The Texas caver

The Texas caver

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The Texas caver
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The Texas Caver
Texas Speleological Association
Texas Speleological Association
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Regional Speleology ( local )
Technical Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


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Contents: News: Features -- Sunday Afternoon at the Bull Fights -OR- Toro, Toro, Toro: The Bull Story - Trip Report / Anne Souby -- Little Arkansas, Hays County, Texas - Trip Report / Cindy Lee -- Tools: How To Not To - Vertical Training Seminar / Denise Prendergast -- Let's Review - Legal Maneuvers / Bill Russell -- Let's Review - What Cavers Can Learn from NASA / Bill Russell.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 49, no. 5 (October 2003)
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See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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THETEXASCAVEROctober2003 Volume 49Number5 ISS 0040-4233 The TexasCaverisa bi-monthly publicationofThe Texas Speleological Association (TSA), an internal organizationofthe National Speleological Society ( SS). Subscription rates are $25/ year which includes TSA member ship. Libraries, institutions,andout-ofstatesubscribersmay receive The Texas Caver for $20/ year,LetterstotheEditor,articlesubmissions,subscriptionrequests, advertisingandquestions should be sent to the Editor: The Texas Caver 10801 County Road 116 Kenedy, TX 78119 Don Arburn 361/362-3677 The deadline for submissions to The Texas Caveristhe 3 weeks before publication month. Opinions expressed inTheTexasCaverare solely thoseofthe authors and do not necessarily reflect the viewsofthe editors, the TSA or the SS. Texas Speleological Association Officers: Chair Terry Holsinger .trhli Vice-Chair Christi Bennett c.bennett@chfbc.orgTreasurerJoe Ranzau Secretary Jerry Atkinson Texas Speleological Association BusinessAddress:POBox TSA Store Logan McNatt TSA Web Team webmaster@cavetexas.orgTCCMike Walsh .TCRAndy Grubbs TSS TCMA Linda Palit .Jkpalit@swbell.netBCIMerlinD.Tuttle&Jim AMCS Bill Mixon CaveTexTomWhite .jswhite@cavetex.netTHECOVERS:FRONTCOVER:MarkMintoncarefullypassesthroughWhistler'sMotherinHoneyCreek,withonlytwoinchesofairspace.Thisareawasalmostcompletelysumpedtwohoursbeforethisphotowastaken,ontheweekendbeforeTCR2003.ByremovingarockblockingwaterflowattheSpringentrance,Markwasabletolowerthewaterlevelsothatitbecamepassablewithoutdivingunder.Thisphotowastakenonthewayintothecave.Onthewayoutacoupleofhourslater,thewaterlevelhadgonedowntoacomfortablefourinchesofairspace.PhotoYvonneDramsBACKCOVER:WaltNaedler'sSuburuBratattheupperparkingareaofGrutasdelBustamante.PhotobyDonArburn82ContentsNews:FeatureslosAmigosdelaGruta83TripReportsToro!Toro!Toro!88MillerSprings89Powell'sSurvevProject89liDleArkansas90UnusualBusinessTrip91GovernmentCanvon93OldTripReportBindseilsWell93TCCActivitiesUpdate95TCMA95HowTo&NotTo:VerticalTraining96let'sReview98TSAStore!http://www.cavetexas.or-q/stor-es.htmLoqanMcNatt4419ClawsonRdAustin,"{BUlQperSficlc""rs.,,-Jj""eXasBats.'ilJtfto&Oztofl!1Chmolde.01'healissuesOldReadinqGl'ottoBacaof'{be)lascaver'{e\manY)(0\an,bUnTSApatches


NEWS:FEATURElosAmiDosdelaGrutaBustamante2003By Susan Souby The 7th Annual Bustamante Project took place at Grutas de Palmito over Labor Day weekend. Asinprevious years, this TSA sponsored project was both productive and eventful. The quoteofthe weekend was "on Saturday we were stuck by a bulldozer and on Sundaywewere stuckbya bull.OUTSIDECAVETRAIL BUILDING: ENTRANCE. Seeking to provide an alter native to the useofthe electrical lines as a hand line at the cave entrance, Joe Jones designed and built, with the helpof4 volun teers, a wooden handrail down the slippery slope to the doorofthe cave. Joe used 4X4 posts, anchoring them with metal brackets and TRAIL BUILDING. During a meetinginMay 2003, Alcaldesa Norma Robles, mayorofthe CityofBustamante, requested that the Labor Day Project concentrate on improving the trail from the upper parking lot to the cave. Orion Knox and Philip Russell agreed and actually began the project over the 4thofJuly weekend. Philip recruit ed the Trail Tamers, a nation wide trail building group,totake on the project. David DeGroot, the Trail Tamer crew boss, Orion, Philip, and another Trail Tamer volunteer directed over15municipal employ ees to reroute the steeper sectionofthe trail into switchbacks, reducing the 60% grade to 20%. The work during the unseasonably cool 4th of July weekend accomplished the improvementof318 feetofthe approximately 1100-foot trail. Orion, Philip, Rune, and TerryHeadinguptrailtothemines.PhotobyDonArburnPlemons returnedinAugust to drill holes and set steel reinforcing rods for a retaining wallinpreparation for the Labor Day project. During the Labor Day project David DeGroot, Philip and the many volun teers completed the gabion basket for the retaining wall on the steep rock portionofthe trail. This year marked the initiationofseveral new projectsaswell as the continuationoforiginal projects. Despite the good intentionsofthe registration staff at arriving earlytosetup,they were blockedbya road grader parked smack dabinthe middleofthe road to the cave. Before all the appropriate local officials could be roundedup,the fence cut and a new route hacked out around the obstruction, almost everyone who came to the project was parked single file along the road waiting for the clearance.Itwasa classic exampleofa multi jurisdictional snafu-the road graderwasowned by a construction com panyinMonterrey, the road project was managedbythe CityofBustamante, and the adjoining landwasowned by the ejido. The 30+ car caravan was finally released and made its way carefully over the downed barbed wire fence and slowly along thefresWyoiled road to El Cono. Registration was hurriedly set up and the 144 volunteers were registered and direct edtothe awaiting vehicles to be shuttled up the mountain to the cave. This year the project was more challenging organizationally because project co leader Orion Knox was absent due to illness. Orion's fluent Spanish, contacts with the City and detailed organi zation were missed, but Bob 'Rune' Burnett succeeded, with the helpofthe seasoned volunteers, in pulling off all planned events as wellasdealing with the surprises.DefinetlyNOTamigosdelgrutas,theseroadbeastsalmoststymiedthemorning'sactivitiesatthecave."Conpermiso",theconvoywentaroundthemthroughthefence,ratherthandesturbingthemachine'sbeautysleep.PhotobyDonArburn83


ChristiBennettcleaningformationswithabatterypowereddrill.PhotobyGearySchindel.JoeJones&GraysonKnappconstructingahandrailatthecaveentrance.PhotobyGearySchindel.poured concrete footings.Itwas an ambitious project for just one day, but Joe and his crew were .first up the trail in the morning and completed the installation just in time for those emerging from the cave to help carry tools and equipment down from the cave.INSIDE CAVEOne hundred and eleven (111) participants signedin(and out)ofthe cave. GRAFFITI REMOVAL. Aimee Beveridge's graffitiremoval volunteers continuedinfull force. With Aimee's improved organi zationofgraffiti removal tools, 43 people signed out for spray water bottles and plastic and metal bristle brushes. In addition, a groupofpeople took battery-powered drills with stainless steel brushes to work on graffiti too stubborn for the hand held brushes. Volunteers targeted the Cathedral Room, the HallofGiants and parts in between. Although mostofthe obvious, easy to reach graf fitiinthe Cathedral Room were removed during the previous proj ects, there were plenty remaining to keep the drills busy. The lad der, stowed from last year, proved useful for reaching high on the formations. Brittan Hussing led a groupof10 to begin work on the HallofGiants. Although there are vast improvements intheremovalofgraffiti, several volunteers have already picked out their target areas for next year. TRAIL DELINEATION. Concerned about the protection oftheformations on the floorofthe well-traveled area from the lunch room up the popcorn slope towards the Cathedral Room, Aimeeinitiated a new project this year to delineate a trail. She and Fran Hutchins laid out a trailoflow impact and low grade up the slope. Fran and his volunteers then marked the new trail with light colored rocks from the breakdown slope. SIGNAGE: Within the cave Pete Strickland repaired 5ofthePeteStricklandandCarolSchumachertakecareofsignage.PhotobyGearySchindel84


