the Texas Caver Vol. 25, No.2, 1980 CONTENTS CHUCK STUEHM: Some Recollections ....... 27 CHUCK! ................................ 28 "HI! '1' M CHUCK;" ................. 2 9 CHUCK LOVED PEOPLE ................ 30 TEXAS CAVE RESCUE CARD .................. 30 CHUCK STUEHM MEMORIAL AWARD ............. 30 MEMORIES OF CHUCK STUEHM ................ 31 I REMEMBER CHUCK ........................ 32 COMING EVENTS .......................... 33 CAVE TEMPERATURE ........................ 34 CUEVA ESCONDIDA ...................... 35 Cueva Escondida MAP .................... 36 BITS & PIECES ......................... 37 BACK ISSUES FOR SALE .................. 38 TRIP REPORTS ........................... 39 COVER PHOTOGRAPH: Chuck Stuehm 1975. Photo by James Jasek Entire issue typed and proof read by James and Mimi Jasek. The TEXAS CAVER is a bimonthly publication of the Texas Speleological Association (TSA), an organization of the National Speleolo(]1:eal Society (NSS) and is published by James Jasek in Waco, Texas. SUBSCRIPTIONS are $5.00 per year. Persons subscribing after the first of the year will receive all back issues for that year. Single copies are available at 90 each, postpaid. The TEXAS CAVER openly invites contributors to submit: articles, reports, news, cartoons, cave maps, caving articles, and photographs (any size print b?ack & white or color print) for pub lication in the TEXAS CAVER. Address all SUBSCRIPTIONS and EDITORIAL material to the editor: James Jasek, lOl9 Melrose Dr., Waco, Texas 767l0. When sending in a change of address, please include your old address. Persons interested in EXCHANGES or FOREIGN subscriptions should direct to the editor. GMEMORIAL GJSSUE for CHUCK STUEHM and FAMILY Raymond "Chuck" Stuehm, 52, died Thurs day, January 31, 1980, in a local hospital He was a veteran of WW II, a member of Boy Scouts of America, the Sierra Club, Red Cross' of America, and numerous speleologic al and civic organizations. Survivors include: his wife, Doris; two sons, Paul of Conn. and David of Houston; and four grandchildren, Mason, Alexander, Melody, and Katherine. Following cremation, a memorial service will be held at McGimsey Scout Park, 10810 Wedgewood, at 4 p.m. Tuesday. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Boy Scout! of America, The American Heart Assoc. or the Sierra Club. The idea for this special issue of TEXAS CAVER was conceived by James and Mimi Jasek as a tribute to a good friend, Chuck Stuehm, a man who contributed so much to almost every phase of Texas caving and the people involved. His efforts and influences will be long remembered.
CHUCK STUEHM: SOME RECOLLECTIONS by Glenn Darilek Chuck Stuehm went on his first cave trip about ten years ago. Roger Bartholomew was r esponsible for getting him started, and after the first trip he was hooked. Most of hi s first caving was ,interwoven with Scout in g, but as time went by he got more involved with the TSA and went on trip after trip. Chuck's caving dates back to the San Antonio Grotto just before it merged with th e Alamo Grotto to form the Alamo Area Chapter. Chuck was a leader with the Scouts, and h e carried this over into caving. From the start Chuck was outspoken and took the "Bull b y t he Horns" and got every project off and r unning Even though he would take the lead, h e never held office in the TSA. He was a sked several times to run, but he always tu rned it down. He preferred to let those younger than he try their hand at leadership and their small share of the limelight. H e preferred to remain in the background workin g hard to organize various functions, getting cave trips organized, making sure we had a place to hold meetings, and doing a lot of the little things that must be done i n order to have a viable caving organization. O ne especially memorable cave trip that I reme mber was during the Thanksgiving weekend of 1971. Chuck, John Graves, and I had planned a cave trip to Mexico. We loaded up m y junky Nova, and we were on our way to Espinazo, Mexico and Cueve de Constantin. None of us knew more than a few words of Spanish, and we had only a vague idea of where the town was much less where the cave Ivas. We made it to the town, and after a long hike to the mountains and up to the c ave a nd back, I realized Chuck's determination was something I had never witnessed before. The photograph I took of Chuck at th e entrance to Constantin was entered in a Grotto photo salon. I titled it "Old Man o f the Cave". At the time John Graves was 1 4 and I was 25 years old, but I now realize that Chuck was the youngest inspirit of the of us. Chuck did very well on that J ourney, forging ahead into the unknown, enjoying the adventure at every turn. I know he will also do well in his present J o urn e y into the unknown. '27 One of Chuck's best traits was his willingness to accept and encourage new cavers. At our grotto meetings he was considered a welcoming committee of one. He would always seek out the new faces in the crowd and ask them about their caving. He would encourage and even organize cave trips just for the new cavers. A part of this willingness to help others was evident in the many vertical training sessions he organized. I am sure no other caver in the state has initiated more cavers into vertical caving. He was respected as a vertical caving instructor even though he rarely if ever did any vertical caving. Chuck lived the type of life that many of us aspire to, but few actually accomplish. He was a machinist by trade, but by his actions he seemed to be more interested in the outdoors and the underground. Few knew of his medical problems, and his actions gave no hint that he knew the grim reaper might come sooner than any of us might think. He lived his life fully. How many of us can say the same. Each of us only have one life to lead, but one is enough if you live if right. We will always remember Chuck for his tireless dedications to caving. ("Old Man of the Cave"i')
CHUCK! James Jasek The first time I encountered Chuck Stuehm was during the January 1972 Board of Governors Meeting being held at the DT Campus in Austin. The main topic of the meeting was the caving accident that happened in Cueve de Carrizal, Mexico. Two young boys had drowned in the cave, and the TSA was in an uproar because of the difficulties that were encountered in organizing the rescue. During the meeting a stranger to the TSA stood up and put in his two-cents worth not just once, but several times during the meeting. People around me were asking each other "Who is he?". This was Chuck Stuehm. Out-spoken, to-the-point, and a bit opinionated. He was either a friend or a foe. There didn't seem to be any in-between with him. After the meeting was over, I got to know Chuck. We struck up a friendshtp that lasted the past eight years. A number of us got together with Chuck and formed the first organized Cave Rescue Program in Texas. We were all determined not to have so much trouble in organizing another cave rescue. Our goal was to educate every caver in Texas in first-aid and cave rescue. Today as I look back over the entire effort, I would say that all the work Chuck put into this was very successful. Many cavers resisted the effort to introduce first-aid and pit rescue, but in the end, even those that resisted finally came to their senses. Chuck had years of leadership training with Scouting before he got interested in caving. It was a natural for Chuck to be a leader in caving. He immediately organized a practice cave rescue that was held inside a cave. H ere we all got first hand experience with first-aid, and actual pit rescue. This turned out to be one of the most successful projects that the TSA pulled off in many years. All this practice really paid off during our first real cave rescue when two young boys were trapped inside Dead Deer Cave in the city limits of San Antonio. Chuck was the first to arrive at the cave with a few cavers to take a look at the situation. He realized this would require a major effort by cavers, so he initiated a major rescue. This w a s a very successful rescue because of all the training Chuck exposed us to. 28 This rescue resulted in the TSA being recognized by the legal authorities in Antonio. Chuck was a direct link with the TSA, the Civil Defense, and the police. Thii was just what the TSA need for a successfcl cave rescue program to work. Chuck Stuehm during the first practice cave rescue. Chuck was discussing the finer points of first-aid with fellow cavers inside Brehmmer Cave. Whatever the project was Chuck jumped right in and got the ball rolling. In eve r y organization there is one person that sort of ram-rods programs and holds the membe rs together. This was Chuck. Since I live in Waco, over two hundred miles from San Antonio, I never really had the chance t o go caving with Chuck. We were usually together during TSA functions, and on tWO occasions he stopped in Waco to see m e during his Scouting trips that took him north and out of Texas. It was always good to see him. I will miss Chuck!
