The Texas Caver

The Texas Caver

Material Information

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: A mini-project / Ronnie Fieseler -- Texas speleological survey -- Letter to the Editor -- Trip Reports.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 17, no. 07 (1972)
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:
K26-04562 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4562 ( USFLDC Handle )
11296 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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COVER: Fawcett's Cave. Photo by Carl Kunath, Nikon F, M-3 bulb, Pan X, 24mm lens. The TEXAS CAVER is a monthly publication of the Texas Speleological Association, an internal organization of the National Speleological Society, and is published in Dallas, Texas. Material should be typed double-spaceed and sent to the Editor at P.O.Box 533, Euless, Texas 76039, no later than the first of the month of publication. Subscriptions are $4.00 per year for 12 issues and all subscriptions should be eent to James Jasek at 1213 Melrose, Waco, Texas 76710. Single copies arre available at 40 each postage paid anywhere in the u.s. (c) 1972 by the TEXAS CAVER. STAFF Editor----------------------------Mike Moody Assistant typist------------------Lucrezia Moody Proof Reader----------------------Pete and Karen Lindsley Printer---------------------------James Jasek Distribution----------------------James Jasek Guiding Light---------------------Bilbo Baggins The TEXAS CAVER, VOLUME XVII, NUMBER 7 * * * * * * * CONTENTS PAGE 107 A MINI-PROJECT by Ronnie Fieseler 111 TEXAS SPELEOLOGICAL SURVEY 112 LETTER TO THE EDITOR 113 TRIP REPORTS * * * * * * OFFICERS OF THE TEXAS SPELEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION FOR 1972 ARE: Chairman------------------Bill Elliott, Dept. of Biology, Texas Univ. Lubbock, Texas 79409 Vice Chairman-------------Jon Vinson, 1222 S. Abe, San Angelo, Secretary-Treasurer-------Ollene Bundrant, 107 Tomahawk Trail, Antonio, Texas, 73232 * * * * * * * Tech Texas 76901 San * *


The TEXAS CAVER, July 1972 Page 107 AMini-Project By Ronnie Fieseler Although it may not have been an offical Mini-Project in every sense of the word, we feel that it was a good start In the last part of July 1972, several cavers met in (Kimble Co. ) for a weekend of partying and caving. Saturday morning after breakfast and visiting, one truckload of cavers roared off to check some leads, while man y other cavers stav ed at camp to swim, relax and socialize. The real cavers went to a nearby ranch to c heck a hole in the side of a cliff. With a couple of ranchers watching, we s caled the cliff, rigged a rope and Billy Campbell rappelled down only to discover it went back about seven feet. In the meantime, diRdaining such grandstandiug acts, A .Richard Smith rooted around and foun d a horizontal cave about thirty feet long. Off to yet another ranch, we were led by the owne r to the hole he knew about. It was on top of a hill, looked real good, b u t was small and shallow. I crawled into it, stood on my head and had Jon Everage and Cahrles Fromen (or somebod y ... I couldn't quite tell who) hold my feet straight up in the air. They then rotated me 360 degrees so I could check out t he lead. Nothing. Just pinched out in all directions. After lifting me we returned. to the party in progress. Party, swim, party, drink, etc . While such frivolity was going on, A. Richard wandered off downstream to discover another twenty LO thirty foot long cave. Amazing. Sunday came and some of us wanted to go caving on the way home. We decided to check out an area of Kimble County that cavers had not visited before. With A. Richard's trusty topo maps, we soon came to the area and asked the first people we saw about caves. They told us to check with a ranch a few miles u p the road. Arriving there, Charles Fromen talked to the owner who gave us permission and talked about having only one significant cave. A short drive later and we stopped near the base of a bluff along a creek bed. The smell of discovery was in the air! A. Richard found yet another thirty foot long cave. I found another entrance about the same time Charles yelled that he had found the cave described by the rancher. A Richard, Theresa Morris and I explored and mapped what was later n amed Hum Cave. A strange humming noise at the rear of the cave turned out to be a swarm o f flies. The cave was 117 feet long. We joined Charles, Billy Campbell and Mike Connally in exploring and mapping what we named Stonewall Cave (d u e to a manmade stone wall just inside the entrance). This 257 foot


