Enjoy Exercising - (10 Hour) Rain Sound - Sleep Subliminal - By Thomas Hall
How to Enjoy the Hall of the White Giant Tour at Carlsbad Caverns (US)
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in eastern New Mexico and visited by many who wish to see this unique cave system. There are several tours available, including the self-guided tours which should not be missed and are included as part of the entrance fee. But if you want something more up close and personal, you might want to consider one of the several guided tours that are given to small groups for an extra fee. And if you're up for a physical and mental challenge, consider the Hall of the White Giant tour.
Check with to make sure the following information is accurate and up-to-date.Recommendations and rules change over time, so be sure to touch base with someone at Carlsbad and this page accordingly.
Buy tickets in advance.This tour fills up quickly, even in the winter. Keep in mind that you'll also need to pay the entrance fee in addition to the tour fee.
Prepare to go caving.To go on this particular tour, you're required to wear long pants, knee pads, and gloves, as well as bring batteries. See Tips below for additional advice.
- Buy 4 AA batteries to power your headlamp. They should be fresh batteries that haven't been used--youdon'twant your headlamp going out in the middle of the cave. It is not advised that you depend on the batteries in your remote control or CD player to get you through this tour!
- Since this is a strenuous tour (lots of climbing, wiggling, pulling, etc.) you should wear light, comfortable clothing. While the caves stay cool, youwillget warm. People who enjoy cold weather are usually comfortable in a T-shirt, while people who get cold easily are often better off in a light, long-sleeved shirt. If you do wear short sleeves, consider wearing elbow pads, as your elbows can easily get scraped in the tight passages you'll encounter. Try to streamline your body as much as possible to avoid snagging your clothing on rocks (also, baggy pants don't mix well with knee pads). Your clothing should also be flexible enough to let you move around easily. If you can't do jumping jacks without worrying about your seams tearing, change for the tour.
- Gloves should be leather or cotton. Those made for gripping are even better. These are worn not only to protect your hands, but also to protect the cave from the oils in your hands.
- You can bring a bag, but it's not recommended. There are many places in the cave where you have to squeeze through a small opening, so you'll have to take off a backpack (which is not easily done in tight spaces) and push it ahead of you. A fanny pack is less cumbersome, but it can still get in the way if you're trying to get through a tight spot. If you do bring one, make sure you can slide it around easily (i.e. to your back when you need to belly crawl, to your front when you need to lean your back against a wall).
- Cameras are allowed, but bring one at your own risk. You'll need to use your hands to navigate the cave, so there will only be a few opportunities to take pictures, and recording video footage is definitely not convenient. The camera might get dropped or crushed, especially if it's big. Dust and humidity can also damage equipment. Put it in a fanny pack or attach the case to your belt so that it can slide from your front to your back (or vice versa) as described with the fanny pack.
- Non-slip shoes are important. Hiking boots are best. Sandals arenotrecommended.
Get there early.Pick up your tickets at least 30 minutes before the start of the tour. Since this tour usually begins in the early afternoon, you might want to take the self-guided tour in the morning. Be at the lobby (near the food court) at least 15 minutes before the start of the tour. Use this time to put on your knee pads.
Listen to your tour guide who will show you how to work your headlamp and answer any questions you may have.
- If you have anything you don't want to bring on the tour with you, give it to the tour guide to lock up. Valuables such as watches, jewelry, and even cell phones should be left behind because theywillget scratched, dented, or lost in the cave.
- You will also have a chance to get to know the other people on the tour (the group usually has 8 people, not including the two guides). You'll be in close quarters with these people, and your communication with them will be very important throughout the tour.
- The last thing you'll do is take a bathroom break, which is highly advised since there aren't bathrooms in the actual cave (unless you consider a "convenience bag" a bathroom).
Walk to the entrance of the tour.The location of the entrance is kept secret, since there's no gate preventing the public from wandering in and getting stuck or injured without a guide.
