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 cave: Enchanted Rock / A. Richard Smith -- News and not-so news -- Cosmic cavers / Tom Byrd -- 5 - 1 = 1' / Gary Parsons -- The last lamp, or, the female caver's lament / Carol Russell -- Fotogram: close up -- A review / Ernst Kastning -- Fredericksburg Circle / Mike Mitchell -- An editorial.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 19, no. 05 (1974)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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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.
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K26-04584 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4584 ( USFLDC Handle )
11318 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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aGave The easy way to find Enchanted Rock Ca ve is to walk up to the top of Enchanted Rock and look north: you can hardly miss the big green painted letters C A V E and the arrow pointing to the entrance. If you've never been caving on Enchanted Rock between Llano and Fredericksburg, you've missed more than some interesting pseudokarst. Enchanted Rock is a 130meter high pink granite dome with subsidiary granite hills and crags flanking it. From the top, one has a magnificent view of the surrounding plain s and hill s of the Llano Region. Smooth steep slopes, especially on the north side of Enchanted Rock, offer good places for long rappels; massive talus blocks and fractured granit e faces provide practice in chim neying and fre e climbing. A picnic/camp ground at the base of the dome is inexpensive, has a small concession stand and a running stream, and lends itself to the makings of a very pleasant caving climbing weekend. Enchanted Rock is almost all things to almost all people. A notable feature of granite domes (and vital to the caves of Enchanted Rock) is exfoliation. Sometimes called s heeting, exfoliation results in thin sheets, like concentric lay e rs separating from the dome as long-existing pressur es are relieved. These thin sheets, not more than a few feet thick, break and slide partly or all the way down the slopes along concentric exfoliation planes. Where such a fractured sheet has slid, openings are formed between the blocks moving in different directions and rates on the slope. If the openings are roofedlo, a cave is formed. In addition to the simple openings between blocks and sheets along fractures, water entering t h e fractures does indeed dissolve some of the min e ral s (mainly feldspars) making up ENCHANTED ROCK by A. Richard Smith the granite, resulting in modest solutional enlarge ment of the openings. Enchanted Rock Cave is an impressive example of a cave formed along openings in a fra c tured exfoliation sheet. The general pattern of the cave is obvious from the small map, especially the large number of entrances, at least 20, marked by E. From Hubricht Hall at the south and upper end, the principal passage descends gently past the Green Arrow Entrance and Little Green Arrow Entrance complexes. The main passage then pro ceeds about 60 meters with ceilings up to 12 feet high and with, remarkably, only one small entrance. During one visit a bat was seen in this large se ction along with 12 Boy Scouts. Solutional disintegra tion of the lower granite walls (grusification) i s pronounced (and mispronounced) in the walking passage and has probably enlarged the passage by 20%. Unmapped crawlways continue downslope from the north end of the main passage. An u p slope passage complex at the north end leads to several entrances, including Shelter Entrance wit h its beautiful and unexpected view of the plain s below. Total surveyed passage has almost reached 210 meters, and total vertical relief is about 2 5 meters. Even though Enchanted Rock Cave has been visited by thousands of tourists and a good m any cavers, no known map was made until James Reddell and A. Richard Smith began their con tinuing survey in late 1971. Other caves on En chanted Rock and its flanking hills have been visited and partly described in the Texas Speleo logical Survey files, but none have been mapped. Troglobitic millipeds and other unusiuil invertebrate fauna have provided additional impetus for continued visits to these caves A granite cave's a cave, for all that. ARS !i!J A..'G"tf:"ICJA.L.. LrGHr 78 0 .50 F"T. R.CX:.K L\o."'-o Co.1T><. THE TEXAS CAVER


DATE: March 2, 1974 DESTINATION: Sugarloaf Mountain PERSONNEL: Chuck Stuehm, MaryAnn Herzig, Steve Gould, Christy?, Jane Laurens, Gary Owens, Phil Jank, Allen Brandeberry, Gary Parsons, Richard and Dotty P a ine, Alicia Wisener, Dave Cullen, and John Gale AS TOL D BY: John Gale Well gang, it finally happened. A .S.S. got a visit from Chuck Stuehm. We'd like to thank him for taking the time to come and help us with our vertical techniques and offe r s uggestions for the betterment of our club. A n yway Chuck came up on Friday with Gary P arsons and Jane Laurens of TCA, and S aturday our group went out to the mounta in of sandstone known as Sugarloaf for a lecture on safety, rappelling, and climbing practice and an adva nced course in flying insect killing. As Sugarloaf i sn't exac tly huge, we u sed an old bridge (circ a 1492) and r appel l ed ove r the water, totally freaking some fishermen, one of whom actually stayed to watch, and then went away shaking his head. L ater Chuck invited us over to Richard's so three of us showe d up later to listen to Chuck snore (for pictures contact G a ry or Jane of TCA) and play cards. DATE: March 913, 1974 DESTINATION: La Gruta del Palmito, Bustamante, and Huasteca Canyon, N. L. PERSONNEL: Gary Caldwell, David Cullen, David Finfrock, C at hy Hargrave Chris Hentzen, Jack Morgan, Neal Proctor, Dan Ross, Doug Symank, Wayne Walker, Gary White, and Alicia Wisener REPORTED BY : David Finfrock The A.S.S took advantage of spring break by taking w h at was the first trip to Mexico for most of us. We were immedi a tely hassled at the border by