Alaskan Caver

Alaskan Caver

Material Information

Alaskan Caver
Series Title:
Alaskan Caver
Alternate Title:
Alaska Caver
Pease, Chuck
National Speleological Society (Alaskan Cave Areas Conservation Task Force)
National Speleological Society (Glacier Grotto)
University of Alaska Southeast (School of Arts and Sciences)
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


General Note:
Contents: Atoma Cavatoni, Trip Report / Steve Lewis -- Atoma Cavatoni Cave, Cave Report / Kevin Allred -- Atoma Cavatoni Cave, Map / Kevin Allred -- Rope Cutter / Phreada Phreatic -- The Krishna System -- Bonanza Cave Map -- Dr. Science / Dr. Science - Scenes from the 2004 Cave Rescue Seminar -- Soren's Cave Map -- Announcing an Article on Limestone Erosion Rates in S.E. Alaska -- Grotto Membership List.
Open Access - Permission by Author(s)
Original Version:
Vol. 25, no. 1 (2005)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
K26-00241 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.241 ( USFLDC Handle )
4401 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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THE AL ASKAN CA VER THE AL ASKAN CA VER Volume 25 Number 1 Januar y 2005


Front cover: Kevin Allred is measuring dissolution rates at an alpine karst station located on El Capitan Peak, POW Island. See page 10 for more informat ion on this. Photo by Carlene Allred Back cover: Pete Smith and Val White at their homestead on Prince of Wales Island. Photo by Kevin Allred THE ALASKAN CAVER EDITOR: Carlene Allred 2525 Fourth AveKetchikan, Alaska 99901hm: 907 PRESIDENT : David Love 6740 MargueriteJuneau, AK 99803 VICE PRESIDENT : David Valentine 11976 N. Tongass HwyKetchikan, AK 99901hm: 907 225-2289 SECRETARY/TREASURER: David Love6740 MargueriteJuneau, AK 99803 CONSERVA TION: Steve Lewis Box 53Tenakee Spr ., AK 99841 CAVE RESCUE: Gary SonnenbergTONGASS CAVE PROJECT : Pete Smith PO Box WWP Ketchikan, AK 99950hm: 907 Steve Lewis Box 53Tenakee Spr AK 99841 Kevin Allred 2525 Fourth AveKetchikan, AK 99901hm: 907 THE ALASKAN CAVER (ISSN 07350481) is the periodic publication of the Glacier Grotto of the National Speleological Society (NSS). Back issues are available from the Glacier Grotto secretary for $2.50 each. Materials not copyrighted by individuals or by other groups may be used by NSS publications provided credit is given to the author and to The Alaskan Caver Opinions are not necessarily that of The ALaskan Caver, the Glacier Grotto or the NSS. The editor welcomes contributions such as letters, trip reports, cave reports, photos, cartoons, stories, cave maps, etc. Annual dues are $15 per individual and $20 per family or organization. The Alaskan Caver is included in the membership fee. For an additional $8, six The Alaskan Cavers will be sent overseas via airmail. Send dues to the treasurer. T ABLE OF CONTENTS Atoma Cavatoni, trip report by Steve Lewis -----------------------page 2 Atoma Cavatoni Cave, cave report by Kevin Allred ---------------------page 3 Atoma Cavatoni Cave, map by Kevin Allred ------------------------------page 4 Rope Cutter, by Phr eada Phreatic --------------------------------------------page 5 The Krishna System -------------------------------------------------------------page 5 Bonanza Cave map --------------------------------------------------------------page 6 Dr. Science, by Dr Science ----------------------------------------------------page 7 Scenes from the 2004 Cave Rescue Seminar ------------------------------page 8 Soren Â’s Cave map ----------------------------------------------------------------page 9 Announcing an article on limestone erosion rates in S.E. Alaska------page 10 Grotto membership list----------------------------------------------------------page 11 The Alaskan Caver Volume 25 No. 1 p age 2 Atoma Cavatoni Cave was discovered on August 24, 2003 during a reconnaissance of the slopes between Eagle's Roost Cave and Blowing in the Wind Cave on Northern Prince of Wales Island. Discovered and named by Hillary Host, a Greenpeace volunteer working with the T ongass Cave Project, the discovery of the pit created great excitement and some controversy. More than a few rocks were dropped into the clean pit to determine that it was a 5 second drop. This was very exciting, especially for those of us who knew that Eagle's Roost was a long a difficult cave that does not appear to be giving an inch upstream without lots of work, while Blowing in the Wind has so far eluded all attempts to get beyond a depth of about 500 feet. This might be a way into the middle of what is believed to be a hydrological connection between the two caves. However, we were engaged in inventorying a broad area, using a large group of volunteers, not dropping pits. The thought of spending the final day of the 2003 expedition attempting to finish the inventory rather than rigging and dropping this pit was hard for Hilary to come to grips with. Undropped Alaskan pits are not a good place to start caving, and I was the only experienced caver in the group. Many of our pits do not have passage at the bottom, or even a safe hidey hole, and most have loose rock that needs to be cleaned by the first person in. While we were all excited at the prospects this pit offered, ther e was no way of knowing what lay at the bottom. It was very likely that most of the group would not get a chance to enter the pit at all, and there was no one but me to lead the inventory. While most of the volunteers had been trained in SRT none had more than cursory cave experience. All finally agreed that the best plan was to continue inventory work and for folks to return to the cave at another time. The next day's inventory work produced more pits, but none as exciting as Atoma Cavatoni. However, there ar e many days more work to adequately inventory the features to be found on the northern and eastern slopes of El Capitan Peak. Large sinks and numerous pits and other features abound in the densely forested heavily karsted terrain. An interesting and rather common feature of this area consists of long lightly timbered or even open draws that appear to flow during high water, but have numerous small insurgence points and end in large collapse features. The area certainly deser ves its designation as a Geologic Special Interest Area. It might be wise to follow up on our reconnaissance with more work in association with the Forest Service. A combination of Lidar imaging and field reconnaissance Atoma Cavatoni by Steve Lewis (continues on page 3)


