July 23, 2014

Rumble Room Rumbling Falls
 The day has finally come!  The morning light woke me up and I popped my head out of the tent with a headache from sweating so much and my body aching from days of solid caving.  Bart and Joe made it in the night before so we could get off to a early start and make our way towards rumbling falls.  We had breakfast and decided to strike camp and made our way towards a shelter to go over gear and go over a plan to make this work.  Shortly after going over everything and going over our gear, we set off for a 12 hr trip into rumbling falls.  We park and hike down the mountain to the entrance of the cave.  The first challenge we encounter is a 80ft pit that we rig into bolts and descend down into the river passage.  We follow the stream up and go to the first waterfall climb which had ropes pre rigged but we were able to climb up and over without using the rope.  The next set of falls were a bit more challenging so some of us climbed over the falls and some of us ascended the rope that was available. After this climb we entered a low stream crawl with rocks and water flowing down into the falls below.  We dragged all the camera gear in dry bags and kegs as well as the rope through the water and got to the canyon section.  For some of us the canyon section was another challenge as we had to chimney up and traverse over the slot while meandering around the bends with the gear, for others it was a matter of climbing up and around to get to the otherside.  We worked as a team and were able to pass gear along as we made our way closer to the main drop.  Eventually we came up to the walking section and to our right a vast dark void echoed our voices into what appeared to be an eternity of blackness until our powerful lights penetrated through.  We made it to the Rumble Room.

Rumble Room Rumbling Falls
We rig a backup and a main double figure eight into the bolts in the wall which unfortunately gave us more of a lip than we wanted but we were able to negotiate this quite well. It is best to walk down and keep walking over these lips if possible to avoid racks being stuck on the lip.  One by one we drop into this absolutely massive room, I couldn't stop thinking what it must have been like for Marion and the other cavers who pioneered this passage from going through small crawling passage, into one of the biggest rooms in America.  It was absolutely breathtaking!!!  Joe and I start to formulate a plan to figure out how we are going to be able to light this room up with the equipment that we have and the cameras we are using.  I was again challenged with this room and the camera I was using so I think we went through more bulbs than needed but that is why I have them.  We set everyone up in their stations and Joe and I gave a set of commands so once our shutters open, we grab as much light as we could and got the pictures you are seeing today.  I was hoping for better results as we were in this room for almost 3 hours and blew through a number of bulbs but with the learning experiences I had and the shots I got I was satisfied with this trip.  Plus it was great to do this with a passionate group of cavers. 
Rumble Room looking up towards the entrance in Rumbling Falls Cave
I wanted to make sure we were able to get a shot of the rest of the team so I had everyone look up as we snapped our last shot.  Shortly after, another team of cavers showed up, marion ackers, simon ackers, Ron Adams, and a couple others.  Our team ascended out of the cave and we proceeded to exit the cave as they were now in charge of re rigging the ropes.  We made it out in 11 hrs and 35 minutes which was a great length for a trip.  It also left us time to sit around and enjoy drinks n dinner while sharing our stories together that we will remember forever.

#gonecaving #verticalcaving #evenfurther #awesomeoutdoors

You Might Also Like