officials who incre dibly asked some of our "long-haired" Aggie s to get hair cuts. With much perseverence (but not one haircut or bribe) we got everyone across the border and into camp THE TEXAS CAVER near Bustamante Saturday night. With what pidgin Spanis h Alicia and I could muster, we got our "dace billetes para Ia gruta" and did the cave both Sunday and Monday, with Alicia acting as our guide to some of the prettier and more remote rooms. Tuesday we made our way to Cola del Caballo and then to Huasteca Canyon, which was completely dry, but still beautiful. The return trip was uneventfulexcept that Chris' fuel line broke, Doug's VW caught on fire Wayne's and Dan's cars both drowned in high water, and three of the four cars got lost in Monterrey, (the one that did know where it was had an unexpected encounter with a rather large bus while travelling the wrong way down a one way street). Back in Nuevo Laredo, we all played turista for a while before the U.S customs officials had their turn to screw us by ordering everything out of the car for inspection. I'm sure they must have been puzzled by the s mell of the charred battery and burned insulation under the VW's rear sea t, but they didn't say anything. We all fell in love with Mexico and vowed to return soon, but a word of warning: never mention Monterrey to any of us. DATE: February 22, 1974 DESTINATION: A lead in Northwest Austin and Dead Dog #2 Cave PERSONNEL: Mark Loeffler, Charles Emmer, Tom Byrd REPORTED BY: Tom Byrd We heard about a cave near Hart Lane in Northwest Austin and decided to check it out. Apparently the en trance had been uncovered by bulldozers during construe tion of an apartment complex. We looked inside and found that it had once had some reallv nice formations, and that it had previously been a bigger cave. There was a pile of fr esh breakdown which seemed to indicate that the cave had been blasted in I talked to a construction worker on the s ite who told me that he and his fellow workers knew nothing of the blasting, but that they had robbed the cave of its formations. "Stactimites? Stalagtites? Stilictites?" h e muttere d, "real pretty; those roofers got the best ones." Anyway, there wasn't much we could say, so we left some what disappointed. We then went over to Dead Dog #2 Cave, about a mile away. Mark and Charles had never been there before, and I had never been all the way to the big room at the back. We went through its series of crawlways and chim neys easy enough, and then came to the big crack. Charles decided it was too much for him, and he turned back. Mark convinced me to go on, though I wasn't sure if we would need a cable ladder to drop into the big room. (We didn't have one) A s it turned out, it was an easy chimney. We got into the big room and considered it well worih the pain. We checked out some leads that Fieseler had refered to, fus se d with our lamps, and headed on out. We emerged from the cave to find Charles sleepin' in the sun and a man staring at him from across the clearing. The man left and so did we. It was a good afternoon of caving. 79


tlfeWcof) UTG News Th e re has been a lot of activity recently. On February 9 there was a large group of cavers from UT, A&l, and SWT at Bustamante, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Arriving in six vehicles, some of the people present were Preston Forsythe, Logan McNatt, Blake Harrison, T.C. Ferret, Dale Pate, Brian Clark, Rebecca Lougheed, Thomas Moore, Neal Morris, Barbara Vinson, Amador Cantu, Glenda Dawson Paul Duncan, Stan Bittinger, Ann Baltrazak, Wayne Klemke, Terry Sayther, Craig Bittinger, Pat Asnes, Molly Asnes, and la s t but not least, Harold (Termite) Romike. People visited La Gruta del Palmito, mapped in Precipicio, and recorded numerous pictograph sites in the area. During that same weekend four new caves were discovered in the Llano area by William Russell, Ed Fomby, Ronnie Fieseler, Susan l<'ieseler, Tom Byrd, and Robert Hemperly. Dead man's Hole was visited by Jay Jorden, Rene Shields and Peter Sprouse. Don Broussard went to Dead Dog Cave 80 On February 16 a trip to Bed Cave led by William Russell succeeded in digging out ten feet of cave in an ongoing project. That same weekend a trip in f'eter Strickland's Speleo Power Wagon went to Dead Man's Hole and Enchanted Ro c k Ronnie and Susan Fieseler went to New Mexico to survey caves with the G.C.S. On February 17 Craig Bittinger, Charlotte Rogers and Neal Morris mapped Charlotte's Cave on Barton's Creek near Austin. They were aided by William Russell. The next weekend was the big trip to Cart a Valley, Texas. Some of the people on the tri p were Ronnie Fieseler, Susan Fieseler, Terry Raines, Jan Lewis, Craig Bittinger, Terry Sayther, Pat Asnes, Bill Morrow, Richard Booth, Mike McKe y Jerry Johnson, Brian Boles, Charlotte Rogers William Russell, Mary Conner, Ralph and Ed Fomby. Other groups of cavurs from Dallas, Houston, and Kingsville added to the weeken d Blowhole, Pumkin, and M idnight Cav es were entered near Carta Valley and one new cave was discovered that had already been surveyed. The first week in March saw Don Broussard, Ron Ralph, Roy Jameson, Mike McEachern, D ina Lourey, and Steve Zeman travel to the new c aving area near Orizaba, v era Cruz, Mexico. They e x plored and survey8cl Sotano Itamo to a depth of over 1400 feet. On Mar::!h 9, Craig Bittinger, Terry Sayther, Nancy Mary Conner, Charlotte Roger s and Deo:)ie Flanagan drove to Gruta de Carrizal, N.L., Mexico. They discovered two small cav e s and recm;ded numerous petroglyphs. On that s a m e weekend Jay Jorden tried to get into several caves without success. Frank Binney returned from travelling an d caving in Central America just long enough to pick up his back-pack from the police station in San Marcos and then he flew to Canada to hel p film the movie being made in Castleguard Cave. On the 13th of March Logan McNatt left for Brownwood, Texas. He expects to do a lot of caving and cave finding in nearby Mason Coun t y where he has a few relatives. On March 15 William Russell and Ronnie Fieseler had a conference with the Texas Highway Department concerning Dead Dog Cave whiCh is now in the Right of Way of a new road. Prospects are good for the cave being saved and protected. The University oi Texas Spring Break is fro m March 29 to. April 7 and there are several trips to Mexico being planned. The UT Grotto meets o n the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month durin g regular semesters at 7 :30PM in room 121 of th e Old Physics Bldg. on the UT Campus everybo d y welcome. The UT Grotto, Box 7672 UT Station, Austin, Texas 78712. THE TEXAS CAVER


