Get outta that heat with a Wild Tour!

Wild Tour at Glenwood Caverns Seems like the mercury is rising just about everywhere … except inside Glenwood Caverns and Historic Fairy Caves. The forecast is calling for a high of 91 in Glenwood Springs, 93 in Denver, 92 in Colorado Springs and a whopping 98 degrees in Grand Junction! The forecast for Glenwood Caverns is always the same: a comfy 52 degrees.

The King’s Row Tour and the new Historic Fairy Caves Tour can get you into this cool cave for 50 minutes each and they’re both a lot of fun. But to really escape the heat, try a Wild Tour. It’s a 2-hour, on-your-belly adventure through rarely visited sections of the cave. You’ll get fitted with a lighted helmet and all of the necessary equipment before joining an experienced caver for an underground exploration you’ll always remember. And, don’t forget, it’s 52 degrees in there!

You’ll need a reservation to get in on a Wild Tour, so call 970-945-4228 or 800-530-1635, ext. 0, to schedule yours today. It’s $60 per person and the minimum age is 10. These photos were taken this week by Wild Tour guide Kathy Miller. Sure looks like they’re having fun!

Couple on Glenwood Caverns Wild TourTight squeeze on the Wild Tour at Glenwood CavernsGlenwood Caverns Wild Tour

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Top Ten Reasons Glenwood Caverns should be the Eighth Wonder of the World

Recently, the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association entered Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves into VirtualTourist.com’s contest to crown “The Eighth Wonder of the World.”

Tourism boards, chambers of commerce and visitor bureaus around the world are sending in nominations to the website, which is a leading travel research website and community. The public is being asked to vote for their favorites out of the more than 200 submissions, and the “Wonder” with the most votes will be crowned the winner and will be featured in a national broadcast TV segment.

The Original Seven Wonders of the World is a list, compiled in the second century B.C., of man-made structures built during the classical era.
The Seven Wonders are:
Great Pyramid of Giza
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Statue of Zeus at Olympia
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
Colossus of Rhodes
Lighthouse of Alexandria

We think Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park should be named the Eighth Wonder of the World! While the caves were formed naturally, it definitely took a lot of manpower to get them ready for the public viewing. Charles Darrow and his team first opened the Historic Fairy Caves to visitors in 1895, and the work continues today, with the recent completion of the Historic Fairy Cave Tour, showcasing even more natural beauty and amazing formations.

In the spirit of the Late Show with David Letterman, we’d like to offer our own Top Ten Reasons Glenwood Caverns should be the Eighth Wonder of the World:

Ad from 1897 proclaiming the Fairy Caves as the "Eighth Wonder of the World." It appeared in a publication called the Avalanche Echo.

10) The original owners of Glenwood Caverns claimed it first, in 1897, well before most of the other contestants even existed.

9) Glenwood Springs is a lot easier to find than Ephesus and Halicarnassus!

8) Seeing any of the Seven Wonders means being prepared for sweltering heat: the average summer high in Giza is 96° and in Olympia it is 97°! The Historic Fairy Caves, on the other hand, are a cool 52° year round–perfect for a hot summer day.

7) Most major attractions only invite you to take pictures, but if you take the Wild Tour you’ll be invited to get dirty, crawl on your belly and go deep into rarely visited areas of the caves!

6) We’re not sure, but we don’t think any of the current Seven Wonders offer drink specials and live music (Music on the Mountain at Glenwood Caverns does, though!)

Cave Bacon is formed when the water drops flow down a sloped ceiling of a cave and build up calcite in a thin line before dropping to the floor.

5) The best things in life involve bacon
(cave bacon, that is!)

4) Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves were explored/excavated by enthusiastic cavers, not Greek slaves.

3) You’ve got to go diving underwater to see what’s left of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, but it’s only a short tram ride up Iron Mountain in Glenwood Springs to see the Historic Fairy Caves and King’s Row in the most highly-decorated show cave in Colorado.

