Cave Research Foundation newsletter

Cave Research Foundation newsletter

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Cave Research Foundation newsletter
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Cave Research Foundation newsletter
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CRF newsletter
Cave Research Foundation
Cave Research Foundation
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Resource Management ( local )
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Inside:. WKU Speloelogy field courses / Roger Brucker -- USFS memo of understanding -- Cave Restoration camps / Dick Venters and Norm Roger -- Fun and games in Bedquilt Cave / Mel Park -- Review: To photograph darkness / Ann Basted -- Interview with Chris Howes -- Russians visit Mammoth Cave / Mel Park -- and much more.
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Vol. 18, no. 4 (1990)
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University of South Florida Library
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K26-00743 ( USFLDC DOI )
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NOVEMBER 1990 VOLUME 18,NUMBER 4 CRF Newsletter -1 '-;-:. """ INSIDE ... WKU SPELEOLOGY FIELD COURSES Roger Brucker USFS MEMO OF UNDERSTANDING *CAVE RESTORATION CAMPS-Dick Venters and Norm Rogers *FUN AND GAMES IN CAVE-Mel* Park REVIEW: TO PHOTOGRAPH DARKNESS --Ann Basted INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS HOWES RUSSIANS VISIT MAMMOTH CAVE Mel Park and much more .... An 1890's era Mammoth Cave tour poses for pioneer cave photographer Ben Haines as they exit the Cork screw. The Corkscrew discovered in 1870, forms a direct route from Bandit Hall to Broadway, bypassing the Bottomless Pit route. Many written accounts comment on the exertion required to ascend the narrow, twisting stairs on this very steep shortcut Ben Haines' work and its place in the history of cave photography are discussed in detail in Chris Howes' To Photograph Darkness, reviewed on p.18. CRF-East Moves To Maple Springs Mel Park The weekend after the Thanksgiving Expedition, CRFEast will move its operations from Flint Ridge to Maple Springs, leaving our home and altering a tradi tion of over 30 years We are moving not because we particularly want to but because it has been on the cards since 1972, when our landlords, the National Park Service determined that our use of the Austin House could not be permanent We have grown on and into Flint Ridge. Our lore, verbal and published, link us with the vibrant and some times rambunctious life that preceded us on tha t Kentucky Ridge. For thirty years we (and for a long time, the Job Corps) were the sole regular users of Flint Ridge two kinds of (excuse me) Yankees, imposing their priorities and requirements on a former commu nity Add the park to that three kinds of outsiders, with the NPS being the pioneers We are the last tenants of Flint Ridge. As we leave, so will electricity, what remains of water service, and some part of the road system. The above-ground portion of Flint Ridge will return that much more to nature. The below-ground portion will continue to enjoy its protected status. The cave remains as it has been for years: closed protected, an object of study and learning, endangered only by environmental hazards from outside the park. Where is Maple Springs? Our new base of operations is a former ranger station, residence, and base for special projects. Continued p.5 ...


2 CRF NEWSLETTER Volume 18, No.4 Established 1973 Editors Sue Hagan, Mick Sutton Route 1, Box 110A Annapolis, MO 63620 Production Manager, Ric hard Zopf Quarterly : F eb May, Aug., Nov. Subscriptions $5 .00 per year. Free to JVs Deadline : One monlh before Lhe first of the i ssue month. The CRF NEWSLETTER is a publication of th e Cave Research Foundation, a non-profit orga nizati o n incorporated in 1957 under the laws of Kentucky for Lhe purpo se of furlhering research, conservation, and education about caves and kar st. For information about Lhe CRF, write to: Ron Bridgeman, CRF President, 4074 W Redwing Street, Tucson, AZ 85741. BULLETIN BOARD Address Corrections: Moved? Mis s ing some copies? (fhe Newsletter i s not forwarded). Send address cor rection s to Richard Zopf, 830 Xenia Avenue, Yellow Springs, OH 45387, wilh $1.25 for each back issue reque s t ed Birth Announcement: Rachel Ann Hill, daughter of Larry and Andrea Hill, granddaughter of Alan and Carol Hill, was born September 20, 1990. CRF Research Center fund rai s ing drive: Please h elp make Lhc planned Mammoth Cave r esearc h center a reality-se nd your t axdcductablc donations to Lhe trea surer, R oge r McClure, 4700 Ambcrwood Drive Dayton, OH 45424 Make checks payabl e to Cave R esearc h Foundation. Funds are also solicited for Lhe International Exploration Fund (another expedition to China i s in th e ear ly planning stages) CR F Annual Report: Submissions for th e 1990 A nnual Report arc due The deadline is December 31. Annual Report is not for publication of full-length art1clcs; we sec k extended abstracts s upported by a few key r efe r ences and came ra-r eady illustrations, Lhe whole n ot to exceed five double spaced 8.5" by II" pa ges. A di s k wilh hard copy ba c kup is pre f e rr ed Black and white photographs are also solicited send glossy 8" by 10" prints Please se nd your contri butions on cave and kar s t r esearc h, CRF related activities, abstracts of papers, talks presented, etc. to the ed itor, Karen Lind sley, 12 Orchard Road, Lucas TX 75002-8061. CRF Newsletter 1991 Karst Research Fellowship: CRF will award a graduate fellowship for Lhesis research in cave and karst related topics for the academic year 1990-1991 The Foundation can award a stipend up to $3500. Lesser sums may be awarded as grants. The study is to be s upervised at Lhe graduate school of Lhe awardee's c hoice The Foundation can provide field support for work in ce ntral Kentucky, Guadalupe Escarpment (Texas and New Mexico), and Kings Canyon National Park and Lava Beds National Monument (California). Applicants needing field facilities in Lhese areas should provide spec ifics in Lheir proposal. A panel of scientists reviews the proposals. At a minimum, the proposal must: present an overview of Lhe research area and Lhe scope and significance of Lhe proposed research, demonstrate a command of Lhe methodology, discuss proposed hypotheses and how you will Lest them, and present a proposed budget. A resume' and academic record are required Two lett e r s eva luating your potential are also required; one of Lhese s hould be from your Lhesis advisor For more details, write to : Dr John C. Tinsley c/o U.S. Geological Survey 345 Middlefield Road MS-975 Menlo Park, CA 94025 Applications (4 copies required) must be postmarked not later than January 31, 1991. Awards will be announced by April 15, 1991. Notes from Here and There The August expedition of the Lechuguilla Cave Project pushed the cave's mapped length past the 50 mile mark to 51.4 miles Lechuguilla remains the fourlh longe s t cave in Lhe U.S. *** Patty Jo Watson was honored again recently, this time by the Society for American Archaeology, who awarded her Lhe prestigious Fryxell Medal at their annual meeti ng i n Las Vegas, Nevada, citing her "ouL<>tanding co ntributiOns to understanding Lhe human past in Lhe Americas." Patty Jo was elected to Lhe National Academy of Sciences in 1988 and was made an honorary member of the National Speleological Society in 1989 *** CRF has signed a contract wilh Lhe Roswell District (New Mexico) Bureau of Land Management to inventory caves and karst of Lhe Chosa Draw area more details in the next Newsletter.


November 1990 RON KERBO HONORED AT NSS MEETING At the July convention of the National Speleo logical Society in Yreka, California, Ron Kerbo, long time CRF member and NPS employee, received an honorary life membership in the NSS, and was simulta neously made a Fellow of the Society Kerbo was also the featured banquet speaker at the convention. The award is one of the two highest honors that the Society bestows, and was given in recognition of Kerbo's dedication to caves and outstanding contribu tions to speleology. Kerbo has been Cave Specialist at Carlsbad Caverns National Park since 1976, and is largely responsible for the excellent relations the caving community enjoys with CCNP. He has developed ex emplary working relationships with both the CRF and the Lechuguilla Cave Project, resulting in a wealth of productive survey and research activity within the world class caves of the park. He has also contributed to cave management, conservation, and exploration internation ally, taking part in trips to China, the USSR, Mexico and the Azores. This is the third consecutive year that the honorary life membership has been awarded to a CRF member. The 1988 award went to Red Watson; Pat Watson was honored in 1989. Other NSS Awards: Peter Bosted and Karen Lindsley were awarded Certificates of Merit for their tremendous effort in producing the English language version of Atlas of the Great Caves of the World. Bosted translated the work from the French, updated it, greatly expanded the North American section, and drew a large number of maps Lindsley was responsible for the typing and layout, and for production of the index. Receiving Fellowship Awards (for continued service in exploration, research, and conservation), in addition to Ron Kerbo, were California JV's Sandy Cowan, Bill Frantz, Michelle Richardson, and Pete Schifflett. Chris Groves received the $1000 Ralph Stone Resea rch Award for his proposal to study the early de velopment of karst systems. Groves recently received a CRF research grant for the same project (August Newsletter). In the Cartography salon, the overall Medal was won by Pat Kambesis for her map of Snowflower Pit, Alabama Pat also won an Honorable Mention for Doug Green Cave, Alabama. George Veni won a Merit Award for his map of Naj Tunich, Peten, Guatamala, and an Honorable Mention for Las Cueva s de San Josecito, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Bob Richards won a merit award for his map of Carey's Big Mud Cave, California. Other Honorable Mention awards we nt to Nancy Pistole for Buena Vista Cave, Oaxaca, Mexico, and to Peter Bosted for his Lilburn Cave entry The Lilburn map, a CRF project is an in-3 novative computer-generated map using seven different tones of gray to denote different levels in this extremely mazy, multi-level cave. Bosted wrote the necessary computer programs. JV'S were well represented in the Photo Salon. Peter and Ann Bosted received a Medal in the print division, in addition to Merit and Honorable Mention Awards for color prints and slides; Ron Simmons won the Medal for color slides (his photo. of the Grim Crawl of Death in Columbine Crawl graces the cover of the August NSS News), in addition to Merit and Honorable Mention Awards; Dave Bunnell received Merit Awards and an Honorable Mention for color prints and slides; Bill Franz won an Honorable Mention for black & white prints. *The Atlas 350 pp with numerous rrwps, can b e purchased from Cave Bo oks, 5222 Eastland Drive, New Carlisle OH 45344 for $21.25 ppd. WKU'S SPELEOLOGY COURSE COMPLETES 11th YEAR Western Kentucky University's Cave and Kar s t Institute has operated a field studies program since 1980 in Mammoth Cave National Park, and more recently, in Mexico. One course, offered from the beginning is Speleology, taught by Roger W. Brucker. "An understanding of the interrelationships of all of the cave sc i e nces is what I try to lead students to discover for the m se lves," said Roger. The course covers seven days of classroom lectures and cave trips, mostly into the undeveloped parts of Mammoth Cave. Students see vertical and horizontal drainage, learn to investigate tributaries and piracy routes see the role of food import and cave animal ec ology, and see such exotic sights as aboriginal feces. We examine the historical evolution of cave theory Davi s, Bretz, Swinn e rton, White, Ewers, and othersbecause it illustrates how cave knowledge proc ee d s from so me notions and ideas, how facts and pallerns are di s covered, and how researchers build upon the work of others. Controversy is vital to real science said Brucker. Brucker said he is more int e rested in students under sta nding cave processes than in memorizing facts. Since ea ch cave is unique, the speleologist must bring a se t of rigorous questions to the cave. Only then will the cave yield answers through examination. Students spend one day learning to survey and drafting a map of places such as Sandstone Avenue in Mammoth Cave. A day is s pent examining the exterior karst features 'The missing landscape of the Sinkhole Plain is the 97% result of the karst processes, and the cave passages are the other 3%," said Brucker Continued ...


