The Texas Caver

The Texas Caver

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


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Contents: Etcetera: The Editor Speaks - Proposed Constitutional Amendment -- From the Secretary's Desk -- Camp Wood -- Letter from the Chair -- Kendalia Remembered -- Book Reviews -- Articles: The Caves of Burnet County / William Elliot and Gerald Atkinson -- Caving in Coahuila / Peter Sprouse -- The Inquisition / Joe Ivy -- Old Timer Profile / William Russel / Tim Stitch -- The Coordinator's Corner / Joe Ivy -- Trip Reports: Brit in Lechugilla, Powells, Potrerro Redondo.
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Vol. 40, no. 02 (1995)
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See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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K26-04712 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4712 ( USFLDC Handle )
11446 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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THE TEXAS CAVER Volume 40, No.2 JUNE 1995 Etcetera 39 The Editor Speaks Proposed Constitutional Amendment 40 From the Secretary's Desk 41 Camp Wood 42 Letter From The Chair 43 Kendalia Remembered 44 Book Reviews Articles 45 The Caves of Burnet County By William Elliot and Gerald Atkinson 58 Caving in Coahuila By Peter Sprouse 67 The Inquisition By Joe Ivy 68 Old Timer Profile William Rus sel By Tim Stitch 69 The Coordinator's Corner By .Joe Ivy 70 Trip Reports Brit In Lechugilla Powells, Potrerro Redondo Alternating Editors: This Issue Chris Vreeland 209 E Live Oak Austin TX 78 7 04 (51 2 ) 447 5987 Home (512 ) 474 1709 Work Next Issue Noble Stidham P 0 Box 1094 Lubbock TX 79408 (806) 763-8606 Day (806) 763-1464 Evening Contributing Editor ............................. Terry Holsinger P a g e La yout ................ T i m Stich and Chris Vreeland The Texas Caver i s a qu a rt erly publicatio n of th e T exas Spe l e olo g :al Assoc i atio n ( T SA), a n int erna l o r ganizatio n o f th e Nat i o n a l Spe l eo l o r :al Assoc i atio n (NSS). I ss ues a r e publi s h e d in M a r c h June, S epte mb er. nd D ece mbe r S u bsc ripti o n r a t es a r e $ 1 5 p e r yea r f o r fo ur i ss u es o f th e T exas C av er. h i s in cludes a m e mbe r s hip in the TSA. Out o f s t a t e s ub sc rib e r s libr aries 111d othe r ins tituti o n s ca n r ece iv e Th e T exas Caver f o r th e sa m e rat e ($ 15/ y 1r). Se nd all a rti c l es a nd s u b mi ss i o n s fo r Th e T exas Caver to J ay J o rd e n .IS Devon C ir c l e D allas Texas 7521 71205, o r b y E-ma i l t o 5651968@ M C im a (pre f e r d). jay.j orde n @ chrysalis.or g Z DFX23A@prodigy.con o r 734 77 I 0 05 @CompuSer m Front Cover: Mik e Futr ell in P ozo d e I a Esca l e r a Cri s t a Coahuila ,Mex ic o Ph o t o b y M a r c Tre mbl ay (see p age 20 ) Back Cover: J o hn L oving c h ec k s o ut the s tr ea m passage in a n unn a m e d cave ear P o tr e r ro R e d o nd o, M ex ico In s ide Front Cover Dr o p p in g int o H a rr e l' s Cave S a n S a b a Co.


