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By Matt Nelson
From Divide, CO
Apr 2, 2007
Me rappin...

Any climbers out there interested in caving? I have been to a great cave in northwestern Colorado and some in Utah north of Vernal. I would definitley say that climbing skills come in handy in some caves. Anybody know of any other good caving in Colorado?


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Apr 2, 2007
Stabby

Last summer I took the family camping by Fulford Cave. I am not a caver, but what I saw of Fulford (about 1/30th) has kind of stirred the old quest for new experiences in me. From what I gather, Fulford is like the Bastille Crack of caves, and I think its a "dead cave". It was populated like a bus station too. Nonetheless, still pretty damn cool.

But getting cavers to reveal their gems online, for everyone to see; no way. Check out the postings for Lime Park; merely getting close to some unpublicized caves elicited alarm from these mysterious beings. What would be cool would be for some of the various speleological groups to join us here.

I'm going back to Fulford this year with a mud suit, hard hat, couple of headlamps, and kneepads and see how brave I can get.


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By Matt Nelson
From Divide, CO
Apr 2, 2007
Me rappin...

Mike Lane wrote:
But getting cavers to reveal their gems online, for everyone to see; no way. .


Yea I completely understand which is why the names of the caves I have been to are also not blatantly splattered across my post. Caves are hard to keep secret.

A couple of the caves I've been to are "wet" caves. So i definitley understand the need for a mud suit; and kneepads can be a god-send in a tight spot.

I dont want other cavers to give up the location of the caves they visit; I was just wanting to see how many climbers are into caving also.


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By Rik Anderson
From C/S, Colorado/Talkeetna, Alask
Apr 2, 2007
underground

All the good caving is in the deep creek area by glenwood springs: groaning, fixin-to-die,premontion,etc... the best way to get in these caves is to hook up with someone familiar with them.Groaning is gated. There is a grotto club in glenwood. Most of the caving here is crawling with some good halls that you can walk, but be ready for some belly crawls and squeezes. Fulford is a good cave, easy hike to get too, and is located on the map. Same with spring cave Buford, CO. All the others, find the area and start looking. If you do find our CO caves, please tread lighty. take nothing and leave only footprints.


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By susan peplow
From Joshua Tree
Apr 3, 2007
Beer Anyone?

Caving is a wonderful and fulfilling adventure. Nothing like a 12 hour dig to clear your mind.

As Mike stated, it is very unlikely that someone would post up knowledge of a cave online. Even in the tightest circles you wont get information.

Trashing caves even without the intent of doing so is a problem. Broken features, openings not being covered back up, trash and human contact will kill a cave. Thus, the secrecy.

My suggestion, get involved with a local spelunking club or better yet....put your detective hat on, grab a topo and start looking!

Lot's of clues out there and plenty of virgin caves just waiting for the worthy.

~Susan


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By Matt Nelson
From Divide, CO
Apr 5, 2007
Me rappin...

Spring cave definitley has to be one of my favs. Ecspecially in the winter. I haven't been there in a couple of years so I hope it hasn't been to overrun. Has any else enjoyed the beauty of this cave?


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Apr 5, 2007
Stabby

Where is Spring Cave?


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By Matt Nelson
From Divide, CO
Apr 5, 2007
Me rappin...

Mike
Spring cave is near the town of Buford, Colorado. Email me for more precise direction on where it is.


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By Jason Kaplan
From Glenwood ,Co
Apr 14, 2009
avitar pic <br />

Fulford Cave TR:

I've been getting a little burnt out on climbing and snowboarding lately. My mom is about to be super busy at work and she needed to get out of town so she was trying to talk me into going caving at Glenwood. I tell her good luck finding any information!

I'm skeptical but she manages to find some information. She want's to do some guided tour BS in the fairy caves in glenwood. Offers to pay for a 3 hour belly crawl tour for me and a friend. I'm on board at this point. She get's home and I find out she printed out a guide to fulford cave (which she hoped I would do at some other time). Having the hatred for authority and a high sense of seeking pure adventure I was like this is free and unrestricted.... Let's do this!

