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July/August 2012 issue

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Really enjoyed this interesting and well-written article and the great photos.

Submitted by Angie Hodonsky on Saturday, September 8, 2012

To add to Joel's comment, Rat's Nest Cave in Canmore is one of the most accessible caves in the Canadian Rockies, and yet there is no evidence that people ever went beyond the first couple of meters of the entrance prior to the 1970's.

Rat's Nest has an Aboriginal history dating back over 3000 years, and I happily share this history with every guest I take into the cave, but I think Bruce did a great job of showing what is truly involved in making these big discoveries we are now seeing. I can personally attest to the amount of effort required for exploring these caves so I am very happy to see my caving friends get recognition for their successes.

Thanks Bruce and F.X. for the excellent portrayal of this exciting but little understood activity. I recommend everyone get out there and try it!

Submitted by Adam Walker on Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sandra, the likely reason it was stated that no human had previously been in the depths of the cave was due to highly technical ropework and gear required to descend multiple pits, traverses, climbs, etc., or diving equipment for sumps, or that passages were dug open In some horizontal caves,such as Mammoth Cave, aboriginal explorers did penetrate quite far and often left evidence, e.g., cane torch fragments, petroglyphs, footprints, etc.

Submitted by Joel Buckner on Tuesday, August 7, 2012

As part of the great, growing Canadian cavescape, I couldn't help but wonder as I read this incredible article, why it negated Aboriginal perspective, presence, and history regarding these caves? Particularily since caves are located in traditional territories. Unfortunatedly the author presumed that 'no human' has ever ventured into the depth of these caves which is a flaw in the research since Aboriginal people inhabited Turtle Island (aka North America) prior to contact, and local Elders from these territories would tell you otherwise.

The writer did accomplish some research both Canadian and British, but it's unsettling as a Canadian citizen and Aboriginal person that histocial accounts of caving across Canada in this article did not include First Peoples' accounts, but relied on ethnocentric links to Britain. Further, the writer noted, 'In Canada, an introduction to caving usually arises by fluke — someone joins a friend of a friend on a weekend outing.' For Aboriginal people, the land is their school, an intellectual, physical, spiritual, emotional interconnected realm, which never required an invite.

Although the story is fascinating and filled with new information on caving in Canada, its depth of history could have been much more original with the inclusion of Aboriginal voice, presence, and perspective.

On a positive note, the contents of the article has inspires me to formulate the workings of a poem about caves, gollum boarding VIA rail and traveling with cavers such as a nurse who works for the salvation army, a retired RCMP member, a safey officer, and an inspiring football player finishing a degree in physiotherapy.

Submitted by Sandra Lynxleg on Friday, July 27, 2012

Great photos, and not easy to take, as I remember from my caving expeditions in younger years with renowned geomorphologist Dr. Boegli into Switzerland's 'Hoelloch' cave system, back then considered the longest in the world. There is still a lot to be discovered in Canada, keep up the spirit!

Submitted by Wolfgang Wittenburg on Thursday, July 26, 2012

I am not a caver but have recently got to know people with an interest in caving. What Martin and others are doing is awesome. What could be more exhiliarating than exploring new frontiers. Go guys...

Submitted by Marie on Saturday, July 14, 2012

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