Carved wooden bear on guard at Glenwood Caverns

 

2) There are no scary, hollow-eyed, naked Roman statues at Glenwood Caverns, only carved happy Wooden Bears.

1) Many of the Seven Wonders are known for their impressive height—but perched on the edge of the canyon 1300 feet above the Colorado River, Glenwood Caverns stands WAY above them all!

Do you think Glenwood Caverns should be the Eighth Wonder of the World? Cast your vote! Visit www.virtualtourist.com to vote for Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves. Voting is open until Sept. 30.

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Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Offers Free Funday Passes to Royal Gorge Bridge and Park Annual Passholders

In a show of solidarity for the Colorado amusement industry, loyal fans of the iconic Royal Gorge Bridge and Park have another option this summer, and it’s free. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, based in Glenwood Springs, is offering a one-day pass at no cost to all current Royal Gorge annual passholders.

Royal Gorge Bridge and ParkThe owners of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park know how important loyal fans are to the success of any business and they’re big fans of Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. Following the tragic fire that closed this Colorado landmark, the Adventure Park is offering current Royal Gorge Bridge and Park annual passholders a free one-day pass anytime during 2013. The mountain-top park that’s home to Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves, thrill rides and family activities is based in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

“Our hearts went out to everyone at Royal Gorge Bridge and Park last week,” said Steve Beckley, who owns Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park with his wife Jeanne. “Each year we take our whole management team to visit another theme park that’s known for its excellent customer service. We visited Royal Gorge in 2011, and everyone had a lot of fun. We were all impressed with their operation and are hopeful that they can rebuild and reopen very soon.”

In the meantime, Royal Gorge passholders can enjoy a day at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park on the house. The Funday Pass includes a ride on the Iron Mountain Tramway and park admission, two walking cave tours and unlimited access to the Alpine Coaster, Giant Canyon Swing, Cliffhanger Roller Coaster, Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, Wild West Express family coaster, Mine Wheel, GiddyUp, Fort WhereAmI giant maze, 4D Motion Theater, climbing wall and laser tag arena.

To claim the free one-day pass, Royal Gorge Bridge and Park annual passholders can bring a valid annual pass and a photo ID to the ticket office at the base of the Iron Mountain Tramway at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The offer is limited to one Funday Pass per passholder; for family passes, the offer is good for the same number of family members covered by the Royal Gorge pass. Anyone with questions about the pass is encouraged to call 800-530-1635, ext. 0.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. this summer, with the last tram ride up at 8:30 p.m. For more information, including fall and winter hours of operation, visit http://glenwoodcaverns.com or call 800-530-1635 or 970-945-4228, ext. 0.

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Night Plane Re-Release Offers Vintage Tracks and New Live Recordings

Today’s music scene can be disheartening. It’s often populated by electronica, DJs, and overproduced pop. If you’ve ever felt nostalgic for the good ol’ days of rock ‘n’ roll, when bands played self-written songs with real instruments, Night Plane’s recent re-release of their 1982 album (Night Plane) is just the cure (as is their upcoming show Saturday, June 8th, as part of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Parks’ Music on the Mountain concert series).

The album included a whopping ten musicians, and the resulting tunes are robust, diverse, and plain old fun. The title track, “Night Plane” is straight up rock, with Haden Gregg and Jim Dykann’s powerful vocals and bittersweet lyrics  (“At the station, feeling all alone/this is the time for another home”) complemented by vibrant electric guitar and piano.

Night Plane explores other genres too, with the reggae-inspired track “Tried Too Hard” and the bluesy tune “Line of Fire”(highlighting Bryan Savage’s saxaphone).

Where the album really shines, though, is in the last four bonus tracks, recordings from live performances. Mainly acoustic, the master guitar work on songs like “She’s a Runaway” is beautiful. Gregg and Dykann’s voices have aged well; they sound grittier and more soulful than in the earlier recordings. Their live performances showcase the band in their element–and the results are well worth a listen.

