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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Regional Speleology ( local )
Technical Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


General Note:
Contents: MFP / Jon Vinson (Another deep one for Texas.) -- Map of MFP / Bridgemon, Vinson, Burney, Ediger, Harmon -- Litter Barrel Cave / William H. Russell -- Map of Litter Barrel Cave / Broadus, Cepeda, Harmon -- Convention notice (see YOU there!) -- I am a rain god / Barry Beck (Sodden soliloquy.) -- Adjectives--for climbers (do you use these?) -- Reviews (JWV looks 'em over.) -- Cartoon / Bill Elliott -- Alice's Restaurant revisited / Ronnie Fieseler (Egad!) -- Letters to the Editor (They were nice this time.) -- Trips (Where they went, what they did.) -- Editorial (Kunath's 1 1/2 cents worth) -- News history (Harmon's thing.) -- Cartoons / Charlie Loving -- Speleo-mart -- Speleo-calendar.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 15, no. 3 (1970)
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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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K26-04534 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4534 ( USFLDC Handle )
10693 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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COVER: Cottonwood Cave, New Mexico. This spectacular view may be had from the base of the "Grandaddy Stalagmite" looking toward the entrance, some 700 feet distant. Nikon-F, 35mm Nikkor, 1#50, 2#22, 3#M3, Pan X, f /4. Photo by your Editor. The TEXAS CAVER is a monthly publication of the Texas Speleological Association and is published in San Angelo, Texas. Material for publication should be typed double-s paced and sent to the Editor at 2302 W. Avenue J, San Angelo, Texas 76901 no later than the first of the month of publication, Grotto and club news should be sent to the NEWS editor at Box 58534 Houston, Texas 77058, Subscriptions are $4.00 per year for 12 issues. All requests for subscriptions sho.uld be sent to James Jasek 1218 Melrose, Waco, Texas 76710. Persons subscribing after the first of the year will receive all back issues for that year, Single copies are avaliable at 40f each postage paid anywhere in the U, S. (g 1970 by the TEXAS CAVER. STAFF Editor., Carl E, Kunath Assistant Editor, ,. Jon Vinson News Editor, R us se 11 Harmon Business Manager.,., Glenda Kunath Printer, ,., Terry Raines Assembly ?variable? Distribution James Jasek Proof Reader . Frodo Baggins The TEXAS CAVER VOLUME XV, NUMBER 3 * * * * * * * CONTENTS PAGE 43 MFP by Jon Vinson (Another deep one for Texas.) 45 MAP OF MFP by Bridgeman, Vinson, Burney, Ediger, Harmon. 47 LITTER BARREL CAVE by William H. Russell 48 MAP OF LITTER BARREL CAVE by Broadus, Cepeda, Harmon. CONVENTION NOTE (See YOU there!) 49 I AM A RAIN GOD by Barry Beck (Sodden soliloquy.) 51 ADJECTIVES---FOR CLIMBERS (Do you use these?) 52 REVIEWS (JWV looks 'em over.) CARTOON by Bill Elliott 53 ALICE'S RESTAURANT REVISITED by Ronnie Fieseler (Egad!) 54 CARTOON by Bill Elliott 55 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (They were nice this time.) 56 TRIPS (Where they went, what they did.) 57 EDITORIAL (Kunath's 1 1/2 f worth.) 58 NEWS & HISTORY (Harmon's thing,) 59 CARTOONS by Charlie Loving 60 SPELEO-MART SPELEO-CALENDAR * OFFICERS OF THE TEXAS SPELEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION FOR 1970 ARE: Chairman Gill Ediger, Box 2213 A&I, Kingsville, Texas. 78363 Vice Chairman Russell Harmon, Box 58534, Houston, Texas 77058 Secretary-Treasurer . Suzanne Wiley, Box 4563 TT, Lubbock, Texas 79409 Printed by SPELEO PRESS


The TEXAS CAVER, March, 1970 Page.43 MIGHTY by Jon Vinson On Saturday, September 27, 1969 a small group of cavers gathered at Carta Valley, Texas for a weekend of mapping and exploring caves in preparation for an issue of the TSS on the caves of the Carta Valley area. We split into two groups with Carl Kunath, David Wood, and Mike Mo-:>dy going one way and Ron Bridgeman, Bob Burney and I going another. After spending a somewhat unsuccessful day trying to locate caves on a ranch with only a Spanish speaking foreman in residence, we returned to camp in mid-afternoon for some lunch and a short nap. About 6 p.m. we were wondering how to spend the rest of the afternoon constructively when Ron suggested that we go to look at a small hole he remembered seeing a year ago while ________ ___. looking for Venom Pit. The hole was only a few miles away and he told us that it would require some digging but it might go. We decided to look at it and p _lanned to be back by dark. We located the place after looking about fifteen minutes. The six inch square hole was located almost at the top of a large hill and near a small outcropping of rock. Using a flashlight, we could see about fifteen feet down a narrow crack. It looked promising but it was going to require some work to enlarge it enough to permit entry. Ronnie Fieseler at the entrance to MFP, Photo by Jon Vinson. Donald Murphey admires "Thor's Pillar of Fire" near the north end of "Frisbee Hall". Photo by Vinson.


