Who are you and why do you cave? Start your very own topic and introduce yourself!

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Postby Nico » Jun 3, 2006 11:25 pm

I've been there. It's a cool cave.

Really? thats great!! :banana: My grandpa owns the place you probably met him (fat loud man) he's the one that got me into caving after I asked him for some rock climbing gear for christmas, he took me over to Minas Viejas and said look these gringos brought some new gear for you and they're gonna show you how to use it, so they took me to Cuchillo cave.. he also kept me from doing it for many years, You aint going to none of them caves unless the gringos are here, is what he used to say to me all the time.

Perhaps a useful euphemism.

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Postby Herman Miller » Jun 5, 2006 5:01 am

Wayne Harrison wrote: :mad2:
My biggest regret is not going on a 1986 dig in New Mexico because I thought it was too far to drive just to dig. It turned out to be Lechuguilla. :doh:

:mad2: is the way i'd feel :( but it leads into my intro :waving:
Hello my name is Herman Miller though in local caver circles I'm known as both Herman Whipple and General. Living in Las Vegas only lets me get underground once a month or so and even then its the same three caves over and over and.... in any case it was in here that I stopped being a spelunker and learned about these things called grottoes and short of my yearly trips to the middle east I have yet to miss a trip or grotto meeting.

Unbenounced to my wife "shhhh" I applied for a transfer to the great state of New Mexico and so far have found more caves there on the web then cavers lol. So yeah I live to cave, and when i can backpack, and hope to really go caving in the big Guads :-)
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Postby Phil Winkler » Jun 5, 2006 10:24 am

I started wild caving in Missouri in 1969 while assigned to Ft Leonard Wood in Pulaski Co. After a year in Vietnam I got assigned to Ft Rucker where a bunch of us started a grotto (F.R.O.G., now inactive) and I joined the NSS. Because of my 20 years in the Army I've been able to visit caves in Florida, Texas, Mexico, TAG, New Jersey, Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Austria and meet many wonderful people.

I lived in Huntsville for many years and have done most of the Vertical 8 and Horizontal 12 caves. Being able to cave for 8-10 hours and be home for dinner is a great thing about Huntsville. I also got certified as a diver by Joe Dabbs and he and I explored many sumps in northern Alabama back in the early 80s.

I've volunteered at the NSS Office since around 1973 shortly after it moved to Huntsville. Currently I support the office databases.

Seems like I've been involved with the NSS forever, sometimes. I rarely go caving anymore but they still fascinate me. I mainly sail on the Chesapeake Bay in my spare time. Here's my boat:
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Postby ian mckenzie » Jun 5, 2006 10:43 am

Phil Winkler wrote: Vertical 8 and Horizontal 12 caves. ...
Here's my boat:

Ah, for us non-TAG types, what're the "Vertical 8 and Horizontal 12 caves"?

Have you ever gone caving from your boat? Friends of mine did some yacht-based caving in Panama a couple of years ago, sounded quite decadent.
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Vertical Eight and H-12

Postby CaverScott » Jun 5, 2006 11:44 am

ian mckenzie wrote:Ah, for us non-TAG types, what're the "Vertical 8 and Horizontal 12 caves"?

This text was obtained from the Huntsville Grotto Webpage:

Caving Awards for Grotto Members
After you have been caving a while, you will rack up a list of caves you have successfully explored. The grotto likes to recognize your accomplishment! These awards encourage keeping a log of cave trips and exploration of Alabama caves. We have three different awards, one for horizontal caving and two for vertical caving (one of which is attainable, the other is EXTREMELY prestigious). You must have been an NSS member at the time you visited the caves and you must have followed safe caving practices on the cave trip.

The award and prestige are free, but each award has also has an associated patch, which can be purchased for $3.00. Huntsville Grotto members get one patch free with the award.

