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Windswept
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Join Date: May 2004
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2006-10-31, 15:25

I stumbled onto a page of underground photos and started wondering if any of you have done any cave exploring.

I think caves are really scary because they are dark, deep in the earth, and represent the unknown.

But those features also make caves pretty exciting. I've explored ancient lava tubes with ice caves in them, wearing the miner's hard-hat with light. I've also explored a cave in Tennessee where in some places we were crawling in mud through very small passages, on our stomachs.

When I see pics of people going down into a cave by means of a free-hanging rope, I can't help shivering.



If I'm going into a cave, I'd like to be in full contact with the cave surface the whole time. But I suppose I'd feel otherwise with more extensive rope training.

I 'have' rappelled down cliff faces, but at least you can touch the cliff with your feet from time to time, even when you're descending rapidly. Descending in mid-air into a cavern...? Whoa! Pretty scary in my book.

So, have any of you done any cave exploring? Or even visited any major caverns?

Thanks for any replies.


http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...3Doff%26sa%3DG
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thegelding
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2006-10-31, 15:29

i recommend carlsbad caverns here in new mexico to everyone...i've been a number of times, they are beautiful...

i recommend walking down and taking the elevator back up...you go to about 750 feet underground into huge caverns...

i love caving, but not too small of spaces...i'm just a bit claustrophobic and need a bit of air around my body

g


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Windswept
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2006-10-31, 15:40

I visited Carlsbad with my parents when I was a kid. I don't remember details, but I do remember being very impressed. I'd love to go again.

Carlsbad:

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Windswept
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2006-10-31, 16:22

The entrance to the Tennessee cave we explored looked a lot like this.





Very enticing to see such a cave entrance when paddling down the creek in a canoe. How could one resist, I ask you?

I remember when I was in high school, my boyfriend and I were hiking in the foothills and found a cave. I wanted to walk in, and I joked about 'what if wolves were in the cave'.

As I walked deeper inside, I saw several sets of slanted eyes glowing in the depths of the cave. Whoa! Was *that* ever scary. Went flying back out, expecting whatever was in there to be chasing right after me.

I imagine the eyes were coyote eyes, but still pretty scary nonetheless.
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Chinney
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2006-10-31, 21:17

I also visited Carlsbad as a kid. I think that I liked it, but I don't have all that clear memories of it.

Generally, though, my claustrophobia makes me hesitant about caving. I don't like tight spaces or the idea of having a lot of rock or dirt between me and the great outdoors. Being a miner would be my nightmare job. Even worse would be being a crew member on a submarine.

That photo in the first post is just beautiful though Carol. That sort of caving would not freak me out, as there is a lot of open space and a clear opening above. And going up and down a cliff face does not bother me the way caving would.

When there's an eel in the lake that's as long as a snake that's a moray.
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Moogs
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2006-10-31, 22:13

Amazing how many different "types" of caves there are. That first one looks absolutely surreal. Almost makes me think they should classify them differently. Though I'm not USGS expert; maybe they classify them differently already.

Still there's something really scary but also really cool about repelling down a cave. Sort of like you know nothing's down there but your imagination gets the better of you and you'd always wonder if you'll be able to get back up.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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Perfecting_Zero
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2006-10-31, 22:51

Though not a cave precisely, but a deeply internal terrain of metaphor, inchoate dimension and preternatural discovery, this topic -- and the evocative Dave Bunnell photograph -- remind me of "House Of Leaves," Mark Z. Danielewski.

Fascinating topic.



Thanks,

Z

"We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin
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Windswept
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2006-10-31, 22:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinney View Post
Generally, though, my claustrophobia makes me hesitant about caving. I don't like tight spaces or the idea of having a lot of rock or dirt between me and the great outdoors. Being a miner would be my nightmare job. Even worse would be being a crew member on a submarine.
I do remember not being thrilled about crawling in the mud on my stomach through REALLY narrow passageways; but I was following behind someone, and once I got into the passage, it was too late to get out. I could easily have freaked out, but since I was already committed to being there, I just had to completely control my mind, and *not* think, even for a second, about the narrowness and confinement.

It's the exact same thought process I use when having an MRI, except during 'that' I keep my eyes closed every second or I'd truly never be able to do it. Opening my eyes inside that tube and seeing the ceiling like four inches away? Omg, not in a million years!!!

Quote:
That photo in the first post is just beautiful though Carol. That sort of caving would not freak me out, as there is a lot of open space and a clear opening above. And going up and down a cliff face does not bother me the way caving would.
Oh yes, I agree. I think that photo is just unbelievably stunning! And even though going down on that rope for 1,000' - or whatever it is - seems terrifying, I would give just anything to be able to do that.

