About our Cave Guides
Our cave guides are very special people! As well as their professional and enthusiastic nature, their qualifications are numerous and rigorous. Every cave guide has an up to date back-country wilderness first aid certificate, and cave rescue training. All guides are equipped with cell phones in case an emergency arises. We network with the local mountain rescue unit in Kananaskis Country.
- Wilderness First Aid Certification
- ACRO (Alberta Cave Rescue Organization) Certification
- International and Local Cave Experience
Each of our cave guides possesses excellent general knowledge of the local geology and geography and of course lots of caving experience. They started out their guiding careers as cavers – enthusiastic, adventurous explorers of the mysterious subterranean world of caves. They have caved locally in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta & British Columbia, in the U.S.A. and internationally e.g. Peru, Cuba, & Mexico.
The caver’s motto is:
- Take Nothing But Pictures
- Leave Nothing But Footprints
- Kill Nothing But Time
Dr Charles J. Yonge (Chas)
Chas is owner and operator of Canmore Caverns Ltd and has been an enthusiastic caver for almost 40 years. Since his early days as a ‘pot-holer’ in England, his caving exploits have taken him to many of the karst areas on earth; to name a few places – Cuba, Barbados, Belize, Mexico, United States, Norway, Indonesia, Australia, China, Vietnam, Bhutan, England, Wales, Ireland, France, Spain, Turkey, Papua New Guinea and Canada.
Chas has participated in numerous expeditions such as the National Geographic Society’s sponsored trips to Belize from 1984 to 2000, exploring a 50 km long cave system as well as mapping one of the largest subterranean chambers ever discovered. In October 2002 he traveled to Cuba to film a documentary on the largest stalagmite in the world, called “Martin’s Inferno”. This behemoth is over 67 metres high and 80 metres in circumference with an estimated weight of 15,000 tons! This program was aired in Spring 2003 on Discovery Canada.
When Chas is not guiding in Rat’s Nest Cave he’s wearing a different hat, that of speleologist and karst consultant. Alberta Cave and Karst Consulting provides environmental assessment and cave management guidelines for these delicate eco-systems to governments and private companies. He currently continues his academic interests in collaborative projects with scientists at the University of Calgary, McMaster University and elsewhere.