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Huntsville Grotto of the National Speleological Society

How do I learn about vertical caving?

10 Aug 2022 2:43 PM | David Michal (Administrator)
Friday Practice

For those that are new to Vertical Practice it is a multi-faceted event; people new to vertical caving can become familiar with equipment, techniques, meet the people, and try out various systems; beginners may develop their skill on the self-pace training course, experienced folks can stay current, try new techniques and equipment, and socialize.  It is neither necessary nor advisable for you to have your own gear until you know what you really want.  There are lots of people willing to let you try their gear.  The grotto hosts Friday Practice once or twice each month.


This class is designed to introduce students to Single Rope Technique (SRT) basic skills. Students will be instructed on how to safely climb and rappel using SRT with hands-on training in both classroom and field settings. While the class is a group setting, the instructor to student ratio is about 1:2 to ensure safety; each learning station has a dedicated instructor.
Topics covered include: rigging and equipment, climbing systems and their applications, ascending, descending, changeovers in both directions, and dealing with rope obstructions.


A great book on vertical caving.

OnRope from the NSS Bookstore

Alpine Caving Techniques

A european perspective on vertical caving.

Alpine Caving Techniques from Amazon

Derek Bristol YouTube

Some interesting videos related to vertical caving.

Vertical Caving Videos

Grotto Vertical Trips

The grotto conducts a vertical caving trip each month.  Some trips are more challenging than others.  You must have you own gear and sufficient experience for the trip.  Please contact the trip leader  to verify your eligibility.

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