"HI! I'M CHUCK" George Veni Hhen first asked to write something about the passing of Chuck Stuehm, I casually agreed. Now that I am searching for words to put on paper, I ask myself, "What gives me the right to pass final words on this man? Others have known him longer and more intimately than I; who am I to give this literary eulogy?" Only his friend, that is all. One of the hundreds who knew him and of him. A single representative, with a limited view, of the multifaceted man known as Raymond "Chuck" Stuehm. Born 52 years ago in Cleveland, Ohio, Chuck came to San Antonio with the Armed Services. He would later joke about his medal for having served during World War II, as the war had ended shortly after he completed basic training. Time went on and Chuck became active with Red Cross, Civil Defense, the Sierra Club, TSA and maintained a 40-year relationship with the Boy Scouts. He loved to teach what he knew to others, as was typified by the countless training activities he held. Then he would try to provide inspiration and purpose to the skills that novices would learn from him. Thus, he would not allow new people visiting any of his organizations to get by unnoticed and ignored. It was just over four years ago when I I'lent to my first caving meeting at the Civil Defence Building in downtown San A ntonio. I took the stairs up to the second floor. I was early and the few people there were busily stapling together some mad arrangement of printed papers. I was thinking they were too busy to notice me when a large, heavy-set man broke out of formation and strolled over to greet me. He was quite a sight, wearing some strange cap, and a badly chewed up cigar protruded between mustache and beard; his clothing was covered with all sorts of strange insignia and letters TSA, NSS, ACC -various cave scenes, but I thought to my self that the letters saying ASS seemed m ost appropriate of all. "Hi, I am Chuck." He said, briefly removing the mangled cigar from his mouth. Hithin 60 seconds he had ascertained I knew nothing about caving, introduced me to everyone in the room and set me to work stapling publications. Chuck was very good with new people. 29 Organizing was another of his specialties. The list is virtually endless -cave cleanups, cave rescues, training sessions, the first Texas Oldtimer's Reunion, first Texas Cave Manager's Conference, conventions, BOG's trail cleanups, work with the state parks, forming the new San Antonio Grotto -the list goes on. No, Chuck was not a flawless superman. He was far from it. He was strongly opinionated and would not hesitate to express himself. He would speak his mind, whether or not people wanted to hear him and so sometimes was not appreciated. Recently, for a long caving trip, I was hoping against his participation because he was too intense a personality for an extended period. I am not trying to speak ill of the deceased. What I am doing is giving an honest reflection on the very strong and dominant aspects of the man. Now, whether or not one enjoyed those points, they must be appreciated as contributing to the character which made him what he was. Even happily married couples find flaws with each other and through understanding, can better enjoy their similarities. As well lovee as Chuck was, it is obvious there was a lot of understanding and appreciation b y the people who knew him. In general, his passing is a very sad thing because of his great human resources, skills and knowledge. Those many of us who loved him lost a friend. Chuck doing what he did best: helping others, especially young people.
CHUCK LOVED PEOPLE Gal y Parsons The passing of Chuck Stuehm is a tragic loss to all who knew and worked with him. Chuck's death was our loss of a valuable asset to Texas caving. His enthusiasm, unselfishness, and patience were qualities he was admired for. Chuck gave his time freely to anyone who asked or anytime it was needed. When help was needed Chuck was usually one of the first cavers on the scene filling in where he was needed. Chuck was also active with Civil Defense, conservation, Boy Scouts, and no-telling what else. Chuck loved people and life and the more people he met or helped in some way made him that much happier. Chuck was extremely valuable and served as a catalyst in helping Frank Sodak and I get the Temple Caving Association off the ground and into the caves. I regret not knowing if he knew just how much I and others appreciated everything he had done for us. He instilled in me the importance of safety awareness, and confidence in equipment which enable d me and others to approac h vertical caving in a confident and informal frame of mind. Chuck was a valuable teacher in additon to his other qualifications. We h ave all lost a g ood friend and a good c aver, but Chuck still lives on in our memories and our hearts. TEXAS CAVE RESCUE (512)-686-0234 KREIDLER ANSWERING SERVo McALLEN, TEXAS CALL COLLECT REQUEST CAVE RESCUE In the event of a cave emergency where spelunking techniques and equipment are needed for search ancVor rescue, CALL 512/ 686-0234. You will be requested to leave your name and phone number and stand by Cave Rescue in your area will return your call. This is your new Cave Rescue Card. It has been specially printed on a se1fadhesive paper that will enable you to stick it in an important place. Extra cards are available from the Texas Caver for Please order ten at a time to offset postage costs. 30 CHUCK STUEHM MEMORIAL AWARD Mike Walsh Chuck Stuehm was my friend. Overall, h e was probably the most controversial person in the TSA. He had a few good friends, hundreds of other friends, and knew a fair number of people who did not like the v lay he got things done. Wherever there wer e activities in Texas, Chuck was there -often pushing and pulling, arguing and fighting. We fought and won quite a few battles together; we even lost a few. One of the thing s Chuck told me abo u t the TSA was that often he did not believ e some of the Bull he put out. He did some of this to get people to think for them selves, to get involved and to take action. Chuck definitely got involved, and abo ve all he cared. He liked to be the man b e hind the scene and let others take part. Chuck was not perfect -for that matter who is? -but his absence will leave a big gap in Texas caving. We used to t a l k for hours, and in many ways he was like a father to me. He was interested in safe t y and rescue, conservation, politics, land owner relations, as well as other fields. But the thing he was most interested in was new people. More active cavers in Texas were trained and encouraged by Chuck than most people believe. A rapid count shows over 100. I feel, as do many others in the TSA that Chuck should be remembered. So the Old Time Cavers Association is establish ing the Chuck Stuehm Memorial Award to be given each year. In keeping with his m a i n interest, the tentative plan for the presentation of this award is that each qualified Grotto in Texas send the Ass o ciation the name and background of a new caver who has been caving for less than two years. The caver should be one who shows an unusual enthusiasm and interest in caving and all its aspects. The award will then be given to the candidate from each Grotto. Chuck felt that the hope f o r Te xas caving was with the new people, and by the success of his efforts we feel h e was right. This award will help further his ideas. Final instructions for nominations for this award will be forthcoming.
