About SFBC





Who We Are  |  Mailing List  |  Corporate Information  |  Meetings  |  Pre-meeting Dinner
Post-meeting Socializing  |  Executive Meetings  |  Vertical Practices




Who We Are


The San Francisco Bay Chapter (SFBC) is an internal organization of the National Speleological Society known as a grotto. Grottos are local groups of cavers who like to get together monthly and chat about caves and caving, watch videos and presentations about caving, and of course go on trips to caves. Besides organizing trips, the SFBC is also very involved in local cave conservation, speleology (the study of caves), geology, cave surveying, and cave photography. We are also involved in cave rescue training (including self-rescue). If you are interested in caves, feel free to drop by one of our meetings and introduce yourself! New members are always welcome!

Mailing List

Members can subscribe and post messages to the San Francisco Bay Chapter Mailing List.

New cavers are encouraged to also join the new caver group where more publicly available trips are announced and members foster active discussions on getting into the world of caving.

Corporate Information

The SFBC is a corporation organized and operated exclusively for scientific and educational purposes, as outlined in its articles of incorporation, within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, it does not have a constitution, but rather conducts its business following the guidelines presented in the SFBC bylaws. SFBC also has an anti-harassment policy.


Chapter meetings are held on the FOURTH Tuesday of each month at the San Carlos Public Library at 7:30 PM SHARP. (Note that some months have five (5) Tuesdays) There is no monthly meeting in December, due to the grotto Holiday Party. For information on the next meeting date, visit our grotto calendar.

The San Carlos Library is located at:

610 Elm Street
San Carlos, California.









If coming from US 101:


  • Take the Holly St exit and proceed WEST on Holly St
  • Turn LEFT on El Camino Real followed by the first RIGHT onto San Carlos Avenue
  • Turn LEFT on Elm St (3rd street from El Camino)
  • The Library is on the right at the corner with Cherry St and has a small parking lot just before the intersection
  • Park on the street or in the lot

If coming from US 280:

  • Take the Edgewood Road exit and proceed EAST on Edgewood Road
  • Turn LEFT on Alameda de las Pulgas
  • Turn RIGHT on San Carlos Avenue
  • Turn RIGHT on Elm St
  • The Library is on the right at the corner with Cherry St and has a small parking lot just before the intersection
  • Park on the street or in the lot

If you are going to be giving a presentation at one of our meetings, please read the Guidelines for Presenters!

Pre-Meeting Dinner

There will be a business meeting and pre-meeting dinner at 6:30 where you can find some Grotto members at Broiler Express:
San Carlos, CA

Post-Meeting Socializing

After the meeting, some cavers head over to St. James Gate for some refreshments and conversation. Feel free to join us!

St. James Gate Pub & Restaurant is close to the San Carlos Library and offers a reasonable selection of refreshments. At the meeting folks can choose to which bistro they care to retire to following the meeting.

St. James Gate Pub & Restaurant is located at:

1410 Old County Rd
Belmont, CA 94002
 St. James Gate Pub & Restaurant

Executive Committee Meeting

Meet the Executive Committee:

(she/her) A native Californian, Carly has always been interested in exploring and caves but only found organized caving in college, where she joined the SoCal Grotto. Since moving to San Francisco for work, Carly has been an active member of SFBC and the nearby Diablo Grotto. She’s passionate about teaching new cavers and bringing the grotto into the 21st century!
(they/them) first started caving with the MIT Caving Club, serving as treasurer and then president for the organization. Since graduating, they moved to the Bay Area and joined SFBC, soon thereafter becoming Vice Chair. They love teaching new people about caves and vertical techniques.
(he/him) Tinsley began caving as a young teenager in 1961 in central Missouri (more than 70 caves within 30 miles of home). He joined the NSS in the mid-1960s, and first was attracted to karst science in 1964. He has since conducted a number of cave studies, and aided and abetted many studies by others, chiefly via Cave Research Foundation and the NSS. In addition to SFBC Secretary, he has been a member since 1975, an NSS Fellow (1982), CRF Fellow, Ops Manager for CRF at Lava Beds, and an NSS Science Award recipient (2019).
(she/her) Sonia was introduced to caving in the UK, but really began caving in the Virginias.  She moved to the Bay Area and quickly became involved with the grotto as a trip leader and treasurer. Sonia enjoys expedition caving in China, Mexico, the Marbles, and Carlsbad Caverns.
(he/him) Born and raised in Georgia (the G in TAG), and started caving around 14. While caving with ORGT (Georgia Tech) and DCG, started taking photos in caves with his first digital camera around 1999. Joined SFBC after moving to the bay area around 2007, and has enjoyed caving in several countries, yet always returns to TAG.

Executive Committee meetings are sometimes held at the pre-meeting dinner at 6:30 where you can find some Grotto members at Broiler Express:

San Carlos, CA


Vertical Practice

A monthly Vertical Practice/Potluck is usually held on the 1st Tuesday of each month at rotating locations in San Francisco and San Jose. Call or email beforehand to confirm the location and time. Everyone is invited to come to practice his/her vertical skills and/or socialize. Please bring your own main course and something to share with others. Other Vertical Practices are planned, which will be announced. Check the calendar for the most up to date information.