The Texas Caver

The Texas Caver

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The Texas Caver
Series Title:
The Texas Caver
Texas Speleological Association
Texas Speleological Association
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Regional Speleology ( local )
Technical Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


General Note:
Contents: A cave / Roger Bartholomew -- Thanx and no thanx / Speleo T. Agnew -- News not-so news -- Spring BOG / Barbra Vinson -- 74 NSS COG / Glenn Darilek -- Wha's cooking, baby? / Betty Crocked -- Preston McMichael award -- Flak (and other letters) -- The limb: Gary Parsons / Roger Bartholomew -- 74 TSA photosalon winners -- Cave information / Tom Warden -- Commentary / Editor -- Fear / Dale Pate -- Trip reports -- Teknikal report / Bill Sherborne -- Something from Dale Pate -- 3 on a match / Jim McLane -- Corridors of time / Swartz Bridges -- Taking a div / Chuck Stuenm -- Editorial (A.M.F.).
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 19, no. 10, 11 and 12 (1974)
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See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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K26-04588 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4588 ( USFLDC Handle )
11322 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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the Texascavea October-December 1974 Volume 19 Nos. 10, 11 & 12


The TEXAS CAVER is a monthly publication of the Texas Speleological Association (TSA), an internal organization of the National Speleological Society (NSS) and is published by Ken A. Griffin in Houston, Texas. Subscriptions are $4 50 per year (U. S.) and $5 50 elsewhere Persons subscribing after the first of the year will receive all back issues for that year. Single copies are available at 45q; each postpaid (U. S ) or 55q; each elsewhere. The TEXAS CAVER openly invites contributors to submit: articles, reports news etc (preferably typed) ; cartoons, diagrams, illustrations (camera-ready); and photographs (5x7 or 8x1 0 black & white glossy prints) to the Editor. Address all correspondence (other than subscription) to the Editor : Ken A. Griffin-701 N. Post Oak Rd./Suite 4 Houston Texas 77024 Address all subscription orders to : James Jasek4190 Lakeshore Dr./Waco Tex. 76710 Advertising Sales Office : Griffin & Holt Advertising Graphics-701 N Post Oak Rd. Suite 4/ Houston Texas 77024 / (713) 688-7633 The Responsible Parties Editor: Ken A. Griffin Staff: Bill Sherborne Art Direction: Griffin & Holt Advertising Graphics Printing & Distribution: James Jasek 1 Ronnie Fieseler Assembly: Huaco Cavers PHOTO CREDITS Cover: by Jim McLane Inside Front Cover: by Bob Lloyd, Hidden Cave, N.M. Inside Back Cover: by Jim McLane Page 179: Mike Connally by Jim McLane Page 180: Bob Burney, by Bob Lloyd Page 188: by McLane THE TEXAS CAVER the TexascaveR Contents Volume 19, Nos 10, 11 & 12 TSA officers for 1974 Chairman Glenn Darilek Vice Chairman Mike Walsh &cretary/ Treasurer Barbra Vinson P. 0 Box 8415, UT Station, Austin 78705 A Cave -Roger Bartholomew . . . 166 Thanx and No Thanx -Speleo T. Agnew 167 News & Not-So News. . . 168 Spring BOG Barbra Vinson . . 169 7 4 NSS COG -Glenn Darilek . . 171 Wha's Cooking, Baby? -Betty Crocked 172 Preston McMichael Award . 173 Flak (and other letters) . 17 4 The Limb -Gary Parsons . 17 5 By Roger Bartholomew . 176 7 4 TSA Photosalon Winners 177 Cave Information -Tom Warden . 178 Commentary -Editor 178 Fear Dale Pate . . . . 181 Trip Reports . . . . . 182 Teknikal Report Bill Sherborne. 185 Something from Dale Pate . 187 3 on a Match -Jim McLane 189 Corridors of Time Swartz & Brid g es . 190 Taking a Dive Chuck Stuenm 191 Editorial (A.M.F ) . . . . . 192 October-December 1974


aGave FAIR HOLE CAVE I don't remember exactly when I first heard of Fair Hole Cave, but I do remember who first told me about it. Bill Russell mentioned that to get into Fair Hole you had to rapel down a 50-foot hole into water and that the hole itself was in the bottom of a creek bed. However the hole was surrounded by a small concrete dam to keep water and silt out of the cave and water only rarely would overflow the edge of the dam into the cave. He also said that there was a good length of water cave below the pit, but that it was probably now plugged by wood and silt. Since my water cave ex perience was zero at the time and since the cave might need some digging, I did not have a strong in clination to see the cave and so I filed the name and information in the old memory bank. The next time I saw the name of the cave was on a list of caves that needed to be mapped which A. R. Smith was passing out at one of the TSA functions. [Smith is frequently passing out at TSA functions. Ed.] Smith mentioned that though a map had been done, a better one was needed. After these brief encounters I almost forgot about the cave. In July of 1969 Wayne Russell invited me on a trip by the Alamo Grotto to Fair Hole Cave. So, on the 13th of July we went out with David Litsinger, Charlie Bums, and Butch Summar and some others. We met Mr. Fair who accompanied us to the cave. He told us that the present entrance was dug some time in the 1890's and that the cave area was bought by his family in 1939. In 1951 he had entered the cave with a group from U ofT. He also said that a geologist from New Braunfels had commented that the cave went a lot further in the 1930's. At this time we mentioned that we would like to survey the cave and he was favorable to the project. He watched us rig and rapel down the pit. Due to the fact that we were anxious to see the cave we pushed on to the seven meter pit located 4 78 meters from the entrance. At his point Wayne and I surveyed the area just above the pit and about 50 meters of passage down and beyond it while the others went ahead to see the end of the cave. All told we chalked up about 70 meters of passage in the survey book. On 21 Sept. 1969 Wayne and I were back with Richard Martin and Eugene Uecker and began a survey effort from the bottom of the entrance into the cave. We added 355 meters onto the survey in a 71 / 2 hour trip. The survey in this section was frus-166 by Roger V. Bartholomew trating because the numerous bends in the cave passage prevented us from taking long shots. We had hoped to make it to the pit but we could not realize this objective on this trip. On 19 October 1969 an attempt was made to continue the survey. However the creek was up and lapping 15 centimeters below the top of the concrete dam around the cave entrance. We decided not to enter the cave because we feared that it would not take much rain to raise the water above the dam. Also the dam could break, etc. A quick rapel down to the upper level in the entrance pit was made by Wayne Russell, Bob Burney and my self. Here we saw water pouring in from the pass age leading up to the surface fissures in the creek bed. I made a quick descent to the bottom to see how the water flow had affected the water level in the main passage. I found that it had not raised it noticably. After this the project sat in the deep freeze for about 10 months, but on 2 August 1970 the project was thawed out. Robert Henry, Scott Harden Doug Nunnelly, Al Brandt, Phil Steinbeck, Bob Voche, a visitor from Washington, and I were back to continue the survey. A lot was accomplished on this trip. While Al watched things on the surface we picked up the end of the 21 September 1969 survey in the main passage and quickly covered the 123 meters to the pit and linked up with the be ginning of our survey of 13 July 1969. Then we continued from the end of the 13 July 1969 survey to the end of the cave. The end room of the cave was found to be filled with breakdown blocks with very tight and barely passable cracks between them which ended quickly. While we were surveying, Bob Voche and Scott Harden had checked out the passage around the entrance. V oche had pushed the lower water crawl for a gross 30 meters in the opposite direction from the main cave at the entrance drop. Then, on the way back toward the entrance he found the dome and climbed it to the upper level passage which led back to the entrance pit. His checkout of this passage was important for it gave us an idea of the extent of the passage which needed to be mapped near the entrance area. After this he and Scott joined us in the survey at the end of the cave. They arrived as we were about to rig the seven meter pit. While we were descending the pit by rope, V oche succeeded in proving that a rope was not necessary to get down to the lower THE TEXAS CAVER


cave. He climbed past the rigging point on a side ledge and discovered that there were passable ledges over the top of the large room into which the pit dropped. He then went to the NW end of the room at the ceiling level and then climbed down the narrow crack at the end of the room. On this trip the main part of the cave survey was finished. The passage surveyed amounted to 182 meters. The surveying of the entrance area was done on 20 September 1970 by Robert Henry, Andy Sandoval and myself. It was fortunate that the surveying was near the entrance because the sky was threatening rain. The creek bed wad dry but we would have no way of knowing how fast the water would rise in the creek. Mter surveying about 40 meters of passage we closed the survey book on Fair Hole Cave for the last time. The concrete dam around the cave en trance has been a great factor in keeping the cave open. It has prevented the cave passage from silting up. Never theless, floatable debris, including a 2 foot diameter log, drops into the entrance and gets washed down the passage for large distances in times of high water These produce jams which someday may plug up the cave passage and prevent access to the rest of the cave. A strong grating should be placed over Lhe top of the concrete dam to prevent this floating material from being washed into the cave. It has to be strong because the force of the water entering the cave can be tremendous. The ranch foreman told us that a huge whirlpool forms around the hole and seems to drag any floating material down into the pit. Then the hole fills up until a bubble of air under pressure rises up the entrance shaft and blows spray and water into the air. Then the cycle starts over again. How long will the con crete dam hold up against these stresses? No one knows. Fortunately, these high water levels occur infrequently. We did notice also on the last survey trip that the fissures in the creek bed are wideBing and so more silt is being washed into the cave. If these are not plugged then the concrete dam will have lost its value. Several geological features of the cave bear men tioning. The passage maintains a general trend of S35.5W. However, this trend is interrupted at sev eral points by a system of cross joints in the lime stone which run almost perpendicular to the main trend. These cross joints run about N40W. The largest of these cross joints are readily evident from the map. The first cross joint occurs 57 meters into the cave at the first dog leg to the right. This is not really a cross joint because the cave has not set on its main trend yet. But 258 and 287 meters from the entrance there are two obvious but small joints which the cave follows for a few meters be fore seeking its main trend. The two largest cross THE TEXAS CAVER joints occur at the seven meter pit which is 4 78 meters into the cave and at a point 58 meters beyond the pit in the lower cave. In conclusion I might mention that the entrance elevation is approximately 1250 feet mean sea level. This puts the water level in the main cave before the seven meter pit at 1200 feet mean seal level and it puts the lower cave beyond the pit at 1165 feet mean sea level. This might be a help in looking for other cave passage in the region of Fair Hole. RVB Editors Note: Roger has a map of this cave, but due to the length of it we were unable to print it. by Speleo T. Agnew Ken asked me to dash off something appropriate thanking all those who helped out with the CAVER during the past year. It would be easy, since very few helped us, but I'm not one to take the easy passage. Of course, people like Ronnie Fieseler, Carl Kunath, Bob Lloyd, Chuck Stuehm, A. Richard Smith, and Jim McClane all helped out ... Gary Parsons, Charles Fromen, Ernst Kastning, those zonkers at A & M, Dale Pate, Mike Mitchell, and Mike Connolly. I could go on, but not for long. I would like to extend fart-felt thanks to those who didn't help one bit. Especially those who didn't even subscribe. Thanks to Barbara for never sending her material on time. And to Mike for his never-ending dissertation of photo boredom. And Jon Average for his empty promise of help. The three different typesetters who were glad to get the work and then resigned. The advertisers who chickened out when looking over the demographics. And Bill Sherborne for not doing the October issue. And thanks to Jim for being so weird about postage and morals. I could go on and on. Overlooking the above, Bill Sherborne was the only real person to stay with us. Without his help, Ken would have blown a fuse back in March. Betty Crocked and I played hell with tempers around here, but she just stayed sauced the whole year. (Now she and I are retiring to live in wedded bliss). Anyway, it has been a real experience. And I thought politics was tough. So to wrap up my ramblings ... thanks if you did, may you get bats in your underwear if you didn't. 167