MEMORIES OF CHUCK STUEHM Roger Bartholomew Just before noon on Saturday 23 February 1980, I opened a letter from James Jasek which informed me that Chuck Stuehm had died three weeks earlier. James asked me to write my impressions of Chuck since I had started Chuck in caving. I felt deeply moved to accomplish this task for Chuck was a good friend and I had a great admiration for him. I first encountered Chuck in. the basement of the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium during a hurricane which had flooded the Rio Grande Valley. There sat a man behind a table, with cigar, calm as could be, directing Civil Defense activities to house, feed, and provide for the needs of the farmers who had fled north from the Valley and were camped out on army cots in the basement of the auditorium. An order went out for the volunteers to clear a spot for food bags, so with great enthusiasm I jumped in and started flinging out shoes, purses, sweaters and other personal belongings of volunteers. Suddenly I heard a voice, "Take it easy; those are people's personal belongings." I stopped, turned around and there was the same man I saw behind the table this time standing up and looking at me straight in the eye with eyebrows raised. When the time came for the farmers to return home, an order from someone in Civil Defense was given to store away the left over canned goods and bottled water donated by the people of San Antonio. Chuck changed that order and directed the volunteers to load up paper bags with a balanced assortment of the donated goods and give them to the families as they left to go home. An entry in my caving journal for the old San Antonio Grotto meeting of 25 Nov. 1968 states: ... Chuck Stuehm was present with several explorer scouts who are interested in learning rope and ladder techniques. They were directed to come on the 15 Dec. trip to Enchanted Rock .. The entry for the 15 Dec. 1968 trip states: ... Members of the Explorer Post 289 and the Bexar County Civil Defense Rescue Team #140 were also present and were given instructions and practice in same rigging, rapelling, ladder belay-31 ing and climbing. Those recelvlng instructions were: Chuck Stuehm, David Berrara, Robert Moss, Steve Brown, David Faz, Vera Chapman, Sara Jo Hubbard and Terri Trip ... The next entry in my journal involving Chuck was written eleven months later. "16 Nov. 1969. Bob Burney and Roger Bartholomew instructed some new members in vertical caving techniques at Canyon Dam ... Chuck Stuehm and Robert Henry showed up later. The cavers were interested in rapelling and prussiking." The first caving trip I recorded involving Chuck Stuehm was two weeks later. "28-30 Nov. 1969. A trip to Bustamante was accomplished for photographic purposes. On the trip were Roger Bartholomew, John Sandoval, Andy Sandoval, Pat Walker, Chuck Stuehm, Doris Stuehm, Glen Moore, Alex DePena and James Arnold." Chuck also made the: following trips: 26, 27 Sept. 1970 -Bustamante; 3 Oct 1970, Stowers Cave; 30-31 Oct 1970 Stowers Cave; 1 Nov. 1970 Vertical Training at Cnayon Dam; 28 Feb. 1971, Brehmmer Cave; 23 Apr. 1971, Deep Cave. It is clear that at first Chuck was mainly interested in rope techniques. But at that 25 Nov. 1968 meeting of the old San Antonio Grotto Mr. Erwin Wesp gave a slide show on Bustamante Cave which no doubt had a part in catching Chuck's interest. This may be the reason why my first recorded caving trip for him was Bustamante. The mention of Bustamante reminds me of several stories. On the Nov. 1969 trip Chuck made an ingenious backpack of an orange crate and some sticks. When we set up camp in the entrance room it turned into a sort of portable kitchen. Another time in his zeal to clean up some paper trash at the bottom of the Great Slope, he made a fire to burn it which created quite a cloud of smoke in that area of the cave. Frankly I was surprised at first that a man of his age and size would get interested in caving. As time went on I became convinced that he was genuinely interested. I will always be grateful for his obtaining the use of the Civil Defense Center for
the meetings of the newly formed Alamo Area Chapter in 1970. This greatly helped the unity and stability of the group at that time. In 1971, I left San Antonio, but my friendship for Chuck endured. I saw him several times in the years that followed and saw him for the last time in late June of 1976. Even after a long time period of not talking with him, I never felt that the friendship had to be built up again. When he wanted to be present at caving activities, he enjoyed being there no matter who was there, no matter what he was fighting for and no matter what he was upset about. I believe that when he felt that he could not contribute he was free enough to move to a new situation. He was an individual. He could make his own decisions about what was right without being subj ect to peer pressure or what people might think. I feel that the most important contribution to Texas Caving was his undying support for safety and rescue. He never did the deepest pits, the tightest crawls, the hardest climbs, the greatest map, the greatest photo, or the most difficult rescue, but he was present and appreciated all of them and thought of the safety of those who did do these things and, who did not have the time to spend on safety and rescue. His vision was to safeguard and save human life. For me there is a lot of mystery about Chuck. I cannot even remember what his line of work was. He kept things to himself. I would say his line of work was to be with young people for this was usaully the context in which I saw him. My impression is that he was a man who supported good things and appreciated high standards and could make the difficult choices to find them. the Texas Caver SUBSCRIBE TODAY $5.00 year / six issues 1019 Melrose, Waco, TX 76710 32 I REMEMBER CHUCK Chuck was the person who was very influential in getting me involved in Texas cav ing. Back in January 1974, Chuck Stuehm and Glenn Darilek took a group of Texas Luthe r u College students from a special spelunking course to Corkscrew Cave. Chuck's enthusi asm and encouragement were contagious an d helped to spark my continued interest i n the sport as I made the last climb up the cable ladder out of the cave, covered with mud and muscles aching and tired. Whenev e r a group of cavers got together, Chuck was the one who had pieces of rope and insisted on the importance of everyone knowing how to tie knots correctly. At vertical training sessions, he stressed that each caver know proper techniques for rappel ling an d belaying. When I moved to San Antonio in January 1975 and began to attend Alamo Area Cha pter of the NSS grotto meetings, Chuck was there to especially greet me and other nel" comers. He made me feel welcome, introduced me to people who were leading cave trips suggested that I join the grottto, and vouched for my caving skills when I applied for membership. After my caving accident in August 1975 when I broke my neck, Chuc k was at the emergency room seeing that I received the care that I needed since I was living alone in San Antonio. Visitors inspired me to work harder to recover fro m my injuries, and Chuck was one of the felV who continued to come to see me after I went home from the hospital. When I think of Chuck, I remember his old white station wagon, his cigar, and the scar from his encounter with a rattlesnake, but more than that, I think of his part in acquai nting me with caving, a sport that has helped to build my confidence in myself, my trust in other cavers, and my ability to meet the challenges of life. April A. Herzig
