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Association of Mexican Cave Studies newsletter

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Title:
Association of Mexican Cave Studies newsletter
Series Title:
Association of Mexican Cave Studies Newsletter (1965-1977)
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Association for Mexican Cave Studies
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Association for Mexican Cave Studies
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English

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Regional Speleology ( local )
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serial ( sobekcm )
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Mexico

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Contents: Trip Reports -- Description of Cueva de El Nacimiento de El Rio Frio -- AMCS Standard Map Legend.
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Open Access - Permission by Publisher
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Vol. 1, no. 9 (1965)
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See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida
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4654 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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THEASSOCIATIONFORMEXICANCAVESTUDIESNEWSLETTERContentsTripReportsDescriptionofCueva deElNacimientodeElRioFrioAMCSStandardMapLegend Volume1Number9THEASSOCIATIONFORMEXICANCAVESTUDIESNEWSLETTERContentsTripReportsDescriptionofCueva deElNacimientodeElRioFrioAMCSStandardMapLegend Volume 1 Number9

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82TripReportsPersons:JimDuke,OrionKnox, David McKenzieDate:September5-11,1965Destination:CerroPena NevadaareaReportedby:David McKenzie At Sunday noontheabovethreewithNealPrescottandTomMeadorlefttheTSAregionprojectatCartaValley,hopingtoVisitcavesnearCiudad Acuna. TheafternoonwasspentonaveryroughroadthatleadstotheremoteSerraniasdelBurro,apromisingrangethathadneverbeenchecked.AgasshortageforcedustoretreatattheHaciendade SanMiguel.Having comeapproximatelyhalfway(38miles)wewerestillfacedwitha21/2hourtriptoreachthefootofthemountains.ThenightwasspentattheAmistadDamprojectareaattheentranceofCuevadeDos Lagos(Sumidero45).Neal,Jim,and Davidquicklyexploredthecave,a150footdeep,slopingpitthatendsatasiphon.MondaythegroupsplitwithTomandNealreturningtoTexasandtheresttakingthe10:30ambustoC.Allende.Wesufferedmostofthedayonroughdetourscloudedwithdust.Whilewaitingforthe4:30relaytoMonclovawedeclinedanoffertobeshownabatcaveeightmileseastofthere.While onthebuswe werealsotoldofalargedecoratedcaveonamountainsidenearMuzquiz.From whatweunderstoodofthedescription,oldtiresaresomehowfixedtoaidthesteepascent.Ourdestinationwasthemountainousareasurrounding13,300footCerroPena Nevadawhichisabout60mileseastofMatehuala.HavingpassedthroughMonclovaat7=30 pm,wearrivedinMatehualaat2:00amTuesday.Totalfaretoherehadbeen$54.50pesosapiece.Wecaughtthe6:30bustoDr.Arroyo($8.00)fromwhereweintendedtoapproachthehighmountainsbya22km.roadtoSanAntoniode Pena Nevada, avillageontheCerro'ssouthernflank.Butuponlearningthatonlytwotruckscommute from SanAntoniooncea monthwewerefacedwithafulldaytokillinthisbleak,deserttown.WeconsideredVisitingsome rumoredcavesSWofDn.Arroyo,butthisrequiredeithera10km.hikeoranexpensivetruckride.Onecaveissaidtobealargeunexploredroomwithanarrowceiling.entrance.A boytookustoasmallmineabout3km.northoftowninthesideofalimestonehill.WhileJim,Orion,andtheboysearchedunsuccessfullyforareportednearbysotano,Davidexploredtheminewhichisapartiallyexcavatedsolutioncavedevelopedonafault.Asuccessionofsmalldropstotalledabout190feet.Thelowerlevelsfeaturedscallopedwallswithabeautifulcrustofarragoniteorgypsum. At7:00pmWednesdayweleftforEscondidasfurthernorthontheDr.Arroyo-Linaresroad,a61/2hourtrip.FromtherewetookabuswesttoArramborri,asmalltownontheRioThisriverflowsnorthfromthePena Nevadaarea,thenloops82TripReportsPersons:JimDuke,OrionKnox, David McKenzieDate:September5-11,1965Destination:CerroPena NevadaareaReportedby:David McKenzie At Sunday noontheabovethreewithNealPrescottandTomMeadorlefttheTSAregionprojectatCartaValley,hopingtoVisitcavesnearCiudad Acuna. Theafternoonwasspenton averyroughroadthatleadstotheremoteSerraniasdelBurro,apromisingrangethathadneverbeenchecked.AgasshortageforcedustoretreatattheHaciendade SanMiguel.Havingcomeapproximatelyhalfway(38miles)wewerestillfacedwitha21/2hourtriptoreachthefootofthemountains.ThenightwasspentattheAmistadDamprojectareaattheentranceofCueva de Dos Lagos(Sumidero45).Neal,Jim,and Davidquicklyexploredthecave,a150footdeep,slopingpitthatendsatasiphon.MondaythegroupsplitwithTomandNealreturningtoTexasandtheresttakingthe10:30ambustoC.Allende.Wesufferedmostofthedayonroughdetourscloudedwithdust.Whilewaitingforthe4:30relaytoMonclovawedeclinedanoffertobeshown abatcaveeightmileseastofthere.While onthebuswewerealsotoldofalargedecoratedcaveon amountainsidenearMuzquiz.From whatweunderstoodofthedescription,oldtiresaresomehowfixedtoaidthesteepascent.Ourdestinationwasthemountainousareasurrounding13,300footCerroPena Nevadawhichisabout60mileseastofMatehuala.HavingpassedthroughMonclovaat7=30pm,wearrivedinMatehualaat2:00amTuesday.Totalfaretoherehadbeen$54.50pesosapiece.Wecaughtthe6:30bustoDr.Arroyo($8.00)fromwhereweintendedtoapproachthehighmountainsby a 22 km.roadtoSanAntoniode Pena Nevada, avillageontheCerro'ssouthernflank.Butuponlearningthatonlytwotruckscommute from SanAntoniooncea monthwewerefacedwithafulldaytokillinthisbleak,deserttown.WeconsideredVisitingsome rumoredcavesSWofDn.Arroyo,butthisrequiredeithera10km.hikeoranexpensivetruckride.Onecaveissaidtobealargeunexploredroomwithanarrowceiling.entrance.A boytookustoasmallmineabout3km.northoftowninthesideofalimestonehill.WhileJim,Orion,andtheboysearchedunsuccessfullyforareportednearbysotano,Davidexploredtheminewhichisapartiallyexcavatedsolutioncavedevelopedon afault.Asuccessionofsmalldropstotalledabout190feet.Thelowerlevelsfeaturedscallopedwallswithabeautifulcrustofarragoniteorgypsum. At7:00pmWednesdayweleftforEscondidasfurthernorthontheDr.Arroyo-Linaresroad,a61/2hourtrip.FromtherewetookabuswesttoArramborri,asmalltown ontheRioThisriverflowsnorthfromthePena Nevadaarea,thenloops