TCANEWS The Temple Caving Association held meetings on June 14th and on July 19th. At the June Meet ing, plans were made for a vertical traiping session for the following weekend. Also, and most important, plans were finalized for the FIRST ANNUAL TEMPLE CAVING ASSOCIATION BEER AND EATS PARTY. The party was held on the following night at Gorman Falls (refer to trip report section for a detailed account of the frivalous frolickings of our cheerfulllittle group). At the July meeting, plans were made for a trip to Devil's Sinkhole and Sonora area. Other topics of great importance were also discussed. We then adjourned to a local pizzaria as usual to eat, drink, and be merryful. We have been doing such noteworthy things as assembling the TEXAS CAVER, assembling Inner Space brochures, and caving. GP SOUTHWEST TEXAS STUDENT GROTTO Caving has been sparse this summer but some members did manage to go caving. Devil's Sinkhole was visited twice. Two new caves were found near Comstock in Val Verde County. They were named Cow Creek Rattlesnake Cave and Scramble Cave. Neither were very long, but they were both mapped. Langtry Lead Cave and Emerald Sink was visited by about 7 members and there was at least one trip to the Sonara Area. Four members attended the Rescue session at Cascade Caverns where they did the Sinkhole. Closer to home Boyett's Cave was visited by three hardy members. McCarty's Cave is still closed as far as we know at the moment. The kids from the college don't help matters much. Meetings are held every 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month in Science Room 2 at 7:30pm. The club address is: Southwest Texas Student Grotto, Student Union Building, San Marcos, Texas 78666 RESCUE by Steve Fleming On the weekend of July 12-14 the 3rd TSA res cue training session was held. Turnout was moderate but with fairly good distribution among the grottoes. The heaviest attendance was from the 168 central Texas groups. Of the approximately 50 in attendance, about half were persons seen at prev ious sessions and the rest were either new to the sessions, or, in the case of several, new to caving. Saturday morning the session began with a dis cussion of what was to be accomplished, with emphasis this time placed on safety with techni of rescue and recovery being covered rather than the basic first aid covered at previous meetings. After this overview, the group moved to the ent rance sink of Cascade Caverns where the practical classes began. This first class consisted of dem onstrations and discussion of various techniques of rigging and climbing which could be applicable to a pit rescue. After several hours, a break was made for lunch, during which informal talks were held. When commercial operations ceased at dusk, the group split into two sections to begin practical applications in the cavern. One section was to en gage in a pit rescue while the other proceeded to the rear to perform a horizontal rescue. The only problem encountered was that of the horizontal crew being unable to begin the rescue in the non commercial section of the cave because the back board could not fit down the lake tube. As a re sult, this portion of the rescue had to be deleted and a far simpler carry out substituted. Both types of work proceeded without major difficulty and at the end the groups switched. Unlike the previous 2 rescues, this session had a noticeable lack of neat, pre-prepared bandages and splints. The emphasis this time was on realism and improvisation was the rule, since relatively few cav ers ever travel fully or even partially equipped to handle accidents. The only concessions to pre paredness were the Stokes litters and the back boards. Faced with this lack of resources, the cav ers managed to scrounge suitable rescue aids and substitute for others. Rolled shirts, camera boxe s and drift wood were used as splints and belts, jumar slings and camera straps were used as secur ing devices. The pit crews used quite different methods which were equally effective and served to point out that there are many ways of perform ing a rescue other than those stated in manuals. Only a few criticisms came out: There were so many people there with cameras that at times there was a lack of personnel participating because a num ber were trying to get photos at the same instant. The major fault of the horizontal crews was the tendency to ge the victim to the entrance as fast as possible. It was pointed out in the critique that speed was unnecessary and slow, sure handling was desired to prevent aggravation of the victim's in juries. On the pit portion there were several per sons at the edge of the pit who werenot actively engaged in rescue. Not only was this hazardous to THE TEXAS CAVER


those on the top, because they were not rigged to a safety line, but debris was knocked on those working below. On the whole, the session went off extremely well. Much useful information was brought out and, more importantly, applied. All of this con tributed to making this the best of the sessions h e ld to date. Thanks goes to Mr. John Bridges for allowing the TSA the use of his cave. He was most eager to have the cavers at his place and allowed us to per form parts of the rescue while tours were being led thm the cave. He generously provided us with camping space and a pavillion for meetings, no to mention unlimited access to the cave after the rescue had concluded. Thanks also to Gary Parsons for the outstanding organization which enabled a s u c cessful venture. SF TSA Convention BOG The Second meeting in 1974 of the T.S.A. Board o f Governors was held in the pavilion at New Bra unsfels City Park, Saturday, April 27th. The meeting was called to order at 3 pm. The list of30 delegates representing 16 clubs was read and verified. The previous BOG minutes as pub lished in the April1974 TEXAS CAVER were read R E PORTS : Pub lications Chairman (Fred Paschal)All money m a de on sale of Speleobooks through the Publication s room will be returned to Doug and Linda Rhodes to do with as they wish. Further discussion about anything pretaining to THE CAVES OF COLORADO will be discussed under new bus mess. AMCS (Bill Elliott)-Two more newsletters are p r inted and are being mailed out. Because it marks the end of a volume, most people need to resubscribe. TSS (Ronnie Fieseler)-All files are being collected. Please return them to Ronnie. Distribution in the fut ure of file material will be by reading at Ronnie's residence or by zerox of specific copy. Zeroxes of specific items will be mailed at request with a bill f o r cost of zeroxing. The TSS needs support in the f orm of trip reports and maps. The next issue s tarts a new volume so resubscribe. T E XAS CAVER (Ken Griffin)-March issue is in the mail. There is a need for more subscriptions. Ads helping a little but are not sufficient. The present style is just as economical as the old for to produce. There is still a lack of photographic THE TEXAS CAVER and written material being sent. Finances are sol vent but may not be is more subscriptions are not received. SAFETY and RESCUE (Gary Parsons)A project will be held July 13 & 14 at Cascade Caverns. Two members from each grotto are urged to attend. Come with the project in mind and help maintain good relations with Mr. Bridges. No cave trips outside of the project are scheduled. TSA Publications (Ronnie Fieseler)COMMERCIAL CAVES OF TEXAS is progressing and should be finished in another year. Ronnie needs photos and would like to obtain historical ones A check list of caves will be published so that people can check their photos for possible pictures or slides of use for reprinting in the book. CAVE GATE (William Russell) The new policy is concerned with not how to build a cave gate but rather how to maintain one. A copy of the new pol icy and updatings will be sent to the grottos, TEXAS CAVER, and secretary once a year. (Note I was unable to obtain a copy of this.) TSA LIBRARY (Ollene Bundrant)-It is requested that all past TEXAS CAVER exchanges be given to the library after the TEXAS CAVER editor has finished utilizing them for possible material. TREASURER (Barbara Vinson)-Balance as of April1, 1974: $308.52 OLD BUSINESS CorrectionsTSA PublicationsCaves of McKittrick Hill is "progressing slowly" rather than "is almost complete". TSA ProjectTom Wright read the proposal presented at the last BOG. Neal Morris moved that the Fall BOG be held in conjugation with the An nual Ear Bust and Body Roast. Ronnie Fieseler seconded. Discussion followed. Neal Morris stated that the tentative date of the Ear Bust & Body Roast will be a month after the Labor Day Project. Motion was made to cease discussion on proposal. Motion passed. Vote on the motion presented by Neal Morris passed with a majority. TSA Patches May now be purchased from Glenn Darilek for a dollar each or eighty cents each for orders of 10 or more. Decals were too expensive After some discussion it was moved that a committee be formed to study the feasibility of decals and present it at the next BOG. Jerry Lindsey seconded. The motion was passed. Ronnie Fieseler, Terry Raines and Neal Morris were appointed to the committee. "Cave of the Winding Stair" It is now part of the library and is available for showing to TSA grottos. Old Caver Account-Mike Moody has been paid $63.98, closing out the old TEXAS CAVER debt. 169