COSMIC CAVERS by Tom Byrd WEST TEXAS COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS We were heading home on that rough road o uts ide of Carlsbad last Thanksgiving all kinda r elaxe d and glad to be dry. It was close that morning, too. I remember being shaken to consci o u s nes s after a good night's sleep and seeing R onn ie' s mustache talk to me. He said, "Get up, Tom, it's gonna rain!" It took about three seconds for t h e words to penetrate my early morning brain. I j u mped up to see light in the East over Carlsbad and a huge front of purple clouds coming up on McKittrick Hill. We escaped to the van just in t ime, t hanks to Ronnie's vigilance. Anyway, we were now on the road and well satisfied It had been a good trip. We' d done a lot of caving in the four days s i nce t he six of us (Ronnie Fieseler Susan Fieseler, Carl Kunath, Mark Loeffler, John Steele, and myself) le ft San Angelo Primarily, our caving was concentrated on surveying for Fieseler's map, a l tho u g h we did a lot of things like: taking photographs; walking around looking at things; crawling ma<;ochistically into at least two virgin passages; unknowingly stepping backwards into waist-deep gypsum postholes; getting tired; getting sore; and getting hungry. It was great! Then on the surface, we'd rest, eat food, d rink beer and bullshit for awhile. One particular night, Kunath, Fieseler, and Steele got into a de bate lasting neigh on two hours. "Money's not wort h the paper it's printed on. The government pri nts it up as easily as I could." Fieseler would say. Steele would put forth his conjecture: "Suppose there was a golden volcano in Indiana, and we used sea shells for money." Mark and I didn t have much to say in the matter. We sat ther e and ate our beef stew but if you asked me I 'd tell you that a dollar is worth a handful! o f sea shells and as for golden volcanoes, Mark can assure you that there are none in Indiana. We wer e well amused. Just before we left McKittrick, we went over t o E ndless Cave. Carl gave me a copy of his map and e veryone followed me to see how well I followed lt. I didn't; at least not very well. I was overwhelmed, (or rather, frenzied), looking at all that gypsum. Carl's map is amazingly accurate, tho ugh, and we finally came to the blue dirt. The re, we took pictures, looked at some formations and then, Ronnie and Carl left. Mark and I THE TEXAS CAVER spent about an hour touring the Expressway and other passages, before we, too, left the cave. The roads in West Texas are pretty bleak, as many might agree, but there's something about them that's peaceful. I don't know what it is, they're so straight and flat and dry and boring most of the time. There's something about sitting back, riding along BSin' about one thing or another with your companions. You see a lot of mirages, dead jackrabbits and pumping pumpjacks (or vice versapumping jackrabbits and dead pumpjacks). There's some wierd signs out there, too, like "Tarzan", "Permian Mud Service" or my favorite: "THE PEOPLE OF ANDREWS Believe in GOD COUNTRY And MOTHERHOOD" Anyway we were driving home from McKittrick in Kunath's van and inevitably experiencing West Texas. We stopped at a gas station in Andrews and looked over the facilities, there, amidst the stares of the operator and his patrons. Noting the fact that they had clean restrooms and prophylactics in a dozen exotic colors from Samoa, we loaded the van and hit the road again. By the time we got to Big Spring, Mark and I were pretty dry, so we bought some Coors and Pearl. We ended up talking about the difference between the two brews One acclaims to be brewed from Rocky Mountain spring water and the other claims to be from the Land of 1100 Springs. The famed Land of 1100 Springs is Cave Country. Therefore, we concluded that the later of the two brews is brewed from cave water, though that really doesn't matter. Two sixpacks later, we rolled into San Angelo. Not knowing exactly what was happening, I noticed that we were pulling into the empty Sunday streets, downtown. The six of us paraded upstairs into an office building and walked into a room full of electronic gadgetry. Carl and Ronnie began playing with an osciloscope while Mark and I intently watched a television sportscast. A Little League team was hitting a home run, when suddenly, as near as I can figure, the picture changed. A woman was on the T.V set smoking a cigarette amidst ooohs and aaahs, licking her lips. The camera pans downward to show a man performing an obscene act right before our very eyes! It was shocking! It was Strange! It was "Deep Throat-on-the Conchas"!! And so, after a feature length porno flick and a long day's ride across West Texas, we ate a recu perative meal at Kunath's and headed back to Austin It was West Texas Cosmic Consciousness . or ... Comin' home from the caves. TB 81


IF 82 TI-l b? AMCS NEWS. / OZIOTL. UTGNEWS AtJ A1 ' I "" ON -CAV lNG, ..... I I \ \ ' ') C.VS NEWS ETC. Tool I -ntE WAY li" COULD +-' SE tf ... l DOtt'f 1 WHO WILl.? "11\\5 of" -THE TEXAS CAVER


