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Ski/Snowboard Club Shares Notes From the Underground


Standing (from left): Matthew E. Varmecky, Harrisburg; Gabriel J. Perl, Central City; Timothy J. Alexander, Saline, Mich.; Brett A. Faiola, Murrysville; Kyle B. Schimmel, York; Gregory G. Dorsch, Mount Airy, Md.; and Zachary T. Wolpert, Tafton. Kneeling: Emily R. Sillaman (left), Mount Joy; and Alexandra D. Petrizzi, Langhorne.
Standing (from left): Matthew E. Varmecky, Harrisburg; Gabriel J. Perl, Central City; Timothy J. Alexander, Saline, Mich.; Brett A. Faiola, Murrysville; Kyle B. Schimmel, York; Gregory G. Dorsch, Mount Airy, Md.; and Zachary T. Wolpert, Tafton. Kneeling: Emily R. Sillaman (left), Mount Joy; and Alexandra D. Petrizzi, Langhorne.
Club members prowl Alexander Caverns by foot ...
Club members prowl Alexander Caverns by foot …
... and paddle into other areas of natural wonders.
… and paddle into other areas of natural wonders.

Nine members of the Penn College Ski and Snowboard Club embarked on a caving excursion 162 feet below ground level on Saturday. The students explored Alexander Caverns, about an hour and 15 minutes away on a secluded farm near State College. The Mifflin County site is off-limits to the general public, however, club adviser Sara M. Bidlespacher was able to gain special access to the cave. Alexander’s formation dates back millions of years, and it is filled with bats, mud and beautiful stalactites that drape down from the ceiling. The cave is pitch-black, and a helmet with a head lamp is the only thing that will guide explorers through the damp darkness. Creeping around corners and crawling through narrow tunnels, visitors eventually came across a stream that flows and winds through the cave. To access the rest of the cave, old, battered boats awaited at the water’s edge. As the group paddled through the cold water, more breathtaking rock formations and stalactites could be observed. The travelers docked at a few locations, where more narrow passages and formations greeted them. By the end of the expedition, each student was covered in mud, making a day full of memories that much more memorable. The club’s mission is to bring together those who share an interest in hitting the slopes or enjoying other activities such as hiking, kayaking and spelunking. Students interested in outdoor adventures should contact the Ski and Snowboard Club by email.
Summary and photos provided by Matthew E. Varmecky, club president

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