Left:Theroadsports afreshlayeroftarasimprovementscontinue.PhotobyDonArburnRight:Alightingcrewworksonwiring.Belowleft:LindaPalitcleaningformationswithabrush.PhotobyGearySchindel.Belowright.TomBrown&GearySchindelinstallinglightsintheentranceroom.PhotobyGrahamSchindel.Chiquihuitillosrockartsite.Thepictographs are locatedona private ranch in the valleywestofthe SierradeGomas.conservation and interpretive signs that moisture had penetrated. Pete made an interesting observation: the Plexiglas thatcoveredthe signs absorbed moisture and grew1/4"in the24"lengthofthe sign. This causedthesigns to bow andallowedmoisture to accumulate. Pete roughed the edgesofthe signs,addedmorebolts to hold the Plexiglas to the coatedaluminum,andresealed theedgeswith siliconesealant.Petealso replaced the photoofJuanGomezCazares, discovererofthe cave, which haddevelopedsomemold. After20yearsofnoaccess, Orion,Rune,and Philip arranged for a long awaited trip toMinasGolondrinas.Thearrangements weremanymonths in the making, requiring several trips to Rancho Ellmantosetupaccess.Welcomeintroductionswereprovided by FelipeHernadezCruz,ownerofthe HotelAncirain Bustamante.DonFelipe grewupat the minesandwas superintendentofthe schools in the Golondrinas area inthe1950's.Hehasremained friends with the familyoverthe years.Thecomplexofmines known generally asMinasGolondrinas is located ontheeastandsouth sideofEICarrizal mountainandcon sistsofa headquarterscomplexand two miningcomplexesup the mountain.Themines, established in the 1500's,wereactive until the 1950's.Theheadquarters is located on anabandonedspuroffthe main rail line from Monterrey northandconsistsofan office building, residence, infirmary, warehouses, barracks for the miners,andloadingdocksat the terminationofagondolafrom up the canyon.The2ndarea, consistingofapproximately 12 stone build ingsabout1.5 krn up the mountain had a tram that carried the buck etsoforedownthe mountain to the head quarters forpickupby rail.The3rdarea,locatedaroundthesouthendofCarasol, is accessedbya rail road grade terminatingin acanyon.Therearebuildings atgradelevel for load ingoreonthe train,about11additionalbuildingsdownthecanyonandevidenceofminetunnelsupand additional struc tures near the topofthe ridge. Acaravanof17cars left promptly at7:30onSundaymorn ingtodrivetothe85ReignClarkled agroupof12totheSundaywasreserved for fun trips.TheintrepidPeteStrickland led a smallgroupof6orsobacktothecavetotourthebeautifulBirthdayPassage. Pete, with able assistance from Justin Shaw, used the new techniqueshe'sbeendevelopingfor rigging the belay upthesteep,slipperyslope to the passage.Thegroupwas inthecaveby 10:30andoutby 5:45.LIGHTING.InOrion'sabsence, TomBrowntookchargeofthe lightingimprovementin theentranceroom.Duringprevious years, the supports for the electric lines were replaced withPVCpipe. This year the project began replacingthefrayed electric lines.Thisprovided an opportunity tochangetheplacementofthe light bulbs and to achieveOrion'sgoal toshowoffthe formationsandillumi nate the trail withouttheglare fromthelight bulbs. Tomandhis crew replaced750feetofwire running from the electricboxdownthe entrance slope.Asa test, they also replaced severalofthe incandescent light bulbs with f1uorescents.Thecoolerburningf1uorescents should prevent burning thePVClight shades while pro viding awarmglow.


Left:Hikersontheirwayuptotheghosttown.Center:One,lower,entrancetothemines.Coolair,exiting,waswelcomedbyhikers.Right:Lookingupintolargeexcavatedroom.Facing:Lookingout.PhotosbyDonArburnranch headquarters to meet our hosts, the ranch managerSr.Pancho Mataandranch owner Elva Sada. Oneofthe historic ranches in Mexico, the RanchoEllmanisthe home to someofthe most prized fighting bullsinallofMexico. As the caravan approached the rail road crossing at Estacion Golondrinas, a train pulledbyno fewerthan8 diesel engines came to a stop, seemingly to letuspass and keep our time schedule. The hosts led the caravan through the flats where the fighting bulls are pastured. After an attack by a well homed cowofthe only red vehicleinthe caravan that resulted in multiple dents and contusions worth $800, a flat tire, some startled adventure scouts, a source for a good story, and everyoneinthe rental mini van being relocated to other vehicles, the caravan arrived at the headquartersofthe mining complex. The group scat teredupthe mountain to explore the mining complex, pick up min eral samples, wade knee deep in water into an abandoned tunnel, encounter 2 rattlesnakes, and marvel at the extentofthe mining operationandthe constructionoffacilities.Inappreciationofthe accomplishmentsofthe project, the City of Bustamante, represented by the mayor, hosted the banquet at the municipal park. After a delicious meal, the mayor, with interpreta tionbyPhilip Russell, graciously thanked the volunteers for their86hard work and servicetothe cave. MasterofCeremonies Runepresented to the mayor a framed originalofCharlie Loving's cartoon interpretationofthe first six yearsofthe Bustamante LaborDayproject. Rune, assistedbyAimee Beveridge, awarded almost every oneofthe volunteers a door prize. On Monday morning volunteers were greeted by torrential rainsasthey left for Terry's tourofthe Guadalupana Fabrica de Mezcal at the edgeoftown. Terry Plemons has researched the processandoffers a very informative tourofthe factory including the history of the makingofmescal and the comparisonofpulque, mescal,andtequila. This most graphic tour ending with free tastingsisanappropriate final activity to a fun Labor Day. Amigos de la Gruta Acknowledgements: Project Coordinators Orion Knox and Bob 'Rune' Burnett Project Treasurer Ron Ralph Registration Rae Nadler Olenick, Walter Olenick, Ron Ralph, Alana Skrabanek Project Publicity Aimee Beveridge (US), Jan Knox(Webpage) Banquet Coordination Terry Plemons Door Prize Coordination Whole Earth Provision Co., Alana Skrabanek, Susan Souby Transportation Terry Plemons, with help from Jackson Harper, Don Arburn, and Charlie Loving Cave SignInAnne Souby and Kathy McCarley Peeples Graffiti Removal (interiorofcave) Aimee Beveridge Graffiti Removal (exteriorofcave) Rune Burnett Lighting Improvement Orion KnoxandTom Brown Sign Placement Pete Strickland Trail Improvement (inside cave) Aimee Beveridge Trail Improvement (outside cave) Philip Russell, Trail Tamers Tools Coordination Rune Burnett First Aid Tom Brown. Field first aid kit