The Editor Speaks I've realized after thumbing through past issues of the caver in order to acquaint myself with the task at hand, that I may have the dubious honor of being the least expe rienced caver to ever assume the editorship. I hope howev er that this is something I can tum to our mutual advantage as cavers I've had time to ponder the types of informa tion new cavers may seek that I have found lacking in our publications, and hope to use my post to ferret out articles on subjects that you more experi enced cavers may take for granted; things like where the accesible caves are and how to get into them. Who runs what in the organization and how to find them. Karst geology: what is it? What makes caves and caving tick? I believe that at times the Caver has focused a bit too much on the people who cave and not enough on the caves themselves. I've been cautioned not to try and turn the Caver into a bulletin but with this issue's article on Burnet County there are those who may be afraid that protestations have fallen on deaf ears Oh well. Stick around for a few issues and we'll see how it goes Musings of a new Caver. Editorships are a two edged sword Along with the the hard work of soliciting articles and editing other people's 100 word sentences, there is the joy of writing the editorial. There is much I'd like to say about my first two years amongst organized cavers, but the obvious fears of offend ing unintentionaly are ever present. I didn't come into cav ing by the formal route of the beginnerinducted as a recruit during a grotto membership drive taken on weed-out trips and then outlasting the other 19 or 20 people who didn t like Map l e Run either to emerge a fledgling caver. Caving was more a thing I slowly gravitated to over a period of years & s ort of just found myself doing despite the organized caving community I joined the TSA and started attending functions primari ly to get more information and education about something I e njoy doing. However as explorers in general are people of s trong personality the greatest frustration to me as a new c aver must be the flood of contradictory information e ncountered as a result of the opposing viewpoints of the more experienced cavers. In general, access to information r equires too much politicking and you never know who y ou re going to fall out with just by falling in with someone they don t like. Caver s opinions of one another all to fre quently get in the way of common sense a nd the common g ood. I am still, after two years tryi n g to figure out who d o e s n t like whom, and for what reason. Time spent on this s ort of cogitation is time taken away from caving In summary I must submit a polite request to watch those egos around the promising newcomers and to help me refrain from having to quote Rodney King Caver For Life (you re stuck with me) The Editor Amendment Proposed The following amendment to the TSA constitution is pro posed for a vote at October's TSA board meeting, which will take place at the Texas Caver's Reunion. In accordance with Article VI "Amendments of the By laws of the TSA Constitution the following proposed amendment is announced: Article VII Texas Cavers Reunion Foundation Board of Trustees A The Texas Cavers Reunion Foundation (here inafter TCRF) Board of Trustees (hereinafter the Board) shall consist of three members. I. The TSA Chairperson shall serve a s a Board Member during his/her tenure as Chairperson. 2 A second Board Member shall be elected for a term of three years beginning January I, 1996, and successive members at three year intervals thereafter. Election shall be at the time and in the manner pre scribed for TSA officers 3 A third Board Member shall be appointed by the TSA Chairperson incumbent on January I 1996 for an initial term of two years and successive Members appointed in like manner by the incumbent TSA Chairperson for three year terms. 4 Vacancies o n the Board sh all be filled by appointment by the TSA Chairperson for the remainder of the appointed term, and until the next schedu l ed TSA Officer s' election, in the case of the elective term when the remainder of the term if any, shall be filled by e l ection in the normal manner. B The Board of Trustee s hereby established shall be responsible for maintenance and admin i stration of the TCRF, a s established and agreed to in the Texas Cavers Reunion Foundation Agreement, and for the maintenance and administration of other funds and resource s in possession of the TSA and designated for the same or s imilar intent specifically, land acquisition. Respectfully subm i tted by the officers of the TSA The Texas Caver June 1995 39