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easttobeoometheRiofurificacion.AtAramberriweclimbedahighridgeandvisitedseveralsheltercavesinconglomerate.At9:00PMwecaughtabustoZaragoza,asimilarsizedtown16kmsouthofthereandabout4kmfromtheriver'sresurgence.Busesdidn'tgo beyondherebutwe weretoldofcavesinthearea-especiallynearEncantada,avillage8kmfartherandhigher.Aroominthetown'ssmallhotel(Withasingleandadoublebed)cost10pesos.ThefollowingdaywasspentprimarilyintheVicinityofahillcalledCuestaBlancaabout4kmbackalongtheroad.AchainofhillocksandridgesalongthevalleybetweenAramberriandZaragozaaretheexposureofamassivegypsumformationofJurassicage.Ourcavesweretobelimitedtothis.ThethicklowerCretaceouslimestonesareencounteredatelevationsabove7000feet.Cueva deCuestaBlancaisaresumiderointhevicinityofseveralshallow,circulardolinas.Apassage6feetby10feethightakesofffromtheendofasteep-walledgulleyandproceeds200feettoanunentereddomepitofabout30feet.Thelocalreliefisgreatandgivesthecaveapotentialdepthofsomehundredsoffeet.S6tanodeCuestaBlancaisan80feetdeepsinkholeonly250feetfromtheroad.Itisacollapseddomeroomfilledwithlargebreakdown.Thecrestofanearbyhillisriddledwithdissolved-outfissuresandirregular,interconnectedpassageswhichareimpossibletoexplorebecauseoftheirrazor-sharpprojections.AfewothersmallcaveswerefoundandsomeinvertabratescollectedbeforewehikedtoZaragozabyseparateroundaboutways.Fridayweclimbeda 9000feetpeakjusteastofZaragozaandenjoyedspectacularscenery.ThemostimpressivemountainaroundisCerroViejo(10,000feetplus)whichhasa hugecloud-coveredlimestonefaceremindfuloftheEuropeanEiger.WithZaragozaatitssouthweBtennfoot,itisquitedominantwhen viewedfromEscondidas.EarlythenextmorningwebeganourwaybackhomewhichwasthroughLinaresandReynosaandnotsubjecttothedelayswewerebynowaccustomedto.WeweredisappointedthattimelimitedusfromhikingtoEncantadaand beyondwheretherearecertainlylimestonecavesmuchhigherthananyyetvisitedbytheAMCS.Persons::dAlexander(UTSS),JohnSchelling,MargaretTew,JeremyParker(PotomacSpeleologicalClub),WarrenHeller(SwarthmoreGrotto),CarlRovainen(BostonGrotto)Date:August29-September11Destination:S6tanode Tlamaya andVolcanPoppocatepetlReportedby:EdAlexanderSunday,29AugustWeleftAustinataboutnoon andheadedeasttobeoometheRiofurificacion.AtAramberriweclimbedahighridgeandvisitedseveralsheltercavesinconglomerate.At9:00PMwecaughtabustoZaragoza,asimilarsizedtown16kmsouthofthereandabout4kmfromtheriver'sresurgence.Busesdidn'tgo beyondherebutweweretoldofcavesinthearea-especiallynearEncantada,avillage8kmfartherandhigher.A roominthetown'ssmallhotel(Withasingleand adoublebed)cost10pesos.ThefollowingdaywasspentprimarilyintheVicinityofahillcalledCuestaBlancaabout4kmbackalongtheroad.AchainofhillocksandridgesalongthevalleybetweenAramberriandZaragozaaretheexposureofamassivegypsumformationofJurassicage.Ourcavesweretobelimitedtothis.ThethicklowerCretaceouslimestonesareencounteredatelevationsabove7000feet.CuevadeCuestaBlancaisaresumiderointhevicinityofseveralshallow,circulardolinas.Apassage6feetby10feethightakesofffromtheendofasteep-walledgulleyandproceeds200feettoanunentereddomepitofabout30feet.Thelocalreliefisgreatandgivesthecaveapotentialdepthofsomehundredsoffeet.S6tanodeCuestaBlancaisan80feetdeepsinkholeonly250feetfromtheroad.Itisacollapseddomeroomfilledwithlargebreakdown.Thecrestofanearbyhillisriddledwithdissolved-outfissuresandirregular,interconnectedpassageswhichareimpossibletoexplorebecauseoftheirrazor-sharpprojections.Afewothersmallcaveswerefoundand someinvertabratescollectedbeforewehikedtoZaragozabyseparateroundaboutways.Fridayweclimbeda 9000feetpeakjusteastofZaragozaandenjoyedspectacularscenery.ThemostimpressivemountainaroundisCerroViejo(10,000feetplus)whichhasa hugecloud-coveredlimestonefaceremindfuloftheEuropeanEiger.WithZaragozaatitssouthweBtennfoot,itisquitedominantwhen viewedfromEscondidas.EarlythenextmorningwebeganourwaybackhomewhichwasthroughLinaresandReynosaandnotsubjecttothedelayswewerebynowaccustomedto.WeweredisappointedthattimelimitedusfromhikingtoEncantadaand beyondwheretherearecertainlylimestonecavesmuchhigherthananyyetvisitedbytheAMCS.Persons::dAlexander(UTSS),JohnSchelling,MargaretTew,JeremyParker(PotomacSpeleologicalClub),WarrenHeller(SwarthmoreGrotto),CarlRovainen(BostonGrotto)Date:August29-September11Destination:S6tanode Tlamaya andVolcanPoppocatepetlReportedby:EdAlexanderSunday,29AugustWeleftAustinataboutnoon andheaded

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84southintwocars,havingagreedtomeetatcustomsinReyonosa.Shortlyafterdarkwewereagaindrivingsouththroughl,pTamaulipastowardtheXilitlaareastoppingonlytwiceforgasinCd,VictoriaandValle's.Monday,30AugustAfteraverylongnightwearrivedattheferryacrosstheRioHuichihuayanat5:00amonlytofindthatitdidnotrunforanhouryet.WecontinuedontoXilitlaat6:00andstoppedinthemarkettobuyseveralarticlesthathadofcoursebeenforgotten.WethendrovebacktotheturnofftoRancho deHuitzmolotitIE'and Sotcmo deTlamaya,whichwasourfirstobjectiveforthetrip.Ithadbeenrainingintheareaforthepreceedingfivedayswhichresultedintheroadsbeinginaverymiserablecondition.Whilewewereyetseveralmilesfromtheranch,oneofourcarsslidofftheroadintoaditch.AlmostanhourlaterseverallocalMexicansrescuedussothatwecouldcontinueontotheranch.TherewetalkedwithSr.ModestoGomezwhotookustotheentranceofthesotanowhereweplannedtospendthenextfourdays.Returningtothehouse,wediscussedourhopesforthetripoversupperandspentthenightonthelargepatiothere.Tuesday,31AugustthroughSaturday,4SeptemberOurgrouprappelledintoS6tanode TlamayaataboutnoonTuesday.Twodayslater,onThursday,Warren,Carl,andIpassedtheendofthelastsurveyandcontinuedontotheendofthesystematanestimateddepthof1473.AftermanyhoursofsleepatourcampwefinallyleftthecaveataboutnoonSaturday.(Fordetailsofcaveexplorationseepage86.)WeallreturnedtotheranchwherethedecisionwassuddenlymadetodrivedirectlyontowardMexicoCitythatnight.InTamazunchalethecarspartedwaysforthenextseveraldays,oursgoingontowardPopocatepetlandtheotherheadingforthreedaysoftouristinginMexicoCity.Warren,Carl,andIcampedthatnightinacactusdesertjustnorthofZimapan.Sunday,5SeptemberWebrokecamplateinthemorningandcontinuedonthroughMexicoCitytoAmecamecaatthebaseofPopocatepetlandIxtacc{huatl.Afterspendingsometimeinthecitymarket,wedroveupthemountaintothebunkhouseforclimberswhichismaintainedbythenationalpark.The1elevationofthehouseisalittleover14,000feet;theairwasalreadyquitethinandcold.Allofuswenttosleepatanearlyhoursowewould befreshfortheclimbtothetopearlythenextday.Monday,6SeptemberWeateaquickbreakfastandbeganclimbingat7:30am.By9:15wehadhikedtoover16000feetandhadreachedtheedgeofthepermanentsnowline.Fromthere,thenext1500feettotherimofthevo18ano wasaclimbstraightupthesnowfield,aslopeofabout30.Thehighelevationmadebreathingverydifficultforuslowlanders,andthesun,fromtheskyandsnww,wasdazzling.Finallywemadetherimwherewefoundthatthethinairwas mixedwithsulfurfumeswhichdriftedoutofthecrater.Wecircledonaroundtherimreachingthemajorpeak,17,893feetabovesealevel,at1:00pmwhereaverystrongwindmadethecoldmore',}noticeablethanithadbeen.Weonlyspentafewminuteson84southintwocars,havingagreedtomeetatcustomsinReyonosa.Shortlyafterdarkwewereagaindrivingsouththroughl,pTamaulipastowardtheXilitlaareastoppingonlytwiceforgasinCd.VictoriaandValle's.Monday, 30AugustAfteraverylongnightwearrivedattheferryacrosstheRioHuichihuayanat5:00amonlytofindthatitdidnotrunforanhouryet.WecontinuedontoXilitlaat6:00andstoppedinthemarkettobuyseveralarticlesthathadofcoursebeenforgotten.WethendrovebacktotheturnofftoRancho de HuitzmolotitIE'cmdSotcmo deTlamaya,whichwasourfirstobjectiveforthetrip.Ithadbeenrainingintheareaforthepreceedingfivedayswhichresultedintheroadsbeinginaverymiserablecondition.Whilewewereyetseveralmilesfromtheranch,oneofourcarsslidofftheroadintoaditch.AlmostanhourlaterseverallocalMexicansrescuedussothatwecouldcontinueontotheranch.TherewetalkedwithSr.ModestoGomezwhotookustotheentranceofthesotanowhereweplannedtospendthenextfourdays.Returningtothehouse,wediscussedourhopesforthetripoversupperandspentthenightonthelargepatiothere.Tuesday,31AugustthroughSaturday,4SeptemberOurgrouprappelledintoS6tanode TlamayaataboutnoonTuesday.Twodayslater,onThursday,Warren,Carl,and Ipassedtheendofthelastsurveyandcontinuedontotheendofthesystematanestimateddepthof1473.AftermanyhoursofsleepatourcampwefinallyleftthecaveataboutnoonSaturday.(Fordetailsofcaveexplorationseepage86.)WeallreturnedtotheranchwherethedecisionwassuddenlymadetodrivedirectlyontowardMexicoCitythatnight.InTamazunchalethecarspartedwaysforthenextseveraldays,oursgoingontowardPopocatepetlandtheotherheadingforthreedaysoftouristinginMexicoCity.Warren,Carl,and I campedthatnightinacactusdesertjustnorthofZimapan.Sunday,5SeptemberWebrokecamplateinthemorningandcontinuedonthroughMexicoCitytoAmecamecaatthebaseofPopocatepetlandIxtacc{huatl.Afterspendingsometimeinthecitymarket,wedroveupthemountaintothebunkhouseforclimberswhichismaintainedbythenationalpark.The 1elevationofthehouseisalittleover14,000feet;theairwasalreadyquitethinandcold.Allofuswenttosleepatanearlyhoursowewould befreshfortheclimbtothetopearlythenextday.Monday, 6SeptemberWeateaquickbreakfastandbeganclimbingat7:30am.By9:15wehadhikedtoover16000feetand hadreachedtheedgeofthepermanentsnowline.Fromthere,thenext1500feettotherimofthevo18ano was aclimbstraightupthesnowfield,aslopeofabout30.Thehighelevationmadebreathingverydifficultforuslowlanders,andthesun,fromtheskyand snww, wasdazzling.Finallywemadetherimwherewefoundthatthethinairwas mixedwithsulfurfumeswhichdriftedoutofthecrater.Wecircledonaroundtherimreachingthemajorpeak,17,893feetabovesealevel,at1:00pmwhereaverystrongwind madethecoldmore',}noticeablethanithadbeen.Weonlyspenta fewminuteson

