For those who don't know: caves are dangerous in the same ways as Colfax dives, what with the gross little creatures and crack everywhere. So get your skills up in a more controlled environment first, at CaveSim.
Amazingly built by an MIT grad in Manitou Springs, CaveSim's a "crawl-through cave obstacle course" with 50ft of passages, all designed to educate on ecology, show you how to not-hurt yourself caving, and generally demonstrate "how cool caves are", which should be clear from the fact that they're still so underground. As soon as you step foot inside, a PC will begin tracking how long it takes you to work through obstacles like a ramp that must be scaled with a handline, a "mud" crawl, and a claustrophobic 180-degree turn in a section that's just 18" tall, about which Peter Dinklage laments "why is this not a competitive sport?!". And, to ingrain you with a reluctance to touch cave formations (which can take thousands of years to develop, and can basically be destroyed by breathing on them), the PC'll also track whether or not you touch 200 sensors imbedded in replicas of gypsum flowers, a butterfly-like formation found in a Texas cavern, and more -- nick the cave too much, and you'll of course be labeled a Bad Seed.
So invite up to 30 of your caver buddies (or people who just like a weird old time) to venture to Manitou, and he'll hook you up with 2-3hrs of "caving, fun, and games" for just 300 bills, also approximately the number you can find rolled up and discarded in the bathrooms of Colfax dives.
Photo by Phil Barnett
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