WVACS Classic Logo

The West Virginia Association for Cave Studies (WVACS) is proud to announce that it will be reviving The WVACS Classic this summer! The event will take place Friday night June 10th through Sunday June 12th, 2016.

You might find yourself asking, "what is The WVACS Classic?" Well, The WVACS Classic is an event designed to get new prospective cavers interested into the various projects we do! It also is a way to give you a look at WVACS’s facilities and a taste of what it’s like to cave with WVACS.

There will be digging, survey, and sport trips going on during the WVACS Classic. There will also be a sketchers workshop for those who have always wanted to learn to sketch as well as a vertical workshop at the climbing tower! Lastly there will be a potluck dinner Saturday night followed by a firework show and the typical socializing and storytelling.

Stay tuned for more details on the trips, workshops, and the potluck dinner!

Check back often. More information to come.

Endless VAR 2016 Logo

Tri-State Grotto of the NSS is hosting the 2016 Spring VAR at Endless Caverns on April 22-24, 2016.

REGISTRATION:
Pre-registration is $35 for ages 13 and up, $30 for ages 5-12, and FREE for under 5. Onsite prices will be
$40 and $35 for kids. Vegetarian meals are only available if you preregister. The lottery for cave trips into
Endless Caverns is only available to preregistrants. In other words, please preregister! Preregistration ends
April 9th, 2016. Download the registration form and send it in now.

CAMPING AREA:
We will be camping in the lower field. The field is flat and mowed. It is a large field so there will be
plenty of room! Camping here is included with registration. There are limited showers available. Please
do not bring pets!

ENDLESS CAMPSITES with FULL HOOKUPS:
If you would like to camp in one of the Endless camping sites with full hookups please contact Endless
Caverns once you have pre-registered and request a site. Tell them you are with the VAR. Endless will
charge you at a 25% discount!

HOTELS:
If you would like a hotel/motel there are 3 in New Market: Budget Inn, Quality Inn & Days Inn. Call
early if you want one.

VENDORS:
Inner Mountain Outfitters (http://innermountainoutfitters.com/)
Highline Ropes (https://www.facebook.com/highlineropes)

FRIDAY NIGHT:
There will be a Friday night wine tasting at the Recreation Hall. Bring a bottle of wine ($10 or less).
There will be Bluegrass music playing during the event.

Endless VAR TShirtVAR T-SHIRT:
VAR T-shirt available for $15 at Pre-Registration only!

SATURDAY NIGHT:
Hank's Smokehouse Southern Grillery will cater the Saturday night dinner at the Recreation Hall. Dinner
will start at 6:00 pm! The dinner will consist of Pork BBQ, Marinated Chicken Breast, Red Skin Mashed
Potatoes, Green Beans & Ham, Chocolate Cake or Spice Cake. There is a Vegetarian meal of Vegetarian
Lasagna which needs to be selected on the Pre-Registration Form. There are several tables and chairs
available. If you want to assure that you have a seat please bring camp chairs! The Recreation Hall will
also be the site for the speaker. There is a large screen and projector available.

SPEAKER:
Wil Orndorff will be the after dinner presentation. He will talk about the 'Biodiversity of Appalachian
Karst with the Emphasis on the Virginias'.

DOOR PRIZES:
Door prizes, the 50/50 raffle and the Highline rope raffle will be given out after the dinner and talk! You
must be present to win the door prizes and the highline rope!

PARTY:
After the dinner and the speaker, John Fox will be playing his vibrations until midnight! Because of the
Virginia ABC wanting permits and fees, WE WILL NOT PROVIDE BEER! This solves a lot of
problems. If you like to drink please BYOB! This is a public campground so please be discreet!

SUNDAY MORNING:
Front Royal Grotto has agreed to hold its Pancake Breakfast on Sunday morning starting at 8am.
The ever popular VAR Business Meeting will start at 9am in the recreation hall.

CONSERVATION PROJECT:
There will be a conservation project in Endless Caverns. You will be hiding wiring that is exposed to the
eyes of visitors.

ER-NCRC VERTICAL WORKSHOP:
Carl Amundson of the ER-NCRC will be conducting a vertical workshop to help cavers fine tune their
existing climbing systems, practice ascending techniques, and practice change-overs. If you have no
vertical techniques and have the equipment they will teach you.
There will also be a rebelay course set up for those who are inclined to practice and push their limits.
The Vertical Workshop will run from Friday evening until Saturday night.
If you have any questions reply to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LOCAL ATTRACTIONS:
Grand Caverns
The Factory Antique Mall
Bear Mt Adventures
Shenandoah National Park
Luray Caverns
W & E Vintage Treasures
Shenandoah Heritage Market
Natural Chimneys
Skyline Caverns
Shenandoah Caverns
Natural Bridge & Caverns
Safari Park
Foam Henge
Yellow Barn
Dark Hollow Falls
Elizabeth Furnace
Buzzard Rock
Directions for local attractions will be available at the VAR registration table!

