- Estimated Cost: $10
- Max Trip Size: 6 people
Potential opportunity for six adventurous Rovers to join me and several others on a trip to a wild cave. Potential because of the possibility of Spring melt making getting to the cave too difficult. However the cave is not prone to flooding. May not get the “green light” until a day or two before the trip or may need to re-schedule on short notice. That’s just part of the “nature” of the game!
Considered “wild” because unlike a “commercial cave” there are none of the typical improvements (i.e. lighting, trails, handrails, elevators, lounges or gift shops). There is one atypical improvement – entry to the cave is via an 68 foot ladder bolted to a vertical, steel culvert 30 inches in diameter. This cave has miles of explored passage but because of the slow pace of traveling over muddy, slippery, breakdown slabs we will likely only see the more easily accessible parts.
No experience required and not an extremely difficult trip; however, this will be more challenging than a hike in the park. Participants should be comfortable traveling in the dark (yes we carry lights but even so visibility will be limited), and be able to stoop-walk and/or crawl for short distances. This cave does not require wetsuits or vertical gear, will not include bat encounters, and has few speleothems (i.e. stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, etc.). However, it is an opportunity to see one of the grandest caves in the state which has no commercial access.
Participants need sturdy footwear, a helmet with chin strap and headlight (the Minnesota Speleological Survey [MSS] has a limited supply of helmets with lights available for a nominal rental fee – $5.00 – but you will need to let me know in advance to bring them and you need to supply your own batteries), at least two additional sources of light, a small side-pack or back-pack to carry water, snacks, the additional lights and batteries; coveralls or clothing that is expendable, work gloves, and a change of clothes for drive home.
Estimated cost: $10 – $20. Deposit: none. Max trip size: 6.