Note: Where possible the brief description
accompanying each link has been extracted from the introductory
material of the web site. Information on caving technique offered
at these sites is no substitute for hands on training and practice
in a safe (above ground) environment.
Cave Survey Software
- Carto is a tool for making cave maps. Carto has two main parts.
One is a mechanism for warping digitized sketches to fit the
survey data, and combining them to form a composite. The other
is a CAD program designed specifically for drawing cave maps.
- COMPASS is a software package designed to edit, process, analyze
and view cave survey data. The programs in the system allow you
to enter cave data, revise the data, generate statistics on the
cave, close loops, view plots from various angles on the screen
and print finished quality plots. COMPASS features include configurable
survey editors, high speed realtime 3D rotation, passage wall
modeling, GIS and data base compatibility, sophisticated loop
closure and blunder detection.
- RosettaStal is a companion program that converts data from
other cave data formats to the new CDI format. CDI is an attempt
to make a universally acceptable cave data format.
- Survex is very powerful cave survey software, and is actively
developing into a complete cave visualisation package. Survex
is an open source cave-surveying software package, licensed under
- TunnelX is a complete program for drawing good quality cave
surveys on a computer and sending them to any sized printer.
It can distort the drawings to fit new survey data, as well as
render realistic looking randomized boulder fields. TunnelX runs
on the latest version of Sun's Java language.
- Walls is designed to help cave surveyors organize their data
and prepare maps for publication. Features include data entry
and verification via an integrated text editor, grouping of surveys
into hierarchical project trees, displayed or printed maps with
coloring and annotation based on named vector and station attributes,
and import/export capabilities.
- WinKarst is software for the study and mapping of caves. WinKarst
can read data created with other cave mapping programs and has
been tested with a wide variety of cave surveys. The program
enables the user to visualize the cave in three dimensional space
and provide information as to the quality of the survey. The
user can display, print and export to other computer applications
various representations of the cave.
Caving Organizations & Clubs
- founded for the purpose of advancing the study, conservation,
exploration, and knowledge of caves. An annual convention is
held each summer in different parts of the United States.
NSS Grottos, Regions,
Sections & Surveys
- The NSS internal organizations page provides contact information
and links to local and special interest groups. Grottos are
local NSS-affiliated caving clubs and the
a list of local clubs throughout the United States.
Virginia Region (VAR)
- a region of the National Speleological Society, hosts Fall
and Spring meetings of member caving organizations and publishes
the Region Record.
- second largest independent organization of cavers in the United
States, the PSC is dedicated to caving, conservation and the
science of Speleology. The PSC meets on the second and fourth
Mondays of each month in Arlington, Virginia.
- the Washington, DC area chapter of the National Speleological
Society (NSS), dedicated to the exploration, study and conservation
of caves. Meets the third Tuesday of each month in Silver Spring,
- the Baltimore, Maryland area chapter of the National
Speleological Society (NSS), dedicated to the exploration, study
and conservation of caves. Meets the first Wednesday of each
month at the University of Maryland Baltimore County in Catonsville,
Eastern Region of the National
Cave Rescue Commission
- Provides cave rescue training and resource coordination to
Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania,
Virginia, and West Virginia.
- British Caving
this site is under development but apparently will be the home
of the new British national body for caving. At present, caving
services are supplied by the National
its Regional Councils and the 'national body' element of
British Cave Research Association
Cave Surveys & Conservancies
- Virginia Speleological
Survey (VSS) - a small, nonprofit group run by cavers
active in Virginia, and an official survey of the NSS. The primary
mission is to gather and maintain an informational and survey
database on caves in the state of Virginia.
- West Virginia Association
for Cave Studies - Dedicated to the exploration,
preservation, and study of caves and karst in the Greenbrier Valley
- West Virginia Cave Conservancy
(WVCC) - a non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving
the cave and karsts resources of West Virginia for future generations.
Gangsta Mappers - an informal group of folks from
throughout the mid-Atlantic states who like to map caves.
- Mid-Atlantic Karst
Conservancy - established by Western Pennsylvania
cavers in 1997 for: preserving, ensuring access to, acquiring,
and managing caves and karst areas for conservation, scientific
study, and recreational caving; and education of landowners, cavers,
and the general public in the importance of karst resources and
ways to preserve them.
- Cave Conservancy
of the Virginias - a nonprofit organization, established
in 1980 for the purpose of protecting and managing caves and karst
resources in Virginia and West Virginia and are based in Richmond,
Caving Discussion Boards & Mail Lists
- a moderated discussion list operated as part of the
National Speleological Society web site. A good place to ask
questions, catch up on the latest news, or follow discussions
on caving techniques.
- Strong international site! It's not as busy as the NSS forums
yet but it has great potential. "The intention of Speleomania
is simply to provide forums for the discussion of all things
cave related - techniques, equipment, sporting, scientific, explorations
- Whatever interests cavers, anywhere in the world."
- Mark Passerby has set up a number of specialized caving discussion
groups (Cave Diggers, Vertical, Cave Rescue, Cave Biology, etc.)
)utilizing Yahoo Groups and links are available on his web site.