From the Secretary's Desk A FEW WORDS ABOUT MEMBERSHIPS For s eve r a l yea r s the pr oble m of members hip terms has plagued the TSA. I' ve l ooke d b ac k thr o u g h correspondence over the l as t ten t o fifteen years, a nd all the former Secre t aries h ave h ad t o r egularly ex plain t o members when their memberships (o r I s h o uld say T exas Caver s ub sc ription s since tha t's w h a t m os t m e mb e r s a r e concerned about) began a nd e nd e d T h e TSA Con s tituti o n es t a bli s h es due s of (presently) $ 1 5 00 p e r c u r r en t ca l e nd a r year" ( B yl a w s, Art. I Sec A I my italics), s tr o n gly impl y in g a J a nu a ry to December m e mb e r s hip t e rm This h as b ee n r o utin e ly di s reg a rded and m o s t m e mb e r s h ave r e newed whenever convenient, the majority t aking the o pp o rtunity t o renew in per so n at Texas Cave rs' R e uni o n This gives rise t o various problem s, but it becomes es p ec iall y tr o ubl eso m e when compounded with the irr e gula r publi catio n o f the Caver. With memberships beginning and e ndin g at rand o m p o int s throughout the year and Cave r publi cation dat es diffe rin g s i g nificantly from i ss u e ela t es. d ec i s i o n s as t o who's e ntitl e d to what become difficult a nd oft e n arbitrary. The TSA i s und e r going s i g nifi ca nt changes at pre se nt some obv i o u s (e.g. the T SA Activities N ews l e tt e r the s ub s tantial inc r ease in m e mb e r s hip ) a nd so m e not so obvious (e.g. proposed constitutional c han ges, future l a nd acquisition tru s t fund). A m o n g these is the s ub s tantial upgrade of the TSA and TCR m e mb e rship datab ase which Gill Ediger ha s b ee n wor kin g o n since las t year. Gill a nd l hav e disc u sse d the m e mb e r s hip t erm problem seve r a l tim es and d ec ided that it wo uld be t o TSA s advantage t o a dh e r e t o a s tri c tly calen dar ye ar m e mb e rship I cion 't b elieve thi s r e quir es any vote or othe r m e mb e r s hip action. since the con s tituti o n already see m s t o provide for it (see ab ove). Ac tuall y thi s ha s been the p olicy since about la s t October. Sinc e the m a j o rit y o f m e mb e r s r e new at TCR, all du es paid a t tha t tim e and since h ave b ee n applied t o ca l e ndar year JlJY5. This m ea n s that m os t m e mb e r s go t a few month s free at the e n d o f 1 994. Con ve r se l y, those who ha ve renewed their memb e r ships since 94 T C R a nd through the fir s t half o f thi s ye ar w ill ge t s h orted by a few month s Thi s min or drawback is. however miti ga te d by tw o factors. Fir st, it is a o n etim e occ urr e n ce. and I think m os t r easo nabl e peo ple \\'ho arc affected will agree that it i s for th e goo d of th e TS A as a whole and w o rth the slight s ac rifi ce. Second, the r e i sn't that mu c h of a sac rifi ce after all. s inc e the m ain thin g that might be affected i s r ece ipt of Texas Cave rs. With the l a te appearance o f the Marc h Caver. anyone r e newin g c \ e n as l a te as mid Ma y sh ould ha ve been o n the m a ilin g lis t in t i m e t o ge t that o n e and then r e gularly receive the rest of the whole year's subscription. Additionally, anyone who feels that they 've been unjustly shorted of a certain issue of the Caver can contact me and arrange to correct the situation. Renewals which I receive from this date forward will be considered 1996 memberships unless otherwise specified by the member when he or she pays dues and renews their membership In case someone should wish to reactivate their membership retroactively, say in August or September for the current year, I can arrange a reduced rate for back issues instead of the normal $3 00. I think this policy can be implemented without any notice able effect on the vast majority of members. I hope that anyone who is inconvenienced by it will contact me and let me know how I can correct the problem. I would also be happy to hear comments or suggestions from TSA members on this or any other subject relevant to TSA membership or Caver subscriptions Gary J Napper Secretary, TSA \ I \i i (. ] \ I \ } \ 40 Jun e 1995 The Texas Caver


