The Texas Caver

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


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Contents: Caver of the Month: Randy Waters -- An April in Huautla -- Welcome to Texas -- A Mexico map -- Coming-up -- A correction -- A flea market treasure -- Kick back -- Trip reports.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
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Vol. 27, no. 01 (1982)
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See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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K26-04639 ( USFLDC DOI )
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the Texas Caver Vol. 27, No.1, 1982 CONTENTS CAVER OF THE tiDNTH: Randy Waters ......... 2 AN APRIL IN HUAUTLA ....................... 4 WELCOME TO TEXAS .......................... 9 A HEXICO MAP .............................. 9 COMING-UP ................... ............ 9 A CORRECTION ............................. 9 A F LEA MARKET TREASURE ................... 10 KICK BACK .................... ........... 11 TRIP REPORTS ............................ 13 COVER PHOTO: E n trance a r ea i n S6tano de Cal e n turas taken on the r ecent T h a nksgiving t r ip. P h oto by Te rry Raines of S u san Raines a n d th e cave. The TEXAS CAVE R is a bi -monthl y p u b l icatio n of t he T exas Sp e l eo l ogical Association (TSA) an internal orga ni zat ion of the Nationa l Spe l eo l ogical Soc iety (NSS), and i s p u b li s h ed in Feb ru a ry Apri l Ju ne, Aug u st, October and D ecem b e r Dead lin e for submission of materia l i s o n e mo n t h before p u b li catio n d ate. SUBSCRI P TIONS are SS year. Persons s ubscr ibing after the fir st of the year will receive ail b ack iss u es f or that year. Sin gle and back issues are availab l e for o n e dollar eac h p os t pai d T h e T E XAS CA V E R open l y invites all cavers to s ub mi t a r ticles, ne w s even ts, car too ns, cave maps, p h otographs (any s i ze b l ack & w h ite or co l o r print), caving tech n iques an d a n y other cave re l ate d materia l for p u b li cation in t h e T EXA S CAVE R. A d d r ess ail S U BSCRIPTIO N S and E DIT O RI A L mater ial t o th e Edito r : J a mes J ase k 1 0 19 Mel ro se, Waco, Texas 767 1 0. Even i n g phone i s (817) When sen d i n g in a change of address, p l ease irrclude you ol d address. Persons interested in EXC H ANGE S a n d FORE IGN subscri p t i o n s h oul d direc t co rr espo n de n ce to t h e edito r. The JAWS 111 Positive Action Safety Device HOLD O N It won't let you dol1t..., SQUEEZE HANDLE TO STOP Nut (Adjust-for \ rope s1ze ; To Seat Slin < Roger Bartholomew PAT. AAIUED FOCI


CAVER of the MONTH f f one discounts his childhood visits to C2clsbad Caverns and Dinosaur Caverns, Randy l!(ltc:rs began his caving in 1974 as a member of t h e Alamo Area Chapter. Initially his c;r; Lng was an occassional pastime, but in e1dy 1976 his interest and fervor began to grow Perhaps it was the Dec. 1975 trip into Cascade Sink, which made the breakthrough doubling the cave's length and finding pos sibly the largest room in Kendall County, t h : t Hhetted his appetite for more . \t tha t time San Antonio was lacking a c:Ltvely caving members, so Randy began to associ ate with some new cavers who shared his grow i n g enthusiasm. He helped train them and took them caving. Man y of the trips were t o caves he discovered himself. Soon he had a s c onstant caving companions like John Cr, )s s Dottie and Teeni Kern, Gary Poole, G eorge Veni and they were led by Chuck Stue hm. They formed the core of the newly forme d San Antonio Grotto. W ithin a short time the SAG had stepped int o the forefront of active caving in Texas. It began with a few small, no-go caves. The only leads involved digging, which is Randy's g reat est love, and thus many caves were fou nd After learning to survey, the SAG's first project was the complex Robber Baron Cave. Randy made a very fine map of the cave and is heading the still continuing Project whose activities involve clean-up, gating, a n d o f course digging. M u c h of Randy Waters is closely tied to t h e SAG. He was its first member to draft m aps and has contributed greatly to the 3 Bexar County Survey. He has opened lots of land and lots of caves to exploration. He has been the most important human resource drawn upon in the push into Sorcerer's Cave. Presently he is leading an integrated survey of the caves in and around Cascade Caverns and the nearby Pfeiffer Ranch. A major undertaking vital to understanding the hydrology and speleogenesis of that area. With the TSA he prefers to observe and quietly assist. The volume of material he sends to the TEXAS CAVER, his name in the NSS News under many regional reports as its Texas correspondent, his non-gregarious manner of aid at TSA functions, this all goes easily unnoticed by most cavers. So next time you read the TEXAS CAVER or NSS News, listen to any reports coming from out of the San Antonio area, people watch at the TSA function, pay close attention and you will see that Texas caving is very fortunate in having an asset such as Randy Waters. Georg e Veni


