The Texas Caver

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The Texas Caver
Series Title:
The Texas Caver
Texas Speleological Association
Texas Speleological Association
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
Technical Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


General Note:
Contents: Montgomery's Cave / Carl Kunath -- The Wetback's Ice Cave / Pete Lindsley -- Montgomery's Cave, Val Verde County (MAP) -- Note: extra issues for sale -- Board of Governors meet San Saba, April 27 -- News of the Grottoes -- Cartoon.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 8, no. 4 (1963)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
K26-04463 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4463 ( USFLDC Handle )
10622 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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Karst Information Portal

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C 0 V E R: At all times when a spelunker enters an unknown cave, he has visions of grandeur almost beyond description This drawing of an unknown cave may be one we have witnessed many times in ou r wishful eyes. and is Ectitor THE T E XAS CAVER V o lume VIII, N umber 4 April, 1963 CONTENTS MONTGOMERY'S CAVE -----------------------------------------37 by Carl Kunath THE WETBACK'S ICE CAVE ------------------------------------38 by Pete Lindsley MONTGOMERY'S CAVE, VAL VERDE COUNTY ( MAP) -----------------39 NOTE: EXTRA ISSUES FOR SALE ------------------------------40 BOARD OF OJ VERNORS MEET SAN SABA, APRIL 27 --------------41 NEW S of t h e Grottoes ---------------------------------42 CARTOON ---------------------------------------------------43 THE TEXAS CAVER is a monthly publication of the Speleological Association publis hed in Abilene, Texas. Subscription rate is $3.00 per year for 12 issues. Item s submitted for publication should be typee, doubled-spaced and sent to the a t 2818 South 39th St" Abilene, Texas, no later than the 6th of each month. EDITOR ---------------------James Estes CAVER STAFF ----------------George Gray John Lanier Bart Crisman Ectward deBary Bryant Lilly REPORTERS -----,-------------J im Reddell Martha Neely James Schuman Orion Knox Carl Kunath Pete Lindsley NEWS SECRETARY, BOOKKEEPER---Irene Estes THE TEXAS SPELEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION is the Texas Region of the National Spel eo logical Society an d is composed of four N.S S o Grottoes and four caving clubs. In addition all p ersons who are intereste d in caves a nd who seek to fulfill the purposes of the Nation a l Speleological Society are mEmbers of ToS,A o G ROTTO A N D CLUB ADDRESSES : Please turn t o NEW S of the Grottoes in this issu es f o r addresses a t t h e end of e a ch section. PUBLICATIONS O F T.S.A : T he TEXAS CAVER is a n on-profit publication of the re on and is sold by subscr iption. The TEXAS SPELEOLOGICAL SURVEY is a clearinghouse f o r rtny a n d all information o n the caves of the State of Texas, edited ,by James Reddel l Box 7672 U.T. Stationy Austin 12, Texasy and is sold by subscription yearly). PLAN TO ATTEl'JD THE N.S S o CONVENTION, MOUNTAIN LAKE, VIRGINIA JUNE 9 -15


