My new project is Alphabet Caving. In the next year or few, I will be visiting caves in the TAG region I have never been to, in alphabetical order (as best as possible with regard to access / permission). In the Alabama Cave Survey alone there are plenty to choose from.
I started this journey earlier than planned with Anderson Cave. It is one of the Southeastern Cave Conservancy‘s properties. Ray from the Birmingham Grotto lead the trip, a good thing as Anderson is a huge boulder maze and he was the only one along who basically knew the route!
Anderson is extremely muddy, as in, up to my hips in the deepest sections! I am sure there are many lost boots in the thick of it. There are neat deep lakes past the muddiest passages, however.
We did the through trip, so the way out was climbing up 20 feet just to go down 20 feet, and then back up again! Up-down-up-down winding through boulders and corkscrews covered with inches of peanut butter mud. Slick enough to make traction to climb a challenge, yet sticky enough if it was a slanted squeeze to just hang there awkwardly like a beached whale unable to move forward yet not sliding backwards!
By the end of the trip I was past ready to be out of there. It was an interesting cave and I am glad I went, but I think it makes the list of “been there, done that, not again!”
Before and After: Colorful to Mud
It took about 2 hours of scrubbing and cleaning to get all the mud off my gear.