I N T E R C O M Volume 49, Issue 5 September October 2013 Iowa Grotto P.O. Box 228 Iowa City, IA 52244 Grotto Website: www.caves.org/grotto/iowa Coldwater Cave Project website: http://www.caves.org/project/coldwater Membership Dues : due January 1, $15.00 per year, includes INTERCOM and Hotline subscriptions. INTERCOM subscriptions only are $13.00 per year. The Iowa Grotto reserves the right to decline membership during or after a probationary period. Due Dates : for submission of material for publication in the INTERCOM is Dec. 1st. Send material for publication, e mail, disk or hard copy to: Editor and Typist: Scott Dankof 515 986 3219 410 SW Hickory Circle Grimes IA. 50111 E mail firstname.lastname@example.org Coordinate photographs for publication in the INTERCOM with Scott Dankof, the INTERCOM editor. Cave Rescue : Contact the Kentucky Disaster and Emergency Services Central Dispatch at 502 564 7815 for cave emergencies only in the NCRC Central Region of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Iowa Grotto Meetings : are the fourth Wednesday of each month, third Wednesday in December at 7:30 p.m. in Room 125 or thereabouts of Trowbridge Hall on the campus of the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. Cover Photo: John Donahue on rope in Wonder Cave, Winneshiek County Iowa. Photo by Scott Dankof. National Speleological Society P. O. Box 228 Iowa City, Iowa 52244 Chairman Mike Lace Vice Chairman Ed Klausner Secretary Teresa Kurtz Treasurer John Donahue Volume 49 Issue 5 ______________C O N T E N T S _____________ Trip reports: Meeting Minutes 78 Kayaking in Roaring River 78 Old Timers Reunion 79 Cliff Cave 80 Mammoth Cave 81 MVOR 83 Kemling Cave 84 Coldwater Cave 84 Cave Spring Cave 85 Eye of the Needle and Dragon Den ture Den Cave 86 Allen Cave, Ballroom Cavelet and Flat Ceiling Cave 87 Otter Romp Cave 88 Lewis Cave 90 Granite Caves 92 Kemling Cave 92 Southwest Arterial 93 94 Sequoia Logs 94 Granite Scree Caves 95 Crystal Cave 95 Carlsbad Caverns Natl. Park 96 __________C A L E N D A R__________ Nov. Grotto Meeting Nov. 20th Room 125, Trowbridge Hall. Dec No Grotto meeting. 77
78 MEETING MINUTES OCTOBER 23 RD 2013 The October Grotto Meeting was called to order on Oct. 23 rd at 7:32 p.m. with 8 members present. No prereport were reviewed. TRIP REPORTS. Mike Lace reported on a recent reconnaissance trip to Haiti. Jason Rogers reported on a recent visit to Wye Cave where elevated CO(2)was encountered. FUTURE TRIPS. Joe Dixon discussed his planned bat survey fieldtrip schedule for this winter, beginning with Nov. 23 rd at Pine Valley, Jackson County. Subsequent trips will go out in January, December and February (dates and locations to be announced). Joe will present his preliminary findings for this three year research project on Iowa bat roosting patterns at the February or March Grotto meetings. Other cave programs for the January and March meetings are planned. 2014 NSS convention will be held in Huntsville. The next regular Coldwater Cave trip will be Saturday, Nov. 16 th Contact Warren Netherton regarding future survey trips into Mystery Cave, MN. Possible late fall trips into Kemling Cave and (weather and interest permitting). OLD BUSINESS. Nominations for the slate of 2014 Grotto officers will be accepted until the January meeting. With no new business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m. Kayaking in Roaring River Mammoth Cave, Kentucky August 30, 31, September 1, 2013 By Ed Klausner Due to high water levels and the chance of rain in July, we were not able to continue the survey of Roaring River during that expedition. With nice weather forecast and low water levels, we decided it was worth it to haul the inflatable kayaks to Roaring River for two days of surveying during the Labor Day expedition. On Friday evening, 10 people (John Davis, Mark Jones, me, Drew McMichadls. Elizabeth Miller, Rick Olson, Tammy Otten, Rick Toomey, Karen Willmes, and Elizabeth Winkler) carried kayaks, paddles, pumps and other gear to the hill just before Cascade Hall. This is a relatively easy two mile haul as it is mostly old tourist trail, and there were ten of us. The following morning, we (Mark Jones, Tim Green, me, Elizabeth Miller, Rick Olson, Tammy Otten and Elizabeth Winkler) took wetsuits and survey gear to the boats, changed into wetsuits and headed upstream in Roaring River. At the first significant left hand infeeder, Elizabeth, Eli, Tim and I started surveying this tributary while Rick, Mark and Tammy continued upstream to the Hobbs Fork or Roaring River for their survey. Our team surveyed about half of the reported length of the tributary. Tim and Elizabeth (Miller) headed back to the start of the tributary while Eli and I continued up the tributary to see what we would be facing the next day. Surprisingly, we found a dive line where the tributary sumped. After a warm lunch, we were still early and decided to continue upstream to see the passage beyond Second Way Up (up to New Discovery) since we planned on surveying that the next day as well. It was a nice trip upstream and both Tim and Elizabeth warmed up from paddling. We met Rick, Tammy and Mark and headed out. Eli graciously offered to wash and dry our wetsuits that evening, so we packed them up and carried them out with us. It is sooooo much nicer putting on a dry wetsuit than one that is cold, wet, and full of sand. The second kayaking day started out much like the first, with the exception of Tim, who helped Dave West and Karen Willmes survey in Hidden River Cave. Eli, Elizabeth and I finished the tributary and then headed to Second Way Up. Rick, Tammy and Mark were making good progress in the main stream passage and were close to a tributary that Rick said went to a
79 dome. We started the side passage, tion, and we wrapped up the survey for the day. Instead of taking part of the gear out and then coming back the following morning for the rest, we managed to load ourselves down and carried it all out. It was a highly successful set of trips and thankfully, there is still more to do in Roaring River. Kayaking in this slow moving stream is quite enjoyable. A man, his survey book and his kayak. Old Timers Reunion Labor Day Weekend Dailey, WV Brad Smith, Liz Robinson and not quite 1500 people Brad and I left for OTR on the night of 22 August after work and after loading up the truck. We drove as far as the Illinois/ Indiana border before taking a room. The next day we drove to St. Clairesville, OH where we stayed until the next morning when we drove to Washington, PA to spend a day at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. They had a festival going on that weekend with the usual WWII encampment plus several other exhibits as well. There was a room full of model railroad trolleys that has been modified by the owners to operate with overhead wires and shoes instead of track. Additionally there were antique cars operating on the regular Pennsylvania Broad Gauge tracks that one could ride. In the trolley display bar there were other exhibits including an historical lecture, and vendors. We had a good time and as usual renewed our membership. We stayed over in Washington and the next day we rode the trolley into Pittsburgh, had Sunday brunch at Station Square and enjoyed the outdoor historical industrial exhibits before heading on into camp that night and setting up our tents. The next day I ran some errands in town for some items that we needed and some mail I needed to send out. and I had told SCUM Ridge folks that I would prepare a sauerbraten for our Saturday night dinner. I needed to get some of the ingredients for the marinating which takes several days. Before leaving the Quad Cities I had picked up several pounds of bison meat at the local bison store, and I needed to get it started. In the pre camp I also served a shift on gate duty and helped out as best I could given that I had an awful attack of plantar faciitis (Someone took an informal survey of attendees and found a minimum of 61 of us who all had active attacks going on). Wednesday there was a series of storms that left over 3.5 inches of rain on the campground and that created a lake on vendors row as well as rushing water on the river from normal knee deep to over the head. It was up to the second step at the stairs that enter the river. Once the rains left the heat came on big time and so did the allergens. Wednesday those in camp were able to register and the team was set up for those coming in with the masses Thursday afternoon. Last year I had been unable to get off from work on registration day for the opening ceremony and memorial service for members who were departed during the past year. Due to the effects of
