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spanish caves(sangre de cristo range)

Colorado 13er questions, conditions, and other info should be posted here. Also includes topics related to 13ers.com. 13er Trip Reports

Re: spanish caves(sangre de cristo range)

Postby Furthermore » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:48 pm

Unless you have some caving experience, I wouldn't recommend going into Spanish without caving experience or with someone who is very experienced AND knows the cave.
Spanish Cave is one of the most dangerous caves in the state. If you interested, I would recommend going to the local grotto. The Colorado Grotto does(did?) a yearly trip into the cave which is usually in August. The guy who ran the trips just died so I am not sure whats going to happen this year. Moreover, I believe this cave is currently closed due to the White Nose Syndrome statewide cave closure.

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Re: spanish caves(sangre de cristo range)

Postby jeffskio » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:09 pm

For White Marble Caves you go to the rainbow trail from south colony lakes road. Head south on rainbow trail for 2.2 miles and then up the marble caves trail for 2.5 miles. From previous years the caves take about 20 minutes to get to the first hall and that is 400 feet long. Bring kneepads and a helmet for sure. There were some tight places for sure.
Last edited by jeffskio on Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: spanish caves(sangre de cristo range)

Postby Furthermore » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:19 pm

In terms of a conservational perspective, perhaps it might have been better to PM those coordinates? Posting cave locations to the public is a bad idea. ](*,) ](*,)

Re: spanish caves(sangre de cristo range)

Postby Furthermore » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:24 pm

Moreover, the caves are still closed due to the White Nose Syndrome affecting bats.

More information regarding the Colorado cave closure at:

http://www.coloradocavesurvey.org/index.html

"NOTE: By order of the United States Forest Service, ALL caves on in National Forest land in Region 2 (including all of Colorado) are closed until 27 July 2012. This closure was imposed to attempt to mitigate the spread of White Nose Syndrome into bats in the Colorado region, and was instigated following the discovery of a bat infected with Geomyces destructans in a cave in western Oklahoma. Please refer to the USFS website http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/wns/index.shtml and the Colorado Cave Survey Closed Cave webpage for more information."

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Re: spanish caves(sangre de cristo range)

Postby sevenvii » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:02 pm

Yeesh, ColoradoCaveSurvey needs a web redesign badly.

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Re: spanish caves(sangre de cristo range)

Postby bradyj » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:17 pm

Caves are technically closed till the 27th of July but with the elevation of the caves no bats reside in them. Just marmot poop.
Eagles may soar, but Weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

Re: spanish caves(sangre de cristo range)

Postby Furthermore » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:19 pm

There are several reasons that cave locations should NOT be posted to the public and to be clear, I am not advocating NOT going into caves but to get educated on proper caving techniques, equipment needs, and safety precautions before visiting them. Thus my recommendation to go to a grotto (organized cave club).

Caves locations should not be posted for several reasons but the top 3 reasons, I think, are for conservation, safety, and scientific/historic reasons.

Despite what some people may think, caves are fragile environments. Taken from the National Speleological Society's policy for cave conservation, “The National Speleological Society believes: That caves have unique scientific, recreational, and scenic values; That these values are endangered by both carelessness and intentional vandalism; That these values, once gone, cannot be recovered; and that the responsibility for protecting caves must be assumed by those who study and enjoy them. “

Once formations are destroyed, they cannot be replaced. Furthermore, just touching speleothems have lasting impacts as oil from your hands stunts the future growth of the formations. Even the slightest touch can destroy formations. Sharing cave locations publicly, can allow anyone to access to these fragile environments. People without proper educations or not people giving a sh*t, can easily do damage these environments that cannot be undone. Probably 99% of people that enter caves my not largely impact the cave environment but all it takes is that 1% to mess up the environment for everyone else, forever.

Speleothems are just one example of conversational damage others include boot tracks, tracking mud, bat hibernation, along with other items that, while unintentional, will have impacts. Get educated.

If you think people have naturally good “ethics” I recommend going to Fault Cave in golden where there is endless trash and graffiti. That is a well known cave. Allowing locations to be publicly posted invite everyone to visit them.

Secondly, safety. I would bet that most people will go into a cave without the proper equipment and safety precautions. For example, telling 3 people where you are going caving, 3 sources of lights, helmet, etc. The caves in the Sangres, especially Spanish, have some serious safety precautions. White Marble Halls, for the most part is a “safe” cave. These caves have year round temperatures of 36 degrees and are wet. Spanish Cave is a technical vertical cave and also has a chimney effect breeze. If an unprepared, un-educated caver were to get injured with out proper clothing/equipment, death would be certain. Back in 2006 a caver blew out their knee very close to the entrance and if I am not mistaken, it was a 4 hour ordeal to get her out. She was prepared and lucky.

The location of Fault Cave was publicly posted and there have been several rescues over the years to do individuals not being adequately prepared and getting seriously injured. Fault is a “Class 1” cave. Some found the cave location online.

Other safety issues include, mazy passage thus good navigation, loose boulders, technical down-climbs and pits. Near the back of White Marble Halls is a very large pit that “sneaks” up on people. The upper entrance of Spanish has a 140 foot pit that must be rappelled not to mention a very tricky down-climb. The lower entrance has a 90 foot pit that has to be rappelled or carefully traversed.

Thirdly, caves has huge scientific/historical values. Allowing the public these locations, can have lasting impacts on these resources.

This is only the beginning of why locations should NOT be posted publicly. I am not saying you would go unprepared or have bad ethics but I just wanted to explain some reasons why locations should not be posted publicly.

If you get educated on caves, you won't have to ask me, “Why?” It's simple really.

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Re: spanish caves(sangre de cristo range)

Postby bradyj » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:31 pm

Furthermore-
Normally I would agree with you on publishing the location. But if you Google the cave the second result leads you to a book that has the location published with pictures. You can even read the book online for free. For reference it is page 167 of THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE. Anyway, you probably shouldn't publish the location but I think in this case the cat was already out of the bag.
Eagles may soar, but Weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

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Re: spanish caves(sangre de cristo range)

Postby dehrlich101 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:34 pm

bradyj wrote:Caves are technically closed till the 27th of July but with the elevation of the caves no bats reside in them. Just marmot poop.


Are they going to be open for the remaining summer season? Or is this the day they can implement a new closure order?
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Re: spanish caves(sangre de cristo range)

Postby tmathews » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:36 pm

Great info, Derek. Thanks for posting that. Hopefully, caverdude will see this thread and will chime-in as well.

I would also submit that it's not a good idea to post locations to keep from tempting assholes like this.

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Re: spanish caves(sangre de cristo range)

Postby bradyj » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:42 pm

dehrlich101 wrote:
bradyj wrote:Caves are technically closed till the 27th of July but with the elevation of the caves no bats reside in them. Just marmot poop.


Are they going to be open for the remaining summer season? Or is this the day they can implement a new closure order?


Honestly I dont know. It was the date on the Colorado Cave Survey page. If you navigate the site you will come across some other dates. One being July 27th, 2011. So it looks like that they just implement the restriction each year on that date.
Eagles may soar, but Weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

Re: spanish caves(sangre de cristo range)

Postby Furthermore » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:48 pm

I think caves and cavers are still trying to recover from the location of caves being published in "Caves of Colorado" back in the 60s. What a political debacle that was. Who looks on page 167 anyways? The less possibilities of locations being posted, the better.

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