Somehow I convince her we're doing Fulford cave, and manage to get together a handful of people. We have no idea how far the road is plowed or exactly how to locate the entrance of the cave(none of us had heard of the cave before this). These things almost always seem to be key factors for a good or horrible adventure(good when you triumph, bad when you fail miserably).

Off we go, I wanted to leave around 4 in the morning from Evergreen seeing as we had atleast a couple supprises along the way and a big cave to see. Somehow I shut off my alarm and slept till like 4:30. Luckily my mom was on board enough to wake me up and off we went.

Fast forward. We arrive in Eagle and meet up with another member to join the group and we start the drive(making 6 people total). I have to say I was amazed how beautiful the drive was to the cave, there is so many aspens I couldn't beleive it. We take 2 cars and find out that the road is no longer paved 2 miles from fulford cave camp ground which is 3/4 of a mile from the entrance.

Luckily there is the town of fulford and people live there year round. The people who stay must resort to snowmobiles and snow cats to get home from town. The road to fulford is well travled and it's cold out. I don't want to give up and I seem to be the only one that thinks it's possible to drive on the snowpack up as high as possible to hopefully cut off 2-3 miles(we had no idea how far exactly we were from the campground). My friends are quite reluctant, despite them being in the high clearance of the 2 rides. I say fuck it and lead the way in my mom's 95 subaru sedan. Seems solid! Next thing we know the road splits from going to fulford and going to fulford cave campground which is still a mile away and un-travled by snow machines.

At this point we park the car and say what's an extra mile(easy for a bunch of young 20ish year olds to say, but my mom was along for the ride and she is 54 and never get's out to do anything physical). Up we go, I tell mom to get a head start as we will catch up quickly. Next thing I know I barely manage to catch her just before the campground. Wow, props to mom! We stop for a break and my mom is tired. Being the good or horrible son I am I coax her to continue on despite the fact it's supposed to be steeper from this point on. I let the rest of the young guns lead the way despite the fact that they know less about where the entrance is then I do. Up we go taking pleanty of breaks for my dear old mom along the way. I trick her by telling her stop and look at the beauty of the surroundings along the way and try to help her maintain a pace that will sustain the rest of her day. Next thing I know we're at a spot that I think has to be close to the cave. Instead of leading I let the others try to figure it out and up they go.

They start to post hole miserably along the trail and break out off the trail(bad idea). I had noticed a steep groove in the hill side to our right before this and I thought it's not natural for this to be here and it could be possible that this was the descent path of those leaving the cave. Instead of speaking up on my intuition I let the others blindly lead. They went up and we followed. At this point the going is rough and my mom is way tired so I tell them to push on and find the entrance while my mom and I wait to see if they can even find it. The hope was to keep my mom from exerting any more effort then was necessary at this point. They bushwacked and post holed their way around the hill side to no avail so I finally speak up about my intuitions. So back down we go. My friend Steven hyper extended his knee on the way back down but was still gung ho. We decided to check out the other option before accepting defeat. So up we go leaving my mom at the bottom of the hill just incase this was another wild goose chase. Turns out as always I should have listened to my intuition as we arrived at the entrance shortly there after.

It's like noon at this point but we made it and we're going to atleast see as much of the cave as we can. I help pack the trail for my mom as the others eat lunch and next thing we know were crawling down the culvert pipe.

Awesome!

This will be my first real cave in an unguided sense(I'm assuming this applys for all of our group). I have been in cave of the winds (lame guided walking tour) and the fault caves in clear creek canyon but this was so different.

Once inside we see the really cool ice stalagtites and the begining formation of ice stalagmites. We stop in a little room not far from the entrance to smoke some weed and turn off our lights to let our eyes adjust a little(would never happen on a guided tour, hence my hatred for authority). Once we start to leave the room I take a look at the ice draping a nearby wall. It was amazing, looked like broken tempered glass with all the cracks running through it. It turns out this is the only thing I even took pictures of in the entire cave!

