Fwd: [SFBC New Cavers] Members’ Meeting September 22 at 7:30 PM, online

This month’s SFBC Members’ Meeting will take place online on Tuesday September 22 at 7:30 PM PST. The meeting will be held online through Zoom. Please use the meeting link below.
This month’s presentation, beginning at 7:40 PM, will be:
*Great X Expedition August 2020*
Great Expectations Cave is located in the Bighorn Mountains of northern Wyoming and is a cave preserve that is owned by the NSS. It was first discovered in 1977 and it contains the deepest, possibly longest, and almost certainly the most difficult and dangerous through-trip in the US. A group of cavers from across the Rocky Mountain region began resurveying it in 2018 and there appears to be much new exploration left to be done. In August, 2020 the first “Great Xpedition” was held where more than 2.3 miles was surveyed in a week. Derek Bristol, a caver from Denver, organized and led this expedition and he will describe some of the history, objectives of the survey effort, and progress to date.
Presented by Derek Bristol
ELECTIONS ARE IN NOVEMBER – it seems likely that they will be electronic. We are soliciting nominations (self-nominations welcome). We are also welcoming volunteers for the electronic election committee. Please email execs@sfbaycaving.org with any nominations or to volunteer for the election committee.
The meeting will be held online through zoom. Here are the Zoom instructions:
Topic: SFBC Meetings
Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: sjsu.zoom.us/j/91837344895?pwd=ZnZ2VlVZejJTZzhzeFQ3azJ1VXRNQT09
Password: 788933
Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16699006833,,91837344895# or +13462487799,,91837344895#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 646 876 9923 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 918 3734 4895
International numbers available: sjsu.zoom.us/u/agtrAEWyb
I look forward to seeing you all there!

Fwd: Vertical practice tonight 730 pm

———- Forwarded message ——— From: Sonia Meyer <soniawmeyer@gmail.com> Date: Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 12:11 PM Subject: Vertical practice tonight 730 pm To: New Cavers of SFBC <newcavers@sfbaycaving.org>, SFBC List < sfbc@sfbaycaving.org>, diablo@diablogrotto.org <diablo@diablogrotto.org>
Hi all, reminder that we have vertical practice tonight at 730 pm. I’ll be talking about how to make a home rope treadmill featuring some pretty dope zoom drawings/scribbles. Please join if you’d like to learn or share your own method.
Additionally, I’ll be hosting a safe space if anyone wants to talk about and process the protests going on right now starting at 7 pm.

Topic: SFBC June Vertical Practice Time: Jun 2, 2020 07:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: sjsu.zoom.us/j/96131443569?pwd=WjRJRWNHR3M1STJoMGsvMWtJeGVEdz09 Password: 948093
Or iPhone one-tap : US: +16699006833,,96131443569# or +13462487799,,96131443569# Or Telephone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923

Meeting Reminder – Tomorrow

Hi all, we’re doing our first members meeting tomorrow via Zoom! We’re excited to have Dr. Hazel Barton speaking about the Greenland Cave Project. The meeting starts at 7:30 PM, but you’re welcome to join at 7:00 pm for socializing.
Topic: SFBC April Meeting Time: Apr 28, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: sjsu.zoom.us/j/920512539?pwd=V3BWWmVLdkFsSm5lZFBHbVZENUdkdz09 Password: 676883 *see SFBC calendar for phone call in information

NSS 2020 Cancelled :(

April 18, 2020
For Immediate distribution
Dear NSS Friends,
After much listening, discussion, careful consideration, and in accordance with federal, state, and local recommendations, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 NSS Convention. Given the painful reality of COVID-19, one of the greatest global challenges of our lifetimes, we believe this is the right thing to do.
Yes, we are heartbroken. We know you are too. However, public health and the well-being of our members, our staff, and our neighbors in the Elkins, West Virginia, community are our highest priorities.
This decision requires a complete change in logistics. To those of you who preregistered—in the coming weeks, we will be establishing the mechanisms needed to process refunds. You will be contacted individually with your options to proceed.
We are also considering available options for conducting some elements of convention in some virtual space. In the interim, we ask your patience as we thought it best to inform everyone of this development sooner rather than later.
To the convention staff—we give our full sincere thanks for all the efforts you made. It’s difficult times like these that we truly realize what a great group of caving friends we have. And we look forward to working with you in the future. We are now initiating plans to move the 2020 West Virginia Convention to 2023 and moving forward with the 2021 convention in Weed, California.
Until we can once more crawl a muddy crawl or party around a bonfire—stay smart, stay safe, stay healthy.
Rich Geisler and Meredith Weberg
NSS 2020 Convention Co-Chairs

