Author Topic: xped to the US?  (Read 8441 times)

Offline Amata

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xped to the US?
« on: May 31, 2012, 11:49:26 pm »
Just wondering if there would be any interest...I know ya'all get more vacation time there (here having 5 days is doing good, 10 days is about the best to expect from anywhere!) and such so prolly easier to travel. I'd love to show everyone around! I could provide accommodations including pickup from the Huntsville airport and transportation...and you'd be in the center of the (arguably) best caving the US has to offer! Just BYOB. And food. If you eat. LOL.

Whatdya say? Any interest in planning something? I have beds/comfy sofas for five, lots of floor space for more (and air mattresses I can break out)
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Offline Alex

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2012, 07:57:34 pm »
Well I have already got exped plans this summer but Late November to christmass onwards could be a possiblity for a week, provided I aint recovering from surgery or your caves are blocked with ice.

Bring your own booze and food hmm, well would have to purchase out there as limited luggage room on planes.

Anyway you need more than one, so lets see what interest there is first.

P.s. If one was to go over there would one be expected to use a rack?
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Offline Amata

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2012, 08:35:39 pm »
We live in the south. It barely ever snows.

And I dont need a ton of folks, just thought it would be fun to have a couple of ya'all come over =)

You'd not have to use a rack, but the vertical we do will be determined by what kind of SINGLE pitch experience you have, what kind of rope weight you're used to managing, etc. When you see what we do, you'll understand more why we use racks ;) We have a training bluff we'd probably run off to first if there was any concern, and our ropes are so different so between that and ropeweight it's different to manage.
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Offline Alex

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2012, 08:45:22 pm »
Furtherest single drop I have done on my stop is 80m (270 ft~) it works to 100m apparently. It's tiring doing 80m as you are forcing the rope thought it but it's do-able. As long as the rope is not much thicker then 10.5mm (Thats about a third of an inch?) then the device will work, it may get too heavy if much thicker!

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Offline robjones

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2012, 11:45:51 pm »
And I dont need a ton of folks, just thought it would be fun to have a couple of ya'all come over =)

Be careful what you wish for:
http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=13201.msg170250#msg170250

Offline Amata

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2012, 04:48:39 am »
We use 11mm pmi maxwear pit rope. Way more static and stiffer than you are used to. You'll be feeding rope. I've seen it done for 200ft stuff. Might suck  :tease:but it'll work. You'll be fine.
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Offline Alex

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2012, 09:23:18 pm »
I find on very static ropes the descent is actually smoother but maybe that is just me. Anyway anyone else want to accompany me?
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Offline amoses

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2012, 09:53:33 pm »
Alex,

If you want use a bobbin in the states, you'll want to bring a simple.  A stop will be a pain under good circumstances and you can't even force an old wet gritty "pit rope" through it.  And if you want to drop our biggest pitches, you'll be much happier with a rack.

Make sure to hit me up if you come out this way, it would be good to cave with you again.

Aaron

Offline Amata

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2012, 10:00:17 pm »
Oh that is definitly true, static rope "warps" less in shape and provides a much smoother decent for sure. I can't stand it on grotto trips when we have to use f**king Talon rope. It suckkkkkkkkkkks. PMI max wear 11mm pit rope all the way! haha. Classic pit, and ez bend pit in 2nd to it (also both PMI ropes). The issues that  come in to play are the stiffness (it doesn't "bend" through the rappel device anywhere like what you are used to, think more trying to run a cable through your stop, not rope, for stiffness) and it is on the high end being 11mm, and it's *heavy*. Figure 10lbs of weight per 100 ft of rope. Definitely do-able on a stop to around 200-ft, but you'll have fun feeding rope and such most likely.

There are cave suppliers here so if you are so inclined we can always stop by and set you up with a proper rack (not the Petzl rack or something like that what ya seem to have there, but a good rack like what we use here!) a nice 6-bar rack is about $120 (70gbp-ish). You can save space and leave your oversuit/undersuit stuffs at home. Caves here average around 58f. We wont be doing anything requireing a wetsuit. A thin cordura oversuit would be plenty, but we usually were polypro base layer with cordura shorts over it. I sew cave gear so if you'll be wanting caveshorts can message me your sizing and I can whip something up. $45 for shorts, $50 if you want a custom colour that I dont have in stock.

