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 )
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Contents: NCRC- Level I Seminar / Bob Hambright -- Firefighters Brave Cave For New Rescue Program / Marty Sabota -- Rescue 911 on Barton Creek -- William H. Russell -- The 2nd Annual Caverns of Sonora Restoration Project / George Veni -- Confessions of a Reformed Co-Chairperson / Mike Walsh -- High Technology Comes to Colorado Bend State Park / Butch Fralia -- Flash Techniques For Cave Photography / James F . Jasek -- Sentinel Cave / Pat Copeland -- Sentinel Cave- Three Mile Hill / Joel Vickie Williams -- Virgin Cave / Pat Copeland -- Precipicio / Oren Tranbarger -- Formation Cleaning: Cavers' Forum - Internet -- AM Radio Reception in Caves: / Oren Tranbarger -- Cavers' Forum - Internet -- Cavers' Slang: Edited by Tom Moss -- Cavers' Forum - Internet Book Reviews / Bill Mixon -- Carta Valley Suckers / Kenneth Byrd
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Vol. 38, no. 01 (1993)
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University of South Florida Library
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3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 17 18 20 22 23 THE TEXAS CAVER Volume 38, No. I, March 1993 NCRCLevel I Seminar Bob Ham bright Firefighters Brave Cave For New Rescue Program Marty Sabota Rescue 911 on Barton Creek William H. Russell The 2nd Annual Caverns of Sonora Restoration Project George Veni Confessions of a Reformed Co-Chairperson Mike Walsh High Technology Comes to Colorado Bend State Park Butch Fralia Flash Techniques For Cave Photography James F Jasek Sentinel Cave Pat Copeland Sentinel CaveThree Mile Hill Joel & Vickie Williams Virgin Cave Pat Copeland Precipicio Oren Tranbarger Formation Cleaning Cavers' Forum Internet AM Radio Reception in Caves Oren Tranbarger Cavers' Forum Internet Cavers' Slang Edited by Tom Moss Cavers' Forum Internet Book Reviews Bill Mixon Carta Valley Suckers Kenneth Byrd ALTERNATING EDITORS This Issue Next Issue Oren Tranbarger 3407 Hopecrest Keith Heuss 3816 S. Lamar Blvd. San Antonio, TX 78230 210-522-2710-D 210-349-5573-N MCI 10: 549-0828 Apt. 2307 Austin, TX 78704 512-385-7131-D 512-362 -9574-N PROOFREADING By Grammatik 5 TEXAS CAVER LABELS Rod Goke PRINTED BY RAINES GRAPHICS 471 Limestone Lane Driftwood, TX 78619 CAVE RESCUE: (Collect) 210-686-0234 EDITOR'S COMMENTS This short column was prepared March 26, 1993. I am at home on vacation primarily to work on the Caver and to prepare for the strenuous NCRC course beginning tomorrow. Regrettably, work on the Caver is behind schedule, and realistically, it may not be completed for another month. The delays have been somewhat out of my control because of: (I) a 4-hour night class being taken at a local college; (2) Jack of original material from Texas cavers; (3) tax return preparation; (4) computer club activities; and (5) keeping up the schedule on The Bexar Facts. Besides all that, I work and have t o sleep a few hours each night. Preparation of the March issue for the next couple of years will continue to be a time problem, since I will be taking additional coursework at night. Occasional caving trips are somehow squeezed into this busy schedule. Seriously, I am very concerned about the Jack of material f o r the Caver, which is also a problem for Keith Heuss. In discussions a few days ago, Keith did not have any material to use for the upcoming June issue. Recently, my friend Jim Jasek (who was once a TC editor) pointed out that one thing cavers liked to read in the past was trip reports. More trip reports will be included in future issue s if submitted. This is a contribution that just about any caver can m ake. Let me hear about some memorable trip experiences. It is a good feeling to prepare written material and see it eventually published. When material is short, three options are available: (I) pre pa r e it myself; (2) use articles from The Bexar Facts; or (3) draw fr<'rn other newsletters. All three options are used in this issue to com p!e. ment the new material on hand. One source of material that I l : e frequently is the Cavers' Forum on Internet that originates f r. n Boston University. This is an international network comprise d f computer cavers who exchange information several times each w t. k on the network. Several Texas Cavers are on the network. I trust that this issue will prove inforn1ative and will enjoyable to read. Be sure your material is included in an upcom i issue soon. Oren Tranbarger THE TEXAS CAVER is a bimonthly publication of the Texas Spel < lgic i Association (TSA), an internal organization of the National Speleolo g i ; Soc. ety (NSS) Issues are published quarterly in March, June, Septerr r an December. Send all correspondence (other than material for The Tex a aver : subscription fees, and newsletter exchanges to: The Texas Caver, P.O. F 8021 Austin, Texas 78713. SUBSCRIPTION for The Texas Caver is $15.00 per year. For Tex : wen TSA membership is included in the subscription fee. Single or back i : s a r available for $3 .00 each by mail, postpaid; $2.00 each at convention s ARTICLES AND MATERIAL for The Texas Caver should be s c o t h alternating editors listed at left. The Texas Caver openly invites art ; trij reports, photographs (35-mm slides or any size black and white or cole int o1 glossy paper), cave maps, equipment items, news events, cartoons, a r an: other caving-related material for publication Deadline for submitting 1 rial i the 15th day of the month prior to the month of publication COPYRIGHT 1993 by the Texas Speleological Association t e m a organizations of NSS may reprint any item first appearing in The Tex a long as proper credit is given and a copy of the newsletter containing t h 1 t eria is mailed to the proper alternating editors. Other organizations should c Jctth r proper alternating editor about reprinted materials. -FRONT COVER (James F. Jasek, 1990)-Randy Waters (near) and J (far) explore Oriental Molasses Milestone Bat Cave. For this pho t r aph, 1 Hasselblad superwide camera was used on a tripod Three flashbulb "

f RESCUE NCRC-LEVELISEMINAR March 27-28, April2-4, 1993 By Robert N. Hambright T h NCRC The National Cave Rescue Commission (NCRC) is a n o 1 rofit organization affiliated with the National SpeleoI O ) :al Society (NSS) and the National Association for Search an { escue (NASR). The Level I seminar is supported by the N t .;.C and the Texas Speleological Association's Safety and R 1 :ue Committee. Rod Dennison ofthe Central Texas EMS R o n and Joe Ivy of the Texas Speleological Association's S ; t y and Rescue Committee acted as coordinators for this s e n ar. J Attended I attended this seminar, held in San Antonio March 27993 and April 3-4, 1993, along with several UT Grotto a r le xar Grotto cavers, plus a group of firemen, police, and E i s from San Antonio and Austin. There were 32 people ta. 1 g the intense 5-day course. Instruction was led by Rod D : t ison who was supported by James Davis, Tom Bones, V y Smith, and others. The UT Grotto and Bexar Grotto c a r s included: Javier Trevino, Joel King, Daniel Zucker, G ge Veni, Dan Hogenauer, Oren Tranbarger, Bob H b right, Frank Hall, Don Broussard, and Spencer Woods. T l Course This was one of the most robust and rewarding learning e x r iences that I have ever participated in. My own b J g round going into this course included a 25-year career m : chanica! engineering, a modest amount of backpacking O \ 15 years, and caving for only about the last two years. I virtually no emergency medical training other than f u a mental first aid and what I have picked up through r e ing labels on medicines and first aid kit instructions. Our t e m ok forthiscourse was the Manual of U.S. Cave Rescue T 'lniques, 2nd Edition, 260 pp., by Steve Hudson, NSS, I S 3 Rod Dennison supplemented the text with 48 pages of st< y notes and sample test questions. The instructional quality and content was about the best y e c ould ask for. The instructional expertise was obviously s c : : o ned by considerable experience. Questions, whether r e ; : o nable or stupid, were professionally answered in a way thai. usually imparted an extra measure of instruction for all. T h e c ourse consisted oflectures and demonstrations followed b y s t udent practice sessions each morning until about noon. In !he afternoon of each day, we broke into two or three groups and went to caves in northwest Bexar County for supervised field problems. We visited Bear, Cub, Hills and Dales, Helotes Hilltop, Robber's, and Robber Baron Caves. Mid afte rnoon each day, we had field lectures and demonstrations with corresponding student participation. Each student had a checklist of skill accomplishments which were signed off after demonstration of the student's proficiency. I counted about 45 separate skills on the checklist. We had a 2-hour final exam and 6.5-hour mock rescue on the last day, where all of us participated in the rescue of three youngsters who volunteered to be "trapped, lost, and injured" in various sections of Robber Baron Cave in Alamo heights. Local media was present, and an article appeared in the Monday edition (AprilS, 1993) of the Express-News describing the NCRC course. A key rescue element taught throughout this course was use of the incident command system (ICS) for cave rescue operations. ICS provides a functional management approach for organizing and deploying a cave rescue team independent of the number of rescuers available on the scene. Features of ICS include a command function supported by operations (above and below ground), logistics, planning, and finance functions. Of course the critical function of interest to most of us is the operations below ground. We learned of cave search techniques involving the deployment of several search teams while optimizing the probability of search success. The most rigorous part of the course was practicing effective and rapid patient transport underground using various litters. It takes about six people, plus a medic, to effectively transport a patient. About six spare litter bearers are needed to offset the effects of fatigue in the bearers. The scenario then becomes a sort of"leap-frog" movementoflitter bearers as the transport team negotiates narrow passages and crevices on their way to the surface. This operation requires skill, strength, and stamina for an extended period, and the more help that you can station along the route, the better things will function. Cave communications, while taught well during this course, remain as the weak link in the cave rescue operations. Standard commands were learned for belay and haul functions. As distances increase, the communications become worse. In our mock rescue, which lasted 6.5 hours, it was estimated that about 25 percent of the time was lost because of poor communications. We used a hard-wired military-style field phone with several hundred feet of wire. This system was set up quickly, but broke down twice during the rescue and.had to be diagnosed and repaired at considerable effort and time. There was extensive rope and knot work, rigging, ascending, rappelling and litter handling in each of the 10-12 hour days. In the practice litter handling, we always had. a volunteer student strapped in the litter, and transport was m Continued on p. 4. March 1993 The TEXAS CAVER 3


RESCUE FIREFIGHTERS BRAVE CAVE FOR NEW RESCUE PROGRAM San Antonio Express News April 5, 1993 By Marty Sabota After exploring the ever-present danger of adventurers' becoming lost or trapped in the depths ofBexarCounty's 300pl us caves, San Antonio firefighters have begun chiseling out a new cave rescue program. "About a thirdofthosecavesare in the city limits, which the Fire Department is responsible for," said Bill Davidson, one of the department's new 21-member rescue squad. On Sunday April4, 1993, the fledgling group and other cavers finished a 70-hour rescue course by pulling three victims" out of Robber Baron Cave, one of the best-known caves in San Antonio. To help the last mock victim firefighter's daughter Nicole Martinezparamedic Brian Hammer had to "squeeze through a hole the size he was" and firefighter Davidson had to "stand on his head said Rod Dennison, the National Cave Rescue Commission regional coordinator who critiqued the rescues at day's end. He gave high marks to the rescuers who tied the 14-year old victim to a stretcher and those on the surface who pulled her out to safety about five hours after the simulated drama began The victims were unharmed, he said as were the ap proximately 30 rescuers, except for customary scrapes and bruises. The group was happy to talk about the rescue but wanted NCRC -Cont'd from p. 3. actual cave routes selected by the instructors. I was truly impressed with the flexibleSKED Iitterandourteams' ability to negotiate narrow passages safely with live "patients." A lot of the field activity required close teamwork of the top riggers and haulers or the litter transporters below. Individual skills demonstrated on rope included rappelling, then changeover on rope to ascending then changeover on rope to rappelling again A new experience for me was the pick off' of a victim caught mid-rope in an emergency situation. I was "rescued" by this technique by Oren Tranbarger, and subsequently we reversed roles and I "rescued Oren (he made it down without significant injury!). The pick-off rescue on rope was being accomplished by five pairs of cavers simultaneously at the entrance to Cub Cave. Joe Ivy and Linda Palit took several photos of this scene which may have produced some outstanding pictures. Association with the cavers EMTs, frremen, and police rescuers throughout the course provided a rich contrast in techniques and equipment. I observed six different rappelling rigs and five different ascending systems. New for me was to keep the privately owned cave's exact location a secret to prevent possible abuse, vandalism, and injuries. "We don't want to be doing this rescue scenario for real, said George Veni, author of The Caves of Bexar County and member of the Bexar Grotto, one of the area's largest cave clubs. The cave is 4 600 feet long and 70 feet at its deepest, Veni said. From 1926 to 1933, commercial tours were given through it at a cost of 25 to 50 cents. During prohibition years, Veni said that Robber Bar o n Cave housed a speakeasy. In 1974, the owner asked that it be sealed off. A steel doo r was put in place, but somebody used a blow torch to take t h e gate off. And when it was replaced, someone dug a hole arou n d the gate to get in. Today, the cave is shut with a gate and lock designed t o prevent tampering. The author believes the cave, located in northeast S ; n Antonio inside Interstate 410, is the city's best-known ca v.',. He explained that a cave is a naturally created hole at le[ ; t 15 feet deep and 30 feet long. As the city continues to expand northward the site f most of area caves the danger of untrained explor e \ becoming trapped in caves and children falling into crevi c increases, Hammer said. Continued on p knots for backing up knots self-adjusting redundant anch systems, 9,000-lb rated 0.5-inch rescue rope, rope belay lir : to backup hauling systems and jumbo-sized steel lock i carabiners Our_ Antonio-Austin ;s, f?rtunate have many qual1f1ed personnel that are well eqmpped w such rescue gear. Summary In summary, I believe we are all a lot better on rope tl: 1 before; certainly we were instilled with safer techniques learned a lot about victim assessment, stabilization, packagi : and transport, but I realize that there is a considerable arno t of skills remaining to be learned on the medical side. We learned to be cooperative members of the rescue team wit 1 the functional approach offered by the res. Many of us thought back to cave trips we have tal1 where we may have been in serious trouble if a lifethreaten g injury would have occurred to one of our party. The Lev I NCRC seminar has provided us with appropriate ski knowledge, and techniques. It remains as our responsibilit : o deepen our relationships with local authorities and learn h to engage their capabilities in case of an incident. 4 The TEXAS CAVER March 19' 3


