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Introduction to Cave Surveying · Fri. Jan. 18th - Sun. Jan. 20th

Warning: This is an old trip - it already happened

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Organized by: Raymond MacNeil.

Start: Friday, Jan. 18th, 6:00 pm
End: Sunday, Jan. 20th, 6:00 pm


Introduction to Cave Surveying

Update: Sorry everyone--the trip is now full! I know, I know: it sucks. I really wish I could bring more people, but the nature of this specific caving trip necessarily restricts the number of participants. I will be organizing more trips in the future, and there will not be such a tight restriction on the number of participants. 

This is an incredibly unique opportunity to learn how to survey caves on Vancouver Island
. This trip will involve two caves that are located on the south end of the island. Even more exciting, one of these caves has yet to be fully explored, and there is potential for exploration. There is small chance this trip might need to be postponed, as the wife of a key player--the person who will be the leader for the caving and surveying portions of this (I am only handling logistics and some cave navigation)--is actually quite sick. For now, all systems are a go. 

The first cave that we will likely visit is called Snotley Snail. Getting to Snotley Snail requires a 4km hike over some pretty gnarly terrain, and it has a section with a really tight pitch. There is 15m or so entrance put, so some experience with rapelling and ascending is a prerequisite for this cave. (I hope to also host an SRT practice workshop the weekend before, so this will provide some time for practice and freshening up or fine tuning your skills. Further details on this to be announced as plans progress.)

The other cave is White Balconey. It is really close to the road, but hard to find. It is a serious bushwack, but only 200 meters. It has no vertical, but has water moving through it that flows out to a river. It is white marble and very beautiful.

The two caves are about a 45 minute drive apart. There is some surveying software that you will be required to download on a smartphone. Once you have committed to the trip, I will send out pre-trip information on how to download this software and some maps. This will give you a chance to get a feel for it before use in the field. There are protective cases you can buy to ensure your phone can take a beating while inside of a cave.

Hoping to recruit someone who owns a AWD vehicle, but the other option is to rent. Unfortunately, I can only take a few bodies on this trip--this limitatiion is one that is pragmatic with respect to learning how to survey a cave.

Those who have been previously been on one of Nick Hindley's caving trips or another caving trip involving vertical would be very ideal candidates. I am primarily concerned about proficiency in ascending and descending ropes. 

Must have your own SRT/vertical equipment, or be able to borrow from somebody. Must know how to safely ascend and descend a rope. Must be familiar with your vertical kit and how to use it. Update: If you do not have previous SRT experience, you may still be able to come provided you have most of your own gear, and attend a mandatory workshop (likely to be held the weekend prior to the trip). 

Mandatory Equipment:

1) Climbing or Caving Helmet; one providing full protecton of head

2) Headlights (3x), and backup batteries

3) Seat harness (+ chest harness highly recommended)

4) Four locking carabiners

5) Ascending device (e.g., Petzl ascension)) 

6) Rappel/abseil device (e.g., Petzl Stop, figure 8, GriGri, ATC)

8) Either a bona fide caving suit, a pair of coveralls, or dispensable clothing

Details on pre-trip meeting to be announced.

-Ray MacNeil

Posted: 2018-12-23 18:15:01
Last modified: 2019-01-15 19:28:35