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85topsincethecloudswerefinallystartingtocloseinonus.Forafewminutesweweretotallyobscured,sowehurriedon downassoon2.Svisabilityreturned.ThetripClownwasmuchFromtheedgeoftherimweglissadeddowntothesnowlinecoveringin15minuteswhathadtakenustwohourstoclimb.Wearrivedbackatthecarbyabout2:30pmhavingspentonlysevenhoursonthepeak.TheremainderofthedaywasspentreturningtoMexicoCitywherewecheckedintoamotelforthenight.Tuesday,7SeptemberWaking;up,Ifoundthatthestrongultravioletat17,000feetandmyfailuretowearsunglassesthedaybeforehadleftmequitesnow-bLind.WelocatedtheotherhalfofourgroupandagreedtomeetagaininVallesthenextmorning.Ourcarthenheadednorth,stoppingforashortwhileatthePyramidoftheSunbeforecontinUingonthroughthebeautifulmountainsonthewaytoTamazunchale.However,mostofmydaywasspentunderablanketinthebackseatprotectingmyeyesfromeverypossiblerayoflight.Thatnightwe campednearAquismon,justsouthofVallesatkm.post418.Wednesday,8SeptemberWebrokecampearlyand,muchrelievedthatIcouldseeagain,wedroveontoValleswherewefoundJohn,Jeremy,andMargareteatingbreakfast.OurplanscalledforvisitingVentanaJabal{andrappellinginthe503footskylightentrance,sowerodeouttoTamufn andseQlO'redagUidetotakeustothecave.Manyhourslater,afterhe hadledustoNacimientodelRioChoyandseveralsmallercavesnearby,wedecidedthathehadneverheardofVentanaJabal{,sowetookhhim home andpaidhimfifteenpesostogetridofhim.BacktrackingtoValleswespentseveralhoursplacingaphonecalltoAustinforabetterlocationonthecave.Finallywe'..returnedtotheTamulnrailroadstationandcamped.Thursday,9SeptemDerFollowingournewdirectionsinthemorningwefoundthebadroadthatheadednorthandfolloweditinthedirectionofthecave.Thefurtherwewent,theworsetheroadbecameuntilbothcarsbecamestuckinaoceanofmUd.Fromherewecouldseetheentrancemanymilesawayandveryhighonthemountain.theheatandthemUd,wehadhadit.Severlydemotivated,werescuedthecarsandbeatitfor,avedroadandNacimientodelRioMante.ThenextstopwasChamal,justnorthofMante,whereweattemptedtofindBeeCaveinthemiddleofathornjungleintotaldarkness.Finallydecidingthatlocatingthepitentranceatnightandwithoutaguidewaspurefolly,weclimbedbackintothecarsanddrovetotheTropicofCancerwherewespenttheremainderofthenight.Friday,10SeptemberContinUingonnorththroughMonterreytoSabinasHidalgowhereweturnedwesttowardBustamante.Wearrivedatthebaseofthemountainjustatsundown andhikedupthetrailtotheentranceofGrutadelPalmito.AfterfourhoursinthecavewedroveontoLaredocustoms,arrivingatabout2:00am.Saturday,11SeptemberWarren,Carl,andIdroveonthroughthenightarrivinginAustinatabout8:30am.John,Jeremy,85topsincethecloudswerefinallystartingtocloseinonus.Fora fewminutesweweretotallyobscured,sowehurriedon downassoon2.Svisabilityreturned.ThetripClownwas muchFromtheedgeoftherimweglissadeddowntothesnowlinecoveringin15minuteswhathadtakenustwohourstoclimb.Wearrivedbackatthecarbyabout2:30pmhavingspentonlysevenhoursonthepeak.TheremainderofthedaywasspentreturningtoMexicoCitywherewecheckedintoamotelforthenight.Tuesday,7SeptemberWaking;up,Ifoundthatthestrongultravioletat17,000feetandmyfailuretowearsunglassesthedaybeforehadleftmequite,snow--blind.WelocatedtheotherhalfofourgroupandagreedtomeetagaininVallesthenextmorning.Ourcarthenheadednorth,stoppingforashortwhileatthePyramidoftheSunbeforecontinuingonthroughthebeautifulmountainsonthewaytoTamazunchale.However,mostofmydaywasspentunderablanketinthebackseatprotectingmyeyesfromeverypossiblerayoflight.ThatnightwecampednearAquismon,justsouthofVallesatkm.post418.Wednesday,8SeptemberWebrokecampearlyand,muchrelievedthatIcouldseeagain,wedroveontoValleswherewefoundJohn,Jeremy,andMargareteatingbreakfast.OurplanscalledforvisitingVentanaJabal{andrappellinginthe503footskylightentrance,sowerodeouttoTamufn andseQlO'redagUidetotakeustothecave.Manyhourslater,afterhe hadledustoNacimientodelRioChoy andseveralsmallercavesnearby,wedecidedthathehadneverheardofVentanaJabal{,sowetookhhimhomeandpaidhimfifteenpesostogetridofhim.BacktrackingtoValleswespentseveralhoursplacingaphonecalltoAustinforabetterlocationonthecave.Finallywe'..returnedtotheTamulnrailroadstationandcamped.Thursday,9SeptemDerFollowingournewdirectionsinthemorningwefoundthebadroadthatheadednorthandfolloweditinthedirectionofthecave.Thefurtherwewent,theworsetheroadbecameuntilbothcarsbecamestuckinaoceanofmud. Fromherewecouldseetheentrancemanymilesaway andveryhighonthemountain.theheatandthemUd,wehadhadit.Severlydemotivated,werescuedthecarsandbeatitfor,avedroadandNacimientodelRioMante.ThenextstopwasChamal,justnorthofMante,whereweattemptedtofindBee Caveinthemiddleofathornjungleintotaldarkness.Finallydecidingthatlocatingthepitentranceatnightandwithoutaguidewaspurefolly,weclimbedbackintothecarsanddrovetotheTropicofCancerwherewespenttheremainderofthenight.Friday,10SeptemberContinUingonnorththroughMonterreytoSabinasHidalgowhereweturnedwesttowardBustamante.Wearrivedatthebaseofthemountainjustatsundown andhikedupthetrailtotheentranceofGrutadelPalmito.AfterfourhoursinthecavewedroveontoLaredocustoms,arrivingatabout2:00am.Saturday,11SeptemberWarren,Carl,and IdroveonthroughthenightarrivinginAustinatabout8:30am.John,Jeremy,

