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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Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
Technical Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


General Note:
Contents: Upper Hinton Creek Cave / William Elliott -- Upper Hinton Creek Cave map -- CMI 8 Ring / James Jasek -- Holloch / Thomas Kesselring and Willi Grim / Knots 'n kavers / James Jasek -- Holloch Map -- Kavers 'n knaves / Kristofferson -- Guano -- A day trip / James Jasek -- Caverns of Sonora / James Jasek.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 22, no. 07 (1977)
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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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K26-04613 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4613 ( USFLDC Handle )
11347 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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I The TEXAS CAVER Vo1.22, No.7 JULY 1977 CONTENTS UPPER-HINTON CREEK CAVE -by Hilliam Elliott. ..... 76 &PER HINTON CREEK CAVE YtAP 78 CMI 8 RING -James Jasek .. 79 HOLLUCH -Thomas Kesselring a 1d Willi Grimm . 80 KNOT: 'N KAVERS -James J ......... 86 HOLl' CH MAP ...... 84 KAVr:s 'N KAVES li istofferson ....... 87 GUAl 90 A D/ : TRIP -James Jasek 91 BEL! MAP ........ 92 CAVl 'lS OF SONORA MAP ........... 93 CAVF JS OF SONORA -James Jasek . 95 PRO" CREDITS: Cove photo: Larry Crawford examines twin soda-straws almost 6 feet long in Inner Space. Taken by James Jasek. fusj cover cartoon by Paul Streeter. Cant 1ts page cartoon by Paul Streeter. Insi 0! back cover: Aerial photo of the mountains around Bustamante, Mexico. Bad. photo: Jay Jorden in Upper Hinton Creek Cave taken by William Elliott. EXAS :AVER STAFF Edi rJr: Gill Ediger Typ: :lg : Jocie Tandy Other s : Ronnie Fieseler, Carmen Soileau, Kirkwood Kavers. issue was entirely edited, typed, and mailed by Jim and Mimi Jasek. ( .... -........... I i I -, j '\. l I / / .. _( ( ,, ( The TEXAS CAVER is monthly in Austin, Texas by the Texas Speleological Association. Subscriptions are $5 per )rear and should be sent to James Jasek at the above address. Material for publication should be sent to the Editor, Box 8424, Austin, TX 78712. Please send all addre3 s changes promptly to Jasek.