Page 44 The TEXAS CAVER, March, 1970 After working thirty minutes and removing an estimated 1500 pounds of rock we had opened a crack four feet long and tapering from eleven inches to eight inches wide. It was impossible _to enlarge the opening any further so Ron dropped the first rock. It rattled against the narrow walls for several seconds until the sound was so faint we could .barely hear it, then it seemed to stop and we were about to drop another rock whem suddenly we heard a very faint but astonishing "ka-boom" echoing from the crack. After many expletives and several more rocks (with the same results), we that we had discovered an usually deep pit for the area. Our original plans were not to enter anything we found until the next day but we were so excited at our find that we couldn't wait. Returning to the truck for our gear we discovered that we had only eighty feet of rope. This didn't stop us and we returned to the entrance just as it was getting dark. We decided that Ron would go as far as he could and place an expansion bolt to aid us the next day. Ron squeezed through the small opening just at dark and as he slowly decended in the narrow crevice he called out graphic descriptions interspersed with frequent exple tives to Bob and I on the surface. He called out that he had reached a small ledge and could see the end of the rope a few feet below h .im-and nothing else! He said that the bottom just dropped out under him. It was an excellent place to put the bolt and he began to drive it in, In a few minutes he reported that it was in place and he was coming ouL Upon reaching the surface, he said it appeared that he was at the top of a large room as his voice echoed quite a bit when he talked to us from the ledge. We dropped one last rock to assure ourselves of what we had found and headed for the truck. On the way back to camp we decided that it was a Mighty Fine Pit (thus the name MFP), That night, we sat around excitedly speculating on what we would find the next day. Early Sunday morning Ron, Bob, and I got up early and left for the pit. We quickly rigged the drop and Ron went down to the ledge to rig a second rope from expansion bolt. When he was secure on the ledge I squeezed through the narrow opening and started down. The first ten feet was a very narrow crack_ about one foot wide and twenty feet long. Below this, it widened from-three to five feet and thirty feet long. About thirty feet down, there was a small ledge covered with guano and a passage about five by eight feet leading down a gentle slope to a ten foot drop where it ended, From the ledge, the crevice became a very steep slope (almost vertical) to another ledge where the-expansion bolt was located. The walls became covered with more and more flowstone as I got closer to the lower The lower ledge was about six inches wide and two feet long with the crevice only five by two and a half feet at this point, Sitting on the ledge, my feet hung over into blackness, The opening below the ledge was only one by four feet and all my carbide lamp revealed was a very steep, boulder strewn ledge off to my left and about twenty feet below. At this point I got a very impressive view of nothing! I had tirrie to contemplate all this while Ron rapelled to the bottom where he appeared quite small. He called out that he was in the center of a large room with no obvious side passages. As I started down I could see that after twenty feet the rope hung very close to one wall of the large room and in places it touched the wall, I dropped onto the breakdown covered clay slope of the floor one hundred feet below the ledge. The total drop was 180 feet which made it the second longest drop in Texas (see Plateau Cave, TEXAS CAVER, July, 1965), The large room, called Frisbee Hall (after the official game of Carta Valley SUCKS), is about 100 feet high, almost circular at the bottom and about 150 feet in There are no leads in the walls of the continued, page 46




