Spelunking - Introduction to Caving

“Join me for an unique adventure you will not soon forget …caving.”
Caving or “Spelunking” as many prefer, is an adventure sport that combines many different skills into one amazing experience.
Crawling through tight squeezes, wiggling down tunnels on
your belly or your backside, climbing up walls of rock – these are just a few of the challenges you might find in a cave environment.
Pitch darkness is what makes caving so different from other adventure sports - all of the challenges of movement in a confined space are increased when you have nothing more than a headlamp to guide you true.

Whiting's Neck
The wild caves near Shepherdstown, WV give explorers new to the sport an opportunity to descend into timeless caverns that are home to ancient “speleotherms” or cave structures.
Keep your eyes open and you might see tiny “soda straws,” the beginning stages of stalactite growth. “Flowstone” deposits shaped like ribbon candy and wedding cakes, “cave coral” that looks like burnt popcorn. These are just a few of the formations we might find at Whiting’
s Neck.
At the end of the trip, most people are amazed not only by the beauty of the cave structures, but by the challenges that they have overcome.
Whiting’s Neck cave presents the opportunity to rappel and ascend a rope, squeeze through the “keyhole,” (which only works if you figure out the right combination!) and cross over chasms that drop 30 feet.
A trip through Whiting’s Neck Cave is an opportunity to see and learn about the fragile ecosystem within a limestone cave, while also challenging ones-self physically.

The Cave
The Cave is known as Whiting Neck Cave, (an ecologically dead and growth retarded formation). This means in simple terms that the cave is no longer supporting any bio-diversity or growth, so there is nothing for us to harm or to influence. This allows camping in the cave, along with the introduction of our person biodiversity when we go into the system.
The caves are on WV public land, and therefore open to the public to use at will.
While the cave itself is on a small stretch of public land, the surround area is not, and is a nature preserve. Therefore we must park in the lot and walk to the entrance.
The cave is roughly a .8 mile in horizontal gain and has multitudes of pyrite and carbon deposits to check out. It’s a granite construction (which means no shifting) and is wet as all caves are, but has no flowing water.
There is a grotto in the back that all the camping is done in.
Nice place really...

SAFETY DETAILS:
This cave is well traveled and used. While it is not a commercial cave with lighting, there is clear evidence of multiple uses and is a very popular trip.
While there are small keys and crawls, there is no space on the cave that is less than 12 inches across any amount of space. Aka, you aren't going to get stuck in this cave.
The cave is wet, but there is no running water, so there are no concerns of safety there.
This cave is VERY well mapped and has no exteriors leads to other caverns. Aka, there is only one way in and out so you can't get lost...
I will also be following proper LNT and caving guidelines in ICE (ICE- In Case of Emergency). A contact person will be established with knowledge of exact time of departure and number of people along with ETA return date, with GPS Cords and local EMS services contact information.
This isn't to say that anything will happen, but with all serious adventures safety is paramount.
I wouldn't take people in there if I didn't think it was safe.
Gear Require: *MUST HAVE*
1.- Head light (This is a safety issue that has always been drilled)
2.- Helmet - Any type will do, bike, climbing, whit straps so stay in place.
3.- Knee pads are a must, I will recommended hard shell.
4.- Dirty/old clothes that you do not mind getting very dirty and wet. (Need to be long sleeve and long pants of any type.
5. Change of clothes (warm) to change into when you get out.
6. Snacks- as we will be in the cave roughly 5 hours
7. Min- 2 liters of water per person.
8. Change of Socks
9. Head covering/hat/jacket- You will want it when you stop, as it gets really chilly when not moving.
10. Small towel
11. Small pack to put gear in.
This trip doesn't really require anything that you can't get from anywhere and there isn't any need for heavy camping gear at exception of rope and climbing harness which I do provide.

