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I N T E R C O M Volume 50, Issue 1 January February 2014 Iowa Grotto P.O. Box 228 Iowa City, IA 52244 Grotto Website: Coldwater Cave Project website: 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 Feb. 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 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: Night shot of the ice formations at the Apostle Islands Ice Caves. Photo by Scott Dankof. National Speleological Society P. O. Box 228 Iowa City, Iowa 52244 Chairman Ed Klausner Vice Chairman/Treasurer John Donahue Secretary Elizabeth Miller Volume 50 Issue 1 ______________C O N T E N T S _____________ Trip reports: A New Cave Gate 5 Our Cave Wedding 5 Cave Wedding 6 Lewis Cave 8 Lostman Cave 9 Carter County Caves 10 Partney Farm Cave and More 12 Tunnel Bluff Cave 12 Roundspring Cave 14 Barkdull Cave 15 Panther Spring Cave 15 Big Mouth Cave 16 Panther Spring Caves 17 Big Mouth Cave 18 Fogey Cave 20 Rocky Crawl Cave 21 Slaughter Canyon Cave 22 Carlsbad Caverns 23 Slaughter Canyon Cave 24 Carlsbad Caverns 25 Ozark National Scenic River 27 Bigmouth Cave 28 Side Spring Cave 30 Simpson Hole Cave and More 30 Jacks Fork Bat Cave 32 Wind Cave 33 Cloud 9 Ranch Bat Count 35 Carlsbad Caverns National Park 36 Lake Superior Ice Caves 38 Iowa Grotto 2014 Summer Picnic 40 3


4 __________CALENDAR___________ May Grotto Meeting May 28th Room 125, 7:30 pm, Trowbridge Hall. June Grotto Meeting June 25th Room 125, 7:30 pm, Trowbridge Hall. July Grotto Meeting July 23rd Room 125, 7:30 pm, Trowbridge Hall. Iowa Grotto Summer Picnic August 2nd in Central Park, Jones County. Minutes of the Iowa Grotto Regular Meeting 1/20/2014 The regular meeting was called to order by Chairman Ed Klausner at 7:32 PM with 5 members and no guests present. Prior to the meeting, Mark Jones gave a presentation on caving in Missouri. Minutes of the November regular meeting were not available. : The 2013 yearend report showed a total of $4571.62. The Coldwater fund showed a balance of $75.85. Trip reports : Mark Jones reported on 10 days of caving in Missouri, including four mapping projects, cave gating and monitoring. Mark Jones reported on a photo trip to the Spong Siphon in Coldwater Cave with Jasen Rogers. Mike Lace reported on a trip to Petersen Cave in Winneshiek County with Mark Jones. The stream passage was frozen so he and Mark were unable to complete the survey of the cave. Ed told about a November surveying trip to areas off the Rotunda of Mammoth Cave and Stevenson Avenue with Elizabeth. In December he also led a survey trip into Roppel Cave on the CRF Expedition when he and Elizabeth Miller were leading the expedition. Mark also attended the expedition. Future trips : A bat counting trip is planned for January 25 in Jackson County with grotto member Joe Dixon. Joe is in contact with a cave owner in Winneshiek County for a survey trip when the weather is better. In addition, Joe would like a trip to The annual grotto picnic will be held the first weekend of August. Ed raised the question about whether the grotto could use group camping at Maquoketa State Park, giving a comfortable campground as well as a number of caves to visit. Ed will check to see if we can get a reservation for that time. Old Business Chairman Ed Klausner thanked outgoing chair Mike Lace for his 24 years of service as grotto chair. New officers chosen were Ed, Vice chairman and Treasurer John Donahue and Secretary Elizabeth Miller. New Business Topics for upcoming presentations include new discoveries in Carlsbad Caverns (February Elizabeth M. and Ed K.), caving in Haiti (April Mike Lace), and Iowa bat surveys (Joe Dixon). Ed was contacted by a Boy Scout leader looking for someone to talk about caving. It will be referred to Phil Larue. Other items : Mike filed the Annual Report for 2013. Announcements : Ed thanked Mike for 23 years of chairing the Iowa Grotto. In addition to chairing the meetings, the job involved producing cave map books, making sure the Intercom was put together and distributed and producing the Annual reports. The meeting was adjourned at 8:20. Minutes of the Iowa Grotto Regular Meeting 2/25/2014 The regular meeting was called to order by Chairman Ed Klausner at 7:30 PM with 8 members present. Prior to the meeting, Ed Klausner gave a presentation on recent exploration and mapping in Carlsbad Caverns, focusing on Lower Cave and Spirit world including the activities of current and former Iowa Grotto members. Brad Smith also showed slides and gave a brief report on a recent caving trip in New York which included his wedding to Liz Robinson in Ward Gregory Caverns. Our congratulations to Liz and Brad! Minutes of the February regular meeting were read and approved. : According to Treasurer John Donahue the Grotto has


5 $4514.90. There is also $75.85 in the Coldwater fund and $100 in petty cash. Trip reports : Mike Lace went to Pine Valley County Park with Joe Dixon to look for bats. No signs of life were seen but several small caves were mapped. Mike Bounk reported on a trip to Spook Cave. 314 bats were seen, including one that appeared to have signs of white nose syndrome. He notified Darrel Howell of the Iowa DNR. Mike Lace reported on a 10 day trip to three islands of the Exuma Cays in the Bahamas where a number of flank margin caves were surveyed. Prior to that trip, he visited the Apostle Islands National Seashore along Lake Superior where he, Scott Dankof and Doug Schmuecker visited ice caves including a very cold evening photo shoot. The group included a visit to a rock art cave noted previously by Pat Kambesis and John Lovaas. Future trips : There will be the usual Coldwater trip the third Saturday of March. A survey trip is planned at Mystery Cave in Minnesota. Contact Warren Netherton if interested. The NSS annual convention will be held July 13 19 at Huntsville, Al. Joe Dixon is planning a spring trip to Winneshiek County when the weather is warmer. Old Business : None New Business : Mike Bounk will be retiring from his job from the Geologic Survey at the end of March. Central County Park in Jones County is the tentative location for the Iowa Grotto Annual Picnic. Indian Bluff cave will be nearby. Ed was contacted by the Iowa DNR to give input on a new White Nose Response plan. Ideas for the plan included closing all Iowa privates caves which Ed made clear would neither be effective nor workable. He offered that the Iowa Grotto would be happy to give input on future planning. Mike Kellen of the Des Moines Register is working on a story about scientific work and surveying in Coldwater Cave. It might include an April trip to Coldwater with a photographer. Other : Tom Hruska offered to donate a complete set of the NSS News and Bulletin from the first issue to the present to the grotto. Since Tom is grotto visit to the cave perhaps in conjunction with the picnic if Tom can arrange it. Announcements : None. The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 PM. _________TRIP REPORTS_________ A new cave gate By Brad Smith During our Christmas 2013 visit with Steve Gaines in Syracuse, N.Y., Liz and I went north to Watertown N.Y. One thing we did was visit a small park along the Black River named Veterans Memorial Riverwalk Park. We looked at a recently built cave gate. The cave is known in older writings as Beer cave or Ice cave. It is also called the Newell Street cave. The entrance has been sealed for decades by the city with a wall of stone blocks and concrete about a foot thick. At times access holes have been made in the wall by persons unknown. The city has resealed the wall a number of times. There has been public interest in the caves of Watertown in recent years. This has lead to the building of a small gate to allow authorized access to this cave. The gate is embedded in the wall. It is framed in steel. The door is a rectangular piece of flat steel and is about 20 inches by 36 inches with a hinge on the right side. A circular disk of steel about 6 inches in diameter is bolted to the door. The disk covers a hole which allows access to the lock for the gate. Our Cave Wedding By Brad Smith On December 28, 2013 Liz and I, along with Steve Gaines, traveled


6 from his place in Syracuse, N.Y. and arrived at the parking area for Ward Gregory in east central N.Y. Liz's sister Judy and her Husband Gene made it as well. Bruce Horncastle and his friend Dan also arrived. We made sure we were parked properly and then went up to look at the Ward entrance. Bob Addis arrived after we got back to the parking area. Bob, with a press tag on his hat, identified himself as a cub reporter for the North Eastern Caver. After some discussion, we decided to follow Bob's suggestion and use the Gregory entrance due to ease of entry. Since we were near ground zero for WNS, we decided not to use our B&C Wonderware. I used second hand coveralls of the type rented out by laundry's and Liz used disposable white paper coveralls meant for painters. Liz and I each wore 2 vertical pieces of bat decorated tape on the fronts of our coveralls. We all geared up and went over to the Gregory entrance. Bob was most informative on this walk in describing the affects of the hurricane induced flood on the area outside the Gregory entrance, including the damage done to route 443. Upon entering the cave, we proceeded to McNab Hall not far from the entrance. Bruce officiated the ceremony. At the end, in honor of tradition, he gave me a plastic cup. I took water from my cave pack and filled the cup. We both drank from the cup. I then stomped the cup. While standing around, I pointed out to Judy, a duck under where the stream flows. I took a few minutes to take a solo look upstream to near Brinley's sump and back. Then we all left the cave. Bruce and Dan went to the Ward entrance to head upstream. Steve and I went to catch up with them. Everyone else went to the Schoharie cabin. Steve and I went in the Ward entrance and went upstream. We met Bruce and Dan and we all went to the lake room. Steve went to the other side of the lake to look around. I pointed out to Bruce and Dan that on a trip many years ago, I saw Steve free climb out of the cave through the entrance over the lake. We headed downstream. Upon leaving the entrance, we saw 3 ill prepared speleoboppers. I recommended that they study the information about cave gear at the kiosk. We all changed and went to the Schoharie cabin. Everyone else plus Peter Haberland and his dog were there. Peter had a fire going in the stove. I frosted the cake I made. We ate cake, brownies Bob made and an interesting and tasty salad Judy made. After a while we all decided to head out rather than stay at the cabin. After guiding Judy and Gene to their hotel, Liz, Steve and I went back to Syracuse. All went well and even the weather cooperated to make our wedding a happy day. Cave Wedding Liz Robinson and Brad Smith Clarksville Cave Preserve, Clarksville, NY By Liz Robinson This will be a short trip report since I believe that Brad wants to write his own from his own viewpoint and under his own hand. We always go east for the holidays and stay with Steve Gaines, another NSS caver. This trip was different. We made two trips to Watertown, the first one to get our marriage license. On our way up we replenished our supply of cheeses after the August freezer disaster. Then we went and took care of two things. I already had gotten my birth certificate which is required for the license application but Brad needed a copy of his which he could get in City Hall. In addition we went and looked at the new gate for Newell Street Cave, which had been concreted over until a group of cavers was given permission to explore it and identify the cave resources under the City of Watertown. I shall let Brad tell you about this. It was very cold and the walking was less than ideal due to


7 some 4 5 inches of ice from the weekend's ice storm. The wedding was held at Clarksville Cave Preserve in Clarksville, NY at the Gregory entrance to Ward Gregory Cave. We had been trying to decide where to hold the ceremony. Bob Addis, as a reporter for the Northeastern Caver, joined us and I expressed my concern that I wanted my sister and brother in law who were with us, to be able to enter the cave and enjoy their experience and not have it be a real hassle. Steve was also with us, as were Bruce Horncastle, another NSS caver who was our officiator. Bruce brought along a friend from where he lives in Etna, as it Left to right, Bruce, Liz, Brad, was a long drive for him. So that was our little part. Bob showed us where the Hurricane Sandy Flood damage had taken place and what had actually happened, It was he who suggested this room in the Gregory Section. We held the ceremony, Brad smashed the plastic glass and we came out. Seeing as how this is the epicenter for WNS, the bride wore a nice white painter coverall from a building supply as this is something that did not need decontamination after being torn up by the cave. After the ceremony Brad, Steve, Bruce, and Bruce's friend went to visit the remainder of the cave. I will let Brad tell you about his trip. Judy, Gene, Bob, and Dan.


