VTC News & Announcements

A Call to Prioritize Beginner Training in the VTC Program

Since the National Speleological Society (NSS) chartered the Vertical Training Commission (VTC), we’ve had lots of interest in our training program from outside organizations. We’re excited about the enthusiasm for our vertical training program! That being said, we would like to take this opportunity to clearly state our mission and outline appropriate uses of our volunteer-based program. We also want to make clear that our program is very much still in development; we ask for patience as we develop and pilot our student and trainer curricula as well as our associated policies and procedures.

Level 1 Student Course Available

The NSS Vertical Training Commission (VTC) will hold a three-day Level 1 course: Basic Vertical Techniques – from May 2 – 5, 2024 in Redmond, Oregon. Class size will be limited to 12 students.

Cost, which includes on-site camping, showers, and some meals (see below), is:

  • $220 for current NSS members
  • $270 for non-NSS members.
  • On-site lodging is available for an additional cost.

Non-NSS members may pre-register at the NSS member rate by first joining or renewing NSS membership (note: you may actually save money if you do this, especially if you are under 26!).

New Position Announcements

The Vertical Training Commission of the National Speleological Society (VTC) is creating a national vertical training program to provide US cavers high quality, accessible, and affordable training in vertical caving techniques. The VTC Board manages the overall affairs of the organization, and consists of three officers and eight regional coordinators. The Curriculum Committee, which is composed of five to seven committee members, develops the VTC educational materials and evaluates their effectiveness.

Additional information on the duties and responsibilities of the VTC Board and Curriculum Committee can be found in the VTC charter, the VTC bylaws, and the VTC Nomination Procedures.

Upcoming Open Positions

VTC is currently accepting applications for staff terms that will expire in 2024. VTC invites applications from any interested NSS members. The VTC Board will be nominating candidates at our April 2024 Board Meeting for the following positions:

  • Officer: Secretary-Treasurer
  • Officer: Education Coordinator*
  • Regional Coordinator: Eastern (VA, WV, PA, NJ, MD, DE, DC, OH)**
  • Regional Coordinator: South Central (AR, LA, NM, KS, OK, TX)**
  • Regional Coordinator: Pacific Northwest (AK, ID, OR, WA, HI, GU, AS, MP)**
  • Curriculum Committee: Member (2 upcoming open positions)

Applications for upcoming open positions must be submitted to the VTC secretary-treasurer no later than March 31, 2024, using the online form available at: Open VTC Positions.

*Per the VTC charter, the curriculum committee nominates the education coordinator from among the current curriculum committee membership. If you are interested in the Education Coordinator position, apply for one of the upcoming open Curriculum Committee positions. 

**Per the VTC Charter, regional coordinators will be selected from among the trainers and master trainers in their respective regions by a majority of votes of this same group. As we are still working on creating the process for training and qualifying these individuals, for the regional coordinator positions expiring in 2024, candidates should have skills and experience commensurate with those established in VTC’s Trainer Qualification Procedures.

Vertical Training Commission board positions re-appointed

Pursuant to the NSS Vertical Training Commission (VTC) charter, NSS Administrative Vice President, Emily P. Davis has made the following re-appointments:

  • National Coordinator - Ron Miller

  • Central Regional Coordinator - Anmar Mirza

  • Northeast Regional Coordinator - Jessica van Ord

  • Western Regional Coordinator - Annelisa Moe

  • Curriculum Committee member - Derek Bristol

As outlined in the VTC charter, the national coordinator and regional coordinator positions are three-year terms; the curriculum committee position is a four-year term.

At its May 23, 2023 meeting, the VTC board unanimously nominated these individuals for re-appointment.If you would like to learn more about VTC, please visit vtc.caves.org

VTC Board and Curriculum Committee Position Announcement

Per VTC’s bylaws, the initial terms of several VTC staff expire in 2023. Although all of the incumbents listed below  have expressed a willingness to continue serving in their respective positions, VTC invites applications from any interested NSS members.


First Annual Board meeting of the VTC at the NSS Convention in Rapid City, South Dakota

First Annual Board meeting of the VTC at the NSS Convention in Rapid City, South Dakota, June 14 2022

June 14, 2022



The NSS VTC: Progress Report and Next Steps

Ron Miller, Jenny Tison, Hazel Barton, and Adam Weaver

An article titled “The NSS Vertical Training Commission” in the NSS News (October 2021) introduced the membership to a proposed new commission that would create a national-scale vertical training program for cavers. This article summarizes our progress and outlines the steps that we are taking to realize this exciting vision.