One of Carter Caves State Resort Park’s largest events is the annual Crawlathon, January 26-28, which attracts more than 500 cave enthusiasts from around the country. The event caters to families and cavers age 6 and up, with four different levels of expertise. There are 101 adventure trips that include cave adventures, rappelling, hiking, and educational classes, as well as fun competitions for kids and adults.
Level 1 is for beginners with offerings such as Caving, Let’s Do It Right, which teaches you proper caving techniques; Surveying Workshop, which teaches you accurate mapping procedures; Caving for Kids, ages 6-12; and four caving exploration trips.
Level 2 and 3 adventures offer prolonged crawling through small, constricted passages. Level 2 trips last about 2-1/2 hours and include Bat Cave Back Door, Cascade Gone Wild, Sandy Cave Flotilla, Wandering Through Wilburn, as well as two vertical rappelling trips—Up for Idiots and Down for Dummies. Level 3 adventures generally last 3-5 hours, and include such trips as Bat Cave Extreme, Tygarts Gorge Hike & Cave Trek, and Take the Tar Kiln Trek.
Level 4 trips are daylong, extreme caving and hiking adventures that are strenuous and require special skills. Trips include Tygarts Creek Regatta, Caving from 9 to 5, and Pit Plunging.
Pre-registration began in mid-December, $30 for adults (age 13 and up) and $15 for children (ages 6-12). For complete information and pre-registration, go to www.crawlathon.com, where you can check availability of each trip, equipment requirements, and age restrictions, and download a 24-page brochure. Or contact Carter Caves State Resort Park, 344 Caveland Drive, Olive Hill, at (800) 325-0059.
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