Upper Hinton Creek Cave W illiam Elliott It's regrettable that Texas cavers have generally neglected the vast caving potential of the extensive gypsum karst of Northwest Texas and the Panhandle. The recent discovery and survey of Texas' most spacious gypsum cave illustrates once again that good caving can be found in this sparsely populated region. Of course, there has been some activity in Northwest Texas in recent years. The Texas Cave Report Series' first issue (1976), edited by John Graves and John (Mike) Walsh, showed River Styx Cave, King, Co., to be 2557 m long-Texas' longest gypsum cave and an old favorite among many cavers. The Abilene cavers have been finding bunches of caves in Cottle Co. (see Dave Roberts' article, Jan. '77 Texas Caver). Jay Jorden, Kenneth Sloan, and Noel Sloan have done some work recently in the Shamrock area (April '77 Texas Caver), but the bulk of what is known about the area was published by James Reddell and Bill Russell back in 1963 (The Caves of Northwest Texas, TSS, val. 1, Unfortunately, that publication is out of print. Although I have been in Lubbock for some time, the only Northwest Texas caves I had been to were the old standbys, River Styx and Walkup (Hardeman Co.). In October 1976 I got the urge to explore some gypsum caves and I asked James Reddell, who was living in Lubbock at the time, if he could give me any choice leads from his 1963 exploits. He thought a bit, dug around for a topo map, and showed me an area near the Oklahoma border with a cluster of ten caves near "Lost Creek" Lost Creek gets lost underground and seems to flow out into Hinton Creek about 2 km away. Large, unexplored, or poorly explored sinks abound the area. "Hinton Creek Cave" had been explored for about 200 m upstream before Reddell turned around. It was a sizeable trunk passage. In November 1976, Craig Rudolph, Logan McNatt and I went to the area and succeeded in getting the owner to take us to Hinton Creek Cave (now called Lower Hinton Creek Cave). We had spent one day exploring a miserable, 120 m sinuous crawlway a few miles away at Dozier, which we called "Murray's Crawlway". We were delighted to find that "Hinton Creek Cave" was just what 76 Reddell had said, although some of it was extremely muddy. From a 12 X 18 m deep sink we walked, crawled and sloshed our w upstream for about 200 m to a pool floore with knee-deep mud. We were already fairl pleased with our cave, having photographed few hibernating Myotis velifer and a pipi trelle. Around a corner the cave cam e to a fissure-like upper entrance which required some clawing to get out of, since it was 1 above the water. We found ourselves at the southwest end of a 25X45 m,lOm deep sinkw the small stream flowing toward us and s' ing in leaves and talus 2 m from the entra The stream from the base of a small bluff 25 m away. No way could be found in. Logan checked a low, horizontal slit just the left, but it quickly pinched out. We started to wander off to the truck w hen Logan located a 1 m diameter entrance in t dirt halfway up the side of the sink. Afte a small entrance room in breakdown a nd a 3 climbdown, Logan and I were back at stream level in "Upper Hinton Creek Cave", sloshing our way through even larger trunk pass After 140 m we were in a 15 m diameter, 6 high room, and more cave lay ahead! We dec ed to go get Craig, camera and meal before venturing further. Later, we followed :he stream into a parallel, upper-level sl'lmp -zone. Logan found a wolf skull and bison bones. We photographed a tiger <= tlamander and collected bugs. The Amphit he tre (see photo) was impressive, the larges ( 2 1 X 37 m) gypsum room I've ever seen. I e since determined that it is the larges gypsum chamber in Texas, the closest 1 v al being two rooms in Border Cave, out in 1 b '3 Culberson Co., each having on y a out the floor area of The Amphitheatre. Th bi g gest room in River Styx is tiny compar d to this chamber, which is large even by 1 ije stone standards. Our hopes for a long system connect 1g t Lost Creek were soon dashed. Ninety m beyond The Amphitheatre the stream fil out of massive breakdown. Another uppe level slump-zone to the left led us 40 to a crawlway and we were out of time. Months went by, Logan finished his rk on an archeological dig at Lubbock and returned to Austin, Reddell and Rudolp' wer too busy with graduate work, and I was :avi


ouble getting anyone interested in the ng drive from Central Texas to explore an significant old gypsum cave. A call from Jay Jorden in Amarillo spark new hope for mapping the cave and checking e terminal crawlway. In April we met at a adside park near Lutie and mapped 293 m in per Hinton Creek Cave before abandoning e effort due to rain (see Jorden's trip port, April '77 Texas Caver, which errone uses Lower Hinton for Upper Hinton). gone only 15 m in the terminal crawly being stopped by breakdown. After eckh g around it didn't seem possible to fur:.:her so we mapped out to The Amphi1"1: ay Jay and I met again, finished the in an afternoon and a morning, and me black and white photos. This time hitheatre and surrounding rooms several thousand bats, probably .relifer. -'... .,... ,., The cave is 541 m long and has a total relief of only 9 m. The overburden ranges from 6 or 9 m near the lower end to 17 or 20 m at the upper end. According to the tapa the end of the cave is 200 m from a trio of sinks to the northwest. "Big Sink Collapse Cave" is another 1000 m beyond that, about halfway to Lost Creek. Reddell says it has been poorly explored and one could probably get into a good cave by crawling around through the breakdown. Three other caves lie farther on in the same line, and about 400 m from Lost Creek is a sink which the owner says blows "steam" in the wintertime. If there is a system there, it is probably truncated into several segments. Lower Hinton Creek Cave remains to be mapped, and the other caves have yet to be thoroughly explored. Jay is back in Houston, Reddell is inAustin, and I'm leaving Lubbock soon. Anyone care to take a crack at it? Looking upstream in The Amphitheatre, Upper Hinton Creek Cave taken by William Elliott.




