In August of 2009, a friend and I decided to hike to the top of Avalanche Peak [in Yellowstone National Park]. On our way up, a blizzard hit (don’t you just love the Rockies?) and we turned back. Feeling unfulfilled, we headed back to Billings and saw an old, barely legible sign for Big Ice Cave 20 miles away. Two and a half hours later we arrived at Big Ice Cave and I was immediately hooked! I spent the next year trying to find all the cave locations I could with little success. Finally, in January 2011 I decided to join the NRMG and haven’t looked back. As soon as I met other cavers, I knew they were my kind of nerds and I became more and more involved with the grotto. I was elected Secretary in 2013 and Chairman in 2015. I look forward to growing and strengthening the Montana caving community. Let me know what I can do to help get YOU UNDERGROUND!
I was born and raised in Denver, CO. Moved up to Bozeman, MT for college in 2011. I am currently in the Laser and Photonics Technician Program at Montana State University and will also be working on my mechanical engineering degree. I began caving in 2015 visiting a friend back in West Virginia and have since gone caving in a few states. Most of my caving involves photography but I enjoy other kinds of trips as well. I am also very involved in Yellowstone National Park with researching the geysers there and volunteering under interpretation at the Old Faithful Visitor Center.
In 1962, as a 19 year old college student, I read “Adventure is Underground”(subtitled “The story of great caves of the West and the men who explore them”). Forget electronics and engineering, my life was changed (NSS#6675). After a master degree (signed by Ronald Reagan) with a thesis “Mortuary Caves of the Mother Lode Region of California”, I got a researcher assistant position at the University of Alberta and spent a couple of summers looking for evidence of early man in caves of the Canadian Rockies. A year after that I found a few caves in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. I spent a few years doing archaeology in California, Texas and Alabama before getting a real job (at 38) as a computer programmer. I retired as system analyst from the University of Alabama in Birmingham Hospital in 2005 and 2 weeks later was in Hamilton Montana.
My aunt took me caving for the first time when I was about 10 years old in Rockcastle County, KY. I was immediately hooked and like to say I was raised by cavers. I spent my childhood around the campfire at Great Saltpeter Cave Preserve in KY listening to bad jokes and grand tales of cave exploration. Since then caving has lead to many amazing opportunities in my life, most recently landing me an internship in Red Lodge, MT as part of the USFS/BLM Cave Crew. The internship has passed but I still reside in Red Lodge and have fallen head over heels for the amazing alpine karst and intense caving opportunities of Montana and Wyoming area. I look forward to serving the NRMG and exploring the Northern Rockies with this amazing community.
The alpine has always interested me. Whether I am chasing peaks, getting sewing machine leg on some limestone slab, or squeezing through muddy crawls, it is my happy place. I got my first experience in a wild cave in July 2022, and ever since my life has been consumed by reading trip reports, exploring old Alpine Karst books, or corralling my caver roommates—we have been coined the “Cave Dawgs”—to join me on the next last minute weather window for an adventure. Besides caving, I study English at Montana State University and have a passion for writing, literature, and teaching. I look forward to spreading the love around town for the deep, rocky, muddy happy places us cavers live for, and cracking some pale ales as soon as possible afterwards…