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86andMargaretcampedatLaredoandarrivedearlyintheafternoon.AtthispointIleftthegroupandtheywenttheirseparatewaysallquiteimpressedwithandhercaves.FURTHEREXPLORATIONOFSOTANODETLAMAYAbyEdAlexander/Afterjustoneandahalfyearsofexploration,SotanodeTlamayahasbeenpushedtoitsdeepestpoint,approximately1473feetbelowtheupperentrance.OnNovember26, 1964SotanodeTlamayafirstclaimedtheNorthAmericandepthrecordwhenexplorersfromtheUniversityofTexasreachedthedepthof1281feet.Sincethenthecavehasslowlyyieldeditslast200feettoseveralpersistantgroupsofspelunkers.OnSeptember2,1965wesucceededinreachingaterminalpoolofonlyafewhundredfeethigherthanthelargeresurgencesneartheRioHuichihuayan,whichisovertenmilestotheeast.Thesotanoisstillfirstonthelistofdeepcavesinthiscontinent,apositionwhichmayeasilybetakeninthefuturebyothercavesintheSierraMadreOrientalofMexico.InanycaseTlamayawilllongbe remembered bythosewhoexploredinherdepthsasamilestoneofMexicancaving....JWarrenHeller,JeremyParker,CarlRovainen,JohnSchellinsMargaretTew,andI,allmembersoftheAMCS,arrivedatRanchodeHuitzmolotitlaon Monday,August30, 1965,wherewemettheowneroftheranch,Sr.ModestoG6mez.Afterdiscussingwithhimourplanstospendseveraldaysinthecaveinanattempttoreachthebottom,heaccompaniedustotheentrancewherewe sawforthefirsttimetheblack,seeminglybottomless,holeweweretoenterthefolloWingday.Returningtotheranch,we campedoutforthenightonthepatio,allofusgladtohaveadryplacetosleepbeforebeginningourassultinthemorning.Sincewewerevisitingtheareaduringtheraininyseason,mostofourapprehensionswereduetothewaterweexpectedtoencounterinthecave.Sr.Gomezinformedusthattheareahad hadsteadyrainforthepreviousfivedays,sowhenweawokeundercloudy,butdry,skieswewereqUiterelieved.Hopingfordryweatherduringthenextfourdays,wepackedourgearfromthetruckroadtothemouthofthecaveandbeganthetediousjobofriggingtheentrancedrop.The600footlengthofGoldlinebraidwasfirstuncoiledandfedintothepit.Thiswastiedofftoalargetreeoverhangingtheentrance.Nextafterseveralminutesofdiscussionitwasagreedtoalsorigthefirst300feetwithcableladderforthosewhopreferredtoclimbitinsteadofprusikonthewayout.Sincetheladderofcourserequiredasafetyline,wetiedtwo150footnylonropestogetheranddroppedtheminalongtheladder.HaVingconstructedasuitableobstaclecoursebetweenusandthebottomwedecidedthatitwastimetodescendandCarlwentovertheedgefirstonrappel.Thetimewasabout12:00noon.IfollowedsoonafterCarl,takingprecautionstoavoidtheswayingladder,andquicklyjcinedhim277feetbelow.WhileMargaretpreparedtodescendnext,Carlandrengagedourselvesbyeliminatingacoralsnakewhichwefoundourselvessharingtheledgewith.Wethensparedanotherring-neckedsnakewhichwedecidedmightbeharmlessandwhilewatchingitcrawloff86andMargaretcampedatLaredoandarrivedearlyintheafternoon.AtthispointIleftthegroupandtheywenttheirseparatewaysallquiteimpressedwithandhercaves.FURTHEREXPLORATIONOFSOTANODETLAMAYAbyEdAlexander/Afterjustoneand ahalfyearsofexploration,SotanodeTlamayahasbeenpushedtoitsdeepestpoint,approximately1473feetbelowtheupperentrance.OnNovember26, 1964SotanodeTlamayafirstclaimedtheNorthAmericandepthrecordwhenexplorersfromtheUniversityofTexasreachedthedepthof1281feet.Sincethenthecavehasslowlyyieldeditslast200feettoseveralpersistantgroupsofspelunkers.OnSeptember2,1965wesucceededinreachingaterminalpoolofonlya fewhundredfeethigherthanthelargeresurgencesneartheRioHuichihuayan,whichisovertenmilestotheeast.Thesotanoisstillfirstonthelistofdeepcavesinthiscontinent,apositionwhichmayeasilybetakeninthefuturebyothercavesintheSierraMadreOrientalofMexico.InanycaseTlamayawilllongberememberedbythosewhoexploredinherdepthsasamilestoneofMexicancaving....JWarrenHeller,JeremyParker,CarlRovainen,JohnSchellinsMargaretTew, andI,allmembersoftheAMCS,arrivedatRanchodeHuitzmolotitlaon Monday,August30, 1965,wherewemettheowneroftheranch,Sr.ModestoG6mez.Afterdiscussingwithhimourplanstospendseveraldaysinthecaveinanattempttoreachthebottom,heaccompaniedustotheentrancewherewesawforthefirsttimetheblack,seeminglybottomless,holeweweretoenterthefolloWingday.Returningtotheranch,wecampedoutforthenightonthepatio,allofusgladtohaveadryplacetosleepbeforebeginningourassultinthemorning.Sincewewerevisitingtheareaduringtheraininyseason,mostofourapprehensionswereduetothewaterweexpectedtoencounterinthecave.Sr.Gomezinformedusthattheareahad hadsteadyrainforthepreviousfivedays,sowhenweawokeundercloudy,butdry,skieswewereqUiterelieved.Hopingfordryweatherduringthenextfourdays,wepackedourgearfromthetruckroadtothemouthofthecaveandbeganthetediousjobofriggingtheentrancedrop.The600footlengthofGoldlinebraidwasfirstuncoiledandfedintothepit.Thiswastiedofftoalargetreeoverhangingtheentrance.Nextafterseveralminutesofdiscussionitwasagreedtoalsorigthefirst300feetwithcableladderforthosewhopreferredtoclimbitinsteadofprusikonthewayout.Sincetheladderofcourserequiredasafetyline,wetiedtwo150footnylonropestogetheranddroppedtheminalongtheladder.HavingconstructedasuitableobstaclecoursebetweenusandthebottomwedecidedthatitwastimetodescendandCarlwentovertheedgefirstonrappel.Thetimewasabout12:00noon.IfollowedsoonafterCarl,takingprecautionstoavoidtheswayingladder,andquicklyjcinedhim277feetbelow.WhileMargaretpreparedtodescendnext,Carlandrengagedourselvesbyeliminatingacoralsnakewhichwefoundourselvessharingtheledgewith.Wethensparedanotherring-neckedsnakewhichwedecidedmightbeharmlessandwhilewatchingitcrawloff