Rappelling down a cliff face is easy and fun once you do it. It's just taking that *first* step over the edge for the very first time that is pretty terrifying. But I have to think that if regular rappelling is easy and fun, then going down that rope into the cave would be just *unbelievably* thrilling. I'd give just anything to do it. I mean, all the really exciting stuff generally is also pretty scary. That's why *adventure* is one of my all-time favorite things.
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Windswept
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2006-10-31, 23:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
Amazing how many different "types" of caves there are. That first one looks absolutely surreal. Almost makes me think they should classify them differently. Though I'm not USGS expert; maybe they classify them differently already.
Oh yeah, Moogs, I imagine they have a million different names and classifications for caves. I wonder where cynical rock is tonight? He should be able to englighten us on this matter.

Quote:
Still there's something really scary but also really cool about repelling down a cave. Sort of like you know nothing's down there but your imagination gets the better of you and you'd always wonder if you'll be able to get back up.
Of course, with any of these sports, they do have tragedies that happen on a regular basis, like that base-jumping guy last week. Poor guy. So I imagine cavers 'have' gotten in places they couldn't get out of, and sometimes died there, especially if they'd had a fall. The fact that plenty of things 'can' go wrong, and sometimes do, is what makes these sports both terrifying 'and' exciting.

And btw, the cave I went in had cave spiders - like daddy-long-legs type spiders, as well as cave crickets (iirc), worms that glowed in the dark, and iirc something swimming in the pools (fish?) that didn't have eyes because there was *no* light whatsoever, and there hadn't been for a loooong time.
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Windswept
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2006-10-31, 23:16

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfecting_Zero View Post
Though not a cave precisely, but a deeply internal terrain of metaphor, inchoate dimension and preternatural discovery, this topic -- and the evocative Dave Bunnell photograph -- remind me of "House Of Leaves," Mark Z. Danielewski.

Fascinating topic.

Thanks,

Z
Interesting post, Z.
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Elysium
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2006-11-01, 03:28

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept View Post
Oh yeah, Moogs, I imagine they have a million different names and classifications for caves. I wonder where cynical rock is tonight? He should be able to englighten us on this matter.
Halloween parties, you know...

There are different ways to classify caves. The wiki article on caves does a good job of describing the difference between primary and secondary caves. I've mainly been in karstic environment caves (majority of major cave sites) as well as some sea caves and glacier caves. Very cool places!

As to the different names we assign to different formations in the cave... Well, we just do that to amuse the tourists.

Formerly known as cynical_rock
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scratt
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2006-11-01, 03:36

Wow! That first picture goes really nicely with the theme of the AN site right now...

It's like there is a giant spider waiting for the climber at the top...

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
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2006-11-01, 07:02

Somewhere in my things I have an old book from the 50's about Floyd Collins, who got lost in some caves in Kentucky. It's a neat old book... never been spelunking. I have been to Ruby Falls in Chattanooga though, fun but touristy and very controlled.

Wait, that's not the book I read... damn, that's how the cave got it's name... what was the name of that book?????
I'll be back....


EDIT:
Found it.
The book is called "The Caves Beyond: The Story of the Collins Crystal Cave Expedition by Joe Lawrence, Jr."
It's the story of how they figured out how the Crystal Cave system was actually connected to Mammoth Cave.
They "figured it out" by getting busted ass lost. They finally came out somewhere around the equivalent of the underground food court of Mammoth Cave.... pretty strange I'm sure to wander up to some benches and little buildings when you're underground. See if you can find that book on Alibris and get one, pretty interesting story of exploration.


whew.


.

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Last edited by drewprops : 2006-11-01 at 07:18. Reason: Will need to find the book to look at again to square against the Wiki entry
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Windswept
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2006-11-01, 13:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by cynical_rock View Post
I've mainly been in karstic environment caves (majority of major cave sites) as well as some sea caves and glacier caves. Very cool places!
You mean scuba diving into sea caves, or going in by rubber rafts? I think underwater sea caves would be scary, because god knows what's in there. Could be a giant octopus or something. I went diving into a sunken tugboat once, and tried to go through the passageway inside, but I realized pretty quickly that I was in danger of getting wedged in without being able to turn around - with all that gear on.

You once posted that pic of a 'crevasse' with people looking down into it. I remember it well, because when I was a kid I saw an earthquake movie where the ground opened up and people fell in, and then the ground closed back up.

That scared the heck out of me at the time, and now that rather primeval fear lurks in the back of my mind. An icy crevasse I find really scary, especially the thought of one covered and hidden by a bunch of crusted snow. So easy to step on that crust, and then go falling doooown... *shiver*

Quote:
As to the different names we assign to different formations in the cave... Well, we just do that to amuse the tourists.
I wondered who assigned those names. Now I know.
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billybobsky
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2006-11-01, 15:43

I would like to spelunk in her caves... wait, different caves...
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