AN APRIL IN HUAUTLA They'd been caving in Huautla for six weeks when I finally got a release from my job and could dash down with my wife Jan to in. It was the Huautla Project expedition of 1981. The name of it was the Agua de Cerro Expedition. The year before I had spent three months there. That was the 1980 Rio Iglesia Expedition. Now I had what they call a real job, and could only escape for four weeks. The preceeding expedition we had explored a set of new caves found high on a ridge above the valleys containing the well known caves of Huautla. We called these new caves the nitas. That's Mazatec for caves. One of the nitas, Li Nita, had gone over 1000 meters deep, the first cave outside of Europe to attain this distinction. Then, at a depth of 103 0 meters, working from our camp at -63 0 m eters for our third stay there, we managed to connect Li Nita to Sotano de San A gustin. We now had the Sistema Huautla, a cave system 1220 meters deep, and the third deepest in the world. Would there be a n even higher entrance we pondered. Fifty-three meters higher than Li Nita we found Nita He. Its grand 125 meter entrance shaft led to another and another and in the course of the expedition of 1980 went to 600 meters deep, but didn't come close to connecting to anything else. Even higher though, almost to the very crown of the ridge, yet another cave was found. Another nita, Nita Nanta. One bodylen gth into the cave it got tight. It stayed tight. Only when on rope was a person not against both walls. But it went and it went. At times we thought it ended, or perhaps we hoped it would, then a way on was found. By the e nd of the 19 8 0 expedition it had been pu s hed 500 meters deep and was heading down a nd straight for the system below. And for dessert w e h a d managed a sound connection between this cave and a small sinkhole cave 35 meters higher. It would mean around 140 m eters i n more depth to the system to bring in the sinkhole entrance to Nanta, anq Nanta to Sistema Huautla. It would be a strang second then. Huautla '81. It was a g r and scale expedition Bill Stone had worked his burn off for nine months seeking support. Mark Minton had been his right hand through it. They compiled an impressive list of equipment 4 Bill Steele donors, and we were awarded a generous exploration grant from the Explorers Club. Stone had ventured to Flordia and had been instructed by the masters there of long penetration cave diving. We wanted to connE Nanta on the top, and then see what the bottom did where it surnped at the bottom of San Agustin. Jan and I picked up Andy Grubbs at the SA airport when he returned from two weeks in Huautla. He told us the full status. A camp had been done in Nita Nanta, campin g at a depth of 400 meters. The cave had pushed to around 820 meters in depth to where, at the bottom of the 100 meter Texas Shaft, it had ended in breakdown. They were going to camp again and see what could be found. Something rather unexpected had also tum up. An insignificant seeming side lead from a squeeze in Li Nita (dubbed the White Room Lead) leaving from -150 meters was going off full tilt as an independent section. There was a camp going on there at the moment Andy reported. Sotano de San Agustin had been rigged by Stone and some Belgians who had arrived for a tour. Li Nita, rigged by Jim Smith, Mario Smith, Chris Kerr and others on their own early expedition meant to blend into the main one was then entered and in forty hours Stone, Shifflet, and Etienne Degrave did the first through-trip. They carried a dive tank each down 1100 meters and up 750 meters out San Agustin. Jan I flew to Mexico City, and that n i ght slept in Tehuacan, Puebla. The next da y we went on to Huautla and arrived in noon at the fieldhouse. The accornodatio ns were fine. We had the cinderblock build ing of 1980 again, to which a second story had been added, and the left half of the two story house we had used in 1976, 1977, and 1978. The camp was still on in Li Nita, in the White Room Lead, when we arrived. Nita Nanta had been pronounced done. They had camped a second time and had taken it to the incredible depth of 927 meters by finding an extension beyond a place considered all but impossible to do named the Poop Chut e But. it ended. There was no connection. Well, there had been one minor one. The sinkhole cave had been connected to Nant a


We were dealt that 35 meters more, but the 927 included that. The cave was now derigged t o u p above 400 meters. T here were two Australians there and one Brit. The Aussies, Alan Warild and Neil Hickson had joined us before, in 1977, in L a G rieta and Carrizo. The Brit, Tony White, was exceedingly cocky, and I didn't find the prospects of caving with him to be a pleasant consideration. After all, he had just been to the Mulu. Make way while he push e d the impossible leads and explored like no one else had ever done before. I needed to get into shape. These folks had been there six weeks already and were lean a nd tough. I needed a rugged plunge. My f irst trip was a derigging jaunt into gooJ old torturous Nita Nanta. At -400 meters w e sat and tightly wrapped about five o r six coils of rope into solid nylon logs. Stone had one I could hardly lift. Mine was about 3/4 of what his was, which seemed right, my being about 3/4 h i.::; size. A Texas Jurnar system works best in Nita Nanta You don't want anything extra in y our pack so everyone ends up with just t v!() Jumars. About halfway to the entrance I 1e a l i zed I wasn't going to make it with m y assumed log. I was out of shape. Texas cJimbs with that log on my back were doing me i n s o I dumped it. On the way on I pi 2 ke d up some assorted odds and ends oti;er s had dumped or dropped, then in the last fissure crawl aided Stone with his burden. W he n we got back to the fieldhouse the I,Jb!.t e Room Lead folks were out of their camp i n L i Nita. It had ended, thoug h they had steppe d at a couple of upstream leads that carried nice streams but would require tech ni cal aid and lots of rnanhours from another camp. Best to try for that sort of thing from above. The White Room Lead had gone 906 met ers deep. On the next derigging trip into Nita Nanta I f elt i n much better shape. Mark Minton and Lisa \.Jilk went in too to check thoroughly every nook a nd cranny there was. Maybe there would be something else that went down separately. \-.Then w e had ascended up to within two pits of t he entrance passage, we met with Mark and Lisa. They had climbed into a window in t he wall of this pit and found it went of f its own m erry way. They had gone perhaps 50 meters in depth along it and had stoppe d at a pit. We were thankful we could aband o n our ropes and leave them there for the nex t trip when we'd check it well. At the same time we were preparing to 5 reenter Nita Nanta for the first concerted push of the new passage taking off at a mere depth of 35 meters, a contingent of eight were heading down to establish Camp III in San Agustin. It had been used in 1979 for 16 days for the first dive in the -861 sump. That was really just a poke. This was to be a push. They would be down there for ten days. Minton, with Lisa and I assured them we'd join them in a few days to help with whatever was happening. At the rope pile in Nanta we picked up a couple of coils each and set off into the cave only Minton had seen for a little way. There was a steady, but slight breeze. Drop led to drop. Squeezes went beyond. Eventually we ran out of rope looking down off a boulder strewn ledge into a shallow pit with a good looking passage up on one wall. One the way out we named the passage Naranja Passage due to the abundance or orange flowstone adorning some rooms. One the next trip in we ran out of rope again. We were now getting down to the 3DO meter depth and w e had mapped enough to know this Naranja annex was its own passage, cutting out into the stark white of our fieldhouse map sheet, straight at Li Nita. We had ceased at the t o p of another ten meter drop. The trips had been long into Naranja. But they alway s are in Huautla. Trips are almost alway s more than fifteen hours, and most in the 18-22 hours range. That's what most Huautla cavers like. The time was drawing nig h to head into San Agustin and join the campers. \..Je took one more push into Nita Nanta before committing ourselves to five day s in San Agustin. We took the rest of the rope that had been left at the second pit in, and slowly made our way through the constricte d corridors of Nanta. Moving two thing s in there requires one of them, either the c oils or your pack, to be set out at arm'slength, then crawl or squeeze with the other, then set the first out a gain. We agreed though that the Naranja P assag e was bigger that the main way that had gone 927 meters deep. We went down the ten meter drop into virgin cave and within 45 minutes carne t o an imp ass, Minton was first ,and carne back, then carne Zeman, then I went down in m y turn to see what they said was the end o f this passage. The drop leading down there we christened the Grim Pit. It was wet and tight. At the bottom was barely any space that wasn't occupied by formation. The streamlet flowed into a two-finger-wide