80 the storm the sauna area had been closed for Wednesday and Thursday nights so Brad and I did not go on duty until Midnight on Friday night. The storm delayed the sit up of some of the equipment, as well as the removal of the tools and other hazards. In fact the volleyball court and the Wild Side never were opened this year due to the effects of the storm. Since the 50 th OTR, attendance has slowly declined each year. Pre registration has made things a lot easier. Once your member number is entered into the computer and the correct name is added, most of the information is populated automatically. Registration personnel are on hand to look up member numbers for those who either have not received or have forgotten the laminated cards with the membership number on them. This year on Saturday night there was a Oktoberfest wurst dinner in the pavilion. Of course the theme was carried on in the smaller but still good Doo Dah parade on Saturday morning. Brad participated in the obstacle course winning 3 rd place in the over 60 age group instead of 1st but he says that he want to try it again in 2014. The NSS Bookstore was on Vendors Row for the first time in many years. We were expected to vacate the property on Tuesday by no later than noon after taking down the sauna area. We got some hard rain on Monday night and early Tuesday morning after most people had left but later Tuesday morning the weather remained dry long enough for us to get packed up and get out. We have one of the few if not the only original 1986 cherry wood picnic tables which we maintain by soaking it in boiled linseed oil each year. It did not rain until after we had finished doing it this year. WNS is putting limits on caving with many closed caves. WNS is also affecting the general environment. After the rains the mosquitoes came out in drives but there were not a lot of bats, certainly not the numbers we are accustomed to. Cliff Cave St. Louis County, Missouri August 28, 2013 By Mark Jones Since my sailing excursion to Rathbun Lake in Iowa with Doug Schmuecker was put on hold due to the extreme heat and lack of usable winds, I adapted my trip and detoured to St. Louis to visit with Ken Grush. Since Ken grew up in St. Louis he took me on a grand tour of many sites in the area. One of our first stops was to Cliff Cave on the south side of St. Louis County. Located in beautiful Cliff Cave County Park this infamous cave was where a tragedy occurred twenty years ago. For those of you too young to remember 1993 was the Year of the Flood along the Mississippi River and many caves in the Midwest were inaccessible or closed due to high water. According to the December 1994 American Caving Accidents report by the National Speleological Society camp counselors had ignored numerous warnings and barricades in the park to venture into the cave with a large group of boys. After entering the cave the group split up with seven people continuing deeper into the cave. In a smaller part of the cave a rush of water filled the passage drowning six, but one thirteen year old found an air pocket where he survived eighteen hours before being rescued. Our trip by comparison was a cakewalk since the entrance has been gated in the wake of the bat disease white nose syndrome (WNS). After parking in the upper lot we hiked a quarter mile up a rocky ravine with a cool breeze from the cave blowing in our face. At the end of the trail was Cliff Cave. As we approached the cave it was apparent that there was stonework done at the mouth and along the streambed many years ago. Ken told me that around the turn of the 19 th century that there was a saloon located along the stream on the left wall. The remnants of the stone wall
81 are currently all that remains from that era. The bat gate is set in twenty feet inside the dripline and is in good condition. Looking beyond the bat gate a big room stretches back eighty feet and gradually disappears around a corner. The cave has thousand feet of passage beyond the first room that would be interesting to explore. In spite of the bat gate there are obvious signs (litter) that many people still climb up to the entrance. Mammoth Cave National Park Hart County, Kentucky August 30, 2013 By Mark Jones Soon after arriving at the Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) Labor Day Camp at Hamilton Valley a group of ten departed for Mammoth Cave with six inflatable boats, paddles, wetsuits and all the related accoutrements to stage for a two day survey of the Roaring River section in Mammoth Cave. With temperatures in the unteers to help carry packs. The group consisted of John Davis, Ed Klausner, Drew McMichaels, Elizabeth Miller, Rick Olson, Maggie Osburn, Rick Toomey, Karen Willmes, Eli Winkler and me. We took the elevator down to the Snowball Dining Room where we adjusted our loads before an hour of easy trekking to the giant sand pile above Roaring River. Our path took us by the Black Hole of Calcutta pit (not really that omiCrown, Silliman Avenue and Cascade Hall. This well worn trail has been used by tourists and cavers for over a century to access Echo River and Roaring River for float trips. On the way we broke into groups of two and three to chat about a variety of topics to pass the time. When the sound of falling water began echoing in the passage I knew we were closing in on the drop point for the gear. Upon arriving at the sand pile we unloaded the packs, inflated the boats, assembled the paddles and laid out our wetsuits. With our goals reached for the trip we retraced our steps back to the Snowball Dining Room and exited the cave after three hours. August 31, 2013 By Mark Jones After the C.R.F. morning meeting at Hamilton Valley our team of six asRiver survey on our minds. The group consisted of Tim Green, Ed Klausner, Elizabeth Miller, Rick Olson, Tammy Otten, Eli Winkler, and me. It was a pleasure to enter the coolness of the Snowball Dining Room knowing that the temperatures on the again today. Before leaving the Snowball Dining Room we established an exit plan since we were splitting into two teams in Roaring River. Tim, Ed, Elizabeth and Eli (the B Team) would take the first left hand infeeder while Rick, Tammy and I (the A Team) would paddle a bit further to survey the Hobbs Infeeder on the right. If time permitted we would continue upstream to reconnoiter and survey past the second landing to New Discovery. Returning to the sand bar we stepped into our wetsuits and carried the boats past the Shrimp Pool to portage to our launching spot. Ed and Elizabeth paired up in their canoe while the rest of us were solo. Tim, Rick, Tammy and Eli all piloted the nimble FireFly kayaks. Unfortunately I sailed alone in the two man banana boat without a seat making the navigation a bit more challenging. The water was mirror flat with sharp rocks hidden throughout the stream, but we were able to gingerly guide the boats around the hazards to reach the B Team survey. The A Team continued on through a low ceiling tube that required us to stow the paddles and propel our crafts by walking our hands along the ceiling. Rick pointed out a nice four inch fossilized Mississippian era Shark Fin Spine lo-
82 cated in the ceiling halfway through the tunnel. feeder where we began our survey. Rick took book and sketched, Tammy shot foresights and I took backsights and set stations. Our tie in station was on a rock shelf six inches above the water on the left bank of Roaring River. The survey began in an oval passage six foot high by twelve feet wide with three feet of air and no discernible formations. We were able to bring the rafts with us allowing Rick to keep the book somewhat dry, Tammy to stay relatively warm and me completely satisfied with a perch for my instruments. As we moved along the water level increased and the air space decreased until we eventually ran out of the later. We tallied fourteen stations from thirty to eighty feet in length on the occasional rock ledge or ceiling crack for a total of 660 feet of new survey. Fortunately our last station was marked with a poker chip tied on the tip of a rock that will serve as a permanent station in case the water level drops in the future. Once we shut down the survey we exited to Roaring River where we continued upstream to the first landing to New Discovery. After a short stop we went on until we met the B Team and paddled back to together to our launch site. Just before reaching the end of our trip Ed and Elizabeth scraped over a rock that tore a twelve in hole in the bottom of their canoe. Resigned to the fact that the canoe could not be used the following day we deflated the boat and Ed packed it out. We plan to return tomorrow to inventory even more water passage in Roaring River. Total cave time was eight hours. September 1, 2013 By Mark Jones For the second day of surveying in Roaring River the B Team had shrunk to three since Tim Green opted out to go with Dave and Karen. So Ed Klausner, Elizabeth Miller and Eli Winkler continued adding to their previous survey as the B Team while Rick Olson, Tammy Otten, and I (the A Team) paddled upstream to survey past the second landing to New Discovery. With with a slashed hull they commandeered the banana boat while I piloted a FireFly kayak. I was surprised