This is a straight up bad ass trip.
I like to call these hikes "interest hikes"

Whiting’s Neck cave is a bat habitat in the fall and winter, as
well as home to frogs, crickets, spiders, and the occasional shrew.
When temperatures drop outdoors, the cave maintains a steady 50-55 degrees, making the cave warm in winter (and cool in summer).
Itinerary:
Meet a Rockvile Metro Station at 8:30 AM
9:45 am Arrive at Yankauer Preserve
10:00 am Hike to cave
10:20 am Unload, assign equipment and safety talk
10:30 am Enter cave and exploration
1:30 pm Rotate to next cave or lower chamber using rope, we will go down straight to hell 30 feet.
3:30 pm Exit caves and back to parking lot
4:00 pm in our way to partake at local food place.
6:30 Drive back home.
IMPORTANT NOTE:
If you are claustrophobic this trip is NOT for you.

See you there!
Please email me with any questions.
CARPOOL: Don't forget if you want a ride or are willing to offer a ride – be a friend to the environment, save money, and make friends by just posting a message!!
Have a ride: Please post where you are coming from, what time, and how many spots you have.
Need a ride: Post that you need a ride and contact any offers via e-mail for those that are offering rides.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------NOTE: Payment to be off-line on the meetup spot.

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  • Aileen

    Christina,
    Thank you so much for the pix!

    December 11, 2012

  • Christina

    Hi everyone. I just posted some pics I took. I had a lot of shots. However, many didn't turn out due to condensation and movement. A good portion came out blurry and cloudy-like. These are the only ones that are "viewable". Enjoy.

    Also, thanks again to Darwin for setting up this trip, Brett for giving us a ride and Kayo for taking extra pics :)

    Nice meeting everyone. I hope to see all of you again soon!

    December 11, 2012

  • Kayo

    Despite the fact that an accident can happen anytime in the cave with slippery and muddy ground, I felt safe with Darwin, experienced and patient event organizer with great leadership.

    1 · December 10, 2012

    • Darwin

      Thank you for your words, I just try to make sure that every one go back home in one piece.

      1 · December 10, 2012

  • Darwin

    Great group of fun folks that willingly let me take them into an unknown world.

    December 10, 2012

    • Kayo

      You're such a great guide. We all had fun! A friend of mine is already interested in going there. Are you planning the caving anytime soon?

      December 10, 2012

    • Darwin

      I will post another trip in 2 months.

      December 10, 2012

  • Aileen

    Kayo, thank you for sharing your amazing photos!

    December 10, 2012

  • Aileen

    Excellent

    December 10, 2012

  • JC

    I just realized I never iterated that I planned to meet everyone there so don't wait up for me in Rockville. This way I don't have to drive an extra hour to Rockville and an extra hour home from there today. My cell is[masked] if you want to get ahold of me.

    December 9, 2012

  • Christina

    I think I am the first one here. I have a dark red car.

    December 9, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    If anyone would like to rent an old pair of my Navy coveralls to keep from getting dirty let me know. The only reason I say rent is because theyll get beaten up a bit in the cave, and i will have to wash them afterwards so I don't get a cave stench goin in my closet. They should fit you if you roll them up and are below 6 foot. Not sure on a price, but we can figure somethin reasonable out.

    December 7, 2012

  • Darwin

    @ ALL - Please be on time, we will be moving 9 am. sharp
    Questions/comments:[masked]

    December 7, 2012

  • Darwin

    @ ALL - If you are not coming for any reason, PLEASE update your status.

    December 6, 2012

    • Kkia

      Im sorry i had all intentions in going but i have to be at an event in woodbridge at five. I didnt realize that we wouldnt be done until almost 4. I am looking forward to the next opportunity you offer this meetup. Thanks

      December 7, 2012

  • Megan B.

    Are there directions/coordinates to the cave? I have a full car and was just planning to drive straight there.

    December 6, 2012

    • Darwin

      You are always welcome but the problem is that there is a "limited attendance" for this kind of trip, I'll post another one later.

      December 6, 2012

    • Darwin

      Stay tune if somebody stepdown.

      December 6, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am driving and can give a ride if anyone needs.

    November 28, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes, one left.

      November 29, 2012

    • Kayo

      Thank you, Brett and I look forward to seeing you all.

      November 29, 2012

  • Darwin

    A new trip will be schedule later on to accommodate the ones on the waiting list.

    November 29, 2012

  • Darwin

    Group limit to 10 - No more spot will be available, you have to be serious about attending due that this kind of trip attract a lot of expectation but a small group are able to attend, if for some reason you are NOT able to attend please free your spot so someone else can join.

    November 28, 2012

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