Split in Sec.j'I'reas. Position-The motion has been brought up by Jerry Lindsey that these offices be separated. The motion was made that the TSA by laws Article II, Section A read: The offices of the TSA constitute the Executive Council and are: Chairman, Vice-chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer, and that Section A, Article 3 read separate names and positions. Alicia Wisener seconded. The motion was defeated. NEW BUSINESS Reading of the request of the Rhodes asking sup port for their censure of CAVES OF COLORADO was postponed as Steve Fleming who had the state ment was not present. Glenn Darilek read a letter from Nick Noe con cerning a program for cave registers. Nick asked for volunteers to work on the NSS Cave Register Committee which he heads. Termite and Noal Sloan expressed interest. Noal was appointed to head a Cave Register Committee. It was suggested that Don Broussard would be interested in working on the committee. That the committee work with the Cave Gate and Conservation Chairman was also suggested. The request from Linda and Doug Rhodes was read with the return of Steve Fleming. The mot ion was made that the TSA await the NSS official recommendations before making any decisions. The motion was passed. Ronnie Fiesler spoke for Carl Kunath in reminding the TSA that Carl has at his discretion from the treasury $100 for use toward the book THE CAVES OF McKITTRICK HILL. Ronnie Fieseler if any names had been sug gested for the Preston McMichaels Award. None had been presented. An amendment to the Cave Gate Policy was pro posed. A motion to recommend that any person or grotto gating a cave should with the permission of the land owner give the Cave Gate Chairman a key or combination with the stipulation that the information will not be released without permiss ion of the gater or landowner. The motion passed. Ronnie Fieseler moved that the TSA approve a test of the TSA Cave Rescue Number by James Jasek and himself. Noal Sloan seconded. The NSS is considering a similar emergency number on a national basis. Since there had not been a test of the system, it was suggested that a test should oc cur annually. The results being reported back to the TSA and NSS. The motion passed with a maj ority. (Note Mike Walsh proposed an addition to the by laws. It was seconded by Ronnie Fieseler. Al though it was passed, I was not able to obtain a copy of this motion.) 17C NOMINATIONS Chairman Fred Paschal by Neal Morris, seconded by Ronnie Fieseler. Vice-Chairman Wayne Russell by Karen Clements, Greg Passmore seconded. Sec./ Treas. Barbara Vonson by Ronnie Fieseler, seconded by De De Paschal. Some discussion of the accepted procedure for nomination occured after the nominations were closed. It is a signed accept ance of the position nominated and a second on the nomination. An addition to Mike Walsh's motion was made. Any person Wishing to nominate a person through the TEXAS CAVER should have the approval sig nature of the nominee and the signature of a second to the nomination. The motion passed by a maj ority. Pete Lindsley stated that an excerpt to ex plain this procedure should be put in the TEXAS CAVER. Ken Griffin asked that the nominations include a resume ANNOUNCEMENTS MSR Helmets are being sold by Jerry Lindsey. The meeting was adjourned to drink beer and eat sausage, beans, and baked potatoes. Respectfully submitted, Barbara Vinson Secretary TSA THE TEXAS CAVER


nss by Glenn Darilek 1974 NSS CONGRESS OF GROTTOS This year's Congress of Grottos meeting at the NSS convention was a two session marathon event which seemed to separate the true champion hagglers from the less dedicated political onlookers. The congress was scheduled to be over in time for the convention picnic and party, but at the desig nated quitting hour, only about half of the business had been taken care of, so the meeting was recessed. Regretable the only possible time slot in which to reconvene coincided with the peak of activity at the party, hence only the most dedicated (or most inebriated) returned for the remainder of the meeting. Some may be disgruntled at some of the proceedings at the meeting as I will outline, but all I can say is you should have been there. All the crying and moaning in the world will do no good un less it is brought to the attention of those who can do something about it. I felt that this was my cha nce to be heard, so myself nad a few other Texas Cavers went through the ordeal of this meeting. I will mention some of the more interesting or unexpected issues that were dealt with, and state the outcome so that you might be more informed. Delegates totaling 124 voted to condense conser vat ion and local coverage in the NSS News and in clude more feature articles. Thirty nine voted to expand the News to include more feature articles and 26 voted to leave the News alone. The NSS Recruitment policy was unanamously e ndorced by the COG, a suprise since much has been written against this policy. Only 17 votes were cast to make provisions for 4 -wheel drive contests at NSS Conventions, and 80 were against the contests. Sixty-two votes were in favor of the contests if an appropriate area exists. The next issue involved the public display of 'symbolic devices' (e.g. bumper stickers, patches, T-shirts, etc. ) with cave related themes. Seven votes encouraged them, 119 votes discouraged them if they weaken the societie's position on conser vation, and 59 took no position. It was generally agreed that NSS decals, NSS license plates, and non descriptive slogans such as "Troglodyte" were o.k., but "We Cave", "Caver", and "This Car Stops at Every Cave" were not acceptable. The "Caves of Colorado" issue was broken down THE TEXAS CAVER into a series of conservation questions. By a vote of 143 to 7 a resolution was passed to oppose the publication of specific locations of "wild" caves in works intended for the general public. By a vote of 124 to 25 it was decided to recommend to the NSS BOG that a NSS Bookstore committee be formed to formulate a policy for its operation. However, a motion failed (60 for, 123 against) which was to oppose the sale of publications which provide cave locations to the general public (e.g. Caves of Colo rado) by the NSS Bookstore. By a vote of 111 to 71, a resolution was passed to the effect that the NSS is dedicated first and foremost to cave conservation with study and exploration taking secondary roles. In the closing hour of the BOG meeting a broad range of conservation issues were acted upon, most passing almost unanamously including; informing publishers of cave related information as to relevant NSS policies, including adequate conservation and safety information in general caving publications, preventing the indiscriminate use of caving information from grotto publications by encouraging copywriting, taking legal action against offending pub lishers, and recognizing the individual regions pol icies towards publication. A vote of 105 to 77 against was cast to censure those publishing cave lists for distribution to the general public, but an almost unanamous negative vote revealed that NSS members were not against general publication and disemination of cave related material other than scientific papers or grotto publications. Well these are the highlights of the COG meeting, the result of almost twelve hours in session. The meeting adjourned at 2:30 in the morning. Many of us delegates made the quiet leisurly walk back to the campground, silently contemplating the real ization that we had done what we could to pre serve the best interests of caves and caving. GD [. i SUBSCRIBE NOWyj 171


'WhaS cookin' BabyP Well here it is ... the last of good ol' Betty's sporadic columns. Now don't cry in your beer fellow cavers and camp cookers. Sure you'll miss your sweet Betty ... but that's tuff stuff. That old fool with the wild hickory nuts, Euell, has run off with Fannie Farmer and took my svea stove. Left his ol' Betty with a broken heart and a gar age full of wild cabbage. Now here's the good part; that dashing young whippersnapper Speleo T. Agnew was just waiting on Euell to leave. It seems he fell in love with my secret super-wazoo granola and proposed the day Euell chickened out. Yezzir, yours truly and Speleo will tie the knot soon in the tradition of Carta Valley Sucks by having a super double-macho wedding in that caver's cave-Wonder Cave. And me the blushing bride! Woohaa! I'll drink to that. Where's that bottle of gin? Here. (Gasp) Eeehaa! Look out Speleo, you devil you. Anyway you're all invited. Kristofferson will be best man and the 172 Carta Valley Choir will sing "The Egg Plant that Ate Chicago". It'll be the social event of Texas. Since I'll be busy cooking and keeping cave for Speleo T., I'll not have time for such foolishness as writing for the good ol' TEXAS CAVER (although I'll really miss that handsome heartbreaker editor Ken Whatsisface ). So ... it's only proper that for my final number I lay on you the never before published, dynamite, man-catching granola mix receipe. Pass it around on your next cave trip and stand back. Everyone will propose. Guys and gals. What ever turns you on. Well damn, caver cooks, it's been a fun year. Ol' sweet Betty is gonna miss your sweet little caver butts. I'll take another blast of "the hair of the dog" and (gulp, gulp) eeeeha! say good caving and good cooking. And remember you are what you eat. And Euell, where ever you are, drop dead. BSC THE TEXAS CAVER


July 19, 1974 Texas Speleological Association Glenn Darilek, Chairman Mike Walsh, Vice Chairman Barbara Vinson, Secretary-Treasurer .James Jasek 4190 Lakeshore Drive Waco, Texas 76710 Dear Jim, Th officers of the Texas Speleological Association are pleased to present to you the Preston McMichael Award for 1974. We deeply appreciate what you have done for the TSA in the past year. Your interest and action in the Texas Caver, the Safety and Rescue Committee, and caving in general over the last several years is matched by no other person. You have shown what hard work and dedication can do for the betterment of caving and speleology. We hope you will accept the award of $25.00 as a small token of our appreciation. Sincerely yours, XXX: The Executive Council THE TEXAS CAVER 173


(and other letters) Dear Ken, The TEXAS CAVER has an attractive physical format, and most of the stories and caving reports are fun to read (although a little editing for spell ing might help now and then). I have one big complaint about the June/July issue which arrived today. The ad about "Keep Abreast" (p. 118) is in very poor taste and a bla tant example of sexism. I consider it insulting not only to women cavers but also to the image: of the male cavers which it suggests. Is that all that at tracts them? It seems that there are enough ex citing aspects of caving without having to resort to this kind of appeal. Best wishes to you in the positive things you may do for a good image of cavers and caving. Dear Ken Mrs. Evelyn Streng Seguin, Texas In the June -July issue of TC you credited "David Finfrock & A.S.S." with writing an article on Alicia Wisener for the A Caver series. I did take the picture, but lets give credit where credit is due. The article itself was all the work of John Gale whose literary genius has already brought Texas cavers the Bored of Governors article in the April issue. Don't think that John threatened me and forced me to write this letter just so he could satisfy his ego. On the contrary, I just don't want my good name and reputation soiled by claiming responsibility for such trash. David Finfrock College Station Somebody should show John Gale how to write his name Editor Dear Editor (and TSA) On August 13 I talked with James Jasek by phone concerning the TSA Labor Day Project notices. He stated that he had not received them but had received the BOG notices. Fortunately he decided not to insert them into the TEXAS CAVER as requested. Since I had not seen the photograph on the inside of the notice, I accepted his judge ment. The following day I called him to inform him 174 that I would accept full responsibility for prevent ing this particular offical TSA notice from being mailed out. I stated that the TSA would pay to have it reprinted. Unfortunately he had already mailed it out along with my Labor Day notice. Since James had received the TSA BOG notices from the TSA secretary and had received no infor mation to the contrary, he bears no responsibility for mailing this notice. I must strongly protest the lack of good taste exhibited in this notice. I do so on both an offi cial and-personal level. It is obvious that those re sponsible for this notice have lost contact with the problems involved in caving in Texas. The TEXAS CAVER goes to cave owners, libraries, and com mercial cave owners in addition to the run of the mill cavers. These people all consider themselves associated with the TSA. This notice promotes not just another body roast but it promotes the TSA on an official level. I feel that one would be hard pressed to find any similar example of bad taste in all the TSA history. Second, although I am officially charged with "meeting and program arrangements", I was not contacted by those preparing this notice. This is often the pattern in such questionable matters. Third, on a personal level, since I am in charge of such affairs and since the notice appeared with my Labor Day notice, several people have express ed surprise that I would be connected with a notic e which can only hurt the TSA reputation. To this, I must answer that the best way to assure that the TSA will not be used in such a way in the future is to express your concern at the BOG meeting. With this letter, I do not seek to officially cen sure any individuals but merely to assure that the TSA will do as they have done in the past, utilize good taste in any and all official TSA publications and functions. Mike Walsh Vice Chairman TSA Dear Ken: I feel that on behalf of the membership of the Temple Caving Association, I must bring to your attention, and the attention of your many readers, a gross and flagrant insult against the TCA nade by the aggie caving group. In the June -July TC, the Temple Caving Assn was remarked as being the Temple Caving ASS. by David Finfrock and friends in Alicia Wisener's glory article. I would have let this go by if I thought it was a normal mistake, but I then looked closer and observed that the letters were capital ized This made the membership of our club as well as myself quite irate. It was quite aggravat ing to see our humble little organization placed in THE TEXAS CAVER