THE TEXAS CAVER April, Vol. VIII, No.4 37 MONTGOMERYS --by Carl Kunath In hopes of expanding the cave files of the Texas Speleological Survey for Terrell County, four members of the SuI Ross Caving Club made a trip to the Montgom-ery Ranch about seventeen miles west of the junction of U.S. Highway 190 and the state road to Pumpville. Those making the trip were: John Altis, Tom Watson, Walter Russell, and myself. Mr. Nontgomery was very cooperative, volunteering to guide us to the entrance of the cave and allowing us to use a nearby house as a camp. Mr. Nontgomery states that he has known of the cave since 1951, but to his knowledge hehas known of only one previous exploration 'vhich was made by Mills Tandy, Scotty and several other members of the old Ozona Grotto in 1958. We were all at the bottom of the entrance sink at 5:30 PM, and after killing one medium-sized rattler proceeded on our way. The bottom of this sinkhole is li ttered 1>1i th the bones of numerous sheep and goats, and these bones are found in abundance on all levels of the cave. vie progressed about 10 feet and tied on a rope for the second drop which is about 45 feet. This drop is into a wedge-shap ed room about 60 feet high, 50 long, and 20 feet wide at the. bottom. At the north end of the room a small hole in the break dO\m leads to a 20-foot drop which might possibly be chinmeyed, but there are several rather shakey-looking rocks which would have to bear much of your weight. At the bottom of this drop passage goes in both directions. To the south the passage leads about 20 feet to a pit w hich is approximately 120 feet deep. The north passage leads about 25 feet over hTO short climbable drops to the brink of another pit. (It should be mentioned here that this level of the cave and the level just above it are simply masses of br-:akdoll'n which have partially plugged this very high fissure.) On the other CAVE side of this pit, a passage appears to lead off, but it would be next to impossible to get to it. At the edge of this drop the passage is about five feet wide, 80 feet high, and is approximately 50 feet long. The first formations in the cave are to be seen at this point. There are several large masses of gypsum crystals three to five inches on a side to be seen on the walls. This pit is approximately 90 feet deep as three cable ladders are just the right length to get out. A good-sized room is found at the bottom of the pit, but only one passage leading off was found. This walking passage was followed about 250 feet where it finally pinched off. This passage varied in size from 25 feet high and 50 feet 'vide to about 10 feet high and 10 feet >'lide at the end. The 120-foot pit enters this passage about '60feet from the point where the 90-foot pit enters. This passage is completely encrusted with gypsum formations of various types. The most spectacular formation is a large gypsum flower which is about a foot long and has a cross-sectional area of a bou t b'lo square inches. The floor in this passage is composed of silt -and small gravel mixed with gypsum formations. Numerous domes and holes were investigated in this passage, but they led only a few feet; hOl'leVer, only the more likely ones were checked. The cave is very dry and evidently is overlain by a very dense layer of rock for no dripstone form ations of any kind were seen in any part of the cave. At the bottom of the last drop (90-feet), a slope crawl leads to an area which apparently drains the cave at this level, as there was an area of ''lashed gravel a foot wide and 15 feet long "There the floor meets the wall. The well-preserved and, for the most part, completely intact skeletons of at least six bob-cats were found in this passage. The condition of some of the


April. VoL VIII" N o o 4 THE TEXAS CAVER ( C ontinued fro m preceeding page. ) s k e l e tons s u e gests that they died, not of a f all, but of s t arvation. The skeleton of rha t "re decid e d must ha ve been a fox ha d a f e d p a t ches of hid e clinging to its r i b cage The s kin w a s dry a n d seemed to b e part i a lly mummified. Som e b o ne s wer e r emoved from a ni tch in t h e .. r all about three fee t above the floo r vrith the intention of sending t h e m off to be c arbon-14 d a t ed but unfortuna t e ly the y '!Tere los t duri ng the scramble t o the s u r f a c e It .. ms hoped that the y mieht provide som e clue as to the last tim e the c a ve was flooded. It can b e stated with hm.,rever, that t he c a v e ha s not taken any a ppreciable amount of water since the visit by the O z o na G r otto in 19 5 8 as .. re c ould readily see ",here they had be en The trip out was long hard, and some1tTha t h ectic Walter lost his hard ha t about 40 f eet up the 90-foot pit, and he ha d to c limb t he r est of the way out in the da.rk as he was the last one upo The cable lad de r got c a u ght on a lede e in t h e las t drop and had to be freed a rung a t a time. U g h! The last of the group g o t out at 2 : 00 AJI'I afte r nine hoUJ;'s in t h e c a v e d u ring H h i ch w e walked a total h orizonta l distance o f less than 700 feet (in an d out). ( P S Re\.;ard f o r the hat! ) W i t h only about sev e n wee k s to g o t h e 1 963 N a t i o n a l Speleologica l S ociety co n v e n ti.o n w ill get unde rway s t arti n g the w e e k of J une 9 -1 5 If y o u n e ed to ask f o r y our v a ca t ion a n d haven 't, n o w is the tim e to do it. Field trips will begin on June 9, and the reg i s tration "ill be gin ab out Hednesda y Jun e 12. The beautiful r esort of rvIountain L ake Virg i nia in the tre e stu d d ed hills "'ill be a most "on derful site to s p e n d a few d ays c ampi ng c a ving making more fri e n ds n n d leilrnin m ore a b out c a v e s & the j .S. S I f yo u ha v e n e v e r been to an N S. S o C onvent'o n b efor e p lease d o not m i t his o n eo Consu l t y our NSS NEWS f o r more d e t a i l so Rem e m b e r Jun e 9 1 5 S e e y a ICE CAVE by Pete Lindsley First reports of the "Ice Cave" came from James Brummett of Sonora. "One enters the cave by traversing a difficult drop at the side of a streambed. It is said that the rancher, with a flashlight and rope, t alked a wetback into going into the dark cavern to explore it. The wetbac k was Im.,rered in and found himself in a l arge chamber. Investigating a small hole in the side of the chamber, suddenly a strong wind blew off his sombrero and sucked it down a dark, dismal passage. Fearing El Diablo himself, the !,1exican finally gained enough courage to attempt to retrieve his hat. Returning to the large chamber, the wetback cried out "Esta hielo en la pared!" "Back on the surface he reported i ce han ging from the "Talls of the dark cave vmat a strange cave -to have ice h a n ging froIl! the walls and ceiling!" Hoping to find a large cave with w alls covered ''lith clear stalactites and helicti tes, Bill Chad"rick, Pete Lindsley, Jim Barbeep and Steve Croaddck made a tri p to South Texas to investigate the c a ve lead. After asking permission to explore the cave, we ,.;ere led by rancher Tom Nasworthy to the vicinity of the cave. Walking up a creekbed, Nasworthy suddenly stopped pointed to t h e rocky bed of the creek, and said "dig here". The place looked just lik e the r est of thecreekbed, bu t w e du g anl1.;ay. Six inches dmm through the rocks in the creekbed--a strand of barbed wire! Vie had been told that the cave had been plug eed t w o ye ars before and the barbed ,,,ire ,.;a s a hopeful sign, indeed. Another s i x inches, more barbed ,rire and some s t i c ks. Finally one whack of the pick l o osene d something and a breeze from be low s u c k ed dirt a nd sticks from the dry


THE TEXAS CAVER A AI c-O <2.1 April, Yolo YJII, No.4 Montgomery's Cave Terrell County, Tex. B .... . BREAk.DDWIIJ D CJ b' EAST-WEST C.ROSS SEcTIoNS p D' NoRT H -sourH v E"f\T lCAL<:ROSS SECT JoN _TTE D LIN E SIGNIFIES LOWEST LEVEL ---..... _-.... _120' P I T 2.J:)1 DROP --501 -i >------', I I 80 P I T 39 ? SEGTION eNTRANCE SINK 251 DROP 4-5' DROP SURVEYED BY 5 R S 5 MARcH 30) 1.963


