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: Caving in Okinawa / Tom Darling --Guadalupe tragedy -- Project held -- When do you meet??? -- News -- From the Editor / George Gray.
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Vol. 12, no. 9 (1967)
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See Extended description for more information.

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T H E T E X A S C A V E R SEPTEMBER, 196 7 VOLUME XIII, NUMBER 9 COVER Cavers in other states, in general, never see anything as spectacular in their caves as we here in Texas. As an example, our cover picture exposes some of nature's masterpieces of underground sculpture--the massive columns in Kickapoo Cave. As much as 25-30 feet in diameter and some 40 feet in height, these monsters, though somewhat vandalized, defy description. The cave is about 1,300 feet in length. Photo is from a color transparency by George Gray. The cave, by the way, is restricted by the landowners. THE TEXAS CAVER is a monthly publication of the Texas Speleological Association, and is published in Abilene, Texas. Material for publication should be typed, double-spaced, and sent to the Editor no later than the 6th of each month of issue. Subscription price is $3.00 per year for twelve issues. STAFF GEORGE W. GRAY JAMES H. ESTES BRYANT LILLY & BLANCHE LILLY . . . EDITOR . . PUBLISHER PHOTOLITHOGRAPHERS BART CRISMAN PETE LINDSLEY ABILENE GROTTO ADVERTISING MANAGER PHOTO TIPS EDITOR .... ASSEMBLY THE TEXAS SPELEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION is an organization of caving and speleological organizations in the State of Texas. Its aims and purposes are similar to those of the National Speleological Society (NSS). Present officers of the Texas Speleological Association are: CONTENTS JACK C. BURCH DEWAYNE DICKEY OLLENE BUNDRANT 107 Tomahawk Trail San Antonio, Texas . chairman .vice chairman .secretary-treas. 78232 CAVING IN OKINAWA by Tom Darling . . . . . . GUADALUPE TRAGEDY PROJECT HELD . . . . . WHEN DO YOU MEET??? . . . N E W S Fro m the Editor ... by George Gray .... Advertisements .. PAGE 123 124 125 125 126 127 128


SEPTEMBER, 1967 'l'HE TEXAS CAVER Pag e 123 cav1ng 1n okinawa by TOM DARLING (Note: Subscribers will no doubt notice that this article appeared in the August issue of the Texas Caver. By way of explanation for its appearance in this issue, it was found that the typist neglected to include a whole page of manuscript. We wish to extend our apologies to Tom Darling f o r this mistake. We hope the readers enjoy this story in its entirety as much as we do.) Years ago, when I took up caving, little did I dream that destiny would decree that I would visit foreign lands. Fate, along with some urging from Uncle Sam, saw that I was washed ashore many thousands of miles from my native Texas. After serving my hitch in VietNam where I wallowed in mud for months, where the mud was a thousand times worse than any I had ever seen in Texas or Mexico. Getting muddy while caving in Texas was by choice, and to some extent getting muddy while in the rice paddies, and caves in Viet Nam, was also by choice, albeit not mine, but my Uncle Sam's. During quiet moments, my mind and thoughts drifted back to my home in Texas, and on occasion to caving there. Little did I think that aside from crawling into tunnels made, and occupied by the Viet Gong, would I get to actually explore real caves in these foreign lands. So now I find myself in Okinawa. Many of those who remember the war in the Pacific, likewise recall the part Okinawa played, and at what great sacrifice, and coat in lives, it was wrested from the Japanese. Through t h e kind assistance of Mr. Jack Stellmack, Editor of N.S.S. NEWS, and to whom I am very grateful, I was able to make contact with several other Americans who like myself, are afflicted with "Spelunkeitis". This disease does not respect international boundaries, nor does any Country have immunity from it. So it also exists here on Okinawa. To be sure it is on a more restricted scale, not because of the absence of caves, but because so far, it is not widespread. I had read somewhere, in the past, about caverns here on Okinawa, but it impressed me very little, because it was so far away, and I did not have any idea where it was. After my arrival here, I soon learned of some caves in a canyon just across from my barracks. However not having any caving equipment I had to limit my activities to a preliminary inspection from the outside. What I saw from the outside of these, did not impress me very much. I had written home to my grandfather, Mr. n E. Adams, NSS 6398, who sent my gear to me. Now that I had it, I was ready to go. I had already made the acquaintance of Douglas Rhodes, whose name was given to me by Mr. Stellmack. I was immediately convinced that I had met a good spelunker, and it did not take long to organize a group, consisting of the following; Douglas Rhodes, his wife Jean, Art Rigsby, Ed Arters, Yoshio Arkaki and myself. I had already been told that many of the caves here were very wet, with some having running streams in them, and before long I became quite aware of it. My excitement was great when the day of our adventure arrived. It had been such a long tiQe since I had smelled the fumes of a caver's lamp, and I sincerely longed for it. So now we were on our way to what turned out to be quite an exciting experience. It was a fine group of cavers the way I sized them up, and I later found that I had not misjudged them. The natives refer to a cave as "Go", and the name of the cave we were going to is Unoga. From our base the drive took about an hour. The cave is on the side of a mountain, and the entrance is about eight feet high and approximately ten feet wide. There are sereral levels, and t h e lower level has water flowing through it the entire length. And what a stream it is. cave consists of a number of rooms, with the largest one having a ceiling of about seventy five feet. We saw no bats, and the only other living things were black snails, o f which I sent several home. I was surprised to find the cav e very similar to our Texa s caverns. The formations are perhcps not quite as colorful as t hose at home, but otherwise very much the same. Some are as vhite as snow, and form quite a contrast with their background of black mud. By the mud stained appearance of some of the lower formations, it is obvious that the caverns are frequently inundated. The volume of water is tremendous. I judge it to be about the same as the combined flow of the springs in Landa Park in New Braunfels. We split into several teams, and we explored the different levels taking pictures as we vent. There are some very beautiful formations, stalactites with their counter parts, stalagmites below, gave the appearance of some giant