the same category as the aggies. As most will agree, all cavers aren't asses; only an unfortunate few. Ab breviating association in TCA as ASS. is like buying Goldline and calling it Manila. The membership of the Temple Caving Association heartily demands an apology in the TEXAS CAVER by the aggie caving group in the near future. I would also like to bring up the fact that if there is anyone interested in visiting Hill's Cave that was reported on by A. Richard Smith in the June -July TC, forget it. After the TCA was first formed, we made a trip to visit Mr. Hill and his cave. Much to our amazement, we found that he had had the entrance filled in with 23 truck loadds of dirt because of people going into his cave with out his permission, and also because of critters falling into it. We then walked off with our heads hung low concealing our innermost thoughts. G ary Parsons Chairman TCA A TTENTION TEXAS CAVERS: A major form of cave vandalism is the all-too often-seen names, jokes, pictures, profanity, etc. which is scratched, painted, sooted, etc. on cave walls or formations. A pollible solution to this typ e of vandalism is the cave register. A cave registe r is usually nothing more than an erosion-resis t a nt surface, such as a mylar plastic sheet, which is stored with a pencil in a plastic tube and placed in an obvious and accessible part of the cave. This prov ides a surface, other than the cave itself, on whic h people can take out their anxieties or hopefully just sign their names. [Reminds me of the old CV S U C K.S.grafiti boards Editor] The NSS is still plunging forward in the ever in c r e asingly difficult problem of cave conservation. The NSS is now organizing a cave register program throughout the country in order to hopefully cut dow n on the above mentioned type of vandalism. A t the Spring BOG a Cave Register Committee for Texas was organized at the request of the NSS. The committee as appointed now consits of Don Broussard, Ray Romike, and myself. In order to g et things rolling in Texas we need YOUR HELP! Please forward all information concerning presently e xisting cave registers, caves needing registers, and any opinions concerning cave registers and the handling of the Cave Register Program in Texas to: Noel Sloan 510 Wood Waco, Texas 76706 Remember, the condition of Texas caves and caving is of major concern to everyone and the re-THE TEXAS CAVER sponsibility of maintaining our caves is a responsi bility shared by all. So HELP STOP VANDALISM! The longer you wait before sending in information regarding cave registers the more damage to our caves is liable to result. Keep on Caving, Noel E. Sloan by Gary Parsons THE LIMB A few months ago, I and three others had a strange and terrifying experience in the northwestern part of Mexico. The other three cavers that were with me have asked me not to mention who they were for personal and emotional reasons. We arrived at La Gruta de Medusa around 4:00 A.M. on July 6th. We then crashed for about seven hours. After awakening, we went to talk to some of the locals in order to find out if they could tell us anything about the cave since all of us knew very little. All they told us was that it was very large and very wet. We then ate and started the four mile hike to the cave We admired the beautiful country as we hiked along the stream that flows into the approximately 35 X 35 meter entrance of the cave. After a pause for some picture taking, we followed the stream on into the cave. Almost immediately upon entering the cave, we noticed how the ceiling became higher and the passage wider. We had only gone about 80 meters into the cave when one of the cavers in the group noticed something floating in the water next to a large breakdown block. This certain caver went to investigate while the rest of us were taking some pictures. Upon reaching the object the caver went into hys terics and shock. The rest of us ran over to him to find out what was wrong and what he had seen. As soon as we saw the object, the rest of us felt shock, fear and disbelief. The object in the water was a complete, human, right arm. After coming to our senses somewhat, we grabbed a stick and fished the limb out of the water. After we got it out of the water, we noticed a crumpled, water-soaked piece of paper in the hand. We removed it to find that it was a note. We tried to read the note for about an hour because of the condition of the paper and faded ink. Finally we could tell what the note said. It read, I no tengo nadie!" 175


Roger V. Bartholomew A CAVE AIR SAMPLING BAG On June 22, 1969, Wayne Russell and Ihad just finished a survey of a fissure cave in West Texas and were at the bottom (-135 feet) putting the final touches on the sketch. To find the depth of a pool at the bottom, we lowered a waterproof flash light on the end of the survey tape. We lost sight of the light i n the murky water but we could feel it hit the bottom. The surface of the water was near the 7-foot mark on the survey tape. As we watched, several bubbles rose to the surface and broke re leasing some kind of gas into the air. The gas had a sharp odor to it and caused mild irritation to the throat. We figured that the gas was trapped in the mud at the bottom and was released by the flash light hitting the bottom. But what exactly was this gas which came up? This question was asked by me several other times during encounters with bad air in caves. I discussed the problem with a scientist who specialized in analysing gases and in determining their effects on humans. All that was needed was to bring a sample of the gas to his gas analyser. But the sample must be brought in a special kind of con tainer. The container had to be clean so as not to contaminate the gas but what was more important was that it had to be leakproof so that the gases would not leak out nor would others leak in and change the proportions of the gases present in the sample. The type container he talked about was made of glass and was expensive which are not ideal qualities for something to carry around in a cave pack. The gas analysis project had to be shelved at this point. However I have come across something which might do the job for the cav:ing situation. The ANSPEC Co Inc., P.O. Box 44, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48107 (313)971-1911, makes a special plastic bag out of Saran which is good for transporting gas samples. The company clailns that the material has the desirable qualities needed for transporting gas without significant contamination. This pro duct may be a help to a speleologist interested in finding out the type and the concentration of the gases encountered in caves. RVB 176 HEAT TRAPS by Roger V. Bartholomew Everyone knows that hot air rises and this property of air together with an inverted "U" shape in a cave's vertical cross section can result in a phenomenon which I call a heat trap. This situation can be easily detected during winter caving trips when there is cold air in the entrance passage of caves. At a point along an upward trending section of the cave passage a sudden change in air temperature is encountered. The air suddenly becomes hot and humid with a very small change in height on the slope. The hot air caught in the inverted "U" acts as a barrier to convective air movements. The implications of this phenomenon are very important because in two caves where heat traps were encountered, bad rur was found in th e deeper parts of the cave. One of the caves had about 200 feet of crawlway from its entrance area to a 90-foot pit. The heat trap was found about 50 feet from the entrance. At the bottom of th e 90-foot pit bad air was encountered which in creased breathing rates and caused carbide lamps to burn with a small bluish flame. [Funny. You don't look Bluish! Editor] The deep pit's bottle shape was the primary cause of the concentratio n of the bad air because it acted as a natural trap for the heavy carbon dioxide gas formed in the deca y of organic matter at the bottom of the pit. The heat trap was a less important cause of the concen tration of the bad air in that it lessened the fresh e n ing of the cave air by convection currents of air. Encountering a heat trap is a good clue and indi cation that air circulation in the cave is minimal In the other cave the entrance was a large walkin g passage (generally 20ft. wide and 10ft. high). The heat trap occurred about 500 feet from the entrance and in the deeper levels of the cave in creased breathing rates with mild exercise indi cated the presence of bad air. The occurrence of a heat trap seems to be a good indication that convection air movements i n a cave are minimal and that buildups of bad air ar e more likely to occur. The evidence which strongl y indicates a true heat trap is: a sudden rise in tem perature in an inverted "U" shaped cave passage. In view of its indicating that bad air may be pres e n t in the cave, I recommend that a heat trap should be marked on the cave map by a capital "H" with a semicircle over the top. 'i=j" Although i t may not be an infallible Indication that bad air will be encountered, it does indicate that bad air has a greater probability of being present in the deeper parts of the cave. THE TEXAS CAVER


TSA PHOTOSALON Winners TSA PHOTOSALON -1974 Best of Show "Orange & White" ... Carl E. Kunath Black & White First Place ... Wayne Walker Second Place ... Jim Hoehne Third Place ... Wayne Walker Honorable Mention ... Ronnie Fieseler, Vince Orozco, Wayne Walker Beginner's Class First Place ... Dale Pate Second Place ... Dale Pate Third Place ... Dale Pate Honorable Mention ... Stan Shaw, John Graves, Steve Gutting Humorous Class First Place ... Keith Heuss Second Place ... Keith Heuss Third Place ... Carl Kunath Honorable Mention ... Keith Huess, Vince Orozco (2x) Special Award for 1st to enter Bob Oakley Action Class First Place ... Steve Fleming Second Place ... Ronnie Fieseler Third Place ... Wayne Russell Honorable Mention ... John Graves, Wayne Russell, Vince Orozco Scientific Class First Place ... Carl Kunath Second Place ... Keith Heuss Third Place ... Keith Heuss Honorable Mention ... Carl Kunath, Dale Pate, Vince Orozco Open Class First Place ... Keith Heuss THE TEXAS CAVER Second Place ... Ronnie Fieseler Third Place ... Ronnie Fieseler Honorable Mention ... Mike Connolly, Carl Kunath, Steve Fleming Prizes were donated by: Fox Photo, Karen Clement, Studer's Photos, Cascade Caverns, Chuck Stuehm, John Allison, Glenn Darilek, Alamo National Camera Repair Servishop. FACTS ON JUDGES David L. Wood (Woody) is a commercial artist with a wide interest in photography. His start in photography came when he attended the LICA school in 1948. As a co-founder of the Alamo Grotto, he has 18 years background in caving. Andy Wood (no relation to David) is an ins tructor of Psychology at San Antonio College and also does free-lance photography part time. Andy is a charter member of the San Antonio Grotto, and has 4 years experience in caving. Bill Ellis is a Consulting Geologist and Pro fessor of Geology at St. Mary's University. Bill's vast experience in photography covers 28 years. Over the past 15 years Bill has caved extensively in five states and Mexico. He currently leads student field trips in geology and acts as a consul tant in San Antonio to the Water Development Board and to local agencies for ground water development. John C. Allison was the head judge. John is the chairman of the Alamo Area Chapter and has been active in caving for 15 years. His background in photography is spread over the past 25 years. He is the part owner of a camera repair shop in San Antonio. Entries -174 total (slides 146, prints 28) Black and white and color print divisions were merged due to insufficient color prints. Equipment was loaned for the photo salon presentation by Studer's Photos and Alamo National Camera Servishop. 177


