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…

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.

If you need to clip into a loop in the middle of a line that could be anchored at either or both ends you can use a bowline, but a Butterfly Knot is your best bet. It takes less rope, and even after it’s loaded can be untied relatively easy.

Joining two ends of rope together is also a very common task. You could be tying two ends of the same rope or webbing making a loop. Or you can be joining together to different pieces of rope or webbing. A Double Fisherman’s Knot is usually used for tying two rope ends together a Water Knot is usually used for tying two pieces of webbing together
A friction knot can be used to ascend or descend a rope. The Prusik knot is just what that’s for.
These are just the basic knots you should know before attempting to learn vertical caving techniques. There are variations of these and other knots for other purposes. But these are the standards that you will use throughout your caving career.


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