The requirements for the Vertical Eight Award are:
Any five Alabama pit caves, all of which are more than 100 foot single pitch (in other words, the pit must be at least 100 feet of total depth; two pits in the same cave that add up to 100 feet total do not count).
Two Alabama pit caves that are more than 200 feet single pitch.
One Alabama cave with more than 400 feet in total depth (multi-drop cave systems count for this depth requirement).
You must personally rig at least one of the pits.

The requirement for the Horizontal Twelve Award is having traversed the major portion of twelve Alabama caves over one mile in length. There are numerous caves you can choose from to fulfill this requirement, as there are currently over 50 caves in Alabama that are over one mile in length. Get a copy of the Horizontal Twelve Award application (note: you can fill out many of the fields within Adobe Acrobat Reader itself).

Note: The current batch of patches is misspelled "horizontial". Get your award now, since this is sure to become a collector's item!
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A bit about me

Postby barcelonacvr » Jun 5, 2006 12:21 pm

I am not a fan of google searchable open forums posts..removed
Last edited by barcelonacvr on Jun 28, 2006 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Caver1402 » Jun 6, 2006 1:24 pm

Hi, my name is Laura and I am a caver. :caver: Had to add that.

I think my first cave was when I was 10 and we visited Mammoth Cave on our way to the Smoky Mountains. In high school I caved with a youth group and once on a girl scouting trip. Then when I was 17 (I'm 26 now) I went to a few Windy City Grotto meetings, but it didn't stick ... I think the age gap between 17 and 30's to 40's was too great at that time. While living in Arizona I went to a few grotto meetings for the grotto near Phoenix. That also didn't stick very much ... I don't really like dry, warm caves. For a few years after that I only went into caves sporadically ... once in Hawaii, another time in England (tourist trips). Then in January 2005 I finally decided to go back to the Windy City Grotto (obviously I'd moved back to Illinois by now) because I was in serious cave-withdrawal and there was no one I knew who'd go with me. Well, this time it was completely different. I got along wonderfully with everyone and even went to southern Illinois a couple weekends later, where I met up with some folks from the Near Normal Grotto who knew a friend I'd caved with back in high school! Small world! Everything took off from there and now I try to regularly cave with CRF around Mammoth. I'm part of the Windy City Grotto and the Near Normal Grotto.
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Postby Caver1402 » Jun 6, 2006 1:27 pm

Oh, I thought this also might be relevant. I tried to put into words "why" I cave in my latest trip report:

Non-cavers always ask why we cave and I’ve never been able to readily give an answer. In certain ways, it is inexplicable. More often than not, I’ve found only other cavers understand our love of caves and caving. I recently decided to try to put into words the reasons why.

I love caving because of the physical and mental challenges it presents.
I relish the oneness with nature I experience while caving.
I feel passionate about my fellow cavers because of the bond we share which grows stronger with every caving trip.

Caving makes me feel alive and I try to be aware of those things so they can permeate throughout the rest of my life. What I mean by that is constantly challenging myself, appreciating all of nature, and loving all the people in my life.
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Postby Adam Byrd » Jun 6, 2006 5:07 pm

:yeah that:

I'm 22 and have been caving for 2 or 3 years. I got started when a friend who was a dormant caver asked me to go out of the blue. I was amazed by everything I saw. I'm still humbled to sit down and turn off my headlamp to think of the timescales involved in the formation of a cave. Mind boggling.

That was in WV. Not long afterwards I joined the grotto at WVU and got some more experience under my belt. I was also doing a little rock climbing, so learning vertical work seemed like a good next step. Then I met cavers that did surveying and digging. That again blew my mind that I could see places in the world that no one else had ever seen.

My love of caving played a part in my decision to come to grad school in AL. I cave as often as I can, but it's never enough. I want to do more surveying, and I also need to learn to sketch, but I don't know how I'll do since I can hardly draw a stick person.
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Postby Stridergdm » Jun 10, 2006 8:42 am

My name is Greg M. and I am a caver.

I am also an enabler.

Thanks to me a number of people have been introduced to caving and are now cavers.

And for that I make NO apologies. :-)

Seriously, my first cave was in CT (I think, technically we were close to the border and it may have actually been in MA) when I was 16 or so.