4 Som e times, the most m e m o r a bl e trip i s throu g h o n e o r m ore connecti o n s b e tween c aves. It s h ows the r o l e of vertical s haft s and l o w l eve l h o rizontal dra in s in integratin g the trun cate d upp e r lev e l passages. G e ttin g mud dy and wet i s p a rt o f the j oy o f c a v in g O n o n e trip in 1 989, the p arty e nt e r e d the Aus tin E ntrance, traversed the connecti o n from U nknown Cav e t u Salt s C ave, and f ound the w a y block e d b y hi g h wat e r a t the Co lossal Cave encl. W e turn e d the tir e d part y aro u n d knowing the A u s tin gate was locked because Lynn j13rucker] h a d take n o n e m embe r of the party o ut earli er. W e anticipat e d a w ait o f m a n y ho ur s b e for e h e lp came," s aid Roger. C oo l heads pre v ail ed. T h e party organized t o co nserve e n e r g y and k e pt warm f o r the l o ng wait w h i l e the "eng ineer s" wo rk e d on gettin g around the lo c k They wer e s uccessful and the y met Lynn co min g t o rescu e the p a rty "Those studenL<; l earne d tha t cave expl o r i n g can b e d a n gero us, and tha t we have t o plan care full y and keep tr ack o f peopl e," said Roger. Fccdhac k o n the co ur s e is o f two kinds. Stud enb w rit e evalu atio ns, w hi c h a r c pr ov id e d to the Sup e rint endent o f Mam m oth Cave Natio n a l Park, to Dr. N i c k Cr: r w ford w ho direct s the In stit ut e's wo rk and t o the FOREST SERVICE MEMO. OF UNDERSTANDING SIGNED Th e Cave Resear c h F ound ati o n has s i g n e d a M e m oran dum o f Unde r s tandin g w ith the U. S Forest S e r v ice. T h e a g reem e nt n ego tiat e d on b e h alf of C R F b y Boar d rncrnbc r Jim Borden, will govern the bro a d fr amew ork w ithi n whic h specific local a g reem e nt s between C R F up c ratin g and indi v idual Nat io nal ForLst s will h e fram ed. B orde n r e present e d the Founcbtion at a s i g nin g cer e m o n y o n Jul y 18, in W a s hin g t o n D.C. Th e broad prin c iples requir e t w o-wa y co mmuni c a ti o n and con s ultati o n o n both a n atio nal and a local bel and the applicatio n o f CRF exp e rtise a s a ppr o pri :ttL'. Assi stance may t.:tkc the f orm o f m a p p ing, locatin g and inventor y in g F o rcst S e rvice caves, assi s tin g in the o f C t\e managem e nt plans, r ev iewin g p rnpn.-xtls. con d u c tin g educ ati o n p rograms, cun d u ctrng or s ponsu rin g rescarc h assessing and r cc O illlllL IHfin g solut io ns to e n vironme ntal issues, e tc. lnfor m :1tion d e rived from C R F a ctivities will b e used t o a n wnd Forest plan s (the b a s i c m a nagement docume nt f o r rnd r v idu a l Forests) w h e r e a ppropri a te, and may h e lp g uid e po li cy on a Nati o nal level. CRF nuw has n :1lio nal in effect w ith all kckrall: u lllmanagem e nt agen c ies w ithin the Int e ri o r and .'\ g ri c ullur e Det x trtm ents. CRF Newsletter in s tructor. Brucker says the comm e nts are univ e rsall y positive ( s ometimes e mbarrassin g l y s o ) and ofte n r e v eal a life -chan g ing experien c e during the co urse. A second feedback i s that som e students have joine d CRF work. M e l Park CRF Op e rations Mana g er for Mammoth Cave, for example, wa s a s tud e nt a f ew y e ar s back Ask e d why h e co ntinues t o teach the course, Roger s aid I l o v e to teach, and I l o v e caves. Mammo th Cave i s the mo s t s plendid laborat o r y I know f o r teachin g And the stud e nts ar e highly m o tivated and l e arn a lot. like g etting to kn o w s tud e nts and hearin g from the m ove r the y ears." Spe leology is only one of a full program of WKU s umm e r field courses, mo s t o f the m taug ht b y indi v iduals w ith s tr o ng CRF connecti o ns: Art and P eggy Palmer, Stan Sides, Richard Zopf, and many more. R oge r cre dits Nick and Whit Crawford f o r their vi s ion and d edic ati o n year a ft e r year in o r g ani z in g the co urses. They ar e directly responsibl e f o r ov e r 5 0 0 peopl e com in g to spc leology with far more than jus t a sense of awe. They'r e pre p a r e d e nthu s ia s tic, and go o n t o m a k e l a s tin g c ontributi o n s CARLSBAD CAVERN RESTORATION Dick V e nt e r s Th ey're pla y in g in the mud and sand". "So thi s i s how the c av e w a s mad e" "Are you u s in g up o ur tax d ollars to d o this ?" -Thes e are jus t a f e w of the many comm e nt s made t o the 29 v o lunteer s who came t o the 1 990 Carl sbad Cavcm rest o r a ti o n fie ld c amp h e ld the third week end of June. C ave r s from all ove r the c ountry carne to restore ar e a s that w e r e bla sted or c ov e r e d over a s a result o f tr ail building T hi s yea r o ur project a rea w a s very v i sible t o Park v i sitors; it was on on e of the bus ie s t route s at the juncti o n of the Big Roo m and Lunc h Room trails. W e clea n e d and r e stor e d a n area o ppo site the old lun c h room used in the 1920' s and '30's. C hi c k e n and s teak bones, c i g ar c ues, and assort e d tra s h w er e f o und unde r a s i x in c h layer of dirt and gyp s um. W e r e m oved the c over mater ial and used it to fill the three bla s t e d o ut pit s n c ar the C hinese Th e ater (the same pit s that w e r e used in las t year 's rest o ration). Th e und e rl y in g trash w a s r e m ove d t o the surface to b e c hecked f o r hi s tori c al s i gnificance. Oth e r areas along the visitor 's trail near th e Tra pdoor to Lowe r Cave were cl eaned, d e -lint e d and res t o r e d Oth e r p rojects we r e : r e flagging and cle anin g the s l o p e in the Fal s e Flo o r Room (on the Lake of the Cl o ud s trail), r e tlag g in g the Rook e ry in Lowe r Cave, ancl repla c in g t h e l o w e r r ope on the Lake o f the Cloud s descent. Thi s year, we used a n e w and ingeniou s m etho d of c l ezming, u s ing compressed air from dive tanks s upplied C ontinue d p./5 .


November 1990 Maple Springs: Continued from p l ... Now dubbed the Maple Springs Research Center it lies north of the Green River, in normal times just 15 min utes via the ferry from the Visitor's Center. Maple Springs has some tie to our traditions: Cleve Pinnix, the NPS Ranger who was a member of the Flint Ridge-Mammoth Cave connection trip on August 9, 1972, was then living at Maple Springs After the trip, the party went to Flint Ridge for the famous pho tograph in front of the Collins House, then returned to Maple Springs for a breakfast of eggs and champaign! Ferry Service Maple Springs is north of the Green River and is, therefore, cut off from the cave and most of our work sites. Travel to and from the cave will be by ferry (normal operating hours 6 a .m. to 9:55 p.m.) or by a one hour drive via Brownsville over secondary and ter tiary roads. Parties returning to Maple Springs after a caving trip will not want to miss the ferry The Park Service has agreed to extend the service according to our requirements but this is not a privilege that we want to abuse. We will not, for example, request after-hours service on the first night of an expedition. Most of us arrive after 10 p.m. but it is almost as easy for people to leave I-65 early and proceed to the back of the Park. Consult the directions given below. Because of ferry scheduling, party leaders will have to plan realistically and carry their plans through reli ably. By the time you get to camp, the Expedition Leader and Operations Manager will have made a working schedule and requested appropriate after-hours ferry operation Only in extraordinary circumstances would we ask for coverage of the full eight hours that the ferry is normally closed. Instead, I see two viable alterna tives, one geared for short to medium trips and the other for days when there are longer trips. In long-trip mode, we will request that the ferry be operated an extra half-shift starting at 2:00a. m.; it will still close at 9:55 in the evening. Party leaders with a short to medium trip, who would normally sign out until 10 or 11 p.m., will now have to get into the cave early to get the same amount of work done. Fifteen hour and longer trips will be little impacted; you just have to content yourself with a return time after 2:00 a .m. In short-trip mode, the ferry would continue operuntil 1:55 a.m. Parties signed out until 1 or 1:30 will have to be sure that they are not overdue. Also there is the unhappy consequence that we will not be able to handle overdue parties safely Thus, there will be no way for the Expedition Leader to send a party to the cave gate at 4:00 a.m. as is supposed to happen for an overdue party signed out until midnight. That party will be on its own until after 6:00 am, just two hours Pt:fore the general call-out is scheduled. How we will modify our safety procedures to deal with this problem remains to be seen. 5 Principally because of the need to schedule f e rry use ahead of time we will have to return to strict e r control of attendance The rules laid down in the CRF Personnel Manual will be strictly followed: you must notify the Expedition Leader or Operations Manager of your attendance at least two weeks before the expedition. Space while ample, is not unlimited. When cap ac ity is reached, the Expedition Leader will not be able to take further reservations. No-shows will be billed. Mapl e Spr i ngs D Sleep ing Quarters The Facilities S howers H ouse & M eeting Area There are four buildings at Maple Springs (see map). Most of our activities will take place in the meeting/ food preparation building and in the bunk house The former ranger's residence contains additional sleeping quarters and a small kitchen. Small groups particularly scientists, will lodge there. Our use of it during expeditions will be minor, except for its garage, which has been converted into two community shower/ bathrooms. Finally, part of the bam has been modified for use as a storage area for items such as ropes and carbide. Other storage space will be located throughout the complex. There is a pay telephone on the porch of the resi dence In addition, CRF will have its own telephone so that we will once again be in touch with the rest of world during expeditions. Campground Overflow camping is at the group campground, 1/4 mile away I know that some of you will not appreciate being so isolated, and you will have to take extra mea sures to protect any property you might leave there. Others may welcome being that much farther from the


