The Texas Caver

The Texas Caver

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The Texas Caver
Series Title:
The Texas Caver
Texas Speleological Association
Texas Speleological Association
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Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
Technical Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


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Contents: Using Texas caves / William H. Russell -- Another trip to Deep Cave / Preston A. McMichail - The constitution and by-laws of the Texas Speleological Association -- Build a rappelling snap-link / Pete Lindsley -- Seven more caves found in San Saba County -- Board of Governors meetings June 24 -- Caver of the Month: Bob Rodgers, U.T.
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Vol. 7, no. 5 (1962)
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See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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K26-04452 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4452 ( USFLDC Handle )
10611 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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USING TEXAS CAVES, BY H RUSSELL ------------61 niP TO DEEP DAVE, BY ?RESTCN A. MCMICHAIL --62 Tt"E A im BY-LAV S OF THE TExAS SPELEClOGICAL kSSCCIATIC N -----------63 BUILD A AA"?ELLIN:; S NAP-lINK B Y PETE LINDSLEY ------65 SEVEr; M)i CAVES FOJND I N SAN SA6A CCU TY ----------07 OOAAC O F flEETINS JUlIE 24 ---------.--------00 C AVER O F HE BOB f'lC(X;ERS ---------------------69 NEW S OF THE GROTTOES ----------------------------71 ADVERT I 74 SUMME R I S HERE A GAIN A N D SOME GR OUPS ARE TEM PO R ARILY BROKEN U P FOR SUMMER HOLIDAYS, ACTIVITY IN TEXAS CAVING USUALLY I NCREASES. W H Y NOT M A KE T H I S SUMM E R THE MOST BENEF I C I f L AS FAR AS A CTUAL CAVING WORK I S CONC E RNED. ALON G WITH YOJR CASUAL "LOOKI N G AND "FLASH ING", O BSE R V E A L L U NUSUAL THINGS F O UND AND M AKE N O TE OF TH[I.'. VACAT I Qt;S ARE GOI NG T O BE PLENT I FUL A ND CAVER S WILL T AKE TO THE LIMES TONE A R EAS BY DR OVES AND F OR LON GER PERI-OD S O F TIME. ALREADY S EVERAL OUT-OF-STnE CAVERS HAVE W RITTEN ME I N D I CPTING THE I R I N T ER E S T IN S P E NDING PART OR ALL OF THEIR VACATION CAVING IN T H I S A REA. THIS TOO W ILL TO THE DPEC T D S TE PPED-UP A C T I VI TY_ S O . WHILE TH E CAVE A REAS A RE FULL, WILL AFFORD E T R A OPPORTUNITIE S FOR E SS I N M PPPING, SURVEYING, AND ALL O TH R CAVE-RELATED PROJEC T S PLANNI N AND OR GANIZING I S MOS T I N MAKING THE PRO J EC T S OF I NDIVIDUALS OR GROUP S EFFECTIVE AND MORE INTERESTING. PLAN YOUR T R IPS WELL IN ADV ANC E IF PO SS l eLE A ND MAKE SUR E YOU HAVE P L ENTY O F EQUI PMEN T PND SUPPLIES PND IN SPE;KI N O F P LPr-.:NI N T H E BO A R D O F GOVE R NORS M T I N O F T H E TEXAS S'ELEO LO C I CPL A SSOCIATI ON I S ONLY A FEW D A V S OFF W, AND I T I S H OPE () T HAT QJI TE A NUMBER O F C AV ERS IN-CLU()I N EvrN THOS E NOT IN OFFI'2IPL R E ? E E N T : T IVE UNDING CAN M E TO.ETH R S I P COF F r 0 COKE A'IlO Mt. N Y I NTERESTING FL'N T I ONS THE A SOC I n I N F O R TH E I NG ANC Fi-L L Y o r THERE YOU \IIG' TEXfS AT Tt'E C A C T U S C A F E N JUNE 2 4 TH 2 :00 ? M E'IlJ O V SOME C:"V I "G S A T UR()Ay THE 23RD t.NC CO .IE T C THE \IEE T I NG S UN rfY AFTERNOON WE WILL SEE VA! u:>,'fll U FT : C f\ V I C' .; ,,' V (LEFT L ENC A "';'NO ON A T R A V ERS E F'II,V I I N ,,"Co.; -. E T 0 T O '.: (::>I ';H T ) A -,r AL AVO ';',0 T T e l:; O V E R 90TH UP [':}TE"::;F ) ... r \... I S T,:) /l SEC:)'JO ;:>RI-'."TIVE 11\"Ii'll ' E >T E '."1(:11 ;E'T E::' ,,['IE'T'" HE O N E I THE LOWER cr T E P I -l.-[. ."'S WE:E I N J'VELI A SHE LTER, 13',( ""T '--X)U'lT\ 1'4 "IL, LO..[<; LEFT: HE JT U' H;)" .:,, ;,\';)r 1 = '1I\\ LII-.E II-OJ LQO" I.'; 0' (',T-ft,,",::r ;)r EA;:;L: Nf;T -;VE <>"EI"-T(" C O Y[ C V ING '-.... .'l;OYS" [ J I\I"." J A ::' .. E STES L;.>\\[ BOB O F n-E M:) N T H SEE S T O'-' V O F 80 't Be. THE TEXAS CAYER EDITOR STAFF MEliBERS 2818 South 39th Street Abilene, Texas James Estes ----Bart Crisman George Gray John Lanier Paxton Hutchiso n Gerald Roberts NEh'S SECRTARY -----------Irene Estes RE POHT';:;RS --------------M. D. .. ;c ... ...... Ka tberine Goodbar Frank Abbott James Reddell TJU; TEXAS CAVER i.s a monthly Texas Speleological Association of the National logic a l Society and is published in Abilene Subscrip tion rate is Z3.00 per annum and where in the world. I'.aterial for typed, double-spaced a nd mailed to the Editor b y third :'riday of the month preceding date of issue. date of issue is usually around the first Tuesday each month. THE T8XAS SlliLEOLOOICAL ASSOCIATION OFFICERS (1962): CHAIRIv.N ------Dudley Roberts 3207 Beverly Lane VICE CHAIHK,U, ---Austin, Texas Ruben M (Bud) r 0. Box 7635 U. T. Station Austin, Texas 12 SECRETARY-TREASURER -----James Estes 2818 S outh 39th St. Abilene, T e x as The Texas Spaleoloaica l Association i s a n iza tion co:nposed of s peleoloeists a nd spelunke r s in, S t a t e o f T e xas (foI"

