Ask Cavers: How Long Do you Expect to be Caving?

October 17, 2012
Wormster Shows His Wounds

Photo via Wormster

Listening to the complaints of a battered body after a recent caving trip has us wonder, how long can we keep up the subterranean pursuit.

While some cavers are able to keep caving well into their 70’s and beyond, others end up retiring early due to health or other issues.

This week, we want to how long you expect to be caving, and what are the issues that may keep you from continuing.

Please take a moment to share with us in the comments section below.

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Comments (14)

  1. Yiorgos
    October 17, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I hope to be able to do caving with my grandchildren!!

  2. Chris
    October 17, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I see no reason whatsoever why I shouldn’t add another 6,000 trips to the 3,000 I’ve already clocked up in the last fifteen years; this should keep me caving for another 30 years which seems eminently do-able based on plenty of other mature cavers hereabouts.

  3. Derrick
    October 17, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Don’t ever plan to stop caving. As long as I can walk and have arms, I will be going underground.

  4. October 17, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I want to be caving until I drop dead!

  5. Janine
    October 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I’ve been caving for 35 years. I’m 57 now. On an expedition last year I camped for 3 days underground for a max depth of -700m. Admittedly I’m much slower and weaker than the top guns but I’m not a liability yet (I don’t think). So I keep going as hard as I can manage, back-off on the hardness as I find I can’t do it, but never stop altogether. A few bruises never hurt anyone.

  6. David
    October 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Caving keeps you young!

    The more you cave, the longer you will be able to keep caving. I come back from a strenuous trip and beneath the new layer of bruises and abrasions I feel stronger and more energetic.

  7. Butch
    October 17, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Well, I hope to be caving for a while longer… I’m 57 and live in Colorado. Haven’t been caving in a couple years to due to the Caving ban on all National Forest land but I’m either going to have to travel to cave or wait it out.

  8. Jeff Burk
    October 17, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    57, started caving when I was 8. Hope to be caving for many more years. Just bought a new vertical rig!

  9. Jeffrey Cowling
    October 18, 2012 at 2:21 am

    I stared caving 55 years ago and stopped this August after a minor fall. I am 70 years young and would like to continue but the time comes when the enjoyment is offset by the aches and pains afterwords.

  10. Glen Sarvis
    October 18, 2012 at 8:10 am

    I began caving in 1960 at age 17 . I have been underground more in my 70th year than than any other single year.

  11. James Jasek
    October 18, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I went in my first wild cave in 1955 and I am still caving hard today. This year, I have been on 52 cave trips and hope to make many more before the end of the year. I have survived many bad health issues including open heart surgery, and I am still into vertical and hard core digging projects. At 71, I hope to cave until the doctors tell me it is all over. Since we never know the future, I am caving as much as possible before it all comes to an end. I am fortunate enough to have a wife that goes caving with me on most trips.

  12. October 18, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I plan to cave for as long as there’s even a tiny moment of fleeting euphoria associated with it.

  13. October 19, 2012 at 7:26 am

    I’ve been seeing a few cavers in their 70’s lately. Not many, but a few. I hope to be doing some caving in some fashion at that point in my life. People seem to be living longer and with better quality than a generation or two ago. So it’s difficult to compare my health and activity to that of, say, my father’s or grandfather’s health. Baring any catastrophic accident or illness I hope to be moving for many more years.

  14. Laura
    October 21, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I’m 72 and had to quit this year due to back problems and trouble walking. I didn’t start till age 40. I can still crawl but I can’t walk to the caves. My last cave trip was a commercial tram tour.


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