6 wake-up call at 7:00 am. Families with small children will not want to leave their children there unattended. They will also want to get them in bed and out from under foot early in the evening. The Expedition Leader might be able to arrange for that in the Ranger House. Usage / In general, Maple Springs is a more public area than we are used to. On weekends, we have observed considerable traffic, particularly by people bringing their horses for day outings north of the river. Also, CRF does not have exclusive use of Maple Springs, as we had at Flint Ridge. Although the park will make every effort not to schedule other groups during our expeditions, we have to be prepared for some scheduling conflicts. On a trial basis, we are allowing other groups to use many of our cooking utensils and the microwave oven. Expensive or specialized items, such as our mixer and warming ovens, will be stored in locked cabinets. Fees There should be no change in the fees that you are used to paying ($9.00 for a full day). The $2.00 overnight fee that we have been charging will now go to the Park. This seems only fair, as the electricity, heat ing, and water charges will be borne by the Park. Getting to Maple Springs From the South Go to Brownsville, either via Ky 101 at the Smith's Grove exit or through the Park on Ky 70 (Park City exit). Follow Ky 259 north out of Brownsville, toward Bee Spring. Six miles past the Brownsville bridge over the Green River, at an old drive in theater between Sweeden and Bee Spring, tum right on Ky 728. After 2 miles, Ky 728 crosses Nolin Reservoir Dam. In about 6 1{1 miles more, tum right onto Ky 1827 at Demunbrun's Store. One mile farther is the right tum to Maple Springs (and also the Echo River Ferry). The turnoff from this road to the Maple Springs loop road is well marked From the North Go to Cub Run, by turning off at Row letts (Ky 728) or at Munfordville (Ky 88). At Cub Run, take Ky 728 to Demunbrun's Store, tum back (left) on Ky 1827 and continue as if coming from the South. Alternative ly, take Ky 1827 south from Cub Run. Three miles past Bee is the left (S) tum into the park. From the West The best route seems to be the Kentucky Parkway to Leitchfield. Tum South on Ky 259 through Bee Spring. One mile South of Bee Spring tum left on Ky 728. Follow the directions for coming from the South. uSptlf1Qs Rdeardl CBnter CRF Newsletter toFirrtR\:lge From the East If you normally pass through Glasgow on the Cumberland Parkway, continue to Smiths Grove and then Brownsville, on either Ky 259 or Ky 101. Continue as if coming from the South. Carlsbad Cavern Over 20 Miles Long Carlsbad Cavern is again over 20 miles long, ac cording to cartographer David Dell. The official length of the cave was reduced from 20.8 to 19.1 miles recently when Dell and Ron Lipin s ki excluded redundant survey shots (Newsletter, February 1990). Recent expeditions have increased the length to 20.1 miles. The most ex tensive areas of the cave are the New Section and Left Hand Tunnel. The full breakdown is: New Section Left Hand Tunnel Lower Cave Main Corridor Big Room New Mexico Room Mystery Room Scenic Rooms 4.9 miles 4.6 miles 3.2 miles 2.6 miles 2.4 miles 1.4 miles 0.7 miles 0.3 miles


November 1990 7 FUN AND GAMES IN BEJXlUIL T CAVE Mel Park Adventure in Bedquilt Tom Clancy's best selling novel, Patriot Games, contains an obscure reference to Mammoth Cave. On page 325 of the paperback edition, Jack Ryan, all capable main character, remembers the phrase "You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike," from one of his favorite computer games. Our's too. That phrase comes from the game Adventure, the first computer ad venture game. Readers of the Newsletter should re member that Adventure was written by Will Crowther in the 1970's, during the time he figured prominently in Flint Ridge activities. The game is set in the real Bedquilt Cave. The maze of twisty narrow canyons is near the Hall of the Mountain King. In the cave, as in the game, the proper way to the Hall is through a flat entrance room; "You are crawling over cobbles in a low passage" through an "awkward sloping east/ west canyon" to the room whose walls are "frozen rivers of orange stone", and on to the "Hall of Mists" (1871 Passage), then down to the Hall of the Mountain King Adventure was written for a main-frame computer, but it has since been enhanced by others and ported to just about every model of computer there is. I have a version for my PDP-II lab. computer and I was amazed to fmd it still a part of the Unix distribution for Sun workstations in 1990-can't g e t more modem than that. I recently came across another text adventure game, with a lineage perhaps traceable to Flint Ridge. The game is introduced as being a logical sequel to Will Crowther's game and has eVidently been around for quite some time. The author wishes to remain anonymous. The game begins by informing you that you are part of the Crystal Cave Expedition, and you find yourself on a ridge top much like our own field facilities. Traveling west to a bam (the Spelee Hut?) you pick up caving gear and return east to the Ticket Office. North down the ridge is a north-facing cave entrance with a friendly ranger whom you have to pay to enter the cave. From here, though, I don't recognize the setting. The cave h a s a large river in it and formations near the entrance not Crystal Cave at all. Does anybody know anything about this game? Old and New Survey Bedquilt and Colossal caves lie in southern Flint Ridge and have been the site of a fair amount of activity in the last two years Three routes connect these two parts of Mammoth Cave. Two are in the lower levels -from New Year's Junction either via Jones Shaft or the Z-survey off Ehman Trail. The third is via the tum-of the-century tourist passage, the Bedquilt Route. Colossal and Bedquilt are, in tum linked to the south end ofLehrburger Avenue via the Salts Colossal Link, and to Austin A venue by at least two routes around Jones Shaft. From the north end ofLehrberger you can get with some exertion through the Unknown-Salts Link to the Lower Crouch way and Pohl A venue. The rest of the cave is out that way. Colossal and Bedquilt caves were developed b y the Louisville & Nashville Railroad to attract tourists, in a process that was tumultuous for a few Flint Ridge landowners. This was in the late 1890's. What tr a de the managers could develop competed with Mammoth Cave and suffered as a result. The last caretaker of Colossal Cave left in 1930. Railroad interest drove a lot of the exploration as well as a careful survey of Grand A venue in Colossal and the Bedquilt Route to Bedquilt Cave. Unfortunately, we do not have this transit survey data, although we can speculate that it is still archived by the L&N railroad, as are all the records of the Mammoth Cave Association. CRF put parties in force into Colossal and Bedquilt caves in the fust half of the 1970's. I don't think a ny one was satisfied with that effort, though, ev e n then. The old problems of evolving standards riddle the data : no backsights, no vertical control, poor sketches. As in much of the rest of the system, CRF set out in the '80's to correct these deficiencies and, as a result, a number of us have had the chance to learn about these two parts of the Mammoth Cave System. Bedquilt cave is a maze of twisty pass a ge s all dif ferent. The lower levels are reached by either the KA climb, a narrow chimney discovered by Stan Sides in 1964 (he was 21 then), or by a tricky belly traverse along the side of a pit. These two routes rejoin at the prominent chert nodule, "The Brain of the Cave", which is in a complicated area from which passages lead to the North and West-Omega Survey, Wow Shaft Gypsum Mine, to name a few-, to the South and West, to the lower end of the J-56 pit, and elsewhere. Modern survey now extends from the Colossal Entrance, down to lower Colossal via the R-14 pit, and from New Year s Junction to Bedquilt via two routes. The first is the old N' survey trail past Jones Shaft (where Deike Trail begins), and then down Davidson Trail to the J-56 pit. The other is via the Boobie Trap to Ehman Trail, near the Salts-Colossal Link, and via the Z-survey to join Davidson Trail. The upper level Bedquilt Route runs from the Dance Floor, an historic structure built in Grand Avenue, pa s t the top of the J-56 pit and the top of the KA-climb, and out the Bedquilt Entrance via the Hall of the Mountain King and the 1871 Passage Long loops of modern survey are almost complete through all of these routes Another area of resurvey, just begun, is out Deike Trail. Deike Trail begins in the Jones Shaft Area and is int eresting, not only because it is a beautiful example of a phreatic tube, dipping and weaving up and down and back and forth but also because it is emerging from underneath a valley toward a large section of Flint Ridge with no known cave. We'll see


8 CRF Newsletter EXPEDffiONS MAMMani CAVE Independence Day. June 30 July 7 Leader, Tim Schafstall The areas of major focus during the week-long ex pedition were Logsdon River, the long loops in the mid levels of Mammoth Cave Ridge formed by Stevenson's Avenue, Sitgreave's Pass, and Burley's Way, the Pohl A venue area and Marion A venue and its side passages On the first day, CRF crews were supplemented by par ticipants from Richard Zopfs Summer in the Park course in survey and cartography. River & Roppel: Four trips went to Logsdon River. The first crew went out the T-Survey and continued mapping a drain downstream in a westerly direction, away from known cave. The tube started off in dry mud, but became progressively soupier. The next trip here will need a rope to drop a small dome-pit that inter rupts the passage. Also off the T Survey, a party checked leads in an 80 ft. high dome, part of a system atic effort to fmd a route into upper level trunk passages that must surely exist. Dick Market to climbed and tra versed to an obvious passage, but found that it became too tight within ten feeL Other high leads in the dome ended in sandstone chokes. The dome puts out a lot of air, but it's not clear quite where it comes from. Another group went downstream to the Logsdon/ Hawkins connection area to fmish mapping a series of large breakdown rooms An attempt to investigate a lead in the Logsdon River L-Survey unfortunately fell victim to navigational error. One team went into Rappel's Khan Entrance and surveyed in Thunder River. Mammoth Cave Ridge: A passage off Fox Avenue near Big Break had been explored by Mammoth Cave guide Joe McGown and other NPS employees many years ago, but CRF only recently learned of its existence A party mapped 1000 ft. up this canyon, ending at an area of large domes. The passage continues up a climb. Many leads were noted. The Cocklebur Loop received another visit; the crew tied in floating surveys from the May expedition, and discovered a good lead in the floor. In the Music Room (named for the impromptu flute concert given by Russian visitor Stepan Orevkov on an earlier trip), a handline-assisted climb led to 300+ ft. of 20ft. high canyon. Since only the party leader managed the climb, the crew retreated to McGown A venue, where they lnapped a cutaround and a low, sandy branch. The masochistic leads in the Bransford A venue chert maze were more or less fmished, with 160ft. of tight crawlway mapped. There's a bit more that could be done here by extremely thin crews There was tidy-up work in the Marble Canyon area: an upper loop was surveyed, and a lead off the newly discovered Marble Canyon Lower Robertson link yielded 200ft. of slimy crawlway. There was more tidy-up work for the Kentucky A venue sheet in Lower Robertson and Woodbury Pass. On exiting, this party mapped an in conspicuous 70 ft. long canyon, never before entered though within view of the Kentucky A venue tour trail. There was a short trip to finish the main line sur vey in Marion A venue, and three parties went to Dan's Avenue, a major Marion Avenue side passage. Dan's Avenue ends in a drafting choke a short distance from Joe's Pit (which forms the eastern terminus of Silliman's Avenue). An alternative route-a 2ft. high gypsum crawl-fromDan's Avenue back to Marion Avenue was started by one crew and finished by another In the same general area, there was a trip to sort out some of the complicated upper levels of Boone A venue. The long south flank trunk resurvey was completed by two parties who mapped 3900 ft. along Stevenson's Avenue, ending at Cascade Hall. Three crews completed the Emily s! Thorpe's! Sitgreave's trunk for a total of 2300 ft., tying into the Stevenson's Avenue survey at the Burley's Way junction. The third crew had time to spare, and made a start on the resurvey of Burley's Way north towards Silliman's Avenue. In the Historic section, there was an evening trip to sort out some named features for the gazetteer. Some obscurities, such as Little Pit and Newman's Spine were noted and described; other obscurities such as Shakespeare's Face (along Echo River) remained elusive. Flint Ridge: Work in Flint Ridge concentrated on the Pohl Avenue sheet. One trip went to Textbook Shaft, where the dome was climbed and a room at the top with some associated side passages mapped. Another party mapped 200 ft. of narrow canyon starting near the bottom of the Unknown Shaft series. They then climbed the shafts to Upper Crouchway and above to work on a better definition of this complicated junction Directly off Pohl A venue, a side passage was mapped which was expected to go to Union Shafts; instead, it ended up in nearby Malott Avenue. Another party went to Colossal Cave's Grand Avenue to continue the trunk resurvey They mapped a short section from the end of the Twin Domes Loop to the Ruins of Carthage, and also did some descriptive work. In the Catacombs loop, they found a small colony of bats presumably gray bats. Fortunately, they could bypassed the colony on the return trip by sticking to the main passage. Satellite Caves: One trip went to the best remaining lead in Smith Valley Cave, an inlet where the crew mapped 400 ft. of twisting, wet canyon. Beyond, the passage continued for about 1000 ft. and ended in a sump. There were no signillcant side leads. In Long Cave, a large crew mapped 1330 ft. to complete the main trunk resurvey.