THE TEXAS CAVER May, VD1. VII, No. 5 6 1 USES OF TEXAS CAVES with its over one thousand caves, has speleological resour-ces exceeded by only a fewstates; and though Texas is now probably the leading state in the use of these resources, much remains to be done before Texas caves are fully utilized. This article is not only a report on the present uses, but also an attemp t to outline areas of future development. Usually the first use of caves to b e considered is their use for storag e a nd emergency shelter. Examination of Texas caves, however, shows they have sev features that make these uses generally i mpractical. The caves are frequently isolated, and located in rugged terr a in. They are often wet a nd sometimes flooded ; a nd even large caves are usually constricted in m a ny places, and would in g eneral require sO much modification that the building of conveniently located shelters would be far less e xpensive. A report prepared by the University of Texas Geolog y Department has discouraged the u s e of c aves for civil defense shelters, a n d a n attempt to use a Texas cave for storage of r a d ioactive waste has been met vi t h opposition. At present Texas caves a r e little used for storage, a nd this use is not likely to increase. In spite of their disadvantages, Tex a s caves c a n be utilized. One of the n elfe s t m e ans of he ating and cooling is the h e a t pump. This is a device that use s t he relatively constant temperature of the e arth to cool a house d uring the summer and .. arm it during the vTinter. In thi s same manner Tex a s c a ve s c a n b e utili z e d to save much of the cost of he ating cooling Cool air from the cave could be used directly for summe r aircon ditioning and during the winter c a ve air could be war med a t far less cost than t h e cold vTinter air. A t t h e present tim e cave air is used by a S a n Antonio green hous e to maintain a consta n t t e m pe r ature, by William H. Russell, U.T. and perhaps by a few home s for summer cooling; but the time m a y .. ell co m e ,.,hen an Edwards Plateau r ancher wanting to build a ne,., house will not o nly drill a water well, but also an air \1ell. By far the most liu portant use of Texas caves will be their u s e for artifi cial ground water recharge. The pioneering studies of Uvalde County h a ve shown the ''lay for much of West T e x a s to c a p t ure run-off water tha t othe n-lis e ,.,o u l d be wasted. In the limestone a r e a s of c entra l a nd west Texa s most of t h e wat e r reaching the w a t e r t able does s o throug h c aves a nd fractures; and t h e s tudies conducted by Uvalde County h a v e Sh011n hovT thi s flow may be greatly i ncre ased b y encourag ed 'vat e r to flm-/' into c a ves loca t e d in river beds. T he natural r e charge throug h these c a ves is l i mited as t h e entrances are usually jamm e d v I i th logs a nd g r avel. In Uvalde Count y a nu m b e r o f t he c aves have had their entra n ces enla r ged and covere d with a g r ating ; a nd in s o m e cases a d a m has been built dmmstrearn to increa s e the flOvl into the c a v e T h ese efforts h a ve be e n to a l a r g e ex t ent successful a nd will e n able othe r Texas countie s to add t o their ,.,at e r sup ply \Vi thout t he con struction of costly reservoir s Spelunkers c a n a i d in this dev elopment both by c a r efully locating the many c a v e s suitable for r e c harge and in mak i n g t he county a nd ,-/'ater bo ard off icia l s Ui'la r e of the prog r e s s m ade in Uvalde C o unty. This use of Tex a s c a ves i s n o w o n l y i n i t s in f ancy, a nd vlill gre atly increase as the use of vlater surpasse s t h a t n aturally e n t ering t h e w a t e r table T e x a s c a ves a lso h a v e m a ny scien tific uses. T h e y p rovi d e a n i n v a l uab l e biologica l labora t o r y 1Ilher e t h e effec t s of constant d a r l m e s s a n d t elDper ature c a n be stud i ed T h e m a n y v arjed a n d uniq u e forms of T e x a s c a v e life are kno vffi throughout the w orld. TexJ.s c a v e s pro vide a r e c o r d of t he geo l O Gic past