Steve Lewis begins his descent into Atoma Cavatomi Cave. Photo by Kevin Allred ATOMA C AV ATONI... continued from page 2 A TOMA CAV A TONI CAVE PRINCE OF WALES ISLAND TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST ALASKA T ongass Cave Project Report # 347 By Kevin Allred The Alaskan Caver Volume 25 No. 1 p age 3 and verification could lead to an expansion of the Special Interest Area and perhaps to a more binding means of protection. Such unique and high value forested karst is certainly deserving of complete protection from timber harvest. It was not until spring of 2004 that Pete Smith, Kevin Allred, and I were able to return to Atoma Cavatoni. GPS glitches and my poor memory of landmarks led to a frustrating evening of searching for the pit. We had a good location, but the satellites in combination with the canopy seemed to send us off in several different directions, depending on the whim of the moment. What we did learn from this was that the area is full of black bears, especially cubs. We heard wailing and then scratching that led us t o a snag with two cubs inside. One had apparently fallen and was whining inside the trunk. We heard several other cubs, saw at least one, and heard adults too. As darkness was approaching, we decided that we'd rather avoid meeting any of these bear families in the dark and headed back to Pete's place. The next morning, May 21, found us back at the top of the cliff near Eagle's Roost. The GPS was far more cooperative and led us directly to the pit. The others gave me no end of grief since I'd had an image of a big clearing around the entrance that in reality was a small opening and bench amidst blow down and cliffy bands. The pit was relatively easy to rig and drop. However, our earlier fears of a lack of hidey holes came true. There was no lead at the bottom, and the first to drop had to climb up into a tiny alcove and squeeze into place while one other caver descended to survey out. The accompanying map shows what we mapped----another relatively deep but ultimately disappointing Southeast Alaskan pit. I sure look forward to collaborating with the Forest Service to do a better inventory and more comprehensive job of The five foot diameter pit entrance is obscure and well hidden protecting the karstlands around Atoma Cavatoni. W e have a lot in the timber. of caves to map in the area if our initial work is indicative of what On May 21, 2004, Pete Smith, Steve Lewis, and lies ahead. One of them may very well lead us into that elusive Kevin Allred re-located the entrance, explored, and surveyed connection between Eagle's Roost and Blowing in the Wind. the pit. The rope was rigged on a tree. Down at the lip of the And who knows what other amazing systems lie beneath El Capitan's slopes? drop, the bedrock dips 15 degrees eastward, and strikes 200 I also look forward to any of our Italian speaking cavers degrees. Once down inside, the drop is very clean, nearly letting me know what the name means. While Hilary assured me vertical, and has a fissure shape. Partway down, the pit has that it was a "nice" Italian name, she never filled us in on the true cut through a bed of conglomerate. There are two areas in the definition. drop where the fissure narrows and extends from the main shaft a short distance, but in both cases, the fissures soon rejoin. A diorite glacial erratic boulder is lodged in the pit 30 feet above the debris-filled bottom. The total depth of the pit is 201.3 feet, and the surveyed length is 206.7 feet. BIOLOGY Although we took care to look closely, no invertebrates were found during our visit, nor were any bones seen. Judging from the high organic content of the debris on the bottom, surface bones might not last long. DESCRIPTION MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS Atoma Cavatoni is a deep shaft formed in Heceta It is recommended that the area not be roaded or Limestone on the east flank of El Capitan Peak. The pit was harvested for timber. This area is popular for hibernacula, for discovered and named by Hillary Host on August 24, 2003, we saw an occupied one in a hollow tree, and other bears in while making a sweep of the slope with a large group. They the immediate vicinity. The pit could be visited by those were looking for an upper entrance to Eagle's Roost Cave. prepared for vertical cold caving.