November 1990 Survey Crews: Logsdon T -1) Bob Osburn, Norm Pace, Bill Baus; 2) Bob Osburn, Dick Markel, Mike Lawrenc e ; Downstream Logsdon -Bob O s burn, Scou House, Paul Rubin; L-Survey LaJuana Wilcher, Peter Gray, B. Graham; Roppel Jim Borden, Sheri Engler, Paul Rubin, Roland Vineyard; McGown Ave.-Scoll House, Sue Hagan, Holly Irick, Sheila Sands; Cocklebur-Tom Brucker, Sheri Engler, Dave Wright, Tom Kellcm; Bransford -Kevin Downs, James Sterbenz, Myrna Diaz, Gary Fisher, James Morrisey; Marble Canyon -Mick Suuon, Dave West, Karen Willmes; Lower Robertson, etc.-Mick Sutton, Sue Hagan, Jeff Luoma; Marion Ave. -Bob Osburn, James Sterbenz, Dick Market, Sheri Engler, J. Alexander; Dan's Ave.-1) Scott House, Sue Hagan, Joe Kafn, Roland Vineyard; 2) Karen Willmes, Dave West, Joe Kafn; 3) Rob Osburn, Paul Rubin, Howard Kalnitz, Sheri Engler; Boone Ave. Doug Baker, Ted Hartman, Jeff Luoma; Stevenson's Ave. 1) Mick Suuon, Lorena Godfrey, Dick Maxcy, Richard Hand, Mark Ohms; 2) Scott House, Bob Osburn, Dave West, Karen Willmes, Dick Market ; Sitgreave's Pass-1) Roberta Burnes, Pam Smith, J .R. Wheatley, Myrna Diaz; 2) Mick Suuon, Sue Hagan, Harry Grover; 3) Mick Sutton, Paul Rubin, Paul Hauck ; Gazetteer -Sue Hagan, Mick Sutton; Textbook Shaft Paul Hauck, Jim Greer, Bob Osburn; Unknown Pits Paul Hauck, Sheri Engler, Chris Gerace, Pam Smith; Pohl Ave.-Paul Hauck, Jim Greer, Kevin Downs; Colos.<;al Jim Borden, Sue Hagan, Pam Smith, Roland Vineyard; Smith Valley -Tim Schafstall, Mick Sutton, Sheri Engler, Paul Rubin; Long Cave -Tim Schafstall, Paul Rubin. Roland Vineyard, Joe KafO, D ave Hanson. Report compiled by the editors August 3-6 Leader, Dan Raque The expedition was lightly attended, with seventeen participants Five trips were fielded, with 3100 ft. of s urvey achieved, of which 630ft. was new. Two people from the Mammoth Cave Restoration Camp, Steve Gentry and Steve Petruniak, took part in CRF work trips, where they proved to be valuable addi tions to their parties. The other participants were taken on conducted tours of the old tour trails in Crystal and around Morrison's "grand loop" in Mammoth Cave. One party continued the survey of McGown Avenue sU\rted last month. The crew continued up a climb and s urveyed the large dome-pit complex at the end; several promising leads remain, but will require technical c limbing equipment to reach. On the way out, they surveyed a cutaround and checked several of the many ma; c leads that branch off McGown A venue, some of which were virgin. This area will keep more parties busy during upcoming expeditions. Another party first corrected a compass blunder in Stevenson's Avenue, allowing the very long south flank trunk survey to be closed and drawn up, then completed the resurvey of Way, started during the July exp e dition. Using two sketchers to overcome burnout, they mapped 1500 ft. of this rather intricate passage, completing the loop from Stevenson's Avenue to 9 Silliman's Avenue. They noted a large quantity of small bones (most of them chicken bones) near the hole up to Silliman's A venue. Perhaps these are part of a dump from 19th century tours. Work continued in the complicated area around Albert's Domes, with 240ft. of resurvey and 320ft. of new survey. Between Henry's Dome and Albert's Domes, there are at least six levels above Elmore's Pass, and one below. This area will require much more work and some good sketching to document the multi level maze. One trip went to Colossal Cave to resurvey nearly 700ft. in Davidson Trail on the Colossal-Bedquilt link route A logical survey plan needs to be developed to tackle the final maze section, one of the most confusing areas in the system. Earlier surveys seem to wander at random through the passages There was a biological inventory trip to Roaring River in Mammoth Cave. The party conducted a census of all fish and aquatic invertebrates in the Shrimp Pools area They counted eight cave fish (Amblyopsis), one sculpin, 52 cave crayfish (Orconectes pellucidus), one Between Henry's Dome and Albert's Domes, there are at least six levels above Elmore's Pass, and one below. This area will require much more work ... surface crayfish, over 50 isopods, and 20+ amphipods. They found no Kentucky cave shrimp. [Although the Shrimp Pools are the type site for the endangered shrimp, their primary habitat is deep phreatic water. Populations sometimes persist in overflow pools such as the Shrimp Pools for some time following major floodseds.]. Jan Hemberger, assisted by Phil DiBlasi, did a super job of running camp Special thanks also to Nancy Wilkerson, who was a great help around camp. Survey Crews: McGown Way Jim Greer, Dan Raque, Steve Weinzapfel, Geoff Park; Burley's Way -Mel Park, Eric Compas, Roger McClure, Steve Petruniak; Albert's Domes Scott House, Tom Brucker, Jerry Davis, Steve Gentry; Colossai-Bedquilt Mel Park, Jerry Davis, Geoff Park: Shrimp Pools -Ed Lisowski, Jeff Luoma. Labor Day, September 1-2 Leader, Jim Borden The Labor Day expedition was a fitting end to the summer. Low water levels, hot weather, and the last expedition of the year that could enter through the Colossal Entrance reminded us that the fall was coming. Thirty four people attended, enabling thirteen parties to be fielded over the course of two days, with all but four s urveying in Colossal Cave The Hazen Entrance Loop from the River Route to the entrance to Colossal's "New Discovery" was resurveyed in two trips, despite strong winds and complex cave. (The Hazen Entrance is an old, collapsed


l () entrance at the west end of Colossal Cave). One group wen t int o I3edquilt Cave to continue the new line from Colossal towards Bcdquilt. They were able to survey the comp lex J-5o pit and work the line yet closer to the Bedquilt E ntrance, stopp in g jus t s hort of its major comp lexities. Two parties continued the replacement survey of Grand Avenue from beyond the Ruins of Carthage all the way to the Dining Room. From the Dining Room, a third crew started the r e placem e nt survey of the Beclquilt Route, the other main rout e to the Bedquilt Entra nce. They made it nearly to Hunt Trail, leavin g just a small gap to join with the s urv ey from the J-56 pit route. A noth e r party went to the Jones Shaft area to s tart the r e pla cemen t survey into Deike Trail. This i s an im porwnt pas.sage as it f o rm s part of a major loop t o the Wow S h aft area and has been largel y unvisited for many years. A significant amount of new passage seem s to exi s t in the area. Low wate r l eve l s in v ited trip s into the lo we r level Co lossal River System. Effectively, no-on e cav in g w ith CRF toda y had been to Colossal Ri ver, and the wor k clone the r e was during a period w h e n writin g trip reports was not in vog u e Informati o n i s lacking. One surveyed down Jone s Shaft and into Colossal River. Upo n reachin g the river, they were d efea ted by lo w ceiling.s, we t passages, and cold cavers. A second

November 1990 leads and loops. There was an attempt to map this cave several years ago by St. Louis area cavers, but no map was ever produced. Biologist Ron Oesch collected aquatic snails (probably cave adapted) from the Barrett Spring outlet, but failed to find snails in nearby Pipe Spring Cave or Walters Spring Cave. Smaller caves mapped within the study area were Mine Hollow Cave, Bockman Spring, and Cascade Spring. Mine Hollow is a small tributary of the Eleven Point River, draining part of the proposed mineral lease area. The eponymous cave is close to the valley bot tom, and consists of 350 ft. of irregular, spongework type passage with a dry stream bed. The passage con tinues downstream below the valley floor, but would require digging to continue. Bockman Spring contains 140ft. of mostly walking high stream passage. A group from the Missouri Speleological Survey, led by Jim Sherrell, has been doing reconnaissance and mapping of some interesting caves on the privately owned Eleven Point Ranch, part of which falls within the scenic easement boundaries of the Eleven Point National Scenic River. A CRF crew joined them, and mapped Cascade Spring Cave, consisting of 50 ft. of wet crawl and a tight, 50 ft. long tributary canyon. They also visited Posy Spring Cave for a preliminary biological assessment. Posy Spring contains a large stream with populations of southern cave fish and Salem cave crayfish. Elsewhere on the Mark Twain National Forest, there was progress in Cave Hollow Cave, Iron County. The upstream trunk was extended for a further 500 ft. of complicated stream passage, with no end in sight. The s urveyed length stands at 2840 ft. In Washington County, the troublesome survey of Hazel Creek Cave was finally completed for a total of 250ft. Beaver activity (not clear-cutting as reported in the last issue) made this project difficult by partly blocking the sec ondary exit and backing up water into the cave. Brazil Pit Cave was halfway mapped, with 250ft. of survey. Another crew fmished off a lead in Still Spring Cave, mapping 800ft. in a lowish tributary, which opened up into areas of breakdown before ending. Only one signif icant lead remains in this, the longest cave on the Mark Twain National Forest. The annual trip to Great Scott Cave, an important bat sanctuary owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation, netted 1100 ft. of new and previously un surveyed passage in two areas. One party added 450 ft. in the Bear Bed inlet, a long stream crawl. The passage enlarged into a walking height canyon, but closed down shortly beyond. A tidy up trip will be justified, but the chances for significant progress seem poor. The other crew completed work in rarely visited Greater Scott Hall, mapping 650 ft. in a complex breakdown zone. The Hall, a 1000 ft. long trunk section, ends only 80 ft. from the corresponding breakdown choke in the Mountain Room. A minor loop off the Mountain Room was mapped, and the 1200 ft. long Water Crawl 11 was resketched The length of Great Scott Cave stands at 14,524 ft. (2.75 miles). Survey Crews: Aliens Branch -1) Doug Baker, George Bilbrey, Jim Kaufmann; 2) Doug Baker, Geor ge Bilbrey, Steve Irvine; Powder Mill Hell-Hole -1) Doug Baker, George Bilbrey, James Corsentino; 2) Doug Baker, George Bilbrey, Jim Kaufmann ; -Upstream Doug B a k er, George Bilbrey, Steve Irvine, Jim Kaufmann; Barrett Spring -1) Mick Sutton, Sue Hagan, Jim Kaufmann; 2) Mick Sutton, Sue Hagan, Bob Osburn; 3) Mick Sutton, Sue Hagan, Jim Kaufmann, Simon Broomhead; Hurricane Creek biology Ron Oesch, Sue Hagan, Mick Sutton; Mine Hollow Scott House, Bob Osburn, Dan Riles; Bockman Spring Jim Kaufmann, Simon Broomhead; Cascade Spring Mick Sutton, Sue Hagan; Cave Hollow Mick Sutton, Sue Hagan; Hazel Creek Doug Baker, Steve Irvine ; Brazil Pit Bob Osburn, Paul Hauck, Riles; Still Spring Doug Baker, George Bilbrey Steve Irvine, Scott House; Great Scott -1) Doug Baker, Sue Hagan, Steve Irvine; 2) Mick Sutton, Jim Kaufmann, Tom Bumgardner, James Malikowski. GUADALUPES Carlsbad Caverns NP, President's Day, Feb. 17-19 Leader, Dave Logan The three day expedition was attended by 24 cavcrs. A total of 430 volunteer hours produced 400 ft. of survey in Spider Cave and 1350 ft. in Carlsbad Cavern. Spider Cave has been receiving a great deal of enthusiasm lately by a distinguished few (Moreland, Knapp, DeThomas, Eaton, and others), who have been pushing leads to complete the maps in areas where there were thought to be no leads left. It is good to sec such dedication and a rekindling of pursuing the unknown. Carlsbad Cavern has been giving up a few of its own hidden treasures (lost and new leads) to those will ing to push them. Each expedition has found an area of boneyard, a fissure, etc., that while being pushed has produced a plethora of new possibilities for future explo ration. Areas in Lower Cave, Mystery Room, Guad alupe Room, New Mexico Room, and others places arc


