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Arts & Life

Rapid City hosts national caving convention

Jewel Cave
Jewel Cave National Monument
National Park Service
Inside Jewel Cave.

The attached interview above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment, hosted by Lori Walsh.

This week, cavers from across the nation will gather in the Black Hills for the 2022 National Speleological Society Convention.

The convention will take place at the Central States Fairgrounds, with sessions and workshops at various Black Hills caves.

It’s the society's first in-person convention since 2019. Adam Weaver, a Black Hills caver who helped organize the convention, says speleologists promote responsible caving practices.

“The National Speleological Society is the largest caving group in the world,” Weaver said. “Organized caving is different than your common person who’s just going into a cave, because we have very strict ethics. A lot of the time as we're exploring, we'll go somewhere and we'll find that place that day, and we'll map it and we'll catalog what's there, and then nobody will go back there again.”

Session topics will include cave mapping, photography and conservation. Speakers will discuss new developments in the caving community.

“People will be presenting on Wednesday at our convention on these amazing things that have been happening in both Mexico and China in the last two years,” Weaver said. “There’ll be talk of, I’m guessing, 40 or 50 new miles of cave passage that have been found during the pandemic.”

Over 800 cavers from across the county are registered for the convention, which begins today and continues through Friday. More information can be found on the event's website.