5-1 1' Gary Parsons It was a cool April evening. The five speleologists had been compiling and editing material for their s urvey report for many months. For over a year n ow, they had been checking the southern p01t i o n of a mountain range for caves. They had explore d and mapped over one hundred and thirty caves, s ome small and some quite large. Working day i n a nd day out, it was to be the best survey r e p01t e ver completed. A fter many long months of searching, ex ploring, and mapping and many long hard hours draft i n g compiling information, and editing the mate1ial, the survey was almost finished. Almost t h e ent ire southern portion of the mountain range had bee n covered. There was only a tiny isolated region in the foothills that remained to be searched S o wit h this the last task before them, the men prepare d themselves for a three week expedition. I t was a two day drive over the rough dusty backroads that would lead them to a small village a t the b ase of the foothills. The speleologists anived tired, dusty, and hungry. After checking into a local hotel and after a good meal and a bit of r elax ation, the men went around the village asking about caves in the area they were to explore. No one they talked to knew of any caves in that area nor did they know of anyone who had been to the area. It seemed to the men that they were about to come in contact with a completely virgin region of the foothills. The speleologists then talk e d of heading out for the region the next day. After p lans were made and a few drinks, the men called i t a night. T he next morning they awoke as the brilliant light o f the sun shone through their window. They had awakened to a beautiful cool spring morning. The air was fresh, and everything retained the s mell of a mountain shower that had cleansed the land d uring the night. The men gathered there gear a nd obtained pack horses to carry the equip m ent into the foothills. Seeing that their gear was secure, they set out on their three day journey into the foothills. T he sun had almost set, and there seemed to be_ a s t orm approaching. The men were only a a way from the edge of the region, so they dec ided to push on. They arrived at their desti n a tion in the dark just as the rain began to fall. The men hurriedly set up camp and stored their THE TEXAS CAVER gear They then turned in in order to get an early start the next day. The storm had not lasted long, but it had left everything very muddy. Upon entering a region in order to survey it, the men would nor mally split up on the first day, and each one would search for locations of caves and would report his findings at the end of the day. The men would then start checking the most promising sightings on the following day. But, due to the size of the area and the amount of time left, the men decided to start searching together, checking each opening as they find it. After hours of searching, they had discovered nothing. The search was tiring and had become very difficult from carrying their equip ment and hiking through the mud which had been caused by the mountain storm. They had been searching for several hours before deciding to rest for lunch. Three of the men began breaking out the food while the other two men began looking for dry firewood. On the way back with the wood, the two men noticed what seemed to be an animal hole. One of the men walked over to it and kneeled down to look in. Suddenly, the ground gave way beneath him. The other man rushed to the hole as he heard the hideous terrifying scream of his companion. He listened helplessly as the scream faded into the emptiness of that black opening. By then, the other men upon hearing the scream, had arrived at the hole. They realized that there was no way their companion could have survived They could not even begin to estimate the depth of the pit. The men only knew that it had to be the deepest pit ever discovered by man. Though still experiencing shock from what had just happened, the men gathered up all the rope they had and began to descend into the pit ip order to recover their friend's body as well as explore the mysterious hole. They secured the rope and lowered it into the hole. They drew straws to see in what order they would enter the pit. The first man then quickly attached his rig to the rope and began his descent. The shaft he was in was approximately twelve feet across and seemed to be endless. As he looked down he could see his light vanish into darkness. It seemed as though his descent would be endless as well. He came to the knot where the first rope had been attached to another section of rope. The first section of rope was six hundred feet in length. He had begun his descent on the second section of rope, and he was still in the shaft. The second section of rope as well as the third was one thousand feet in length. It was not until he was half way down the third section of rope that the shaft ended and opened into an 83


immense cathedral room. He still co uld not see bottom nor could he see any walls around him. He continued to drop into the darkness. A co ld sweat and a feeling of fear suddenly became present as he descended. His heart pounded furiously as he wondered if h e wo uld reach bottom at a ll. He finally rigged onto the last section of rope which was e ight hundred feet in length. He was now able to see the bottom. The sight of t h e floor had given him the incentive to speed up his descent slight ly A sudden fee lin g of security and relief fell over him as h e stepped onto the floor of the cave It was not until h e h a d unfastened his rig from the rope that he realized he had descended about forty five hundred feet of rope. He also realized that the body of his friend l ay only a few feet in front of him. The man then lit a flare in order to signa l he was off t h e rope, and t h e others co uld begin their descent. Whil e the first one awaited the arriva l of the second one, he examined the body of hi s dead compan ion Th e lif e l ess body was contorted, with bones sti cking out in different places. His h ead was completely cr u s h ed, and one le g was held on at the kne e on l y by a s mall piece of bloody flesh. The man tried to pick up the contorted body, but he could not for the body was lik e a plastic bag filled with pudding. Th e man knelt by hi s dead friend and wept as