Thursday, June 11, 2015

Underground in Nevada

 A couple weekends ago I joined some friends to venture into a couple caves to see if they'd be appropriate to use for an upcoming Small Party Cave Rescue Class. We met up at a primitive campsite, which made a beautiful relaxing spot.

The next morning we hiked to the cave, where this beautiful hole beckoned.

We put two ropes into the pit so we could rappel and ascend the 180+ feet in pairs.

Here's Bill on a slopey part of the rappel.

Once we got to the bottom, the room opened up and sported some large formations.

Here's a closer view of some of the larger stalagmites.

Chris took a closer look at an insect we found.

In one small side passage we saw a small shield, about five inches across.

It didn't take long to check out the cave, so then it was time to start heading back up.

Here's the view for the last part of the climb. It's great going into caves, but it's also wonderful to emerge to the sunlight.

On the way back down, Tom found a nice gopher snake.

We wanted to see one more cave that day, so we gathered our cave gear and rope and trudged up a hill.

This cave had a short drop onto a slope.

Numerous formations were stained with packrat excrement.

Over on the side we rigged two ropes for the 145 drop to the lower section of the cave.

Watching others go down, down, into the underground. (There's a catchy caving song that starts out with that line.)

At the bottom we checked out neat bones, formations, signatures from the 1920s, and even a little lead (that pinched out).

Once again it was time to climb out.

Seeing different caves always reminds me of the wonderful diversity of our planet.

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