Page 46 The TEXAS CAVER, March, 1970 room. The floor sloped upward along one wall. The floor was mostly clay covered breakdown with the lower portion flattening out under the overhang of the wall and becoming covered with dry guano. There were few formations in Frisbee Hall except at the upper end of the slope.where there was a small undercut of the wall and in this area were several small stalagmites and stalactites. The most notable formation was a small column about twelve feet high and six feet in diameter at the base. At the lower end of the room was a duck under four feet high into a large dome about twelve feet in diameter and thirty to forty feet high. The walls were very irregular and covered with popcorn. On this first trip we did not attempt to climb the dome due to a lack of time although there was a promising lead at the top. About 50 feet to the right of this dome there was a second, smaller dome in the of the wall about eight feet off the floor. The walls were covered with flowstone and there was a rapid drip of water. On this particular trip we were pressed for time and only surveyed the large room, took a few pictures and left. Two weeks later, on 11 October, Ron Bridgeman, Bob Burney, Russ Harmon, Don Broussard, Jerry Broadus, Gill Ediger, and I returned to MFP to add some cross sections to the map and to check the two leads in the domes. Gill, Ron, and I climbed the higher dome with the most promising lead. This dome proved to be some 54 feet high and very difficult to climb. However, it opened into a narrow passage three to four feet high and about two feet wide. This passage appeared to be strongly joint-controlled,(possibly the same joint seen in the entrance crevice), and had rio side passages. This passage continued for about 75 feet before reaching a dome. Ron climbed the dome and found a similar pas sage almost at right angles to the one we were in It continued for about 100 feet with one small parallel passage that finally became too small to follow. Ron reported that all side leads ended in small domes. He also reported the area was very active and in some places contained many small "Sonora-like" formations. V:fe later called this area of the cave ''The Halls of Moria". We were still unable to check the second and smaller dome due to the lack of a scaling pole. While Ron, Gill, and I were mapping this upper level, Jerry was attempting to climb the ledge at the top of the room and check the lead off it. This area we called ''The Citidel of Gondor". The ledge was very steep and Jerry remained on the rope while attempting to climb it. Twice he slipped only to make a swinging arc on the rope at the top of the room while everyone below held their breath. On the third attempt .he tried higher up and managed to reach a fairly secure spot where he could and check the lead He reported an upward sloping pas sage about 60 feet long that ended in a dome. Earlier, Don had gone to Venom Pit and wa$ trying to find a connection to MFP. He mapped from the entrance of MFP to Venom Pit and then sketched Venom Pit only to find it a small pit 76 feet deep and with a floor covered by breakdown and decaying logs. When I plotted the entrance of Venom Pit, I found that it was very close to the dome in MFP that we were unable to climb. It is quite possible that Venom Pit is a second entrance to MFP that has been filled. Although not an extensive cave, MFP is somewhat unusual to the area and those that have visited it are very impressed with its size. Good caves are where you look! Go caving today and see what YOU. dm find.


The TEXAS CAVER, March, 1970 Page 47_ Litter Barrel. Cave by H. Russell litter Barrel Cave was first introduced to the world by Johny

Page 48 The TEXAS CAVER, March, 1970 domes about a foot or two high where crawling was relatively easy, joined by low sections where it was necessary to dig. After about 100 feet, time ran out and we were forced to return to the main cave. Both these crawlways appear promising and digging with a rock hammer in the partly cemented floor should be easy. The Comstock area has at least one other large, only partly explored cave, and further inquiry and reconnaissance should produce more caves. With luck, Litter Barrel Cave (LBC? )* and others in the area will be similar. to Langtry Lead Cave, where small crawlways connect major sections of the cave. This possibility makes it important that crawlways be throughly checked, as Abominable Sink to the south and Fren Bat Cave (FBC) to the north indicate rooms in the Comstock area can be very large indeed. The discovery of Natural Bridge Cave (NBC) so awed Texas Cavers that for a time all Texas caves of any size at all had to have similar initials. Thus Inner Space Caverns was called Highway Bridge Cave (HBC). * * * * * * LITTER BARREL CAVE VAL VERDE CO., TEXAS BRUNTON AND TAPE SURVEY BY: J. BROADUS, J. CEPEDA, AND R. HARMON TSS DRAFTED BY: R. HARMON 20 SEPTEMBER 196B 0' 30' 60' 90' Don't forget the. annual TSA Convention to be held on the campus of Southwest Texas University at San Marco's. The date is April 11-12. Make plans now to attend this SUPER GET-TOGETHER of Texas cavers. Don't miss this chance to rap with the people that make it happen. Write to Convention Chairman Russell Harmon (address inside cover) to request a place. on the program for your paper ....