2 May, Vol VII, No. 5 THE TEXAS CAVER throug h t he b ones a n d other deposits pres erved in them The geological study of c a v e s also provides clue s to the origin \ and dev elopment of t h e underground v oirs from whi c h comes m uch of Texas' ioTa t er. The recreational use of caves is well e s t ablis hed in Texas with several commercial c aves a nd one state park introducin g thousa nds of tourists to the world of c a ves. And to the spelunke r t h e Texas c aving area provides challenging e xplorat j o n e qual to that of any state. There is one use of Texas caves, howev er, t ha t adversely effects all these oth e r uses and should be discontinued as soon a s pos sible. That is the of for sewage disposal. In, Bome areas o f West Texas, particularly around Rocksprings much r a w sewage is dumped into c a ves. And as t h e open channels in caves provide no f iltra t ion or purification, this sewage will eventually find its way into n e arby wells and wat e r supplies. W i th the grOi .... th of Texas populat ion the use of caves will greatly increase, and it is up to the present spelunkers to collect d a t a and encourag e con s erva t ion s o that the speleologica l res ources of the state will not be N asted a n d dest roye d. ANOTIlER TRIP TO reE P CAVE by Preston A. McMichail, Houston For Neeks I looked forw ard to the Eas t e r w eeke nd, for it was the n that I h a d planne d to r eturn to West Texas and make a partia l survey of Deep Cave. I had onl y one companion, Ray Ellis. H e w a s a comp l e t e novice at cav ing, but a c apable guy and one who \....asn't afr id o f heights or dark places. From the University or Houstoh had borrowed a surveyor's altimeter, compass, and the rmom eter. \'/e pla nned to find o u t j u s t how dee p Deep C a ve was. I though t i s might come close to the 371-foot r ecord held b y L angtry Lea d Cave. At 5 : 20, Saturda y evening \ .... e ent ered the c a v e Ray tinkered with the altimet e r z eroing it in on a fla t rock ,l'At 1 t we seem e d to be r e ady. Leaving the greenish light of the tiny entrance, we started down the slope. Sometimes we worked our way down the sides of boulders and around gigantic hunks of limestone. Climbing down was made tedious by the 200-foot coil of rope we carried. It seemed to snag on every projection. At a depth of 140 ft. we reached a wall covered with soda straws and helictites. There was some baconrind here too, and in a fissure we saw odd little mush room s t alagmites. The thermometer read 730 The direction we had been traveling was almost due north, and of course, down. From my right Ray called and asked if we were to go down the slope ahead. I w a s gazing at formations when I replied, "If it looks okay." "It looks fine to me, I'll throw the rope on down." He did, and we soon wished he had not. We listened to it plummet downward, striking time after time. There was a final crash, followed by the sound of rolling rocks, and then silence. Crawling on a boulder that jutted out like the prow of a ship, I foUnd myself gazing down into a huge pit. Ray had not been able to see the sudden drop from above. Sixty feet below we could see the floor. In it were tworound openings,about 10 feet across. There was no sign of the rope The walls were sheer, and we could see no way down. \'/e separated, hoping to find a way into the pit, and I followed a narrow passag e that took me over popcorn-covered boulders and through small chambers. At last I dropp ed into a small room. Water seeped from the white ceiling and dripped down coral .... alls. I was sure that I 'was in virgin cave a gain. Ray soon joined me. His lead had dead-ended in a small, dry chamber. All he had found there were the bones of a goat. In one side of the room wasa slanting fissure just wide enough to squeez e through. 1 decided to try it. When I got throug h the fissure I was on the balcony of another pit. The floor lay about forty feet below. (continued on pa g e 70)


THE TEXAS CAVER May, VoL VII, No. 5 Article 1.: Article ll: Article III: Article IV: Article V: Article VI: Article VII: THE CONSTITUTION OF THE TEXAS SPELEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION The name of this organization shall be the Texas Speleological Association. The purposes of this association shall be: A. To promote and coordinate the speleological activities in the State of Texas. B. To promote the purposes and aims of the National Speleological Society. Membership shall be open to all grottoes and members of the National Speleological Society in the State of Texas, and to any person or group of persons whose purposes and aims are consistent with those of the National Speleological Society. The governing body of the Texas Speleological Association shall be the Doard of Governors. The Board of Governors shall consist of the officers of the Texas Speleological Association, two representatives from each of the member grottoes, and two representatives-at-Iarge representing the members not affiliated with a member grotto. No Board member shall exercise more than one vote at Board meetings. The Texas Speleological Association officers shall be as follows: A. Chairman B. Vice-Chairman C. Secretary-Treasurer Officers shall be elected for a term of one year by the Board of Governors. Elections shall be held at least 30 days before the end of the calendar year. Terms of office shall begin on the first day of the calendar year following the elections. A regular meeting of the Texas Association shall be held at least once each calendar year at a time a nd pla ce designated by the Board of Governors. Amendments to the Constitution shall be proposed by a two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Governors. A propo s ed amendment shall become effective upon its ratifica t ion by a sim p l e majority of the members of the Texas Speleological Association, provided that ratification become s effective within one ye a r from the date of the proposed amendment. 63


fJ4 May, Vol. VII, No.5, THE TEXAS CAVER BY-LAWS O F THE TEXAS SPELEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION I In pursuance with the aims of the National Speleological Society, information concerning speleology in the territory of the Texas Speleological Association shall be distributed periodically by means of a publication. II. Designation of the time and pla ce of Board of Governors meetings shall be made by the Chairman of the Association. of such meetings shall be made by mail at least fourteen (14) days in advance to all members of the Texas Speleological Association. III. The Board of Governors shall be responsible for conducting the affairs of the Association. IV. Notification of the meetings of the Texas Speleological Association shall be made at least 30 days in advance to all members of the Association. V An official memb e r s h i p list of the Texas Speleological Association shall b e published a t least once each calendar year. The Secretary-Treas'urer shall b e responsible for the publication of this list. VI. In the abse nce of specific rules of order in the Constitution and By-Laws of the Texas Speleological Association, the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall apply. VII. The By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Gov ernors. THE ABSENT MINDED PROFESSOR ( <> a (if lie R T l til orne, othschil d hese calcite are a bit pecu lar'