that the water level had remained about the same in spite of the big rain that happened overnight. Other than a few short portages the A Team paddled on idyllic water for the next mile to our first station at the second landing. Once again Tammy shot foresights, Rick took book and sketched and I read backsights and set stations. The second landing consists of a wide area on the right with some large breakdown blocks and the New Discovery passage that trends away from Roaring River. We tied into an RR (Roaring River) station and zigzagged up the watercourse. After the landing the shape was ovular with a six foot height and twelve foot width and two feet of water. It continued as a classic sewer passage for the next thirteen stations with very few formations present. Our shots ranged from twenty to ninety feet with our only limitation being the line of sight issue due to the meandering nature of the cave. The passage contracted and expanded along with the water depth, but we had no problems navigating our boats during the entire survey. As we approached a ceiling pinch the B Team arrived to begin surveying on a sidepassage just ahead of us. The B Team established a station just on the other side of the ceiling pinch and started off to the right in an odiferous muddy crawl as we surveyed past the ceiling pinch. Since we had to lug all of the gear out at the end of the trip we decided to call it a day and make our way out. Unfortunately the six of us were tasked with packing out what took ten to bring in. (See August 30 trip report.) Once the packs were crammed full everyone grabbed what they could
83 carry and began hoofing it for the Snowball Dining Room. Since nobody want to make any more trips than necessary we sherpaed it all in one trip. I was able to slowly plod on with two boats and my gear while the remainder of the party efficiently carried their loads. It was another productive day for the A Team with eight hours in the cave and 648 feet of survey. Addendum: A Blind Cave Fish was noted near the Shrimp Pools and three much older Mississippian Shark Fin Spine fossils were observed in the sedimentary rock along Roaring River. MVOR Mississippi River Ozark Regional Curryville, MO September 13 15 Brad Smith Liz Robinson We had received notice of the sudden unexpected death of Brad's brother the weekend that we arrived back from Old Timers Reunion. While we had pre registered for the MVOR, we did not know if we were going to make it. We waited for the news until later in the week and decided to go when we learned that the family was trying to figure out when they could gather everyone together prior to making arrangements. So we decided to take off and go. We left home early afternoon on Friday the 13 th and arrived in Hannibal, MO a half hour or so north of the campground, We ate at the Golden Corral, picked up 2 gallons of homemade root beer from the Mark Twain Dinette (founded 1942 0n the same spot of land) and headed into camp where we found out that the Howdy Party did not have just the conventional hot dogs but had a regular meal, (GRRRR think of the money we could have saved but that is life.) This time we brought our tent and had the pleasure of pitching it in the dark. It was confusing but somehow we did it. Brad wandered around the campground for a short while but I was dead tired and went to bed. The next day we headed to Hannibal for the Cameron Cave tour. Cameron is, in my opinion, the more interesting of the two caves at Mark Twain Cave. It is shown mostly in the raw with just a few railings over pits and no permanently installed electric lights. The cave owners provide each person with a small flashlight but they can also carry a lantern with them as well. The cave is allegedly one of the maziest caves in the state. The tour that we hoped to go on at 1:30 was canceled because no one had called in and reserved the space so we waited for the 3:00 tour. We had a large tour of 8 people which made it hard to see all of the things the guide was pointing out as we passed through. Our guide was pleasant enough but he was a poorly trained substitute. For example Crinoids bebats were the same species. (There were lots of bats hanging from the walls. I suspect that they were grays as they were definitely not brown and I doubt they were Indiana's because they were hanging alone and of course Indiana's sleep in trees when they are not hibernating. We talked to some other people who had gone on a riverboat tour and were quite dissatisfied with the ride for what they paid for it. There were several caves on the campground property including the Buzzards Cave system which has something like 7 or 8 entrances. We poked into the horizontal entrances. One was a really nice one with a large entrance that soon came to stream passage. Again WNS has hit Missouri so there is that restriction about sanitized caving gear. The campground was a large hay field and the owners have been to a number of MVORs. Because of the Midwestern drought (continued from last year after a short break for a record wet spring and heavy flooding.) There was no need to fear a MudVOR this time (in which the fields would become so flooded that getting a vehicle out without a tractor tow is required.) We got in just in time for the banquet which was followed by the meet-
84 ing which was followed by the door prizes. Part of the meeting was to encourage people to volunteer for the 2015 NSS Convention. (We were directed to provide the spa for the 2015 convention by the convention committee). Brad won a door prize a small package consisting of a Small Padgett video of the 2010 MVORs, a tape measure and a multimeter, all of which he can use. Last time he won a door prize, it was wine, which he gave away because he does not use and for medical reasons I do not either. After putting away the door prize we spent some time at the bonfire before heading off to bed. The next day we put everything back together in the truck and headed out. Kemling Cave Dubuque County, Iowa September 20, 2013 By Mark Jones Rainy weather canceled my sailing date with Doug Schmucker again so I returned to Kemling Cave to assist Larry Welch collect data for his radon research in Iowa caves. Since the trip on the 12 th Larry had removed the wind sensor and reset the Radon Scouts. We grabbed a meal at DQ and took it to the cave so that we could retrieve the two Radon Scouts, download the data, eat and then replace the radon sensors. I scurried down to the Big Room to get the Radon Scout Plus while Larry picked up the Radon Scout in the entrance passage. downloaded his data and was disappointed that the sensor stopped taking readings four days into the study. Luckily the Radon Scout Plus Our project was modified at this point with the two Radon Scouts returning to Galesburg to be debugged and placing the ten passive radon sensors at the regular sites. We set the detectors at the North Overpass, the South Overpass, The Jug Room, K19 and the ladder to the Grand Canyon as well as the Big Room, the entrance passage, XXXX and the surface. I was amazed that the water/mud level continues to retreat; some pools had dried up altogether. We stopped at some of the restoration projects that have been done over the past five years and were pleased with the recovery made in those areas. Total cave time was 90 minutes. Coldwater Cave Winneshiek County, Iowa September 21, 2013 By Mark Jones I arrived at the cave shack just as Mike Lace was finishing up mowing the compound. Soon we were joined by Ed Klausner and Elizabeth Miller and we spent the evening around the campfire enjoying the caver company. After breakfast we were joined by Chris and Janette Beck, Jelena Stajakovic, Filippo Bressan and Jenny Hackman. Mike and Chris were going to cut down the big dead bur oak in the compound before it fell on its own while Janette supervised the operation. The rest of us were going to drop the shaft to enjoy some of the 17 miles of cave offered at Coldwater. Jelena, Filippo and Jenny were all new to Coldwater Cave so Elizabeth, Ed and I planned to guide them both upstream and downstream. Once were suited up Elizabeth led our group down the ladder to the platform followed by Jenny, Jelena, Filippo, Ed and me. Before leaving the platform Ed gave a general safety overview as well as proper cave etiquette. The water was clear with a seasonally acbode well for caving beyond the sumps this winter. Heading upstream we worked our way through the Upstream Breakdown pile where we pointed out some examples of cave formations and explained some history on the cave. At North Snake we detoured off the mainstream to give them a taste of the infeeders that account for The mouth of North Snake is stoopwalking but
