Venture Crew 88 – Fulford Cave Article

May 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Ventures

Venture Crew 88 – Fulford Cave Article
by Steve Cable

Venture Crew 88 explored Fulford Cave last weekend. On Friday evening we drove over to the campground/parking lot/trail head at a place called Yeoman Park. It is about 20 miles south of Eagle, which is a little past Vail. The moon was full, and we enjoyed staying up late around the campfire eating marshmallows and talking.

On Saturday, we fortified ourselves with a high-carbohydrate breakfast of muffins and instant potatoes. We hiked about 2 miles up to the cave. The last few hundred yards was steep, and the snow was deep, so we were glad to finally reach the entrance of the cave.

You have to crawl through a culvert for about 10 yards to get into the cave. After we assembled on the inside, somehow the adults became uninformed and unaware (even more than normal), so it was the responsibility of the crew members to find their way.
We found a neat looking ice column that went from the ceiling to the floor. We went through the Big Meander. We went up the Devils Washboard. We scrambled over rocks in the Breakdown room. Breakdown is caving jargon for big blocks of rock that fall from the ceiling. But for us, the Breakdown room was where we lost all sense of direction.

We spent about the next hour and half seriously lost. We had a map, and it made no sense to us at all. We could find passages to squeeze through, and we tried to avoid dropping into big pits, but it was hard to tell if we were on the right track or not. At one point, we were at a dead end with no obvious way forward. John and Kyer scouted ahead to see if they could squeeze through some little hole in front of them, and a minute later they popped out behind us. We were trying to follow a stream, and the map said it flowed west, but the compass said it was flowing east. [Note to Crew: EVERYONE needs their own compass!] We had to keep our wits about us.

Honestly, the cave was starting to seem pretty big, dark, and quiet to us, and we were starting to wonder if we would ever get out of there. The crew members back-tracked a little bit, and soon enough they found another passage we hadn’t tried yet. Eventually that let us back to the Big Meander, the culvert, and sunshine. It took us 3 hours to go about 1 mile altogether, and we still had lots of places left to explore. It was a great day. We all thought this is one of the coolest things we have ever done.

Many thanks for Jason Laster and Stephen Trivett for helping lead this trip.

Pictures from the Camp Out can be seen here

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