The Texas Caver

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: Cartoon / Ken Griffin -- Letters to the Editor -- CLC / Jan Lewis -- Editorial -- TCTTNSHB / Wayne Russell -- Cartoon / Wayne Russell -- Speleolympics / T.C. Ferret -- San Pedro de Iturbide / Glenn Darilek -- Map of San Pedro de Iturbide -- Accident report / Steve Fleming -- Cartoon / Ken Griffin -- Se le vi / Vince Orozco -- Rescue -- Cavers' first aid notes, part 2 / D. E. Faz -- Mexico, what needs to be done / Bill Russell -- News and history -- Review: Inside Earth / Ronnie Fieseler -- Garbage -- Notice --Trips.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 18, no. 02 (1973)
General Note:
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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K26-04569 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4569 ( USFLDC Handle )
11303 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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THE TEXA. S CAVER FEBRUARY 1973 COVER: Montage of 1972. Midnight "Beyond Time" Experiment. Photos by Vincent Orozco. The Texas Caver is a monthly publication of the Texas Speleological Association, an internal organization of the National Speleological Society and is published in San Antonio, Texas. Mate rial should be typed double spaced and sent to the Editor, Glenn Darilek, at 1192 9 Grapevine, San Antonio, Texas 78228, no later than the first of the month of publication. Subscriptions are $4. 00 per year for 12 issues and all subscriptions should be se.nt to James Jasek at 1218 Melrose, Waco, Texas 76710. Persons subscribing after the first of the year will receive all back issues for that year. Single copies are available at 40 each. Postage paid anywhere inthe I'J,S. STAFF: Maggie Allison Karen Clement Glenn Darilek, Editor Ruth Darilek PRINTING: James Jasek ASSEMBLY: Huaco Cavers Steve Fleming John Graves J or ja Lindgren Vincent Orozco Gregg Passmore Wayne Russell Chuck Stuehm Mike Walsh The TEXAS CAVER VOLUME XVIII, NUMBER 2 EXCHANGERS: Address copies to 11929 Grapevine, San Antonio, Texas 78228 SUPPORT the OFFICERS OF THE TEXAS SPELEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION FOR 1973 ARE: Chairman--------------Ronnie Fieseler, 1601 W. 6tR. St., Austin, Texas Vice Chairman---------Neal Morris, 12 05 W. Richard, Kingsville, Texas Secretary-Treasurer----Jerry Lindsey, 804 Seymour Ave., Laredo, Texas


The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 CONTENTS PAGE 27 CARTOON by Ken Griffin 28 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 29 GLG by Jan Lewis 30 EDITORIAL 31 TCTTNSHB by Wayne Russell 34 CARTOON by Wayne Russell 35 SPELEOLYMPICS by T. C. Ferret 36 SAN PEDRO de ITURBIDE by Glenn Darilek Insert MAP of SAN PEDRO de ITURBIDE 37 ACCIDENT REPORT by Steve Fleming 38 CARTOON by Ken Griffin 39 SE LE VI by Vince Orozco 40 RESCUE 41 CA VERS' FIRST AID NOTES, Part 2 by D. E. Faz 42 MEXICO, What needs to be done by Bill Russell 45 NEWS AND HISTORY 46 REVIEW Inside Earth by Ronnie Fieseler 47 GARBAGE 48 NOTICE 49 TRIPS A'.'E. US .. Page 27 \ C\l\ '

Page 28 The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 Dear Editor, Thank you for printing my article on rancher relations. The Caver did leave out the word inevitable in the first sentence of the third paragraph. The sentence should read "These s -mall groups working in a local area will be relatively well protected fromadverse effects of the blunders that are inevitable, given enough cave trips. 11 The rest of the issue is quite readable. The only critism would be that the vertical rig on the cover looks like it might not be too efficient for long drops. I do have another article. A rather long article -two to three typewritten pages and several photographs on Air mans cave---entitled "Air mans Cave -Part I" (Part one as it only covers the first half of the presently known cave as also as I envision several more articles on this cave. ) There is a fold out rnap that should be at least legal size, can you print this? I have talked to the Balconies Grotto and they (myself included) would like to write a monthly column, tentatively entitled 11 The Fault Zone". We would provide a page or two per month typed in Caver format and ready to print. As this page would already be typed, there would be little work for the editor, except to type on the page numbers. Two disadvantages: One the editor would loose s orne control over the content as he could only reject the whole page, and two, the type style would not correspond with the rest of the publication. If several grottos could each send in a page the job of the editor could be much less wor k and each grotto would help contribute and smaller grottos like the Balconies would not feel the y had to print their own news letter--each grotto could have their own section of the caver. Yours,. Bill Russell Editors Note: We hope the printing of your letter will rectify the error concerning your article on rancher relations. Thanks for your comments and we will try to do better next time. We are awaiting your other article. We can easily print legal size maps, but for maps bigger than that, we need outside help. Your idea on monthly columns written by each grotto is fantastic. If possible it should be typed with an IBM Executive typewriter, leaving 1 inch borders all around. If this is not possible, we will gladly re-type it. I doubt that the loss of control over the content will be a problem. We are awaiting your first installment and hope other grottos will follow up on your excellent idea. Dear editor, My congratulations on the Caver. First issue worth reading in a long time. Thank you! Jan Lewis


The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 Page 29 The need for GLG was first made apparent while caving in Mex ico this past summer. After the initial reaction of "We don' t want any girls on this trip, you'll just slow us down", we finally received permission to come along. Granted, women aren't as strong as men are, but we tried hard and made it. Ah, La Cienega was a welcome sight 1 There were plenty of pits in the area and lots of work for e veryone. Then one afternoon it happened--four women took off in search of caves-together. Since Ada spoke Spanish we had no trouble finding leads, but no one felt qualified to rig the rope, so we asked Peter to accompany us. Once we had reached the entrance, Barbara secured the rope (which was supervised by Peter) and we rappelled: first Barbara, followed by Eilleen, Jan, and Ada. There we were, with a task to do, and no one had had any previous experience. This was where the absurdity of the situation really hit us and we decided to do something about it. Since all previous attempts at learning to map, collect, etc. within the UTG and SWTG had been disasterous we decided to branch out and form our own grotto, the God's Little Grotto. Below is a copy of our Constitution and By-Laws. Please keep in mind that our purpose is not to alienate the two sexes, but to become competent cavers and be accepted as such. CONSTITUTION AND BY -LAWS I. The name of this organization shall be God's Little Grotto. II. The purpose of this organization shall be to: (1) provide opportunities for women to acquire and use caving skills, (2) promote responsible attitudes and a consciousness of safety, (3) increase fellowship among women cavers. III. The policies toward cave conservation and landowner relationship of this club shall be consistant with the policies of the National Speleological Society and Texas Speleological Association. IV. Any changes in this club's general policies shall originate from its membership. V. Amendments to this constitution shall be made by two-thirds favorable vote of those members present at any meeting of the club. VI. By-Laws A. Membership l. Membership shall be open to all interested women. 2. Men can become affiliated with the Grotto only through an honorary status. Honorary membership can be obtained through nomination by a regular member and subsequent approval by a two-thirds majority.