The Alaskan Caver Volume 25 No. 1 p age 4


Dear Phreada Phreatic; I am worried about a friend. Will this friend ever find a meaningful relationship? I just found out I would not recommend this system to the friend put this ad in 4 papers, Wanted SF age anyone who has not been on the Hatha Y oga path 25-30, with own vehicle, interested in climbing, for at least three lifetimes. T o use it correctly, one hiking, and caving. Please send pictures of gear must first complete a wheat grass-juice fast of 4 and vehicle. What do you think of this? weeks duration. Then, as you all know the standing line is swallowed and allowed to pass Signed, Worried entirely through the body which usually takes 2 days. At this point one may descend a pit of any depth, without any unnatural man-made Dear Worried; equipment, using the lower intestine as a natural "rack". T wo questions leap into my mind. 1) Is this a Guy? 2) If not, which papers did the friend put the Y ou see the problem with this if the body is ads in? For now lets assume that the answer to #1 is not thoroughly cleansed beforehand, fecal bacteria yes. I find it refreshing that your friend is failing to can be carried into the throat & esophagus by the conform to the great society obsessions of sex and rope. I always recommend daily cayenne enemas beauty by not asking for a babe to send pictures in advance of the rappel for extra cleanliness; and if with the dimensions of her anatomy or a rating of in doubt, do it "Australian style," headfirst. her athletics in the bedroom. I also find it Speed can be controlled by either spraying remarkably honest that he leaps straight to the virgin olive oil on the rope or simply clenching issues that must be important in his life i.e. a ride to one's sphincter. After one has master ed this activities and gear. I would still caution your friend technique for a lifetime or two, one can easily that his notice may just attract some hedonistic acquire enough muscular control to ascend the person who would just love to take on the rope in the same fashion, hands-free. challenge of converting a partner into some mold of their own dubious design. More information can be found in Chapter If the answer to question #1 is no, then I 12 of the 1999 NSS version of the Tibetan Book of would want to be sure that at least one of the ads the Dead. was submitted to the Lavender Cavers as that Cave like an Enlightened Master, and you'll would probably be the path that would lead to the reach Nirvana faster, largest probability of success. So, my advice to you is to stop obsessing Fu ll y re al iz ed Yog i Sw am i A. C. about your friend and find something more P r a p h u m a m b a [ a k a S t e v e L u g a n n a n i important to do like going caving. Cincinnati, OH] Y ours, Phreada ; ? . . The Alaska n Caver V olume 25 N o. 1 page 5 R o p e C u t t e r T H E K R I S H N A S Y S T E M DESCRIPTION OF A NEW VERTICAL SYSTEM: (reprinted from the Cascade Caver January February 2002)