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87underthebreakdownwerealizedthattherewasabitofa commotionaboveus.LookingupwecouldbarelyseeMargaretwhohadmadeitabouthalfwaydownbeforebecominghopelesslyentangledintheladderandotherropehangingbesideher.IttookCarland Ionlyafewminutestoalsobecomethourghlytiedinknotsfromoureffortstofreeher.Shearrivedthirtyminuteslaterquiteprovokedwithcableladdersingeneralandwishingwe hadleftthisparticularpieceofequipmentintheU.S.JohnjoinedusnextleavingW2rren andJeramyontoptoloweroursmallmountainofLoadafterloadofpackscame downtous,allofwhichcontainedwhatIwastoldwasindespensibleequipment.Then,oneoftheloadsbecame hung onaledgehighaboveourheads.Johnprusikeduptofreeitandwhiledoingsoarockofpossibly15poundsbecamedislodged.Disasterhungoverusastherockhurtleddown,strikingMargaretaglancingblow onherrightknee.Withvisionsofthetripendinginarescueweinspectedthekneefindingthatitwasonlybadlybruised1BythetimetherestofthegearwasloweredandWarrenandJeremyhadalsorappelleddown,Margaret'slegwassorebutingoodshape.Fromherewecontinueddownthenexttwodropsofabout75feeteachloweringthepacksandextraropebetweenusaswewent.AtWarren'ssuggestionwealsoparallelriggedthissectionwithtwo more150'ropestofacilitatethehandlingofthegearandthereturntriptothetop.Thisputusattheendofthe600footropeandinthefirstroomofthecave,almost500feetbelowtheentrance.OuroriginalplanshadcalledforcarryingthegearasfarastheBigRoomwhere weweretosetupabasecampfromwhichtocontinuetheexplorationofthedownstreampassage.Howeverat500feet,onlyslightlyoverhalfthedepthoftheBigRoom, twoproblemsalreadyconfronteduswhichwouldpreventusfromsettingupcampasplanned.First,wehadencounteredrunningwateratthebottomofthefirstdropwhichhadsteadilybecomestrongerwitheachsucceedingpit.AtthetopofJunctionPit,thenextdropaheadofus,theflowwasmuchstronger.Ifitbecameworseaswecontinueddeeperwefearedtheentiretripwould bethreatened.Second,wewerebeginningtomorefUllyunderstandtheproblemsassociatedwithallthe"indespensibleequipment"neededtogocaving.Severalhourshadalreadybeenusedtobringthegearasfaraswehad.Muchofourenergyandallofourpatiencehadalsobeenconsumedandthetaskofcontinuingdownthemoredifficultdropsaheadwiththepacksseemedclosetoimpossible.Keepingthedifficultiesinmind,Warren,Margaret,andIcontinuedondownthe100footdropintoJunctionPit,traversingtotherightaswerappelledtoavoidtherushingwater.Fromthebottomwequicklywalkedtheshortdistancetothelipofthenextpit.Herethewaterfalllookedquitebadasitfelltothebottom,209feetbelow.Theprospectofprusikingupthroughsuchatorrentpromptedseveralminutesofworrieddiscussionamongus.ItwasnowobviousthatourplanstomakeacampintheBigRoom,Btill300feetbelow,wereimpracticalatbest.Forthatmatterwehadseriousdoubtsaboutcontinuingatallpastthisprecipicewherewenowstood.ReturningtothetopofJunctionPitweconsultedtheothersanddecidedtomakecampintheroomthereandseehowwefeltaboutthesituationinthemorning.87underthebreakdownwerealizedthattherewas abitofa commotionaboveus.LookingupwecouldbarelyseeMargaretwhohad madeitabouthalfwaydownbeforebecominghopelesslyentangledintheladderandotherropehangingbesideher.IttookCarland Ionlya fewminutestoalsobecomethourghlytiedinknotsfromoureffortstofreeher.ShearrivedthirtyminuteslaterquiteprovokedwithcableladdersingeneralandwishingwehadleftthisparticularpieceofequipmentintheU.S.JohnjoinedusnextleavingW2rren andJeramyontoptoloweroursmallmountainofLoadafterloadofpackscame downtous,allofwhichcontainedwhatI wastoldwasindespensibleequipment.Then,oneoftheloadsbecame hung on aledgehighaboveourheads.Johnprusikeduptofreeitandwhiledoingsoarockofpossibly15poundsbecamedislodged.Disasterhungoverusastherockhurtleddown,strikingMargaretaglancingblow onherrightknee.Withvisionsofthetripendinginarescueweinspectedthekneefindingthatitwasonlybadlybruised1BythetimetherestofthegearwasloweredandWarrenandJeremyhadalsorappelleddown,Margaret'slegwassorebutingoodshape.Fromherewecontinueddownthenexttwodropsofabout75feeteachloweringthepacksandextraropebetweenusaswewent.AtWarren'ssuggestionwealsoparallelriggedthissectionwithtwo more150'ropestofacilitatethehandlingofthegearandthereturntriptothetop.Thisputusattheendofthe600footropeandinthefirstroomofthecave,almost500feetbelowtheentrance.OuroriginalplanshadcalledforcarryingthegearasfarastheBigRoomwhereweweretosetupabasecampfromwhichtocontinuetheexplorationofthedownstreampassage.Howeverat500feet,onlyslightlyoverhalfthedepthoftheBigRoom, twoproblemsalreadyconfronteduswhichwouldpreventusfromsettingupcampasplanned.First,wehadencounteredrunningwateratthebottomofthefirstdropwhichhadsteadilybecomestrongerwitheachsucceedingpit.AtthetopofJunctionPit,thenextdropaheadofus,theflowwas muchstronger.Ifitbecameworseaswecontinueddeeperwefearedtheentiretripwouldbethreatened.Second,wewerebeginningtomorefUllyunderstandtheproblemsassociatedwithallthe"indespensibleequipment"neededtogocaving.Severalhourshadalreadybeenusedtobringthegearasfaraswehad.Muchofourenergyandallofourpatiencehadalsobeenconsumedandthetaskofcontinuingdownthemoredifficultdropsaheadwiththepacksseemedclosetoimpossible.Keepingthedifficultiesinmind,Warren,Margaret,and Icontinuedon downthe100footdropintoJunctionPit,traversingtotherightaswerappelledtoavoidtherushingwater.Fromthebottomwequicklywalkedtheshortdistancetothelipofthenextpit.Herethewaterfalllookedquitebadasitfelltothebottom,209feetbelow.Theprospectofprusikingupthroughsuchatorrentpromptedseveralminutesofworrieddiscussionamongus.Itwasnowobviousthatourplanstomake a campintheBigRoom,Btill300feetbelow,wereimpracticalatbest.Forthatmatterwehadseriousdoubtsaboutcontinuingatallpastthisprecipicewherewenowstood.ReturningtothetopofJunctionPitweconsultedtheothersanddecidedtomake campintheroomthereandseehowwefeltaboutthesituationinthemorning.

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88Weawokeatabout9:00amWednesdayaftertwelvehoursofsleep.WhileeatingalargebreakfastofMargaret'sspecialcavefoodwedecidedthatWarren,Carl,and I wouldreturntothebottomofJunctionPittochecktheunexploredpittherewhichhadbeennoticedbyprevioustrips.WerappelleddownJunctionPitcarryingtwo 120footColombianropesanda300footGoldline.Leaningthe300footropeatthetopofthenewdrop,weriggeda 120footrope.About 50feetdownwe metthesmallstreamwhichsplitofffromthemainstreaminJunctionPit.Thiscontinuedfor50feethorizontallytoawindowopeningintothesideofthe209footdrop.Wehadsucceededinbypassingthewaterfallwhichhaddiscouragedusthedaybefore.Rappellingondownforabout30feetmorewecametoa 50footclimbablesectionwhichbroughtustotheledgeoverlookingthelast100feetofthepit.Here weriggedtheother120footropeandqUicklyrappelledtothebottom.Finallyweweredowntowherethesystembeginstolevelout.Aheadofusstretchedseveralhundredfeetofpassagedroppingslowlyfromplungepooltoplungepool.WadingthroughsomeofthesepoolsandtraversingaroundtherestwesoonarrivedatthedropoverlookingtheBigRoom.Wewereatadepthofabout900Feet.OurspiritswereqUitehighcomparedtothepreviousday,sowedecidedtoreturntocamp,leavingtheropesinplace,sowecouldtryforabigpushtotheendofthecavethenextday.TheclimbbacktocampwaseasywithWarrenandmyselfusingJumarAscendersandCarlonprusikknots.Thereturnwasnotuneventful,however,forasWarrenprusikedupfromJunctionPit,hefoundthatonestrandofthe193footGoldlineriggedtherewascompletelywornthroughfromabrasiononthesharprocks.Ilowereda150footropetohimandhecontinuedhisclimbonthis,arrivingincampatabout5:00pm.Overalargesupperwemadeplansforthenextdayanddiscussedwiththeotherthreecaverswhatwehaddonethatday.John,Jeramy,andMargaretdecidedthattheywouldstartoutofthecaveinthemorningandwaitforusatSr.Gomez's.Gettingupat9:00amCarl,Warren,andIpreparedtodescendwhiletheothersstartedtoleavethecave,takingasmuchofourgearwiththemaspossible.WethenrappelledintoJunctionPitatabout11:00amandreplacedthetwo 120footropesriggedthedaybeforewitha300footlength.ShoulderingalltheextraropeswecontinuedtothetopofthedropintotheBigRoomwherewehadturnedbackearlier.Hereweriggeda 120footropeandrappelledintotheholeonlytofindthatwehadtothrowacableladderoveraprojectionandclimbeightfeetuptotheflooroftheBigRoomwhichwasnowaboveus.Theendofthe120footropewastiedoffintheroomandtheladderpulledupbehindustouselateroninthecave.Itwas2:00pmandwesawnowthattheBigRoomwouldhavemade a goodcampsite,butwealsorememberedthatthemountainsofgearcouldneverhavebeenhauleddownthatfar.Continuibgondownthepassageoutoftheroomwecrossedseveralplungepoolsbeforecomingtoashortdropofaboutsixfeetwhichwefearedwould beverydifficultscalingwhenwecameoutdeadtiredhourslater.Hereweriggedoneofourtwoladderstiedoffwithapieceofthedamaged 193footropewhichwewerecuttinguptofitseparateshortdrops.Furtheronwecametoasimilardropwhichclaimedanotherpieceofthe193,andthenaftermorewadingthroughandchimneyingoverplungepools,a88Weawokeatabout9:00amWednesdayaftertwelvehoursofsleep.WhileeatingalargebreakfastofMargaret'sspecialcavefoodwedecidedthatWarren,Carl,and I wouldreturntothebottomofJunctionPittochecktheunexploredpittherewhichhadbeennoticedbyprevioustrips.WerappelleddownJunctionPitcarryingtwo 120footColombianropesand a300footGoldline.Leaningthe300footropeatthetopofthenewdrop,weriggeda 120footrope.About 50feetdownwemetthesmallstreamwhichsplitofffromthemainstreaminJunctionPit.Thiscontinuedfor50feethorizontallytoa windowopeningintothesideofthe209footdrop.Wehadsucceededinbypassingthewaterfallwhichhaddiscouragedusthedaybefore.Rappellingon downforabout30feetmorewecametoa50footclimbablesectionwhichbroughtustotheledgeoverlookingthelast100feetofthepit.Hereweriggedtheother120footropeandqUicklyrappelledtothebottom.Finallyweweredowntowherethesystembeginstolevelout.Aheadofusstretchedseveralhundredfeetofpassagedroppingslowlyfromplungepooltoplungepool.WadingthroughsomeofthesepoolsandtraversingaroundtherestwesoonarrivedatthedropoverlookingtheBigRoom.Wewereatadepthofabout900Feet.OurspiritswereqUitehighcomparedtothepreviousday,sowedecidedtoreturntocamp,leavingtheropesinplace,sowecouldtryforabigpushtotheendofthecavethenextday.Theclimbbacktocamp waseasywithWarrenandmyselfusingJumarAscendersandCarlonprusikknots.Thereturnwasnotuneventful,however,forasWarrenprusikedupfromJunctionPit,hefoundthatonestrandofthe193footGoldlineriggedtherewascompletelywornthroughfromabrasiononthesharprocks.Ilowereda150footropetohim and hecontinuedhisclimbonthis,arrivingincampatabout5:00pm.Overalargesupperwemadeplansforthenextdayanddiscussedwiththeotherthreecaverswhatwehaddonethatday.John,Jeramy,andMargaretdecidedthattheywouldstartoutofthecaveinthemorningandwaitforusatSr.Gomez's.Gettingupat9:00amCarl,Warren,and Ipreparedtodescendwhiletheothersstartedtoleavethecave,takingasmuchofourgearwiththemaspossible.WethenrappelledintoJunctionPitatabout11:00amandreplacedthetwo 120footropesriggedthedaybeforewitha300footlength.ShoulderingalltheextraropeswecontinuedtothetopofthedropintotheBigRoomwherewehadturnedbackearlier.Hereweriggeda 120footropeandrappelledintotheholeonlytofindthatwehadtothrowacableladderoveraprojectionandclimbeightfeetuptotheflooroftheBigRoomwhichwasnowaboveus.The endofthe120footropewastiedoffintheroom andtheladderpulledupbehindustouselateroninthecave.Itwas2:00pmandwesawnowthattheBigRoomwouldhavemade a goodcampsite,butwealsorememberedthatthemountainsofgearcouldneverhavebeenhauleddownthatfar.Continuibgondownthepassageoutoftheroomwecrossedseveralplungepoolsbeforecomingtoashortdropofaboutsixfeetwhichwefearedwouldbeverydifficultscalingwhenwecameoutdeadtiredhourslater.Hereweriggedoneofourtwoladderstiedoffwithapieceofthedamaged 193footropewhichwewerecuttinguptofitseparateshortdrops.Furtheronwecametoasimilardropwhichclaimedanotherpieceofthe193,andthenaftermorewadingthroughandchimneyingoverplungepools,a