Page 30 The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 ,. 3. Only members shall be permitted to vote on any proposal or amendment. B. Meetings shall be held on the first and third Wednesdays during regular school semesters. The GLG meets as said, at 7:00 PM on every first and third Wednesday in room 313 of the old Physics Building. If there are any women who have any questions, suggestions, or interest, please write to us (GLG) care of the University Speleological Society, Box 7672, Austin, Texas 76712. ., a reprint from INSIDE EARTH * * * * EDITORIAL Since the Alamo Area Chapter has taken the editorship of the TEXAS CAVER, we have received nothing but encouragement from cavers from all o ver the state. We appreciate all of the help we have received. We still need much more material for future issues and we must have more renewals and new subscribers. We have sent these first two issues out to most of the subscribers from the past two years. We feel that now you have had ample time toresubscribe, so this is the last issue you will receive if you do not send your $4.00 to James Jasek, 1218 Melrose, Waco, Texas 76710. We need your h elp, so please re-subscribe and encourage your caving friends to do the same. We realize that last year 1 s volume of the TEXAS CAVER is way behind schedule. This year1s TC has done all that it can to insure that this does not happen again, including a new editor, new staff,. new printe r and new editorial policy. The TEXAS CAVER must not be criticized because of the past failings of a few. This is your publication and the only purpose of the TC staff is to carry out the mechanics necessary to publis h your publication. D o not b e satisfied with just receiving and reading your monthly issue J oin the most productive cavers in the state and contribute some t h i n g to the TEXAS CAVER today. Glenn Darilek Alamo Area Chapte r


The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 Page 31 Wayne Russell On the night before Thanksgiving I finished packing for the trip understanding .that I would catch a ride with Ronnie Fiesler, when he stopped in Kingsville on his ..J./ay to Mexico. I arrived early and visited with the cavers in Kingsville. Due to a foulup in communications Ronnie failed to stop when he pas sed through town so we waited until 8 AM before we decided that he wasn't going to show. Finally Paul Duncan took me under his wing (and io his pickup) and we were on our way only 12 hours late. Tom White, Edna Garcia, and Glenda Morris filled out the rest of our merry band. After 2 hours of fighting the lines of holiday tourists at the border we were looking forward to getting underground as quickly as possible. Our goal was a 300'+ virgin pit "discovered'' several months before by cavers from A & I. Being short of rope they were unable to enter the pit at that time so now we were returning to explore and survey the pit and any cave which might be at the bottom. When it was learned that the man who guided the first group .to the cave had died, it was decided to name the cave in his honoT. Due to our late start we reached Mante after dark and camped at the Nacimiento del Rio Mante where we were soon joined by 5 or 6 cavers and campers from Texas. A pot luck dinner and bull session followed lasting throughout most of the night before everyone retired. Next morning we drove to Ocampo and arrived at the appointed campground to find people scattered all over the place. Over 20 cavers from Austin, Houston, Kingsville, and Corpus Christi were present. Here we learned that 3 members of Ronnie's group had descended the pit the day before and found roughly 2000 ft. of horizontal at the bottom. Much of the new pas sage was reported to be quite large and well decorated. Exploration had been stopped by more pits at each end of the pas sages. Since it now appeared to be a major cave we determined that we would make an all out effort to push it and survey as we went. Alas, if the trip had gotten off to a bad start for us it steadily deteriorated from this point on. Ronnie had a 1200 ft. rope in his truck but no one wanted to carry it back to the cave, about a mile away. So it was decided that the pit would be rigged with 2 ropes, my 365 blue water and another caver's goldline. Once we arrived at the impressive entrance we found that the goldline fell far short of the bottom. So my rope was rigged and padded while Paul Duncan and Jon Everage stationed themselves on a wide ledge about 50 ft. below the lip to aid in communication between the top and bottom of the pit. Now it finally occured to us that we had 14 cavers who wanted to do the cave, all using our rope. Climbing out sing_ly it would t;tke 10-12. hours merely to evacuate the. cave. Add to that several hours to descend and survey the cave we had an impossible situation. The Cave Trip That Never Should Have Been


Page 32 The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 Nevertheless we preceded. Amador Cantu descended first and before long calmly reported that he was at the end of the rope and hanging 12 ft above the floor. Fortunately he had extra sling material in his pack and was able to lower himself to the bottom. While he was doing so 2 nameless cavers were scrambling about the far edge of the pit despite protests from others in the surface party. The inevitable occured when one of them slipped and sent a spray of rocks into the pit. A rock estimated at 4 lb. went sailing past the heads of Duncan and Everage and plunged down the shaft alongside the rope. Frantic warning cries alerted Amador who was still on the rope and had no chance at all of moving to safety. While he tried to cram his body under his hardhat the rock crashed to the floor less than 10 feet away. After a short burst of quite audible but urprintable vocabulary he lost no time in getting off the rope and under a protecting ledge while the sheepish caver who started the rockslide froze motion-less above the lip and was thankful that looks can't kill. By now the series of evil omens had reawakened disturbing memories of the fatalities at Grute del Carrizal one year before and more recently at the' s Sinkhole. This trip appeared to be developing curious similarities and Fiesler, Duncan and Everage promptly declared that they would have nothing further to do with the cave on this trip. Others gradually dropped out until 5 remained who still insisted on doing the pit. Now that the party was cut to a reasonable size and conditions appeared to have stabilized the go ahead was given. Since several had never done a deep pit previously Tom White and I decided to descend and give any assistance that might be needed in rigging for the climb out. Thus 8 of us reached the bottom that day. We were Amador Cantu, Bill Campbell, Paul Mladenka, Carlos Muniz, Mike Tibbs, Tom White and myself. Ronnie Fiesler and Jon Everage had bottomed the day before. By now all hope of surveying had vanished. One group explored the horizontal passage while another roped down one of the pits only to be stopped shortly by still another pitch. Now came the tiresome wait while people ascended one at a time. Of the 8 cavers at least some assistance in preparing their vertical gear for the climb out. Tom handled this job with remarkable skill and patience. The patience was necessary because some rigs had to be started from scratch. One person had no ascending equipment and another had descended knowing that he had only one jumar for the ascent. One highlight of the tripJ the opportunity to meet Carlos Muniz, who is something of a legend among the A&:I cavers. He is a native of Ocampo. He doesn't speak but he is educated, highly intelligent, I o and in superb physical condition. This was his first large pit and he was using borrowed equipment which didn't fit him well. However, he made the climb out in only 15 minutes as opposed to and hour and a half for at least one of our group.


The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 Page 33 While Tom and I were preparing for our ascent another shower of rocks sent us scrambling across the boulder strewn bottom to cover. For hours we had chosen our routes around the bottom never more than a few steps from the nearest fallout shelter, but this rockfall caught us in the open. Being my normal graceful self I promptly collided with a boulder, tripped, and landed with the small of my back smashed painfully against a large rock. When I finally decided that I was going to live Tom and I climbed out in tan dem. When the rope was pulled up and coiled, we all wandered into the night looking for the trucks. So ended the cave trip that never should have happened. By Mexican standards this was not a major pit (about 3 50 ft.) but it clearly revealed that most Texas and U.S. cavers are not properly prepared for deep vertical caving. On several occasions the conditions were right for a tragic accident, always because of carelessness and poor planning. There were far too many people present for a safe and sane trip. Communication and coordination were difficult because one could not keep track of who was doing what, where, at what time. Most of those present were not experienced vertical cavers. Only a handful had done a pit deeper than the Devil's Sinkhole. Many did not have their own equipment and weren't certain about how to use that which they had borrowed. Apparently grottoes should place more emphasis on training new cavers not only about vertical technique but safety and responsibility as well. There was no leadership. Everyone assumed that everyone else had the experience, equipment, common sense, foresight, and stamina required for the trip. After it became obvious that a potentially dangerous situation existed the most capable cavers withdrew from the cave area and advised others to do so. This relieved the congestion problem but left the remaining cavers to fend for themselves. Personal experience is a good teacher but it is not the best when it is unguided. It was the memory of Carrizal that led the trip leaders to walk away from the cave but the same memory should have reminded them of the possible consequences when an ill prepared group of uncertain experience is left on their own in a potentially hazardous cave. We are respcnsible not only if we cause an accident directly but also if we standby and allow it to happen. After this experience I won't hesitate to ask about another caver' s state of preparedness before we enter the cave, and I'll let him know about it if I feel he is conducting himself unsafely or irresponsibly. This may not make me very popular but hopefully it will help prevent avoidable accidents and perhaps save a life.


