Fall 2005 found me visiting my first truly deep cave. I was along on a rigging trip to get ropes in place for planned activities later in the year. In exchange for helping carry several hundred feet of rope up the side of a mountain, I was able to go on a “guided tour” of the cave. This tour included invaluable pointers and tips on vertical gear and techniques, and a chance to test out some alternative equipment from what I personally owned.
This is a deep and cold cave. You’ll notice “fog” in the below pictures from people breathing in the passageway. Having to hold your breath for a minute to let fog clear in order to allow the camera flash to work properly is one of the strange quirks you learn while caving in high elevation caves.
This trip helped me realize just how much learning I had to do in order to safely and effectively visit vertical caves, and I still appreciate the time that was taken to help me out that day.