8 Lewis Cave Ripley County, Missouri January 11, 2014 By Mark Jones ging at me I decided to tackle the issue head on. I met up with Jim Cooley, Ken Grush and Derrick Norris in Ripley County, Missouri to open up Caving 2014. Jim is in the process of designing and building a cave gate for Lewis Cave (RIP001) to replace the cinderblock wall that currently protects the cave. Unfortunately this is the worst situation for any bat use since it is difficult for them to fly between some very small openings. now mulling over the appropriate method of removing the old barrier and installing the new bat friendly gate. Since Derrick lives in the area and his family has the equipment and knowhow to address the problems we were happy to meet him and his dad, Rick, at the cave. Just before the entrance we crossed the low water bridge and found the water gushing from the spring entrance. When Ken and I were here in September the spring was barely flowing, but the fifty degree temperatures had melted a majority of the snow resulting in a runoff pulse. After parking the vehicles we strolled the short distance to the entrance where Rick, Derrick and Jim discussed their options. The tear out will require the removal of two short concrete walls, a concrete block and the cinderblock wall. In addition the floor and walls will need to be taken down to solid rock for a strong foundation. Once this step is completed the installation of the new gate can begin. While they were chatting I slipped off down the trail to investigate the salamander sanctuary we had inadvertently built last year when we removed several rotting boards from the streambed. Unwittingly we had set the boards on a sandy slope and planned to remove then when the gate is replaced. The salamanders took up residency in no time and have claimed the boards as their home. Evidently they prefer the damp environment and protection these boards provide. Alas on this trip I only spotted one cave salamander ( Eurycea lucifuga ), maybe Shining my light down the sandy slope revealed what we already suspected; the lower watercourse was flooded to the ceiling. On our last trip Ken and I surveyed over two hundred feet down to the spring resurgence. The fascinating aspect of all this water was that it was so eerily quiet. Even though it was six feet above the lowest level it made very little noise. Further on down the sandy slope trail we saw that the water crossing would be over eighteen inches deep and decided to turn around. Knowing that further on the watercrawl would be sumped convinced us to do something else for the afternoon. Now that Jim has more infortop notched schedule to regate Lewis Cave. Following our short trip to Lewis Cave Derrick drove us across Barren Creek (which was not barren today!) to investigate a possible new cave discovery by Zach Worrell. Derrick had forded the thirty feet of sixteen inch deep water with his truck, but returned to shuttle us across. Every other time I have been here the creek is bone dry. After parking in a field we began the easy thirty minute hike to the GPS location. Ten minutes into the walk a wide mouth cave in a rocky outcropping on the left popped up. Shelter Cave (RIP004) has been in the cave files for many years but has not been surveyed. The entrance is the most impressive feature of the cave being four foot high and sixteen feet wide. A dry twenty foot diameter room with a short crawl is the extent of the cave although it would make a very nice shelter (hence the name). The five of us continued our wonderful hike along (Not So) Barren Creek until the bluff face angled in to


9 meet the creek. A small stream issued forth from the base of a rock outcropping on the left to soon join up with the main waterflow. A fracture in the rock appears to be the enOnce again today the melt water stymied our efforts to push ten feet beyond the crawlway. When Barren Creek is dry would be an appropriate time to return to this spot and see if it does indeed meet the Missouri Speleological Society requirement of twenty feet. Rick had noticed a rocky overhang just fifty feet downstream that may harbor a cave so Derrick and I climbed over to check it out. A twenty foot wide opening with a huge breakdown block narrowed the vertical distance to eighteen inches. I crawled eight feet over Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) scat towards the back of the block to see a ten inch gap that dropped five foot to a crack running into the hillside. Again there was too much water to push any deeper. It will certainly take a much svelter person than any of us to negotiate this turn. Lost Man Cave Carter County, Missouri January 12, 2014 By Mark Jones I joined Jim Cooley and Ken Grush on a fabulous January day doing cave monitoring and bat counting in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Our first stop for the day was Lost Man Cave (CTR007), just west of Hunter, Missouri. A short hike along an ATV trail soon took us to the site of my first caving project in Missouri with Jim and Ken in the fall of 2012. A year ago we had returned to Lost Man Cave to do a bat census and were delighted to count 120 pipsistrelles or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ). We were hoping to see an increase in those numbers after a year with the superior gate in place. A chimney climb down twelve feet brought us to the box gate that was in robust condition with no signs of vandalism. A nother twelve feet down a slippery steep slope covered in surface debris brought to the eight foot ladder to the top of a breakdown pile. This first room is about a hundred feet in diameter, with breakdown in all directions. I climbed down the breakdown under the ladder and moved counterclockwise along the outer wall of the room. The floor was very uneven with a knobby ceiling less than five feet high. too difficult to negotiate as I swept around the room. Unfortunately I could only find two bats in this first area, a real disappointing start for the survey. I returned to the ladder and climbed down a ten foot mudbank and worked around the perimeter of the room to the right while Jim and Ken stayed higher in the room looking at the ceiling section. Over twenty bats were seen hanging in small domes and cracks in this section. The cave broke off to the left and continued away from the first room in a gooey mud trail until it terminated at a mud collapse. Only a few bats were observed in this passage, about the same as last year. Returning to the first room we continued along the left wall until reaching the waterfall pit. We followed the wall up a gentle slope that eventually split into a low trail to the pit and a high trail up a steep mud slope. I was excited to find the mud being washed off much of the flowstone revealing some very nice pretties. At the top of the hill six foot long tree roots hung down through the ceiling cracks, making an interesting living curtain. Continuing around the wall down the slope I counted several more bats before reaching the waterfall pit. The recent snowfall melt had the water tumbling into the rimstone pool creating a beautiful scene. We finished with 91 bats, all pipistrelles, thirty less than last year. In spite of the decline in our survey I have a feeling that this cave is going to see greater bat usage in the future. In addition to the bats Ken spied thirty larval salamanders in a single


10 pool. Total cave time was two hours. Since it was such a beautiful day we drove down to Cave Springs Cave (CTR 015) to continue our monitoring. inventory any bats we could contribute to the cave use monitoring information since last year. Cave Spring Cave is located near the bottom of a hill within a hundred feet of the parking area. The snow melt had the water cascading down the streambed to the nearby Current River. A short distance upstream we reached the large shelter entrance of the cave. The mouth of the cave was about sixty feet across with a twenty foot ceiling, a great spot for Native Americans or early settlers to exploit. At one time a mill was built across the stream, but only the concrete foundation remains. I climbed over the foundation to the mudbank pile that covered the left hand side. The cave reached another fifty feet before ending at a sump. Ken photo documented the cave for future reference. Not much activity was noted in the cave other than the obligatory trash found along most hiking trails. Total cave time was fifteen minutes. Carter County Caves Carter County, Missouri January 13, 2014 By Mark Jones Jim Cooley, Ken Grush and I left Powder Mill Research Center at 9:00 a.m. to check in at with Kim Huff of the National Park Service about the ongoing monitoring of caves within the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. From her office in Van Buren it Quarry Cave (CTR006) and Granite Quarry Cave Annex (CTR062) in Carter County, Missouri. These two caves have been gated to protect the bats throughout the year and our task was to estimate bat usage as well as assess the gates condition. Granite can be seen from the Current River and has suffered because of its location. A flyover gate has protected the cave from misuse while allowing the local fauna easy access. Along with monitoring the cave for cave critters, speleothems and human activity we were also doing lock maintenance on the gates. While Ken and I explored the cave Jim serviced the gate and lock. The first two hundred feet is a dry passage with a smooth floor until halfway back when the floor changed to breakdown rubble. Within 100 feet the breakdown ended, the floor became muddy and the ceiling closed down. The cave gradually slopes down from the large entrance resulting in a poor site for hibernating since there is no air trap. gle bat in the cave we did find a couple of small guano piles along with guano scattered over a wide area. Ken photographed the guano piles for the cave records. Additional signs of animal use were two abandoned eastern phoebe ( Sayornis phoebe ) nests near the entrance and swarms of flies (diptera). After finishing up we walked 100 feet around the corner to Granite Quarry Annex Cave. Again Jim worked at the entrance while Ken and I did the monitoring. The twelve foot hands and knees entrance slope was covered bad to open the smallest cave gate in Missouri. A short incline soon dropped into a walking slot passage with numerous active formations and a variety of cave critters! Evidence of Eastern wood rats ( Neotoma floridana ) was found near the entrance, while inside the first room were a family of four Western slimy salamanders ( Plethodon albagula or glutinosus ), eleven pipistrelles or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ), a solitary big brown bat ( Eptesicus fuscus ), and numerous millipedes ( Scutiger a). A tacky reddish mud clung to my boots as I slogged along a winding passage noting a couple more bats along the way. Soon I was crawling in the red goo until I ran out of room. This monitoring revealed


11 a continuing healthy cave environment with active formations and no evidence of recent vandalism or graffiti. As we were exiting the cave two more Western slimy salamanders were discovered, for a total of six. We spent fifteen minutes in the much larger Granite Quarry but it took us twice that long in Granite Quarry Annex. On the way to Coalbank Cave we made a quick stop at Big Spring to service the lock on Big Spring Well (CTR001). Today the blue water of Big Spring was racing out at an impressive rate. (According to the National Park Service pamphlet 286 million gallons flows daily from Big Spring.) Behind the spring is a small cave, Big Spring Anastomosis Cave (CTR024), that has entertained thousands of kids over the years. At less than thirty feet in length and with a small room at the back it is a perfect spot for the youngsters to explore while their folks wait outside. Jim and I climbed up the rocks to inspect and maintain the gate of Big Spring Well. A cave closed sign was posted in front of the gate. The cave terminates at the level of the Big Spring resurgence. Our last cave to monitor for the day was Coalbank Cave (CTR023). I was excited to return here since it is a wonderfully biologically active cave with plenty of formations to ogle over. In the summer this cave serves as an important gray bat ( Myotis grisescens ) maternity colony. The quarter mile hike was made all the more enjoyable with the sixty degree temperature. (Last Monday it was below zero!) I rigged a handline as a safety for the sixty foot descent down the 45 foot by 25 foot oval sinkhole entrance. The entrance crawl at the bottom of the sinkhole is two foot high by five foot wide that soon popped into walking passage. Within guano piles from the summer of 2013. A tall dome traps the heat raising the temperature at the ceiling level well above a hundred degrees, a perfect site for these clustering bats to raise their young. In the fall the gray bats migrate to a different cave leaving this one to the pipsistrelles or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ). While Jim took book, Ken photographed the guano piles and I tallied bats and took guano measurements. The area of guano can be translated into number of bats giving the biologists a good indication of the population dynamics from year to year. After the first room was an even larger room that also had several piles of guano. It seems to me that from the guano information the gray bats had a good year as compared with January 2013. Only six pips were counted in this area, none beyond. Before venturing further we saw a bathtub ring of surface debris six foot high around the room! A flooding event had certainly occurred here in the past year. At this point I dropped down to the right into a crawlway in a cobble streambed with four inches of water. I scouted on ahead to document the large guano piles in the next big room while the Jim and Ken waited for my return. Thirty feet of bellycrawl in angular cobble eventually opened up to a hands and knees crawl with the stream spanning the six foot wide passage. Last year we had seen nine Southern cave fish ( Typhlichthys subterraneus ) in this section of the cave and I was hoping to find some for 2014. then another. This was the highpoint of the day for me. Three grotto salamanders ( Eurycea spelaus ) were also seen in the stream. When I reached the next room I was amazed that most of the guano piles had disappeared! The flood event had blasted down the passage moving the guano downstream. In spite of the flooding I could still estimate that this room was well used over the past summer. I peeked down the low crawl on the left to discover that the watercrawl was going to be quite a bit tighter. The shifting around of guano, mud and rocks has certainly changed the passage in this section


12 of the cave which might require a different strategy to reach beyond this point. On the return trip Ken observed two cave webworms ( Macrocera nobilis ), a larva of a fungus gnat. The cave showed no sign of recent human vandalism or graffiti. Two interesting hours were spent in Coalbank Cave. Partney Farm Cave and More Carter County, Missouri January 14, 2014 By Mark Jones With enough daylight remaining after the Tunnel Cave complex we set off to monitor Partney Farm Cave on the west bank of the Current River. I set off to the left of Jim and Ken on the three hundred yard hike across a ridge to arrive at the top of the bluff with no way down. Poking around the rocks I soon discovered a break in the bluffline that allowed me to climb down to the bottom of the bluff. Turning right I followed a critter trail along the rock until I Partney Farm Cave! An eight foot diameter opening went back fifteen feet to a dry and eroded stalagmite near a thirteen foot dripping dome. The dome had a conglomerate ceiling with tree roots protruding through the rock and dirt. I christened this cave Birthday Boy Cavelet. Continuing around the bluff s cave I came upon yet another cave that wasThis cave has a ten foot diameter entrance that quickly funnels down to a rock wall in nineteen feet. The floor of this cave was a wet, sticky mud interspersed with angular rocks. I named this Birthday Surprise Cavelet. Eventually I did meet back up with the boys who were at Partney Farm Cave. This shelter cave has been used by humans and animals for centuries as a place to get out of the weather. Somebody still thinks pretty highly of the cave since they had accumulated quite a pile of firewood near the entrance. The wide mouth quickly narrows down to hands and knees crawl on the left before tapering down to a critter crawl. The dry dirt floor throughout the cave was another advantage of staying here. Eastern woodrat ( Neotama floridana ) scat and middens were the only signs of cave fauna. After completing the monitoring of the cave I showed Jim and Ken my new discoveries. We returned to Powder Mill Research Center to celebrate my birthday by writing trip reports and eating cake and ice cream. A well spent birthday! Tunnel Bluff Caves Carter County, Missouri January 14, 2014 By Mark Jones To celebrate my 54 th birthday Jim Cooley and Ken Grush treated me to eleven caves on the Current River in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Our journey began by driving through Grandin, once the home of the largest sawmill in the world, but now a struggling hamlet in southern Missouri. Turning west we drove several miles down Highway O and then onto a Forest Service road to a ridge top where we parked at the U.S. Forest Service Tunnel Bluff Designated Natural Area. Jim noticed that the nearby U.S. Forest sign had been vandalized by two shotgun blasts, one at very close range. (It was a very tight pattern.) It is quite possible that the shooter ate some of the lead pellets ricocheting off the sign. The second shot was from considerably further back, but still did not penetrate the sign. Some people have to repeat their mistakes to get the message. Ken had GPSed the cave coordinates and waypoints along our proposed route, so we had no difficulty in walking across the ridge to the nose where we climbed down the steep slope to the first cave. The eight caves of Tunnel Bluff are Tunnel Bluff Rimstone Cave (CTR 077), Saddle Cave (CTR 078), Tunnel Bluff Bear Cave (CTR 082), Tunnel Bluff Shelter (CTR 081), Tunnel Bluff Tunnel Cave (CTR 066), Tunnel Bluff Cave


