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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 )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )
Location:
Mexico

Notes

General Note:
Contents: Part 1. Trip Reports -- Sotano de la Joya de Salas, Tamps. -- Sotano de Son Francisco. S. L. P. -- Sierra de EI Abra and Xililla, S.L.P. -- Canon de la Huasteca, N.L. -- Sotano de Tiamaya and Xililla Region, S. l. P. -- Tamuin and Xililla, S. L. P. -- Xilillo, S.L. P. Region -- Notes on the Exploration of Sotano de La Silleta -- Cacahuamilpa, Gro. area and Huautla, 0ax. area -- Aquiamon, S.L. P. area -- 1966 AMCS MEMBERSHIP LIST -- Notes for Photographers in Mexico -- Cave Distribution in Mexico -- Part 2. Biology Section: -- Mexican Cave Beetle, of the Family Carabidae -- VOLUME II INDEX.
Restriction:
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 2, no. 6 (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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K26-00464 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.464 ( USFLDC Handle )
4660 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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THEASSOCIATIONFORMEXICANCAVESTUDIESNEWSLETTERTRIPREPORTSS61anode10JoyadeSo10',Tamp.SotanodeSonFrancisco.S.l.P.SierradeEIAbraandXililla,S.L.P. Calionde10Hua.leca, N.L. SolanadeT1amayaandXilillaRegion,S.l.P.Tamu,n andXililla,S.l.P.Xilillo,S.L.P.RegionNole.onIhe ExploralionofSOlanodeLaSillelaCacahuomilpo,Gro.area and Huoulla,00. areo Aqui.mon, S.L.P.area 1966 AMCS MEMBERSHIP LIST NOTESFORPHOTOGRAPHERSIN MEXICOCAVEDISTRIBUTION INMEXICOBIOLOGYSECTIONMexicanCaveBeelle.ofIhe Family CarabidoeVOLUMEnINDEXVolumeIINumber6NovemberDecember1966

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THEASSOCIATIONFORMEXICANCAVESTUDIESNEWSLETTERVolumeIINumber6November December1966Publicationdate:March,1968TheAMCSNEWSLETTERispublishedsixtimesayearbytheAssociationforMexican CaveStUdies,P.O. Box7672,UniversityStation,Austin,Texas,78712,USA.TheAssociationforMexican CaveStudiesisanonprofitorganizationwhosegoalsarethecollectionanddisseminationofinformationconcerningMexicancaves.Membershipisopentoallinterestedpersonsatarateof$5.00UScurrencyforthecalendaryear,withmembershipsstartingatthefirstofeachyear.PersonsJoiningafterthefirstoftheyearwillreceiveallpublicationsforthatyear.Publicationsfortheyearof1965arestillavailablefor$6.00USbywritingtotheAMCS.Membersareurgedtosubmitarticlesforpublication.ThearticlemaycoveranyphaseofMexicanspeleology.Tripreportsarerequestedfromalltrips.Editor...........TerryW.RainesAssistantEditorJohnFishTreasurerPhilipWinsborough CaveFilesT.R. EvansCartographer.................DonEricksonNEWSNOTESDuringthepastChristmasvacation(December,1967)theWestern HemispheredepthrecordwassurpassedtwiceintheHuautla,Oaxacaarea.AgroupcomposedofBillBiggers,T.R.Evans,CliffForeman, andJohnFishwasabletopenetrateSotanode SanAgustintoadepthofabout1625feet.Veryhighwaterand a needformorespecializedeqUipmentpreventedfurtherexploration.Twodayslater,afterseveraldaysofexploringand mappingintheupperlevels,TitchMorris,PeteThompson,KeithKennedy,IanDrummond, AlanBall,and Mike BoonfromMcMasterUniversity,Ontario,Canada,enteredSotanodelRioIglesia(1/4milefromSotanode SanAgustin)foraprojected41/2daypush.Theysurveyedabout7000feetofpassageandreachedanewrecorddepthof1755feet,whichisapparentlytheendofthecave.ThisnumberoftheNewslettercompletesVolumeII.Personsplanningtohavetheirvolume boundcandosoatthistime.Includedwiththisissuearebrown,heavy-papercoversforthefirstthreenumberswhichmaybeusedasdividersinbinding. ThenextissueoftheNewsletterwillinitiatethe1967yearofAMCSpublications.PreviousmembersareurgedtorejoinnowandalsotoactivelyrecruitpersonswithasincereinterestinMexicanspeleology.Asthemembershipgrows,thequalityofAMCSpublicationsaswellastheamountofphotographiccoverageandmUlticolorreproductionscanbeincreased.

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131TABLEOFCONTENTSNEWSNOTES..........130TRIPREPORTSSotano delaJoya deSalas,Tamps. Sotano de SanFrancisco,S.L.P..SierradeElAbra andXilitla,S.L.P.Canon delaHuasteca,N.L. ....Sotanode Tlamaya andXilitlaRegion, S.L.Po Tamuin andXilitla,S.L.P.. .Xilitla,S.L.P.Region Notes ontheExplorationofSotanodeLaSilletaCacahuamilpa, Gro.areaandHuautla,Oax.areaAquismon,S.L.P.area1966AMCSMEMBERSHIPLISTNOTESFORPHOTOGRAPHERSINMEXICObyJ.H.SchermerhornRECENTADDITIONSTOTHEKNOWLEDGEOFCAVEDISTRmUTIONINMEXICOby WilliamH.RussellandTerryW.RainesBIOLOGYSECTIONMEXICANCAVEBEETLESOFTHEFAMILYCARABIDAEbyThomasC.Barr,Jr.INDEX,VOLUMEII,1966 .ILLUSTRATIONSSotano deSantaMaria .....SotanodelaJoya deSalas...PhotographsofSotano delaJoya deSalasSotano de SanFrancisco........SketchMapofCanon delaHuasteca,N.L.PhotographofCanon delaHuasteca,N.L.Grutasde SanBartolo(northcave)Cueva deLaBoca .Xilitlaarea........Grutade Navidad ....... Cueva de SanAgustin;GrutasdelaEstrellaSotanodelCamino .....Sotanode SanAgustin....SierraMadreOriental,NortheasternMexico(crosssection)132 137 139 140 146 148 149 155 156 163 167 171 173 182 186 133 135 136 138 141 .. 142 144 145 152 153 158 160 162 180

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132TRIPREPORTSPersons:EdAlexander,DonErickson,Orion Knox,BobReed,JeannieWigginsDate:23-28November 1966Destination:JoyadeSalas,Tamaulipas Reportedby:EdAlexanderAustin,TexasOurtripsouthfromAustinwas RlannedwiththepurposeofagainreachingtheknownbottomofSotanodelaJoya deSalaswhereseveralsmallleadshad remained unchecked bthepreviousgroup(seeAMCSNewsletter,v.I,no.6,p.54,56).WearrivedatEncino on Highway85southofCd.Victoria,Tamps.afteranallnightdrive.HeretheroadtoJoyaheadswest towardthehighmountains,onlya fewmilesaway, whichwecouldseerisingseveralthousandfeetaboveusintheearlymorninghaze.MakingtheLandRoverascomfortableaspossibleforfivepeopleontheroughroadstofollow,weleftthepavement andstartedup,roadloggingaswewent.TheRioSabinaswascrossed3milesfromthetown. Heretheoldlumber roadturnedsharplyleftandwesawthefirstof55milesand3daysofsteep,4-wheeldrive,bone-breakingdriving.Alltheroadswhichwefound onthemountain werestillinmiserableconditiondueto8 dayhurricanewhich sweptthisareaofMexico acoupleofmonthsearlier.Inmanyplaceslargetreeshadonlyrecentlybeenclearedfromtheroadway. Only 3milesuptheswitchbackswenoticedthatmanylargesinkswere developedalongourroute.Fromhereon upalmostallofthelargeannualrainfalldrainsinternally.At6.2milesfrom Encinothefirstofmanypitswas found which openedimmediatelytothesideoftheroad.Thisone was ontherightshoulderandappearedtobeabout30feetdeep.Amileand ahalffurtheralongwecametoSotanodeSantaMaria which hadbeenreportedearlierby McKenzie(seeAMCSNewsletter,v.I,no.3,p.24-25).The 20footindiametershaftopenedonly15feettotheleftoftheroad,sotyingofftothetrailerhitchIrappelledin.Theshaftdroppedabout100feettothetopofa breakdownslopewhich descendedabout50feetmoretothefloorofthecave.(Seesketchmapon page133.).Thelowerthirdofthecave wasdecoratedwithlight-coloredflowstoneandseveralformations.Severalsmallpoolswerenearthefaredgeoftheroom.Noleadscouldbefound.Theroadcontinuedon towardtheJulilolumber camp,still3.5milesaway. Whileyet1.5milesfromthecampweagainstoppedtolookatoneofthemanyverypromisingsinks,thisonejusttotherightoftheroad.Asmallhorizontalcave was foundinthisparticularone.Itslopedinoversmallbreakdownforlessthan100feet.Donreturnedtothecar,reportingthatseveralboneswerepresentinthecave.SoonwearrivedinJulilowherewestoppedforlunchwhileinquiringaboutroadsandcavesinthearea.Atthestorewelearnedthattheroadforkshere,JoyadeSalastotherightandLaPerraand RanchodelCielototheleft.Herewewerealsotoldofa caveaboutonemileon toward Joya which wasdescribedashavinga"cathedral"roominside.Althoughwefailedtolocatethecave,itisprobablyafairlylarge,decoratedroom. Thereisalsoa cavenearLaMina.Thismaybethesameasthe"cathedral".

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TAMAULIPASMARIAFARIAS,SANTAGOMEZDEMUNICIPIODESKETCHMAPBYEFALEXANDER,24NOV.1966DRAFTEDBYE.F.ALEXANDERANDD. ERICKSONAMesSOTANOENCINO JULILOROADN S

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134Aswedroveon,theroad becamesteeperandthesinksbecamelarger.Afteracoupleofmileswefoundourselveswindingbetweenlargedolinaswhich were uptoaquarterofamileacross.Filledsinksandsmallopenpitswerestilltoonumeroustocount.Severaltimeswestoppedand foundthatthedensevegetationwassupportedbysmallkarstpinnaclesseparatedby narrowfissures.Rocks droppeddownthesefissureswould sometimes.rattleforseveralseconds.AboutfourmilesoutofJulilowecrossedoverthetopoftherangeandcontinuedwestthroughthenowdryerforest.Sinkswerestillverynumerous.Onepitwastooclosetotheroadtobepassedby,sostoppingfora fewminutesDondroppeddowntocheckit.Fiftyfeetdownitquit.FromthispittheroadgraduallydescendsforaboutfourmilesintothevalleyofJoyadeSalas.WefoundS6tanodelaJoyadeSalasjustbeyondtheschoolonthefarsideofthevillage,22milesfromtheAmerican Highway. The town,consistingofabout40families,andthes6tanoarelocatedina wide,flat,grassyvalleyentirelysurroundedby lowmountains.(Seephotographon page136.)Atthesouthernendisa lowdivide,about100feethigh,whichseparatesthisvalleyfromanotherwhichisalsoaflatgrassland,exceptstuddedwithgrovesofpines.Nearthetowninthecenterofthevalleyisawide,shallowlakeofseveralacres.Thes6tanoisseveralhundredyardsaway, andjustaboveitisanearthendamwhich impounds asmallerlake,thuspreventingrunofffromenteringthecave.Attheschoolhousewefoundthe'professor'andtoldhimourplanstore-enterthes6tano.From himwelearnedthatduringthehurricaneof1909 alogjam pluggedtheentranceandtheentirevalleyfilledwithwateruntilitflowedoverthedivideatthesouthernend.The town wascompletelyflooded.Whenthejambroketherewas a hugeexplosionand agiantwhirlpooldrainedtheentirefloodintothepit.Then,duringtherecenthurricaneearlierthisfall,theupperlakeoverflowedandtherewasagainawhirlpoolovertheentrance.Thiswasthefirsttimethecave hadfloodedsince1955.Althoughitwasnowlateintheafternoon,wedecidedtorigtheentranceinordertogetanearlystartinthemorning.Wefoundtheexpansionboltwhich hadbeenusedattheentrancebythepreviousgroup,ascertainedthatitwasstillsolid,anddropped aropedownthe258footchasm. Orionrappelledintocheckthebottomand foundthattherecentfloodhadcausednonoticeablechange.ThenextmorningourentiregroupenteredthecaveandproceededdirectlytotheCathedralRoomwherewestoppedtoeatlunch.(SeeAMCSNewsletter,v.I,no.5,p.54-58forationofthecave.AlSO,seecavemapon page135ofthisissue.)Hereatthe650footlevelBobdrewthejobofcheckingacoupleofunpleasantmudcrawlways whichdidn'tgo.The cave wasstillqUitewet andthefloodhadleftmanyinterestingmarks.Thereweretheusuallogsjammedaboveourheads,butmoststrikingweretheTecatecervezacans(empty) whichstooduprightontheledgesatthislevel,asiftheyhadjustbeenleftthenightbefore.FromhereOrion,Don, and Icontinuedontotheendofthepreviousexplorationandthesupposedbottomofthecaveat892feet.Atleastwefoundthatitwasn'tunderwater.Wheredidallthewatergo? Smallpassagesledfromeachendofthebottom.Onewhich

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FEETo100200300400ENTRANCE PITSOTANO DELAJOYAJOYADESALAS,TAMAULIPAS ,MEXICOBRUNTONANDTAPESURVEYBYJ.FISH,O.KNOX,D.MCKENZIEASSOCIATIONFORMEXICANCAVESTUDIESUNIVERSITYOFTEXASGROTTO,N.S.S.DRAFTEDBYO.KNOX, BJUNE1965SIMAGRANDE500600700800CATHEDRALBASECAMPSIMA TERRIBLE900

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Viewofentrancetos6tanodelaJoyadeSalas.Afterheavyrainsthelake(leftcenter)overflowsintothes6tano.PhotosbyOrionKnoxPassageleadingfromentrancedrop.Notelogswedgedinpassage.SimaTerrible,totaldrop230feet.

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137hadnotbeencheckedwasfollowedforseveralhundredfeet,butitbecame atighterandtightercrawluntilitwasfinallyblockedby aformation.Intheotherdirectionwecontinuedpastthelowestsurveyedpoint,splashingthroughsoupymudinwhat lookedlikeanupstreampassageuntilwereachedaflowstoneblockatthe'end'.Checkingcloserwefound awaterlinemark which waslevelwithasmallopeningnearthetopoftheflowstone.Debrisclingingtotherocksshowedthatwewereindeedina downstreampassagethathadcarriedquiteabitofwater.Climbingovertheblockwefound a5footdroponthefarsideintoapoolofwater.Oriondroppeddownintothewaterand foundittobeabout3feetdeep.Thewallsandbottomweresolid,smoothrockand what hadatfirstappearedtobe a round room wasactuallya lowpassage.However,afterabout25feettheceilingdippedtothewaterlevelandthepassagesiphoned.Thiswasindeedtherouteby whichthelargevolumesofwatercontinuedonthroughthecave.Hereweturnedback,somewhatfrustratedbutatleasthappytoknowthatS6tanodelaJoyadeSalasstillhasachancetodropthroughmoreofitsseveralthousandfootpotential.Perhapsafteralong,dryperiod,orifthewaterlevelcanbeartificiallylowered,itmaybepossibletoexploremoreofthecave.Weemerged fromthecave andpulledthelastropeoutbehindusshortlyaftermidnight.Thenextmorningwespentsometimeinthesouthernvalley,casuallylookingata fewofthemanyshort,blindpitsthatdotthegrassyfloor.LeavingthevalleywedrovebackdowntoJulilocarryingahitchhikerwithuswhotoldofanearbycave whichholdstheremainsofa numberofsoldersfromtheMexicanrevolution.ThiscavemaybelargeandissomewherejusteastofJoyadeSalas.AtJuliloweturnedrightanddroveabout4milesthroughanextremelydense,karst-flooredjungletoRanchodelCielo.WespentthenightthereandcontinuedonouttthenextdaytoG6mezFar!asand Highway85Persons:JonathanDavis,JohnFish,CharlesJennings,CharlieLoving,SusieLoving,MacMcLaughlinDate:23-27November 1966Destination:Matehuala,S.L.P.;S6tanode SanFrancisco,S.L.P.;Xilitla,S.L.P.Reportedby:JohnFishAustin,Texas OurprimarydestinationforthistripwastheS6tanode SanFrancisco,inValledelosFantasmos,whichwasreportedinAMCSNewsletter,v.II,no.4,p.82.WeleftAustinWednesdaynoon andwithfewdelaysarrivedinMatehuala,S.L.P.(southofSaltillo,Coah.)onThursdaymorning,24November. HerewedroveeastoftownaboutonemileontheroadtoDoctorArroyo,thenwalkedsouthtothegypsumsinks,whicharealsomentionedinthepreviousreport.Weexploredand mapped Sumidero deMatehualaNUm.3,whichisashallowsink240feetindiameterwithanarroyoleadingtoacave.Adropofabout8feetleadstothefirstroom,whichhasseveralskylights.Anothershortdropleadstoa 26footdropintoamudroom.Twosmallcrawlways endedquicklyinsiphona.ThursdayafternoonwedroveontoSanLuisPotosi,thenturnedeastontheroadtoCd.Valles,S.L.P.AtValledelosFantasmos,

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DEPTH IN FEETo50100 150200250300350SdTANOdeSANFRANCISCOMUNICIPIOdeSANFRANCISCO.S.L.P.SKETCHMAPBYJ.FISH.NOV.1966DRAFTEDBYJ.FISHAND0,ERICKSONA,M,C,S,