,...-' ... ::-:--. '---. ', , . :-..., 'I -.A. Left to right standing: Chriss Kerr -Tennessee, Bill Stone -Maryland, Mark Minton -Texas, Tony White England, Steve Zeman -Texas, Bill Steele -Texas, Robert Hemperly -Texas, Ron Simmons -Virginia, Alan Wautly Australia. Left to right sitting: Bob Jeffreys -Connecticut, Lisa Wilk -Texas, Dina Lowry -Texas, Bob West -Texas, Janet Steele -Texas, Tommy Shiffett -Virginia, Neil Hickson -Australia. The flag i s o f the Explorer s Club of New York. Photo taken a gains t the schoolhouse in San Agustin Zaragoya, Ruautla de Jeimenez, Oazaca, Mexico. May l98l.


slo t that also inhaled the air flow. My report back was, "It's about the most t erminal looking spot I've ever seen." But w e decided to return with chemical force. It was worth it, and besides, none of us 1.,ranted to derig that day, beginning with t h e large pile there where we deliberated. Mark Minton, Lisa Wilk and I went rappelling into Sotano de San Agustin two days later. A bunch set off at the same time in an effort to locate the rumored resurgence at a place called Agua de Espinal down off th e plateau near the level of the Rio Santo Domin go. It was superb descending into the vastly dee p cave. We each were loaded down with full duffle bags. Sala Grande. Camp I. The Fishure. Camp II. Camino '68. Tommy's Terror. Ti; 8 n the spot where Josef Cuber, the hapless relish caver had ended his days of walking. It was eerie and grim. There was a lot of evidence of the tragedy a year past. Polish c ans. Dumped cardide. Even a smudge of Inti : dy gray stain on the boulder where he finally rolled to a stop. Year old bJoo d. :: eventually remembered the route through tf:,: -650 lakes,, and we soon had the roaring g,ng e behind us and were walking up the steep slop e into the colosseum-sized Sala Grande de la Sierra Mazeteca, the 700 meter deep l :)cation of Camp III. Just at the same time realized out Wheat Beams were being S \ tllowed by smoke above, we ran into Tony IV), i.te standing next to scattered dive gear. "Didn't go," he said matter-of-factly. H o w far'd you get?", we responded. S t one had been the only one to dive. In two penetrations he had advanced 250 meters h, izontally and 30 meters deep. He had run out. o f dive line there. It went on like a f.Luo ded subway tunnel down at a slight ang l e beyond the reach of his duel light bc2ms. They had just finished derigging the lrnver passage. three walked up into the camp where rock s were piled up for backs and lo o ked like Stonehenge in a thick fog. The report on the smoke was that some of them hah been bored and had burned the trash The thick smoke was socked in for th e duration. ltle were in great humor, the three of us lvhom had just arrived. But to our dismay we f o u nd these residents of Camp III to be like zombies. There was no spirit. There was nothing really here except eight cases of the b l ahs. These fellows were burned out. They h a d been burned out on Nita Nanta when I had arrived two weeks earlier, now they 7 were burned out on San Agustin. There was no fun down here. It had been pure hard labor to haul the plastic pipe tank carriers to the sump and back up to here. And there was evidence that there had been some harsh words exchanged among some of these seeming concentration camp inmates. We three did our best to raise the fellowship, but their moods were here to stay as the damn smoke was. After we slept we packed up and climbed the headwall you can usually see from the heights of Camp III, heading up to see Anthodite Hall. I had attempted to lead the _fifty meter climb up into there in April 1977, but had backed off for the lack of aid. Stone had made it in 1979, and he and Tommy Shifflet had found the great hall. I entered the vastness of Anthodite Hall alone while Mark and Lisa finished climbing. We've estimated you could seat 50,000 people in this chamber. I climbed up onto a high point out on the floor, snuffed my carbide flame, and sat in the intense solitude. Then I started singing. No, it wouldn't make a good concert arena, unless for some punk group really into horrible echo. When Mark and Lisa joined me, we circumnavigated the perimeter, shot a roll of film using bulbs and magnesium flares, and eventually returned to camp. The last folks were ready to leave there and we arranged to derig the ropes up to Camp II after we slept for a period. The next day we did this. We slept again in Camp II, the three of us, then went active again, Mark and I left Lisa there and packed up and headed down a couple of drops to go out Kinepak Canyon to see the "triple connection" area for ourselves. What a grand passage! Carbide glows were inconsequential in this high hall of darkness. We walked and talked, wondering in one tricky spot if that was where the first Pollack had broken his leg, and in about three hours were out where San Agustin, Carrizo, and La Grieta come within meters of connecting. There was plenty of evidence the Poles had been there. Not only was there glow tape stuck on every corner so they didn't ever lose their way, it was on both sides of the corners. We picked up all this debris. Mark and I poked around for several hours. We did some climbs, found some virgin passage, seeped out a possible mining operation site, then headed back to Camp II having concluded that a Camp IV would have to be done to really get something done out there.