h e prayed for him. As eac h of the others reac hed th e bottom, they came to w h e re the body l ay As soon as all of them were together, they dug a grave in the soft dirt floor of the cave and buried t h e body. They t h e n decided to n ame the pit after the dead man, Virgim Marx After the final words had been spoken the men began to observe their s urroundings. They sudden l y noticed how minute and insignificant t h ey were when they look ed around the tremen dous room they wer e in. The men esti mated the ce ilin g of the room to be about twenty-two hun dr e d feet above them w i th the walls being about two thou sand feet apart. Two imm e n se corridors l ed from each end of the main room. Each passage was l aiden with hug e beautiful formations. The men could not d ec id e w hether to split up or go together into each passage. Suddenly, they heard a strange humming noi se coming from one of the corrid o r s All of them turned toward the sound a nd notice d a strange blue light being emitted from the corridor. The light was faint and seemed to be p ul sati ng. Feelings of bewi lderment and fear came over them as they moved toward t h e strange light. The m e n moved s lowl y and cautiously being ready for the unexpected. As they came closer to the passage, the light became brighter and the humming louder. The men paused at the entrance of the corri-84 dor with fear rising in each of them as the light and sound became even greater than before. They pushed on into the passage not having any idea of what might lie ahead. After venturing only a few yards into the passage, without warning, they were suddenly engulfed by a bright re d beam of lig ht. The light was almost blinding, and it seemed to have the four men trapped. They could not move or talk, and each nerve in their bodies seemed to be on fire. The beam then began pulling them through the huge passage. The men had no control. They continued to be carried through the corridor for purposes unknown to them. The corridor ended, and they found them selves being carried into another large room, although it was smaller than the first one. Th e beam took them and placed them in the center of a l arge metal platform. As quickly as they had been engulfed by the beam, they were relea sed from it. The men, as they r ecovered from th eir ordeal, gazed curiously around the room. They saw that the walls of the room were lined with large computers and sophisticated machinery all of which they had never seen on earth. The ceilin g was covered with bright blue lights which illumi nated the room. The men stood motionless, each wondering the same things. They had no expla nation for what they saw. Another noise was heard and a small vibr ation felt in the platform they were standing upon. The men turned toward the noise. A door opened in the platform, and three m e n rose from the opening. The three men stood motionless looking at the spe leologists. Finally one of the three men ap proached the speleo lo gists. He appeared to be just as they were, the only difference being his clothing which was emitting a pulsating light blue light just as the lights in the room were. By now, the men were too curious and bewildered to notice the fear within them. I am Demiurge," announced the strange man. His voice was harsh as well as soothing, loud as well as soft. The men forgot their fears completely upon hearing the man's words. "I, as well as my people, have been waitin g for men like yourselves. We knew that one day, m e n would rea c h for the unknown beneath the surface just as they reached for the stars It began with me, and you four shall begin it again." The man then pressed a button on the collar of his strange clothing. The speleo lo gists becam e e ngulfed in the force of the red beam again. Thi s time, they were in a trance and knew nothing of what was happening to them. Another button was pressed, and a capsule like structure was lowered over the four men. The capsule began spinning at a great speed and then came to a stop. The beam THE TEXAS CAVER


was turned off and the capsule was lifted, revealing only one man. He was different from any of the four speleologists, yet he retained the personality, character, and intelligence of each one. I cannot let the civilization destroy itself as it has been doing for many years now," spoke Demiurge to the sing le man. "The people are not following the plans that were set forth for them. They must be interrupted and taught what to do in order to save the world from chaos and destruction. You, my son, will soon take your place back on the surface where you must do what needs to be done. Wipe the blood from your palms, and prepare to ascend." Suddenly, a stop sign appeared on the corner. GP THE LAST LAMP, OR, THE FEMALE CAVER'S LAMENT Honey, when you left me I let you take the car; I would have given anything, even my guitar, But when you copped the last one, you really went too far: The last of the Justrite lamps. You took my only caving pack, you took the better rope; You took my carbide bottle, my flashlight and my hope, But the thing you took that hurt the most, that really made me mope was--The last of the Justrite lamps. You always lost your own lamp and then you'd borrow mine; You'd lose the one you borrowed, and then I'd sit and pine, 'I11e Autolite I hid from you, but it never worked so fine as --the last of the Justrite lamps. Honey, I wish you all the best in your new life and free: Good ftiends, good caving, and a sweetie pie more sweet than me, And when she loses your lamp, I hope that it will be the last of the Justrite lamps. Carol Russell THE TEXAS CAVER CAIAlOG! Come by our shop in Tulsa and get a free copy of our new backpacking catalog Or fill out the coupon and mail it to us along with 25'. and we 'll send you one Irs loaded with light weight camping gear for the hiker camper. hunter packer. climber and anybody who ( GEi"'Oii:. ............. .. -!\ II 1 ; YES here s my quarter ... r u sh me your catalog' ; name ________________ : s treet ------; City--------------state zip ___ the 11\;M.1derness fiOVenrurer THE FARM SHOPPI NG C E N TER /918/628-1161 650BEAST51srSTREET TULS A OKLA. 14145 HARD TO GET! "Brass" Justrite Carbide Lamps Brand new, 2W' reflector, all brass lamps. Limited supply. lamp to: Jerry Lindsey 804 Seymour Avenue Laredo, TX 78040 Plice includes tax and postage. 85