,;., (4, RESCUE :*RESCUE 911 ON BARTON CREEK February 22, 1993 By William H. Russell A girl has "fallen a thousand feet" in a cave on Barton Cre ek. A call for help goes out, fire engines fill the parking l ot. EMS carries stretchers full of rope to the cave, a jackham m er team is enlarging the entrance. Word is that the victim i s trapped and might take five to ten hours to bring to the sur f ace. A sudden thrill crosses the crowd of reporters, We've made CNN!" Alas for the reporters, it turns out that the girl had only h:td her leg stuck in a crack, and was able to free herself soon after her boyfriend left for help. She went to a nearby room i n the cave to rest, and when the rescuers reached her, they woke her up, and she was able to make it out of the cave under her own power. The incident started when Karen Schmidt, 22, and her b o y friend went to visit Airman's Cave Monday afternoon, Fchruary 22, 1993. Karen had explored caves before but had n e v e r been to Airmen's Cave. Airman's Cave was aptly des cribed the next day in the Austin American Statesman by 1\H e Polk as "small but quite long. A round trip which must b e c onducted almost entirely on hands and knees or stomach t a',e s about eight hours. A particularly large person would not b e a ble to maneuver through the opening. It's nearly all cr:1wlspace inside. Most of the time, you are laying down." One of the few places where it is possible to proceed v ertically is the One-Legged-Man Passage, which is only a foot wide at the top but narrowing to about four inches at the bultom. This passage is only about 40 feet long, but it makes a few wiggles that make it somewhat sporting. When Karen r e a c hed the One-Legged-Man Passage, she managed to wedge h er leg into the crack and initially could not free herself in the conf ined space. Her boyfriend (who refused to identify himself) went for help and called 911. Personnel responded from EMS, the Austin Fire Department, the Park Police, the Oak Hill Volunteer Fire Department, and the Tmvis County Precinct 2 Constable's CommuF irefighters -Cont'd from p. 4. "As the city annexes new areas, it takes on respon s ibilities it didn't know it had," Davidson added. Among the 11 firefighters on hand Sunday was an experienced rescuer. When a 15-year-old Clark High School student fell about 20 f eet to the bottom of a 75-foot cave in far northwest San Antonio in March 1992, Ben Maberry went in after him With Maberry's help, Steve Poston got out with only scmpes and bruises. nication Unit. The radio and television stations broadcast bulletins around 7:00p.m. when the news frrst broke, and then cavers called each other, but they could only speculate on the circumstances. Early on, several cavers commented that they wished they had been the ones to find "the thousand-foot deep cave." Finally, about 9:30p.m., UTGrottopresidentAiejandro Villagomez called the Oak Hill Volunteer Fire Department to offer the services of cavers, if they were needed. Oak Hill soon called back and asked if cavers had a supply of knee pads; they were referred to a store that had a large supply. About 10:15 p.m., Oak Hill called again and asked if cavers could go to the rescue site and stand by. Alejandro called the caver rescue call-down list and by 11:00 p .m., a group of cavers had gathered at the parking lot, only to get the news from the cave entrance that the victim was out of the cave. The cavers gave TV interviews (we had hard hats, lights, muddy cloths, and so obviously had just emerged from the cave}, had sandwiches from the Salvation Army canteen wagon, and discussed caves and cave rescues until only the cavers and the Salvation Army were left. This incident, as entertaining as it was, brings up several serious points. The most obvious is that the EMS and Oak Hill VFD need cavers to be involved early in the rescue, so that a reasonably accurate evaluation of personnel and equipment needs can be made. Second, cavers need to use and maintain their own non-911 rescue system Many cave explorers would mther risk serious injury rather than undergo the media treatment given cave rescues. And third. cavers must realize that whatever happens in a cave is news and will so affect the public's perception of caves and cavers Television stations quoted $11,000 and $15,000 as the cost of this rescue, but whatever the true cost after this, many people will regard caves as dangerous places that cost taxpayer money to extract the foolish. Poston was lucky, firefighters said. Maberry was the department's only experienced cave rescuer, and he happened to be working the right shift and at the closet fire station to the accident site. "There are 1,300 firefighters, so the victim had a one-in 1,300 chance of getting the help he needed," Davidson said But those odds should increase with the new rescue team. The city has shown its approval by giving the go-ahead to order several thousand dollars' worth of rescue equipment, which should arrive in three months. March 1993 The TEXAS CAVER 5


THE 2nd ANNUAL CAVERNS OF SONORA RESTORATION PROJECT By George Veni Photos By Nathan Summar This project was going to focus on detailed cleanup work, yet somehow we ended up removing about five tons of dirt and rock from the cave But before I am accused of lying or slave driv i ng, read what happened and judge for yourself the overall success of the project. ........... It was a bout 9 :30p. m. on Novem ber 1992's Friday the 13th when most caver s began arriving at Caverns of Sonora The ominous day claimed its casualty when Scott Adair smashed his thumb while setting up camp requiring a trip to the hospital for r e pairs. Fortu nat ely the d a mage was not permanent and e v e ryone else arrived safe ly The n e xt morning at 8:30a.m., we organiz e d our teams in the visitor cen t e r ov e r muffins and juice provided by the Caverns staff, then headed into the c ave and focused our work along the 6 exit trail. The first team was Barbe Barker, Pat Copeland, Joann DeLuna, Dan Hogenauer, Libby Overholt, Wes Wells, and Vickie Williams, who cleaned up a decorated area just off the trail below Berner' sPrecarious Precipice. The intent was to improve the area's appear ance and define a safe path for the Cav erns staff to follow while changing light bulbs down there. The cave's early explorers had trampled this area and crushed much of the cave coral on the floor. The restoration team removed a lot of dirt that had washed down from the trail as well as the crushed debris, saving the nice pieces for future restoration work. Andrea Takahashi at Upper Rest Area, Before (left) and After (right) Cleanup Associated with the first team were Melissa and Michael Cicherski and Carl Ponebshek, working on a smaller section located two switchbacks up the exit trail. Thirty years of dirt and gravel raining down from an overlying staircase lit tered much of a nice coral-covered area and completely covered part of it. Like the other cleanup crew, they used twee zers hemostats, dental picks, and tooth and paint brushes to painstakingly re move the offending debris. The im provement in appearance was dramatic The next team worked at the upper The TEXAS CAVER rest area about two-thirds of the vertical distance up the exit trail. Several rocks dumped during trail construction sat behind the benches. The original plan was to remove the big ugly ones and smooth out the underlying debris. The flaw in the plan was that cavers like to dig, and uncovering a large stalagmite, a flowstone-covered wall, and flowstone covered breakdown drove them to pull out all of the rubble and make the area sparkle. The remaining team hauled the excavated rocks and dirt oul of the cave. Most haulers stayed close to the upper rest area where rocks and buckets of rubble were passed up the stairs at frequent intervals. Some haulers also visited the lower cleanup teams to carr y their full buckets up the long and steep exit trail to the upper bucket brigade The buckets and rocks from the uppe r and lower crews were piled in the cave's March 1993


J oann Deluna Sweeping Gravel Off Coral Covered Floor uppermost passage, "The Belly of the Whale." Here other cavers stacked the stuff in upright dollies, towed it outside, and dumped it in a waiting truck. Twice the pile became so larg e that all digging and hauling stopped, and everyone (exce pt the lower cleanup crews) hauled the pile out the cave t o cle ar the tour trail. During the day, several people switched from digging to hauling and vice versa. The dig/haul team consis ted of Scott Adair, Michael Anderson, Terry Anderson, Russell Baker, BruceFreeby,Leland Godbee, Johnny Hazelton, Tony Jackson, Philip Jank, Kevin Keirn, Rob Kolstad, David M c C lung, Greg Mosier, Steve Sutherland, Roy Wessell, Joel Willia ms, and Eddie Yonemoto. Other miscellaneous teams also worked in the cave. Nathan Summar and Andrea Takahashi took photos of the area s before, during, and after cleanup; between shots, they c l eane d up some areas between the upper and lower crews. Caverns of Sonora owners and staff worked on all aspects of the project ranging from supervision of sensitive areas to digging and hauling. Their group included Jack Burch, Sherrie Chevalier, Juventino Grenada, Carol, Ed, and Seco Mayfield, Bill Sawyer, and Shaumarie Scoggins I spent most ?f the day running around like a decapitated chicken, supervis mg, coordinating, and rearranging teams to put personnel where they were most needed. I also made sure to carry a bucket full of rocks whenever I went from the lower areas to the upper areas -I had to look good in front of the troops. We ate lunch in the visitor center from noon until I p.m. A rich array of fix ins were laid out by the Caverns staff, and we built sandwiches with as much or as little of whatever we liked. After lunch, we got back to work, and actually did more on the project than we ever expected. We finished cleaning up all of the targeted areas and had a couple hours to go before our official quitting time. I ran around and located some nearby areas that needed spiffing up and redirected some of the diggers and haulers there, since their original assignments were complete. These areas included work near the Butterfly, below a utilities well drilled into the cave, near the Corinthian Room, below Moon Milk Falls, and near the Indian Head dress. A truly unexpected bit of hauling occurred when a tourist sitting in the upper rest area experienced claustropho bic anxiety combined with weariness from climbing the stairs. She was safely and promptly evacuated to the surface. We were supposed to quit at 5 p.m., but people were wrapping up areas as quickly as I could find new places to clean up, and the teams were beginning to scatter more widely in the cave than was logistically effective. I also saw the leaden movement of cavers' legs hauling more rubble up the exit trail, and the diminishing gleam of excitement in their eyes All these factors said it was time to stop. By 4:30p.m., we had swept the trails and removed our gear and ourselves from the cave. The showers were warm and inviting. So was the feast created by Wayne Sawyer and his gang of champion cooks. After supper, most of the cleanup crews returned underground to photograph. The tour lights were left off to avoid interfer ence. Returning to the visitor center, we watched slides of the cave and of the previous year's restoration work. Sunday morning, Jack Burch and I led a group of 14 cavers on a 3.5hour long lights-on tour where we all leisurely discussed the cave's history, development, and geology, and popped off a few extra photos. In sum mary, this year's restoration project did not go as planned, but still it accomplished our original goals and much more. Success cannot be measured solely by the hours of work or the tonnage of rock removed. The best measure is the satisfaction of the cave owners and of the cavers. Both sides expressed excitement and the desire to do it again next year. 1992 Restoration Crew Scott Adair, Michael Anderson, Terry Anderson, Russell Baker, Barbe Barker, Melissa & Michael Cicherski Pat Copeland, Joann DeLuna, Bruce Freeby, Leland Godbee, Johnny Hazelton, Dan Hogenauer Tony Jackson, Philip Jank, Kevin Keirn, Rob Kolstad, David McClung, Greg Mosier, Libby Overholt, Carl Ponebshek Nathan Summar, Steve Sutherland, Andrea Takahashi, George Veni, Wes Wells, Roy Wessell, Joel & Vickie Williams, Eddie Yonemoto. March 1993 The TEXAS CAVER 7