Pa g e 124 THE TEAAS CAVER SEPT.Eh BER, 1967 r.1onster 's denture. -::ravertine dams quite large, put those encou ntered in '3us tamante t o sha:ne '!'hese a r e about ei3ht feet We also found man-made dams, which no doubt were for storing water for irrigation use in the past. My companion and T had run out of film, so we decided to go back and pick up some of the equipment which we had deposited along the way as we came in. Rince much of our way was through water, we thought we felt the current even stronger t han when we came in. Then we noticed that some of the formations we had previously passed, were much closer to t h e water, and some actually in t h e water. We had left some candles high and dry, and these were nov close to the water. We also noticed that the travertine dams were now being covered. We held a hurried consultation, and decided to go back and alert t h e others, who at the moment were higher up, taking pictures. My partner, who was not handicapped by a bad leg, like I am, got to shouting distance before I did, and getting their attention, they hurriedly came down and joined us in retreating. This was not as easy as it seemed With t h e increase in water volume, it was much more difficult to keep our footing. ue were tossed about like pieces of wood. We recalled with some concern, B certain place, where it was already difficult to get through on our way in, so of course we were very uneasy as to the outcome. I was plagued with an injured leg, I was not so steady on my feet in the torrent, and I was suddenly dashed a gainst a formation. The jolt was so violent that it knocked off hard hat and with it my carbide lamp. My flashlight, I had already lost. But for the helping hand of a fellow caver, I mig h t have been sucked into a siphon. The others fared little better, and by the time we had negotiated the worst section, we were down to two lamps. If we had not warned tte others in time, chances are they would have had t o spend the nigh t there, above highwater level Ro we all got safely out, sans some of our equipment. for me, my grandfather already h ad a duplicate set of gear enroute, which arrived in time for a subsequent trip. He must have had a premonition that something might happen, or was it that with hi& long years of spelunking, he simply played it safe? Gear here is hard to get. At any rate our rough experience did not make us swear off caving, but planned on a future trip on our way baak. Ro to t h e Rtaff of the Texas Caver, and to my many caving friends back home, my best wish es ... TOM. in TfXAS CAVfR Contact: Advertising Manager, Bart Crisman, 658 North Willis Street, Abilene, Tex. 79603. GUADALUPE TRAGEDY Second Lt. Douglas Evans, 24, of East Tawas, Michigan, died while spelunking in the rugged Guadalupe Mountains Monday, Sept. 4. Evans and three fellow spelunkers had been exploring caves in the mountains since Saturday, September 2. Ot hers in the party were Second Lt. Charles Bolinger of Fort Bliss, First Lt. Richard Briesch of White Sands and Ells Rolfs, a civilian physicist working for the government at White Sands. The cave where Evans died is at the bottom of a canyon in the Black River country. It is an extremely deep hole in the canyon bed, with its bottom estimated at 400 feet. (Ed. note-See "Vanishing River Cave", The Texas Caver, Feb., 1967, page 19, for 1 Article by Gari Davis). It is near Lonesome Ridge and is part of w hat the Forest Service called a "Group of wild caves". The cave w hich claimed Evans' life was just recently discovered and it is believed his party was either the first or second to have plumbed its depths. The party descended from the ridge of the canyon into the mouth of the cave Monday afternoon, lowering themselves by ropes. They then went to the bottom of the hole and came back up. Evans, who was the first of the climbers comin g out, got to the top and unhooked his ropes (Jumars or prussiks). Bolinger said Evans prepared to climb out. and then apparently his hand slipped on a wet rock and he lost his balance and fell. The rock was wet, following a light drizzle earlier in the afternoon. The fall happened about 5 PM. Evans lived only for about an hour and a half; Bolinge r and Rol g s fave Evans first aid and made him as comfortable as they could and Briescb was sent out of the cave to summon help. Evans apparently died of severe head injuries and internal injuries. Dr. Stephen Maxey, Eddy County coroner who was with the_ rescue party during the seareh, said it would be almost impossible for anyone to survive that type of a fall. Briesch, not knowin g that his companion was dead, walked for five hours, most of it aftter dark, t hrough the uninhabited wilderness to summon aid. He got to forest ranger Ken McCollum's ranch about 10 PM and then Me Collum radioed to Carlsbad and the search got underway. The sheriff's office called out the Eddy County Rescue Squad and searchers began moving up to the mountains.