40 April, Vol. VII{r NOJ 4 THE TEXAS CAVER (Continued from ?age 38) cree k into the air around us. Now we had something. ',vi th more frantic digging vTe found even more "Tire and sticks. The air flo-.-I k ept dust into our eyes, but we r e mained hard at work. Finally some one got the six-to-one pulley hoist from the car and tied one end to a sturdy treeo Attaching the other end to the barbedvrire, ',Te eave it the heave-hoe Nothing moved. 1200 pounds of force and the .,Tire bent and the rope stretched, but nothing moved. t'lore digging more heaving. Somehow we to eet the car close enough to the hole. Looping all the rope .,le had several times throuGh the wire and the car, we tried again. The wheels just spinned, creating a dust storm. Then three cavers jwnped on the rear of the cl-lr over the "Thee Is and \'le popped the clutch. SlO\vly, inch by inch, dust blowing everY'",here, the barbed 'ITire plug creeped up out of the hole I-lnd up the side of the creekbed. itle all made i dO\'m to the hole about the same time. A cool breeze blew from the cave entrance as '1'1e rigged a cable ladder for the descent. We stopped in the shade long enouch to get a bite to eat and to pre pare for a 15-hour stl-ly in the cave if necessary. As I'Te passed through the two.'lnd one-half-foot in diameter entrance sink, IVe noted that hlO years of creek rocks had covered the cave entrance" Drop pine about 2 feet, "Te found ourselves in a room about 15 feet in dia meter" Years of creek sUt had covered the floor in mounds, on top of Hhlch sat n surface-type frog. The frog :'TE S apparently blind to our lights, and WI-lS rather skinny after hTO years. Looking around, ",e found a eood supply of cave crickets Ivhir:h the frog had been living on, Finally we found the hole the wetback had entered. It Ivas srGall indeed! ',-'Ii th our faces to the airflmo{, we entered the small hole. By removing our side pacb, Bill end I easi ly Hent through the hole, and then we pulled Steve and Jim through. The passage I'las about three feet tall and t hree to four feet Hide in mos t pla ces. Fi .nally i'le cl-lme to a slll.'111 bit of clear flmvstone on the l'IalL Later on \ 'Te found another small b a t ch of "ice". Then t h e floor dropped ten feet to an apparent dead-endo Looking for airflo'll, we found a small crawl leading back towards the entrance, some 300 feet al-ray. As I was the smallest, I was elected unanimously to push the crawl. It got smaller. With eight inches ceiling height most of the 'lmy, the crawl continued for about 20 more feet where it dropped six feet into a small room. The floor was heavily silted as all the water that entered the cave in wet weather fol-lowed this same route. The six-inch cra"Tl that led off was slightly too small to follow 'llithout digging, and the shovel was an hour's journey away. The crawl sloped dmmward and a cool breeze blew out of the opening. I was about 50 feet belm'T the creekbed at this point, so may be it is not too far to the depth where the cave should open upo Returning to the surface, we replaced the barbed wire plug into the en-. tr"Jrlce and covered it with logs. Perhaps the plug "rill keep more silt from washing into the cave. Another day had passed another cave lead had been checked, another dead-end. Such is the life of the spelunker! BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEET, SAN SABA, APRIL 27 A Board of Governors meeting will be held in the Cactus Cafe in San Saba, Texas on April 27. Be absolutely sure that your grotto or caving club is represented at this meeting by sending two (2) repressentatives, preferrably N.S.So members. Katherine Goodbar, secretary of the Texas Speleological Association, says that there are a great number of things on the agenda for discussion, and we may be there for a good lolhile. Among some of the items to be discussed are conservation handbills, region project, region conventton, 1964 N.SoS. Convention at New Braunfels, and the Survey. Please emphasize to YOlrr grottoes or clubs that the meeting is open to any one, 'li'lether a representative or not. At times, the floor may be open to discuss -ion for alL The Cactus Cafe is located on the west side of San Saba on the highway to Brady. Remember that you will be a guest of the cafe, so please try not to upset its normal opera tiona Meet in banquet Rm.