85 soon drops to hands & knees and then bellycrawl. Filippo was very interested in the probable worm castings that covered the tops of many mudence project in the works for Coldwater Cave! We ventured less than a hundred feet before returning to the mainstream. Soon we had passed the Virgin Mary flowstone and were standing on the giant ceiling blocks that had fallen many years ago to reveal a layer of well preserved crinoids. This is certainly one of the most popular sites for beginning and experienced cavers. At the end of the mainstream trunk we pointed out the six inch difference in the bedrock along the fracture line. tic approval we continued upstream Pipe, the Blue Room Dome, Camp III and the Rock River formation. Along the way Filippo found a Barbie dolls high heel shoe wedged between two stalactites! sinkhole being used as a dump upstream or someone is playing a trick on us. At the Rock River formation I pointed out the void where a mudbank was recently located but has washed away. After returning to the platform Elizabeth opted out of the downstream trip and climbed to the surface. The rest of our party walked down to Big Bertha to view the largest flowstone formation in the system. We went a little further before doubling back to the platform. Back in the compound all three newly baptized Coldwater Cavers were excited to see other parts of this fine cave. We celebrated our success by helping stack all the firewood that the surface crew had cut while we were underground. Total cave time was five hours. Following all the hard work we drove to Cresco to join the Flatlands for Life is good! Cave Spring Cave Ozark County, Missouri September 23, 2013 By Mark Jones I arrived Sunday evening to meet up with Jim Cooley and Ken Grush to begin ten days of cave surveying in southern Missouri. We awoke Monday to a fine fall morning to continue the survey of Cave Spring Cave (OZK046) that Ken and I had begun back on May 24 th and 25 th A total of 386.6 feet of cave passage along with over six hundred feet of surface survey was recorded at that time. The plan was to complete the survey in the next two days. Since the day would be spent wallowing in three foot high passage with six inches of water I decided to wear an older wetsuit for the day, Ken had his 3 mm wetsuit and Jim wore his wetsuit top under his cavesuit. Crawling in the E Entrance (The eastern most of the five) we bellycrawled forty feet over cobble to start our survey at station C5. Jim took foresights, Ken read backsights and photographed while I kept book and sketched. We followed the roomy, drier left hand crawl rather than the tight, water bellycrawl on the right since they soon rejoined and we could survey the right hand crawl after pushing our end leads. The fifty foot passage ran southwesterly and ranged from two to three feet in height and ten to twenty feet wide. The floor is gnarly grabby rock that has been scoured over the years. Only large cobble and broken formations cover the floor since anything smaller gets washed away. Numerous stalactites and soda straws dot the ceiling and the right side has a mud and formation mound for about twenty feet. Along the way are a window on the right and a crawlway to the left. We split the difference and went straight which brought us to the water course. At station C7 the survey showed the cave turned easterly which confused me since our surface survey indicated that the bluffline would hem us in and we still had a lot of cave ahead
86 of us. In the next two stations of 46 feet we added two crawlways on the left as we continued northeasterly. At station C9 the passage turned slightly south of east for a short time before returning to the northeast. Just beyond station C11 was an interesting ceiling waterfall that cascaded down a twelve inch pendant to splash in the stream. Thirty feet past the waterfall is a beautiful flowstone deposit on the left wall with a tiny rivulet running between flowstone mounds. A six foot dome sits behind the flowstone deposit, the tallest point in the cave! The cave bells out past this point but it also closes down. Maneuvering up the Gnarly Rock Crawl on the left Ken was able to push to a formation choke that blocked our way. Attempting to circumvent the formation choke he tried to circle around to the right, but was denied by a breakdown block pinch. I looked at the water crawl under a ceiling ledge on the far right, but that was only a foot high, six inches of water and that same gnarly, grabby rock. of the cave we returned downstream to mop up a forty foot mud crawl followed by a forty foot loop and finally eighty feet in the stream passage from station C5 to C7. The streambed between C5 and C7 was that same gnarly grabby demineralized rock found upstream only tighter and grabhours in the cave and had exhausted all the leads. The survey brought in 440 feet of new cave survey, giving Cave Spring Cave a total length over 800 feet. This was a great way to get started in Missouri. Reviewing the sketch from May shows that the cave does cut under the dry creekbed and ravine, something I never would have believed without the survey. Addendum: Fauna observed in the cave included three pipistrelle bats or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ), three epigean (terrestrial) crayfish and numerous flies/gnats. (That really irritated us during the survey.) Eye of the Needle and Dragon Denture Den Cave Cloud 9 Ranch Ozark County, Missouri September 24, 2013 By Mark Jones Having finished off Cave Spring Cave on Monday we set our sights on knocking off some of the remaining caves on the nearby Cloud 9 Ranch. After checking in at the gatehouse we set up camp and decided to survey Eye of the Needle (OZK109) and Dragon Denture Den (OZK108) since they were within a hundred feet of each other. Ken Grush and I had discovered these two caves while ridgewalking when we were here in March of this gear. Ken drove to the nose of the ridge where we broke out gear and started down the nose of the bluff. With good GPS waypoints we arrived at Eye of the Needle Cave in ten minutes. As on Monday Jim took foresights, Ken read backsights and photographed while I kept book and sketched. The surface survey resulted in more footage than our four short shots in the cave. The cave is situated in a rock bluff with a steep 32 degree debris slope angling down to Spring Creek. We believe that the cave extended further into the valley at one time, but has been compromised over the centuries. The entrance is a slot opening eighteen inches wide by ten foot high that goes back 20.3 feet and ends in a critter crawl. Ten feet inside the dripline the floor rose three feet to a flowstone curtain drapery that opened up to a small room. The flowstone ceiling was covered in camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) and a lone fishing spider ( Dolomedes sp.). Popcorn covered the flowstone walls from top to bottom. All of the formations in the cave are very dead. The floor was blanketed in organic debris; much of it seemed to be desiccated wood rat scat. What this cave lacks in length it more than
87 makes up for in formations and fauna. Cutting across the bluff to the right we soon gained the entrance of Dragon Denture Cave. As reported in March this cave is hidden by the slope and trees unless it is viewed from within twenty feet. We had anticipated that the cave would be drier due to the recent weather but upon reaching the entrance it appeared to be wetter than in March. A small intermittent waterfall sits just below the cave with a rock shelf off to the left. As we broke out gear Jim was attacked by horseflies so we were motivated to move quickly into the passage. While I sketched the entrance area Ken photographed a pair of pickerel frogs along with other cave sights. The first thirty feet of survey is a hands and knees crawl in a three foot dome shaped passage with a cobble floor. Among the cobble were numerous tree roots that ran the entire length. ( Eurycea sp.), a larval salamander and hundreds of camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ). At this point (station D3) the ceiling drop to two foot and a small cobble dam creates a six inch watercrawl that continues twenty feet to more potential passage around to the left (station D4). I completed the sketch to this point and prepared to commit to the watercrawl to investigate the possibilities of more cave. Several six inch stalactites along the way kept me low in the water as I navigated up the crawl. At station D4 I looked left and saw more watercrawl! I continued three body lengths to another turn to the right that revealed much more watercrawl! Moving up the two foot high crawl I saw a rimstone dam and a ceiling shelf that would prevent me from going any further. Retreating to Jim and Ken we decided it was best to complete the survey rather than leave it hanging. I pocketed the compass/clino and Disto, returned to station D4, took my compass reading and . . the Disto died! Backing up to station D3 Ken replaced the batteries and I was good to go again. Back at D4 I was able to get a Disto reading of seventeen feet to station D5. The crawl turned 60 degrees for thirty feet to the rimstone dam and ceiling shelf constriction. Crawling