by Tom Warden CAVING AREA INFORMATION At the last San Marcos TSA convention, a caver told me: "If you want to get information on pos sible caves in a new area, hunt up the local his torian. She may likely furnish you with better l e ads than you could find from any other source." I have always felt that because of the presence of gypsum and a limestone-gypsum mixture, that the ar e a b etween Falfurrias and George West, like the gypsum lands of the panhandle could hide many caves unknown to us at present. Therefore, the last time I passed through Falfurrias, I got the name of Miss Florence Schuetz, a retired schoolteacher and local historian, 604 W. Blucher, Falfurrias, Te xas 78355. I mentioned some local rumors in my letter. Following is her answer: D ear Mr. Warden: Your l e tter of July 14 awakened a lot of mem ori e s ... of the days before locked gates and "No Tresspassing" signs. I've lived in this area since 1912 and used to roam the countryside with friends a s a form of recreation. While I was a teen ager living at Flowella, I met an e lderl y man by the name of Jim King. He had be e n a cowboy in his youth, which would have b e en about 1860 or 1870. He told us that where Falfurrias is now, there was then a running stream. He also mentioned an "Indian Cave" located some where southeast of Falfurrias. He could have meant the cave on Gyp Hill, but I got the im pression that this wasn't what he had in mind. I visited the cave on Gyp Hill on numerous oc c asions. It was cornacupia in shape, opening to the north It was 8 or 10 feet across the entrance, slop ing gentl y down to a depth of 12 to 15 feet, gently narrowing until we could go no further. After the mine had been in operation long enough to destroy the cave, I visited the site again. The cave had not ex t ended very far as a crack before it ended. The las t that r e mained was a slit about 18 inches long v e rticall y and 5 or 6 inches across About the bottomless water hole in Salt Lake bed : Around 1914 there were two gas wells that went out of control at White Point, near Portland. One of them exploded with a loud roar like thun d e r The next morning there were three holes in a dry part of Salt Lake bed One filled with sand v e ry soon afterward; the second lasting several months before dissapearing. The third, however, now filled with water, is still known as the bottom less pit and is as large as it was originally. As you 178 were told, I too have heard stories of attempts to find the bottom. I have also heard that the water level rises and falls with the ocean tides I visited that, too, when I saw the Gyp mine, but they are both now behind several locked gates. Another story that I heard about the Salt Lake came from an oil driller about 1929. A small wood en rig was working there, just west of the water hole. They drilled 400 feet, then struck nothing ness, apparently a bottomless cavern. They tried filling the hole with water but failed at that. Since they could not hit bottom again, they were com pelled to give up the site Sincerely yours, signed: Miss Florence Schuetz Miss Schuetz also furnished me with the names of the historians in Alice and George West. As soon a s they answer, I will report any leads that they might give me. TBW Commentary by the editor Thanks are due Ronnie Fieseler for the fine job of putting together the September CAVER. It was a terrific issue Sorry about the esthetic qualities of the Augu st issue. I was literally pasting it us before the cab came to take me to the airport. The superb articles, especially the Bill Helmer tome, should have made up for the imperfections in layout. Also, let me apologize for not being on the job as editor for almost 2 months. My business mad e it necessary for me to be out of the country. Need less to say, I didn't mind. I circled ol' Mother Earth from here to Hong Kong to Singapore to Australia, New Guinea, Bangkok, Pakistan, Arab ian Gulf, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New York and points in between. Didn't even get to cave (But if you've got 5 hours, I've got a few slides.) Now I'm back and this issue is a composite of October-November-December. Come to think of it, a quarterly plan is not bad for the TEXAS CAVER. Oh well, that's for someone else to de cide. This is my last issue (thank Oztotl!) and I've already turned my files over to the new editor for 1975, Jim Jasek in Waco. Jim has been helping with the CAVER since 1970 and contributing long before that. Now he's going to need your help. The least you can do is subscribe, but articles will surely help. KAG THE TEXAS CAVER


'1, ;:._ ; '.\ .... ; . ... : .: ... .... .. ' : : ..


FEAR! by Dale Pate Hiking down the creek, we all heard the rattle. One of the group being the closest to it jumped off the eight foot high ledge we were on. With a sliver, the snake was gone into a small crack and we continued on. We were looking for caves with no luck and the rattler had startled us. Fortunately we had been out of the reach of the snake Later that afternoon, we headed for Emerald Sink with the idea of doing the 142' drop inside the cave. The first one down the entrance chimney was stopped halfway down by the brash sound of another rattle or there could have been two of them. The echoes deceived our ears. The snake was in the darkness and we were uneasy. With the help of the second caver climbing down it was only a matter of minutes before the snake was dead. He was left at the top as a reminder to other cavers to beware. Each ledge on the chimney down could have held another rattler. Two had skins of the rattlers that had been there before. We continued through the cave with no more mishaps. That same afternoon we went over to Langtry Lead Cave. Our objective was to reach the Hall of t he Unicorns if possible. As we entered the sink, the ever presence fear of the rattlers was still in our minds Crawling into the entrance to Langtry Lead was slow and tedious for the possibilities of finding more rattlers were great. There would be no room to move if there was one in the crawl. We made it through and we had found no snake, but we still were anticipating one. We didn't know where the c rawlway that led to the Hall of the Unicorns was so we started checking around. Two of us entered one crawl and then we heard the noise in front of us. The first time we were still anticipating finding a snake even this far back in the cave. The next time the noise came we both stopped simultaneously for we had both heard it. As we were about to proceed on, we heard the noise once again in front of us. This time there was no time to talk, we had to get out of the crawlway for we honestly be lieved there was something there. We got out of the crawlway as fast as we could and we gathered our group of four together and told of what we had heard. We tried to theorize on what type of animal could have made the noise we heard. But the tensions brought on by the snakes earlier had come to a peak and our minds could not rational ize a real animal out of the sounds we had heard. We were afraid of something that held no context of being real, yet to us it was not imaginery. The THE TEXAS CAVER longer we stayed and talked the more real our imag inations became, if they were only imaginations. At this point we were afraid of what we didn't know. It was truly fear of the unknown. In our minds we gave the noises we had heard form, in telligence, and the ability to sense our fear. Finally we departed and headed for the entrance. As we were hurridly leaving, we felt the presence of this creature, imaginery or real, behind us, stalking us. It seemed that the closer we came to the en trance, the closer it came to us But it was hard to comprehend the direction in which our fear was directed at. Was it in front of us or behind us? Every so often we would encounter an obstacle such as a chimney and the waiting increased our feelings that the creature was near. At long last we were out of the cave, yet the feelings we had felt were still there. They didn't vanish with the sun light. Was our experience created by a real happening or was it an imaginary creation brought on by the rattlesnakes found earlier in the day? The noises were certainly there and all four of us felt the same type of fear in the same way. Somehow I'm inclined to think that the tensions brought on by the rattlesnakes only brought us to a point where we could truly sense the cave as something other than just a cave. I have found that each cave has a different feel ing and most are hard to express or even feel unless it is that feeling that one is looking for. I'm sure most cavers have felt one way or another in some caves which was a totally different feeling than he or she has ever felt. I've related the way myself and three other caving friends of mine felt and what occurred to bring us to the point of sensing fear for a cave. To me caves are more than just caves and the only way to really find out what each cave is like is to sit in the darkness and by using one's senses, try to determine things about the cave that aren't normally perceived or thought about. DP 181


DATE: May-June, 1974 DESTINATION: Mexico, Guatamala, Hondura, El Sal vador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Columbia, Venzeuela, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, louisianna, Texas, and points between including Cuba. PERSONNEL: Don Broussard, T. Wright REPORTED BY: T. Wright We went caving, then crashed, got up the next morning had ham and eggs for breakfast then went home P. S. Oztotl lives!! DATE: 6-7 July 1974 DESTINATION: Zirkel Ranch, Bandera County PERSONNEL : Carol, David and Randy Finfrock, Michael Masser, John Ottea REPORTED BY: David Finfrock Since I'm in a student caving organization (ASS) my underground activities naturally diminished during the summer. In fact my only caving trip all summer resulted from a lead by one of my sister's fellow teachers at a San Antonio high school. One of Michael's students told him of a cave on her family's ranch west of Medina. We drove there Sat urday and spent most of the day in the Medina River which winds through the ranch. The Zirkles were estraordinarily friendly, inviting us to an im promptu softball game with the entire family which had gathered for a 4th of July reunion. Afterwards they asked us to their home for a barbecue dinner then urged us to stay well into the night chatting. and making us feel like part of the family. Sunday morning they drove us out to the cave sites, with Allen Zirkel and 10-year-old Susan accompanying us into Zirkel Pit which consisted of a five meter c himn ey into one small room below. For Carol, Randy, and Michael, this was the first "wild" cave 182 they had visited, while John had done some caving in the San Antonio area. The Zirkles then showed us the entrance to Main Hollow Cave (so named because it is located in the "main hollow" of a creek running through the ranch.) The floor of the front room was thickly coated with wet guano and mud, but a second room was dry. Its three foot high ceiling was covered with foot-long stal actites; and a small lake Michael discovered rim med with travertine and surrounded by stalag mites and columns, made the crawl through the guano worthwhile for the novice cavers. In my one year of caving, this trip has to rank as one of my favorites; not because of any spectacular formations or hair-raising adventures, but because of the friendliness of the Zirkels, who from the first made us feel like old friends rather than grody cavers. DATE: june 15, 16 & 17 DESTINATION: Groman Falls and the FIRST ANNUAL TEMPLE CAVING ASSOCIATION'S BEER AND EATS PARTY. PERSONNEL: Debbie Flanagan, Bruce Bonner, Frank Sodek, Frances McCauley, Jane Laurens, Tommy Joe, David Foster, Gary Parsons, Mimi Laurens, Jim Jasek, Pernell larsen, liz Rahe, Mark Mayfield, Noel Sloan, Jimmy Schroeder. REPORTED BY: Gary Parsons It all started on a beautiful Saturday afternoon when some of the people started arriving at Gorman Falls, eagerly awaiting the mystical moment when the keg would be tapped and the food consumed. While awaiting the magical hour, the cavers that were present challenged some of the non-cavers in the camp to a baseball game. Need I say who won? That evening, much brew was consumed as well as a fair amount of food. There was also plenty of good conversation and the regular bs of the day. The next morning, after a short period set aside for recuperation from the previous night, Noel led a group of cavers into Gorman Cave while Jimmy, Jim, Mimi, Jane, Frank, and I went to find Cedar Log Cave and maybe some new ones. We found a very large and neat crevice which was quite fune to climb around in, and Wedge Cave and Cedar Log Cave were found. We made a short trek into each one and then returned to the camp. Upon return ing, many of us went for a refreshing dip in the soothing waters while a few of the others prepared for their perilous journey homeward. Around late afternoon, all said their goodbyes and everyone left, well almost everyone. Jane, Bruce, David and I stayed for another evening of relaxation under the stars in the good ol' out of doors. The evening THE TEXAS CAVER