Cm.i '$RING James Jasek Colorado Mountain Industries Corp. oown t o most of us as CMI has a very nteresting device for rapelling called the 8" Ring. The "8" Ring is a high strength ircraf t alloy aluminum hot forged which is and compact. Its design maximizes urfa, e area for strength and heat dissipaion. The ring weighs 4. 2 ounces, which is uch ; ess than several carbainers and brake ars. The finish on the Ring is a special, ough :modizing which will take an incredible W@i of rope wear and is an additional acto in dissipa.ting the heat generated by he r friction. Ra .lling can be done with 9mm, 10.5mm or lrnm ,pe, single or doubled. It has worked ell t h single 7/16 Goldline, and is very asy -' control. I plan to replace my break ars t h this device as it is much lighter e ier to carry especially when a lot f ot r equipment has to be carried. If ou a interested in getting one for your elf u can order it from CMI, 5604 Wooster ike, incinnati, OH 45227. The price was .50 us shipping. . -... . .. ... . . . : .. ... . . .. .. r l'\ol

HOLLOCH Thomas Kesselring & Willi Grimm Holloch (Hell-hole) is situated in the middle of Switzerland. At the moment the largest cave of Eurasia and within world ranks, only the Flint Ridge Mammoth Cave is exceeding it. There is just one entrance which gives access to more than 130 km of passage. It takes two days of travelling underground to reach the remotest regions of Holloch. However,this is only possible when all the needed equipment (ropes, ladders, rubber dinghies) are set in place. In the speleological scene of Europe, Holloch is a unique phenomenon. The following article should give the Texas cavers some information on this largest cave of Switzerland. (See the article by Dr.Alfred Bogli "New Investigations in Holloch", NSS News, Vol. 26, p. 156-164.) Holloch lies in the Muotatal (Muotavalley), in the canton of Schwyz, 15 km in the east of Vierwaldstattersee (Lake of Lucerne). In comparison with the huge system of Holloch, the karst area where it is situated is rather small. The waters in Holloch come from a surface of only 22 km2. Yet, the annual rainfall is very high: an average of 2400 liters falls on every square meter. All this water emerges in a spring on the valley floor. The output in winter is 300 liters, in summer 1000 liters till 5000 liters per second. The resurgence lies 640 meters above sea level. The highest point of the collecting surface is 2314 above sea level. Holloch' s lowest point is short distance beyond the entrance in a passage. Here, a syphon with its surface a the same level as the valley resurgence was dived 15 meters below this level. Holloch's highest point is to be found deep within th cave system, at the top of an aven, about 3 meters under the surface. Holloch is in Europe one of the few where passages mount many hundreds of meter upwards. Its entrance is at 7 34 meters above sea level, and the passages are 625 and 1450 meters above sea level. Today distinguish three parts which are connected with each other: (1) The major system, start ing from the entrance 6 km {beeline)' int o the mountain, ranging in altitude from 640 to 1000 meters above sea level. It dip s fro south to north, where the passages submerge in the groundwater level. To reach the encs this major system one walks about 1 0 krn tunnels, mostly steep ascending or down dipping. Altogether one climbs about 700 meters difference in height, only to be a the same level again as one started. (2) Another system lies in altitudes be '1vee 980 and 1450 meters above sea level. It ave lies most of the first half of the major High gallery 2 km from the entrance.