The TEXAS CAVER, March, 1970 Page 49 I Am A Rain God by Barry Beck I t has recently become painfully obvious to me, and to many of my close friends, that I am some sort of a rain god, or talisman, or charm, or something. Now this is not mere whimsy nor crude speculation, but this statment is based on an ever increasing mound of scientifically valid, eire umstantial evidence. Some have said that my evidence is "all wettt and I, unfortunately, have been forced to agree, for the simple reason that everything associated with me in the past several months of caving has become "all wet". My first inkling of this mystical power I have to draw rain to normally arid areas, and to draw it in torrential quantities, came this past autumn at Gorman Falls. We were up late Friday night and headed into Gorman Cave early Saturday morning. We explored it more or less throughly; some even ventured into the crystal-clear waters of the lower depths. Shortly after lunch, while we were practicing rope work on a forty foot section of the cliff, it began to rain; only lightly now mind you, but it began. After some wet and soggy climbing and a rather damp supper, we all collapsed into our sleeping bags---as you remember, Friday was a long night. All during the night the rain continued, but not heavily, just as a drizzle. Since we were some fifteen feet above the river level ( the Colorado) and since the rain had really been quite moderate (it turned out afterward to be about 31/2 inches), no one worried about the muddy Colorado. This, as it turned out, was---to say the least---an oversight. Little known to our trusty band of cavers, upstream in the San Saba area, twelve inches of rain had fallen that very night. Our first hintof impending calamity came when I turned over, half asleep, and glanced through the door of the tent to view our plywood camp box bobbing _about in front of the tent like the proverbial cork. At this point, action became fast and furious, and short, four-letter expletives were heard frequently. First I aroused the rest of the group, tossed my son in my parked car, and began to organize a salvage line in the murky darkness to get all the equipment up onto the higher road. The river continued to rise, past our ankles and up to our knees. I tried in vain to move my car, but it was all too obvious that the road only led deeper into the water and the uphill direction was too steep and wooded to negotiate. Using some trusty nylon climbing rope, we moored the car to.several large trees, salvaged our gear and my perplexed son, and drove up the hill in our other car which had been parked on higher ground. Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell were surprised, which I think is putting it mildly, to see fourteen rather saturated young men standing at their door at 4:30a.m. but Mrs. Maxwell handled the suituation with the finesse of a Kennedy surprised by the DuPonts dropping i-q. for dinner. Shortly after our arrival, another knock echoed on the door and two rainsoaked :Wnghorn cavers appeared. They .had been camped inside the cave and neaTly traped by the rising floodwaters, but had. waded to. safety and walked to the house through the woods above the cliffs. Mrs. Maxwell was shocked because she had been continued, next page


Page 50 The TEXAS CAVER, March, 1970 under the impression that all the U. T. neophytes had left and _that the cave was vacant. No one had known the two cavers were there! 'Nough said! The whole camping compound, cabin dwellers and tenters alike, was stranded together when we found1 come morning, that the Cherokee Creek, that little trickle of water that crosses the one road from Bend to Gorman Falls, had turned into a raging torrent about a hundred feet wide and ten feet deep. Our group had only a pile of soaked belongings and the tattered and dripping clothes on our backs. However, Mrs. Maxwell not only managed to feed sixteen extra mouths, but also to clothe all of us in warm, dry garments. Rather than lapse into maudlin sentimentality and have you all bespotting your newsletter with teardrops, I will simply say that our group will never be able to thank Mr. and ___ Mrs. Maxwell fully for their help on that ill-fated weekend. After breakfast, we walked carefully down to look at our campsight of the night before. All that we could find were the ropes tied to the trees: the car, with a luggage rack on top, and both tents, cabin and umbrella, were totally submerged. Later that day we dove into the car and removed some miscellaneous baggage, such as my two cameras, light meter, etc. Monday, the waters receeded. Cherokee Creek subsided until the low water crossing was passable, and some friends from Houston drove up and taxied us home. Thus endeth the first demonstration of the Rain God. Now, several weeks later, attended a Carta Valley SUCKS convention in (where else) Carta Valley. For those of you who do not know, it is about thirty miles north of Del Rio, in west Central Texas, or east West Texas; anyway, it's pretty far west. The climate is semi-arid or possibly arid, the vegetation being generallycactus and mesquite. Saturday evening everyone retired as usual (after the customary trip to Acuha for dinner), encamped around the Fieldhouse. During the night, the rain began, and it increased until it drove even the '6f cavers into solid shelter. In the morning, the grounds were completely flooded with several inches of water and everything was a sea of mud. (Note: even during this fantastic deluge the spe.ckled flag of Carta Valley SUCKS hung proudly over the doorway and did not fall, although I'm told it has .'g<:>.ne down" occasionally.) This, however, was not the worst of 'it. On the trip home. it was found that all the low water crossings to the north of Carta Valley were flooded and many were impassable. Those who could went the but some who needed to go the northern route forged and ahead.-. I know of at least one car which to wait and be towed from a deep Thus endeth the second trial of the .. Rain.God. At this point I was beginning to consider myself: unlucky, and vague murmerings were heard here and there about there being 'some between my presence and the prodigous precipitation, but I was still.not convinced. It took our last trip, to sunny Mexico, to prove the point. We left Wednesday of Thanksgiving week and drove due south for the little town of Bustamante and the Gruta Del Palmito. There were to be no surprise floods this time as the rain began shortly after our. departure from Houston It continued into. old Mexico and it raining when we set up camp. It was continued, next page