Caving in Camp Wood by Jay Jorden Ranchers rolled out the red carpet for the Texas Speleological Association in late February as the TSA s winter Board of Governors meeting expanded into two days of caving. The Southwest Texas town of Camp Wood, a ranching and recreation hub for parts of three counties was the focus of activity for Feb 18-19. From a campsite along the Nueces River, dozens of cavers fanned out over two days to leads provided by area ranchers, in collaboration with the local Chamber of Commerce. Developing good relations with ranchers in Real and surrounding counties is important. The area is near the Brackettville site of the 1994 National Speleological Society Convention and is a leading mohair-producing region. Sheep, goats and cattle herds produce almost all of Real County's $6 million average farm income. The TSA event was co-hosted by the Texas Cave Conservancy. A group of Texas Cave Management Association members and others, in a Sunday visit to one ranch, mapped several hundred feet in a cave that a rancher had rediscovered on a hillside. The amiable rancher, who had earlier bulldozed a road to near the cave was then lowered more than 50 feet into a pit by means of a line tied onto a vehicle On this weekend, impressed by cavers' use of rope and vertical equipmen t the rancher made his first rappel and remarked how smooth the descent was! Some family members and friends followed down the shaft. Personnel on the trip included William Russell, Jerry Atkinson, Bill Sawyer and Noble Stidham During the weekend, a group of cavers also visited Devil's Sinkhole, which was a con vention cave last year Other cavers went to Turkey Pen Cave and other caves Much ridgewalking was accom plished including a search for the fabled "Blowhole" on one ranch On that property, cavers saw the added attractions of petroglyphs and dinosaur footprint s along a creekbed So friendly and cooperative were the area s ranchers that at least one caver heard about cave leads during a gas station stop! Saturday evening and Sunday morning were busy times for meetings with the TSA and the two Texas cave conservation group s all gathering for discussions. During the TSA business meeting, a vacant editorship for The Texas Caver was filled Terry Holsinger and Chris Vreeland both of Austin will work together to co-edit alternating issues of the publication with Noble Stidham of Lubbock Chris and Terry fill the vacancy of Austin caver Keith Heuss, who resigned to pursue other interests. Breakfast during the meeting fea tured eggs and sausage, with plenty of coffee and sals a to keep participant s alert! The weekend was marred only by a rabid wildcat s visit to the Nueces River camp where it frightened re s ident s and eventually was c ornered by an animal c ontrol officer who sustained some injuries. No caver s were hurt although one wa s s urpri s ed on a vis it to the s hower building to s ee the c a t a mbling out! M any return trips are planned to the area which ha s now become a hotbed of Texa s cavin g and conservation efforts PHOTO BY GILL EDIGER Agreement Signed An important agreement was s igned between the Nue ce s Canyon Chamber of Commerc e and the Texa s Cave Conservancy in a joint effort to bring more cavers to the camp wood area. The agreement was signed at the TSA win ter meeting by Carl Cordell of the Chamber Jack R a lph of the TCC and Cathy Winfrey of the TSA. The t e xt in its entirety reads : Wherea s Caves ar e valuable natural re s ource s a s habi tats for bat s and other animal s and are an important part of the natural recharge to the aquifer. It is the goal of the Texa s Cave Conservancy to work with each cave owner to protect and s tudy their cave s It shall be the goal of the Nuece s Canyon Chamber of Commerce to introduce the representatives of the Texa s Cave Conservancy to twenty-five cave owners in 1995. It shall be the goal of the Texa s Cave Con s ervancy to arrange five hundred caver visit s to the Nuece s C a nyon area in 1995. According to the TCC a s of 13 May 1995 the NCC has introduced the TCC to nine cave owner s and the TCC-TSA has brought out a total of 311 c a ver vis it s The Texas Caver June 1995 41


Letter from the Chairman o fT, big T H AN K YOUs are in o rd e r for the outs tanding work of the many people who worked so h a rd in order to mak e our Spring Conventio n a s u ccess. Specifically I would lik e to acknow l edge Doug Allen for o n ce again pulling it all t ogethe r : g reat site, fine camping nice river a h all for u s all t o ga ther in and a BANQUET. Fine job, Doug Special acknowledgement s to the three people who were w illin g to o rganize the Con ve nti on eve nt s of the day: Terry Sayther for en durin g the swelte r of th e hall all day in make s ur e every thin g worked for the s p eake r s and presen t ers: Dan Hogenauer for being willing t o undertake orga nizin g maps and judges, a nd seeing that the cave map s were displayed t o good advantage: a nd to Susie Lasko for doing a superb job of presenting not o nly the s lide s of the Photo Sa l on but also giving the print s which were s ubmitted