CONFESSIONS OF A REFORMED By Mike Walsh CO-CHAIRPERSON 1994 NSS Convention Coming A runaway freight train is headed for Texas and it will a rrive June 20 1994. If we learn from the past and work tog e ther it will not be a disaster but a great event. Around a campfire in 197 6 someone under the influence (of adrenal in, if nothing else) decided that Texans should host another National Speleological Society convention. From the Austin caver ghettos to the grottos around the Lone Star State, everyone thought the dust had settled enough from the first national Texas convention in 1964 and it was time again. The cream of the crap (just kidding!) joined together for this great cause. Looking Back Then, the Texas Speleological Association was not the friendly group that it is today. Cavers were involved in a bitter and often nasty struggle for control of TSA leadership. But once things started moving, differences had to be set aside. While working together, the past problems were found to be largely a matter of excessive hormones with perhaps a little tes tosterone poisoning thrown in. Each co-chairman (it was still a year when they were called that) was responsible for half the convention duties. This made it easier to direct our efforts The lack of shower facilities was one of our major headaches. Almost every alternative had been exhausted before I man aged to contact Pete Strickland and ask him to construct showers. Pete's magical wood-fired showers made hot water for 800 cavers! It was the hit of the convention, and I then learned never to question Pete's construction efforts again. All the parties involved learned to work together. The best decision made was that the convention would be hosted hy Texas cavers and not by any political group. It was to be a convention of compromise. Gi II Ediger said the entire event should be held under some trees in a cow pasture. Donations could be tossed into a garbage can to handle expenses. The later compromise was to have a $15 preregistration in a time of $35 conventions. We worked our butts off and only lost $432.60 on the convention. The current NSS treasurer said he would watch us in 1994 since we were the last convention host to lose money. To quote Janice Everage, "There were discussions, meetings, election of officers. replacement of officers, assign ment of tasks, reassignment of tasks, phone calls, trips, hassles. rights. big plans. little plans frayed tempers, and high hopes Everyone wanted this to be The Best Ever' convention." Many Firsts With 938 attendees, it was one of the best ever! The second Texas NSS convention was full of frrsts: the first full color guidebook cover; the first NSS Convention Map Salon (won by Texan Orion Knox); the first Exploration Session ; and the half-day Mexico Discovery Program that brought together cavers who had made the great finds. A Mexico Discovery Program can be presented only at a Texas conven tion, since many of those cavers do not attend national meetings. Week of Memories It was a week to remember, full of vignettes both good and bad: the Sunday afternoon party; the cow chip tossing contest; the armadillo tossing contest; the gunfight; serving 850 cavers in 17 minutes at the Howdy Party; dust flying as 500 cavers attempted the Cotton Eyed Joe; the beer flight ; the 850-caver tour of Natural Bridge Caverns with AI Brant, Preston Knodell, and Orion Knox (the discoverers); and the small armadillo found on the walk to Bracken Bat Cave The bats were surprised to find hundreds of cavers waiting for them. Millions of bats a full moon, and the crowd of cavers made this a magical evening Then there was that last look at 6 a.m. Saturday at the campground before everyone left for home. Other memories abounded: hundreds of cops organizin g for the big raid that did not come; the Wednesday night panic when we thought we were $10,000 in the hole; my co conspirator losing his voice; gradually going broke on the abuse of the Hotel Faust breakfast meal plan; Chuck Hempel's short course on explosivs; the destruction of an auto wind shield; and the mad dash for barbecue when we ran out at the banquet; and The Great Banquet Riot. But, 47 kegs of beer later, it was over. Accomplishments Texas cavers came together and made it work. The cavers became like family. That convention led to what I call the "Pax Texana," or the Texas Peace. It has lasted, for the most part, all these intervening years. Those were the great accomplishments of 1978. What. then, could our legacy be for 1994? Sadly, we lost somethin g in the 1980s: the contacts with some owners of great Texas caves. It was easier to cave in Mexico where the land owne r relations were not so obvious. If we make it a goal of this convention to reestablish and nurture those Texas contacts then we can have a rebirth of caving in the Lone Star State. 8 The TEXAS CAVER March 1993


Lessons What can we learn from the 1978 convention? There will be convention panic, both early in the planning and just before the event. But the important point to remember is that the convention will happen; it cannot be stopped. If things go wrong, cavers will adapt. Rain, lightning and, yes, even floods will not prevent cavers from having a good time. (After all, NSS conventions historically have been drought breakers!) With proper planning, we can make the convention easy. In 1978, the division of tasks between the co-chairmen made iteasiertodeal with tough situations. The individual committee chairmen knew which co-chairman was available for problem solving. A written job description was provided for every position. This made it clear to all what they were to do. Advice Following the 1993 NSS Convention in Oregon, meet once a month. Question authority, but avoid anarchy. The best decisions on the accomplishment of a job are reached when several cavers come together. Be flexible and compromise. Once the decision is reached, work together to make it a success. Do not go overboard on preand post-convention activities. Many convention workers will arrive Thursday but will be too wired to sleep. They will work all day Friday and get some sleep that night. They will continue working Saturday and Sunday. They will drop like flies Monday when they are needed again. If the weather is hot, it will be difficult to sleep, so provide air-conditioned lodging. Rather than have cavers attempt to do everything, hire caterers to provide the food for meals. Appoint cavers to work with them. The caterers may know food, but they do not know cavers' appetites. Use part of the 10-15 percent consignment charges to hire a local for babysitting that room at the sales area. Forty hours is a long time to spend in the consignment room. Make a donation to the local football team, and let them pick up, set up, move, and return tables and chairs. We will have trouble finding cavers to do these menial tasks when we need them. As the next convention nears and progress is good, then another form of insanity sets in. We could have 1,500,1,800, or even 2,000 at the convention. Bat guano! Expect around 1,200 but be flexible. Take care of what needs to be taken care of but remember, the great conventions use imagination and create special memories. If Texas cavers volunteer and work together, they will have a great convention next year. Then, Ron Ralph and Jay Jorden can sit back and enjoy themselves (hah!) if everyone does their jobs. Keep it simple and have fun. Do the work that remains to be done and enjoy ourselves. When things go wrong, fix them if possible and just remember, "It does not matter." Cavers will inevitably find a way to enjoy themselves in spite of it all. And just think about all that great Texas caving we will be able to do after this convention is over! HIGH TECHNOLOGY COMES TO COLORADO BEND STATE PARK By Butch Fralia (Taken from The Maverick Bull-Vol. 7, No. l, January 1993) For most people, except for a few computer nerds and ele ctronics hobbyists, caving has always been an escape from the high-technology world they immerse themselves in. That changed during the November 13-15, 1992 Colorado Bend State Park (CBSP) volunteer research project. Global Posi tioning System (GPS) technology arrived, and caving may never be the same! GPS uses two special receivers that interpret satellite signals to provide navigation coordinates. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is buying GPS equipment for an electronic survey team. In September 1992, Bob Burnett ofTPWD, who is a longtime caver, was invited to attend a GPS seminar at Texas A&M. While there, A&M told him they would be willing to loan the equipment for research purposes. Bob perked his ears up and grabbed on like a bulldog. Friday afternoon of the Novem her trip, an intensive twohour course was conducted in the operation of the equipment that involved Bob Burnett, Keith Heuss, and Travis Kinchens. Saturday morning (November 14, 1992), a group of cavers took the equipment to the Lively pasture to locate cave entrances. The operation is so automated that without any understanding of the equipment, you can learn to use it in about ten minutes. That weekend, coordinates were obtained for 27 caves. During the following month in December (1992), GPS coordinates were obtained on about 10 caves. The GPS system has an accuracy of three meters. That is within I 0 feet of the absolute location for any point on the face of the earth. It uses two portable receivers. one that is maintained at a fixed or "base" (preferably known) location and another unit called the "rover" that is used to determine the location of a cave entrance. Both "base" and "rover" units record data from available overhead satellites. These data are time stamped so various measurements can be correlated. Coordinates can be found using three satellites. If a fourth satellite is available, the elevation also can be found. There are 21 satellites that transmit navigation data, so finding four is not a big chore. Continued on p. 10. March 1993 The TEXAS CAVER 9


FLASH TECHNIQUES FOR CAVE PHOTOGRAPHY By James F. Jasek Introduction The new computer-controlled cameras combined with matching electronic flash have taken most of the guess work out of photography. making it easier and easier for anyone to produce near-perfect exposures. Because some do not own these new cameras and strobes, an article about basic flash photography is appropriate. Since caves are blanketed in total darkness. the only way to get good results in cave photography is to understand the simple rules of flash exposure. Without knowing the fundamentals, results will not be consistent. You will not understand how to get repeatable results. The Guide Number Flash photography above ground or below ground is based on what is known as a guide number. This guide number. or constant. is the relation between the flash distance and the f-stop. The speed of the film and the light output of the strobe are also factors in the guide number but are always constant. The guide number is equal to the aperture or f-stop times the distance. For a given guide number, the f-stop for the exposure is found by dividing the flash distance into the guide number. To make this simple relation easy, just remember the word GAD: Guide number is equal to Aperture times Distance. or G =AD. From this expression, A= G/D and D = G /A. The trick is to find the guide number. This can be done b y p e rforming some simple tests with your camera, strobe, and the film normally used for cave photography. After finding the guide number, it will never change unless a different film and strobe are used. The guide number remains con sta nt for all flash photography despite the conditions. ElE:ctronic Strobes Be fore discussing the method for the test, let's talk about Higb TE:ch. Cont'd from p. 9. .\fter re{;ording the data. the units were returned to ..... 6:\f <1nd the data were dumped into a large computer for f "i1kr pnx:e<>sing. (Travis Kinchen, who is a senior at A&M, <},-_,'; ; pid:up and delivery service.) The Texas Highway IY;;:..:..i1me:nt has a very expensive GPS unit at an accurately ,ur.::ytd lrJCation in Austin. Data from this unit along with the 'b:J ; e an d "rover" units will be compared in making final on the longitude and latitude of the caves sur .tyc:d :Jt CBSP. A&M is working on new algorithms to enable th::.: to be corrected to within one foot (absolute). There d.ft designs in the works that will be accurate to within one ce ntim e ter or less. It is fun to play with a pair of$17 ,OOOradio receivers, but what docs it all mean? TPWD is buying a computer system that uses map software. They are subscribing to a service from the electronic strobe. Every strobe is overrated by the manufacturer by as much as two full f-stops. This means that if you try to use a strobe for cave photography, photos will be very dark. All strobes are balanced to provide good exposure in a well-lighted room for simple family snapshots. Under these circumstances, the strobe is not providing all the light for the exposure. The exposure comes from: (1) ambient conditions; (2) reflection; and (3) the strobe. In absolute darkness of the cave, the strobe must provide all the light for the exposure, and since cave walls reflect almost no light, the strobe is the only light source for the exposure. The guide number test will determine how much light your strobe is providing for exposure. The Guide Number Test The purpose of the test is to expose a series of pictures at a set distance while you vary the f-stop. After the film is processed, pick out the best exposure. The distance and f-stop will be recorded during the test. The guide number is then found by multiplying the f-stop times the distance. The guide number remains constant despite the distance. The test must be performed in total darkness. The darkness of a cave can be simulated in the darkness of your back yard (without city lights). Several items are needed for the test: (1) a simple notebook; (2) pencil; (3) camera; (4) strobe; (5) your favorite film; and (6) a person to pose in the pictures. Be sure they do not wear white clothes. Load the film into the camera and use fresh batteries in the strobe. Have the person stand 10 feet from the camera. A dial or chart on the back of the strobe should indicate the aperture to use at 10 feet. Suppose the aperture setting for 10 feet is f11. Make the first exposure at f16, the second f11, then f8, f5.6, f4, f2.8, and f1.4 depending USGS to download topographical maps. Hopefully, after these maps are available, TPWD can provide a digitized map of the park. If that map can be transferred to a computer-aided design system, cave locations can be plotted on the map, and the map printed. Since the CBSP GPS data were taken at points where underground cave surveys begin, the cave survey data also can be plotted on the same topographical map, referenced to the GPS location. A plot can then be generated that might show some very interesting geological faults of the area. Some of this stuff is in the future, but GPS is now! When it all comes together, caving will never be the same. All the guesswork of locating a cave from a pencil mark on a topographical map, where someone thought it was, will be gone. 10 The TEXAS CAVER March 1993


