NSS Convention 2018
July 30th - August 3rd
Welcome to NSS Convention 2018
Montana's first NSS convention is scheduled to occur in our state capital, Helena, July 30th - August 3rd and boy are we excited! Attendees can plan to arrive at our beautifully scenic and historic 30-acre campround, just at the edge of town, starting on Saturday, July 28th. Our main event center, Capital High School, is just 2 miles down the road! (See the details for registration and campground in our FAQ here). You can look forward to:
-Amazing Presentations from Cave Explorations Across the World
-Academic Presentations from Some of Cavings Most Renowned Scientists
-Dozens of Hands-On Caving Workshops
-Caving Gear Vendors with all the Newest Gear
-Connecting with Cavers from Across the Globe
-Selling Your Old Gear, or Buying Someone Else's at the Caver Consginment
-Exquisite Cave Art Salons
-Two Nights of Campground Parties and a Campground Dinner
-A Formal Dinner and Awards Banquet
-Dozens of Caving (and a few canyoneering) Trips
-and so much more!
Following a week of speleogasms, we expect attendess will hit the open range for their next Montana adventure by Sunday, August 5th. We're looking forward to sharing the Big Sky State with you, and we think you're going to especially love our capital city!
Helena is centrally located within Montana, and while it is our state capital, it is relatively small and quiet with a population of about 30,000 people. Helena lies between Glacier National Park (~3.5 hrs) and Yellowstone National Park (~3 hrs), but there are many attractions in and around Helena which we are excited to share with you!
Here are just a few of the opportunities near Helena: Montana's only public show cave, Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park; the Gates of the Mountains Boat Tour, a 2-hour scenic boat tour of a 1,000 foot tall limestone canyon; Canyon Ferry, a large reservoir for swimming and boating; excellent mountain biking and hiking trails within Helena city limits; and of course, many caving opportunities within 20-150 miles of town.
The campground will be located on 30 acres of grassy, treed property just outside city limits. Campers can choose their spot in the shade of the 100+ year-old Cottonwood and American Elm trees, or next to Ten Mile Creek, which runs through the campground. We even have a "backside" to the campground complete with rocks, sage brush, and cactus for our SW region friends! There are also many great choices for budget to luxurious hotels and restaurants within a few miles, and there is even a small bar and a corner market right across the street from our campground.
The main venue will be Capital High School, just a 5 minute, 2.3 mile drive from the campground. Don't feel like driving? Take one of the shuttles. Or even better, bring your bike and take the half-paved/half-graveled bike path from the campground to the high school! All sessions, vendors, and the like will be held at the high school, with the exception of the vertical sessions, which will be held at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds (~0.5 miles across the street from Capital High). The Photo/Video salon will be held at the Helena Middle School audtorium, just a 7 minute drive from Capital High School or the Campground.
Capital High School has been generous in accepting mailed packages to arrive as early as July 23. Please do not mail packages to arrive before then! Capital High School, ATTN: NSS Caving Convention, 100 Valley Drive, Helena, MT 59601
Caving and the Outdoors
Montana is called "Big Sky Country" with good reason. The contrast between our river valleys and the high, glacier-carved peaks creates the dramatic landscape that we are known for around the world. Our outdoor explorations can satisfy the most adventurous cavers. Montana caves are typically high elevation, cold (35-45 degrees F), and are often highly vertical and challenging. If you plan to cave during your time in Montana, be sure to bring plenty of warm clothes to wear under your cave suit!
Whether your interest is in geology, wildlife-watching, fishing, water-skiing, or underwater basket weaving, you'll find it in Montana. There are more grizzly bears in Montana than any other state in the lower 48.
**If you plan to recreate in grizzly bear country during your visit, get bear spray and know how to use it! Bear spray is sold in most outdoor stores in the state, and can be rented for the day or the week from Yellowstone National Park. Follow the directions on the label and use ONLY as a deterrent.**