CAVE TRIPS:
Trips into Endless are available only by lottery through pre-registration. See the
Registation Form for more details.
Fri evening trip into Endless - Moderate to hard with exposure - Must be 18 or over - Lottery
Sat morning trip into Endless - Moderate to hard with exposure - Must be 18 or over - Lottery
Sat afternoon trip into Endless - Moderate to hard with exposure - Must be 18 or over - Lottery
Sun morning trip into Endless

The DC and Baltimore grottoes cordially invite you to the Fall 2019 VAR Sept 26-29 at Friars Hole Cave Preserve in Lobelia, WV.

REGISTRATION:

Pre-registration is now closed. Please register on-site. Download the registration form now and bring it with you. Only cash and checks accepted on-site. Due to lack of internet, we cannot accept PayPal on-site. On-site prices are $45 for adults and $30 for children 5-14. Under 5 is free. Registration included mandatory VAR membership and the next 4 issues of the Region Record.

DIRECTIONS:

Since we are camping at a cave, we cannot post directions publicly. Find Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park on US 219 near Droop, WV, about 15 miles south of Marlinton, WV and 25 miles noroth of Lewisburg, WV, on your favorite map service, go 1/2 mile south and follow the large yellow VAR signs. If you are coming up Route 219 from Lewisburg, WV and get to the battlefield, you have gone too far. The rest of the way to VAR will be well marked.

T-Shirts:

T-shirts were available by pre-order ONLY, but we may have a few extras for sale on-site. Shirts will be solid gray with our designs and are made of a 100% polyester, super-soft athletic, quick-drying, sweat-wicking material that is perfect for caving! T-shirts are available in both mens' and womens' styles, and will be $15 for XS, S, M, L, and XL, and $17 for 2XL, 3XL, and 4XL.

Friars Hold 2019 T-Shirt Front Friars Hold 2019 T-Shirt Detail Friars Hold 2019 T-Shirt Back

CAMPING AREA:
We will be camping in a large, mowed cow pasture iright next to the cave. Plenty of porta-potties will be supplied. Smaller campers are welcome, but larger RVs might have a difficult time. There are no hookups. This is primitive camping. Bring your own food, water, and everything you need for the weekend, and plan to haul out your own trash and recycling. Except for cave trips, please plan to stay for the weekend. There are few stores close by. Stock up in Lewisburg on your way in. This is a BYOB event.

VAR will take place around the new moon. Bring extra camp lights and extra batteries. The sky will be amazing! Even better if you bring binoculars or a telescope!

DOGS:

This is a working farm. Well behaved dogs are welcome, but must be kept on a leash and under control at all times.

HOTELS:
The nearest hotels are in Marlinton, WV and Lewisburg, WV.

THURSDAY AND FRIDAY:
We will be opening on Thursday for those who want to come for a long weekend. Cave on your own on Thursday and Friday.Registration will open Friday.

There will be a caving trip to Scott Hollow on Friday. See below.

CAVING:
Friars Hole is the largest cave in West Virginia, with nearly 50 miles of passage. There are two entrances immediately adjacent to the campground and several others a short hike away. Most trips in Friars Hole will be self-serve.

FRIDAY

  • Scott Hollow, ~6 hour trip to John's Flowstone and Amber's Garden horizontal, wet intermediate cave. Contact Heather Williams at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before VAR if you are interested.

SATURDAY

  • Bone-Norman thru-trip, limit 8, the Devil's Pinch is still tight!
  • Monster Cavern trip, limit 6, this is a long, hard, wewt, and cold trip, for advanced cavers only. You MUST contact Ryan Mauer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. BEFORE VAR
  • South Friars, including the Lost Passage and Mauck's Discovery, intermediate, vertical required, limit 8.
  • Snedegars Cave Tourist Loop, easy, mid-day, probably 11-3, limit 12.
  • Poorfarm (Greenbrier), easy, mostly walking beginner trip
  • Grapevine Pit at Lost World Caverns will be rigged and open for your rappelling and climbing pleasure.
  • Friars Hole to Snedegars thru trip (Sorry, the leader got waylaid and cannot make VAR)

We are still working on cave trips. If you know any of the other area caves and are willing to lead a trip, please contact Jim McConkey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

There are many other great caves within a short distance, including:

  • Culverson Creek
  • Maxwelton
  • Borehole
  • and many more.
  • There has been a special request for a geezers trip - maybe Friday

CONSERVATION PROJECT:

The fence to keep cows out of the Snedegars entrance has seen better days and has mostly fallen down. We are trying to arrange a project to fix it. Posthole diggers might be helpful.

VENDORS:

Sorry, we invited all the usual vendors, but they unfortunately all had other obligations.