Page 108 The TEXAS CAVER, July 1972 long cave is mostly walking passage with some crawls. Interesting features of the cave include a large flat slab of breakdown halfway into the cave and several domes scattered throughout the passage. The cave is very drJ and once contained a fair sized bat population. The last third of the cave is the guano area. The rancher told us he had had the guano analyized and found it to be leached out and worthless as fertilizer. No bats or fresh guano were observed. We left Stonewall Cave and continued checking the bluff. A few minutes of rooting around and I found yet another entrance. A Richard, Theresa and I began to explore and were joined shortly by Mike Connally. A knee crawl led about seventy-five feet to a rock strewn slope which pinched out to a six inch wide creek. We could see passage on the other side. We started poking around. Theresa checked a small lead which pinched out. A Richard tried to dig out the crack. Airflow as we entered the cave indicated more passage than we had seen. Where was it? We discussed more digging. Finally, I happened to notice a ledge low to the floor. Sure enough a low passage led off and I could see a room. I moved a couple of rocks and squeezed in. Soon I was in a circular, three foot high room with two leads off. Mike joined me. He crawled down one lead and ::( t 'ook the ather. Mine led into the passage we had seen earlier but pinched out after about thirty feet. After surveying this passage, I returned to the circular room finding the skeleton of a dead varmint (probably a fox or a ringtail) in a hole in the floor. We waited there for Mike who had gone out of hearing. It was quite a while before we heard sounds of his return. It seems that his passage led to the main part of the cave. We began mapping from the circular room named the Rotunda). The tubular crawl led ten feet to large guano room. This was one of the driest areas I had ever seen in a cave. It must have been totally dessicated. Clouds of dusty guano rose as we walked. We could not stop thinking about the possibility of histoplasmosis. The cave narrowed through some breakdown to a small room, then continued as a crawl to a Y. The right or SE fork was a low crawl for about thirty feet to another Y where two crawls led off to low to check. The left or NE fork led to another room roughly triangular in shape. This is the end of the cave in this direction. The room contains a few old formations and a "portable stalagmite" on a piece of rock. The passage from the Guano Room to this room is covered with the same dry dusty guano which seemed ever drier than theother cave. Again, no bats or fresh guano was seen. After some discussion as to an appropriate name for this extra dry cave, we named it Arrid (Extra Dry) Cave, for the famous deodorant. We returned to the Rotunda, noting another very low crawl off the


The TEXAS CAVER, July 1972 Page 109 Guano Room, and mapped our way out of the cave. Total surveyed length of the cave was 310 feet. The rest of the bluff was checked and no more caves were found. We returned to the ranch and reported our finds. We had found four new caves, explored and mapped them, all in about three hours on our way home Sunday afternoon. With the two A. Richar d had found the day before, and all the swimming, partying and loafing going on in our spare time, we considered it a very satisfying and profitable weekend. We finally arrived home, wishing for many more trips like this one. c 0 c 4 HUM CAVE Kimble County, Texas Explored and mapped 1 5 Ju ne 197 2 Brunton and Tape Survey A. Richard Smith Theresa Morris Ronnie Fieseler Drafted by Ronnie Fieseler


Page 110 Tne TEXAS CAVER, July 1972 0 ARRID (Extra Dry) CAVE Kimble County, Texas Explored and mapped 18 .Tune 1972 Brunton and Tape Survey A. Richard Smith Ronnie Fieseler Therasa Morris Mike Connally Drafted by Ronnie Fieseler t5 feet .so


The TEXAS CAVER, July 1972 Page 111 rss Everyone is urged to cooperate with the Texas Speleological Survey by sending in maps, reports, and cave locations to the TSS. A report on the "Caves of San Saba County" which brings the early issue completely up-to-date is in press now and should be available in the very near future. Other issues being prepared for publication are: "The caves of Hays County11J The Caves of Travis County", revised, "The Caves of Indian Creek Area, Uvalde County", and "The Caves of Carta Valley". The first of these to be ready will be printed next. If you have explored caves here, mapped a cave in any of these counties, or want a good place to go next, be sure to send the information on to the TSS as soon as possible so that the information will be t:.1cluded. We are also very eager to obtain exact locations of caves to be marked on the TSS collection of topographic maps. This is very important if we are to prevent duplication of caves and to supply information to cavers wishing to visit a given cave or verify if he has been to the right cave. If you wish the location to be confidential it will be so marked and released only with your permission. Too many caves are lost because the location in the files is useless, and the effort to duplicate this information could be much better spent locating really new caves. Please cooperate with us on thisl * * * * * * It's quiet, so very quiet. The wind is stilled, the chirp of the crickets has stopped. There is a feeling of expectancy in the air. The silence is like a shroud; it seems to smother the mountains with its quiteness. The very ground seems to tremble with anticipation. A trio of dung beetles pause in their work and seem to look around for the cause of this feeling of tension. The murmers of the small creek seem to soften as if in awe of this great force. There is a stirring amongst the Juniper and Ponderosa Pines, an awakening, a great stretching of the branches and leaves towards this wonderous entity. A Colima Wrabler makes its familiar chatter as it performs its toilet. The low-hanging clouds begin to glisten, a myriad of colors. The stillness in the air can almost be felt as this miracle of life occurs. You can feel it, an awe-inspiring sight to behold nestled between the shoulders of Boot Canyon; a great warmth, a great awakening is stretch-ing across the canyon. The sun rises.


