Monday, August 14, 2006

[trip] New River Cave BSA Trip

Judi Wasilewski and Pete Sauvigne of the VPI Cave Club and myself, Dave Riggs, led Boy Scout troop 140 of South Carolina into New River Cave this weekend. Our group consisted of 18 scouts, four adults and the three guides.

Troop 140 along the road below New River Cave

New River Cave is the longest cave in Giles County, VA, at over 5 miles in length. Access to the cave is forbidden without written permission from the owner, Tim Kilby. Parking is along the New River, and the sole cave entrance is up an extremely steep hillside. We slowly climbed up to the entrance, did a final equipment check, and all met in the entrance room just inside the cave. The land-owner had prepared a nice written statement to introduce everyone to the cave and to caving.

We broke the large group up into three smaller groups of 6 scouts each. My group, age group 15 - 18, spent about 3 hours in the cave. We headed back in to the register room, through lots of decorated passage, and back to a big fault chamber with a steep dirt slide down the fissure. They had a great time, asked lots of questions, and did an excellent job of traversing the cave terrain. Upon exiting the cave and realizing that we were the first ones out, they were eager to head back in and explore the cave aimlessly (and to try their best at surprising the other groups)!

The last group made it out after about 4 hours in cave, and everyone headed back down the mountainside to eat sandwiches. The scouts and the trip leaders both had a good time on this trip, and I'd enjoy leading another BSA troop in-cave again.


Michael Haggerty said...

Hey Dave! I'm a VPI alum and my brother is in school at the VCOM school there. We were hoping to get a trip into the NR cave together. Do you know how to contact Tim Kilby for access? Also, I heard there was a map of the cave -- do you know anything about this?


Dave Riggs said...

Michael, I recommend that you contact the VPI Cave Club if you're looking to access New River Cave.