EditorÂ’s note: See V ol. 21, #4, p. 2-3 for trip log and report describing the exploration and description of Bonanza Cave. This cave is located in the Lynn Canal drainage of Southeastern Alaska. The Alaskan Caver Volume 25 No. 1 p age 6


The Alaskan Caver Volume 5 No. 1 pa ge 7 (Continues on page 10) Dear Dr Science: I was wondering when scientists are going to come up with some measuring system for determining types of people, kind of like dye testing cave streams. W ouldn't it be nice to have some sort of litmus test where someone spit on a piece of paper and the colors showed that the person was wonderful, a scumbag, etc....? Why do they waste so much time of finding the genes of bugs instead of things that would really be helpful to the human race? Phreada Phreatic : ? Dear Ms. Phreatic, Various means have been used to test personality and intelligence. The IQ, personality “colors” and various skill evaluations have all proven rather limited and time consuming. This problem is two-fold: 1. Genetic variation, and 2. Enviornmental diversity. F ortunately, I happen to be well versed on this subject, and belong to a dynamic organization called United Genetics which is dedicated to combat genetic chaos. Our chaotic gene pool drives the environmental developmental diversity, which of course feeds the upredictibility of each human being. The advent of modern medicine is fast encouraging weakness, stupidity, mutations, and diseases to thrive. This further degrades the gene pool. Desperate circumstances require desperate measures. Unified genetics is commited to purify our chaotic gene pool until there is one genophilate super-clone. All mutations, sickness, and personality disorders will have been purged, and humanity will live in perfect harmony (Northern portion of Bonanza Cave)


The Alaskan Caver Volume 25 No. 1, pag e 8 Instructor Phil Whit field (abo ve) works with Mar k Hassel ( below) S c e n e s f r o m t h e 2 0 0 4 C a v e R e s c u e S e m i n a r h e l d o n P r i n c e o f W a l e s I s l a n d P h o t o s b y S t e v e L e w i s Leg spl int ma de from a cav e pack a lon g rapp el rack and d uct tap e


The Alaskan Caver Volume 23 No. 1 page 9 From the Editor: The other day I found this map in our stuff. I made a One day the kids decided to go caving on their own. search through our old Alaskan Cavers but could not find that it Soren, age 8, found a new cave under some boulders just down had ever been published. SorenÂ’s Cave was mapped during a the road from our camp. The boulders were part of the fill used to 1992 POWIE expedition. W e were camping at the spit near El create the road. He and Ella, age 9, were so proud of their Capitan work camp, along the shore of the El Capitan Passage. discovery but could not get the expedition leaders (except for Our family was camped near the work camp and not in it, like the Mom, of course) to take them seriously. Now, at long last, Mom is other e xpedition member s wer e, because kids werenÂ’t allowed in the editor and I am publishing their map! At this time Ella is a the work camp. The parents and other team members had been student studying earth and space science and was just married. exploring and mapping in Crystal Palace, El Capitan, Roaring Soren is on an ecclesiastical mission for the LDS church. Road, Snowhole, RiverÂ’s End and various other caves.