13 (CTR 079), Little Tunnel Bluff (CTR 065) and Tunnel Bluff Arch (CTR 085). Jim kept book, Ken also recorded information, took photographs and registered GPS locations, while I scanned for cave fauna and formations and noted visitation and vandalism. Tunnel Bluff Rimstone Cave has a low wide mouthed entrance that slopes into the hillside. The cave consists of a seventy foot wide by thirty foot deep room with a twenty foot in diameter dome room at the back. Once inside the cave it was an easy stoopwalk throughout, other than a short crawl to the dome room. Most of the ceiling was fairly flat except for the two foot rise in dome room. A majority of the floor was a tacky mud although there were significant active rimstone dams in the dome room area as well as other scattered flowstone formations. Three big brown bats ( Eptesicus fuscus ) and a pipistrelle or tri colored bat ( Perimyotis subflavus ) were noted in this cave. Signs of cave fauna included two small areas of guano concentration under ceiling staining, indicating usage by clustering colonial bats, and Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) scat and middens. We followed up with nearby Saddle Cave. This cave had two entrances, an easy bellycrawl slope and a tight bellycrawl in mud that joined in a small room with a breakdown wall on the left. The passage sloped down through a wide easy squeeze to a cobble floor crawl. It ran fifteen feet to the left before pinching out at a breakdown pile. On the right it continued twenty feet to a small room with daylight pouring through a porthole. The only critters seen were swarms of flies (dipteral) in the lower passage. Several terrestrial snail shells were found in the entryway. Carefully crossing a steep ravine we dropped down to Tunnel Bluff Bear Cave. A boxy four foot high by eight foot wide entrance gradually slopes upward forty feet to a small dome room at the back of the cave. This air trap resulted in the warmest of the Tunnel Bluff caves. This was a relatively easy hands and knees crawl in dry red dirt and rocks. A delicate cluster of helictites were discovered in the dome room. Swarms of flies and several camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) were seen near the terminus of the passage. Eastern woodrat scat and middens were all along the crawlway. Adjoining this cave was Tunnel Bluff Shelter. This cave has a broad entrance and shallow depth with one dirt squeeze that pops into roomier dimensions. push through to the other side. No signs of cave fauna were found. We crossed back to the other side of the ravine to a dark spot on the bluff which turned out to be Tunnel Bluff Tunnel Cave. Situated out on the point of the bluff this four foot by four foot entrance had a wind blowing through with gale force. The dry hands and knees passage wound for 30 feet to a similar entrance. Eastern woodrat scat and middens were the only indications of animal use. The surprising view coming out of this crawl was the grand entrance to Tunnel Bluff Cave. At 40 feet in width and height it was certainly the biggest entrance we saw on this trip. This cave consisted of a single room that was 50 feet wide by 60 feet deep. A steep slope of dark red dirt mixed with angular rocks covered the entire floor. Climbing up the hill of loose talus to the breakdown wall in back proved a bit challenging. Located above the Current River this enticing cave attracts canoeists during the summer as evidenced by the trails but very little trash was found around the cave. Two big brown bats braved this cold cave. Eastern woodrat scat and middens were seen a round the edge of the room in numerous spots. A surprising new find were bright feathers scattered about the cave. It appears that at least one predator uses this cave to feast upon his victims. While Jim and Ken slipped back through Tunnel Bluff Tunnel Cave to


14 climb over the bluff I dropped down the slope to the base of the bluff face to continue downstream to look for Little Tunnel Bluff and Tunnel Bluff Arch. It was an easy five minute walk for me to a break in the bluff that angled back into the hillside to the final two caves. Little trance was six foot up on a shelf on the left side of the ravine. Hopping up into the crawl I was surprised to find that instead of the sticky red clay I was crawling in sticky gray clay. This thirty foot crawl had three pretty active flowstone mounds before it pinched down. The only signs of fauna were some bat bones, raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) scat, and terrestrial snail shells. Twenty feet over on the bluff from this cave is another four by four foot entrance that would require climbing skills or vertical equipment to drop into. On the right of the ravine was our final destination, Tunnel Bluff Arch. This natural bridge was twenty foot in diameter and twenty foot in length with a very steep floor that drops fifteen feet to the bottom of the bluff. Uphill is a small cave with a twenty foot bellycrawl that contained Eastern woodrat scat and middens. Our Tunnel Bluff experience took four hours of field work and will require about the same time in post trip analysis. What a fantastic way to spend a birthday. Round Spring Cave Shannon County, Missouri January 15, 2014 By Mark Jones After a big day caving Jim Cooley, Ken Grush and I decided to set a more relaxed pace by doing lock maintenance and hiking some ridges in search of an elusive cave and perhaps discover a new cave. First we drove to Round Spring Cave (SHN002) to service the lock. Ken stayed in the truck while Jim and I walked the short distance up the trail across the creek and up the stairs to the entrance. The natural entrance is a tight watercrawl that was bypassed decades ago by blasting a commercial route higher up on the bluff. The commercial entrance is a six foot wide and ten foot high and runs thirty feet to join with the cave. erated as a show cave until brought under the umbrella of Ozark National Scenic Riverways. A bat friendly gate is located ten feet inside the dripline to protect the numerous bats that call the cave home throughout the year. The formations and various passages beyond the entrance would be interesting to see whether on or off the tour route. Our next appointment was with Mose Prater Cave (SHN083) north of Round Spring. With rock solid GPS waypoints we drove to within a hundred feet of the entrance. The twelve foot diameter sinkhole entrance was surprising located near the top of a ridge with very little indication in the topography that a cave lies below. A well designed gate protected this cave from unwanted visitors. surrounds the seventy foot pit drop. This type of bat gate differs the barrier is far from the mouth of the cave. vice the lock and we were on our way to our third objective Mud Crawl Cave. Mud Crawl Cave aka Pyatt Cave (SHN192) has defied cavers since the Little is known of the cave and what is known is confusing. We had conflicting legal land descriptions and latitude/longitude location which varied widely in very hilly terrain. Our goal was to locate and survey this lost cave. We figured the best chance of finding this cave would be in winter when the forest is naked. For this mission Jim dropped down low to search in the valley bottom, Ken would walk a hundred feet up the hillside and I would cut across the top of the ridge. Connected via two way radios we could efficiently communicate if questions arose. Unfortunately we spent the


15 next two hours in vain looking for any signs of a cave. A couple of rock outcroppings, some small springs and a few shallow depressions were all we could find. In spite of our disappointment we figured that we know Maybe on the next trip we can crack this case. Barkdull Cave Shannon County, Missouri January 16, 2014 By Mark Jones We stopped at Big Spring to monitor Barkdull Cave CTR013) and Shelter (CTR067). This time Jim Cooley supervised from the truck while Ken Grush and I hiked across a slough and up a bluff face to look for these two caves. While Ken climbed up to a likely spot at the bottom of the bluff I followed a trail to a patch of canebrake and started uphill alongside of a small stream. Eighty feet above the creek I reached the base of the bluff and the entrance to Barkdull Cave. The mouth of the cave at its peak was only five feet high but it was over thirty feet wide. The other distinguishing feature was the huge wall to wall pool behind the enslogging through water but after Ken convinced me to start poking around I found myself stoopwalking in the eighteen inch pool. A four by twelve foot dome with long dead formations was along the left wall. On the right was water flowing over a beautiful chocolate rimstone dam. Peering beyond the rimstone dam I could see that the passage appears to split and continue into the bluff and to the right. To investigate would take more time than we had allotted for the trip. Three larval salamanders, a slug and raccoon tracks were noted in the first room. Following our successful monitoring of Barkdull Cave we attempted to find Barkdull Shelter with a GPS waypoint. Alas we ridgewalked half an hour to the left without success. Returning to the cave Ken went right and soon found the shelter. Since I was down at the trail Ken completed the survey of the shelter on his own. According to him its biggest draw would be the Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) scat and midden. (In other words much going on.) We finished by dark and back to the Powder Mill Research Center by 6:00 p.m. to clean gear and visit with Scott House who was moving in to work for the next week. Panther Spring Cave Shannon County, Missouri January 16, 2014 By Mark Jones For our final day in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways Jim Cooley, Ken Grush and I headed south of Big Spring to Panther Spring Cave (CTR037) to monitor bat usage. We put on our wetsuits to negate the cold water we anticipated in the cave. It was only a short hike down a trail along the Current River to the mouth of Panther Spring Cave. A four foot wide stream flowed out of a twenty foot wide by eight foot high entrance to dump into the Current River. The left side of the cave was partially filled with a mudbank for the first hundred feet while the right side was an angular cobble floor with the flowing stream. It was an easy walk for the first several hundred feet that gradually became a stoopwalk that became a roomy hands and knees crawl. After another hundred feet the passage split with the mainstream heading off to the right up a narrowing crawlway while a roomier smaller infeeder angled to the left. We were interested in the left branch so we crawled in that direction. The passage changed from a clean rocky cobble to a sandy/muddy crawl with a mud ledge on the right. Jim led us through a constriction that dropped us to a bellycrawl that quickly opened back up. Numerous flowstone formations were seen along the crawl, many being redissolved by the constant water action. Several draperies near the ceiling had shark teeth edges while others near floor


16 were being peeled away bit by bit. The most impressive demineralithe ceiling. A large guano pile on the right bank of the watercrawl indicated that this was a popular site for clustering bats. It was amazing that the ceiling height was a mere four feet above the water at this point. Continuing upstream for another fifty feet brought us to a mudbank that stretched twenty feet to the right. Climbing up the mudbank revealed a large room with a high ceiling chockfull of formations. Like the formations in the crawlway many of these were being reclaimed by demineralization. I climbed up to a balcony that covered half of the room. Obviously this is a popular site with the canoeists as there were several mud sculptures along the right wall. Our information was that there was a second guano pile in this area, but with the recent flooding it was impossible to accurately determine the bat usage. Sweeping around to the left of the room brought us back to the stream that seems to trickle from a five foot spring. A crawlway went for another twenty feet beyond this point before it closed down. Satisfied with our results we retraced our route back to the entrance. Once at the river we exploited it to do a preliminary washing of our gear. During our adventure we discovered a pickerel frog ( Rana palustris ), numerous darters (small fish) and seven pipistrelles or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ). Total cave time was ninety minutes. Big Mouth Cave Oregon County, Missouri January 17, 2014 By Mark Jones For our seventh day of caving Jim Cooley, Ken Grush and I switched gears and headed to Oregon County to begin inventorying Big Mouth Cave (ORE002) along with numerous minor caves in the area. Since the Eleven Point River was still running high we began by scouting along the left bluff for Bobcat Shelter. With the leaf off we had no trouble finding the thirty foot wide by four foot high entrance thirty feet above the river. The cave consists of one room that was defined by bedrock walls with a secondary crawlway entrance. The red dirt floor was littered with Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) scat and middens. Once finished with our preliminary inspection we returned to the X Terra to plan our afternoon. Although finding the cave was easy the survey of it would prove to be much harder and since it would require only two people I was nominated to reconnoiter the half mile to Big Mouth Cave. I set off with GPS in hand on the lower bluff to ridgewalk as I hiked downstream with plans to climb higher up on the bluff on the return trip. A steep slope made for slow going, but with all of the rock outcroppings to check time seemed to pass quickly. The ridge ran for a quarter mile before dropping down to the floodplain for the remaining quarter mile. For the last two hundred yards I walked on the fifty foot wide rock outwash from past floods. Happily the stream was the shallowest near the cave entrance so I was able to wade across in good shape. Big Mouth Cave, it is B I G! At forty feet in height and width it is hard to miss in the rocky bluff. The passage retains these dimensions for two hundred feet before tapering down a bit. Just inside the cave a two foot deep pool spans from wall to wall for the next hundred and fifty feet. Thankfully there was an old aluminum boat left for such an occasion and I used it to my advantage. ground and this was a very idyllic trip albeit it short. Beaching the boat on a sandbar I hopped out and wandered upstream another hundred feet to get a feel for our upcoming survey. It was near the beach that I