back for the third time through the watercrawl I finished the sketch and totaled the footage. We were rewarded with nearly 96 feet of new cave for our effort. Allen Cave, Ballroom Cavelet & Flat Ceiling Cave Cloud 9 Ranch Ozark County, Missouri September 25, 2013 By Mark Jones start at Cloud 9 Ranch Jim Cooley, Ken Grush and I continued to survey some of the smaller caves left on our plate to complete The Caves of Cloud 9 Ranch Survey. After two years over 33 caves have been inventoried and like to complete our fieldwork by summer of 2014. To that end we decided to survey Allen Cave (OZK085), nearby Ballroom Cavelet (OZK087) and Flat Ceiling Cave (OZK093). Once Ken had downloaded the GPS coordinates we were able to strategize our route up the slope to start our survey at Allen Cave. Once again Jim took foresights and photographed, Ken read backsights and photographed while I kept book and sketched. Weaving up the talus slope with briars and bramble everywhere we eventually reached the base of a bluffline that gave us a better trail. Although the caves today were suppose to be small caves I was impressed when I broke through the undergrowth to find an eleven foot square opening ten foot up the thirty foot bluff. Several handholds and footholds gave us easy access to the entrance perch. The most impressive room in the cave was a twelve foot dome of stromatolites on the left just three feet inside the dripline. Half of the dome room was occupied with a four foot high ledge that
88 had a six foot pillar with an adjoining stromatolite column. A pile of turkey buzzard ( Cathartes aura ) feathers were in the middle of the ledge and numerous camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) clung to the ceiling. Beyond the edge of the dome room the ceiling dropped to four feet to a passage split that turned south and northwest. Ken noted an eastern phoebe ( Sayornis phoebe ) nest at this spot and the remains of a fishing spider ( Dolomedes sp.) molt. A three foot dome room with long dead flowstone was on the right at the split. We followed the northwest fork bellycrawl to the right for twenty feet before it turned southwesterly and began closing down. Two stand up domes of six and seven feet are located in this crawl. All along the crawl were piles of wood rat scat. I was able to bellycrawl in the wide, dry, rocky crawl another twenty feet to an eight foot diameter room with a three foot ceiling, but the passage came to a hard stop. Returning to the passage split I squeezed through a chest compression that opened up to a four foot high hands and knees crawl that extended sixteen feet to a ceiling ledge that dropped the ceiling to a foot high. I bellycrawled past a long dead column on the left before being stopped by a rising floor and a solid wall. A cave salamander ( Eurycea lucifuga ) scurried by me at this point giving both of us quite a shock. While I was enjoying the coolness of the cave Jim and Ken were being annoyed by numerous flies and gnats near the entrance. The cave total 97.7 feet, another nearly hundred footer in the past two days. With the Allen Cave survey complete we climbed down to the base of the bluff and gazed up to the right to a four foot hole sixteen feet up the rockface. I was able to rock climb (thanks to the climbing tips of Larry Welch!) up the bluff to a ledge where I could pull myself up into the cave. The cave is a ten foot spherical stromatolite void with large pieces of stromatolites filling the center of the sphere. A truly remarkable sight! The pieces facing the entrance were covered in algae and wood rat scat. Oodles of camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) were crawling all over the walls and ceiling. Numerous photos were taken of the cave and Jim informed me that it was indeed Ballroom Cave. We spent four hours surveying these two caves. Utilizing the GPS coordinates for Flat Ceiling Cave we hiked south hugging the bluff for 100 feet to a cobble slope leading to our destination. The entrance is a eight foot wide by three foot high crawl with a smooth ceiling and cobbly floor that closes down for twenty feet before opening up to a thirteen foot long by eight foot wide by four foot high room. Some small stalactites as well as flowstone formations were located in this room. There is no doubt that this cave has a hard stop since it is a bedrock wall. We saw a pickerel frog ( Rana palustris ) a cave salamander ( Eurycea lucifuga ) and numerous camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) in this cave. We spent an hour in Flat Ceiling Cave. Our final mission for the day was to survey from Allen Cave down to Spring Creek to get the vertical change for our map. It only took thirty minutes to finish up this task and determine it was a ninety foot difference. Another successful day at Cloud 9 Ranch! Otter Romp Cave Cloud 9 Ranch Ozark County, Missouri September 26, 2013 By Mark Jones Our final survey planned for the continuing Cloud 9 Ranch was Otter Romp Cave (OZK097) across from the Wilder Spring Campground in Wilder Spring. Since Jim Cooley was working on the computer Ken Grush and I were happy to have Frank Shores assist in our work. Frank is a Cloud 9 member who has documented numerous caves on the property over the years and has
89 been instrumental in our cataloging of the local caves. Frank has discovered and named over twenty caves while out hiking or four wheeling with his family. For this survey Ken took foresights and photographed, Frank took tape and I sketched and read backsights. Spring both Ken and I slipped into our wetsuit bibs but we only wore polypro tops. Walking upstream from the handicapped fishing dock I began Spring. In the middle of the stream I dropped up to my chest for nearly the next twenty feet. While waiting for Ken and Frank I heard chirping sounds from inside the cave, a sure sign the river otters ( Lontra canadensis ) were aware of our presence. We spent the first hour outside the cave along the north shore of Spring Creek capturing the surface features fifty feet on either side of the cave entrance. Our shot downstream put me directly under a rock ledge where one of the spring outlets gushed. At this spot I noticed a strong smell of death that turned out to be a dead turtle. With such an incentive I quickly sketched back toward the entrance noting three more spring outlets among the numerous big breakdown blocks. Upstream the topography dramatically changed to a slump debris pile from a forty foot wide scarp just above the cave. Two smaller spring outlets babbled from out of this debris pile into the backwater above Wilder Spring. An intermittent stream above Wilder Springs flows at various times throughout the year but was inactive at this time. Satisfied with the surface survey we turned into the hillside with a twenty four foot shot to a large elm tree above the cave mouth. The entrance is in large breakdown blocks with a six foot wide ceiling ledge on the left with a three inch ceiling gap that gradually opens to three foot and then closes down at the slump debris pile. Our first shot into the cave was thirteen feet down a fourteen degree slope of rock and edge. As I entered the crawl I scanned to the left and right with my Sten light to alert any otters that I was coming in. Once my eyes had adjusted to the darkness I saw two beady eyes peering back at me from the far left. Mr. Otter (or was it Mrs.?) watched me intently for over a minute as I took readings and sketched the passage. Worried that its mate might be on the far right I frequently glanced that way to prevent a sneak attack from the rear. Eventually the otter decided to tolerate our trespassing into his/ her residence and dipped down into the water. the left arm being twenty one feet and the right arm twenty eight. The ceiling height ranged from three to four feet with two to three feet of water. Although numerous spring outlets were issuing forth into the creek the water in the cave was surprisingly still. A couple of small holes were about all that can be noted about the back wall although Ken did poke his feet into a void under the wall. The left arm had a large breakdown block from floor to ceiling toward the outside wall with little else. The outside wall of the right arm had a four foot wide floor ledge above the water with a wall of mud and rocks. There were several long dead flowstone formation blocks scattered on the ledge. Speaking of scat we found three obvious piles of otter droppings while conducting the survey. One was high on the right arm ledge, one was on the entrance slope and one was just outside the dripline. The scat revealed that the otters consumed a great deal of fish and crawdads. Other than flies there was no other fauna seen in Otter Romp Cave. With 61.8 feet of survey we closed down our Cloud 9 Ranch survey for this trip. Our final tally was five caves and one cavelet surveyed for 319 feet. Bidding our hosts good by we packed up for Pulaski County for our next adventure.