MinasGolondrinas.Towersforthegondolacarryingoretotherailspur.Lookingdownslopetowardthemineheadquarters.PhotosbyGearySchindel.providedbyJim "Crash" Kennedy CommunicationlRadios Elaine&Larry Reagan, radios providedbyJames StricklandofChild, Inc. Side Trip Coordination Reign Clark Archeology Pete Strickland Wild caving, Gruta de Palmito Terry Plemons Mescal Factory Rune Burnett, assisted by Ron Ralph and Jim 'Crash' Kennedy Minas Golondrinas Design-Charlie Loving (T-shirt) Printing Vreeland Graphics GrutadelPalmito Guide (employed by the CityofBustamante) Rogelio Rangel Door prizes: GonzoGuano Gear, Bat Conservation International, Orion Knox, Jan Knox, Christa (McCleland) Riddington,D.W.Skrabanek, AMCS (AssociationofMexican Cave Studies), Charlie Loving, Terry Raines, Anne Souby, and Robert Saunders. A vast arrayofdoor prizes were coordinated by Whole Earth Provision Co. and contributed by their suppliers: Chaco Sandals, Teva Sandals, Mountain Hardware, Born Shoes, The North Face, Eagle Creek, Dana Designs, MSR, Swiss Army Knives, Suunto, Sigg, Princeton Tec, Leki, Gregory, Sweetwater, and Cascade Designs. Some facts: Elevations: Bustamanteatthe plaza: 460 meters (1509 feet)EICono (lower parking lot): 623 meters (2045 feet) Upper parking lot: 918 meters (3010 feet) Cave entrance: 970 meters (3180 feet) According to Don Felipe Hernandez, the nameElCono was originally for a palapaatthe lower parking lot. When the present concrete block building was constructed, the name remained. Distance up the road from El Cono to the upper parking lot is approximately 2.4 miles. Distance up the trail from the upper parking lot to the caveisapproximately 330 meters. The elevation changeinthe cave from the entrancetothe bottomofthe breakdown slopeisapproximately 400 feet. Participation: 144 registered for the project111signed in (and out)ofthe cave43signed out graffiti removal toolsLeft,facingpage:PresentationofCharlieLoving'scartoonofthe1st6YearsoftheBustamanteProjecttothemayor.Lefttoright:RuneBumelt,JorgeSantos(formermayor),MayorNormaRobles,CharlieLoving,PhilipRussell.PhotobyTerryPlemons.Left:PresentationofthetrailprojectphototothecityofBustamantebyPhilipRussell.MayorNormaRobles(I)andPhilipRussell(r).PhotobyTerryPlemons.Right:CaveguideRogelioRangel.PhotobyGearySchindel87


NEWS: TRIP REPORTS"Nooneseemedworried.Whatcouldgowrong;'''SUNDAYAnERNOONATTHEBUllFIGHTS-OR-TORO,TORO,TOROTHEBUllSTORYBy Anne Souby Usually I love the Sunday excursions after the cave clean-up on Saturday. The trip to Minas Viejas last year was breathtaking. The historic walks around town the year before were entertainingaswell as informative. The first-hand account by Cayetano Gomez Duran, the sonofJuan Gomez Cazares, the original dis covererofGruta del Palmito, should always be remembered as a unique and unrepeatable treasure. And Terry Plemons's tourofthe mescal factory defies description; both in termsofinformation gained and smells encountered.Iwas afraid to go to the bull ranch from the very beginning. First, Rune and Susan worked several weeks before the Labor Day excursion creating a permission form that would require all people touring Minas Golondrinas to promise nottodisturb the cultural artifacts (re: old mining equipment and records and samples) and to release from liability the owners from any responsibility for injuryordeath. This didn'tsound too bad.Youhave to sign release forms to go anywhere with anybody anymore. But then Rune and Orion went there to get clearance for us to come andtowork out the detailsofthe tour. They happened to gettothe cattle pens as the bull doctor/ranch foreman was doc toring a bull being held in a chute. The bull had returned from a bullfight in Monterrey as the winner. The crowd had ruled that the bull had fought so bravely, so courageously, that they had given a thumbsuptolet the bull live insteadofsignaling the matador toit.the piccadores had time to stick the bull in his shoulders sohegaping holes in his back that had to be filled with salve by hand. The bull in the chute was not happy, pawing and snorting and slobbering and rolling his eyes. This bull did not like people. After the doctor had finished, the ranch hands carefully untied him and slid the top beamofthe chute outofthe way. The bull backedupand splintered the other 2-by-6 beam in pieces, then escaped into the pasture. This was my introduction to the setting for the Minas Golondrinas trip. No one seemed worried. What could go wrong? Most of the cavers, in fact all the cavers, drive vehicles that are meant to tackle rough terrain. Popular vehicles include Ford trucks, Dodge trucks, Toyota 4-Runners, Ford Explorers, and all those big tanSUV'sthat blend with the environment. Idon'thave a vehicle like that. I used to have a Dodge Caravan but not any more. That's another story.TheCaravan was not a very good Mexico vehicle. It always had at least two flat tires, never just one. So Joe Ray Jones, Venture Scout leader, rented a mini-van for this Mexico trip.Ithappened to be red. Luckofthe draw.OnSunday morning all the volunteers started for the excursion, sixteen well-camouflaged all-terrain vehicles, and one redminivan carrying a Scout Master, five teenage Venture Scouts, and a somewhat nervous mom. We drove up the highway and entered the ranch with no prob lems. Once inside the ranch, we noticed that unlike the typical Mexican fences madeofwobbly, scraggly posts with one or two strandsoflight barbed wire, the fences on this ranch were madeofthick concrete posts set relatively close together, with eight strandsofheavy-duty spiked barbed wire.Wealso noticed that a cow and her adolescent calf were running in the pasture parallel to the road and the fence. Now most cows in pastures are very placid and complacent, by their very bovine nature, bordering on dull and stupid, with little awarenessoftheir surroundings.(Ingeneral,cowsare not affectionate to humans.) However, this particular cow was very alert head up, quite attentive to our parade proceeding through her pasture, and rather annoyed. She looked exactly like a fighting bull in the ring SCARY and quite unfriendly. And, she was running at a rapid pace not at all like the sedentary cows plodding their way to the milkingbarn I had come to know from my childhood. But, she was on the other sideofthe formidable fence, along with all the other cows. No problem. So we kept driving along, marveling at her speed until she dis appeared into the brush.Webegan to notice the mining buildings in the mountain that would be our destination quite a hike. Then the road took a dip into a draw.Itwasn'tvery deep, but we weren't sure that the mini-van would make it, so Joe was concen tratingondriving in the soft sand and keeping up with the trucks in frontofus.(Cont.onpq.99)88