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139 ahighmountainkarstareawithabundantsinksandkarstpinnacles,westoppedforthenight.Thenextmorningwetiedoffa 500footropeatS6tanode SanFranciscoand Irappelledin.Theentranceisabout10 by15feet,but100feetdownthepitnarrowstoacylinderabout5feetindiameterwhichremainsthissizemostofthewaytothebottom.(Seesketchmapon page138.)Asmallstreampouredoverthelipanddisappeareddownthenarrowpipe.Thetopsidepeoplewereeagerlywaitingformetogetofftherope,but340feetdownIencountereda"bottomless"lakeina room 30feetlongand8feetwide.SincetherewasnotevenaplacetogetoffIbegantheprusikout.The340footdepthisaropemeasurement andisprobablyonlywithin+10feet,sinceIcouldnotgetofftherope.WeleftSanFranciscoand began hopping frompittopit,lookingforonethatledtoalargecave.Biologicalcollectionsweremadefromseveralofthepits,includingMexisphodrusbeetlesandseveralblindbeetles.Everyonegotintotheact.Thepitsareso numerousthattheywould beimpossibletolocateexceptby a very-accuratema2ofthevalley.Depths ranged fromaslittleas00feetto288feetforSotanodeCarlos,whichisreachedbywalkingnorthofSanFranciscothroughapass.Evidentlythereismoreofthesametypeofkarstfarthernorth,butasyetunchecked.Sotano deCarloshasasmallentranceunderaboulder,whichbellsouttoafreedropina room25by75feetand 288feetdeep.CharlesJennings,JonathanDavis,andMacMcLaughlinenteredthepitandreportedbeautifulflowstonecoveredwallsand3footsodastrawsatthebottom.Lateintheafternoonwedroveon toward Cd.Valles,campingjusteastofRioVerde.Saturday,wedroveontoXilitlaandtotheTlamayavalley.WelookedattheentrancestoSotanodeHuitzmolotitlaand Sotano de Tlamaya,thenwalked aroundtheTlamayavalleysearchingfornewcavesandpits.Twosmallpitsjustbelows6tanodeOrtiga,low onthesouthernsideofthevalley,werechecked.Onepitwas30feetdeep,whichJ.Davisreportedtobeconnectedby asmallholetoanotherpit.C.Jenningswentdowntheotherpitwhich wasverynarrowatthetopbutabout10 by25feetatthebottomand 80feetdeep.Saturdaynightwespenttalkingwiththeowner andranchhandsatRancho deHuitzmolotitla.SundaywereturnedtoAustin Persons:RevaByers,Jim and Gina Duke,JoeandJanetRepa,RichardSmithDate:2}-27 November 1966Destination:SierradeElAbra andXilitla,S.L.PoReportedby:JimDukeAustin,TexasWeleftAustinon 23 November andvisitedGrutasdeQuinteroand Cueva deElAbra,bothinTamaulipas,on24November.On25NovemberweattemptedtoenterSotanodelTigrenearCd.Valles,S.L.P.butgotlosttryingtofindthecave and ended upats6tanodelArroyo.BythetimewearrivedatTigreitwastoolatetoaccomplishanything.Inourwanderingswedidfindoneverysmallpitofabout70feetnearSotanodelArroyo which wasnotentered.ItisprobablyapartoftheArroyosystemsinceitisonlyahundredorsoyardsfromthefirstdropintothecave.

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140On26 NovemberwedrovetoXilitla,S.L.P.and onwest,pastAhuacatlan,totheareaofS6tanodelPozo andS6tanodelasHoyas.Weclimbedtheoppositeslopefromthetwopitsand,withthehelpofthelandowner, found asmallpit,S6tanodelMeloscho. Thepitwasabout170to180feetdeepatthemost.Atthebottomwefoundsomeskullboneswhich wereidentifiedbyUniversityofTexasanthropologistsasrecent.Weleftthecave andstartedback,spendingthenightatElNacimientodelRioMantenearCd. Mante, Tamps. andthendrovetoAustin,Texas Persons:JerryBroadus,JosephCepeda,TerryRaines,BobRichardson,CindyTracyDate:2-4December 1966Destination:delaHuastecaand Cueva deLaBoca, N.L. Reportedby:TerryRainesAustin,TexasForsomeobscurereasontheMexican customsofficialsdecided.thattodaytheywerenotacceptingSelectiveServiceRegistration.CertificatesasproofofU.S.citizenship.AllofushadbirthcertificatesexceptJerry.Iarguedwiththeofficials,maintainingthatwehadcrossedthebordermanytimesusingonlyaregistrationcard,butallwastoavail.They informedusthatJerrywould havetogetanotarizedaffidavitdeclaringhiscitizenshipbeforeavisacouldbeissued.JerrywentbacktotheU.S.side,paid$2.00foranotary,andreturnedwiththeaffidavit.Weencounterednofurtherdifficulties.ThenightwasspentcampedbesidetheroadjustnorthofSabinasHidalgo.3December Ourtriphadseveralobjectives:learnwhatkindofplantwasbeingbuiltontheroadtoVilladeGarciaasinformationforAMCSBulletinNo.IjvisitcavesindelaHuastecajexploreCueva deLaBocaj andmapthecavesatElDiente,anentmountaincontainingseveralcavesand deepmines.DrivingthroughMonterrey,weturnedwesttowardSaltilloandaftera fewmilesturnednorthontheVilladeGarciaroad.Theplant,sixmilesdowntheroad,wasIndustriadelS.A.,aproducerofalkali.NextweheadedforCan6n delaHuasteca,locatedjusttothesouthofSantaCatarina,N.L. (Seesketchmapon page141.)Asweenteredthecanyon and beganfollowingthearroyoupstream,weobservedalmostverticallybeddedlimestone.(Seephotographon page142.)Knife-edgeridgesrisingseveralhundredfeetwereallaroundus.Wehadleadstoseveralcaves,butbeforevisitingtheseweplannedtocave-huntattheupperendofthecanyon.Theroadturnedouttobeveryrough anddustyandafternearly3hoursofsteadydrivingwearrivedatajunction,only18.3milesfromthemouthofthecanyon.Totherightaroadleadsup a narrowsidecanyontoPajonal,whilestraightaheadtheroadcontinuesupthemain canyon. AsignindicatedthatitwenttoSanJuan,sowetookthisroad.Passingadesertedtruck,wenextmetanotherthatwasstoppedduetolackofwater.Thedriverinformedusthattherewere nocavesintheimmediateareaandthatitwasalmost50milestoSanJuan.Wehadcomeonly3milessincethejunction,whichtookanhour,soweturnedback.The day waslateandwestillhadn'tseenacave.WedecidedtovisitGrutasde SanBartolo,a well-known caveinthearea.Thedustchokedusfor

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SKETCHMAPTofbyTerryRain..December1966AMeS BrownlineaindicategenerE:tlextentofmountainridges.NumbersindicatedistancetnmilesfromSantaCatarina..3calevaries.DELAHUASTECAMonter..-Saltillo

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DELAHUASTECA.Caveisdevelopedinvertically-beddedCretaceouslimestone.Photo byTerryRaines

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143another15milesbeforeweturnedlefton asideroadforashortdistanceand parkedatthebaseofthemountains.Atrailledfrom a hand-dugwellby whichwehadparked,up asteepnorthsouthtrendingsidecanyon, andintothecave.Weestimatedthetrailtobe onemilelongandseveralhundredfeetgaininelevation.Grutasde SanBartoloturnedouttobetwoseparatecaves,bothontheeastsideofthecanyon andperhaps200feetabovethebedofthearroyo.The southmost caveisreachedfirstasonefollowsthetrail.Fromhereatrailleadsbacknorthatahigherleveltothenorthmostcave.(Foramapofthenorthcaveseepage144.)Ourfindingsinthetwocaveswereofbiologicalinterest.Inthesouthmost cavewecollectedseveralvarietiesofspiders,ascorpion,and alargeblackbeetlewhileintheothercavewefound abat,MormoopsForadescriptionofthecavesseeAMCSNewsletter,v.r,no.2,p.21.Thehikedownthearroyowasinthedark,andafterloadingourgearinthetruck,weheadedstraightoutofthecanyon.Itwasonly6milesbacktopavement. FromtheentranceofthecanyonwedrovethroughSantaCatarina,thenMonterrey,andsouthontheInter-AmericanJustbeforeVilladeSantiago(about22milesfromMonterrey)a roughgravelroadeastwastaken,pasttheLaBocaDam,toacampsiteintherivervalleyontheotherside.4 DecemberOndownstream from wherewecamped, onthesouthcanyonwall,isCUevadeLaBoca. (Seemapon page145.)AsinGrutasde SanBartolo,wesimplyexploredthecave andmadeinsectcollections.(SeeAMCSNewsletter,v.II,no.2,p.22foradescriptionofCueva deLaBoca.)Thecollectionincludedbeetles,millipedes,andspiders.Ofnotewasthenew110foottowerparallelingtheoldone,whichgivesaccesstophosphateminingoperationsintheupperlevelsofthecave.ThetowerismadeofsteelandlooksfarsuperiortotheOld,dilapidated,rotten,wooden oneatitsside.Butlooksaredeceiving.AsischaracteristicwithmanyMexican miningstructures,itwasbuiltascheaplyaspossible-thelargestsizeangleironusedwasonly1/8inchthick.Forlateralsupportitusedtheoldtowerandvariousformationsalongtheway.Inthemiddleitwasoutofverticala11ignment byover2feet.Tomakeclimbingpossiblesectionsofladderwereattachedwithbailingwire,andthissamewirewasalsousedtowardsthetopofthetowerwhentheangleironsupplybecamedepleted.Theclimbingofthistower,andthesucceedingnarrow woodenladdersthatledupintothedome,reqUired astrongmindwithanabilitytothinkofotherthings.Weestimatedthedometobeatleast500feethigh,butwenevercouldactuallyseethetop,evenwithapowerfulflashlight.Bythemiddleoftheafternoonwewereoutofthecave,backtothetruck,andheadingforAustin.

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o501002003001__o2550100i__-<>lGRUTASDESANBARTOLO(NORTHCAVE)MUNICIPIODESANTACATARINA,NUEVOLEONBRUNTON ANDTAPESURVEY BYD.MCKENZIE.M.MEREDITH.W.RUSSELL.C.WESTMORELAND5 FEBRUARY1966DRAFTEDBYC.WESTMORELAND,T.RAINESASSOCIATIONFORMEXICANCAVESTUDIESFEETMETERS<:"ENTRANCE

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OFT.500200100300400II IIIII\I\\\\\\\\\,\ \\\\ \ \\ \\\\\\100,III III I,II(/(IIIII-,----,--J'"i-.-t.,.'@-50FEETMETERSo,.1/\CUEVADELABOCAMUNICIPIODESANTIAGO,N.L.BRUNTON AND TAPE SURVEYBYTHE ASSOCIATION FOR MEXICAN CAVE STUDIES MAY1966DRAFTEDBYT.RAINES0100200......__--iENTRANCEQ\\..!?-/0-Q.:>v'\.Q

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146.Persons:RichardFinch,BobHosley,Alan Lenk,RonRichards,Jim Rodemaker,EdYarbroughDate:20-30December1966Destination:Sotanode Tlamaya andtheXilitlaRegion,S.L.P.Reportedby:BobHosleyIndianapolis,IndianaBesidesourintendedvisittowhatthenwasthedeepestknown caveintheAmericas,ourplanshadincludedback-packingintoarelativelyunexploredareaalongtheArroyoSeco.TheplanshadbeenworkedoutwithJohnFishwhowas mosthelpfulinprovidingamapandinmakingadditionalsuggestionsforprofitableareasforcave-hunting.Onapreviousvisitwehadencountereddisappointment onthepartofthePresidenteofXilitlathatno one hadexploredas6tanoonhisproperty.Wehadresolvedtodosotobetterrelationshipsandalso,hopefull,todiscoveroneofthosegreatest-of-all-caves:incomparablybig,ordeep,orwet,orwhat-have-you.Weemerged fromthePresidenciawithourcustomaryletterand asmallguideleadingustothestoreofSr.EliseoPelaezCampos.Sr.PelaezhadcometoXilitlawithintheyearand hadpurchasedthePresidente'sranch,s6tanoandall.Pelaez,anewfriendtocavers,speaksEnglishand soon hadusexploringthreeopeningsonhispropertyatthewestedgeoftown.Noneprovedlarge.Toaidourownmemoriesand,intheabsenceofotherknownnames,weassignedtoeachofthepitsorcavesweexplored.Abriefdescriptionofthesecavesand agenerallocationfollows.20 Decembers6tanodelaVaca onthepropertyofSr.EliseoPelaez,Xilitla.Totaldrop70feet,50feetdowntothefloorofa room and 20feetfartherdownacrevice.Atthebottomisashortpassageand a deadcowand numerouscowbones.WesuggestedtoSr.Pelaezthathefenceoffthepitfromhiswanderingcattle.S6tanoRotondo onthepropertyofSr.Pelaez.Single,rotunda-likeroomabout20feetindiameter.Totaldropabout25feettoawaterrun-offpassagethatpinchestootighttocontinue.21December Whilelookingfors6tanodeHuitzmolotitlatowatchthebirdflightatdusk,mymemoryplayedatrickand Igotthewronglocation.Inthesearchforthepitingrowingdarkness,wecameuponanentranceabout15feetacrossthatsoundeddeep.Lightedbundlesofdriedbananaleavessuggestedthesame,blazingbrightastheyfinallycametorestonthebottom.Thepit,S6tanodeSuchallo,isastraight-sidedshaft205feetdeep.Thereisashortsolutionpassageextendingabout20feetfromthebottom.Wefoundthatwewerenoton Rancho deHuitzmolotitla,buttheranchnearestitinthedirectionofXilitlabelongingtoaSr.Caviarez(?).ThepitisonlyashortdistancedownthehillfromtheroadandverynearthepropertylineofHuitzmolotitla.Thereareseveralotheropeningsonthisproperty-theirpresenceleadingtothedemiseofouroriginalplanssincewewerenotawareofanyonehavingcheckedouttheseopenings.Theranchmanager was mostcooperativeinpointingthemout.s6tanodelEscorpi6nisveryneartheranchmanager'shomeandhasanentranceabout3feetacross.Thetotaldepthofthepitis192feet,anditnarrowssomewhat towardthebottom.Infact,therewasjustroomforRonand I and alargescorpionwhoeyeballeduswithmixedemotionswhileIhurriedlyascended.Therearenopassagesoffthepit.

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147S6tanodelasRa!ceslonthesamepropertYIhasalargeandpicturesqueentrancedrapedwithhangingvines.Itturnedouttobeanother20Q-footerwithoutpassages.Someothersmallerpitswere found andexploredonthispropertyverynearS6tanodeSucha110 andthereremainatleastthreeopeningsnearthefloorofthevalleywhichwedidnothavetimetoenter.Alsolontheslopeoppositethemanager'shouse (away fromtheroadldowntothevalleyfloorland uptheotherside)thereisa caveopeningwithastreamcoming fromitwhichwedidnotgettosee.(Ed.note:SeveralofthesecaveswereexploredduringJulYI1966.SeeAMCSNewsletterlv.IIIno.41p.79;80.)22 December BacktoSr.Pelaez'sranchtoexplorethelargestofhIscaveslS6tanodelaPocaVentana.(Ed.note:Dr.F.BonetreferstothiscaveasCuevadelAhuateNUm.21inhisbook "Cuevas delaSierraMadreOrientalenlaRegion deXilitla,"19531p.58.)Thiscavehasalargeentranceroomwithanopeningunderaledgeatone endoftheroom. Ashortdescentleadstoalargewalkingpassagedecoratedwithflowstoneformationsandthentoalargelpartiallyalluviatedroom.Thereisalsoaformation-filledgrottowithasmallpoolwhichisreachedby ashortsolutioncrawl.A chimneydescentand adroptotallingabout20feetleadstoa 230footdropatthebottomofwhichisasmall,mud-flooredroomwithasmalllroundIwindow-likesolutionhole.There werequitea fewbatspresentlincludingvampireslanditispossiblethatmorepassageexiststhanwhatwefound.SomeofourgroupchosetovisitSotanodeHuitzmolotitlaandtowatchthebirdflight.Onlytheinitial364footdropwasdescended.23-24 DecemberS6tanode Tlamaya onceagain.ImpressiveandintriguIngaseverthoughqUitea few"culturalartifacts"havecrepttheirwayintotheconfinesofthiscave.Turnedbackonceagainatalevelmaybe80to90feetfromthelowestpointinthecave where onetraversesa2inchledgeagainstamudwalloveradeeppool.Notdangerousinanyway-justthethoughtofbeingsoakingwet and 14hoursfromtheentrance.Onthewayoutwecaughtahalf-hour'ssleepintheBigRoomuntilEddy'steethwentofflikeanalarmclock.Weshiveredonward,gatheringourgreatbundlesofrope.25DecemberThevillagesquareinXilitlatransformeditselfintoacolorfulChristmasbazaarwhichweenjoyed-ourJeepservingasananchorpointfora suntarpunderwhichshoesandsandalsweresold.26 DecemberWeheadedtoTlamayaagainandlocatedtheentrancetoS6tanodelaGorrabutfoundthatwewerestillsomewhatexhaustedfromS6tanode TlamayathenheadedforthebeachesofTampicoforashortrest-cureafterstoppingtolookatCuevadelSalitre.27-30 DecemberOnreturnwestoppedtovisitSr.MartfnezandtoseeSotanodelaTinaja,GrutasdeQuinterowhichatonetimehadbeencommerciallandthepicturesqueNacimientodelRfo Mante.

