News

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

Dues

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

SFBC November Members’ Meeting and Officer Elections – 11/26 San Carlos Public Library

This month’s SFBC Members’ Meeting will take place in the San Carlos Public Library on Tuesday November 26 at 7:30 PM. There is a parking lot in front of the library and plenty of street parking in the area.
As a reminder, in addition to our regularly scheduled activities, we will be accepting nominations (again) and holding our officer elections.

The current slate of nominatees are:

  • Chairperson: Rafael Langer-Osuna
  • Vice Chairperson: Carly Robison
  • Secretary: John Tinsley
  • Treasurer: Sonia Meyer
  • Newsletter Editor: Theral Mackey

Please also bring to the meeting any materials you’d like to donate for auction at the holiday party. Thanks!

PRESENTATION: This month’s presentation, beginning at 7:45 PM, will be:
Five Decades of Science at Lilburn Cave

Our very own John Tinsley, geologist and caver extraordinaire, will be presenting on work done in Lilburn. Lilburn Cave is easily California’s most studied cave. It is also California’s longest cave at just over 22 miles. Lilburn Cave is managed by the National Park Service as an underground research laboratory. It’s active hydrology and sediment transport regimes make the cave a fine place to study cave and karst processes above and below ground. I’ll recap the cartographic and myriad scientific efforts there with the goal of communicating how we learned about how Lilburn functions as a physical system.

LOCATION/DIRECTIONS: San Carlos Library, 610 Elm St, San Carlos, CA 94070
This link will help you find it on google maps:
Google Maps <goo.gl/maps/Rryvp1ERZkL2>This month’s pre-member’s meeting dinner will be held at Broiler Express, which is located at 895 Laurel St, San Carlos, CA 94070. This is the link for it on google maps: goo.gl/maps/bxHypZeiDsQ2.
For those who are interested in attending, the after-meeting caver happy hour will be held at St. James Gate, 1410 Old County Road, Belmont, CA 94002.

I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday!

Rafael

Vertical practice tomorrow, Tuesday, 4 June

Howdy!
I know, it hardly seems like a couple of weeks have gone by, and it’s time again to get your vertical gear ready for a fun evening practicing changeovers, rebelay crossings and perhaps a knot or two.
Please join us tomorrow, Tuesday, 4 June, for our monthly vertical practice.
Our kind host will be Peri Frantz. You can arrive anytime after 6:30 pm, we will have some dinner and immediately after we will have some fun on rope.
Dinner is “modified potluck style,” where you bring your own main dish and also bring a small appetizer, side dish or dessert to share. We will have a grill for your food, in case you need one.
Please bring a helmet and a headlamp, and a jacket, since we will be practicing outdoors if weather permits. If you don’t have yet a helmet or headlamp, we will have a couple of extras. Bring your vertical gear if you have it, and if not, we will also have a couple of extras for you.
The address for tomorrow’s Vertical Wonderland is:
16345 Englewood Ave Los Gatos, CA 95032 goo.gl/maps/rKNoy
See y’all soon!
– Fofo

Reminder, vertical practice tomorrow!

Howdy, howdy!
This is a reminder that the vertical practice is tomorrow (yeah, the second Tuesday of the month instead of the first one, but it’s just for this month, don’t worry).
See y’all tomorrow!
– Fofo

On 06/05/19 15:20, Fofo wrote: > Howdy! > > Yeah, summer is getting here faster than we thought! And you know what > that means: more caving and more vertical caving! But how do you really > get to safely and comfortably explore vertical caves? Well, then, to > find out please join us a week from tomorrow, on Tuesday, 14 May, for > our monthly vertical practice. > > Our kind hosts will be Peri and Bill Frantz. You can arrive anytime > after 6:30 pm, we will have some dinner and immediately after we will > have some fun on rope. > > Dinner is “modified potluck style,” where you bring your own main dish > and also bring a small appetizer, side dish or dessert to share. We will > have a grill for your food, in case you need one. > > Please bring a helmet and a headlamp, and a jacket, since we will be > practicing outdoors if weather permits. If you don’t have yet a helmet > or headlamp, we will have a couple of extras. Bring your vertical gear > if you have it, and if not, we will also have a couple of extras for you. > > The address of the Casa Frantz is: > > 16345 Englewood Ave > Los Gatos, CA 95032 > goo.gl/maps/rKNoy > > See y’all in a week! > > – Fofo