MillerSpringsShortLawrence Najjar While hiking in the Miller Springs Nature Center in Lake BeltononOctober 4th, Ky MacPherson and Lawrence Najjar came across two small caves. The caves were about 40 feet apartonthe west bankofBee Suck Hollow, across from the sign for Bee Suck Hollow Trail. The [ust cave was about 50 feet long and had two adjacent, con nected entrances. The left entrance was a low crawl through crum bly rock that circled to the right and joined the narrow standing pas sageofthe right entrance. Lawrence wentinone entrance and came out the other entrance,sowe called this cave "U-turn Cave." The other cave also had two entrances. The entrances were connected by a tight,low,40-foot-Iong, mostly straightshot through poor quality rock in a slight protrusion on the bank.Wecalled this cave "Beeline Cave."Wecould see dim light at both ends and we could hear each other when we called from both endsofthe cave. But since the rock was crumbly and we didn't have helmets to protectus,we didn't do the low crawl through the cave. It looks like the caves were formedbyfloodwaters that occa sionally rush through Bee Suck Hollow. Both caves were dry and without speleothems. And, becauseofthe poor quality rock and occasional flooding, neither cave will last very long.TopLeft:KyatBeelineCaveTopright:LawrenceinU-turnCaveLeft:KyatU-turnCave89NEWS:TRIP REPORTSPowell'sCaveSurvevProject1st&2nd November, 2003 by Marvin MiJIer This Powell's trip reminded meofthe "old" times, when 40 to 50 cavers would show up from all over the state to chase leads and further the exploration and surveyofthe second longest known caveinTexas. The tripsofthe past few years have been intermit tent and somewhat sparsely attended. This is primarily duetothe fact that mostofthe work in the cave has been completed. 46 peo ple attended this trip and there were some strong teams that entered the cave to work on specific unfinished projects, as well as to just have fun and see the cave. Endofthe Crevice Team:Ason many previous trips, Ted Lee led a groupofscouts from Troop 285 in San Antonio, first time cavers all, to the endofThe Crevice. Team members were Ted, Bennett Lee (adult), Mike Drewry (adult), Walter Drewry, Matt Ozerov, Kevin Jackson, Zack Lockhart, and Blake Kohutek. The team didn't have any objectives other than to make it to the endofthe passage, a tripof2.4kmofwalking, stoop-walking, and crawling. Once there however, allofthe youngsters gotdirtyby slithering to the endofthe Mudpuppy. The Mudpuppyisa tight lead heading northwest at the end of The Crevice that has been pushed several timesbydifferent teams. Mudpuppy Team Bill Steele talked Leegray Boze, Don Broussard, Ed Goff, Shannon Summers, and DianaTomchick into pushing this tough lead at the endofThe Crevice. They took a battery-powered drill and det cord, intending to shear off a layerofflowstone on the floorofthe passageinorder to gain some more length. The passage is a tight, bedrock tube with a thin layerofwet, sticky mud on floor, walls, and ceiling. The moistureisthought to come either from a surface sinkina streambed locatedinthis area or from the Powell's Cave Stream Passage, which takes a different, longer route from the entrance areaofthe cave to end up in the same vicinity as the Mudpuppy. The actual dis tance between the two passagesisnot accurately known, due to the possibilityofa high accumulationoferror along the lengthofthe two passages' surveys. The team attempt at blowing out the floor was not very successful. The consensus was that a better approachmight be to use a hammer chiselonthe drill. After many hoursofwork the team faced the long slog back to the entrance. They were the last team outofthe cave, with the final nlembers arriving at the surface just after midnight. For Diana it was a mile stone her Hongest and hardest tripi to date. Hilton Room Dig Team: Team members Chris Hall,Fran Hutchins, and Rebecca Rainbolt ODaniel worked on a dig head ing down a large, plugged drain close to station HRM Iinthe HiltonRoom maze. This was the second tripbya team to work on this dig. The first dig had deepened the hole by about 1 meter. The team this trip removed enough material to create "an impressive pileofdirt" but described the dig as becoming "increasingly cramped, small, and awkward". However, it appears that the team dug down the middleofthe pit, and that more material could be


removed around the sides in order to create more digging room. Sink Maze Team: Marvin Miller headedoutto theSinkMazeone last time, hopefully, with Jacqui Bills along for support.Theobjective was to clean up the last remaining survey sketch dis crepancies and omissions.Atthe endofthe passageatSM25 a nice little breakdown room was "discovered".Theroomhadpre viously been surveyedbutthe survey sketchdidn'tindicate it. Marvin and Jacqui dubbed it"TheRoomattheEndofthe Crawl". In this room and at several other locations theteamnoted abun dant claw marksonrocks. All occasions were at locations that had ceiling domes leading to upper levels that may at one time have led to entrances into the cave.Someofthese locations were observed to have clay and rock conglomerate ceilings.Theteamsurveyed a short passageofabout 5 meters during the courseofthe day and left the cave at about 8:00. Ant Path Team: Jim Kennedy led Paul Augeby, Julia Germany, Mark Harlow, and Jody Horton to survey this long knownbutnever surveyed passage.TheAnt Path Passage, so named for numerous amazing ant highways trodden into the clay floor, is a dry passage that forksoffthe downstreamStreamPassage. According to the experts, this passage used tobethe main stream conduit before the water was pirated into the current Stream Passage. The team noticed fairly quickly thatmostofthemhad developed headaches and that there were an undue amountofsur vey blunders occuring. A lighter test confirmed that the air was truly bad the lighterwouldn'tbumat all.Markand Jody had pressed ahead to theendofthe passage to try to dig through the rumored breakdown. They suffered the worst from the exposure to the highC02with Jody becoming physically ill. After this Mark and Jody decided to head outofthe cave while the restofthe teamNews:T..-ipRepo..-tURleArkansas,HalsCoonll,TexasByCindy Lee Little Arkansas is a stepbackin timewith the inhabitants beingofseveral generations,it'srich historical past,andit'snatural beauty intact. The currentlandowner'sfamily hasbeenhere since the 1800's arriving from northern Arkansas. Projectile points and middens are evidence that native Americans inhabited the area at one time. Local folklore speaksof"warevaders" who hidoutthere disguised aswomenduring the Civil War. Little Arkansas is locatedonthe Blanco River betweenSanMarcos and Wimberley in Hays County, Texas.Thesprings, Fern Bank Springs, is the major attraction as it spillsouta quarterofa million gallonsofwatereachday into the Blanco River.Thehilly terrain gives Little Arkansas a natural beauty that knows no equal in Hays County. In addition FernBankSprings has a biological significance, as it ishometoEurycea pterophilaand an endan gered water beetle,Stygopamus comalensis.The spring is what attracts caverstothe area.Thespring is90continued surveying to close up a loop and to tie the survey into the Stream Passage survey. Despite the adversity they managed 45 metersofsurvey in 10 stations.Therestofthe passage still remains tobesurveyed and pushed. Surface Team: Gerald Atkinson and Terry Holsinger surveyed 270 metersin20stations all above ground. They surveyed around the perimeterofthe large surface sink near the cave entrance and measured the depthofthe sink. They tied the survey into surface locationsoftwo adjacent water wells that draw water from the cave stream.Oneofthese wells is no longer operating and one was drilled in the last few years with the helpofcavers pin-pointing the location to drill. Gerald and Terry alsotied the survey into the surface locationofthe old mine shaft.Thefinal actofthe weekend was measuring the depthofnew water well to the surfaceofthe cave stream. Everyone Else:Therestofthe teams that went into the cave were mostlyontourist trips.Andrew?,Jessica Snider, and Takasumi Sasaki went upTheCrevice, as did Jennifer Hrobar, Preston Coleman, and Aaron Wilkinson. Bobby DeVos, Wayne Dye,ThomRetsema, and Milo Marks also took a tourist trip upTheCrevice, and so did Lawrence Najjar, Ky Macpherson, and John Tirums.TheCrevice is a popular passage. Travis Kinchen led Travis and Ashley Lanham to explore the 3rd Crevice and one team, Tom Haile, Sue Pizzo, andSammyPizzo bit at TerryHolsinger's"treasure hunt" scam and went to take picturesofthe new well pipe in the downstream Stream Passage. There is some support for continuing trips to Powell's, proba blyona yearly basis. There are still things to do and there is no endofplaces to visitjustfor fun and adventure. Stay tuned!FERNflANKSI'UNC',sCAVEMa).,e-y.Tc...s......,..."....-..-.C'otW).....C'hotl