* Page 34 The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 If a caver does find fimself saddled with a "walking hazard11 he can always make certain that it doesnt happen again on future trips. But until the NURD is safely out of the cave he represents a potential cave rescue and we dont need anymore of those. If all of this seems to be a bit too noble and bothersome to a few it can only serve to prevent bad publicity, protect owner-caver relations and therefore help keep caves open to respoosible cavers. A cave accident doesnt do anyone any good. * * * * * * Once there was a caver neophyte Who thought his hardhat fit too tight 11 I don 1t really need it right But before too long he saw the light. Wear a hardhat upon your head and use it --your head that is. *


The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 Page 35 At the National Convention SPELEOLYMPICS The best spectacle of all at the White Salmon convention was the Spele olympics. The four-wheel drive course was converted into an obstacle course by some Yankee sadist. Let us follow R. Glenn Fieseler, the first entrant, through the course--Ronnie steps up to the starting line ... GO! Ronnie breaks fast, but immediately sees the first obstacle, a folding chair. Diving through head first, the -skin of his nose is peeled away. Reeling from the impact, he sees the next folding chair, and slides through feet fir st. Looming ahead of him is the hill. Ronnie gets only a few feet before the rules of the race turn him to running backwards up its rutted steepness, feet losing traction and blood dripping down his face. Just at the top of the hill are two tires which suddenly are lifted into the air as Ronnie's body struggles to pass through them. As the tires hit the ground, Ronnie is around the curve and racing down the hill at super human gravity-aided speeds. At the bottom of the hill is a 90 obstacle curve that leads to the long mudhole. Dirt and rocks fly onto the unlocking cavers from the braking action of the jungle boots at the bottom of the hill, and Ronnie leaps onto a boulder, and then onto a long beam which he wobbles halfway across, but then falls off as he is still dizzy from the bloody wound of the first obstacle. With arms out for balance, he starts across the beam again, and jumps from rock to rock until he's on the edge of the 50 foot long hole full of liquid mud and picking up speed again. Three steps into the mud, Ronnie makes a flying leap, diving headlong into the mud, under the surface and up again on the other side of a plank across the ooze. Onlookers close by are splattered by flying mud, and cavers everywhere scream and yell in complete approval. The Texas contingent on the hillside hollers encouragement. Ronnie comes up from the muck for air, not even noticing the new cuts and scrapes from the cleverly disguised sewage pipe that runs lengthwise under the mud. He crawls ahead a few feet, and he goes under another board full of nails, and then another. Ronnie stands up and tries to run through the deepest part of the mud, where all the Toyotas had been getting stuck. It grabs and pulls on Ronnie's legs, and suddenly it sucks him in up to his crotch sending him face first into the mud. Somehow he struggles to the six tires at the other end of the mud, stepping and tripping from one tire to the next. The halfway point! Ronnie climbs up one side of an old road grader, jumps to the ground and crawls under it to start through the tires and into the mud again. Ronnie struggles back through the deep part of the mud, trying to keep .up his speed, but the strain begins to show and the mud seems to hold his feet visciously. Texas yells encouragement to Ronnie--or is it Ronnie? --it's impossible to be sure, as he is completely black with slimy sewage mud. Ronnie dives under the boards and crawls out of the mudhole. Then he weaves in and out of some rocks following the white chalk line, and dashes for the final obstacle, a tire standing on edge in a pile of stones. Ronnie dives through it, and races for the finish line while the crowd cheers wildly. High into the air leaps Ronnie and then falls--SPLASH--into


Page 36 The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 a trash can full of water .. Time: two minutes and ten seconds. The crowd murmers ... Unbelievably, Ronnie didn't win the event, but the timing methods of the officials were very questionable, and he did receiv e the Most Mutilated Body Award, which was some consolation. T. C. Ferret --reprinted from OZ TOTL * * * * * San Pedro de Il urbide By Glenn Darilek The mountain pass road between Linares and San Roberto, Nuevo Leon, Mexico offers many cave possibilities. A small part of the area west of Iturbide on this road has been checked by Southwest Texas and Alamo Area cave rs. Acting upon a cave lead out of a travel guide, Mike Walsh, Steve Fleming and Glenn Darilek went to this area on August 12, 1972. We hiked over the semi-desert portion of the mountains behind Iturbide to find a spectacular trail with huge trees and lush vegetation. We went about four kilometers, finally arriving at a settlement of about five huts next to a stream. The Mexicans assured us that the cave was "muy cerquita", so we hiked up a hill, around. the other side and down a valley for about two kilometers to another hut with still no hint of a cave. As spectacular as the walk was this far, it did not compare with the view we saw in the area of the cave. The last kilometer of the trail followed the side of the steep mountain, with a cliff on one side and a breath-taking view down a large canyon to the plains in the distance. On this clear day we could see the town of Hualahuises about twenty five kilometers away. We entered and found the moderately sized cave to be nicely decorated. There was much evidence of mining and a small colony of vampire bats. Steven and I took several photographs of the cave. We went hurriedly back to Iturbide, planning a future trip when we would map the cave and check out the surrounding are a On the first day of October, ten members of the Southwest Texas University Grotto and twelve members of the Alamo Area Chapter returned to the area. In addition to mapping the cave, the group found and mapped two deep shelters and a small cave located behind a spectacular seventy meter waterfall, introduced Mexican caving to several of the group, and thoroughly checked out the area.




The TEXAS CAVER, February 19 7 3 Page 37 REPORT ACCIDENT: Fischer's Pit, Coma! Co. December 30, 1972 On the above date, Henry Hernandez, Jr. age 17, an inexperienced "ca ver 11 who. was not associated with any known caving organization was fatally injured in a fall at Fischer's Pit. The following account is a combination of the official Comal County Sheriff's report presented verbatim and information which I obtained from Herbert Syring of the New Braunfels Fire Dept. Rescue Unit which directed the recovery operation. about two p.m. Mrs. Mabry[ owner] notified the Blanco Fire Dept. of the incident. The Fire Dept. then notified the Blanco Co. Sheriff, Holten Burleson. At about 2:30 p.m. Sheriff Burleson notified the Comal Co. Sheriff Office of this incident. Upon arriving, it was learned that three amateur spelunkers, without proper equipment, entered a vertical shaft approximately 110 feet deep. Subject Hernandez, age 17, using a quarter inch "ski" rope slipped and fell about 3 5 feet to the bottom of the cave. About 3 p.m. the rescue unit of the NBFD was called and arrived about 3:30p.m. Using proper Herbert Syring and Jerry Barganier of the NBFD assisted and directed the rescue. Robert Walker of the Lubbock Co. Fire Dept. who was driving by, along with David Ott of New Braunfels and Wayne Quinney of Blanco entered the cave to assist in the rescue. Numerous other persons assisted in lifting the boy from the cave. Also, assisting was THP Hugh Bartman. At approximately 4 :25p.m. Hernandez was brought to the surface. Dr. Cotton Feray of Johnson City was at the scene and examined the youth, stating he had severe head injuries, possible skull fracture, and was in severe shock and a coma. The doctor stated he should be taken to San Antonio. Hernandez was taken to Bexar Co. Hospital by the Blanco Volunteer Ambulance. He was pronounced dead on arrival approximately 10 minutes before arriving at the hospital. The other two youths that accompanied Hernandez into thE> rave were Michael Bruginan, age 15, and John Wheeler, age 16.11 Herbert Syring of New Braunfels stated that when the rescue unit reached Hernandez he was still conscious and coherent but lapsed into a coma before he could be brought from the pit. The primary rescue technique used was a res cue belt attached to a one inch manila rope which ran over a log and hoisted by those who had stopped to help. This method was also the only means available of negotiating the pit. Syring also stated that had the victim suffered a back injury, a longer delay would have resulted since the unit did not possess the necessary equipment required for this type of rescue. Once the rescue unit began the recovery about 60 minutes elapsed before the person was brought to the surface. The operation was complicated by the fact that Hernandez was comatose at the time and there was some difficulty in getting him through the narrow entrance. Greg Passmore NSS 14008 obtained the follo.v ing information from Mrs. Mabry after the accident: The three boys arrived at the cave and apparently obtained what information they had about the pit from her. This consisted of seeing a copy of the map and the reading of some literature which told of the "safe way to cave". The boys also assured Mrs. Mabry that they were "experienced ca ver s and knew what they were doing".


