Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door
Now that the weather is gorgeous, let’s go underground.
The New River cave is one of my favorites, and has a good mix of open caverns, little crawls, and fun climbs. It’s about a mile deep and has some really beautiful open spaces. If we make it to the back, we can see the waterfall.
Beginners are welcome on this trip – I’ll teach you what you need to know. As always, come prepared with all your gear. All the info you need is in this trip description and in the caving checklist. Note that nothing on the equipment list is optional.
As a beginner trip, we will aim to not be in the cave for more than 4 hours! If you want to try caving but have been nervous about trying because of the dark, confined space, this is a good trip for you because it will be short! Also note that the car ride is long-ish. You come with some good riddles that will occupy me for a while. I’ll bring some random thrift store CDs. We’ll have a jolly good time.
– Leave from Echols at 0700
– Drive two and a half hours to the cave
– Gear up, talk safety, and adventure through the cave for a few hours (1000 – 1400)
– Hike back, clean up/change clothes, and drive home
– Arrive back in Charlottesville around 1700
– 3 headlamps
– backup batteries for your headlamps (I do not supply batteries, so if you want to be able to see stuff you should bring batteries. Last I checked, there are some in the gear room.)
– helmet [go for the caving helmets (dirty white or red suspension helmets), not the climbing helmets (grey foam helmets)] – 2 trash bags (one for hypothermia kit; the other for dirty clothes/gear)
– snacks/emergency food supply
– sturdy closed toed shoes
– backpack that can get dirty
– change of clothes
– container for human waste (pack it in, pack it out)
– optional: money to grab food on the way back – may or may not happen depending on how we’re feeling
– You MUST read the Caving Checklist provided by the club. It can be found under the Member Resources tab (policies > officer policies > caving checklist).
– You are responsible for gathering all of your own equipment. Most of the gear is available at the club’s gear room.
– You should be comfortable crawling around in tight spaces and being in the dark.
– Because caving is such a dangerous sport, I will be very strict in ensuring you have the proper equipment (i.e., if you are not properly equipped with EVERYTHING mentioned above (even trash bags and spare clothing), you are not entering the cave).
– It is a good idea to not have anything important scheduled for the evening of the trip just in case we are delayed.