of the sixteenth, we went about halfway through Gorman Cave to take some photos. After our momentous journey was over, we crashed. We woke up the next day, believe it or not, and went home. DATE: June 9th DESTINATION: Lone Bat Cave, Cedar Log Cave PERSONNEL: Gary Parsons, Alicia Wisener, Paul Bonner REPORTED BY: Paul Bonner This was one of those little peediddly squat Sun day trips taken to compensate for the privation of another week of honest work. We took our time g etting to Gorman falls by noon. Gary shot fotographias and collected millipedes in Lone Bat Cave. The fabled fissure of Cedar Log eluded us; and we spent the remaining afternoon, bushcrashing observing wildlife in a stagnant pool, and playing in the river. The T.C.A. urges you all to please remember that trip you took last month, chain yourself to a desk for a few harmless minutes, and make up a s tory about it. Most importantly, send it to the T EXAS CAVER! DATE: August 10.18, 1974 DESTINATION: 1974 NSS Convention, Decorah, Iowa TSA PERSONNEL: Ronnie and Susan Fieseler, Neal Morris, Barbara Vinson, Carol Russell, Blake Harrison, Don Broussard, Louise Powers, Bill Mayne, Jim Craig, Ernst Kastning, Jon Everage, Frand and Janet Gheigo, Robert Hemperly, Frank Binney, Peter Strickland, Craig and Stanley Bittinger, Pat and Molly Asnes, David Jagnow, T. R. and Janie Evans, Ed Alex ander, Angie Mclaughlin, Ed Fomby, Tom Byrd, Jim and Mike Moore, Freddie Poer, Nancy and Terry Sayther, Roy Brooks, Susan German, Ivy Atherton, Peter Sprouse, Dwight and Sandy Deal, Terry Raines, Jan Lewis, Janie Laurens, Nancy and Squire Lewis, Glenn Darilek, Various children of the above, and probably others I missed and displaced Texans Phil Winkler, Dan and Francis Murphy, Roger McMillan, Russ Harmon, Steve Huselbus, Barry and Patty Beck, Gil and Jill Ediger. REPORTED BY: Glenn Darilek This trip report is intended to report the activi ties of the above Texans at the convention. We all a rrived at various times in various vehicles, some s oon enough to take full advantage of caving field trips to Minnesota's Mystery Cave. This is a very large cave (25 km long) with two commercial ent rances, but much wild and some unmapped passages in between. Large trunk passage interspaced with baffling mazes made this the feature cave of THE TEXAS CAVER the convention. Other caves visited during the week were Decorah Ice Cave which featured ice inside the cave almost year-round. Bridgeport Cave (formed entirely in sandstone and has Wisc onsin's largest single cave room), Miller Cave, (32 meter pit), Skunk Cave, Jesse James Cave, Kickapoo Caverns, Spook Cave, and other caves were visited on the historic and geology field trips. All of the caves were quite cool and required at least double layers of clothes for dry caves, and heavy wet suits for wet caves. Texans who were involved in the program included Barry Beck, who gave a talk on Karst areas of Puerto Rico, Russ Harmon, giving a talk on Castlegard Cave, the Speleohistory field trip led by Ernst Kastning, a talk during the History session on Caves of Fantasy given by Ernst, and David Jagnow, formerly from Iowa, now living in Houston, who gave the Banquet Program on the discovery of Coldwater Cave, Iowa. Jill Ediger chaired the Women in Caving workshop and was later elected vice-chairperson of next year's Conof Grotto's meeting. Louise Powers was very mstrumental in initiating the BOG travel fund which helps less affluent NSS members who are on the NSS Board. Jim Craig led the program at the picnic, and Peter Strickland and Blake Harrison gave demonstrations on vertical techniques. Neal Morris came in third in the crawling con test, and Bill Mayne won first place in the Men's Mechanical ascender 400 foot climb in the 20-29 age bracket in the vertical contest. Of course Frank Binney was there with the latest Inside Earth issue, and Terry Raines, Jan Lewis, and Janie Laurens were selling AMCS Publications, and Ronnie Fieseler sold several subscriptions to the TEXAS CAVER. For me there is an uncontrollable fascination with visiting a new area and its caves, and realizing the amount of work involved we should all thank the Iowa cavers for sharing their world with us and doing a wonderful job organizing the convention. Everyone had a good time, and many more were eager to attend the next convention in California DATE: September 21-22, 1974 DESTINATION: Airman's Cave, Cascade Caverns, and Cascade Sink. PERSONNEL: Bob Bliss, Geary Caldwell, Gerri Campbell, Paul Cecil, John Copp, David Finfrock, John Gale, Chris Hentzen, Alan Montemayor, Tom Oliver, Gary Owens, Sherri Sutton, Doug Symank, Wayne Walker, Blake Weissling, Alicia Wisener, and Paul Zaluski REPORTED BY: Alicia Wisener A.S.S. had its usual good luck with its novice trip to Gorman Falls. We were flooded out again so we 183


headed for Airman's in Austin, again. Wayne led the way in and everyone followed. John, Doug and I brought up the rear. After doing the first three long belly crawls, it occurred to me that this was my fifth trip in and reminded the guys that it was their third and did they really want to follow thirteen other people through the cave? We crawled back out and went over to the drag where we wandered through Whole Earth Prov. Co. and went to see Jane Laurens. Got back to West hill Street about 6:00PM just as most of the group was coming up the hill. Barton Creek managed to flood in the next ten minutes which freaked us out totally since it had been completely dry minutes before. Wayne, Paul, Blake, and Gary came out two and three hours later having made it to what they hoped was the end. We crashed at City Park that night. The next morning fourteen of us headed out to Cascade Caverns. Mr. Bridges let us go down to the lower level and everyone really enjoyed the tube. John and Gerri rappelled into Cascade Sink while everyone else rappelled into Peep in the Deep and thoroughly enjoyed being "ahhed" over by the tourists. Our thanks to Mr. Bridges for a really great time. 184 DATE: September 7-8, 1974 DESTINATION: Harrell's Cave and Gorman Falls area PERSONNEL: Bob Bliss, John Tim and Ross Cowden John Gale, Marianne Herzig, Phil Janks, Jack Mac Pitchford, Doug Symank, Alicia Wisener. REPORTED BY: Alicia Wisener After a long summer of abstinence (due to sum mer jobs) most of the ASSes were ready to get back into a cave, any cave. We left Saturday morn ing for Gorman's, signed our releases, and then headed for Harrell's. In due time we all made the drop; just as the first-droppers were ready to com e back out. Harrell's is just as muddy and guano-fill ed as ever but those who'd never dropped it befor e "appeared" to enjoy it. We exited in due course except for some gnurds who thought it was extrem ely funny to pull up the rope and leave three of us stranded for about fifteen minutes. After due bitching and profanity the rope was lowered. Upon emerging, we headed for San Saba to pur chase Coors for the evening. On Sunday Marianne led a bunch of fools and novices into Gorman Cave for a tour while Bob Jack, and Phil sewed on their Gibbs rigs, and J;hn, Doug, and I went wandering and caving up on the hill. THE TEXAS CAVER


....._ _... p'OW'\t: (A potentiru problem-I've never heard of -' one failing.) ...,... 1 I _ 6) Crimped on bulb contact is also difficult t k nl1 e to repair in the field (from experience!) e ll S"-efbOfn b"' 6\\\ ,, Helpful Hints: 1) If you use the lantern battery, tum the UGHT READING Electric light is a natural for the beginning caver, yet very little has been directed to the selection of a good electric cave light. Hopefully this article will help fill a part of that need. While it does not offer a checklist to consult, it does compare four headlights giving strong and weak points of each within their respective catagories and in some cases detailing minor modifications to increase the re liability or utility of the light. Headlights The four headlights are the Ray-0Vac, Justrite, Pifco, and Wonder. All except the Pifco are suit able for cave use although some are better than others. RAY-0V AC-The Ray-0Vac, or one of its imi tators, is probably almost every caver's introduction to electric caving since it is so widely available. It consists of a lightweight plastic, fixed focus lampholder/reflector combination which utilizes flanged bulbs and is intended to be used with a 6 volt screw terminal lantern battery. (Don't make the mistake of getting a spring terminal or 1112 volt battery, both of which are the same size and similar in appear ance!) Advantages : 1) Readily available 2) Low cost (about $4-$5) 3) Batteries have 50% greater capacity and lower connection resistance than 4 D cells. 4) Relative! reliable (although I have had 4) Relatively reliable (although I have had some wire-to-bulb contact problem). Disadvantages: 1) Plastic lens scratches easily lowering light efficiency 2) Battery is bulky and can be awkward in tight spaces 3) Alkaline battery is not available 4) If you're tall the cord will probably be too short (even one inch too short can be extremely annoying in a cave) and it is difficult to lengthen without splicing, which is not recommended. 5) Switch is enclosed and would be next to impossible to repair in the field if at all THE TEXAS CAVER light off whenever you can; you' ll get much better service from the battery. 2) Consider replacing the standard PR13 bulb with a PR -17; it only uses 60% of the current yet gives more than adequate light-even for Mexican caves. 3) If you don't like the battery bulk but do like the lamp, try the modification out lined by Mike Connolly in the June/July 1974 CAVER. JUSTRITE-Yes, the famous brass and infamous plastic carbide lamp people also make electric lights. Unfortunately the electric lights also come with metal and plastic battery containers-but more on that later. The Justrite lamp unit is its strong point. It is all metal except for the glass lens and is readily tilted up or down. The lens/reflector assembly screws onto the main housing, a feature which allows the light beam to be focused from an extremely diffuse beam to a spot. Unscrewing the reflector completely reveals screw-terminal wiring and the most elementary of switches both of which are easy to repair or bypass should the need arise. There is also a clip with a spare bulb behind the re flector a nice touch -and room for half a dozen more bulbs should you desire. Now for those lamp holders. Justrite originally built a very compact metal battery box which loaded from the top. The terminals were phosphor bronze strips which were spring loaded against the batteries. They were subject to relaxation, but were easliy bent back into the proper position. They were also subject to corrosion and the lower contacts were real bears to clean, but this was a small price to pay for the overall reliability About the same time Justrite came out with their plastic carbide light they introduced a battery case made of the same material which opened from the side. It was a little bulkier than the steel case, but the noncorrosive plastic had to be an ad vantage, and the side opening feature would make cleaning those contacts much easier. Unfortunately the side opening case also turned out to be a self opening case and it usually chooses to open over a 30 ft. pit, depositing your batteries at the bottom. This problem is compounded by the fact that the contacts are improperly supported and must be adjusted frequently unless a fix is made. All I can say is if you find a metal case latch onto it! Failing that the hints given below should enable you to make a serviceable unit. 185