17 saw six big brown bats ( Eptesicus fuscus ) and an equal number of pipistrelle or tri colored bat ( Perimyotis subflavus ). It appears that these bats really prefer cold caves for their hibernating sites. When I tried to launch my craft from the beach I swamped it resulting in me getting needlessly wet. ger than a one man kayak. Regaining my dignity I paddled to the entrance where I prepped the boat for tomorThis cave has potential to break out beyond the known crawl and we are excited to be involved in its survey. For the next half hour I ridgewalked the bluffs down the Eleven Point to other known small caves. While crossing a hollow I glanced to the right and found a fourteen foot wide by three foot high shelter that trended back twenty feet to pinch down in an animal run. I followed the GPS down the river to the next waypoint past numerous bluff breaks that demanded that I detour to investigate. No new discoveries were noted before I reached the two known two small caves along the river. I was unable to verify the last cave downstream since ice covered most of the bluff making it unsafe to proceed. Satisfied with the recon I returned upstream at different bluff levels to make the most of the scouting trip. Along the way I was taunted by endless bluff outcroppings that failed to produce any caves until I was nearly back to the survey team. A fractured bluff line yielded the first cave which was a two by three foot passage extended fifteen feet before pinching down. The second and much more interesting find was a slanting thirty foot slab of rock near the surface that covered a ten foot crawl that led to a low balcony. This cave may need to be mapped before the slab slides down the bluff to the river below. Scanning a hundred yards ahead I noticed Ken doing his own reconnoitering of the bluff with even better results. Ken discovered a respectable ten foot wide by four foot high opening that continued twenty feet in a rocky crawl to a flowstone pinch with a heinous thirteen foot bellycrawl behind it. We rejoined Jim at the vehicle where he showed me the sketch and notes for Bobcat Tunnel Shelter. The first survey of this project resulted in 92 feet in one small cave; we anticipate racking up much more footage from the other caves on the property. Panther Spring Caves Oregon County, Missouri January 18, 2014 By Mark Jones The team of Cooley Grush Jones returned to Panther Spring Ranch to add to our preliminary survey of the 17 th This time we revisited Bobcat Tunnel Shelter for some mop up work discovery from yesterday. This time I actually completed a door to door in Bobcat Tunnel Cave via the short hands and knees crawlway connecting the two entrances. On this trip I also noticed a row of six very dry columns at the back of the main room. Ten minutes later we were hikfind. Bobcat Tunnel Annex Cave is located just up the hill at the base of a rocky outcropping that can be seen from the river bottom. For this survey Jim Cooley served as supervisor, Ken Grush read foresights and I took book and read backsights. A large rock ceiling ledge extended the dripwalls. The cave starts with an easy hands and knees crawl and quickly narrows at a dead flowstone choke to allow only the smallest of bodies to pass in a twelve inch high crawlway. It took two shots to complete the survey of forty feet. It was surprising that a cave this size had a stand up dome room, dead stalactites and popcorn. When we finished on the bluff Ken shuttled us across the Eleven Point River in his X Terra for a half mile


18 to another crossing that was too sketchy for his vehicle. After gearing up we waded through the water and walked another quarter mile along the river before making our final crossing just upstream from Big Mouth Cave. Dropping our backpacks we broke out the survey gear to begin the quest of mapping another potentially significant Missouri cave. Jim was sketching and taking book, Ken was reading foresights and taking photographs and I was on point and reading backsights. Since it is located so close to the river, we tied in the Eleven Point and drew an extended profile of the bluff face. The dripline survey revealed that the mouth of the cave is forty two feet wide by thirty five feet high! It took Jim over an hour just to capture the essence of the entrance. While he was buried in his sketching Ken photographed the entrance area and I poked into several high crawlways just inside the dripline. I did find a thirty foot crawl in the uppermost hole but the other leads quickly petered out. The first station inside the cave was on a large rubble block forty feet from the dripline. For the first eighty feet the passage remains similar dimensions to the entrance. Rocky breakdown covered the center while the edges had dry red dirt. When the cave floods the water runs out the middle amongst the rocks down to the river. Vugs of all varieties peppered the walls and ceiling. Between the second and third stations was a four inch drain that emptied the entire output from upstream. A shallow pool gradually dropped to two feet deep for the next 150 feet. Searching through the shallow pool Ken began picking up rocks that were encrusted in aragonite which evidently is an excellent home for cave adapted aquatic isopods ( Caecidotea sp.). tle guys are a great indicator species for the health of the cave. This cave must be in excellent condition like every rock had an isopod resident. In the deeper water we found grotto salamanders ( Eurycea spelaus ) along with larval salamanders. While Jim was sketching this area Ken and I hopped on the Good Ship Lollipop (a slightly used aluminum boat) to explore beyond the pond. This stretch of passage retains the same characteristics as the front of the cave, just with water two foot deep. actment of the H.M.S. Titanic I safely ferried Ken to a sandbar about 120 feet away. We beached the dinghy under a rock bridge that spanned the twenty foot width. From here on in the ceiling and walls were dotted with bats of many kinds big brown bats ( Eptesicus fuscus ), pipistrelle or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ) gray bats ( Myotis grisescens ), and other Myotis species. It was exciting to see so many different bats occupying the same cave. Along with the bats was the resultant guano, we saw two large pile as well as a dusting of guano throughout the next two hundred feet of passage. We called it a day after five hours of surveying at Big Mouth Cave with plans to return tomorrow to push deeper into this fascinating rediscovery. Big Mouth Cave Oregon County, Missouri January 19, 2014 By Mark Jones With the successful opening of the Big Mouth Cave (ORE002) survey on Saturday Cooley, Grush & Jones Inc. returned with our sights set high. Just eighty feet of survey inside the cave from yesterday we were ready to rack up much more footage in the next several shots. Jim Cooley sketched and took book, Ken Grush read foresights and photographed and I reconnoitered and read backsights. The first survey garnered nearly a hundred feet through a majority of the two foot deep pool. Jim stood on the shore as I artfully captained the H.M.S. Pinafore while Ken took L R U Ds (Left Right Up Down)


19 every ten feet for Jim to incorporate in the sketch. Our next station took us sixty feet past the sandy beach under the natural bridge. Past the bridge the passage narrowed down to twenty feet in width and fourteen feet in height with several narrow ledges from floor to ceiling. Midway up the wall was a twelve inch thick layer of stromatolites that continued for the next two hundred feet. The ceiling in our survey was dotted with shallow domes ranging from six to twenty feet in diameter while the floor was littered with breakdown rocks in clay banks in the stream. The last station deviated from this norm where several large breakdown blocks filled the passage. I took over the sketching for the last two stations while Jim moved up to a supervisory position. We set six stations in comfy walking passage for a total of nearly three hundred feet before knocking off for the day. Once again we found several bat species [ big brown bats ( Eptesicus fuscus ), pipistrelle or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ) gray bats ( Myotis grisescens ), and other Myotis species.] in this area hanging out alone and in small clusters. In addition aquatic amphipods ( Crangonyx forbesi ) and aquatic isopods ( Caecidotea sp.) were observed clinging to rocks submerged in the water. The bat guano provides the energy for these little guys to thrive. Also in the meandering stream we counted six grotto salamanders ( Eurycea spelaus ) and eight pickerel frogs ( Rana palustris ) dining on the aforementioned isopods and amphipods. I am intrigued by the fact that all these creatures have adapted to the high nitrate levels from the guano droppings. January 20, 2014 Ken Grush needed to get back to St. Louis so it was just Jim Cooley and I for the final day of survey in Big Mouth Cave (ORE002). An advantage of our multiple day surveying is that we were able to quickly answer questions and correct mistakes made while sketching the past two days. We addressed each issue as we ventured ping. Reaching station A9 we broke out the survey gear to inventory the next section of cave with Jim setting stations and reading backsights and me keeping book, sketching and reading foresights. A majority of this survey included piles as well as some interesting passage morphing. Starting in the boxy stream passage we surveyed past two large guano piles toward a roaring waterfall. A n eighteen inch high waterfall dropped into a three foot deep pool before disappearing under a rock ledge. A breakdown wall splits the cave into a high walking passage on the left and a lower watercrawl on the right that eventually rejoin upstream. Following the path of least resistance we surveyed to the left up a clay slope to a wide balcony with a five foot ceiling. survey on another trip. A wide low window on the right revealed the stream trending alongside for the next two hundred feet. A series of low wide domes was the order of the day for the remainder of the survey. This type of passage provides the kind of roosting environment that clustering bats find irresistible as was evident with the numerous guano piles. The rocky stream eventually tied back into the clay balcony resulting in a split level passage that soon transforms into a roomy hands and knees crawl on a mudbank that paralleled the stream. With 250 feet of survey under our belt we set our final station where the cave becomes a low, rocky watercrawl. According to Jim an estimated thousand feet crawl continues beyond our endpoint with no end in sight. The survey will have to wait for the next push in the near future which is fine with me since this will require a wetsuit. A durable coverall may be necessary in this


20 rocky crawl to save ripping my neoprene wetsuit to shreds. A total of 660 feet of survey was coaxed out of Big Mouth Cave over the past three days with lots of potential remaining. The cave fauna observed on this trip included several bat species [ big brown bats ( Eptesicus fuscus ), pipistrelle or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ) gray bats ( Myotis grisescens ), and other Myotis species.] in the front of the cave, alone and in small clusters. Five grotto salamanders ( Eurycea spelaus ) and eight pickerel frogs ( Rana palustris ) populated the stream. I believe that the eight frogs were the same moved a hop since. Fogey Cave Ozark County, Missouri February 1, 2014 By Mark Jones For the second day at Cloud 9 Ranch Lee Krout, Shawn Williams and I donned our wetsuits to push the back of Fogey Cave (OZK012). Cliff Gill, who has not seen the cave, accompanied us on the trip until the watercrawl. Fogey Cave is one of the few remaining known caves on Cloud 9 for the upcoming publication of maps and photos. trip Shawn had scouted the watercrawl to a big room with several going leads. He was excited to be returning beyond the big room. In addition to the mapping we were going to continue with the 2014 cave fauna monitoring. After parking on the top of the hill we hiked a quarter mile along a four wheeler trail to the nose of a ridge that angled down a hundred feet to the cave entrance. We clocked in at 10:00 a.m. The oval opening steeply angles fifty feet down a rock slope to a big breakdown room. Huge blocks are scattered throughout the back of the room with a trail leading off to the left where a gap in the breakdown drops twenty feet to stream level. this cave the water level has been a very consistent six inches and it continued with that depth this time. Our destination was the last of the SP (Stream Passage) stations, number twenty seven. Compared to Cold Cave this was an easy hands and knees crawl for much of the next thousand feet interrupted with three big rooms along the way for a change of pace. We noted pipistrelles or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ) in all the rooms with a couple hanging out in the watercrawl. (Probably not the brightest bulbs in the batch.) Our bat counts for the cave were twenty nine in the Concretion Jungle Room, seven in the Chandelier Room and twenty two in the Isopod Room. I counted ten larva salamanders in the stream along with a grotto salamander ( Eurycea spelaus ) while Shawn spotted three dark sided salamanders ( Eurycea longicauda melanopleura ) along the mudbanks. Three pickerel frogs ( Rana palustris ) were also discovered on the crawl. The Isopod Room lived up to its name with several of these interesting cave adapted aquatic isopods ( Caecidotea sp.) inhabiting the stream. Sixty feet after the Isopod Room we reached SP27 to begin surveying the nether regions of the cave. Shawn was on point reading backsights; Lee read foresights and took photos while I was on book and sketching. SP27 is on a mudbank on the left at a sharp corner that changes from the familiar hands bellycrawl in a foot of water with a foot of airspace. A short eleven foot shot on a northerly heading took us under a ceiling ledge down to stream level to set up for a longer shot. out the passage so he had to set the next station at thirty eight feet in the middle of the bellycrawl. Another twenty five feet brought us to a sharp left turn in the bellycrawl that opened up a tad. SP31 was the a fantastic big breakdown room, At over fifty feet in


21 diameter it makes quite an impression after the watercrawl. The ceiling gradually rose up to twelve feet in the center with two balconies lining either side. The floor of the balconies were huge ceiling breakdown blocks that had settled and been coated in red clay. The right balcony was six foot above the stream and ran from a foot to five foot in height while the left balcony was at four feet above the stream and from two to ten feet in height. Both balconies extended forty feet along the stream. While the right balcony was devoid of formations the left balcony more than made up for it. A five foot high, cream colored flowstone formation stood out stalactites. Numerous helictites were scattered throughout the left balcony as well as some stubby six inch stalagmites. A shelf behind the flowstone harbored even more interesting and unusual formations. Shawn named The breakdown blocks in the stream were coated black in manganese. Several domes were evident throughout the room with indications of begin stromatolitic. While I was trying to capture the cided to scope out the possibilities of additional passage. He first attempted to follow the stream up a narrow, winding bellycrawl and was rewarded with an estimated two hundred feet before sumping. A high lead behind the creamy flowstone reaches a choke that might yield a few feet, a low lead in the same area drops down to stream level before tightening down. An even lower squeeze under the creamy flowstone might produce some foolish) cavers to investigate. Finally a rocky pinch lead off of the right balcony may have the greatest potential. Whether any of these leads pan out this room remains a centerpiece to a top notch cave. We finished in the stream at the Rabbit Ears with SP33 while our last shot was into the upper reaches of the right balcony. The SP survey yielded 164 feet plus the 39 feet in the upper balcony gave us a total of 203 feet of new survey. Lee inventoried the bats in this room and tallied forty pipistrelles or tri colored bats. It never ceases to amaze me where these little guys will fly to find a spot to hibernate. The total bat count was 108. More isopods were also found in the stream in this section of the cave. We enjoyed a moderate pace for the trip out, breaking onto the surface at 5:00 p.m. Back at the trailer while perusing the sketch Lee noted that the end feet from where our survey started! Rocky Crawl Cave Ozark County, Missouri February 2, 2014 By Mark Jones Lee Krout and I decided to inventory Rocky Crawl Cave (OZK098) to finish off the known small caves on Cloud 9 Ranch. Joe Williams discovered this little cave in December of 2011 and reported that it was forty feet in length. Just up the bluff from Allen Cave (OZK085) it was always pushed to the back of the caves to do list. With Super Bowl pre game set to kick off at noon we wanted to avoid as much of the hype as possible so we hit the road at 10:30 a.m. A light snow gradually increased to a moderthe twenty minutes to the GPS location. down off the ridge top rather than attempt a climb directly up the hill was a good call. Sliding down a steep slope brought us to a rock outcropping that hid Rock Crawl Cave. Ducking under the overhang I was able to setup the sketchbook without interference from the snow. For this survey Lee read foresights and shot photographs while I was reading backsights, taking book and sketching. Our first task was to survey outside the entrance for the external profile. Although the numbers show the mouth at eighteen feet wide by six