On we go all awe inspired to be here on our own accord seeing things most people pay to see. My mom keeps telling us her legs no longer work and they are broken so we find a good point to stash her where we will come back by near the washboard on the way to the upper areas. So we go up the stream and check out all the passages on the lower level, and come back to dear old mom. Up we all go into the breakdown room, and mom's still not feeling good so she hangs back untill we return. We tried to explore the upper part of the cave extensively but we find we are turned around and don't know where we are. We wander for a couple hours checking out the cool scenery but not having any idea where we are. We are careful to keep track of where we are and have been as it was snowing when we entered the cave, and we don't want to get lost and waste precious time we might need to get back to the plowed road. A few of our members managed to reach the overlook of the register room and we were then out of time so we headed back out. We got back out uneventfully and before dark even!

Nice, so down we go. We slide down the groove (this was my mom's favorite part) back to the trail and off to the car we go. We get back to the car with 4 inches of fresh snow and another car parked behind us! Getting out was exciting as the snowpack had softened a little before the new snow fell so it was powder on slush. Making things more like 6" deep. We rallied out and next thing we know were back at the snow covered plowed road. What an adventure! My friend Steve was in excruciating pain at this point in time (turns out he partially ripped his P sack in the back of his knee draining 100 cc's of fluid and blood into the joint).

At first when we were leaving the cave and hiking back down I was like "no way I'm getting into that sport" as we had been turned around and slightly humbled during the adventrue. But after looking at pictures on the net of more of the beauty to be seen in caves I have to give it a second thought. I will be back to check out the whole upper area of fulford atleast.

I really could see getting more into this as it seems like a good "rainy day" type activity.

So what are good resourses for getting into caving and finding information on where to go, and how to do it?


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By Olaf Mitchell
From Paia, Maui, Hi,
Apr 15, 2009
rockerwaves

Great TR !!!


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Apr 15, 2009
Stabby

Jason-
Probably the first and foremost thing you need to know about caving is that the mere touch of a feature with human skin will "kill" it; which is why Fulford is considered a dead cave.
As far as getting into caving, you'll somehow need to find a mentor who will bring you in. He/she might decide to include you into the "grotto". Or they might decide you are too much of a risk "(my hatred for authority)" because they have iron-clad rules and ethics. E-mail Matt Nelson to start. Start checking out local community colleges for geology lectures/classes, always fishing for a caver you could try to get to include you. You are asking to be included into a super-secret society, it will take time, education, patience, possibly bribery. I know one thing, you will not pass muster unless you demonstrate total enthusiasm and commitment for what they do. Good luck, if we never hear from you about the subject of caving again we could assume that you made it in.


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By Matt Nelson
From Divide, CO
Apr 15, 2009
Me rappin...

Jason-

Love the TR. Sounds like it was a lot of fun. I have yet to go to Fulford cave. The caves I have been to I learned about through the college I was going to at the time. Shoot me an email and I can give you some more info. I don't know about to many caves but I know of some. Here is a good link for you. coloradogrotto.org


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By slim
Administrator
Apr 15, 2009
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

the lost creek wilderness has several really good underground river caves (probably hence the name lost creek wilderness..). about 15 years ago i did a fair amount of caving there, all with a wet suit. it was pretty sweet, there was a lot of swimming, and several sections where you had to go completely underwater to pass through. good times.

the caves previously mentioned in the general glenwood springs are all fun, and fairly easy to get info on.

near shelf road there are several caves - marble, fly, and wilson. these are easy to get info on as well. marble cave may be unaccessable as it looks like a new house has been built almost on top of the entrance.

there are quite a few caves in colorado. in general, the easiest way to get into caving is to find a cave foamer (a person who foams at the mouth when they are thinking/talking about caving) or join a grotto, like the front range grotto.