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148 Persons:Jim Huckins, Jim Glock,RobertBatson,John Wagner,RobertTaylor(fromMissouri)HildaFleshman,BarbaraandJ.H.Schermerhorn (from Arkansas)Date:18-31 December 1966Destination:Tamu!n andXi1itla,S.L.P.;Mexico,D.F.Reportedby:J.H.SchermerhornHarrison,ArkansasSincenoneofourgroup hadeverbeentoMexico,wedidnotknowexactlywhattoexpectincrossingtheborderandhowwewouldfindourwayaroundinadifferentcountry.ForseveralmonthsbeforethetripI begantocollectroadmapsandpublicationsaboutcavesinMexico noeasytask.The mostusefulreferencewas acollectionofthebackissuesoftheAMCSNewsletter.FinallyinMexicoCityI found anexcellentofficialtouristroad map.Itwastheonlyonethatseemedfairlyaccurateandcomplete.18-20 DecemberLeftHarrison,Arkansas,stoppinginAustintocheckwiththeAMCSconcerningrecentdevelopmentsinMexicancavingbeforecrossingtheborder.Spentthenightofthe20thnearVilladeGarc!a,N.L.21DecemberWetooktheexcitingcablecarrideuptotheentranceofGrutasdeVilladeGarcIaand went onthecommercialtour.Wewereimpressedbythiscave,whichwasourfirsttovisitinMexico.Wewereanxioustogetonthewayand dosomespelunkingafterseeingtouristcavesfor4days.WedrovetoCd.Valles,S.L.P.wherewespentthenight.22DecemberAftera few wrongturnswereachedVentanaJabal!nearTamuIn,S.L.P.Severalhundredfeetbelowtheentrancewasacampofabout30minerswhowereapparentlYmining guano fromthecave.They hadcablesstretcheduptothecave With two55gallonbarrelsattachedsothatwhenafullone wouldcomedownfromthecavetheempty one would bepulledup.Wegotpermissiontoenterthecave fromtheforeman.Wewereimpressedbythebeautifulview fromtheentranceandthetallceilingheightsandskylights.Becauseitwasgettinglate,wedidn'tattempttorigthe503footskylightdropbutdrovetoXi1itla,S.L.P.wherewespentthenight.23 DecemberJustaswereacheds6tanode T1amaya a group fromIndiana,ledbyBobHosley,wasdescendingthefirstdrop.WereturnedtoRancho deHuitzmolotitlaandsetup camp;weweresurprisedtofindsomanyothercaversfromtheU.S.inthearea.Wemeasured andcutour1200footspoolofSamsonropewhich hadarrivedfromthefactoryonlya fewhoursbeforeweleftArkansas.WethenwenttoCueva de T1amaya, whichhasatotaldepthof316feet.24 DecemberThiswastobeourdaytoenterS6tano de T1amayaasweexpectedtheIndianagroupoutby noon. Mostoftheothercaversleftfora}-dayback-packingtripintothemountains.Thatafternoonwewalkeddownand lookedintotheawesome,junglecovered Sotano deHuitzmo10titla.Wethendidsomehikinginthearea,butdidn'tgofarasithad beendrizzlyand foggytheentiretwodays.ThepeopleattheRanchoinvitedustoaChristmasEvecelebrationandweenjoyedthefinehospitality.25DecemberWeentered(only4ofus:Batson,Taylor,Huckins, andmyself)s6tanode T1amayaaboutnoon,takingmanystillphotos

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149 andcolormotionpictures.Thefirstdropisnolessthanspectacularinsizeandbeauty.However,itwasadisappointmenttofindmuchrefuseintheEntranceRoom.The cavewasverydryandweproceededeasilytothetopofFossilPit.Herewethoughtofthe3 heavy cameraswehadwithusandthe60 poundsofmotionpictureequipment whichwasleftjustabovetheEntranceRoom.Sooutwewent,takingstilland motionpicturesuntilthebatteriesinourfloodlightswentdead.Itwasaveryenjoyabletrip,butthephotographyequipmentmadeitalotofwork.26-31DecemberThemembersofourgroup fromMissourireturneddirectlytotheu.S.whilethethreeofusfrom ArkansascontinuedsouthtothePyramidsofTeotihuacanand MexicoCityforsomesightseeing.AfterwardswereturnedtoMonterrey bywayofHighway57,amuchshorterroutethanHighway85 Persons:RonBridgemon, ChuckPease,KenKrans,DaveNelson,CortSchuyler(fromArizona)LarryClark,TornThompson, Tony Thompson, Diana Hooton (from Utah)KirkHolland,RichardSchreiber(fromTennessee)Date:16-31 December 1966Destination:Xilitla,S.L.P.Region Reported by:RonBridgemon Tucson,Arizona16-18December CartroubledelayedthevehiclesfromArizonaandthecomplete groupdidnotcrossoverintoCd.Juarez,Chih.untilnoonofthe18th.FromtherewecontinuedtowardTorre6n,Coah. 19 DecemberTwenty-fivemilessouthofMatehuala,S.L.P.westoppedtocheck twodirtsinkssimilartothosedescribedbyReddellnearGaleana,N.L. (SeeAMCSNewsletter,v.II,no.3,p.50.)Bothwereabout60feetwide and 30to40feetdeep.Itwould beinterestingtoseeifthiswasacontinuationofthegypsiteformationoftheGa1eanaarea.WepassedthroughCd.delMa!z,S.L.P.about5p.m.,thenpassedthroughaveryinterestinglimestonearea.EastofMa!zthelimestonewas observedtodipnearlyvertical.Severalentrancesandsinkswerespottedbutnone wereinvestigated.AtmidnightourcaravanstoppedtocampatthemouthofArroyo SecojustoutsideofXi1itla,S.L.P.20 DecemberWepulledintoXi1it1aabout10a.m.and metsomeIndianacaverswhowereabouttocheckas6tanojustwestoftown.Wewent ontotheplazatoobtainaletterofpermissionandin-,troductionbutboththePresidenteandclerkwereout.Wewereassuredthatthiswas anunnecessaryformality.(Ed.note:Caversshouldalways checkwithlocalofficialsbeforeenteringanycavesunlessitisknowndefinitelythatcavershavestandingpermission.)A crewofawe-struckcaversmadetheirwayalongthebeautifulmountain roadtoRancho deHuitzmolotitla.AftermanyphotographswearrivedattheranchoandintroducedourselvestoSr.Larioswhowelcomeduswarmly andgraciouslyallowedustocamponthepatiooftheranch.AftercampwasputinorderthegroupwalkedintothevillageofTlarnaya wherewemetSr.ToribioMarqueswhoalongwithhistwolittledaughterstookustotheentranceofS6tanode T1arnaya.Wewouldenterthecave a weeklaterunlessweweretiedupelsewhere.Sr.Marquesagreedtoshowusthelocalcavesthenextday.

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15021DecemberAtlastwewerereadyforsomeseriouswork. Thepartywasdividedintotwosearchteams,I headedTeam1 andKenKranswasinchargeofTeam2.MygroupwastogowithSr.asarrangedthedaybefore.Sinceweintendedtousethedayonlytofamiliarizeourselveswiththelocalandknowncavesweonlycarriedtwolengthsofrope,a 150footand a 60footsection,and 30feetofcableladder.Withthisgearwecouldenterfarenoughtorecognizea cave bydescription.Tooursurpriseweweretakentoas6tanojust1/2milesouthwestofT1amaya andcalledLaGorra byourguide.Neithernameorappearancewasfamiliartomesowedecidedtohave alook.Theentranceis70feetacrossand 150feetlong.Wehadalreadydeterminedbyrockfallthatwedidn'thavesufficientgeartoreachthebottomoftheentrancedrop,butweusedallwehadbroughtinordertogeta good view and what aviewtThefirst70feetisnearlyverticalandthenthewallundercuts,revealing273feetfreetothebottom.Thewallsoftheshaftgetfartherandfartherapartthedeeperonedescends.WeleftLaGorrawithplanstoreturnthenextdaywithmorerope.Sr.thenledusbackalongtheridgetoward Tlamaya andpointedoutseveralpitsthatwedidn'tcheck.Wethenarrivedata hugerectangularsink,200 by 150feetand 50feetdeep.Hackingourwaytothefarwallofthesinkonlyrevealeda 500foothorizontalcave.Wethenwere shown twopits,140 and 90feetrespectively,thatwerebothblindshafts.SearchTeam2,accompanied byDanEvans(Austin,Texas)wentintothehighcountrynorthwestofT1amayaalongtheroutecalled"Camino Real" bythelocalpeople.Theysawmanys6tanosand found aguidewhopromisedtotakethemthefollowingdaytoas6tanowhich noNorthAmericans hadeverseen.Thiswassupposedlyatanelevationinexcessof6500feet.22December Both teams headedofftotheirrespectiveareas.Team1 wenttoLaGorrawitha 600footlengthofropeplusthegearofthepreviousday andanadditional100feetofcableladder.Team2tookonly2lengthsofropeastheyhad amiserable6milehikeaheadofthem andthemainobjectivewastoonlylocatethehighs6tano.ElGorro wasreachedandthetimeconsumingtaskofrigginggotunderway. The 130feetofladderwastieddirectlytoatreeonefootfromthebrink.ItwastobeusedbyCortwhowentdownfirstinordertophotographpeoplegoingtothebottom.Hehungthereanhourand ahalf.Approximately 360feetofthelongropewas loweredintothepitandCortsaiditwasonthebottom.I wasfirsttodropoveronrappelanditwas amagnificentsighttoseeamanswingingattheendof130feetofladderwith213feetofspacebelow him.WhenIreachedthebottomI wassurprisedtodiscovermyselfnexttoa 60foothighbreakdownpile.Fromthetopthebottomlooksabsolutelylevel.Dave,Larry,Tom,and Chuckcamedownnext.Theentrancedropmeasured 343feet,273feetcompletelyfree.Thetotaldepthofthecave was 426feetand a roughsketchwasmadeoftheareaatthebottom.Afteraquickmealweprusikedout,thelastmanmakinghisexitat9 p.m.Justasallthegearwas packed ayellcamefromacrossthevalley.Team2 wasalsoreturning.BackatcampKenrelatedtheiractivities.Team2 hadpickeduptheirguideandthenmadeagruelinghiketowardthehighest

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151 groundinthearea.(Seephotographon page152.)Alongthewaytheywere shown ahorizontalentrance7feethighand 20feetwide.They weretoldthattheywerethefirstNorthAmericanstoseethecavebutitwasnotcheckedsincethemainobjectivewasthes6tano.Onlythreeoftheteam managedtofighttheirwaytothes6tano'sentranceasthelast1/4mileoftrailwasmadeastheywent.Evanssaidthatitwas oneofthebests6tanoentranceshe hadseenandestimatedthedropatabout200feet.Asitwasquitelatealreadytheyheadedbacktowardtherancho.23 December Today wasdeclareda dayofrestasbothteamsplannedtohIkeuptothenewlylocatedsotanothenextday and spend twodaysaway frombasecamp. AtripwasmadeintoXilitlaandwepassedtheArkansas-M1ssouricrew ontheway.IntheafternoonRichardandKirkdescendedintoS6tanodeHuitzmolotitlatothebottomoftheentrancedrop.24 DecemberWemadelastminuteadditionstoourbackpacks,and packedour2700feetofrope.Ithadrainedthedaybeforeandtheweatherstilllookedfarfromencouragingforourhike.Athickcloudcoverentirelyconcealedthetopofthemountainrangeandourrock-spirelandmark,LaSilleta.Larryandmyselfhadcornedownwithcoldsso'thingslookedbleak.InTlamayawemadearrangementstorenttwoburrostohaulourropesthe6milestoournewcamp,thehorizontalcaveseenbyTeam2 ontheirprevioussojourn.Thelo-year-oldsonoftheowner accompaniedustodriveandcarefortheburros.Travelwasslowwiththeburrosand one stumbled andfell3timesonthesteeperportionsofthetrail.Eachtimeitwasnecessarytounloadtheanimalinordertogethimbackonhisfeet.Thetrailfinallybecametoosteepfortheburrosabout1/8milebelowthehorizontalcave.They wereunloadedandtheboytookthembacktoTlarnayawithinstructionstoreturntothesamelocationintwodays.Mucheffortwas expendedingettingallofourgearupthatfinal,steepslopeandthelastofitdidn'treachthecaveuntilabout9p.m. 25 December AgainwedividedintoteamsinordertoaccomplishthemaxImumintheshorttimewehad.Fourofthegroupwent uptothes6tano,whichwenameds6tanodeLaSilleta.Theystartedoffonthelasthorriblysteepmilewithabout1600feetofrope.Theothersand I remained andsurveyedthecaveinwhichwehad camped.Aftercompletionofthesurveyweweretojointheothergroupwiththeremainderoftherope.Iftheirgearhadbeenexhaustedwewould goinand pushfartherwhiletheyrestedbackatcamp.Thecaveofourcamp,dulychristenedGrutade Navidad(seemapon page153),isessentiallyajoint-controlledpassagethatslopesgentlyupasonegoesin.Asmallarroyobeginsatthecaveentrance,indicationthatwaterdischargeshaveoccurredinthepast.Asmallactivestreamissuesfromthebackofthecave,coursesalongtheeasternwallforabout100feet,thendisappearsintothewall.Thebackportionofthecaveiswelldecoratedandextremelywet onthewesternside,thiswateraddinggreatlytotheflowofthesmallstream.Asidepassagetrendstothesouthwestfromthemainpassageabout200feetinfromtheentranceandislowerthantherestofthecave,therebybeingquitemuddy.Wesurveyed850feetinGrutade Navidadwithonlyacoupleoforawlsleftunohecked.

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XILITLAAREA.VieweastfromthebaseoftheLaSilletapinnacle.The Tlamayasolutionvalleyisinright-centerandtheHighwayrunsnorth-souththroughvalleyinPhotobyDannyEvans

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ENTI'ANCEMUNICIPIODEXILITLA,S.L.P.o2550100FEETP"Siii_iBRUNTONANDTAPESURVEYBYUAACGROTTO,25DEC.1966DRAFTEDBYD.ERICKSONAMCSNAVIDADDEGRUTA

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154OncebackatcampChuck checked asmallholelocatedjusttothewestofGrutadeNavidad.Althoughthiscaveissmaller,itismuch moreactiveand muchbetterdecorated.Aswethenusedthewaterfrom a gourdintheentranceroomwedecidedtocallthecaveCueva de Agua.Afterlunch3ofustooktheremainingropeandstruckoffforS6tanodeLaSilleta.Itwas afightupmoistdirtandvegetationand I wasbeginningtothinkthatIshouldhave remainedincamp. NearthetopoftheridgeweyelledandKirkanswered.Hecamedownandledusalongthenewlymadetrailtothes6tano.Hehadbeendowntheentrancedropbutbecausehe hadlosthiscarbidelamp onthehiketothecavehecouldnotcontinue.Kirksaidthatthepthershadkeptongoingdownand he hadlastheardfrom them4hoursearlier.Wewaitedatthebrinkofthelargeentranceforanhourbeforethegroupinthecavereturned.Kirkand ItookallthegearwecouldcarryandstartedbacktoGrutadeNavidad.BackatcampRichardand Davebrieflydescribedthecave.Richardsaidthataconservativeestimatewouldplacetheirpointofpenetrationat700feetbelowtheentrance.Dave exclamedthatitwas oneofthemostbeautifulcaveshe hadseen.(See,"NotesontheExplorationofs6tanodeLaSilleta",on page155.)26 DecemberWestruggledoutofbed andluggedtheropesandothergeardowntothepointwheretheburrosweretomeetusatnoon.Chuckdecidedtostayatthehighcampanotherdayinordertolocatecavesforfutureinvestigation.Severalwerefound.The boy andtheburroswererightontime,andwemadea qUicktripbacktoTlamaya wherewepaidourfeeof25pesosfortheuseoftheburros.Wegotbacktobasecampattherancho/at5p.m.and metSr.RafaelGonzalezCisneros,thenewowner01Rancho deHuitzmolotitla.Wethankedhimforpermittingustocamponhisranchand hesaidthatwewerealwayswelcome. 27 DecemberAftertakingiteasyuntil11a.m.Richard,Kirk,Dave, andIdecidedtotackles6tanodeTlamaya.Theentrancepitwasenteredat12:30p.m.Everythingwentsmoothly,thoughthecavewasqUitewet,andtheend wasreachedat6p.moTospeedupthereturn,wesplitintotwoteams:KirkandI,andRichardand Dave.Kirkand I headedstraightfortheBigRoomandstoppedforameal.Richardand Davederiggedthedrops,givingusalltheropeswhentheyreachedtheBigRoom.The twoofusthentookoffwhiletheystoppedfortheirdinner.28 December Our team method workedbeautifullyandKirkwasoutofthes6tanoby3:30a.m.Hewenttotheranchoforthetrucktohaulourgearaswellasgetsomedryclothesforallofus.Richardand Dave werenowatthebottomoftheentrancedrops,andafterhaulingropeuptomylevel,Istartedupthelastprusikof279feet.Davecameupnextandthepofushauledupsomeof,therope.Aftermuchtroublewiththeropegettingsnagged,Richardexitedthecave16hoursafterwehadentered.Therestoftheday wasspentsleepingandeating.29 December Ourgroupreluctantlybrokecampaswepreparedtoleavethisgreatcavearea.WethankedSr.LariosagainandstartedthedriveathonbacktoTucson,Arizona.