THE ,TEXAS CAVER Nay, Vol VII,. No. 5 6 5 BUILD A RAPPELLI N G SI\JAP LINK Advantages: by Pete Lindsley Dallas-Ft. Worth 1. Low cost, ease of construction. 2. Lighter than mos t other l arge snap-links, hooks 3. 4. 5. rappelling hammers or blocks, etc. (Weight is about l*-lt #, but strength is more than sufficient.) Simple to use by anyone Will handle almost any size of rope(s). Speed of rappel easily controlled by number of turns used.. 6. Nuch less t \.;isting and wea r on ropes tha n when using small carabiner rappels. 7. Gate may be opened w hen link is loade d (or the gate may be omitted entirely.) 8. Large link will pass h listed or knotted rope e asier than most other devices. r-laterials: 1. At least 24" long one half inch steel pipe. 2. Sweat-on type copper coupling for 3/4" copper tubing (about It" long). 3. Compression type spring, about 2" long. 4. Small machine screws (4-40 is a good size). 5. For $3.00, or less, link may be chrome plated to prevent rusting. E quipment: 1. Large blowtorch 2. Vise 3. Drill and tap 4. Hammer, hacksaw, etc. Construction: 1. Grind down one end of pipe if required for spring fit. (Indicated by dotted lines on drawing.)(P age 68) 2. Polish or sand center section for less wear on rope. 3 Clamp "spring" end of pipe in vise and be gin heating about 4" from end. 4 Following outline ShOl'lIl, begin making first bend as soon as about I" of pipe is red-hot around its circumference. Moving torch down length of pipe to complete first bend, be careful not to kink pipe by applying too much pressure. 5. Partially m a ke second bend in the same manner as the first bend. Do Not Complete Bend. Cut off extra pipe to provide about 3/4" gate gap. Place copper coupling on pipe. If the spring may be compressed enough so that i t will g o on t h e pipe through a 3/4" gate gap, and, if the coupling will slide to the top portion of the snap-link when the second bend is co mpleted t he s pring sho uld be placed on the link later to prevent any damage from heating. Finish the second ben d matching-up the t w o pipe ends so t ha t t he cou pling will slide freely.


May, Vol. VII, No. 5 nap-link construction, continued) 6 Strengthen t h e link b y heating each bend red-hot (Section AA'), and t h en plunging it in water or oil. 7. Finish the l ink by placing the screws for proper gate spacing and spring pressure. Drops of solder, etc., may b e pla ced on the copper gate for easier grasp in slick mud. USING THE RAPPELLIN G SNAP-LINK H o .. to G e t Up and Down" 1. A very comfort able S'vTlss-seat may be formed from about 7' of soft It"-l 3/4" wide webbing with buckle, which m a y be obtained from any army surplus store for less than $1.00. (Such a Swiss s e a t has many advantages over the "prusik sling" illustrated in the February, 1962, issue of the NSS NEWS. Beside s being m ore comfortable than sitting on a narrow "two-by-four", a Swiss-seat sling i s m ore compact and portable, lighter in weight, may be "tied" to exactly fit any person, safe r to those below if dropped, and may be used as a c arrying-sling for a heavy load of standing rope. ) 2. The large rappelling snap-link may be attached to the Swiss-seat sling directly, or a carabiner may be inserted between the large link and the sling. 3 In use, the standing rope is simply looped around the lon g smooth side of the l arge link from one to four times, depending upon the size of the standin g rope(s) and "speed" of descent wished. 4. In a descent, if a lengthy halt is required (as may be required for mapping or photography), the "bottom" end of the standille; rope may be passed around the body and looped several times a round the "gate" side of the link, leavin g both hands free. 5 As in any rappel, the descent of a novice caver may be controlled by a c a v e r below (wearing a hard hatl) ap plying pressure on the "bottom" end of the standing rope. "How to Get Back Up" 1. A very convient prusik m e thod is the use of three loops w ith two prusik knot s on the standing rope for greater speed Using the Swiss-seat sling and a 4-foot loop of rope attached to the sling with a carabiner, the top prusik knot may be tied. An 8-foot loop with a simple ove rhand knot tied in the bottom las illustrated in Figure 4, page 13, February THE TEXAS CAVER