on the lens. Record each exposure. The person in the picture can hold up one finger for the first exposure, two fingers for the second, and so forth. It is very important to be able to match each print or slide with the data. After the first series of shots, move the person out to 15 feet and repeat the flash series. If the strobe indicates f8 for the first exposure at 15 feet, then begin at f11 and open up the lens from here. Use the finger method to mark each frame. Repeat the test at 20 feet. After the film is processed, calculate the guide numbers of the best exposures. The guide number for 10 15, and 20 feet should be about the same. If not a mistake was made in the test, and the test should be repeated. By conducting tests at three distances a very accurate guide number can be determined. Examples Two simple examples will show how the guide number is used. The most common situation is taking a picture of a caver in action. After focusing the camera, look at the distance on the lens. Divide the guide number by the distance to find the f-stop for the exposure. To eliminate this division, the dial on the strobe can be readjusted. Since the correct f-stop was determined at 10 feet just set the dial to read this aperture at 10 feet. Notice that the dial shows a lower film speed than that specified for the strobe. You will probably be surprised at how much lower the speed is. Another way to use the guide number is in a shot of a large room After setting the camera on a tripod and framing the picture, find the f-stop Assume that the guide number for the film and strobe is 100 and the desired camera setting is at f4. The distance for these parameters is 25 feet (D = G/A). This means that the flash must be 25 feet away from the person, formation, or wall. By flashing at 25 feet, the picture will be almost perfect. Summary By knowing the guide number, you will no longer get poor exposures. You will be producing cave pictures to be proud to show, and everyone will think you are an expert photographer. By using the guide number formula as the starting point, you will soon learn how much to vary the basic exposure settings for various cave conditions, such as light colored walls and very dark muddy walls. By using the guide number as a basis for cave photographs, the more proficient you will become as a cave photogra pher. There is no exposure no matter how large the cave, that cannot be solved with the simple GAD formula. You will learn from various exposures how much to vary from the basic exposure settings I find that when time is taken to figure a cave exposure using the guide number formula, the picture always turns out good. SENTINEL CAVE Guadalupe Mountains December 10-11, 1992 By Pat Copeland PRELIMINARIES The cavers making this trip included: David Files, Javier Trevino, Wayne Walker, Oren Tranbarger Mike Huber, Trent Atwood, Bill Sawyer, and Pat Copeland. Everyone except Wayne arrived Thursday night at the campsite at the bottom of Three Mile Hill. Wayne arrived early Friday morning around 7:30 Friday morning, everyone was ready for a great day of caving! We drove from the campsite to Deer Camp. After arriving at Deer Camp, everyone made sure we had the proper gear before starting the hike to the cave The hike to the cave takes about an hour. THE CAVE At the cave, Mike and Trent rigged the entrance drop using Trent's colorful dynamic rope. The entrance drop is about 30 feet. From there, a steep rocky trail leads to the main part of the trail. The loose rocks were no picnic. After getting down the slope the cave continues through a slot in the wall. A short distance past the slot is another climbdown of about 30 feet that requires a handline. Traverse At McCollaum's Pit At the bottom of this slope is the gateway to the hori zontal traverse across McCollaum 'spit. Each one made it to McCollaum s Pit where Trent made the dangerous climb around the lip to rig the traverse. Then, none other than ole Grannie herself followed. I had never used a cow's tail to cross a traverse, but with the guys telling me what to do, I made it across with little difficulty If you have good teachers you can learn the right way to anything. Everyone followed including David who had never done a traverse before either, but he did it like a pro. Birthday Present Pit After the pit came the Sword ofDamocles, which guards the way to the I 00-foot drop. Past this point and the 100-foot drop is the Old Rimstone Pool and the Birthday Present Pit which is a 270-foot drop! I would like to know whose birthday present this was named for because this would not be my idea of a good present. Trent was the first one down followed by the rest of our gang. Shield City Trent Jed the way to the Formation Choke that led to Shield City A bell canopy that looked like a SmurfHouse had to be climbed to get through asmalljagged hole in the ceiling Trent and David made the first climb and lowered a rope for us to use. I elected to tackle it, and after huffing and wiggling, I made it, but it was not e asy. Since Mike had been to Shield City on past trips, he waited below while everyone climbed up through the hole. We took some great pictures Again, it was worth the struggle I do not know if Oren feels that way, you might ask him yourself. Continued on p. 12 March 1993 The TEXAS CAVER 11


SENTINEL CAVE THREE MILE HILL December 12, 1992 By Joel & Vickie Williams This trip report was first printed in the January 1, 1993, Vol. 12, No. 1 issue of the Caver'sEcho, the newsletter of the North Texas Speleological Society. The cavers on the trip were : Terry Anderson, who was the trip leader; Chuck Harris; and Joel and Vickie Williams This was the second trip into Sentinel on the weekend of December 10-12,1992, which was organized by Oren Tranbarger Not willing to brave the winter weather, our group chose the Stagecoach Inn in Carlsbad as its campsite. This resulted in a 5:30a.m. wake-up call to reach Three Mile Hill in time Sentinel Cont'd from p. 11. RETURN After viewing the shields, we started our return to the ropes and began climbing the Birthday Present Pit. My rope walking system worked great, but I guess my old body is getting slow. I have a lot of caves to do, however, before I get much older! We made it back to McCollaum's Pit, which is sometimes called the Fickle Finger of Fate. This time, it was easier. By the time everyone exited the cave, it was 8:00 and dark. Trent went out first while it was daylight and left reflective markers (limb lights) on the trees marking the trail. It was cold, and the wind was blowing so hard that it was not easy hiking. Wayne waited on Oren and myself and hiked with us up the trail. I know it was not easy for Wayne to hike slowly, but I appreciate him watching out for us. The cave was not so bad, but the hike up the mountain was pure hell. Barbe Barker would have called it "The Hike From Hell." The others were waiting at Deer Camp and had a large campfire blazing. We all sat around and snacked on some food and talked about the cave. Finally, we all loaded up in our vehicles and headed to camp at the bottom of Three Mile Hill to get some real food! AFTERGLOW Bill Sawyer had brought some large thick steaks. Trent had some potatoes, and everyone pitched in and fixed a meal fit for a king while Oren elected to put on some warm clothes and crashed. The rest of us sat around the wonderful warm campfire and talked. Mike had a chain saw and cut some large logs for our fire. These wonderful cavers from Carlsbad think of everything. The fire provided Bill with some good coals to grill the steaks. While the steaks were cooking, Javier and I peeled potatoes and opened a can of Ranch Style beans. We ate real good. Bill knows how I like my steaks so I had mine first while the others were still waiting for theirs to cook. After a real good meal. everyone began to get tired and finally tumcd in for the night. to rendezvous with Oren Tranbarger's group. We were to be responsible for the derigging of the cave and needed to speak with them since they had done Sentinel the day before We got the impression that Oren was happy to see us. We were not sure if it was the smile on his face or the fact that he was standing in the middle of the road waiting for us. At any rate, they were all relieved they did not have to return and derig. Becauseofthe lack of mental capacity, we failed to remember all the names of the new friends we met at the campsite (got to start writing this stuff down), but we were glad to see Pat Copeland and Bill Sawyer there. Pat and Oren rounded up cow's tails for part of our group while everyone else told us about their 12-hour experience in the cave the day before. Since Chuck was chomping at the bit to move on, we all loaded into his truck and headed up the hill. Thank goodnes s Terry knew the way! The weather was good as we began our hike. but we were aware of possible bad weather coming out later that evening, and with that in mind, our intentions were to return to the truck before nightfall. Notice we said intentions Upon arriving at the cave, everyone geared up for the descent. Not since H.T. Miers have we seen such a vertical challenge and we loved every minute of it! Hooking into the handline, we descended into the entrance, slowly working our way through the breakdown into the depths of the cave. A ver y steep slope was encountered requiring the use of an etrier. To this point, the cave was very dry in appearance but loade d with formations. The next obstacle would be McCollaum' s Pit. We tip our hats to the rigger who did this traverse. For most of us, this was a new experience that only added to the excitement of the trip. For some reason, we could not get anyone to stand still long enough for a picture. Continuing on and using our hand jammers, we scaled a rock wall leading to the 100-foot rappel. By this time, Vickie was really wishing for longer legs! Almost immediatei y following was the 270-foot rappel into the Birthday Present Pit, which seemed quite appropriate since this caving trip was Vickie's birthday present. One final challenge would be making the climb into Shield City. It required some tricky maneuvering, but in a short time, it was made. Taking a break and regaining strength, we discussed derigging the cave. Continued on p. 1 3 12 The TEXAS CAVER March 1993


VIRGIN CAVE Guadalupe Mountains December 12, 1992 By Pat Copeland INTRODUCTION This cave was done the day after the Sentinel trip December 10-11, 1992 and involved most ofthe cavers on that trip. Oren waited this one out to rest from the Sentinel trip, to enjoy the splendor of the mountains, and to watch the weather because snow was expected perhaps later in the day. Two o ther cavers from Carlsbad joined us for the trip. The cavers included on this trip were: Brad Jennings, Curtis Perry, David Files, Javier Trevino, Wayne Walker, Mike Huber, Trent A twood, Bill Sawyer, and Pat Copeland. Mike was the technical leader like the Sentinel trip. Brad and Curtis arrived around 8 : 00 Saturday morning. We all had a good breakfast consisting of ham, eggs, burritos, m uffins, cookies, and pork chops that Bill grilled on the fire We were worried that Joel and Vickie Williams, Terry A nderson, and Chuck Harris, who were going on the second t rip to Sentinel, might not make it and we would have to return to Sentinel to derig and retrieve the ropes. However they arr ived around 9:00. They had checked in at a nice warm motel in Carlsbad and were planning to return that evening. DEPARTING After visiting for a while and giving them spare cow's tails, they were on their way, and we got our gear ready for V irgin Cave. We drove to Soldier Springs and stopped to see E l Paso Gap. The view from the top of the mountain was breath taking. There was more snow around this area (from the previous weekend) than at the bottom of Three Mile Hill. A fter a couple of wrong roads, we found the right one. Wayne said it had been many years since he was here. Mike also just h a ppened to have a cellular phone and called the Forest Service to make sure we were on the right road. D OING THECA VE We arrived at the beautiful campground and after taking some pictures of the gorgeous view, hiked to the cave. The hike down was not as long as the trip to Sentinel, but it was very steep in places. We arrived at the entrance at noon. Mike unlocked the gate, and we all passed our packs through the S entinel Cont'd from p 12. Chuck's rock climbing skills were quite useful in derigging McCollaum 'sPit. As he and Terry would coil the ropes, Joel and Vickie would carry the gear on ahead. Reaching the top of the final climb out, we realized that our goal of returning to the truck before dark was futile; however the weather had r e mained dry, although it was cold and very windy. The hike out was tough. Everyone stayed warm enough but the wind was a constant battle with gusts probably near 60 mph. Once back at the truck, we began the careful, slowsmall opening and then squeezed through. The cave was beautiful even right at the entrance. It has many big and small formations just a few feet from the tiny entrance. We waited on Wayne who had left his extra film in one of the beautiful rooms. Everyone was enjoying the formations. After Wayne returned, we then made our way to the drop where Mike rigged the rope. I asked Mike what the drop was like, and it seems that none of us had ever been down the 70-foot drop Since I was ready, I was the first one down so I could get pictures of everyone coming down. The drop was beautiful, and there was so much to see while going down. I could see the top of two totem poles while rappelling. At the bottom, it was really wet and beautiful. This cave was far more beautiful than Sentinel. Everyone came down the rope and fanned out in search of the way to the Cavernacle. David and I checked out the back wall where we found some nice rimstone dams in a shelter, and then we found some bones in a cove north of the back wall and a small pool of water with some neat formations along with some wet mud. Mike and Bill showed us a large lake with beautiful blue water. Then we found our way back in the Big Room along with the others. This room is full of mazes. After a few hours, David and I decided to start up the rope and return to camp to take more pictures of the beautiful view of the mountains. We exited the cave at 4:00p.m. and arrived at the vehicles where we devoured a summer sausage roll and some dried fruit. The wind was picking up, and it was getting cold. Trent arrived at 5:30 after climbing straight up the mountain. (He is a rock climber.) Javier was just minutes behind him, but he came up the trail. It was dark when the others arrived and everyone was ready to return to camp. NIGHTFALL That night, we sat around the warm campfire talking about the trip. Oren had a restful day around camp We were getting worried about the others on the Sentinel trip, but we really did not expect them until around 10:00. It was 9:30 when they drove into camp. After chatting a while and sorting out our gear, they departed for Carlsbad to stay in a warm motel room After a meal that ranged from soup to Javier's grilled cheese sandwiches, Mike got out his trusty chain saw and cut plenty of small logs from the wood that Trent, Brad, and Curtis had picked up Continued on p. 14. paced drive to the camp near the base of Three Mile Hill. Once again, Oren was waiting in the road waving his lantern in welcome. After separating the gear, we said our farewells telling everybody we had to get back to the jacuzzi at the motel. This was not a good thing to say to a bunch of campers facing a cold winter night! Chuck had high hopes of eating at Lucy's back in Carlsbad, but as the hike had taken longer than expected and the trip back to town began to reveal our aches and pains from the day, we became quite content with the idea of having pizza delivered to our door. This was the perfect ending to a most cha11enging day! March 1993 The TEXAS CAVER 13


PRECIPICIO January 7-10, 1993 By Oren Tranbarger Introduction On Labor Day weekend 1990, I camped below Precipicio on a trip to Palmito with Jim Elliott and Don Glasco. In looking up at the hole in the mountain I asked myself how can the cave be 1 600 feet or so above the canyon floor? I knew then that someday I would make the trip. Last year, three different trips were planned, but each time, they had to be scrubbed. This year was better, and plans materialized. The trip was made! This trip resulted from discussions with Michael Portman of Laredo Michael used to be an active caver and wanted to get ba c k into caving. I suggested that we do Precipicio. The date was picked based on the full moon and the cool w e ather expected in January The cave was done Friday and Saturday and the weather could not have been any better, 4570 degrees and sunny skies. The cavers who made the trip were: Oren Tranbarger Kent Kelln Michael Portman Blaine Parish Tom Addison Blake Barr Bob Hambright Tom is also from Laredo and had been to Precipicio previou s ly. Kent was the technical leader of the expedition Kent and Blaine went with Bill St ee le la s t year on one of the trip s I was hoping to make Blake and Bob are good friends of mine from San Antonio. Bob i s a new caver, and this was his second cave, his first vertical one. The Trip To Mexico After much preparation and planning Blake, Bob and I left San Antonio Thursday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. The border crossing at Columbia was quick and easy. Every time I have us e d this crossing point, no waiting has been necessary. At the immigration point we got the green light. We arrived at the s pring in Bustamante Canyon around 9:30p. m. where the oth e rs had already set up camp Virgin -Cont'd from p. 13. Brad told us some of his most funniest stories that had happened to him. The one I liked best was when he poked his head into a small hole in a cave and c ould not get it out. Also there was the one about the new female forest ranger fighting a for es t fire and using sign language from across the mountain The fellowship was great and the campfire was nice and warm, but finally everyone turned in for the night. A couple of u s noticed a few snowflake s before turning in. Bustamante Canyon has been forever changed. A good road has been constructed through the canyon up to the spring. Because of the road, you might have to pay to camp in the canyon in the future. This is definitely true for camping at the city park. A guy rides out on horseback each morning to collect fees. Camping Camping was very comfortable that first night. There was no wind, and the moonlight really lit up the canyon as I had imagined it would months ago in the planning stages of the trip Temperatures were moderate, and no extra blankets were needed. On Friday morning, we were up shortly after dawn making preparations for the hike. On previous trips to the canyon, Michael had made contact with the goat herder, who lives up the road from the spring, to watch our vehicles. It was a great relief knowing everything was safe while we were gone. The vehicles were parked in the goat herder's fenced yard, and he was paid $2.00 for each at the end of the trip. Before making the hike, the route was studied looking up in the mountains. Although the hogsback we were going to follow could be seen the mountain looked smaller than it actually is. It was hard to comprehend that we were about t o embark on a climb over 2,000 feet! The Hike Up To The Cave After breakfast backpacks were checked and packed camp was broken, and the vehicles were parked. The hike started. Construction workers on the road watched some as the gringos headed down the road to the trailhead. The hik e begins up some talus or scree slope. At one point, four of u s got on the header just west of the hogsback that had to b e climbed The other three were ahead of us on the hogsback and tried to guide us over We probably lost an hour getting over to the hogsback but there was no need to worry about time. The curved hogsback just goes up and up. At various points, Bob checked the elevation using his altimeter. We were climbing about 500 feet an hour. When we reached 1,000 feet above the canyon floor, I was amazed at the scale of the mountains. After about three hours of hiking, it was getting quite warm, and frequent stops were required for resting Through out the climb I sipped water from my Camelback bladder ; however, a few times I had to stop because I felt overcome by SUNDAY MORNING, DECEMBER 13, 1992 Sunday morning, we woke to find about two inches of beautiful snow on the pine trees. Snowballs were quickly made by several kids," and everyone got into the act. Mik e nailed me with a good one, but I was able to return the favor. Wayne had a good arm and could make snowballs very fast. Finally, everyone managed to get packed and headed out of Dark Canyon. The roads were not too bad from the snow. Thanks to all the guys for making a wonderful trip possible and allowing me to be a part of their caving group. 14 The TEXAS CAVER March 1993


heat. Removing my hat helped to recover and cool off. Small cliffs are encountered on the hogsback that have to be scaled. None were ever too hard. Near the top, the path i s at the edge of sheer dropoffs. I did not get too close to the edge, and I did not care to look over the edge. At one rest point, the others were waiting for Bob and me to catch up. When I got to where they had been waiting, I found a rattlesnake about 18 inches long. Blaine had been sitting about five feet from him. He was gray and matched the color of the surrounding rocks. I must admit that I am not a snake conservationist, and I killed him. Perhaps this action might have saved some hapless caver's life. Blake, Bob, and I trudged along and finally made it to the top. The altimeter revealed an elevation of 3,700 feet, or 2,100 feet above the canyon floor. The peak across the canyon, which looked fairly small from the floor, still loomed e ver higher. The cliffline was followed around to the V -slot buttslide. From previous descriptions, I was dreading this part of the hike. Here without warning, severe leg cramps struck. Blake retrieved someLegatrin out of my pack, and I swallowed three pills and waited a while hoping the cramps would subside. T hey did get better, but were not totally alleviated. We started down the steep slope. The others were already in the cave. Blake went down first. I was not too far behind him; Bob followed me. We were in unchartered territory. I knew this thing would go off into nothing, and we did not know where it was going to end. Blake came to a palm tree stump in the middle of trail w here he experienced an abdominal system error. This required a brief stop to reboot. On down the trail, we had to pass on a short hairy downclimb. At the downclimb, there was not much to hang on to while getting down to the traverse w hich is a narrow ledge over to the cave. After the trip, Bob said that last tight spot was the worst for exposure. In retrospect, a handline should be left there. I anticipated that the walk along the ledge into the cave was going to be pretty scary. In reality, I did not have any apprehensions about the ledge although it gets narrow just before stepping into the cave. The approach and opening of the cave reminded me of the Pink Dragon in the Guads. Ins ide The Cave It was a relief to be inside the cave. The hike to the cave had taken 5.5 hours. According to the altimeter, the cave e ntrance is at 3,300 feet or 1,700 feet above the canyon floor. The plan at this point was to rest, eat, and sleep. I was still having severe leg cramps, and Blake was still having system problems. After eating some and resting, I unrolled my thermarest pad. Sleep was elusive although I was bone tired. Every few minutes, I would have to dance on the cave wall to alleviate cramps. I felt wasted but thought l that by midnight things would be okay. I While resting, Blake noticed something dart past him on the floor. It was a mouse that ran up the wall and into a hole a bove my head. We think he was down near Bob trying to get into his backpack for food. On closer examination of the area, mouse droppings were all around my thermarest. Later, I moved to a more sanitary spot. Around dark, Blake saw other evidence of life in the cave. One bat flew by. Overall, the cave was quite comfortable for sleeping. I carried a light-weight blanket. Later in the night, I did get a little chilled, but covered up my bald head to prevent heat loss. After that, I stayed warm. Around 6:30p.m., Kent and Blaine headed for the frrst drop to set a bolt. Blaine had checked out the drop and reported that a new bolt should be set before rigging the drop. After a long time, it was apparent that they were probably on their way down the drop, and Tom and Michael left to join them. Blake, Bob, and I continued to try to rest. Around 10:00, Blake and I got up, went outside the cave and had something to eat. The skies were cloudy, but the moon was providing some light. It looked like the weather was going to change, and conditions might not be too good for the return hike. I still felt wasted and was having leg cramps. Blake was still having problems also. We did check outsomeofthecave but decided not to do the drops. We returned to the camping area at the entrance and hit the sack for the rest of the night. By now, it was midnight, and we had not had any sleep yet. Later I did go to sleep, and then I remember hearing Tom return sometime early in the morning. As we found out later, Tom got his foot wedged in a hole and had a rock fall on his leg. He could have been hurt and was fortunate. At this point in the trip, Tom began having some leg cramps also, which made climbing rope more difficult. In laying there, I wondered if the ropes would be derigged. I suspected that they would not, since Kent did not have any way of knowing that the three of us would not be making the drops. Around 3:00a.m. Saturday morning, the others returned and were beat. Kent and Blaine had to work particularly hard, since one ascender in their system was not brought along so that weight could be minimized. We probably woke up around 7:30. Light could be seen at the entrance of the cave, and the weather was checked. The outlook for the day appeared good. There were high thin clouds and sun. One of my first questions was about the ropes. Kent said the two drops were still rigged. After assessing the situation, the lower rope (175 feet) was left in the cave. Kent, Blaine, and I returned to the first drop, derigged, and retrieved the 359-foot rope. In retrospect, we did the right thing. Another rope is also at the bottom of the cave. On the weekend of March 19, 1993, Carleton Spears, Ted Lee, and Mike Cicherski made a trip to Precipicio and retrieved the rope. The Pulldown Return After derigging, gear was repacked for the return trip. Kent made the decision to return via the pulldown route that was done last year. This involves three drops: 150,50, and 150 feet, respectively. Initially, this produced some anxiety because oft he anchor being so close to the edge of the cliff and March 1993 The TEXAS CAVER 15


of the unknown waiting below. Except for Kent and Blaine, none of us had ever done a double-rope rappel. (Anchors and cables for the pulldowns had been set by Mark Minton, probably five years ago.) After Kent rigged the first drop, Blaine went down first to untangle the rope. Time passed and stretched into 45 minutes or an hour before we finally heard "Off Rope." While waiting, scenarios were going through my mind on what could be done if he was hung up down below. In using a double rope for rappelling, forget changeover and climbing up. In doing the pulldown the way we did, there was concern of becoming stranded because of a cut or hung rope or some other thing. And we had only one rope at this point. When my tum came, it was easy. The rappel went smoothly, and before I knew it, I was at the bottom standing in the entrance ofEI Gato Cave. This cave is not too big but has a sizeable entrance. Kent was the last one down and proceeded to untie the knot in the two ends of the rope. After this was accomplished, we began pulling the rope down. It had a lot of friction. Finally, it started pulling down. I looked at the end going up, and there was a knot. I about crapped because it was already out of reach. Fortunately, Blaine saved the day. He was able to climb up the cliff wall to the knot and untie it. After that, the rope was easy to pull down When the end fell, there was no return. We had to press onward. The anchor for the second drop (50 feet) was a small tree growing out of the rock. The tree has a right-angle tum in its trunk. Blaine went first taking lots of rocks with him. To get to the tree, you buttslide down a steep slope. The rappel is through a notch and a walkdown on the cliff face. After I got through the notch and down, I tucked the rope under a rock to protect it from falling rocks. I had a new rope cut almost in two once from falling rocks, and I am sensitive to this danger. This later proved to be very prudent. An open shelter, like a natural bridge, is at the bottom. Under it is a ledge to sit on. Next to the ledge is a treacherous scree slope leading to the last drop and anchor point. The scree slope is like a giant scoop that empties out into space. Several of us were sitting on the ledge when Bob came down. Rocks were dislodged. It sounded like an explosion when they hit. I looked up, and the entry way was full of dust. After Bob got down, I checked the rope. It was okay tucked under the rock. Getting to the last anchor point was the trickiest because of the scree slope. In walking down it, rocks would fall (pour) over the cliff. Kent made this drop first. There is a danger from falling rocks at the bottom. After making the drop. you move on down the arroyo to safety before others follow. One by one, others made it. Blake said he did not feel comfortable being the last one on this drop. I agreed to be the last. As Blake went down. he gave Bob and me a good description of what to expect. It is best to use a cow's tail on this drop while attaching the rack to the rope. Slide down the scree slope, clip in to the first anchor with the cow's tail and then move on down to the second anchor. At the second anchor, get the rack on rope, and undo the cow's tail. Hold on to the cable and work your way down to the edge of the cliff. There are footholds below the cliff that make it easier than it looks initially. There is also a tree at the edge of the cliff. The exit point over the cliff is between the tree (bush) and the cliff. Finally Bob went down, and I was sitting alone. The wind was picking up, and a chill was in the air. I was wondering if it was going to be okay. Soon, I heard the "Off Rope"signal. I answered with an "okay." This was it. Things went smoothly in getting on rope. Before I knew it, I was rappelling and enjoying the view. The 150-foot rappel was far too short. The Hike Out At the bottom, I yelled since I could not see anyone around. Blake and Bob were way down in the arroyo where it was safe from the falling rocks. There was no difficulty in pulling down the rope. It was then coiled. I gathered my gear and headed down the steep arroyo to the others. Kent had told us that it only took 1.5 hours to hike out down the arroyo. There was 1,350 feet of elevation to drop and lots of brush to go through. When I got to Bob and Blake, I found out the others had headed on down the mountain earlier. We could generally see the trail left by the others, which was helpful at times. Like so many stream beds down mountain slopes, many waterfall cliffs were encountered. There was always a way around them and lots of lechuguilla. Lechuguilla was abun dant everywhere on the hike up and down, but it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. On the way down, Blake found a rack someone had dropped, and we spotted Michael's Suburban down on the road. We thought they might be looking for us. Later, we saw Kent's BMW on the road. They were looking for us. Although we could see them, they could not see us in the underbrush. They must have got tired of waiting and left. Finally, around 6:30 (after dark), we came to the road by following a cow's trail. It was so good to be down safely. As we walked along the road, we started replaying the events of the trip. What a good trip it was. Up ahead, lights were coming down the road. It was the BMW with Kent and Blaine. We stowed our gear in the trunk, and Kent took me up to the goat herder's place to get the Jeep. Tom and Michael had already left for Laredo. Kent and Blaine were going back to Corpus that night. Since everyone was heading home and the weather was getting very cold, I suggested that we stop at the Ancira Restaurant for a good meal before leaving. After getting the Jeep, I started down the road toward Bob and Blake. I found them close to the stream. However, Blake had stepped off into a mud hole. In getting in this predicament, he tried to warn Bob that the ground was getting soft. He took one more step and sank down in mud over his ankle. Before going to town, we found out that the rack Contined on p. 17. 16 The TEXAS CAVER March 1993


CONSERVATION FORMATION CLEANING Cavers' Forum-Internet P a ul Aughey -Tallahassee, FL Over the past eight years the Florida State Cave Club (Tallahassee, FL), Dogwood City Grotto (Atlanta, GA), Florida Speleological Society (Gainesville, FL), and the Tampa Bay A rea Grotto (Tampa Bay, FL) have been working together to clean up Glory Hole near Cairo, Georgia. The cave had public access in the mid sixties to late seventies and had been pretty s e v e rely muddied despite its incredible formations. The cave is very well known for its formations and has had quite a bit written about it (I think it was in the conservation issue of the NSS News, March 1992) as well as several photographs S e v e ral things have been tried in restoring formations: A 12x5-foot pool was created by making an oval shaped tub (8 inches deep) and laying down plastic over it. The pool was created on a mud floor under dripping formations. The pool holds about 120 gallons of water There is a hand bilge p ump in the pool to get out the water without muddying it up. Also in the cave are eight pesticide sprayers (bought new without pesticide), and several scrub brushes and tooth brush es. Using these items the mud does come off the formations pretty well. Also spray paint comes off limestone walls The problem comes when paint or mud has been on the Precipico -Cont'd from p. 16. belonged to Blaine. That was the second time he had lost it. B lake wanted to ransom it for dinner. At The Ancira The five of us went to the Ancira Restaurant. At the A n c ira, I apologized to the owner for being so nasty. He unde rstood. I also told him where we had been. He said that "only professional cavers went to Precipicio." I f e lt flattered by s uch a distinction. After sitting down we all went through two rounds of b i g cokas Later, the others had another round We had a wonderful meal. Finally, we had to say ad ios to Kent and Bla ine and start the return trip The Return Home On the way out of town we stopped at the train station and dumped five gallons of gasoline in the Jeep. We also got t a ngerines and apples out the ice chest. These were eaten on the way to the border. After Blake changed his clothes we were on the road. The drive to the border was fast. Since it w o uld be after 10:00 when arriving at the border we decided t o go through Laredo. In going through Customs on the U.S. side, the inspector asked if we were going to Corpus. It was formations long enough to be in the crystalline matrix. To get this off, we use a very weak solution of muriatic acid. I believe the solution is seven parts water to one part acid. This solution is used only if the formation is large, the graffiti is obvious, and scrubbing did not work Recently we have taken 700 feet of garden hose and run it directly from the surface stream (which runs into the sink) to a highly concentrated area of formations. The drop of 130 feet from the sink to the base level of the cave gives enough water pressure to create a powerful stream. The only problem encountered is that sometimes the stream is too powerful and has the potential to damage the formations I tried to answer the question about what to do. About whether you can clean formations without frrsthand knowledge, sure, that is the way to learn Just conuduct experiments in an out-of-the way area on a small test group About whom the "cave restoration experts" are nowadays I have not got a clue, but we have had some experience down here. Rane L. Curl -Ann Arbor, Ml Please do not use muriatic acid for cleaning graffiti off cave formations. Use sulfuric acid. Muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid) emits irritating toxic fumes (though not too bad if diluted as described above) and, more serious, produces calcium chloride upon reaction with limestone. Calcium chloride is very soluble and forms a very strong ionic solution that will kill any organisms immersed in it. It does not go away, or dry up (it is deliquescent). It would become harmless with sufficient dilution, but the runoff from the formations being cleaned into sediments would not get diluted Use sulfuric acid ( battery acid"), also diluted to ca. 10 percent (battery acid is 30 percent so add one part acid to three parts water). Sulfuric acid reacts with limestone to form calcium sulfate. This is the substance of gypsum which is apparent that Kent and Blaine had just passed the same inspector a short time before. He was good enough to let us pass without having our gear inspected After filling up with gasoline and getting some coffee Bob drove the Jeep back to San Antonio. It was around 2 :00a.m. Sunday morning when we returned, and it was cold. Postscript In view of the challenge of this trip another trip will be made next fall or winter, either in November, December or January In discussions with my friend Steve Gutting I guess it is not uncommon to get messed up from the hike. He has been there three times The first time, the hike was too much He got sick and could not do the cave. Next time, I will work out more and hopefully avoid the cramps The cavers on this trip were a good match and I am proud of everyone on their performance. I especially want to thank Kent for being the technical leader and taking time out of his busy schedule to make the trip If you are interested in making the next trip, contact me as soon as possible. March 1993 The TEXAS CAVER 17


only slightly soluble, and organisms are not harmed by immersion in a saturated solution of calcium sulfate. The solution will evaporate (it is not deliquescent), and the gypsum that remains will be quite innocuous. Phil OKunewickState College, PA For cave cleaning, we trucked in water in about 20 two-liter soda bottles, and brought in one insecticide sprayer and a mess of scrub brushes. The sprayer was fine for the light stuff, but a lot of the cleaning requires massive amounts of water, not a small high-pressure spray. Pouring water directly from the soda bottles worked better than spraying, after the mud was broken loose. And removing the tip from the sprayer so that a fairly heavy stream rushed out worked pretty good too. You really want to remove the labels from the soda bottles. Otherwise they will scrape off into little pieces underground, which will require several hours collecting afterwards. In 10 or 20 years, a nice protective layer of actively forming calcite can seal mud into a white crystalline floor. If we manage to save the cave from the quarry operation, we will do more cleaning with a mild acid solution. Calcite is soluble in almost any kind of acid. Paint can often be scrubbed off with a wire scrub brush or even sand. This is especially true on damp cave walls. There are biodegradable paint removers available for the really tough paint, but even these should be applied with caution. Before using biodegradable paint removers, determine whether any fragile areas may be harmed by them before and after they decompose. Perhaps some paint is best left unremoved, or simply covered over with mud. Cave Minerals of the World has a section on cave cleaning. Steam cleaning is recommended, especially in commercial caves. AM RADIO RECEPTION IN CAVES By Oren Tranbarger (The following is a recent posting transmit ted to Cavers' Forum on Internet. Several responses followed. ) Recently while on a Guad trip to Sentinel, Bill Sawyer from Caverns of Sonora said that someone on a tour brought a boom box into the cave. It was annoying. Bill thought that AM radio signals were being received in the cave and that it was not a recording being played. The incident was discussed further that night (December 10, 1992) around the campfire with Mike Huber (Carlsbad) before our trip into Sentinel the following day. I told the group that if radio signals were really being received in the cave, then the experiment could be repeated without any difficulty. I suspected then that AM radio reception in a cave was indeed possible based on my experience in electronic surveil lance. In one investigation I conducted, a water pipe was used for an antenna for a special-purpose receiver. I was amazed at all the radio stations that could be received. The reason for this is that AM radio towers have radials buried in the ground. RF currents are induced in the ground to propagate ground waves. Mike took my suggestion to repeat the experiment in a cave seriously and brought along a Walkman radio on the Sentinel trip It was in the afternoon when he turned it on and listened. Stations were received from Dallas and Oklahoma. He did not listen too long since we were busy caving. No call letters were identified. The stations could have been KRLD, KRMG. or KVOO, all 50,000-watt stations. In cave reception, the RF signals must first propagate through the ground to the cave. Then the signals must be reradiated at the interface of the cave walls. I think that AM radio ground wave propagation is quite an interesting phenom enon and has applications for finding anomalies in the ground such as caves by tracking the phase angles of the signals using surface probes Hal Love Nashville, TN Sometime around 1980, I was visiting Fitton Cave in Arkansas. While taking a break, I was digging around in my pack and found a small transistor radio I had forgotten was in my pack. Knowing good and well that there was no way to receive anything 300 feet below the surface, I turned it on anyway and was amazed to find that I could pick up many more AM stations than I could on the surface. Whenever I have related this story to others, they always tell me I have destroyed too many brain cells (which may be true, but that is another story), and there is no way I could pick up AM radio signals underground. I am glad that someone else has experienced this phenomenon and explained it. This brings up an interesting question: could this phenomenon be used to build a cave radio (for communication) with a greater range than induction radios? What would be the power require ments for such a device? Frank Reid, W9MKV -Bloomington, IN The buried radial wires at AM broadcast antennas are used to improve antenna efficiency by improving local ground conductivity. Radio waves normally do not penetrate con ductive materials, but the ground is an imperfect conductor. "Skin effect" is an electromagnetic phenomenon which cause s high frequency currents to travel only on the outer surface of conductors. The depth of the "skin" (i.e., ground penetration) is inversely proportional to frequency and conductivity. Sub merged submarines can receive radio signals from immensely powerful VLF transmitters (in the 15-50kHz range). In the early days of AM broadcast radio (ca. 1920), there were widely-publicized successful receptions of AM broad-18 The TEXAS CAVER March 1993


casts in commercial caves (Mammoth, Wyandotte, others). Some of these were more publicity stunts than scientific experiments. (Reference: Articles by speleo-historian Angelo George in Speleonics 15 and 16.) Modem cavers also report that AM broadcasts can be detected in some places in caves. Radio signals seem to be able to enter caves along vertical joints; that was my experience in an experiment where I carried a LORAN-C (100 kHz) receiver through a cave (Speleonics 5, p. 12). At the 1981 International Congress of Speleology in Kentucky, I met a Swedish caver who is also very active in hidden-transmitter hunting (a popular sport in Europe) He said that he placed his low-powered 3.5-MHz transmitter in a cave and was able to d e t ect it on the surface in an elliptical area with the major axis run ning along a vertical joint. I have taken a VLF receiver in caves and detected many sig nals between 10 and 500kHz, all considerably weaker than on the surface. I used both E-field (whip) and H-field (loop) ant ennas. I would like to build a small, simplified LORAN e r eceiver (signal-strength and audio output only; no navigation computer) to study underground propagation and possibly loc ate vertical joints and areas of thin overburden. LORAN e i s probably the strongest signal in the VLFrange; transmitter pow ers range from 400 to 1,200 kilowatts. There are several geophysical techniques which use low frequency RF to detect underground anomalies, using either locally-generated signals or signals from the above mentioned Navy VLF transmitters. These techniques are apparently much better at locating conductive or magnetic ore bodies tha n they are at detecting nonconductive anomalies such as caves. See geophysics texts in any university geology library. Cavers have had varying success using earth-resistivity m e thods for cave detection. The problem is one of signal-to n o ise ratio. Anomalies other than caves may produce identical and stronger indications. Brian Pease has had apparent success in using resistivity techniques and detecting a known cave, using conventional "cave radio equipment (at about 3.5 kHz) with a synchronous (autocorrelating) receiver. (Speleonics 16 p4.) His experiments continue It is hard to find information on state-of-the-art g e ophysical techniques because oil companies and the military tend to keep them secret. Naval VLFtransmittersarecontrolled b y atomic clocks. It should be possible (maybe even affordable) to compare the phase of their signals against an equally accurate reference derived from GPS satellites. Joh n Lyles, WB4PRO Los Alamos, NM Frank Reid mentions using a LORAN receiver for cave radio location I was wondering about whether the OMEGA system used by the U.S. Navy, running between 10 and 14 kHz, would be even more penetrating. I know that the transmitters are huge. Only a few of them are around the globe (like Annapolis). The signal switches frequencies over a pattern. I built a field strength meter for it with an audio output in the 1970's for my employer at the time in VA. I would like to hear more about the synchronous receiver that was used for that test to locate a cave I know that most of the newer metal locators (gold, rings, pipes, etc.) use synchronous detectors to determine if an object is ferrous, mineral, etc. Frank Reid, W9MKV-Bloomington, IN Synchronous detection is a powerful yet simple way to detect weak signals amid strong interference. It is useful in cave radio, earth-resistivity measurements, and many other applications. Thecatchisthatthetransmitterandthereceiver's local-oscillator must have absolutely the same frequency and phase: quartz-crystal oscillators are usually not accurate enough. Synchronous detection is easy when the transmitter and receiver are located together, as in metal detectors. Some geophysics instruments operate like giant metal detectors, with transmitter and receiver some distance apart and synchronized by a VHF radio link or some other method. The big problem with synchronous cave-radio systems is how to lock the underground transmitter and surface receiver frequencies together. Brian Pease did it by careful crystal oscillator design. The transmitter and receiver stay in phase long enough to make measurements The transmitter and receiver were both on the surface in his resistivity and cave detection experiments, so could have been synchronized more conventionally. He determined resistivity by measuring relative strengths of the vertical and horizontal components of the transmitter's magnetic field and detected an apparent anomaly in a traverse over a known cave. Signals from the Omega transmitter in North Dakota are quite strong in caves in my region (Indiana and Kentucky). I have heard it whenever I have taken my VLF "whistler" (1-20 kHz broadband) receiver underground. Accuracy of radio navigation systems like LORAN-C and Omega depends upon atomic clocks used to synchronize their widely-spaced transmitters within a few nanoseconds of each other Small durable atomic clocks are not affordable by cavers who do not have NASA credit cards. There are relatively simple circuits that receive LORAN-C, Omega, WWVB, etc. and produce a phase-locked, locally-generated signal with frequency of comparable accuracy Impulse radar, said to be able to detect stealth aircraft, looks very promising for cave detection, far better than currently marketed and rather primitive "ground-penetrating radars" (see Aviation Week magazine, 4 Dec. 1989 p. 8) There are persistent rumors of airborne and orbital radars that can see through the ground; and there are several very powerful U.S. Navy VLF transmitters on the east and west coasts and Hawaii, transmitting encrypted data at 75 baud. British, Russian and other navies maintain similar stations. These are also controlled by atomic I theorize that submarines use on-board atomic clocks in correlation methods for weak -signal recovery. Some Omega navigation receivers augment their accuracy by using signals from Navy stations An early space shuttle carried a radar that penetrated the sand of the Sahara Desert The U.S. military has used geophysical methods to detect North Korean tunnels under the "demilitarized" zone. We can hope that remote-sensing methods will be declassified during the current trend of converting military technology to civilian/commercial uses. March 1993 The TEXAS CAVER 19


I SfJ{{j Edited by Tom Moss Cavers' Forum -Internet This compendium of cavers' terms comes from postings by several individuals from all over the world, and reflect the lingo of various regions. The contributors: Paul Aughey, Les Bartel, Ken Byrd, Donald Davis Michael DeChaine, Jeff Dilcher, Mark Dougherty, Bill Franz, Rob Harper, Malcolm Herbert, Dave Linton, Mark Minton, Graham Proudlove, Frank Reid, Bill Steele, and Andy Waddington. In taking these out of their original context, I have edited some of them to match the dictionary-style format, and combined some terms with multiple meanings for different cavers or regions. I also added a few of my own. AIR RAPPEL: An accidental fall down a pit. ARMCHAIR CAVER: One who talks about caving more than going underground. Modern version is the "virtual" caver. BABY HOG: A not-so-long coil of rope to be carried through a cave. See Hog. BABYSITTERS: Referring to those cavers who can dig one day of the weekend, while they look after the kids for the other day. BANG: Explosives. BFR: Big f*cking rock. A bomb-proof anchor; bad news if it really is not! BIDE : Carbide. BINER: Carabiner. See Krab. BIRTH CANAL: That passage which reminds you of some certain part of the female anatomy BNC: Big-name caver (usually complimentary but some times connotes self-styled, or a speleopolitician). BO: Shout used instead of whistle signals in Southeast U.S. TAG area. BOMB BOX: Army surplus ammunition box explosives are packed in for transport through a cave BOMB PROOF: ( 1) Suitable natural rig point. (2) Any belay which has a vast overkill of security, or any sort of shoring or other equipment whose safety in no doubt. BOOTY: Virgin cave passage See Scoop. BOTTOMED: Reaching the lowest point of a vertical cave. BRAIN BUCKET: Helmet. CARBIDE ASSIST: Refers to "encouragement of a caver (esp. electric cavers) in a crawl by a following carbide caver. CARBIDE PIG: A length of knotted car inner-tube used for carrying carbide in caves Also known as piglets (if made from bicycle inner-tube)often pink. CARDBOARD CAVER : A caver who turns around at the first sign of wetness so that his/her layers do not delaminate. CEILING BURNER: Belt-generator carbide lamp with ver tical flame. See Gobbler. CELL: Almost any electric light. but particularly its battery pack. CHAIR SUCKER (rope sucker, stove sucker, etc.): One who uses someone's gear while the person is preoccupied with something else. "I got up to get something to eat and someone sucked my chair!" CHEST COMPRESSOR: A crawl that cannot be negotiated by an individual without exhaling. CHICKEN LOOPS: Ankle slings incorporated in vertical systems so foot stirrups cannot come off if the climber hangs upside down. CRAPS OUT: Passage ends. CRATERING: Too fastarappelending with too quick a stop. "Put a knot in the end of the rope or ya' might crater." DEATH MARCH: Particularly grueling caving trip. CAVE BURRITOS: The containers of fecal waste, normally triple-bagged in Ziplocs, removed in one' s pack from Lechuguilla Cave. CHEMICAL PERSUASION: Explosives. CONG-STOMPERS: Vietnam combat boots. COW'S TAIL: (1) A veryshortloopof 15-20cm from the sit harness. (2) A much longer safety loop, so that the crab at the end is just about at arm's reach. This is what early SRT protagonists in the UK called a "Claude loop" after JeanClaude Dobrilla who first pioneered their use in Europe. DOING A NEIL: Local South Wales Caving Club turn, for a keen caver trying his best to overtake people to get to the front of a party. DONKEYS' DICK: (I) A length of knotted inner-tube used for carrying carbide in caves. (2) A strap used for carrying tackle sacks so they hang out of the way below your feet. DUFUS (or doofus): An inept caver. DUMP: To have a shit (seems popular to refer to when subterranean). ENDURO CAVER: One who often goes on death march or grunt trips. ENTRANCE FEVER: When a caver is anxious to get out of the cave. FAG EASTERN CAVER Self explanatory. See BNC. FLAIL: Poor climbing technique. "I saw this guy try to get over a lip, and he was flailing all over the place!" FLAT ROCK: Banging someone unconscious (on purpose or not) with a rock. "Would you yell ROCK! when you knock something down! You about flat rocked me." GHAR PARAU'D: What the cave has done to you if you organize a full expedition to return to it only to find after days of rigging that it goes round a corner (or down a short pitch) and sumps/chokes etc. GOBBLER: Expedition-style waist-mounted carbide lamp generator, because of the rate at which carbide is consumed See Ceiling Burner. GNAR (also Knar) : A narrow, gnarly passage which has popcorn or other features which catch on packs or clothing Used as in, 'This passage is gnarl" GNARLY (also Knarly): A narrow passage which has pop com or other features which catch on packs or clothing. GOES: The report on a lead that says it continues. GOOSH: Boiled condensed milk (caramel). GORILLA DICKS: Large Vienna sausages sold in Mexico. 20 The TEXAS CAVER March 1993


GORP: "Good ol' raisins and peanuts"popular cave food. GRIMBLY: Greasy, from the "Grimbly Chimbley," a comm o n term for the Greasy Chimney in Swildon 's Hole, Men dip. P o pular in "Grimbly thrutch." G R OTS : Any caving clothing save only that it is well used. G R UNT: A rugged and challenging caving trip. H ARDMAN'S HANDBAG: A term which never really c a lgh ton (I wonder why?) for a small pack containing vertical hr:,dware. H :..RDW ARE: Refers to biners racks, figure eights, ascender bolts, etc the metallic paraphernalia of vertical caving. H >G: A long coil of rope to be carried through a cave. H 'DROTHERMIA: Hypothermia from cold water "Get t1 t rope rigged! I am getting hydrothermia sitting in this v. t erfall! I! S TANT CAVE: Explosives. J NGLIES: Assorted SRT ironmongery. J CK: Decide not to continue with the trip, or not to start it. I : YBOARD CAVER: A person who spends more time r ding the Caver's mailing list than actually going caving : Paper Caver. I OBBLY DOG: Like haifa wire(orelectron) ladder. It has :: n gle length of wire and the rungs" are drilled in the center t' onto the wire and fixed by any convenient means. l i OT: Trendy new word which often follows an absurd s e ment. I climbed Fantastic Pit on helicals Knot! l AB: Karabiner. l > PING: Puckering ones lips into severely low airspace t w een water and ceiling Frequently called "MASUing" f 11 the acronym Minimal Air Space Utilization, invented by c e divers to conceal the fact that they were not actually c. ing at the time. ' ITTLE BLACK ROCKS TO MAKE FIRE": Calcium c ) ide l W AIR (also Low Airspace): Small airspace between v ; e r and the ceiling. f NION : Anyone (usually hypothermic) conned into being a 1 odel or holding flashguns on a photographic trip. ) NKEY DICKS: Vienna sausages T\ JNDANE: A noncaver. f' :RD CAVER: A flashlight or spray paint caver. :RD GATE: A significant obstacle which excludes most n serious cavers from the rest of the cave lBEL'S LINCTUS: Explosives. f'. lDGER : An external male catheter which can be attached l l 1 piece of plastic tubing The tubing is then plumbed into a a lve of a diving dry suit. This allows longer dives to be n de in comfort! Putting on a catheter is known as "nodgering U f N ; J RDLES: Lumps of unused carbide in dumped carbide POINT: When a light is held on the far survey station for t h e compass reading. O N STATION: Call by a surveyor denoting thatthe tape/light i s o n the survey station and ready for reading. P A PER CAVER (P.C.): A caver who does more caving on p aper than underground. See Armchair Caver Keyboard Caver. PIG: ( 1) See Carbide Pig. (2) A hauling container made from two one-gallon plastic bottles with their bottoms cut off, fllled with whatever, and then jammed together and taped or tied securely. A pig is useful for tethering to your leg to drag gear through lots of crawlers. (3) Generic term for anything which is a bastard to carry through a nasty cave! PINKY LOAD: Originated in Huautla to describe underground camping duffle bags which were so light they could be picked up with the small finger Normally used to indicate a person was not carrying their share of group gear. PITCH: The most commonly used term for a vertical drop (at least in Britain it is!). PITCHING A LOAF: Defecating. See Dump, Cave Burritos Screaming Yellow Zonkers. ROCK SOL VENT: Explosives. ROMPING INTO BIG STUFF: This term is used for encouragement, before going digging, in a sordid dig, or afterwards in the pub. ROUT: To exit the cave. "We were trashed, so we routed for the entrance." SAFETY LOOP: This is a length of rope which connects your top ascender to the sit harness in case the chest/seat ascender fails. SCOOP: (1) Speleo bopping through cave passage instead of surveying it ; therefore, ripping off the virgin passage some other caver would have to survey later. (2) To discover virgin cave, no negative connotations. SCREAMING YELLOW ZONKERS: Diarrhea. SHERP: To act as a Sherpa. ("We sherped 80 pounds of rope up to Golondrinas.") SHERPA: Carrying loads through a cave for someone else or to supply a later effort. SHORT ROPED: (1) When a pitch is rigged with a too-short rope (hopefully with a knot in the end!). (2) When the person preceding you on a rope accidentally pulls it up as they climb and you cannot reach it. SQUEEZE: A tight spot or constriction. SPELEOBOPPER: (1) Teenybopper in a cave, or generic flashlight caver (any age). (See Dufus, Nerd Gate.) (2) A caver who participates only in sport caving. SPELUNK: (1) The sound made by acaverhitting the bottom of a pit. See Air Rappel. (2) The sound made by a caver walking through water l to 1 5 feet deep. SPELUNKER: College student who goes in caves to drink beer. SPELUNKEE: Cave owner. SPORTING : Almost unsurvivably wet. SRT: (l) Single rope techniques (2) Solid rubber trussing. STINK: Carbide. STINKIES : Carbide lamps STOMP AROUND: A bad point on the topo map. "We missed the ridge and ended stomping all over the mountain." STOUT: Refers to a caver with almost superhuman strength and endurance. TIGHT SPOT: A squeeze. TOROSION: Cave modification, especially digging ledges Continued on p. 24. March 1993 The TEXAS CAVER 21