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155NOTESONTHEEXPLORATIONOFSOTANODELASILLETAbyRichardSchreiberTheentrancetoS6tanodelaSilletawaslocatedon22December by areconnaissancepartyconsistingofDanEvans, Tony Thompson,KirkHolland,KenKrans,RichardSchreiber,and a Mexicanguide.OnSunday morning,25December 1966,afterspendingSaturdaynightcampedinGrutade Navidad,aninitialexploratoryteam,consistingofKirkHolland,DaveNelson,Tony Thompson, andRichardSchreiber,beganthe800to900footverticalclimbfromGrutade Navidad uptotheentranceofS6tanodeLaSilleta.Thepartycarrieda 600foot,270foot,and two 150footlengthsofnylonropeplusthenormal complementofverticalgear,food,and cameraequipment.Thehiketookagreatdealoftimeandenergyasthetrailwasextremelysteepanddidnotextendtotheentrance.Itwasnecessarytomakeourowntrailforroughly800feetthroughthethickgrowthatthecrestofthemountainridgeatthebaseofLaSilleta.Thisunusuallimestonepinnaclerises400feethigher.TheelevationoftheentrancetoS6tanodeLaSi1letaisaround 6500feetandpinetreesarepresent,thoughnotinabundance.WhenwereachedtheentrancewediscoveredthatKirkhadlosthiscarbidelamp.Oneendofthe600footropewas loweredintotheS6tano andthentiedoffatabout350feet.Richardrappelleddowntofindthatthedropwasonly155feetbutthatthepitcontinueddown wardinabroad,partialspiralatanangleof45to55degrees.Becauseofthenatureoftheslope,itwasdecidedtousethefUll600footlengthforthedropandtherestasahandlinedownthewet,slickslope.Dave, Tony, andKirkrappe11edintothepit.Kirkwithouthislightlooked aroundnearthebaseofthedropthenreturnedtothesurfacetosearchforthelamp.Richard,Tony, andDaveworkedtheirwaydownthewetflowstoneslopedescendingforabout250feet,vertically,untilthepitappearedtopinchoutandend.Closeobservationproduced twosmallopeningswhich wereactuallyone diVidedintotwo byflowstone,makingbothopeningsabout2 by2.5feet.Throughtheseopeningsastrongairmovement wasnotedand asmalltrickleofwaterflowed.Here a 150footlengthwasriggedbecauseimmediatelyontheoppositesideashortdropwasdiscovered.Richard,followedby Tony and Dave, madethisdropof30feet.Fromherethepassagecontinueddownwardforroughly120feet,vertically,varyinginwidthfrom 15feetto40feetwithceilingheightsofupto100feet.Thefloorofthepassagewas wetflowstone.Massiveflowstoneandotherspeleothemswere foundalongthepassage.Afterfollowingthispassagedownwardwefoundthatitintersectedahorizontally-developedcave.Atthispointwesplitintotwounits:Tony andDavewould gototheleftandRichardwould gototheright.Thepassagetotheleftextendedforabout400feetandterminatedina dome.Itvariedinwidthfrom 15feetto40feetwithceilingheightsfrom 6to70feetormore.Manyspeleothemsofallvarietieswerenoted.Thepassagetotherightconsistedofa low, widestreamcrawlforroughly150feet,thentheceilingincreaseduptoabout

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156 20feet.Atthispointthepassagecontinuedfartherfor150feetwhereitnarroweddowntoa2footwide, 3foothighstreamstoopfor25feet.Beyondthestoop,whichcontainedwatertoadepthof2feet,thepassagewidenedto20feetand begandescendingat60degreesormore,requiringmuchclimbingand wormingthroughbreakdown. Thestreamwasnowfollowingthedownwardslopingfloor.Afterdescendingverticallyforapproximately75feetthepassagewidenedto50feetand adryleft-handleadawayfromthestreamchannelwasfound.Thiswasfollowedfor100feethorizontallywhereitdescendedverticallyfor60feetalongaslopingpassagewhichpinchedout.Thestreampassagewasfollowedfromthisintersectiondownwardforroughly60feet,vertically,toapointwherethepassagenarrowedto4feetinwidthandwithceilingheightsof3feet.Atthispointalargeslabofrockblockedfurthereasyaccesstothepassagebeyond.Itwasnotedthatthepassagebeyondslopedatapproximately50degreesandenlargedagaininwidth.Astrongairflowwasnotedalso.RichardreturnedtojoinDave and Tonyintheirareaofexploration.Manypicturesweretakenbythetrioonthereturntotheentrancefromhere.Uponreachingthebottomoftheentrancedrop,TomThompson, oneofthesupportcrewofthree,wasfoundwaitingforourreturn.WaitingonthetopwereRonBridgemon,Kirk,and ChuckPease.Weprusikedout,deriggedthe600footrope,thenreturnedtoourcampinGrutade Navidad.Inconclusion,itisourbeliefthats6tanodeLaSil1etawillbe foundtobeconsiderabledeeperthanwhatwasexploredonthisfirstvisit,approximately700verticalfeetbelowtheentrance.The groupwillbereturninginthefuturetosurveyandfurtherexplorethismostinterestingpitcave Persons:EdAlexander,TommyMcGarrigle,TerryRaines,BillRussell,BudStewart,TomTracyDate:17-30December 1966Destination:Cacahuam11pa,GuerreroareaandHuautla,OaxacaareaReportedby:TerryRainesandBillRussellAustin,Texas 17 DecemberNightfallfoundusarrivinginCd. Mante, Tamps.alterspendingthedaydrivingfromtheUnitedStates.Onthesouthsideoftownwetooka well-markedgravelroadforabout5mileswesttoI1ElNacimientodelRio Mante". Here alargeresurgenceislocatedatthebaseoftheSierradeElAbra.FromthisresurgencetheRioManteflowsoutacrosstheplainstotheeast,prOVidingirrigationwaterforthemanyfarmsoftheregion.TheareaimmediatelysurroundingtheNacimientohasbeenmadeintoaparkwhichisanexcellentcampinglocation.Herewespentthenight.18 DecemberOneofthefirstthingsnoticedwasthehighwaterlevelortheresurgence.Part'ofthecampgroundandseveralconcretebencheswere submerged.Thiswas duetotheheavyrainstheareahasbeenreceivingwithinthelastfew months.FromtheNacimientoourroutetookusonsouthCd.Valles,S.L.P.totheturnofftoXilitla,S.L.P.(newroad).HereDannyEvans and Gary Helman,whohadcomewithusfromAustin,caughtthebusupintothemountainstothewest.ItwastheirplantohikeintothehighplateauareanorthofTlamaya. Theretheyhopedto

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157obtainaroughideaofhowmanyand whatofcavesarelocatedinthearea.(Seetripreporton page150.)Meanwhile,Budand Icontinuedon,drivingthroughtheruggedmountainsbetween Tamazunchaleand MexicoCity.Alongtheroad twosmallareasofbarrenkarstandinternallydraineddepressionswerenoted.Thefirstwasatkilometerpost323ataplacecalledTamaulipasandthesecond wasjustdowntheroadatkilometerpost317.Theselocationsshouldbe checkedforcavesasno workwhatsoeverhasbeendoneinthisregionbytheAMCS.Our immediatedestinationwastheNationalParkatthevolcanosofandIxtacc!huatl.AfterfightingourwaythroughthetrafficinMexicoCitywepassedseveralsmalltowns andeventuallyarrivedatthepark.1*DecemberWespentthedayclimbingonPopocatepetland viewingtescenery.20 DecemberPassingthroughMexicoCity,wedrovetothecommercIalGrutasde CacahuarnilpainGuerrerothenturnednorthonHighway55.Continuingapproximately5milespastthestatelineintothestateofMexico,wearrivedatthemarkedturnofftoGrutasdelaEstrella.Fromhereitis2kmwesttotheendoftheroadwhichoverlooksthecaveentrance.Anarroyoleadsintoalargedepression,atone endofwhichisGrutasdelaEstrella.Theportionofthecaveweexploredandsurveyedconsistsofanundergroundriverpassageblockedby a deeppool595feetfromtheentranceand a950footlongupperlevelloopcontainingmanyformations.Thisdaywesurveyedtheupperlevelloopwiththeexceptionoftwosidepassages.21DecemberWereturnedtothecave and began mapping wherewehadleftoffthedaybefore.Fromtheentrancethelargestreampassagecontinuesfor217feetbeforedropping.Atthispointa woodenbridgehasbeenbuiltalongtheleftwalloverlookingthedropanditleadstotheupperlevelloop.(Seephotographon page158.)Itrequiredseveralhourstomapthetwosidepassagesofftheloopandcheckforotherleads.Withthissectionofthecave completewereturnedtotheentrance.BuddecidedtoreturntothetruckwhileI wentbacktosurveythedownstreamsectionpastthefirstdropand woodenbridge.Thisprovedtobethelargestsectionofthecave,withthepassageaveragingover60feetwide and70feethigh.Afteronlya few hundredfeetIencountereda deeppoolcompletelyblockingtheway. Becausethecarbidelamps were growing dim fromlackofcarbideandthepassageonlygotlargerontheothersideofthepool,Icalleditquits.Additionaltroublewasencounteredwiththelampswhenthestrongaircurrentsenteringthecaveextinguishedtheflames.Ireachedthetruckbynightfallandwedrovebacktothehighway. Nothavingdecidedwhich cavetovisitnext,wecontinuedonlya fewmilessouththencampedataplacecalled"ElMirador".22 December Theroadsidestopwherewewere camped provedtobewell=deservingofthename"ElMirador"orThe Lookout. Immediatelyontheothersideofastonewallfrom wherewewere parked was acliffover400feethigh.Fromitsbasethegroundslopedsteeplydownforoveronethousand-feettotheRioChontalcoatlanatthebottomofthegorge.UpstreamthisriverpassesthroughGrutas.delaEstrella.Downstreamitisagainpiratedunderground andthenemerges fromtheRioChontalcoatlanentranceofDosBocas3km(airlinedistance)away.Continuingeast,wedrovethroughthevillageofElMogoteto

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CUEVADESANAGUSTIN.Entranceroom. Photo byTerryRainesGRUTASDELAESTRELLA.Passageatentrance.Photo byTerryRaines

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159Grutasde Mogote,locatedonemileeastoftown. Here alargedepressionhasformedwiththesmallsinkentrancetotheGrutaslocatedinthebottomontheeastside.The highway wasbuiltsoclosetothedepressionthatitisnowcollapsingintoit.BuddecidednottoenterthecavesoI went aheadtomakeabiologicalcollection.Anhourwasspentinthecavecollectingquiteavarietyofinsects.About noonweleftthearea,returnedtothemain highway, anddrovesouthtoAcapulcoforaday;arefreshingbreakfromcaving.23-26DecemberAfterspendingthe23rdinAcapulcowereturnedtoMexicocitywhereBudboardedabusleaVingforAustin.IcontinuedontothebeautifulcityofOrizaba,Ver.where Ispentthenext3daysinand aroundthecityvisitingseveraloldfriends.OnChristmasday IhikedtothesmallIndianvillageofTeqUila,located10milessouthofOrizaba.Thisisinanareaofagreatnumberofpits,manyofwhich werevisitedbyAMCSmembers 2yearsearlier.Onthenightofthe26thI metBillRussellandTomTracyinMexicoCity.FromthereweheadedtoHuautladeJimenez,Oax.for4daysofcaving.27 December At Tehuacanweturnedsouth,followingthebroadvalleythatistheupperbasinoftheRioSantoDomingo. Theclimateinthisareaishotanddry.After80kmandseveralsmalltownswereachedTeotitlandelCamino,thelastvalleytown onourroute.FromTeotitlanwetookadirtroadthatwinds upintothemountains,headingeast.Forapproximately20kmitisverysteepwithmanySWitchbacks;vegetationisstillThe roadthencontoursbetweenseveralpasses(elev2250m)beforedescendingtheremaining35kmtoHuautlade Jimenez(elev1500 m). BetweenTeotitlanandHuautla(90kmbyroadbutonly25kmbyair)theroadliterallyclingstothemountainsides,severalthousandfeetabovethevalleyfloors.Theexcitingrideprovidesquiteanexperienceforthoseviewingtheregionforthefirsttime.AsoneapproachesHuautla,vegetationbecomesprofusebecausethecloudsfromtheGulfofMexicoareblockedbythemountainsandforcedtodroptheirmoisture.Go,odcave-forminglimestoneisnotencountereduntiljustpastHuautla.AfterseveralhoursofbouncingalongtheverybadroadwereachedHuautlaanddroveanother6kmtothepassbelow SanAgustin.EdAlexanderandTommyMcGarriglearrivedwithina fewminutesandwesetup camp.ThatafternoonTOM,Tommy,and Iexploredand mappeds6tanodelCamino. The caveislocatedabout114milefromourcampinthedirectionofTenango and 40feettotheleftoftheroad.Theinitialdropinthe40 by 50footentrancepitis109feet.Aslopingpassageabout40feethighand wideleadsdownwardfor170feetfromthebaseofthedrop.Theflooriscoveredwithlargebreakdown. Asmallholebetweenthecavewallandseveralbreakdownblocksleadsfromtheendofthepassageintoasmalllowerlevel.Herethecavereachesitsgreatestdepthof273feet.(Seemapon page160.)28 December Abrightcleardayboostedourmorale.Afterhavingspentthemorninglocatingsomeknowncavesintheareaforourpersonalreferencewearrivedattheentrancetos6tanode SanAgustinby noon.OVeranhourwasspentriggingtheropeandchoppingapathdownthroughthedenseundergrowthwhichcoversthesteepentranceslope.(Seephotographon page162.)Tom,Ed,Tommy,and Icontinuedonintothecave,surveyingaswewent.

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FEETo306090120150 180210240300330ENTRANCEPROFILEm/SOlANODELCAMINOMUNICIPIODEHUAUTLADEJIMENEZ,OAXACABRUNTONANDTAPESURVEYBYT.McGARRIGLE,T.RAINES,T.TRACY27DECEMBER1966DRAFTEDBYD.ERICKSONANDT.RAINESAMCSo306090120 150 FEET

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161Pastthefirstlargeroom(approximately70feethigh,125feetwide,and 470feetlong)whichislocatedjustinsidetheentrance,wedescended afissurewithseveraldropsbeforequittingfortheday.Thegreatestpitchwassurveyedtobe74feetwhilethetotalofthefourwas 142feet.(The cave wasexploredlastJunetoapointabouthalfwaydownthesedrops.Foratripreportand de&criptionofS6tanode SanAgustinseeAMCSNewsletter,v.II,n.3,p.57.)Oursurveyshowedthatwehadexploredtoadepthof691feet.Atthislowestpointwas ashortpitwithapromisingpa&sageleadingfromthebottom.Alsonotedwas astrongwindblowingintothecave.Itwasimpossibletokeep acarbidelamplitinthenarrowersectionsofthepassage.Wedecidedtoleaveallequipment andropesinplacesothatourfarthestsurveyedpointcouldbereachedquicklythenextmorning andexplorationcontinued.WhilethefourofusspentthedayinS6tanode SanAgustin,BillRusselllocatedseveralcavesintheSan MiguelDo1ina.Thislargedo1inaislocatedjusttothenorthofthetownofSanMiguel.(SeelocationmapinAMCSNewsletter,v.II,no.3,p.61.)Atthesoutheastendofthedo1inaasteeparroyoleadsfrom belowthechurchandentersasteeplyslopingcave.Thiscave wasexploreddownwardforabout100feet,Withthepassageabout20feethighand 15feetwide.Floodwaterentersthecave anditappearstobepromising.Northward fromthecave belowthechurchafieldslopestowardseveraldirtsinksatthebaseofacliff,noneofwhichappearpromising.Fromthefielda narrowpassleadsnortheasttoacircular,flatareaatthebottomofthedo1ina.Ontheeastsideasmallsinkleadstoapossiblecave,and onthewestisalargecaveentrancebyanalmostisolatedblockoflimestone.Thisentranceleadstoaseriesofparallelfissuresextendingbacktowardthedirtsinks.Thereisa 15or20footdropatthemainentrancebutthecavecanbeenteredwithoutequipmentthrougha secondentrance,agullysinkaroundthecornertothewestofthemainentrance.The mainfissureextendsabout300feetfromtheentranceasapassageabout25feetwide and 50feethigh.Beforeitends,a window opensintoaparallelfissurewhosefloorisabout40feetbelowthewindow.Thislowerfissurecan beeasilyreachedbyfollowingasmallpassagedownward fromtheendofthemainentrancefissure.Asmallstreamflowsoveralargef10wstonebank,acrossone endofthelowerfissure,andintoasmallmuddycraw1waY.Northofthisfissurecave agullyfromthesteepmountainsideentersashallowsinkattheedgeofafield.Fromthissink,whichisabout5feetdeep,a low,horizontal,ellipticalpassageextendsforabout200feettoa 40footpit.Thispassagegraduallyenlargesandiswalking-sizebeforethepit.Duetothelackofequipmentthispitwasnotexploredbutestimatedtobe 60feetdeep.29 DecemberWehurriedlyenteredS6tanode SanAgustininordertoescapethedensefogand lOW-lyingcloudsthataresocharacteristicoftherainyseasonofthesummermonths.Onceinsideittooklessthanonehourtoreachthe-691footdepthofthedaybefore.WithEdrunningtheBrunton,TomandTommyhandlingthechain,and Isketching,weproceededdownthenextdrop.The 48footrappelbroughtustothebeginningofanothersectionofhorizontalpassages.Thiswasevidentlyoneofthemainroutesfloodwatertookbecausethewallswerescouredcleanandthefloorwascoveredwithroundedstonesupto8inchesindiameter.A"Titintersectionwasencountered237feetfromthedropatadepthof

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SOTANODESANAGUSTIN.Viewlookingupentranceslopeof269feet.PhotobyTerryRaines

