Fwd: [SFBC New Cavers] May Members’ Meeting (5/26) at 7:30 PM PST meeting ONLINE

This month’s SFBC Members’ Meeting will take place online on Tuesday May 26 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:
*Caving and caves in Israel.*
[image: IdoMeroz.png] (please do not reuse photo without permission)
Paleolithic era caves, hiding caves from the Jewish–Roman War (1900 years ago), the Dead Sea Scrolls, Chalcolithic-Treasure caves (4300 years old), the salt caves of Mt. Sedom, Karst sinkholes – Israel is a tiny country, but with thousands of unique caves, full of history and dust. In this presentation, we’ll talk about the caves of Israel, the Israeli Cave Explorers Club and its activities – Including the highlight of these activities – the mapping of the longest salt cave in the world – Malham Cave. You can watch the next report about this cave, before our meeting:
Presented by Ido Meroz
The meeting will be held online through zoom. Here are the Zoom instructions: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: Password: 287590

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: 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 <>). 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 <> on coronavirus.
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

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 <>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:
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!