Ask Cavers: How does Your Body Type Help/Hinder You When Caving?

February 27, 2013
Different Body Types.

Different Body Types. Image by PitchVision/flickr

Motivated by Amy Hinkle’s upcoming article on vertical caving as a curvy caver in the March 2013 issue of NSS News, this week we want to know how your body type helps or hinders you when caving?

Although many folks might assume smaller is better, as you’d be able to squeeze into any opening, however the added strength of a larger body can be beneficial at times.

Let us know your body type and its pros and cons when caving in the discussion below.

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Comments (9)

  1. Yiorgos Gadanakis
    February 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    I would say that I am a mesomorph!

    Generally I don’t think that my body type is an obstacle. So far I have managed to get through every squeeze and narrow passage in my way inside a cave.

    Pros: flexible and can fit almost everywhere,
    Cons: Sometimes I wish I was a bit longer and thin!

  2. alfred crabtree
    February 27, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    mesomorph. I am vulnerable to cold, more than anything. I frog, but probably should rope-walk over 200′. male, 5’9″, 160+/-lbs.

  3. frin
    February 28, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Ecto/mesomorph. In other words a fairly petite female with some muscle. Not being tall can be a disadvantage when finding good handholds, or wedging into a crevasse. But flexible with good strength/weight ratio so find alternative routes to taller companions. Definitely exert less energy going through tighter squeezes.

  4. February 28, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Ectomorph racing snake here!

    1.8m, 64kg, Male.

    What more do you need to know!

  5. Caving News
    February 28, 2013 at 10:02 am
    • Liana
      May 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      Cute! I liked this

  6. Dean
    February 28, 2013 at 11:43 am

    My ability to compress my chest has changed significantly since my 20s… And it’s become a major factor. Couple that with less psychological fortitude. The latter is by far the biggest factor.

  7. March 1, 2013 at 8:45 am

    My tall, thin body gets cold quicker, and my long bones can be a hindrance in corkscrew passages. OTOH, I can scoot thru squeezes better and stem and chimney better. It is not unusual to have to explore and survey solo because my companions can’t fit through. We ectomorphs also seem to have more available energy initially, but when we poop out, we are done!

  8. Henry
    March 2, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Endomorph here, though I don’t find myself having a lot of trouble with squeezes. On some occasions I’ll come across an exhale squeeze, but I never have to push myself too far to get through.

    Frogging can be kind of strenuous over 150′ due to being top-heavy, but that’s what rope-walkers are for! 😉


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