90 Lewis Cave Ripley County, Missouri September 30, 2013 By Mark Jones a song by Cher that best sums up this past week with Jim Cooley and Ken Grush Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves we got plenty dirty and we stole the hearts of several landowners. Our final camp for this excursion was in Ripley County for the continuing mapping of Lewis Cave (RIP001). Since Jim and Ken had a Missouri Speleological Society (M.S.S.) meeting on Sunday I did laundry and then drove down to the cabin to unpack gear. On the way to the cabin I passed the spring resurgence along the road and was surprised that it was four foot below the gravelly streambed yet still flowing. A babbling six foot pool was the only activity within the streambed. The karst ground in this part of Missouri often acts as a sponge that siphons the water before it has the chance to run on the surface. The day off allowed me to catch up on trip reports and begin making Power Points of the photographs that Ken and others have taken the past seven days. When Jim arrived at the cabin he sounded a bit hoarse, but otherwise looked good. By morning he was running a low grade fever and out of action for the day. Just inside the entrance I was amazed to discover that the stream had disappeared from the first room. I investigated the downstream crawl to find over a hundred feet of passage that is normally sumped. Ken and I decided to slip past to continue to the borehole passage to add more upstream footage to the survey. Ken read backsight and took photographs while I shot foresights and sketched. Our survey day began near the Stromatolicious Stumble at station A29 heading south. This is the with walls fifty feet apart and twenty feet from floor to ceiling. The ceiling was pockmarked with stromatolite pendants and domes for the first forty feet of survey. In addition the floor was littered with stromatolite remnants for the first 160 feet of survey. These rocks would grab your shoes and drop you to the ground before you could react. The water flowed across the passage from along the left wall to along the right wall. In several spots the stream disappeared in small drains only to reappear ten feet later. Like The walls were either plastered with a thick clay bank or beautifully decorated with soda straws and flowstone. There were at least two ceiling ledges with accompanying flowstone to contend with in the sketch throughout the entire survey. At station A31 we took a splay shot to the left up the muddy crawl before returning to the mainstream. Ken poked around to find that there were three levels that continued past our survey. This should be an interesting the end. Back at the trunk passage we turned 90 degrees right putting us back on a westerly path. On the right side numerous flowstone formations on the ceiling ledges were coated with delicate helectites. The stream was sixteen feet wide, a foot deep and slowly flowed at the base of the right wall. The left wall had a fifteen foot high clay pile that was twenty feet thick and extended sixty feet upstream. Halfway up the slope was a beautiful flowstone mound perched on the clay that stood out against the brown background. At the bottom of the slope was a sixteen foot wide clay and sand beach deposited by the intense flooding that can occur in the cave. Several broken soda straws were observed on the clay and sand beach appear to have fallen naturally. Our final shot from station A31 to station A32 brought us back to a ceiling of stromatolite pendants and domes only these were highly deco-
91 rated with soda straws, stalactites and helectites. We named this sixty foot section of cave the Helectite Hall. A forty foot extension bulged out on the right to add even more formations to the area. On the upper right wall was a pile of coarse whitish rock that we call the Degrading Dolomite Debris. The mud floor on the right was covered in fragile calcite buttons scattered everywhere. The stream had switched to the left side now under a series of ceiling ledges. By this time we were ready to pack it in and call it a day. A total of 389.7 feet of survey was taken in only five shots in 7 hours. We plan to return tomorrow to add more survey to this outstanding cave. Addendum: Unlike previous trips which were rich with cave fauna during this entire trip we only saw two Salem cave crayfish ( Cambarus hubrichti ) and four cave salamanders ( Eurycea lucifuga ). October 1, 2013 By Mark Jones The passing of another 24 hours diddecided to pack up the van and head back to Kansas City leaving Ken Grush and I to return to Lewis Cave (Rip001) to add more survey to this rapidly growing cave. We planned to start in the first room to survey the downstream crawl that has opened up with the stream dropping five feet and then proceeding upstream to tie in a loop from A20 to A23. Once again Ken read backsights and photographed while I took foresights and kept book. We tied in at station A4 and took a southeasterly bearing to the ceiling ledge that defined the downstream watercrawl. From this point we shot down a rocky slope twenty feet to station W2 at stream level. A stream came in from the right and flowed ahead of us. Ken decided to go downstream first before tackling the down the slope yesterday I estimated that we had a hundred feet of dwindling cave to inventory. station was set close to fifty feet in a boxy passage twenty foot wide four foot high with the stream a foot deep. For the remainder of the passage the ceiling consisted of scalloped boxwork and the floor a mix of sand and gravel. I could see that I would be doing a lot more sketching than originally thought. Looking downstream I saw Ken stoopwalking between two pillars in two feet of water. He could have taken the left or since they all led to the same room. This room was fifty feet wide, five foot tall with the water three feet deep. Alas the downstream survey terminated here when the ceiling dropped down and the passage sumped. Returning to W2 Ken crawled thirty feet upstream over a very sandy streambed to set a station on a formation pillar in the middle of the passage. Our last shot was thirty two feet to a ceiling ledge that closed down the crawl. With Ken back in the main passage we could see each right wall was simply a sand pile that hugged a low ceiling ledge. During our survey we noted a banded sculpin ( Cottus carolinae ), a pickerel frog ( Rana palustris ), a cave salamander ( Eurycea lucifuga ) and a variation of dark sided salamander ( Eurycea longicauda melanopleura ). Ken was disappointed that in all of our trips to Lewis Cave that no blind cave fish have been discovered. With time running out we shut the book on Lewis Cave for the day with 232.3 feet of new survey. After leaving the cave we stopped at the resurgence for photographs of the spring. Total cave time was three hours. The final tally for the eight days of caving was 2,012 feet of survey in ten caves.