There was a good place for a camp. We were awakened the next morning by Bill Stone. He was in from the surface for a load of tanks. He was followed soon by others there for the same reason. We packed up our gear, filled all remaining duffle space with trash and loose items, and headed up the 536 meters to the above world. My only problem happened when I was climbing the 318, the deepest pit on the way out, and all at once couldn't tug my duffle anymore. It was pinned against the wall by the weight of someone on the rope below me. I was furious at first, but calmed sufficiently by the time one of the Aussies reached me to not bean him with m y rack as I had first sworn to myself I would do. You just had to stand back and let them by. It was as if they always had a stopwatch on them and it was a sprint for the wire at tha entrance. Or maybe it was the beer in the fieldhouse? I went on one more trip into San Agustin to pull ropes and clean the cave. Dino Lowery and Tommy Shifflet had gone in and were exiting with camp packs and dive gear. Robert Hemperly and I went down the 318 and alleviated some of their loads, then sent them on while we with Lisa and Bob \Vest derigged up to Camp I at -250 meters. From there we e xited with as as we could carry. It was time for Nanta again. Zeman, Hinton, and I went in with a bomb box and in several h ours arrived at the front line at the base o f Grim Pit. Mark set a charge in the slot and camb back up to where we all gathered in a safe spot for the concussion. We dramatized the countdown, then I went down to see. It was still tight, but within twenty minutes I had pushed shattered rock ahead o f me and slid down it into a bathroomsized pocket below dense formations and flowstone. On the other side of this room was guess what, another constriction like the other. So we did it again. Mark and Steve came down, set the charge, back up, 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-BAM! They went back down, hammered and hammered, then yelled up that it went. They'd seen a pit. We named that second spot Blasted Squeeze! For the next few hours we scooped fine cave. It went great. One drop after another. Steady breeze. Bearing just what was needed. We were hauling along a big rope. About 60 meters Someone had just said something about needing a deep one for it when there it was. We ended our push half way down a beautiful free-hanging 100 meter shaft. We had gotten to 500 meters deep. Back on the surface there were plenty of 8 things going on. Rick Rigg and Jeb Blakely of Idaho had joined us along with Steve Robertson. They went into San Agustin to finish the derigging and bring out ropes for a puSh of Seis Segundas, a quickly descending cave over in the wild town of San Miguel where the Mazetecs themselves say "the dead aren't even safe". A great contingent inspired by the zeal of the Brit and the Aussie duo pumped 750 meters of rope down it, a sufficient enough amount for the 324 meters it went down then ended Jan and I had to leave. Our month was up, She and the others hadn't located a resurgence on their walk by the way. They more specifically where it was however. Then, after we left, Bill Stone and his bride-to-be Pat located it and ran a surv e y line to tie it in with our surface line between the caves. The day we left others did too. Zeman, Lowrey, Hemperly, West, Jan and I boarded a bus in Huautla, got them to plug in one o f our cassette tapes, and off we rambled t o Ry Cooder. We took a train to Laredo from Mexico City, then took advantage of the mojado van service up to SA. The day we left, Stone, Jeffreys, Shifflet Rigg, Robertson, and Blakely went back int o Nanta and went down the pit we had looked down. The cave got big off the bottom. They rigged six drops or so then entered a vast room. Three combined Wheat Lamps coul d not touch the ceiling. It was 100 meters long and nearly as wide. Three waterfalls thundered in from up high. They went down a hole in boulders, tryin g to follow the water. Two drops dmvn this route was blocked, but Stone says he c o u l d hear a distinct roar of water through the boulders at one spot. This room is our mai n lead for 1982. It was 750 meters deep, and a mere 150 meters from Li Nita, and thus Sistema Huautla. The dive Stone did add e d 30 meters in depth to the system, so it i s 1250 meters deep. A connection with Nita Nanta would make it 1390 meters deep o r so. The world's second deepest cave is 133 8 meters deep. To get Numero Uno we'll h ave to come in from below with Stone's 198 3 diving/climbing team and their sump-climb-sump-end of line where Stone left it in San Agustin goal. EPILOG -In 1980 the Huautla Project found in excess of 100 new pits in the Huautla caves and surveyed over 3000 meters of vertical extent. In 1981 another 100 new pits were found and done and nearly 3500 meters of vertical cave surveyed. To date six caves in Huautla have been occupi e d