The TEXAS CAVER, March, 1970 Page 51 raining when we got up the next morning and it was raining when wehiked up to the gruta. It was raining when we came out of the gruta and it was raining when we got back to camp. The ground was super-saturated with water and the rain rose up through the bottom of our tents. It was raining when we drove into Bustamante for a hotel room, only to find it closed, and it was raining when we got a hotel room in Sabinas Hidalgo. It was raining when we got up the next morning and it was raining when we went back to pick up our sodden belongings at the campsite. It was raining when we went to sleep that evening. Saturday morning when we awoke, low and behold, it was raining. The road to Carrizal being a dry weather road, it was, as one would expect, impassable. So, we headed south to Monterrey and Garcia Caverns, where, to absolutely no ones' surprise, we walked up the mountain in the rain (the cable car was out of order.) We drove back to Sabinas Hidalgo in the rain and retired for the evening. Sunday morning when we awoke, low and behold, it was raining. If it sounds repetitive, believe me, it was. We packed our gear into the car and headed for home. In Nuevo Laredo, homeward bound, the sun appeared. This was the first time we had seen the sun in five days in Mexico! Thus endeth the final adventure of the Rain God. Now I am not saying unequivocally that it will rain when I go caving. In fact, I can remember once (it seems like a long time ago} when it didn't rain. We were in the Guadalupe Mountains at New Cave, and it snowed. However, I do think that there is an ever increasing amount of evidence which seems to indicate that anyone who goes caving with me and does not bring a raincoat is not overly bright. * * * * :ADJECTIVES FOR CLIMBERS EASY---------The second man's appraisal-of the climb described as difficult by the first rrian. MODERATE-.--The seconc;l man's appraisal of climb described as severe by the first man. ----Pertaining to a climb you'd rather not make again. DIFFICULT----Obsolete term forced into disuse by second man's tendency to downgrade climb described as such by first man. SEVERE-----Obsolete for same reason as above. INTERESTING-Describes : a climb slightly harder than you'd to lead just now. FASCINATING-Describes a climb slightly harder than you'd ca"re to lead ever. IMPRESSIVE--Describes a climb on which expansion bolts are required for direct" aid, but cannot be placed. IMPOSSI:BLE --This adj.ective long gone into limbo. It was originally used to describe climbs subsequently made by girls in their teens. Reprinted without permission from something we just don't remember what.


Page 52 The TEXAS CAVER, March, 1970 REVIEWS "They Explore The Underworld" by Robert Crawford, Scouting Magazine, January-February, 1970, pp 34-35. At last someone has written a very good article on caving without a lot of glorified BS trying to attract every novice in the country underground. This short but to the point article by the chairman of an Explorer Post in Indiana, Pa. begins by telling a little about caves and what the Scouts in this Post do when they go caving. The re.mainder of the article deals with rules for Safety, Conservation, and Courtesy which make caving a safe sport. Throughout the article the author stresses the importance of following these rules in the interest of safe caving and at the same time aims his article at the young Scout who might be tempted to enter the first hole he sees after reading this or any other article on caving. This group of Scouts is one the NSS can be proud of. I don't know how many of you have read the rules for Safety, Conservation, and Courtesy recently, but the rules printed in this article are ones which every caver should have a copy of and are ones which should be read at every grotto meeting. jwv "The Paradise Ice Caves" by William R. Halliday and Charles H. Anderson, Jr., National Parks Magazine, October, 1969, pp 13-14. This is a short but excellent article on the ice caves in the Mt. Rainer glaciers. In addition to being a good article there are also several good photographs accompanying the article and the cover of the magazine is _'an outstanding color photograph:looking out the entrance of one of the ice caves. Most of you have heard about or read one of Or. Halliday's books, and all I can say is that this article is worth th e trouble to find and read. Also of interest is an article on the adjoining page by George F. Jackson, a long-time NSS member. This article is on the petroglyphs of the upper Mojave Desert of southern California. This is also worth reading even if your interest is only in caving. jwv * * * * * * YOO GOf AtJ EL.Ect'RIC. WEAJCfl rDI? yoow -(ROO(


The TEXAS CAVER, March, 1970 Alice's On Saturday, 24 January 1970, representatives of the clans gathered in San Angelo for business and partying. A fantastically uncomplicated and effective BOG meeting was held during the afternoon. The meeting was finally adjourned and the party Restaurant was in order. This was a party that couldn't be beat. There were basketball games, beer, sucker games, beer, BS sessions, beer, slide shows, beer, light shows, beer, hard-rock beer, dancing, and more beer. The hours sped by until, utterly exhausted, everyone crashed. The next morning Oh God the next morning! But eventually everyone rallied and the sad remains were sorted out. Six trash cans were crammed full of half-a-ton of garbage consisting of empty beer cans and bottles. It Page 53 Text: Ronnie Fieseler Photos: Obie DUMPING $ 2 5 FINi E was decided to do a favor for the owners of the cans, namely, Carl Kunath and Jon Vinson. Various people grabbed shovels and rakes and other implements of destruction, and loaded the half-a-ton of garbage into Russ Harmon's VW microbus. Jon piloted the bus down the alleys and streets of San Angelo looking for a 15 foot cliff with a small pile of grabage at the bottom to make into one big pile, since according to Arlo, the city dump would be closed. Alas, such a cliff could not be found, so while Bill Murphy stabilized the stacked grabage cans, and Ronnie continued, next page