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163-749feet.Theleft-handpassageleadstoa secondstreampassagesimilartotheonewewerefollowing.Bothcontainsmallstreamsandlead,bywayofshortdrops,toahorizontalpassageatthe-834footlevel.Herethewallsarecovered Withmudandthefloorhaspoolsand banksofmudandsand.Thestreamissluggishandtheceilingisonlyafoothighinplaces.Thepassagecharacteristicscontrastedsharplywiththoseoftheprevious,activestreampassageways.Lookingahead,weexpectedthecavetosoon endinasiphon,butmuchtoourexcitementthepassagechangedbacktoitsformerselfandevenenlarged.Surveyingaswewent,wepassedthroughtwo rooms, onewithtwo 50foothighdomes. Aheadwecouldheartheroarofalargewaterfall.Asweapproached,thepassagenarrowed andwechimneyedhightoavoiddeeppoolsbelow.Thewatercascadedovera21footdropintoanotherdeeppooljthe" ceilingless",circularroominwhichitwascontainedamplifiedthefallingwater.Peeringdownthroughthemist,wesawthatthepassageturnedsharplytotherightand droppedagain.Inthemeantime,Tommyhaddiscovereda5footwideledgeup ontherightwallwhichoverlookedtheseconddrop.Thisprovedtobeanexcellentriggingpointfreefromthewaterfall.Irappelleddown,swingingtoonesidetoavoidthewaterinthebottomofthefissurepassage.Wesurveyedthedropfromtheledgetothewaterand foundittobe71feet.FromhereI climbeddownanothershortdropandarrivedatthetopofquitea deeppit.ThewaterhadscouredcleanthepassagebutonthewallI found asolutionpocketthatcontainedseveralfist-sizerocks.Although Ineverwasexsurehowlongittookarocktofall(thewaterfallwasverylOUd)Iestimatedthedepthtobeabout150feet:SOfeet.With no moreropeortimeweheadedoutofthecave,shoulderingtheburdenoftheheavy, wetropes.Thebottomofthe71footdropsurveyedtobe-920feetbelowtheentrancewithatotalhorizontalpassagelengthof2287feettothispoint.Astrongcurrentofairwasnotedblowingintothecave andthroughoutthecavesmallsidechannelsJointhemainstream.Thisallpointstoaverypromisingcavesystem,thathasapotentialdepthofabout3500feet.BillRussellagainhikedaroundthisday.HeexaminedthenorthendoftheSan MiguelDolinaaswellasthevalleytothenortheastalongtheroadasfareastasLa.Providencia.The day wasveryfoggy andallthatwas found were numerousfilledsinks.30 December The morning wasspentsurveyingCUevade SanAgustin,asfarasthedeeppoolofwater.(See cavedescriptioninAMCSNewsletter,v.II,no.3,p.64.Alsoseephotographon page158.)EarlyintheafternoonwepackedoureqUipment and beganthetriptoAustin,arriving31 December Persons:CharlesBorlandIII,T.R.Evans, RanaldStearnsDate:25 December 1966 -2January1967Destination:Aquism6n,S.L.P.areaReportedby:T.R.EvansFt.Detrick,MarylandAnareawestofAquism6n,S.L.P.shown on a Mexicantopographicmapcontainsmanylargedolinasandsinksoccurringbetween 750 m and 1000 m abovesealevel(TheelevationofAquism6nisabout100 m.) andindicatesa fewashighas2000m.Wedecided

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tospend a fewdayshikingintheareatodeterminewhatexistsinthewayofcavesandpits.Sinceourpurposewastoreconnoitertheregion,wedidnotburdenourselveswithrope andclimbinggear;however,wedidtakecarbidelamps,flashlights,andhelmetssowecouldbrieflyexploreanyhorizontalcaveswehappenedtofind.ArrivinginAquismon around 5 p.m. onthe26th,weatesupperandstartedthehikeuptoavillagecalledTamapatz -roughly15kmfrom Aquismon and 650 mhigher.By7p.m.wewereploddingalonginthemoonlightandquitetired,sodecidedtocamp. AtthispointwewerealreadyinTlamaya-likekarst.Continuingonthenextmorning,wearrivedataplacecalledLaLajawherethereisasmallstorewhere one can buyvariousrefrescosandfruit.Weweretoldofseveralcaveswhichexistinthearea,butvisitednone.AtLaLajathetrailforks-theonetotheleftgoingtoTamapatz andtheonetotherighttoaranchandothertrailswhichledtoTansosob, Rancho Nuevo, andeventuallytoTamapatz,too.A houseislocatedatthisjunctionandtheowner informedusofseveralcavesandpitsinthatarea.Hedescribedonelargecaveofftotheleftofthetrailleadingtotheranch,andwedecidedtohave a goatfindingit.Thegentlemanwasunabletogowithusbecausehe hadinjuredhisankle.Leavingourpacksathishouse,wesetoff.Itwasevidentfromthebeginningthatwehadlittlehopeoffindingthecave,andfinallywecameacrosssomeladsclearingbrushfromunderthecoffeetrees.Yes,theyknewofcavesand wouldshowussomeandtookustoacoupleofsmallsheltercaves.Whatabouts6tanos?Sure,therewasabigone ondownthetrailofftotherightonlyahalf-hour'swalk away. Beingtrulydesperatetofindsomethingotherthansheltercaves(Gottokeep uptheimage, you know.)webombedofftofindthepit-againwithnoguideastheyouthshadtoremainworking.Carryingon upthetrail,weeventuallyarrivedatanotherhouse andstoppedtoinquireifanyonethereknewofthepit.Ohyes.Half-hour'swalkawayreallybigandveryprofundoandbirds,too-lotsandlotsofbirds,especiallyinthemorning andintheevening.Calledthes6tanodelasGolondrinas.Aguidewasprovided,andfilledwithenthusiasmwedeparted.Ahalfhourlaterweweredrippingwithsweat and onthevergeofexhaustion.Wehadtostopandrest(wethegringos,thatis).Stoppingandrestingwhilewalkingisapparentlya yankeehabitthatthelocalsdon'tpractice.Fromthenon,itwaswillpowerthatforcedusonward and upwarduntilwefinallyreachedthes6tano.A woodengateisencounteredontherightsideofthetrailand fromhere,atrailleadspastahuttoamilpaandthepit.Thepitisonthesideofahilland one walks uptoit.Nowaterappearstodrainfromthesurfaceintothepit,whichis150to200feetacross.Onthesideofthes6tanooppositethetrailthewallsareabout100feethigher.Thispitisdeceptivelylargeandwhenwefirstlooked down,allwecouldseewastheoppositewalluntilwegotcloseenoughtoleanovertheedge and have abetterlookandthenwecouldseenothingbutinkyblack.Thepitiscompletelyoverhungatthepointthetrailintersectsit,althoughitmight bepossibletorigitsotheropewould benearawallfora goodpartoftheway.Afterawhile,thevague formofabottomcouldbeseen,and

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165itlooked a good 300feetdeep.Nowitwastimeforthatspecialeventmostpitcaversenjoy-rockdropping.Thehecticsearchforrockswas on and nonecouldbe foundneartheedgeofthepit.Finallysomewere found 50feetawayorsoand a watch wasmadeready.Leaningovertheedge,I droppedthefirstrockwhichwas6to8in.indiameter.Downitwent.In5or6secondsthegreatcrashingsound would beheardnotasound.Eightseconds,9seconds-nothing.Finallyafter91/2to10secondstheroaroftherockfallingthroughtheaircouldbeheardandafter101/2to11secondsthesoundoftherockhittingbottomwasheard.Somepits"look"deep andothersdon't.Thisonejustdidn'tlook101/2secondsdeep,andnaturallywedroppedanotherrock.Samestory.Therockswereallaboutthesamesizeandtheycouldbeseenforabout81/2secondsafterwhichtherewasnotsufficientlight,althoughasIsaid,thevague formofabottomcouldbeseen.And,ittookbetween 101/2and 11secondsforthesoundoftherockshittingbottomtobeheardaftertherocksweredropped.Convincedthepitwasprettydeep,weheadedbackdownthetrailtoourpacks./Eventhoughthereappearstobe nosurfacedrainageintothepft,itshouldproveinterestinguponfurtherinvestigation.Attheguide'shouse,westoppedforwaterand werealsogivensomecoffeetodrink.Wethankedthepeoplefortheirkindnessandsetoutforthejunctionandourpacks.Bynowitwas3 p.m. The chapatthejunctiontoldusthatTamapatzwasonlyanhourorsoaway. 4p.m.,5p.m.,6 p.mstillalong.Wearrivedata cavewithina fewfeetofthetrail(ontheleftwhengoingtowardsTamapatz) andbrieflycheckedit.Fromthewalk-inentranceapassage15feetwide andaboutashightakesoff.Ifolloweditacoupleofhundredfeetbeforereturningtotheentrance.Itwasstartingtogetdarkb;ythistimeandwewereanxioustoreachTamapatz.Finallyaround 8 p.m.wearriveda Huastecanhour'sjourneybutagringo's4or5.Oneofthesmallstoreswasstillopen andwewentinforarefrescoand alittlebeer.The ownerofferedtoletussleepinanadjoiningroom whichcontainedhisbed andamongotherthingstwofu11-sizedpooltablesinaverydilapidatedstateand nolongerinuse-savebytheoddspelunkerortwothatwanderthroughand uponoccasionbytheowner.Heinsistedthatoneofussleepinhisbed andthathe wouldtakeoneofthepooltableswhiletheothertwoofuscouldsleepontheremainingpooltable.Beingverytired,wesackedoutat9p.m. andallwasquietuntilaround 5a.m.Peoplehereevidentlylikeporkandconsequentlypigsarebutcheredat5 a.mimmediate1youtsidethestore.Itisamazing whatthesquealsofadyingpigcandotoapersonat5a.m.Wespentthe28thhikinginthehillswest(roughly)ofTamapatz.Severaltrailsleadtothehills.I might addthatthetopomapwehad(1:100,000)wasnotsufficientlydetailedtodousmuchgoodinourhiking.Wespentacoupleofhoursgoingup atrail,checkingdo1inasandfindingnothing.Thesurfaceatthehigherelevations(notmuchinexcessof1200 m andstillbelowthepinetrees)was cappedwithasandstoneorquartzite.Immediatelybelowthiswas adolomitictypeofrock,theresultbeingaseriesofspringsbutnocaves.Theextentofthiscapwasnotdeterminedandmaywellbequitelimited.

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166Onthewaydown,wecheckedseveralmoredolinasand found areasonablylargesheltercaveinone.Continuingdown,westoppedata house and weretoldthelocationofapitand foundit.Itisabout20feetindiameterand6secondsdeep.Thereisnosurfacedrainageintothispiteither.Wewereunabletoseethebottomastheentrancewastoosmalltoletinmuchlight.FromherewetookasmalltrailtowardsTamapatz which wentthroughanareawehadnotvisited.Whilecrossingadolina,weasked alocaliftherewas a caveinthecliffwecouldseeacrossonthesideofthedolina.Hesaidtherewasn'tmuchthere,justaplacewherewatergoesunder.WecontinuedonthetrailtoTamapatz andcametoasmallstreamwhilestillinthesamedolina.Itisaxiomaticthatrunningstreamsindolinasbefollowedsowesetoff.Fartherdownthetrailanothersmallstreammergedwiththefirstsothestreamwasnowseveralfeetwide and6to8in.deep.Althoughthestreambedcontinuestothecave,itisdry,oratleastitwaswhenwewerethere.Thewatersinksingravelandrockseveralhundredyardsbeforethecave.Itisevidentthatduringthewetseason,waterdoesrunintotheentrance.Thestreambedisonly4feetwide and around 1footdeep.Ohyes.Thereisacave.Theentrance,locatedatthebaseofthecliff,is8feethighand 10to15feethigh.Ashort8to10footclimbbringsonetotheentranceroom whichis40feetwide andabout10feethighand 50feetlong,and on aslantofabout60degrees.Therockisallpolishedandveryslick,and nodecenthandholdsarepresent.Apassagedefinitelycontinuesatthebottomandropewillbenecessarytogetthere.Thewaterwhichsankinthegravelupstreamwasnotinevidenceinthispartofthecave.Ofallwefound onthe.trip,Ifeelthiscaveisthemostpromising,primarilybecauseanactivestreamentersit.Thisisusuallyanexcellentsign.Theverticalpotentialforthiscaveisabout500m.FromthiscavewewentdirectlytoTamapatz.ThefollowingmorningwedecidedtotakeatrailwhichreportedlyleadstoHuichihuayan.Itwas afinetrailforaboutamileandthenthereweremanytrails,alljustalike,andgoinginmanydifferentdirections.Wehad a compasssofollowedanythingthatwenteastorsoutheast.Fewhouseswereencountered,sowecouldnotaskforcaves.Wepassedacoupleofcavesrighton oneofthetrails.Thefirstwasattheendofalargesinkwhich was 50feetlongandabout30feetwide.Thesinkintersecteda roomabout1/3ofthewayup fromthefloor.The room wasquitehigh,75feetorsoandabout35feetindiameter,withnoleadsfromtheroomthatcouldbefound.The second cavewefound was asmallpitabout3feetindiameterand 40feetdeep,maybealittledeeper.Hiking on,wekeptdescendingintodolinaafterdolina,eachwithoneortwohousesinthebottom.Themenwere workinginthefieldsandthewomenandchildrenwhoremainedatthehousesdidnotspeakSpanishand werenotalittlefrightenedatus.Theremust becavesandpitsinmuchoftheareawewalkedthroughonthewaydowntotheInterAmerican Highway,butbeingunabletofindanfonetoshowusthem,wefoundnothing.Localguides(freeorpaid)areusuallyveryworthwhile.Aftermanydolinasandmuchwalking,wefoundourselvesoverlookingthehighway.Itdidnotlookterriblyfaraway,butit

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167 was. Almost 2hourswererequiredtowalkdownfromtheover-looktothevalleybelow -averysteepandtiringdescent.Wecameoutonthehighwayabout7kmfrom Huichihuayan(north).Asuccessionofbusrideslastinguntiltheweehoursofthenextmorning,the30th,gotustoMonterrey.Herewegotahotelroom and sackedoutuntil10a.m.andthenwenttofinda bustoa minecalledSan Pedro, SanPablo,orsomethinglikethat.Bythetimewedidlocatetherightbusstationitwastoolateinthedaytogotothemine, sowecaughta bustoLaredo.ThuswemakeitbacktotheEstadosUnidos.Onthetripwebrieflycheckedtheareabetween Aquism6n-Tamapatz-andtheInterAmerican Highway 7kmnorthofHuichihuayan.Wefoundseveralcavesandpitsintheregionbutfound nogreatconcentrationofthemsuchasisfound aroundXilitla,Tlamaya,Tequila,orHuautla.Anothertriptotheareatocheck whatwedidfindandtolookformore should beworthwhile.1966AMeSMEMBERSHIPLISTAbernethy,F.E.Box5992SFAStaNacogdoches, Tex 75961AbileneGrotto2818 S39thStAbilene,Tex 79605 Albach, RogerF.1105ValleyViewDr Weslaco, Tex 78596Alexander,EdBox7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712 Anderson,Eric245 ECairoTempe,Ariz85281 Anderson,Richard49 HubbardAveRedBank, NJ 07705 Banning, Richard 7111CarrollAve,No3TakomaPark,Md20012BarrJr,ThomasC.Dept Zoology UnivKyLeXington4Ky40506 Beach,Ray2782 Sacramento SanFrancisco,Calif9 115 Beauchamp, DonaldU.3935IrisWaterford,Mich 48095 BeckII,George L.Box83 Grand Canyon,Ariz86023 FBellIII,William D. 1832NorfolkHouston, Tex 77006ExBibliothequeF.F.S.M.Gabriel.VlLA9,rueSugerParis6FrBiggers,Bill8601NorfolkAveAnnandale,Va22003Bilbrey,1LtGeorge R.Box1351 GlosgowAFB,Mont59231Billings,SamG.206-AClearSpringsSan Marcos, Tex 78666 Blum, Eugene 2715 Wooldridge DrAustin,Tex 78703BorlandIII,ChuckBox937 Morton, Tex 79346ComBowman,ThomasE.Div MarineInvertebratesU.S.NatlMusWashington, D.C. 20560 Boyd, RichardJ.5424MononaDr,No16 Madison,Wis53716Breisch,Richard L.BOQ503 Apt 6 White SandsMissileRange, NMex88002 Bridgemon,Ron627LeightonAveAnniston,Ala 36201Brison,DaveBox75Bainbridge,Pa 17502Broadus,JerryBox7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712 Brown, Roger 462105thAveOakland,Calif94603ComBurke, Horace RoEntomology TexA&MUnivCollegeStation,Tex 77843Burnett,RobertE.Box7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712 Campbell,BillyM.931RichvaleClearLakeCityHouston, Tex 77058 Carney, ChipBox7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712