THE TEXAS CAVER April, Vol. VIU, ; 'No. 4 41 H .D. DOYLE SILVER BEAVER AWARD WINNER Prof. Merrill D. Doyle, an active member of the Alamo Grotto, San Antonio, n o w proudly wears the highest award given in Boy Scout work. The award follows al-NOTE : BACK ISSUES FOR SALE Beginning to stack uu quite high i n the CAVER office t bedroom of the Editor), are many back issues, going back as far as four to five years. If your files of the CAVER are not complete, you are urged to purchase you need (and what we have available) f o r the prices listed below. All issues listed in Volumes before Volume VI, No. 1 sell for 10 each. A l l iss u a s beginning with Volume VI, No. 1 sell for 25 each. Some of the issues c o ntain some very good photographs. Fill u p the gaps in your files now -order the issue s you do not have from the CAVER 2818 South 39th St., Abilene, Texas. Tne most 50 years in many capacities of scouting. Professor Doyle is chief of the medical illustrations bro School of Aerospace liledicine, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas 0 The Silver Beaver was presented to the Air Force artist during a recent meeting of the Alamo Area Council, B.S.A. in San Antonio. Doyle started his scouting activities as a boy in Kerrville, Tex., in lSJ.2 He filled every office at Boy Scout troup level, and, as a man, continued as troop committeeman, assistant scout master and. scoutmaster. Doyle holds the Scoutmaster's Key, Woodbadge beads and Vigil Honor in the Order of the Arrow. He is chairman of the Scoutma .ster Training Team of Ft. Sam Houston District, and he is assistant lodge advisor to Order of the Arrow. "He is not only an artist's artist, a musician and an activie member of the Alamo Grotto, N.S S o but an all round good man," according to the Aerospace Medical Division official newspaper, "Astro Medic" which named him as the publications "Good Citizen" for the month of November 1962. Doyle's wife, who recently took up writing as a hobby, wrote "From Butter to Bronze" in the February issue of "Texas Parade". Her article is about the work performed by Texas Sculptress Waldene Tausch. issues and the number on hand are as follows: Volume Number On Hand Price III (Incomp) 1 5 10 2 37 10 3 27 10 IV (Comp) 1 7 10 2 41 1O 3 49 10 4 17 10 5 14 1O 6 22 1O V(Incomp) 1 73 1O 2 110 10 VI (Issues 1, 2, and 3 out of Pr.) 1 0 2 0 3 0


42 April. Vol. VIII, 'NO'. 4 THE TEXAS CAVER ( Continue d from preceeding page) Volume Number On Hand Price VI 4 31 25 5 34 25 6 15 25 7 17 25 8 31 25 9 16 25 10 51 25 11 52 25 12 55 25 VII 1 68 25 2 74 25 3 47 25 4 14 25 5 11 25 6 31 25 7 3 25 8 12 25 9 6 25 10 24 25 11 27 25 12 24 25 VIII 1 33 25 2 4 25 3 47 25 As you c an see there are plenty copies of most i ssues. All told there is abou t $ 220.00 w orth of extra issues tha t could b e sold and help the CAVER funds o S en d for w h a t you need today! N E w s Members of ABILENE GHO'rTO, N.S.S, the grotto met at the home of George a n d J a c que Gray on Harch 5 for a meet i n g and slide session A trip ,.,ras made t o Column and Gree n Caves, E dwlrds County on March 16, a n d t he s ame d a y anothe r tri p w a s made to Fie l d C v e t o die; more on t h e b lov ling air hole. .l!'ield trips hhv e b een non-existent since the m The g r otto met on Tuesday n i ght A p r i l 2 a t the G r ay home a n d enjoye d a tre:'1 t of N ach os and coffeeo An F.S.So Party ,vas h e Id a n d order s for d u plicate slides were made. Trip plans were made to include a trip to Deep Cave, Texas,and long range plans include a trip to Cotton vlood Cave. Severa l members made plans to attend the Board of Governors meeting in San Saba on April 27. Bart Crisman and family enjoyed a vacation to Arizona to visit his brothe r Bob and family. Jim Estes i-s -go ing gem and agate hunting near Marfa on the 4th of May. Grotto address: 2818 S. 39th st. Abilene, Texas An article in ALA!'I I O GROTTO, N .S.S. this issue of the CAVER is devoted t 0 the award given to M. D. Doyle after 50 years of scouting, The Silver Beaver Aw ard. Doyle also was made winner of the Good Citizen Award in "Astro Medic", the publication of the Aerospace Medical Division. Congratulations, Merrill! Official work was started on the commerc i alization of Natural Bridge Cav erns on March 25, and the next few months are expected to be put into making an entrance. The target date for completion is the 1964 N.S. S Convention June next year. Grotto address: Bonnie White Secretary 3106 Sagehill Dr. San Antoniop Texas DALLAS-FORT WORTH, N oS.S. March 2 & 3 marked the weekend of the grotto trip to the Falls area. The "acco mpani ers" outnumbered the Grotto members and a great tim e was had by all. Starting the d a y off with practice rope ",ork on the f alls, even the kids had fun jumping off the cliff. Two sinks in the area were checked out, Bert Olsen checking the sink where we h a d seen a snake on a pre v i ous trip. Bert reported about a 50-foot chimney drop ping to a dirt floor which led novlhere. Pete Lindsley and N o rman Robin son investigated an 80-foot deep sink, a l s o >lith a dirt floor which led nOl"here 0 A ledge at the 40-foot mark led to a curtain form ation lnth some hel-