* Page 38 The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 Sources of information: Herbert Syring, NBFD; Comal Co. Sheriff Office; Mrs. Mabry Analysis: The accident can be attributed directly to inexperienced persons, lacking the proper equipment, and to the fact that they were overconfident in their abilities and thought they knew what they were doing. The res cue attempt points out some serious facts when one considers that the framework at least, of a cave rescue organization has existed for almost a year. No one involved in the rescue at the pit had the slightest idea of the conditions they would encounter. Example: the rescue unit had barely enough rope to do the job without further delays. When I talked with Herbert Syring, he said that he was not aware that there were cavers in the area that were familiar with the pit and who could have at least provided information on the characteristics of the pit and the equipment needed not to mention assistance which could have been rendered. He was also totally unaware of the TSA Rescue Program. This situation has been remedied for the New Braunfels area but it leads one to speculate on how many other fire departments and sheriff offices in the state are equally ignorant of the fact that a caye rescue organization.exists. An effort should be made to spread notice of its existence so that if another inexperienced and injured person is pulled from a cave alive, it will be in time to administer the necessary medical care. Steve Fleming NSS 1372.7 * * * * *


The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 Page 39 Se le'Vi By Vincent Orozco Here at Houston International Airport waving goodbye to Michel Siffre his wife and 15 yr. old Michel Theron as all three leave by Jet to New york City. I being the last in Texas, to see them;now have nothing but to reminisce the hard hours of work and fun of the Experiment. Take for example my first night at Camp, when the only people sleeping in the were little Michel, Gerard and me. It was about 1:30 in the morning when Jean Pierre woke us with a story of catching a six foot long headless rattlesnake. Well, Michel and I got out of bed to see exactly what Jean Pierre was talking about. To our surprise, lying on the dinner table was a six foot snake and it was headless. .According to Jean Pierre he killed the snake by simply cutting the snake's head off between his teeth. Although we had Jean Pierre as our brave and wondrous snake hunter, we were also fortunate to have little Michel Theron as an excellent traffic director. Yes, it was on a windy-rain threatening evening when Greg Passmore, Michel, and I had to go for more water to replenish the camp's water supply. On the way back to camp, the weight of the water had lowered the car somewhat and I had to have a guide for safest route through the rough terrain. I had both Michel and Greg in front of the car slowly guid -ing me on both sides. I was listening especially well to Michel, when I heard a P-5-s-s-s-s-s-t from my front right tire. So, I wish to extend my gratitude to Michel for the prevention of the P-5-s-s-s-t in my left tire. Michel Siffre was also very respectful to me, like on the day I spent twelve hours in the cave shooting still pictures and movies with the team till unexpectedly one of the flood lights went out. Marie Ange and I replaced the flood and plugged it back in and all it did was flash but once. Michel was angry, releasing his anger in French. It was all Greek to me, anyway it was all French. On Sept. 26, after the completion of the experiment, Jacque, Gerad, Jean Pierre and I drove out to Midnight cave to finish clearing out the camp. On the way we had a niinor problem, the front right wheel almost fell off at a traveling speed of 75 miles per hour, but we were fortunate to catch it in time, so we had it repaired. The wheel was held on by only two bolts. We arrived at the ranch at about four o'clock. Jacques and I went to Midnight Cave to clear out the barricade. We picked up every piece of acoustical insulation off the floor . We didn't want to have some crazy caver find a little piece of it and claim it to be hair from some prehistoric creature.


After that chore was completed we started to build a contraption t o roll up the huge wire cable which was used to transport equipment up the hill. Well, we built the THING and luckily it worked. While we were slowly bringing in the wire cable rope, Jacques and I began to think, (is that normal?) I asked Jacques if everything was gone from the camp on the h ill and he said yes, except for a few items, suc h as the latrine and everything'in il. I cried, we'd better do something with that one because you know some cavers will probably want to have souvenirs. Let's facf' it. Some of that stuff used to belong to famous people. Jacques and I came to the conclusion that we should sell it and make a good profit off it ... W.ell anyway as the sun was going do.....,n, we t1gure d 1t ""as t11ne t u head back to the peaceful ranch. These are just a few humorous incidents that broke the monotony of work at the French Experiment. * * * * * GROUP INVOLVED: R & S Comm. DATE OF ACCIDENT: Spring 1972 PLACE OF ACCIDENT: Texas NAME OF REPORTER: J. Jaske NAME OF TRIP LEADER: Chuck ACCIDENT: The trip started out slowly and all seemed to be going well. Then in the April of our trip we realized that there was something wrong. It was not until the enormity of our situation engulfed us that we realized our danger; another. case of the forest and'the trees. Charlie Caver was hurt. He had accidently stepped into the pit of apathy. He had hurt his integrity and his hind sight. The damage was extensive and the bleeding was becoming too great for the body to withstand. With a silent and hope-filled prayer we started to work. First we assayed our equipment. We had first-aid instructors, experienced cavers, and light-rescue people in our group. The American Red Cross, Bexar County Civil Defense, and the TSA were at our quick call. Second, we began to formulate a plan. All this took but twenty heart-beats and our action crystalized. Our trip leader directed the planned operation. Charlie Caver was first inspected to determine the extent of his injuries and to define the injuries themselves. Finding a basically integrated and healthy body we treated the apathy by instilling action into the inert body and moving to correct the communication laps by applying in large doses of the R & S Newsletter and Red Cross First-Aid classes. Finally, we gave new confidence to Charlie by keeping him informed and involved in his recovery. Now Charlie is recovering and doing well in his return from apathy. Soon he will again become a contributive and communicative ca ver again. Respectfully submitted with hope and a promise, J. Jaske


CAVER'S The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 FIRST AID NOTES Part 2 Page 41 DEFAZ January 7, 1973 Last month we discussed the basic objectives for first-aiders; i.e., to get the victim breathing, stop sever bleeding and immobilize fractures while all the time treating for shock. Now we will go into the injuries of the neck and spine. These areas are very dangerous to transport, so great care must be taken to keep the victim motionless. The victim often will not have pain in the area of the injury when not moving. The pain will show up when the trunk is twisted or the neck is moved. There may also be paralysis of either the upper or lower extremity. If the spine injury is low enough, there may only be a tingling and numbness in the upper extremity. If transportation is needed a backboard should be used. A backboard is any stiff straight board wide enough to hold the victim snug and motionless. If a reliable and easily made backboard is desired it can be constructed from a plywood hoard 18x36", cut to the following shape: 12 24 I 18 This board can be used effectively and is easy to carry in any vehicle. When the victim is placed on the backboard care should be taken to keep the spine or neck motionless while placing him on the board. The victim can be kept still by attaching him to the backboard with cravats as needed. Remember any solid stiff wide board can be used as a backboard in an emergency, even a number of solid 2x4s can be used if they are nailed or lashed together. The best is a full-length backboard which we will cover next month.


Page 42 The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 HOT TIPS FROM BILL RUSSELL :M:EXJ:CO What needs to be done Frequently when trips return from Mexico and are asked what they accomplished the answer is, "We had a good time, but we just to the same old caves, since we didn't know what we could d9." And there are probably many more trips that never leave,_ as they were tired of the old caves, but didn't know where else to go. This_list should end the what-to-do problem. It is a list of varied projects ranging in difficulty from the mapping of large vertical systems to the checking of areas just off the pavement. They are listed by area ranging roughly outward from Valles. These projects marked with an asterisk are needed to complete our knowledge of the large caves of northeastern Mexico; this effort will result in a revised AMCS Bulletin 1, covering all the large caves in this area. The number of days is a rough estimate of the time required to complete the project; travel time is not included. The one-day projects will require eight to ten hours of work. This list is limited to the Huastecan Area, as this is the most popular area for Thanksgiving and Christmas trips. Persons not familiar with the local areas can receive additional information from the AMCS; this list is intended only as a guide for planning trips. Also, remember that mare trips fail after they return from Mexico than before; so promptly send a trip report to the AMCS. PROJECTS: SIERRA DE EL ABRA: a relatively low mountain range from southeast of Valles to northwest of Mante ):CFinish map of Cueva Chica -one day Map and explore crawlway cave just east of Cueva Chica -one day Map and explore three known pits just east of Cueva Chica -one day Check the area east of Cueva Chica far new caves -one day Locate Taninul #3 south of the El Abra (SLP) Pass *Map (plan and profile) of Cueva del Nacimiento del Rio Choy *Finish map of Sotano de Japones -three days? ):CFinish map of Sotano de Matapalma -one day? through hole in Cueva de Tanchipa -one day *Chop trail to two promising pits seen from the air just north of the Chapel on Ponciano ranch -two days


