The Virginia Region of the National Speleological Society consists of 40+ local caving groups in and around Virginia and surrounding states. We promote the study and science of speleology, explore and maps caves, protect and conserve caves, manage limited access caves, and generally promote safe caving throughout the region, and promote fellowship and cooperation among all Regional cavers and organizations.

Spring VAR 2018

Spring VAR 2018 will be hosted April 27-29, 2018 by Walker Mountain Grotto at the Hungry Mother Lutheran Retreat Center, a private camp located adjacent to Hungry Mother State Park in southwestern Virginia. 

The Great VAR Sinkhole Cleanup November 18 has been POSTPONED until further notice

The conservation work continues with help from wonderful volunteers!  After the last  workday the backhoe returned and scooped out some more piles to sort through...so we'll continue to  separate  plastic, wire and burn wood. Bring gloves, rakes, shovels, chainsaws, wire cutters, 5-gallon buckets, tarps to drag the material on ( may be destroyed in the process) if you have them. Water and snacks provided, food donations always appreciated. Work starts around 9am and cleanup before dark. Sinkhole is in Rockingham, VA. Contact Janet Tinkham (janete - shentel - net) for more info.

Wonderful Fall VAR 2017, Thanks Pine Mountain Grotto!

About 150 people attended the Fall VAR near Spruce Knob. The weather could have not have been better and the moonless sky could not have been brighter with stars. The picnic and dinner were great. Lots of cavers got underground, and there was a grafitti removal project in the Sinks of Gandy. A bit round of applause for our hosts Pine Mountain Grotto for a great VAR!

2015 Region Record Issues Posted

The 2015 issues of the Region Record have been posted in the Region Record Archives.Thanks to Nikki Fox for her hard work as editor!

To keep things fair for subscribers, only issues over a year old are available on this web site.

 

 

Sept. 30 - Oct. 2, 2016
Poorfarm Festival Grounds, Unus, WV
Hosted by Greenbrier Valley Grotto

This will be a BYOB event. NO BEVERAGES PROVIDED. The landowner has a strict policy against glass bottles. Please bring your beverages in cans or plastic!

Weather:

Possible showers Friday afternoon, then clearing. Sunny and cool the rest of the weekend, with highs in the 60s and lows in the low 40s - Fall has arrived!

Camping:

There is a big open pasture for primitive camping. Porta-Potties provided, but there are no showers. There is space for RVs, but no hookups.

Pre-Registration:

$35 for anyone over 12 ($40 at the door)
$30 for children 5-12 ($35 at the door)
Infants free
No pets, please.

T-Shirts are available for $15 each, in sizes S, M, L, and XL. See below/

Pre-registration is now CLOSED. Please register on-site. You can still download the Registration Form (PDF) and bring it with you.

Activities:

Cave trips:

There will be led trips to several caves, and signup sheets will be available.
Kids trip to Higgenbotham.
Grapevine Pit (120') will be rigged with 2 ropes. Bring your vertical gear.
Poor Farm Cave is within walking distance of the campground and is a nice cave
Fullers, Wildcat, and Rimstone Falls are close. Fullers Waterfalls is a vertical cave.
Organ Cave and Lost World Caverns (both commercial) are s short distance away.

In addition Poorfarm will be available and Rimstone Falls which is also on the property. Rimstone Falls is a very pretty but technical cave (not for the novice) and requires handlines and vertical techniques. Other caves nearby include Stove (vertical) and Wild Cat. All WVCC owned caves will be open. Plus, Pete Stephens, our host, has a dig on the property that he thinks may break into big cave. If there is interest, rocks need to be rearranged at Wild Cat and the entrance culvert reinstalled.

There will be a conservation project to reinstall the culvert leading into Wild Cat to reopen that entrance.

Greenbrier County also has many non-caving activities such as biking on the Greenbrier River Trail, floating on the Greenbrier River, Bear Town State Park, Greenbrier State Forest, and the towns of White Sulphur Springs ,and Lewisburg.

Saturday Evening:

Pig and chicken dinner, BYOB
Presentation by Dave Socky
Music to follow by Wil and Zenah Orndorff and Septapus.

Sunday Morning:
There is NO breakfast service. Plan on feeding yourself.
VAR Business Meeting

More information coming soon.

Directions:

Take I-64 to Lewisburg, WV, go north on Route 219 about 8.4 miles to the little town of Frankford. Turn left onto Williamsburg Road (CR 17) after the Post Office (beside McGraw Funeral Home) and follow Williamsburg Road for about 2.2 miles to the intersection of Germany Road and bear left and continue on Williamsburg Road. At 3,3 nukes you will be in downtown Unus, continue straight on Williamsburg Road. You will go up a hill and then back down and the Poorfarm will be straight ahead of you. It is 6.8 miles from Frankford to the entrance of Poorfarm and you will be on Williamsburg Road. the entire way.

8 miles. Do not take two right forks, do not take two left forks, stay on the road until you see the windmills and the signs saying VAR. Festival Grounds entrance is on your left. Note: This route is hilly and twisty.

