Sunday, July 12, 2009

Darby Ice Cave

The Darby Ice/Wind caves. This is the first time I went through. It only took us 10 hours in the cave, which is pretty good considering we did not have a guide. I would definitely trust my life with these guys.

The last ice rappel. It's pretty crazy to dangle over the edge and not see where you are going.

Right after the last ice rappel.

This is a cave that I have gone in a lot. I'm kinda obsessed. It's pretty hard core, and the ice in it is really cool. Some people think it's dangerous

SWEET. I have no idea how the ice froze that way.

This is a scary part. If he falls, that's a long way down.

We flossed this cave. This is the only group that ever really did it fast.

Everybody borrows that red coat of mine.

This is a waterfall that you rappel down. It is one of seven rappels.

This is the last of the ice rappels.

In the middle of the ice cave. The cave is a one-way deal, starting at one side of a canyon and coming out farther down the canyon. It is a one-way cave, that is, you cannot retrace your footsteps after you take your rope off the last ice rappel. Thus, if you are stuck it's bad news. A few of you have heard that story. We were stuck overnight chopping through this block of ice to get out.

Not the funnest thing in the world. 26 hours chopping at that thing, and we were out. And despite common belief, search and rescue did not come to our aid. We met them at the trailhead, before they started to come up looking for us.

Six Spend Night in Wind/Ice Cave |

Anyways. The best time to go through is definitely fall.


Matt said...

Awesome pictures. We are looking for a guide to take us through the wind side as far as we can go and back out. Do you know of anyone we could pay to do that?

Thanks for any help you might be able to give.


evabingham said...

How is winter time to go to the caves? We were thinking of coming up next week?

Joe and Sarah said...

1. If you don't check the exit you'll get stuck and die. You have to go in through the wind caves to check and see if there's ice blocking the exit. Go until the drop-off or until you feel wind. Either way it doesn't guarantee you that you'll be able to get through. You may get stuck and die.
2. The other problem is the approach to the cave. There will be at least 3 feet of snow. Loose, fluffy snow. The only feasible approach during the winter time is hiking in for a day (they close the road off) or snowmobiling in. I've tried hiking in-it stinks.
I've been stuck in there by the ice - got search and rescued. The best time is late fall, before the snow gets there. I really reccomend a guide that has been through a couple times. this cave can throw a lot at you, so maybe just wait till next year.

P.S. It may not be open due to multiple cave closures in the U.S. See white-nosed syndrome. But if you don't mind all those problems and an icy entrance that will require creativity just to get inside the cave, it will blow your MIND. just dont get stuck (or die).

evabingham said...

Thank you for your input we did the research and decided to wait and would love a guide or a couple of fellow cavers to join us if you are interested or know someone who is. We live in Idaho and are instead going to hit up some of the bigger caves here this week.