Formal Wear Caving 2017!

The 3rd annual Formal Wear Caving trip was held on December 9, 2017 at Tumbling Rock Cave, a Southeastern Cave Conservancy Inc. (SCCi) preserve in Alabama and included 31 cavers from 5 states! Suits… dresses… and even one stuffed into a reindeer. – Photo credit to Dean Wiseman


For a little background regarding SCCi… it was created in 1991 and has expanded to include 170 caves, over 30 preserves, on over 4,000 acres of land with the mission of conservation while still providing recreational access as well as opportunities to protect cultural and biological resources and support scientific research.

If you are interested in joining SCCi and helping to preserve caves and cave access, you can become a member for just $25 a year.

Join SCCi

Joining provides you with access to this preserve and others through the SCCi website’s permit system which helps to prevent trespassing by non-members and regulate the volume of traffic. As with all trips, please remember to be safe and leave no trace.


Formal Wear Caving 2017

The Formal Wear trip was posted on Facebook by Dean and Kelly over a month in advance and invites went out to many of the NSS Grotto’s in the region. The previous years trip had also been at Tumbling Rock Cave and pictures from that trip were available, helping to show what a fun time it had been and persuade us to join in on this years trip.

The drive to Tumbling Rock Cave Preserve is approximately 2 hrs from the Nashville area which isn’t bad though many cavers on the trip drove up to 6 hours. Arriving at noon, everyone gathered at the parking area across from the caves entrance and donned their formal wear before posing for the group photo and finally heading into the cave. A special thanks to Dean and Kelly who took on a great deal of this trips coordination as well as SCCi’s Nathan Williams who managed access and carried in the battery used to light the tree as well as Steve Davis who greeted everyone on exit of the cave.

This trip was our first to Tumbling Rock Cave. Honestly, it’s a special place and as we made our way through, quickly became one of my favorites. A future post will cover the cave, but below are pics of the trip with cavers in their full formal wear attire making their way through to the famed Christmas Tree formation.

I can’t overstate what a fun trip it was, from the cave, to the festive nature of the trip, to meeting some truly great people. There are plans to continue making this an annual trip and considering how much fun we had, we’ll be sure to be there each year and hope to see more cavers come along for some festive caving! Please keep an eye out for invites next year and consider joining!

Pre-trip photo op
Climbing Sugarloaf
This is a warm cave… Rudolph was rapidly overheating

A caver’s Christmas… around the Christmas Tree formation
The Christmas Tree Formation
Photo by Dean Wiseman
Climbing Up To The Kings Shower
A Group In The King’s Shower Topless Dome

Tumbling Rock Cave is an SCCi propertly, essentially making it private property so please ensure that you are a member and abide by the access request process dictated by SCCi before visiting.

Please note that caving can be a dangerous activity for the inexperienced. If you have an interest in exploring caves, check out a local grotto from the National Speleological Society website so you can connect with experienced cavers in your area who will show you the ropes. Also, remember that caves can be on either private property or government land so please always ensure that you either have permission from the landowner or the proper permits obtained before visiting a cave. While there, remember to…

Take nothing but pictures.

Leave nothing but footprints.

Kill nothing but time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *