The Texas Caver

The Texas Caver

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The Texas Caver
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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: Bustamante Area caving / P. Sprouse -- Texas oldtimers 1989 -- Victory for cavers / G. Veni -- Air currents underground / W. Thomas -- Book review -- Trip reports.
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Vol. 34, no. 04 (1989)
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k26.4682 ( USFLDC Handle )
11416 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
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THE TEXAS CAVER VOLUME 34, NO. 4 AUGUST 1989 CONTENTS Bustamante Area Caving (P Sprouse) .......... 63 Texas Oldtimers 1989 ....... ..... 69 Vic tory For Caver s (G. Veni) ....... 71 Air Currents Underground (W. Thomas) ......... 72 Book Review ................... 77 Trip Reports .................... 78 ALTERNATING EDITORS This issue Dale Pate P.O. 1251 Austin, Texas 78767 ph. 512 452-5184 Next issue Jay Jorden 1518 Devon Circle Dallas, Texas 75217 ph. 214-398-9272 ph 214-220-2022 AUSTIN STAFF COMPUTER ASSISTANCE & PROOF READING Erika Heinen TEXAS CAVER LABELS Rod Goke PRINTING & BINDING & LOTS OF OTHER STUFF Doug Allen Printed by: PRIORITY COPY Austin, Texas CAVE RESCUE-CALL COLLECT 512-686-0234 62 The Texas Caver August 1989 The Texas Cav e r i s a bi-monthly public a tion of the T c as Speleological Association (TSA), an internal organi z ation o f he National Speleological Society (NSS). It is published in February, April, June, August, October, and December. Subscription rates are $10/year for 6 issues of The Texas C m This includes a $4 fee for membership in the TSA Out of s 1 tlC subscribers, libraries, and other institution s can receive The T c as Ca v er for $8/year. S e nd all correspondence (other then mate:ial for The Texas Caver), subscriptions, and exchanges to: The T c as Caver, P.O. Box 8026, Austin, Texas 78713 The Texas Caver openly invites all caver s to s ubmit articl es, i p reports, photographs (35 mm slides or any size bla c k & whi t e or color print on glossy paper), cave maps, n e w s e v e nt s carto c 1s, and/or any other caving relat e d material for publication Copyright 1989 Texas Speleological Association Front Cover. --David McKenzie at the entrance toP( la Gloria located on the Mesa la Gloria in Nuevo L e<. n, Mexico Photo by Peter Sprouse. Back Cover.--Allan Cobb exits Pozo Sin Relamp a i O also located in the Minas Viejas area of Nuevo Le ( 'n. Photo by Susie Lasko.


BUSTAMANTE AREA CAVING by Peter Sprouse The area around the town of Bustamante, Nuevo Le6n, has been popular with Texas cavers for nearly 30 years. Yet the area is by no means "caved out", and by venturing into the ci1nyons and ridges it is not too hard to find new caves. On several trips over the past year my caving companions and I have mapped 7 new caves in the general Bustamante area. Two of these were west of Bustamante canyon in an unusual gypsum karst, and one was in the canyon leading up to the Minas Viejas area. The remaining 4 were on the Mesa Ia Gloria just south of Minas Viejas, where the spectacular Pozo de Montemayor and Cueva de Cuchillo are located. I participated in a trip to these two fine caves in April1988 on a trip organized by Alan Montemayor of the Bexar Grotto, and was intrigued by the interesting karst on the nearly flat-topped anticlinal ridge. Surely there were more pits to be found here. According to William Russell, there is similar karst above Bustamante near Cabeza de Le6n. Several pits were explored therein the late '60's and early 70's, including 55-meter deep S6tano de Le6n Num. 2. I recently came across the map of this pit, which apparently has not been published before, so it is being included with this article. MAJOR WASHOUT Four of us headed down to join a trip to the Minas Viejas area on 7 October 1988, only a few weeks after the massive Hurricane Gilbert had inundated the area. Doug Allen, Susie Lasko, Mary Standifer and I drove all night and started up the road intoEl Trececanyon the next day. We weren'tfarinto it when we encountered Jim Feely coming back: the road was hopelessly washed out not far ahead. We drove on up to where the Bexar Grotto and friends were turning around. Recalling that there were some interesting leads in the lower canyon walls, I suggested that this would be the perfect time to check those out. So we parked the vehicles and gathered some gear. The first lead was a good looking hole in the cliff on the right side, across from where the road starts climbing up the old railroad grade. We climbed the talus slope leading up to the base of the cliff, getting thoroughly punctured by cactus in the process. It was then a sheer climb of about 20 meters up to the entrance, but despite our best efforts at free climbing, we failed to make it Allan Cobb did manage to climb a crack and gain a shelf above the cave entrance, but lacked good rigging and a long enough rope to make a rappel into the cave. Our next objective was a probable entrance back down the canyon on the opposite (north) side. Above the corral by the road we could see a lead on a shelf partway up the cliff that looked easier to get into. This time we had better luck, with only a short vertical climb at the top of the talus. Doug Allen, Allan Cobb, Susie Lasko, Linda Palit, Roy Wessel and I checked this one out, which we named Cueva de El Trece. It turned out to be a dusty cave consisting of several short passages. Although no artifacts were seen, worn bedrock in several areas indicated extensive past use of the cave. GYPSUM CAVING On 19 January 1989, I headed back down to the Bustamante area with my old caving buddies Frank Endres and David McKenzie, whom I hadn't been caving with in nearly 10 years. The three of us plus Penny Anderson loaded into David's new 4WD Suburban and drove all night as usual. After a little sleep before dawn we drove into Bustamante canyon on the recently-bulldozed road. Awesome is the only word that can describe the flotsam left by Hurricane Gilbert the previous September. Huge masses of downed trees were jammed up against the trees that survived. Passing the westward end of the canyon, we proceeded out into the desert where the storm had dumped so much water. Spread out across the desert flats were curious mud mounds deposited by the sheet flooding. Our objective was an area on the far side of the Sierra Ia Ventana, right behind the prominent window in the ridge that presumably gives it its name. In perusing aerial photographs of CUEVA DE EL TRECE RANCHO VIEJAS, NUEVO LEON Sketch by A. Cobb and P. Sprouse 8 October 1988 X Y ZBOO 0 Enrranco 20 meters The Texas Caver August 1989 63


A' A 0 0 B 30 10 60 20 90 30 120 40 150 50 55 180 me 1 e r s fee I the area, I had noticed a large sink in that location. We were able to drive to the south end of the ridge before being stopped by a locked gate, a common phenomenum in this area. Leaving Frank with the truck, the three of us set out on foot for the remaining two kilometer walk. An old track took us right to the sink area. First our attention was drawn to a sink just west of the large one seen on the photos. It was developed in gypsum, which was not surprising considering its location in the flats, even though the geologic map showed no gypsum at that site. A narrow bridge divided the sink in two, and the smaller sink on the cast side had a distinct drainage channel leading into a narrow entrance. It was developed in clean, white gypsum. After 64 The Texas Caver August 1989 B N A' B' B A llii""MI 0 1.5 3.0 4.5 6!) FT. / SOTANO DE LEON NUM. 2 BUSTAMANTE, NUEVO LEON NOV .I6, !968 JERRY R BROADUS DON L. BROUSSARD DAVID L. HONEA a couple of short climbdowns it turned sharply right into a low, narrow crawl where we could see for 10 meters or so. Moving o n to bigger things, we checked the main part of the sink and were pleasantly surprised with a large walk-in entrance. On the left were a number of petroglyphs of deer heads, with antler spreads of 60-100 centimeters. We got out the mapping gear and surveyed 80 meters in Antler Cave, mostly walking passage, to a low terminus. Although the cave was dry, we did collect a few invertebrates, including a possibly troglobitic amblipygid. Moving on to the big sink, we found that it too contained a cave, which we named Cueva de La Ventana. The entrance was on the south slope of the sink, and led down a talus slope into


,UQ-CUEVA DE LAS CERCETAS (ANTLER CAVE) Lenath: 80 -tr O.pth: 10 tr U'T1't c o ordinate: X"'H ft .455E T::.2,9l6,200 N Z=6"15 Plan E ntrance ... P r o f I .. A.nller r>ear flnl r-ilnce LA VENTANA AREA CAVES BUSTAMANTE. NL Suu n l o e and tape aurveyB 20 Janu a r y 1 989 P. A n d P.rtlo n 0. cll:enzle, P. Sproue e nrewn b y P. Sprouae July ) qA'il c ...... ...... C.{ I L A YEJfTANA AR E A a s izable room. It was roughly circular, about 25 meters in d i a meter and 10 meters tall Drainage from the entrance followed a dry channel to disappear into boulders in themiddleoftheroom. I climbed down into the breakdown and found two ways on. One led to a small void where someone had written something in Spanish The other way involved a few vertical squeezes down to a terminal debrisfilled funnel, a sort of natural coffee filter. We mapped the entrance room and collected bugs, satisfied that we h a d done a reasonable job of documenting this little karst area It i s possible that there may be more sinks out there, but the gypsum w e were in seemed isolated. CUEVA DE LA VENTANA Lenc t h : 4 S O.p t h : 2 8 eter a U'T1"' coord lnalt!'a: X:33 6 S 9 0E y,.z,'ii36, 2 4 0 M Z=E:60 \ \ .. \ MINAS VIEJAS Friday evening was when we were to rendezvous with a large contingent of San Antonio and Austin cavers at Minas Viejas, east of Alan Montemayor had arranged access with the landown e r, and after some delay due to lack of a key to one gate, we arrived at the old mining site late that night Saturday morning some of the cavers w e nt back down to retri e v e two 4WD veh i cles that had slid off the road in the rain the night before. Alan had obtained a lead from the ranch foreman, so the four of us set off to check that. We were taken up onto Mesa Ia Gloria to a pit only one meter across. Climbing down into it I The Texas Caver August 1989 65


. ...... -""!" -" .. .' \ ( t 1111'1 David McKenzie in Pozo Ia Gloria. (P. Sprouse) immediately felt a breath of warm, wet air. Five meters down was a flowstone ledge overlooking a drop. Our guide didn't have a name for it, so together we decided to call it Pozo Ia Gloria, after the name of the mesa. We returned to the truck and gathered our vertical gear while the sun warmed the cool mountain air. I found a devious rig around a tongue of rock just under the lip, and we surveyed in. This was Penny's first vertical cave, and the 12 meter drop turned out to be just right for her first rappel. It landed in a spacious room with walls of flowstone draperies and a floor of limestone rubble. On the northeast end of the room it was just possible to squeeze past some draperies to about 10 meters of passage that choked in formations. The main way led off to the southwest, under a short duck to aT junction. To the left was a low in feeder which ended after 15 meters ofbellycrawl over flow stone. To the right the cave continued on At this point I noticed what seemed to be tailings and a rock wall, and we concluded that a portion of the passage floor had been dug out, probably by miners doing a test dig. Many of the mines in the area were originally natural caves. Fortunately, they must not have found much of interest, sparing this cave from further ravages. Ahead in the cave we found a room off to the right with the miners' signatures and a date of 1926. The main passage seemed to end in a choke at the bottom of a climbdown, with a possible continuation above it on a flowstone 66 The Texas Caver August 1989 ledge. David gave me a boost up, but there was no way on there. Only a couple of possible leads at various points in the ceiling remain. Sunday morning we returned to Mesa la Gloria, and Oren Tranbarger showed us a blowing hole he'd found the day before while trying to find Pozo de Montemayor. It was a pit about 50 centimeters across and perhaps 5 meters deep. It ble w air but would be quite difficult to get out of once you slid down in. David and I decided to spend our last hour hiking south along the ridge in search of leads, and David lucked upon a small p it. Rocks fell about20 meters to a dirt floor, but this lead would have to wait until the next trip RETURN TO MESA LA GLORIA Our next trip departed Austin on Thursday night, 19 April 1989. Allan Cobb, John Fogarty, Susie Lasko, David McKenzie, Cathy Winfrey, and I all piled into David's Suburba n We drove all night and pulled into the camp at Minas Viejas about 5:30 a.m. After a few hours sleep we drove on up to Mesa Ia Gloria, where we picked out a campsite near Cueva de Cuchillo Our first objective was the pit David and I had found on the previous trip We relocated it and John rigged up to go down. Soon he was on the bottom yelling up the familiar call "it's blind." Susie went down the 21-meter fluted shaft to surve y They named this one Spiderman Pit. Next the six of us spread out to ridge walk. Susie found a 6-meter pit just to the south that obviously didn't go. We saw numerous shallow sinks and cracks as we hiked east toward the ridge crest, but found nothing worthwhile so we went back w camp for lunch and siesta Numerous cavers popped in and o u t of Cuchillo all afternoon. Towards evening, David hiked off w the northwest and found a nice shaft for us to do the next day. S o on Saturday morning we went there first. The entrance W < i S situated on the west slope of the ridge in an area of bare limestone pavement. John went down and again called up that it was blind. But it was such a nice looking shaft that Susie, Allan, and Cath y all followed him down, enjoying the cool 19 degree celsius climate at the bottom. Pozo No Go, as it was named, was :22 meters deep. Meanwhile, David and I checked off to the north up t o the cliff drop-off west ofPozo de Montemayor, to no avail. W e met the others back at the pit and all went back to the truck f o r lunch and siesta. Then we reorganized for a ridgewalk sweep iJ the south along the ridge. The karst got more interesting in thi s direction, with numerous shallow sinks and fissures 2 to 4 mete J s deep. I came across a large shaft, but it proved to be an old [ so we ignored it. Where the ridge dropped off at the south end we turned around and cut another swath back toward camp. As w e approached the area near Montemayor I located a small pit und e r a tree. Allan made the 12-meter drop into Pozo Sin Relampag o and pronounced it blind. Sunday morning we drove down the road to a mine shaft David and I had seen in January. John zipped down the40-met e r drop while the rest of us picked through chunks of pink calcite i n the tailings. John reported that the bottom intersected a natural fissure too tight to get into, with no airflow. So, out of time, w e


0 5 10 15 20 25 28 meters I' \ ENTRANCE on wall: 1926 0 5 10 15 20 meters POZO LA GLORIA MINAS VIEJAS, NUEVO LEON Suuntos and tape survey 21 January 1989 by P. Anderson, D. McKenzie, P. Sprouse Drawn by P. Sprouse Length: 110 meters Depth: 28 meters rubble fill The Texas Caver August 1989 67


Cathy Winfrey in Pozo No Go. (S. Lasko) drove on off the mountain, with a few more caves in the bag None of these caves found on these various trips are of monumental significance, but we had fun finding them, and by POZO SIN RELAMPAGO SII"TC Hif A CO. llAI'"IIliM' MESA LA GLORIA PITS MINAS VIEJAS NL 68 The Texas Caver August 1989 Penny Anderson in Pozo la Gloria. (P Sprouse) adding them to the registry ofMexican caves it will hopefully h e out future cave-hunting efforts. Biological collections were mad1 in most of the caves visited, with several interesting discoveri e A new species of blind spider was found in several caves at Mi n a! Viejas. An immature specimen of the scorpion Vaejovis reddelL was collected in Cueva de CuchiUo, the first record of species from outside of Texas. POZO NO GO Uno! 11 U.$11.0 n U"J. tLI"' T J,U6, JICiol No POZO HOMBRE ARANA Sl

1989 TEXAS OLD TIMERS' REUNION The 1989 Texas Old Timers' Reunion will be held on the 29th, 30th September and 1st October at the same beautiful campsite as last year. THE SITE is on the Lone Man II Ranch a few miles east of Wimberley, on the banks of the warm, clear Blanco River in the Texas Hill Country. Large Oak and Pecan trees shade the camping and cooking area as well as some of the activities. Last year's Reunion was well attended and even though the camping was tight, there was still room for more. If you missed it last year, don't miss this one. Ask someone who was there. It's was a mighty good party. THE PURPOSE (in case you were wondering) for having the Texas Old Timers' Reunion at all is manyfold. Primarily, we want to bring cavers from around the state (and other places) together so that they might widen their caving realm and circle of friends, as well as to share a weekend of fun and games and swimming and food and some getdown good caving fellowship. All of tJris is done in support of caving, Texas cavers, and the Texas Speleological Association, The TEXAS CAVER, the Texas Speleological Survey, the National Speleological Society, the Association for Mexican Cave Studies, your local club or grotto, and several other organizations, including the Texas Cave Management Assoc:iation and Texas Parks and Wildlife. If you have questions about any of these organizations, please ask for information at the registration desk. Location Map 1988 TEXAS OLDTIMER"S REUNION LONE MAN II RANCH ROAD LOG RM 12 to CR 173--.6 mile RM 3237 to CR 174--2.5 miles CR 173 to Triangle Junction with CR 213--1.3 miles rriangleJunction to LONE MAN II RANCH--.'l mile NOTE: Parts of this road are gravel and moderately rough. A honky car can make itl But if you've the option, bring your truck. The Texas Caver August 1989 69


CHAPTER 75. LIMITATION OF LANDOWNERS' LIABILITY Sec. 75.001. Definitions. 75.002. Liability Limited. 75.003. Application and Effect of Chapter. 75.001. Definitions In this chapter: (1) "Premises" includes land, roads, water, watercourses, private ways, and buildings, structures, machinery, and equipment attached to or located on the land, road, water, watercourse, or private way. (2) "Recreation" means an activity such as hunting, fishing, swimming, boating, camping, picnicking, hiking, pleasure driving, nature study, and waterskiing and other water sports. Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. 75.002. Uabllity Limited If an owner, lessee, or occupant of real property gives permiSSion to another to enter the premises for recreation, the owner, lessee, or occupant, by giving the permission, does not: ( 1) assure that the premises are safe for that purpose; (2) owe to the person to whom permission is granted a greater degree of care than is owed to a trespasser on the premises; or (3) assume responsibility or incur liability for any injury to any individu al or property caused by any act of the person to whom permission is granted. Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. 75.003. Application and Effect of Chapter (a) This chapter does not relieve any owner, lessee, or occupant of real property of any liability that would otherwise exist for deliberate, wilful, or malicious injury to a person or to property. (b) This chapter does not affect the doctrine of attractive nuisance. (c) This chapter applies only to an owner, lessee, or occupant of real property who: (1) does not charge for entry to the premises; or (2) charges for entry to the premises, but whose total charges collected in the previous calendar year for all recreational use of the entire premises of the owner, lessee, or occupant are not more than twice the total amount of ad valorem taxes imposed on the premises for the previous calendar year. (d) This chapter does not create any liability. Acts 1985, 69th Leg ch. 959, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 832. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Section 6 of the 1987 amendatory act pro vides : "(a) This Act takes effect September 1, 1987, and applies to all policies delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed on or after that date. Policies delivered, issued for delivery, or re newed before September 1, 1987, are subject to the law as it existed before September 1, 1987. "(b) Section 5 of this Act applies only to an action commenced on or after the effective date of this Act. 70 The Texas Caver August 1989 "(c) An action commenced before the effec tive date of this Act, other than an action included under Subsection (b) of this section, is governed with respect to the subject matter of this Act by the applicable law in effect before the effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in effect only for this pur pose."


VICTORY FOR CAVERS AND CAVE OWNERS by George Veni On June 15th 1989, Governor Bill Clements signed House Billl224 which (effective Sept. 1, 1989) releases all cave owners ofliability for the exploration of caves on their lands. This law is welcomed both by landowners, who feared allowing cavers on their lands for fear of being sued, and by cavers who now stand a good chance of getting into caves they were previously turned a way from. In this issue of The Texas Caver, we have printed the existing law on landowner liability and the bill which modifies it. The modification is very simple, and was recommended by the president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. All it docs is add "cave exploration" to the list of activities defined as ''recreation" forwhichan owner is not liable. The old law and new bill are printed because the new version of V em on's Ci vi I Statutes will not be available until late this year, and I want the good word to get out as soon as possible! The other cave related bill on groundwater made good progress, and was put through considerable legislative rewrite, but there was not enough time to get it out for a vote. However, the rewrite puts it in real good shape for the next legislative session. Anyone wishing to he! p with it should let me know ( 4019 Ramsgate, San Antonio, Texas 78230, 512-699-1388). Due to lack of time I cannot continue to spearhead this effort and am looking for an enthusiastic replacement. In closing I would like to acknowledge and greatly thank everyone who contributed to this effort, and especially the following people of the improptu "Texas Cave Law Coalition" who led the way: Doug Allen, Carolyn Biegert, Deborah Brown, Allan Cobb, Jon & Lisa Cradit, Joann De Luna, Butch Fralia, Joe Ivy, Jay Jorden, George & Kay Love, Alan Montemayor, Linda Palit, Carl Ponebshek, Jack & Vickie Ralph, Johanna Reece, and Quinta Wilkinson. The Coalition also thanks the many unanimous people and the following organizations for their generous contributions: National Speleological Society, Texas Cave Management Association, and Texas Speleological Association. ENROLLED H B No. 1224 1 AN ACT 2 relating to the liability of a landowner for certain recreational 3 activities on the land. 4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: 5 SECTION 1. Section 75.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, 6 is amended to read as follows: 7 Sec. 75.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter: 8 (1) "Premises" includes land, roads, wate:-, 9 watercourses, private ways, and buildings, structures, machinery, 10 and equipment attached to or located on the land, r oad, water, 11 watercourse, or private wa y 12 (2) "Recreation" means an activity s uch a s h unting, 13 fishing, swimming, boating, camping, picnicking, hiking, pleasure 14 driving, nature study, cave exoloration, and waterskiing and other 15 water sports. 16 SECTION 2. This Act takes effect September 1, 1989, and 17 applies only to a cause of action that accrues on or after that 18 date. An action that accrued before the effective date of this Act 19 is governed by the law in effect at the time the action accrued, 20 and that law is continued in effect for that purpose. The Texas Caver August 1989 71


AIR CURRENTS UNDERGROUND by Woodrow Thomas In the spring of 1881, while hunting deer in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Jesse Bingham and his brother Tom came upon a curious sight A ten-inch-diameter hole in the rock intrigued them, and when Jesse bent over to inspect it more closely, a strong wind issuing from the entrance blew his hat off his head. He repeated the stunt several times, amazed to see his hat sailing through the air. Returning the next day to prove to incredulous friends the existence of the "blowhole", he proceeded to toss his hat over the entrance. Much to his chagrin, it vanished into the cave, sucked by a powerful air current. Thus was Wind Cave discovered and christened (Farrell, page 5). At the time, the natural forces at work were unknown and the phenomenon mysterious Modem speleologists have studied several mechanisms that create air currents underground, and modem cavers use this knowledge to find and safely explore new caves. Air movement is detectable in nearly all caves. In some cases it may be slow and felt only in restrictions where the passage cross-section narrows and conservation of mass creates an increase in air speed. In other cases it may be quite strong and a virtual wind will occur The factors controlling air movement include the external weather patterns, the size of the cave entrance, the presence of flowing water in the cave, the shape of the cave and its vertical orientation, the volume of air in the cave, WINTER Po and most importantly, whether the cave has single or multipl e entrances and their relative positions. In the followin g discussion, these factors will be shown to work singly and i n combinations to create several mechanisms that cause air movement underground. The most important mechanism creating air currents is the so-called "chimney effect". This is in response to temperatur e differences inside and outside a multiple entrance cave, resultin g in a pressure difference at the lower entrance (or entrances). (See Figure 1). The external air pressure at the lower entrance (L) is: pext = pO + pextgh where pO is the pressure at the upper entrance (U), g is th e gravitational acceleration, his the difference in elevation betwee n the upper and lower entrances, and pext is the average density of the column of air of height h above L. The internal air pressur e at the lower entrance is pint = pO + pintgh, where pint is the average density over the column of air within the cave The density of the air along the horizontal passage is not considered (Wigley, page 331) From this it can be seen that if pext is not equal to pint, there will be a pressure imbalance at L. In an attempt to restore the balance, air will flow either into or out of the cave In the winter, cave air is warmer relative to the surfa c e atmosphere and is less dense comparatively. This creates a SUMMER P,. --t--I I L Figure 1. "Cave winds caused by the 'chimney effect.' In winter the cold outside air column aboveL createsapressure(left-hand arrow) which is greater than that due to the air column inside the cave (smaller right-hand arrow at L). The pressure imbalance causes air to move within the cave from L to U In summer the pressure imbalance is in the opposite direction and air moves from U to L" (Wigley, page 332). 72 The Texas Caver August 1989