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By Rick Blair
From Denver
Apr 15, 2009
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I think it works quite well, depending on rope thickness and sheath quality, it belays very smooth.  Great to lower with.  You gotta love over engineering.  $3 at a gear swap!

If you want to get into it I would say read up. There are a lot of unique safety issues with caving. Always have 3 sources of light, 1 main, 2 backup. The main one should have backup bulbs and batterys. A compass is key. Start off slow, learn to draw maps.

In my mind the National Speleological Societies position on caving is, " no one should go in caves because they will destroy them..... except for me because I know what I am doing." That being said, they are the best resource, just be prepared for this attitude. There has been a long history of people chipping speleothems from caves so I guess some of the attitude is justified.

Many of the Best caves in Colorado require a cliff top rap or some serious scrambling so I think there is a lot out there to be explored out of reach of your average person.

If you want some locations on some caves, PM me. If you live near any calcium rich mineral formations like limestone or marble, there are most likely caves around somewhere.


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By Jason Kaplan
From Glenwood ,Co
Apr 15, 2009
avitar pic <br />

Right on guys, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I would love any specific beta about any cave your willing to share, I promise to only touch what's 100% necessary and I will wear rubber gloves. I also need to look into some shoes with good traction that are scuff proof. I beleive in upholding a proper moral standard and code of ethics so I would never take anything but pictures. Leaving only foot prints.

Just send me a PM through MP and I will get it in my E-mail, thanks!

Also thanks for sharing the info about skin killing the cave, I knew about the 3 light sources already and we abided by that along with bringing extra battery's.

  • Just because I don't like authority figures doesn't mean I have a problem following rules, Especially when they have a reason. I just like to do things on my own accord.

Out of curiosity is it bad to smoke in a cave? Any studys been done? Obviously it's inconsiderate if the cave is populated but if you have it all to yourself and it does no harm I don't see what the problem would be. If the cave is dead anyway I say who cares, but I'm being more specific to caves that are still alive.


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Apr 16, 2009
Stabby

Jason, be sure to go out and rent the movie "The Descent" before your next outing. Great movie about caving, plus there is some climbing action too.


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By Matt Nelson
From Divide, CO
Apr 16, 2009
Me rappin...

I guess the only issue with smoking as since there is little to know air movement it would linger there for a long time. A dead cave prolly wouldnt be much of an issue except other people not wanting to smell it. I could see the chemicals in a cave thats "alive" being much more harmful with the mixing of chemicals with whatever other chemical reactions are taking place. But I am no scientist so ...?


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By Rick Blair
From Denver
Apr 16, 2009
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I think it works quite well, depending on rope thickness and sheath quality, it belays very smooth.  Great to lower with.  You gotta love over engineering.  $3 at a gear swap!

Matt Nelson wrote:
I guess the only issue with smoking as since there is little to know air movement it would linger there for a long time.


Actually..... Most caves have multiple entrances, even if they are very small. As the air pressure gradient changes the caves "breath". Cigarette smoke would probably get flushed out pretty quick ( from most caves ).


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By Matt Nelson
From Divide, CO
Apr 16, 2009
Me rappin...

Like I said i don't know much about caves, just like to explore them.


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By Jason Kaplan
From Glenwood ,Co
May 3, 2009
avitar pic <br />

TEASER:
(pics moved down to full TR)


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
May 4, 2009
Stabby

Jason-
After you revived this thread I started googling around on Colorado caves. Groaning Cave sounds spectacular enough to consider making all the efforts (you need to be part of a grotto that has the access code and permission) required to be invited.
Nice thing about Fulford is that Lime Creek is just up the road, makes for a varied weekend trip.


