NSS Convention 2011

Saturday July 16th, 2011
Had me finishing up at work and getting a ride to Calgary to pickup Jesse Martin’s car.
The Flash of the Convention began at 22:00 as I left Calgary, Alberta for Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

A blurred Sunday July 17th, 2011
Saw me having a short nap at 02:00 just outside of Grand Junction, Montana refreshed my mind and body. Arriving at 21:30 in Glenwood Springs (not bad for a solo drive of 1,880km)… now to find the convention, sign-in and locate the Alberta contingent among the masses (approx. 1600 cavers). So I began were any self respecting caver would! A liquor store, within 2 minutes I had drinks and the location of the convention, all while meeting a friendly group of cavers from Tennessee. 30 minutes later, signed-in, with a drink in hand I was wandering through the campground looking for Jesse Martin and Chris Omura.
Success! I stayed awake until 00:30 socializing.

Monday July 18th, 2011
Awake at 06:30 off to eat, and shower. Never have been to a Convention I decided to sit in on the talks, and participate with the other events when able. This way when I attend another I would have a better idea on where to prioritize. I visited the vendors and picked up a headlamp I’ve been dreaming of for 3 years, the Scurion. Convention time! I sat in on Geology, Survey & Cartography lectures as well as Communication & Electronics talks. One thing I noticed was that Canadians are held in high regard. Dan Green’s name was mentioned a few times in the Cartography section. Ian Dummond in the Communication & Electronics section (the new “Drummond” model cave radio that Bob Buecher has built are very, very small compared to the ones being used with BCCR and ACRO).
The evening festivities saw everyone transported to Glenwood Caverns, for a great social event: amusement rides, cave touring, music, food, lazer tag, free beer, and the piece that was the most popular with the northern cavers (Alberta and our adopted family the Montana Cavers) the Speleo Box!
100’s of feet of fun squeezing, crawling, body manipulating joy (every caver should have one in their back yard!).  We also ran into other Canadian cavers from Quebec and Ontario.
02:00 saw me sleeping under the stars in my sleeping bag.

Tuesday July 19th, 2011
06:45 Up and at it, getting refreshed, and fuelled up for the day. Another visit to the vendors, then More talks, Cave Conservation and Management. After which I wandered into the gymnasium and found the vertical contest. Which SQS member Christian Chenier currently holds the 30m sit-stand record at 1 minute and 2 seconds. Conveniently my vertical gear was in Jesse’s car…  he had some where…
Plan “B”, I found a harness, croll, basic, a string for a footloop. SO I was a bad person for not having cowstails or shoes, but I won my age group at 1 minute 41 seconds (you are never more than 2-3m off the ground). Next I visited the Cave Sim. A Cave simulator that keeps score on how low impact you cave (times and records speleothem damage, disturbing of wildlife etc).The evening ended at 02:40 as I left the hot tubs for my sleeping bag.

Wednesday July 20th, 2011
07:00 Over night another Alberta caver joined the fun, Andrea Corolette, can to replace Jesse and I for the last part of the week. I attended the US Exploration, Cave Diving and Human Sciences talks. Went to the Speleo-Auction, then hit up the Campground Party. At 01:30 Jesse and I left Glenwood Springs, heading back to Calgary. He drove for the first bit as I slept, then switching when one was tired. We arrived at 23:00 in Calgary with only one minor hick-up... Jesse left his passport in Colorado. Some how we still got through the boarder in our post 9/11 world.

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