Whether you’re looking to challenge yourself physically or mentally, individually or as a team, Caving offers a multitude of opportunities to grow.
The first part of this program will be spent at the Canmore Cave Tours office where we will learn some of the theory of SRT and practice our vertical skills in a nice warm, dry space before taking them out into the real world. Repetition is the key to success for technical skills like SRT so prepare to spend a lot of time on rope. You will learn how to use all of the necessary equipment, how to recognize and prevent potential problems, and how to move efficiently through all of the obstacles you might encounter in a cave.
Part 2 we will head to Rat's Nest Cave to try out our new skills in the real world. You will demonstrate skill proficiency as you progress through our vertical ropes course, and will be slowly introduced to more challenges along the way.
This is not a certification course. Many of these skills will be completely new to you and you will need to master one skill before moving on to the next. Our goal is to work with you at a pace with which you are comfortable, and to give you the confidence to go home and practice these skills safely with the knowledge of what you know well, and what you might still need to work on. The techniques taught in this course are strenuous, and a good level of fitness is required. Please contact us if you have any questions about the physical requirements of this course.
Please note that food and accommodation is not provided.
Need to polish up your SRT before a big trip? Maybe it's been a few years and you're looking to get back into the cave. Or maybe you you just finished the Vertical Caving Primer and you need to work on a few skills before jumping into the cave?
The SRT Tune-Up workshop is for cavers who already know SRT but need a little more practice and support. We'll work through obstacles in our office mini ropes course and help you build the confidence you need to go play underground.
Equipment provided on request.
This program will be spent almost entirely in Rat's Nest Cave to maximize your time learning the necessary survey skills. You will work with analog and digital survey tools in teams to practice all roles of a survey team.
All caving and surveying equipment will be provided. You may bring your own equipment on request (it must be inspected by your instructor prior to approval).
Please note that food and accommodation is not provided.
The minimum age for the Horizontal Caving Course is 12 years.
The minimum age for the Vertical Caving Course is 16 years.
The minimum age for a teambuilding program is 10 years. (We can customize a Discovery Hike program for younger ages on special request)
Generally speaking, fitness is more of a concern than size. However, all participants must wear a safety harness which has a maximum waist size of 46" (116 cm) and a maximum leg size of 33" (84 cm). If you have any concerns about size please don't hesitate to contact us.
We provide all of the necessary caving equipment including coveralls, kneepads, gloves, helmet & headlamp, harness & safety lanyard, and backpack. The backpack will be shared by two people and will not go into the cave. We will also provide you with a Clif Bar energy bar, and a 500mL bottle of water (in a reusable bottle that is yours to keep).
You will need to bring good footwear, warm clothing, a camera (optional) and if you have any dietary restrictions, please bring a snack that you know works for you. Also, if you will require medication during the tour it is a good idea to bring 2x what you would expect to use, just in case.
Footwear must be closed-toe and should have a sturdy tread. Hiking boots or shoes are best, but a sturdy running shoe will also work. Other options include rubber boots or winter boots (in the winter)
The cave is 5 degrees celsius, so warm clothing is recommended. Imagine what you would wear if you had to spend a few hours in a refrigerator. We recommend long pants, long sleeves, a warm sweater, hoodie or jacket. Synthetic fabrics are best as they will keep you warm even if you get wet.
Any cameras going into the cave will need to fit into your pockets. We do not allow backpacks in the cave. Small point-and-shoot cameras or smart phones are welcome but please keep in mind that the cave environment is not particularly friendly towards electronics. High humidity and dust can damage equipment, and screens can break if you accidentally sit on it. Electronics are brought at your own risk.
No, transportation is not provided. If you do not have your own vehicle we can arrange a taxi to the cave for you at an additional cost. You can use Canmore's public transit to get to our office.
Rat's Nest Cave is named after the nests of Bushy-tailed Wood Rats found in the entrance. This species of super-cute rodents is native to the area and they use the cave as a home due to it's constantly warm temperatures and protection from predators. We rarely see the rats, and if we do there is usually just one.
Bat's are rarely seen at Rat's Nest Cave. The cave is not a hibernaculum (a place where bats hibernate through the winter). We usually only see the occasional bat in the summer as they are passing through the area.
Yes, but only up until the end of the first trimester (12 weeks).
It is always advisable to seek advice from your doctor when participating in activities like caving.
Yes, all participants will need to complete a liability waiver. We recommend you review the waiver before booking your tour, but you will sign the waiver once you have arrived and have been briefed by your guide. Any minors must have their waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian before participating on the tour.View and Download the Waiver