Be sure to catch Night Plane this Saturday at Music on the Mountain! Get more information at http://glenwoodcaverns.com/music-on-mountain-glenwood-springs.html

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Night Plane Descends on Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park this Saturday

Veteran local band Night Plane to play free concert Saturday, June 8

Get ready for longtime local favorites Night Plane, who will be playing originals and classic hits at Music on the Mountain this weekend. Although they are often joined by additional musicians, this weekend’s Night Plane will be an acoustic trio comprised of Jimmy Dykann, Haden Gregg, and John Zajicek. Night Plane has been in existence since 1979, and they have been all over the country together: they recorded their debut album Night Plane in Los Angeles in 1982 and completed another album in New York in the 1990s. They are currently promoting a re-release of their first album on vinyl, which features four new original songs.

“We mix it up, we like to play old rock and blues classics, maybe throw some reggae in there, but we also write a lot of our own material,” says Dykann. Dykann and Gregg are the primary songwriters, and they have been writing together since before they even had a band, in the 1970s. “We mainly just like to write about what’s going on in our lives,” added Dykann.

Night Plane has been out in California doing shows to promote the re-release, but they are back in the Valley for the summer. They play mostly private parties, but they will be appearing July 3rd in the park in Basalt and also at a benefit for the Aspen Deaf Camp with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band this summer.

The band has played with the likes of John Denver, Jimmy Buffett, and a ton of other musicians who passed through the Roaring Fork Valley throughout the decades. “We played with just about everybody that came through in the ‘70s and ‘80s. We opened a lot of shows. There’s been a good group of local players here for 40 years and we’ve had a lot of great shows around here.”

This will be Night Plane’s second appearance at Music on the Mountain. “We’re looking forward to going up on the mountain and playing. It’s always fun,” says Dykann. “The views, the people…it’s a great concert venue. We love it; outdoor shows are what we love. We were well-received last year, a lot of our friends came up. It’s always nice to have locals come to our shows.”

Don’t miss the chance to see these Colorado legends in their element, mountain-top this Saturday, June 8 for a free concert.  Bring at least one can of food for a free tram ride to the top, where you can enjoy rides, drink specials, and much more. It will also be the last Music on the Mountain concert until August, so make sure to follow Dykann’s advice and “Come see us!”

For ticket information, go to Glenwood Caverns’ Music on the Mountain

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Already Gone is All Ready to Go at Glenwood Caverns

Already Gone performs this Saturday at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

After a successful kick-off concert with Doctor Robert on Friday, the Music on the Mountain series continues with Already Gone performing this Saturday, June 1st at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park!

The popular local band, known for covering a wide variety of musical genres, is a Glenwood Caverns favorite: this will be their third year playing Music on the Mountain. “We look forward to it every year!” says Lisa Poplish, lead singer of the group that also includes Eddie Muniz on drums, Mark Chenoweth on lead guitar, Randy DeHerrera on saxophone and keyboards, and Billy Conn on bass. Poplish’s powerful, spirited female voice is perfectly complimented by the male band members. “The guys pull off some pretty impressive back up vocal harmonies!” says Poplish.

“We strive to play a little something for everyone in the crowd,” Poplish says. “As individuals, we have quite different tastes in music, which accounts for our extraordinarily diverse song list.” Poplish cites Grace Potter as a favorite artist to cover, but the band enjoys playing a range of everything including funk, R&B, and straight up rock ‘n’ roll. “Audiences can expect high energy brought by talented musicians, a wide variety of music, and just an all-around good time!” Poplish added.

As far as the band’s name, Poplish admits that “coming up with a name, I would say, was one of our most difficult feats thus far. We spent hours in the band’s infancy in Mark’s basement studio racking our brains for band names. We had several viable options written down, and then the Eagles song (“Already Gone”) came on. We were all singing it, and I said ‘How about Already Gone?’ The name ended up sticking.”

The band has been together for about four years (and many of the band members played together in a previous group called In the Pocket). Their time together has created close bonds. “We are truly like family,” says Poplish. These guys are some of my best friends, and I think that shows when we are on stage. We really enjoy playing music together.”