1 2 showing new leads This expedition covered all these areas and produced many new possibilities. Scientific studies also continued, with emphasis on environmental and ecological studies (Northup and others) with the assistance of a few JV's (Ingham, Ziegler, el al ) Participants: Dave Logan, Dick Venters, Bill Ziegler, Tim Moreland, Lysa DeThomas, Bob Stuckland Richard Knapp, Pat Copeland, John Corcoran ill, Lita Page, Sandy Jones, Fred Tixier, Carolyn Wright, Joli Eaton, Nancy Anaway, Thelma Leonard, Dave Dell, Jim Sturrock, Jerry Atkinson, Ron Ralph, Wieslaw Klis, Terry Bolger, Damon Kerbo Dave Ek Report by Dick Venters Carlsbad Cavern. August 4-5 Leader, Bill Ziegler Sixteen cavers decided to beat the summer heat by spending a day at Carlsbad Cavern They found many mysteries and even solved some. The day consisted of dropping pits, pushing a wall, finding a balcony, taking temperatures, and taming a lion. The pits were the pits, because both Left Hand Tunnel and Mystery Room pits were accessible from their bottoms. But survey lines were drawn anyway. The lower north wall of the Mystery Room was pushed no mysteries were solved here! Meanwhile, another group found a balcony at the entrance to the New Mexico Room and tried to survey it, but some pits got in the way. A group wandered around Sand Passage and Left Hand Tunnel taking air temperatures for Diana Northup. Ye s, s he is still doing cricket work. The evening was spent by so me in trying to reach the top of the Lions Tail. This time, the lion lost, but so did the cavers Passage was found, but it was not virgin. By day's end, 175 caver hours had been spent getting 1350 ft. of survey. Carlsbad Caverns National Park. September 1-3 Leader, Bernie Szukalski Mo s t trips went into Carlsbad Cavern. One party continued to push leads along the lower north and west walls of the Mystery Room but found no significant passage High leads were noted just past the visitor trail drop-off. In the New Mexico Room, a search was made for a reported 20 ft deep pit. The party instead found a new pit, about 70 ft. deep, which was dropped and found to connect to the Lower Western Maze beneath the New Mexico Room. All leads in the Sand Room except high lead s, were checked. In the Furniture Room of Left Hand Tunnel, an area of boneyard was surveyed and revisions made for the map. The party not e d many fossils, including one nau tiloid In the west e nd of Left Hand Tunnel, a group positioned the mselve s to ob serve the bat flight to check for high lead s by noting where the bats exited. Un fortunately, the bats did not fly. Lead s were pushed in CRF Newsletter Pickle Alley, but no significant passage was found. The crew did find a lot of garbage, c l920, and found one high lead requiring a technical climb. A party pushed and surveyed leads in Lower Cave, nearly connecting to the pool passage behind the Trap Door. They also examined the Basement Room, which overlies the Naturalist Room, and attempted to connect the two, but found no going leads They noted lots of gray clay entering Lower Cave from ceiling passages The same party searched for high leads near the Rock of Ages in the Big Room; later, a ladder was taken to a lead about 12 ft. off the floor. It didn't go. The ladder party then looked at a small hole in the Big Room which might connect to Pickle Alley. Total survey in Carlsbad Cavern was 420 ft. In Spider Cave, 120 ft. of new passage was surv eyed. A 20 ft. fissure was dropped there was some air movement and a tight but promising lead at the bottom. Survey Crews: Mystery Room Pat Helton, Noble Stidham, Kevin Harris Gary Lau, John Sutter, Tom McPherson, Dave Kelton; New Mexico Room Laura Reeves Bernie Szukalski, Alvis Hill, Dawn Hill, Rich Scaeffer; Furniture Room Dave Dell, Tim Moreland, Wieslaw Klis, Karen Potter, John Silvestro; Left Hand Tunnel Dave Dell, Dave Kelton, Laura Reeves, Tim Moreland; Pickle Alley Pat Helton, Alvis Hill Bernie Szukalski, Wieslaw Klis; Lower Cave Dave Dell, Laura Reeves, Dave Kelton, Pat Helton; Big Room -Noble Stidham; Pat Helton, Dave Kelton, Dave Dell ; Spider Cave -Tim Moreland, Wieslaw Klis, Bernie Szukalski Lechuguilla Precision Survey Expedition Leader, Fritzi Hardy July 28-Aug.4 A five person crew finally completed the formidable task of taking the double line theodolite survey down Boulder Falls On the first day, the two temporary stations at the overlook above Exposure Ledge were occupied The theodolite was moved to Exposure Ledge and one station was completed, but discrepancies between direct and reverse sightings on the steep shot down to Pack's Peak led us to bring the instrument out for tests The dis-A five person crew finally completed the formidable task of taking the double line theodolite survey down Boulder Falls. crepency was measured at one second per degree of downward angle. Jim Hardy said we could live with this The station was completed next day, and the in strument moved to the bottom of Boulder Falls to do the two stations at Pack's Peak. On subsequent days, the survey continued through Glacier Bay into Sugarlands. Each trip into Lechuguilla is getting longer and we are almost to the "camp in the cave" stage. We are also starting trips with training done on Saturday afternoon and evening, with the first trip into the cave on Sunday. This will allow more people to participate on a long


November 1990 weekend without having to take an entire week off. We would like to thank Chris Watson for her excellent recruitment of people for this project. Survey crew: Robbie Babb, Tim (Skids) Mark s, Tony Grieco, Doug Kent, Carl Love Labor Day. Sept. 1-8 Finally, we had enough people to have two full teams of surveyors working. After several false starts, we realized that alternating teams in the cave was the best use of the people we had, and the turtles really started trotting. During their rest days, those who were still mobile helped a volunteer in Carlsb a d Cavern, and gave a presentation of the results up to now to the S uperin ten dent. The survey was restarted in Glacier Bay, taken through Sugarlands, and into the Rift. We are now headed towards the E-F junction, a major intersection of the arms of the cave Two reconnaissance trips were taken to plan stations and get a good look at what the survey was going through Thirteen people were trained in the techniques used, and Chris Watson was fully trained as a new trip leader. A total of 1016 work hours were devoted to the project, both on the surface and in the cave. Participants: Fritzi Hardy, Jim Hardy Rob e rt Babb, Chri s W a tson, Kevin Harris, John Sutter, John Silv estro, Karen P otter, Gary Lau, Richard Schaeffer, Tommy M c Ph e r s on Donn a McPher s on, Barry Loucks, Bill Rundl e To m M adis on, Rick J a ckson, Bob Thompson, Rachel Hardy LILBURN The 1990 NSS-CRF Post Convention Field Trip In conjunction with the 1990 NSS Convention in Yreka, California, a 4-day post-convention field trip wa s convened July 15-18, featuring the kar s t of Redwood Canyon and Lilburn Cave The affair was organi z ed by CRF JV's and enabled the 26 participants to e xperienc e the essence of caving at 12-mile long Lilburn, one o f the world's finest marble caves and one of the hubs of CRF's westernmost operations. Although many JV's had e xpressed interest in attending the field excursion preference was given to those who were not from California (the idea being that those who were "local" if a 6-hour drive means local could attend regular expe ditions). Adding some unusual spice, all research scien tists currently conducting studies in Lilburn Cave were present. The Superintendent granted special permission to suspend the normal operating rules that restrict trips to those in support of NPS-approved research Participants could choose among re se arch-ba se d tour s emphasizing sedimentology, mineralogy, and hydrology; photographic tours featuring the banded marble the water passages and principal speleothem area s ; or caving tours featuring the ambiance of the place or all of the above Several folks found time to 13 wander among the giant sequoia groves and the trails of Redwood Canyon, including the resurgence of the Redwood Canyon karst at Big Spring, which features numerous breeding colonies of ladybug beetle s. A good time was had by all. Much film wa s ex pended, wetsuits were dipped in the Enchanted River, and I suspect that all objectives of the field camp were achieved, in that participants left having become ac quainted with a jewel of a karst area Participants: CRF guides Peter and Ann Bo s ted, Bill Frantz, Jack Hess, Mike Spie s s, John Tin s ley ; NPS stall Mik e Murray (Kings Riv e r Di s trict Ranger, on his virgin voy age into Lilburn), Bruce Edmonston (C ave Managem e nt Specialist), Allison Robb, Tami Tall. Cavers H a ns Michelstein and Rene Scherrer (Switzerland), Kirk MacGreg o r (Canada); the USA mustered the remainder an10ng whom were Art and Peg Palmer, Tom K e llam, Rick Olson, Frank Cr ea ger Dan Smith, Robert Smith, Walter Olenick, Jon Mulder, S eth L a forge, Jon Hafstrom, Roy Barton. r e port by John Tinsley August 18-19 Leaders, Carol Vesely & Bill Farr Twelve cavers attended the August expedition. Upon arriving at the cabin late Saturday morning, we discovered that water levels were even lower tha n ex pected. There was no water flowing from the tap out s ide the cabin and May's Stream was dry except for a few small, stagnant pools Normally, the stream flows all year, but the fourth con s ecutive year of drought had taken its toll. We were able to obtain about six gallons of water from the holding tanks behind the cabin We divided into four survey teams Two groups composed of a total of five people headed in the Old Entrance to survey leads off the Enchanted Riv e r Pas s ag e Another three person team also went in the Old Entrance and headed for a lead off the Lake Room that they knew went at least 50 fl. A final group of four rigged the Meyer Entrance and went to survey in the MesoAmerica area The first Enchanted River team survey e d two side lead s heading in a promising direction away from known ca ve. The first lead, a narrow fissure, became too tight after about 200 ft., although a very slender person might get through to a dome room seen beyond The second lead made a loop and rejoined known cave. A tight chimney remains to be pu s hed Their total s urvey was 320 ft. The two-person Enchanted River team s urvey e d and pushed three other tight canyon passages in the same ar ea. All were headed away from known c ave but be came too tight or loop e d back to the river passage. One loop of a pproximately 150 ft. still needs to be s urveyed Meanwhile, the Lake group discovered that their lead had been inundated with silt, and was therefore too tight. They checked other leads in the vicinity of Curl Passage and found most to be either too tight or blocked by s ediment A tight canyon was surveyed for ten sta-