Crawl to the Decision Room.After entering the cave, you'll crawl through a moderately tight tunnel for about five minutes before you get to a small chamber where you can meet as a group. It's called the Decision Room because that's where people decide if they want to continue with the tour. The tunnels get tighter, and there's also more climbing after this point, so consider your limitations accordingly. This is also your last chance to shed any extra layers that you now see will be inconvenient during the tour, such as backpacks and sweatshirts.
Continue with the tour.Always listen to your guide, relay any messages, and beverycareful. You'll climb ropes, go up a small ladder, and scale an edge next to a 40' drop. There are no guard rails or safety nets. Remain cautious, alert, and focused and you'll enjoy the tour immensely.
- Whenever you can, pause and take a look around you. Absorb your surroundings and take note of the gorgeous formations that occur only under the ground. This is a very captivating place, and you want to enjoy it as much as you can. It's very rewarding!
- Help other members of the tour. Some people may need help squeezing through a tight spot or shimmying down a steep ledge. If you encounter a slippery spot or see a hole that could easily swallow a foot, warn the person behind you and ask them to pass it on.
- Stay on the trail. When the trail isn't obvious (i.e. a tunnel) there is usually orange tape on the ground indicating your bounds. Don't step or touch outside of these lines. When you see "candy stripe" tape, be especially careful not to touch what's within them, as they are delicate structures which are still forming.
Appreciate the Hall of the White Giant.Words and pictures can't convey how magnificent this room is, which is why people embark on this strenuous tour to see it.
Head back.Retracing your steps is easier in some ways and harder in others. You'll have less trouble negotiating the tough spots because you've been through them already, and there's no climbing up to do on the way back. But, you'll have to climb (sometimes hang and slide) down the ropes and ladder, and it isveryslippery. Take the same safety precautions as you did on your way in. This part of the tour depends even more heavily on communication because the person who goes before you can guide your feet as you climb down blindly and support you if necessary.
Exit the cave.Follow your tour guide back to the lobby, where you can give back the headlamps and get your things, if you had any locked up. Take the elevator up, get a drink of water, and move onto your next adventure!
- Although the staff sterilizes the helmets after each tour, you may want to wear a bandanna to a put a barrier between you and the helmet.
- This is supposedly the most strenuous tour available to the public at Carlsbad Caverns. The Spider Cave tour is tighter, muddier and more maze-like but is also intense, with several rooms to visit.
- Eat a good meal at least one hour prior to the tour and you should be fine (don't skip breakfast!). You need enough energy to navigate your way through the cave, and you definitely don't want to feel weak and fatigued halfway through the tour.
- If you have a choice between glasses or contacts, wear contacts. Glasses can fog up in the cave, and there are many spots where if they fall, there's no getting them back. If you wear glasses, attach them around your neck. If your contacts tend to get dry, bring a little bottle of eye drops just in case, but you probably won't need them because the air in the cave is very humid and moist.
- Bring a few tissues in your pocket in case your nose runs.
- When talking to someone face-to-face, turn off your headlamp.
- You should not go on this tour if you:
- are scared of heights or easily experience vertigo
- are claustrophobic
- have back or knee problems (there's lots of bending and twisting in this tour)
- are terrified of insects (there are cave beetles and crickets throughout the cave; the occasional spider might make an appearance)
- are afraid of the dark (no electrical lighting in this cave)
- have respiratory problems (this tour is comparable to a mild aerobic workout, with lots of lifting and pulling as well)
- Don't drink too much right before the tour. Make sure you use the bathroom before you embark (even if you don't have to go,try). You can bring water with you in a backpack, but you may want to take a sip in the Decision Room and leave the water and backpack there while you go on the rest of the tour. Itwillbe clumsy bringing a water bottle with you in the tour.
- Don't bring food into the cave, as this might attract crickets and other cave insects.
- Don't litter in the cave.
Video: Enjoy Exercising - (9 Hour) Sleep Subliminal Session - By Thomas Hall
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