Fotogram: CLOSEUP Dear Editor: A man can stand just so much. For the past few months I have noted with increasing horror the "informative" photography articles by Mr. Mike Feltz. If Mr. Feltz were writing for a photography magazine his articles might be appropriate, but for the TEXAS CAVER they are absurd. [See Vol. 19, No.2]. Taking his most recent article "Close Up Ex posure Determination" as an example, allow me to tell it like it is, or at least without the aura of mys tery that Mr. Feltz delights in displaying. WHEN THE LENS IS MOVED FARTHER FROM THE FILM: 1) No exposure compensation is really necessary until the image becomes approximately 1/5 life size (1:5)* or larger, at which time exposure should be increased 1/2 stop. 2) At 1/2 life size (1:2), the compensation is 1 stop and at life size (1: 1) the compensation is two full stops. Anything between 1:5 and 1 : 1 can be ap proximated closely from these few facts.* As a guide to the image size, remember that a quarter will fill the vertical (short) dimension in the view finder when the subject is life size (1: 1 ). 1/5 or 1:5 is a magnification of .2 (ie: 1/5 = .2) ** If you just insist that you must have the math to be happy, then the formula for computing ex posure compensation is: F = ( 1 + M )2 ( 3 ) where F is the exposure factor (ie: 2 means 2 times the exposure or 1 stop, 4 means 2 stops, etc.), and where M is the magnifi cation (ie: if the subject is half life size then the magnification can be determined from the image: object ratio of 1:2 so that M would be .5). At this point you are probably already confused, so I would recommend that you make a copy of the table found in any good book on close-up photography that tells you the correct exposure factor for ratios between 1/10 life size and 10 times life size Just carry the table into the cave with you and forget all the math! 3) If the magnification is 2 or in 1) above, then F = (1 + M)2 becomes F = (1 + 2) 2 = 1.44 = 1 1/2, so you want 1 1/2 times the exposure indicated for photographing the subject other than close-up. To get 1/2 again as much exposure, increase exposure 1/2 stop. 86 by Carl Kunath SUPPLEMENTARY LENSES 1) Don't use powers greater than "plus 3" if image is important. 2) No exposure compensation is required. REVERSE ADAPTOR This mounts the lens backward on the cam era and for reasons not necessary for you to understand, usually provides superior close-up perfor mance. These adaptors are available for around $5.00 and will yield an image of about 1:1 with a 50mm lens and about 1.5:1 with a 35mm lens (lens at infinity position). Usually, no exposure compensation is necessary (again for some rathe r complicated reasons that you need not be con cerned with). Experiment to see if you have a wierd lens. GENERAL INFORMATION AND GOOD TIPS Get a good reliable strobe rated at 40 watt/ seconds or less, and make sure you can equip it with at least a 3 foot coiled extention cord. Wit h your favorite film, make a series of exposures a t f/16 of an "average" cave subject (from about 2 feet away). Vary only the strobe to subject distance and make notes. View your transparenci e s critically and compare your results with your note s You will now have determined the correct expo sure for your film, your strobe and your lens at f/16. Think of it! Now, with a little effort you can probably determine the correct aperture for most any distance you would like to use (yes, I know all the books tell you the intensity of the light varies as the inverse square of the distance but that only applies to a point source, and you are not taking a picture of a point source, you a r e taking a picture of something in a cave. Try to remember that. It is fairly important.) So I am telling you to experiment. Blow a roll of film a n d take notes. Learn from it now, when nothing much is at stake, not when you are after those elusive little devils that lurk miles into the cave. Now, has it occurred to you that since you know the exact distance your strobe should be from the subject for perfect exposure when the aperture is f/16, that it makes no difference ho w that f/16 comes about? If you use a reverse adaptor or "plus lenses", then you have the f/16 right there on the lens just as indicated. If you use a 50mm of extention with a 50mm lens, then THE TEXAS CAV E R


you need an extra stop. Keep the light at that e xact distance you determined by experimentation and open the lens to f/11. If you should somehow arrive at double life size (2:1) by using tubes, then you need 2 stops so you set the lens at f/8 and keep the light at the same distance I realize you need all the depth-of-field you can get in many cases, so you will have to work out the correct distance to double the light, double it again, and so on. I could tell you what_!