They’ve also had some interesting experiences along the way. “Once, out on the road, we were all crammed into a big Dodge truck headed out of town to play a wedding. The driver, who shall remain nameless, drove almost an hour in the wrong direction, insisting the whole time that we were on the right track. Thankfully we had given ourselves plenty of time to get there and the wedding went off without a hitch!”

Already Gone travels extensively around the state, playing tons of festivals, outdoor concerts, weddings, and private parties. They will be opening the July 10th Glenwood Summer of Music concert in Two Rivers Park.

Come check out Already Gone’s robust sound for yourself this Saturday. They’ll be ready for you! “Come party with us! We can’t wait to see you all there!” says Poplish.

To find pictures, videos, music, bios and much more, visit Already Gone’s website: www.alreadygone-live.com. For concert information, go to http://glenwoodcaverns.com/music-on-mountain-glenwood-springs.html.

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Summer Music on the Mountain Kick-Off Party a Success!

Top: Overview of Friday night's kick-off party.
Bottom: View of west Glenwood Springs and the Colorado River at dusk from the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Viewing Deck
                                 photos on this page by Doug Davis

Memorial Day typically signals the unofficial start of summer, but Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park kicked off summer early with the start of the Music on the Mountain summer concert series on Friday night. The mountain was alive with activity, music, rides, and good times!

Doctor Robert, a Beatles tribute band, played a ton of songs from the Beatles catalogue (and took numerous audience requests) until late into the evening, performing rousing renditions of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” “Come Together,” and many more, inspiring people of all ages to get out and dance. During band breaks, you could hear the screams coming from the Giant Swing as riders soared to new heights 1300 feet above the Colorado River!

Doctor Robert plays Beatles favorites at Music on the Mountain

There were clear skies and balmy temperatures on the mountain for the kick-off party–you could wear shorts without getting cold, even well into the night. Our wet spring has meant that everything is looking really green, which gives way to gorgeous viewing of the surrounding mountains, Colorado River and the Roaring Fork Valley.

The views, especially at sunset, were even more spectacular atop the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster, on the Mine Wheel, and on the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride! A trip on the Alpine Coaster was a zooming thrill ride through an abundance of wildflowers.

It was all fun for a good cause, too–Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park collected a total of 866 cans of food to be donated to the Lift Up Food Bank of Glenwood.

The smallest concert-goers were some of the biggest fans of Doctor Robert!

!

The next concert will be this Saturday, June 1st, with locals’ favorite Already Gone, drink specials, and a free tram ride with the donation of at least one can of food. Come join the fun!

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Kick Off Summer with Doctor Robert at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park this Friday!

Beatles tribute band Doctor Robert, making an Abbey Road in downtown Crested Butte

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park kicks off its summer Music on the Mountain series this Friday! All summer long, great bands will be performing mountain-top. The opening show on May 24 will feature Doctor Robert, a Beatles tribute band based out of Crested Butte, Colorado.

Doctor Robert is composed of Ben Wright from Carbondale, Casey Falter from Bailey, Colorado, Kevin Reinert, originally from the Chicago area, and Karen Janssen, hailing from the state of Washington. The band formed in 2010, after Reinert saw a Beatles Tribute band at a wedding and was impressed by how much fun everyone – band and audience – was having. A few years later, he decided to gather some local musicians to form their own Beatles tribute band. “Our first gig was an outside party where we only knew about 15 songs–we probably played each song twice, and definitely had lots of fun!”

Today, Doctor Robert knows a whopping 105 Beatles tunes–that is half of the original Beatles’ entire catalogue! Knowing so many songs “allows us some flexibility to tailor each song to the crowd’s mood,” says Wright. “The Beatles’ music is so diverse–it runs the gamut from ballads to high-energy dance to psychedelic music and everything in between.”

Doctor Robert gets their name from a slightly lesser-known Beatles track: the song “Doctor Robert” refers to John Lennon’s “special” doctor who helped him procure drugs during the bands’ experimental phase. “We see music as the drug that ‘can help anyone in need’, which is a line from the song,” explains Wright.