Advantages : 1) Rugged construction 2) Easily adjustable for focus and tilt 3) Readily repaired in the field 4) Wide variety of screw mount bulbs available Dis advantages: 1) Glass lens subject to breakage (but easily repaired) 2) Battery contacts must be kept clean 3) The clip on the battery box is not adc equate for holding the box on belt. In combination with the short cord syn drome this produces the annoying result of the box pulling off your belt every time you get into a difficult position. 4) Plastic battery box requires modification to be suitable for caving (see below) Helpful hints: 1) Cord can be lengthened by using ordin ary lamp cord -the clear plastic type will last the longest. Crimp or solder termin als should be used at the ends and a strain relief knot should be tied. 2) Battery case (either type) should be carried in a pouch, pack or pocket. 3) Terminals should be cleaned with a pen cil eraser before every trip. 4) Plastic battery cases should be taped or rubber banded shut. In addition the phen olic strips holding the contacts should be supported with a wooden block or other rigid material to prevent deflection and loss of contact. 5) Justrite sells the lamp unit without bat tery box if you want to try something else and save some money. They also sell a hexagonal pattern diffuser lens, although I've never seen one. PIFCOThe Pifco is probably one of the most widely promoted headlights around. I've seen it in several catalogs and magazine ads although it is rarely called by name. I fist saw it in the Recre ational Equipment catalog and was intrigued by the contoured three cell battery case and efficient look ing rectangular reflector. It even looked good on cursory inspection when I received it. When I went into the cave it gave good light, but I had taken no more than 10 steps when the reflector unit began bobbing up and down as I walked A little tape fixed that but after 20 more steps the contact springs had deflected so badly the light was out. I re-bent them, but they only repeated their prior performance so I went back to the entrance (a short trip to say the least) and got my trust Justrite. If this isn t e nough to deter you from buying the 186 light, there is also a contact problem at the bulb and REI no longer sells it. Comments: Don't buy it! WONDER-I also came across the French Won der headlight in a catalog this time Ski -Hut. I was a little cautious because of my experience with the Pifco, and the fact that the Wonder required special batteries, but the small size and unique features of the Wonder intrigued me and I had had very good luck with the French disposable hand lights so I decided to order it. When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised. It has a very small metal battery case with a reflector unit on the front and a switch on the side. The headlamp is also small and is made of very heavy plastic ; it has a long cord with a quick disconnect plug to make electrical con tact with the battery case The shole rig is wired such that with the switch on but the headlamp un plugged the integral light is lit. When the head lamp is plugged in it lights and the integral light goes out. Very clever. In addition all of this circuitry is exposed in the battery cases and can therefore be repaired in the field very easily An other unique feature is the plastic bulbs. (Those Frenchmen must be awfully clumsy, mine usually burn out). Due to the diminuitive size, I had reservations about how long the battery would last-after 4 hours in a cave it had hardly dimmed. Unfortu nately I have not had an opportunity to determine useful battery life, but I doubt if it would be suit able for long trips. Nevertheless it makes an ex cellent child's light or backup light (it's nice to have a backup headlight when you have to use your hands) due to its compactness. It is also use ful as an auxiliary light with the integral reflector. Advantages: 1) Very compact 2) Long battery life for size 3) Long battery shelf life-over 2 years 4) Hand light and headlight in one unit 5) Rugged and easily repairable Dis advantages: 1) Requires special batteries and bulbs which must be ordered from Ski Hut, al though Wonder has recently started im porting a bicycle light which uses the same battery, so check the bicycle stores 2) Not large enough for really long cave trips. Helpful hints: 1) Store your batteries in the freezer, or find a bike shop that sells them. Other wise the Wonder is hard to improve on. Well that's about it for the headlights-if you THE TEXAS CAVER


compare all the advantages and disadvantages the Wonder comes out on top if only they made a larger version! As it stands now the Justrite with some judicious modifications is my choice for a long trip headlight with the Wonder (at about $6.00) as a backup. Hopefully you can make your own choice from the information given. Suppliers, addresses and prices are given below. In a future issue I'll do a number on flashlights. Ray o vac Almost anywhere; $3 to $5 Justrite Recreational Equipment, Inc. 1525 11th Ave. Wonder Seattle, WA 98122 ;$7.25 Justrite Mfg. Co. 2061 N. Southport Ave. Chicago, m. 60614 The Ski Hut 1615 University Ave. Berkeley, Calif. 94703 Something by Dale Pate LA BELLEZA DE CUEVAS Hay muchas maneras diferentes de expresar la belleza. Este es un mundo grande y bell en que encuentro muchas cosas. A me parece que las cuevas y las cavernes son uno de los aspectos mas hellos en la naturaleza. Mas inportante son las muchas formaciones que decoran muchas cuevas. Se encuentra belleza en formaciones mas grandes que casas y tan pequenas como una gota de aqua. Hay muchas formaciones diferentes. Las columnas son las mas grandes. Tienen origenes en el techo y continuan hasta el suelo. Algunas veces exto es muy solido. Hay "stalactites" tambien que tiened sus origenes en el techo. Hay "stalagmites" que crecen del suelo. Cuando un "stalactite" y "stalagmite" se adhieran, forman una columna. Hay otras' formaciones que parecen a com ida. Tiras de tocino se forman contra los muros y se parecen a tocino Unos pocos "stalagmites" se parecen a huevos. Algunos de las formaciones mas extranos son "helectites". Estas formaciones tienen sus origenes en la pared. Muchas veces crecen arriba y muchas veces crecen abajo. Desafian gravedad. Estas formaciones son mis favoritos porque son muy delicades y muy hermosas. "Flowstone" es otro tipe de formacion. Muchas veces parece que hay aqua rebosando sobre la pared, pero es roca solido. Las formaciones hacen muchas cuevas muy hermosas y muy impresionantes. Las cuevas mas hermosas que he visto estan en Mejico. Cuando tenga la oportuni dad, viajo a mejico para ver las cuevas mas hermosas del mundo. DP THE TEXAS CAVER We Sell Books Speleobooks has become the world's leading distributor of caving literature but we haven't changed our service. We still process orders within 24 hours and answer all letters personally Cave conservation is still more important to us than profits, even though it sometimes means losing business to stores with different principles. We now offer a selection of over 200 books on backpacking, caving, conservation, kayaking, mountaineering and other non destructive forms of enjoying the wilds. If you are not familiar with our service, we invite you to write for Catalog C which includes our caving addendum-it's free SpelealuDka P.O . all334 Allttlq....-, NM 17105 u..taMCIDo-....._ 'l;ilT CA.'-1 WE. t>d.' .... .. 187


3 on a match by Jim Mclane MEXICAN PIT In the spring of 1971 near Monterrey, Mexico, several tourists were led to the entrance of a cave by a road-gang laborer. The cave was small, but in the rearmost room there was a pit where, if a rock were dropped, it could be heard to fall free for sev eral seconds before striking something. Houston cavers had been visiting this area for several years, and as soon as we learned of this new discovery, we planned a trip down to explore the cave and descend the pit. Our gear included a brand new 400 foot piece of 7 /16" goldline and some new ascend ing harnesses of various designs, which we wanted to evaluate under actual cave conditions. At Horsetail Falls we strapped the rope onto the back of a motorcycle, and then proceeded up a jeep road into the mountains. After the customary searching through the brush, we located the cave entrance and clustered around the pit. The hole was about 3 feet wide and appeared to bell out after a short distance of vertical shaft into a room of unknown dimensions. We wondered if we had enough rope to reach the bottom, as on our trip up the mountain the goldline had tangled around the motorcycle chain, severing a length from one end. Also, the nearest tie-off point was several feet back from the pit. Taking the usual precaution of knotting a loop into one end of the rope, we fed it down the shaft and out of sight. Charles Fromen then rappelled in, followed by three more of us. Except for the first few feet of sheer wall, the shaft belled out and was free for 200 feet, then more or less climbable down another 100 feet. There weren't any passages lead ing off from the lower room, so after a quick look around Charles returned to the rope and climbed out. Mike Connolly and I arrived back at the rope with the same idea A lot of water was dripping down off the ceiling, and it was something like be ing out in the rain on a hot day, plus the place smelled bad. Since goldline stretches considerably, we knew that the last person to ascend would have a miserable chore taking in several feet of slack before even getting off the ground. Mike and I thought we would delegate this job to Ransom Myers, who was doing his first deep pit and wouldn't realize he was being stuck until we had already left for the surface. Since it was a new rope, we decided that it was safe to climb out in tandem. I pulled down on the line to take in the stretch, and Mike started climb-THE TEXAS CAVER ing. As soon as he was off the floor, I hooked my Jumars on and started up myself. 100 feet off the floor, I looked down and noticed that Ransom had finally returned to the rope and seemed to be sort ing out his equipment. I must confess that I felt a little guilty about leaving Ransom to be last, but even though he hadn't had much experience I didn't think he would have any trouble. I did feel bad, though, that he would have to wait down there in the rain while Mike and I were climbing. 150 feet off the floor of the pit I looked down again, and to my surprise saw Ransom climbing below Mike and me while we were still on the rope! But I wasn't too alarmed, since the rope was new and could easily support the three of us. Also, be cause of the vertical nature of the drop, there wasn't any danger of our kicking rocks down onto Ransom's head. However, as we neared the top of the pit, a serious and unforseen problem developed. The combined weight of all three of us had stretched the rope so tightly over the flowstone lip that it was absolutely impossible to slide our Jumars up the last few feet It would be a tricky maneuver for Ransom to change over and rappel back down, and I knew that I would be facing a struggle since my descending gear was in a back-pack and I wasn't even wearing a seat sling. Finally we saw a way out. By backing the Jumars down the rope a few feet we reached a spot where we could swing over to a small ledge and disconnect, allowing Ransom to climb past us and out. Then Mike and I took turns reaching out, grabbing the rope, clamping on, and heading up over the lip of the pit to the surface. Strangely enough, even though all of this took place a long way above the floor, in the dark there was no sensation of height and, at the time it didn't seem very dangerous. I learned several things from this experience. If there is a beginner along, don't let him be the last one to climb out. Wear a seat sling, be ready to rap pel back down if you have to, and try to think of all the possibilities before attempting something new, like climbing out in tandem. JCM 189