THE TEXAS CAVER May, Vol. VII, No. 5 ("How to Get Back Up", Continued) issue, 1962, NSS NEWS) for a tight boot fit provides the second and bottom prusik loop on the standing rope. A 6t' loop, also tied at the bottom with an overhand knot, provides the second foot loop. Instead of tying this second foot loop to the standing rope, it should be tied (ArSO with a prusik knot) to the first foot loop which is tied to the main standing rope. Adding about l' of prusik rope per loop for splicing, it is found that about 25' of t" to 3/S" (for 3/S" to t" standing rope) prusik rope is required for the rope loops. (Although two foot loops are preferred by the author for greater ease of passing overhangs and cOntrol on vertical walls, it should also be noted that pnly one foot loop could be used. It was found that the Swiss-seat, 3-100p, 2-inot method was very satisfactory in a 175'-plus prusik.) 2. For long rappells or for a first descent into an unknown hole, a chest safety loop should be used. In this case, the longer S' loop may be used as a chest loop. 'The loop is tied to the standing rope with a prusik knot and is free to slip as long as one hand is used to keep the know "loose". If control is lost, the knot is tightened and the descending caver is brought to a stop within a few inches. (iull-scale drawing of snap-link on next page) SEVEN MORE CAVES FOUND I N SAN SABA CO. 67 In a recent trip made to San Count y by two NSS members from Abilene an d Eldorado, seven ne w c ave entrance locations were found. All of the caves are located on one ranch, ,,,ith the exception of a tvTo-foot in diameter entrance beginning in soil located 1 00 yards from the main entrance to Roundtree Cave. in this county of very old and diversified geology. This bring s to near 75 the total number of verified cave finds in San Saba County. Althoug h m o s t all caves are very small, save Gorma n and Richland Springs Caverns, the striking fact a b ou t San Saba c a ves are their mounting number. There is very little evidence to support a ny belief tha t large caves exist Three of the cave s found seem to be promising, however they were not entered because of safety precautions. One has a 57-foot entrance drop, another a 27 foot entrance drop,and the "ne w entrance near Roundtree Cave has an lS-foot drop wi th a steep gravel slope going d01VO another 15 feet before running into a cross passage The other caves are considered Type A and B crevice caves. (CAVER, Vol. VII, No.1, Jan, 1962.) Two c aves, Joe's Cave and FourBat Cave, were mapp ed on the same trip, & measured 432 feet & 540 feet respectfully.


6 8 Gr i nd down pip f o r bett r s prin g f i f neede P rovide screws require P olish ga e he e Polish 1 inch squares THE TEXAS CAVER


THE TEXAS CAVER May, Vol. V JI, No. 5 6 9 BOARD OF GOVERI\JORS JUI\JE 24 t\;1 E E T II\J G The annual mid-year Board of Governors Meeting of the Texas Speleologic a l Association will get underway on June 24, S un d a y afternoon, at 2:00 p.m.,in the Cactu s Cafe Banquet Room, San Saba, Texas. If you have n ever attended one of the board meetings, you might try this one, for many interesting a nd important i terns will be discussed which will directly affect each member of the Association. Each Grotto and each organized cavin g club in the state is entitled to two representatives on the Board of Gov e r nors and will hold one vote each. member o f t he Board should be a member of the National Speleologica l Society i n good s tanding. There may also be t w o representa tives-at-large representing the members not affiliated \vi th a member grotto. Grottoes must pick their representatives for the meeting. Besides the representatives, each grotto may have as many members attend a s t h ey like a s in many cases, business is opened to the floor for discussion. Thi s coming meeting in the city o f San Saba will be centrally located for con v enience to all cavers in the state. For t h ose w ho pla n to make cave trips on Saturd ay, the meeting will b e held on Sun d ay afternoon, and will be o nly a couple of hourI s drive from well knmm caving country. Please plan to be on time, as the meeting will not last too long. B esides S a n Sab a County being one o f the four major cave producing counties o f oth e r major interest is the f act that the T exas Speleologica l Survey is planning a n issue out soon on the county. Some of the important items to be discus s ed will probably be: 1. The use of aluminum tags in marking caves and their identification. 2. A standard report' form for each c a ve that is mapped a nd studied. 3. The 1962 Association Project. 4. Reports from Officers. 5. The 1964 National Speleologic a l Convention and the possibility of in-vi ting it to Tex as. Also a sui t able site for this convention. 6. The 1962 Association Conven tion, and suggestions for its location. 7. T e x a s Cave Cons erva t i o n Besides the a bove, there is usuall y color slides shown and refreshments to be served. 8ne important thin g is this: It is hoped tha t more of our independent m e m bers may be able to attend and air any suggesti ons or views they might hav e and a lso suggest any ,qay that t h e Association may be of better s ervice to them. Remember, June 24, at 2:00 p.m; at C actus Cafe Banquet Room, in the city of San Saba Texas! W e will looking for you! Guano Ho! CAVER OF TIlli JIlONTH--BOB ROlXiERS, U.T. If you are dee p in c a v e country a nd a strang e v ehicle drops over t h e horizon, it i s probably Bob Rodgers, i n his l a test caving car. Since joining the UTG in 1 960, Bob has a veraged one "ne r car per semester, horse-trading his way to war d the idea l cave car. The present model takes the form of a bright green Internationa l "Sco ut", with e v erything but the winch. Althoug h he w a s born in Califor nia Bob saw the error of his "rays and beg a n heading e ast as soo n as he was old enou g h to walk Afte r stopping off severa l years in Nev a da to e xplore t he lava c a ves, h e finally reached The Valley (Harlingen) which was his h o m e unti l he finished high school. He is a t present hold i ng down a full-time job and lvorking on a de gree in Philosop hy, Chemistry, or Bacteriology, w hichever comes first. (He figures on picking up the other two in graduate school.) His wife, Pat, .is a Harlingen girl, a UT graduate, and an active UTG member. During the past year, Bob served a bly a s the Grotto Expedition Chairman. (Continued on t h e Next page.)