Page 54 The TEXAS CA Y_ER, March, 1970 Fieseler played a few bars of Alice's on the guitar, and Karen Bradley and Barry Beck recorded the entire sequence on film, Jon drove reluctantly to the city dump. By unbelievable luck, the gate was open and no guard was in sight. Quickly, Bill and Barry dumped the half-a-ton of garbage while Jon and Karen took pictures and Ronnie played a few bars of Alice's on the guitar. Loading the now empty garbage cans back into the VW microbus, they made a hasty exit and drove merrily on their way that is until they suddenly saw a large sign a long their path which read "NO DUMPING--$25 FINE". Fearfully continuing the journey, they arrived home and are even now awaiting the dreaded jangle of the telephone that will bring law and justice down upon them, as vividly described by our old friend Pray for them brethren, that they may not suffer under blind American justice. If, by chance, you are chosen as a witness, then just stroll into the courtroom, sing a bar of Alice's, and walk out. The judiciary system may never be the same again. * * * * * * (/ * EXCHANGERS: * Ice * * * .. MENu HOY 1 61?/NGO CAVERS 5F'CIAL * Address copies to: 2302 W. Avenue J, Sari Angelo, Texas 76901 * * * *


The TEXAS CAVER, March, 1970 February 15, 1970 Delran, N.J. To The Page 55 "The Birthday Passage", written by Gill Ediger in'January, 1970 TEXAS was quite interesting and well written. The photos were excellent and complimented the narration clearly. The theories regarding crystal formations in these were stimulating and thought-provoking. I would like to add a small bit of information that might shed some light on the question. Gill mentions the lack of air currents in this passage at the present time. I doubt if this has always been true. About 10 years ago, a number of the Dallas Grotto members, after visiting Bustamante, were convinced that there had been a lower opening at some past time. There are a number of things that led to this conclusion. Perhaps during the past 10 years further explorations have proven this lower opening theory to be correct. (Not to my knowledge--Ed.} If it is, we could expect some fairly high velocity breezes to be flowing throughout the entire length of the cave. The difference of altitude of over 500 feet from the entrance to an opening at the lower end would form a pretty good chimney for rising air currents; also, when the cave air temperature was lower than the outside air temperature, the cave would tend to dump out the lower opening and create a downdraft. However, a number of distorted formations led us to believe that this cave had a strong prevailing updraft for many years. The distorted also indicated that the lowe. r opening has been closed for a number of years by collapse. The idea is menti.oned here only as a possible explanation of the mystery of, the apparent rapid evaporation. Perhaps someday the Sierra Madres will give up the secret of this wonderful phenomena. Congratulations on the new format---it's excellent. Let us have more articles like Gill's! s/s Bob Littlefield Your new TEXAS CAVER format is very ni<;::e. . especially like the new cover and the small photos of Dick Smith and Ron Bridgeman. Rick Banning, Takoma Park, Md. The CAVER was great, wonderful, stupendous .. David Wood, Uvalde, Texas The new TEXAS CA-VER looksgood. Lots of luck on a time-consuming, thankless task. Logan McNatt, San Marcos, Texas The TC looked great! It inspires me to contribute. Elbert Bassham, El Paso,. Texas


Page 56 The TEXAS CAVER, March, 1970 DATE: February 6-7, 1970 PLACE: Stower's Cave PERSONNEL: Alan Williams, Andy Sandoval, Roger Bartholomew, Mike Dolde. REPORTED BY: Roger Bartholomew This trip saw more passage (about 350 feet) mapped in the Swiss Cheese area. A few side leads were checked, but no new passage was found in this area. Roger took a few slides and gave Alan a tour of the Slot Passage and the Bat Room. DATE: February 8, 1970 PLACE: West Bexar County, Helotes Blowhole Cave PERSONNEL: Al Brandt, David Litsinger, Roger Bartholomew, Alan Williams. REPORTED BY: Roger Bartholomew Three leads were checked on Al's brother's place. Two didn't go and the. being in: the b0ttom of a pit silo seemed to have bad air and was not fully explored. The group then went to Helotes Blowhole Cave and remapped it. DATE: February 14, 1970 PLACE: Wurzbach Bat Cave PERSONNEL: Alan Wiiliams, Roger Bartholomew, David Litsinger, Al Brandt. REPORTED BY: Roger Bartholomew This trip completed the mapping of this cave. Alan pushed a tight crawl in the bottom of a small sink and linked it to the main cave. A surface survey was done to locate the other sinks in the area to the main cave. The cave now has five entrances.! DATE: February 15, 1970 PLACE: Brehmmer-Heidrich Cave PERSONNEL: Dave Twyman, Alan Williams, Roger.Bartholomew, Dave Litsinger. REPORTED BY: Roger Bartholomew The map of the cave begun with about 400 feet being surveyed. Also at the cave were: Andrew and Jack Maxwell, Al Brandt, Scott Harden and several others. more, next page