22 feet high, the actual dimensions of the passage were more like four feet by four feet. measurements I crawled into the cave to set the next station. The moniker suits this cave very well since there were rocks throughout its entire length. Using a conveniently located north. One more shot of seventeen feet was all it took to finish the with both arms less than four inches high. The total surveyed length was 41 feet; Joe Williams 2011 estimate was very accurate. Cave fauna noted in Rocky Crawl were numerous flies ( diptera ) and signs of Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ), namely scat and middens. Evidently the woodrats like to spruce up their nests with festive green conifer branches. Our final objective for the day was to determine the distance and angle from the cave to Spring Creek. Lee bushwhacked down the 30 degree slope in four inches of snow as I followed reading the inclinometer. It took us six shots fighting briars, canebrake and trees for a total of 280 feet to reach a boulder in the creek. It required ninety minutes to complete the survey of this cave, unfortunately with plenty of time to catch the Super Bowl. Slaughter Canyon Cave Carlsbad Cavern National Park Eddy County, New Mexico February 9, 2014 By Mark Jones Weeks of bitter cold weather in the Midwest convinced me that Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico would be a good remedy for the winter blahs. I arrived Saturday afternoon, unloaded gear and waited for the rest of the crew to show. Elizabeth Miller, Ed Klausner, Jeanette Muller and Chris Beck were already in Carlsbad Cavern doing Lower Cave survey with plans to exit the cave after dark. Karen Willmes and Dave West were flying into El til 9:00 p.m. Once everyone was assembled we discussed the trip possibilities for Sunday before retiring for the evening. Sunday I joined Karen and Dave in continuing the Slaughter Canyon Cave survey south of Carlsbad Caverns. The half mile hike up to the cave was made even more enjoyable with the temperatures in the fifties. Dave had a long list of questions to address so we started at the entrance and worked our way back. Starting with the Tom Tucker Room, first passage on the left, Dave finished inventorying the guano covering the floor before searching for high lead potentials. In a room two hundred feet long, a hundred feet wide and sixty feet in height there were a lot of possibilities. The first intriguing lead was twenty feet up the wall. An opening thirty feet wide by six foot high demanded at least a closer look. Our task today was to determine if an extension ladder would suffice or if bolting would be required. the ladder would be the best alternative in this situation. Working our way around the room we noted other high leads and their location. At the south end of the Tom Tucker and each continued another two hundred feet. The easterly passage ended abruptly at a flowstone formation that completely blocked further exploration. The westerly branch pinched down to a narrowing canyon before a climb up and over a long dead flowstone mound. (F.Y.I. 99% of the formations in Slaughter Canyon Cave are long dead due to the lack of moisture.) Beyond this point the canyon continues with several high leads that might be accessible via bolting. Returning to the trunk passage we crossed over to the right to get a running profile of the North Entrance Passage. Much smaller than the Tom Tucker Room, this two hundred foot passage possessed more active formathe Mushroom Passage. At the end of this finger a gated three foot cul-


23 vert poked out of the ceiling ten foot overhead. I was unaware that this alternative entrance even existed. It does not appear that this entrance has been utilized in many years. While Dave sketched Karen led ing between several totem pole formations to a steep flowstone mound that dropped behind the Mushroom Formation. We then finished a cross section of the main passage from the sage. Our next objective was to get a cross second left hand passage. Dave and I climbed up a steep narrow slot on the right to an upper balcony and Karen remained to set a floor level station on the left. The balcony was thirty feet above the floor and trended to the west for forty feet in an easy stoopwalk before terminating at a hard stop. I was impressed with the quality and quantity of the helictites found in this seldom visited section of the cave. An interesting side note was that from this vantage point I could shine my light across the wall and Karen could confirm that the first high lead in Tom Tucker Room was connected. turn to this area at a later date to complete the sketch to be included in the final map. Karen had reconnoitered a side passage on the left further down the that was our next item on the list. Although only three foot high the width of the passage was thirty feet. The most impressive aspect of this survey was the amount of popcorn and number of helictites and columns throughout the survey. In fact there was even popcorn on the floor. Additionally we discovered a jawbone of a herbivore in this area. We christened this area the Helictite Room. This was my favorite area of the day. Four hundred feet into the stone choke with an upper level squeeze on the right that split to the lower Pool Room and a high lead. Dave finished a sketch of the upper passage while Karen and I dropped down to the Pool Room. At two feet deep, eight foot wide and twenty feet long this was a beautiful spot to finish. We answered several of another twenty left to do. Total cave time was seven hours. Carlsbad Caverns Carlsbad Cavern National Park Eddy County, New Mexico February 10, 2014 By Mark Jones For my second day of caving at Carlsbad Cavern I accompanied Chris Beck, Ed Klausner and Shawn Thomas in pursuing some elusive stations in the Talcum Passage. The Talcum Passage is an upper level four hundred directly across from the Jumping Off Place on the southwestern edge of the Big Room loop. To access the Talcum Passage we needed to drop down via the ladder used for the Lower Cave ranger led tour. Once down the ladder we followed the flagged trail past The Rockery to under the Jumping Off Place continued to the Colonel Boles Formation past Nicholson Pit to a climb forty feet up through boneyard. (Boneyard is found throughout Carlsbad Caverns and is mazy, 3 D Swiss cheese passage that can be very confusing.) The route we took was well worn allowing us to easily reach The climb past the borehole required us to traverse a hundred feet on rope up a sketchy slope using a rebelay boneyard which makes for an interesting scalloped floor. Before going to the Talcum Passage we took a detour to an overlook of the Mystery Room. From this vantage point we ferent route. clipped into a twenty foot rope to traverse another exposed climbed to an upper level boneyard. We pushed a hundred feet through this convoluted crawl squeezing past a small perched


24 pool before reaching a stoopwalk to the Talcum Passage. To say that the Talcum Passage is impressive would be an understatement! Borehole fifty feet high, forty feet wide that runs four hundred feet is always impressive, but add the giant gypsum blocks, thick rock flour floor and deep pits and Chris encouraged us to stay on the trail since the powdery floor would collapse under our weight. The path through the rock flour was compressed sixteen inches below the rest of the room. Traveling toward Jumping Off Place we soon were scooting around several ominous pits. Soon we were surrounded by huge gypsum breakdown blocks, some the size a two car garillenkarren (holes in gypsum) drilled into these blocks by dripping water action. Since gypsum is so soft the rillenkarrens can be bored straight through these enormous blocks. Some of the gypsum breakdown was riddled with these holes to a point where they simple collapsed into a pile of sand. Four hundred feet into the Talcum Passage we arrived at a high balcony over Lower Cave. Surprisingly we found a bank of four foot florescent lights at this spot! Although not functional these lights once lit up the cave for visitors at the Jumping Off Place. Chris was able to see flagging tape marking a station directly below us forty feet. Ed broke out his sketching equipment to draw this amazing passage as we retraced our way back. On the rebound Shawn chimneyed down a forty foot pit (that was actually fifty feet) to an isolated balcony in middle Talcum Passage. up some resketching in the north end that included a sidepassage crawl with a beautiful ten inch dogtooth spar. Another find in the borehole was a large patch of brownish spitzkarren. Spitzkarren are clusters of pencil sized columns of gypsum that are formed when insoluble rocks sits on top of gypsum and prevents the water from dissolving the underlying gypsum. With the work completed on this level we returned to the Lower Cave trail and then climbed up to the Stegosaur formation (NOT a real dinosaur!) to search for a lead to more of middle Talcum Passage. Shawn volunteered to climb thirty feet up a rope to investigate the options at this location. Unfortunately he wastion in middle Talcum Passage. Another route will have to be used to achieve a breakthrough in this area. Plenty of time remained for us to continue working in Lower Cave so we hiked the big loop trail to flesh out more of the LC survey. Ed took book while the rest of us set stations, pulled tape and read compass and inclinometer. About ten stations were set in this boneyard area to tie in the interweaving passage. Total cave time was eight hours. Slaughter Canyon Cave Carlsbad Cavern National Park Eddy County, New Mexico February 11, 2014 By Mark Jones Jeanette Muller, Dave West and I hiked up to Slaughter Canyon Cave for a third day of Slaughter Canyon Cave surveying. The icy conditions that greeted us in the morning delayed our departure by an hour but once on the trail we had no problem reaching the cave gate. Today Dave wanted to finand sketch some more running profiles. vey gear with Dave on book, Jeanette on foresights and me on backsights and setting stations. The first survey was along the west wall in a sloping balcony with a thirty foot deep alcove. The average height of the balcony ranged from two to five feet although there were a couple of domes that stretched up to fifteen feet. Tying into an existing station we shot into the alcove room with our


25 first shots. The floor was covered in dry, dusty clay and desiccated flowstone, the ceiling was coated with short, dry soda straws and tiny helictites and the walls plastered in dull, dry flowstone and dark popcorn. An occasional bat bone or seed hull were scattered along the floor. Continuing along the balcony we racked up a hundred feet to a flowstone choke and a hard stop. Again this passage had dry and dusty formations with a few pretty ones thrown in here and there. With the balcony completed we dropped to a floor cut directly beneath it that needed to be sketched. tance for this task, I took Jeanette across the passage to the Helictite Room where she extensively photographed the namesakes. Two days earlier Karen Willmes, Dave and I had camera. Jeanette should have some beautiful pictures to represent this passage. Next we visited the Pool Room at the add this sketch to his map. After squirming past an inactive flowstone choke we dropped ten feet down to a crawl squeeze before angling another We complete the sketch because of surveying limitations, but hopefully knock this off the list. Returning to the main trunk passage we crossed over to the Mushroom Passage to tie in a lower crawlway behind the Mushroom Formation as well as finish the extended profile. The Mushroom Formation is one of the signature formations in the cave and I was excited to not only see it again, but to slide around behind it. Waiting on the other side was an extensive rimstone dam complex and numerous flowstone formations that few people have the opportunity to see. While Dave was drawing the map Jeanette and I were afforded the time to enjoy the grotto. As we were leaving the Mushroom Passage Dave glanced down a mudslope to some large breakdown blocks and noticed a hole. Upon investigation we discovered yet another crawlway to survey. keeps growing with every trip! Our next stop was a small arm of the Subterranean Disaster Passage where Dave drew a profile sketch and some cross sections. Since this was a take long for him to map. Probably the most significant find was an old Mason jar hidden behind a stalagmite. Most likely this was left by a miner or explorer decades earlier. To cap off our day we took readings for an extended profile from the Subterranean Disaster Passage on the south through the Hercules Formation in the main trunk passage and up into the adjoining balcony to the north. The interesting feature of this balcony is that it is a high connection across three parallel passages. An eight foot wide gallery encircles most of the Pictograph Room thirty feet below. We also found a twenty foot deep pit at the back of the Pictograph Room that did not tie into any known survey. A more thorough investigation using vertical gear will be necessary to determine just where this is going. Remnants of wiring from the guano mining era were strewn over the balcony floor. As Dave was finishing his work for the day Jeanette photographed numerous helictite formations and I poked around for more leads. Eight hour after entering the cave we left with more questions than we answered. Carlsbad Caverns Carlsbad Cavern National Park Eddy County, New Mexico February 12, 2014 By Mark Jones Ed Klausner, Elizabeth Miller, Karen Willmes and I teamed up to tackle a nagging issue that has stymied three previous trips. According to park records near the Top of the Cross seating area in the Big Room there was a pit lead with a small pinch that opened up to big cave that needed to