column of air inside which is lighter than the same volume of outside air at L, resulting in movement into the cave at the lower entrance. This situation is reversed in the summer when the underground air is colder than the external air. This results in air movement out of the cave at the lower entrance. During the summer and winter seasons the motion of the air is persistently in one direction, but in temperate times, when pext and pint have close to the same value, daily variations in the temperature may produce daily changes in the wind direction. With the "chimney effect" the speed of the current is controlled by the magnitude of the pressure difference at Land the resistance to air flow within the cave. "The resistance increases as flow rate increases and so, by a type of negative feedback, keeps ... winds from becoming embrarrassingly strong." (Wigley, page 331). Nevertheless, since the pressure difference is proportional to h, that is (pext pint)gh, strong winds can occur in cave systems where h is large, especially at passage restrictions. In addition to thermally-induced air currents, cave winds can be produced by a change in the barometric pressure of the outside atmosphere. "When the pressure is altered outside the entrance to a closed space, air will flow into or out of the space to maintain a pressure balance." (Wigley, page 333) Since atmospheric pressure is in a constant state of flux, cave air r e s ponds continually. These "changes are of two types: periodic and non-periodic. The most important periodic change is a 24 -hour fluctuation resulting from the difference in the temperature of the air between day and night." (Moore, page 32). During the day the warm air is less dense and the outside pressure falls. The reverse is true at night when the barometer rises due to cooler, more dense air. Non-periodic changes are related to weather events such as the passage of a storm front and its accompanying barometric fluctuations. These are superimposed upon the daily pressure changes and the underground air will adjust to conform to the combined effect of both. ''The changes in direction of 'breathing' of these caves lags behind the changes in the rate of change of pressure and the caves can breath out (or in) for some hours after the pressure changes from falling to rising ( or rising to falling)." (Wigley, page 333) Unless in a passage constriction these movements are usually too slow to detect without instrumentation, but for caves with large volumes and/or small entrances, the speed can be high For example, at the gate to Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico, a cave with a small, single entrance and with other 30 miles of known passages, cavers have encountered "winds as strong as 50 mph", (Vineyard, page 416). Another example is the 50 mile long Wind Cave in South Dakota In April of 1987, it had to be closed for a day because of excessive winds in the entrance area. When an anemometer with a maximum scaleof70 mph was brought in for measurements "the needle was plastered against the end point Velocities were estimated in the range of 100 mph!" (Scheltens, page 5). Single-entrance caves can exhibit strong winds not only through barometric pressure changes but also by an effect known Figure 2. "Air flow induced by flowing water. Air is dragged along by friction with the water surface and causes a low-level flow of a ir A high-level return current is necessary for mass balance: this may be through branch passages" (Wigley, page 335). The Texas Caver August 1989 73


as entrainment. (See Figure 2) This happens when a stream enter a cave, pulling or dragging air along above it by friction with the surface of the water. Air will move at low levels in the passage at speeds of a few meters or more per second. "A return air flow is necessary; therefore, air movement also occurs at a higher level in the cave stream passage, and/or may also occur through other adjacent connecting passages." (Larson, page 68). In the absence of a flowing stream gravitational drainage may be at work. The caves that exhibit this are usually of small volume, have single entrances, and tend to have a definite vertical trend. In the case of a downward slope (such as Figure 2 without the stream), cold external air will drain into the cave in winter and produce a slow current at the floor level. As with the entrainment effect, this is accompanied by a higher-level return flow of the displaced warm air in the cave. In the case of an upward slope, the reverse phenomenon may occur, with cold air draining out of the cave at floor level in the summer. Air motion is initiated whenever the external air temperature deviates above or below the near-entrance cave air temperature A few degrees overshoot is usually necessary to produce a noticeable current, especially if the follor slope is gentle. "Flow rates produced by this mechanism are invarialbly low, generally a few to a few tens of centimeters per second, and it is often masked by other effects" (Wigley page 334) Gravitational drainage is responsible for the occurrence of "glacieres an internationally-accepted French word for freezing caverns, ice caves, and other locales of subterranean ice" (Halliday, page 73). Well known in various lave areas of the United States, these "cold traps" are usually single-entrance, bottle -shaped caves with a downward trend that contain ice year round (See Figure 3). Normally, within a cave the temperature is "approximately equal to the average annual surface temperature for that particular location" (Moore, page 27). In an ice cave, cold air enters during the winter and sinks to the lowest levels The warm air of summer is largely incapable of displacing the heavier air in the cave and only a limited amount is exchanged through expansion and contraction due to barometric pressure changes. Permanent ice is maintained throughout the year in the lower portions despite the fact that the mean annual temperature above ground is higher than freezin g "Such caves have temperatures nearly 10C below what would be expected from their latitude and altitude" (Moore, page 31). Whereas gravitational drainage creates air flow in on e direction consistently throughout a season, some caves have bee n encountered which experience a regular reversal in air motio n "with a period which may range from a few seconds to a fe w minutes" (Wigley, page 336). This "breathing" effect, which is periodic but not seasonal, has been explained as a resonanc e phenomenon. It was first studied by Burton Faust in May of 195 5 in what is now known as Breathing Cave in Virginia. Whil e waiting in a small passage near the entrance, he noticed the unusual reversal of air motion and lit a candle to study the effect further. The breathing is at the end of a straight passage about 150 feet long, known as the Entrance Passage. (See Figure 4). Fro m this point inward, the cave continues as an extensive series o f rooms. Ten feet nearer the entrance from this point, a lateral opening to the north leads to another series of rooms. Intrigued by what he saw, Faust subsequently initiated a succession of simultaneous observations of air velocity and direction in the Entrance Passage. "A somewhat irregular air current ble w continuously from the entrance into the North Passage, past the mouth of Breathing Passage. At the same time the air in Breathin g Passage oscillated with a cycle about a minute long" (Moore, pag e 33). Faust compared this phenomenon with that of a compoun d Helmholtz resonator. A cider jug is an example of a simp l e Helmholtz resonator. When air is blown across the mouth of the jug, the air in the jug acts as a spring, compressing and expandin g with a certain resonant frequency, which is heard as a low musical note. A breathing cave is like a very large and irregular jug, b u t its size makes the oscillation of the air mass too slow to create an audible note; and instead of being measured in cycles per second, it must be measured in cycles per hour. "A formula for approximating the breathing cycle of a jug-shaped cave operatin g as a simple Helmholtz resonator is T=0.019..JLv(" where T is the period of the breathing cycle in seconds, S is the cross-sectional area of the necklike breathing passage in squar e meters, L is the lenght of the passage in meters, and V is the volume of the cave beyond in cubic meters" (Moore, page 34 ) Complicated passages in caves such as Breathing Cave make it difficult to insert their true dimensions into this formula However, when this formula is applied to such a cave, the predicted breathing period is shorter than the actual breathin g period. This suggests that the single jug model does not apply an d that it is necessary to calculate the period of a compoun d Helmholtz resonato: rather than that of a simple one. "The perio d FIGURE 3. "Ice cave. Single entrance caves may have ice year-round in their lower portions The cold winter air sinks into the cav e and is not displaced by warmer summer air. A. Cold air reservoir B Snow and ice present, temperature approximately 0C. C. Accumulation of ice, often in the form of stalactites and stalagmites; air temperature below 0C" (Larsen, page 69). 74 The Texas Caver August 1989