The TEXAS CAVER; February 1973 Page 43 Check Cueva de Arroyo Seco during low water -half a day? Map Cueva de Santa Elena -one day Map Cueva Grande and Cueva Chica de Arroyo Seco -one day Map Cueva de San ,Nicolas in El A bra (Tamps.} Pass -half a day *Remap Cueva de El Abra with vertical profile -one day *Map small crawlways and check dome in Cueva de La Florida -one day Check area above Quintero for deep pit reported -one day Map and explore numerous sinks and caves above Quintero -one day? Map Cueva de Las Colmenas (above Quintero} and check deep in cave -one day Check to see if cave reported above San Rafael de Los Castros really exists -one day Map Sotano (Cueva) de San Rafael de Los Castros -half a day SIERRA DE GUATEMALA: a high mountain range north of Chama!, northeast of Gomez Farfas, and northwest of Ocampo *Map Cueva (Sotano) de Tres Manantiales -two days *Map Sotano de Caballo Moro -one day *Map and explore Cueva de Los Misioneros (Missionary Cave) -one day Map (also location map needed) Cueva de Elefante near San Jose -one half day Map (also location map needed) Cueva de Remolino near San Jose .one half day Map (location map needed) Cueva de near San Joseone half day Map and explore Sotano de la Mina above GOmez Farfas -one half day Map and explore Sotano de Chuparosa above GOmez Farfas -three-fourths day Map narrow fissure pit, Sotano de Leon, near GOmez Farfas -one day Map Resumidero de Los Mangos near GOmez Farfas -one day Map Sotano Escondido near Gomez Farfas -one day Explore and map pits at San Pablo just west of Rancho del Cielo -one day *Complete map of Joya de Salas (need wet suits) -three days? *Explore and map Cueva del Nacimiento del Rfo Sabinas -one day? Explore and map pits near Carabranchel -one day *Explore and map large cave seen from the air north of La Flor -one day? TAMASOPO REGION (ridges west of Valles) *Map Cueva de Don Tomas -one day *Map Sotano (Socavon) de Infiernillo one day *Check and map Cueva de Agua Clara -one day?


Page 44 The TEXAS CAVER. February 1973 CIUDAD DEL MAIZ REGION Check promising area with large dolinas south of Ma{z toward Tamasopo -five days?? AQUISMON AREA (a mountainous area reached by backpacking south. west of Valles) ""Map Cueva de San Nicol{s just north of Tamapatz *Map Cueva de Oxtlaja on west edge of Tamasopo Map Cueva Bonita Map and explore Cueva de San Miguel Explore and map Sotano de Tanquim -one-fourth day *Check and map two deep s6tanos seen from the air south of La Laja -two days Map Cueva de Muaut -one day XILITLA AREA I Map Nacimiento de Huichihuayan -one day Map Cueva de Mujer and Cueva del Aire -one day? >'.

News& History Alamo Area The Alamo Area Chapter of the National Speleological Society started a re-organization program at the beginning of the summer. One of the first actions was to set up a system for the qualification of members. The recent cave accidents convinced us that without knowledgeable leaders we would have problems. A series of joint mapping p:.-ojects was started with the Southwest Texas Grotto. Starting with the January 1973 issue, we took over the Texas Caver. Our monthly newsletter is now involved with the caves of Bexar County. In January the new officers took over. A list of officers is as follows; Chairman -Mike Walsh Vice-Chairman -David Faz Secretary -Karen Clement Treasurer -Maggie Allison Several committees have been established and work is being done in the following fields: Mapping and Drafting, Photography, Training, Publication, Safety, Rescue and First Aid, and Equipment. The meeting date for the Chapter is the fourth Tuesday of each month. The meetings are held at ll5 Auditorium Circle. Central Catholic Our new group was formed on November 12, 1972 and has 42 members. The officers are Pete O'Neill, President; Edward Valdespino, Vice-President; Javier Ireugas, Secretary; Jerry Rizzo, Treasurer. The immediate goal of the club is to train our members in the proper methods of caving. Our goals for the future are to check cave leads, train new members, and to promote better relations between cavers and cave owners. This newly formed high school group is located in San Antonio. Corpus Christi Caving Club If all goes well the Corpus Christi Caving Club may soon JOin the ranks of the TSA. Originally the group was composed of the only 5 spelunkers living in Corpus, all of whom were associated with other clubs. Then Roger McMillan left the Navy and returned to Tennessee and Mike Tibbs joined the Navy and was shipped out of state. Still remaining are Paul Duncan, Wayne Russell, and David Lavin. Meetings are held monthly at the Mercantile Natl. Bank in Corpus and efforts are being made to arouse interest among the local citizenry. Lack of numbers hasn't affected their enthusiam. Trips are made to Mexico and central or west Texas almost every weekend, usually in conjunction with other clubs. If recruiting efforts are successful we hope to see a new caving club which will be able to contribute. something besides numbers to Texas caving.


Page 46 The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 Southwest Texas The Southwest Texas Grotto will be electing new officers for the coming year at the second regular meeting of the month. Meetings are the second and fourth Thursdays of the month and 7:30 p.m. in the Science Bldg. Science Room 2. The coP'e of Mexican Caving which you lucky few now own are on their way to becoming collector's items as they are completely and totally At this time no plans are being made for reprinting this publication but other things should be coming very soon, such as our annual newsletter which is due out in late January. Rabbit Hill Grotto No news has been received for a long time. * * Inside Earth, Frederick C. Carson & Frank Binney, eds., Speleo Press, 80 pages. This is a new publication from the University of Texas Grotto, NSS. The editors plan to publish at least one each semester. Copies cost SOt in Austin, $ 1. 00 elsewhere--or, subscribe for $ 1. 50. Send to Inside Earth, P. 0. Box 7672, Austin, Texas 78712. The first thing that strikes the reader is the cover. It is a four-color, well-printed, comic rendition of a cave scene. This will long be remembered as a classic among newsletter covers. This alone is almost worth the cost. The body of the newsletter contains almost everything that can be included in such a publication. There .is something of interest for everyone. A total of 80 pages are heavily laden with trip reports, maps, cartoons, articles, advertisements, letters to the editor, cave leads, opinions, hints on food, techniques, etc., news notes, photos, rumors, and much more. A welcome sight is some high quality sketches from some of the more artistic cavers in the grotto. Another portion of the publication that must be singled out is the "Return of 0. M. W." Readers will be entertained by 14 pages of Charlie Loving's lovable cartoon strip about the intrigue, treachery, adventure, dangers, and perhaps even worse things that happen to his various heroes and villans in their search for the Holy Carbide Light. Considering all this, I highly recommend that a subscription be s:ent in immediately by all those personsthat consider themselves to be cavers. Don't miss this Ronnie Fieseler


.. The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 Page 47 "I can hardly wait to get down to Mexico and start stripping the caves of life. 11 James Reddell Jon Vinson has just finished building a new camper for his truck. Says it is waterproof. Reports from Chicago and New York reveal that the bookies are giving 5 to 1 odds against it. Word has come from San Marcos of a major new cave discovery. This summer two SWTG members found a new section of pas sage in Wonder Cave which parallels the main pas sage. The estimated length of the new section is just over three hundred feet. The Southwest Texas Grotto reports that they have located a large supply of D-rings. Anyone interested in information about the rings can write SWT Grotto, Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos 78666. Gill Ediger breaks both eardrums in acetylene bomb explosion at Padre Island. Goes to Vietnam. One eardrum fails to gro.v back. Ediger, after two months stay, returns to San Antonio for a transplant. Neal Morris states that the doctors informed him that they would have done it sooner but had great difficulty finding a white-eared snow monkey with skin tis sue compatible to that of homo-spelunker. William Russell, not to be outdone by Ediger, manages to get thrown out of a speeding car (which was in the process of getting wrecked) during a Thanksgiving trip to Mexico. He landed on his head, thereby saving his life, and was gleefully carted off by some Mexican doctors from a nearby village who were, no doubt, eager to practice on a gringo. He (and the other two occupants) returned to A us tin draped in ben dages much to the amazement of his fellow cavers. Since that time, William has been heard to utter some totally "un-Russell" words such as "vibes", "hits", etc .. "I've been studying iliteracy for years and have about got it perfected. 11 Ed Alexander