1 4 Lions (80 ft.) and another lead went for 20 ft. before being abandoned due to tighUless. The group then checked the Do Once Dome passage but found only an unswble breakdown hole. The fourth team discovered an unmarked climb right along the main route to their intended area of survey. One person led the 15ft. climb and rigged a handline for the others. They surveyed 100ft. through a narrow, twi s ty canyon with several overlooks to more spacious (but previously surveyed) passage below The canyon opened into comfortable walking passage with no sur vey stations! After surveying another 100ft., they found a station marked only 'FE', with no number. N e xt, they surveyed down a side lead to the main passage ncar the Hex Room, making a 300 ft. loop. Next, the team headed for their original lead, a crawl way marked "goes" on the map, located near the end of the East Stream This cobble floored crawl went o nly 40ft. before becoming too tight. Pushing the large cobbles to the side might enable a small person to get through Airflow was noted. While searching for the "goes" crawl, one person stumbled across the lncr c dicrawl and followed it to its end at an overhanging climb 15ft. above the floor at White Rapids As luck would have it, she arrived just as the other three groups were passing this point on their scenic through trip out of the cave; the others lent their assistance so that she could reach the floor. She then went around the l ong way to rejoin her party. All four pmtic s headed out of the cave at the same time, arriving at the boLLom of the cable ladder together. Total survey footage was less than 1000 ft. It is getting harde r to find major leads to survey, but there are still unexpected discoveries to be made by field checkjng the map. The following morning, one person tried to restore the water system, but was atwcked by yellow-jackets and had to retreat in self defense. Survey crews: Lake Room Glen Malli el. Laurie Nordby, Rick Fellows: Enchanted River-Dave Bunnell. Carlsbad Restoration ... Continued from p.4 b y Dave Ecklund and Mike Nelson This worked ex tremely well to clean debris from between flowstone and small pool areas. A video on "How to Clean and Res tore a Cave" has been stance!, and is now being e dit ed. W e hope to have this avai labl e for usc by NSS Grottos and oth e r organizations interested in restoration. Seven hundr e d c ubic yard s of material were used to fill the three debris pits ancl6300 square feet of fl0or was restored during the five days of the camp. I wish to thank the NPS for their gracious assistance and all the volunteers for their diligence and for the supreme effort they put forward There arc 25 s lot s available for next year's project which will take pbce June 17-June 21. For an CRF Newsletter Ward Foeller, Joel Despain, Ginger Bradshaw, David Engel; MesoAmerica-Carol Vesely, Bill Farr, Ronna Chezem, Royce Chezem. Labor Day Expedition. September 1-2 Leader, Peter Bosted The drought conditions continued, and May's Creek, our usual water source, was still completely dry. We carried in about a gallon of water each and were able to get by, supplementing this with the water left in the s torage tank. Only one team went into Lilburn on Saturday. We found the water level at the Upstream Rise to be very l ow, and could hear the White Rapids. We mapped two new short routes to the stream, one midway between the Rise and the Rapids, the other reaching the stream just downstream from the Rapids sump. Unfortunately, the water sank immediately in another sump, and is not seen again until the Lake Room. One team returned on Sunday with wetsuits and was able to map from the Upstream Rise to the White Rapids, passing through one section with one foot of air space; this area is normally sumped We also mapped a high fissure near the Hex Room and found a crawl way to a previously unknown maze which we didn't have time to finish mapping A second team went back to the Enchanted River leads pushed in August. They mapped three narrow passages and found some interesting speleothems. They also mapped a small passage near the Great White Pillar. A total of 1050 ft. of new passage was surveyed, bringing the length of Lilburn Cave to almost 12.4 miles. Survey crews: Saturday Peter Basted. Richard Fellows, Steve Koehler; White Rapids Peter Bosted, Ann Hosted, Carol Comoy, Pete Schif1eu; Enchanted River-Richard Fellows. Steve Koehler David Engel. information packet, write to Dick Venters, 410 Stallion Road, Rio Rancho, NM 87124-2326 Participants: Michael Bednarz (AZ), Dawn Burrow-Hill (fX), John Cochran (NM), Pat Copeland (TX), Dorothy, John, and Gavin Corcoran (NM), Dave, Susan, and Cathi Ecklund (NE), Shirley Ecklund (CA), Dave Ek (NM), Tony Grico (NM), Fritzi Hardy (NM), Jan Harper (NM). Dennis Helffenstein (fX). Andy John s ton (OK). Damian Kerbo ( NM). Nick Kriczky (TX), Mike Mansur (VT), Jim Nance (TX), Delores and Mike Nelson (lA), Warren Pruess (TX), Bart Rapp ( MO), Dick Venters (NM), Kate Weiclaw (TX), Jim White ( OK) Bill Ziegler (NM) Restoration patches me now available from Bill Ziegler, 1601 Rita Drive, Albuquerque, NM 87106. The patches are $4.00 each. Please mail your reque sts, noting the year you attended


November 1990 MAMMOTH CAVE RESTORATION Norm Rogers Forty-one cave enthusiasts from all over the country took part in the week long clean-up last July, cosponsored by the NPS, NSS, CRF and ACCA. The volunteers represented eleven states and Canada, and ranged in age from 11 to 72. One project was to line the Half-day Tour trail along Cleaveland Avenue using rock from the elevator s haft rubble pile near the Snowball Room. The two fold purpose was to reduce the size of the unsightly pile and to encourage tourists to stay on the trail. Work progressed quickly at first, but as the dump sites got farther from the loading area things began to slow workers had to push wheelbarrows in relays to avoid fatigue and the resulting mutinees. By the end of the week, half the trail had been lined with rock. The passage on either side was then groomed to remove footprints and make the passage appear as natural as possible. A large pile of rotting wood was removed from the noor of Cathedral Domes. The wood was hauled by hand to the elevator, where it was taken to an awaiting dumpster. In the Frozen Niagara area, a vertical crew cleaned the bottom of the 90 ft. deep pit on the far side of Crystal Lake. Large timbers and haul bags full of trash were pulled up the pit, boated across the lake, and carried up to the tour trail to be taken out. Since tours came through this area every 45 minutes, many tourist s were made aware of this impessive piece of restoration. There were evening slide shows and several trips to other caves in the Park. Everyone had a great time, and expressed a desire to come back next year The park plans to hold several weekend camps each year in addition to the annual week-long camp, now in it s third year. Thanks to Dan Raque and Kevin Downs for their assistance, and to PMI for supplying rope SOVIETS VISIT MAMMOTH CAVE Mel Park Some of you may remember Alexander Klimchouck, who visited the Ridge last year. That first visit had been in the works for several years and the organizers, Jeanne and Russ Gurnee, labored hard at a time when it was nearly impossible for Soviet citizens to travel abroad. This year, the NSS was able to organize a coast to coast trip for six visitors from the Ukraine, running six weeks from August 16 to October 4, without any of the postponements and difficulties of times past. This was a fairly accomplished group. Alexander is completing his doctoml work on gypsum karst hyrdrology. He is from Kiev and has received a Soviet 1 5 medal for discovering a cave over 1000 meters deep. Eugenij Sinenko was the doyen of the group. He is an important conservationist and vice-president of the 18 million strong Ukraine Society for the Protection of Nature. Eugenij is not a caver, but as head of the Soviet delegation and as a legislator involved with resource management, he had much interaction with the Park Service, both here and in Washington. Josef Zimcl, about40, is a professional engineer and dedicated caver. Miron Savchin is in his SO's and has been the major force in exploring Optimisticeskaja, the second longest cave in the world. As we have learned in recent months, these people have to work hard: Optimistic eskaja is a single entrance cave and exploration of this gypsum maze requires 2-3 week long underground bivouacs. Konstantin Tsurikov and Dimitrij Bujnenko were two young strong cavers that completed t11e group. Alan Padget, president of the NSS Vertical Section brought t11e visitors to Mammoth Cave on Tuesday August 24 Wednesday was given over to visiting the public portions of the cave and to presenwtions by Dave Mihalic, MCNP Superintendent, and by the Office of Science and Resource Management. This latter office is the one CRF works most closely with and its duties were the ones that the Soviet conservationists were the most interested in. Thursday, Mel Park and Dan Raque conducted all but Eugenij on a ten-hour trip from Crystal Cave to the Austin Entrance. The first half of the trip, through Floyd's Lost Passage, was along the route described in chapter six of The Caves Beyond, "The Doctor Takes a Trip. After Straddle Canyon, instead of rejoining the Z survey, this route detours past Ebb & Flow Falls for some more canyon straddling until just before t11c Dining Room. After lunch in Floyd's Lost Pas s age, we proc e eded out the B-Trail. There arc several alternatives one could pick there we took the Lehrberger Link, a gypsum-lined tube whose noor is inches deep in fine gypsum powder. At its end, you climb down the Bogardus Formation to reach Fishhook Crawl. On our first attempt, we missed the small passage to the left which is Tom Brucker's shortcut, and crawled the extra 12 wet stations to the window overlooking Black Onyx Pit. I didn't want to get lost in the maze of passages below the Overlook, so we backtracked and eventually found our way to Junction Pit, Camp Pit, and the Overlook. From there, the route out the Storm Sewer to Columbian and Pohl Avenues is straightforward, and we moved fast. Next morning Tom Ray, former NSS President, and Don Shofstalltook over as hosts for the second phase of the journey, to major cave areas west of the Mississippi. The intent in visiting so many areas is not just to see a lot of cave but to introduce as many groups as possible to the idea of international exchange. The hope is that the individual groups will learn they c an arrange their own exchanges with Soviet cavers.