92 Granite Caves Cassia County, Idaho October 10, 2013 By Mark Jones The unending government shutdown changed my long anticipated West Coast cave trip to Lava Beds National Monument in northern California with Elizabeth Miller and Ed Klausner to other activities. While visiting my brother in Idaho I took one day to hike Castle Rock State Park in southern Idaho. Castle Rock State Park is 1,440 acres of granite spires and monoliths that abuts City of Rocks National Reserve near Almo, Idaho. Until 2007 this ranch was in private hands when it was purchased by the state to preserve this interesting geological marvel. Hiking the Castle Rock trail I passed numerous granite outcroppings that are a rock climbers dream. Approaching some of the smaller rocks I noticed that ongoing erosion has wore at the base of several rocks resulting in small caves! I found three thirty foot caves in just fifteen minutes. These granite caves are void of any secondary formations although the passages are scalloped from water scouring. In spite of appearing smooth the granite was very grabby, a real asset for rock climbing. I continued along the trail for another two miles walking among the granite monoliths before retracing my steps back to the parkface of this park and plan to return in the future. Kemling Cave Kemling Cave, Dubuque County, IA Chris Beck, Filippo Bressan, Ed Klausner, Elizabeth Miller, Jelena Stojakovic, and Larry Welch October 5, 2013 By Ed Klausner in Kemling Cave, so picking up Larry showing Jelena and Filippo the cave, and doing some restoration work seemed like a great idea. Larry, Elizabeth, Jelena, Filippo and I collected sensors along the way to the Jug Room on the east end of the cave, and then headed south along the route to the easy way down to the Grand Canyon. We then collected sensors while travelling west along the Grand Canyon. The cave was quite dry and the mud, in spots, sticky. The formation duck under still had a pool of water, so that meant getting pretty wet getting past this obstacle. While Larry and I went south towards the U tube and the SW Arterial to pick up two sensors, Elizabeth, Jelena and Filippo continued west along the Grand Canyon to see the boxwork that is in an alcove. During all of this, Chris was cleaning above the K19 Dig in a nice area that we had cleaned previously. This extra cleaning helped get some of the sediment out of the pools in an area of nice lily pads, plus Chris cleaned up an area on the west end of this passage. It was still early, so Elizabeth and I took Jelena and Filippo to see the balcony with nice helectites before heading out. Elizabeth Miller in Kemling Cave. Photo bt Ed Klausner.
93 Jelena enjoying a squeeze in Southwest Arterial Kemling Cave, Dubuque County, IA Ed Klausner, Elizabeth Miller, and Larry Welch October 9, 2013 By Ed Klausner A Wednesday cave trip is a perfect way to spend a workday. Elizabeth and I met Larry at Kemling Cave and after a chat with the landowner, headed towards the Southwest Arterial to place radon sensors. This is a relatively easy trip and we found a way to make it a bit easier when going around the south side of the Grand Canyon. We had always gone high where there is an exposed step around, but Larry discovered that it is easier to go lower and avoid the exposure completely. Once in the Southwest Arterial, Larry placed sensors at several locations along this heavily decorated passage. We found a fair number of Kemling Cave. Photo by Ed Klausner. Little Brown Bats roosting in the passage. We counted 16 including one that was hanging by one foot. Our next stop was the passage going south near the Jug Room. Larry named this area the Southern Cross as the passages form a cross. This is a spot that Larry wants to do hourly monitoring as the area seemed dead in the past. Of course, when we got there, there was a good breeze leading Larry to speculate that the mostly filled southern passage should be a future dig site. On our way out, we made a voice connection between the Big Room Passage on the far east end and the Jug Room. We also picked up the cable ladder that provides a short cut to the leave the ladder exposed to the cave environment for any length of time.
94 Siskiyou County, California October 16, 2013 By Mark Jones On my way to do some family genealogy work in Yreka, California I With time to spare and plenty of curiosity I pulled off the road and made a u turn to drive a quarter mile down a dirt road to a parking area where I grabbed my helmet and struck off another quarter mile down a well marked rocky trail. According to a pamphlet at the kiosk in the parking lot by an eruption of basaltic lava which originated from a vent about 8 miles to the northeast, between Deer Mountain and the Whaleback. The lava flow is about 190,000 years old, and reaches as far as Grenada. Cave is one of the main feeder tubes which carried most of the lava into Shasta Valley. The small domes of lava in the vicinity of the main entrance to the cave are called schollendomes and were formed when the tube was filled with lava to the point where fluid pressure caused an actual inflation of the flow, causing it to rise up, bulge, and form the small domes. The diameter of this cave is exceptionally large, larger than many of the major caves in the Hawaiian Islands. Multiple lava flows Cave, and can be identified by seeing the layered basalt which is fine grained at the base, and coarse textured and full of gas bubbles (vescicles) near the top. The skylights along the length of the cave The cave has been utilized by various people over the years for shelter and inspiration. Today I was pursuing the later. The walk to the skylight entrance was over a lava field covered in sagebrush. A gradual rise brought me to a fifty foot diameter hole that was the edge of the lava When lava is flowing the outer crust cools faster, resulting in a thin fragile ceiling of rock that is prone to collapse resulting in these skylights. This skylight had developed long ago since the floor was dotted with stunted junipers and mats of grass. Climbing down a rocky slope brought me to a fifteen foot diameter tube trending upflow. Although it closed down in less than a hundred feet it had two domes with fresh bat guano underneath. I was surprised to find evidence of a significant bat population in this desert environment. Unfortunately I also found (it was hard to miss.) extensive graffiti in this section of the cave. Walking downflow the tube spread out a bit while the floor rose to within eight feet of the ceiling. It was only a hundred feet to another skylight, the biggest I saw in the system. From this point the floor steeply sloped resulting in a height of forty feet. Numerous breakdown rocks were piled along the way keeping me along the right wall. The trail soon began weaving back and forth, up and down for several hundred feet through the breakdown rubble to yet another skylight. Beyond here even larger breakdown fenced the trail to a narrow path in spite of the size of the cave. I continued five hundred feet down the passage before retracing my steps. The map to do. I was excited to return to a lava pointed. Sequoia Logs Tulare County, California October 17, 2013 By Mark Jones Beds National Monument I changed my itinerary and dropped down to Sequoia National Park in central California to visit with Dawn Ryan and enjoy the park. Arriving at the park at 10:00 a.m. gave me plenty of time to wander through the General Grant Grove and marvel at the size and scale of the
