Corner Of Echols Dorm
Corner Of Echols Dorm
Lockridge Aqua Cave
Caves truly are so wildly diverse, and this one is no exception. Lockridge Aqua cave is perhaps one of my favorite caves, in no small part due to its unique entrance. Lockridge’s entrance is underwater. Yep, you heard me right. Entering this cave entails fully submerging yourself in brisk water, swimming through the cave’s entrance while submerged, swimming across the (small, ~20ft) cave lake on the inside, and crawling up on a sandy cave beach like a fish evolving into a reptile.
The terrain on the inside of the cave is truly fascinating. It is mostly cavernous, with virtually not places where one must crawl/squish/squeeze/shimmy. There’s a creek that runs through the whole cave, and yes, I have seen albino cave fish and albino crawfish in it. The route itself is pretty straightforward, and there are few places/ways to get lost in this one since there are only two main passages that link up. One of the passages involves wading through water up to waist deep, but don’t worry, the current isn’t strong. Overall, this is a fairly short cave, and most groups are able to do it in 2 hours or less.
If you are the adventurous type, this one will definitely get the adrenaline pumping!
I am making this a beginner trip where I’ll teach you all you need to know about caving conservation, safety, and technique. Note that caving involves being in the dark, so be prepared for that. Also, hopefully this is obvious, but water. If you can’t swim or have issues being around/in water, this is definitely not the trip for you.
Note: if you are interested in becoming a caving trip leader, please sign up for as many of the caving trips this week as you can, and either let me know in the trip questionnaire or shoot me a text. I have set up these trips in series to give potential caving trip leaders as much exposure as possible to different cave terrain, and will integrate a good amount of education and hands-on practice.
6:30 – Leave Echols
8:30 – Arrive at cave, go over safety/conservation information, and start caving
11:00 – Finish caving and head back to car
1:00 – Back at Echols
Gear to Bring:
– 24 hour emergency food supply
– A trash bag for hypothermia kit (this is super important for this cave in particular; especially with the water, hypothermia is a real risk)
– A container for any human waste – pack it in, pack it out
– Clothes that can get dirty/ripped/ruined (GLOVES are mandatory; long sleeves and long pants are recommended, but not required; you may opt to try to bring a dry change of clothes for inside the cave after the water entrance, but I personally prefer to just keep the same clothes)
– Close toed shoes that can get dirty/ripped/ruined (trust me, you will not want to be in chacos)
– Caving helmet (please don’t use the club’s climbing helmets; the caving helmets are the old Petzl Ecrin Rocs with a suspension system instead of a foam system)
– No fewer than 2 working headlamps with spare batteries
– At least 1 spare light (can be a headlamp or flashlight)
– A bag or backpack that can get dirty/ripped/ruined
– Clean clothes/shoes for the car (please please, I really like my car)
– Trash bag for dirty clothes and shoes
– You MUST read the Caving Checklist provided by the club. It can be found under the Resources tab on the website. I have also linked it here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Lv1Hz8qOIvGb0BgVwFrU6NH1EyT3wPqt/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=115487946960226883937&rtpof=true&sd=true
– 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 massively important scheduled for the evening of the trip in the unlikely event we are delayed