[ em. Today over 30 km are surveyed in 5 part of the cave, known as "Ho chsystem" i g h system). (3) The third system lies also ometers above the major system. However it erlies the passages toward the end of the o r system: "Gottergang" and "Blockgang" of the gods & Passage of boulders) 00 to 1250 meters above sea level. These three parts are situated i n chr atten" limestone of the lower cretaceous e s t one. The major system passes through e Silbern" format:i,on. They are separated a n inperm eable stratum. The system in the 0 for;'1ations are connected at two points: egens: hlot" (a 90 meter high aven) and a ssl:'r ;ang" (a tight artificially enlarged ueez t ) To pass through, one lies in a c 40 degree water (*F). The alloch research group (HRG) is the dy c rdinating all the e xploration. Its ic leader is Prof. Alfred Bogli a o f es r of karst phenomena, Department of ogr 'l! y University of Frankfurt D, and ofes r of karst hydrology at Teachers ller: Hitzkirch CH Although A. Bogli a n d vers belong to the Swiss Society o f ele o gy (SSS), HRG remains an autonomous gan j t ion, independent of SSS. Its undt> c ame originally from the Swiss p i n e : Lub (SAC), but meanwhile is independt f m this organization too. grout o f SAC Bern members working under t e r rgisser and Res Wildberger have been shi n lead s in the v ery difficult "Regan blot and in the western high system. HoL .c h seems not to have been known fure 870. Even though its entrance is tuatt a t the end o f a chasm, close to a lla g the first entering did not take ace t til 1875. The discoverer Alois Ulrich a n< ive of Muota Valley. Up to 1901 the ve w a not explored beyond 900 meters, er e a 4 0 meter high vertical wall "Bose nd" the way. It was January 1902 e n t h i.s obstacle was mastered and some 00 meters were mapped. In 1907 a single ver pcnetrated two more km but mapping was t carried on. A belgique society Ltd some 600 meters for tourists. fortuqately high water flooded this part e r y year and the electric installations r e torn away. Disappointed, the cave was for several years. In 1949 a new ploration period started. It was the SSS a d e r Andre Grobet and the SAC leader Hugo nlist which recommenced a serious survey. 81 In 1950 Prof. Alfred Bogli and three other fell ow cavers were trapped by high water, cut off from the entrance ten days. The news swept across Europe and made Holloch a very famous cave. Since this accident the exploration period is restricted to winter only: December till.February. Shaft in Upper High System The'major system was basically explored and mapped in 1959, its 70th km was mapped in 1960. At this time, Holloch was the largest cave in the world. Besides thelarge tunnellike passages ( ten meters wide by five meters high) numerous-small and narrow tubes were known. Many of them in places subjected to the yearly flood. Penetrating further is dangerous, even in winter. Elliptical profiles prevail in the major system. Even though this part of the cave yields an impressive variety of shapes, it does not show any dripstone formations and only few lakes and creeks. Since 1965 this has changed. With the aid of up to 1 2 meter long scaling poles avens and chimneys were conquered. In manner, two promising


leads were found. After blasting away a choking rock, the way was open to the high system. At the same time Max Gubser discovered the "Gottergang" in the remotest part of the cave. Holloch was no longer a single system: there were two more to be explored. Since 1966 HRG works in small groups and its members interchange freely. The long stays underground climax in well situated bivouacs. The first was set up in 19Sl, two years later the second. In 1966 seven and today even twelve. Some of the keen explorers have sleepingbags deposited in various places. Already in the fifties it was common to stay S to 8 days underground. The hightime of exploration being between Christmas and the third of January. With the Tempelgang fissure gallery in High Schstem. breakthrough to the high system it became necessary to erect bivouacs deeper within the cave. Without them it would have been impossible to reach virgin passages of less than three days spent underground. The group of Paul Berg was the first to realize several long duration .expeditions in the same winter. Some cavers stayed more than SOO hours (21 days) in one season in Holloch. The longest stay in a row was nineteen days. What were the results of such intensive explorations? (1) The High System. From the two bivouacs placed in the high system 4 to 7 km were mapped every year. In 1969 results decreased and the leads seemed become hard to push. Yet, it was in this time some of Hollochs most beautiful passages were found. In an upper floor of the high system,200 to 2SO meters underground (400 to SOO meters above the entrar. c l an intricate tunnel was discovered, bit. :Flowstone formations normally rare Holloch are abundant and very colorful. M the same time a series of creeks and huge underground canyons were surveyed, more than S km. Holloch contains several impressive water veins in the upper leveh, some 300 meters above the dry passages of the major system where every drop has to be searched for. "Regenschlot" (rainy aven) in 1970 is a new access to the high syste r Both routes would create some difficultie' should there ever occur an accident. The passages are for long distances very narr.ll Working there is the group of Pedro Gh. l in a new section about 300 meters above L2 system. It is here one has :reached. the highest point of Holloch -only 30 meters below the surface. Here too, the first alive was recorded in 1976! There is not much hope to gain more kilometers up here The few passages still to be explored are difficult and a long hazardous way leads :o1 them. Yet, three spots are only 60 meters below the surface. A lo' t of chimneys shou dl be checked, mainly in the region of t he "Ostschachte" (Pits in the east). Here in an area of 140X70 meters two km o f passages mapped: 70% vertical,20% very steep and the remaining 10% horizontal. A prom1s1ng lead is an almost 100 meter lo' i tube, 30-40 em high, 10 em of it cold, water. Although a strongbreeze blows, ob was keen enough to negotiate further. (2) "Gottergang" and "Blockgangsystern" l" February 1967, a SO meter high aven w2 climbed artificially, 12 km away from hE entrance. Its continuation was a six P ter high fissure passage. Here the remotef' bivouac was erected. Only two minutes ny Holloch' s top attraction waves: The sc 1var Dom (Black Dome), a cavern 106 by 66 rn ter and up to 80 meters high. Its entrance 1vel up an overhanging wall, SO meters abov th floor. This giant room will be set to thi under water each summer. A second entr nee into it was found in February 1976, ir: its ceiling. Up there another fissure pass. was mapped a few meters above the ceil g. It contains some of the most beautiful dripstone formations Switzerland has t,, offer. The hitherto end of this fissur 82