It'll be fun!

Probably take you to ones I've been to already so you can brouse here on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunguramy/collections/72157626608129210/ to get an idea (anything from AL or TN most likely). Will probably do a weekday night trip to Hoopers (90ft pit) or something like it as a first vertical trip 'cause it's close, easy to rig and get anyone out if there are issues just to see where we're all at be sure everything is good to go.
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Offline jarvist

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2012, 05:55:17 pm »
Furtherest single drop I have done on my stop is 80m (270 ft~) it works to 100m apparently...

C-rig!
Also known as suicide rig, but it's fine with practice. Only way to make progress on long hangs of gritty 11mm+.

Offline Alex

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2012, 06:06:32 pm »
Aye would be great to cave with you again, Aaron. I think I will trade in my new stop for a simple and a bit of store credit, simples...
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Offline Amata

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2012, 07:17:16 pm »
If you like your stop I'd suggest keeping it and we can train you on a proper rack here as needed.
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Offline Alex

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2012, 11:52:47 pm »
I got two stops Amy as I thought I had lost my original one, but I had not lol. So I would be keeping my stop anyway.

I got some thin layers that I wore as a third layer when I was out in Austria, provided I can find them lol.
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Offline Amata

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2012, 12:07:09 am »
lol if not we can go thrift store hunting. I get my caving base layers for like $1-$3 an item. Ahhhh america..... =)
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Offline amoses

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2012, 06:47:03 pm »
Alex,
Let me know if your plans work out or if you have any questions about caving out here.  You might be over estimating the insulation you need. In the dry caves, tee shirt and jeans with no suit is the standard.  In a typical muddy Virginia/West Virginia cave I wear a breathable suit(mtde arraf) with a tee shirt and very thin tights under.  By Dec the TAG multidrops are raging wet, but a pvc and 3mm of wetsuit makes it good fun.
Aaron

Offline Alex

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2012, 08:27:53 pm »
Thanks Aaron and I am sure I can get some stuff here too and looks like I can finally put my rash vest and/or wet suit to some good use!

I was not thinking insulation that much as 58 f is only 5f colder than it is currently in my house, it was more what can I get that is not too warm but would not be wripped (me along with it) to shreds in typical caving enviroments, or are your caves alot bigger and less sharp there? I Still got a 2 inch scar on my arm for entering a short cave in my T-shirt while prospecting in Austria last year, but that was really sharp rock.
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Offline Amata

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2012, 09:34:51 pm »
TAG typical clothes (also...I don't do the wet multidrops yet, no wetsuit for 'em, so you won't run into those with me at least. Plenty to see without doing that stuff, you can get wet and cold in your UK caves all the time you want LOL):
- 50/50 cotton/poly BDU pants with a poly longsleeve tshirt (some caves can do shortsleve, but I prefer some protection on my arms)
- polypro base layer (both top and bottom, thin poly like "long underwear" thickness), poly tshirt over the top longsleeve polypro, cordura caveshorts (as I mentioned I think, I do make caveshorts)
- If it's a really dry cave, yeah you can easily get away with jeans and poly tshirt

I usually dress in layers because I'll start off colder and as I move I heat up (often times here overheating is as much an issue as not being warm enough!) so I strip off a layer and shove it in my pack.

Most i have ever worn was a cordura coverall (oversuit) but even then the cordura bibs (uhm...the term for there...farmer johns maybe? Overalls?) are more common than full coveralls.

Here you go for an idea....can see a mix (and this is a river passage cave, in water 90% the time) between 500d cordura coveralls, polypro with caveshorts (cordura shorts), etc. So yeah. This is a wet cave we are dressed for here.

Anderson Spring Cave 05 by Sunguramy, on Flickr
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Offline And

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2012, 11:31:12 pm »
Alex - when I was in the USA, when I first I tried my stop on a fat half-inch thick rope, but I went nowhere on my Stop despite the writing on the side that says it takes ropes up to 13mm. I was given monster rack by one of the other cavers and with a quick lesson on how to use it, I dropped the 20m pitch easily. With the large racks and fat rope I wasn't going to easily plummet to my doom!  You'll be fine doing vertical stuff there, and racks do give a nice smooth descent!