1 6 CRF Newsletter Interview with Chris Howes We mel wilh Chris /-lowes o n Oclober 17 al his h ome in Cardiff, Wales. J oi nin g us for lhe inlervi ew was hi s co mpan ion and wriling collaboralor, Judilh Calford. C hri s' r ecenlly published book on I he hisiOr y of cave phowgraphy, To Ph o tograph Darkness (reviewed onp./ 8), is jusl one of his many endeavors. For lhe pasl two years he has been edilor of Descent a co mmercial ma gazine orienled pri marily l oward 1he Brilish caving scene. As an avid cave pho wgrapher, he has publi s hed a manual on l ec hniques of cave ph01ography and has achieved a considerable repUiallon for h1s work. He i s cur renlly working on a cumulalive index of Descent covering ils 21 yea rs. He is al so inv o lved in open wal e r diving, in naJural hi slary pho10graphy and in various wriling endeavors Sue and Mick What i s involved in th e production of Desce nt ? Chris: I do the ba sic planning of it, designing it pr e paring all the pictures Judith does the filing, proof ing and everything else th at goes into it. I'm paid for what I do, but c l early the money doesn't cover the work input. Descent comes out every two months. A s far as I know, it's the only commercial caving magazine in the world. There've b ee n one or two in the past. Des ce nt i s 21 years old now; it's be e n going on a while_ Most of British caving his tory for the last 21 years i s in there. I tr ea t it as a historical ref e rence in a way; I try to put in some thing about anything that occurs. It is British bia sed; with an international bias, I think it would lose a lot of home sales. But there's an opening in the market for an international, like Cavin g I ntcrnational was. We produce about4,000 of each i ssue __ .Judith : Th e y all get sold. We keep the m and eventually they all go, often within the sa m e year. One of th e r easons we particularly wanted t o int e r v i ew you i s because we are runnin g a r eview of you r book, To Photograph Darkn ess. in the next i ssue. How did you co m e to write a hi sto r y of cave photography? Obviously yo u r e a photographer, but the book clearly shows yo u did a whole l o t o f resear c h Chris: I n oticed you r ev i ewe d Harry Savory' s book in the las t i ss ue. I get the New sleuer-I'm not s ure who sends it t o me, but it h e lps keep me inform ed about what's happening over the re. I'd see n other book s on his tory, like Martin Farr' s '!'he Darkness Beckons. on the his tory of cave diving It just made me s tart to wonder how p eople u se d to take pic tur es So I thought I'd ju s t go down to the Cardiff library her e and hav e a look in so m e of the old journal s. I hit lucky 'cause I s tart e d imm e diately coming into r efe r e n ces to Mammoth Cave. It was all linked into the development of artificial lighting for photography That just s tarted it off, really We were impressed with the section on Mammoth Cave. We learned quite a few things Chris: Well, good. Tell you what; Art and Peggy Palmer were a terrific help_ They are really lovely people. We went over to Carlsbad three years ago because I kept on hitting stops there were bits I couldn't find out about I finally said, 'The hell with this ; let's go over there. I need to get in a newspaper office. I need to do some more research .' We met Art and Peggy there. They really went out of their way to help with some of the Mammoth things. I still had open questions on Mammoth Cave and no time to go ther e. They helped quite a bit Ron Kerbo was very helpful at Carlsbad. And Red Watson was instrumental in helping get the book pub lished He'd seen a draft of it, not early on but nine years into the project At one point he was wondering if Cave Books could handle it, but it was just too big. He showed it to Southern Illinois University Press and they were interested. In the meantime, I found Suuons over here and they were very keen, right from the start. In fact, they accepted the book on seeing half of a draft. Because Suuons and SIU Press were both interested, they could do a combined thing; it's an identical book apart from the title page. It was written as a continuous thing through the years. I just kept pottering and picking up new bits and collecting more pictures to illustrate it I'd go back to the word processor and say, 'I can do this bit beuer' and chop it away. The final version was about a month of really hard work. It taught me a lot I was very fussy about trying to get it right. Judith: The one thing we didn't spend as much time as we would have liked and we worked right through the night a couple of night s was the index but I hav en't found any faults in it so far Chris: I haven't found any faults but I'm sure the re's a few things that I'd have liked to get in that weren't Still, it's a pretty good index. I use it as a re sea rch tool. As I come across more information, I can l ook at the book, find out what I've wriuen already and start making note s in the margin, upd ating my own copy as it were. It so unds as if you're still a c tively researchin g the history of photography. Chris: Not as actively as I was, but I've still got the interest there Ann Basted's review is very positive. One of her few cri ti c isms was that you had failed to give much coverage to a woman photographer .... Chris: Frances Johnston. Actually, I knew a h ell of a lot more about her, but most of her work was nothing to do with cave photography. Virtually all of it was worki ng for society magazines She was a terrific


November 1990 photographer, but the work she did in Mammoth Cave was not that unusual compared to what other people were doing. One of the reviewer s over h e re sa id "Wh y didn't you get anything in about thi s guy John Willy ? H e doesn't appear at all." The answer was that h e did it very well, but h e didn't do a single thing that was new. We're talking no w about th e fifties. By the time the 1950's came along, th e basic themes were worked out. There's been no rea l advance since th e n other than refining; we've got bell e r camera s, Some people seem t o have this idea that if it's underground it's worth conservin g but they kind of forget about the surface. The water input counts .. .Don' t put sheep carcasses in shake holes. we've go t bcller film, s lave units and s o on, but I wasn' t going to s p e nd lot s of page s s aying 'We've g ot this bit and we can do it eas i e r '. We r c s till u sing the same camera angles, the same ligh tin g angles. We're getting a bit more action ... Judith : That's been the most frequ e nt c riti cis m why didn't we u se more recent material ? Thos e are peopl e they know about and expect to be in the book. Chris: If I was going to start handling 'Who's doing it now I was going to end up with a list of names and I would miss people out. I can handle the British end, no problem, but I don't know all the American people, o r the Au s tralians and so on. I thought that hi s tory could handle own accounting of post Second World War when it's far enough removed-and 1990 i s not far enough remov ed. Red Watson has commented that one of the failings he sees in American cavers is they generally can' 1 write. '/"hat seems to be l ess of a problem over here. Chris: A comment I've hac! since doin g Descent i s that the quality of writing is well above the quality expec t ed from other commercial specialis t magazine s. Many cave r s are very capable writers, certa inl y in Britain. .Judith: The numbe r cavers in Britain w ho arc acaclcmic s, accountants, that sort of thin g, see m s to be in creasing. Cavi n g see m s to attract a l o t of int elligem people. Chris: Th e only thing I'd say from D esce nt' s end of it is that people write too much They don t hav e the discipl inc to write to a word limit. I edit very hard People don't seem to be able to say what they want to say in a viable space. Would you briefly discuss some of the major caving issues in Britain? Chris: Personally, I'm keen on conservation in s urface work recycling and all the rest. Descent has just gone to r ecyc l e d paper, which I'm really pleased about. Some people see m to hav e thi s idea that if it' s und e rground it's wo rth conserving but they kind of forget about the s urface The water input counts. Access to the mo o r -17 land counts. That's as much to do with und e rground con se rvation as the cave pa ssage. Peopl e miss that out. They get into an uptight mess because something happened to prot ec t the surface, and has mayb e s lightly c urtailed their caving. As far as I'm concerned, if it re s tri cts the caving a liLLie bit at least the cave is still the r e For example, we've had a lot of has sles with an area of South Wales called the Black Mountain Increasing controls may come in because of what i s per ceived to be danger by a mineral water bottling com pany. What's likely to come about is some control on cav ing, but with continued access. Cavers will be a littl e bit more aware and that much more careful; that' s no bad thing. I'm keen on keeping the kar s t landscap e c l ean. Don't put sheep carcasses in s hakeholes. They're going t o rot away and go down into the water. U nderground probably we've go t greater pressure s on o ur caves over her e than yo u have-the den s ity of cavcrs is quite high. I don't know how it i s in th e States, but there's a feeling that you should not encour age people to come into caving. Not a closed s hop, but if someone wants to come into caving, let them find the ir own way. There's a movement to stop professional caving as s uch which I tltink is unrealistic. It's very well to say l e t's s top having big parties of sc hool kid s being taken int o the cave whether they want to go or not o r young exec utive s having the ir personality tested by being stuck down a hole There's a di s tin c tion between taking kids und e rground who haven't expressed an inter es t and the professional caver who is training other cavers But the prof ess ional caver i s being di sc riminated against by so me of the caving organizations. W e get some of that over De scent. It's a money making project. I get paid. Someone who writes an articl e gets paid; not very much-10 pounds [$20) a page. But that i s bugger all, it' s minimal mon ey. If I was doing it for the money I wouldn't do it. If someone is co ntributin g for the mon ey, they can go write for so meone else 'cause they're not getting tha t much. All I'm doing i s establishing the principal that if so meone put s s omething in they get something out. !-loll' did you get started caving? My fath er a lways l e t m e do what I wanted; if I wan t ed to go rock climbing or canoeing, he'd say fine. But I wasn't permitted to go caving because my grandfa ther was a coal miner and going underground was dan gero u s. So caving was banned. I was in sc hool and I was s upposed to be on a biology field trip but there was a cav ing trip going on as well. That's how I ended up s neaking off on a caving trip and for years afterwards telling everyone I was going rock climbing when I was dropping down a hole instead I'm a bit si ngl e minded; I've been caving for 22 years now and I've never been underground without takin g a camera.


1 8 CRF Newsletter THE UNDERGROUND READER To Photograph Darkness: the History of Underground and Flash Photography By Chris Howes U .S. edition published 1990 by Southern Illinois University Press Carbondale IL. $39.95 + $2.00 postage and handling ; hb; 352 pp; 160 photographs, engrav ings, and drawings. Reviewed by Ann Bosted As we s truggle for that elusive "perfect cave photo", it is h a rd to imagine the dark ages when even the worst image of a cave was hailed as miraculous. This fascinating time, and the events leading to the rela tiv e ease of cave photography today, are chronicled in great detail by Chris Howes. To Photograph Darkne ss has left me with a clearer, but by no means simpler, picture of leading cave photographers throughout history. On many lev e l s, they are a masochistic com pulsive breed but on other levels they are pioneering innovative, courageous and extremely clever consis tently making the impossible a reality This history of und e rground and flash photography documents a r epea ting scena rio as each "impossible" hurdle is overcome, the cave photograph e r pit s his wits and r eso urce s against the next until it, too, is overcome. Chris Howes i s an extremely diligent researcher who tells his story through character sketches, anecdotes and technical descriptions. Personally, I was less inter ested in the technical side of the development of camera film a nd flashesbut I realize the story could not be t old without these chapters. However, do not expect any tip s on how to take great cave photos For me, the best parts of the book were the stories about the photographers. One of my favorit e characters was the Frenchman Felix Nadar, a flamboyant extrovert who in 1862 was the rirstto take photo s underground his subject was the piles of hum a n bones stacked artistically in the cata combs of Paris. He u sed arc light s which h e had pat en t ed in 1 861. His exposures lasted 18 minut es. If you wonder how h e got mod els to sit still that long you a r e forgetting that thi s book is the story of photo grap h e r s who don't know the m ea ning of failure. He used lif e-size dummies, dressed them like sewer workers and posed the m to look like real people He wrote, The world underground offered on infinite field of octiuity no less Interesting thnn thot of the top surfoce. We were going Into It to reueol the mysteries of its deepest, most secret cnuerns. Those words written in 1900 are as rrue today as they were then a nd probably will be for the next 90 years. Charles Piazzi Smyth was an astronomer from Scotland who inv e nted a miniature wet-plate camera to photograph the interior of th e g r ea t pyramid. The system was an incredible innovation. Success was not easy at first, eac h exposure was a failure because smoke from the light obscured hi s picture. By the end of his visit h e was ab l e to burn magnesium fast enough to produce a few plates. His fellow scientists had ridiculed the notion, but on his return to Britain he was hailed by photographers as a genius Modem explorers of Mammoth Cave will delight in the chapter on Charles Waldack, a chemist who took stereo photos there in 1866. These were the first high quality photos intended to illustrate a cave. The story behind his 120 pounds of gear is inspiring, even though his first trip produced only twelve plates, of which seven were made into stereo cards to publicize the cave. The editor of the Philadelphia Photographer wrote: ... these pictures . ore the most wonderful ones we houe euer seen. We con scarcely remoue our eyes from the instrument, or loy them down to write, for perfect wonder. Ohl is not photography o great power? Whot else could creep Into the bowels of the eorth ond bring forth such pictures therefrom, os these? Waldack's second expedition, with modified gear, involved trips of up to 35 hours Each exposure needed as many as 120 tapers and it is estimated that he spent as much as $500 on magnesium alone He spent three months and got 80 to 100 negatives of which 40 scenes were copyrighted. The chapter is peppered with his descriptions of the miserable conditions: ... if to oil the lnconueniences mentloned .. you odd the bodily discomfort to which one is eHposed in the climbing, creeping, ond squeezing through oil lcinds of uncomfortable ploces, the fatigue of the march ouer roclcy ond slippery roods, loaded os one is with the implements of the profession, ond, in some cases, the donger to life incurred in plating instruments ond reflectors in the most suitable spots, you will agree with me thot photographing in o coue is photogrophing under the worst conditions .. Some things never c hange! The Frenchman, Edouard Alfred Martel was a premier cave explorer who turned to photography as a way to document his discoveries. His effons and tho se of his colleagues proved that photos could be taken on exploration trips He is credited with beginning the popular technique of "bracketing only he used two plate cameras and stereo cameras. In 1903 h e wrote the first book on underground photography. Caving as a scie nce had begun and cave photographic techniques, at last, see med to be on a firm footing. Martel h ad strong views on multiple flash photography and opined that, ... one produced with this system only inartistic ond sometimes Incomprehensible pictures. This wos because the multiplication ond staggering of lights completely destroyed the perspectlue ond remoued oil reol relief the use of o single, powerful, prolonged ond filled source produces more satisfying results .. The debate still continues, though it would appear that multiple flash photography is the more popular Explorers of Carlsbad will enjoy the chapter on photographing in Carlsbad Cavern A local photogra pher, Ray Davis began as a supplier of flashpowder and evolved into an accomplished cave photographer whose photos publicized the Cavern, attracted tourists and


