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Getting geared up and ready to experience Spring Valley Caverns with our Exercise and Sport Science Caving class!

Getting geared up and ready to experience Spring Valley Caverns with our Exercise and Sport Science Caving class from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Spring Valley Caverns was originally commercialized in the 1960s and has since been bought by a private owner, John Ackerman, who allows tours with approved guides.

Spring Valley Caverns was originally commercialized in the 1960s and has since been bought by a private owner, John Ackerman, who allows tours with approved guides.

 

Map example that depicts a section of the Spring Valley Cavern cave system.

“Bat Dung Dig”  — Sounds like an appealing place with a fun task, right?

 

Map example that depicts a section of the Spring Valley Cavern cave system.

This map depicts the entire Spring Valley Caverns cave system, complete with speleological information and key.

 

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Pre-caving briefing in “the bunker” of Spring Valley Caverns.

With a larger group, it is hard to avoid walking single-file for large periods of time as Spring Valley Caverns (SVC) is a cave that contains many tall and narrow passageways.

With a larger group, it is hard to avoid walking single-file for large periods of time as Spring Valley Caverns (SVC) is a cave that contains many tall and narrow passageways.

Making our way through the ave over several hurtles, so to speak...

Making our way through the cave over several hurtles, so to speak…

Taking turns heading through the narrow passageways to deeper sections of SVC.

Taking turns heading through the narrow passageways to deeper sections of SVC.

 

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Luckily, we did have the chance to experience several crawlspaces in Spring Valley Caverns… One of them, pictured here, was a highlight of the trip! The tunnel was very smooth and well-traveled to make for a perfect crawl for novice cavers!

Farther along in the crawlspace to give proper perspective.  Average time in this crawlspace if undelayed was about 2-3 minutes.

Farther along in the crawlspace to give proper perspective. Average time in this crawlspace if undelayed was about 2-3 minutes.

Some of our incredible class that was enjoying their first (or one of their first) caving experiences!

Some of our incredible class that was enjoying their first (or one of their first) caving experiences! Overall, students confidently stated that they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and appreciated Spring Valley Cavern’s ease of access.

Crawlspace perspective with another caver...

Crawlspace perspective with another caver.

 

Epic "photobomb" that needed to be included in order to make this photoblog complete!

Epic “photo-bomb” that needed to be included in order to make this photoblog complete!

 

Trying our best to "Leave No Trace" in caving environments is a top priority in order to minimize our impact and maximize enjoyment for other caving enthusiasts!

Trying our best to “Leave No Trace” in caving environments is a top priority in order to minimize our impact and maximize enjoyment for other caving enthusiasts!

 

Spring Valley Caverns had several unique features and interesting formations!  Since the cave is quite well-traveled, areas with delicate formations are flagged off and marked for additional protection.

Spring Valley Caverns had several unique features and interesting formations! Since the cave is quite well-traveled, areas with delicate formations are flagged off and marked for additional protection.

 

One of our caving students, Erin, taking some time to investigate one of the many side passages in Spring Valley Caverns.

One of our caving students, Erin, taking some time to investigate one of the many side passages in Spring Valley Caverns.

 

Kristin, making her way through a rather wet passageway that is toward a deeper segment of our SVC section...

Kristin, making her way through a rather wet passageway that is toward a deeper segment of our SVC section…

 

Beautiful section of flowstone in Spring Valley Caverns named "Medusa" that demonstrates one of the many cool features along the way!

A beautiful section of flowstone in Spring Valley Caverns named “Medusa” that demonstrates one of the many cool features along the way!

Getting rather dirty, but enjoying the journey!

Getting rather dirty, but enjoying the journey nevertheless!

 

Infamous "soda-straws" that border the water line of some segments within Spring Valley Caverns...

Infamous “soda-straws” that border the water line of some segments within SVC!

 

Practicing a couple of caving techniques in a low-risk area. Trying out stemming and straddling through various passageways in this area named "Coon's Crack"

Practicing a couple of caving techniques in a low-risk area. Trying out stemming and straddling through various passageways in this area named “Coon’s Crack”

The full group!  All twenty of us from ESS 100: Caving.  This is quite the group size and would be challenging to run trips to more congested caves throughout the area. Spring Valley Caverns offered a perfect blend of adventure and ease of access for a group of our size!

The full group! All twenty of us from ESS 100: Caving. This is quite the group size and would be challenging to run trips to more congested caves throughout the area. Spring Valley Caverns offered a perfect blend of adventure and ease of access for a group of our size!

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# Comments

  • mtbgreg1

    Great photos! But man, just looking at those shots of the crawl space were making me panicky. I hate even doing quick crawls under a ledge in a cave that total, like, 10 seconds… I honestly think I would freak if I had to crawl like that for 2-3 minutes!!

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