Page 112 The TEXAS CAVER, July 1972 UNITED STATES DEP'AIIr'TMENT OF' AG"ICUL TURE FOREST SERVICE Lincoln National Forest Guadalupe Ranger District Federal Building, Room 145 Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220 The new procedures in effect for Cottonwood Cave have caused some concern to cavers. I sincerely regret any inconveniences the change over has caused and would like to publicly than': Andy Komensky, and the many other spelunkers who have assisted the Forest Service in the past years. There certainly was no intention to slight anyone, or to make their past services appear unimportant. As many of you know from personal experience, the back part of Cottonwood is truly unique. The gypsum formations are growing at a remarkable rate. Unfortuantely, these formations are being broken and damaged unknowingly by well-intentioned visitors. In order to provide the maximum protection to this part of Cottonwood$ while still providing some opportunity for its by the public, we have initiated a guide service through the cave on a pre-arrangement basis. We plan to run the tours on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month yeart lons. In the event a group wants to tour the cave on a different weekend, this may be arranged by calling two or three weeks ahead of time. Since we are working on a limited budget, we would like to hold the special trips to a minimum. Jerry Trout or John Burke will be conducting them, and are only available on weekends, since they are both full-time teachers. I hope this clarifies the policy on Cottonwood Cave. If any of you have any questions, I will be happy to discuss them with you. ALIAN L. HINDS Guadalupe District Ranger * * * * * * There is nothing in this section because I don't have any thin cartoons, poems or witty sayings. Why don't you send me something. Remember this is your magazine and it is only what you make it. *


The TEXAS CAVER, July 1972 DATE! Memorial Week-end/ K. A. Griffin 5th Annual Cave Trip DESTINATION: RNK Ranch, Val Verde County 113 PERSONNEL: Carl Kunath, Gary Heath, Steve Vallandigham (San Angelo); Charles Fromen, Ken A. Griffin (Houston); RNK Ranch party of 5 REPORTED BY: Ken A. Griffin, Spelaean Group l'' f\1 r I got a lead from the RNK owner, who is a client of mine, of a virgin cave on his ranch. I checked with Dick Smith of TSS, and he found no record of anything in the area in his files. Confident that I was on to a real, actual virgin cave, I organized an expedition, arranged to meet C. Edwin & party at Lorna Alta and jointly explore said virgin cave. Upon our entrance to the ranch Carl asked if this could be the Fawcett's Cave sure enough, it turned out to be the same cave. Just my luck. Carl had been there about 50 years ago and even helped map it. Anyway, we all explored and took many photos. The Rancher then treated us to lunch, after which C. Edwin & party headed to the motorcycle races in San Angelo (mumbling things about my not knowing my posterior from an earthly excavation). Fromen and I remained to seek out other caves and just enjoy the country. We enjoyed the country. DATE: Early June DESTINATION: Fischer's Pit PERSONNEL: Ronnie Fieseler, Pam Lynn, Logan McNatt REPORTED BY: Ronnie Fieseler We made a Sunday Afternoon trip for the purpose of introducing Pam to a pit of a greater depth than what she had been in so far. Fischer's is about 125 feet deep. We had a pleasant descent except for Ronnie getting his sideburns caught in his We signed the register at the bottom and prusiked out of the pit without too much difficulty.