passage was reached on New Years Eve 1976, bl ocked by rocks. On its other side ends most likley the "Blockgang". The "Blockgang" was conquered after months of digging through sand and mud after a hundred meter high almos t vertical passage. Should the two passag e s "Gottergang" and "Blockgang" be joined together would mean a second high system with two accesses. Here, two different avens are still unexplored. Today Holloch's total length is 135 km. (83. 9 miles). Eac h summer Professor Bogli conducts scientific research on the karst above Holloch, without much success until the summer of 19 7 5. Two small caves of some 100 meters of development and a 70 meter deep pi t were found. The big suprise came after blv-ing up a bottle neck in a narrow tube wi a strong breeze. A series of up to 70 me r deep shafts lead underground. In the sun'ler of 1976 several km of passages were ma] > ed and longstretched halls were discover' 1 The major hazard is the temporary fl< J ding of parts of the system. It was ea. y this year when cavers could follow d01 the summerly floodways -371 meters "M;. >;nut-Munster" (Mamoth Dome) was found, a gi < : 'ltic room of 110 X 85 meters and a he ht of 77 meters. Its volume being some 26l,OOO cubic meters. Today 5,671.5 meters an .napped, and 1. 5 km more are known. This ca is called "Schwyzerschacht" (Pit of Sw z Switz is the canton in which Holloch lie. and "Schwyzerschacht" is explored by ca rs from Switz). "Schwyzerschacht" is onl 2 km apart from Holloch. It is not imr ssible to connect the two caves in the ar e o f "Gottergang" or '"Blockgang". However, son. 300 meters of elevation change has to be rercome. In all parts of the cave where exploration is going on, ropes and even:ladders are left in place. Many of these spots are visited every year. Some wire ladders have been the cause of accidents because of total corrosion. Thus, they have to be exchanged frequently. A caver once fell 40 meters, due to a ladder rip-off but miraculously was not severely injured (the body belay failed also). Until a few years ago all the exploring groups of AGH (HRG) used ropes and wire ladders. Since 1972 the group of Paul Berg started using Jumars, rappel rack and other similar devices. Many of the avens have been conquered with the aid of scaling poles. They consist of 2 meter long aluminum tubes joined together with sleeves and give a 12 meter reach. The three lakes which have to be shipped over are equipped with solid plastic boats. Over two more lakes a tyrollienne is set. The AGH (HRG) counts over 70 members.Many of them are active mountaineers, others have specialized in speleology. So it comes that different methods of climbing and even rappelling are practiced. Convinced mountaineers climb whenever possible freely and descend in a Swiss seat. Convinced cavers climb with pitons and descend with the rack or similar gear. Each year a technical training camp is on program to introduce novices. A search and rescue group is well organized. The bill of a severe accident in January 1969 in the "Gottergang" resulted in a caver suffering a broken leg after a rockfall. The rescue went on for five days and convinced every member of the necessity of such an organization. Thomas Kesselring in sandcrawl Upper High System.