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89thirdshortdropreceivedourotherladder.Fromthispointitwasjustashortwhileuntilwecametothelastmajorpitinthecave.Arrivingthereatabout5:30wesurveyedtheproblemofavoidingthecascadingwatersfallingoutofsightoverthelipoftheblackhole.Totheleftofthewaterfallwefoundthewindowopeningintothesideofthepitandriggedthe150footropewewerecarrying.Toavoidthewateritwasnecessarytorappelabout30feetdownfromthiswindowandtraversealongthesheerwalltoapinnaclewhichoverlookedthecenterofthepit.Hereweretiedtheropeandrappelledondowntothebottom80feetbelow.Wecontinuedonfromtherethroughmoreofthetiringplungepools,comingtoashort20footdropwhichwefoundnecessarytorigwithourshortestrope,120feet.Thispassed,itwasaneasyhiketowherethemarkingsonamudwalltolduswehadreachedtheturnbackpointofthelastexpedition.Wewerenow1418feetbelowtheentranceand beyondusreacheddownvirginpassageinthedeepestcaveinthehemisphere.SinceourBruntoncompass hadbeenleftinoneofthemanypacksatcamp,itwasdecidedthatwewouldcontinueonandattempttogetanaccurateestimateofhorizbntalandverticaldistanceonthewayout.Weexcitedlyclimbedthesevenfootdropintovirgincavewherewefoundthattheplungepoolwhichhaddiscouragedthelasttripwastraversiblealongitsleftwall.Thecharacterofthecavethenbegantochange.Insteadofdeeppoolstheystartedbecomingquiteshallowwithstretchesofgraveledstreampassageinbetween.Thedropswereonlytwotofivefeethighaswecontinuedon,buttheceilingstillreachedfaroutofsightinmanyplaces.Suddenlyafterclimbingdownatenfootdrop,thelargestwehadfoundinthenewsection,wewereconfrontedbygravelandthebeginningofalonglake.Thebottomofthelakewassiltandmudwithnoindicationofflowingwater.Aswefolloweditthewaterbecamedeeperuntilitwasnecessarytoswimshortstretches.Herethelakewasupto30feetwideinplacesandtheceilinghaddroppedsuddenlytoaheightof30feet.Aroundanotherturnandpastabankofsiltwe wereconfrontedby whatappearedtobeasolidwall.Afterinvestigatingcloserwefound asmallwaterfilledpassageabouttwofeetwidewhichendedafterabout50feetinadry,upward-slopingcraWl.ThiswastheendofTosaytheleastIwas somewhatsurprised.LittlehadIthoughtthatwe would bewadingthroughtheterminalsumponlyeighthoursafterleaVingcamp.CarefullywepacedbacktotheendofthepreviousBruntonandtapesurveyfindingthatwehad addedonly55feettothedepthandabout1200feettothelengthofthecave.Thelakeitselfwas300feetlong.Totaldepthofthesystemthusstandsatapproximately-1473feetandthehorizontallengthatoveramile.Aheadofuswenowhadthelongclimbtocamp.Wesoonreachedthelastpitandclimbedoutwithlittledifficulty.FromtheretotheBigRoomwecollectedthevariousshortropesandladdersand uponreachingthelargedry-flooredarea,calledareststop.Theeffectsofthelongtripwerebeginningtoshowonusandourwetclothesfeltheavyandcoldaswefacedthe400feetofropesahead.Veryslowlywecontinuedup,painfullycarryingtheincreasingweightofclimbingropeswhichwewerenowunriggingaswewent.Finallyat8:00am89thirdshortdropreceivedourotherladder.Fromthispointitwasjustashortwhileuntilwecametothelastmajorpitinthecave.Arrivingthereatabout5:30wesurveyedtheproblemofavoidingthecascadingwatersfallingoutofsightoverthelipoftheblackhole.Totheleftofthewaterfallwefoundthewindowopeningintothesideofthepitandriggedthe150footropewewerecarrying.Toavoidthewateritwasnecessarytorappelabout30feetdownfromthiswindow andtraversealongthesheerwalltoapinnaclewhichoverlookedthecenterofthepit.Hereweretiedtheropeandrappelledondowntothebottom80feetbelow.Wecontinuedonfromtherethroughmoreofthetiringplungepools,comingtoashort20footdropwhichwefoundnecessarytorigwithourshortestrope,120feet.Thispassed,itwasaneasyhiketowherethemarkingson amudwalltolduswehadreachedtheturnbackpointofthelastexpedition.Wewerenow1418feetbelowtheentranceand beyondusreacheddownvirginpassageinthedeepestcaveinthehemisphere.SinceourBruntoncompass hadbeenleftinoneofthemanypacksatcamp,itwasdecidedthatwewouldcontinueon andattempttogetanaccurateestimateofhorizbntalandverticaldistanceonthewayout.Weexcitedlyclimbedthesevenfootdropintovirgincavewherewefoundthattheplungepoolwhichhaddiscouragedthelasttripwastraversiblealongitsleftwall.Thecharacterofthecavethenbegantochange.Insteadofdeeppoolstheystartedbecomingquiteshallowwithstretchesofgraveledstreampassageinbetween.Thedropswereonlytwotofivefeethighaswecontinuedon,buttheceilingstillreachedfaroutofsightinmanyplaces.Suddenlyafterclimbingdown atenfootdrop,thelargestwehadfoundinthenewsection,wewereconfrontedbygravelandthebeginningofalonglake.Thebottomofthelakewassiltandmudwithnoindicationofflowingwater.Aswefolloweditthewaterbecamedeeperuntilitwasnecessarytoswimshortstretches.Herethelakewas upto30feetwideinplacesandtheceilinghaddroppedsuddenlytoaheightof30feet.Aroundanotherturnandpastabankofsiltwewereconfrontedby whatappearedtobeasolidwall.Afterinvestigatingcloserwefound asmallwaterfilledpassageabouttwofeetwidewhichendedafterabout50feetinadry,upward-slopingcrawl.ThiswastheendofTosaytheleastI was somewhatsurprised.Littlehad Ithoughtthatwewould bewadingthroughtheterminalsumponlyeighthoursafterleaVingcamp.CarefullywepacedbacktotheendofthepreviousBruntonandtapesurveyfindingthatwehad addedonly55feettothedepthandabout1200feettothelengthofthecave.Thelakeitselfwas300feetlong.Totaldepthofthesystemthusstandsatapproximately-1473feetandthehorizontallengthatoveramile.Aheadofuswenowhadthelongclimbtocamp.Wesoonreachedthelastpitandclimbedoutwithlittledifficulty.FromtheretotheBigRoomwecollectedthevariousshortropesandladdersand uponreachingthelargedry-flooredarea,calledareststop.Theeffectsofthelongtripwerebeginningtoshow onusandourwetclothesfeltheavyandcoldaswefacedthe400feetofropesahead.Veryslowlywecontinuedup,painfullycarryingtheincreasingweightofclimbingropeswhichwewerenowunriggingaswewent.Finallyat8:00am