_ use, but that wouldn't help you. Experiment! J U DGEMENT Now you have everything you need except a r efined sense of judgement. Consider two things: 1 ) Dis tance from flash to subject is critical for dis tances less than 3-4 feet. (Percent of error in c r eases with decrease in distance) 2 ) Cave subjects are seldom "average". For ex a m p l e photographing clear -to-white gypsum n e edle s calls for a vastly different exposure than a photograph of a bat, all other things being equal. Note also that there is a vast difference between wet a nd dry subjects. The question of critical distance can be resolved by experimenting with your "reach" and sta ndardizing your aperture as much as possible. F o r example one of my favorite lenses has a minimum aperture of f/16 and I always use this stop for clo s e-ups For f/16, my strobe should be 4 feet a way from "average" subjec;ts. If the subject ap p ears to deviate significantly from "average", I just m ove the strobe out to 5 feet or in to 3 feet or w h ate ver my experience tells me is T his brings me to a major gripe with Mr. Feltz. In his eagerness to pass along to you all of his wonder ful formulas about how to calculate everything imaginable, he completely neglects the experience aspect of cave photography. I don't mind telling you t hat I have never gone through any of the garbag e he recommends as necessary to close-up c ave photography, and I'll bet that if he does he spends a lot of time doing math instead of m;king p1ct ur es, and furthermore, he must still rely on the experie nce factor for correct exposures. This turned into a lot more verbage than I pla nned, but I am substituting common sense and methods for a lot of complex math that 1S n o t needed Mr. Feltz may be a good photographer---I don't recall seeing any of his pictures so I have no way of knowing---but please don't ?e dec eived by his rhetoric. Close-up photography l s easy. All you need is common sense. A s a parting shot, remember to judge a photographe r by the pictures he shows you; not by the word s he spews. Myself included. CEK THE TEXAS CAVER aGJtvieW by Ernst Kastni ng CAVE DIVING --A SOBER WARNING "Underwater Caves That Kill" by Bill Baker; TRUE (magazine) November 1973, V. 54, No. 438, pp. 44-45, 123-124 Reviewed by Ernst H. Kastning The title of this article in TRUE magazine can be misleading. It is not a thrills-chills account as one might expect from a man's adventure (for example, see SAGA magazine, November 1973, "Spelunking ... by Thomasine Poag). Rather, this account has been written by an experienced cave diver, motivated by a sincere concern over the in creasing rate of cave-diving fatalities in Florida karst springs. The author, Bill Baker, does not portray cave diving as a blend of thrills, terrors, and heroics but, instead, as a potentially dangerous sport which can be made safe provided that the diver obeys all basic rules and uses proper equipment. Baker is a member of the National Association of Cave Divers (NACD), a responsible group similar to the NSS, which maintains high standards for cave diver training safety, and public image. From the beginning to the end, Baker's article stresses the importance of maintaining those standards and gives repeated warnings of dangers facing an unprepared or novice diver. The tone of the article is serious and concerned. Basic techniques considered neces sary to safe cave diving are stressed, including the use of a safety line, light weights, octopus regulator on tanks and how to safely deal with suspended silt, decompression, and total elapsed diving time. It is refreshing to see an article on caving that forsakes egotistic heroism, and presents a sober, realistic view of the pleasures of the sport without compromising safety and respect for potential hazards. Hopefully the public will be exposed to more articles of this calibre in the future. EHK 87



MIKE MITCHELL Frederickburg is the center of this 40-mile radius circle and the hub of tourist attractions for this area. My major criteria for each tourist attraction was that it must be either free or inex pensive, and it must be worth the stop. On a r e cent trip to this area, I visited most of the tourist s pots within the Circle, and I have listed those major attr::>.ctions that met my criteria. I regret if I left out your favorite spot, but if you'll send me the money, I will go to it. Fredericksburg !Jenera!: Settled by German families from New Braunfels in 1846, led by J .O. Meusebach. Although the ear l y settlement was on the Indian fron tier, a peace treaty in 1846 brought lasting peace. Many older buildings retain traditional German s tyles. German is often spoken, and old German c u s toms are regularly obsetved. Birthplace of Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, WW II. M ajor Events: Easter Fires Pageant, Easter Eve night; July Horse Races, 3-days July 4th; Gillespie County Fair 3-days in August Major Attractions: American Heritage Museum Thousands of items from Indian pioneer, and frontier cultures. Collections include those from a country store, s addle shop, household items, geological displays. Open daily Sam-lOpm; Sun. 1 10pm. Located on U.S. 290 East. Small admission charge. Adm. Nimitz Center and Museum -Contains Naval documents, pictures, souvenirs, memorabilia from the admiral's career, as well as other naval equipment. In the back lot there is an airplane, Japanese tank, antiaircraft gun. Located on U.S. 290 Downtown. FREE. Pioneer Museum-This museum is similar to the American Heritage Museum in that it contains r e lics, documents, "furniture, clothing, tools, and weapons of the early settlers. Open daily 1 Oam 5pm; Sun. 1-5pm. Located on U.S. 290. Small admission charge. Lady Bird Johnson Park-190 acre city park featuring golf, swimming, tennis, hiking trails, pic-THE TEXAS CAVER Tour FREDERICKSBURG CIRCLE nicing, and camping sites. A small lake, where sail boats, canoes, and paddleboats are allowed, is located in the park. Texas 16 South 3% miles from Fredericksburg Admission: $1-$2. Antique Stores --Many of these shops are along U.S. 290, and although they are free to enter, it usually costs money before you leave. Places to Eat: There are numerous eating places in Fredericksburg fr0m chicken-shaks to Mexican/German/ American restaurants. Take your pick and spend your There is ? lso the local rip-off Dairy Queen located on U.S. 290. I rate this one well below average. Of course, if you're hungry enough . The place where I like to eat is the Traveler's Cafe on U.S. 290 Downtown. The food is good, service is polite and fast, and it is relatively inexpensive. Hours: 6am-9pm daily; Sun. 6am-2pm. Gasoline: I didn't have any trouble finding gasoline while in the Fredericksburg Circle. However, the stations begin closing early Saturday, with few open Sundays. What it will be like on the next trip, no one can say. The gasoline situation here is just like anywhere else: you can find it if you look hard enough. Traveling North on R.M. 965: Balanced Rock--Roadside park of Texas Highway Department. A huge boulder is perched on an in credibly small base. A short hike up a small hill is required to reach the Rock. Located 4 miles on R.M. 965 N. Enchanted Rock: This is the largest granite mountain in the Southwest; formed of Texas pink granite. It covers 640 acres, is 500 feet high, and over a billion years old. It is located on R.M. 965, 17 miles North of Fredericksburg, and 23 miles South of Llano. The park has picnic tables, camping, wading in the creek, hiking, climbing, rock hunting, Indian artifacts. It even has a talus cave located at the top of the Rock and smaller boulder caves in various locations. The park area has rest rooms, running 89