26 be pushed. Other trips had been aborted for a variety of reasons, but Ed was sure that we could find an answer today. Everyone packed vertical gear along with their regular cave pack and survey instruments. The plan was to stow the vertical gear by the pit until the cave trail was closed to visitors and drop it in the late afternoon. dropped down to Lower Cave to advance the LD survey in the big loop. For this survey Ed sketched and took book, Karen read backsights, Elizabeth took inventory and I read foresights. In addition we pushed any leads, known or unknown, in the boneyard. Even though the term boneyard refers to 3 D mazy rock passages on this trip it would also include the remains of hundreds of bats. Theories about why they died here included a sudden gas poisoning, a disease die off, a bat graveyard or a combination therein. What is known is that all the bats did not die at the same time. We spent three hours in this comfortable, dry, dusty passage before taking a break in the Lunchroom. When the rangers made their final sweep of the trail we rigged the rope at the first of two drops just ten feet from the Top of the Cross seating area. Ed went first to pad the rope and prepare the landing site followed by Elizabeth, Karen and myself. A steep slope funneled down to an eight foot diameter hole that dropped fifty feet to a fifteen foot dirt slope. The fluted walls of the hole increased the enjoyment level while on rope. At the base of the slope we crawled forty feet up a comfy canyon to the second rigging point. This drop was more challenging to position and pad the rope since there was less room and more angular rocks. Anticipating this problem Ed had brought along enough padding to insure the safety of the drop. This thirty three foot rappel was also had fluted walls down to the bottom of a canyon intersection. The last ten feet of wall was coated in a gypsum and popcorn. We removed the vertical gear at this spot and continued with just our regular cave packs. Historical graffiti on the wall indicated that J.W. (Jim White was one of the original Carlsbad Cavern explorer.) along with others iniA rocky wall required a ten foot climb up through a window and back down into a large room. From this point on breakdown ranging from gravel to boulders was found all along the way. Again we found the room. This room had a thirty foot ceiling consisting of huge breakdown rocks with a sandy floor. Climbing up to a crawlway we continued forty feet cave notes. For this survey Ed remained on keeping book, Karen reconnoitered and was on backsights, Elizabeth took inventory and I read foresights. Karen easily maneuvered through a breakdown maze with me closely following. Unfortunately the first five stations were short frustrating shots of less than ten feet that took more time than the rest of the survey. Our sixth shot was the breakout we were looking for, over fifty feet in length and width with a boulder ceiling. All it took was a squeeze through an eight foot triangular crawl to reach this big room. long to spot a H U G E boulder mysteriously suspended twenty feet above our station. Scanning the ceiling we saw even more boulders wedged overhead and an undefined ceiling. By the time Ed joined us Karen was pushing a crawl to an even bigger room! Trying to focus on the task at hand we took two more shots to finish the first find. We found several stations from an unrecorded survey that will now be included in the new map of the cave. While Ed completed the sketching Karen and I began poking around the massive breakdown in the second room looking for a going lead. Even my ness overhead to see the ceiling over


27 two hundred feet above! believe that we were still under The Big Room and anticipated a breakout to the southeast. I kept climbing up amongst the breakdown but ran into roadblocks at every turn. I just to the unknown cave beckoning on the other side. After exhausting the most promising leads I retreated back to the lower level where Ed and Elizabeth awaited. Evidently Karen had pushed her lead to much better results as she soon was calling to us that she had broke through to B I G cave. Unfortunately the B I G cave Room and not some missing section of Carlsbad Caverns. Karen was pretty sure she was headed to the Big Room when she discovered a cent and then some discarded wiring. The good news was that we had another solid tie in linking the Big Room and Middle Earth between Jumping Off Place and Top of the Cross near the rope up to Spirit World. With all of our gear at the bottom of the second rope drop we had to retrace our steps and then climb back out to the seating area where we began this journey. When we return to down the breakdown rubble rather than rig ropes to reach our survey. Another five hundred feet of survey should be added to Carlsbad Caverns with the addition of this rediscovered passage. Ozark National Scenic Riverways Shannon County, Missouri February 15, 2014 By Mark Jones Arriving at Powder Mill Research Center on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. I found Jim Cooley, Spike Crews, Ken Grush and Scott House making preparaing. Anne and Paul Webb from the KCAG night. On Saturday morning we split into two groups, Anne, Paul and Ken (Team #1) were going to the southern part of the Riverways while Jim, Spike and I (Team #2) were going to the northwestern section on the Scott remained at the Powder Miller Research Center to work on reports and maps. The following is an overview of the twelve caves Team #2 monitored on this trip. Rymer (Rhymer) Cave #1 (SHN481) was along an easy trail up a rocky slope and behind an old building foundation. The ten foot wide by twelve foot high entrance is at the base of a bluff with a rocky floor. Two brick walls with doorways near the entrance allowed the cave to serve as cold storage at one time. This fifty foot cave is walking until the very back where there is a short climb to a flowstone choke. Signs of cave fauna included an eastern phoebe ( Sayornis phoebe ) nest, a big brown bat ( Eptesicus fuscus ), an unknown myotis species bat, camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) and flies ( diptera ). Rymer (Rhymer) Cave #2 (SHN482) was around the bluff face with an eight foot diameter entrance. Twenty feet into the cave a flowstone floor creates a twenty foot cavable upper crawl and a non cavable lower pinch. Signs of cave fauna included E astern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat, camel crickets and flies. Rymer (Rhymer) Cave #3 (SHN483) was along the same bluff line with a long dripline although the actual entrance was a crawl over breakdown blocks to a twenty foot diameter room with three foot ceilings. Signs of cave fauna included raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) scat, Eastern woodrat midden and scat, camel crickets flies. Rymer (Rhymer) Cave #4 (SHN639) was a rocky bellycrawl that soon required crawling sideways to continue, I declined to advance. Signs of cave fauna included flies. Rymer (Rhymer) Cave #5 (SHN642) had two knarly entrance crawls that we peeked into, but did not enter. There were no signs of cave fauna observed at this cave. Rymer (Rhymer) Spring Cave (SHNXXX) was a spring outlet at the creek


28 level below the Rymer (Rhymer) Cave Complex. A tight crawl around breakdown rocks did not entice me to brave the water to explore further. There were no signs of cave fauna observed at this cave. Short Column Cave (SHN641) was a relatively new cave in the Missouri cave database because of its location. With a thirty foot wide by six foot mouth it would seem to be an easy one to find, but it is located high on the hillside inset from the prevailing slope. Unless one was ridgewalking, this cave is hidden from view at the valley floor. The cave retains the shape of the entrance for sixty feet to the back wall. Signs of cave fauna included camel crickets and flies. Lower Meeting House Cave (SHNXXX) was a twelve foot wide by five foot high opening situated six feet up a bluff wall. Signs of cave fauna included bright red feathers (probably the remains from a predator kill.), camel crickets and flies. Middle Meeting House Cave (SHNXXX) was just around the bluff with rock stairs installed to climb up to the four foot diameter entrance eight foot up the wall. Once in the cave it was a short crawl twenty feet to a hard stop. There were no signs of cave fauna observed at this cave. Meeting House Cave (SHN064) is a well Fork River of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Sitting fifteen feet above the river with a thirty foot entrance it is hard to miss this cave when paddling a canoe. Much of the entrance area has been looted over the years resulting in the disturbance of the floor material. Along the right wall a balcony is perched ten feet above the floor. Breakdown blocks of all sizes were scattered for over a hundred feet inside the dripline, gradually pinching down from a thirty foot ceiling to four feet while retaining its thirty foot width. The passage continues another hundred feet in a hands and knees crawl before terminating at a hard stop. Signs of cave fauna included big brown bats, camel crickets and flies. Walled Cave (SHN487) was up a hollow behind Meeting House Cave in a rock outcropping with a low, wide dripline and a narrow bellycrawl entrance. Fortunately today there were icebars blocking our path, so we just peered through the ice barrier twelve feet to the back wall. There were no signs of cave fauna observed at this cave. Flat Rock Hollow Cave (SHN486) was found high in the bluff on the backside in the same ridge as Meeting House Cave and appears to trend toward it. Its twenty four foot wide by five foot high entrance is easily seen from the bottom of the hollow. The snow and ice covering the steep climb made for an interesting climb to the cave. The cave is basically two wide, low ceiling rooms connected with a dirt bellycrawl. Signs of cave fauna included Eastern woodrat middens and scat, camel crickets and flies. Rather than return down the icy slope I stayed up on the hill to ridgewalk on the way back to the truck. No signs of additional caves were found during this hike. This was a wonderful way to open up a week of caving in Missouri. Big Mouth Cave Oregon County, Missouri February 17, 2014 By Mark Jones A chilly Monday morning greeted the team of Jim Cooley, Ken Grush & Mark Jones but the cold was held at bay with a roaring bonfire and a hot breakfast prepared by Ken. Once all the gear was assembled we drove down the gravel road, crossed the dry river rock bed of the Eleven Points River and parked a quarter mile from the cave at the second river crossing. The water appears and disappears in the deep rocky riverbed all along this stretch of river. In front of the cave the water was two feet deep while just upstream was a dry crossing. Just inside the entrance of Big


29 Mouth Cave (ORE002) we stepped out of our warm clothes into our wetsuits before shoving off on the U.S.S. Minnow. Beaching our craft on a sandbar 150 feet later we set off upstream past several guano piles over a mudbank to station A14 on a ceiling ledge 660 feet from the entrance. Jim was on lead tape and read backsights, Ken read foresights and took photographs and I kept book and sketched. Unsure of upcoming passage we had anticipated a low wet crawl for much of the remaining survey. The first shot was indeed a hands and knees watercrawl in three inches of water over sharp, rocky cobble. The pockmarked ceiling and irregular breakdown indicated that we had found the stromatolite layer seen earlier in the cave. Surprisingly Jim was standing in a six foot high room for our next station. Much of the floor was coated in a layer of black manganese while the walls and ceiling tended to be brownish in color. Another short hands and knees crawl brought us to another room with a twelve foot crawl off to the left. Jim ventured down to discover a paleo bear bed wallowed out in the mud. Meanwhile Ken was making his own discoveries in the stream, only his were tinier. A quatic amphipods ( Crangonyx sp. ) and aquatic isopod ( Caecidotea sp. ) scurried amongst the rocks in the streambed feeding on even tinier organisms. At the end of the room the stream cut under the left wall so we opted to crawl over on the mudbank on the right, paralleling the water. Thirty feet later we rejoined the water in an easy stoopwalk. The very next station took us into the biggest room (so far) above the natural bridge. The sixteen foot wide, by forty five foot long by twenty foot high room was at a ninety degree angle to the right of the passage. Four large piles of guano reveal that this room also houses a large maternity colony with a goodly number of gray bats. Measurements taken show a total of 151 2 indicating a roosting number of 25,670! (151 2 x 172 bats/ft 2 ) Combined with the guano piles and estimates from downstream in the cave there are well over 100,000 bats hanging around during the summer at Big Mouth. The room abruptly ends at a steep mudslope with no signs of additional passage beyond. Back in the mainstream we surveyed up to another upper mudbank/lower water crawl. To better flesh out the map we surveyed the watercrawl a hundred feet to tie into the upper crawlway. Just past our last station another guano pile is awaiting docuWe ended the day at Station A23 with 490 feet of new cave, taking us to 1,150 feet of passage. (Over 1/5 of a mile) While we were glad we had wetsuits for the survey we were pleasantly surprised ing. The cave fauna observed on this trip included several bat species b ig brown bats ( Eptesicus fuscus ), pipistrelle or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ), gray bats ( Myotis grisescens ), and other Myotis species] alone and in small clusters. G rotto salamanders ( Eurycea spelaus ), larval salamanders and pickerel frogs ( Rana palustris ) populated the stream dining on the abundant amphipods and isopods. February 18, 2014 After a restful evening camping Jim Cooley, Ken Grush and I returned to Big Mouth Cave (ORE002) for a second day of surveying in this growing system. Our clammy wetsuits were stashed at the entrance area from the previous day since it was easier to suit up there than back at the campsite. Rowing our galleon to the far shore we disembarked for Station A9 to tie it the right hand watercrawl with the trunk passage. Jim was on lead tape and read backsights, Ken shot foresights and took photographs and I kept book and sketched. The first shot was into the wide rocky hands and knees crawl that was an ex-


