Where to begin...?

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Where to begin...?

Postby SuckinOnSodaStraws » Nov 4, 2011 2:32 pm

My friends and I are cavers from Colorado Springs. Winter is upon us, and while the thought of winter caving is exciting, we've got a big ol fish to fry up. I'm having the hardest time trying to locate any beginner courses for vertical training (srt?). We'd like to atleast have some decent climbing skills by the next summer if possible. I won't be attending any grotto meetings until the rest of my group loses their "cold feet" about meeting new cavers. So, are there any classes/courses I can look forward to signing up for? Maybe someone wants to just meet us and show us for free? :big grin: lol, okay, lunch and a 6-pack? :tonguecheek: At any rate, please help us not air-rappel. Perciate it.
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Re: Where to begin...?

Postby DeanWiseman » Nov 4, 2011 2:44 pm

SuckinOnSodaStraws wrote:My friends and I are cavers from Colorado Springs. Winter is upon us, and while the thought of winter caving is exciting, we've got a big ol fish to fry up. I'm having the hardest time trying to locate any beginner courses for vertical training (srt?). We'd like to atleast have some decent climbing skills by the next summer if possible. I won't be attending any grotto meetings until the rest of my group loses their "cold feet" about meeting new cavers. So, are there any classes/courses I can look forward to signing up for? Maybe someone wants to just meet us and show us for free? :big grin: lol, okay, lunch and a 6-pack? :tonguecheek: At any rate, please help us not air-rappel. Perciate it.


Shoot... I'm jonezing hard for some skiing and some winter tailwater fishing in CO this winter. If you guys have a place to do some stuff (preferably indoors), when the time comes for me to come on out (probably either Feb or March) I'll bring my stuff and we can set a session up.

-Dean
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Re: Where to begin...?

Postby SuckinOnSodaStraws » Nov 4, 2011 3:03 pm

Actually do know an indoors spot. Can you suggest the gear we will need? What could I just pick up on craigslist? I know rope is very important and should be babied. My group has a lot to cover before we drop-in to any caves.
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Re: Where to begin...?

Postby Stridergdm » Nov 4, 2011 4:00 pm

Start at the BOTTOM and work your way up.

Now, the problem is most caves are pits, which means you have to attach your rope at the top. Which of course is problematic if you're trying to start at the bottom.


Seriously, really your best bet really is attending a grotto meeting.

I've come across some decent videos on youtube that really do a decent job of covering the basics. I've also seen some (see thread lower on the list here) that are sure ways to earn Darwin Awards.

Yes. You want a decent quality caving (static) rope. They can be had fairly cheaply.

You'll want some webbing and carabiners (make them locking) for rigging. (Well you don't NEED, you could do it all with just a single rope, but trust me, it's easier with a bit more equipment. Though, if nzcaver offers to bring down "a small portion of his gear" make sure he's talking something that fits into a duffel, not a moving van :-)

I'd get the book On-Rope in the meantime. Read it. And then ask more questions here.

That said, I will teach for the cost of airfare!
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Re: Where to begin...?

Postby SuckinOnSodaStraws » Nov 4, 2011 5:17 pm

Still seems I have many ways I can go about this... I'm pretty much the book worm of my group and am left the task of relaying back any useful information I find. I'll look into the book, and start rounding up some locking biners and such... We were on the fence about going to the last meeting, but we went hiking instead :cold: I've seen them offer vert training at the meeting once, but how often is this offered? I think we kinda feel like between it being winter and WNS, it would be a bit useless to be at the meeting unless they had some courses available. Guess we don't know if we don't go! :doh:
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Re: Where to begin...?

Postby Chads93GT » Nov 4, 2011 7:21 pm

Dude. I am living proof you can buy books, read intensively, buy gear and train yourself in your own back yard then graduate yourself to pits. 90% of what I know is from reading. A lot of reading. On rope and alpine caving techniques are great source.
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Re: Where to begin...?

Postby snoboy » Nov 4, 2011 9:16 pm

As is VERTICAL by Allan Warild - and it's online for free!

http://cavediggers.com/vertical/
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Re: Where to begin...?

Postby caverdan » Nov 5, 2011 11:52 am

If you are looking for someone with professional skills to teach you vertical caving, I'd suggest you give Todd Warren a call . PM me if you want his phone number. He lives in the Springs and is both a caver and a teacher with a company called Alpine Quest.......which teaches both rescue skills and rope skills.....along with snow cave building and avalanche survival. :kewl:

There is nothing wrong with learning it out of a book. I'll let others suggest gear and methods of moving up and down rope.

Best bet is to find a mentor like Todd and let him hook you up with what to buy and what to try. In other words....try his before you buy yours.
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