Showing posts from May, 2024

Snowy River passage in Fort Stanton Cave—scientific sample collection and exploration

The other weekend, May 18-20, I did a 3 day camp trip in Fort Stanton Cave, just 3 hours away from Albuquerque. I went with some Massachusetts caving friends who were in the area because they come to Fort Stanton for caving once or twice a year: Riley Drake, John Dunham, and Ramon Armen (much credit to them for many of the photos in this trip report!). We camped at Midnight Junction, which is an established camp in the cave in the Snowy River passage, 10.2 miles of underground travel from the entrance. Fort Stanton Cave is notable for having passage that is extremely remote from the entrance in terms of distance and travel time. While other caves are longer in that they have more total passage, those longer caves tend to have densely connected passage that doesn't get too far from an entrance. The furthest point from the entrance in Fort Stanton is a whopping 13 miles of underground travel from the cave entrance. When you're all the way back there, you are extremely isola