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!
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.
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.
VAR 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.
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 2017 Spring VAR will be held April 28-30 at Thorns Springs Park in Franklin, WV.
Preregistration is now open. Download the registration form and mail it in before you forget. Pre-registration is now closed. Please register on-site. Adults are $40 and children 6-16 are $30 at the door. Children 5 and under are free. Please make all checks payable to "Baltimore Grotto."
CAMPING AREA: There are plenty of wooded campsites aroung the park, next to a babbling brook. Camping is included with registration. The campground has a bath house with flush toilets and hot showers. Seven electric hookups are available for campers and RVs for $5. No sanitation disposal is available. Fires are only permitted in the available fire rings, and firewood is available for $10 per wheelbarrow load from the park office. Please do not bring firewood from elsewhere to minimize the risk of spreading invasive bugs.
CABINS: Thorn Springs has about 10 cabins, and the VAR has reserved most of them. 8 bunk cabins are $40 and 16 bunk cabins are $80 for the weekend. SORRY! ALL CABINS HAVE NOW BEEN RENTED.
HOTELS: There are 2 motels in Franklin, only a few miles away, if camping doesn't suit you.
VENDORS: Inner Mountain Outfitters will be coming, with every caver need from helmets to lights to vertical gear. Speleobooks just confirmed they will also be coming, and will feature the Bob Liebman collection, which will benefit his cancer treatment. We are still working on other vendors.
T-SHIRTS: Wie will have a Make-Your-Own T-shrt Station with markers, paints, and plenty of cave-related stencils, etc. Bring your own blank T-shirt to start with. Michaels has plain T-shirts in a rainbow of plain colors for only about $5, sometimes as low as $2-3 on sale, Walmart also has cheap blank T-shirts, but not in as many colors.
FRIDAY NIGHT: John Fox spinning the tunes for dancing and socializing, cave trip sign ups
SATURDAY CONSERVATION PROJECT: There will be a conservation project all day Saturday at the Trout Rocks Cave Preserve to fix fencing, plant tress, and remove grafitti. Fence fixers should bring gloves, heavy snips, and post drivers. Tree planters will need gloves, small shovel, and good boots with ankle support for the steep hillside. There IS poison ivy on the hillside. Wear long pants and bring antidote. Please RSVP to Earl Suitor (wvcaver at verizon dot net) if you plan to attend.
SATURDAY CAVE TRIPS: Please DO NOT contact trip leaders before the VAR. All signups will be at VAR. Shoveleater (trip limited to 6, advanced vertical, will be vetted at registration) Sites Cave (advanced vertical, and strictly limited) Cave Rat Cave McCoys Mill Cave is within walking distance of Thorn Springs. Kee Cave is 5 minutes away. Blood Cave is 5 mintues away. The NSS Trout Cave Preserve is 5 minutes away. Come help with the conservation project! Eliza Davis and other caves within 1/2 hour.
Seneca Caverns and Smokehole Caverns (both commercial) are both an easy drive.
Organizer Tommy Carpenter is actively seeking trip leaders. If you are willing and able to lead a trip, please contact Tommy at ibaskateboarder [at] yahoo [dotcom]
VERTICAL WORKSHIP: The ER-NCRC will be hosting onsite vertical practice to help you practice your techniques, or optimize your vertical system.
SATURDAY NIGHT: Dinner will be served in the big pavillion, which has plenty of picnic tables. After Dave Socky's presentation, the evening will continue with John Fox spinning your favorite dance tunes.
SPEAKER: Dave Socky will give a presentation on Catawba Murder Hole and show the new movie "Murder Hole," which he filmed.
SUNDAY MORNING: There will NO pancake breakfast Sunday, but we may have coffee for everyone - please bring your own mug.
The 2019 Fall VAR will be held Sept 27-29 at Friars Hole Cave Preserve in Lobelia, WV.
Preregistration is coming soon. Price should be around $40 for adults. Pre-registration will end September 15th.
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. This is a BYOB event.
HOTELS: The nearest hotels are in Marlinton, WV and Lewisburg, WV.
THURSDAY AND FRIDAY: We hope to be opening on Thursday for those who want to come for a long weekend. Stay tuned for confirmation. Cave on your own on Thursday and Friday.
CAVING: Friars Hole is the largest cave in West Virginia, with almost 50 miles of passage, and there are two entrances immediately adjacent to the campground. There are many other great caves with a short distance, including Culverson Creek, the WVCC's Lobelia Saltpeter, Poorfarm, Borehole, and more. We are planning on kids trip somewhere, and we have had a special request for a geezers trip.
OTHER ACTIVITIES: Don't want to get dirty? There are lots of other local above ground activities including Beartown State Park ("cave without a roof"), the Greenbrier River Trail, kayaking on the Greenbrier River, and the Greenbank National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
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.
The evening's speaker has not been finalized yet, but will mostly likely be on the history and recent discoveries in the Friars Hole System. BYOB for the evening party and bonfire.
VAR Business Meeting under the big tarp near registration.