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90hnvinsbeenGonefor21hours,wepulledthelastropeoutofJunctionPitandgratefullycrDt'Jlcdintoour,:>leepinG'JiesleptforedshtG\vDkin.sandmostofthefoodwhichincamp.Then,sincenoneofusreallyfeltlikeoutyetanyway,wedecidedthatwepr-crereotoarriveatthesurface(luringdaylightc2nd,vcntbacktosleep.ThistimeitI:J2SfifteenhoursDeforeoneofusawokeetH:OOam Sat'L1rd::-yC.nc!ar-ouscotheother's.Feelingmuch",etterVICbrokecernpandstbrtcC!uptheentrancedropstdththeequt.pmentlit12:00noonI,}[J.r-cmovf.ngmyJurnarsfromtherope.andLookLngotsreenandsunlishtforthefirsttLmein96hours.John,anc. r,]2.rg2.rctarriveeshortlyanci;JhileClnumberofcur-tousrvJexicc:nsLookedonvseliftedsever-aILoacsofGeerou.tofthes6'te.no.';'/&rrenandCar-IfinallyemercelJonthecaoLoladderwhiIeIbelayed.ththecar-sr-epackedsoonsaidgood-byetoSr.GOr:iCZandthesmc:.lltownofTlamayaandheader]southt.owaro1V1exicoCity.CuevadeEldeElRioFrioJamesReddell['ustin,TexasTheRioFrioarisesfrorr:tilecaseoftheSierradeGuatemala2.tunelevationofalJout100meters.UnliketheRioChoyandRioManteitdoesnotemergefromc.singlelargecaveopeningbutfromtVJOmaincroupsofsprings.OneofthesehasLeeninvcstig&tedbymemoersoftheAMCSandisthesiteofalargetionproject.Thisspringoriginatesfromaseriesofplanesandfromamonr;masafvebreakdownneartheendofacanyon.Theotherspringhasnotbeenseenbutisrumoredtohavecavesnearit.ToreachtheNe.cimientodeEIRioFrioturnwestoffofthePanArneric&n highwc:.yshortlyafterpassf.ngthesmalltounofEncinoandcrossingtheRioSabinos.Thisr-oacisacoodgr[:velroadand130estothetownofGor.ezFLrias.Thisroadheadsalmostduewestforauoutfourkiloatwhdchpointitturnssharplytothenorth.Herea muchlesstraveledroadturnsofftotheleftand,afteradriveofabouttwokdIometer-s ,reachestheRioFrio.Theroadcrossesacanalandendsatthebankoftheriver.ToreachthespringnearwhichistheCuevadeElNacimientodeElRioFrioitisnecessarytowadethechest-aeepriverandfollowthecanalupstreamtoadam,upstreamofwhichliethenumer-ousspringswhichformthenactmt.errto ,'I'hecanalitselfisofinterestinthatitrunsun6erthemainchanneloftherivercomtngfromtheothergroupofspr-tngs,DavidMcKenzieestimatestheflowfromthisgroupofspringsatabout200cubicfeetpersecond.Therivermustherebewadedagainforashortdistanceandfollowedupstreamuntiladrychannelisreached.Tofindthecaveit1snecessarytowalkupthedrystrearr.channeluntilitends,rememberingtokeepinthedeepestpartofthechannel,whichistothefarleft.Thecaveentranceislocatedattheendofthechannelabouthalfi'Jayupasteeptalusslope.Theentrancetothecaveisa90hnvinsbeenGonefor21hours,wepulledthelastropeoutofJunctionPitDndgratefullycrDt'Jlcdintoour,:>leepinG'JiesleptforedshtG\vDkin.s(momostofthefoodwhichincamp.Then,sincenoneofusreallyfeltlikeoutyetanyway,wedecidedthatweprefercdtoarriveetthesurface(luringdaylightc.:.nde'!cnt l:;acktosleep.ThistimeitI:J2SfifteenhoursDeforeoneofusm\loke c:tH:OOumSat'L1rd::-yC.nc!c:rousedtheother's.Feelingmuch",etterVICbrokecEmp&ndstbrtcC!uptheentrancedropstdththeequiprr.ent.lit12:00noonI,}[J.:cemovingmyJurnarsfromtherope.andlookinGotsreen2.ncJsunlishtforthefirsttiwcin96hours.John,"nC r,]2.rg2.rctarriveeshortlyi;JhileClnumberofcurialiSrvJexicc:ns loolcedonliftedsever31loae: sofGeerou.tofthes6'te.no.';'/&rrenandCnrlfinallyemercelJonthecUl)lcladderHhileIbelayed.ththeC8rsrepackec!soonsaidgood-byetoSr.GOr:iCZandthesmc:.lltownofTlamayaandheader]southtOt'mra1V1exicoCity.CuevadeEldeElRioFrioJamesReddell['ustin,TexasTheRioFrioarisesfrorr:tileoaS8oftheSierradeGuatemala2.tunelevationofalJout100meters.UnliketheRioChoyandRioManteitdoesnotemergefromc.singlelargecaveopeningbutfromtVJOmaincroupsofsprings.OneofthesehasLeeninvcstig&tedbymemoersoftheAMCSandisthesiteofalargetionpr'oject.ThisspringoriginatesfromaseriesofplanesandfromamonGmaBsivebreakdownneartheendofacanyon.Theotherspringhasnotbeenseenbutisrumoredtohavecavesnearit.ToreachtheNe.cimientodeEIRioFrioturntJestoffofthePan Arneric&n highwc:.yshortlyafterpassincthesmalltmJnofEncinoandcrossingtheRioSabinos.Thisro&disacoodgr[:velroadand130estothetownofGor,czFLrias.Thisroadheadsalmostduewestforauoutfourkiloat'IJhichpointitturnssharplytothenorth.Herea muchlesstraveledroadturnsofftotheleftand,afteradriveofabouttwokilorLcters,reachestheRioFrio.Theroadcrossesacanalandendsatthebankoftheriver.ToreachthespringnearwhichistheCuevadeElNacimientodeElRioFrioitisnecessarytowadethechest-aeepriverandfollowthecanalupstreamtoa dam,upstreamofwhichliethenurilerousspringswhichformthenach:iento.rrhecanalitselfisofinterestinthatitrunsun6erthemainchanneloftherivercOTllingfromtheothergroupofsprinGs.DavidMcKenzieestimatestheflowfromthisgroupofspringsatabout200cubicfeetpersecond.Therivermustherebet'\ladedagainforashortdistanceandfollowedupstreamuntiladrychannelisreached.Tofindthecaveit1snecessarytowalkupthedrystrearr.channeluntilitends,rememberingtokeepinthedeepestpartofthechannel,whichistothefarleft.Thecaveentranceislocatedattheendofthechannelabouthalfi'Jayupasteeptalusslope.Theentrancetothecaveisa