FIGURE 4. "The breathing phenomenon in Breathing Cave, Virginia, on May 7, 1955. A flow of air, averaging 300 liters per second, moves from the entrance into North Passage, probably in response to a chimney effect This continuous flow past Breathing Passage causes it to breathe by making the passage operate as the neck of a resonating chamber" (Moore, page 36). 1700 1705 1710 1715 local timt (minutts) of resonance in a compound resonator, in which several large air chanbers are connected by small tubes, is lower than that of a simple resonator of the same volume" (Moore, page 34). Cave, Virginia, is favorably arranged for this .resonance phenomenon to occur probably because of a "chimney effect" which moves air constantly between the entrance and the North Passage, past the mouth of the Breathing Passage, either inward or outward depending on the season. "This form of air movement may be quite common (it has been observed in the United States, Canada, and Australia), but it is often masked by other effects and may, in some cases, only be detectable using spectral analysis and/or quite sensi live instrumentation" (Wigley, page 336). There are several other mechanisms that can create cave wind that deserve mentioning. In a single-entrance cave with a st.rcam, rapidly rising flood water may displace the air at a rate fast enough to produce a noticeable outward flowing current. "For example, a 3m3/sec flood in a system which can only take 0.3 m3/ sec will produce a flow of displaced air at 2.7 m3/sec and an appreciable air current where passage cross-section is small" (Wigley, page 334). Additionally, in a multiple-entrance cave which is properly exposed, external atmospheric conditions, such as surface winds, can produce a direct response underground. That is, external winds may funnel into an entrance producing a strong and steady current throughout the cave. "Winds caused solely by this effect and exceeding 5 m/sec have been observed in Cleft Cave in the Canadian Rocky Mountains" (Wigley, page 336). Another way of creating air movement in a favorably positioned multiple-entrance cave has been speculated. Two widely separated entrances may experience quite different pressures when the external surface pressure gradients are high, such as occurs when an intense low pressure system is in the vicinity of the cave. This could set up a compensating air current underground. A strong thunderstorm cell could also trigger this effect (Wigley, page 336). How do cave winds affect the average caver, and how can he or she apple an understanding of them? From the standpoint of safe exploration, the amount of air movement or lack thereof creates special problems. Temperatures in caves of temperate areas tend to feel pleasantly cool in the summer and warm in the winter, compared to the surface. But these conditions arc deceptively dangerous when combined with even minor air currents. At the temperatures common in many North American caves, 41 o -68 F, a strong wind is not necessary for wind chill to occur: "Consider ... a 52F cave with a gentle breeze, easily overlookedperhaps around 5 mph. Under these conditions wind chill is roughly the same as that in a cave at 36F with barely perceptible wind flow (about 1 mph)" (Halliday, page 128) These conditions can and do cause hypothermia a dangerous lowering of the body's core temperature, leading to impairment of functions and death. This situation is exacerbated by a caver getting wet and/or remaining motionless for a considerable time. A combination of proper precautionary measures and clothing can reduce this threat. On the other hand, in caves without an adequate atmospheric exchange mechanism, explorers can face "bad air" problems. These caves tend to be small, single entrance, and vertical. The problems can be due to low oxygen and/or high carbon dioxide levels. Normal surface atmosphere contains about21% oxygen and 0.3% C02 Natural processes in caves, such as decomposition of organic debris, creates C02 levels of 1-2%. Carbon dioxide is heavier than ordinary cave air, and when there is little air flow to flush the cave, the C02 will settle downward and displace oxygen. This causes decreased levels of oxygen at greater depths within the cave. Oxygen levels lower than 19.5% are considered hazardous and possible detrimental to human health. Although cavers have functioned "quite well in oxygen levels of 17% ... some ... experience headaches" (Fralia, page 7). Fifteen percent is the approximate beginning level of dangerous hypoxia (lack of adequate body oxygen). Symptoms are increasing unrecognized grogginess and eventually blackouts. When the oxygen content reaches 12%, the situation is critical; and death is rapid in 7-8% levels. Cavers can avoid dangerous levels by using oxygen meters, but these are costly. Fortunately a less expensive method is available. Butane lighters have been used to test for bad air and research by explorers at the Colorado Bend State Park Survey Project has indicated the usefulness of these lighters. According to their tests, conducted simultaneously with a sophisticated oxygen meter, a butane lighter began to flicker at oxygen levels of 18.5% and a noticeable gap occurred between the jet and flame. At 17.5%, there was a gap of approximately l-inch between the jet and flame, but the lighter could be extinguished and relit. At 17% oxygen, the lighter extinguished and could not be relit" (Fralia, page 8). Caves known to contain a sub-normal oxygen content have been found The Texas Caver August 1989 75