COMING EVENTS TSA CONVENTION The TSA Convention is being planned for 19-20 April 1980. The exact location has yet to be determined but it will be held at or near Menard, Texas. Possibly, the convention will be at Neal's Cave, into which some trips will be going for mapping and exploration. For those who are con cerned about being wet and cold upon exiting the cave, members of the Abilene Grotto will have a hot meal ready to warm you on Saturday evening. Not many other details are available at the time of this writing, however a map and photo salon will be held. MAP SALON EEgibility restricts entry to cave maps drafted within the past year from the convention date. Each contributor is limited to no more than three entries. The catagories into which the maps shall be placed ,,,rill be determined by the number and type of entries. Judging will follow the following listed criteria: 1. Visual impact 2. Balance (no crowding or unnecessary blank space) 3. Graphic harmony (effective use of line widths, lettering, etc.) 4. Drafting skills 5. Completeness (essential items are north arrow, scale, title, key to unconventional symbols; other information such as date, names of mappers and cartographer, geographic north arrow and border is recommended) 6. Precision in portraying details and character of the cave. It is hoped that this salon can provide incentive to do high quality mapping, even with small caves. Maps will be accepted at registration during the convention. Those un,"ble to attend, who wish to enter their maps, can send them to: George Veni 4254 Goshen Pass (512) 699-1153 San Antonio, TX 78230 33 PHOTO SALON To be conducted on Saturday night. Eligibility is open to any slides not previously entered in past photo salons and the subject matter must be related to caves or caving. All entries must be the original work of the entrant. As with the map salon, categories will be determined by the number and type of entries. Judging will be based on artistic and technical merit, caver appeal, impact and humor, where appropriate. The slides will be judged prior to the convention. All entries must be mailed to: Alicia Gale 2103 S. 7th Temple, TX 76501 (817) 773-5310 All entries must be received no later than 5 April 1980. Ribbons will be awarded to the winners. Entrants who will not be present at the convention need to include a fee for return postage for the return of their slides. TOO CHEAP! A final word concerns the February BOG. The affair at Cave Without A Name was quite successful, except in the aspect of registration. When preparing for the BOG, the preparations were made for 70 people. It was pleasing that 70 people did show up, but discouraging that only 49 registered. True, some did not eat, but everyone made use of the cave which would normally cost $1.50. They also used facilities provided by TSA funding. With gas prices what they are the registration fee is a minimal It is disappointing to think that cavers who do not hesitate to drive hundreds of miles to go caving are too cheap to support TSA functions held in their behalf. Only of the nominal registration fee can keep TSA financially solvent in order to hold interesting affairs which are well worth attending. The TEXAS OLDTIMER'S REUNION is being planned for 19-20 September 1980 at Garner State Park. Start making plans to attend. More information will be printed in a future issue.
CAVE TEMPERATURE Warren Lewis Coldwater Cave in Winnesheik County, Iowa lies with its spring entrance at approximately 311 meter or 1020 feet above sea level. It's latitude is 43.50 as it lies a few miles from the Iowa-Minnesota State line. The air temperature measured monthly over a twoyear period varied from 47-49 degrees Fahrenheit. The water temperature ranged from 46-48 degrees during that time except for one occasion on January 22, 1973 when the temperature of the water in the cave dropped to 43 degrees Fahrenheit from an inflow of meltwater. Eight days later the temperature was back to 47 degrees. From the map in Moore and Nicholas Speleology it would appear that the cave temperature is very close to the average annual temperature. This work was done by the Iowa Geological Survey. The entrance temperature has been most strongly influenced by barometric pressure changes. As a high pressure area comes over, the air flows into the cave. This is uaually followed after a period of three or four'days by a low pressure area in which the air blows strongly outward. The local variation in barometric pressure may commonly range from 29.5 to 30.5 cm of mercury. A variation of 1 cm of mercury would seem to exchange about 1/30 of the volume of the air in the cave if there were free access to the interior. The air flowing into the cave in wintertime may be cold, clear artic air passing over the cave; therefore, the air entering the cave at that time would tend to be colder than the seasonal average. The air also tends to be dryer than average. At times when rain is falling and low pressure areas are found locally, the cave is usually blowing outward. The drying effect of the air may have an inhibitory effect on cave formations near the entrance. This may account for the fact that formations are generally found some distance from the cave entrance. The barometric pump also acts to remove carbon dioxide from the cave. This is particularly true when the opening is in the lowest portion of the cave system. In Coldwater Cave the outlet of the cave is sumped. Because of this the shaft entrance is the source,of discharge of much carbon dioxide. 34 At times the air in the shaft will not support a candle flame. The mossy growth around the cave entrances may be due not only to the continued presence of moist cool air but also to the higher carbon dioxide levels that tend to stimulate growth. This has been demonstrated in greenhouses in which the plants grow faster if the carbon dioxide level of the atmosphere is raised. The barometric pressure effects are noted deep within the cave. There is often strong windflow in the Obstruction Passage which lies approximately a mile from the shaft entrance. The air in this passage is always moving in the same direction as that at the entrance. The second alteration in temperature near the entrance is a non-periodic reversal often cycling each 12-20 minutes. This is due to minor barometric changes, the socalled "ripples in the sky". This can be seen in the long rows of clouds which may assume avarious wave forms in lines and ripples across the sky. The fact that the air is moving means that it forms into waves very much as the surface of the ocean forms waves. These can be recorded at the to the cave because it acts as a barometer of high sensitivity. Minor variations were noted by the Conns in their studies of Jewel and Wind Caves. The diurnal changes that they recorded have been noted but not well-documented at Coldwater Cave. When the flow reverses at sunrise or sunset it seems more often to be responding to a larger barometric pattern than to local temperature changes. Since the Mainstream Passage is sumped at both ends, there is little or no chance to observe chimney or reverse chimney effects. Also of interest is the breathing phenomenon of the type recorded by Burton Faust in Breathing Cave of subsonic resonance. At times the cave opening temperature goes up and down over a period of 55-70 seconds reversing regularly. This rhythmic cycle is due to the reverberation of subaccountical or subsonic waves up and down the long passages of the cave. These extremely long sound waves contribute very little to an exchange of air at the entrance but the change is definite enough to be recorded by an electric thermometer. We have achieved some idea of the length of the resonating passage by applying a formula for organ pipes closed at both ends. At times the changes within the cave are quite severe with barometric winds. When cold winter air is forced into the cave