a truly fin e format. The .Judges : We don t know who yo u were but th e sa l o n s wo uld n o t ha ve been quite as int eresting without you. rhank yo u for t a kin g the TIME t o be judges. To the e ntrants. some of whom had never see n a photo or map sa lon but were still willing t o allow the pr od uct of their labor s to b e displayed for all the ir fellow cavers t o view : THANK YOU. To the people who gave presentations o r s p oke at theses sio ns: T H AN K YOU. There was plenty of var i e ty in th e offerings. and l o tsof good inf o rmati on. I 'll o nly apologize for the vagaries o fT exas weather o n ce. that ca u se d th e s un to come out and tr y to cook u s all. And lastly. THANK YOU t o every T exas Caver who carne out to K e ndali a So m e of yo u had an idea of what to expect. hut others had n eve r b ee n t o a Conventi on. Thank yo u for co min g. I sincerely h ope yo u h ad a good time learned so m ething and will co nsider comin g to Nex t Years Con ve nti o n On C ave Rescue ... Over the las t several m o nths. I ha ve func tioned as a sort o f t o u c h -point for a varie t y of individuals rega rding Cave Rescu e and the rolc(s) Texas Cavcrs s h ould (o r should n ot) pla y in rescues The issues ar e com ple x and in IHl wa y c l ear cut or simple But a nnrple of things have been winnowed from hmrr s of listening I'll s har e these in the hope s that it \\ iII he I p an y of yo u other cave r s out ther e as yo u lis te n t o or partici pate in tilL' n n go i n g Jebate. Firs t is that there arc so me organiz ations out there who figurethat they are the only ones who should appropriately execute a cave rescue. These are the various Fire Departments County EMS Police Departments and -oh yesmany Texas Cavers. Second is that when people use the term Cave Rescue it's helpful to figure out which aspect of Cave Rescue they re actually talking about. There seem to be at least five types of rescue that people talk to me about, perhaps even more These are: Type A : Texas Cavers involved in rescuing some unfortu nate in Mexico. Type B : Texas Cavers involved in rescuing a fellow Caver. Type C: Traditional Re sc ue Perso nnel (Fire Department, Police ,EMS) rescuing some unfortunate who i s lost or dam aged in a Texascave without Texas Caver assistance or input. Type D : Traditional Rescue Personnel (ie. Fire/EMS) involved in a rescue of a Texas Caver from a Texas cave. Type E: Traditional Rescue Personnel (ie. Fire/EMS) rescu ing so me unfortunate who is lost or damaged in a Texas cave with the assistance or input from Texas Cavers. A sa ne clear thinking individual might point out that all of these rescues have one thing in common: extrication of a lo s t or damaged per so n from a cave. But there has never been a n excess of sanity in organizations, whether they be private, non-profit or governmental. Different solutions to these types of rescue are likely to evolve, given their very different natures But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the discussion can very quickly degenerate to the foam at-t he-mouth and fall-overbackwards stage if we don't pay attention to which typ e of re sc ue is actually under discussion at any given time. In th e months to come, as thi s is s ue heats up like a Texas summer, keep a cool he ad, and try to identify which type res c u e is being disc u ssed. Remember, it's only by Texas Cavers working together toward consensus that the problem of our rol e in cave re sc ue i s goi ng to first be addressed and then, possibly, resolved. -Cathy Winfrey Jun e 1 995 The Texas Caver


TSA Convention 1995 Ph o t os: Chris V reel and Where th e influ e n tua l meet t o c hart the:: f utu re course of cav in g in Texas (lef t ) K e nd alia Hall e From Atop The Grey Pendejo (above) Banque t d inn e r : Far above stand ard cave food (rig ht ) Ropes cour ses in th e big oa k tree The Texa s Caver Jun e 1 995 43


Book Reviews Proyecto Cheve 1986-1993 E dited b y Nancy Pis tole. 45 pp.softbound .