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Cave Training

This is the only caving course I ever taught for COE since they are sometimes cancelled due to low enrollment. The first couple pictures are from cave staff training with broccoli Rob (who is not me), which is held the weekend before the first caving course starts. We headed to Onesquethaw cave, which is pretty much an underground river. It took a few moments to adjust to the water temperature, but the warm cave air made it easier. It had rained all day on Saturday, so the water was very high on Sunday--waist deep at points. We squeezed through about half of the cave before calling it a day, changing into dry clothes, and heading back to Ithaca. While in the cave, we found a dead rabbit and maneuvered over a small (15f foot deep crevasse on our bellies.

Caving Course

Kat and I finally got to teach together! She made a sweet cd for the van ride up, which I eventually got to keep. We talked about the magazine she edits, our students' interests, and our friend groups during the 3.5 hour drive to the cave systems outside of Albany. Friday evening we caved in Onesquethaw, which was very dry compared to the training trip the week before. On Saturday, we explored Clarkesville. Some of our students were stoked on the "Chest Compressor" and "Snake" features, I took them through while Kat brought the remainder of the class out of the cave to wait for us. A wrong turn when looking for the chest compressor took me into a squeeze too small for my body, which was not fun. I managed to wiggle my way back out and hung out in the cold as our students finished going back and forth through the Snake.

Friday night and Saturday night we stayed in Schoharie cabin, which is owned by the Northeast Cave Conservancy. There is actually a cave on the same property as the cabin, but it was closed to protect bats from White Nose syndrome. On Sunday, we did the other half of Clarksville cave including the corkscrew and chutes and then drove the 3.5 hours back to Ithaca to wash all our gear, shower, and start homework around 10pm Sunday night.