Offline barrabus

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2012, 01:18:06 am »
Get yourself a rack Alex, you won't regret it. I've got a spare one (Petzl) you can borrow if you want.
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Offline Amata

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2012, 03:57:40 am »
Ugh Petzl racks. *blech*

If you *really* want a rack, like I said, buy one when you are here =) There is a lot more variation with racks than you might think, and not all are alike!
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Offline Brains

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2012, 04:14:51 am »
Quote
Most i have ever worn was a cordura coverall (oversuit) but even then the cordura bibs (uhm...the term for there...farmer johns maybe? Overalls?) are more common than full coveralls.
I think these would normally be described as dungarees, unless fully waterproof with attached boots, then the term "waders" would apply.
Personally I would love a trip, but lack of money and the need for income keep me at work, and I have a unique form tourettes in that I swear profusely in the presence of those blinded by belief in an untenable point of view.

Offline Amata

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2012, 04:19:22 am »
Quote
Most i have ever worn was a cordura coverall (oversuit) but even then the cordura bibs (uhm...the term for there...farmer johns maybe? Overalls?) are more common than full coveralls.
I think these would normally be described as dungarees, unless fully waterproof with attached boots, then the term "waders" would apply.
Personally I would love a trip, but lack of money and the need for income keep me at work, and I have a unique form tourettes in that I swear profusely in the presence of those blinded by belief in an untenable point of view.
LOL well luckily the cavers in our grotto generally are not bible-thumpers, you'd be safe. And Huntsville is an island in the south...highest ratio of PhD's per population in the US...which really helps to make it a smart city =) Also uh...cavers here tend to swear profusely too. And have dirty brains. You'd be safe! I mean...we like to rig to BFT's and BFR's all the time....Big F***king Trees and Big F**king Rocks...there you have it, we even swear in naming things. Hell, take this example: In one cave you have to go one of two ways: would you rather do the Blue Crawl or Suicide Passage? HA! probably said Blue Crawl right? Know why it was named Blue Crawl? *&@#&*@&*&*#&*&****@*!*!*!@@@!!!! is why! Swear so much trying to get through it you "turn the air blue"! Suicide passage sucks and you'll swear some, but it's do-able.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 04:29:24 am by Amy »
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Offline Brains

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2012, 04:24:52 am »
Is that an official collective noun for cavers, like a coven of withches?  ;D
I shall save hard and see what happens, but think it unlikely at present  :(
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Offline Alex

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2012, 01:10:05 pm »
The second pitch in Grange rigg is blue for the amount of swearing I did in there, I have melloed alot since then.
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Offline Amata

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2012, 05:41:07 am »
Never have to feed rope on this puppy....
(amazingly photobombed by fellow caver Billy...Ah vertical practices, always a laugh!)

All 24 inches are MINE!


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Offline Alex

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2012, 07:18:11 pm »
Lol that thing is huge, would rent one for a "go" but buying one would be pointless as it would be useless over hear, though I guess it could go on my mantlepeice as a large orniment. By the way what the heck are those things attached to your chest?
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Offline Les W

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2012, 07:21:31 pm »
By the way what the heck are those things attached to your chest?

If you don't know by now Alex then there is no hope for you...
 :tease: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Offline Anon

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2012, 08:19:35 pm »
By the way what the heck are those things attached to your chest?