located at the topofthe Glen Rose Formation. The entire area lies along the Hidden Valley Fault. Many years ago a concrete dam had been constructed across the mouthofthe stream to protect the water source and to keep people out. The current owner began to break down the dam to gain access to the water. In August 2000 Andy Gluesenkamp and Ian Quigley spent a day helping the owner remove the dam and travertine from the entrance. The pas sage opened up and the water flow increase significantly. The landowner was very pleased and welcomed them to come back. A week later Andy and Ian returned along with Jacob Rolls and continued to chip, scoop and hammer for over seven hours. Many large (30-50kg) rocks were removed as well as travertine. Eventually a body sizetunnel followed the water upstream. About ten metersofpassage was visible and the prospectofa cave became a reality.AnUnusualBusinessTripNoah Jaffey By Friday I was just about ready to leave Houston. Actually, after a day I was ready to get out. The soul-less streets and stickyairhad taken their toll.Ifthis was Texas then it must be a desolate place to live indeed. How wrong I was...Over lunch my client, Tom Byrd had invited me on a camping weekend in the hill country. It sounded interesting, and better than camping out on Padre Island, which is what I had planned. I hadnocamping gear either way, so what the hell. Heading out alone on the road to San Antonio I felt the thrillofthe unknown. Would I find this ranch in the middleofnowhere?Asthe red sun set over the juniper forest and the sky's gradation from red to deep dark blue emerged, I neared the spot. Such a magnificent dusk! As full dark fell I pulled into the ranch and up to the front desk. Already you could feel the atmosphereoffriends being reunited, of excitement for the weekend to come. It was infectious and I gottochatting with someofthe others waiting in line. My first move was to the food tent, priorities must be gotten right. Trying to get involved in conversations, my opening line "so are you cavers then?" must have sounded rather stupid, but it did the trick and soon I was in full flow with Ron, Catherine and others who coincidentally knew Tom. Not only knew him but had picturesofhim naked. Now I was starting to get a little worried. Had I stumbled upon a groupofnaturists, or something worse? My mind was soon put to rest though as the evening flowed on,asdid the beer and margaritas (oh, those lovely margaritas...).I befriended the folk in the next tent, who stopped me from goingtobed too early. Everyone had a welcoming smile and a story. The night took an interestingturnwhen I was invited up to the 'hot tub'. Six days later Andy returned with Rob Tait. They continued to remove large rocks and chip away at the travertine build up. Eventually Andy was able to squeeze through a tight partofthe passage into a large room. More big rocks were removed and Rob was able to follow. Following the passage upstream Andy was able to explore another twenty metersofpassage. At this point the two returned to the surface. The landowner welcomed them back the next week to start surveying the cave. A week later Andy returned to Little Arkansas with Aimee Beveridge, Charlie Savvas, and Ian Quigley to beginthe survey. A totalof205 feet were surveyed. The following week Andy, Jean Krejca, and Cindy Lee sur veyed another 92 feet for a totalof297 feet. Several more trips followed for surveying and blasting. The general natureofthe cave is a long crawl in the stream with a build upoftravertine and a low ceiling. At times the ceiling is so low(Cont.onpq.99)News:TripReport"Ohgreat" says I,'Tllget my bathing trunks" "No, youwon'tbe needing them" was the reply, along with a wry grin. Well, either this lady fancied me or everyone was doing it. Either way was fine by me so I followed them happily through the trees. There was something fairy-like about the route there. A stringofmulticoloured lights illuminating the track through the wood, and nearing the ringofpeople and the fire. Was I in Titania's realm? There appeared to be nude cherubs and sylphs surrounding the fire. Hold on, they had beards, and started to look a little too butch for cherubs! Ooops, time to look away...After a while chatting by the fire the inhibitions fell away and it was time to take the plunge myself. Discreetly off with the clothes and into the tub great,don'tthink anyone saw me. God this water feels good! So that's what she looks like without her clothes on...mmm. Its funny, when everyone is nude it stops being a sexual thing. They're the same as before, just naked. This was a bitofa revelation to me as it's not something that can be easily experimented with in the Scottish climate, not without the riskoflosing your privates anyway. Maybe Texas wasn't so bad after all...Bedding down under the stars the evening was toppedoffwon derfully by a big sky, something I cherish, living in a densely pop ulated area where the night's sky is usually orange. Tonight it was black and deep and brilliant! I dozed off, beneath only a blanket with a feelingofwarmth and excitement. Serendipity had brought me to this wonderful place to meet suchwelcoming people. Such luckcan'tbe accidental! The next day dawned cold and damp, but with a clear blue sky. Dew has saturated my bedding andpillow; time to get up and find Tom. I found him swiftly, and a welcoming mugofcoffee. The day began with meeting Tom's compatriots guys who had explored uncharted caves in long lost jungles. I began to get hun gry for some adventure and to do a little caving myself.91


Afewhours later I was standing above a deep shaft in a wet suit (which wasn't mine), torches (borrowed) and two caving companions (whoI'dmet ten minutes ago). Sorted. This caving larkiseasier than I thought! I was all ready to get winched down into the murky depths when the experienced guys (Kurt and co.) arrivedtogiveusa pep talk. The pep talk started welI but refer encesto'people not coming out again' and 'getting washed out months later' started to erode my unbeatable confidence. Talkof'bad air'and'dangerous sumps' bought it crashing down alto getherandwe(Beryn, Robin and myself) resolved totrythe eas ier spring entrance, where, if nothing else, we could see grownmenandwomenintheir birthday suits. Arriving at the spring was like arriving at children's play groundinsummer. Everyone chatting and mucking about near thewater.Just what the doctor ordered! Still no signofa cave though...Meeting Tom again he gave me some useful caving advice and pointed out the entrance. Taking his advice I teamed up withAndy,who wasofcourse naked (recurring theme here perhaps?),andI stood on the thresholdofmyfirst real cave.NowI've wanted to go caving ever since the ageoffive whenmymother read 'The Hobbit' to me. The dark tunnels beneath the Misty Mountains fascinated me, along with the secret passages in Smaug's Lonely Mountain. Entering Honey Creek Water Cave I felt like Bilbo, creeping down toward the dragon's lair, or making the first steps into the uncharted depthsofMoria. Deeper in though, these thoughtsfaded and a deeper feeling replaced them. Thiswasprimordial; being beneath the earth, inside the rock. The lack of clothes around me accentuated the feelingofthis being araw,primitive experience making it deeper and more spiritual.Itwasalso,ofcourse, bloody good fun! Getting into the deeper water was a leapoffaith. Luckily the wetsuit buoyed meupand we were soon underway up the tunnel.InAndy's company I felt safe. After a while (no idea how long, as I lost trackoftime completely) I tired and let him go on, leavingmehangingona rare rocky protuberance in the tunnel wall, alone. This was the best part, onmyown in the cave, surrounded by warm water and thousandsofdelicate stalactites. I turned off the light and relaxed into the thick, rich silence, letting the water sup portmyweight. After a time others came and went, their faint lights and sounds slowly approaching and thenwaning. Later I began to feel the chill and it was time to go. Working out a leg cramp I started the return journey. Thisisthe right way.I'msure this is the right way...isn't it? Maybe it's not. Maybe it was down that shadowy side tunnel I though I saw back there...MaybeI'mgoing the wrong way...I'mgoing the wrong way.I'mlost. Shit, the tunnel has ended. No, maybeitsthat 'Whistler's Mother' sump thing. Better go underandsee.Itdoesn't look the same as it did on the wayin.Maybe there's not enough space for me on the other side. Count to threeandunder Igo...Shit,don'trecognise this bit. Better go on for a bitandcheck, I can always goback...WishI'dstayed with Andy or Creature.I'mtotally lost now, starting to panic.I'llnever findmyway out, drown when I haven't the strength to keep swimming.I'msure it wasn't this far on the way in...must be the wrong way.I'mlost,I'mbloodylost...Oh there's a side passage here. I'll go on further. Hold on, lets go back and check that side passage. There are the plastic plate thingys!I'mthere! Thank f***k! I made it back. The blinding sunlight greets you like the armsofa girlfriend, warm and safe. That evening was legendary,ofcourse. The best part wasn't the lazy afternoon in the hammock(anditwas comfy), nor the giant helpingsofweird and wonderfulfood(and it was tasty), nor even the sightofnubile noodle-covered ladies grappling with each other (anditwas mightily gratifying to see such things!), it was the chat. Chat with the cave pioneers who lowered the first ropes into the abyssal depthsofgreat caves in Mexico. Chat with the local families out for some fun. Discussing Texas history with Sam's wife. Finding out about strange colIege rituals from the young guys. Debating politics and the stupidityofgolf with Richard. Having a laugh. It carried on into the night...Many hours, and too much beer later I wandered back tomycamp. A shooting star flashed across the sky. I wished for what I always wish for when I see them, and thought that tonight I had found it. Sunday morning I was still high on the day before. Getting up at 4am and driving (half cut for the first hour) back to Houston to catch my plane wasn't as unpleasant as it sounds, with the imme diate memories making me smile. Luckily the local police didn't pull me over. Interestingly, a few days (and muchjetlag) later Tom told me that the beer I had brought along was the same brandashis friend had made a film about.Itwas Shiner Bock and I had been camped next to Frank Binney, the makerofthe film 'Lastofthe Little Breweries'. Somehow this didn't surprise me as the weekend had been fulIofserendipity and good fortune. Too much to be coinci dence realIy. Maybe someone was trying to tell me something...Looking back at this jewelofa weekend it feels like I was with an extended family.I'llmiss you, but I know I'll see you again, some day.YOURSPECIALISTINCAVE&BATBooks&relatedIllerchandiseGifts.jevvelry.teeshirts&IlloreONLINECATALOCj=speleobooks.COIllEIllilyDavisSCHOHARIE,NY12157P.OBox10518/295-7978;FAX'EID.llY@speleobooks.coID.CATALOGSISSUED92