Corridors of Time Ed Swartz & Jim Bridges CORRIDORS OF TIME I wander through the corridors of time-ages of time. I come here often. Always I love what I see. Sometimes I seek solace from the cares of lif e. Then, usually, I go to that secluded spot where Crystal Lake sends forth the music of very tiny bells as drops of water strike its surface. Yes, one can find solace here and a balm for the hurts of one's heart. I suppose that I have spent more time within these corridors than any man with the possible exception of old Amos Wilson, the Hermit. It has b e e n sai d of him that he remarked, "I have found m o re happiness with a cave as my home than I eve r could have found living with contending society." Sometimes I can understand him. Sometimes I ca n appreciate his love of solitude. Here o ne can find solitude when the crowds are gone and the lights are turned off. Only the com plete d arkness, blacker than any night, with nothing more than the drip, drip of water to break t h e silence--produces such an effect. Oh yes, I hav e known this solitude--this si l e n ce-many ,many times: because much time has been spent h e re -alone. It may have been 3:00 in the morning when I came here to start the pump to clear the north passage of water before visitors arrived. It may have been almost a ny hour of the day or night as I have been here nigh on to 30 years. I ca me nearer to losing my life here than anywhere, anytime: while attempting to change a light bulb--slipping on a shelf almost 80 ft. above t h e floor level. I have never been able to understand what instinct made me throw my shoulder aga inst the ce iling--delaying my slide long enough to r ega in my balance. A frightening experience! To this day I walk rever ently under that place to t hank God for my deliverance. l t h as b ee n part of my mission to protect this b e a utiful creation of nature's artistry. Anyone attempting to deface it will find me in a most v iol e n t mood. I do not defile it: I want no one e l se to defile it. Let it's beauty be seen by 190 generations yet to be born. Sometimes I look at a mineral formation and wonder about its age in relation to the numb er of years I have lived. And I think how little it could have grown during my lifetime: how m any years it has been in the making before I began m y own life's journey. Corridors of time! Ages in the making! Adorned by mineral ornamentations themselves ages in the making--the cave breathes limitless patience. I doubt that any man has ever loved this place as much as I have loved it. This in spite of the fact that it has almost broken my heart and spirit many times with problems surrounding its commercial operations. However, the varied mem orie s of wonderful times and events offset, by far, the moments of despair. Wh e n I stand in Diamond Fairyland where, at the same time, I can hear the tiny bells of Crystal Lake--! am ready to admit that heaven's beauty is h ere --an d heaven's music. There is exemplary beauty h e r e--for seeing and hearing. I repeat, I do not believe that any man has ever lived who has loved these adorned corridors mor e than I have loved them. Nor can I forsee the time when anyone of future years will be able to surpass this love of mine. You may put down these ramblings as havin g emanated from the mind of a man in his dotage: yet be not too hasty in making judgment--for I have become a part of this place--and it is a part of me. I wander through these corridors of time. I come here often. Always I love what I see .. What you have just read, "Corridors of Tim e was written by Mr. Ed Swartz of Indian Echo Caverns, Pa .. You haven't really known a true cave man until you've known Mr. Ed. He is way past 70, and he has spent the greatest part of his adult life at the cave He is a wonderful person. I don't know if he still takes tours, but if he were able to take you on one, he would certainly romance you from the start to the finish. He knows and loves his cave as much as anyone ever could. His feelings about the cave reflect those of many of us who are not as literate and gifted with words as Mr. Ed. He is truly a lov ea ble person. JPB THE TEXAS CAVER


Taking A Dive by Chuck Stuehm THE KILLER SPORT Known deaths: 1974 ... 19 ( 7 months) 1973 ... 15 1972 ... 18 1960 -1971 ... less than seven a year What a terrible waste of Human Life!! Young lives, old men don't cave dive!! You are a Scuba Diver so that means you can cave dive!!! A lot of people died, so what, I know what I'm doing. Oh Chit! Chuck Stuehm is on his soap box again. O ;K. I'm sounding off again about the dan g ers of cave diving. Why? Cause I don't think en ough can be said about the most dangerous sport in the world. Dear God, when do we wake up? Fifty-two young people have wasted their lives in t he last 21h years. On Wednesday, Aug. 21st there appeared an article in a San Antonio newspaper datelined Gains v ille, Florida. It was written by David Desautels who is the Director of the Nat'l Association for Cave Diving. He gives the above figures on deaths along with this warning ... "The main difference between ocean or lake diving and cave diving is if you run out of air in open water, you simply come straight up. But in a cave you have to find your way back out of a labyrinth, often through water clouded by silt stirred up by the divers. Also nitro gen narcosis-Rapture of the Deep, seems to affect divers more in caves than in open water, and without proper safety lines to the surface, it's easy to become lost or disoriented in a cave and run out of air before you can find your way to the surface." It seems that equipment is a great factor of safe cave diving. Dave cautions the would-be cave diver with these words, "More safety equipment is re quired. An open water diver may outfit himself for about $200.00, the proper cave diver may in vest $1,800.00. This includes a wet suit, a weight belt, double tanks, with a special conversion unit, an 'octopus' breathing apparatus, and inflatable vest, a primary light equivalent to a 100 watt aircraft landing light, a backup light and a safety line on a reel." Now wait, before you say "he's nuts", think on the fact that this guy Desautels has been cave div ing for 15 years and he is still alive and kicking. Also he is still asked to go after the dead ones that wouldn't listen to him. He tells of 3 fellows that died this month that went into Jenny Springs near THE TEXAS CAVER Trenton with NO safety line, ONE flashlight between the three of them, ONE depth gauge and ONE pressure gauge. For 3 years now I have been trying to find a certified CAVE diving instructor, and I haven't found one in the whole state of Texas. Oh, there are a few diving instructors that claim they can instruct divers for cave diving, but they are not certi fied for this kind of diving. And just because they have dived into "Jacob's Well" a dozen times they think they know all there is to know about cave diving. Tain't so. It's a different world, a world that kills the ill-equiped, unprepared, and untrained diver. If we can get a CAVE diving instructor in Texas, I'll set up a training course as soon as he is available. So until we can get the proper training for you, DON'T GO CAVE DIVING! Now I'm not talking about pushing siphons for 25 or 50 feet. This is done quite a bit by some of our well known cavers. Those I know of won't do any extended passageways. (I hope) With proper equipment and taking the proper safety precautions, I guess pushing siphons is just another aspect of cav ing. But how far is a safe siphon? What should be the limit? What kind of situation lends itself to safe siphons or dangerous siphons? Should you have a backup team to come after you if you get into trouble? How can we best prepare for and train for "safe siphoning"? What are the right questions to ask ourselves? ? ? ? This message has been brought to you because 52 cavers have died in the last 21h years. CS ... o.."'d ... you"\ -\o CA. \J E:. R. d\-e.s S \ 4 \o -t'o: 53l5 LAUR.EL LAKE:. WACO, TE:XAS 191


a11 Cditotia l On Using the Last Bullet When I was appointed editor of the TEXAS CAVER, Volume 19, I asked Carl E. Kunath (former editor) if he had any sage advice or words of wisdom to help me during my servitude. "Don't use your last bullet" was his quick reply, as he displayed a sly and knowing grin. I forced a nervous laugh, choking down nauseating feels of doubt and regret, not really understanding his meaning. Ignoring such warnings from Carl and other knowledged sources, I optimistically and courageously plunged into a full year of obligation. My goal was to turn the good ol' TEXAS CAVER into something special with an appealing design and content worthy of being considered journalism with wide appeal. It has been difficult. I never seemed to have the time to do all the nifty things I wanted. I never really received enough good caving articles. We never had enough money either. But a degree of success with an impos sible goal will have to be good enough. It has been grand. It has been bland. It was swell. It was hell. And now it's over. I wouldn't do it again ... but I'm glad I did. None would care nor understand if I were to recap the ordeals and problems of the past year-so I won't. Suffice it to say I used my last bullet and didn't realize it. Now I think I'll go sit in a cave and try to get my mind straight. And if any aspiring editor asks my advice, I'll simply say ... "Don't use your last bullet." Ken Griffin 192 THE TEXAS CAVER


" 0 i )> o I ) I I ; I


The TEXAS CAVER BULK RATE U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. l423 Waco, Tx. 76710 4190 Lakeshore Dr./Waco, Texas 76710 RETURN REQUESTED FORWARDING PO STAGE GUARANTEED 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. Equip111ent 638 Westbury Square / Houston Texas 77035 / (713) 721-1530 591 Town & Country Village / Houston 77024 /461-3550 :.;.__

Contents: A cave /
Roger Bartholomew --
Thanx and no thanx / Speleo T. Agnew --
News & not-so news --
Spring BOG / Barbra Vinson --
74 NSS COG / Glenn Darilek --
Wha's cooking, baby? / Betty Crocked --
Preston McMichael award --
Flak (and other letters) --
The limb: Gary Parsons / Roger Bartholomew --
74 TSA photosalon winners --
Cave information / Tom Warden --
Commentary / Editor --
Fear / Dale Pate --
Trip reports --
Teknikal report / Bill Sherborne --
Something from Dale Pate --
3 on a match / Jim McLane --
Corridors of time / Swartz & Bridges --
Taking a div / Chuck Stuenm --
Editorial (A.M.F.).


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