If you don't know by now Alex then there is no hope for you...
 :tease: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Brilliant  :clap2:


One hopes Alex referring to a large rack wasn't using an urban dictionary at the time  :doubt:

Offline Amata

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2012, 08:38:35 pm »
No no that is a 24" rack meant for over 300meter Single pitch drop. Standard rack we use daily is 14". Much smaller. Standard Petzl racks are 10" and are a piece of shit. I took some video Friday at vertical practice it turned out dark though. I worked with my 14" standard,  my 18" I'm currently train.ing with,  and my boyfriends 24 for El Cap which you saw in that photo. My own personal rack....that's something different ;)
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Offline langcliffe

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2012, 09:06:22 pm »
Brilliant 

One hopes Alex referring to a large rack wasn't using an urban dictionary at the time

I suspect that Alex was referring to the chest roller, rather than the rack. It's used to hold the rope close to the chest when ascending, hence keeping one upright

Offline Amata

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2012, 09:22:12 pm »
Ah, yes. It is used in both Mitchell and Ropewalking systems here.
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Offline Brendan

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2012, 09:27:10 am »
No no that is a 24" rack meant for over 300meter Single pitch drop. Standard rack we use daily is 14". Much smaller. Standard Petzl racks are 10" and are a piece of shit. I took some video Friday at vertical practice it turned out dark though. I worked with my 14" standard,  my 18" I'm currently train.ing with,  and my boyfriends 24 for El Cap which you saw in that photo. My own personal rack....that's something different ;)

Now now, it's not the size, it's what you do with it that counts  ;)
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Online droid

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2012, 11:26:05 am »

I suspect that Alex was referring to the chest roller, rather than the rack. It's used to hold the rope close to the chest when ascending, hence keeping one upright

Wasn't that tried in the Dales many years ago, and referred to as the 'Buggery Box'?
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Offline Alex

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2012, 01:20:56 pm »
Hmm we accomplish the same thing with petzl chest jammer and doing up your chest straps tight, it would certainly be intersting to see all your strange devices, though I guess I would not have a clue how to use any of them.
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Offline langcliffe

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2012, 02:15:13 pm »
Hmm we accomplish the same thing with petzl chest jammer and doing up your chest straps tight, it would certainly be intersting to see all your strange devices, though I guess I would not have a clue how to use any of them.

The chest roller is effectively level with one's armpits, and is designed for rope walking which requires an upright posture. How high a Petzl Croll can sit is limited by it being attached to the sit harness, and tightening up straps simply puts one into a more crouched position.

The only way to achieve a similar effect with the frog system is to have a Pantin on one foot, and hold yourself upright with one's arms. This is easier enough against the wall, but I find it far too tiring when climbing free-hanging pitches to progress more than about 15 metres.

Rope walking is very energy efficient, but the American rigging techniques have developed for rope walking, and ours for the Frog system. Passing re-belays and deviations takes longer with the Mitchell's system.

Offline Amata

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2012, 03:48:00 pm »
Alex we can teach you. I just posted a video in the equipment section of some quick shots taken at vertical practice on Friday. They aren't training quality by any means but gives an idea. Eventually our cave rescue team has been meaning to make some training videos for when we teach SRT courses. I have a feeling I will be delegated to that activity now that I have an idea how to use the recording on my camera better and have the editing program figured out!

A chest roller works very different from a croll. Completely unalike. I started off on a frog system (your standard frog system, that part is synonomous!) and being shorter and very topheavy with a shortish torso, this makes it completely uneffecient for me and I max out around 100-120ft of climbing. If I trained a TON i could build up more muscle I'm sure and stretch that, but I would never be able to do the big stuff, and it would be hell, not enjoyable. I basically caclulated even with a ton of practice my max would be at most 200-250ft, which doesn't get you into much here. It was a great system for Indiana and Kentucky, where I was doing little in-cave stuff and nusance 30-60ft entrance stuff. That's about it.

When I added a pantin to frogwalk (which I believe is where you call it a ropewalker, hahahhaha) this helped make it easier, I could do the 100-ish ft stuff instead of just around 60 or so, but the mechanics are still totally wrong as being so topheavy i'm walking at like a 45deg angle not straight/almost straight up!

Traded the pantin for a cmi foot ascender, purchased a chest roller, and re-tied my system into a single bungee ropewalker and bam...I'm climbing 600ft with ease.

I think sometimes guys have a harder time understanding just how much boobs can get in the way...especially 36DDD/F's >_> The weight distribution in my body is so CRAZY different between that and having hips. I'm carrying at least an extra 30lbs of weight in my upper half than I would if I was a male version of me. Even looking around at the rare other female who does srt here...95%of the time they are very masculine in build.