The TEXAS CAVER, March, 1970 DATE: 20-22 February, 1970 PLACE: Cave Of. The Lakes Page 57 PERSONNEL: R. Fieseler, B. Murphey, J. Morris, J. McNutt, I. McNutt, S. Kwan, B. Lloyd, M. J. Lloyd, G. Lloyd, J.A. McNutt, B. Eyre, J. Blecker, Bates, J. Oswalt, K. Suderstrom. REPORTED BY: Ronnie Fieseler Personnel met Friday night at a roadside park north of Leakey. Satur9-ay a.m. we went to the ranch and got directions to the cave. A car from A&I was there at the pa.rking place _but no cavers We began for the cave and several hours later we were still' searching. The A&I people having_ troub le, too We teamed up for a massive attack, and finally John McNutt found the entrance, but not Cave of the Lakes. Ronnie Fieseler remembered Mike Moody saying something about a small cave two hills away from Cave of'the Lakes. He led the way to another hillside Cave of the Lakes was finally found by Joyce Oswalt who met three A&I people coming out. The two other A&I cavers had wondered happened to them after splitting up. About three hours were spent in Cave .of the Lakes exploring and taking pictures. Later, back at the roadside park, we ate supper and sacked out. Sometime in the night the rains came, and so after breakfast Sunday everybody splashed home, happy at least that Saturday had been dry. * * * * * * EDITORIAL I have been expecting a flood of irate letters to the Editor. The readers remarkable patience it seems. Least you accuse me of being an irresponsible ne're-do-well, let me hasten to inform you that"the February, 1970 CAVER left San Angelo the morning of February 20. I thought you would have it by the end of the month. I'm not going. to indulge in name-cy your editor" all the time?


Page 58 The TEXAS CAVER, March, 1970 PAN AMERICAN 5.5. Unknown to most of the cavers around.the state, the PASS is the caving club of Pan American College. The membership of the PASS is now about 25 and caving by the club is not limited to the Rio Grande Valley. Since September 1967 members of the club have headed south for most of their caving with such areas as B ustarnante, Galenas, Mante, and Valles being visited. Also, this past January, a number of cavers from the club descended upon and into Devil's Sinkhole. As a point of interest, the club publication is called the "PASS OUT" and club activities are "PASS OUTINGS". (Ed. note: Welcome to the clan. PASS!) RIO GRANDE VALLEY As with most clubs, January began a new year for the RGVCC. Jon Clayton continued as chairman with George Redman, Butch Broadus, Alvin Dunn, and Roger Albach completing the roster of officers. The club is presently in the midst of planning a trip for the Spring and will be in attendance at the 'TSA Con vention in April. U.T.S.S, With final exams and registration for the Spring semester, February was a slow month for the UTSS as far as caving was concerned. Election of officers for the new year found T. R. Evans as Chairman and Torn AJbert as Vice Chairman. The month also found Bill Russell hard at work for the I.R.S., so watch out 'when you send in those tax returns! Dill lasFta Worth Grotto The D-FWG has had another active month of caving. February began with a climbing session for new and inexperienced members which proved to be quite successful. .The following weekend, four of the more hardy members of the grotto made a trip to Carta Valley to assist in the TSS survey in that area. Included in that group were Mike Moody, Ronnie Fieseler, Ed Fomby and Bill Murphy. In between Del Rio for dinner and running out of gas 8 miles west of Rocksprings (rescued by Russ Harm.on and crew), the group managed to map Name Cave and Collapse Cave and yisit Fallen Stalagmite Cave. Meanwhile that weekend, is is rumored that Pete Lindsley and Karen Bradley paid a visit to Caverns of Sonora for a little picture taking. The next weekend found grotto members at Cave of the Lakes in Real County. Finally, the last weekend of the month found seven of the group back at Carta Valley for some fun, festivities, and a little caving. The trip was mostly a pleasure and photo trip as Pete Lindsley, Karen Bradley, John McNutt, and Mike Moody visited Midnight Cave, while Fieseler and Bill Murphy did MFP. more, next page