When I got to my alma mater, RPI, I went caving my freshman year. I caved actively with the outing club (which is also an NSS Grotto) for 7-8 years and then sort of moved away from caving.

During that time I became a leader and taught a number of beginners. Of course back then everything we did vertically was 3-knot technique.

One of the cavers I helped teach later went on to become a park ranger at Wind Cave National Park (gave up a job with Bell Labs to do that. And his parents THANKED me. :-)

After awhile due to various factors my caving slowed down until about 1999 or so when I started to cave again.

I did my first NCRC in 2002 and suddenly had to learn all this "new-fangled" mechanical ascending stuff. Since then I've become a frogger (though not nearly enough vertical around here and even less time for me. :-)

I still lead beginner trips with the RPI Grotto and get down to Georgia once a year. I'm involved with the NRCC (which reminds me I'm way behind on some of the work I'm supposed to be doing for them.)

And anyone who is coming through upstate NY and wants to check out some caves, look me up. I'd love to take you caving.

I think that about sums it up for now.
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Postby GhostCat » Jun 13, 2006 10:16 pm

Hello from North Alabama......Lots of Caves here and I try to go underground as much as possible....

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Postby knotty » Jun 15, 2006 10:27 am

Greetings all. My name is Jeff and I'm almost 47. I live in Pocatello Idaho and I have been crawling in lava tubes (solo) in the desert for 25 years. I joined the NSS in January and the SSG in March because I'm tiered of caving by myself and I'd like to see something other than lava tubes. I'm old school with ropes(hence the name) and was taught by Paul Petzel 40 Years ago. Last year I have learned much about SRT and have a frog setup and have practiced obsessively. I have been into many caves this year(mostly lave tubes) and last weekend named 4 caves(Three Bat, It goes, Shirt Shredder, and Need a Rope). There are so many caves out in the desert and so many I've been too but never named some I'm sure haven't been visited much. I love Being member of a Grotto and the NSS as I now have cavers I can cave with(much more fun with someone to share the experience with). I'm not getting enough Vertical caves or Limestone caves to satisfy my cravings though.
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Postby Vadosian » Jun 16, 2006 1:02 am

Hello fellow Cavers,

My name is Jim Newman. I'm a fairly new caver; started caving about five years ago. I can credit my sister for getting me into serious caving since a family vacation up to Northern California where we visited Lava Beds National Monument. Ever since then, I cannot go caving enough!

At the Lava Beds, I soon found that I enjoy really tight crawls such as the "Crossover" connecting the two main tubes in Catacombs Cave. Maybe I'm just weird, but I enjoy those tight challenges! As long as I have enough air, I'm fine. Guess I'm immune to claustrophobia! Some of my relatives were coal miners, so maybe the genes were passed on. Also, just recently, while caving with the San Diego Grotto here in SoCal, the lava tubes out in the Mojave desert provided some great challenges as well.

Besides the adventures, what interests me the most about caves is the geology. I decided to return to college and hopefully get a degree in one of the geoscience disciplines such as karst hydrology and mineralogy. I have my work cut out for me!

Last, but not least, after I get a whole lot more experience caving, I would like to form a grotto that is more accessible to us folks that live a good distance from the urban areas here in SoCal.

Good caving always, Jim Newman.
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Postby Peggy Renwick » Jun 17, 2006 11:01 pm

My mom started caving in about 1988 after a trip through Mammoth Cave. Over the next few years she got increasingly involved in caving, which meant she dragged me and my brother on occasional trips, where I'd whine about the mud and the dirtyness...but I still, for the most part, enjoyed hanging out with all the cavers - they were our social circle (once I got used to their weird sense of humor). Those trips were mostly in Kentucky.

When I got to Wellesley College in fall '00 I discovered, much to my chagrin, that I MISSED THE CAVERS! so in Feb '01 I started frequenting the Boston Grotto's meetings, and going caving in the Northeast - New York, mostly.

