Arctomys Cave

Feature type: Cave
Province: British Columbia
Location: Arctomys valley
Latitude: 53°04’05″
Longitude: 118°53’56″
NTS map: 83E/2
Official name listed at BC Geographical Names
George Kinney discovered Arctomys Cave in 1912, and fellow members of the Alpine Club of Canada/Smithsonian expedition descended for over 200 feet without reaching the end: “Beyond that the going is wet and the exploration was not carried further, as there was no change in the character of the subterranean shaft.”

According to the Alberta Speleological Society, Arctomys is the deepest cave in North America north of Mexico at 536m length. Their rating: -523, +13. It was first looked at by cavers in 1971, and was first bottomed in 1973. Since then about one trip a year has visited the cave. The main cave is very linear, descending steeply down a seemingly enless series of free climbs and pitches. The last part of Arctomys Cave is extremely wet and the cave ends in a sump. The first sump has been freedived to a second chamber, but nobody has been beyond this point. The Straw Gallery in Arctomys Cave features an excellent collection of long soda straws and has some extremely nice flowstone.

References:
  • Wheeler, Arthur Oliver 1860-1945 . “The Alpine Club of Canada’s expedition to Jasper Park, Yellowhead Pass and Mount Robson region, 1911.” Canadian Alpine Journal 4 (1912).
  • Alberta Speleological Society.
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