Katherine “Kat” Crispin, Ph.D.
NSS Administrative Vice President
Geary Schindel
NSS President
Nathan Farrar
NSS Chair of the Directorate

Fwd: [SFBC New Cavers] April Members’ Meeting (4/28) at 7:30 PM PST meeting ONLINE

This month’s SFBC Members’ Meeting will take place online on Tuesday April 28 at 7:30 PM PST. The meeting will be held online through Zoom.
This month’s presentation, beginning at 7:40 PM, will be:
*Greenland Caves Project. *
An interdisciplinary team comprising researchers from the Universities of Innsbruck, Akron, Oxford, and Sheffield has recently returned from a successful expedition to a remote area of Northeast Greenland located at 80°N. The expedition, which was funded through an FWF Start Prize to Prof. Gina Moseley (Inst. Geology, Innsbruck), collected samples and undertook research into the region’s palaeoclimate and environment, geological history, former glacier extent, geomicrobiology, and entomology. The palaeoclimate research will be used to improve understanding of how this region, which is highly sensitive to climate change, responds in a warmer and wetter world. The palaeoglaciology team collected 22 rock samples that, combined with contextual geomorphological mapping from the ArcticDEM, will provide information about the timing of ice sheet recession and thinning in this little-studied, yet important region. Additionally, samples were collected to help understand a more ancient glacial event at the Ordovician-Silurian boundary, 445 million years ago. Whilst in Greenland, the team documented and explored over 30 caves that had never previously been visited. In doing so, they broke their own records for the longest explored cave in Greenland and the most northerly explored cave on the planet. Several samples were collected from the caves for geomicrobiology to determine the mechanism that allows microbial survival in these cold and dry caves, and the role that these species may play in the formation of unusual cave formations.
*Dr. Hazel Barton Bio: *Dr. Barton’s research is geared toward understanding microbial interactions and adaptations to nutrient-limitation, as experienced by ecosystems in deep subsurface cave environments (see Dr. Barton’s cave science site <www.cavescience.com/>). Dr. Barton is an avid caver, having explored caves on five continents, is a past director of the National Speleological Society (NSS), the Quintana Roo Speleological Survey, and an award winning cave cartographer. Dr. Barton’s recently presented an NSS webinar <caves.org/webinars/index-8.shtml> on coronavirus.
DIRECTIONS: sjsu.zoom.us/j/920512539?pwd=V3BWWmVLdkFsSm5lZFBHbVZENUdkdz09
Password: 676883

SFBC Membership

Membership Categories

  • Regular Member
    • Must be an NSS member
    • Voting privileges in grotto elections and region meetings
    • An electronic subscription to the monthly SFBC Newsletter, which includes regular information on upcoming cave trips
    • Regular Western Region Membership in the NSS Western Region and subscription to the quarterly California Caver newsletter
    • Access to SFBC Wiki of Caves and other online resources including newsletters archives (Xappian PDF Search Engine) and recorded presentations given at Grotto Meetings
    • Priority participation in grotto expeditions, cave trips, and activities.
    • Eligible to apply for the SFBC Trip Fund
    • Eligible to hold office
  • Family Member: defined as person living in same residential address, same as regular member, but the household will receive only one printed newsletter, eligible to hold office if NSS member, Family (if NSS member) or Subscriber/Family Membership in Western Region
  • Associate Member: no NSS membership, otherwise same as a regular member, cannot hold office, Subscriber Western Region Membership
  • Honorary Member: lifetime membership bestowed upon those who have made great contributions to SFBC
  • Partner Member: a member of another grotto, no voting privileges, will receive SFBC Newsletter and access to SFBC online resources

Everyone is welcome to participate in grotto expeditions, cave trips, and activities, but in certain situations, SFBC members may get priority.