70 Hay, Vol. VII, No. 5 THE TEXAS CAVER T r adi tion ally, t::-lis job has meant taking Jlre o f the club e q uipmen t Thi s f all w e T ere i nvaded by the largest group of int rested outsiders in club history. This presen t e d a sticky problem since a poorly t r a i n ed c a v e r is a hazard, a nd a negl ecte d new m e m b e r c a n be irretrievably los t to our rivals, the professors. Bob felt that the responsibilities of his office included seeing that every new memb e r w a s offe r e d the opportunity to rr' ke f our c a ve tri ps in his first semes t er. The" open-to-all-interes ted-parties tr' p s w h i ch Bob l e d ofte n a pproa ched Re gio n p r o j ects in size and complexity. By u s i n g one conveni en t asse; : lbly area instead of a house-to-house pick-up, the trips wer e actually able to depart as a uni t and on time Using tricks of this type, h e w a s able to get them all into the ca ve R nd all out, and still give them the philosophy on caveing etiquette, and safety. As a bonu s the hardy souls who followed him t o the e n n of the cave, were usually treated to some real philosophy. Bob s eems to be i n some way affected by a comfortable mudpile at "the half -way point", b ecause at such times he waxes philosophical to a group of goggle-eyed Freshme n. It has b ecome one of his trademarks. Once he got wound up on Descartes and of course quoted him as saying, "I think, therefore I am." The muddiest freshma n in the group muttered, "I do not think, therefore I am here." And enough new members stayed on with us to double our qualified member ship rolls. Bob's greatest mark on club is his revival of the art of cave diving. At the time Bob joined us, all experienced c a ve divers in the club had retired, leaving behind a group o f non-skindivers with an a lmost superstitious fear of cave diving--somewhAt comparable to the ground lings' v iew of spelunking. Bob was discouraged from diving in caves until exp erience d people could go with him, or until he lea rned TIns sort of thing w ent on \vell into the s pring, when Bob f ound three peopl e willing to share the responsib ility for his dance with death and c arry in his equipment. After a p r actice dive in Lake Austin to work out r pe s i g n a l s etc., a weeke nd trip was made to Indian Creek Cave. Three hours down the pack trail his horses reached the South Siphon and collapsed. (I n those days, cave divers were treated as prima donnas and not allowed to carry anything except their fragile regulators.) In an atmosphere that could best be described as tense, Bob went on alone, trailing a safety line as his only contact with his support party, who waited in silence, chain-smoking. At the end of his safety line, he hit a walking and wading air passage. After coming back to report, he returned to that point, tied off his line and waded 300 feet to another siphon, at which point he turned back, deciding to return with another diver. \ 'li tl+ precedent set, more divers were easier to find than support troops. Fortunately a small, but efficient press gang was able to recruit, enough pack horses to make possible two more dives in Indian Creek and one in Gorman. Three new divers h a ve been trained. Safety teChniques are being improved, and the diving operation is becoming a conventional t e chnique for cave exploration, on a par tension cl:i,mbing. But it all started because BOD / Rodgers was not afraid to make that first dive, when not even his support party was betting hard money on his return. B. M. DEEP CAVE (Continued from page 62) "You sure it's not the same pit 1" Ray called. "I don't think so. This one's too narrow. And you can't see those 10-foot holes in the bottom." I searched the walls and saw only one possible way down; but it looked too risky without a rope. From the little room we headedwest again, back where we had left the altimeter. We moved along some minutes before we realized we'd missed the way out. Somehow we'd taken a branching fissure that led us into a maze. We turned back, retracing 1lE route to the little room. Once back in theroom .we struck out again, paying close atten -tion to landmarks. At last I saw the altimeter up ahead. We hurried on and were soon back


