Vertical Caving

Cave Access

Entering caves in California often requires a combination of equipment, knowledge, and practice.

The grotto holds monthly practices to learn and maintain their abilities and help members learn the ropes. New members can build their skills from the ground up and learn to rappel on the “bunny slope”. The grotto provides loaner gear to members to learn vertical caving without the up front costs. For more advanced cavers, we provide a belay course, rope treadmill, and static lines to practice change-overs and reverse direction while on rope.

John Woods helps new Grotto members learn basic knotcraft and understand the forces involved in rope systems.
Photo: Willie Hunt

With meticulous attention to detail and a commitment to excellence, we create intentional spaces to learn.

The Grotto pays attention. We check details and test our assumptions.

Pictured is a bolt at one of our training locations being proof tested. Obtaining quantitative data is important to ensure that you actually know what you think you know.

This bolt behaved predictably.

We put this same level of attention into thinking about SRT best practices and conveying safe robust rope techniques and believe that everyone should be accountable for safety and following best practices.

We’re all safer because we all take care to look after each other.

Photo: Dan Halim

Rescue and Emergency Preparedness

Members of SoCal Grotto attend National Cave Rescue Commission training seminars to gain or sharpen their rescue skills. The grotto believes that practicing rescue techniques makes us better, safer cavers. A number of members are on search and rescue teams across southern California.

What SRT practice looks like

Learn what we do at SRT practice through photos.