I spent my junior year (02-03) studying abroad in Bologna, Italy, where I avoided all other American students by finding the Gruppo Speleologico Bolognese-Unione Speleologica Bolognese, who have their WEEKLY meetings in one of the city's ancient gates - it's in the middle of a roundabout! They convinced me to take their "course" on caving, which amounted to 8 weeks of classroom and in-cave instruction, with a HEAVY emphasis on vertical technique. Sure, it cost money, but I managed to get phys ed credit for it - and came out the other side with a couple dozen friends, a slew of Italian speleo-jargon, and something to do EVERY WEEKEND. So, lots of caving in Tuscany and in the gypsum caves outside Bologna for me: it all peaked in May '03 with a trip to the bottom of the Antro del Corchia, which is the longest cave in Italy. I also managed to sneak in a course in Speleology with Paolo Forti at the Uni of Bologna: I was HOOKED!

Came back to Boston and involved myself in caving as much as possible. Took the bus out to NY state for the weekend occasionally, just to go caving. Applied for the Cave Management Intern position at Jewel Cave and GOT IT! So I spent my post-graduation year (04-05) at Jewel Cave NM in South Dakota, going on camp trips in Jewel, working as a full-time volunteer making about $400 a month (free housing 300ft from work, in the only "gated community" in Custer County! :wink: ), going to NCRC levels 1 & 2, surveying in both Wind and Jewel Caves...

And by some mysterious chain of events, while I was in South Dakota, I fell in love with Ben Currens - whom I've known since we were 12, since his dad and my mom are both cavers - and we got married 10 months ago. We live on the KY/TN border (though Ben has been in Iraq for a month, and will come back in September), and I've got a job as a seasonal ranger at Dunbar Cave State Natural Area in Clarksville, TN...which I recently began to resurvey. :-) Ben and I (Ben's the lead-pusher, I just sketch) also mapped about a half-mile of virgin passage in another part of the Dunbar Cave System.

OK, kinda long, but at least it scratches the surface!
and remember when you found the key
to his hideout in the pyrenees
but you wanted to keep his secret safe
so you threw the key away
-- the decemberists
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Postby Pinoycaver » Jun 23, 2006 1:35 am

ohh, hi there fellow cavers. here's my piece of story.

about me: my name is ricky, 28, from the philippines. honestly, i'm not sure if i can considered myself a caver like majority of you here. though my buddies call me such, i still considered myself a "newbie," especially in this room.

back in my country, i began summiting wayback in 1994. after a year or so, i love to go into dark chambers and it started in one of my school activity back in college days. i can still remember, i'd organized a school-based club for purely fun and recreation without even thinking of responsible vision to follow.

to date, i'm one of the two authors of the centro outdoor sports unlimited affiliated with the philippine caving society (PCS), one of the only two grottos of the national speleological society in the USA, and serves as our cave guide training partners, among other training partners in the Philippines.

the centro & i: my caving buddy, rommel, and i endeavored into coming up an institution (the centro) that can contribute on its own way in providing alternative livelihoods to our fellow folks here.

the concept was authored when the anti-mining advocacy in Samar island spread with enormous support from different sectors of society, thus making some islanders asked why mining should should not be permitted? what are we going to do with our mineral resources? what livelihood then can we expect if we won't allow mining?

our effort unbraggingly has succeeded at its initial stage in the Municipality of San Jorge, Samar - thus, we decided for it to continue due to the request of those who witnessed CENTRO's contribution in alleviating islanders' livelihood condition - but of course in our own right.

today, CENTRO is a registered owner of the NATIONAL CONGRESS ON VISAYAS CAVES (now on its 4th year), a yearly caving activity usually participated in by national caving enthusiasts but exclusively held in the Visayas part of the country.

im hoping that someone here, help us, in this contribution.

and before I forgot, i'm also a journalist by profession writing for local and national newspapers, and also in the internet.

i'm looking forward for meeting some friends here. NEXT PLEASE!!!

"In the underground world, not everyone is who they seem to be..."
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