How many times have you gone in to work, walked into your office building and noticed new things, changed things, growing things that weren’t there before? You notice shifts to the floor plan or elevation, new hallways, a whole new and undiscovered nook or conference room? Would daily discovery make it a good day at the office for you or would it scare you? And what does this have to do with caving, you ask? Read on…
This is the second installment in my journey into the depths of Rat’s Nest Cave in Canmore, AB, Canada. My first descent earlier this year prompted a deeper look into the cave and the man behind Canmore Cave Tours. If you haven’t read about my initial descent earlier this year, you can check out the story and photos here: Into Earth’s Womb →
Adam Walker inside the Grand Gallery in Rat’s Nest Cave, AB, Canada. Photo by Dax Justin
My first descent into Rat’s Nest Cave earlier this year allowed me a sneak peak into the whole caving culture and an introduction to what I’d like to refer to as an active frontier. A whole new underground world that is alive, breathing and changing. It’s a self-contained eco-system that shifts and grows. I started to daydream about what it would be like for me to set up my office in the cave – I was THAT excited about my maiden exploration of the cave.
All joking aside, I started thinking about the man behind this whole operation and what his “day at the office” must be like. What kind of person does it take to make this not just his living, but also his life’s work?
Now before we get in too deep, let me just tell you it’s my opinion that it must take someone very interesting (and maybe a little crazy) to pursue a lifetime in the cave. What would your resume need to look like? Does it take a little insanity, an undying devotion to the endless pursuit of going deeper into a subterranean realm, an unstoppable hunger and curiosity to keep exploring and discovering new things every day? Apparently so and I got to meet him on my second descent into Rat’s Nest.
Adam Walker illuminates The Grotto. The deepest point in the Rat’s Nest Cave, AB, Canada. Photo by Dax Justin
Portrait of Adam Walker just outside Rat’s Nest Cave, AB, Canada. Photo by Dax Justin
There’s one man who has been instrumental in the facilitation and future of this cave. I’d like you to meet Adam Walker, Owner at Canmore Cave Tours. Adam has led Canmore Caverns Ltd. since 2013 and is a pure badass – if it weren’t for Adam’s relentless passion for caving this place wouldn’t be anywhere near where it is today. He has a strong background in the outdoors and has been guiding in caves since 2003, he’s been involved in a multitude of underground pursuits across the world that spans Canada, USA, Spain, Barbados and the Bahamas and last but not least, Adam has orchestrated a passionate team of like-minded cavers and guides to help in the daily operations of the cave tours.
Portrait of Adam Walker from the depths of Rat’s Nest Cave, AB, Canada. Photo by Dax Justin
Adam will never take all (or any) of the credit. You’d have to tear it out of him. He may be the most humble person I’ve ever met and honestly, if you were to ask him how he has been able to progress the developments of the cave and business he would have only one answer: “My team.”
Case in point: When I asked Adam the question, “Why? Why do this?” He answered,
“I have been in this cave more times than anyone can count and I still find something new every single time I go down. This place changes. Nothing is scripted. It grows and evolves and we try to grow and evolve with it. Nothing fascinates me more.”
Now, that’s what I call a good day at the office.
I photographed these photos while on Canmore Cave Tour’s new Private Caving Experience – SOLITUDE. Without being with a group of people, you’ll have time to enjoy every inch of the cave while exploring at your own pace.
What: A Signature Canadian Experience as designated by Destination Canada.
Where: Rat’s Nest Cave, designated a Provincial Historic Site in 1987, situated on the south-facing slope of Grotto Mountain near Canmore, AB, Canada. Access to the cave is restricted in order to protect the environment inside and entry is facilitated by Canmore Cave Tours.
How: Connect with Adam and the Team at Canmore Cave Tours:
Toll Free: 1877.317.1178