quote "jaa45993" Hi,
This post caught my attention as my wife and I will be moving to Utah in just a few weeks. Who are the proper people to contact regarding the Tony Grove caves? We like to work within the system when possible. We would like to start finding and mapping caves in Utah, but don't want to step on any toes. I read another trip report somewhere about cavers from TN that went to Main Drain. They tried to contact the Utah cavers with no response. Then they went and bottomed the cave on their own and made some people mad. We would like to avoid that type of situation and would love to learn the caves from the people who have been exploring them. If that is not available, we are fully able to figure things out on our own. It just takes more time and effort than it really should have to. We ran into that sort of situation when we lived in Arizona.
"Caverdale" Utah certainly doesn't have Arizona's problems. Don't know exactly what happened with the TN people and Main Drain, but, the usual leader is non-NSS, doesn't monitor forums, doesn't monitor grotto web pages, etc. Others involved are/were inactive in Utah caving for various reasons. Without knowing how, who, or where they tried to make contact it is difficult to account for the failure of communication.
Like Dale I am out of the loop as far as what happened with the TAGs and the Utah cavers for the Main Drain. There are contacts to be made in Utah for seeing Main-Drain or offering your assistance in continuing surveying/pushing the cave (among others). Getting in touch with either Dale or myself can point you in/to the right direction/people.
For the Salt Lake Valley area (Salt Lake Grotto) Dale Green is the best contact, Duane McCulley is another good one. Ogden (north of Salt Lake) area contacts (Wasatch Grotto) can be either Larry Spangler, Mike Beard, Dave Shurtz and/or Jim Bulkley (just to name a few). Provo/Utah Valley best contact would be Richard Downey of the Timpanogos Grotto. Logan area (Bear River Grotto) contact would be Thomas Haskett. Southern Utah contact: Kyle Voyles. All of these people are NSS (current or at least previous) members and can be found in the NSS Members Manual or the Grotto/IO page of the NSS site.
What is the caving season for the Utah alpine caves? Relatively short I would imagine.
"Caverdale" By November things start to slow down in the mountains, but the West Desert and eastern Nevada can be accessed. By May, the mountains start to become accessible but our two largest alpine caves can be flooded until July. Many pits are filled with snow until very late (and sometimes become inaccessible for years).
One can find a good long period of year-round caving if one is willing to cave in different parts of the state. It's all in knowing where caves are accessible at any given time. Heartier cavers will slog through the deep canyon snows just to get underground or go out to the "desert playground" and do the caves out there. There is certainly a lot to do at any given corner of the state as far as projects. Key is getting the group together and finding the right time that everyone is free.
This is true. Unless you're a seasoned winter hiker/skier finding a "new" cave in this time period would be the proverbial needle. Still ya, never know. Most ridgewalking is done during the cooler late summer months just prior to the first snow-fall which can be around Oct. especially in the Tony Grove area. Other areas i.e. desert areas have been pretty much walked out, but there's always that ONE still effectively hiding. Dale is probably THE resident expert of the desert area caves. Also a word of caution... some mine entrances can look like cave entrances... be careful and look for telltale signs of mining activity outside before venturing inside. Not all the abandoned mines are safe and not all of the abandoned mines have caves in them.What is available in the winter? Someone mentioned winter ridgewalking (skiing or snowshoeing?) to me.
Caverdale There is some snowshoeing/skiing to known caves in the winter but it is highly unlikely that you will find any caves that we don't already know about by ridgewalking by any conveyance in the winter.
Touchy subject indeed. But no less touchy for me here in TAG and I just HAD to make good friends with 7 day-ers who don't like to cave on Saturdays... at least not before church... after church yeah, they're all for it . Whereas in Utah the dominant religion is of course LDS and while a few will go on ahead and cave (recreationally ) on a Sunday, again ... that's only if because they're already out there on Saturday camping out and it's several hours drive back to *ahem* civilization.Is it true that no one caves on Sunday in Utah?
"Caverdale" Touchy subject. The short answer is "mostly, yes". It is nearly impossible to get a trip together that involves camping on Saturday night. I have done a lot on Sundays but almost all of it is solo caving or ridgewalking. I could continue on for several pages on this subject, but that might get offensive to some Utah cavers.
But fortunately it's a case of "who you know" in Utah that you can get a good trip up on a Sunday. I've several "non-member" friends who are sometimes at a loss so find them in the Salt Lake Grotto and it'll be a win-win.
Also understand that many of the married Utah cavers are devoted family people and their families come first before caving... yeah scandalous I know but Still making friends and planning the trips well enough in advance will usually effect in a positive outcome/turnout.
Again strong agreement here as far as being pro-active. Sometimes you'll just have to roll your own sleeves up to get things going. It's not because THEY don't want to, but usually (as I mentioned earlier) they do have other priorities and thus if nothing is planned for that particular chosen weekend then you stand a good chance on having a good trip.Any help would be appreciated. We are very excited about the caving opportunities in the Beehive State. Thanks,Caverdale wrote:You may find that to do Utah caving you will have to be proactive. Find out where the cave is that you want to go to (ask me), schedule a trip, and invite others. You might get lucky or you might have to cave solo. Recently, I have hooked up with the Northern Nevada Grotto and had a few very good trips this spring/summer, that I could never have put together with Utah cavers.
Also keep in mind that many caves can require anywhere from a 30 to a maximum of 3.5 hour hike just getting to the entrance... most average about an hour. This also includes hiking at above 4000 feet elevation and achieving anywhere between 1000-2000 feet elevation gain Likewise getting to a Utah cave includes a drive of up to several hours depending upon where you live in the state, something to consider in light of today's gas prices. A majority of the (off) roads are also 4X4 required... with a good suspension and ground clearance in places. Compared to here in TAG... I've yet to kick in my 4 wheel drive on my jeep, even off road.
Utah does have some of the best premiere caves and caving in the country IMO. Gorgeous formation galleries and outstanding deep pits and knock your-eyes-out scenery getting to/from. Contacting the Grottos is THE best way to experience it... please. (for the non NSS-cavers)
I truly miss it but am loving the TAG caving I've been experiencing as well.