THE TEXAS CAVER May, V61. VII, No. 5 71 in familiar territory. We'd had enough for one night. Tired and dirty, we were ready to get out. W e packed up the altimete r and started for the surface, iVhen we reached the en tra nce i t ''las 9 : 30. Al thoug h we'd been underground over four hours we still did not know the cave's depth. \fuat we'd found, however filled us with enthusiasm to r eturn. N E w s A B I LEN E: A special display of cave photo g r a r hy i s being Sh01ffi at the present time in t h e shm1 vindm. of Austin's Came r a in Abilene. The displ a y features a mul t i t ude (120 of them) of slides on a In rge b a c klighted sorter, several large blac k a nd \'lhi te photos by Bar t Crisman, and commercial photos by Hills T a ndy a nd B l air Pittm n n in C a verns of Fre e folder s and advertising cards of Caverns of S onora c a n be obt ained in the shop. It i s r egretted t h a t no one from t h e Abile ne Grotto w ill be abl e to attend th2 conven tion in Cust er, S.D. t h i s ye ar, but in future years many may T \ 'l o r e cen t trips to l 'lcCulloch and Jan S a ba Countie s h a ve been made. The first vli th Jim Estes a nd Tom H e ador of Eldor ,'1do on Nay 19 sa .. l Pickeye C a v e south o f B r ad y ch e c k ed out. It has bee n mined by treasure hunters for many y ears in secrch of the Lost San S a ba Mine. Anoth e r trip w a s mad e by G e r a l d Roberts and Jim :::stes o n Hay 26 when c a v e s on anothe r vle r e che c k e d out in hcCulloch Co., cnd Spi de r Cave in San Saba County was f ound to be much smaller tha n anticipated. 2 8 1 8 South 39th Street Abilene, T exas A. L A i 0: Afte r litt l e success dur ine: february in c hecking out s o c alle d "bie; c A .ves", bette r luck \'las made during t'1e r onth o f IvIarch .. The n enthusiastic c av-ers from New-'Braunfels pacified rancher friends and got us into many places previously not checked. Tom Darling, Roy Penshorn and Tom's grandfather, Adams led us into som e fine c a ve country \'lest of New Braunfels. The Green Ranch has three very interesting c aves, known appropriately enough, as Green I, II, and III. The 1st is a 40-foot pit dome entered by a tortuous vertica l squeeze tha t pretty well trapped Merrill D oyle. There is a 15 foot diam eter room next to the entrance pit and a couple of mud choked leads, so it was mostly a c a ve for the l adde r exercise. W e used a new l adder on this hole and eight of us s c aled it up a nd down v ery handily. Three weeks l ater the ladder broke right at t he t o p on one of the care fully made and bolted loops for tying Fortunately no one was on the ladder a s it ,,,a s jus t being remov ed from a sha1101'l pi t We foun d t ha t t he .... ire used, goodlooking as it was, was only galva nized clothesline wire and clamping it had ,,,eake n e d the strands untH they ha d n o strength left aft e r a few bend s SOOOOO. sta y B.1"a y from such ordi n ary galvanized wire! Gree n II a nd III are beautiful a nd unusu a l shelte r c aves ente r ed by shallow easily sca l e d sinks o pening into caves e a ch about 1 00 fee t lon g and 40 fee t w i d e vii th ceilings from 8 to 12 fee t high. The N atura l Bridge Cave h i t the news on Nay first .. Then the mme r r e leased data to the New Braunfels neVlspal J er. A five C01Ull1!l h eadline on the front pag e announced the "third l a rges c a ve in the U.So f w o pic t u r e s of large fOrIllations a nd mass e s of printing d e t ailed t he ex ploration and mappin g P l a ns are afoot to make this a public park, but majo r fi n ancia l bac king i s noVi requir ed to devel ope the c a ve as the Sta t e o r Fed era l pa rks peo p l e c a n find funds to do this. At present it is most difficul t to enter the major section o f t he cav e rns al thou g h the Alamo Grot o vFOr ked a s t ead y ten \lleeks e v e r y S aturda y for blo and one half months jus t on the prob lem of hack ing out a bette r entranc e The last aif ficult 60 fee t of crai-/l is so small, wet,


May, Vol o VII, No. 5 THE TEXAS CAVER and muddy that only dedicated spelunkers ca r e to make the trip. And it is not,repea t NOT, open to drop-in cav ers as the r s fear the wors t if access is not carefully controlled. We keep l ooking for o t h e r l arge caves, find many small ones each month and crawl on and on ever hopeful. -B. Gray CORRECTION: The cover photos of the bear bones on the Apr i l iss ue ,.,ere taken by Harvey Kohnitz, Alruno Grotto chairman. D ALL A S FOR T W 0 R T H:[ Our larch meeting p resented a p ractice session in using the Brunton C ompass. Chuck a n d J ane L arsen a r e pa r ents of a new b aby boy Barry Al an born April 2ndo Look f o r him a t the Region Project of 1 9 780 You won' t h a v e any troub l e rec oGnizing him bec a use he looks just like his PaD Geor ge Yeary t ook a group of 40 Explorer Scou t s on a trip to Bitter Enders arid some of the other c aves of southern Oklahoma on the weekend of April 7th. Over Easter weekend tVI'O separate trips were made. One w a s to C omal County and Br ehmme r Cave by G l enn Pense, Dick Walk r, Rudolph Saldane, and David Walker. On the same trip they visited several C R ves in Sa n Saba County. The Easter weekend trip to Deep Hole, New Hexico was by P ete Lind s ley, G erald Olsen, and Jim 8agan. The g r oup s pent about ten h ours in the hole, did a little mapping and carne back with some fine pictures. They a l s o v isited Cottonwood cav e and ran into t w o other groups of spelunkers in thn t area one from Albuqu erque, and one from the Colorado Sch o o l of Hines. Cr aig and Jim went on to explore the trails of Big Bend for the rest of the weeko Bill Janetsky Al Richmond and I>like Richmo nd headed south to Bustamante to photograph the Fiesta! They have the pictures to prove it. Sund a y they had a f ine day caving and that evening as they floated dO\ill the mountain in a blinding r ainstorm, they met Blair Pittman trudging up to the cave with the Padrff; \ve were all delighted to hear from Bob Li ttlefield that he and -his -fam ily will be in Dallas the first week -in June A Grotto trip is planned for that week to San S a ba County, then Bub and possibly others will head north to-the Convention in Custer, S. D. Katherine Goodbar, Secretary 6621 Sunnyland Lane Dallas 14, Texas U N I V E R SIT Y 0 F T E X A S: The following material and news was taken from the UTG News, publication of the University of Texas Grotto edited by Bud Frank and Margarite Cridlebau gh The primary purpose of the recent meeting of UTG"was to adopt a new constitution as the one in existence was worthless, obsolete and out of date. Trips to Hexico over the Easter h olidays were not as numerous as planned, but there were still three different groups 0 None of them accomplished very much, but all had a ball. Two groups went to Big Bend and a bunch of UT cavers ambled up to the Gorman area also during Easter. Did you know that McCarty Cave in Hays County has more entrances than any other cave in the state! Six of them! The editors cordially invite you to their wedding at 2 p.m., June 2, 1962, in Rockford, Illinois. Box 7672 U. T. Station Austin 12, Texas SAN A N GEL 0 COL LEG E: [ News of the San Angelo College Speleological Society will be li ttle during the summer months because of students going home and less activity. SOU T H WE S T ERN U N I V.: I As of May 10, the existance of the Southwestern Speleo-