Wright points out that because people of all ages know about the Beatles, “we’ve been able to play a variety of gigs, from a concert at a library for four-year-olds to bars to private parties and weddings. We’ve met so many wonderful people and everyone has their own stories about what this music means to them.”

Doctor Robert has already experienced a lot in their short time together. They’ve opened for members of popular bands like Yonder Mountain String Band, The Head and the Heart, and Rose Hill Drive; they’ve played a wedding at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (“we warmed up while looking at displays of manatees and moose!” says Wright); they’ve skied 26 inches of fresh powder in Taos that happened to fall during a four-show run there; and last summer they were chosen to open the 1st Annual “Big Denver BBQ” on the 16th Street Mall in Denver. This Friday will mark the first time Doctor Robert will play at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. “We’re really looking forward to it!” says Wright.

Whether or not you are a Beatles fan, you can expect to have a good time at a Doctor Robert show. “We love playing this music, and we think it shows!” says Wright. “We try to stay true to the arrangements, but at the same time add our own interpretations. Everyone in the band is multi-instrumental, so we enjoy switching instruments in the set. It’s also fun to change people’s minds about tribute bands or even about the Beatles. Sometimes people say, ‘I didn’t think I liked the Beatles!’ or some such thing.” The band doesn’t try to impersonate the Beatles, they just want to play their music for people to enjoy. They do like to wear retro-ish suits at their shows (and a dress for Karen Janssen), a small touch that adds to the performace. “We feel it brings a level of respect to the songs, and people seem to enjoy the effect,” Wright says.

“People’s reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. It’s fantastic to see folks of all ages appreciating our take on this awesome catalogue of music,” says Wright. “After every show, we get to hear great memories or stories about the music, and the people we meet are so kind and such passionate live music fans.”

Share your love of live music and get in the summer groove Friday, May 24 with Doctor Robert and Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park! For concert info, visit http://glenwoodcaverns.com/music-on-mountain-glenwood-springs.html. To learn more about Doctor Robert, go to www.doctorroberttribute.com and visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DoctorRobertTribute?fref=ts.
See you on the mountain!

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Glenwood Caverns Celebrates Summer, 10th Anniversary and 5th Season of Music on the Mountain on May 24

Reflecting Pool at Glenwood Caverns

Reflecting pools seen on the newly expanded Historic Fairy Caves Tour provide a unique perspective on these beautiful formations.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colo., will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a summer kick-off party and live music on Friday, May 24. Guests will be able to enjoy an evening of Music on the Mountain by Beatles tribute band Doctor Robert and a free tram ride in exchange for a canned food donation to benefit the LIFT-UP food pantry.

“We have so much to celebrate this year,” said Steve Beckley, who owns the Adventure Park with his wife Jeanne. “In addition to the 10th anniversary of the Adventure Park, we have just opened the expanded Historic Fairy Caves Tour and added six new gondola cabin cars. All of our rides and attractions will be open, and we’re looking forward to the fifth season of Music on the Mountain to support LIFT-UP.”

Steve and Jeanne Beckley opened Glenwood Caverns & Historic Fairy Caves to the public in 1999, transporting guests from an office behind the Hotel Colorado to the top of Iron Mountain on buses during the summer. The response was so positive that they decided find a way to keep the caves open year-round. The tramway, which the original owner Charles Darrow proposed to the city in 1903, opened in 2003, along with the mountain-top restaurant and visitor center. The Beckleys rebranded the destination Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park that year and have been adding family-friendly rides and attractions ever since.

Doctor Robert

Beatles tribute band Doctor Robert kicks off the fifth season of Music on the Mountain at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Kicking off the fifth season of the popular Music on the Mountain benefit concert series, Doctor Robert is a new generation of Beatles tribute band, committed to the accurate reproduction of more than 100 songs of The Beatles’ repertoire. Their high-energy shows are full of Beatles magic, as Casey Falter, Karen Janssen, Ben Wright and Kevin Reinert recreate some of the most band’s demanding musical compositions.