Page 48 The TEXAS CAVER. February 1973 Fischer 1s Pit is now closed due to the caving accident which occurred in December. The owner has said that permission will not be granted and that the cave will be covered. It is felt that anyone who asks permission for access is being inconsiderate to the owner. TSA Caver Gill Ediger is being nominated for the NSS Board of Governors. Only regular members of the NSS who are in good standing are eligible to vote, so pay your NSS dues. If we can get Gill elected to the BOG, not only will we nave-sOme representation but once again you will receive the NSS News on a regular basis. The Alamo Area Chapter has come across an excellent value in lightweight freeze-dried food which the grotto can obtain from local surplus stores. Each packet contains a delicious main course with coffee, cocoa, and a dessert bar. There are eight separate menu's and the grotto will sell them at 75i each. If interested write to the grotto at ll5 Auditorium Circle, San Antonio or come to the BOG meeting in A us tin since there will probably be some on sale. For the second time in three years several San Antonio youths had to be rescued from Dead Deer Cave by Civil Defense volunteers. On New Years Eve, 1972, seven high school youths entered the cave without permis son. This vertical cave has several difficult drops when the proper equipment is not used. Three of the "cavers" used a rope to climb out but the other four were too tired to negotiate the s-eventy-five foot shaft. The owner has stated that everytime he tried co-operating with organized cave groups he got the short end of the deal. If you have been wondering what the Frenchmen have been doing now that they are back in F ranee, here is an excerpt from a letter from Gerard Cappa, Nice, France. "I have pass the Christmas holidays at a rescue speleo. Two boys of my club is remain blockade 67 hours inside the abyss of Caraias at 1200 feet of depth at massif du Garguareis 6900 feet of altitude. Their rappel rope is remain wedge at middle of a pit of 36 0 feet. The abyss is very cool 36. F and in surface many of snow a F. W; have many anxiety and of fatigue. 11 According to Bill Russell and Brian Peterson vertical caving is dangerous. "You should take all of the rope in the state of Texas, cut it up in one foot sections and throw it into the deepest pit that you can find. Then jump in after it and if you are hurt, it was too deep to go into anyway."


The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 DATE: June 23, 1972 DESTINATION: Valdina Farms Sinkhole PERSONNEL: Rob Atkins, Scott Harden, Greg Passmore REPORTED BY: Greg Passmore Page 49 Entered late that morning and once at the bottom we traveled along the eastern passage until reaching the blind salamander pool which siphoned 11 below the ceiling with no visible air space. We free dived the passage hoping to find air space with a mask, but found none. We then traveled along the western passage to the first guano pool, spotting almost no bats (20 at the most). Our trek out was uneventful except for a little difficulty passing a ledge by one member of our party. DATE: July 2, 1972 DESTINATION: French scientist camp and Glenn1s Cave PERSONNEL: Greg Passmore, Bill Brooks, Jr. REPORTED BY: Greg Passmore Had a good day visiting scientist and taking a quick look at Glenn 1 s Cave, a short distance from the camp. DATE: July 6, 1972 DESTINATION: Helotes Blowhole, lead in Helotes PERSONNEL: Rob Atkins, D\.vane 01Connell, Greg Passmore REPORTED BY: Greg Passmore Had a good day of cave crawling and squeezing. The lead turned out to be a small 3 room cave with some small formations. DATE: September 30, 1972 DESTINATION: Airman s Cave PERSONNEL: Craig Bittinger, Ronnie Fiesler, Bill Russell, Barbara Vinson, Susan Hardcastle, Roy Jameson REPORTED BY: Craig Bittinger We arrived at the cave around ll:OO and found Roy curled up with a comforter in the entrance. After leaving some extraneous equipment in the entrance we squirmed further into the cave by way of the bypass crawl around the permanent gate. Eventually the walking passage was reached where Barbara and Susan informed us that Dr. Scholl1s foot pads don1t stick to hairless knees. This


Page 50 The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 amazing revelation caused a great trading of pants which was followed by amazing positions with crucifiction rock. Several mor e hours of crawling brought us to the end of previous exploration where William began to beat against the rocks while Craig and Barbara started to explore another lead. Barbara soon squeezed under a rock and found 400' o f virg i n pas sage, lead-ing back toward. the rest of the group. In the breakdown at the end of the newly opened crawlway, William and Roy could be heard slowly beating their way into new passages. When Craig and Barbara rejoined the others in the zombie room, they were surprised to hear that Ronnie and Susan agreed that Airman's cave dust had amazing aphrodisiacal qualities. Around 8:30 PM our weary band started the long crawl out and by one o'clock We were all seated outside the cave cursing the vandals who had thoughtfully removed our equipment. An enjoyable time was had by all. DATE: October 5-8, 1972 DESTINATION: Fern Cave, Pumkin Cave, Deep Cave, Blow Hole Cave PERSONNEL: Ronnie Fiesler, Susan Hardcastle, Craig Bittinger, Donald Spears, John S teele, Peter Strickland, Frank Gheigo, Janet Gheigo, Jay Jorden, Alan Wilson, Bob Stockton, Tom Wright, Blake Harrison, Mike Walsh, and others from San Marcos, Kingsville, Alpine, and San Antonio REPORTED BY: Craig Bittinger The UT group finally got out of Austin about 6 o'clock Friday night. By one AM we were all totally lost in the hills north of Comstock. Just as our hearty band was about to give up hope, Ronnie's truck let out a mighty bellow and a guiding light appeared on the horizon. Within a few minutes we were all gazing into the depths of Fern Cave. A few people immediately rapelled the 351 into the cave but the majority of the group waited until morning to enter. The cave contains over 2000' of good sized walking passage and impressed everyone with its bat population. Around noon on Saturday we headed for Carta Valley and were surprised to find 30 other cavers at the Pumkin Cave area. At Pumkin Cave we were all amazed by Jay's demonstration of the speed rapell (courtesy of John Steele's new and very limp Bluewater rope). The group then migrated toward Blow Hole where the people from Alpine had just finished removing a large rattlesnake from the entrance crawl. We entered the cave and after helping several lost and dark souls see the light, finally reached the bottom. Our ascent was probably best described by several Alpine cavers whom Frank Gheigo heard mumble, "Those UT cavers just shot by us!" Part of the group headed back Saturday night with the rest following on Sunday after a quick look at Deep Cave. A good time was had by all.


The TEXAS CAVER., February 1973 Page 51 DATE: October 7, 1972 DESTINATION: Johnson's Well, San Marcos PERSONNEL: Bill & Carol Russell, 1:6.vid & Marty MacKenzie, Marsha Meredith REPORTED BY: Marsha Meredith About 8:30AM Bill began organizing a trip to Johnson's Well for the purpose of collecting a blind salamander. After rounding up cable ladders, pipe wrenches and people we left Austin at ll. The doctor who owns the cave wasn't at home, but at the hospital. We arrived there just as he went into surgery. We looked around an hour until we could ask his permission to enter the cave. Then he was at home. By 3 we were at the well. By 4:30 Bill and 1:6.vid were in the cave waiting for salamanders to appear. (The pump for the well had to be disconnected and raised 4' to provide space for entrance). While waiting, Bill mapped the 30 foot pit---quite a feat. The water was generally murky--stirred up by water leaking from the pump over a period of time. No salamanders showed up and approaching dusk forced us to abandon the venture. By 7:30 we had the pump connected and in better working condition than when we came. The water at the bottom should clear up now and the little critters will have peace in which to propaiate. DATE: October 13-15, 1972 DESTINATION: Espinazo, Mexico PERSONNEL: Steve Fleming, Richard Paine, Chuck Stuehm REPORTED BY: Chuck Stuehm On friday, October 13, 1972 we packing to head for St. Louis for a training session on cave rescue. But as the old African Proverb goes, ''The best laid plans of mice . What happened friday the 13? Well, James Jasek called from Waco to say the whole thing had been called off. So here are three cavers faced with a free weekend and raring to go some place. Some time ago, on a visit to Cueva de Constantine, near Espinazo, Glenn John Graves and I had heard about another cave on a far mountain to the north of the town, and having asked many cavers if they had checked it out, and receiving a big no every time, we decided to check it out. Got to within four miles of Espinazo by way of the "New Espinazo Turnpike" by 2:15 AM and crashed. The next morning we hit the town and got directions on how to get to the cave in question. On getting closer to the cave and talking with several other people we heard of another. One "cave" on a small hill with many crosses on top jutting up out of the desert floor was a small fissure that had been dug out by miners that dropped about 60' with a couple of leads that went nowhere. The next was a rather large hole on the face of a mountain about 250-300' above the desert floor. The climb was pretty steep and after working their way around the face of the cliff Steve and Richard found a rather large shelter room with about 501 of passage that went nowhere. So much for that.


