Black Hills Caver

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Black Hills Caver

Postby Lapiseyed » Jun 13, 2011 1:45 pm

Just moved to the Black Hills from Kentucky, my childhood home. I never did a lot of caving growing up despite having caves on my family farm that people drove 8hrs to visit, and only really started caving seriously in New Zealand. There, I taught kids, ran guided trips, found and surveyed new caves, and perticipated in rescues. I've been pretty excited to get out and about, either on some recreational trips or on some exploratory/survey trips in the area karst, which looks amazing. Unfortunately, all of the area grottoes seem to be defunct, and I haven't run across a single local caver since I got here in May. Any Colorado cavers ever come up here or know of any active locals?

Best,
Ryan Haeseley
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Re: Black Hills Caver

Postby Extremeophile » Jun 13, 2011 2:19 pm

Hi Ryan. There aren't a lot of cavers in SD, but what they lack in quantity they make up for in quality. I believe SD has the highest Fellow to NSS Member ratio in the country. The Paha Sapa grotto meets in Hill City and has a lot of very active people you should meet.

http://www.pahasapagrotto.org/content/blogcategory/14/56/

The Colorado Grotto (based in Denver) has an official project arrangement with Wind Cave. The managment plan was recently revised to allow trips anytime with advance notice, but the 2nd weekend of each month is the semi-organized project weekend. You can contact Roger Harris, who is the CG "Black Hills representative" for information on trips. Most of the caving in Wind and Jewel is survey. I don't know anyone in CO that caves in the small Black Hills caves so you'll need to talk to the Paha Sapa folks about that.

Derek
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Re: Black Hills Caver

Postby Caveman18 » Jun 13, 2011 5:07 pm

Ryan,
There are a few local cavers in the Black Hills who are pretty serious, and would love to take you underground. I would say your best bet for caving in the area right now is in either Wind or Jewel Cave. All of the Black Hills National Forest Caves are closed, and that only leaves a scattering of private caves to go into. However, Wind and Jewel are two of the largest caves in the world, and there's plenty to do there. There are both survey and rec trips, and the best way to get involved is to come to the Paha Sapa Grotto (which is not defunct, by the way) meeting and introduce yourself to us. PSG is a smaller Grotto, but we have some very active members, as Derek stated, who can help you out. We meet in Hill City at the Slate Creek Grille (upstairs, above the restaurant), 7 pm on the first Thursday of the month. You can email me for more info caveman18@juno.com. Sorry if you emailed me before and I didn't respond.... it's been a bit of a busy time recently. Where in the Black Hills did you move to?
Hope to meet you sometime!

Dan Austin
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Re: Black Hills Caver

Postby JR-Orion » Jun 16, 2011 9:58 am

You're near Wind and Jewel, two of my must see caves. 120 and 150 miles of passage, wow. Get with that grotto and check those out.
:kewl:

Those should keep you busy underground for a LONG time, but if you get the urge to take a roadtrip to the east, Mystery Cave (near Spring Valley, MN) usually has survery trips going out every month. If you want to get wet and cold, dip southeast from there and check out Iowa's longest cave- Coldwater. It's between Spring Valley and Decorah, IA.

How was the caving in New Zealand? I've heard of Glow Worm Cave. That's some alien looking stuff right there.
Letting the days go by / water flowing underground
Into the blue again / in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones / there is water underground.
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Re: Black Hills Caver

Postby Lapiseyed » Jun 17, 2011 4:37 pm

Thanks for getting in touch with me, Dan. It's a shame I missed the last grotto meeting by a day, as I'm fairly sure I'll be making my way further west by the time the July meeting happens. It would've been good to have a chance to meet some local cavers and poke my head around Wind or Jewel Cave before heading back to NZ. Still, I hope to get a chance to go out with you or one of the grotto members before I leave South Dakota. And thanks for the tip, JR. Do you ever make it out this way? The Waitomo Glowworm Cave is definitely important from a historical perspective, but there are a fair many caves in the King Country karst that have much better glowworm displays--they just aren't tour bus/handicapped accessible. While the North Island has a phenomenal amount of potential for new caves and quite a lot of ones still being surveyed, the marble of the Mount Arthur and Mount Owen regions of the South Island is where the best technical caving can be found. As of 2010, the Ellis Basin System was surveyed at a depth of 1+ kilometers. :-D So much to do over there!
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Re: Black Hills Caver

Postby JR-Orion » Jun 20, 2011 8:44 am

Never been to NZ, or really anywhere outside of the US, outside of a short trip to Mexico when I was kid. Looks like a beautiful country though. Had no idea there was so much caving to be done there.
Letting the days go by / water flowing underground
Into the blue again / in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones / there is water underground.
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Re: Black Hills Caver

Postby NZcaver » Jun 20, 2011 3:50 pm

Hi Ryan. Welcome to the forum. It seems we have a few things in common. Which club were you with in NZ?
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