The “cans-for-a-tram” rides will begin at 4 p.m. and the band will play from 6 – 10 p.m. The Lookout Grille and Snack Shack will be open for dinner and refreshments; drink specials including $3 glasses of wine, $3.50 Coors Lights and Coronas, and $4 well drinks, will be available in the plaza.

Cliffhanger Roller Coaster at Glenwood Caverns

Unlimited rides on the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster — America's highest-elevation roller coaster — are included in the Funday Pass!

During the summer kick-off party on May 24, guests will also be able experience the newly expanded Historic Fairy Caves Tour, the King’s Row Cave Tour and the park’s rides and attractions. A Funday Pass, just $35 with the free tram ride, includes both walking cave tours and unlimited access to the Alpine Coaster, the Giant Canyon Swing, the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster, the Mine Wheel, the Wild West Express Coaster, the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, the Fort WhereAmI Maze, the 4D Motion Theater, the Laser Tag arena, the Speleobox cave simulator, the climbing wall and the Giddy Up! Western ride.

The Music on the Mountain series continues throughout the summer and fall: June 1, Already Gone; June 8, Night Plane; Aug. 10, Fifty50; Aug. 17, Little Friday; Aug. 24, The Rock Dogs; Sept. 7, Lizard Skinner; Sept. 8, contemporary Christian music; Sept. 14, Acoustic Mayhem; and Sept. 21, The Missing Link Band. This year’s sponsors include Bighorn Toyota, Community Banks of Colorado, Glenwood Springs Post Independent, AMT Network, Perri’s Collision, Swire Coca-Cola, Glenwood TV, Glenwood Insurance & Pinnacol Assurance and Hotel Glenwood Springs.

The park will be open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on May 24. Beginning on May 25, it will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with later hours for most of the Music on the Mountain concerts. The last tram ride up will be half an hour prior to closing. For more information, visit www.GlenwoodCaverns.com or call 800-530-1635 or 970-945-4228, ext. 0.

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Glenwood Caverns Hosts Caving Rescue Seminar

The Colorado Cave Rescue Network (CCRN) holds a caving rescue seminar roughly every two years in Colorado, alternating between Cave of the Winds in Colorado Springs and Glenwood Caverns and Historic Fairy Caves, located at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The most recent seminar took place April 13-14 in Glenwood Springs, with one day at the Glenwood Springs Community Center and one day in the caves at Glenwood Caverns. The two-day event catered both to cave explorers wanting to learn the basics of rescue and to rescue personnel wishing to increase their knowledge in the field.

“The seminar is really to update cavers on how to rescue people,” said Ken Headrick, a tour guide at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and a volunteer during the seminar. “We spend one day at the community center with a classroom setting to learn about cave rescue, and then we actually perform a real rescue on the second day. They hide people in the cave, and the scenario this year was four lost people we had to find. It took a few hours, but it was overall the best rescue we’ve had.”

This year’s seminar attracted 34 participants from around the state, in addition to 22 volunteers, ranging from locals such as Headrick to caving experts and speakers from the Front Range. A number of volunteers were also required to handle the logistics of the seminar, such as caving gear. One of the key areas of focus during the seminar was evacuations involving extreme injuries, such as broken backs, which prevent cavers from crawling out themselves. A large portion of the weekend was dedicated to packaging cavers onto litters, which were then carried out of the caves by other members of the group.

“For the search and rescue personnel, it gives them the experience to actually practice a cave rescue,” said Marty Reames, director of the CCRN as well as an instructor for the National Cave Rescue Commission (NCRC). “From the caver’s perspective, it provides an education on what it really takes to get someone out. We end up creating safer cavers by helping them realize the ramifications of getting hurt.”

The next major cave rescue seminar in Colorado will be held in May of 2014 in Divide, CO. This weeklong session will be an NCRC event.

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