Are you afraid of the dark? Have you noticed how it never really gets dark in Pittsburgh? Even when the sun goes down, the sky is still glowing from all the light
pollution. Caving is the best way to get away from it. :-) In a cave, when you turn off all the headlamps and flashlights, you can experience a level of darkness like nowhere else. Also, getting there is fun.
Caves are always at a temperature of around 55 or 60°F, regardless of what the outside temperature is like. They are nice and cool in the summer, and nice and warm in the winter, so we can go caving in all seasons. (Although, walking back to the car, soaked, with snowflakes falling on your head, is a bit
There are many caves within a few hours drive, and we have plenty of headlamps and helmets. Join the caving mailing list to hear about upcoming trips.
Explorers Club Caving Chair
The Explorers Club is currently looking for a motivated and
experienced member to fill the position of Caving Chair. If this is
something you think you might be interested in, please
NOTICE: White-Nose Syndrome
Currently in the United States, bats are being threatened by the
spread of White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a deadly, infectious fungal
disease affecting several endangered species of bats. The disease
was first found in New York, spreading north east to New England and
then south and west. This has prompted several organizations to
close caves in states such as Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky,
Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama.
Hibernating bats are in danger of death from WNS; an estimated
400,000 bats have died in hibernation periods since 2006. It can be
observed as a white fungus on their muzzles, and has a mortality
rate of 70-100% for most bat populations. Bats with the disease
deplete their fat stores long before the hibernation period is over,
and often exhibit changes in behavior, such as flying outside of the
cave during the day or clustering near the entrance in subzero
Transmission of the disease is poorly understood. Bat to bat
transmission is highly likely. While humans are not affected,
scientists have recommended the closure of many caves as a
precaution, until they can determine whether WNS can be spread by
Because of the dangers posed to bats, the Explorer's Club has
decided to postpone any caving trips until the situation improves.
The Club promotes outdoor activities as long as they can be enjoyed
in a sustainable way, and until the situation improves we cannot
endorse caving as a club-sponsored activity. We hope that the
precautions taken by caving and conservation organizations will help
restore balance to North American bat populations.
More information can be found at
http://www.karst.org/wns.htm. There was also a good summary
article in a recent issue of the Sierra Club Sylvanian:
The latest as of 08/2010: