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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)
Creator:
Association for Mexican Cave Studies
Publisher:
Association for Mexican Cave Studies
Publication Date:
Language:
English

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Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
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serial ( sobekcm )
Location:
Mexico

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General Note:
Contents: Part 1. Trip Reports -- Sierra de EI Abro and Xilitla Region, S. L. P. -- Soltana de Tiamaya, S. L. P. -- Nacimiento deI Rio Sabinas, Tamps. -- Caves in Coahuila, Durango and Chihuahua -- Obituaries -- Biology of the Caves of Rancho del Cielo -- Notes on Sotano de Tlamaya -- Deep Caves of the Western Hemisphere.
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Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 2, no. 1 (1966)
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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K26-00459 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.459 ( USFLDC Handle )
4655 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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THEASSOCIATIONFORMEXICANCAVESTUDIESNEWSLETTERTRIPREPORTSSierradeEI Abro andXilitla Revlan.S.L.P.ScltanadeTI_ra.S.L.P.NacimientocIeIR(eSablnas, Talllpl.eo-InCoahuila,Dwan9a.andChIluahuaOBITUARIESBIOLOGYOFTHECAVESOFRANCHODEL CIELONOTESONSOTANODETLAMAYADEEPCAVESOFTHE WESTERN HEMISPHEREVolume IINumber1JanuaryFebruary1966

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1TRIPREPORTSPersons:GEo-LUCIFUGUSmembersDaleChase,DanChase,BobHosley,Tony' Moore, JimRichardsDate:19-31December1965Destination:Tamu!n,S.L.Po;Xilitla,S.L.P.;Bustamante,N.L.Reportedby:BobHosleyThisbeingourfirstcavingventureintothelandofthetrulygreatones,weplannedtospendourtimeseeingsomeoftheoutstandings6tanosreportedbytheAMCSgroupratherthantohill-hoplookingfornewones.Atthesametime,wetriedtokeepinmindtheterritoryorterritorieswewould mostliketoreturntoonournextvisitduringtheChristmasvacationof1966.Wetalkedtolotsofpeople,andwelearnedofsotanosasyetunexploredwhichwewillbecheckingoutlaterthisyearoForadramaticstart,wechosethe503footskylightdropinVentanaJabal!,nearTamu!n. ArrangementswiththePresidenteofTamu!nquicklyledustoLucioZarate(whomwedubbedCartaBlanca).Luciowasskillfulatpullingstringsandarrangingallthings,andsecureda gUideforus.Theclimbuptheruggedfaceofthemountainwithour600feetofnylonproved moretimeconsumingthanwehadexpected,evenwhenconstantlygoosed bythehostilecactiwhich wereeverywhere.Wehadallplannedtobothrappelandclimb,butastimewasrunningshort,Dalealonedidboth,Tonyexecutedtheclimbonly,and Dan,Jim,and Ididtherappel.ItwasstillanexcitingintroductiontoMexicancaving.FromhereweplannedtogotoLosSabinosandsetupcampattheranchofSr.LuisMartinez.WhilewedidnotsucceedinmeetingSr.Martinez,thePresidenteofVallesgaveusapoliceescortouttotheranch-auniqueexperienceinitselfsincethescruftycaversofGLaremore commonlypursuedbypolicethanescorted.Throughsomemisunderstanding,wedidnotfindourobjective,s6tanodelTigre,butwereledbyfearfulIndianstothedeeparroyocontaining,atitsend,SotanodelaTinaja.Duringourfirstexplorationofthiscaveintheafternoon,wedidnotappreciatethatthiswas,infact,Tinaja,andwewerenoteqUippedtodothe25footdrop.Wereturnedenthusiasticallythefollowingmorning,againwadedthroughtheneck-aeepandguano-richpondthatblocksthepassage,and soonarrivedatthedropandthemassiveflowstoneformationsbeyond.Wefoundthepassageabovetheflowstonewhichleadstotherightandtothe60footdrop.Beyondthisdrop,wehadtheimpressionthatwewereinasectionofthecavethatcontainedmanyintricateroutesandabundantspeleothems.Followingtheclimbs,descents(noropeneeded)andcurves,wecametoalargesandy-flooredpassageabout9feetbelowus,andrunninginafairlystraightdirection.Weriggedacableladderand descended(the9footdropwasnotclimbablebecauseofanhang)butdidnotexplorethispassagebeyond a few hundredteet.Wewantedtoreturntothenorthwestpassageandseethelakes.Inthispassage,NWofthemain"intersection"weweresurprisedtoseeatotallydifferentcharacterofcavewithalmostmahoganycoloredformationsofrathergiantproportions.Thepassagewas

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2quitelargeand had agravelfloorwhichgraduallydescended,eventuallyreachingalakewhich wasloweratthisseasonthanwhenfirstseenbytheAMeSexplorers.Mentionedintheirreportwastheabundanceofsmall,blind,pinkish-whitefishwhich wereinsuchnumbersthatonecouldeasilyscoopthem up andreleasethemagain.TheyrespondedreadilytosurfaceVibrations.Inretrospect,wedidnotseemuchofthisveryextensivecavethoughperhapswesawitsmoreinterestingfeatures.Sincethedescriptionofs6tanode Tlamaya hadintriguedusand wastobe ahighpointofourvisit,weleftthefollowingdayforXilitlaandthefamedpatioofSr.ModestoG6mez,nowanhonorarymemberoftheAMCS.Sr.G6mezproudlydisplayedhisAMCSmapofthes6tanode Tlamaya and was agracioushostforourseveralday encampment.OnChristmasmorningwemadeourdescisiontostartthedescent.SinceitwasChristmas,thetown, andespeciallythechildren,turnedoutingreatnumberstowatchouroperations.Tony,ourexpertindrivingpitonsandinriggingropesandladders,wasfirsttodescendtheinitial279footdrop.Mostofourcoiledropesweretossedinnextand,finally,therestofuswentdowninrapidsuccession,eachcarryinganassortmentofequipment.TheprofileanddescriptionofthiscavepublishedintheNewsletterindicatedthattheinitial279footdropwasfollowedinrapidsuccessionby twodropsof73and76feet.Itwas somewhatofasurprisetoseethatthistotaldepthof475feetwasvisableontheropeasagiganticchamberwithsmoothlight-greywallswhichreflectedenoughlightfrom asinglecarbidelamptogiveadramaticviewoftheentirechamber. Theremainderofthecave wasaschallengingandinterestingaspreviousreportshadindicated.Wereachedthe1418footlevel(fromtheUpperEntrance)beforeexhaustingourropesupplyand,apparently,someofourenergyaswetookabriefnaphereandagainwhenwereturnedtotheBigRoom.Inallitwas27hoursfromourentryuntilthelastmanwasout.Agreatlineoftownspeoplehelpedinhaulingupthe600footropewithalltheropeandotherequipmenttiedtotheend.Oneinterestingbiologicalobservationwas madeinthiscavealthoughitsidentificationhasnotbeenpossible.Inashallowpoolatthetopofthe209footdropasmallpieceoftreebarkappearedtobe mocingcountertothewatercurrent.Later,upstreamfromthis,severalmoreofthesestructureswereseenanditwasapparentthatthiswassomekindoflivingthing.Itwasdarkbrownflat,aboutaninchand aquarterlongwithaflareattheend anddidnotappeartohaveappendages.The"shell"appearedtobemineralratherthanchitinand onbreakingone opentherewas awhitewormorlarvainside.Althoughitsshellcasewasradicallydifferentthananythingwehaveseen,thefactofawormorlarvainsideashellfoundinthewatersuggeststheorderTrichopterawhichincludesmanyspeciesofthecaddisflywhoselifehabitsaresimilartothisinthelarvalstage.Thelarvaewereseeninreasonablenumbersfarfromthestreamentrancethoughquiteprobablyitistrogoxenicoraccidentalasacaveinhabitant.Ournexts6tanowasHuitzmolotitlaonSr.G6mez'sranch.

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3A 344footdropwitha wideopeningandfernsandothertropicalgreenerygrowingwelldownitssides.Therewerethousandsofbirdswhichlivedwithintheextensivecaveleadingfromthepit,andwewerefortunateinremainingatthepituntilnearlysundown whenthesebirdsswoopeddownoutoftheforestintothepitingroupaftergroup,making agreatsoundofrushingwindwiththeirwings.Wedidnotexplorethecavesystemleadingoffthispit,butatonepointonclimbIgotofftopeerintoanopeningandcouldhearthousandsofthebirdschatteringinside.TheareaofTlamayaappearstobe alushsemi-tropicalparadiseandtalkingtothelocalpeoplesuggestedthattherearemanys6tanosinthegeneralarea,someofwhich havenowbeenexploredbyothers.Terminationourtripwas avisittoGrutadelPalmitoatBustamante,N.L.,largelybecauseofwhatwehadseeninthewayofpicturesandheardaboutthemagnificentformationsofthiscave.Itwas aworthwhilevisitbuttheheavyvandalismanddefacingoftheformationswasquiteadisappointment.+++Persons:DennisBarret,RobertBurnett,JohnFish,CharlesJennings,RichardSmithDate:29January-1February1966Destination:s6tanode TlamayaReportedby:RobertBurnettAfteralong,hot,tiring,miserabledrivewearrivedatRancho deHuitzmolotitlajustbeforenoon onSaturday,29January.Beingverytired,wedecidedtotakea nap onthepatioforaboutfourhoursjandwhiledoingsoanothergrouparrived,setup camp, and wenttosleep,also.ThenewarrivalsincludedEdAlexander,Chip Carney,DonErickson,andBillJohnston.Aboutsixo'clock,whiletheotherswerestillasleep,ourgroupgotup and headed ondowntothecave.GoinginwereJohnFish,CharlesJennings,RichardSmith,andmyself.ProgresswasmadetotheBigRoomwhereRicharddecidednottocontinueandaftersomediscussionCharlesandJohndecidedtodothesame, whichleftmealone.Asluckwould haveit,EdAlexandercaughtupwithusaboutthistimeand he and Icontinuedon towardthebackofthecavetofinishthemap. Theothersplannedtobebackinthecavein12hoursinordertohelppUllouttheeqUipment.AcoupleofhourslaterEdand I wereattheendofthelastsurveyedsectionofthecave,1418feetbelowtheentrance.Atthispointwas alargepoolwhich wasunavoidablesoinwewent,gettingwetforthefirsttime.Pastthispoolthewallsbecamecoveredwithaboutfourinchesofmudandthereweremanychimneys andtraversestomake.Eighthundredfeetotpassagelaterwewerestandingatthetopofan8footdropwhichEdhadn'trememberedbeingthereonthelasttripintothecave.(SeeAMCSNewsletterVolumeI,Number9,page86.)AfteranotherhundredfeetEdwaslost.Whathadbeenalakeoftrom6to15feetdeepwasnowjustamudpassage.Thisallowedustomapabout300feetfurtherthanwehadexpected.Atthislastpointreachedweweredisappointedtofindthatthislarge,deepcavesystemendedinasmall,insignificantmudsiphon.Thisterminalsiphonis1488feetbelowtheUpperEntrance,which makess6tano

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4de T1amayathedeepestsurveyedcaveinNorthAmerica.Wecompletedthelastfewstationsforthesurveythenheadedfortheentrancewithallduehaste.EverythingwentfineuntilwereachedtheBigROQmwherewefound averylargeamountofequipment.Thisledustobelievethatsomeofthegroupwasintheupstreampassage,sowelaiddownandsleptforanhour.Noone hadreturnedbythetimeweawokesowedecidedtohead onoutofthecave.Allropeswereleftinplaceforthepeoplewethoughtwerestillinthecave.ArrivingattheEntranoeRoom,475feetbelowtheentrance,wewerequitesurprisetofindnoroperiggedatthedrop.Wewaitedthereaboutfivetotenminutes,which seemedlikeforever,whenweheardthevoiceofJohnFishfilteringdownfromabove.Hebroughtwithhimtheropewhich hadbeenusedforhaulingup equipment andtoldusthattherewasn'tanyoneelseinthecave.Wecontinuedonout,arrivingatthesurfaceSundayeveningafterspendingjustoverone dayinthecave.ThenextmorningJohnand I wentbackintothecaveasfarastheBigRoomtorecovertheequipmentthathadbeenleft.Also,afterobservinghowtrashedupthecave wasgetting,wespentseveralhourscleaningupthegarbagethatthoughtlesspeoplehadbeentoolazytocarryoutorevenbury.Here I wouldliketomakeaplea.WouldallpeoplewhogotoT1amaya and anyothercavesinMexicopleasecleanupafterthemselves.Thereareseveralhundredfeetofropescatteredthroughoutthecaveplusbatteries,carbideandtincans.T1amaya andotherMexicancavesaregoingtherouteofsomanycavesintheUnitedStates.Pleaseclean+H-Persons:BernieDuck,TomFelder,Jim andBarbaraHershberger,MaudanneRussell,MerydithTurnerDate:29-31January1966Destination:NacimientodelRioSabinasandS6tanode1aTinajaReportedby:BarbaraHershbergerWeleftAustinabout5PManddrovetoCiudadVictoria,arrivingthereat7AMthenextmorning.HerewepickedupMerydithandcontinuedonsouth.WeturnedoffthehighwayatE1EncinoanddrovewesttothebridgeovertheRioSabinas.OurpurposeonthistripwastofindtheNacimientodelRioSabinasandlookforanycavesinthearea.Fromthebridgewegotarideon a lumbertruckgoingnorthwest.Werodeonitforabout12km.thenwalkedbackthewaywecameuntilwecametothevillageofE1Ranchito.Fromhereweleftthetrailand walkedacrossthefieldsuntilwecametoasmallstream.Weasked avillagerwheretheNacimientowasand heledustoit.Thewatercomesoutofthebaseofalargecliffwhichendsaboutthreefeetbelowthesurfaceofthewater.Itisobviouslya cavebutwouldrequiredivinggeartoenter.Thepoolisabout80feetindiameterand 60feetdeep.The immediateareaismoretropicalthanthesurroundingbamboo andbananatreeforest.Wildorangesandtropicalbutterflieswerecommonaswellastheusualsnakesandinsects.Thepoolisconsideredsacredtothevillagersasfaraswecouldascertainandtheyrefusedtogonearthereexceptoncertainoccasions.Duringourwalk baoktothecarweaskedaboutothercavesandthegeneralideawas

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5thatthereweremanyontopofthemountainstothewest,butnoneinthevalleywherewewere.ThesecaveswhichtheyindicatedweretothewestareprobablythoseofRanchodelCieloandLaJoyadeSalas.WelefttheareaandcontinuedonsouthagaintoCd. Mante wherewecampedattheNacimientodelRio Mante. ThenextmorningwedroveontoCd.Valleswherewegotthekey fromtheownerofSotanodelaTinaja,Sr.LuisMartinez,and headed onouttothecave.Therewespentthedayinthecave,exploringsectionsofthecavethatwerealreadysurveyed,notdoinganyadditionalsurveying.Thatnightwasspentintheentranceroom.Inthemorningthekey wasreturnedandwewenttoCd. Mante,swamattheNacimiento,thendrovestraightbacktoAustin.+++Persons:BillBelland JamesReddellDate:20February-2March 1966Destination:CavesinCoahuila,Durango, and ChihuahuaReportedby:JamesReddell20FebruaryAftertheusualdelayswefinallygottheLand Rovercompletelypacked andabout5:00PMleftAustin.WearrivedinPiedrasNegraswithoutanydifficulty,madeitthroughCustomswithaminimumoftrouble,anddrovetoaspotalongthehighwaybetweenNuevaRositaand Monclova wherewesleptfora fewhours.Monda*, 21FebruaryThenextmorningwedroveintoMonclova andtenheadedeastonthemainroadtoCandela.OurdirectionswereratherincompletesoonlyaftermuchsearchingdidwefinallyreachtheRancho de Las Animas whereweobtaineddirectionstotheCueva(orMinaasitisusuallycalled)de Las Animas. Theranchislocatedabout15milesofftheMonclova-Candelaroad,theturnoffbeingabout40kilometerseastofMonclova. Fromtheranchitwasaneasymattertofindthecave a fewkilometersdistantandeasilyvisiblebyreasonoftheclearedareaandpilesofrockfromtheminingoperations.Thenaturalentrancetothecaveliesa few hundredfeetabovethebedofasmallmountainandisanimpressivesinkabout30feethigh,15feetwide,andslopingsteeplydownforabout30feetatwhichpointitbecomestoosteeptoclimbforanadditional30feetandthendropsticallyforabout40feetintoa huge room.Rottenladdersleadpartwaydownthedrop,butwecouldfindnosignofthematthebottomsowepresumedtheyhavebeentakenawayorarecompletelyrottennow. The roomatthebottomisabout150feetindiameterand60-80feethighwithanirregularfloorofbreakdown andguano.Alongthesidesoftheroomsmalldead-endpassagesslopeup,someleadingintodomeswithliveformationsandmoistsilt.Ingeneral,however,thecaveisdryanddusty.Acolonyofswallowsinhabittheentranceroom andbatsinhabita second roomreachedby aslopingpassagetotheleftoftheentranceroom.Thissecond roomisabout100feetindiameterand 50feethigh.Atunnelhasbeendrilledthroughsolidlimestoneintotheentranceroomnearthefloor

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6andisabout200feetlong.Itispossibletowalkthroughthistunnelandenterthecavewithoutusingrope.The secondtunnelwastoohighonthehillsideand was abandonedafterashortdistanceo After. makingintensivecollectionsinthecaveweretiredtothemouthofthetunnelwhereraindecidedustocamp. Thesuctionofairdrawnthroughthetunnelandintothecave andoutthenaturalentrancemadeitanidealcampingplace.Aftersupperwewenttosleepinconsiderablecomfort.Tuesday 22RainblowinginonusandanicyblastorairAroveusouofoursleepingbagsearly.ThrowingourgearintotheLand Roverwesetoffpost-hastetotrytogetoutofthellroadlttothemainroadbeforewebecame permanentinhabitantsofthearea.Withouttoomuchtroublewemadeittowithina fewmilesoftheCandelaroadwhen adeep"dry"gullycontainingafootofwaterstoppeduscold.Fora fewhoursweproceededtodiginthefreezingrain,mud,andwater,applychinstothejacked-upvehicle,cutthornbushesanddigrocksoutofthegroundinanattempttofreetheinvincibleLandRover.Finallywithagreateffortitbrokefreeandwewerebackonourway,feelinglikeatriptoatypicalCentralTexascave.WhenwefinallyreachedMonclovaitwastoolatetogotoanyothercavesintheareasoweheadedsouthtoSaltilloinanattempttoseea cave onthehighwaywehadheardaboutwhichcouldbeseeneasily.AsitturnedoutfogandrainkeptvisibilitytonearzerosowedroveontoSaltilloandthenwestotLaCuchilla,about50kilometerseastofTorreon.Herewespentthenightonthedesertunderthestars.Wednesday, 23Februar1SinceI neededadditionalcricketsfrom asmallcaveIntheh11sbyLaCuchi11awespentanhourcollectinginCueva deEmpalmeand CuevadelosGrillos,twosmallcavesofonlypassinginterestoFromherewedrovewesttoTorreon,hopingtofindCueva delaEspana whichwasreportedtobenearTorreoninCoahuila.Thenextfewhourswereofthemosthecticsert,withusdrivingbackandforthalongthemain highway andvariousotherroadsseekinganyonewhoknewwhereeitherNazareneorPicardias(thekey townsinourdirections)were.Finallywegotdirectionsofasortandsetout,eventuallyarrivingviatrails,dimdirtroads,and worsetoa mainTorreon-PicardiashighwayinthestateofDurango.Cursingdirection-givers,wewerethendirectedtotheCuevadelGuano(thelocalnameofCueva de1aEspana) andsetout.ThinkingwehadthecavelocatedwedroveviathehighwaytoTorreonfora goodsupper.WethenreturnedtoPicardiasfora goodnightofsleep.Thursda1 ,24FebruaryEarlyinthemorningwesetoutupthecanyonnwhIchwesupposed CuevadelGuanolay.Afteralongclimbwereachedtheshelterwehad supposed wasthecave.Fromherewecontinuedalong,difficultclimbthroughlechiguil1aand upverticalpitchesuntilwehadessentiallyreachedthetopofthemountain,about2000feetabovetheLandRover.Abandoningthewholethingasa baddealwecrashedourwaybackdowntothefootofthemountainand werereadytogivethewholethingupwhenwesawanoldmanwhouponhearingwhatwewantedpointedtothenextcanyonover.Arrivingtherewefollowedtheoldminingroadasfarasitcouldbedrivenon

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7beforeitbecame washedoutandthenwalkedthehundredyardstothemouthofthecave.Theentranceisabout70feetwide and35feethighwitha breakdownslopeleadingupintothefirst"room" whichisapassageabout200feetlong,30feetwide,and 20feethigh.Thisroomisflooredwithseveralfeetofextremelydryandchokinglydustyguano.Atthebackofthisroomthemainpassagecontinuesonintoareportedsecond room,butasidepassageslopesdowntotheleftandintoseverallargemoistrooms,someinhabitedbysmallbatcolonies.Thelargestoftheroomsexploredwasabout40feethighand75feetindiameter.Lackingequipment,wedidnotentera 30footdeeppit.Alsoleftunchecked wereseveralprominentpassages.Collectingprovedexceptionallygood,withthediscoveryofalargepopulationoftheextremelyrarearachnidorder,Ricinulei,whichisrepresentedbyonlya fewspeciesintheworld.Leavingthecave,wedrovedowntoPicardiaswherewetalkedtoanexguanominerwhoinformedusthatthecavewas mineduntil1961atwhichtimealungdisease(presumablyhistoplasmosis)killedoneminerandsentseveralotherstothehospital,forcingtheclosureofthemine.FeelingalittlelesshappyaboutourfindsandwithslightchestpainswedroveontoSalaices,Chihuahua, wherewespentthenightatthemouthofCuevadelDiablo.Friday,25FebruaryThismorningwebrieflyvisitedCuevadelDiablo(seeAMesNewsletter,vol.I,no.7,p.67)insearchofcirolanidisopods.Having noluck,wespentonlyashorttimeinthecaveandthendroveonnorthtoChihuahua andthenwesttotheIndiancityofCuauhtemoc, wherewespentthenightinahotel.Saturday,26FebruaryFrom Ciudad CuauhtemocwedroveonwesttoLaJuntaandthennorthwesttoSantoTomaswheretheShellmapofMexico showed aSantoTomasCaverns.Thefirstmanwetalkedtopointedusondowntheroadwhereinsevenmilesweshouldfindthiscave,whichismost commonly knownasElS6cavon. Sevenmilesdowntheroadwefoundnothingbutfieldssowebeganaskingfarmersaboutthecave.Onewouldpointdowntheroad andanotherback,soforquiteawhilewedrovebackandforthdownthedirtroad.Eventuallywefoundtherightroadandaftera fewmilesarrivedata lowlimestonehilllyingimmediatelyatthebaseofalonglineofverticalornearverticalvolcaniccliffs.Thishillprovedtobeofconsiderableinterestbecauseofthekarstdevelopmentonit.Almosteverywhereweresinks,fissures,lapiez,andtowers.Unfortunatelythereweresomanygrode-holesthatwecouldfindnone whichwethoughtdeservedthehonorofbeingsowellknown.Finallywefound aguidewhotookusa fewfeetfrom wherewehadstoppedand showedustheS6cavon, which was asnow-flooredsinkwithanarrowcreviceatoneend.Chimneyingdownthecreviceledusinturntoasuccessionofnarrowcrevices,smalldustyrooms,blockeddomes, andgeneralunpromisingpassage,butwithnameseverywhere.Consideringeverythingandtheicycavern,wedecidedwedidn'tcaretoomuchforthecavesoleft.Wecheckedseveralothersmallcavesandsinksinthesameareabutallwereblocked,sowedecidedtosetoutonourmaingoalofthetrip,Batopilas,intheBarrancadelRioBatopilassouthofCreel.ThereturntoLaJuntaandthedrivesouthofthereintothemountainswas

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8withnodirfiuclty,andnightfounduscampingbesideabeautifulmountainstreambelowpinesandwithsnow andiceontheground.Althoughtheroadtothispointhadincludeddrivingdowncreeksandthroughrailroadculvertsithadn'tbeentoobad.27FebruaryAfterafinenightweawoke and headed ontowarsCreel.OUrroaddeterioratedconsiderablyandwefoundourselvesusingdriveonthesteeperslopesandfinallydrivingthrougharockycreekbottom.Justbeyondthecreekwecameintoasmallvillagelinedwithcliffswithlargesheltersbeingusedasbarns.Fromherewegotlostandspenta fewextrahoursofdrivingthroughcreekcrossingsandsimilarsituationsbeforewearrivedinCreel.FromherewedroveonsouthtowardsBatopilashopingtoreachitbynight,eventhoughitwas 120kilometersaway.AftermanyeXhaustingbutexhiliratinghoursofdrivingthroughspectacularscenerywetooka wrongturnand wastedoveranhourofdaylightbeforewegotbackontherightroad.Abrokenanddraggingemergencybrakecauseda fewtensemomentsuntilwefoundoutwhat was wrong and removedthebrakeshoes.FromherewedroveonintotheBarrancadelRioBatopilaswherefireslitupthehillslopesandthesoundsofthedrumsofthehalf-civilizedTarahumariIndiansmadeourdescentintotheseveral-thousandfootdeep canyonaneerieexperience.Crossingabridgeovertheriverwethenclimbedbackup a few hundredfeetwheretheroadendedabruptlyatamine.A bandofdrunkenminersinformedustherewas noroadtoBatopilasbutthatitwasonlya day byhorsebackawayoWealsodiscoveredthattoreachthefamedBarrancadelCobre ahikeofmorethantenmilesdowntheRioUriqueisnecessary.Intenselydisappointedwedrovebackdowntothebridgewherewesleptonhardrock.Monday, 28FebruaryWespentmostofthedaycollectingonthesurfaceanddrovebackasfarasSanJuanita,alumberingtown ontherailroadbetweenCreelandLaJunta,butfindingourselvesveryuncertainastowhichroadtotakeoutoftownwespentthenightinthehotelthere.Tuesday-Wednesday,1-2March From SanJuanitawedrovestraighttfirouglitoAustIn,stoppingonlytochange aflatatJohnsonCityandtodo alittleshoppinginCiudad Cuauhtemoc. ThereturntripwasexhaustingbutpleasantandwearrivedinAustinabout11:00AMWednesdaymorning.

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ModestoG6mezSaldivar,1898-1966 ModestoG6mezSaldivarwasbornon November4,1898,inthesmalltownofA1aquines,SanLuisPotosi.FromherehelatermovedtotheXi1itla,S.L.P.areawhere he becametheownerofElRancho deHuitzmo10tit1aoSr.G6mezlivedontheranchformanyyearswhere heraisedcoffeeandorangeso Then, onJanuary7,1966 he waskilledinanautomobileaccidentwhilereturningfrom CiudadValles.TheunfortunateaccidentoccuredatKilometerPost440andafterwardshe wastakentoTu1tepec,Mexico where he wasburiedbyre1ativesoSincethentheranchhasbeensoldtolngoRafaelGonzalezCisneroswholivesinMexicoCitYoHehashiredSro lsmae1Lariostooperatetherancho WhilelivingathisranchnearthesmallvillageofT1amaya,Sr.G6mezbecameverywellknown andlikedthroughouttheentireXilitlaregion.Eversincethefirstexpeditionwentintotheareatenyearsago(BobMitchelloftheUniversityofTexasBiologyDepartmentvisitedtheranchin1956),Sr.G6mezhasextendedhiscompletehospitalitytoallcavers.Heevenwentsofarastosay,11M!casaessucasan Withouttheranchasabaseofoperations,thegreatp'rogressinplorationand mappingofthemanysotanosintheareacouldnothavebeenaccomplished.IncludedamongthecaveswhichSr.G6mez'sgenerositymadetheexplorationofpossible,isS6tanode T1amaya,thedeepestsurveyedcaveinNorthAmerica.Allspelunkerswhowerefortunateenoughtohave hadthehonorofmeetingSr.ModestoG6mez,willlongremember himforhisunendingkindnessandgoodwilltoall.TerryRaines

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10 JohnWilliamFrancisHarrison,1901-1966FrankHarrisonwasborninBaysville,Ontario,Canada on June 21, 1901; onJanuary29,1966 he was murderedathishomeatRanchodelCielo,northwestofGomezFarias,Tamaulipas,Mexico.HehadlivedatRanchodelCieloformorethantwentyyearsand madeitacenterforbiologicalresearchinthenorthernpartoftheSierraMadreOriental.TheareaisthelastsectionofCloudForestinMexico anduntilrecentlyitwasvirginforest.Assuch,itisauniqueareaandhasbeenthesubjectofintensiveresearchbybiologistsandnaturalistsformanyyearsoThisresearchhasbeenlargelytheresultofFrankHarrison'sunceasinginterestinhelpingpromotetheareaandinencouragingbiologiststovisitthearea.Hishospitalitywas famousthroughouttheareaandamongnaturalistswhoworkedinthearea.RanchodelCieloislocatedabouteightmilestothenorthwestofGomezFariasandisaccessibleonlybyfootorbyfourwheeldrivevehiclesoUntiltwoyearsagoitwasquiteisolated.AtthattimeagroupofAgrariansbegantomoveintotheforestareaaroundthesmallplotofRanchodelCielooFrankHarrisonwas opposedtothisbecausethelandcouldnotbeproperlyfarmed andtheinvasionsservedonlytokillofftheanimallifeandgenerallydisturbthearea.HeprotestedtotheMexicangovernment andasaresultconsiderablefrictionhaddevelopedbetweenhim andtheAgrariansoFinallytheymovedintoasmallclearedareaaboutahalfmilefromhishouse,knownasPaul'sPlaceoFurtherfrictiondevelopedafterhiscowsbrokeintotheirpoorlyfencedfieldsandevenageneroussettlementdidnotremovehardfeelings.OnthemorningofJanuary29thtwooftheAgrarians'groupway-laidhimintheareabetweenhishouseandthecalflotclosetothehouse.Hewashitonthesideoftheheadwithaclubandstabbedthreetimeswithaknife.Onthemorningofthe30thtwofriendsfrom anearbylumbercampfoundhisbody andreportedthemurdertothepoliceinGomezFariaso Thehousehadbeenransackedandmanyguns andotherarticlesstolen.MroJohnHunterandotherfriendsfrom SouthmostCollegeatBrownsVille,Texas,helpedtostraightenuphisaffairsandburiedhimatRanchodelCielo.Althoughhislong-timeassociateandworker,Lucas Ramiero, wasarrestedbythepolicehe waslaterreleased.The twomenwhokilledhim wereapprehendedandidentifiedasFedericoLopez and SimonLeal,bothmembersofanextremeleftistgroupintheAgrarianmovement.BeforehisdeathFrankhadmadeSouthrnostCollegeagiftofhispropertyanditisnowbeingdevelopedintoabiologicalresearchstation.UntilJune1964 nocavershadvisitedtheranch,butatthattimeDavid McKenzie,LarryManire,and Ispentabouta weekthere.Althoughhehad nonoticeofourtriphetookusin,fedus,gaveusaplacetostay,andspentmanyhoursguidingustoremotepartsoftheforestwherewefoundobscurecaveentrancesthathe hadnotseenformanyyears.Hetalkedwithenthusiasmandinterestofourbiologicalwork andofourcaveexplorationsand waseagertohaveusreturnforalongerstayoHisenthusiasmandinstantofferoffriendshiptocompletestrangersleftalastingimpressiononallofus,asitdoubtlesshasonhundredsofstudentsandbiologistsbeforeuSoHisdeath,especiallyundersuchtragiccircumstances,isagreatshockandwillberegrettedbyallofhismanyfriendsand bythemanyacquaintancessuchasuswhoknew himonlyinpassing.JamesReddell

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JOHNWILLIAMFRANCISHARRISONBORNBAYSVILLEONTARIOCANADAJUNE211901MURDEREDRANCHODELCIELOMEXICOJAN291966 ASINCERESTUDENTANDGIFTEDTEACHER

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12TheBiologyortheCavesofRanchodelCleloby JamesReddellAustin,Texas RanchodelCie10islocatedinthenorthernmostsectionofCloudForestinMexico.Ithasbeenintensivelystudiedbymanynaturalistsandbiologistsoverthepasttwentyyears,andyetalmostnothingisknownofthebiologyofthecavesoftheregion.Theonlypreviouscollectionsinthesecavesincludesabatcollectedin1950 by MarianMartinandidentifiedasArtibeuscinereusaxtecusAnderson andseveralamphibianscollectedbyPaulMartinandreportedby himin1958.Ourowncollectionsareonlyadequatetoindicatethesignificanceofthecavesinthearea.These weremadeby David McKenzie,LarryManire, andmyselfinJune 19640Includedinthisreportisasmallcollectionmadeby LawrenceGilbertinthesummerof1965.Collectionswere madeinfivesmallcavesneartheranchhouse.Thelargestofthese,CrystalCave, wasparticularlyrichinmillipeds,butallcontainedtroglobitesofinterest.Most wereveryshallow,notexceeding30feetindepth,withtheexceptionofHarrisonSinkholewhichattainedadepthof180feet.FollowingisasystematicsummaryofthefaunaofthecavesofRanchodelCle10.Whenitisconsideredthatonlyfivesmallcaveshavebeenstudiedandoftheseonlythemi11ipedsandspidersareadequatelyrepresenteditwillbeseenhowsuperficialandyetpromisingarethecavesinthisarea.Salamanders-AllofthesewerecollectedbyPaulMartinoTwospecimensofthelarge,brightlycoloredplethodontid,Pseudoeuryceabelli,havebeentakenfromcavesinthisarea.one was roundinCrystalCavebyFrankHarrisonandtheotherwastakeninaneighty-footdeeppit,namedbyusBalancedRock CavebutnotenteredbecauseoflackoftimeoPseudoeuryceascandensisacommoninhabitantofcavesandfissuresatRanchodeicleio.Abouttencavesandsinkswere found byMartintoharborthisspeciesoChiropterotritonmultidentataisaverycommoninhabitantofcavesand mostspecimenshavecornefromcaves.AlthoughnospecificlocalitiesarecitedbyMartin,he founditinmanycavesandsinksattheranch.Anotherspecies,Chiropterotritonchondrostega,doesnotappearinthedarknessorcaves,butiscommoninopensinks,includingBalanced Rock Cave, wheresixwere foundoItusuallyoccursunderdebris,rottenbranches,andleavesatthebottomofthesink.TwoothersinksatRanchodelCielo,12m.indepth,yeildedeight.chondrostega.Frofs-ThreespeciesoffroghavebeencollectedbyPaulMartina RanchodelCie10.Syrrhophuslatodacty1ushasbeencollectedinCrystalCave,aswellasinothercavesfromthisgeneralvicinity.E1eutherodacty1ushidalfoensisisalmostexclusivelyfoundincaves,withaboutsixyhavingbeentakenfrom RanchodelCie10.pipiensiscommonthroughoutNorthAmerica andisusuallyfoundaboutponds andstreams.Inkarstregions,however,itisfairlyrareandonlya fewspecimens

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13havebeenfoundevenatHarrison'sartificialspringatRanchodelCielo.Onespecimenwastakenfrom ashallowsinkholeintowhichithadapparentlyfallen.Afourthspeciesoffrog,EleutherodactylusaUfusti,isfrequentlyfoundincavesbutnone havebeenrepored fromthevicinityofRanchodelCielo.Itisexpectedthatitwilleventuallyturnupinthecavesandsinksthere.MillipedsThe mostinterestingaspectofthecavesofthisareaarethemillipeds.Thereareninespeciesrepresentedinourcollections,ofwhichatleastfouraretroglobitesoOneofthemostinterestingspeciesisGlomeroidespromiscusCausey, a memberoftheorderGlomerida.ThisorderwaspreviouslyreportedfromonlytwolocalitiesinCentralAmerica.Thisspecieswasdescribedfrommaterialtakenins6tanodeGomezFarias.Itisrepresentedinthecollectionsfrom CuevasdeRanchodelCieloNo.3andNo.7.A secondtroglobiteisMexicambalarusselliCausey,describedasanewgenusandspeciesfromcavesatXilitla,S.L.P.ThismaterialwastakenfromCrystalCave andHarrisonSinkholeandapparentlyrepresentsanundescribedsubspecies.AthirdtroglobiteisanundescribedspeciesofthegenusSphaeriodesmusinthepolydesmidfamilySphaeriodesmidae.ThisisalargeWhitemillipedwhichrollsitselfintoaballwhendisturbed.IthasbeentakeninWetCave,CrystalCave, and Cuevas de RanchodelCieloNo.3andNo.7.The mostdistinctivetroglobiteinthecavesinthisareaisaslenderdelicatewhitemillipedseveralincheslongandrepresentativeofanewgenusandspecies.ThisformhasbeentakeninWetCave,CrystalCave,HarrisonSinkhole,and Cuevas de RanchodelCieloNo.3andNo.7.Inthelattercaveitisparticularlyabundant,coveringsiltbanksalmostcompletely.TroglophilicinCrystalCaveisanextremelysmallmillipedrepresentativeofanewgenus andspeciesinthefamilyStylodesmidae.ThisgraymillipedisalsocommonincavesinotherpartsoftheSierradeGuatemala.Athirdnewgenusandspecies,thistimeinthefamilyRhacodesmidae,hasbeentakenby LawrenceGilbertinanundesignatedcaveatRanchodelCielo.Anepigeanform,ithasalsobeenfoundintwoothercavesintheSierrade Guatemalao AlargebeautifuldelicatebluemillipedbelongingtothegenusParachistesandcommonintheCloudForestatRanchodelCielohasalsobeencollectedinCueva de RanchodelCieloNo.7,whereitmayhaveaccidentallyfallenoOnespeciesofmillipedisknownonlyfromCrystalCave andWetCave.ItisanunidentifiedgenusandspeciesofthefamilyCleidogonidaeandmaybeanundescribedgenus.Itisanepigeanform,butmaybeatroglophile.AspeciescollectedonlyinCrystalCaveistentativelyassignedtothegenusSiphonophoraandisprobablyatrogloxeneoraccidental.BeetlesThebeetlefaunaisparticularlypoorlyrepresentedinourcollectionsbuttwospecimenshavebeenidentified.OneoftheseisastaphylinidorrovebeetleandisBelonuchussp.nrmoquinusCausey.Thiscommonform was foundinCrystalCaveunderrocks.The second formisofconsiderableinterest.Itwastakenby LawrenceBilbertinanundesignatedsinkholeandisrepresentativeofanewspeciesofcarabidbeetleofthegenusThispossibletroglobitehasalsobeencollectedins6anadelaJoyadeSalasonthewesternsideoftherange.

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14UnidentifiedbeetleshavebeencollectedinCueva de RanchodelCieloNo.7andWetCave.Diplura-PossiblytroglobiticmembersofthefamilyCampodeidaehavebeencollectedinCuevas de RanchodelCieloNo.3,No.7andCrystalCave. Theyarepresentlyunderstudy.Crickets-Oneunquestionedtroglobiteand oneprobabletroglophilearerepresentedinthecricketfaunaofthearea.Thetroglobiticformisanundescribedspeciesofthegryllidgenusparaco!hus.Thisisacompletelyblindform andtheonlycompletelybindgryllidintheNewWorld.ItwastakeninHarrisonSinkhole.Thetroglophile,foundinCueva de RanchodelCieloNo.3,hasbeenidentifiedasParacophusapterusChopard, a formalsorecordedfromcavesintheVallesarea.Whenmorecarefulcollectionsaremadeinthisareathisgroupwillcertainlyappearinmanycaves.AcricketoftheFamilyStenopelmatidae,Stenotelmatussp.,hasbeencollectedinCrystalCave whereitinhaItstheentrancearea.Spiders-SpidersweretakeninthreecavesatRanchodelCielo.Byfar,themostinterestingspecimenwas anewspeciesofthegenusLeptonetaoThisfamilyiscomparativelyrare,butisacommoninhabItantofTexascaves.ItsapperanceinWetCaveisofconsiderableinterest.OtherspecimenstakenfromWetCaveareallimmature.TheseincludeAphonopelmaSpaandCtenusSpaAsinglespeciesisrecordedfromHarrIsonCave andhasbeenidentifiedasModisimus spoCrystalCavecontainedtwoforms,StemmopsSpaandanunidentifiedgenusandspeciesofthefamilyPholcidae.Otherfauna-Amongmiscellaneousanimalstakeninthecavesthemostinterestingispossiblyaspeciesofisopodtakenfrom atinypoolinCrystalCave.Thisiscertainlyatroglobitebuthasnotyetbeenstudied.AlsofromCrystalCaveisan,asyet,unidentifiedpseudoscorpion.OtherunidentifiedfaunaincludescentipedesfromHarrisonSinkholeandharvestmenfromWetCave.Inconclusion,itcanbestatedonlythatthecollectionsinthesecavespromiseanevenricherfaunathanthatfoundinotherpartsofMexico. Thecavesinvestigatedprovedthateventheshallowsinksandsmallcaveswererichlyinhabitedandthatanintensiveinvestigationofothercavesintheareawouldcertainlyrevealnewforms,possiblyasexcitingassomealreadycollected.References:Causey,NellB.1964."TwonewtroglobiticmillipedsofthegenusGlomeroidesfrom Mexico(Glomeridae:Glomerida)0"Proc.LouisianaAcad.Sci.27:63-66.Goodwin, GeorgeG.1954."Mammalsfrom Mexicocollectedby MarianMartinfortheAmericanMuseumofNaturalHistory."Amer. Mus.Nov.,1689:5.Martin,PaulSo1958."AbiogeographyofreptilesandamphibiansintheGomezFarIasRegion,Tamaulipas,Mexico."Univ.Michigan,MuseumofZoology,Misc.Publ.101.,l02p.

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15Note:ThisisthefirstofaseriesorreportsondifferentaspectsofcavebiologyinMexicoo Wheneverpossibleareportonanareaoron arecentcollectionofunusualinterestwillbepreparedandincludedintheNEWSLETTER.Anysuggestionsarewelcomed. Anyone making atripintoMexicoisurgedtomakecollectionsofcavefaunaandtosend themtotheauthor.Theywillbestudiedbyspecialistsand areportsenttothecollectorastotheiridentityandinterest.Specimensshouldbepreservedin70%isopropylalcoholandjarsfilledcompletelytothetoptopreventdamagetothespecimens.Notesons6tanode Tlamaya byTerryRainesAustin,Texas TheexplorationofS6tanode Tlamayahasbecome somewhatsimplifiednow,sincethestageofpureexplorationand mappinghasbeenpast.Onprevioustripstheexplorationpartywouldcarryupto500feetofextrarope,expectingtocomeuponsomedeepdropinthefarreachesofthecave.Now,withthecavetotallyexplored,itisknownexactlywhatlengthsofropetocarryand wheretheywillbeused.Thepurposeofthisarticleistogiveanideaoftheexactnatureofs6tanode Tlamaya and what oneshouldexpecton atripthroughthecave.Belowarelistedthefactorsthatinfluenceexplorationo Drops and equipment MostofthedropsthatrequireequipmentarelocatedbeforetheBigRoom,(seemap)0The fewexceptionsarelocatedalongthedownstreampassage,thefurthestbeingthePinnacleDrop2717feetfromtheBigRoom.Thereareseveralthingstokeepinmindconcerningtheropework. Theliston page16showsonlythedropswhere equipmentisabsolutelynecessary.Throughoutthecave much chimneyingisrequiredwithseveraldifficultclimbsnecessarytoavoidthedeeppoolsofwater.So,inmanycasesitmightbeadvisabletocarryacoupleof20to30foothandlines.Anotheraidistohave someoneblocktheflowofwaterdownthedropbystandinginthewateratthetopedgeofthewaterfalloInthismannerthewaterisstoppedlongenoughtoprOVide achanceforanotherpersontorappeldownandstayrelativelydry.Inthepasttheropemostoftenusedhasbeen7/16inchGoldline.Noproblemshavebeenencounteredwiththisrope,andthesameholdstruefor1/2inchand7/16inchDuPont707Nylon,theonlyothertypeofropeused.Asforpersonalequipment,itiscarriedinonesmallsidepack andheldtoa minimum.Itusuallyincludesaseatsling,twobrakebarsandcarabiners,two JumarAscenders(onefortheseatslingloopandtheotherforonefootloop),two babybottlesofcarbide,flashlight,hardcandy andseveralsmallcansoffood,and sometimesanextra

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16shirtorlightJacketwhichiswornwhilerestingorafterfallingintoapoolofwater.Anyspecialequipment,whichisdeterminedbythepurposeofthetrip,canbedividedamongthegroup.AllaboveequipmentcanbefittedintoastandardArmysidepack,whichleavestheexplorer'sarms andlegsfreeforclimbing.ins6tanode T1amayaActualdepthMinimumropeneeded Conunents279',73',76'520'100'120'209'250'or90'&100'42'50'25'30'40'50'32'45'97'115'WaterconditionsEntranceDrops,ropetiedatalldropstoeliminateslack.JunctionPit,tieofftosolutionhole25'fromdrop;loopropeoverprojectionsonrightwalltoavoidwaterfall.Tieofftosolutionpocket27'fromdrop;dropcanberiggedintwopartswithclimb-downbetween.LastdropbeforeBigRoom.Usedasahandlinedownasteepflowstonewaterfallstreamdropsthroughnarrowchannelfor25';avoiditbyuptolefttotopofa"wall'thenrappeldown;tieoffinsolutionpocketjustback fromtop.InunediatelybeforePinnacleDrop.PinnacleDrop,isriggedfrom "window"toleftofwaterfall;rappel20',traverseledgetopinnacleoverhangingcenterofpit,loopropeover,andrappelontobottom.Thecaveasa wholeisverywetbutthewaterposesnogreatproblemtoexploration.Alongthepassagestherearemanydeeppoolswhich makeseveraltrickytraversesnecessarytoavoidthewater.Anarroyorunsintheentrance,butitisdryexceptduringtheheaviestofrains.Thefirstrealstreaminthecaveissuesfrom asmallsidepassageintheEntranceRoom,475feetbelowtheLowerEntrance,andcontinuesondownthevariousdropstoapointjustbeforetheBigRoomwhereitsiphons.TheotherstreaminthecaveisencounteredatthefarendoftqeBigRoom.Itbeginsinalargesectionofthecave,flowspasttheBigRoom,and ontotheendofthecave.Groups havebeeninthecavewhile

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17ithasrainedthreeandfourinchesduringthenightandtheyhavenotedonlyasmallriseintherateofflowofbothstreams.Thisisprobablyduetothefactthattherearesomanysinkholesand passagewaysinthelimestoneoftheTlamayaareathatno onesystemcarriesaverylargepercentageofthewater.Fromallsignsobservedinthecaveonprevioustrips,thestreamsneverreachareallyhighlevelorbecomeragingtorrents,evenduringtheveryheaviestofrainfalls.Thiswasprovenrecentlywhenagroupvisitedthecaveafternearlya weekofcontinuousrain.They foundthatobjectsthatcouldbeeasilymovedbyevenasmallstream(emptyClorxbottles,cans,clothing)remainedintheplaceswheretheywereleft,someonlya fewfeetabovethenormal lowlevelofthewater.Oneconsideration,thatisofgreatinterest,isthataftertherecent,nearlyweek-longrain,thewholewatertableinthearearoseandfloodedthelast130to200verticalfeetofthecave.Thiswasthefirstrainfallofsuchmagnitudeinseveralyears.The normalrainyseasonisduringthesummermonths.Duringthisperiodthelevelofthestreamsdoesrisesomewhat andmaycausefloodinginasmallsectionofthecaveneartheend.So,perhapsthebesttimetoexplorethecaveisbetweenChristmasandEaster.s6tanodeTlamayaisno "easyl1cave.Eventhough,inviewoftheinformationabove,explorationseemssimpleandclearcut,therearemanyunseendangersthatcouldmeanthedifferencebetweensuccessanddeath.Perhapsthegreatestdangerisfromfatigue.Itmayseemeasygoingin,butafteryou havereachedyourgoaltherealworkbegins.It'salongprusikoutandmanyastoutcaverhassworn hewasn'tgoingtomakeit.Onealsohastokeepinmindthatanaveragetripthroughthecavetakesbetween25 and35hoursofsteadycaving.AlongtimeLTomakemattersworsethereisthelossofegergyduetothecold.Anairtemperatureof68F andwater64Fmaynotseemcoldtoyou now,butwhenyou'resoakingwet andtryingtogeta fewminutesreston agravelbar,thatshiveringisn'tyourimagination.Anotherhazard,thatisunavoidable,isthatofanaccident.Theonlyprecautiononecantakeisjusttobecarefulandmakesurehisequipmentisingoodshape.Eventhemostminorofaccidentscouldbefatal,forthenearestpeoplethatcouldrenderanyaidarehereinAustin,800milesaway.ItissuggestedthatanyoneplanningtogotoMexicofirstcontacttheAMCS.HeretheycanlearnofthelatestdevelopmentsintheareaorcavestheyplantoVisit,butmostimportant,theycanletsomeone,whocanhelp,knowwheretheywillbecasethereisanemergency.

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original was OPETLAMAYABRUNTONANDTAPEXILITLA,SANLUISASSOCIATIONfORSURVEYBYTHEPOTOSIDRAFTEDBYT.CAVE STUDIES24MARCH1985PIT700400sOOBOOLOWERENTRANCEUPPERENTRANCE71100200.00FOSSIL PIT100BIGROOM1000FT

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19TheDeep CavesortheWestern Hemisphere byA.Richard Smith Austin" Texas Mexicooffersdeep caves"almostateverystep;oneofthesE could"ifalltheconditionsareright"turnouttobetheintheworld.InordertoseehowMexican cavedepthscompare tcthoseoftherestoftheWestern Hemisphere" I havepreparedthefollowinglist.MuchofthisinformationhascomefromtheadmittedlyincompletelistofthedeepestcavesoftheworldeditecbyH.Trimme1attheIVInternationalCongressofSpe1eology"preparedinDecember" 1965. Becausethelistincludesonlycavefatleast200metersdeep,thishalfoftheworldisnotwellrepresented.Infact,thewhole Western Hemispherecontributesonly5.1%orthecavesasdeepas200meters,whileFrancehas 34.1% andItaly20.0%. TheapproximaterankintheTrimme1listisgivenforeachcave.Depthmetersfeet1122 3648 1110 3609 454 1488Rank 1 22752 CavenameLocationGouffreBergerFranceSima de1aPiedrade SanMart!nSpainS6tano de Tlamaya (Deepest cave MexicoinWestern Hemisphere) PozoPrieto..(Explored byPolishCubaexpeditionin1961) 380 124757NeffCanyon Cave 85CarlsbadCaverns 114 S6tano de 1a Joya deSalas125 CuevaJuara147 Dunn's Hole 158BullCave 159s6tanodeHuitzmo10tit1a200ApeCave236SpanishCave238GrutadelPa1mito Utah,USA357N.Mex."USA308 Mexico 273Cuba267 Jamaica 250Tenn.,USA242Mexico 240 Wash.,USA214Colo.,USA204 Mexico 203 1170 1011 896 876 820 794 789 702 670 667

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20WhattoPublish'WhileattendingtheNSSConventionatSequoiaNationalpark,I wasabletotalkwithmanyAMCSmembersconcerningthelatestcavingbeingdoneinMexico and what wasbeingpublishedintheAMCSNewsletter.Isuddenlyrealizedthatwehavebeenfailingtoprintmuchvaluableinformationthatwesomehowtookforgrantedeveryoneknew.Forinstance,onepersonaskedmewhatkindofequipmentweusedduringtheexplorationofs6tanode Tlamaya andinparticularthetypeofclothingworn.AftercheckingoverbackissuesoftheNewsletter,Ifindthatthisquestionisnotansweredinanyoftheseveralreports.This,ofcourse,shouldnothave happened,buttothoseofuswritingthesereportswhoaresofamiliarwithcavinginMexico,wetendtooverlookthesesmallbutimportantdetails.Thebestwaytosolvethisproblemwouldbeformemberstowriteandtellusexactlywhatquestionstheyhave and whattypeofarticlewould beofinteresttothem.Maybe,ifthequantitywassufficient,wemightevenstarttothecolumn andanswermanyofthequestionsmembers haveaboutMexicanspeleology.Inanycase,writeusalettertodaysowecanimprovetheAMCSNewsletterforyou.TheAMCSNewsletterispUblishedsixtimesayearbytheAssociationforMexican CaveStudies,P.O. Box7672UniversityStation,Austin,Texas78712.MembershipintheAMCSis$5.00forthecalendaryear,withmembershipsstartingatthefirstofeachyear.Personsjoingafterthefirstoftheyearwillreceiveallbackpublicationsforthatyear.Membersareurgedtosubmitarticlesforpublication.ThearticlemaycoveranyphaseofMexicanspeleology.Also,tripreportsarerequestedfromalltrips.EditoroTerryRainesTreasurerPhilipWinsboroughStaffoA.RichardSmith


Description
Contents: Part 1. Trip
Reports --
Sierra de EI Abro and Xilitla Region, S. L. P. --
Soltana de Tiamaya, S. L. P. --
Nacimiento deI Rio Sabinas, Tamps. --
Caves in Coahuila, Durango and Chihuahua --
Obituaries --
Biology of the Caves of Rancho del Cielo --
Notes on Sotano de Tlamaya --
Deep Caves of the Western Hemisphere.