PAGE 11

91smallholeinaflatledge.Aslopeleadsdownoverbreakdownforabout30feettoadirtfloor.Fromhereaslopeoverf'Lowat.oneleadsthroughanattractivelydecoratedpassageupalmosttotheleveloftheentrance.About150feetfromtheentranceasITiallpitinthefloorisfound andabout20feetbeyondthisalargedomepltisencountered.Thislastpitisabout40feetindiameteranddropsIjOfeettoalargelake.The mostdistinctiv2thingaooutthispassaGeisthatoneNaIlofthepitisdeeplyflutedbysolution,formingthinknifeedgeprojectionsstickingfromthecaveforseveralfeet.Thelakeisverydeepandf'or.nsasiphon.Thesmallerpitwaspartlyexcavatedanddropse.saseriesofslopesandsmalldropsforabout70feetverticalandabout100feethorizontalandendsinasmallpool.Thispassagecontainsveryfine,wellsortedsand andisalsomarkedbydeepsliver-likeflutingsinthev'Jall.Althoughthecaveisfairlywell-populatedbyanimals,mostofthemaresmallandseveralarenewspeciesoftroglobites.Severalspeciesofmillipedswerefound,aswellasseveralspiders.The mostremarkableaspectofthefaunawasthepresenceofmanylargewhip-scorpions,somereachinglengthsinexcessofsixinches.ThecaveisoneofthemoreattractiveinMexico haVing beenVirginwhenenteredbythemappinzgroup.Theformationsareuntouched,areallyremarkablethinGforanexxentiallyhorizontalrvlexicancave.Anyonewhovisitsthecaveisurgednottoaskanyofthelocalinhabitantsfordirectionsnortomentionthecaveatall.OnevisitbylocalpeopleVJillinspiremanymoreandthecaveisverysusceptibletothetypeofvandalismthatissodisastroustoalmostallflJexicancaves.ThisareaisanidealspottostopandcampwhilegoingfartherintoMeXico,thecaveisinteresting,theareaitselfisbeautiful,andthereisthegoodpossibilitythatothercavesbe foundNithadditionalsearchingintheareaabovethecave.91smallholeinaflatledge.Aslopeleadsdownoverbreakdownforabout30feettoadirtfloor.Fromhereaslopeoverleadsthroughanattractivelydecoratedpassageupalmosttotheleveloftheentrance.About150feetfromtheentrancea sITiallpitinthefloorisfound andabout20feetbeyondthisalargedomepltisencountered.Thislastpitisabout40feetindiameteranddropsIjOfeettoalargelake.The mostdistinctiv2thingaooutthispassaGeisthatoneNaIlofthepitisdeeplyflutedbysolution,formingthinknifeedgeprojectionsstickingfromthecaveforseveralfeet.Thelakeisverydeepandfo:nnsasiphon.Thesmallerpitwaspartlyexcavatedanddropse.saseriesofslopesandsmalldropsforabout70feetverticalandabout100feethorizontalandendsinasmallpool.Thispassagecontainsveryfine,wellsortedsand andisalsomarkedbydeepsliver-likeflutingsinthev'Jall.Althoughthecaveisfairlywell-populatedbyanimals,mostofthemaresmallandseveralarenewspeciesoftroglobites.Severalspeciesofmillipedswerefound,aswellasseveralspiders.The mostremarkableaspectofthefaunawasthepresenceofmanylargewhip-scorpions,somereachinglengthsinexcessofsixinches.ThecaveisoneofthemoreattractiveinMexico haVing beenvirginwhenenteredbythemappinzgroup.Theformationsareuntouched,areallyremarkablethinGforanexxentiallyhorizontalrvlexicancave.Anyonel."lhovisitsthecaveisurgednottoaskanyofthelocalinhabitantsfordirectionsnortomentionthecaveatall.OnevisitbylocalpeopleVJillinspiremanymore andthecaveisverysusceptibletothetypeofvandalismthatissodisastroustoalmostallflJexicancaves.Thisareaisanidealspottostopand campwhilegoingfartherintoMexico,thecaveisinteresting,theareaitselfisbeautiful,andthereisthegoodpossibilitythatothercavesbe foundNithadditionalsearchingintheareaabovethecave.

PAGE 12

APRILIB,1965-.BRUNTONANDTAPESURVEYAMCS-.STEEPTALUS100CUEVADEELNACIMIENTODEELRIO FRIOMUNICIPALITY OFGOMEZFARIAS,TAMPS.Io50FT--======--===--SCALEoPASSAGE NOTSURVEYEDWALLFLUTINGS280__L-_100STEEPTALUSCUEVADEELNACIMIENTODEELRIO FRIOMUNICIPALITYOFGOMEZFARIAS,TAMPS.IoPASSAGENOTSURVEYED280_dL-_oWALLFLUTINGSI50FT--======--===--SCALEBRUNTON ANDTAPESURVEYAMCSAPRILIB,1965

PAGE 13

92ASSOCIATIONFORMEXICANCAVESTUDIESSTANDARDLEGENDPassageoutlines./---.---.,.,Unsurveyedpassage.,!'-Upperleve1 :..Lowerlevel--'-'.--;-:.-:---.._..__....{.!!i}/)\Standingwater;lakesorpools-SurveystationWaterdepthCeilingheightDepthbelowbeginningpoint,usuallyentranceHeightabovebeginningpointDirectionandcourseofephemeralstreamr,.....___Directionandcourseofwaterflowinpermanentstream(airflow,ifsomarked)Sharpdropinfloorlevelinhachureddirection(verticaldistanceinfeet)Dome,withheightinfeetPit,withdepthinfeet;ifsoindicated,pitentrance4.-t"'.,.:,+;TDomepit,withheightoverdepthinfeet......----Slope,downinsplayeddirection'",""',_.Cross-sectionofcaveviewedinthedirectionshown"","-<'.;_.byhalf-barbedarrow(cross-sectionrotatedtothe.,_.....horizontal)"J'_.........92ASSOCIATIONFORMEXICANCAVESTUDIESSTANDARDLEGENDPassageoutlines./---.--.,.,Unsurveyedpassage .,!'-Upperleve1 :..Lowerlevel--'-'.--;-:.-:---.._..__....{.!!i}/)\Standingwater;lakesorpools-SurveystationWaterdepthCeilingheightDepthbelowbeginningpoint,usuallyentranceHeightabovebeginningpointDirectionandcourseofephemeralstreamr,.....___Directionandcourseofwaterflowinpermanentstream(airflow,ifsomarked)Sharpdropinfloorlevelinhachureddirection(verticaldistanceinfeet)Dome,withheightinfeetPit,withdepthinfeet;ifsoindicated,pitentrance4.-t"'.,.:,+;TDomepit,withheightoverdepthinfeet......----Slope,downinsplayeddirection'",""',_ .Cross-sectionofcaveviewedinthedirectionshown"","-<'.;_.byhalf-barbedarrow(cross-sectionrotatedtothe.,_.....horizontal)"J'_.........

PAGE 14

93Sharpdropinceiling;hachureapointtowardhighceilingProfiletrace'-v--.Guano Bones Bonefragments1-I(X1-x.XCrystallinefloordeposits,..xxClaySand,silt,dirt,ormud'0..,r.\\:Gravelorverysmallbreakdown/)!:Massesofbreakdownt;.,\LargeindividualblocksofbreakdownRimstonedamsMassesofflowstoneonwalls,orflowstonepartitionsFlowstonecolumn.,"Y,rij,.lStalactitesStlagmitesTTfTTil;-SodastrawsLadderVerticaljointtrlllstepsDippingjoint,dipstowardsidewithblock,dipindegrees93Sharpdropinceiling;hachureapointtowardhighceilingProfiletrace'-v--.Guano Bones Bonefragments1-I(X1-x.XCrystallinefloordeposits,..xxClaySand,silt,dirt,ormud'0..,r.\\:Gravelorverysmallbreakdown/)!:Massesofbreakdownt;.,\LargeindividualblocksofbreakdownRimstonedamsMassesofflowstoneonwalls,orflowstonepartitionsFlowstonecolumn.,"Y,fij,.lStalactitesStlagmitesTTfTTil;-SodastrawsLadderVerticaljointtrlllstepsDippingjoint,dipstowardsidewithblock,dipindegrees

PAGE 15

94TheAMCSNewsletterispublishedmonthlybytheAssociationforMexican CaveStudies,P.O.Box7672U.T.Station,Austin,Texas78712.MembershipintheAMCSis$5.00forthecalendaryear,withmembershipsstartingatthefirstofeachyear.Personsjoiningafterthefirstoftheyearwillreceiveallbackpublicationsforthatyear.Membersareurgedtosubmitarticlesforpublication.Mapssubmittedforpublicationshouldbeofatypesuitableforcopyingontoastandardorlegalsizememeographmasterorforprinting.Longerarticleswithdet2iledareinvitedforpublicationinaTripreportsarerequestedfromalltrips.Editors...................TerryRainesJohnFishStaff...................EdAlexanderBobBurnettJamesReddellRichardM.SmithPhilipWinsborough94TheAMCSNewsletterispublishedmonthlybytheAssociationforMexican CaveStudies,P.O.Box7672U.T.Station,Austin,Texas78712.MembershipintheAMCSis$5.00forthecalendaryear,withmembershipsstartingatthefirstofeachyear.Personsjoiningafterthefirstoftheyearwillreceiveallbackpublicationsforthatyear.Membersareurgedtosubmitarticlesforpublication.Mapssubmittedforpublicationshouldbeofatypesuitableforcopyingontoastandardorlegalsizememeographmasterorforprinting.Longerarticleswithdet2iledareinvitedforpublicationinaTripreportsarerequestedfromalltrips.Editors...................TerryRainesJohnFishStaff...................EdAlexanderBobBurnettJamesReddellRichardM.SmithPhilipWinsborough


Description
Contents: Trip Reports
--
Description of Cueva de El Nacimiento de El Rio Frio --
AMCS Standard Map Legend.