SEPI'EMBER, 1967 THE TEXAS CAVER Page 1 2 5 The searchers were led by Sheriff Ray Anaya, Perry Denton of Carpenter-Denton, mountain climber Andy Komensky, and McCollum. When the party reached the top of the mountain, they learned that Evans was already dead. Bolinger and Rolfs had gotten themselves to the tep of the drop after tying ropes on the body. The searchers then tried to haul the body up with ropes manned by Denton, Tom Granger and Leroy payne of the sheriff's office and Wesley Barton and Richard peek of the rescue squad. But it was described as an impossible task and it was decided to let a helicopter try it. By this time it was late afternoon and no one had had anything to eat or had slept for about sixteen hours. They began the slow, torturous journey back down the mountainside. Meanwhile a helicopter from Fort Bliss came into the mountains where the first search headquarters had been set up. It landed on a small hill, directed to the spot by Dwane Warrick, Forest Service chief in Carlsbad, PROJECT HELD The annual fall project of tqe Texas Spe leological Association was held in Kimble County Labor Day weekend, September 2, 3, and 4. It is estimated that over twenty new caves were located in the county, most of them not previously reported to the Texas Speleological Survey in Austin. Some 60 persons found their way to Telegraph and the ranch of Mr. Allison, host for the campers. Only bad thing about the occasion was the fact that rain hampered some of the activity Fortunately the rain did not come down heavily, and the spring creek that cavers had to eros' s on way to the campground did not rise and cause any difficulty. Planners of the project was Suzanne Fowler of Texas Tech Speleological Society and members of the Balcones Grotto and San Antonio Grotto. Manning the camp headquarters was A. Richard Smith, Carol Russell, and TSA Secretary Ollene Bundrant. The purpose of any and all caves in serious speleological future by the Survey. the project was to locate Kimble County so that some work may be done in the A more detailed account of the project, though it will not be news at that time, will be reported in a subsequent issue of the rick, Forest Service chief in Carlsbad. The copter dropped of much-needed water and food supplies. The pilot, however, would not go into the canyon to try to get the body, saying it would be too risky for his big craft. Johnny Volpato, a rescue squad member w h o had been up on the ridge earlier, Dr. Maxey and Haskel Wright's son loaded up packs with food and started the long trek back to the cavesite. They were met along the way by straggling members of the rescue party, all hungry and about to drop from exhaustion. Denton h a d brought an oxygen tank and used it a number of times on the climb. Finally all got back to camp ready to return to Carlsbad and let the White Sands helicopters retrieve the body the next day. (The above account of the Guadalupe tragedy was reported in the Carlsbad newspaper. It is hoped that a more detailed account of what pened may be forthcoming from either Komensky or other members of the rescue party,) When Do You Meet? In reading over the latest issue of the Internal Organization Newsletter of the N.S.S., and edited by Mrs. Jeanne Gurney, it was found that a list of grottoes and their meeting times were desired. It is appropriate that the Texas Caver also list these meeting times of organizations in the Texas Speleological Association. Please send your organization's name, meeting address, and meeting time to the We will list these in the next issue. Who knews, someone may be visiting o r traveling through the state, either from your grotto or club, or possibiy someone from out of state, and might be able to take in a meeting somewhere else. Can't think of a better way for cavers to keep in touch with one another, or to make new friends. Please list thusly: ABILENE GROTTO 2818 South 39th Street Abilene, Texas 79605 MEETING TIME: 7:30 PM, first Tuesday of each month. RAVE YOU SENT AN ARTICLE TO THE CAVER LATELY???


