Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door
Do you hate being in roomy, well-lit, and clean places? Did you see the movie The Descent and think wow that looks really fun? Do you secretly wish to live underground as a mole-person?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, come explore Breathing Cave – Virginia’s third largest caving system! This cave has a good variety of features and fun technical challenges – everything from low crawls to tight squeezes to mud chutes to rock climbs. With almost seven miles of passages, we’ll be spending approximately six to eight hours exploring underground.
This cave is not recommended for people without caving experience. It is intense, and we will be in there for a long time. Priority will be given to those with prior experience. Please note that the gear list for this trip is more extensive than for shorter caving trips.
– Leave from Echols at 0600
– Drive two hours to the parking area
– 45 minute hike to the cave
– Gear up, talk safety, and adventure through the cave as far as we can go (~6 – 10 hours)
– Hike back, clean up/change clothes, and drive home
– Arrive back in Charlottesville no later than 2100 (hopefully significantly earlier)
– 2 headlamps
– backup batteries for your headlamps
– 2 trash bags (one for hypothermia kit; the other for dirty clothes/gear)
– gloves (these are mandatory for protection of the cave and geological features)
– snacks/emergency food supply
– breakfast for the road
– lunch for in the cave
– sturdy closed toed shoes
– backpack that can get dirty
– change of clothes
– container for human waste (pack it in, pack it out; we’ll be in there for a good long while)
– 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.