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HLLOCH1970Arbeitsgemeinschaft Hllochforschung AGHPlanaufnahmeAGHTheodolitische Vermessung Eingang, Hauptgang, Riesensaal, Titanengang. SACGangPlanbearbeitung Prof.Dr.A.BgliPlanzeichnungP.BergArchivmastab 1:1000Grundriss.1.Hauptsystem2.Hochsystem3.GttergangsystemCopyright 1970 by AGH500m-----1GOTTEAGANG,2Gr;;\,-"3KWASSERGANGSoren9bl0C1

KNOTS'N KAVERS James Jasek There are hundreds of different knots that a person can learn to tie, but only a fe,,r of them are of any use to the caver. For the novice caver, it is better to concentrate on using only a few important knots. This way, you can become an expert at tying them, and the knot will be correctly tied every time without a second thought. A mistake in tying a knot could cost the life of a friend or worse yet, your own! Every caver should be able to tie the Bowline, and the Bowline-on-a-coil. You should be able to tie them with your eyes closed never making a mistake. These two knots can be used for just about every climbing situation. Other useful knots are the Fisherman's knot, Butterfly knot, and the Sheet bend. The line drawings are self explanatory. Practice them until you can tie them without thinking about it. BOWLINE B01.JL INE-ONA-COIL Used as a chest safety while on belay. 86 FISHERMAN'S KNOT BUTTERFLY KNOT Used to tie into the middle of a rope. SHEET BEND DOUBLE SHEET BEND Used :to tie two ropes together. When cleaning a cave, try not to tangle the extension cord.


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... to\E\E"A. OV! R 1'HfRE I WE E S' '56! '.H(Y.:) o\lt:.R 100 ME' oN CJ\f)L.E \.Ai 6\l'f 'YOU 1\LL. If I CllR B\lL.LETIN I Nt:WSL.ET1fR .. SUMfD 'fo 6fi we e.x \\-\\t:; AREA l\6oU"f _.-Ac;o! Vl fouND


The July issue was edited by me, James Jasek, to help take the "load" off Gill this month. Editing the TEXAS CAVER takes one heck of a lot of time, and Gill has been at it for a long time without much support. I hope that all of you out there in Middle Earth enjoyed the issue I put together. Several years ago, Mimi and I traveled to Mexico City with Terry Raines for caving and sight seeing, and while we were there we There is a new entrance into Gorman Itl man made, but none the less it is another entrance to this cave that so many of us visit. About 100 or so feet into the cave, along the left wall, is a talus slope that leads to a ten foot climb to the surface. Examination of the surface indicated that !t had been dug by someone, and not washed ou as I first supposed. Next time you are the4 take a look for yourself. purchased aerial photographs of many areas Those of you that are acquainted wi t h m! of Mexico. Since so many cavers travel to know that I have been in the book bindJ 1g the Bustamante area, I thought you might be business most of my life which is still tha interested in seeing what the area looks case, but I have branched out into anot er like from the air. If you look carefully, part of the book business. I have openP a you can see the road winding to the canyon Book Store here in Waco. At the present time1 leading to La Gruta del Palmito. we are a paperback book store, with a f w This aerial of Mexico can be hard backs, but we are moving more into ordered from CIA, Mexicana Aerfoto, SA, 11 bindings every day. We hope to be a con letel De Abril No 338, Mexico 18, DF. The cost of book store even offering a service to f nd each print was 15 Pecos several years ago. out-of-print books. You can write for a current price. The best Many of you have your own libraries ,f way to get the results you want is to write both cave related material and a wide v :ietl to them in Spanish. Include a copy of a road of other types of books. If there is a Jol map marked with the area you want. From what that you need, drop me a line telling rn< we saw when we were there, they have total what title, author, and espicially the 1b1 coverage of Mexico. lisher if you have it. I will do my bes to Anyone interested in having an extra copy find the book for you, and give you a H.; of the aerial photo of Bustamante that appearsdiscount off the price of the book. I 1 in this issue of the TEXAS CAVER can obtain also pay the postage. If we don't have r e a contact print made on double weight photo-book you want, I will let you know right graphic paper from me for a cost of $2 post away by return mail. The name of the stcJ e paid. My address is 1019 Melrose Dr, Waco, is THE BOOK STORE, 2900 Franklin Ave, Wa o, Texas 76710. Texas 76710: Attn. James Jasek. 90