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By Jason Kaplan
From Glenwood ,Co
May 4, 2009
avitar pic <br />

Right on, I found a site with GPS coord's to every pubicly open cave in colorado. There are alot of them. I guess we will resort to tracking gps coords and exploring on our own with no map of the cave. (considering it seem's pretty hard to find any for caves besides fulford, spring and hubbord)

We went to spring yesterday. Way cool!


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By Matt Nelson
From Divide, CO
May 4, 2009
Me rappin...

Sweet pics! Spring cave is always a blast. Can't wait to hit the caves there again.


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By Jason Kaplan
From Glenwood ,Co
May 4, 2009
avitar pic <br />

The weather was crap so we decided to bag the idea of doing 2 slot canyons and instead go caving. I've learned over time that you can't fight mother nature so you might as well learn to work with her.

We met up at 2 am in Evergreen and took off. The drive over the passes was a little hairy with a bunch of rude semi-drivers and crappy road conditions. We stopped in rifle to get some food. We also went to walmart and picked up a compass and some dry bags.

Off we went, the drive was pretty enjoyable. Although we had a spook as we saw a sign saying the road to Buford was closed and that's where were headed! We decide to ignore the sign and keep going.

The drive is really senic up the valley near the trail head:


You can see some elk on the right side of this shot:


We eventually made it to the trail head with no closed road. We were the only people there at about 7:30/8 am. The hike up to the entrance went fast as it was dry.

We were all buzzing from the excitment once we got to the entrance, so we geared up and took off.

The entrance:



This formation was nearly the first cool thing we saw:


We made our way to the Pirates Den after that.
The entrance to the Den:


We walked through some cool hallways and saw 1 cool formation on the way to the first fixed rope:




The other members of our team used the rope:


I decided it was easily down climbable. Thunder road was roaring and it looked high as hell. I didn't want to go near it so we walked down and checked out the lake. The lake was super full and had a raging current. I decided to climb out above it for a picture reguardless. I was sure a fall would mean death as the lake was probly 6'+ deep so I made sure every move was 100%.

I think the shot was worth the extra caution and possible doom:


We made our way back to the fixed rope up into the butterscotch room and again I decided I don't need a stinking rope. I climbed up into the butterscotch room with out the aid of the rope getting extremely soaked in the process. Everyone followed also getting soaked, so once we got in the butterscotch room we emptied our packs and let things dry out a little. Grabbing a little snack while we waited was a bonus. Everything was steaming while it dried out. Once everything got as dry as possible we packed our extra dry clothes with all our extra battery's and light sources into my 3 new dry bags for safe keeping.

A cool formation in the butterscotch room:


We then made our way to the bridge room passing a ton of cool stuff:









Once in the bridge room we decided to try to keep going as far as possible so we found the rope hole. I again decided the rope was an unnecessary eye sore and climbed down with out it. We crossed a number of flooded hallways on the way to the dogleg via bridging and traversing and steming above the water.

My friend at the other end of one:


At one of these crossings there was a rope going up out the other side and we climbed up with out it again. I'm not sure but it seemed the rope may have kept going under the water like there was another passage under there.
We made our way back a ways and explored alot of passages around the bowl room.
We never could find the crack attic or the rooms beyond that area. Maybe the passage was flooded as it seems we explored everything we could with out scuba gear. Hell we even climbed up 30 feet in 2 different spots looking for the passage to the next area but both spots seemed to squeeze out way to much or entirely all together.

Some pics from beyond the dog leg I believe:




We got kinda turned around back beyond the dog leg around the bowl room and main street(not sure if we found mainstreet or not) In the process of trying to find the crack attic so we decided it was best to head back. We got out of the cave around 3 and enjoyed having pleanty of time to drive home.

Enjoy!


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
May 5, 2009
Stabby

Great TR Jason! Thanks.


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By Matt Nelson
From Divide, CO
May 5, 2009
Me rappin...

Awesome TR. I remember one time we drove to spring cave, we got all the into the cave and almost to the ladder, when we realized that water was completely filling up the tunnels below the ladder. It was a bummer.


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