At the June NSS Convention in Bloomington, Indiana some of the women cavers got together in a rap session to discuss their role and some of the problems they had in caving In many areas, especially where there is a large group of single women and men, the women have found it hard to relate to each other probably due to their competition for the same males. Though this competition will remain the rule there was a great desire expressed for the women to overcome this rivalry and interact with each other on a less jealous basis Some of the women were unhappy with the image of women in caving. It seems there are two basic images that are currently held, and these are probably accurate images of two different kinds of cavers. The image that was approved was that that is held, in my opinion, by the more serious male cavers of the more serious female cavers, i.e that some women were respected for their ability to hold their own in caving, and were classified by the men as "good cavers" that knew what they were doing. (This is not to say that they aren't interested in the male cavers as men, it just means they're recognized as caverspeople.) The unsatisfactory image was the idea held by some men that women were incapable of being good c a vers (i.e. lack of stamina, strength, intelligence necess a ry for mapping ... ), and they should remain in their places as camp followers. It is easy to see where these two images come from. There are those women that are supercavers, and there are those "cavers" who are only there because the men are there. (It should be pointed out that the two stereotypes are recognized by both men and women.) The problem lies in the fact that there is a third group which I shall call the "ln-betweens". This group is not recogniz e d at all by some of the men or women. This is the group, usually novices, that comes to the caving meetings because they're interested in caves and caving and peopl e. They want to be self-sufficient cavers and at the same time enjoy the fellowship of the other cavers The pattern in some areas is that new women are automatically 92 all GEdito11al classified as camp followers until they break away and prove that they are supercavers. The problem is that som e of the "in-betweens" do not have the chance to get enou g h training, or are not strong enough to become supercavers At the same time they resent being classified as camp followers because they are or could be good cavers withi n their own limitations. It is this group, the "in-betweens" that need the help of all cavers-men and women. For those that are satisfied with being camp followersright on! For those that are in a position to prove themselves as supercavers-good going! But for those who are "inbetweens" something can be done to improve your image. (This "in-between" stage is true of the male novices also they too have classifications such as competent, which in cludes supercavers, and incompetent, so this encouragement is meant for them too.) One of the best ways to improv e your image is to learn the necessary caving skills and tech niques There are a number of ways to do this, but all of them require personal initiative. Books or publications can offer a passel of information. The best source, of course, is practice. With enough determination an "inbetween" can get at least one supercaver to help him or her with caving skills. Mostly it takes consistent pressurin g and initiative. However, for those who just cannot find help, or for those who just don't get around to it, and for those who want to broaden their exposure to new ideas, I am going to set up several special sessions at next year's convention. These will be designed to give the less experienced cavers, both men and women, some in the classroom and in the field experience. The suggested sessions so far are : 1) knotsactual practice sessions on how to tie bowlines, double carrick bends, etc.; 2) vertical sessions where people can try out different rigs; 3) mapping techniquesincluding symbols, use of equipment and actual cave mapping practice; and 4) simplified basic geological sessions. Send ideas, reactions, etc. to me to help me plan an effective program. Volunteers to help coordinate special sessions welcome. Send info to: Jill Ediger, P.O. Box 4, Ft. Belvior, Va. 22060. Gripes, complaints anything. In caving, Jill THE TEXAS CAVER


The TEXAS CAVER BULK RATE U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. l423 Waco, Tx. 76710 4190 Lakeshore Dr./Waco, Texas 76710 RETURN REOUESHI FORWARDING P OSTAG GUAR ANTEe ck 'erup. The finest in lightweight camping gear: Backpacks, Boots, Tents, Down Clothing & Sleeping Bags, Racing Bikes, Ski Gear, Canoes, Kayaks (sales & rental). Pack up. Equip1nent 638 Westbury Square / Houston, Texas 77035 / (713) 721-1530 591 Town & Country Village / Houston 77024 /461-3550

Contents: a cave:
Enchanted Rock / A. Richard Smith --
News and not-so news --
Cosmic cavers / Tom Byrd --
5 1 = 1' / Gary Parsons --
The last lamp, or, the female caver's lament / Carol
Russell --
Fotogram: close up --
A review / Ernst Kastning --
Fredericksburg Circle / Mike Mitchell --
An editorial.


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