So instead, we will sponsoring our own Yard Sale and Equipment Swap. Bring your unwanted caving, camping, or whatever gear to sell or trade.

OTHER ACTIVITIES:
Don't want to get dirty? There are lots of other local above ground activities including:

SATURDAY DINNER:

Saturday's dinner will be catered by Blue Roof Caterers and will feature pork and chicken BBQ, a vegetarian option, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, coleslaw, tea, lemonade, and desserts.

IN-CAVE PARTY!

After dinner we will move underground for the presentation and IN-CAVE PARTY. Keely Owens and other possible speakers will discuss the history and recent discoveries in the Friars Hole System. Afterwards, John Fox will DJ your favorite tunes the evening's IN-CAVE party. If you have LED light strings, tea candles, or laser shows, please bring them to add to the ambience! (label your stuff so you can get it back!). Bring your best glow-in-the-dark or lighted T-shirt.

If the cave is too loud for your, there will also be relaxing outdoors around the bonfire.

BYOB for the evening party and bonfire.

SUNDAY MORNING:

VAR Business Meeting under the big tarps near registration at 9 AM.

 

The Seven Valleys and Charlottesville Grottoes invite you to the 2020 Spring MAR-VAR to be held May 1-3, 2020 at Grand Caverns in  Grottoes, VA.Spring 2020 MAR/VAR Logo

SORRY! Due to COVID-19 the Spring MAR/VAR 2020 has been canceled and will be held in Spring 2021 instead. Refunds will be sent to all those who have registered.

REGISTRATION:
Pre-registration is now open. Price is $33 for adults and $25 for children, $5 higher if you register on-site. Dinner is only guaranteed to those who pre-register. Download your registration form now and send it in soon! Pre-registrations must be postmarked by April 15, 2020.

T-Shirts:
T-shirts are available, but are only guaranteed to those who pre-register. Shirts are 60/40 cotton/polyester in light grey with the 2020 MAR/VAR logo seen here. Shirts are $15 for XS through XL, and $17 for larger sizes.

CAMPING AREA:
We will be camping in a 10+ acre mowed grass field, with a sand vollyball court and several pavilions, one with a large fireplace. Campers can be accommodated, but there are no hookups. A permanent outbuilding with sinks and flush toilets will be augmented with porta-potties.

Pets are welcome, but must be kept on a leash and restrained at all times. No pets (with the exception of service animals) are allowed in the caverns, gift shop or pool area.

CAVING:
Led trips announced so far:
Wild trips into Fountain Cave and Madisons Cave on the park property
Wild trip to Endless Caverns
Butler Cave trip
Other trips TBA. If you would like to lead a trip, please contact us!

In addition to wild caving, the following commercial caves are in the vicinity:
Caverns at Natural Bridge, Natural Bridge, VA
Dixie Caverns, Salem, VA
Endless Caverns, New Market, VA - 50% off the commerical tour price for MAR/VAR attendees
Luray Caverns, Luray, VA
Seneca Caverns, Riverton, WV
Smoke Hole Caverns, Seneca Rocks, WV
Skyline Caverns, Front Royal, VA

ACTIVITES:
ER-NCRC will be hosting a Vertical Workshop. Bring you gear and come practice and learn new techniques.
We will also be having a basic survey course.

Want some non-caving activities?

Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, Harrisonburg, VA
Route 151 Craft Beverage Tour
Route 11 Potato Chip Factory
Hiking at Mountain View Park, Furnace Mountain Summit Trail
Festival of the Arts, Luray, VA

HOTELS:
The nearest hotels are in Harrisonburg, VA. Being a college town, there are many to choose from.

VENDORS:
Caver's Connection
Highline Ropes
Inner Mountain Outfitters
Speleobooks

CONSERVANCIES:

SCCI and CCV will be be on site.

GEAR SWAP:
Buying new cave gear? Sell or trade your old gear at our gear swap, starting at 11 AM Saturday morning.

SATURDAY NIGHT:
Saturday night's dinner will be catered by Cosmic Smoked BBQ and will feature pulled pork sandwiches, mac and chees, vegetarian green beans, coleslaw, rolls, oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies, and assorted soft drinks and water. We can only guarantee dinner to those who pre-register. Water and soft drinks served. BYOB (discrete!).

SPEAKER & PARTY:
Dr. Dan Doctor will tell us "How Old is the Appalachian Karst?" After Dan's talk, John Fox will be playing your favorite dancing tunes.

SUNDAY MORNING:
The Pennsylvania Cave Conservancy (PCC) be serving breakfast (pancakes, sausage, OJ/coffee) for just $5.

The ever popular VAR Business Meeting will start at 9 AM in the large pavillion.

The regular PCC meeting will start at 10 AM

 

Coming Up!

varLogoSpring MAR-VAR 2020

CANCELED due to COVID-19. Rescheduled for Spring 2021 at Grand Caverns, Grottoes, VA

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