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168CartsJr,StanleyL. 8812 GatesheadRdAlexandria,Va22309 Causey,NellB. Dept ZoologyLaStateUniv Baton Rouge,LaCepeda,JosephBox7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712 Champagne, GeorgeF.1713 33rdAveOaklandCalif94501Chester,1LtJamesM.HHC1stBn54thInfAPONY09139ComChristiansen,Kenneth Div NatSciGrinnellCollegeIowa 50112 Cochran, RichardBox5944 SuI RossCollegeAlpine,Tex 79830ComCole,ArthurC.Dept Zoology&Entomology Univ TennKnoxville,Tenn 37916Cole,JohnW.3907BelvoirDrHuntSVille,Ala 35805 Cooper, John E. Dept Zoology UnivKyLexington,Ky40506Corrie,Mrs. George B. 501 RidgewoodRdWVa25701Craig,William 422 LoganLnBellefonte,Pa16823 Cuddington,BillRoute 1 LaceySprings,Ala 35754Davis,JonathanBox8277 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712 CDay, James 17042 GuntherstGranadaHillS,Calif91344 CDeal,DwightE.Dept GeologySulRossStateCollegeAlpineTex 79831 Deane,LtBillFV032204299thAero Space Def Div EntAFB,Colo 80909Druding,Vince 8332FredericksburgRdSanAntonio,Tex 78229 Duke, Jim 820 WOliveFortCollins,Colo 80521 DunningJr,John R.42OXfordstCyclotronLaboratoryCambridge,Mass02138Ediger,GillBox731Sinton,Tex 78387Ely,RichardW.E MarketStHydeParkNewYork, NY 12538Erickson,DonBox7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712 C Evans,DanBox7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712 F Evans,T.R.Box7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712Faith,DuaneW.1008 W251/2stAustin,Tex 78705Felton,Ross 246 E Lullwood SanAntonio,Tex 78212Ficklen,Mary6657 AvalonDallas,Tex 75214 CFinch,Richard C.Box7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712Fish,JohnBox7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712Fitzsimons,John Graham Dept Geography McMaster Univ Hamilton,OntarioCanadaFord,DoC.Dept Geography McMaster Univ Hamilton,OntarioCanadaFranklin,JamesH.18HannumDr Ardmore, Pa 19003ComFroeschner,RichardC.Dept Entomology U.S.NatlMusWashington, D.C. 20560 C Fromen,C.W.814LaMonteLnHouston, Tex 77018 CGarza,Ernest6091/233rdstManhattan Beach,Calif90266ComGates,G.E. 251SilverRdBangor, Maine 04401 CGeil,EarlH.211 N WakefieldstArlington,Va22203ComGertsch,WillisJ.AmMusNatHistCentralParkWestat79thStNewYork, NY 10023Glock,James 5156 A GoetheSt.Louis,Mo63109 Goldman,Noah7020 SJefferyBlvd Chicago,III60649 Goodbar,KatherineR. 6621 SunnylandLnDallas,Tex 75214ComGoodnight,ClarenceJ.DeptBiologyWestern Mich Univ Kalamazoo, Mich 49001GoveIII,John Ro605 E KnowlesStRaleigh,NC 27603Grant,Jack11327NEKnottStPortland,Oreg 97220Griffiths,FrancisPo910 W6thstWeslaco, Tex 78596 Gurnee,RussellH.231IrvingAveCloster,NJ 07624ComGurney, AshleyB.ARS,EntomologyResearchDiv U.S.NatlMusWashington,D.Co20560

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Haarr,AllanP.50CloverDr Delmont,Pa15626HallJr,JohnH.826HeatherctHouston, Tex 77024Halliday,William R. 111736thAveEWash98102 Hauer,Peter1506MillerStLebanon, Pa 17oq2Heller,Warren 209ThayerstRidleyPark,Pa 19078Hershberger,BarbaraBox572PortAransas,Tex 78373ComHobbsJr,HortonH.DeptInvertebrateZoologyU.S.NatlMusWashington, D.C. 20560Holland,Kirk5898WilshireDrNashvilleTenn 37215 C Hosley,RobertJ.5001 NIllinoisStIndianapolis,Ind 46208ComHubbell,TheodoreH.MusZoology Univ MichAnnArbor, MichComHubricht,Leslie3235 23rdAveMeridian,Miss 39303 Huckins, Jim 124 LeonardFayette,Mo65248Hunter,JohnH.Box1591Brownsville,Tex 78520Istas,LaurenceS.21092ThorofareRdGrosseIle,Mich 48104Jasek,James 4021 HuacoLnWaco,Tex 76710Kastning,ErnstH.RFD2PoundRidge, NY 10576 Keese,FrankM.38StateStTroy,NY 12180 C Knox, OrionBox7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712Koehler,JohnS.30859 ERiverRdPerrysburg,Ohio 43551 CKokalis,PeterG.5749 N41stPlPhoenix,Ariz85018 CKreidler,JohnBox2170 TexA&IKingsville,Tex 78363Kroeger,Christian4410 ChoctawCirHuntsville,Ala 35801 Kunath,CarlE.2302WAveJ San Angelo, Tex 76901Laidlaw,KennethN.Box35Berkeley,Calif94701Leskinen,Paul70DickTrefzStPueblo,Colo 81001 Lewis,CharlesL.Box7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712 Lewis,W.C.119 N ChurchStRockford,III61101Lindsley,Pete4612 WataugaRdDallas,Tex 75209 C Loving, SusanBox7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712 HMcAllister,otisApartadoPostal19081,D.F.Mexico F McKenzie, David 3535NavigatorTrainingWing(ATC)MatherAFB,Calif95655 McLane,Alvin1 RockStReno,Nev89501 McLane, JamesC.1702FairwindRdHouston, Tex 77058 C Meador,JoelTomRoute 1Eldorado,Tex 76936Medville,Douglas 210 S 42ndStPhiladelphia,Pa 19104 H MendozaA.,GabrielCalzadaGeneralMiguel AlemanNo.49-AOrizaba,VeracruzMexicoMerrill,GlenK.Dept GeologyLaStateUniv Baton Rouge,LaMiller,BillBucknerHallSan Marcos, Tex 78666Mitchell,Dick300521stStWSeattle,Wash98199Mitchell,RobertW.Tex TechCollegeDeptBiologyLubbock, Tex 79409 Mixon,William5035-N SDrexelAveChicago,III60615Morris,T.Dept Geography McMaster Univ Hamilton,OntarioCanada MyersJr,DelbertE. 1231OldBoalsburgRdStateCollege,PaExLibrairieScientifiqueAncienne 20,RuedesFosses-SaintBernard75-Paris-5FranceExNationalSpeleologicalSociety373 SAtlanticAvePittsburgh,Pa15224 Newson, David 7213DelfieldStChevy Chase,Md20015 Normand, Jim 166LarkSanAntonio,Tex 78228Norton,RussellM.DeptBiologyYale UnivNewHavenConnPalmer,Bill518 W6thStMontgomeryCity,Mo63361PendletonIII,JosephS.RDNo2Fleetwood,Pa 19522Prescott,Neal 8207SpringtimeHouston, Tex 770}4

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170 PeaseJr,CharlesR. 907 E9thstTucson,Ariz85719 Peck,StewartB.BiologicalLaboratoriesHarvard Univ Cambridge,Mass02138Quinlan,JamesF.Box8498 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712 FRaines,TerryW.Box7037 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712 Ralph, RonaldW.Box7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712 FReddell,JamesR.Tex TechCollegeDeptBiologyLubbock, Tex 79409 C Rigg, R.H. 8611LkWashBlvd Renton,Wash98005 Ross,MarkC.619 N School Normal,III61761RussellJr,Waynec/oMiltonPierce418MargoPearsall,Tex FRussell,WilliamH.Box7551 UnivStaAusti9lTex 78712 Ryland,Stephen406 EClintonClinton,Mo04735 Sawin, Fred 709 Cambridge DrRichardson,Tex 75080 Sawyer,ThomasT.103MaysvilleRdHuntsville,Ala 35801 Schermerhorn,J.H.Route 1Harrison,Ark 72601Schreiber,RichardGeology&Geography BldgRm206 Univ TennKnoxville,Tenn 37916Skinner,LeeH.Box7354RiverdaleStaHampton,Va23366 Smith,A.RichardBox7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712 CSmith,RichardM.Box7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712 Smyre, John L. Route 1Clover,SC 29710Sorrells,Roger Box 12531 SanAntonio,Tex 78212Sotolongo,HarrietRoute 2Waynesville,Ohio45068Speece,JackH.1810 2ndStAltoona,Pa 16601ExTheSpeleologistc/oJohnK.Dryden 24, Southernhaywest,ExeterDevon EnglandComSpilman,T.J.U.S.NatlMusWashington, D.C. 20560Spreen,Barry2364GardnerDrSt.Louis,Mo63136 CStellmack,JackBox649StateCollege,Pa 16801Strinati,Pierre9,ChemindesCottagesGeneveSwitzerlandSumberaJr,Joe BucknerHallSan Marcos, Tex 78666Sustare,Dennis 2334ChaletGardensRdApt 3 Madison,WisSuttles,Cameron 5750SWHewittBlvdPortland,Oreg 97221 Sweet, John R. PaStateUniv 1-112 Res Bldg UnivPark,Pa TappJr,EdV.Box691Niceville,FlaThren,BobRFD3Wernersville,Pa 19565 Thrun,Robert1907ErieStAdelphi,Md20783Tietz,DaleE.Box3806USAFAcademyColoradoSprings,Colo Townesend,Charlie1000 SJordanBloomington, Ind 47403Tozer,William 3340MeadowsCt AptA-2Indianapolis,IndTracy,TomBox7672 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712ExTrimmel, Hubert VerbandosterreichischerHoblenforscherA-1012Wien2,ObereDonaustrasse99/7/1/3AustriaCTurner,MerydithD. Box 8536 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712ExUnivofBristolSpelaeologicalSoc UnivRdBristol8 England C WardenJr,T.B.Route 9Box2Texarkana,Tex 75501 Warren,CharlesN 510RickenbackerPI Tullahoma, Tenn 37388 Weber,Bob11450 LaverctLosAltos,Calif94022 West, SidUSAMUBldg 601Ft,Detrick,Md21701 Westmoreland,CarolBox7551 UnivStaAustin,Tex 78712 WhiteJr,HarryEo60JonellDrNashville,Tenn 37211 Wilbanks, James L 217TenthstKnoxville,Tenn 37916Will,Theodore A02432KenilworthRdClevelandHeights,OhioWilliamsJr,ThomasJoC. 3508SaylorPlAlexandria,VaWinsborough,Philip2515PearlAustin,Tex 78705ComWygodzinsky, PedroAmMusNatHistCentralParkWestat79thStNewYork, NY 10023

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171 Young,samand Diane 474lOthAveSaltLakeCity,Utah 84103Zawislak,Ronald L. ColumbiaStateCommunityCollegeColumbia, Tenn 38401DECEASEDCBicking,Lew2621 NCharlesStBaltimore,MdHG6mez,Modesto Rancho deHuitzmolotitlaXilitla,SanLuisPotosiM6xico HHarrison,FrankRanchodelCieloG6mezFarias,TampsMexico FFoundingmemberC-ChartermemberHHonorarymemberComComplimentary Ex ExchangeNOTESFORPHOTOGRAPHERSINMEXICObyJ.H.SCHERMERHORNHarrison,Arkansas ThosewhoplantotakecamerasintoMexicoshoulddosomeadvanceplanning.First,itisbesttobringallthefilmandsuppliesyouwillneedwithyou fromtheStates.Filmwhich youmaybeaccustomedtousingmaybedifficulttofind.Whenyou dofindit,itwillcostmore andtheinstructionsheetwillbeinSpanish,French,German, andEnglishoIfcolorfilmhasbeenkeptorstoredinplacesofhightemperature,thecolorswillprobablybedistortedoLossofequipment bytheftisverylikelyifyouarearoundlargetowns.I haveheardofseveralcavershavingcamerasstoleninMexicoCity.Mostofthesecameras wereinthefrontofthecar,whichisveryeasytobreakinto.Itisbest,ifyouleaveyourcarunattended,toputanyvaluableitemsoutofsightinthetrunk.Ifyou haveexpensiveeqUipment,itiswellworthittohaveitinsuredby a soundU.S.insurancecompany.AnlJallrisk"policycostsabout$4.50per$100ofequipmentperyear.Withthispolicyyouarealsocoveredifyoudropapieceofequipmentintoa deeppoolofwater,intoas6tano,etc.Ifyoufileatheftclaimwithyourinsurancecompany, you mustsupplyastatementof"proofofloss"(anofficial,certifiedpolicereport),andthiscanbe a time-consuming anddifficultitemtoobtain.PerhapsotherswillbenefitifIrelatemyexperiencesinMexicoCityon 27 December1966.Wewerestayingatamiddleclasshotelwhich had agarageinthebasementthatwaslockedeachnight.However, onthisnightwehadbeenouttakingphotosofthespectacularholidaydecorationsand whenwereturnedthehotelparkinglotwasfulltocapacity.EventhedrivewaywasfUllanditwouldnotholdanothercar.So,thecarwasparkedinaverywell-litareadirectlyinfrontofthehotel;andthemostvaluableequipment wastakenintothehotelroom. Thenextmorning I foundthedoorajarandseveralphotographicaccessories,film,and ahardhatwithcarbidelampmissing.Thethieveswerenotjustordinary,commonstreetthieves.Theyleftmanyitemsandtookonlythephotographicitems(exceptforthehelmetand

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172lamp -theymust havebeenanunusualcuriosity).Theyevensortedouttheunexposedfilmfrom theexposedfilmandleftthelatter.Asthepolicesaid,itmust havebeenaspecializedringwhowastippedoffaboutourlocation.WhatshouldI donow?TheclerkatthehoteldesksaidtocalltheAmerican Embassy. The Embassysaidtocontactthenearestmunicipalpoliceprecinct(Delegaci6n).ThisIdidandmadea completereport.Butgettinganofficialcopyofthisreportturnedouttobetherealkicker.ItwasinthemiddleoftheholidaysandofficeswereclosedandtheEmbassyonlymadethingsmoreconfusinginsteadofhelping.NotknOWingwhetherI wouldgetthepapersina fewdaysora few weeks, IfinallygotincontactwithanattorneyintheOficinaLegaldeAuxilioTur!sticowhosignedastatementsayingthathe would sendmeacertifiedcopyofthepolicereportfor24pesoswithin30days.Ireceivedthepapersinabout45days-theywentthelongway,beingsentalongwithsomeone'spickpocketclaimtoSeattle,Washington.Luckilythatpersonwaskindenoughtonoticemyaddressonthepapersand send themtome. Fromtheaboveexperience,I have compiled alistoffactstoconsiderwhenstayinginMeXicoCity:1)Neverleaveanunattendedcaronthestreetsatnight.Ifyouleaveacoilofclimbingropeoranythingofvalueonthefrontorbackseat,chancesarethatitwould bestolenbeforemorning.Takeallprecautionstoavoidanythingfrombeingstolenkeepvaluablesoutofsightandputallyourcavinggearandotheritemsyouwon'tneedinthetrunkbeforeyougetintoMexicoCity.2)Ifyou haveanythingstolenand mustgeta copyofapolicereportforyourinsurancecompanyathome, gototheSecretServicePolicefirst.TheyareatJefaturadePOlic!adelDistritoFederal(PoliceHeadquarters)at20 de Noviembre andFrayServando onthesecondfloorinanofficelabeled,"ServicioSecreto".Ihearthattheycangetyou acertifiedcopyofthereportina fewhours,whenitmaytakedaysorweekstogetonethroughtheProcuradur!adelDistrito,orthemunicipalpolice.Byallmeans,don'tgotooneofthefellowsinthebrownuniforms;theyaretheTransito,ortrafficpolice.Allofthesethreepoliceforcesworkseparatelyandthereislittlecooperationbetween them.3)AllofthepoliceandeveryoneelseItalkedtosaidthatthereisverylittlechanceofrecoveryinsuchthefts.4)Anytravelerwithclothingorequipmentofanytypeinplainviewinthefrontofhiscarisjustasapttohave atheftintheUnitedStatesasinMexico;itisjusthardertoobtaina copyofthepolicereportinMexico.Whenoutinthecountryand campingnearyourcar,thechancesofhavingsomethingstolenareveryslim.However,wheninlargecities,itisadifferentmatterandbesuretotakeextraprecautionstoavoidany chanceofatheft.

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173RECENT ADDITIONSTOTHE KNOWLEDGEOFCAVEDISTRIBUTIONINMEXICObyWILLIAMH.RUSSELLandTERRYW.RAINESAustin,TexasDuringthelastfouryearsalargeamountofnewinformationon Mexican cavedistributionhasbeencompiled bytheAssociationforMexican CaveStudies.TheAMCSwas foundedin1962 byT.R. EvansastheSpeleologicalSurveyofMexico, and was composedinitiallyofasmallgroupofUniversityofTexasstudentsengagedincOllectinginformationon Mexicancavesandkarst.InterestinMexico hadbeeninitiatedbytheTexas RegionprojectatLaGrutadelPa1mito(alsocalledLaGrutadeBustamante)and bythetripsofRobertMitchellandotherstothespectacularmountainkarstsurroundingthetownofXilitlaintheeasternpartofthestateofSanLuisPotosi.Earlyinterestcenteredinfourareas:theralativelyaccessibleareanorthofMonterrey,theSierradeE1AbranorthofCd.Valles,S.L.P.,theXi1itlamountainkarst,andthemountainousareajustsouthofthecityofOrizaba,Ver.Fromtheseareasinteresthasexpanded, andin1966AMCSmembersvisitedtheentirecountrywiththeexceptionofthefarwestcoast,Chiapas,andYucatan.In1964thenameAssociationforMexican CaveStudieswasadoptedandatthesametimetheAssociationhasattemptedtobroadenitsmembership.Thisefforthasbeensuccessfuland bytheendof1965 membership hadincreasedtoover100,locatedthroughouttheUnitedStates.ThisincreasehasenabledtheAssociationtopublishaNewsletterand aBulletintokeep membersinformedofcurrentexplorationsandtoacquaintotherswiththeknowledgegained.ExplorationhassofarbeenconcentratedinthelimestonemountainsextendingfromsouthofTexasintonorthernOaxaca.Rainfallinthesemountainsvariesfromlessthan10in.toover100in.peryear,andthelocalrelieffromgentleplainstosomeofthemostspectacularmountainsinNorthAmerica.Atthepresentrateofprogress,fairlydetailedknowledgeofthecavedistributioninthesemountainswillbeobtainedwithina fewyears.ThissurveyshouldprOVidemuchinformationontherelationbetweenspeleogenesis,relief,rainfall,andtemperature.EventhoughtheareanorthofMonterrey,N.L.hasbeenratherwellstudied,thereisstillmuchworktobedone.Thisisanaridregionwithjaggedlimestonerangesrisingabruptlyaboveplainsdevelopedonvalleyfillandlessresistantrock.MappinghasbeencompletedatGrutadeCarriza1,locatedabout85milesnorthofMonterrey.The caveisdevelopedinsteeplydippinglimestonesurroundinganintrusivevolcanicmountain.Ofnoteistheinterestingspeleogenesis.Thepassagesarealignedalongboththestrikeanddipaswellastwowel1-developedlevelsand twostreams,one 88degreesF andtheother77.5degreesF.ThemapofLaGrutaAsomewhatbrieferformofthispaperwaspresentedatasessionon cave geographyattheAmericanAssociationfortheAdvancementofSciencemeetinginWashington,D.C.,December 1966, and wasco-sponsoredbytheNationalSpeleologicalSociety,AAASSectionE-Geo10gy and Geography, andtheGeologicalSocietyofAmerica.

