NSS Convention ~ July 25-30, 2021

Photo: Matt Bowers, NSS


This session will include presentations on current trends in safe vertical caving techniques and their application in cave exploration.

The NSS Vertical Section is an internal organization of the society. Most vertical caves require rope work, and the vertical section convenes cavers with an interest in vertical caving. The purpose of the section is to educate and train cavers in safe, efficient vertical caving techniques.

The vertical section is one of the largest organizations within the NSS.The group publishes the "Nylon Highway" as their official newsletter. The section also develops training programs to help grottos conduct vertical classes involving consistent and current techniques.

Vertical cavers use techniques similar to those of mountaineers, but those techniques are adapted to the cave environment. Rope work can be hazardous and even deadly when rules are violated. The vertical section teaches those rules and helps cavers avoid disasters. Safe rope work cannot be learned by self-study or from a book alone. Only practice under the supervision of a competent, experienced instructor offers adequate training for the novice climber.

Session Details

Session Moderator

Gene Harrison

Call For Abstracts:

Opens: Thursday, May 20, 2021
Closes: Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Session Moderators:

Gene Harrison
Email: bats@starpower.net


How to write an abstract

Online Abstract Submissions:


Online Video Upload Link:


Student Scientists:

The James G. Mitchell Fund was established in 1965 and is maintained by contributions to the National Speleological Foundation. This award includes a cash award for the best scientific paper presented at the NSS Convention by a student member (or members) of the society. Eligible papers shall be judged by an interdisciplinary panel appointed by the Mitchell Award sub-committee chair. For consideration, contact sub-committee chair, Dr. Kathy Lavoie at award-mitchell@caves.org.