Dissolution measuring station 94-23, placed in dissolving limestone on the edge of an acidic muskeg, is soon to fall out. Photo by Kevin Allred ANNOUNCING SOME CARBONATE EROSION RATES OF SOUTHEAST ALASKA by Kevin Allred ABSTRACT The Alaskan Caver Volume 2 4 No. 1 pag e 10 because we will be physically identical in every way. W e will thus be raised the same and think alike. Since there will no longer be reason for heterosexuality there will only be need for the superior male. Since the most desirable genetic trait is intelligence, I and a few of my fellow colleagues have selected ourselves to be the breeding stock for the upcoming utopia. Fortunately spelunkers and other genetically flawed, nonfunctional specimens will be removed from the gene pool by the year 2020. Many of you may not be aware that some of our most prominent and successful politicians are actually groups of clones. Perhaps best known ar e the Iraqi Hussein clones (see the National Inquirerer July issue). Elimination or assassinations are now becoming a thing of the past, for there are numerous replacements ready to step in at a moments notice. Sincerely, Dr Science Finally at long last the long awaited article on limestone dissolution rates in Southeast Alaska has been published in the December 2004 issue of the Journal of Cave and Karst Studies Glacier Grotto and TCP members have been working on this study for over 10 years. Below is the title and abstract: erosion rates ranged from 31 mm/ka under old growth forests, to 38 mm/ka in alpine settings. Both bare and soil covered site results were similar to measur ements elsewhere in the world where precipitation is comparable. However, Alaskan runoff fr om acidic peat bogs produced dissolution rates up to 1.66 m/ka, which are some of the highest known anywhere. This study generated some great challenges for its author. A t one point Kevin was so discouraged by lack of time and opportunity to gather data, that he tried to give the dissolution project away. F amily kept him too busy, and he even advertized, trying to find someone to take over. However things finally worked out, and I (the editor) was able to be along on most of the trips to relocate stations for measuring. Many of them were buried under humus and some were very hard to find. I remember one particular station near El Capitan Cave that we almost gave up on ever finding. As a way to determine the erosion rate of We were following a vague map that Kevin had drawn carbonate bedrock surfaces in Southeastern Alaska, an ten or so years ago. The drawing showed this particular instrument was designed to directly measure the angled fallen tree with a root wad on one end of it, that lowering of rock surfaces relative to fixed stainless steel we were looking for. Many fallen tr ees lay about us, but bolts epoxied into the rock. A total of 582 measuring there was no such log configured like the one in the points were set in 31 measurement sites. Dissolution drawing anywhere on that part of the mountain. was found to be the predominant mode of erosion at Discouraged, we almost gave up ever finding it. Then it most stations. Dissolution rate increased with thicker suddenly occured to me that the drawing may have humus soil, but the presence of silty soil limited originally been made by memory, and thus could have dissolution, even with deep humus. After deforestation been in error. So I looked for a log in reverse position. of karst landscapes there was a preliminary dissolution The station was quickly found, for the root wad had rate increase from 38 mm/ka to 46 mm/ka Bare r ock been drawn on the wrong end of the log. DR. SCIENC E, continued from page 7