under a high pressure system, it is impossible for two men to hold a plastic bag over the shaft. Dense clouds are formed in the Mainstream Passage for several hundred yards up and down the passage from the shaft entrance. The fog may be so dense that one can see only a few feet. During one period of heavy rainfall the 1/4 plexiglass cover to the shaft was noted to be floating five inches above the top of the shaft on the column of blowing air. It took two two-quart milk bottles of water to hold it in place. This extreme outrush of air may have been due to several causes. One was the passing over of a series of low pressure fronts. The second may have been air carried into the cave by falling water. At times water traps air especially if a whirlpool is formed so that air passes down through the center column of the whirlpool. The third factor may have been a simple displacement of cave air by entering water. Since the cave is closed at both ends as the \.,ater rises in the cave the air has no place to go except out through the shaft or small rock fissures. The humidity in the cave was 95% or greater except for two readings, one of 93 and another of 94% saturation over a two year period. There are virtually no dry passages in the cave. In regard to Castleguard Cave the 1000 meter cold zone could be related to a chimney effect. However, if only the barometric pressure changes were responsible it WQuld suggest that 97% of the volume of the cave lay beyond that point. Rock River Speleological Society 2225 Oxford Street Rockford, Illinois 61103 3S CUEVA ESCONDIDA Peter Sprouse Cueva Escondida is located on the west flank of the Sierra de Gomas about 8 km south of Canon de Bustamante. It is not extensive but it is an interesting cave. It was discovered on November 23, 1973, when Dave Backer, George Waler and I failed to connect with another group of Austin cavers in Sabines Hidalgo for a trip to Saltillo. So we decided to go cave hunting out west of Bustamante. Driving west out of the we struck south along the mountain range. Several places along the road there was deep sand and our four wheel drive came in useful. We spotted what could be a hugh sink high on the range at a point 11 km south of the canon. However, our road ended at a small rancho several kilometers north of that part of the mountain. The rancho was owned by an old senor who told us of a cave in one of the canadas in the side of the mountain not far away. He told us of more caves he knew of farther away which we didn't search for due to lack of time. Although the directions to the cave seemed simple enough, we spent several hours battling cactus up the steep sides of the arroyo before the old man's goatherder showed us the location. It is not far above the arroyo on the north side, the entrance is hidden by a grove of palmitos -hence the name Cueva Escondida. Just inside the entrance the ceiling rose to over 30 meters, revealing massive flowstone walls and a dirt floor. Numerous diggings and old carbide cans told of recent mining activity, probably for phosphates (or pothunting?). On the walls, mixed with recent graffiti, were many Indian pictographs. We contemplated what a good living cave it must have been. with its hidden entrance and flat floor. We found several potsherds, but these could have been recent origin. Exploring down the large passage we were disappointed to find that it ended after 75 meters. One short loop-around passage was discovered, and I crawled around in a complex of dusty lower level crawls off one of the dug pits. The total length of the cave was perhaps 150 meters, but we did not map it as we didn't have a complete set of survey gear. The survey of Cueva Escondida was accomplished two years later by a group of South Texas cavers.
*pictographs shown below 2. r}JJ]]J m-artificial mounds CUEVA ESCONDIDA MUNICIPIO DE BUSTAMANTE, NUEVO LEON Suunto and Tape Survey 2 August 75 -G Ediger J Edirr I Gonzales S Willner T Wricht Drafted 1 November 77 -G Edigel' Assooiation for Mexican Cave Studies o 5 10 20 30 ..---------------METERS 5
BITS & PIECES EDWARDS AQUIFER RESEARCH AND DATA CENTER Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, has established a research and data center for study of the Edwards Aquifer, a large groundwater system located in Central Texas along the Balcones Escarpment. The escar pment is a topographic feature that divides the Edwards Plateau from the Gulf Coastal plains. Dr. Glenn Longley has been named to direct the Edwards Aquifer Research and Data Center This will be one of the few centers developed in this country to study a specific groundwater system. The center will concentrate its activities in the areas of 1) Information/Education, 2) Basic research on biology, hydrology and water quality of the aquifer 3) Data Storage, and 4) Technical Services. Eigh t different research projects on subjects ranging from pollution attenuation to trends in development over the aquifer have been funded. Special attention is being directed to the study of the unique biological community existing in the aquifer. The potential for use of this community for determing ,changes in water quality will be explored. Please request information from: Edwards Aquifer Research and Data Center Southwest Texas State University San Harcos, Texas 78666 Phone (512) 245-2329 Dear James; The Pilot who crashed the rented plane should pay for it. The error was his. Texas flying is different from mountain flying He endangered three lives and the plane by flying low. He should have been a lone. I have seen and heard of same type of crashes in Arizona. No one seems to learn from experiences of other pilots. Dear James' David B. Isaac Arizona Regarding trip report by Jay Jorden on 37 page 95 of the Te xas Caver, Nov-Dec. '79. Third paragraph continues 'with a final drop of 15 meters to the base of the cliff" That should read 2Q meters. The drops -and I rigged them on this mentioned tripare 60 meters, 20, and 50 -then a fairly easy walk down. Cuts no time. Dear Jasek; Bill Steele Austin, Texas I'd like to renew my subscription to the Texas Caver. I'm very impressed with it and the fact that it has kept going through thick and thin for all these years. I know of no finer caver publication. John F Copp Tempe, Arizona Thank you it is COTJ7rllents from readers that keep me goin9. It seems all I ever get from Texas cavers is flack! The editor Editors Comment; I want to openly thank George Veni and Randy Waters, and all the others who had a hand in producing the February, 1980, issue of the TEXAS CAVER. This is a fine example of what the TEXAS CAVER could be like if more cavers took the time in Texas to support the TC. This is the very best issue that has ever been published by the TEXAS CAVER. Dear James; James Jasek Editor I am looking for old issues of the TEXAS CAVER to complete my collection. I would like to buy original issues but Xerox copies will be fine. I am missing the following: Vol. I (all of 1956) Vol. III #4,5,6 (July-Dec. 1958) Vol. V #3,4,5,6 (May-Dec. 1960) If anyone has issues that they are willing to sell or copy please have them contact me. Thank you, Logan HcNatt 2209 South College Bryan, TX 77801