in long-duration camps deep within them. In these six caves ten different campsites have b ee n utilized for as many as six different periods as in the case of Camp II San Agustin. caving in Huautla began in 1965 by Texas based AHCS cavers. Though the teams are now c osmopolitan and often international in personnel, they still are grouped in Texas, l a unched from Texas, and by far Texas is p r e dominant in representation in the field. T EXAS C AVE (512)-686-0234 KREIDLER ANSWERING SERV. McALLEN, TEXAS D ESCUE CALL COLLECT REQUEST ri CAVE RESCUE In the event of a cave emergency where s pelunking techniques and equipment are for search and'or rescue, CALL 5121 6 8 6-0234 You will be requested to leave your n ame and phone number and stand by Cave R e scue in your area will return your call. Welcome To Texas by Mike Walsh :.;:-. Albert Ogden has come to Texas and he i s now one of us! Host people just call him Albert. Al started caving in Pennsylvania i n 1966. He gives Hargaret Hart's father a g r e a t deal of credit for his starting caving From 1972 to 1976 he spent his u nderground time in Virginia and West In 1976 he received his PhD in Geolog y from the University of West Virginia. Al t he n brought civilization to the Univ. o f A rkansas in the form of his portable sauna. While teaching in. Hogland he surveyed a n d saunaed. Four Hile Cave near Hasty and Lit tle Bear Cave near Jasper were two of h i s main projects. Faced with a choice of t e a ching his geology classes (under t h e Arkansas Creationist Bill) or moving to Texa s he choose us. Albert found a home at Southwest Texas University in San Harcos. Working with the Edwards Aquifer Research Center, he is running around San Harcos and central Texas dumping dye into holes. If your water turns green, call Albert. Call hi m a nyway and welcome a good caver to Tex as. Albert Ogdon, 1019 Sycamore, San Marcos, TX 78666. (512) 396-4873. 9 A MEXICO MAP Every now and then a really good item comes along, and this blackline copy of a 1905, out-of-print map of Hexico is a fine example of such an item. Joe Giddens, aFt. Worth caver and geologist, found this map, and had a full size negative of the map made, and he will provide you with a copy of this 30X39 inch map for $6.00 postpaid. The map covers a very large portion of northern Hexico (1:500000) that runs north along the Rio Bravo to about 150 km south of Honterrey. This map shows the Pan American highway stopping a few kms south of Honterrey. The map runs a few kms east of Laredo to about 450 kms west of Laredo. The map retains remarkable detail showing literally hundreds of cities, towns, and villages along with highways, roads, trails, lakes, rivers (with names) and mountains (with names). Any caver interested in Hexico should have a copy of this map in their collection. Send your money to Joe Giddens, PO Box 12938, Ft. Worth, TX 76116 I have a copy of this map, and it is incredible as to the overall detail and the number of towns shown. The Editor. Coming-up You can call this Coming-up a pre-view of what you will see in the pages of the April issue of the TEXAS CAVER; that is, unless I get a flow of material of all you cavers out there in happy caving land. Don't forget, I have another 24 pages of Corridor Wars that I can use, and the nex t episode is Coming-un ... fast! A Correction In the December issue of the TEXAS CAVER, it was stated that George Veni surveyed and drafted the map of Robber Barron cave. This was an error. It was Randy Waters did this work. The map was published in 1978. Also a section of Jocie Hooper's trip report was left out. The left out section referrs to Atkinson, Hooper and Steele mapping the "Wiggle-Woggle" passage for about 50 m in the Silver Hine/Powells Cave trip. Also Hinton, Hothes and Russell surveyed back out the entrance for about 200 m working in the grey goo near the entrance.


A Flea Market Treasure Last year I visited one of the many flea markets held in Dallas. \.Jhile browsing through the many booths, I came across one that had several tables of old books. I asked the man if he had any books on caves. After scratching his head for a few seconds he said he didn't, but he had some old slides showing the rescue attempt of Floyd Collins. He opened a glass cabinet that was lying on one of the tables, and handed me a small brown box measuring 2 X inches. On top of the box were the words: ILFORD ALPHA .. LANTERN PLATES. Trying to conceal my excitement, I carefully opened the box. Inside were 20 stereo negative glass plates. In the center of each plate was written a description of each picture. After carefully examining each plate, noting only four duplicates were included, I paid the man and carried my treasure find to my truck and returned to Ft. Worth. While caving with James Jasek one weekend, I told him about the glass plates. We decided to share these rare pictures with other cavers by publishing some of them in the TEXAS CAVER. By consulting the book Trapped by Murray and Drucker, identification of some of the plates were clarified. E. Wayne Burks Ready to enter Onyx Cave. Entering where Collins went in. Only photograph of Collins taken after death ro


KICK BACK Dear Jim; I was pleased to see the article by Tom Reinbold about the Koehler Wheat lamp in the 1981 TEXAS CAVER. The article was interesting and very informative, but I'd like to mention a couple of things, the first of which is of some importance. In t he purging procedure on the bottom of page 53, step #4 should definitly be omitted. c harged battery has the sulfuric acid electrolyte in its purest form, while n a dis c harged battery, the electrolyte exists as lead sulfate and water. Step #4 will gre a tly increase the amount of lead sulfate in t he battery and accelerate its age. The dam ag e d electrolyte should be charged as mucl as possible (step3) before proceeding to s t e p 5 T h e procedure used to get 50 hours of light fro m a Koehler Wheat lamp amounts to buildin g a screw base adapter for the Koehler h e a dp iece, rather than rebuilding the bulbs t h e m s elves. Unfortunately, BM28G and BM20G ar e no longer available. Thl=>. following table compares the Koehler bul n s installed in reverse (filaments in se r i es) with normally connected Koehler Bulbs and two miniature screw bulbs that require th e a dapter. In the table, L! means both filament s together, M means one million, A is th e a mperage of the bulb, B is the brightness of t h e bulb (one or both filaments), Lis the l i f e of the bulb, H is the number of hours a battery will last per charge with that bulb, and C P R is candlepower-hours, a measure of the efficiency of the bulb. A B L H CPH L.BM30 0.77 0.60 3M 19 11 IBM30A 0.64 0.48 3M 23 11 BM30 1.2 4.9 250 13 61 BM30A 1.0 3.9 250 15 58 41 0.61 1.79 38 25 45 13 0.30 0.89 21 50 44 As you can see from the table, Koehler bulbs connected in reverse provide only about 1/5 of the light per charge as normally connected bulbs, This is because the efficiency of filaments are greatly reduced at voltages much lower than their rated voltage. The idea of reversing Koehler bulbs to connect the filaments in series brings up the possibility of connecting the filaments in u parallel. This would by by installing another switch in the Koehler headpiece to connect the headpiece socket base to the base contact that is connected to only one filament. (The other base contact is wired to both filaments inside the bulbs.) This switch would enable you to get a brighter light since both filaments connected in parallel would operate normally. Of course, the battery's charge would last only half as long if you left both filements switched on all the time. Tom Kaye D.C. Grotto Tom Kaye D.C. Grotto NSS 16356 Dear James; I have just finished reading the latest Texas Caver from cover to cover and would like to comment on a few things. First you are doing a great job. I look forward to each new issue and read it cover to cover much too soon. The article un George was great. I still consider myself a novice and George has been friendlier and given me more encouragement than any other of the "experienced" TSA cavers. Your editorial on the material in the TC was interesting and I would like to give you another point of view. You are rightmany of us go caving and do not send in trip reports -but at least for me, I generally go caving in caves most "experi enced" cavers have already seen. What can I tell them about Langtry Lead, Precipicio, or local San Marcos area caves, that they don't already know. If I try to explain the thrill and excitement I feel going to these places for the first time, it would look silly. Most people I have met in the TSA and at OTR have done so much more, bigger and better, than anything I could send to the TC would look silly. I have gone in caves that have seen so much traffic that there was a well beaten path from the entrance to end. For it was still exciting. I was caving in a new cave and seeing someplace I had never seen before. I'm sure other novices know what I mean, but in the presence of the "Big Guys" what could we say that would be of interest? The same about pictures maybe the first entry is the hardest. I must admit I have not tried that even. Hhen I look at my pictures they convey thoughts and memories to me and those who were with me I am not sure they would anything but mediocre cave snapshots to anyone else. I look at the slides presented at OTR or at TSA meetings and then compare them to mine and


