Blue Spring Cave Tennessee

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Re: Blue Spring Cave Tennessee

Postby Larry E. Matthews » Feb 27, 2012 9:54 am

I'd say it's even worse than "inexperienced spelunkers". Basically, it is non-cavers being allowed in the cave. From what I hear, rather large scout groups and other groups have been allowed to visit the cave. Not only are these people not cavers, their leaders usually aren't, either. So, they really don't understand how sensitive, rare, and fragile these items are.

I think this is a good example of the problems that have been caused by the State of Tennessee closing ALL the caves on their property. Inexperienced, non-cavers should be going to old stand-bys, like Lost Creek Cave or Camps Gulf Cave. They would have just as much fun, but couldn't hurt anything.

Larry
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Re: Blue Spring Cave Tennessee

Postby BrianC » Feb 27, 2012 10:05 am

Larry E. Matthews wrote:
I think this is a good example of the problems that have been caused by the State of Tennessee closing ALL the caves on their property. Inexperienced, non-cavers should be going to old stand-bys, like Lost Creek Cave or Camps Gulf Cave. They would have just as much fun, but couldn't hurt anything.

Larry

Very true!
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Re: Blue Spring Cave Tennessee

Postby cavercrane97 » Mar 8, 2012 10:29 am

I guess the group(or individual) that did this damage does not understand :cave softly: . I mean any responsible and caring caver would watch for the flagged areas and try to the best of their ability to keep the cave clean and well-preserved. It's a dying shame when something like this happens to something so beautiful!!
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Re: Blue Spring Cave Tennessee

Postby Larry E. Matthews » Mar 8, 2012 12:40 pm

I think this is what happens when one person, maybe with a reasonably good conservation ethic, tries to take 40 or 50 people on a "tour". They are busy talking to the few people in the front of the line and have no idea what the people in the middle or back of the line are doing.

To prevent this, there should be no more than two novices for every experienced, trustworthy caver.

My two cents.

In fact, why take novices AT ALL to the most pristine, exceptional cave in the entire state? Just a BAD idea. And...........this is what you get.

Larry
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Re: Blue Spring Cave Tennessee

Postby JR-Orion » Mar 8, 2012 2:07 pm

That's terrible.

I've only seen it in the book, but Blue Spring Cave looks like an incredible place.
Letting the days go by / water flowing underground
Into the blue again / in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones / there is water underground.
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Re: Blue Spring Cave Tennessee

Postby tncaver » Mar 8, 2012 2:48 pm

JR-Orion wrote:That's terrible.

I've only seen it in the book, but Blue Spring Cave looks like an incredible place.


It's much better than the book. :grin:
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Re: Blue Spring Cave Tennessee

Postby BrianC » Mar 8, 2012 3:00 pm

tncaver wrote:
JR-Orion wrote:That's terrible.

I've only seen it in the book, but Blue Spring Cave looks like an incredible place.


It's much better than the book. :grin:


It sure is!!!! When seeing all the gypsum crystals, especially the long ones close to 20+" it is amazing! All the formations :woohoo: It is so nice that even short trips would take a long time just looking at everything.
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Re: Blue Spring Cave Tennessee

Postby Larry E. Matthews » Mar 9, 2012 8:50 am

A lot of my comments are based on years and years and years of caving. And, I was a Guide at Cumberland Caverns for a while.

As a Trip Leader, I have had the same problem, where you have a rather large group, going single file, down a passage. You just have no idea what the people at the back of the line are doing.

Let's think about it. Hmmmm. You want to "collect" a formation? Just drop back to the END of the line. No one will see you. Want to write your name on the wall? Easy, just drop back to the end of the line.

So, having had the SAME problem many times myself, that is why I would suggest that large, non-caving groups only be taken to non-sensitive caves. Sensitive caves should only have small groups where there are MORE real cavers, than non-cavers. I know on some of the old Nashville Grotto trips we would put a Grotto member in front of and in back of a newbie. That seemed to work really well and the new person learned a lot about caving and conservation.

Larry
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Re: Blue Spring Cave Tennessee

Postby PYoungbaer » Mar 12, 2012 7:04 am

At this past year's National Caves and Karst Management Symposium, the National Park Staff at Timonogos Cave presented a study of damage done to the cave by cave tours pre and post adding a second guide at the back of their tour groups. The difference was staggering. Not just graffiti, but breakage, making out, urinating and yes, even Number 2. Helps keep people on trail and not getting lost or injured, and keeps the group moving on schedule. The incidents went way down. Simple solution with good results.
When I've guided groups, I usually have an experienced caver bring up the rear.
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Re: Blue Spring Cave Tennessee

Postby graveleye » Mar 12, 2012 9:54 am

when we cave, we almost always have a "sweeper" in the rear if we have anyone new with us.
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Re: Blue Spring Cave Tennessee

Postby Teresa » Mar 14, 2012 10:45 am

One of the first things they tell you if you are leading a large on-trail group when no official sweep available is pick a likely looking tourist who seems to have something on the ball and appoint them the sweep to help you control the crowd. Another thing, "lead" from the middle (or about 1/3 of the way back) when there is a well-marked trail. That gives the a better visitor experience in two ways: one, the front visitors (who you are keeping your eyes on so they don't run too far ahead) have the experience of discovering the cave, and you don't have to yell as loud to be heard. In fact, if you are in the middle you can control the tour better, because you are closer to rear, but still can move up quickly to actually "lead" if need be.

Old cave guide trick.
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Re: Blue Spring Cave Tennessee

Postby SuckinOnSodaStraws » Apr 16, 2012 8:10 pm

I was recently in a similarly fragile cave. Flagging everywhere, constant instructions, and signs stating such instructions for careful caving. I think signs posted at the most delicate areas would eliminate all "accidents" and narrow things down to true vandalism. For example, KEEP LOW signs were posted in very in-your-face places. I know it sounds like signs would just be adding to cave trash, but unless you can't read(...), there would be no other explanation than intended vandalism making them highly-effective. In this particular cave, I was amazed at the amount of time and effort spent to make sure everything remains pristine. Even finished our trip with a caver following us and caving backwards while scrubbing and cleaning on our way out! Leave no trace to the next level! But it went without saying that with such a "magical" place, beginners should be elsewhere.

Keep your concience clean, and the cave cleaner.
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Re: Blue Spring Cave Tennessee

Postby KENTO » Jun 29, 2012 8:38 am

When I went to the Guadalupe Caves up in the Forest above CaCa back in the 1990's the people would not issue permits to groups larger than 8, that was further specified to mean, experienced caver at front and experienced caver at back with up to 6 novices only in between. I always thought that was an admirable standard for any high quality cave.
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Re: Blue Spring Cave Tennessee

Postby Dev » Mar 6, 2013 5:30 pm

How much crawling is required for Blue Spring Cave? My gf in Knoxville met someone at one of the meetings yesterday with SMG I beleive, and one of them doing research said they were willing to take us to BSC, however after hearing my girlfriend on the phone, she made it sound like it was low crawling through a straw for ages. This makes it harder on me trying to convince her to try caving, so any chance anyone can give me a decent idea so I can try and be prepared/prepare her?
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Re: Blue Spring Cave Tennessee

Postby Caving Guru » Mar 6, 2013 7:18 pm

One idea to prevent damage to Blue Spring Cave is that it can be restricted to NSS members only like what is done for some caves I know of in Pennsylvania.
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