The Alaskan Caver Volume 2 5 No. 1 pag e 11 Allred, Berna 2797 N. 700 E. Provo, Utah 84604 (2004) Allred, Kevin and Carlene 2525 Fourth Ave. Ketchikan, AK 99901 (2004)Anderson, Felicie and Bjarne Knudsen 620 NW 9th St., High Springs, FL 32643 (2004) Bowers, William Harvey 305 S. Bartlett Cir., Wasilla, AK 99654 (2004)Casey, Kevin 1756 Queen St. E, T oronto, Ontario Canada M4L-IG7 (2004) Cervone, Sarah 1605 NE 8th St., Gainsville, FL 32609 (2004)Dillon, Simon 14 Bodmin Crescent, Brinnington Stockport, England SK58AT (2005)Eash, Arthur S. and Karen Morrissey PO Box 240801, Anchorage, AK 99524 (2005)Eklund, Ryan 801 Lincoln St., Sitka, AK 99835 (2004)Furguson, James M. 10411 High Bluff Dr ., Eagle River, AK 99577 (2004) Griffin, Sheila PO Box 19252, Thorne Baym AK 99919 (2004)Halliday, Dr William R. 6530 Cornwall St., Nashville, TN 37205 Hallinan, Thomas and Nancy 1617 Wolverine Ln, F airbanks, AK 99709-6628 (2004) Heaton, Tim 65 Northshore Drive, N. Sioux City, SD 57049 Lachniet, Jason PO Box 498, Damascus, VA 24236 (2004)LaPerriere, Marcel and Connie PO Box 645, Sitka, AK 99835 (2004)Lee, T yson 2230 NW 21 Pl. Gainsville, FL 32605 (2004) Lewis, Steve and Rachel Myron PO Box 53, T enakee Spr., AK 99841 tenakeetwo@yahoo .com (2005) Love, David and Jennifer Griffin 6740 Marguerite St., Juneau, AK 99801 (2004)Monteith, Dr. Dan PO Box 210771, Auke Bay AK 99821(2004) Morgan, Barbara PO Box 19381, Thorne Bay, AK 99919 (2003)Raab, Diane 120 W University Blvd, T ucson, AZ 85705-7663 (2004) Richardson, Vern 1846 Richbar Hill Rd., Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada V2J-6C8 (2004)Rockwell, Dr. Julius, Jr 4548 Reka Dr., Anchorage, AK 99508-3684 (2005) Rutherford, Rob 3214 Riverview, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada V2K-4Y7 (2004)Simpson, Cassidy 1025 Ollek St., Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada V2B-5B1Sonnenberg, Gary and Lin 1377 Pond Reef Road, Ketchikan, AK 99901Southeast Alaska Conservation Council 419 Sixth St., Suite 200, Juneau, AK 99801Smith, Pete PO Bo x WWP Ketchikan AK 99950 (2005) Smith, Dr. W arren and Dr. Constance 144 W Liberty St., Slippery Rock, PA 16057 T orry, Don 2508 Crestline Pl., Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada V2B-5B1 (2004) Valentine, David 11976 North T ongass, Ketchikan, AK 99901 (2004) Whale Pass Community Library PO Box WWP Ketchikan AK 99950 (2005) White, Bruce and Samantha PO Box 7531, Ketchikan, AK 99901(2003)Whitfield, Phil 2067 Valleyview Dr ., Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada V2C-4C3 (2004) GROTTO MEMBERSHIP LIST November 2004 The 2004 Alpine Karst book Is now available. New Publications, foldout maps, photo Adding interesting dimensions to the explorations and articles. images And despite the 26 year gap, some things are timeless. This issue of Alpine Karst continues the classic stories of exploration Retail Cost: $16.00 (includes shipping) and science as one reads of groans, llamas, skis, toboggans, Publisher: Cave Books, Editor: Tina Oliphant rafts, mountain bikes, scuba flippers, the grizzly, and some very sore feet. And in the end, we survive to explore and document A revival after 26 years. Alpine Karst was last the caves. Articles of science and exploration are included from published in the 1970s. Chuck Pease, Jim Chester and Ron Utah, Montana, Alaska, Colorado, Europe and Zuber produced four issues from 1975 to 1978. Alpine Karst Canada.Vertical techniques and new options for wetsuit focused on the unique challenges and rewards of exploring and technology are explored. A generous amount of photos and documenting caves located in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho maps accompany the publication. Colorado, California, Utah, Canada and Europe. It also featured articles on advanced techniques, geology, and Cheers, Joe Oliphant : equipment. Most alpine caves are located in wilderness areas, .


The Alaskan Caver 2525 F ourth Ave. Ketchikan, AK 99901 Address Service Requested

Contents: Atoma
Cavatoni, Trip Report / Steve Lewis --
Atoma Cavatoni Cave, Cave Report / Kevin Allred --
Atoma Cavatoni Cave, Map / Kevin Allred --
Rope Cutter / Phreada Phreatic --
The Krishna System --
Bonanza Cave Map --
Dr. Science / Dr. Science Scenes from the 2004 Cave
Rescue Seminar --
Soren's Cave Map --
Announcing an Article on Limestone Erosion Rates in S.E.
Alaska --
Grotto Membership List.


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