Page 114 The TEXAS CAVER, July 1972 DATE: Middle of June DESTINATION: Longhorn Cavern PERSONNEL: Dallas and Austin Cavers REPORTED BY: Ronnie Fieseler Sometime around the middle of June several cavers met at Longhorn to work on the map. Bob Lloyd led a group of cavers back to the Wigglies to map and check leads. Ronnie Fieseler and Pam Lynn wandered around in the commercial section sketching in details for the commercial part of the map. After several hours of sketching, they finished the entire commercial section of the trail and exited the cave. The manager of the cave asked them if they could locate a particular area of the cave on the surface. Since two passages terminated in breakdown at this point, they felt sure that it was possible. After a short hike and some wandering around, following some compass bearing taken from the map, Ronnie and Pam arrived at two promenent surface sinks that obviously took lots of drainage and were doubtless the spot being searched for. They marked the sinks with some ribbon and returned to the car, finding the other survey team out of the cave. Bob and the rest had been plagued by high water, cold temperature, and fatigue from the strenuous trip back to wigglies and had only mapped two shots totaling about 16 feet. Not much of an impressive showing, but understandable to those who know the cave. Finally allcavers decided on a quick trip home Saturday night for recuperation on Sunday. DATE: 7-14 July, 1972 DESTINATION: Mexico PERSONNEL: Matt Farrar, SUsie Farrar, Wayne Russell, Steve Fleming, Glenn Darilek, John Graves, Scott Harden REPORTED BY: Scott Harden Our group drove almost all night and saw Wayne's car by the side of the road near Linares. After about 2 hours sleep we drove over the super-magnificent mountain road from Linares to G&leana. All of us except Susie descended into the gaping abyss of Pozo de Gavilan. Wayne inflated his rubber raft and gave us tours of the beautiful lake at the bottom. That night, only Glenn and I had enough energy to walk into the metropolis of Galeana and get drunk and only Glenn had the courage to challenge the local hoodlums in a game of billiards. (We.'re still not sure who won). Next morning we started the long drive back. Matt was rounding a curve and for some mystic reason on the wrong side of the road; all of a sudden a VW bus was heading straight for us. Crazy Mexican drivers! Why wasn't he on the left side of the road where he belonged!?! The result was a humongous dent in Matt's new IH Scout and a bent tie rod and fender on the vw. Joh and I got a ride in a truck until we saw Wayne's car & stopped. We went to the Jefe de Transite who straightened out the matter for 200 pesos. The group dropped me off in Montemorelos; it was here I began my solo hitch-


The TEXAS CAVER, July 1972 Page 115 Hiking journey through 1500 miles of Mexico. My first hosts were a 47 year old Mexican and his 13 year old gringo girlfriend. They drove me all the way to Tecolutla on the Gulf Coast, after spending a night at Nac del Rio Frio and at Papantla. Then hitched & caught a second class but to Puebla. Just outside Perote the bus broke down. After waiting some time in the cold night air of 7,000 feet I decided to bed down hitch to Puebla in the morning. It was apparently here that, 25"0, -P.e.sos were stolen from me even though my wallet was well _I .stil;L had plenty of $$ to get back on, but I would have to call my trip short & head home. Spent the rest of the night on a bus station bench in Puebla. In the morning I backpacked out of downtown Puebla (pop. 500,000 plus). I was soon rewarded with incredible views of Popocatepetl and Ictaccihatl (both 17,000 ft. plus) and Mulinche (14,000 ft.) I wanted to climb some good mountains but I was not equipped. At a Pemex station (Pemex stations are good places for hitchhikers to linger about with thumb out in Mexico, I soon learned, as are gringo occupied universities). I got a ride with a nice nerd from Ohio. He would go thru San Antonio; I decided to stay with him & get home due to lack of funds and Montezuma's revenge of such a severe nature at to cause difficulty in walking about safely. Saw ruins of TUla and spent night in S.L.P. Made it thru Laredo customs with no difficulty (driver was very straight) except inspector almost flipped when he first saw some instant dry milk in a pill bottle of mine. Pulled into San Antonio about midnight with an interesting and thoroughl,:y enjoyable trip behind me. DATE: 17-lB June, 1972 DESTINATION: Enchanted Rock PERSONNEL: Glenn, Ruth, & Paul Darilek, Pete & Darlene,Scott. REPORTED BY: Scott Harden A great grotto trip in which everyone was supposed to turn out and go to Gorman Falls was a "failure" as only four nonmembers and three members showed. We went to Enchanted Rock instead. It rained but soon after the clouds broke and we enjoyed perfect weather. The top of Enchanted Rock is a pseudokarst and there was a beautiful stream with cascades running thru the cave due to the rain. Out of the cave, down the rock and to the Burgess Fest at Boerne, Texas, much like the Wurst Fest but not so chaotic. We drank a good(expensive) beer and breathed heliu to talk like D. Duck. We pity those who didn't go as we all had great fun.


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Contents: A
mini-project / Ronnie Fieseler --
Texas speleological survey --
Letter to the Editor --
Trip Reports.


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