Page 52 The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 In talking with a fellow, we heard about a cave that was supposed to be a thousand meters long that had just recently been found, but everyone was tired so we went to Monterrey to eat. We returned to Espinazo to find the town getting ready for a religious festival to their local Saint, "Santa Constantine". After talking to some people we ordered a book on him, we will write an article on him when the book arrives. After eating and sleeping in Monterrey we headed home. DATE: October 14, 1972 DESTINATION: Beck Tin Can Cave PERSONNE!.J: Leslie Clapp, Roy Brooks, Frank Binney, Preston Foresight, Susan German, John Steele, et al REPORTED BY: ? Most of the group had been along on a trip to Tin Can Cave about 6 months previously where the right hand passage had been explored so it was decided to see what lay to the left on this trip. This made the trip a lot more enjoyable and exciting as none of us had ever been in this section of the cave. There was quite a bit of the real "exploration feeling" as we checked every little crawl and crack for the way into further passage. We reached the room just past the disgusting remains of Dr. Mitchell's lab (maybe it's speleo-history now) and not knowing if this was the end sent a couple of people through the near flowstone blockade to see if there was anything on the other side. An affirmative reply was called back and the rest of us carefully picked out way through the formations; noting numerous planarians in some of the rimstone pools. This brought us out into more stoopway standing passage that led to a very low but wide crawl. Steve showed a passion for such challenges on this trip and shot across it to find more walking passage on the other side. When the rest of us joined him we decided to split up with one group of us checking for leads to the right while another one ventured into a large room from which a constant stream of Mexican freetail bats was issuing. A promising high lead in this room didn't pan out but held some wonderful chalk crawls. Leads in 1he lower passage didn't pan out either so it looked like we had run out of cave when Steve decided to squeeze down an unlikely looking hole in the breakdown floor of the bat room. This led to much more passage; some walking, some crawling, and finally ended in a wide but low room. Much time was spent trying to push leads out of the room, with s several people making vain attempts at one particularly tiny crawl. Finally we gave up and beat a fast retreat back to the entrance in order to catch the evenings festivities at the then in progress Caver Fest.


The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 DATE: November 4 & 5, 19 72 DESTINATION: Frio Bat Cave &: Others Page 53 PERSONNEL: Matt Farrar, Susie Farrar, John Graves, Mike Tibbs, Wayne Russell Jr. REPORTED BY: Wayne Russell, Jr. Mike Tibbs and Wayne Russell arrived at Frio Bat Cave Saturday evening shortly before the bat flight. A quick look inside revealed that most of the bats had already begun their migration to Mexico. Those that remained left the cave at 6 PM and the flight lasted only 20 minutes. Two owls were seen at one of the entrances but they paid the bats no attention at all. Next morning reinforcements arrived from San Antonio and everyone made a quick trip to the incubation room. Wayne photographed the guano works and Matt toured the first room in the comfort of his cave buggy. Afterward the whole group checked out two nearby pits on the same ranch then moved on to what is reputed to be one of Jim Bowie's silver mines. Three entrances remain unplugged and these lead to a single pit which drops at a very s teep angle for over 100 '. While the entrance chamber is roofed with limestone the entire pit appears to have been hand dug in a heavy clay. Wayne descended but could find no leads from the square cut pit. So ended one more caving weekend as the city folks sped homeward to a nother week of drudgery, already planning for next weekend's escape. DATE: November 8, 1972 DESTINATION: Medina Lake Sinkhole and caves in route PERSONNEL: Chuck Stuehm, Bob Burdic, Phil Winkler, Steve Gutting, John Grayless, Forrest &: Pat Smith, John &: Mikki Ottea, Damon ? &: wife REPORTED BY: Phil Winkler We made an early start from Wonderland up Tx 16 to Medina Lake in a fine rain. We stopped at a small cave that Chuck knew and gave the uninitiated their first view of a wild cave. It was about 60 or 75' long. Leaving there Chuck's car tried to commit hari-kari by hurling itself right off the road where it was strangled by its twisted tie rods. With the from wheels pointing in opposite directions Chuck thought it wise not to try and drive it so we packed u p and headed for a garage. Two hours later after emptying our coolers of all canned beverages we left for the lake and made it to the pit about 1 o'clock. Chuck outlined the basics of rappelling to the novices and I went down the pit t o belay the bottom. I trusted there was a helpful scrandragon to belay me too. The whole trip was a success with a good turnout and only the usual problems with first time rappelers, like cowardice and cableladderphobia (twistitis).


Page 54 The TEXAS February 1973 DATE: November 14, 1972 DESTINATION: Johnson's Well, San Marcos PERSONNEL: William Russell, Craig Bittinger, Neal Morris REPORTED BY: Neal Morris National Geographic is making a Television Special about the Creatures of Darkness. Cavers have run into the filming crews in Mexico in vampire bat caves. Bill Russell was hired by thtc film to collect one of the rare San Marcos blind salamanders for the T V special. After weeks of getting clearance and permission, he finally got in to collect the small delicate creature. Using a small pulley, we raised a pump and 30 feet of pipe out of the well hole, rigged a cable ladder down the drop into the cave, and William climbed down to water level with his light, net and collecting bowls, There were several salamanders, but William got excited and scared them all away with his sudden movements. It was a cold afternoon for waiting around, so we went and visited Blake Harrison. An hour or so later back at the cave, William was. successful at capturing a salamander. We bundled it up in cave water and blankets for the return to Austin. The next morning the salamander flew to California for the filming session. Everyone should watch the television schedules next year and make sure to see this NGS special. DATE: November 25, 1972 DESTINATION: Sotanito de Montecillo, Cueva del Roton, Fissure &: 2 Kilns PERSONNEL: Paul Duncan, Edna Garcia, Glenda Morris, Wayne Russell REPORTED BY: Wayne Russell After the fiasco at Sotano &: Cueva de Vasquez our small group visited Sotonito de Montecillo where everyone but Tom decided to do the pit entrance which is about 100 '. Although she bad attended several practice climbs this was Edna's first pit cave and she handled it very well indeed. After an abbreviated tour of the cave we all climbed out without difficulty and hiked back to the truck then drove to the public showers in Valles. Other sights of interest were a 25' deep fissure along the trail to the Sotonito, Cueva del Roton, and two prehistoric Indian lime kilns. DATE: December 10, 1972 DESTINATION: Finister Cave PERSONNEL: Ralph Gerhardt, Chuck Stuehm, Bob Meyer, Bob Burdic, Phil Winkler REPORTED BY: Phil Winkler We left in the freezing rain and made Uvalde at 10 AM. Met the owner and told him of' out club and purposes so as to establish a relationship with him. He led us to the cave which actually bad a sign announcing its location of all things. On seeing the entrance, a bowl shaped hole in a large limestone outcropping, we had high expectations that we would find a large system. However, such was not the case as the cave consisted of Wiloa large room measuring 50x70'. The ceiling


The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 Page 55 met the floor and only small passage led away. We took pictures and postulated on the possibility of digging it out. Tried that for 10 min. and then left the cave. Since it was still early we spread out to walk thru the bush on the off-chance of finding another pit or cave. We walked for about an hour and then we all met back at the van to get warm and wait for Bob Burdic who hadn't returned yet. Waited an hour and figured he was lost which actually was the case. We spotted him about a mile away on top of a windmill waving his helmet. His story was that he saw me walking in obviously the wrong direction back so he turned around and went the other way. The owner assured us if his hunters found any other leads he would give us a call. DATE: December 15-17, 1972 DESTINATION: Huesteca Canyon, Mexico PERSONNEL: Chuck Stuehm, Glenn, Ruth and Paul Da.rilek, Greg McMillan, John Grayless, and Tom Stettler REPORTED BY: John Grayless After a six hour trip from San Antonio, we reached the gazebo campgrounds outside Monterrey at about 2:30AM. We woke up to a cold morning and took the Saltillo bypass around Monterrey. It comes out on the Grutas de Garcia Road and should save about 30 minutes driving time when going to Garcia or Huesteca Canyon. We accidentally turned into the side canyon just before the San Bartolo canyon. We briefly checked it out, finding only a dry well right next to the road, which we mapped. We got into the right canyon and while Chuck, Greg and I explored the south San Bartolo cave, Glenn and Tom checked the lead directly across from us. Glenn free climbed to the lead and rapelled back down on a double rope only to report that the cave did not go. We noticed two better leads that required rapelling down the sheer walls of the side of the canyon. We hiked up the canyon looking for other leads. Sunday we met and went to the market, shopped, ate, and left for home. DATE: December 28, 1972 DESTINATION: Deadman 1 s Hole, Hays County PERSONNEL: Rob Atkins, Jeff Bordelon, Greg Passmore REPORTED BY: Greg Passmore Upon awakening with the chickens we prepared for a scuba dive in the beautiful Deadman's Hole. The time consuming job of lowering the equipment down the 60' canyon walls was quickly ended by.the ice cold plunge into the huge pool below. Rob stopped his rapel about 6" above the water, until we finally talked him into simply dropping in to get used to it. We looked around in some small caves in the canyon. Our objective was to look into some underwater caves in