lGovernmentCanvonKarstSunevlithand 12th October, 2003 by Marvin Miller trip partIcIpants: Rick Corbell, Marvin Miller, Rebecca ODaniel, Andrew Waite, Roger Waite Saturday Activities The five participants headed to Area 7 to continue ridge-walk ing this region directly northofwhere the park visitor's centerwillbe built.Wefound 3 sinks, none very promising, and got completely soaked in the light rain that fell from mid-morning on.Wekept pushing through the wet conditions, however, and man aged to finish Area 7 by about 3:30 in the afternoon. That was enough punishment for one day. Sunday Activites On SundayIjoined Roger and Andrew for some caving.Wewentup to Hackberry Sink.Itook Roger and Andrew into the passagethat heads toward Dancing Fern Cave and stationed them attheend where some too-small passages continue. ThenIwent back outofthe cave and entered Dancing Fern.Icrawled to the northern endofthe cave where the passage gets too small in sev eral directions.Ipicked oneofthe passages and yelled intoitasloudasIcould.Iyelled several times and then heard a faint replyMilestoneReachedatBindseilsWellby Rick Corbell August 25, 1991 will be remembered by the San Antonio cavingcommunity as a momentous occaision. The floorofthe originaldrywell was uncovered this day. A hole in the floor beckons project leader Randy Waters and a bandofdie-hard cavers to pushformore at a later date. Lateness in the day and lackofa heavy sledge led the triumphant crew to call it quits. No one was disap pointed to leave even such a promising lead. Why get in a rushnow,after four years? One reason would be the tremendous airflow.Bindseil's Well is also known as Bindseil's Wind Tunnel and Bindseil's Blow Hole. Survey tape has been blown completely upandoutofthe well when conditions were right. As bucket after bucketofhousehold trash, bottles and cans were lifted outofthe flrst 5 metersofthe well, fierce air flow would blow dirt outofthe floor into the facesofeager cavers. Then through rock and dirt to a total depthof20.7 meters (68 ft) the air continued to wreak havoc on the dust-filled eyesofthe digging crew. Finally wefoundwhere nearly one hundred years ago the well diggers gaveup.Now we could tell Dan Bindseil that we had found the bottomof the well and that we had a pretty good reason whythe originaldiggers quit.Weare sure he will letuscontinue to push thesearchfor more cave.Itis not just a dry well filled in. Twometersfrom the surface, a lead was explored in January 1963 by 93News:TripReportfrom Andrew in Hackberry Sink. WhileIhad been pretty sure these caves connected through oneofthese small passages, this was confirmation. The airflow situation was intriguing. Dancing Fern almost always has air blowing outofit. This day was no exception. However, the passage in Hackberry Sink felt very dead. The first and only other time we had been in this passage there had been airflow into it.I'mquite sure this airflow was drafting from the Hackberry Sink entrance to the Dancing Fern entrance.Iassumed that we had solved the riddleofthe air coming outofDancing Fern. On this day however, Hackberry Sink had no airflow and Dancing Fern was still blowing. WhenIwas in the cave yellingIgot a response from the first passageIyelled down. The reply, however, seemed to be coming mostly from the directionofanother passage that headed more westerly.Iwent to that passage and yelled and got no reply, but from this passage there was good airflowcoming out.Iconfirmed later with the guys that they had hung around for some time after they had first heard me yell but didn't hear any more. There is undoubtably more cave to be dis covered but not much chanceofgetting into it from inside eitherofthe caves. A search for another surface sink may be in order.Weended our caving at about noon, since Roger and Andrew had to drive back to Fort Worth and sinceIwas feeling a bit drained due to a mild illness.News:OldTripReportBill Russell and Terry Raines (CavesofComal County, TSS 1971). Then in Octoberof1985, Randy Waters, Bob Cowell and Alan Cobb opened moreofthe lead using charges (Comal County cave files). Water wells drilled nearby all blow air. They all are deep into the Edwards Limestone over two hundred feet.Ifthose men who dug the well had known as much about the Edwards Aquiferasis now known, they would have waited for better tech nology.DustfromablastatBindseil'sclearedinlessthanfiveseconds.RandyWatersandKurtMenking.PhotobyRickCorbell


August1991.CarlPonobshek,MarkMintonandRandyWaters.PhotobyRickCorbell.Itwas such air flow that encouraged digging to start into the well. At first the digging was easy through the household junk. Plastic buckets were filled and handed up to the surface. Progresswasfastsoinjust a few digs a crude frameofjuniper posts was erected and a pulley rig used. By May 1987 (Bexar Facts), the depth was "nearly forty feet". A more elaborate wooden framewasbuilt and a platform added around the well opening for safety.Buckets were fabricated from freon cylinders and chain bails. Loads weighing 80 pounds were pulled by "mules", some requir ing two "mules". By this time a safety board was also suspended just above the digging crew -a sheetofplywood with a bucket sized hole. A gasoline-powered winch built by Arnold Lesley andmewas added to the arsenal in the summerof1990. Due to a strong concern for safety, the going was very slow. Lift distance also played a delaying role. Communication was hampered by the winch engine, so an intercom was rigged on the last dig provingtobeanimprovement to safety and speed. The winch operator could hear all sounds from down hole and immediately start up the winch. Previously, top-hole bucket handlers had to strain to hear the diggers and then signal for the winch to lift. Oftentimes the commands were not issued as needed, causing some anxious moments and delays.Wewill be ever the more vigilant in regards in regards to safety and maintain our good record. At18meters a side lead was dug through a shattered layerofrock. After much collapse, a 4-meter horizontal crawl, now leadstoa narrow creviceangling downward and away from the well. It appearstoturninthe directionofthe lead in the bottomoftheThecrackatthebottomofBindseil's.PhotobyRickCorbell.May1990.FirstuseofwinchoperatedbyRickCorbell.Lefthandonthrottle,righthand(gloved)onshiftlever.Winchdoublechainedtotree.Bucketsonendoflinehauledupfrom60ftdepth.Bindseil'sWellnearBracken.well. Judging from the air flow, a connection seems likely. Terry Raines and some guests dropped by Bindseil's on this eventful day some 28 years after first seeing the well. What a remarkable coincidence for Terry to see the well again on the day it was finally emptied. Our motto might be"Ifyou don't already have a cave, dig one." (NOTE/ Nov 2003. The winch was built with parts donated by and is currently owned by Alan Montemayor. The steel buckets with chain bails are available for caver use. Contact Rick Corbell 210/659-2351)FirstuseofthewinchatBindseil's.May1990.RickCorbellandArnoldLesley.94