This alternate route might be better for those hauling trailers and pop-ups:
Take I-64 East to West Virginia and exit 161 (Alta WV)… Turn left off exit ramp, turn right on Rt. 60 east, then immediate left to "Williamsburg". Follow this road through downtown Williamsburg and take 2nd right on Frankford Rd, go one mile… See Festival Entrance on Right.

T-Shirts:

T-Shirts are available for $15 each, in sizes S, M, L, and XL.

Poor Farm VAR TShirt

Thanks to an enormous effort by Bob Hoke, most of the historic editions of the Region Record have been digitized for prosperity. Older issues had to be scanned as images. OCR was used to make the files searchable, but its accuracy is limited due to scanning poorly printed copies. Newer issues were natively exported to PDF.

Any issues that are not listed below were not available for scanning. If you have any of the missing issues, please let Bob borrow them to scan.

A cumulative index to the Region Record has never been compiled, but would be very useful. If anyone has time to kill and would like to take on this worthwhile project, please contact the Webmaster.

Since the Region Record is a benefit to paying members of VAR, inclusion in this on-line archives is delayed by four issues. If you want to see the issues sooner than that, subscribe!

     Region Record  
 Vol  Num  Issue  Size
 V28  N4  Fall 2015  1.5 MB
 V28  N3  Summer 2015  1.6 MB
 V28  N2  Spring 2015  2.1 MB
 V28  N1  Winter 2015  1.4 MB
 V27  N123  Fall 2014  1.2 MB
 V26  N4  Fall/Winter 2014  1.2 MB
 V26  N3  Summer 2013  221 KB
 V26  N2  Spring 2013  678 KB
 V26  N1  Winter 2012-2013 (with Fall 2012)  680 KB
 V25  N4  Fall 2012 (with Winter 2012-2013)  680 KB
 V25  N3  Summer 2012  204 KB
 V25  N2  Spring 2012  460 KB
 V25  N1  Winter 2011-2012  403 KB
 V24  N4  Fall 2011 (with Summer 2011)  1.4 MB
 V24  N3  Summer 2011 (with Fall 2011)  1.4 MB
 V24  N2  Spring 2011  586 KB
 V24  N1  Winter 2010-2011  825 KB
 V23  N4  Fall 2010  275 KB
 V23  N3  Summer 2010  3.1 MB
 V23  N2  Spring 2010  847 KB
 V23  N1  Winter 2009-2010  607 KB
 V22  N4  Fall 2009  812 KB
 V22  N3  Summer 2009  1.1 MB
 V22  N2  Spring 2009  866 KB
 V22  N1  Winter 2008-2009  1.0 MB
 V21  N4  Fall 2008  1.0 MB
 V21  N3  Summer 2008  802 KB
 V21  N2  Spring 2008  799 KB
 V21  N1  Winter 2007-2008  712 KB
 V20  N4  Fall 2007  648 KB
 V20  N3  Summer 2007  647 KB
 V20  N2  Spring 2007  1.8 MB
 V20  N1  Winter 2006-2007  1.5 MB
 V19  N4  Fall 2006  1.3 MB
 V19  N3  Summer 2006  1.5 MB
 V19  N2  Spring 2006  2.3 MB
 V19  N1  Winter 2005-2006  1.7 MB
 V18  N4  Fall 2005  1.6 MB
 V18  N3  Summer 2005  1.5 MB
 V18  N2  Spring 2005  1.3 MB
 V18  N1  Winter 2004-2005  2.6 MB
 V17  N4  Fall 2004  1.9 MB
 V17  N3  Summer 2004  365 KB
 V17  N2  Spring 2004  1.6 MB
 V17  N1  Winter 2003-2004  866 KB
 V16  N4  Fall 2003  1.1 MB
 V16  N3  Summer 2003  679 KB
 V16  N2  Spring 2003  556 KB
 V16  N1  Winter 2002-2003  571 KB
 V15  N4  Fall 2002  187 KB
 V15  N3  Summer 2002  273 KB
 V15  N2  Spring 2002  208 KB
 V15  N1  Winter 2001-2002  617 KB
 V14  N4  Fall 2001  275 KB
 V14  N3  Summer 2001  400 KB
 V14  N2  Spring 2001  926 KB
 V14  N1  Winter 2000-2001  2.4 MB
 V13  N4  Fall 2000  2.3 MB
 V13  N3  Summer 2000  1.1 MB
 V13  N2  Spring 2000  1.7 MB
 V13  N1  Winter 1999-2000  1.4 MB
 V12  N4  Fall 1999  1.5 MB
 V12  N3  Summer 1999  2.4 MB
 V12  N2  Spring 1999  1.8 MB
 V12  N1  Winter 1998-1999  2.0 MB
 V11  N4  Fall 1998  1.8 MB
 V11  N3  Summer 1998  2.1 MB
 V11  N2  Spring 1998  2.4 MB
 V11  N1  Winter 1997-1998  2.2 MB
 V10  N4  Fall 1997  2.2 MB
 V10  N3  Summer 1997  2.3 MB
 V10  N2  Spring 1997  2.1 MB
 V10  N1  Winter 1996-1997  1.6 MB
 V9  N4  Fall 1996  1.7 MB
 V9  N3  Summer 1996  5.6 MB
 V9  N2  Winter 1996  4.5 MB
 V9  N1  Summer 1995  1.9 MB
 V8  N4  Winter 1994  4.8 MB
 V8  N3  (missing)  
 V8  N2  June 1994  3.7 MB
 V8  N1  March 1994  4.6 MB
 V7  N4  December 1993  3.9 MB
 V7  N3  September 1993  3.3 MB
 V7  N2  June 1993  4.7 MB
 V7  N1  March 1993  4.3 MB
 V6  N4  December 1992  2.8 MB
 V6  N3  September 1992  3.4 MB
 V6  N2  June 1992  4.7 MB
 V6  N1  March 1992  6.5 MB
 V5  N4  December 1991  6.1 MB
 V5  N3  September 1991  6.1 MB
 V5  N2  June 1991  1.4 MB
 V5  N1  March 1991  1.7 MB
 V4  N4  December 1990  3.1 MB
 V4  N3  September 1990  3.0 MB
 V4  N2  June 1990  2.4 MB
 V4  N1  April 1990  2.7 MB
       