A DAY TRIP James Jasek l!ost of us cavers that have families take wives and children caving at one time or r Since my two daughters are finally old enough to handle themselves in a I l I felt it was time to introduce them to we all love so well. JimhJ Y Schroeder and I had found a small a t Gorman Fishing camp that I felt would jusl fine for a first cave. One Sunday we sll our caving gear, food, etc. and t.o Gorman. Cave is a double drop to a small room t o short passages leading off. A pit f r a first cave? Well, it is really an c ve !The first drop was seven feet to a ith a second drop of eight feet to the I rigged a cable ladder at the top it hang down to the very bottom of e A belay was tied to the oldest girl, and she climbed down to the first I was waiting for her to come down. t well. The only problem was that she ried that some bug would jump out of kness and get on her. At the ledge, I carbide lamp. We both sat there and around. Here is where the trouble If you take children caving, don't let u e a carbide lamp. Until now, I really hought of the lamp as being a danger ?On.Those of us that have used the lamp daughter, Jeanie Jasek, at the bottom of the cave. 91 for years of caving are used to the hazards of the flame! As Jeanie climbed over the ledge and down the cable ladder she burned her arm. It wasn't a bad burn, but enough of one to really upset her. Before we were to reach the surface again, she was to burn herself once more and burn me twice. When Jeanie reached the bottom, I told her to stand right there until I got to the bottom with her. The passage opened up into a small room From here there were two ways to go. One way was really too narrow,. and she was not really interested in squeezing into something that small on a first trip. The other passage was much bigger and we both scampered off to the end of this passage. It was only about twenty feet of passage. The first time that Jimmy and I explored this cave we thought we had really found a nice cave when we entered this passage. The walls were smooth and rounded and at first glance looked like it would go a long distance, but it turned out to be a typical short Gorman cave. While Jeanie and I were crawling in this passage, she burned my arm. When I turned around she burned all the hair off my head just above my right ear. Ouch! Patti carne down to the When we returned to the surface, Jeanie told her sister, Patti, that she had burned herself and me. Patti then decided that she didn't want any part of caving. I convinced her to climb down to the first ledge and have a look at the cave. She did agree to this and we both went in for a We all enjoyed the trip, but.they are not really ready for caving. A few more years will have too pass before they will be willing to try it again.




Suveyed January 9, 1959 by Calvin Perryman W. T. Perryman Jack Burch Don Shup Redafted by James Jasek 8/6/77 ---0 100 Dashed line indicates commerical trail CAVE1RNS OF SONORA SONORA, TEXAS 200 300 Feet "C"POINT DIAMOND ROOM SNOWBALL ALLEY PALACE of ANGELS ROOM COM O D E ORANGE FALLS