HARRISONCAVEVISITBy Jim McLane The second weekend in July, Donna Mosesmann and I drove 8 hours out to Sutton County in West Texastoattend a staff meet ingofthe Texas Cave Conservancy. A chance to visit the almost mythical Harrison Cave on the 1O,000-acre Bond ranch was the reason that brought the staff together at that rather remote place.Aspartofthe TCC staff, Donna was asked to evaluate routes through the cave that could minimize the adverse impactoffuture caver traffic. In the past she's helped with restoration efforts in Beck RanchCave, Carlsbad Caverns and the CavernsofSonora. Harrisonisoneofthe largest, deepest, and in many respects one of the most impressive caves in Texas. Starting in the late 1950's Abilene Cavers explored and mapped for about fifteen years until the ranch was sold. The newer corporate owners would not give permission for additional visits. The cave remained closed except for one special trip in the 1970's conductedfor a StateofTexas survey. After ten years tryingtogain access, Mike Walsh finally got permission in 2002. Harrison Cave has only one known entrance, a hole about15feet or so across. Someone has placed a large steel grating from the top draw worksofan oil well over the entrance to keep cows from falling into the shallow pit. The entrance drops straight down about15feet into a room 40 feet in diameter that's fullofdangling tree roots. A bat colony lives near the cave's entrance, but the ceiling in this areaishigh and cavers passing below don't disturb the bats. The passage rapidly opensupand descends over massive breakdown blocks that have fallen from the ceiling. Someofthe breakdowniscovered with very fragile cave popcornandslippery bat guano. The main passage heads off in two oppo site directions. Both ways go on for many thousandsoffeet.Inone direction a huge room over 450 feet long, 100 feet wide and 30-40 feet highisset along a steadily downward-trending slope at about a 30-degree slant. Thisisoneofthe deeper caves in Texas and the lower levels are two hundred or so feet vertically below the surface. Cavers have to negotiate crawlwaystoreach the extremitiesofthe cave. These remote rooms contain delicate formations so vis itors must exercise extreme care. It might be wise to install fixed lines or permanent rope belay points to protect some incredible helictite and popcorn covered walls that are endangered by current access routes. The cave has many promising leads that remain unexplored. It takes an entire daytosee all the mapped passages,andwe only experienced half of it on this trip. Although an old dateof190Iwas observed, the caveisrelatively devoidofgraffitior any obvious indicationsofearlier human visits. Currently the Texas Cave Conservancy has exclusive permis siontoevaluate this cave. Its pristine condition and unusual beautymake it imperativetolimit the sizeofgroups, so our particular visit was a great privilege. The Bond Ranchisfor sale for slightlymore than $4,500,000. The Texas Cave Conservancy is work-NEWS:FROMTHETCCingtoexpandtheir management agreement into an ownership sit uation. I wanttocommend the Conservancy director Mike Walsh for negotiating a windowofopportunity for afewfolkstosee this great cave. For Donna and me, this was an opportunity nottobemissed and I hope that future cavers will have this same thrill.Irecommend that others join with, and support the Texas Cave Conservancy's efforts to protect caves like Harrison and its many smaller brothers for the benefit ofusall. A few comments heard that weekend were: "atypical, huge passage", "only crawled once", "wonderful breeze", "no trouble using up film", "lotsofbats", "great cave", "large, big passage", "seems like it will go farther west duetodirectional airflow", "130 foot pit". Here's listofmostofthe cavers attending the TCC staff meet ing the second weekend in July.IfI overlooked listing anyone who was out at Harrison's,Ioffermyapologies! Mike Walsh Staff, Spencer Woods-Staff, Bob Batson, Dan Oughton, Scott Surer-Staff, Bill Allred, Bob Finger-Staff, Walter Oleneck, Tom Brown-Staff, Jack Ralph-Staff, Jerry Fant-Staff, David De Luna Jr., Jo Ann De Luna, Joe Mitchell, Joe Ranzau-Staff,Christi Bennett-Staff, Steve Gutting-Staff, Patty Gutting, Ann Murphree, James Murphree, Travis Scott-Staff, Amanda Scott-Staff, Shannon Summers, Jason Rogers, Bonner Walsh, Dave (Cave) McClung, Donna Mosesmann-Staff Jim McLaneNews: FromtheTCMAMovin'DirtBy Linda Palit "Movin' dirt" has been the goal of Robber Baron weekends during the last year, and the unusual rains that happen each time we try to work seriously hinder that goal. But dirtismoving:todate 236 yards have been hauled away, and about half that muchisready for the next trucks to haul away. Big machinery and lots of people in the path are not too com patible, so we have limited our trips this fall. But in the near future there will be a great need for personnel to help build rock walls, perhaps finish diggingbyhand, build retaining walls, land scape, and get ready to reopen the cave. Excitement is in the progress, andinthe amazing glitches along the way. The challengeofflat tires, tires off rims, treads off mini-excavators, dragging bumpers on the pavement, and run away trailers keep the trips novel, and keepusglad we are not out there workin' alone. Watch for the announcements of the work trips about the first of the year, when we hope to be doing all the chores that require lotsofbodies and mindstohelp with. Andifyou can drive a bob cat or run a mini-excavator, letusknow sooner.95


TOOLS:HowTo&NOTToLeft:TomBrownoverseesaspelunkeronrope.Right:LindaPalitsteadiesaclimber.On the first day, we wenttosome60-foot cliffs and practiced rappelling techniques. This was the first time on rope for a numberofthe students, who seemed to enjoy the event very much. The second day was too rainytopractice ascending techniques at the cliffs, so we rigged some trees near the office, and did the best we could in the inclement weather. Frog and rope-walker systemswere used, and some change-over techniques were practiced. Jaime Kypuros, Lisa Kypuros, Rebecca0'daniel, John Hoyt, Steve Johnson, Ron Vaughn, Don Arburn, John Tirums,AsWeyGredell, Ernie Garza, Denise Prendergast, Mark Maher, Sarah Null, Joe Ranzau The training was very thorough, starting at the beginner level. Trainingincluded both discussion and hands-on practice. Topics covered included tying knots, rigging a drop, descending and ascending equipment, safety considerations, and many personal experiencesofour very experienced instruc tors.Below:GearySchindelteachesknotstonovices.PhotosbyAlanCobbThere were 20 students including: Staff included:VerticalTrainingSeminarByDenise PrendergastOnOctober25and 26, 2003, avertical training session was held on the groundsofGovernment Canyon State Natural Area. The instructors were: Christi Bennett, TSA Vice Chairman, Anne Murphy, Joe Ranzau, TSA Treasurer Geary Schindel, Linda Palit, Allan Cobb,TomBrown, Bob Cowell, Jon Cradit Christie Rogers, Kyle McDaniel, RichardWark,Jenni Hrobar,KimDavis, Justin Daniel,96


Studentslisteningtotheinstructorsonamisty,wetafternoonatGovernmentCanyon.PhotobyAlanCobbGeary Schindel would be interestedindoing another such training class or a more advanced vertical training classifenough people were interested. Please let him know at gschindel@rnind Many thanks to the training staff for the yummy lunches on both days and the Government Canyon staff for being so helpful and allowingusto hold the training at such a nice;\IINI:SSI:Si\SI:I:NIJH\Uji\SI:I:NIJI:IIS&IJI:I:I:NIJI:IISI:;\IU\IIINI:IIS&I)III.I.I:\'SIJOIJINlj(il:;\111101'1:&I:OIU);\ljl:IIIU:I(1.lIjll'l'SI);\I:I(SI(NI:I:I);\I)S1:I.0'l'IIINljl:n"I'INljINS'I'IUJI:'I'IONS\A'OIU(Going on an expedition?GGGcan supply gear from rope and screwlinks, todrybags and sewing awls, to nalgenes and stoves.Please mailanyquestionsorcommentsto:Sales@GonzoGuanoGear.comToplaceanorder orgeta catalog, callusat915-247-5165WeacceptVisaand Mastercard for your convenience.Forestablished customers,wewill also ship and bill for paymentbycheck or money order with30day terms. And, of course, cashisalways accepted. When placinganorder, telluswhat you want and where it's locatedinthe catalogue. Don't forget sizes and color choices when applica ble.Forcustom sewing orders, we'll need to talk with you to make sure wegetthe info we need to build what you want to fit you properly.97