A note about passing rebelays and such though - I can't comment on a mitchell (never tried it on that system) but there are a few guys here (usually tall sticks of guys) who prefer frogging (and it's funny to watch them try to ropewalk, it's the rare body-completely-built-for-frog they have!) and past few vertical practices we've done rebelays varying in crappyness of rigging. the one that was like 10ft down, 10ft over to the rig point and very shortrigged (rope stretched downward gave about 6" past the rebelay, there was nothing to rappel into!), I was a bit slower on climb, and much slower on rappel (rappel slowness due to not having something that short on me as I didn't have cowstails so I had a hell of a time figuring it out!). All the other rebelays I was basically as fast as the froggers. And to be honest everyone struggled with that one rig...I just hope I never run into one of those in a cave. LOL

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Offline amoses

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2012, 08:11:34 pm »
Alex,

Our caves are generally a lot less sharp than those Dachstein caves.  We've got plenty of tight caves too, but most of the popular sport caves don't have much small stuff on the main routes.

The "long frame microrack" I had works for pitches approaching 200m if the rope is good and it's also quick on rebelays and comfortable to walk around with.  You might find one worth owning, but racks are easily borrowed around here.

Aaron

Offline Amata

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2012, 08:44:18 pm »
Micros aren't generally recommended for beginners on racks. Have to be quite mindful, even one bar pops off and you are good as dead which has been known to happen on lip crossings especially with folks who try to feed the rope. NEVER feed rope on a micro. Also, they are a lot easier to get going too fast on, at which point it is very hard to regain control because they don't have the same friction variability as a standard 14" rack. Everything combined, they are a great tool, but as I said not recommended for beginners.

Yes though, I definitely say long frame if you are going to own a micro, gives you more friction control ability. For the drop distance you can do it's gonna depend on the rope used and your weight. 150-200ft is their maximum useful range for a single drop.

Between my so and I we have 5 different racks (long frame micro, 2 standard 14, 18", and 24"), definitely have enough to cover you though should you want to try one (or need to use one). Probably put you on the 14" (safest and easiest to train you on) and depending on the drop use a larger frame for ourself or micro.
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #38 on: June 12, 2012, 04:09:07 pm »
http://www.kentuckytourism.com/outdoor_adventure/caving.aspx?utm_source=CavingNews&utm_medium=staticbanner&utm_content=Cave300x250&utm_campaign=ADVDigital

Just seen this advert for an unbridled KY adventure. Not too sure it translates well across the pond. Or perhaps it does and will result in a lot of dismayed punters who were expecting something a little different. Also, not too sure what their definition of unbridled is but if it's the same as the one in my dictionary then I think I'll pass.

Offline Amata

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #39 on: June 12, 2012, 10:30:40 pm »
LOTS to see in Mammoth...I've never been in the "main" mammoth but I've done some trips into Roppel (all wild, one very guarded entrance) which is "the backdoor to Mammoth" it's connected via sump.

I haven't done any tours in Mammoth but I have heard the lantern tour and wild tour both are worthwhile by other cavers. Mammoth is prettymuch CRF controlled for anything offtrail so what I've been able to gather, rather political and tough to get in. However there are work weekends and weeks in Mammoth cleaning up old tourist trails so you are off the beaten path and they usually do trips from that. So volunteering for those is a good way to see non-tourist Mammoth. Another good way to see more of Mammoth is to take Art Palmer's geo course which maybe next summer I can do. Been meaning to take it since I heard about it last year.

Unbridled spirit is the Kentucky state motto. After all it's where all the horseracing is headquartered. I actually really like Kentucky there is a lot to see and do there. And Kentucky cavers are quite nice.
Sunguramy, my cave photography and blog website

Online owd git

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #40 on: June 12, 2012, 11:07:26 pm »
Seems KY doesn't have the same 'ring' about it as in the u.k. :spank: :spank: :o
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Offline Amata

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Re: xped to the US?
« Reply #41 on: June 13, 2012, 03:46:40 am »
OH lol. Uhm no your brains just went somewhere else entirely :P I know we have ky here ;)
Sunguramy, my cave photography and blog website