THE TEXAS CAVER April. VoL VIII. No. 4 ictites on the ceiling A small rattle r was shot on the 40-foot ledge. The Goodbars and the Roebucks, who came up from Austin, reported Separa tion Lake (in Gorman Cave) to be t h e 101,, est yet. The ,'later at this ,,,et-weather s i p hon was only about 15 inches deep O thers reported that the CO2 leve l was al so very low, and that the siphon at the end of the cave was still running 0 While Fred Tart and Lindsley found a clif f to shinny up, others performed the Falls jumping episode again much to the delight of the spectators. A trip ,,,as m a de to Harrell's Cave and George Yeary and crew "lent to the end (?) of what is certa i nly one of the muddier crawlways in the state. A word to the wise. These new cars nowdays are coming out .. ri th 2-ply tires (4-ply rating). Thes e are still 2-ply tires and they make better bo a t anch ors than car tires. Norma n Robinson fo und out the hard way as he ,,,ent tlmough fou r tires (Blowouts, etc.) on the relatively mild roa ds of San Saba COuntY9 Send a l l your 2-ply tires you don't want to Norman. Ha! Bill Chadwick, just back from Ok lahoma reports several more caves found and m a ny salamanders seen. Said he had to lea ve one cave which required digging to the efforts of the Tulsa crew Grotto members recently welcomed Jim Barbee as a new member of the Grotto. The NSS slide series "Caving Techniques" 'vas also shown at the last Grotto meeting. These NSS slide series are availabl e to all NSS Grottoes. Plans are now being m ade to make a r e t urn trip to Arkansasv Fitton Cave on the Easter weekend. (Was made-Ed ) A full r eport will follow in a l ater issue of the CAVER. Plans have also been made hy se v e r a l in the Grotto to" attend the T.S .A. BOG meeting in the Cactus C afe in San Saba Remember! 2:00 pom. on April 27t h lve will probably bring some of our }'i tton Cave pictures for those ,,,ho are interested. Grotto address: Pete Lindsley, Secretary 4612 Watauga Rdo Dallas 9, Texas PRACTICE CAVING SAFETY O N EVERY T R IP! SOUTHl>JESTERN UNIVERSITY CLUB the S o S S o h a s been on a ca mpaign to gain a little publ icity and to stir up a little more loca l enthusiasmo As part of this project we had an attractive a nd inform ative displ a y in the Sou th,,,estern '"hich included books (a nw nber of s peleologica l works h a ve bee n added to the lib r a r y recently b y our request), pictures, m a ps equipment pamphl e t s a nd posters concerning t h e "Thy of spelunking a n d the S S. S o There w a s also o ne display case ,"hi ch contained the Bustamante elk bo n e s othe r artifacts, and so m e v ery b eautiful speleothems whic h ,,,ere t aken out of a small c a ve in the Georget01ffi Limes t o Quarry the night b efore the c a v e ,,,a s dymani tedo Accompanying these were an ex planation c oncerning the circumsta nces, and e m pha sizing conservation at all timeso The I' ----------------"He d ic1 say ; pull \ hi ;:;::-uF wheh he. tV.9ged ;d i cI n'+ he ? . 0 r WClS j i' \/e 'to hi rn dow \')7/1


44 April. VoL YIII, NOo +==-- THE TEXAS CAVER more energetic cavers have un N,S.3" .Policy on Conservati_on displ.

Contents: Montgomery's
Cave / Carl Kunath --
The Wetback's Ice Cave / Pete Lindsley --
Montgomery's Cave, Val Verde County (MAP) --
Note: extra issues for sale --
Board of Governors meet San Saba, April 27 --
News of the Grottoes --