95 trees. While following the loop I found two hollow sequoia logs that would rival 80% of the Iowa Caves for length and height! I was able to walk nearly the entire forty foot length of these logs! Information about sequoias suggests that these logs may have been lying on the forest floor for over 3,000 years! There are plenty of actual caves in the park but these temporary caves are easier to access. In spite of the fact that mighty impressive wooden cave. Granite Scree Caves Tulare County, California October 18, 2013 By Mark Jones After touring Crystal Cave I had planned to hike out to Admiration Point along the Colony Mill Trail since it was such a beautiful day. Fifteen minutes of hiking up the road took me through a tunnel of tall sugar pines and granite outcroppings to a downed pine that crossed the road. In the middle of the road I noticed a large pile of scat just before the tree that appeared to be from a bear. Three minutes later I confirmed that it was bear scat when I looked up and saw a three hundred pound black bear! Both of us were surprised to see the other and both of us decided to retreat. This was my second bear sighting in Sequoia and it was just as exciting as the first time. Since I had plenty of daylight remaining I returned to the Visitor Center to ask Dawn Ryan for another recommendation. She suggested the 1.7 mile Tokopah Falls Trail near Lodgepole. Hiking along the Kaweah River I gradually gained two hundred feet of elevation through more sugar pines and granite outcroppings. Above the right side of the river a majestic granite wall rose several hundred feet, eventually curving around to hem in the river. At 1.3 miles the trail reached the base of a granite scree that remained from long ago glacial activity. While climbing up the pile of granite I noticed that there were several holes at the base of the rocks resulting in numerous caves. All of these caves meet the Iowa Grotto standard of fifteen feet of passage in spite of the fact that they are devoid of any formations. Poking around revealed that there were caves under several granite boulders that were being used by a variety of woodland creatures. These little caves were a nice addition to the beautiful scenery up to Tokopah Falls. Crystal Cave Tulare County, California October 18, 2013 By Mark Jones Dawn Ryan was planning to take me caving on Friday, but when she got the opportunity to work some overtime I adjusted my plans and took the 11:00 a.m. cave tour of Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park. After receiving the briefing on preventing white nose syndrome in bats and avoiding poisonous plants on the trail our group (Eight French tourists and I) began the descent to the Cascade Creek entrance of Crystal Cave. It was a fifteen minute hike along a hillside cut that crossed a beautiful waterfall of Cascade Creek before reaching the thirty foot wide by ten foot high cave opening. Hidden Beneath The Mountains Caves of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks describes the extensive work of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in developing the trails to the cave as well as the modification of the cave to accommodate tours. As is often the case the entrance room had only dull, dusty, dry formations that lack the proper environment to remain active. Inside the Historic Entrance is the Spider Web Gate, an interesting cave gate resembling a spider web with a gigantic spider in the middle. To enter the cave the spider is turned and the gate swiveled open. On the other side of the gate we followed a path over a narrow stream
96 that disappeared in the granite floor. The cave transformed after the gate into an area of active formations and flowstone that decorated much of the ceiling and walls. Continuing deeper into the cave we followed the small stream up a gradual slope to a room with several passages angling off in all directions. Our tour turned right up a narrow slot that was blasted in the rock. The cave trail history and construction is well described in Dehand turn brought us to the Curtain Room a large room with some nice flowstone formations including the namesake. The nearby Organ Room unfortunately has suffered vandalism over the years that has diminished the overall impact this formation could have on a visitor. A short walk brought us to the Pool Room with its numerous soda straws, flowstone and rimstone dams. This was my favorite room in the tour. From ery.) to Marble Hall, a vadose cave passage, that is the biggest room in the cave. Our next stop was the Fault Room with its evidence of past geological activity in the Sierra Mountains. The Junction Room was our final destination for the tour before looping back to the entrance. This hour long tour is a great introduction to Crystal Cave and the caves of the Sierras. Carlsbad Caverns National Park Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico Stan Allison, Derek Bristol, Charles Fox, Dan Greger, Joyce Hoffmaster, Scott House, Patti House, Ed Klausner, Elizabeth Miller, Shawn Thomas, Dave West and Karen Willmes Oct 26 31, 2013 By Ed Klausner The Cave Research Foundation had a board meeting at NCKRI (National Cave and Karst Research Instituet) in Carlsbad, New Mexico on Nov. 1 st so several of us used the opportunity do some surveying before the meeting. Elizabeth and I were coming in from Arizona (hiking in the Grand Canyon) and arrived a day earlier than many of the others so we could pick up survey gear, ropes, keys, etc. and then go to town to shop for food for rive until Saturday evening, so we spent Saturday resketching some of line up with each other. On Saturday evening, Dave, Karen, Charles, Joyce and Dan arrived, so we had two survey parties for Sunday. Charles joined Elizabeth and me for some survey in Lower Cave (the passage behind the ladders going down into Lower Cave needed to be surveyed) along with some resketching. Dave, Karen, Joyce and Dan went to Slaughter Canyon Cave to continue surveying some of the leads. We were surprised at the number of bats coming out of Carlsbad Cavern that evening. In June, there were very few; I think we counted 10. We saw thousands on Saturday. On Monday, we switched some people around so Charles could go to Slaughter Canyon with Dave and Karen while Joyce and Dan joined Elizabeth and me. The first thing we did was eliminate anyone bigger than me as we attempted to survey inside the column that holds the elevator. Dan backed out and I managed to barely make it though and we got 130 feet of new survey. Our luck ran out when we got the hole known as the South 40 near Bottomless Pit. We could only get two stations (on top of the 3 that we got last expedition before it got too small for the survey team) for an additional 11 feet. On Tuesday, Charles again joined Elizabeth and me in Lower Cave and we did some survey near the LE survey and then headed over to the LA survey going north near the ladders towards the Naturalist Room. Dave again went to Slaughter Canyon Cave to continue the survey and in some cases, resketch. Karen, Elizabeth and I spent part of Wednesday in Middle Earth. We brought a rope to drop a pit but found the
97 sides of the pit too unstable. On the way to another lead, both Karen and Elizabeth had problems with a canyon because the walls were too far apart. There is another way to this lead, but it required two ropes and we only other trip. Derek Bristol arrived on Tuesday night and we appreciated his help on Wednesday night when Karen, Shawn Thomas (from the Resource Office) and I borrowed a ladder that Shawn has found to reach a high lead in the Big Room near the Lunch Room. Getting the ladder in place was difficult as it was quite heavy, but once against the formation at the bottom of the passage (the ladder was padded to avoid any damage to the formation), we quickly got 200 feet of survey and crossed the lead off the list. During the day on Wednesday, Derek also led Joyce and Shawn to the Guadalupe Room Complex to survey. Scott and Patti arrived on Wednesday from their survey trip to Lava Beds National Monument and Scott took Dan into the Main Corridor on Thursday Also on Thursday, Karen, Joyce, Charles and I found a column in Lower Cave to be mostly empty and we surveyed the passage inside the column. We also surveyed an alcove above the main passage and two side passages of the alcove. Derek and Stan spent the day working on a lead in the Guadalupe Room Complex that involved a difficult climb. The real surprise of the trip was the discovery of Halloween Hall by Derek and Shawn on Halloween. They climbed up to Spirit World (220 feet above the Big Room) and then climbed to the last remaining lead. They put in 83 feet of new survey and found themselves in a room 100 feet in diameter and 20 feet tall. They hope to return in February to survey this room and will hopefully find more passage in the area. Derek Bristol manning the ladder for a climbing Ed Klausner in the Big Room of Carlsbad Caverns. Photo by Karen Willmes.
Intercomis a publication of the Iowa Grotto of the
National Speleological Society, Inc., an internal
organization of the National Speleological Society (NSS). The
Iowa Grotto, is dedicated to the exploration, study, and
conservation of caves.