in the Arbuckle Mountains of Oklahoma, and "it is well known among Texas cavers that the Ellenburger (group oflimestone) has a tendency to produce 'bad air' caves" (Fieseler, page 36). High levels of carbon dioxide in caves are distressing rather than lethal because the human body can survive surprisingly high concentrations. Even though around 3%, C02 is considered the maximum level that will permit strenuous exertion, ''Australian 'bad-air cavers' have learned how to function in levels as high as 6%. Hard, rapid breathing in parts of Layton Cave, Missouri has been traced to temporary C02 levels as high as 8% ... (Halliday, page 77). The symptoms ofhigh carbon dioxide content can serve as valuable early warning signals of dangerously low levels of oxygen. Health problems aside, the movement of air into and out of caves has benefited many cavers in their search for new passages to explore. In warm weather the condensation of humid cave air issuing from underground often produces a lush growth of mosses around the hole, which is the tell-tale sign to the experienced eye. Moist cave air also condenses in the winter as it rises from entrances, producing a vapor column from great distances. The existence of a large underground system can be deduced by a powerfully blowing hole, no matter how obscure or insignificant it may outwardly appear. This was aptly demonstrated by the discovery of Lechuguilla Cave, unquestionably the most exciting and important spelean fmd in recent times. Prior to 1986, the cave was known only as a single room with a few insignificant side passages, and a breakdown area with some strongly blowing holes. After the aborted digging attempt by the Cave Research Foundation in the early 1970's, a group of cavers organized a successful effort in 1985 that managed to break through into major passages the next year (Allured, pages 292-294). As of this writing Lecbiguilla Cave has now outdistanced Carlsbad Caverns as the longest in the Guadalupe Mountains and is currently challenging national cave depth records. Its surveyed length continues to grow yearly. Successful digs undertaken within caves and indicated by airflow have led to important discoveries in Jewell Cave, South Dakota Fixin-to-Die Cave and Cave of the Winds, both in Colorado, and many others Likewise, seemingly unimportant side passages have been followed to significant lengths because alert explorers noticed wind patterns. In March, 1980 cavers followed the breezes into a new area in the southwestpartofWind Cave, South Dakota They subsequently explored and mapped s e v e ral miles of passages there which were still going as of F e bruary, 1988. The strong westward flow of air there (away from the main body of known cave) promises much more to be found in the future. In fact, through research in the mid-1960's, b as ed on the amount of wind versus time and barometric changes, H e rb Conn "was able to calculate the theorectical volume of Wind Cave to be 2 billion cubic feet. The entire 50 miles ofWind Cave surv e yed to date only accounts for about 3% of this volume" (Sc heltens, page 5) Since then, another natural blowhole entrance to the cave has been found which inhales and exhales simultaneously with the original entrance. This discovery increases the potential size of the cave. Perhaps the most impressive example of utilizing 76 The Texas Caver August 1989 underground winds in cave exploration is the work of Herb and Jan Conn. For 20 years they purposefully traced the air currents in the vast labyrinth known as Jewel Cave, surveying as they went They, along with others, have extended the length ofknown passages to over 75 miles (Conn, pages 43-66). As can be seen, cavers have consistently used the movement of air in caves to their benefit in explorations. This air movement is present to some degree in most caves and is created by several different mechanisms. In any particular cave a number of mechanisms may act simultaneously, but in many cases it it possible to isolate one as the major cause of air currents. Wheth e r it is detectable only by the drift of condensed breath or is strong enough to roll small pebbles along the cave floor, air movem en t is the most important element in cave meteorology The greater the amount of air exchange between the underground and the outside, the greater the variations in temperature and humidity within the cave. And so the motion of air stands as the formost factor in determining the comfort and accessibility of the cave environment WORKS CITED Allured, Vi. "Lechuguilla Cave-The Dig." NSS News July 1988:292-294. Conn, Herb and Jan. "Chasing the Winds Through Jewel Cave. Cavers. Caves. and Caving. Ed. Bruce Sloane. Ne w Jersey: Rutgers UP, 1977. 41-66 Farrell, Tom and Jim Pisarowicz. "Early Discoveries." N.S.S. 1988:5-9. Fieseler, Ronald. "Cave and Karst Distribution of Texas." An Introduction to the Caves of Texas. Ed. Ronald Fiesel er James and Mimi Jasek Austin: Speleo Press, 1978. 1 5 54. Fralia, Butch. "Bad-Air Detection." The Maverick Bull, December 1988:7. Halliday, William R. American Caves and Caving. New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 1982. Larson, Lane and Peggy. San Francisco : Sierra Clu b Books, 1982. Moore, George and G. Nicholas Sullivan. The Study of Caves. St Louis, Missouri: Cave Books, 1978. Scheltens, John. "50 Miles Beneath the Wind." NSS News January 1988:5. Vinyard, Roland. "Life Inside the Snowball NSS News November 1988:416. Wigley, T.M.L. andM. C. Brown. "The Physics of Caves." Th Science of Speleology. Ed. T.D. Ford and C H.D. Cullingford. London: Academic Press, 1976. 329-35 5 Letters to the Editor Dale, Over the last several years, Bill Koersclmer of Borger, Te,;as and I have been surveying gypsum caves in Childress County, Te,;as. This project began in late 1983 after I moved to Wichita Falls. Bill K. and I had been involved in numerous projects together since meeting at V P I Grotto during college in the late 70's. We had come across a list of caves in the gyp karst and noted several in Childress Co. By studying topos, we determined the preferred (LETTER -Continued on page 79)