Page 126 THE TEXAS CAV1ill SEPT:ci'l.t!ER, 1967 News __ Abilene Members of the Abilene Grotto have been engaged in various activities during the past month . building projectors, undergoing street repairs, treking through McKittrick Canyon, and looking at hundred of color shots of the land to the south--Mexico. A get together was held at George Gray's home to put the CAVER together and mail out, a little late, but still a little before the end of the month of issue. Next Tuesday evening a meeting was held and slides were viewed and a whole cake and pot of coffee was consumed. No cave trips of late, however Jim Estes managed to show his nephew, Keith Curl, some of Fleming Bat Cave during the project. Those making the project were George Gray and Jim Estes. Accompanying them were members of the Grotey group, Irene Estes and Jacque Gray. Others were Ricky Gray and Keith Curl. Grotto address: Jim Estes, 2818 South 39 Street, Abilene, Texas 79605. Alamo One of the bonuses of caving is the variety of experiences cavers can have, not only in exploring caves but also in the search for caves. Recently a small group of us under the dir eetion of the incomparable caver and yarn-spinner, H. E. Adams, went hunting for leads. After emptying a ten foot deep pit, which turned out to be a blind fissure or rocks and dirt in hours of backbreaking work we started on another rock filled hole. Out came tons of rock, many small animal bones, fine pieces of human skull and two spear points. This has fired our members into a new burst of enthusiasm for the oft -frustrating pasttime of "chasing holes in the ground." Efforts are underway to widen the field of exploratbn and to identify and classify the artifacts. Progress reports will follow. Site of the dig? Sorry, Mr. Adams took us blindfolded. The Leilson Wilson family were involved in a serious accident in the Southeast. Both Beth and Leilson were injured seriously, and at the time of this report are still in the hospital in San Antonio. (We await a more detailed report for the next issue of the Caver--Ed.) Grotto address: Robert Hausman, 322 West Swnmit Avenue, San Antonio, Texas 78212. A&l Gill Ediger and Lee Cantile were the only cavers from A&I able to attend the Project at Junction, but they weren't the only ones caving. Torn Levi, who this summer helped David Meredith open up a back passage in CobbCaverns, was sidetracked from the BOG but was doing some worthwhile caving in the Killeen Area. John Kreidler took his mother and another RGVG caver to Bustamante the week after the Project since he had to work Labor Day They had planned to go to Carrizal, but the same rain which damp ened some of the cavers at Junction also damp ened the usual dusty roads to Candela and plans were changed. Several years ago, John Kreidler was among a group of cavers that made one of the first trips to Huatla de Jimenez in Mexico. He bas toldthe story often and it was in the AMCS NEWSlETTER of the "Mushroom Eaters" --Hippies who flock to the area to eat an hallucianatory mushroom that grows there, Lately the problem has gotten out of band. An article in the September 8 issue of the Corpus Christi Caller reported that "The Mexican Government has started a roundup of bearded and unwashed tourists who congregated in . Huatla de Jimenez to partake of the magic mushroom The article went on to say that the Interior Ministry had taken the tourist cards from and forcefully expelled "30 or 40 Americans of both sexes" in the past week. It might be a good idea for any cavers plannint a trip down that way to take along plenty of identification showing that he is a caver, an AMCS card would probably be best. Especially since cavers have a havit of getting "unwashed" and/or "bearded" while away from whatever it is they do when not caving. Club address: Texas A&I Speleological So ciety, P. 0. Box 2213, Kingsville, Texas 78363. Balcones Grotto members have spent most of their time during August laying groundwork for the Labor Day Project in Kimble County. Eugene Haydon and David Merideth acted as advance guard, setting up signs and markers Friday night. Arriving Saturday night, Wolfgang and Linda Lehnhardt joined Carol Russell and UT cavers in checking leads, finding wildlife perhaps more remarkable than the caves encountered--one healthy rattlesnake, an unhealthy lizard, a decidedly non-healthy angora goat (run over), and the largest (health undetermined) black-widow spider in existence. Old Balcones member Torn Warden came from Texarkana to visit with old friends and snap candid shots of the proceedings.