Letters From TAG 1966-1969, Marion 0 Smith, editor, 1992, 295 pp. Order from editor, Box 8276 UT Station, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 Softbound: $28 postpaid. Chronicles of The Old Reading Grotto, In Which We Go to the California Convention, June 3, to September6, 1966, by Squire C Lewis, 1993 146 pp Order from Ramsey Wiggins, 1006 Kinney Avenue, Austin Texas 78704 (plus tax for Texans). Softbound: $17 postpaid; $15 from cave-book sellers. These two new, privately published books contain inter esting contemporary accounts of caving in the middle to late '60s, but that is about the extent of the similarities. Before they have been caving very long most American cavers catch on to the fact that the acronym TAG refers to the caving area of Tennessee, northern Alabama, and northern Georgia, which contains the largest concentration of good vertical caving in the country. But most cavers these days do not know that the name TAG was originally the name of a small informal group of mostly hard-core cavers in that area back in the 60s. Marion Smith was one of them, and he got drafted and spent 13 months in Korea during the Viet Nam war. He carried on an active correspondence with his caving buddies, and about 140 pages of his book contain letters he received, mostly during his period in Korea. These letters contain ftrst-person accounts of several significant cave ex plorations, such as the mapping of the cave at the bottom of Engle Double Pit in Alabama and the discovery and explora tion of Ellison's Cave, Georgia with its 510-foot Fantastic Pit. Since the letters were not meant to be a recorded history there are gaps n a turally, but a good feel for the caving emerges nevertheless. The late Richard Schreiber founder and leader of the TAG group, was the most prolific letter writer. The reader really misses letters from Smith; it is amazing that such a nut for historical records (he can tell from memory the exact date he ftrst met me and my date of birth) did not keep carbon copies of the letters he sent. Besides the c aving reports the letters contain many comments about the times in general, particularly the various writers' worries about getting drafted and sent to Nam. They also contain comments about personality conflicts and various romantic entanglements and disentanglements. True much time has pas se d but I would not be surprised to hear that Marion is hiding out in a cave from some irate correspondents. Also included are several pages of black-and-white "people" pictures that show many participants in the TAG caving community and over 100 pages of detailed log (who, wher e, when) of caving in the TAG area compiled from personal notes and grotto newsletters. Only 200 copies were printed. In 1966, Charles "Squire" Lewis, Bob Thren, and Joe Pendleton of the Reading (Pennsylvania) Grotto took an extended caving vacation. In three months and three days they traveled 16,822 miles. They went to the 1966 NSS Conven tion in Sequoia National Park, and then returned east via Austin Texas; the Xilitla caving area in Mexico, where they participated in mapping to the bottom of S6tano de Tlarnaya, then the deepest cave known in the Western Hemisphere ; Mexico City; Acapulco; back to Austin; Fiftysix, Arkansas; and Huntsville, Alabama. The book contains Squire's log o f the journey, heavily illustrated by caver-cartoonist Charli e Loving, aka O.M. Wisdom. The log does not say a great deal about the caves, but it says a lot about a certain style of caving. "Gas and beer prices preoccupied us virtually every day. These were our two major expenses and a daily search for the cheapest was critical to how far we could go and how long w e could stay out." During the trip, they caved with, travel e d with or visited many cavers who were well known in those days and ought to be better known today. Among them was the legendary Lew Bicking himself. Mexico City: "He h a s gotten all the long way from Baltimore to California to h e r e with nothing but his great [Spanish/English] dictionary a n d his crackers. We have never seen him spend any money, n o t any; he may well not have any. He is the true stuff from whi c h cavers are made." Squire's writing reminds me of that of the English c a v e r Jim Eyre. Those unfortunates among you who have not r e :-:d Eyre's The Cave Explorers are assured that is a complim er<:. Do not add to your misfortune by failing to read this new b o o Bat Bomb, World War Il's Other Secret Weapon, byJa Couffer, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1992 252 p Hardbound : $24.95. From early 1942 through the beginning of 1944, on e the more bizarre schemes developed during WW II w pursued by a motley crew of which the author of this b<} became a part while still in his teens. Many cavers have h e2 a little about this project; there is a chapter about i t Celebrated American Caves, for instance. Here is anent book. It is not, however, really a formal and complete hist o : but rather an informal history laced with interesting and o f \ amusing anecdotes. Couffer has had access to s o r correspondence and other documents from the project t clearly much more must exist, and there are significant g:. in the history. But the flavor comes through. A persuasive nut by the name ofLytle S. Adams cam e with the idea. Catch a 100,000 or so bats, attach s n incendiary time bombs to them, and drop them over Japa n ; cities. They would wake up, hide in attics and eaves, an d ftre to the notoriously flammable Japanese buildings. It pointed out that such attacks would spare the innocent, v might ftnd refuge from the flames in the canals. Nobody a t time worried about the bats, of course. The project sputt e along for a couple of years, apparently mainly because Adz was an awful pest. Little money was actually spent, and a g ( deal of what was spent was Adams' own. Clearly, the i'. could work. During one demonstration, a mere six bats w 22 The TEXAS CAVER March 1 9


live bombs accidentally escaped in a brand-new military airfield near Carlsbad, New Mexico, and burned down the barracks, the control tower, the offices, and the hangers. Texas bat caves figure prominently in the story. Couffer tells of climbing down into Devil's Sinkhole on the old w o r ,den ladders. Eventually, it was decided that Ney and Brac ken Caves near San Antonio would be the best source of numbers of bats, and those caves were guarded for a per n d by shell-shocked Marines returned from the Pacific. ( 0 : imagines that Los Alamos was probably guarded a bit b e i ; r.) The author spent a lot of time at those caves d e : mining the environmental requirements of Mexican frc ail bats, which then were not well known. In fact, m r bers of the project were surprised to discover that the bats di ; peared in winter. In one hilarious anecdote, the author a s i s a photographer who is attempting to make a movie of th. ats inside Bracken. This is cleverly interwoven with q r 1 tions from Denny Constantine's later description of the er o nment in such caves: fleas advancing like a blanket up o r ; trouser legs and that sort of thing. The project was canceled in early 1944. Couffer cc : ctures that progress on the atomic bomb made it u r c essary. More likely, if any reason other than its wackiness is : ded it is simply that conventional means would soon be ab o accomplish the same thing The advantages of the bat be scheme were stealth and light weight. Stealth is no real ari : 1 tage when an attack can be overwhelming and light W ( h tdoes not mean a whole lot toaB-29. By summer 1944, U. forces had captured islands in the Marianas within be 1 er range of Japan. On March 9, 1945, 325 aircraft armed w [ ncendiary bombs burned Tokyo. The ability of such an a t : : ; to destroy a Japanese city was adequately demonstrated. B : h e notion that such an attack would have few casualties w : n illusion. The Tokyo attack killed 80,000, some 10,000 m than the Hiroshima bomb. The water in the canals b e d n : aves and Karst Hydrology of Southern Pocahontas C< i ty and the Upper Spring Creek Valley, Gary D Sit ick, editor, West Virginia Speleological Survey, 1992, 21 P. plus plates, Bulletin 10 Order from publisher, Box 2 0 Barrackville, West Virginia 26559. Softbound: $27 p o aid. WVaSS Bulletin 6 was published in 1976 and covered the O rthern part of Pocahontas County, one of the most pre i nent counties in West Virginia caving. Now at long last, a r v bulletin covering the southern part of the county has ap: a red. A small geologically related part of Greenbrier C o :lty is also covered. The bulletin contains information on 300 caves. Many, of course, are small, but many well known large caves are in the area, including Carpenter'sSwa g o and the 43-mile Friars Hole Cave System, one of the dozen longest caves in the world. Friars Hole was assembled from connections between tO entrances, including Snedegar's Cave, Crookshank Pit, Canadian Hole, Rubber Chicken Cave, and Toothpick Cave, mostly during the late '70s, when discoveries in the Friars Hole area were probably the most exciting caving in the country. The 150-pagecavedescriptions section included 30 pages on Friars Hole. Locations of all the caves are given in latitude and longitude and shown on topographic maps in a section at the back of the book. The West Virginia Speleological Survey is not as fanatical as some about having maps of even the meanest holes, and there are maps of only about 65 of the caves. It is hard to imagine how the bulletin could have been made less convenient to use and shelve. The 30 loose map plates are folded to a size larger than the bound book, and they are folded so that all the printing is inside. The reader may have to unfold all the maps to find the one he is looking for, assuming he knows to look at all; the map plates are not mentioned in the cave descriptions. And, despite the large envelope provided, the maps will be prone to loss, because the name ofthe publication they are part of is not printed on them. I just spent 20 minutes labeling all the maps on the inside, and my annoyance is not decreased by the observation that most of them could have been bound as foldouts with little or, in most cases, no further reduction in scale I also wish that the author had been more careful about the spelling of cave names. One tends to use such bulletins as the final word when such questions arise, but not this one. For instance, one cave is spelled both "Beards (Blue Hole) Cave" and "Beard's (Blue Hole) Cave" on the same page and Beards Blue Hole" on the map. Nevertheless, this WVaSS bulletin is clearly an important and useful one, and anyone with an interest in the caves of West Virginia or a fondness for "caves of' books should buy it. CARTA VALLEY SUCKERS By Kenneth Byrd Carta Valley SUCKS (Society of Underground Caving, Karstology, and Speleology) is alive (at least in memory) and well, it would seem. Many CV sucker anecdotes abound, but my favorite is the one about how the suckers lost their "field house" at Carta Valley: something about showing "cave of the winding hairs" crotch-shot slides on the wall of the local church during a wild, uninhibited party by the Sacred Cattle Tank (where one was baptized nude to be a member). Suckers also used to do Devil' s Sinkhole alfresco (Jl ude ); ouch! I seem to also remember something about three nude laps (coed, of course) around the "triangle" (highway intersection) while amazed ranchers drove by with mouths agape. The "bare pygidium rub" (rubbing bare asses together after dropping one's apparel) was the official Carta Valley SUCKS greeting. I saw it performed once at Ft. Stanton Cave by none other than "Bubba Loins" and "Mr. UAAK/King Porno" in front of a crowd of stunned onlookers. I think it was during the post-gating celebration outside the cave entrance that night. March 1993 The TEXAS CAVER 23


THE TEXAS CAVER P.O. BOX 8026 AUSTIN, TEXAS 78713 Slang Cont'd from p. 21. around pits. WINKER: a fray in a caving rope when the core is exposed. WINSE: A vertical shaft in a mine between levels (i.e. it does not connect directly with the surface). This is also known as BULK RATE U.S. Postage PAID Austin, Texas Permit No. 1181 a rise if it is encountered from the bottom. WOOLY BEAR: Fibre pile caving undersuit. WUFFO: A noncaver who asks "Wuffo you go in th caves?" See Mundane.

Contents: NCRC- Level
I Seminar / Bob Hambright --
Firefighters Brave Cave For New Rescue Program / Marty
Sabota --
Rescue 911 on Barton Creek --
William H. Russell --
The 2nd Annual Caverns of Sonora Restoration Project /
George Veni --
Confessions of a Reformed Co-Chairperson / Mike Walsh --
High Technology Comes to Colorado Bend State Park / Butch
Fralia --
Flash Techniques For Cave Photography / James F Jasek
Sentinel Cave / Pat Copeland --
Sentinel Cave- Three Mile Hill / Joel & Vickie
Williams --
Virgin Cave / Pat Copeland --
Precipicio / Oren Tranbarger --
Formation Cleaning: Cavers' Forum Internet --
AM Radio Reception in Caves: / Oren Tranbarger --
Cavers' Forum Internet --
Cavers' Slang: Edited by Tom Moss --
Cavers' Forum Internet Book Reviews / Bill Mixon --
Carta Valley Suckers / Kenneth Byrd