Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Climax Cave

I've been in many Kentucky caves but I don't think Rockcastle County's Climax Cave is one of them. I just happened to read about it tonight while researching something else, as so often happens with this here internet thingie.

Someone named Jenna Martin has a very interesting report of a trip to the cave in 2000, an excerpt from which follows:

Climax is one of those caves that, once you get to a certain landmark, you can wander around the many passages and not get lost because they all, for the most part, lead back to that main room. We did some exploring. We sat in one passageway for a bit and let the bats zoom by our faces. And we carried on some deep, philosophical discussions while we crawled through the mud. Good times. Around 1 am, we decided to head for the exit. With some caves, you have to exit where you came in because the passage eventually becomes impassible. Climax, though, has a separate exit that spits us out into a hilly cow field with a winding trail that brings us about a mile down the road from the church. In the middle of the night, you not only have to watch out for giant cow patties all over the place, but you also have to pass one of those ancient, scary-movie cemeteries with the complimentary creaking iron gated archway while hearing what we imagine to be wild, rabid dogs barking and howling in the not-so-distant distance. Creepy as hell, but if you call yourself a caver, you've gotta at least pretend you've got some balls.

We turned the last corner before we got to the exit. Before us, lining the 30 foot high and about 50 foot wide mouth of Climax, were about 100 or so lit candles. For years and years, this area has been thought to be highly paranormally active. (Not to mention all of the creepy "Deliverance" parallels we've noticed, on occasion.) Spirit hunters attribute ghost sightings and strange events to civil war activities that occurred in the area, extreme suffering of people living and dying in these "hollows", and the bizarre fundamentalist religions and occult rituals that were practiced by reclusive clans of Kentucky mountain people.

Climax Cave can be entered by way of an opening near the Climax Baptist Church, which is located in the small town of Climax, KY (home of Climax Mountain Spring Water). If you go, note that Climax Cave is closed from September through April, to allow the indigenous population of endangered Indiana Bats some quality alone-time.

Climax Cave is 1.554 miles long, which puts it at #626 in the Top 1000 Longest Caves in the USA.

These photos were filched from here. Click it to see some more great photos of Climax Cave.

1 comment:

Ed said...

If its that one cave by the railroad tracks there, I got lost there with some people in 1999. It does seem to lead back to one large circular room.