SEPTEMBER, 1967 THE TEXAS CAVER Page 127 The Lehnhardts t ook the scenic route home M onday, driving from the project site to Rocksprings, t h en to 8onora and the Devil's River r.anyon, c heckinJ for caves along t h e way A general s tore proprietor g ave directions to a cave that was visible from t h e road, but tr. e owner was not home. went on to the Amistad Dam,. to watch construction, saw t h e Rio r.rande flooding and camped at Garner Atate Park in heavy rain. Uolfgang and T.inda also made a trip early in August to explore Gorman r.ave and accompanied Bill and r.arol Russell to check leads near Hye and Johnson r.i ty. t.Jolfgang alone visited caves near McNeil and attempted to excavate a sinkhole. nn Aeptember 6, Uolfgang and T.inda went to Longhorn r.avern to check the water level, and found it the same as it was one year ago. They also asked and received permission to survey t he part of the cave beyond the commercial trail. Grotto address: Box 7551 UT Station, Austin, Texas 78712. U. T. Speleo Supply man James Strickland made a trip August 16-20 to Northern traveling from the mountains around the Bustamante area t o Saltillo, and visiting Huasteca Canyon near M onterrey. He found Bustamante underwater from the recent rains, and the lights out in Satillo. A ccompanying him was a rancher from Bertram, Texas, owner of some 8000 acres and many caves, who doesn't explore them because he simply isn't interested, Fortunately he is quite willing to show them to others. T, R. Evans and John Fish {fresh from collecting in C hiapas) left with Terry Raines, Bill Deane and Bill Russell on September 1 for t he AquismonXilitla area, particularly t h e S6tano de Golondrinas. They anticipated a wet (rainy) season, 40-oda. mile hike Around the :nountains, We regret the loss to Texas Tech of James Reddell, recently acclaimed Life Member of UTSS and NSS Fellow and his wife, Janie, We also r e gret the loss of his red Toyota which we had h oped to use at registration tim e to attract prospective new members. Sometime early in August a would-be cave r escue was stag ed by Orion Knox and Bill and C arol In answer to a call from t h e A ustin police, they searched in vain in several small caves in the North Austin area for a nine year old boy who had been missing for several d ays; Happily he turned up, a runaway, in Memphis, Tennessee UT delegates to the BOG mee ting at t he Labor Day Project were Orion K no x and Merydith T urner. D espite a persisten t drizzle, the UT h a r d core, quartered in A. Richard S m i t h's conv ertible (back only) pickup, maintained hig h spirits Project results have not boen compiled as of yet Grotto address: P. 0, Box 7672 UT Station, Austin, 'I' e xas, 78712 CLARIFICATIONS AND CORRECTIONS The autho r of the article "Lattitude .3-nd Departure" Carl Kunath, wish ed t hat t h e above clarifications be made. llis exc ellent article appeared in the August issue of The Page 110, Paragraph 2: Bustamante Survey was with a transit, Author was misinformed, Page 110, Paragraph 4: Dividers are used for the distances, --Page 111, Paragraph 3:Columns marked (with an) asterisk, Page 112, Paragraph beginning with (From Diagram # 3 The "5" is footnote number 1 not (0,0) raised to 5th power, as it appears to be7 Following paragraph, the word "or" should be ommitted since the corrected distance and vector are one in the same thing. Page 114, Footnote 7: most cavers never plot a {profile) view Notice the small size of this issue of the caver7 Well, if you dislike small sizes there is something YOU can do about it. For quite a while the Caver has not included an article on an simply because we have not received any. How about it1 cavers7 'Jhe. CflU[R. ne.e.t:U. lj{)I.JR. hdp!!! !Ju, 111e. k.n.o111 .th.a..t we. cu.e. .l.a.U atfrUn aAd atfrUn we. a-te.

Page 128 THE TaASCAVER SEPTEMBER, 1967 ple.Ota.iA.e. .to pa.q qo" on .the. 4-c:VJ

Contents: Caving in
Okinawa / Tom Darling --Guadalupe tragedy --
Project held --
When do you meet??? --
News --
From the Editor / George Gray.


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