He also has links to several other groupos (Speleonionics, Candlepower
Alt.caving Newsgroup via Google
- you can access the alt.caving newsgroup through Google if you
don't have access to newsgroups through your local ISP. Heavily
abused by trolls and spammers these days, a good deal of patience
is required at times and real caving traffic tends to come in
Uk.rec.caving Newsgroup via Google
- you can access the uk.rec.caving newsgroup through Google if
you don't have access to newsgroups through your local ISP. A
very active group though, as you might expect, the main focus
is on caving in the United Kingdom.
- ukCaving forum-
a discussion forum on underground exploration in the uk. While
caving in the UK is their primary focus, they do seem to have
an active board with international
participation. Also includes a nice photo gallery section.
National and Regional Caving Events
- the annual meeting of the National Speleological Society, the
convention is held in different parts of the U.S. each year.
Technical paper presentations, cave related art, photography
and map exhibitions and other caving related activities activites
highlight this annual week long event. The 2005
was held between July 4
and July 8 in Huntsville Alabama.
Old Timers Reunion (OTR)
- an annual caving event run under the auspices of
The Roberton Association (TRA). The Old Timers Reunion or more
commonly know as OTR is the largest gathering of cavers in the
US. It meets annually in West Virginia at the TRA campground
over Labor Day weekend. It's a chance for cavers to get together
and visit friends, do
some caving and participate in typical caver activities.All attendees
must be a TRA member or guest of a TRA member.
- Virginia Region (VAR) - meetings are held in the Spring and
Fall of each year. In addition to the Sunday business meeting,
there typically are guided cave trips, a conservation
trip and evening dinner on Saturday.
Speleology Articles & References
Storage - Speleology
- a series of papers written by Bill and others on a variety
of techical topics.
- Dave Bunnell's collection of images from caves all over the
world. This site tells the story of caves in words and pictures:
what's in them and how it got there.
Google for Speleology links.
- the web companion to Mark Passerby's Caves.com magazine.
Offers a collection of caving related resources, including discussion
groups on a variety of topics.
- Dan Peden's page of "no frills, no bells, no whistles – just
NSS Long & Deep
- NSS GEO2 committee on long and deep caves, listing compiled
by Bob Gulden.
- Sherry Mayo's cave page from Australia with articles on international
caving and vertical techniques.
Region Limited Access Caves
- a list of caves in the Virginia Region of the NSS (including
West Virginia, Maryland, and some parts of North Carolina and Tennessee)
that are known to be closed or have access restrictions.
Caving Gear Vendors & Manufacturers
Inner Mountain Outfitters
- "... a home-based business dedicated to serving the needs
of cavers and high-angle rescue folks. ... We have the most complete
line of caving gear in the country, and we are always looking
for more items to serve you better."
- "...an Internet Based Enterprise merchandiser of caving,
rescue, climbing and other outdoor equipment. Karst Sports has
been in this business since 1993 and has been selling by way
of the Internet since early 1994."
Welcome to On Rope 1
- "...dedicated to providing custom equipment
that is top of the comfort and quality line. On Rope 1 provides
the finest, SRT systems you'll be able to find anywhere."
- "Besides manufacturing our own line of high quality packs,
harnesses and ready-made ascending systems, GGG also offers equipment
from Petzl, Bassett Metal Studios, Cancord, PMI, SMC, Kong-Bonaiti
and other folks who manufacture equally high quality equipment
for caving, rock climbing, cave rescue and camping (above and
PMI Rope Sports
- "PMI has grown in the past 25 years to become
a leading life safety rope manufacturer, supplying life safety
rope to cavers, climbers, mountaineers, rescuers, rappellers,
- manufacturer of waterproof, breathable socks & gloves.
Welcome to MEANDER Ltd. Slovakia
- located in Slovakia, Meander manufactures a wide
assortment of "...products and accessories mainly for cavers,
climbers, rescue services and workers in heights - oversuits,
bags, underwear, harnesses and other products and accessories."
Bob & Bob Caving Supplies
- "The Largest U.S. Supplier of Caving Equipment",
located in Lewisburg, West Virginia.
Caving Technology & Technique
The Carbide Caver
- For the true Carbide aficionado! The Carbide Caver
will help you find a lamp, help determine a reasonable price,
tell you where to find repair parts, and how to keep the lamp
on the Web
- And for the Knot fanatic ... a collection of knotting resources
with major sections on Knot Tying, Knot Theory, and Knot Art
... and more
Basic Rock Knot Booklet
- A Selection of Knot Diagrams for Introductory Climbing Courses.
- Twenty-three practical knots are presented with photographs
of the steps involved in tying each knot. Every step is also
described in text.
Basic Scout Knots
- These are the eight basic knots that all scouts should be able
to tie without even thinking twice.
- Some tips on proper belaying practice from the Petzl
- A brief guide to carrying out a rescue on expedition.
- The official UIS list from the UIS working group
on Cave Survey and Mapping - a comprehensive, international foundation,
on which each country can, if necessary, introduce their own
on Alpine-style SRT
- These are some very short notes to summarize the
basic manoeuvres of alpine-style SRT. Alpine-style SRT makes
use of rebelays and deviations so that the rope hangs freely
down the pitch avoiding rub points and other hazards such as
- what every caver should know... The way we visit and move around
in caves, things we do to really protect caves (taping off routes
or formations, gating), actions we take to make the non-caving
community (the public) aware of cave protection problems, the
way we handle "commercial cave tours", ... are just
a few examples of how we, cavers, can contribute.