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CAVERNS OF SONORA JAMES JASEK !his great State of Texas that we live in not, as of yet, have the extensivecaves are found in the other parts of the t ry but we do have one of the most tiful caves that can be found anywhere. This cave is none other than Caverns of P loacted west of the small Texas town The cave is located far enough off "b, ::1ten path" that many people new to .aay not have seen this cave. If this thr rase, you should make plans to visit s (. 1e There are not enough words in the 1.1 language to describe the full beauty th unusual cave. There is plenty of >ove the cave for you to spend the veekend camping in comfort. The cave .. L Y closed to caving of any type. Do 1 bother to ask! Be sure to ask for ch. Jack is the one who cornmercial e cave, and there is not another e n Texas that knows more about the .n Jack. He has made the cave a way and loves to talk about the cave to 1ho will listen. 1ap that is published here in The 1VER was mapped by the Arbuckle 1 Grotto back in 1959. The section of that makes up the commercial trail :1ed with a transit and steel tape. r t of the map is accurate with-in The other sections of the map are 'HYn by Jack, and are accurate enough time-being as there is nothing better ;_e take a trip into this fine cave. A the cave for the first time Jown into the depths of the earth by s of stairs that carries him into s t part of the cave. The first several < d feet of cave was known to local rs for years, and was visited by many r The Dry Section of the cave ended in t is referred to as the Pit Room, and for years was considered to be the end of s part of the cave as there didn't seem be any way past the breakdown. There was lead, but for many years remained h ccke d as it was fifty feet above the o r of the Pit Room. The ledge leading to "lead" sloped about 45 degrees and had olutly no hand-holds. It was not until ers of the Dallas-Ft Worth Grotto 95 decided that it was time to cross this ledge that the part of what we know today was discovered. Can you imagine the excitment of those few cavers as they explored the most beautiful cave in the world. Not very many of us ever experience a cave of this beauty. A few feet past a formation known as the Pointed Finger is a small passage that takes you off the trail, and into another world. It is like passing into the Twilight Zone. Here there are a series of rooms that interconnect and have some outstanding formations. One that stands out in my mind is the Cactus as shown in the picture. The picture speaks for itself. Just to the right of the Cactus is a very small room. Hanging from the ceiling is a five foot soda-straw. The unusual thing about this straw is that half way down the shaft it is off-set about one inch before it travels the rest of the way down. Back on the trail, the formations really get thick and colorful. The trail leads you past formations that look like giant War Clubs hanging from the ceiling. You walk through the Valley of Ice were the formations cover every inch of the floor, ceiling, and walls. Here the formations are translucent and growing in every direction. There are formations that grow up from the floor the look like Christmas trees. Fantastic!


You then enter a room called the Palace of Angels that is so beautiful that a couple repeated their wedding vows a number of years ago. A flight of stairs then brings you up to another level of the cave. This area takes you past Red Top, a large stalagmite with a flowing red top, then past a formation that looks like a Knotted Rope. This level of the cave takes you into the Diamond Passage that is solid flow-stone walls, ceiling, and floors. The formations are too numerous and fantistic to describe, you have to see them to appreciate them. A formation growing near the floor looks just like an Indian Tomahawk. Just past the Tomahawk, you enter the Crystal Palace, and this is where the actual formations of the Diamond Passage are the prettiest. On the return trip through the Diamond Passage, the tour takes you past an unlighted wall. Hidden in the darkness for protection is the formation that Caverns of Sonora is known for around the world: The Butterfly! This is a breath-taking formation. The size is that of a womans hand held together by 96 the thumbs to form a wing spread. Everyon( should see this formation, and have a picture of it in their slide collection. This ends the commercial tour. You then start the long climb up several levels of the cave to the rear exit. The higher you climb the more the character of the cave changes until you get to the highest level, Here the walls are totally void of all the formations of the lower levels. This high part of the cave is very close to the and the surface heat has dried out the formations causing them to turn to powder. The walls are smooth and rounded, and hasa beauty of its own. Since there is no complete map of the cave, an accurate estimate of its lengthca not be made. Jack seems to think there is around eight miles of passage. The commerci trail has been mapped to one mile. Sonora i a multi-level cave with as many as seven levels. The floor plan as shown on the map here in the TEXAS CAVER shows several of th levels, but makes no distinction about the levels. The levels all interconnect with on another many times throughout the cave making exploration a challenge. The map is by no means complete and only shows some of the more important passages with thousands of feet left off the map. If mapping were possible here, it would furnish cavers a lifetime of mapping. 10 10 a. '" :/. w ., m .,


The Texas Caver BOX 8424 AUSTIN, TX 78712 DULK R:l.i!. U. 5. POS r,\,;t PAID Permit Nr. to; T:;< 7b70t

Contents: Upper Hinton Creek Cave / William Elliott --
Upper Hinton Creek Cave map --
CMI 8 Ring / James Jasek --
Holloch / Thomas Kesselring and Willi Grim / Knots 'n
kavers / James Jasek --
Holloch Map --
Kavers 'n knaves / Kristofferson --
Guano --
A day trip / James Jasek --
Caverns of Sonora / James Jasek.


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