63' 64' 65' 66' JAN of oP oF' If FEB op op oP It MAR x 1'1-DP 5't APR 5;;. 1'1 OP Jt:, MAY x-X DP ;"7 JUN DP DP ILf JUL oP oP oP 3tt AUG 6P DP oP 5't SEP Qp or 5 OCT op OP 4'1 NOV of of 3:;2. DEC of DP /Yback issues FOR SALE 67' 68' 69' 70' 71' 72' 73' 74' 75' 76' of' )( ttlt x 'i 8 139 yo SI 33 lt7 30 )( x If 1<6 ?. 32 ._. -oP ,,-'0 ?if:, 22 31 I;( I l.j8 1'+5 J 55 -10 3) x 5'7 5 137 17 136 118 ;z.ljx :,3 50 OP /50 136 1.3 99 /4-).(" 37 ).D I..ft, 70 133 11/ 1/ g /0 86 46 I Lfo 133 II:. J DP bP ;u 5'1 "5 55 LJCJ 13'2. /38 oP II :S\ '-11 33 S5 SI DP 5 1& I Slt 5D 33 S5 )... 60 oP S )0 61:, Y 60 55 71 oP ;(} 31 73 ,If 55 ) ;1. Ltg pp 77' 78' 79' 801 ? --? 70 95 145 7 ---. ? '15 30 -7 ---? 3.).. ICfy58 ---)95 "'J 3 ----17'1 177 ----)75 1'15 -Back issues of the TEXAS CAVER are now available for sale. The quanities of each issue are indicated in each square. The letters OP indicated issues that are now out-of-print. A dash -indicates that no issue was published for this month. An X indicates that there is only one issue left of this month. Where there is only one issue left, only a Xerox copy of the issue will be sold so that it will not go OP for everyone. All back issues will be sold for one dollar each including postage. Selling back issues is the only way the TEXAS CAVER has to make a few extra dollars, so help us and buy all you can. Anyone that has out-of-print issues that you would donate to the TEXAS CAVER it would be greatly appreciated. This way, cavers around the State would be able to complete their collections. These single copies would be kept and Xerox copies made. 38
BIG BEND 8avers: Torn Byrd, Beth Alston, Ed Alexander, Barbara Vinson, Carl Kunath, Bill, and Gil. Date: November 2,3,4, 1979 Reported by: Torn Byrd I noticed a couple of cave leads marked o n the Chisos Basin Quadrangle, on the southeast slopes of Casa Grande Peak. For years, Kunath and I have been talking about climbing Cas a Grande to take pictures. So we finally got it together and went for the full moon. In route to Big Bend I hit a deer and trashed out my new Datsun pickup near Carta Valley, but we continued on to Big Bend. We climbed the mountain and camped on a ridge near the cave lead. From a ledge below camp, I could see a gaping hole on the m ountainside. I knew there was not good potential for caves here in the Rhyolite and bre ccia, but there before my eyes was a Sota no! Upon inspection, it turned out to be a large arch with a big shelter cave inside. We took pictures and in the morning, We climbed to the top of the mountain. After a quick descent from the talas s l opes of Casa Grande, we went to the Chili Cookoff and checked out the Terlingua Sinkhole, an impressive pit. 39 BUSTAMANTE Cavers: 50 cavers from UT Grotto and Southwest Texas State University Date: October 20, 21, 1979 Reported by Tom Byrd Hordes of cavers dec ended upon Bustamante Canyon to introduce new cavers to caving in Mexico. A group of experienced vertical enthusiasts climbed the mountain to Precipicio and made an overnight cave/camping trip in this nearly inaccessible cave. Most of the group went to Gruta del Palmito which was large enough to accommodate all. I have observed that in Palmito the maxim is: The More,The Merrier. One can see more of the cave when 30 or 40 people spread out and light up different portions of the cave. Most people appear as mere specks or beams of light moving about. Back at camp, a frequently heard question was "Oh, were you in there too?". You could spend all day in there and never run into the same person twice. RIVER STYX CAVE Cavers: Luray Alexander, Charlie Collier, Mike Dege, Bill Hinson, Steve and Tina Huddleston, Jay Jorden, Ron Miller, Bob Obele and children, Kim and Will, Noel Sloan, and Neil Vitellaro. Date August 3-5, 1979 Reported by: Jay Jorden The author's first expedition to River Styx cave with participation in an interclub trip to the West Texas gypsum cave. To start the journey, I drove from Houston to Dallas on a Friday, with the intention of meeting up with Noel Sloan. The two of us would then get a ride with other DallasFort Worth cavers who would take their 4WDs on the road from there. However, caving trips. being what they are, a change of plans arose after it was determined that the trucks and/or cars would be jammed full of bodies and I showed up a little late. But Sloan had the remedy. Tossing a cooler of beer and gear into his Cutlass, and connecting up his CB, he allowed that we might as well ride in comfort. I joined him for the trip and soon a caravan departed from the Metroplex. The advance plans called for a rendezvous and overnight stay at a roadside park near Guthrie.
Around midnight, after one group experienced car trouble and Sloan and I had a minor delay at a drive-in grocery, cavers began invading the gypsum plains. A restful night was spent under the stars, and the next morning we paraded into ranch headquarters for the obligatory signing of the release forms before the foreman/person, a genial woman wearing cowboy boots. On the way out of the ranch for breakfast in Guthrie, an old truck stood smouldering by the side of the road, prompting a picture-taking session. Entering the cave around noon, Noel and I took the river entrance while everyone else entered the upper entrance. An unpleasant sight greeted us when we hit the bottom of the hill: horseflies were everywhere. There was no escape, either by land or water. They covered each person's body with bites, prompting Noel to hastily investigate the middle of the river. He immersed himself up to his neck but it was no use: the flies just had a smaller surface in which to bite. The two groups met close to the hilltop side of the cave, the upper travelers muddy from a crawl and the stream trekkers clean but wet. We then turned back toward the river and exited at the bottom entrance. Our insect friends were still there, waiting for us. Essential provisions for future trips to River Styx include a case of OFF or other comparable insect repe1lant and great quanities of mosquito netting. And, as usual, a good time was pad by all. CARTA VALLEY AREA, Edwards Co., Texas CAVERS: Carl Kunath, Jon Vinson, A. Richard Smith, Geren Smith, Preston Smith Date: October 26-27, 1979 Reported by: A. Richard Smith Gone are those dynamic days when Carl (C. Edwin) led the charge over ridge and up canyon to the next exciting lead. Gone, too, are those gay crowds which gathered at the stock tank for the next brave inductee to CVSUCKS. And also gone is the fleet of vans, trucks, and occasional sedan clustered at the triangle. Instead, there were just the five of us in Carl's relatively plush van and my occasional Pontiac sedan. We met at the triangle with the purpose of improving locations of several CV caves for the forthcoming TSS issue on the area. We also planned to check a spot marked intriguingly CAVE (it wasn't) on one of the new topo 40 maps and thought we might have just enough time to map the upper level of Rucker Bat Cave. We did everything except find SaltiU Cave. In fact, Carl was so unsure of the location he had previously marked on his topo map that he stayed in the van with the beer while the rest of us hiked the hills. Highlight of the evening meal was fresh, grilled armadillo. We might have done more but Carl had to go home for a pistol match Sunday afternoon. After all, we all have our priorities. LITTLE WATER CAVE (tenta.: Frozen Niblets Cave), Kendall Co., TX. February 9, 1980 Cavers: Scott Harden and Gary Poole Reported by: Gary Poole Friday, the day before our trip, Scott had called the owner of Little Water Cave and obtained permission for us to visit the "spring" on some geologic pretext. Unfortunately it was the worst possible weather for going