Book Review M anual of U.S. Cave Rescue Techniques. Second edition. Steve H udson, ed. National Speleological Society; 1988. 260 pp s oftbound. $13.50; add $1.50 for mail orders. This manual was put together by more than a dozen authors for the National Cave Rescue Commission of the NSS M ost of the illustrations, which are general! y clear enough, are by Judi Lawrence. The manual covers most aspects of cave rescue, and it will no doubt serve as a text for the NCRC's rescue seminars. The medical chapter does not pretend to be a first-aid course. Most of it is aimed at people with at least EMT training, and gives them information that is specific to the cave rescu e situation. There is quite a bit, of course, about hypothermia, and the necessary precautions are through! y covered, though there do seem to be some inconsistencies about the body temperature at w h ich a caver's performance becomes impaired. The longest chapter is about vertical rescue techniques. It starts out by claiming not to be an introduction to vertical caving, but there follow quite a few pages of elementary material Oil ropes, racks, and so on. This is, however, appropriate, given that many readers will not in fact be experienced vertical cavers. r. 1 any of those who attend the cave-rescue seminars are not cavers at all. This chapter also contains the expected material about hauling systems, retrieving a caver stuck on rope, and so on The least worthwhile chapter is on organization It i s based on a system used, apparently, when a cast of thousands fights a forest flre, or perhaps to govern China The author doc s stress that it is likely that no cave rescue will ever require that organization in its full horror (my word), but it is easy to imagine people who have read this chapter and who have the wrong sort of mentality-one that seems to draw people to rescue teams running a rescue where everybody spends so much time commanding, briefing, communicating, and logging that everything that happens that nothing in fact happens. It is dis quieting that one of the only two large photos in the book shows a caver talking to a telephone. Read the chapter at your own risk. You may at least pick up some of the language that is evidently spoken by professional emergency people, but, with any luck, you'll have forgotten it by the time you run into any of them. Other chapters cover communications techniques, including field phones and radios, special problems with cave searches and crevice rescues, stretchers and patient ("never victum" ) packaging flooding and bad air. There is also a chapter on organizing a safe and educational mock rescue The book could have used a lot of TLC from somebody who knows, for instance, that them and their are plural and it sure would be nice if the production staff would experiment with weird and unusual layout styles on somebody else's books, but otherwise the book is well printed and very fairly priced. There is not a great deal of important stuff in the new Manual of U.S. Cave Rescue Techniques that cannot be found elsewhere, but it is useful to have it all in one place, especially to cavers with a special interest i n ca v e rescue and to members of non cave rescue and EMT services seeking specialized training --Bill Mixon This 1979 photo is of Margaret Hart in one of the small e r pa ss a g es found in Gorman Falls C a ve. ( Martha Me a cham) The Texas Caver August 1989 77


Destination: Joya de Salas, Tamualipas, Mexico Date: 4 July 1989 Personnel: David Locklear REP I had a 4-day weekend off summer school for the July 4th and decided I would go to "El Sotano de J oya de Salas." I could not find anyone who wanted to go, but decided to go anyway because I had wanted to see it for a long time. I had never been to the cave before, but managed to fmd it in 4 3 hours afterleaving Houston. I took some photos of the entrance and then ate lunch with the Garcia family. They are the second house as you enter the village. Then I walked back to my car which I had parked about halfway from Julilo and ate an entire pineapple. I drove on to Julilo and visited with the only family there. I gave them a Texas blue-diamond watermelon and then drove down the mountain. My speleo-stationwagon had a blowout and I tore up my oil pan. My spare tire was smaller than my other tire so I had some ground clearance problems on the way down. On the north side of Victoria is a small town called Guemez. There is a restaurant on the east side of Highway 101 and it is worth the stop. For those of you who plan to visit this area of the mountains, I recommend camping in the pasture just before Julilo and resting before you drive on to the cave. It is probably best not to camp in the village near the cave so I would camp in the canyon just before the village. I would also take two good spare tires. A good tool box and a come-along are a good idea, too. The mosquitoes are bad, so bring a tent For those of you who don't know about this area, I will 78 The Texas Caver August 1989 RTS \ ;. .. f:>'' describe it. The pit entrance is impressive. The village is beautiful and the people are friendly. The drive up the mountain is long and rough. I would say that the swim in the Rio Sabinas feels incredible after you come down the mountains. This cave is one of the deepest and may be much deeper. Destination: Lincoln National Forest, Cottonwood Cave, and Three Fingers Date: 23-26 November 1988 Personnel: Jim Bryan, Mason Estes, Stewart Halladay, Shaun Huang, Tim Jones, David Locklear, Dave Mainz, Mary Kay Manning, Steve Tonnesen, and Robert Wray Reported by: Mary Kay Manning Shaun and Robert drove up a day early to pick up our permits and keys in Carlsbad. David and Steve drove out from Dallas, and the CollegeS tation group swung by theY 0 Ranch to pick up Mary Kay on the way to New Mexico. Since we had arrived at 3:45am, and we had only one cave, Cottonwood, lined up for the day, we took our time breaking camp. It wasn 'ttoo cold, but extremely windy, as it stayed for the whole trip. It was after lunch by the time we got to Cottonwood Cave. After exploring it, we headed down the road for the campsite by the trail to Three Fingers, our cave for the next day. The road got very rough, and after doing some stunt driving, David had to leave his cave mobile behind and pile into another vehicle. Friday morning I hiked back to the Lookout Tower to


SCB & BCB "Cavers Serving Cavers" ASCENDERS BLUEWATER II BOOKS 0 CANVAS GRIP lj CARABINERS JUMARS CMI KNEE PADS SHOCK CORD DESCENDERS PACKS SLINGS ;il ELECTRIC LIGHTS PMI ROPE SURVEY TAPES <:') GIBBS PREMIER LAMPS T-SHIRTS :j HARD HATS RACKS t V/ANY MORE ITEMS AVAILABLE Please write or call for our price list iol1k for another caver who was supposed to meet us there. He <1: d n 't show, so I returned to the campsite and hiked down to Three l ngers with David and Mason. Tim had marked the trail with i !>gg ing tape so we could find it easily. The first group was still (l,_;c ending, so we hadn't missed anything. Tim, Stewart, and !'; ;st of the others went down a narrow crack to a "going" passage, "' :.ile David and Mason explored another productive passage. Ct:tting everyone up the 120 entrance drop would be time c. ;1s uming, to say the least, so four of us ascended early and k,;ded back The flagging really helped this time, especially Si"lCC we were hit by strong winds and sleet part of the way. I f:,,:nd my tent blown about twenty feet away, with all of the stakes g, 1e and two poles bent beyond use; other tents had also been b; w n around quite a bit. It was sleeting heavily by then; the rest :he group didn't return for about an hour. The next morning we found about 3-4" of snow. P autiful to look at, but we had no desire to be in it, and even less t o caving in it. Our main concern became getting the vehicles Ot.!; Tim's4WD Suburban had little problem, butlim's truck had n n jor troubles We ended up winching it, towing it, and pushing it up the first hill, then it was okay. At times it snowed so hard we cc;tldn't see the next ridge. There was talk of camping on the m u untain that night to play in the snow, but this was quickly ontvoted by people we owned only wet gear and/or thrashed tents. D

The Texas Caver P.O. Box 8026 Austin, Texas 78713 Address Correction Requested BULK RATE U.S. Postage PAID Austin, Texas Permit No. 1181

Contents: Bustamante
Area caving / P. Sprouse --
Texas oldtimers 1989 --
Victory for cavers / G. Veni --
Air currents underground / W. Thomas --
Book review --
Trip reports.


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