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Folks from six states signed up for Winter Adventure Weekend

Jan. 17, 2013 @ 11:13 AM

The fourth annual Winter Adventures Weekend, that runs Jan. 25-27, features 134 different trips that include: winter horseback riding, backpacking, canoeing, rock climbing, tree climbing, rappelling, pistol and rifle shooting workshops, and back after a five-year hiatus  wild cave trips.

The nonrefundable fee for adults (age 13 and older) is $30, and the nonrefundable fee for children ages 6-12 is $20. Some of the trips have additional fees. As of Sunday afternoon, 35 trips are currently full but plenty more remain.

Pre-registration online ends at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22.

More than 340 people from six states are already signed up for the event.

New trips this year include: Limited wild caving is back (about 21 different trips) including one being led by old-style carbide cap lamps, also a rock climbing workshop, a .22-caliber shooting workshop, nature photography workshop and a rope climbing competition, along with six new adventure presentations on Saturday. Some trips will be offered on Friday afternoon.

WAW, which replaced Crawlathon as Carter Caves’ signature winter event, will feature among its record 134 trips this year, some 21 different wild caving trips (both on and off property).

For the first time since 2008, cavers will get to enjoy exploring the subterranean world in such past favorite passages as Sandy Cave (where a boat is lowered into a cave), Tar Kiln, Horn Hollow, Rimstone, Fern and Flood Caves, and a couple-off-the-beaten-path trips in Cascade Cavern, the largest of some 200 known caves in Carter County.

Carter Caves park naturalist Coy Ainsley, one of the main organizers of Winter Adventure Weekend, said they will not enter Bat Cave or Laurel Caves, both home to large populations of the endangered Indiana bats. Carter Caves is home to 65 percent of the state’s hibernating population of Indiana bats, a federally endangered species.

Ainsley said there will be a strict decontamination protocol as folks who sign up will be screened and will not be allowed to bring any clothing or gear that has been used outside of the Carter Caves region. Wild cavers also will be limited to just one trip apiece.

Ainsley said Carter Caves, which has decontamination stations outside of its two regular walking cave tours at Cascade and X-Cave, said the state just approved their procedure to reintroduce guided wild caving trips as part of the WAW weekend.

To register, go online at www.winteradventureweekend.com.