think, who besides me would want to see these. The exciting 30 foot and 60 foot drops in H.T. Meyers Cave are probably climb downs to the really experienced caver. James, what I have tried to say is "I feel what are exciting, fun-filled adventures underground to me, would be silly little tourist trips to most TC readers. Maybe these feelings are inaccurate. If they are let me know how you feel about listening, or reading novice trip reports about old familiar caves. I am looking forward to your reply. Thanks again for keeping the Texas Caver coming. It is the only way I can begin to keep up with all that goes on in Texas caving. Sincerely, G.L. San Marcos, Texas Dear G. L.; So, I don't think that a novice caver should feel ashamed about sending in a trip report about a cave that they might feel not worth the space in the Texas Caver. One of the most important things about trip reports is that they tell other cavers in Texas who is caving and what caves are open. OPEN! A lot of the good caves are closed in Texas. So, if you are planning a cave trip and keep up with what trips have been taking place in Texas, you will have some cave to go to. Trip reports also help cavers entering a cave for the first time, to have a feel for the cave, and to know what to expect when they arrive. It helps with landowner relations by telling cavers what to expect and how to act. All cavers no matter how "experienced" don't go in the deep fantastic caves all the time. On off times, they may want to "get underground for the day. In this case almost any cave I am very glad to receive a letter like will do. By talking to other cavers and this from a TEXAS CAVER reader. There is a keeping up with the trip reports in the TC, real good point here even though I feel they will know where these caves are. that this reader is wrong on all points, I So, all you novice cavers, don't feel think the feelings reflect a good many ashamed or silly about going in caves that cavers. This may very well be one of the everyone and his dog has been in. Send in reasons that the TEXAS CAVER does not get those trip reports, cartoons, stories, m aps, enough material. Like I mentioned in my photos, and other cave related material. I Editorial -sending in material to the TC will print it. No one will laugh at you, for the very first time is the hardest. Don't forget, all the "experienced" cavers You may think: will it be published, is it started as a novice just like you. I am good enough, is it exciting t o others, will sure that all of them felt just like you I look silly for getting excited over a do. I remember back when I first started, small "nothing" cave. Please be assured I felt intimidated by these fellows myself, that it is none of the above. and I still do, as I fully realize that I Trip reports are the most read item in will never be able to do the caves they do. each issue, and when they are missing due This does not dampen my spirits though. I to the fact that none were received, the still love to cave. Good caving! issue is missing the real "heart" of caving. we decide?to go looking for Bee Creek Cave. I have been caving for a good many years, r. Armed with a lot of enthusiasm and skimpy and I can truthfully say that I have directions, we set off. never been in a cave that I didn't like. We got in the area O.K., but then thin g s ::J Even caves that other cavers have been in c got a little shakey. "The entrance is hundreds of times (like Gorman). I still located in the backyard of the second h ouse get the same thrill enterin g the same old After scouring the hillside for a n cave many times later as I did when I entered 8 hour, we finally found it in the backyard my very first cave. of the second house down. The entrance is I just recently talked to Bill Steele on d lJ the phone, thanking him for sending me the about 3 X 3 feet, and the cave gra ua .y ro narrows down to body size. Just when you fine Huautla article in this issue. H e told it's going to stop, you squeeze u p a m e that he was planning a trip to Airman's couple of feet, and the passage opens u p Cave in Austin, or should I say under Austin. into a small room, about 10 by 20 feet. H e \vas excited about the trip. Just think There is a large column in the center, an d of all the cavers that have been in this plenty of interesting formations. It i s cave. I will have to say tha t I must retract amazing, with the residential location of that statement about never going in a cave this cave, that people haven't trashed i t I didn't like I forgot about Airman's. out. We checked pretty carefully, but Bill is very muc h like me, we both love couldn't seen anywhere to push the cave caving and love the caves. All caves. farther. 12