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174delPa1mito, oneofthelargerand moreimpressiveNorthAmericancaves,isundergoingrevision,and soon arevisedplanandprofileofthiscavernwillbeavailable.Thiscave,about65milesnorthofMonterrey,isessentiallytwolargerooms andreachesadepthof667feet.ThemapofthecommerciallydevelopedGrutasdeVilladeGarcianearMonterreyhasbeencompleted.Recent workhaslocatedseveralcavesencounteredintheGo1ondrinas Mines, andseveralmorecaveshavebeenvisitedinHuastecaandothercanyonsjustwestofMonterrey.ThecavesintheareanorthofMonterreyrepresentavarietyoftypes.GrutadelPa1mito andGarciagreatlypredatetheexistingtopographyandaredeepphreaticcavesdevelopedinfavorablereefareasprobablyduringa more humidclimateofthelateTertiary.Only a fewremnantsoftheprobablymuchgreaternumberofshallowphreaticcaveshavebeenpreservedinthisareaofhighreliefandrapiderosion.SomeofthecavessuchasGrutasde SanBartoloinde1aHuastecahave a complexhistoryofinvasionanddepositionofclasticfill.Tothesouthbetween Monterrey and Cd.Victoria,Tamps.liethelimestonerangesoftheSierraMadreOrientalwithpeaksextendingtoover12,000feet.Explorationofthisruggedareahasonlybegun.A fewcaveshave beenvisitedintheE1DienteareajustsouthofMonterrey andsomesmallcaveshavebeenexaminedwestofMontemore1os andHidalgo.ThelargestcaveyetlocatedintheareaisCueva deLaBoca,alsocalledGrutadeSantiago,locatedjustsoutheastofMonterrey.Thisisanotherdeepphreaticcavern,andisessentiallyonelargepassageinplacesover400feethigh.InthisareasouthofMonterreythelimestoneisofverygreatthicknessanddoubtlesslywillcontainadditionallargecaves,buttheruggedterrainmakesaccessdifficult.SouthofCd.Victoriathehigherrangesreceivelargeramountsofrainandtherehasbeenconsiderablekarstdevelopment.IntheSierrade GuatemalasouthwestofCd.Victoriaakarsthasdevelopedcharacterizedby numerous deeppitsandalmostimpenetrableareasofvegetation-coveredkarstpinnacles.Nolargehorizontalcavesystemshaveyetbeenfoundinthisareabutsomewillprobablybeencountered,bothintheexplorationofthedeeperverticalsystems andinotherpartsoftherangeyettobeinvestigated.Thedeepestsystemexploredinthisareaisthes6tanode 1aJoyadeSalas,locatedabout45milessouthwestofCd.Victoria,justwestofthecrestoftherange.Thispitisnearthebottomofalargeclosedvalleyandreceivesmuchrunoffafterinfrequentheavyrains.Ithasbeenexploredtoadepthof896feetand arecenttripindicatesthatitmight soon bepossibletoreachagreaterdepth.Explorationisnowblockedbyperchedwaterthatmaybeexpectedtodrain.InthesamerangeinthevicinityofRanchodelCie10northeastofG6mezFarias,10pitshavebeenexploredinanareaofabout4squaremiles,thedeepestbeing400feet.Thisappearstobetypicaloftheeastfaceoftherange.SeveralcaveswestofG6mezFariascomposedprimarilyofsingle,irregularrooms havebeeninvestigated.EvidenceofextensivehorizontaldevelopmentatelevationsnearthepresentbaselevelisthelargehorizontalpassageinBeeCavelocatedjustabovethepresentwatertableatarelativelylowelevationsouthofG6mezFarias,andthegenerallyhorizontalnatureofthecavesassociatedwiththenacimientos(resurgences)oftheRioFrioand RioSabinas.The RioSabinasappearstofloW from alargepassagenotfarbelowthewaterlevel,and CuevadelNacimientodelRioFriocontainsa

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175largehorizontalpassageabout100feetabovetheresurgenceoftheriver.TheSotanodeGomezFarias,a deepsystemofrooms,passages,andinterconnectedpits,givesevidenceofa complexhistory.Not enough workhasyetbeendoneintheareasouthofCd.Victoriatofullyclarifythehistoryofcaverndevelopment,butitappearsthatmostofthisdevelopmenthasbeenthevadoseenlargementofpoorlyintegratedphreaticvoids.Duetotheheavyrainfallandhighrelieftheeasternfaceoftherangeischaracterizedbytheformationofnumerous deeppits.Apparentlythereisagreateramountofhorizontalpassagenearthepresentbaselevel.Thismighthavebeenexpectedfromgeologicconsiderations,astheresurgencesatthebaseofthemountainsareonlya few hundredfeetabovesealevelandprobablyhave remainedattheirpresentlevelsincetheendoftheupliftoftheareaassociatedwiththeLaramide Orogeny. Whetherthereareotherzonesofhorizontaldevelopmentorifwaterenteringthelimestonefarfromtheresurgencescontinuesdownwardtoalmosttheleveloftheresurgenceareproblemsonlyfurtherexplorationcananswer.ExtendingfromthesoutheastendoftheSierrade Guatemalaisamuchlower,relativelynarrowcuesta-likerange,theSierradeElAbra.Thisrange,about5mileswide and 70mileslong,extendsfromnorthofCd. Mante, Tamps.tosouthofCd.Valles,andcontainsthemostextensivecaverndevelopmentsofardiscoveredineasternMexico.Severalcavesexistwithanexploredlengthofoveronemile,andthelongest,Sotanodelaovertwomilesofsurveyedpassage.ExplorationhasbeenconcentratedintherelativelysmallLosSabinosareajustnorthofCd.Valleswhere6largecavesareknowninanareaoflessthan10squaremiles.ThesouthmostcaveofthisareaisS6tanodeMontecillos.The caveislocatedattheendofanormallydryarroyo,andisenteredby averticaldropof45feet.Atthebottomofthisdropthelargesthorizontalpassageleads150feettoa 140footdropintoalargepassage.Onlyabout300feetofthispassagehavebeenexplored,asexplorationwashaltedby deeppools.Anotherpitapproximately1200feetupthearroyofromSotanodeMontecilloshasbeennamedSotanitodeMontecillos.Thispitdrops110feetintoaseriesofhorizontalpassagesaveragingabout15feetindiameter.Over 2000feethavebeenexploredwithno endinsight.About amilenorthfromtheSotanitoislocateds6tanodelaTinaja.Anormallydryarroyoalsoentersthiscave,theslopebeingmoregradual,and no equipmentisnecessary.Explorationinthiscaveismore advancedthaninanyoftheothersinthearea,withover2milesofpassagesurveyed.Mostofthiscaveiscom posedoflargehorizontalpassages,oneofwhichappearstohavereachedthewatertable445feetbelowthecaveentrance,whichisaboutthesamelevelasthenearestotherpassagesendinfillorperchedsiphons,butthecaveisnotyetcompletelyexplored.OntothenorthofS6tanodelaTinajaiss6tanodelArroyo,withoveronemileofsurveyedpassage.Anarroyoalsoentersthiscave,thefloodwaterfollowingthemainpassagedownaseriesofsmalldropsforabout3/4mile.Hereexplorationhasendedatashortdropintoapool,withthepassageapparentlycontinuingbeyond.About 11/2milesnorthofSotanodelArroyoisS6tanodelTigre,alsolocatedattheendofalargearroyo.Aseriesofdropsdescends300feettoashortpassagethatleadstoanotherdropwhichhasnotbeendescended.JusteastofthiscaveisCueva de LosSabinos,theonlylargecaveintheareathatdoesnotreceivefloodwater.Thiscaveappearstobe anessentially

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176unalteredshallowphreaticpassageabout1/2milelong.ItseemslikelythatwhentheLosSabinosareaiscompletelyexploredtherewillbeoveramileoflargepassageforeverysquaremileofsurface.WhetherthisratioistypicaloftheSierradeElAbraasa wholeorifthisisanexceptionallyfavorableareaisnotknown.Itispossiblethattheformeristrue,astherearenumerousotherpromisingandasyetunvisitedentrancesinallpartsoftherange.S6tanodeVenadito,locatedattheendofanarroyojustnorthoftheSanLuisPotosIstateborder,hasbeenpartiallyexplored,withotherlargers6tanosreportedinthevicinity.NortheastofCd.VallestheentrancetoVentanaJabal!opensontothesteepeastfaceoftherange.Thiscaveisessentiallyonelargepassage1200feetlong.About 400feetfromtheentranceadomerises503feettointersecttheflatsurfaceoftherange,forming askylightandthedeepestfreedropinNorthAmerica.Thisdomedoesnotappeartobeprimarilyofvadoseorigin,since,exceptattheverytop,itisquitelargeandisspanned by anaturalarchabouthalfwaydown. A somewhatsimilarcaveislocatedintheElAbrapassjustabovetheInter-AmericanHighwaysouthofCd. Mante.Thiscave,Cueva deElAbra,consistsofanentrancepassage60feetWide, 70feethigh,and 500feetlongleadingtoashaftthatextendsupwardtothesurfaceand downwardtothelowerlevelofthecave,alargeparallelfissure.MostofthecavesintheSierradeElAbraappeartobeessentiallyunalteredshallOWphreaticpassages.Evencavesthatreceivelargeamountsofwaterarelittlemodified,indicatingthatinvasionbysurfacewatersisarelativelyrecentevent.The well-knownGrutasdeQuintero,locatednearthetownofQuinterojustsouthofCd. Mante,appearstobeanabandonedresurgence.Loweringofthewatertableandcontinuedsolutionhasdrainedthiscannel.ThereisnointegratedsurfacedrainagedevelopedontheSierradeElAbrajwaterfallingontherelativelyflatsurfaceoftherangesinksintothepermeablelimestonetoreappearatresurgencesalongthebaseoftheeastfaceoftherange.ThelargestoftheseresurgencesaretheNacimientodelRioMantejustwestofCd. Mante andtheNacimientodelRioChoyeastofCd.Valles.ThelimestoneexposedintheSierrade EI Abraappearstobeespeciallyfavorablefortheformationofcaverns.Thislimestone,partlycomposedofreefmaterial,hasneverbeendeeplyburiedanditispossiblethatithasretainedsomeofitsoriginalporosity.A fewmilesfromthesouthernendoftheSierradeElAbrarisehighlimestonemountainsthatcontainsomeofthemostspectacularkarstinMexico. ThesemountainsextendfromjustnorthoftheRioTamuin,pass1ngwestofthetownofAquism6n,tosouthofXilitla.Thisisanareaofseveralhundredsquaremilescompletelydevoidofsurfacedrainageexceptfortworivers.TheRioTamuinflowsthrougha narrow canyonthatcutsintothenorthernpartofthekarstareaandtheRioMoctezumahascutanevendeepercanyoninthesouth.Inthisarealimestonereefmassesover6000feetthickhavebeenfoldedintomountainswhosepeaksriseover9000feetabovetheresurgencesatthevalleylevel.Theserangesrisesharplyabovethecoastalplainandconsequentlyreceivelargeamountsofprecipitation,withXilitlareceivingover100in.peryear.Only asmallpartofthisareahasbeeninvestigated,aseffortsherehavesofarbeenlimitedtosmallareasalongthefewroads.NearthetownofTlamaya,northeastofXilitla,anareaofabout3squaremileshasbeenexamined.Thisareais1800feetabovetheresurgenceoftheRIoandcontains

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177S6tanodeHuitzmolotitla,withanentrancepitmeasuring150feetindiameterand364feetdeep.AlsolocatedintheareaisS6tanode Tlamaya,thedeepestexploredcaveinNorthAmerica.Inboththesecavesaseriesofverticalpitsleadstonearlyhorizontalfissureswithasmallstreamflowingalongthefloor.S6tanodeHuitzmolotitlahasbeenexploredfor10,000feettoaterminalsiphon804feetbelowtheentrance.S6tanode Tlamayahasadepthof1488feetand alengthof4000feet.Thesecavesareaboutonemileapartandcomewithina few hundredfeetofeachother,butthehorizontallevelsdonotappeartoberelated.Fiveotherticalshaftsareknowninthearea,andseveralcaveswithverticalpitshavebeenexplored,makinganexploredtotalof15,000feetofpassageand 3000feetofverticalpits.Thisratioisperhapstypicaloftheeastfaceofthisrange.Severalcavesconsistingoflargerooms havebeenmappedalongtheroadextendingacrossthemountainsatXilitla.The mostnotableareCuevadelSalitre,justeastofXilitla,and Cueva delaSelva,westofXilitla.ThisroadalsoRassesseveralpits,thedeepestbeingS6tano de SanAntonio,386feet;S6tanodelPozo, 502feet;andS6tanodelasHoyas, 319feet.ThehigherareasnorthwestofXilitlahavenotyetbeenvisitedexceptforabriefreconnaissanceofCerroMiramar,overlookingXilitla.Thismountainhaspitstowithin300feetofthetop.Thishighareaisverypromisingandprobablycontainsnumerous deepsystems.Thesinkhole-pittedhighlandswestofAquism6nalsoneedtobeinvestigated.TheXilitlakarstmightbeconsideredtoextendsouthacrossthedeep canyonsoftheRio Moctezuma andtheRIo Amajac,buttherethegeologybecomes more complex:southoftheMoctezumathereisintensecrumpling,andsouthoftheAmajacarelargeareasofvolcanicsintheTransverseVolcanicBelt.Thoughmuchofthissouthernareahasbeencrumpled anddissected,thereisgreatlocalreliefandtheareahasmuchpromise.SouthoftheXilitlakarst,Tertiaryvolcanicrockhascoveredlargeareas,forming abeltofigneousrockthatextendsacrossthecontinentfromTepic,Nay. onthewestcoasttoVeracruz,Ver.ontheeastcoast.Thisareahasfewexposuresoflimestone,thoughtwolargewindowsoflimestoneexist.OneliesneartheeastendofthebeltandwestofthetownofJalapa,Ver.Althoughitisunchecked,theareaispromisingandcontainsawell-developedkarstincertainparts.TheotherlargeexposureoflimestoneliesmainlyinthestateofGuerrero,ina wide bandwestofthetownofCuernavaca.Thisareaatonetimealsohad awell-developedkarst,butitwasburiedbyTertiaryvolcanicsandisonlynowbeingexposedbyerosion.Mostoftheknowncavernsareremnantsoflargecavesthatdevelopedbeforetheareawasburied,and haveonlyrecentlybeenexposed.SomeofthelargestcavesinMexicoarelocatedinthisarea,butmuchmore workisneededtoevencomplete aroughsurveyofthearea.OfinternationalfameisthelargeGrutasde Cacahuamilpa, awell-decoratedphreaticpassageonemilelongandaveragingmorethan100feetindiameter.BeneaththiscavearethetwolargestreampassagesoftheDos Bocassystem,draininglargevalleysandcontainingover5kmoflargepassage.NearbyisGrutade Mogote and Cueva delaEstrella.JustsouthofCacahuamilpaisGrutadeAcuitlapan,rumoredtobethelargestcaveinMexico.SoutheastofChilpancingoisGrutadeJuxtlahuaca,withatleast2milesoflargepassage.Thisareacontainsrelativelyfewpits,thedeepestbeingPozo(alsocalledBocadelDiablo)320feetdeep.Littlesystematicworkhasbeendonein

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178thisarea,buttheuncoveringandrejuvenationoftheancientkarstterrainisaprocessthatwarrantsfurtherstudy.InsouthernVeracruznearthetownofOrizabaseverallargeresurgenceshavebeeninvestigated,thelargestbeingOjo deAguaGrande.SouthofOrizabanearthetownofTequilaasmallareahasbeenintensivelyinvestigated.The townliesina deep narrowkarstvalley.Severalshortstreamsflowfromspringsandsinkintocavesandpitsalongthevalleyfloor.Alargenumberofpitshasbeenlocated,thedeepestbeingS6tanodeElCrucero,364feetdeep.Sotano deOztoatlicholoareachesadepthof700feetinaseriesofdrops.Boththesecaveshave narrowstreampassagesatthebottom.Well-developedkarstforms a widebeltfromnearOrizabaandcontinuessouthwardthroughTequilaintotheHuautlaareainnorthernOaxaca. HeretherearekarsthighlandsoveronemileabovetheRioSantoDomingo.Inoneplaceaslopedescendsover6000feetintotheriverwithanaverageangleofgreaterthan45degrees.Littleworkhasbeendoneinthesehighlandsbutpreliminaryinvestigationhasfound twolargecavesjusteastofHuautlawherewaterfromthewesternmountainsflowsintopitsattheedgeofthelimestoneoutcrop.ThelargestistheRioIglesia,flowingthroughavalleythatendsagainstthewestedgeoftheoutcrop.Theriverentersalarge,unexploredcavesystem. Othersimilarcavesexistinthevicinity,withS6tanode SanAgustindropping250feetintoasteeplyslopingpassagecarryinglargeamountsofwater.Itislikelythatinvestigationintothisareawillreveallargeand deep cavesystems.Severallargekarstareasareasyetunvisitedby membersoftheAMCS,includingthewell-developedkarstofChiapas,Tabasco,andYucatan.Yucatanhasbeencoveredbyothers,butbothChiapasand Tabasco havelargeareasofpromisingunexploredkarst.Alongwiththegeologicalinvestigationofthecaves,abiologicalinve&tigationisbeingconducted.JamesReddell,presentlyattheUniversit,yofKentucky,iscoordinatingthiswork. Fromcollectionsobtainedinseveralhundred Mexicancaves,apictureofthedistributionofcave-inhabitinganimalsisemerging.Inthisinvestigation,manynewgeneraandspecieshavebeendiscovered,aswellasnumerousrangeextensions.The widerangeofclimateandreliefpresentinMexicomakeitpossibletoisolatetheeffectofthevariousfactorsthatinfluencespeleogenesis.Severalslideswillbe shownillustratingthisvarietyofclimateandterrain.Then, atentativeoutlineoftheeffectofthesefactorsonspeleogenesiswillbepresented.(Seenexttwopages.)