     VAR/FYI  
     November 1989  3.3 MB
     June 1989  1.7 MB
     December 1988  3.4 MB
     July 1988  1.6 MB
     March 1988  1.2 MB
     January 1988  1.3 MB
     September 1987  3.2 MB
     Summer 1987  1.5 MB
     October 1986  3.7 MB
     June 1986  2.7 MB
     January 1982  1 MB
       
     Region Record  
 V3  N4  Summer 1979  65 MB
 V3  N3

 Winter/Spring 1974

 19.9 MB
 V3  N2  Summer/Autumn 1973  15.5 MB
 V3  N1  Winter/Spring 1973  11.0 MB
 V2  N4  Summer/Autumn 1972  12.1 MB
 V2  N3  Winter 1972  9.8 MB
 V2  N2  Autumn 1971  7.8 MB
 V2  N1  Summer 1971  5.6 MB
 V1  N4  Spring 1971  12.2 MB
 V1  N3  Winter 1971  5.6 MB
 V1  N2  Autumn 1970  4.7 MB
 V1  N1  Winter 1970  4.3 MB

Besides our biennial meetings, conservation activities comprise most of the Region's organized activity. We organize and participate in:

Aquisitions - We encourage our members to support the plethora of Cave Conservancies, who buy and/or manage caves in order to conserve them.

Biological Inventories - We survey caves to find out what creatures live where

Cave Bucks - an easy way to generate funds to buy caves.

Cave Gates - we have designed, built, or helped with the construction of gates on Allen's Cave, Baker Quarry Cave, Donaldson's Cave, Front Royal Caverns, Mt. Aetna Cave, Rapp's Cave, Siler's Cave, and many more

Sinkhole Cleanup Projects - Sinkholes are direct conduits from the earth's surface into underground aquifers. For too many years it was customary to throw trash, junk, old cars, and the occasional dead cow into the nearest sinkhole. The water leaching through the sinkhole goes directly into the water supply for nearby families. The Region has organized and assisted with many projects to remove old junk and debris from sinkholes, often partnering with government agencies for debris removal, directly improving the quality of water in local wells

Formation Repair and Vandalism Abatement: For caves where damage, either natural or by means of unacceptable human activity, we have the tools and techniques needed to repair formations to their former glory. Over the past 30 years, the VAR has been at work in Fountain Cave, where the damage is mostly natural, restoring over 500 formations over the years. Caves with easy access, like having a big entrance right next to a road (i.e. Island Ford) unfortunately suffer at the hands of less ethical visitors. We have frequent trips to clean up their trash, grafitti, and whatever else they have left behind or damaged.

Historical Documention - A number of caves in the Region were visited by Civil War soldiers and prominent civilians alike, many of whom followed the (now banned) custom of signing their name on the cavern walls. Grand Caverns (Weyer's Cave) and Melrose Caverns are two prime examples. VAR cavers help document the signatures of these individuals and research the history of the caves and their visitors.

Landowner support projects - we support the landowners who support us. For example, New River Grotto helped a long-supportive farmer install a fence and gate around a sinkhole to keep his cows out.

Spring Mapping Project - The Region supports local efforts to map springs, which lets us understand where local water supplies come from, potential pollutants the water passes under, and occasionally even find the cave or conduit the water passes through.

Coming Up!

varLogo

November 18 - Great VAR Sinkhole Cleanup continues in Rockingham, VA

 

Coming Up!

varLogoSpring VAR 2018
April 27-29, 2018

Hosted by Walker Mountain Grotto at the base of their namesake Big Walker Mountain in Marion, VA.

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