Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

December 28, 2012

A chilly exploration

Participants can go underground in January

Carter Caves — For the first time in the past four years, participants in the upcoming Winter Adventure Weekend at Carter Caves State Resort Park will be able to get themselves and their gear underground during the final weekend of January.

“This is the first time, yeah. We’re still kind of limited, but people will be able to get in there and they will be able to do a little bit of crawling. They will be able to get wet and dirty,” said Sam Plummer, one of the organizer’s for the fourth annual Winter Adventure Weekend, explaining enthusiasts have not been able to access the park’s namesake caves since new rules went into effect after native bat populations began experiencing increased mortality rates.

“All of this started with something called Crawlathon,” Plummer said, noting the popularity of the annual event that allowed cave lovers nearly unlimited access to passages that were otherwise not included in the park’s activities.

Crawlathon was canceled in the winter of 2009, following a recommendation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the event could pose a threat to bat populations in caves at the park because of white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed thousands of hibernating bats in several Northeastern states. The name comes from a white fungus that appears around the noses of some affected bats.

Hundreds attended the annual Crawlathon, considerably boosting winter revenues for the state park, prompting officials to create Winter Adventure Weekend as a substitute. Plummer said the weekend has evolved into an excellent pursuit for those who enjoy caves and related adventures.

“We have tried to come up with all kinds of things people would be interested in,” Plummer said, citing the weekend’s variety of tours and topics, including birding, hiking, zip lines and winter survival. From  start to finish, participants will have their choice of adventures, including “wild caving, cave tours, shooting, high-line ride, rappelling, rope climbing, rock climbing, tree climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, camping in a cave, adventure presentations, archeology tours, squeeze box, winter survival, fire building, campfire cooking, land navigation, corrugated cave, mine lighting,” and even a live band.

Jan. 25 activities will begin with a rope climbing competition, followed by the “Backpacking 101 Workshop” by Andy Niekamp of Outdoor Adventure Connection, an expert in backpacking who has hiked the entire Appalachian Trail three times, thru hiked Ohio’s Buckeye Trail and Kentucky’s Sheltowee Trace. The Kenny McCoy Corrugated Cave opens that evening, followed by a S’Mores Social in front of the lodge.

Winter Adventure Weekend will get into gear Jan. 26 with field trips, rope climbing, corrugated cave crawling and bicycle basics. Hikers will enjoy an end-to-end tour of Vermont’s 270-mile Long Trail starting at 11 a.m., followed by a noon viewing of “To the Edge,” a made-for-TV documentary of an El Capitan rappel trip. That afternoon, Tim Mootz will present “Royal Arch: Experiencing the Grand Canyon at Both its Best and Worst,” followed by “Caving the Deep Pits of Mexico’s Aquismon Area” by caver and climber Colin Gatland.

Just before dinner time, Cara Varney of Life Adventure Center will present “Backcountry Gourmet Cooking 101,” followed by the adult and children’s squeeze box competition, which tests individual’s abilities to squeeze through small openings. The evening will conclude with a buffet dinner, silent auction and live auction as well as a winter photo salon accepted image slideshow and awards and adult squeeze box finals.

Jan. 27 activities include an indoor workshop titled “After the Shot” by photographer Suzanne Jones of Portraits With A Pulse, as well as the Smoky Bridge High-Line Ride Fundraiser, a Down For Dummies seminar and an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet.

Guests can select from a list of trips they want to take for beginners and advanced winter adventurers alike.  All trips and events will be led by guides. For more details, visit winteradventureweekend.com or call (606) 286-4411. The 2013 Winter Adventure Weekend non-refundable fee for adults (13 years old and older) is $30 and the non-refundable fee for children ages 6 to 12 is $20. Participants must be at least 6 years old. Some trips have age requirements and some have additional fees.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Heroin overdose deaths continue to rise

    The Kentucky state legislature passed a sweeping overhaul to its prescription drug law in the summer of 2012 after a flood of overdose deaths, making it significantly harder for people to access dangerous addictive drugs from doctors.

    July 31, 2014

  • Morehead man faces drug charges

    A Morehead man is facing multiple drug charges after taking possession of a suspicious package mailed to his home on Dillon Lane, according to the Kentucky State Police.

    July 31, 2014

  • Highlands’ Artists Market to begin today

    Up-and-coming artists are being offered a rare chance to show and sell their work during the First Friday art walk.

    July 31, 2014

  • Dogonline.jpg 'Educate and entertain'

    A local theater group is shooting for changing the area’s theater scene.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07/31/2014 — What's Happening

    Local news

    July 31, 2014

  • News in brief, 07/31/14

    About 450 marijuana plants were confiscated during an eradication effort in Lawrence County on Tuesday.

    July 30, 2014

  • 0731facelift1.JPG Painters finishing up work at ACTC

    When Ashland Community and Technical College students return to campus Aug. 18, they will find fresh paint, clean windows and pressure-washed brickwork on the college’s original building on College Drive.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Night Moves on tap for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairview school district being investigated

    State education investigators were scheduled to arrive in the Fairview school district this morning to interview school officials.

    July 30, 2014

  • Advisory committee on landfill to meet

    Members of the county’s new advisory committee regarding Big Run Landfill enforcement are encouraged to attend the group’s first meeting next week.
    Committee facilitator Mike Clevenger of Cannonsburg said the panel will meet the first Monday of each month, starting next week. For now, all meetings will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Boyd County Community Center.

    July 30, 2014