water caving. A norther had just blown in and the temperature hovel above freezing. The chill factor was way down and heavily overcast skies dropped rain, sleet and snow. And then on Saturda y the weather turned really nasty. My memory of the caving trip itself is heavily prej udiced by my memory of the call I remember doing a surface survey during a light snowfall and then we continued the survey on into the cave. The stream water had felt warm to out chilled hands but did not feel so to our somewhat warmer feet. The portion of the cave that we surveyed averaged slightly more than one meter high and was rock floored. The stream flowed over and covered this floor. At one point a spring bubbled up through gravel to join the main water course. In the water we observed frogs, crayfish and salamanders but did no collecting. We ended our survey at a fairly deep pool below a travertine dam. We simply cou: stand the cold no longer. Due to some cursed meteorologic conditions the cold surface wind was pouring into cavern, generating sinuous serpents of mist as it contacted the relatively warm water of the cave. From our inside perspective the entrance light made this infusing mist appear an endless ghost, coming from an in finity of frozen ghosts and rapidly filling the cave as though it were a supernatural
sardine can. When we could take no more we chipped the ice from around our waists and headed out. On the surface we gathered up our gear and briskly walked to the car. The c h ill factor must have been about eighteen degrees Fahrenheit and by the time we got to the car I couldn't feel my legs. I cha nged clothes in Santa's wind using my teeth on things like zippers and buttons. My hands were largely useless, just or n amentation. We piled into Scott's Green Machine, turned on the heater and waited for a m iracle. We then hit the road for San Antonio, thinking it better to be sick among friends than among ranchers. LA GRUTA DE PALMITO, MEXICO D a t e : Nov. 31 -Dec. 1,2, 1979 Cavers: Sally Garcia, Dan Klinefelter, Jay Jorden, Jay Swindle Reported by: Jay Jorden After a meeting of the Greater South Tex a s Grotto, this novice trip to Palmito \.,as drummed up on an afterthought over a few beers at one of the local Pizza Huts. lVith the exception of the author, no one on the trip had been to Bustamante Caverns before. In fact, one had never been to a w ild cave before. It may be that those who go to Bustamante first, before attempting a Texas groathole, are spoiled for life. No cave is big enough after that kind of an i ndoctrination. W e sallied forth at sunset Friday, arriving at the border in time to have a leisurely late supper/early breakfast at Denn y's. Then it was on to customs and a d eserted line of chairs there. The gendarmes w ere almost happy to see us, if that is possible. W e arrived at the canyon about 1 am. The temperature was pleasantly brisk and a breez e was blowing while Dan and Sally pitc hed their tent and Jay and I rolled our b a g s out in the back of the truck. The cattle, with their bells on, entertained us thr o ugh the night. We ate breakfast the next day at the usual Ancira's, then hit the Las Grutas office in town. We were directed inste ad for tickets to the empty tourist building at the trailhead. There, some confusion arose as to why we could not pay O ur additional pesos for lignting the cave. lve were later to understand why. Two local boys accompanied us -rather w e tagged along behind them -to the cave 41 entrance, where they acted insistent upon going inside with us. But we noticed the fuses had been extracted from the junction box for the lights. One kid borrowed a carbide lamp from Dan and trucked inside. After a lengthy absence, he returned and, when we coerced him, he returned the lamp. We bid a hasty adieu and fled inside, leaving them to wonder why they couldn't go in, too. The last time I visited the cave was about five years ago. I realized, once inside again, that the previous times I had been there, the lights had been on. That method of orientation was on longer available, as we discovered several o f the posts on which the electric lines were strung had collapsed. Why haven't they been fixed? It would seem an easy matter to get a couple of palm-. frond pickers in the cave to restring them. Needless to say, we ambled partway down into the first room before we realizedwhere we were. Amazingly enough, I had never been into it, but it boasts some of the prettier sections of the main cave, aside from the newer discoveries. When we entered the cathedral hall, we were greeted by a lantern-carrying throng. A San Antonio caver, the assumed leader of the e xpedition, said he was leading students through the cave who had begun their residencies at the University of Texas Health Science Center's medical facilities in San Antonio. Most were wearing T-shirts and many left them on the electric lines to dry while they went to the new room We chose not to accompany them. The remainder of our visit was spent at the bottom of the rigging point to the B.P. I didn't remember the climb being so tricky to the formations but it sure seemed like it. We headed down the flowstone river, on the way to the N.R. Suddenly, everyone decided they were hungry. We remembered that Ancira's closed early on Saturday night. Those two considerations led us to turn around and begin the climb out. We soon caught up with the San Antonio bunch as they wound their way down the switchbacks. The parking lot, which had been deserted when we entered the cave, was filled with their trucks. Ancira's was closed. But we opted to stay at the motel for grins. All of us packed into one room, and at $6, we decided it was a bargain. Besides, the water ,,,as hot. While coins were tossed to see w h o got the first well-deserved shower, more ambitious efforts were underway t o w hip
up a meal. For once, the accomodations beat Bustamante Canyon. Sunday, we scouted out a good drop on a limestone dike in the canyon and had a training session. Two of the entourage had not rappe11ed in the recent past -Jay S. and Sally. Jay alone opted to try it. It was a good session. On the way back to the border, one of the topics of conversation was when the next trip was going back to Bustamante. COLA DE CABALLO, Laguna de Sanchez, N.L., Mexico Date: January 2-6, 1980 Cavers: Jay Jorden and Noel Sloan Reported by: Jay Jorden The first of the new year spelled the need for another cave trip by bus, with liberal amount of tourist stops thrown in along the way. Noel, recently elected president fo the D-FW Grotto, caught a flight to Corpus Christi and we left by car for Laredo the afternoon of Jan 2. What the city fathers of Nuevo Laredo had in store was astounding, for since our last sojourn by bus (in March, 1979, to Sotano de Arroyo) the Transportes'de1 Norte and other lines had been centralized at the sparkling-new facility on the southern edge of town. What once amounted to a leisurely walk through customs and saunter across the street to the run-down bus depot had vanished. In its place were deserted buildings and taxis waiting in the pre-dawn hours to ferry tourists to the edge of town -at a mere $3, almost what the bus fare to Monterrey is! A minor inconvenience, if only because of the money. Ten minutes later, we were settling back in primera class seats for the first leg of the trip. In four hours, we arrived in Monterrey. In the time it took to purchase more tickets, it was on to Cola de Caballo on a local line. In the off-season, the hotel is sedate but quiet, almost too quiet, for we were the only occupants of the rooms. Several other guests