CAVE, Terrell County Texas Dare: December 5-6, 1981 C ave rs: \.Jilliarn Bentley, Patrick Hill, Tommy Hill, Terrance Hill. Repor t e d by: William Bentley -l'h e weather forecast was clear with temp. in 70's, but upon our arrival Saturday it w as c l oudy, windy and a cool 40 or lower. We set u p camp and entered the cave about 2 prn Sat urday and were into the main portion of the c av e a t the fourth level about hours later. Explo r ation into several chimneys proved hopeless as they were steeper than they look ed an d free climbing was not too easy. Three o f us were experienced and one of the group lva s a novic e vertical caver so movement up or down the ropes was rather slow. This was m y seco nd trip into the cave and nothing lo o ke d as if it had been moved since the trip las t June. Total completion of the trip was 12.6 hrs. and i t was colder than ever at nearly 3 am on the surf ace. I did learn one thing, never ta ke a n inexperienced vertical caver along u nless you have some extra time to spend. I did h owever complete one thing. I did manage t o p h otograph about 90 pictures. I have the bes t o f these on display at horne, but will s how them at the Jan. meeting of 10-G Grotto in Odessa. I would like to tell everyone that I am available for trips on weekends now! You can write to me at Rt 2 Box 182-A 11idl and, 'TX 79701. 13 TAMAPATZ, San Luis, Potosi, Mexico Date: Thanksgiving, 1981 Cavers: Stephan Gregory, Charles Hudson, Mike Hughes, Dave McAdoo, Hank Ratrie, Nicki Reineck, Vern Shellman, Ann Waguespack, and Charles terwood. Reported by: David McAdoo After nearly a year's planning, Galveston cavers set out for El Sotano de las Golondrinas Friday evening, Novenber 18. Preparations included excution of various maneuvers in a tree in a park in Galveston, and a visit to Surprise Pit, Fern Cave, Hunstville, Alabama. The group crashed for several hours Saturday morning at the Hudson farm in San Benito. Charles 1.Jinterwood, who flew in from Council Bluffs, Iowa, was picked up at the Harlingen airport the next morning. W e crossed the border and camped near Ciudad Vict9ria for the night. The nex t day we drove on to Aguisrnon, but the official who had to give permission to go to the cave was attending a party in his honor and was not available until the next morning. We drove to Huichihuayan after visiting the Nacimiento for a bath, and camped there for the night. W e obtained written permission to enter Golondrinas early and drove up the new road from E l Limon to Tarnapatz. The new road is tricky when meeting oncoming trucks but is otherwise pretty good and offers excellent vistas including some obvious sink or pit entrances down the mountain. From Tarnapatz we set out hiking with our camping and caving gear along a hand laid stone path toward Golondrinas. A friendly local fell in with us after we asked him the way to the sotano. On the way we bought him a couple of beers in a small store and he got us some tangerines. Then he stopped at his horne and picked up a 22 rifle, afterwards carefully guiding us to the pit entrance. At this point the guide indicated he wanted to be paid, so we gave him 100 pesos and some food. He indicated extreme disappointment, so w e gave him another 100 pesos. That was still less than he wanted, but we didn't offer more, feeling rather annoyed because we had not asked for his services. We were thrilled and chilled several times to time rocks thrown into the pit at about 11 seconds. We rigged the pit, while enjoying the evening flight of swifts and parakeets into the cave. S ince it '"as dark, we deferred entering until the next morning. The "guide" had fallen asleep on the rocks about five feet f rom the pit, and could not be roused. We camped for the night and returned to e nter the nex t morning The guide


was still sleeping, although he had moved away from the pit and off oF tte rocks. Perhaps he was guarding the rope. He told a local woman the next morning that he had been poorly paid. Shortly after dawn the first person rappelled in. Ann, Charles and Charles remained on the surface. Charles 1-Jinterwood, an MD, took some ribbing about whether he would go to someone's aid if they were injured in the pit, as required by the Hippocratic oath. The second person in put too few bars on his rack and was unable to add another. His yells could not be understood at the top or the bottom. However, since yelling started when the belay was released and stopped when it was applied, it was concluded that a problem existed. Therefore a belay was applied for the rest of the rappel. Belaying was more difficult than on shorter drops due to the stretch of the rope. A combination of belaying and wrapping the rope around his boot for added friction got the person safely down. The boot wrap was hard to apply near the bottom due to the effects of the loss of circulation in the legs. At least four bars on a Bluewater rack is recommended. The last four cavers entered without incident. Everyone was impressed with the duration of the rappel and the eerie landscape at the bottom. The entrance with one sunlit wall provided a cheery link to the surface. There is enough light to see the entire bottom with its talus slope s and valley. However, my earner's light meter was not much impressed. The lichens and algae growing on the mud, guano and rock gave much of the bottom a perceptible greenish hue. Bamboo spears, apparently thrown at the birds at the top, were sticking everywhere. After exploration, picture taking and picking up a small amount of trash, the first two cavers started out. The first expressed some annoyance at losing thirty feet due to rope stretch1when the second climber started. Each time someone got off at the top another started up. Nicki finished climbing out as the swifts were going in for the evening, adding spice to her climb. The swifts circle the entrance in a large flock and dive in a hundred or so at a time from about 100 feet above the entrance. Each bird makes a considerable "woosh" and a group.generates deafening reverberations near the top of the pit. Only the last climber had to climb in the dark. We derigged the pit and camped there another night. After watching the morning bird flight, we gathered up the rope and headed back to Tamapatz. He drove down 14 the mountain, returned to the Nacimiento Huichihuayan for another dip. Afterwards we' drove north to Los Sabinos with everyone feeling much refreshed. We camped that night and the next near Cueva de los Sabinos. The next morning we explored Cueva de los Sabinos briefly and introduced Ann to single rope technique. We then went to El Tigre encountering on the way two bathers next to a washed out section of the road that requir some serious "4-wheeling" to negotiate. At the bottom of the first drop the second person in (Dave) saw a snake crawling severa feet from him; and unexpected creature at the bottom of a 300 foot drop. Hank wanted to capture the snake, which he did by pinnin its head down with a stick. After examining it, he stated "Charles Hudson's worst fears have been realized. He'd been deathly that I would catch a fer-de-lance." Hhen Vern arrived, he volunteered a quart been carrying food in to hold the snake. After exploration to the lower levels of cave, cavers and snake returned to the surface. Later research proved the snake to be a Barba Amarillo (Yellow Beard), a type of pit viper ofter referred to in central and South America as a fer-de-lance. Mike, who had remained at the top, encountered another fer-de-lance on the rim of the The snake from the cave was placed in an chest, and the cavers returned to camp at Los Sabinos. On the return trip the washed out section of road had miraculously repain Our thanks to those energetic local people who put out that effort just to make our trip a little easier. Perhaps they did not wish to have gringo girls piling out of a vehicle again while the local bathtub w c s in use. On the way to camp we met Ned and Barbara Strenth and several students from San Angelo State. After a brief get together, we returned to camp, ate supper and sacked out. The next morning Ann, Mike, Hank, 1/ern, and Dave set out for Pichij uma. Most of the remainder went to Tinaja with Ned and Barbara. Everyone dropped down the forty foot entrancl drop at Pichijuma without incident. Dave, thl first person down the 140 foot interior drop, found a lake at the bottom. Confident that it would be shallow, he rappelled in to his rig cage. When he was still unable to f ind bottom with his toe, he decided it was time to turn around. Putting on climbing gear is an interesting process when one is attached to the rope and two-thirds submerged. However, a return to the top was accom p lished without mishap. By then, everyone else has lost interest in the drop. Bef ore leaving the arroyo area a new road was


