entrance through trips – some up to five miles in length (fourteen hours), as well as myriad intra-cave loops, so there will be good opportunities to see a variety of spectacular and interesting cave.

But also remember, this is the Longest Cave. Although we have some of the grandest walking passages in the world, the Longest Cave has some of the longest crawls, too. Some trips may have a fair bit of crawling, could be wet, and/or could require extensive underground travel. Participants should be physically fit, well prepared (appropriate equipment, sources of light, kneepads, suitable clothing, etc.), and be self sufficient.

However, we will also be offering shorter, easier trips to close-in sections of the cave – good for “off” days, less experienced cavers, or those who just want shorter trips. These trips will be no less interesting than the longer trips. We plan to be flexible and structure the trips to suit the interests and abilities of the participants.

Survey and photo trips may be made available, subject to demand and availability of suitable personnel (trip leaders as well as participants who know how to survey). There is plenty of virgin passage to be had.

There are a few nearby small caves available for self-guided trips. Details will be made available at the time.

The Organizer

Jim Borden has been caving in the Mammoth cave area since 1973, and has been involved in Roppel Cave since its discovery in 1976. He is the Managing Director of the Roppel Project. With Roger Brucker, he authored Beyond Mammoth Cave, the definitive book on Roppel's exploration. He will be assisted by other experienced Roppel cavers and CRF personnel.

Non-caver Participation

Non-caving spouses/partners/family are welcome, subject to space availability. Mammoth Cave National Park and the local region offer many activities – canoeing, commercial cave tours, hiking, theme parks, shopping, movies, etc. – so non-cavers will not be bored. Non-cavers who are willing to help cook and/or food shop will be especially welcome.
Cave Camp logistics

All fees include full room and board, and are based upon duration of participation. Although the camp is designed for cavers who will stay for the entire period (and they will be given priority), shorter stays will be accommodated to the extent possible. Evenings likely will include slide shows and other programs. Participants are welcome to present caving or similar slide shows in the evenings. Facilities are fully furbished – air conditioning, showers, etc. Comfy twin mattresses are provided, but each person must bring linens, including mattress cover, pillow, towel, sheets and a light blanket. (We do not recommend that couples try to share as the bunks are too narrow for that, and you may not put the mattresses on the floor).

The facilities and cooking will be managed through a collaborative effort – food preparation, dishwashing and cleaning of the facility are expected to be done collectively by all camp participants.

Fees

The full cost for the camp is $160 (seven nights, six full days); shorter stays will be at $35/day. Rates include all room and board (but bring your own cave food!), evening programs, handouts (including a color map of Roppel), etc. Carbide can be provided for an additional fee.
Other relevant information

 Attendance will be limited, so we encourage early registration, and participants will be limited to those with suitable experience. Priority will be given to full camp registrants.
 Participants over 14 and under 18 years of age may be allowed to participate on cave trips provided they are sufficiently experienced cavers, but will be required to cave with their parent or guardian. In any event, all minors in camp will be required to be supervised at all times.
 Non-caving family and/or spouses are welcome, subject to space availability
 No fireworks or firearms of any type are permitted.
 No smoking allowed on the premises
 Pets are not permitted.
 All other Hamilton Valley or CRF rules will apply.

Weather and such

This is the southeast. Kentucky summers are hot and humid, ranging to the high 80s during the day and 70s at night. Cave temperature is 54 degrees. Cavers can expect some trips to require extensive wading, sometime up to the waist. Other trips are quite dry.

Logistics

The Mammoth Cave area is located in south-central Kentucky, midway between Nashville and Louisville, both ninety miles distant, and both cities are served by excellent airports. The nearest town is Cave City, five miles east, and the nearest large town is Bowling Green. The NSS Convention is located approximately two hours from Mammoth Cave.

Full camp participants must arrive on Saturday, July 14 (unless other arrangements have been made). Dinner will be provided, and that evening we will present a short orientation, review of plans for the week, etc. Cave trips will begin on Sunday. The last day of caving will be Friday, July 20. Camp will close after breakfast and a wrap-up meeting on Saturday, July 21.

(Additional information will be provided to registered participants).

Registration

Please contact Jim Borden (jimborden@gmail.com) for additional information, request for a registration form, etc.
Last edited by Roppelcaver on Feb 11, 2007 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Wayne Harrison » Jan 25, 2007 10:54 am

Woo-hoo. I'm psyched. My daughter Margaret and I plan to attend after getting our first taste of Roppel awhile back.

One question I have that isn't addressed is method of payment and payment deadlines.

(edited to show I'm psyched, not pscyched :banana: )
Last edited by Wayne Harrison on May 5, 2007 4:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Pre-convention camp fees

Postby Roppelcaver » Jan 25, 2007 10:58 am

Ah, this is why I said it was preliminary.

I will have all that on the registration form, which will be posted *soon*.

Sorry for not being clear.
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Postby George Dasher » Feb 5, 2007 12:28 pm

You don't have a blurb on the precamp that is only three to five paragraphs long, do you?
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Roppel Pre-convention Camp

Postby Roppelcaver » Jun 2, 2007 12:52 pm

We still have some open slots for this exciting camp, should any late comers want to sign up.

Jim Borden
jimborden@gmail.com
Roppel Caver guy
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Postby Wayne Harrison » Jul 17, 2007 2:05 pm

We're having a great time here at Roppel, with some fantastic trips so far. I did two days worth and then took today off, but Margaret is with Jim Borden, doing a through trip today. We're got a caver from Britain (he's coming to the convention) and a caver from France (with Peter Bosted -- just in from Lech)

Here's a photo of Margaret in Black River from yesterday...

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Postby Wayne Harrison » Jul 17, 2007 9:48 pm

Here's a photo that Jim Borden took of Margaret on today's through trip from the Roppel entrance to the Daleo entrance. More cavers arrived today -- both from California. Tomorrow I think we're going to hook up with Peter Bosted on a photo shoot. While Roppel has miles of long, wide passages with a sandy floor, what I remember most so far is miles and miles of narrow canyons.

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Margaret took this photo of Joe Duxbury near the Roppel entrance area as he negotiates a tight squeeze.


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Postby Squirrel Girl » Jul 19, 2007 8:38 pm

Wayne, say hi to Joe for me. Tell him sorry I won't be coming to convention afterall.
Barbara Anne am Ende

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Postby caverdoc » Jul 19, 2007 9:30 pm

Wayne
Likewise, give Joe my regards. We went caving in Thunder Hole (AL) during the '98 Sewanee convention. I WILL be at Convention this year, and promise not to short-rope him (like in Neptune's Well...)

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