May, Vol. VII, No. 5 73 logical Society has been official, having been granted a constitution by the admin istration of Southwestern University at Georgetown. While the name may sound some\"hat pretenti ous for sixteen amateur speleologists, the group is non-the-less undaunted and very eager to g row and fulfill some of the expectations which might accompany so grandiose a title. Organizing so late in the academic year, ,,,e have had little time for exploits as a group, but members have done a good bi t of caving on the ir mID taking in approximately thirty c aves in Williamsom County including Red House, Steam, Cobb (to be opened commercially soon an d the Bat-Well, a little known cave mentioned below. Some members have also visited and explored Gorman Cave, Indian C r eek Cave, the famed Bustamante Cave,and also caves in Tennessee and Maryland. Recent activities has included the exploration a nd mapping of the Bat T,'lell, a fair sized cave north of Georgetown. "fu.t-I'lell" is our olom name, and as far as we know, it has no other. This the only cave in Williamson County to our knovledge that contains a running stream. Crayfish have been observe d in this water an d a species of frog has been identified in the cave. A tape and compass survey has put over 600 feet of cave on paper and the ,'fa ter passage remains to be explored. At the present, neither map p ing nor exploration is complete, as time has been limited; however, we hope to make a full report to ToS.A. before the end of the month. Our plans for the coming fall,are to continue probing Williamson County and t h e surrounding area making longer trips vlhenever pos sible. We also hope to meet \'lith members of Grottoes in the area for help during the infancy of the organizat i o n and possibly for trining sessions i n rappelling a nd other techniques. vle hope, a l s o, to begin publishing a news l etter as soon as practicable. Of course, i t is our wish in the long run to become a n NSS Grotto, but at the present, only one of our members is an NSS member. The officers of the Southwestern S p eleologica l Society are: R i chard FinchNSS 5560),President "Chuck" Voluse, Vice-president Judy Love, Secretary-Treasure r Garry Leavell, Librarian Gene Davis, E quipment Chairman Bill Wall, Projects Chairman Sponsoring the SSS is-Dr. Gordon E. Wolcott, professor of biology at South western, noted research parasitologist, and author of severa l booklets of scientific value. Dr.. Wolcott served several ye ars in the Public Health Service in Columbia, South C arolina, where he made valuable contt'1but:i.ons to the study-of malaria, sleeping sickness;and other diseases. Judy Love, Secretary-Treasurer 207 Nicholson st. Del Rio, Texa s (Summer address) I N D E PEN DEN T S: 1 Dear Jim, Belm" are additions, deletions, and miscellaneous changes to 1962 membership list, TSA, from the El Paso area: Addition: Smith, Peter H., A Btry Sch. spt. Comd, Ft. Bliss, Texas. Deletion: 199. Blog g Terrence. The following should have (NSS) after their names: 214. Cisarik, William Pfc (NSS) 226. Becker, Dennis G. Pfc.(NSS) 275. Charles (NSS) 328. Leavitt, Keith (NSS) Recent trips by the El Paso group includes Endless, Cottonwood, Ft. Stanton, (4 trips), Millrace, Croc ketts and Robinson Caves in Southern New Mexico. Trips in the near future are planned to follow up lead s in at least 5 West Texa s areas : 1, the cretaceous Rimrock SE of the Hueco Mts., where several large sinks are shown on the Teepe e Butte and Finlay Mt. quadrangles 2, a l a r ge fault-developed c a ve south of Hot Wells 3, the Sierra Diablo and Apache H ts. north of Van Horn, 4 the Guadalupe M ts. between E l Capitan and Pine Springs, a nd 5 Jeff D avis County. (We Ire also interested in vlhether the Houston cave r s found "Cuevas Grandes"!) Yours in caving, L ee Skinner (Lee, keep up the go o d work. --Editor)


THE TEXAS CAVER 2818 S 39th St. ABILENE, TEXAS HAV E YOU VISITED OPEN ALL YEAR NEw CONCESSIONS F ACILITIES 'TESTe: \ 1 SdTZOL 0 8 IC1i.L SU',VEY c / o Dr. bll' am R Halliday 1117 36th St. H Se attle ,ashington A SUBSCRI PTION TO THB TEXAS CAVE R FOR A FRIEND I S ONLY A !,jEA SLi::Y Do '>ub'lcribe! 'The e We Was" BY BILL HELijj,;R .. r i t e to: DUDLEY HOBSRTS 3207 Beverl y Lane Austin 3 Texas j:OST CGLl-'LET::; IOI70RkAi'I C!, ABOUT T:.\AS C AVJ:;S Sub::;criptioll 3 2 .00 P, O BOX 781 SONORA. SI :::iliOLCG 1:;":' SJRv;,; y Ja::t:en :

Contents: Using Texas
caves / William H. Russell --
Another trip to Deep Cave / Preston A. McMichail The
constitution and by-laws of the Texas Speleological Association
Build a rappelling snap-link / Pete Lindsley --
Seven more caves found in San Saba County --
Board of Governors meetings June 24 --
Caver of the Month: Bob Rodgers, U.T.


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