Showing posts from December, 2009

Caving With Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania Council 11-18-18

Yes, they were at it again. This time there were two new Troops to introduce to caving. Eastern PA Council set this one up at the same time as the one in October. This trip originally had sixteen people, but one Troop backed out at the last minute. It’s a shame because they missed a very good time with these girls. Maybe they’ll come out again when they can. We have been having a tremendous amount of rain and unprecedented snowfall for this time of year. As a result the cave actually had a good bit of water in it.

I like to use this cave for beginner trips because it is stable. But I’ve never seen this much water in this cave. Parts that usually have a little sticky mud had water over the top of my thigh. I choose to avoid the lower parts of the cave. For most of the girls this was their first wild caving trip. I didn’t want to take any chances with them and I didn’t want anyone cold and miserable. But they all got very muddy, and had a blast. How could I tell? Watch the video. L…

Learning the Ropes – About Caving - Climb On Safely – Cave Exploring Elective for the Ranger Award

Caving and climbing have a few skill sets that are similar. We have mentioned that before. One of these skills learned by climbing that comes in real hand while caving is rappelling. Vertical caving skills involves rappelling into a pit, and climbing back out. There are also some basic climbing and bouldering techniques that are helpful to cavers. Understanding what equipment is needed and how to take care of it is also important. After all, your life is literally hanging on it.
Taking the BSA “Climb On Safely” course will cover just about all the basics you need to know to have a safe caving trip. It will also cover a lot about what you will need to learn about ropes and their care for the Caving Elective for the Ranger Award. If your caving is going to involve class 4, 5, or 6 of the YDS ratings, you will need to have someone in your Unit with a current “Climb On Safely” training.
“Climb On Safely” can be done on-line in about 20 minutes and can be found at Th…

Not Knots!! Who's There?? – Cave Exploring Elective for the Ranger Award

There are a few knots that are commonly used for caving. These also happen to be the same as the knots used for climbing. So if you’ve done some climbing you may be familiar with these already.
Learning knots can be confusing. Animated Knots by Grog is a good web site, which shows these in animated graphics.

The most generally used knot is the Figure eight. It is the basis for type several other commonly used knots. One is the Figure Eight Follow Through, or also known as a Figure Eight on a Bight. This should be backed up by a Stopper Knot.
The Bowline is another looped-end knot. It’s not used as commonly as the figure, but it is useful. It too should have a stopper knot.…