Membership Options


Regular membership (e-newsletter)$20
Paper newsletter (optional)$10
WR through another grotto-$10
Prorated if joining after July 1-$5
Per family member$1

Other Grottos and Friends of SFBC

Diablo Grotto
The Diablo Grotto is composed primarily of cavers from the East Bay and Contra Costa areas of Northern California. Their name is taken from Mount Diablo, a prominent peak in the area. Diablo Grotto trips are regularly scheduled for the Mother Lode and Sierra Nevada caving areas of California. They hold regular meetings on the second Thursday of each month at various rotating locations, but usually in Oakland, CA. Check out their facebook group.

Redwood City Grotto

Mother Lode Grotto
Founded in February of 1962, the MLG is composed primarily of cavers from around Sacramento and the nearby foothill areas of Northern California. MLG trips are regularly scheduled into the Mother lode foothills and other Sierra Nevada caving areas in California.

Western Cave Conservancy
The Western Cave Conservancy is dedicated to securing permanent protection for threatened caves in the western United States. The WCC manages Rippled and Windeler Caves.

Western Region
An association of NSS grottos in California, Nevada, and Southern Oregon which promotes cave conservation, the scientific study of caves, exploration, and speleoeducation. SFBC is part of the Western Region and by joining SFBC you automatically get Western Region membership as well.

Cave Research Foundation
The Cave Research Foundation (CRF)coordinates research efforts and expeditions. California based CRF projects work with the Sequoia and Kings Canyon Cave Management and Lava Beds Research Center. The CRF West trip calendar is available here.

[diablogrotto][NSSwest] WCC Acquires Cave Of The Catacombs

We are excited to announce that the Western Cave Conservancy has purchased the bulk of Cave of the Catacombs, including the main entrance.
This gold country cave was first discovered by European settlers in 1850, but it had clearly been known to the natives for much longer, as evident by the presence of numerous human bones in the cave at the time. (The exact origin of these remains is a bit of a mystery since this site has never been formally studied by an archeologist and the remains have not been analyzed or carbon dated.)

From a caver’s point of view, the cave is small (about 500’ of surveyed passage) but fun, and eminently friendly to first-time cavers. Located in the same Permian marble as many other caves in this area, it features a small but appealing set of decorations, as well as occasional fossil coralloids if you look carefully.

It is easy to visit year-round, with essentially no hike to the entrance — though winter visits often encounter an elevated water table that requires traverses and chimneys to stay out of the sometimes-deep water (or a wetsuit if you prefer to simply embrace the water). Occasional bat roosting may also limit human visitation in late spring and early summer. Late summer and autumn are usually the best time for visits, as much more of the cave is accessible in the dry season.

We anticipate that access to this cave will be handled similarly to Rippled Cave, with easy access to keys for local grottos, and no formal trustee requirements. Be sure to follow WCC news for more information!

Steven Johnson

[SFBC New Cavers] Rope practice near Castle Rock this Saturday the 8th

Hi All. Vertical ropework practice this Saturday, February 8th. If you are interested in learning some rigging be there at 8 a.m. or just for rope practice, come anytime and walk to the site to join us. Note that parking gets very limited as the day progresses, last time we were out there it was getting pretty packed for parking by about 9:30am.

I will set a course with rebelays, j-hangs, tyroleans, deviations, etc. If you are new to these techniques, we will teach you. If you know these skills we can work on improving technique and speed. However, if you are new to vertical ropework in general, this is NOT the place to start — please attend one of the monthly weeknight practices first and have someone sign off that you are ready. Email me if you have questions about skills.

Bring your gear. We may have some gear on site to borrow, but it will be limited quantity. If you have a cave bag, bring it as well to practice ropework while carrying a load. Practice will be on even if there is light rain, so plan accordingly (not currently forecast, but things change). Bring food and water as you need for personal use.

Practice will be just outside of Castle Rock State Park, not in the park proper. Set google maps to bring you to Castle Rock entrance on Skyline Blvd, but instead of pulling into the castle rock entrance drive south for about 30 meters (or 30 seconds) and turn into the free parking area on the east side of Skyline Blvd (left side of road if heading south). This is the back entrance to Sanborn Park and the trailhead you will use for the practice area. Past the trailhead gate, take the immediate trail that goes to the right. Hike is about 10 minutes.

Please use the attached map for directions to the practice site.
Stay as long as you like, we will wrap up around 4ish give or take.
RSVP so I have a head count of how many people will be there.

Thanks, Ryan Baker