Maxwelton_Thunder_Dome.jpg

MARVAR2021Logo

May 20-22, 2022
Grand Caverns,
Grottoes, VA

 

Overview

The Spring MAR/VAR 2022 is scheduled for May 20-22, 2022 at Grand Caverns, Grottoes, Virginia, hosted by the Seven Valleys and Charlottesville Grottos. All details are subject to change as more information become available. Check back often for updates!

COVID

  • All Grand Caverns staff and visitors are required to wear face masks while indoors (including bath houses) if they are not vaccinated. Please be respectful of the choices made by others and staff while visiting.

  • The cavern, gift shop, and cavern entrance building all have enhanced cleaning, disinfecting and sanitization protocols to ensure the safety of guests and staff.

  • FDA approved disinfectants are being used in all areas of cleaning.

  • Handrails in the cavern, all doorknobs, counter tops, bathrooms, and other high-touch areas are disinfected regularly throughout the day.

  • Hand sanitizing stations are located in the gift shop and cavern entrance building.

Registration

Pre-registration is now CLOSED. Please register on-site. On-site registration is $38 for adults and $30 for children 5-14.

T-Shirts

T-Shirts will be available but guaranteed only with pre-registration. Shirts will be light grey 50:50 cotton:polyester with the design shown to the right.
Cost is $15 XS through XL and $17.00 for larger sizes.

Camping

Shaded camping is available with ample picnic tables, shelters, and facilities. Smaller campers are welcome, but larger RVs might have a difficult time in that there are no hook-ups. Showers and water will be available.

Dogs

Well-behaved and leashed dogs are welcome! You MUST clean up after your pets. Pets 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.

Hotels

There are a number of hotels and motels in Harrisonburg and Verona VA (~10 miles from Grottoes, VA).

Alcohol

The park is under new management and alcohol is strictly prohibited on park grounds in accordance with Virginia State Law-"consumption or possession of an open alcoholic beverage in public is prohibited, regardless of age."
We expect the local police to make periodic passes. Please leave your alcohol at home this time.

Caving

Sign up for led cave trips Friday evening starting at 9:00 PM.

Commercial Caves

  • Grand Caverns, tours for a reduced fee ($11 – ages 13 & older, $8 – ages 6-12, 5 & under free) MAR/VAR tour times will be Saturday 9:30am, 12:30pm, & 3:00pm and will accommodate up to 25 people. Other tour times will be offered for participants but will include the general public.
  • Fountain Cave,at Grand Caverns, tours for a reduced fee ($25 – must be 12 or older to participate). MAR/VAR tour times will be 9:15am, 11:30am, 1:45pm & 4:00pm and will accommodate up to 15 people. All participants will be required to sign a safety waiver.
  • Caverns at Natural Bridge, Natural Bridge, VA
  • Dixie Caverns, Salem, VA
  • Endless Caverns, New Market, VA
  • Luray Caverns, Luray, VA
  • Seneca Caverns, Riverton, WV
  • Smoke Hole Caverns, Seneca, WV
  • Skyline Caverns, Front Royal, VA

Wild Caves

  • Breathing Cave
  • Crossroads Cave
  • Glade Cave
  • Hamilton Cave
  • New Trout Cave
  • Kee Cave

Other Activities

Don’t want to get down and dirty? Don’t blame you; there is so much to do above-ground!

Vendors

  • Sophireaptress - unique caving gear and fashion accessories
  • Bash Gear LLC - a purveyor of cave packs, suits, knee pads, and more. Hand sewn in the USA
  • Karst Woodcraft - original wood burned designs and stickers
  • Others TBD

Friday, May 20

We will open the weekend on Friday at noon for those who want to come for a long weekend. Cave on your own on Friday.

Led Cave Trips

  • Porters Cave

All other caving is on your own.

Cave Trip Signup

Time and place TBD

DJ

DJ Tommy Carpenter will be on site to entertain, keeping John Fox’s legacy alive.

Saturday, May 21

SWAP

11:00 a.m. at Pavilion I. Now that you have upgraded your gear, it’s time to spread the joy! Bring your gear to sell or trade!Dinner

Led Cave Trips

  • Butler Cave
  • Endless Caverns (wild section)
  • Fountain Cave (**additional fee applies**)
  • Grand Caverns (**additional fee applies**)
  • Madison Saltpeter Cave
  • Porters Cave
  • Trout Cave
  • Hamilton Cave

All other caving is on your own.

Conservation Project

On Saturday, May 21 please join the VAR Conservation team for a collaborative effort between VAR Cavers, DCR Natural Heritage Staff and members of the Cave Conservancy of the Virginias. Together we’ll do conservation work at the Cave Hill Natural Area Preserve which is within walking distance of the MAR/VAR campground! Some of the work we’ll tackle will include:

  • Stabilizing sinkhole above Steger’s Fissure and other sites between Steger’s Fissure and Weyers Cave Road
  • Trail/access work to better delineate the route to the cave
  • Clean up a squatter’s shack hidden in one of the cedar thickets
  • Endangered species management

Wear gloves, closed toe shoes, and clothing to protect from thickets and possible poison ivy etc. Bring water, snacks, bug spray.

DCR has some tools that can be used for the demolition of the structure such as chainsaws, sledge hammers, angle grinder, battery powered drills, and pry bars. It would be helpful if volunteers could bring tools of their own if possible, such as:  hammers, pry bars, battery powered circular or reciprocating saws, loppers, pruners, shovels, rakes, weed wrench. 

As an added bonus, Lunch will be provided for all participants!

Cave Survey Competition

Test your cave survey skills!  Location will be in the campground.  Details available at event.

Dinner

Saturday's dinner will be catered by Battarbee's

  • Roasted Chicken
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Dessert
  • Drinks: Iced Tea & Lemonade

* Vegetarian option upon request

** For those who are willing/able, we ask that you bring your own plate and silverware to use for Saturday’s dinner to help reduce the amount of waste generated during the MAR/VAR event.  We can all do our part to reduce the amount of trash going into landfills.  Thank you!
 
While we will attempt to accommodate all the hungry cavers, only those who pre-register will be guaranteed a meal.

Evening Program – Pavilion II

Carl Pierce will regale us with tales and photos of his Vietnam Caving Expedition!

DJ

DJ Tommy Carpenter will be on site to entertain, keeping John Fox’s legacy alive.

SUNDAY, May 22

Breakfast

Pennsylvania Cave Conservancy (PCC) will offer a fundraising breakfast. Suggested donation: $5/person

  • Pancakes
  • Sausage
  • Orange Juice
  • Coffee

** For those who are willing/able, we ask that you bring your own plate and silverware to use for Saturday’s dinner to help reduce the amount of waste generated during the MAR/VAR event.  We can all do our part to reduce the amount of trash going into landfills.  Thank you!

Meetings

VAR & PCC meetings beginning at 9:00 a.m.

SWAP

9:00 a.m. at Pavilion I. Now that you have upgraded your gear, it’s time to spread the joy! Bring your gear to sell or trade!