The BS CREW


The BS Crew was offically formed in Janruary of 2002 and actively explored the Virginia Tech Campus until May of 2003. We have explored all the major tunnel sections, including the tunnel downtown that contains Strubble's Creek. Since we began tunneling we also became interested in exploring buildings, rooftops, and construction projects on campus. The purpose of this webpage is to inform you of the places on campus you never think of, and never see. You can read about our adventures, mishaps, and major discoverys in the Trip Log section, look at our large collection of exploration pictures in the Pictures section, get the big picture by looking at our Map section, and keep updated with the News section.






STEAM TUNNELS


I (Chong) stumbled across a website in late December 2001. I was intrigued by the complex infrastructure running under our campus. I called up my pal Thor, and we both made plans to take a trip into the Virginia Tech steam tunnels. I guess people would be interested in walking around under the campus for different reasons (seeing how the utilities system of the campus works, looking at the history of the tags on the walls, turning random valves on) but personally the adrenaline rush from the fear of getting caught coupled with idea that I am seeing something that probably less than 1% of all other students here have seen is all the reason I need.

Exploring the campus tunnels was orginally our only goal, and still remains as our major exploration interest. We have walked from Cassell to the power plant entirely underground, and from the Ag-Quad to Derring Hall all underground, in the 2 largest sections of tunnel. We have also explored the tunnels under West Campus Drive, the Upper Quad Tunnels, the Downtown Tunnel, and many many side tunnels and crawl spaces. The only tunnel that we know of that has not been explored by us is the short section between Detrick and Engel.

From the Virginia Tech Utilities Page:
The turbine exhausts steam at 15 psig directly into a steam header serving an underground steam tunnel distribution network. This tunnel network serves over five million square feet of campus buildings with heat through six miles of steam and condensate lines. The turbine also provides steam extraction at 90 psig, which is distributed through the same underground network, to be used as process steam for cooking, sterilization, autoclaving, pressing, and other industrial requirements.

The tunnels vary greatly from place to place on campus. They can be short and slender, or as large as a normal hallway. The various pipes usually run down one side of the tunnel, but sometimes large pipes run down the middle of the floor. The other side of the tunnel is usually bundles of wire, for phone, internet, and electric. In some places, and especially if you are trying to enter a side tunnel it is neccessary to squeeze over/under/between hot pipes. The tunnel itself can be unbearably hot in sections, but just as quickly get cool and pleasent. And I must mention something about safety. The best rule is to use common sense. Pay attention for hot steam leaks, sudden drops, low ceilings, and very hot pipes.


If you do decide to go here are a few suggestions:
  • Do not explore alone, and if possible go with someone that has been before.
  • Do not wear loose clothes or clothes that you donít want to get dirty.
  • Keep noise to a minimum, you never know who is right above you.
  • Leave things like you found then, Including grates and doors.
  • Don't steal things, turn valves, flip switches, etc.
  • Try not to touch anything, especially hot pipes.
  • Plan ahead.

  • Here are some things that might be useful to have.
    • Flashlight (a must have)
    • Water (or money for a drink machine)
    • Gloves (if you will be exploring tunnel you have to crawl through)
    • Tape (useful to keep doors from locking behind you)
    • A pocket knife (you never know)
    • Camera (record your adventure)


BUILDINGS


Thor and I became interested in exploring buildings when we learned that it is possible to access many buildings from the steam tunnels. The large mechanical rooms, and cluttered storage rooms can be very interesting to look at. A drawback to buildings is that you are much more likely to encounter someone than in a tunnel. When exploring a building late at night it is best not to be wearing the clothes you were just crawling through the tunnel in, you want to look like you belong there. If you look like you belong you are much less likely to get questioned. This is a good point to mention that you should have some excuse in mind. Make it something realistic but unverifiable, if you are caught walking around a building after midnight saying that your dad works in the building isn't going to work, but saying you were just inside looking for a rest room might be a better idea. Even if you are exploring during the day saying that your dad works here is not a good idea either for obvious reasons.

Exploring buildings that are being built or rennovated is much differnt. There is really no excuse for being there, and just telling the truth may be your best bet to get off with just a warning. One time while walking around an unfinished building I found a hardhat on the ground and put it on, as a sort of costume, and tried to walk around like I knew what I was doing and where I was going.


ROOFTOPS


Walking around exploring buildings enough starts making you wonder what is on top of the building. From the tops of the campus's taller buildings you can see for a very long way, and in my opinion the risk of getting caught is very small. How many people walk around looking up? not many. Added to that if you stay a few back from the edge, nobody close will even be able to see you from the ground. Rooftops on buildings like Seitz Hall even have edges on them 6 feet high, so it would be impossible to be seen.


A FINAL WORD


So I guess this has been a brief sort of how-to guide for exploring campus, if you have any interest in doing this sort of thing go for it. Just remember that common sense is the key to not getting caught, and having a good time. Also keep in mind that if everyone knew about the tunnels it would make it alot less fun for everyone else, and would probably lead to all entrances to the tunnels being kept locked. If you have questions about the information on this site, or just want to go exploring at Virginia Tech sometime but don't know where to start, contact us.

~Chong & Thor