Climbed by: me, MarkL, Gary, John, JohnsDaughter.
This was a super-fun trip! Mark and I had never been caving before, so it was a real treat for us both. I knew Gary and John from a job I worked at in the distant past, and through them both being clients of my ex-company Spots InterConnect, an ISP/web hosting company. I had hosted the Alberta Cave Rescue Organization web site for several years, and in lieu of payment John promised to bring me caving. After the resolution of many scheduling conflicts, we finally settled on April 21, 2007, and the venue would be the Rat's Nest Cave in the side of Grotto Mountain in Canmore.
Because this cave is on the property of the mine working in the area, and only one company (Canmore Caverns) has access to that property, special permission was needed to gain access to this cave. John and Gary both know Chas, the owner of Canmore Caverns, so special permission was a lot easier than it would have been without them. Not that I'd have ventured into the cave in the first place without John and/or Gary!! I might be crazy, but I'm not stupid! It would be very easy to get lost down there!
In the opening photos, taken after climbing to the mouth of the cave, you can see that Mark has nice clean coveralls on. Mine were in the same pristine condition at the start of the trip. By the end, I don't think there was a single stitch of coverall that wasn't filthy! And my nice clean pack, it was filthy, too! But what a fun trip it was! I'd love to do this again, as I'm sure there is a lot of Rat's Nest cave we didn't get a chance to see!
Thanks a million, John and Gary!!!