The TEXAS CAVER, March, 1970 Page 59 SAN ANTONIO GROTTO January was a slow month for caving down in San Antortiq, However, a few trips got off. Bob Burney, Robert Henry, Scott Harden, and Alan Williams went .out to Devil's Sinkhole. All went well except the weather which brought sleet and _icy roads. Also, Bob Burney punched a hole in his gas tank on the back road .. On January 19, Jack Maxwell went out to check out some cliffs near Medina Lake for caves. He was accompanied by Wayne Steinbarger. (Ed. note: and?) On January 30, Rober Bartholomew and David Litsinger went out to map Wurzbach Bat Cave which Dave thought to be about 300 feet long. It turned out to be much longer and the 900 feet mapped did not finish the mapping. On February 7, Andrew and Jack Maxwell went out to check a lead in Bexar County. However, the owner was not around and they could not get permission to look for the cave On February 11, Andy and Jack Maxwell went to check out a lead from a friend whose grandfather had a hole in the ground into which he had been &umping trash. They could not get permission to enter without a release. On February 27, Roger Bartholomew, Doug Nunnelly, Alan Williams, Dave Twyman, and Scott Harden went to Edwards County to see Deep Cave and Blowhole Cave. On Saturday, Deep Cave was visited. On getting out of the cave, we found that Robert Henry (The Phantom) had arrived and wanted to visit Blowhole. So Alan, Dave, and Robert did the cave that night. The next morning the Phantom had disappeared and suddenly another car drove up.: John Ricketts and Mike Yarborough had arrived after spending the night in their mired-down car on the muddy ranch They were pulled out by a passing IH Scout. So, John, Mike, Scott, Roger, and Doug went to Blowhole. It was fou.nd that the cave goes a lot deeper than the Big Room and that the survey markers go all the way to the bottom. I would appreciate it if anyone knowing the depth of that survey would contact me (Ed. note: I believe that's Brian survey.) * * * * * * "THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PICTURES AND IT'S A BODY WARMER,"


Page 60 The TEXAS CAVER, March, 1970 SPELEO-MART FOR SALE: Sony 350 tape deck. Three heads, sound'-with-sound, 1 7/8, 3 3/4, 7 1/2. Almqst new, needs minor repair, $85.00. Contact the Editor. FOR SALE: Used 35mm f/2. 8 Auto Nikkor lens. Lots of good cave pictures made with this lens. $60.00. Contact th/ Editor. * * * / .ry .omething .ew I The New IIIIT IIIII .... .......... PHOTOGRAPHS, CAVE ARTICLES, PHOTO-TIPS, CARTOONS, REVIEWS, TRIP REPORTS, GROTTO NEWII, GARBAGE, MAPS, ETC, FIND OUT WHAT'S HAPPENING Uf TEXAS, NEW MEXICO AND MEXICO, SUBSCRIBE TODAY Ill ONLY $4,00 PER YEAR (IZ t .. ueo), Z30Z W. AVENUE J, SAN ANGELO, TEXAS 76901 FOR SALE: Brand new 135mm f/3. 5 Auto Nikkor lens with hood and plastic case. Never used. $100.00 or what do you have to trade. Contact Ed. * * * SPELEOCALENDAR 11-12 April---TSA Convention, San Marcos, Texas. 22 May-------Lindsley bites the dust. 22 June-----Summer solstice---don't miss it! 31 June ------Bilbo Baggins Day ? ?August----Ediger bites the dust 15-22 Aug.--NSS Convention, State College, Pa. * * * * ' ,. :r'he TEXAS CAVER 1218 Melrose Waco, Texas 76710 Return Postage Guaranteed Address Correction Requested Official publication of the Texas Speleological Association TO: ERNST KASTNING * \ ,,

Contents: MFP / Jon
Vinson (Another deep one for Texas.) --
Map of MFP / Bridgemon, Vinson, Burney, Ediger, Harmon --
Litter Barrel Cave / William H. Russell --
Map of Litter Barrel Cave / Broadus, Cepeda, Harmon --
Convention notice (see YOU there!) --
I am a rain god / Barry Beck (Sodden soliloquy.) --
Adjectives--for climbers (do you use these?) --
Reviews (JWV looks 'em over.) --
Cartoon / Bill Elliott --
Alice's Restaurant revisited / Ronnie Fieseler (Egad!) --
Letters to the Editor (They were nice this time.) --
Trips (Where they went, what they did.) --
Editorial (Kunath's 1 1/2 cents worth) --
News & history (Harmon's thing.) --
Cartoons / Charlie Loving --
Speleo-mart --


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