30 tension of the main passage separated by a thin mud wall. The crawl wound around several hundred feet to tie back in above the guano piles at Station A12. The survey loop closed very nicely on the sketch and should prove to be very helpful when Jim draws up the map. Our next task was to forge ahead to Station A23 to delve deeper into this important gray bat maternity colony. From our last station yesterday we surveyed past yet another active guano pile into a mud crawl high on the right while the meandering stream cut under a low ceiling ledge on the left. Separated by only a thin mud wall the two passages rejoined at Station A25 when the crawlway dropped back to the stream. The combined width at this junction is over twenty feet although the height is a mere five feet. The longest shot of the day was from Station A25 to A26 when we racked up nearly eighty feet. Additionally we inventoried the most formations so far in the survey in this section. Stalactites, helictites, flowstone and draperies all seemed to appear out of nowhere to spice up this muddy watercrawl. For our final station we ducked under a two foot ceiling ledge to wallow in a shallow pool in a hand and knees crawl. According to Ken there was plenty of walking passage ahead for the next survey party to map. We concluded the trip with a total cave length over a quarter mile, with a lot of survey remaining. Side Spring Cave Oregon County, Missouri February 19, 2014 By Mark Jones For our last day at Panther Spring Ranch we went downstream from Big Mouth Cave to survey Side Spring Cave (ORETBA). With any luck we could knock this small cave off our to do list pretty quickly. Jim Cooley was on lead tape and reading backsights, Ken Grush read foresights and shot photos and I kept book. Located in a rock outcropping fifteen feet above the Eleven Point River this twenty foot wide by seven foot high opening sat just a few feet from Side Spring. The dripline was easily determined by the iciclegmites (icicles pointing up) lined up along the entrance. The passage began as a stoopwalk over a rocky floor with desiccated formations scattered on the ceiling. At the second station (A2) a bit of water trickled in and disappeared among the cobble. Working our way deeper into the cave the passage lost size and gained formations, mud and water. Seven stations took us to a spot where the stream cut under a low ceiling ledge on the right while a column choke up on a mudbank on the left required bellycrawling. Since we retreated to the entrance to tie in nearby Side Spring. This lead will be pushed on a later trip. We garnered 178 feet of passage in seven stations during this survey. Side Spring has a trickling stream issuing forth from a six foot wide by two foot high entrance. A rocky crawl of fifteen feet ends at a rimstone dam that prevented going any further. The sketch shows that not far from this point the water disappears at Station A2 in Side Spring Cave. Cave critters seen during this trip included a half dozen of both epigean crawfish and larval salamanders in the stream and three adult cave salamanders ( Eurycea lucifuga ) Camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) were scattered throughout the passage. Simpson Hole Cave and More Shannon County February 21, 2014 By Mark Jones Sunny skies and temperatures in the sixties convinced Jim Cooley and I to while Ken drove the truck down to the next access point. It was a beautiful day to be out on the river and with leaf off it was much easier to spot possible cave entrances along the


31 bluff. Navigating the river proved to be a straightforward canoe trip giving us plenty of time to enjoy ourselves. An hour into the float a bald eagle soared over to perch on a sycamore tree at the mouth of a cave, a sure sign we needed to stop. Indeed we had arrived at Simpson Hole Cave (SHN119), a five hundred foot cave that sits right on the river. The twenty foot wide by ten foot high mouth ballooned out a bit just inside the dripline and then narrowed to a short climb into another large room. Stalactites, soda straws, stalagmites and popcorn were found throughout the cave. Working clockwise around the edge of the room I counted forty pipistrelles or tri colored bats as well as numerous flies ( diptera ). Blue Lodge Cave (SHN325) Returning to the canoe we paddled a short distance to the Blue Spring access to meet up with Ken to monitor Blue Lodge Cave (SHN137). Jim kept an eye on the canoe while Ken and I hiked three hundred feet upstream past some downed trees to a small rock outcropping with a three foot diameter crawlway. A twelve foot hands and knees rocky crawl opened up slightly to a muddy stoopwalk with a tacky mud bellycrawl sidepassage. The main trunk of the cave widened to twenty feet while the ceiling rose to eight feet. The most interesting feature of the cave would have to be the stringy tree roots dangling from the flowstone and formations in the ceiling and walls. The mud got sloppier the further we went until fifty feet later we reached a terminal mud wall. Signs of cave fauna included raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) scat, Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat, a dozen pipistrelle or tri colored bats, dozens of camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ), some meta spiders, numerous flies and three slugs. Blue Spring Cave (SHN137) Paddling across from Blue Spring access is its namesake Blue Spring Cave (SHN137). At forty feet in diameter and right on the river this is an obvious draw during the summer canoeing season. Not to be confused with Blue Spring on the Current River, this Blue Spring is much smaller in a sheltered bluff with large breakdown Hospital Cave (SHN063) Fifty feet up the bluff from Blue Spring Cave is the lower entrance to Hospital Cave (SHN063). A short stoopwalk led to a thirty foot high canyon with a dry rimstone slope up tion. Turning left was a forty foot stoopwalk to the middle entrance balcony that overlooked the river. and continuing right resulted in a twenty foot high canyon passage that split where the right leg ended in a wall of breakdown while the left branch had a flowstone squeeze to a stoopwalk to the upper entrance. Nearly all of the formations in the cave appeared to be dry and inactive. Cave fauna observed in this cave were a pipistrelle or tri colored bat and surprisingly a pickerel frog ( Rana palustris ). Baptizing Hole Spring Cave (SHN379) Jim and I paddled downstream to the river access where Ken had drive to meet us. Once again Jim stayed with the canoe while Ken and I climbed up the rocky slope to the lower entrance to Baptizing Hole Spring Cave (SHN379). The four foot wide by six foot high entrance sloped down twenty feet to a six foot climb down to a gravelly streambed. A thirty foot canyon passage wound around for fifty feet to a four foot high waterfall that was easily climbed to a seven foot waterfall perched on a craggy balcony. The passage continued a hundred feet beyond the upper waterfall


32 although we declined to pursue it since we had more caves to monitor. Active cave formations included popcorn, stalactites, flowstone and helictites. Cave critters found included two big brown bats ( Eptesicus fuscus ), eight pipistrelles or tri colored bats, a dozen camel crickets, a couple meta spiders and numerous flies. Small Cave Between BSHC & BHC Following the bluffline back to the river took us past a small unnamed cave. A three foot diameter entrance led to a little room with some long dead formations being guarded by numerous flies. Baptizing Hole Cave (SHN286) The next cave we visited was Baptizing Hole Cave (SHN286) thirty foot up on a rocky bluff overlooking the This cave had a twenty foot square entrance that gradually sloped up two hundred feet to a terminal crawl. The formations in the cave included popcorn and stalactites which were few and far between and rather dull due to the dry conditions. We found an eastern phoebe ( Sayornis phoebe ) nest, two myotis species bats, Eastern woodrat middens and scat, two dozen camel crickets and numerous flies Nill Cave (SHN285) Our final cave to monitor on this float was to be Nill Cave (SHN285), a gated cave just downstream from Baptizing Hole Cave, but when Jim and I arrived we discovered that the lock was jammed due to the continual flooding. In spite of our best efthe lock. Denied the opportunity to monitor this cave Jim and I paddled down to the next access point where Ken awaited our arrival. It was another great day monitoring caves on the Ozark National Scenic Riverways for the team of Cooley, Grush & Jones. Texas County February 21, 2014 By Mark Jones After a day off from caving Jim Cooley, Ken Grush and I saddled up the truck with a canoe and loaded the truck with float and cave gear to monitor several caves along the upper floated the Ozark National Scenic Riverways I was excited to get on the water to monitor caves and enjoy the river. The first cave for the day was from an access point commonly used by canoers for putting in. The sixteen foot square entrance is quite obvious from several vantage points along the river. Ken and I paddled over to the river entrance to service the lock and photo document the gate condition before beginning our inventory. The flyover gate was installed twenty feet inside the dripline to protect the summer resident gray bat maternity colony. We beached on a mudbank that was blanketed in debris left from the constant rising and falling of the river. Inside the gate the mudbank rose up ten feet on the right to a large balcony room. At thirty feet wide, forty feet long and twenty feet high this was an unexpected delight with numerous speleothems covering much of the walls. We discovered five piles of guano in this first room which was a good omen for the rest of the cave. Continuing deeper we dropped back down to the mudbank at stream level to another big balcony room with three more guano piles. This room was also coated in fabulous speleothems that included a ten foot column, a six foot stalagmite, hundreds of soda straws and oodles of helictites. The main trunk continued on the left for another thirty feet before a terminal mud wall. One more guano pile was found in this area. Looking up I noticed the ceiling height at well over forty feet. This was a surprising jewel to


33 start the day. Cave critters seen included five pipistrelles or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ), two unknown Myotis bat species, a cave salamander ( Eurycea lucifuga ), a grotto salamander ( Eurycea spelaus ), three larval salamanders and five meta spiders ( Meta ovalis ). Signs of c ave fauna included 82 2 feet of guano from the active locations, which translates to nearly 14,000 bats (82 2 x 170 bats/ square feet), a beaver (Castor canadensis) nest along with freshly gnawed wood, a bat carcass and a dead eastern phoebe ( Sayornis phoebe ) and husks of two varieties of millipedes millipede ( Narceus americanus and ?). Wind Cave (SHN153) Shannon County, Missouri February 22, 2014 By Mark Jones Eight hearty cavers (Jim Cooley, Wesley Dowler, Laurel and Gabe Dunn, Michael Morris, Steve Potter, Brian Sauer and myself.) left Powder Mill Research Center at 9:00 a.m. to drive to Wind Cave (SHN153) to continue the monitoring of the caves in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Unfortuslow leak in one of the tires that required him to return to a garage in Eminence. Jim accompanied him on the quest while the rest of us hiked down a logging road a quarter mile to a steep ridge where we descended 350 feet to the impressive forty foot diameter cave entrance. At around 11:00 a.m. a group picture was taken at a large, inactive flowstone mound near the entrance to document our trip. With the extensive guano piles reported in this cave histoplasmosis is a concern that was addressed by the use of dust masks. Brian took lead as we ventured into the cave following the rocky streambed a hundred feet to a rimstone dam in front of a rock wall. Reassessing the situation we backtracked a bit to chimney up twenty feet to a wide low crawlway. The crawl gradually opened into a comfy hands and knees crawl for a couple hundred feet before pinching down but quickly opens back up. All along this section Gabe and I inventoried several guano piles while Laurel photo documented our work. Trying to work off of the cave map proved to be more difficult than anticipated, but we were able to navigate our way through the cave to an immense guano pile situated in a large room. We were tasked with inventorying the right arm of the cave since the left arm had been monitored in late fall. Laurel and Gabe decided to exit the cave so we began working our way back to the entrance when we met up with Jim and Steve coming in. Evidently we had misjudged the turnoff for the right passage and had wound up in the already inventoried left passage. Once Laurel and Gabe were escorted out of the cave the remaining team members crawled back to the rected our mistake to enter the right arm. The route we took included a tight pinch that Jim was unable to negotiate and so he stayed at the junction while we delved deeper into the cave. The passage fluctuated between easy hands and knees crawling, stoopwalking and walking for the first three hundred feet before reaching the Mountain Room. A sixty foot dome and a huge breakdown pile defined this fabulous room. We found a forty five foot waterfall trickling near the back of the room as well as a beautiful formation room off to the right. Several photos of stalactites, soda straws and helictites were taken in this area. Although the cave continues we decided to call it a day. On the way out we did stop at a high balcony near the cave mouth that had a grand vista of the entrance area. Total cave time was seven hours. Our cave fauna tally for the day included over a hundred bats [gray bats ( Myotis grisescens ), big brown bats ( Eptesicus fuscus ), pipistrelle or tri colored bat ( Perimyotis subflavus )], a couple dark sided salaman-


34 ders ( Eurycea longicauda melanopleura ) and a pseudoscorpion ( Hesperochernes occidentalis ). Cloud 9 Ranch Bat Count Shipwreck Shelter, Dani Cave, Frank Cave, Bat Cave and Cold Cave Ozark County, Missouri January 31, 2014 By Mark Jones Shipwreck Shelter I met up will Jim Cooley and Ken Grush along with Lee and Jacob Krout and Cliff Gill at Cloud 9 Ranch for the annual bat census count. Lee, Cliff and I were going to tackle some of the longer caves while Jim, Ken and Jacob would check on some of the shorter caves. In addition to the bat survey we were doing quality control for the map survey of three of the caves. A short hike up one of the four wheeler trails brought us to a bluff top where we dropped twenty feet down a steep slope to Shipwreck Shelter Cave (OZK104). The mouth of the cave is twenty foot wide by five foot high that soon funnels down to a critter crawl. A large breakdown block on the right gives the cave its name. really wanted to check on the surface measurements to Spring Creek. Fighting a steep slope and prickery briars I was able to drop reading. Dani Cave Following the water upstream I was able to tie in Dani Cave (OZK048) with the aforementioned creek as well as defining the overhanging bluff. Cliff and Lee got surprised by some interesting iciclemites at the mouth of the cave. Thirty of these temporary formations guarded the entrance from unwanted guests. With the outside information recorded we began the bat survey and map checking. The cave has a twenty five foot wide by four foot high mouth and retains those dimensions for eighty feet before the ceiling drops to three feet. A couple of long dead flowstone mounds were about all the formations seen in this section of the cave. After the ceiling drop more speleothems were noted such as popcorn, soda straws, active flowstone, some columns and a few stalagmites. There is nothing here to set the world afire, but it should be noted that this cave is well past its prime for formation development. Two hundred feet from the entrance the passage gradually shuts down in a breakdown collapse. Cave fauna noted included three pipistrelles or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ), oodles of camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) and swarms of flies ( diptera ). Indications of cave fauna included Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) scat and middens, bat guano and raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) scat. Frank Cave Just a couple hundred feet along the bluff we popped into Frank Cave (OZK049). This cave is one of the more significant bat hibernacula on Cloud 9 Ranch so I was interested in the numbers we would generate in here. Again a group of iciclemites awaited us at the entrance. The entrance is twenty five feet wide by six foot high with several vugs and other Swiss cheese holes near the front. The first two hundred feet of passage is mostly walking with a couple stoopwalks between rooms. Three rooms dominated the front half of Frank Cave both in size and beauty. Along both walls ceiling ledges appeared and disappeared while the floor remained dirt covered cobble. The ceiling provided the most interesting formations with flowstone, draperies, stalactites and soda straws scattered overhead. In the third room a ten foot low squeeze at the back burst out into another two hundred feet of cave. The first room on this side of the squeeze is well decorated with an assortment of the aforementioned speleothems. After a short hands and knees crawl the cave opened up with a