Let.s ReviewlegalManeuversBy BillRussellYounever know what you might learn at the TSS. Have you ever wondered how the Federal Government acquired the authoritytoimpose development restrictions to protect endangeredcave species?Ata recent TSS workshop I found out, and thought the logic might interest other cavers. Ron Ralph was visitinganarcheologistinLampasses who gave him a copyofanenviron mental law review The Water Log-,with an article, "Aggregation Saves Texas Cave Species,"bySarah Elizabeth Gardner, J.D., (The Water Log 23.1 [2003]: 3-5), that answered thatveryquestion. A synopsis follows:In1983the two Purcell brothers purchased a tractofland in a rapidly developing area northofAustin. They began development workandinstalled utility lines. Five years later the United States FishandWildlife Service (FWS) listed five cave species as endan gered and informed the Purcells that their development plans might constitute "take." So, in 1990 the Purcells, in hopesofalle viating the problem deeded a portionoftheir land containing cavesandsinkholes to a non-profit environmental organization. However, after FWS informed oneofthe brothers he was under investigation for possible "take" for removing brush, the Purcells filed for a judgement that there development plans wouldnotconstitute "take", but the district court dismissed their action. The Purcells then applied for a privatelOapermit that would allow development by paying mitigation fees, but it was denied because the development was entirely within a protected area. They then applied to FWS for a development permit, which was not issued; the FWS ruled their preserves were inadequate to pro tect the cave species.Tomake matters worse FWS would not issue a formal denial, so the Purcells could not challenge the FWS action. The Purcells went to court, and the court found the per mits had been effectively denied, allowing the Purcells to chal lenge the FWS action. SothePurcells went back to court claiming the land use restric tions exceeded congress' authority under the power to regulate interstate commerce. The District Court for the Western DistrictofTexas ruled for the government. The landowners appealed.Howcould cave species be involved in interstate commerce? The courts have ruled that individual activitiesofthe same type couldbeaggregated together in order to show a substantial effect.Inone case a wheat grower wanted to avoid regulation by producing wheat only to meet his own needs. The court ruled that whilehiscontributiontothe demand for wheat was trivial,allgrowersofwheatfortheir own use "were far from trivial,"andthe home use growers could be regulatedashavinganeffect on interstate commerce. As Purcell's case wenttotrial, FWS argued that the cave species themselves had substantial effectoninterstate commerce-scien tists had traveled to Texastostudy the cave species; cave species had been transported to museums in five states. The Fifth Circuit Court dismissed these arguments. The court also found therewasnohistoric trade in cave species, nor do tourists come to Texastoview them. However the court also looked at the planned develop mentofthe property and decided that that development activity does have a substantial effect on interstate commerce, and this gives the government the right to regulate development and thus the Purcells land use.Itis hard to argue that development in the aggre gate does not effect interstate commerce, but one also must have some sympathy for the Purcells. And also appreciate why some landowners might not want a cave on their property.WhatCaversCanlearnfromNASA.By Bill Russell Since the Columbia disaster NASA has been cited as a "flawed culture" that doesn't learn from their mistakes. Both the Columbia and Challenger disasters were causedbythe failureofthings that had failed before: O-rings in the caseofthe Challenger, and insu lating foam in the caseofthe Columbia. The explorationofspace is somewhat more technically complicated than cave exploration despite the effortsofBill Stonebut there is muchincommon. Especially similar is the forceofmission. By the time cavers reach the first dropina cave much time, effort and ego have been invested in the trip.Wecan'tcancel the trip just because we don't have a rope pad. But think back; after your last trip you had to cut a bad section outofyour long rope.Itwasn't the first O-ring fail ure that caused a catastrophe. Cavers have to take careofthemselves. Neither Congress nor the NCRC can do the job forus.Cavers need to learn from prob lems. Did you get really cold in Honey Creek Cave? Did your group get separated in the middleofSistema Purificacion? Have you been somewhat disoriented going through the duck-under in Carrizal? Think about your past trips. Will the same things hap pen again? Why not? Let's fix the caver culture before cavers crash..CAVERSSERVIAJGCAVf.RS"P.O.Box 441-N, Lewisburg,WV24901(800) 262-2283 (304) 772-5049 (304) 772-3076 FAXwww.4bobandbob.com4bobandbob@4bobandbob.com98BooksVideosCalendersGiftSPacksPatchesGlovesRopeUghtsHelmetsVerticalEquipmentSurveyEquipmentGmCenmcatesl


Toro, Toro, ToroContinuedfrompaqe88Suddenly, something emerged from the draw in a rush and crashed into the left rear sideofthe van with a loud THUD. Amy, who had been asleep with her head against the window, awoke to find herself face-to-face with a MONSTER. She began to scream.Weall began to scream. Except Joe. He kept trying to drive. Then there was another THUD. And another. And another. More screams, the screams and the thuds merged into one chaotic chorus. Holland cut through the clamor with "Dad, GO! GO!GO! There is a cow ATTACKING our car!" Finally, the monster disappeared into the brush on the other sideofthe van and we continued on, gasping, trying to understand what had just happened. The van seemed a little slow, listing a little to one side. "Joe," I said,"Ithinkwe'vegot a flat." Joe said, "Jordan, look outside and seeifthe tire's flat." Jordan looked at Joe incredulously and slightly shook his head. Finally,heopened the door a crack, peaked out quickly, and slammed it shut. He nodded. "It's flat." "OK. Everyone out. Let's fix it." We all sat transfixed, immobile. The monster was still out there, lurking somewhere, hidden. What would it do next? But the people in the vehicles behind us were already streaming out what happened? Did you see that? Wow! What a trip! So it was relatively safe.Wegot out. The monster's head-on impact had separatedthe tire from the rim, popped out the valve stem, tore off the Dodge Caravan logo, and put dents in the side and backofthe mini-van. No puncture holes. It could have been worse. The scouts changed the tire, and we were ready to go. But no one wanted to ride in the van.Wefound rides in other vehicles and left the van alone in the fighting bull pasture, unprotected. Joe said,"1hope it's not a pin cushion when we get back." The general consensus was, "Good thing it's a rental." To this day, there is uncertainty as to which animal actually hit us, the running cow, her calf, or a different bull altogether. But the end result was the same an exciting adver.ture, an aversion to bulls, and $800 in damages to the rental mini-van. Does anyone knowofa good deal on a 4-Runner? Or a tank? Participants: Sunday morning bullfight Anne Souby, Joe Jones, Holland Jones, Alex Spinnler, Jordan Keeper, Ava Skrabanek, and Amy AlvisLittleArkansasContinuedfrompq.90that one will be almost completely submerged. There are two rooms, one being large enough for several cavers to stand in. The otherroomwill hold three cavers sitting close together. Fortunately, it is near the dig site and is a good staging area while waiting a turn to dig, especially if one has a carbide lamp to keep you company. The endofsurvey is a very low ceilingofbedrock that only Ian has been able to squeeze through.Tosqueeze through the tight restriction, Ian uses his Petzl helmet by moving it around to the right sideofthe passage until he fmds the one spot where it will fit. Then he follows the helmet through the restriction. The floor drops and he can sit up in chest deep water. The passage continuesasa crawl for about another15meters to a rim stone dam and this is where he stopped exploration. A mud choke just to the rightofEOS is currently being dug open in hopesofbeing a by passofthe low ceiling. The cave (where's all that water coming from?) and the property promise to be an excellent exploration site. Known caves such as Rattlesnake Cave, Cricket Cave, and Flat Rock Cave have been located and explored. There are many moreacres and karst features waiting to be searched and enjoyed.99


THE TEXAS CAVER1080 1 County Road116Kenedy, Texas 78119 DATED MATERIALAddress Service Requested100 PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID BEEVILLE, TX PERMIT NO. 882

Contents: News:
Features --
Sunday Afternoon at the Bull Fights -OR- Toro, Toro,
Toro: The Bull Story Trip Report / Anne Souby --
Little Arkansas, Hays County, Texas Trip Report / Cindy
Lee --
Tools: How To & Not To Vertical Training Seminar /
Denise Prendergast --
Let's Review Legal Maneuvers / Bill Russell --
Let's Review What Cavers Can Learn from NASA / Bill


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