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ReliefandErosionAreaCHARACTERISTICSOFSELECTEDMEXICANKARSTAREASRainfall,TemperatureandVegetationKarstFeaturesNorthofMonterreySouthofMonterreySierradeGuatemalaSierradeElAbraXil1tlaGuerreroHuautla10-20in/yr,showersaveragetemp 68 Fdesertscrub,oakinmts.10-40in/yr,showersaveragetemp60F-68F woodsinmts.30-80in/yr,well-distributedfromJunetoSgpt.averagetemp64oF-68Fforestinmts.35in/yr,showessJune-3eptaveragetemp70Fbrush30-100in/yr,well-distributedfromJunetoSept.averagetemp 630Fto700Fdenseforest25in/yr,showersJune-Aug.averagetemp 68Fbrush50-90in/yr,well-distributedfromJunetoAug.averagetemp 650Fto700F 5000ft,narrowrangesrapidmechanicalerosion10,000ft,massiverangesrapidmechanicalerosion6000ft,massiverangerapidchemicalerosion1000ft,cuestamoderatechemicalerosion7000ft,massiverangerapidchemicalerosion2000ft(1000ftinlimestone)mechanicalerosion8000ft,massiverangerapidchemicalerosionLittlesurfaceexpression,someetchingandkarreninmts,nocloseddepressions,infrequentcavesusuallyunmodifieddeepphreaticrooms,springsatbaseofrange.Littlemodificationofsurface,nocloseddepressionsexceptingypsumareas,karreninmts,infrequentdeepphreaticcaves,areaofwell-scatteredsprings.Somesurfacemodificationwitha fewcloseddepressions,numeroussinks,well-developedkarrenandkarstpinnaclesinhigherareas,cavesmostlyvadosewithshallowphreaticdevelopmentatlowerlevels,resurgencesatbaseofrange.Somesurfacemodificationwitha fewshallowdepressions,karrencommon,frequentdisappearenceofarroyos,numerouscavesmostlylargehorizontalshallowphreaticpassages,resurgencesatbaseofrange.Muchsurfacemodification;numeroussinkholes,uvalas,pits,haystackhills,caves;karrenandkarstpinnacles;cavesmostlyvadoseexceptatlowerlevels;resurgencesatbaseofrange.Buriedkarstterrainbeinguncoveredandrejuvenated,muchsurfacemodification,largeblindvalleysandsinkholes,fewpitsorsmalldepressions,cavesformedduringpreviouskarstcycle.Extremesurfacemodification,blindvalleys,dryvalleys,sinks,pits,karrenandkarstpinnacles,runofffromimperviousrockstowest,resurgencesatbaseofrange.

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GENERALIZEDRELATIONBETWEENVEGETATION,RAI NFALL,TOPOGRAPHY,AND SPELEOGENESISoftheSIERRAMADREORIENTAL,NORTHEASTERNMEXICODesert Brush Dry Moderate rainfallLocallyhighreliefHighreliefInfrequent rooms Some stream capture Forest Wet HighreliefNumerous pits Brush Moderate rainfall ModeratereliefFrequent streamcaptureWestI..Exploredpassage--Probablepassage-?-Hypothetical passageI:11-------1Zone of HorizontalI__ j>evelopment-:-------Coastal PlainEastGulfofMexicoASSOCIATIONFORMEXICANCAVESTUDIES

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182BIOLOGY SECTIONMEXICANCAVEBEETLESOFTHEFAMILYCARABIDAEbyTHOMASC.BARR,JR InstituteofSpeleology,UniversityofKentucky,LexingtonCarabids,or"groundbeetlestl,areprevalentinmanycavesinallregionsoftheearth,butthecavernicolousspeciesarebutasmallfractionoftheapproximately20,000knownspecies.Thesebeetlesareforthemostpartpredaceous,feedingonothersmallinvertebrates,andareconsequentlybeneficialoratleastnotharmfulfromanagriculturalormedicalstandpoint.A feweatseedsandmaybeminorpests.The foodispickedupinthemandibles,rotatedbythepalps,crushedoratleastsoftenedbytherepeatedworkingofthemandibles,andpartiallydigestedoutsidethebody by enzymes pouredoutfromthebuccalcavityontothefood.Allavailableevidenceindicatesthatcavecarabidsfeedonothersmallcaveanimals,buttheywillcertainlyeatrecentlykilledcavecrickets,millipedes,orfragmentsoffishorbeef.Thecavecarabidsincludetroglobites(caveobligatespecies),troglophiles(specieswhichcanliveeitherinsideoroutsideofcaves),thresholdtrogloxenes(speciesfoundinthetWilightzone anddependenton foodinthevicinityoftheentrance,includingfoodobtainedoutsidethecaveduringnightforages),andaccidentals(specieswashedorstrayingintocaves).Thefirst3groupsareofgreatestbiologicalinterest;theaccidentalscanusuallybecollectedingreaterabundanceoutsidecaves.TroglobitesTroglobiticcarabidsfallintotwolargegroups,thetribesTrechiniandAgonini,witharesiduumofspeciesbelongingtoothertribeswhich have fewtroglobiticrepresentatives.Thetrechinesarewidelydistributedthroughouttheworld.Withtheexceptionoftwoorthreetropicalandsubtropicalgenera,theyoccurincool,moist,forestedenvironments.Thetribeisrelativelywellknown,thankstothecomprehensive,l80o-pageMonographiedesTrechinae,byDr.Jeannel,published19261930intheentomologicaljournalL'Abeille.NumerousgeneraandspeciesoftroglobitictrechinesarefoundinthecavesofsouthernEurope,fromSpaintotheCaucasus,inJapan,NewZealand,andineasternUnitedStates.About 40speciesofnon-troglobitictrechinesbelongingtothegenusTrechusoccurinnorthernand mountainousregionsofNorthAmerica;T.aztecandT.tolucensisinhabitsouth-centralMexicobuthavenotyetbeenfromcaves.BeetlesofthegenusParatrechusconstitutetheprincipalelementoftheMexicantrechinefauna;theseoccurinthemountainousregionsandarerarelyfoundincaves.However,in1943Dr.CandidoBolivaryPieltaindescribedprietoifromLaGrutadelPalm1to,nearBustamante,N,ersttroglobitictrechineinNorthAmericatobediscoveredwestoftheMississippiRiverandthefirstknowntroglobiticbeetleinMexico(C1encia,3:349-354).Thisbeetleiselongateandslender,reddish-yellow

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183 (depigmented)1 andhastheeyesreducedtotinYIpalespots.About 15 specimens havebeencollectedin25yearslapparentlyallofthem fromorquiteneartheentranceroomofthecave.Twoadditionalspeciesofnotyetdescribedl havebeendiscoveredby JohnFishinthe6tanodeTeJamanil(Qro.)andinasmallcaveinValledelosFantasmos(S.L.P.).Theoccurrenceofallthreeofthesespeciesincavesatrelativelyhighelevationsisnoteworthy.ThereisconsiderableevidencethatthetroglobitictrechinesofEurope andtheUnitedStatesaredescendantsofborealforestspecieswhich werewidespreadduringperiodsofglacialadvanceduringthePleistocenelbutwereabletosurvivethewarm,dryclimateoftheinterglacialsonlybyretreatingintocaveswheretheyunderwentregressiveevolutionarymodificationsincidentaltoadaptationtothecaveenvironment.Absenceoftroglobitictrechines(andtroglobitesofmostothergroupswhichliveinhumusand mosscarpets)fromtropicalregionsisattributedtothe"isothermal"climaticconditionsofthetropics.InotherwordS,.therewere nomajorclimaticchangeswhich changedthesurface(SOil and moss)environmenttosuchanextentthatsurfacemembersoftroglophUespeciesbecameextinctandthecavepopUlationsthusbecameisolatedincavesanddevelopedintotroglobites.TheclimateofMexico,particularlythenorthernportionsandthehigherelevations,wascertainlymuchcolderandwetterduringglacialmaximathanitistoday.Itwillbe mostsurprisingifaspeciesofMexaphaenopsturnsupoutsideofahighmountainousregion.InEuropeantrechineslJeannelwasabletopointtogradedseriesofspecieswhichprobablyillustratethestagesfrom asurfacespecies(eyes,wings,pigment)toa cavespecies(troglobite).InthegenusDuvalius,particularly,therearespecieswhichliveunderstonesinthemountainsand havesmalleyes,oftenelongatebodyparts,and reducedpigment.Thereareeveneyelessspecieswhichlivedeepinhumusinthemountainsandresemblecavespecies.Bolivar'searlierdiscoveryofParatrechussylvaticus,apale,depigmentedspecieswithsmalleyes,inMorelos andDistritoFederal,seemtoprovidea"missinglink"intheconstructionofthesamesortofseriesbetweentypicalParatrechusand MexaphaenopsprietoilAnalesEsc.Cien.BioI.,2:111-118 1pl.9,1941).P.s11vaticuswasp1aced-rn-anew-subgenus,buttnedagnosticcharacterswhichBolivarcitedn 1941 havesincebeencalledintoquestionbythedescriptionofotherParatrechusspp.,anditisnowdoubtfulthatP.sylvaticusisdistinctenoughtowarrantsubgenericseparationfromotherParatrechus.Thelatest"link"intheserieswasforgedwiththediscoveryofablinds2eciesofParatrechuslcloselyrelatedtoP.h!lvaticus,inthes3tanode Tejamani1(Qro.)by JohnFish.r:ntsspecies,stillundescribed,theeyesareverysmall,palel andnon-functional,butthebodypartsarenotslenderandelongateasinMexaphaenops.ItseemslikelythatincludestherelictsoramucholderinvasionofthecavestthisnewlydescoveredspeciesofParatrechus.Forthefuture,thebiologicalexplorationofMexicancavesatthehigherelevationsshouldprovemostinterestinglparticularlyasadditionalspeciesoftroglobitictrechinesshowup.TheagoninecarabidsincludethegeneraRhadine and Mexisphodrus,aswellasAgonumland a fewothergeneracollectedrn-Mexicancaves.Notrog0c Rhadine havebeenfoundinMexico. ThegenusisratherwidelydistributedinWesternNorthAmerica,

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184from CanadatoOaxaca,butonly3speciesareknowneastoftheGreatPlains.SpeciesofRhadine have apredilectionforcool,darkhabitats,andtheyareconsequentlyfoundinmammalburrows,caves,cellars,andsimilarplaces.Somespecies(includingR.euprepesfrom Mexico)liveinforests,underrocksandlogs.-Onlyonespeciesgroup(thesubterraneagroup)containsrealtroglobites,andthesespeciesarerestrictedtocentralTexas.Mexisphodrus,describedasanewgenus byBarr(Coleopt.Bull.,19:.1965),wasfirstdiscoveredinthes6tanodelProfesor(Veracruz)byTerryRainesandBillBell.AdditionalspecieshavebeentakeninasmallcaveatJacala(Hidalgo)(Hendrichsand1966;Ciencia,25:7-10,pl.1);thes6tanode Tlamaya(S.L.P.);andintheSotanodelaJoyadeSalasand asmallsinkholeatRanchodelCielo(Tamps.)(Barr,1966.73:112-115).M.veraecrucisBarrandM.profundusBarrappear0beincipienttroglobites;theyarewinglessand depigmented and haveverysmall,paleeyes.M.tlamaEfaensisBarrisa wingedspecieswithlargeeyes,andHendr.&Bol.issomewhatintermediate,stillretainingmoderatelywell-developedeyesand afairlydarkpigmentation.ThreeundescribedspeciesoftheapparenttroglobitevarietyhavebeenrecentlycollectedinQueretaro(s6tanodeCamposantos,Cueva delasTablas),SanLuisPotosi(ValledelosFantasmos),and Oaxaca(S6tanode SanAgustin).ThespecialinterestinMexisphodrusderivesfromthefactthat,until1957,agoninesbelongingtothegroupof"truesphodrinesl1wereknownonlyfromtheOldWorld,rangingfromtheCanaryIslandsacrosstheMediterraneanregionintoChina.In1957Straneo(Ciencia,17:81-84)describestheMexican genusBo1ivaridiusfromsurfacematerial,suggestingthatspeciesofthisgenusbelongedwiththetruesphodrines,despitelackofcertaindiagnosticcharactersfoundintheEuropeangenerabutnotintheMexicanone.ProsphodruswasdescribedfromNewZealand byBrittonin1959(Proc.Entomo1. Soc. London(B),28:103-106)jP.wa1toniisa cave form(dark,witheyes)which,likeBolivaridius,appearstobe aprimitivesphodrine.Thecharactersandgeneralbody formofMexis1hodrusmuchmoreclearlysuggestrelationshiptothetruesphodrnesthandothoseofBo1ivaridius,butbothgeneraare,ineffect,ltmissinglinks"thatmakeitdifficulttodrawarbitrarylinesofclassificationandsaywhatisasphodrineand whatisnot.OthersphodrinesinhabitGrutadelPa1mito(N.L.),Cueva de1aBoca(N.L.),and TexascavesoftheDel Rioregion;thesemayconstituteathirdgenusofNorth Americansphodrines,buttheirstudyhasnotyetbeencompleted.Thecollection1n November, 1966,ofaneyeless,apparentlytroglobiticcarabidofthetribeScarit1ni,intheSotanodelaJoyadeSalas,by OrionKnoxandElAlexander,hasadded aremarkablenewelementtothegrowingtroglobiticfaunaofMexico.Scaritines,whichincludesmalltomedium-sized,narrow-ltwaistedltbeetleswhich burrowingravelattheedgeofstreams,haveonly2knowntrog1obit1cspecies--oneinYugoslaviaand oneinItaly-bothofwhichareapparentlydescended from hum1co1ousancestorsandbothofwhich, byevolutionaryconvergence,superficiallyresemble cavetrechines.The Tamau1ipas cavescaritine,about6.5mminlength,1sverydifferentinappearance,althoughit,too,isrelativelyslenderand depigmented andwithouteyes.Thebestguessthatonecanmakeatthepresenttimeisthatthisinsectis

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185 mostcloselyrelatedtoasubtribeofscaritines(Forcipaterina)knownonlyfromSouthAmerica, Panama, Dominica,Martinique,Assam,Bengal,and Burma.Itmaythusbe arelictofanarchaicMexicanbeetlefaunawhichformerlyincludedtheforcipaterines,which,accordingtothishypothesis,wereatonetime(earlyTertiary?)distributedacrosseasternAsia,acrossaBeringbridge,andintowesternNorthAmerica.TroglophilesThe mostinterestingtroglophiliccarabidsinMexicoarethoseofthegenusRhadine(seeabove).Bolivar(1944,Ciencia,5:2528)describedthefirstofthesefromGrutadelPalmIto(N.L.)asSpelaeorhadinearaizai,latertransferredtoRhadine.OthersubspecIesofR.araizalarefoundthroughouttheEdwardsplateauofTexas,knownalmostexclusivelyfromcaves(R.a.howdeniBarr&Lawrence, R.a.babcockiBarr).R.&Hendr.isknownfromtheGrutadeCUevacillasand-theSotanode Matehuala(Coah.),and R.medelliniBol.&Hendr. fromtheCuevaCarnicero(S.L.P.)(BolIvar&Hendrichs,1964.Ciencia,23:5-16,pl.1).PachytelesurrutiaiBolivar(1952.Ciencia,11: 295-296)isaprimItivecarabldofthetribeOzaeniniwhIchappearstobe atroglophile,restrictedtocavesoftheSierradeElAbra,S.L.P.AMCSmembers havecollected2 specimens fromtheSotanodelaTinaja,and Cueva delosSabinosisthetypelocality.Althoughthespeciesisratherpaletherearenoobviousadaptationsorregressivemodificationsforcavelife.AgonumbilimekiBol!varandHendrichsand Tachysunistriatus(Bilimek)aretwofairlycommontroglophilespecIesofcarabldsinhabitingtheGrutade Cacahuam11pa andnear-byCueva delaEstrella.TrogloxenesandAccidentalsVariousspeciesofColpodes,Ardistom1s,Clivina,Selenophorus,and Tachysappearfromtimetotimeincavecollectionsfrom Mexico. Mostofthem seemtohavebeentakennearentrancesortohavebeenwashed undergroundalongstreams.ThestatusofaspeciesofPterostichus(IthytOlus)fromcavesoftheSierradeElAbraisstIlluncertain.


Description
Contents: Part 1. Trip
Reports --
Sotano de la Joya de Salas, Tamps. --
Sotano de Son Francisco. S. L. P. --
Sierra de EI Abra and Xililla, S.L.P. --
Canon de la Huasteca, N.L. --
Sotano de Tiamaya and Xililla Region, S. l. P. --
Tamuin and Xililla, S. L. P. --
Xilillo, S.L. P. Region --
Notes on the Exploration of Sotano de La Silleta --
Cacahuamilpa, Gro. area and Huautla, 0ax. area --
Aquiamon, S.L. P. area --
1966 AMCS MEMBERSHIP LIST --
Notes for Photographers in Mexico --
Cave Distribution in Mexico --
Part 2. Biology Section: --
Mexican Cave Beetle, of the Family Carabidae --
VOLUME II INDEX.