Vertical trips are for people who have experience with single rope technique (this is rappelling and climbing the rope itself). While rock-climbing experience is helpful for learning single rope technique, it is not the same. If you are new to vertical caving and would like to learn, the Huntsville Cave Rescue Unit periodically offers a Single Rope Technique class (which we encourage new and experienced cavers to take, as there is always something new to learn). Some information about each trip is provided in the schedule, but if you have any questions please ask the trip leader for that trip.
The Huntsville Grotto sponsors one horizontal trip and one vertical caving trip each month for Grotto members. Horizontal trips are to caves that do not require any technical rope skills such as rappelling. Generally the horizontal trip is on the first Saturday after the regular monthly meeting and the vertical trip is on the third Saturday following the regular monthly meeting. There may be exceptions, so see the calendar for exact dates and trip locations.
For when and where to meet, email the trip leader. This information is also announced during regular monthly meetings
Notice is Required To Attend Trips
Advance notice indicating you wish to attend a trip must to be provided to the trip leader. Further the trip leader must agree to you attending before you participate on any grotto sponsored cave trip. Giving notice lets the trip leader know how many will be on the trip. It also reserves you a spot if the group size needs to be limited. This notice can be by signing up for the trip at the grotto meetings or by email. In the form say what trip you plan on attending, who you are and if anyone will be with you. Emails must be received no later than the Thursday prior to the trip.
Visitors/non-members wanting to participate in a sponsored grotto trip will need to make verbal arrangements with the trip leader at a grotto meeting prior to the scheduled cave trip. Members are allowed to bring guests as long as the trip leader is notified in advance. NSS members/members of other grottos are welcome but must contact the trip leader to make arrangements.
The Huntsville Grotto policy requires that everyone participating in a grotto-sponsored cave trip sign a Release From Liability form.
For vertical trips, you must have either successfully completed a Single Rope Technique(SRT) course or already be proficient in single rope technique before going on a vertical trip. You must also have all your own gear and be comfortable using it.
For all trips, the individual trip leader has the authority to disallow you from attending the trip if he or she does not think your skills or judgment are sufficient for the trip in question. They may also limit the number on the trip to limit impact on cave or insure they can safely lead the group. See above for Notice Requirements.
Huntsville Grotto meets at 7:00 pm on the first Wednesday of every month