Page 56 The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 the pool behind a large waterfall, but due to bad weather and my great fear of cold water, we headed out after a few hours. DATE: December 29, 1972 DESTINATION: Southwestern Missouri PERSONNEL: Glenn, Ruth and Paul Da.rilek REPORTED BY: Glenn Da.rilek While driving through the area,. we decided to check out some of the commercial caves. First we went to OZARK WONDER CAVE which promised "onyx" formations. We got a dollar discount by promising to mention the cave in the TEXAS CAVER. The tour was still a rip-off. The onyx formations were ordinary calcite, one quarter mile of passage was more like 500 ', "copper" formations were actually alge stain, "ceiling carved by Indians" was natural, someone had been down a pit 600' with a 12001 rope, but the rope still did not hit the bottom (water table in the area was at about 150'). The cave was reported to be 9 miles long and had been mapped several times. To top it all off, the Mason-Dixon line just happened to pass within 51 of the entrance of the cave. Undaunted, we tried another commercial cave, BLUFF DWELLERS CAVE, which was very nice, with a knowledgeable guide and much more cave passage. DATE: December 29, 1972 DESTINATION: Gorman Cave PERSONNEL: Warnie Meisetschleager (Colo.), Jeff Bordelon, Greg Passmore REPORTED BY: Greg Passmore Warnie called me the night of the 26th to plan a cave dive in Gorman Cave. We knew that entrance was doubtful because of hunting season, but we decided to take a trip up to Bend to talk with the people leasing the property to see if there was any chance to enter the cave. After spending most of the day talking to locals and reading signs saying "NO CAVERS" we decided maybe we wouldn't get in so headed to San Antonio for supper. DATE: January 6, 1973 DESTINATION: Fischer's Pit PERSONNEL: Scott Hardin, Greg Passmore REPORTED BY: Greg Passmore Scott and I went to Fisher's Pit to remove some equipment left by one of the boy's involved in the caving accident. Scattered around the cave entrance was trash and a rope ladder. We recovered the boy's camera and a couple odds and ends. The cave owner stated that the cave will be closed (see article for more information).


1973 TSA Photo Salon Crawl out of your hol e and enter the 1973 TSA P hoto S alon 7 JUDGING: Judging will b e done by cavers experie n ced in cav e photography and wh o are past Pinto S a l on winners. Judge s will not enter. Judges shall reserv e the right to close out a c ategory if insufficient entries exist and to place entries in a n othe r category should the need arise. B SHIPMENT: Pack all entries in re-usable n1ateria l enclosing return postag e if entrie s are to be r eturned by mail after the Convention. Entries rna y be picked up at the Convention following the Salon pre sentation. No responsibility for loss or d a n1a g e will be assurne::l, however, utmost care will be taken during the time entries are in our hands. 9 ADDRESS ALL ENTRIES TO: Ronald G Fieseler 400 Lockhart Dr, Austin, Texas 78704 ENTER TODAY? YES! E NTRY BLANK 1973 TSA Photo Salon 1. CLOSING DATE: Entries must be postmarked no later than April 1, 1973. 2, ELIGIBILITY: Ope n to all. Must be related to caves or caving, Photos that have previously won ribbons in either a TSA or NSS Salon are not eligible for entry 3, CLASSIFICATIONS: l. Col o r transp arencies ( A ) S c ientific (B) Open, {C) Activity (D) Humor, (E) Story Series 2. Black & White Prints (Open) 3. Color Prints (Open) 4 COLOR TRANSPARENCIES: Shall be either 2 1 / 4 x 2 1 / 4 inches mounted for projection or 2 x 2 inch mounts of 35mm, 828 Bantam, or Superslides. Slides must b e spotted in the lower Left corner as you wish them to appear on the screen. All s lide s must contain the entry numba r and name of the contributor. 5. BLACK & WHITE or COLOR PRINTS: May be a n y siz e from 5 x 7 up to 1 6 x 20 inches and should be mounted on mounting boards ( 1 6 x 20 is best). The following dat a must appea r on the b ack of e ach entry: N a m e and address of the contributor, title and print number (if any) The title may be placed on the front of the mount directly under the lower left of the print in small lettering approximately 1 / 4 inch high. 6 E NTRY FEE: N o fee is required. However, a maximum of 6 entries per c ategory in the Color transparencies (10 in a Story Series) wilt be ac .. cepted. A maximum o f 10 entries in the Black &. White or Color Prints will be accepted. Sure l y y o u have a phot o that will beat this one! (Phot o s cour t e s y o f D. Deal) Nanne of Entrant=------------------------------------------------------------------Address: _________________________________________________ Zip ________________ __ ENTRY# TITLE C ATEGORY l.------------------------------------------------------------------2. ________________________________________________________________ __ 3 ____________________________________________________________________________ __ 4------------------------------------------------------------------s ________________________________________________________________ __


. Last Chance ... j WE STILL HAVE OVER 50 COPIES OF lr ltltntnry by Carl Kunath J l t J I comil' available to those


The TEXAS CAVER, February 1973 DATE: January 6, 1973 DESTINATION: Century Caverns PERSONNEL: 7 members of the AAC & myself REPORTED BY: Senor Oso Negro Page 57 We left San Antonio 9 hours late and arrived at Century around 8:30 PM. Since the water was cold we were lucky that the owners had retired for the evening on this the first trip I have made with the AAC. We were forced to return to Mike Walsh's house. While there we indulged in some of that fine vodka. * * * * How many times have you said "This is a good cave trip, I'll have to write it up and send it to the "Caver"? But as the days go by and the weeks get longer you find that it's harder and harder to start that trip report. Then it's been so long since the trip that it's old news and who wants to read old trip reports? If you do sit down to write it up after a week or so you don't think about some of the off-beat things that happened or they don't seem important enough to write about so you send in some report that is dry and uninteresting. Well, what can be done to make sure that you do send in good trip reports? Keep a small notepad about the size of a stenographers notepad on your dash board or in your glove compartment and while you are driving you can have someone in your car start writing or making notes of the things that are happening. Things that are funny, strange, dumb, or smart. Things that people say or situations that may be of interest to others. Important aspects of routes to a cave (travel log) or details of certain land-owners likes and dislikes, etc. There are many things that happen on most cave trips that would be good reading to others. Jot it down, make a note, but most of all write it up! Do it while it is happening! ! Remember the old proverb that says "A trip report is not a trip report unless it is reported". Chuck Stuehrn * * * * * * The judging of to the first annual AAC Photo Salon was held on January 16, 197 3. The winners will be announced in next month's TEXAS CAVER.


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Contents: Cartoon /
Ken Griffin --
Letters to the Editor --
CLC / Jan Lewis --
Editorial --
TCTTNSHB / Wayne Russell --
Cartoon / Wayne Russell --
Speleolympics / T.C. Ferret --
San Pedro de Iturbide / Glenn Darilek --
Map of San Pedro de Iturbide --
Accident report / Steve Fleming --
Cartoon / Ken Griffin --
Se le vi / Vince Orozco --
Rescue --
Cavers' first aid notes, part 2 / D. E. Faz --
Mexico, what needs to be done / Bill Russell --
News and history --
Review: Inside Earth / Ronnie Fieseler --
Garbage --
Notice --Trips.


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