November 1990 re s ulted in the establishment of Carlsbad Caverns National Monument on Octob e r 25, 1923. He wa s the fir s t to photograph the Big Room, producing "The Largest Black and White Photo Ever Made". Davi s sent this, and others, to National Geographic but they were r e j ec t e d because they were thought to be fakes In 1952 Tex Helm took his Big Shot" of the Bi g Ro o m u s ing 2,400 flashbulbs. H e lm wrote of his delight, The teors blurred my eyes. It wos too much ... if you understond .. o dreom obsolutely coming true. The picture is beoutiful beyond oil words. The light was equivalent to three million sixty-watt lig ht bulbs. Cave photography had come a long way s ince 18-minute exposures in the catacombs of Paris. Th e book comes close to being e ncyclopedic It has so m e very useful appendices: a chronology, a gloss ary so m e int e resting not es on datin g cave pho tog raph s, chemical name s, and Units of Measurement. Th e r e are notes on the r efe ren ces u se d and a g ood ind ex No book of this scope could be perfect, and I had a f ew minor criticisms. The book doe s not detail the development of the electronic s trobe at MIT by Harold E d ge rton et al in 1931. Nor doe s it mention that last yea r Sylvania dismantled its equipment to make flash bulbs, s o that now cave photographers face a futur e witho ut those blue-dot frie nd s Howes pres e nts his material chronologically and al tim es this i s confusing For ex ampl e, h e t e lls u s the first p a rt of the Smyth story the n while Smyth is jour n eying to Egypt, h e tells a few a necdot es that o cc urred in the interim then jumps back to Smyth to conclude the s tory There are no s ub headin gs or breaks to warn the reader when one anecdote i s concluded and anoth e r b egins. This is not a book you can read on the bus. One margin on each page is extra wide which, in my opinion, is a waste of space. I would have liked to sec the paper used for more photos, or el se a shortened book to r e duce its rather high retail price In his Chronology of Important Dat es, How es m entio n s so me intere s ting events which h e doe s not deal with in the main text. For example, h e takes a m e r e e i g ht lin es to m e ntion that the first woman pres s pho tograph e r Frances Benjamin John s ton, u se d flas hpo w d e r to produce a set of photographs of Mammoth Cave H e r photos were published in a magazine and, in 1893, in a Mammoth Cave guide book I would also have like d to see mention of the Floyd Collins story as a breakthrough in photojournalism, and the story of photogmphing the Sarawak Chamber, the largest cave r oo m in the world When quoting American s, the author writes the term '[sic]' behind American s pellings ; this make s it a pp ea r Americans can't s pell, a slight which may anno y some readers this side of the Atlantic He also u ses t erms Americans may not be familiar with -do you know that "Boxing Day is December 26? 19 But these are minor criticisms of an excellent book that ably covers a subject of great interest to anyone who appreciates cave photographs Reading in brief: The January-March, 1990 i ss u e of Journal of Spelean Hist o ry contains an intere s ting account of an 1857 visit to Mammoth Cave by a German visitor, J ohann Georg Kohl, who took several trip s guided by "Stevens" K oh l ha s an unusually broad perspective, bein g familiar with the classical Karst and its famous cavern of Adcl s bcrg ( present day P os tojna). Mammoth Cave is seen as t ypical o f th e "primitive" Ameri can lands cape on a hug e scale, but s tructurally simple: long, high, uniform bowlike rectongulor golleries run for miles ... One recognizes, in the orderly strotificotion here, the simple structure of the Americon crust. ... The r e is nothing minioture in Americo ; oil is Mommoth .. TI1c acco unt was trans l a ted by George W. Zopf, Jr. PIPlLINl Iff HOUCHUIII JU.JIIlOWt tt1.t fT---IIIITI"t CONJECTURED TANDEM PUMP TOWER Rotunda, Mammoth Cave The same iss u e contains an article by Angelo George o n ea rthquake dam age to the Mammoth Cave Saltpeter works, ext e nding the fmdings summarized by Geor ge and Gary O'Dell in the August, 1989 News l el!e r The Rotunda pump l owe r s ank three feet durin g the Ne w M adrid earthquake of December 1811, presumably du e to soil liqu efac tion during the quake :md no longer drained to the en tran ce George has reinterpreted s ome of the wooden r e m ains in th e Rotun da to s ug ges t tha t the s ituation was re medied by building a s uppl eme ntary h old ing tank above the level of the fir st. J o urnal of Spelean Hi s t o r y is publi s hed by the American Spclean History As so ciation ; annual membership dues arc S8.00 per year from Fred Gr ady Apt. 123, 1201 S o uth Scott St., Arlington, VA 22204 Bac k issues are ava ilable. NB JSH welcomes article s (especially well-researched ones) Submissions should be sent t o the editor, Mari on 0 Smith, P O Box 8276, UT St a t io n Knoxville, TN 37996. *** Cavers will be interested in the S e ptemb e r -Octo b e r 1990 i ss ue of Aramco World, (a publication of Aram co Oil Co with an emphasis on geography) which includes a well illu s trat e d story by Don D a vidson, Jr. of the exploration of Majli s a l-Jinn in Oman Thi s e normou s chamber, the seco nd largest known, is entered via a fre e-hanging drop of 380 ft.


CALENDAR MAMMOTH CAVE Thanksgiving, November 21-25. Phil DiBlasi 502-588-6724 (of fice 0730-1500 Eastern); 502-551-6920 (mobile 1500-2000 Eastern); 502-589-2340 (Jan Hemberger) :'\ew Year, Dec.28 J an. I. K evin Downs 502-933-4406 President's Day, Feb 15-18. Mel Park 901-272-9393 St. Patrick's Day, March 15-18 Paul Cannaley 317-862-5()18 Spring, April 19-22. Stan Side s 314 335-1469 \1emnrial Day, May 24-27. Jim Borden 301-869-9141 Independence Day, June 28-Ju l y 7 Tom Brucker 615-331 35(,8 Summer, August 2-5 Scott House 314-287-4356 Lllwr Day, Aug.30-Sep.2. Bob O s burn 314-772-5813 Columbus Day, October 1114. D a n Raque 502-459-9456 Firs t and las t dates arc arrival and departure dates. Notify the exped ition leader or Operations Manag e r (Mel Park. 901-272 9393) two weeks in mlvancc. GUADALUPES Thanksgiving, Nov. 22-25. Carlsbad Caverns NP. Dou g & C l e nda Rhodes 505-877-1159 !\l W Years, Dec 29-30. Apache Mountains. \1artin Luther King Holiday, J an 19-21, 1991. Carlsbad Caverns NP. President's Day, Feb 16-18. Carlsbad Caverns NP. Early Spring, March 23-24. Guadalupe Mountains NP. \ lid Spring, April 20 -2L Guadalupe Mounta in s NP \lemorial Day, May 25 27. Carlsbad Caverns NP. Carlsbad Cavern Restoration Camp, Jun e 17 -21. Independence Day, July o 7. Fort Stanton Cave. Mid Summer, Aug 3-4 Carlsbad Caverns NP. Lahor Day, Aug. 31Sept. 2. Carlsbad Caverns NP. Fall, October 6 12. Putnam Ridge. CAVE RESEARCH FOUNDATION P.O.BOX 443 YELLOW SPRINGS, OH 45387 ADDRESS CORRECfiON REQUESTED George Veni 11304 Candl e Park Thanksgiving, Nov 28-Dcc. 1. Carlsbad Caverns NP. Expedition leaders to be announced Notify the area manager (Dick Venters, 505-892-7370), or the supplies coordinator (Bill Z iegl er. 505-262-0602) at least one week in advance. Lechuguilla Precision Cave Survey, 1990 -Nov.l7-25; 1991-March 10-16; July 28-Aug. 4; Aug 31Sept. 7; Nov 24Dec. 1. Call Fritzi Hardy 505-345-1709 (H). Please give at l eas t one week's notice .\TB The November, 1990 expedition is currently filled, but last minut e vaca ncies may open. Call for information. MISSOURI Nov. 17-18; Dec. 15-16; Jan. 19-20; Feb .l6-17. Mos t trips are based at the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Notify Scott House (314-287 -4356) or Doug Baker (314-878 8831 ). Frequent additiona l trips will b e scheduled for the Nation a l Forest cave inventory project-call Scott House or Mick Sutton (3 14-546-2864) CALIFORNIA Lilburn: January 19, 1300hr s. Organizational meeting at chez Spie ss; Mik e Spiess, 12215 N. Friant Road, Fresno, CA. 209-4433321. Lava Beds: Thanksgiving, Nov. 22-25. Janet Sowers, 415 528 6585 In addition to the scheduled expeditions, principle investigators sch edu l e whatever extra trips arc n ee ded. To attend one of the above e xpeditions, make arrangements with the eXIJeditiun leader. For other trips, call the investigator of the project you are inter este d in. NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE PAID YELLOW SPRINGS, OH PERMIT 160 San Antonio TX 78249-4421

Inside:. WKU
Speloelogy field courses / Roger Brucker --
USFS memo of understanding --
Cave Restoration camps / Dick Venters and Norm Roger --
Fun and games in Bedquilt Cave / Mel Park --
Review: To photograph darkness / Ann Basted --
Interview with Chris Howes --
Russians visit Mammoth Cave / Mel Park --
and much more.


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