35 ten foot ceiling above a breakdown floor. The breakdown pile grew until it nearly reached the ceiling and then broke into an upper layer of breakdown. The jumble of rocks choked off any chance of continuing any further. Frank Cave did not disappoint with the bat count 7 big brown bats ( Eptesicus fuscus ) and 101 pipistrelles or tri colored bats. The isolation of the back is a big draw for the pips as we noticed a marked increase compared with the front half of the cave. Of course the big browns were happiest in the cooler passages near the front; none were noted after the squeeze. Raccoon footprints and scat was observed at the entrance area. Flies were seen throughout the cave. Cloud 9 Bat Cave Our next cave to monitor was Cloud 9 Bat Cave, a 480 foot cave forty feet above Spring Creek. In spite of its to be seen in this cave. The cave does host bats during other times of suited for hibernation. The high entrance be wide temperature fluctuations by bats during the winter. From the ten foot wide by four foot high entrance the floor slopes down at a 5% grade for eighty feet retaining its ceiling height. This is the lowest known level of the cave with a ceiling height of fourteen feet. I scouted up to the left balcony while Cliff went to look in the right balcony. I did find three pips in this alcove. Continuing deeper into the cave we climbed up a huge breakdown pile that brought us within three feet of the ceiling. Cliff had brought along his temperature sensing gun and was demonstrating how it could interpret the signature of the cave. I was excited when he aimed it at a bat and was able to pull up a thermal image of the little fella. Perhaps there is an application for this in bat research. Cliff was very interested in the Stromatolicious Stroll with its extensive stromatolite concentration in the ceiling. We ended up with nine pips for the entire cave, about what I figured. Other cave fauna noted were flies and camel crickets. Cold Cave The final stop for the day was one of my favorites at Cloud 9 Ranch and that is Cold Cave (OZK008). This has always been a popular attraction with the club members since it is so close to Spring Creek and the four wheeler trail. In addition the first several hundred feet of passage are very accommodating to those with little cave background. Almost a year ago I had led a dig trip with Krista Bartel and Kyle Lewis to investigate a blowing lead that beckoned to me. We had broken through into a sizable lead that eventually added over 550 feet to the known length of Cold Cave. At 1,486 feet it is one of the longest caves on the property and one of the most biologically significant. Last year we had counted over 200 bats in the first 800 feet. I had predicted the largest number of bats would come from this cave today. clemites greeted us at the entrance. Beyond the first room we started counting bats, I was confident that we could find four hundred or more. Past the first bear room we picked up the stream and quickly disin the water. We also found an unusually marked salamander that we believe to be a hybrid. We kept finding more bats all the way to the watercrawl. A short bellycrawl in the streambed took us to the mudbank that led to the newest discovery. A little bit of mud removal allowed easier access as we did a twenty foot otter slide to rejoin the stream. One more short, muddy bellycrawl soon had us in the newest part of the cave. A twenty foot watercrawl led to a ten foot anteroom with red mud walls. Climbing through a window we dropped back down to stream level for sixty


36 feet to the Great Big Tease Room. Several bats were counted here, but not the number I was anticipating. Climbing up to the Salamander Sanctuary I was delighted to find a shallow pool with twenty At B7 my hopes were dashed to rack up big bat numbers. Only a handful of pips were found here. We continued over the middle to the end of the line at the breakdown choke before returning in the lower side passage on the right. This is one of the few remaining surveys along with some splay shots needed to complete the map of Cold Cave. With our cave fauna monitoring completed we exited the cave. The final cave fauna numbers for Cold Cave were 125 pips, 36 larval salamanders, numerous flies and camel crickets. Carlsbad Caverns National Park Feb 8 14, 2014 By Ed Klausner Twelve cavers gathered at Carlsbad Caverns National Park to survey in Slaughter Canyon Cave and Carlsbad Cavern from February 8 th to the 14 th On Saturday, Feb. 8 th Derek Bristol had a team consisting of Shawn Thomas, Garrett Jorgensen and Pete Johnson for the long awaited trip to Halloween Hall, discovered on Halloween, 2013. Shawn and Garrett surveyed the huge hall (100 feet wide, 100 feet long and 20 to 50 feet high) while Derek and Pete climbed the dome on the south side of the room. There were no leads left when they finished and Halloween Hall (and Spirit World) are now surveyed. That evening, they were joined by Jonny Prouty and surveyed above the Iceberg Rock in the Main Corridor of Carlsbad Cavern. For the next two days, Derek and his crew surveyed in Hall of the White Giant, Spooky Chimney and the Guadalupe Room Complex. On Saturday, I led Elizabeth Miller, Chris Beck and Jeanette Muller to Lower Cave (LA survey) to check leads and resketch portions where the older sketches did not fit together well before the Naturalist Room. Several of the ceiling leads could easily be reached by a 20 foot extension ladder and this will be used on a future expedition. We had some time and went to the main tour loop to do some resketching in a confusing area. That evening, Dave West, Karen Willmes and Mark Jones arrived. Dave spent the next five days surveying in Slaughter Canyon Cave with some combination of Karen, Elizabeth, Mark, Chris and Jeanette. On Sunday, Elizabeth, Chris, Jeanette and I went to the L survey in Lower Cave. This was an aqua socks lead and we came prepared. The lead was surveyed and cleared up an additional lead as well, since a lower level came out in the main L passage that was too delicate to get through. We surveyed to each end of the passage and established light and voice connection. We then spent some time in the boneyard of the LC survey (big loop) near LC96 to do some resketching. We looked at several leads in the LC survey and found all of them to be too small to enter but did find an additional lead that will require a ladder to reach. On Monday, Shawn Thomas (former Iowa caver) could join us. Chris, Mark, Shawn and I went to the Upper Talcum Passage. Chris was the only one among us who knew the route. It is easy to follow and neither Shawn nor I should have any trouble finding our way in the future. This is a vertical trip and there are two traverses, one of which has two rebelays. Our main objective (besides learning the route) was to tie the far end of the upper level to a station we left in the middle level several months ago. Fortunately, it was an easy tie as it was 40 directly below us and the station below was easily visible (Chris was the one who set the station.) After that, we went to the opposite end of Upper Talcum Passage and resketched two areas. One of the areas had huge spar crystals, one of which was at least 10 inches long. We also looked at some of the pits along


37 the way and found one that could be free climbed. Shawn climbed down and found himself on a ledge where he could see, but not reach, a red and white rope. Later, we returned to Lower Cave and Shawn climbed the fixed rope near the Stegosaurus formation. We thought there were two ropes there, one to a ledge and then the floor of Lower Cave, but probably went higher once you got up the first rope. It turned out that the second rope was the same as the one Shawn saw previously, but was actually a long piece of flagging tape. Finally, we started the resketch of a complex area in the LC survey before heading out. On Tuesday, we got a late start because Chris slipped on the ice outside the hut and we waited to see if he was OK. Elizabeth, Chris, Karen and I went to the long awaited small I was naturally interested in getting to this lead. We had to wait until late in the day because the rigging point for our first pit (52 feet) is just off the tour trail at Top of the Cross in the Big Room. We used the time to resurvey and resketch a loop in the LD survey of Lower Cave that did not close well. Chris help rig the top rope, but did not attempt to go down due to his morning injury. When we finally got down the 52 foot pit into Middle Earth, we rigged the second rope for the 33 foot pit that was along a crawlway heading north. This was an awkward place to rig the second rope and we were running low on rope pads. We used everything we had (besides the pads, we used packs and clothes) but ran out of padding before actually going down the second pit. We left the second rope in place but had to derig the top rope as it was close to the tour trail. We planned on returning the following day. On Wednesday, I returned to Carlsbad Cavern with Elizabeth, Mark and Karen and plenty of rope padding along with the rope for the 52 foot drop. Since we again had to wait for the end of the day, we did some surveying in the LD boneyard while checking other leads. Finally, it was late enough to rig the rope and drop both pits. We shed our vertical gear, and followed the passage to an 8 foot climb up and then an 8 foot climb down. Continuing east, we got to the squeeze and started our survey. The first few shots were all short, 3 to 4 feet each. Once we got past the squeeze, the passage was indeed big, but not virgin. We put in a long shot and then some shots down a side passage. We were getting close to 13 hours, so we looked down a side passage and discovered another non virgin room with several holes in the ceiling. One was an easy climb up to known survey in the Big Room. We will return to finish the survey on the next trip. Chris went to Slaughter Canyon Cave do the two drops in Middle Earth. He wound up climbing in Slaughter Canyon him. We were all tired and for the sixth day of caving, Elizabeth, Jeanette and I went to a boneyard in Lower Cave. The passage opened up to a fairly large room ten stations in. This room was surveyed in sections by each of the 9 or so surveys that tied into it. I plotted it out on a large piece of graph paper and sketched the entire area. Thanks to all the surveyors for your help and to Stan Allison and Shawn Thomas of Carlsbad Caverns National Park.


38 Shawn Thomas in the Talcum Passage, Carlsbad Caverns. Photo by Chris Beck. Lake Superior Ice Caves Bayfield, Wisconsin February 5 th and 6 th 2014 By Scott Dankof Doug Schmuecker, Mike Lace, Ethan Brodsky, Scott Dankof With record ice cover on the Great Lakes, finally I was able to make a trip to see the ice caves. Located near Bayfield Wisconsin, along the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, these caves are only open for a short time, and only if ice conditions are ries of the large crowds that came on the weekends to see the caves. (The weekend before we came there were around 5000 people, the weekend after people person, I thought a weekday trip would work better. Our base of north of Bayfield. Ethan met us there early on the 5 th and we headed out to the Meyers Beach parking area. Going early paid off. There were only a dozen or so cars in the lot. It was frigid cold with temps in the single digits and flurries. We walked down the steps from the parking lot to the beach. Looking out onto Lake Superior, it was ice and snow as far as mile to the beginning of the cliffs and the caves. We followed one of many well worn trails along the shoreline through the snow. The red sandstone of the Devils Island Formation provided a wonderful contrast to the huge ice columns we walked past. There were shelter caves, one after the other, each different than the previous one. We all shot pictures as we hiked along. The cliffs and caves just kept on going and going. We finally reached a turnaround spot where the cliffs started to disappear. My best guess was that we hiked about 3 miles to this point. There were quite a few more people as we hiked back to the parking lot, including a couple buses full of school kids. Go at night! The bad part was it was colder than the morning and there was a 20 mph north wind coming off the lake. I told Mike to quit whining and we again headed towards the caves. The crowds that were left headed out as darkness fell. I had wanted to try a sunset photo, but the sky was mostly overcast. As it got dark, Mike surveyed one of the larger caves (Steamboat Cave) as I setup some photography gear. Ethan and Mike ran some flashes for me in the larger cave. We also took some shots of the larger ice formations along the cliff face. On a side note, the sound of ice cracking around you and echoing off the cliffs is a bit un nerving.


39 After a couple hours my fingers were about frozen and it was time to head walking across Lake Superior at night. Mike mumbled something about frozen dead guys and made a beeline for the parking lot. At times Ethan and I could see his bobbing headlamp about a mile ahead of us. We were looking for the stairway up to the lot from Meyers Beach. Mike spotted it and waved us in. Finally we made it to my truck which Doug had been keeping warmed up for us. Thanks to Doug for letting us stay at his back. Mike Lace in front of some of the Dankof larger ice formations. Photo by Scott




Saturday cave trips will leave at 10:30AM Indian Bluff Cave: 630 foot horizontal cave for kids and adults. Doll Cave : 500 feet of horizontal crawling plus a few smaller caves in the area. Block and Tackle Cave : 350 foot cave with a small crawl, chimneying and a vertical pit (vertical gear) Alex Sewer Cave : 150 feet with some chimneying. : This trip will be limited in size to 10 people. salad, dessert, veggies, chips, etc.). The grotto will once again provide pork burgers, hotdogs and buns. Please bring whatever can be passed on to some lucky person. We will have some volumes of the Iowa Cave Map Book for sale along with grotto T shirts, decals, and cloth patches. Camping: Jones County has allowed us to use the group campsite for free. We will make a contribution to Jones County Conservation and will have a donation box at the picnic. Other Stuff To Do: The SQUEEZEBOX! See who can squeeze through the smallest opening on this ingenious torture machine. Separate contests for adults and kids. IMPORTANT!! Please remember that, as always, trips to the privately owned caves have been arranged specifically for this weekend and any other visits could be regarded as trespassing by the cave owners. Help us maintain the good caver/caveowner relations that make this event and all other Iowa cave study, preservation and exploration efforts possible. Thanks. WNS (White Nose Syndrome) : You must have clean, decontaminated gear to go caving. If you are unfamiliar with U. S. Fish and Wildlife decontamination protocols, they can be found at or the USFWS web site BatDisinfec5onProtocol.html

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.


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