that comes to within 100 yards o f t he SE side of the entrance but the way to enP r it is not known to us. We headed out and back to Los Sabinos for the night. Saturday morning, we headed for the border and spent the night at the Hudson farm. Gal reston was reached Sunday evening. ENC ANTED ROCK CAVE Da; .. : Jan. 10, 1982 c a'., cs: Joe Anders, Jeff Johnson, Kevan Mann by: Joe Anders s c k ; (1: ffi( a b ( t l t t : s i U J P r tf, \,, ' c;' chanted Rock Natural Area has become statewide as a rock climbers mecca. most any weekend, climbers can been trying to scale the vertical slopes ntered on any of the domes. Less well perhaps, is the existance of a cave :le the park. the use of the word cave may be a e optimistic. It is more a fissure in ock, and the surrounding walls have 2 psed in such a way as to form a crawl-The entrance is located about 100 c s from the top of the main dome, and scrambling over some fair sized J ers is required before arriving at entrance. After entering, you 1 d o wnward a few meters, then begin ling along a gently downsloping passage. nds around some massive boulders and for about 75-100 meters, then a short d climb puts you back on the dome. didn't see any formations of any kind. 6ly the best thing about the cave is pportunity it offers the people who the park to get a little taste of g There's no chance of getting lost, n rdhat or pads needed, and a handheld light i s plenty for someone who wants exploring. \>Jithout a doubt, this is . ost traveled non-commercial cave in t(' t l n c f u ; During the summer, you might have :"it in line for your turn at the cave. you're ever at Enchanted Rock, and a break from the heat, the cave is a nd cool, plus it's really a lot of scramble atound in. BA:. :ERA BAT CAVE, Comal County, Texas D ac: : Jan. 10, 1982 Ca':Ts: Don Arburn, Greg Fritz, Kurt Menking, Randy Waters Repurted by: Randy Waters 15 \>Jerking through two land owners, we secured access to the cave. Once there we took a brief look at the main entrance, then rigged the mine shaft back entrance. The smell blowing out was much better than some of the eye watering times in the past. Finally, we all touched down on the soft guano. We all spread out and did our own thing. Greg and Don found an interesting lead and dug, Kurt took photos and dug in a lead I found two years ago. After removing a number of large rocks and much guano I uncovered a small room just large enough for one body. Not much but at least something. Greg and Dan's lead didn't go either. Kurt and I took photos as we all slowly strolled our way out. Dozens of Bobcat skulls were seen, several with .22 caliber holes, obviously left by trappers. We all collected our share of guano for future gardens and walked out the large entrance sinkhole to a cold, clear windy afternoon. ROBBER BARON CAVE, Bexar County, Texas Date: Jan. 16, 1982 Cavers: Don Arburn, Eric Short, Randy Waters, Meric Mainster, Greg Fritz, two neighborhood kids, and one of their mothers. This trip had two main purposes, to shore up the entrance sinkhole, and to repair damage done to the cave gate. We first took some neighborhood kids and a mother for a tour. Then showed them out of the cave. Eric and I stayed in to work on the gate while Don and Meric worked in the sinkhole. A week ago, Kurt Menking discovered some kids chiseling at the gate. A little damage was done to one of the brick walls that support the gate, so we mixed up some concrete and patched it up. We surfaced to find that Don and Meric had placed several Railroad ties near the entrance to keep trash and mud from washing into the cave entrance crawl backing mud up against the gate. Greg showed up and we all worked some more in the sinkhole. The sinkhole when wet becomes hazardous and slippery so several steps were placed with some of the many bricks dumped in years ago. BEE CREEK CAVE, Travis County, Texas Date: Jan. 1982 Cavers: Joe Anders and Jeff Johnson Reported by: Joe Anders Sitting around on a Saturday morning, Go to page 15. -


the Texas Caver 1019 Melrose Dr. Waco,TX 76710 BULK RATE US. Postage PAID Permit Na.1423 Waco, Tx. 76710

Contents: Caver of the
Month: Randy Waters --
An April in Huautla --
Welcome to Texas --
A Mexico map --
Coming-up --
A correction --
A flea market treasure --
Kick back --
Trip reports.