occupied cabins there. Our plan was to rest up and party down at the hotel, then ride the bus and/or hitchhike up the mountain to the national park for sightseeing and then on to Laguna de Sanchez. The hotel dining room is the highlight of the establishment, although the service is surly. Happily, we learned from the gruff maitre d'hotel that the bus for Cienega -on the way to Laguna -departed about 9am. 42 Friday morning, the sound of the bus in low gear was a rude awakening. Deciding we preferred to thumb it anyway, we stumbled onto the road. Thirty minutes later, salvation came in the form ofa lumber truck After a cerveza in Puerto Genevevo, and several stops by the driver to fiddle under the hood, we were deposited in the pines not too far from a Universiaad de Monterrey van bristling with botanists. The lumber truck had reached the end of the line. We checked out a hillside cave which didn't pan out, then hit the road again in hopes of catching another ride. We walked to Cienega. Well, almost to Cienega. Just outside the sleepy little town, a pickup truck pulled over. The driver graciously lowered his tailgate, and, still wearing our backpacks, we clung to the back as he roared the final distance into town. As the speedometer crept up, I realized this plan was not such a fantastic idea, and the momentum pulled my backpack and I off the truck at about 25 mph. I bit the dust. I was spitting up chalky dirt when the apologetic driver pulled up again. Noel was laughing hysterically, but the driver's face was ashen white. Disgusted, I hit a refresco stand and was drowning my aches and pains in a Coke when the truck, which had left us, returned. The local said he felt bad about my demise, and wanted to take us the eight miles or so to Laguna de Sanches. We thanked him and he dropped us and his wife off in Laguna de Sanchez. We set out in the twilight. He was a school teacher in Laguna and knew a schoolroom we could stay for the night in Laguna. When we arrived, a fair crowd of farmers were still in the one-room school in an agricultural seminar. We were promised a place to crash, though, and since the ice was forming on the mountain streets, we were obliged to wait. Our abode was a grain storage room of sorts nearby. At the schoolmaster's directior we were led to a store and the doors opened for us. Saturday morning dawned clear and bright as the schoolteacher lined us up some children for guides to the short but sweet local caves, which included Cueve de pilar. The longest cave lay about 10 kilometers from town on the side of a mountain, we were told. We made the tour inside of two hours and spent the day until the bus rolled out for Cola De Caba1io bumming around town and drinking at the local bar. The teacher, as it turned out, was also the barkeep. The samplings included homemade tequila. Not
bad -it killed the worm, as our host was fond of saying. After a look at the 55-gallon drums another batch was fermenting in, though, we decided to forego another bottle. The rickety old chariot that departed that afternoon was a cliffhanger all the way back to Horetail Falls. A mere 12 pesos gave the thrill of a lifetime. We stopped over for the night in Monterrey -at the "Mary Car Hotel" -to recuperate. LOST DIGIT CAVE, KENDALL COUNTY, TEXAS Date: March 1979 Cavers: Kathy Ballard, Gary Poole, George Veni, and Randy Waters Reported by: Randy Waters In March of 1979, Gary and I decided to check out a pit near Boerne. Information obtained from a rancher indicated that the pit dropped 25 feet to a breakdown choke. When we stopped to talk to him, he said that years ago the pit was used as a trash dump. Cans and bottles soon filled it up, but in the intervening years the many rains washed the trash down the pit and out of sight. We drove to the cave, rigged the pit and climbed down 25 feet to a breakdown choke. After some effort, we dislodged the breakdown from the narrow pit and could see down another 25 feet to what appeared to be a mud floor. Leaving this lead, we went to check out three other caves on the rancher's land. In April, 1979, David Drysdale, Gary and I returned to drop the second pit. At the top was a chest compressor section extending for 5 feet. This section then bells out slightly 20 feet down to a floor made up of mud and broken glass. From this pOint, we could see a belly crawl leading off. After a little digging, we managed to crawl 40 feet to a small breakdown room. From one side" of this room the belly crawl Continued for 15 feet to a very tight spot. Here, you exhale, move a few inches; inhale and repeat several times before getting through this chest compressor section. Sixty five feet further down the glass covered belly crawl we emerged into another small room 4 feet high which contained some nice formations and rock sculpture. From here, a very low belly crawl could be 43 seen continuing at least 20 feet. Located in the floor of the room, a water channel cut in the rock for several feet and ended in a 4-foot pit. From this point, I could see yet another pit dropping several feet into water. The only problem here was that the water channel was only 4 inches wide much too small for humans. This point was the limit of our trip. On 27 January 1980, George, Gary and Kathy and I returned armed with a hammer and rock chisel. We climbed down the double drop entrance pit, thru the glass covered belly crawl to the water channel. George first attacked the channel pit, after which we all took turns chiseling and trying to squeeze down the narrow opening. At last, I managed to squeeze through and chimney down the next drop into a pool of water which had an 8-foot diameter. I was quickly followed by the others. From this small room, we saw another glass covered belly crawl, but as yet could find no sign of the trash from the old pit. The belly crawl curved back and forth for 160 feet, passing two side passages which were both very small. We came upon an area where another water channel cut its way through a forest of Swiss Cheese rock sculpture for a distance of 30 feet. This channel entered a small room 4 feet high which contained a pit opening one foot wide by six feet long. Peering in, we were rewarded with a l4-foot pit which ended at a pool of clear water. Chimneying down the pit, which belled out to a width of 7 feet at its base, I discovered a stream passage 3 feet high by one foot wide which contained water extending straight for as far as the light could shine. While I debated on whether or not to enter the passage on this trip, I was outvoted by the voices from above and headed down the water passage. After 50 feet, ahead of me the ceiling dropped to within two inches of the stream's surface. Since I was tired and the surface weather was cold and windy, I decided not to submerge myself. It would be better to save the virgin stream passage for our next discovery trip. Backing out, I climbed the pit and then we all crawled our way out. Broken glass everywhere in the belly crawl gave Gary the name for the cave -Lost Digit. We surfaced. Our smiles were caused by the thoughts of the virgin passage behind us which were still going and would be our's for the next trip.
The Texas Caver 1019 Melrose Dr Waco, Texas 76710 BULK RATE US. Postoge PAID Permit No.142 3 Woco, Tx. 76710
Memorial issue for
Chuck Stuehm and family: Contents: Chuck Stuehm: some
"Hi, I'm Chuck" --
Chuck loved people --
Texas cave rescue card --
Chuck Stuehm memorial award --
Memories of Chuck Stuehm --
I remember Chuck --
Coming events --
Cave temperature --
Cueva Escondida --
Cueva Escondida map --
Bits & pieces --
Back issues for sale --