$ 1 0 Available from Cheve Project Pat Kambe s i s, 246 Drew Valley R oad, Atlanta, Georgia 30319; add $2 for mailing. This nic e r e port s ummarizes the exploration of Sistema Cheve in Oaxaca, Mexico which was, at 1386 meters. for a few years the d ee pest cave in the Western H em isphere It also covers a number of smaller caves in the area. inc luding those where the water resurges after descending ove r 2500 meter s, a record for proven karst under g round tlow Th ere are fourteen cave maps, including a nicel y drawn plan and profile of Cheve Since Cheve is 23 kilometers long, those maps are not too detailed but they arc a l o t better than the line plot s that are all too often all we sec f o r the larger systems the se days. Unfortunately the profile map is loose because there was only one cen t e r spread available for a two-page map; this very bad de c ision will r e sult in a lot of lost maps over the years. Otherwise. the bookl e t is quit e well done The material on the caves and their ex ploration i s by Peter Bo s ted Pat Kambesis. and Carol Ves ely. There are also short sections on ar chaeo l ogy and geo logy by Janet Steele and Jim Smith res p ectively. A Spanish translati o n of almost the entire text parallels the E nglish version I cannot spea k for the Spanish hut the E n g lish is quite well edite d Evidently I am not the only cavcr who has heard of commas and hyphens as I had co m e t o suspect. Adaptation Selection In -Bill Mixon and Natural Caves. The Evolution of Gammarus mznus. David C. Culver. Th omas C. Kan e. and Dani e l W Fong. Har v ard Universit y Pr ess Ca mbridg e: 1995. 223 pp hard bound $3 9 95. David C ulver s 1 982 boo k Car e L!le is much b ette r described b y its subtitle. "Evolution and Ecology.'' S imilarly. the true scope of this n ew b oo k i s much more accurately described by its subtitle, as it is entirely devoted to a single species of amphipod. Gammarus mucus is partic ularly interesting to biologists studying evolution because populations exist in both surface springs and cave streams in s everal different groundwater basins in the Virginia. The cave populations display some of the traditionally recog nized troglomorphic characteristics such as longer anten nae and reduced eyes. Using many sorts of data on the pop ulations, the authors are able to compare the various popu lations and measure evolutionary trends. For example they find that despite the morphological similarities among the cave populations, they are more closely related to the near est spring populations than to each other, which is interest ing, though not surprising. Probably the most interesting question that can be asked in general about cave animals is, what accounts for the regression of the eyes? In the case of Gammarus minus, it appears that there is actually selection in favor of loss of eyes (as distinct from simply a lack of selection against it) Unfortunately, the study doesn't pro duce any real mechanism for this selection, although a con jecture is offered. The book is rather dense with numbers and statistics I hope that cave biologists are not joining cave geologists in use of more quantitative techniques than their subject or their talents warrant. In at least one place, where a number satisfying the statistical criterion p<.Ol is said to be "more likely to be statistically significant" than one satisfying p<. 05, there is an indication of either inadequate under standing or careless writing. Some of the more elaborate analyses don't seem to have produced any conclusions that hadn't become obvious earlier in the book. Or maybe I just had trouble staying awake. Molecular genetics analyses indicate that the cave popu lation s s eparated from the surface forms several hundred thousand years ago I would have liked to see a comparison between the obs erved selection pressures and that time scale; naively, I would think that a much shorter time would suffice for the changes involved, given any observable pres s ure of se lection The authors do note that the estimated time wou ld be enough to account for the reduction of eyes by ran dom neutral mutations alone, although their data indicate active selection. There is some good introductory discussion of evolu tionary concepts in general, but most of the book will be heavy going for anybody but a specialist. Adaptation and Natural S e le c tion in Ca ves ought to have been a ten-dollar paperback museum bulletin Perhaps having it come out as a forty-dollar hardcover instead is one of the perks of pro fessorship. -Bill Mixon Jun e 1995 The Texas Caver


The Caves County by Gerald L. Atkinson and William R. Elliott Texas Speleological Survey Introduction With this article the Texas Speleological Survey hope s to start a new tradition in the Texas Cavera series of brief reports on Texas kar s t areas. We especially want to cove r those areas that were not publi s hed in TSS's ongoing report se ries which s tarted in 1961 The purpo s e of thi s article i s to create so me intere st in Burnet County by respon si ble dedicated cavers who will go out, make friends with landowners and maybe find so me new caves. We hope yo u will feed information back to the TSS for our central files. The TSS file s are for cavers, researchers, and conservationists to u se. We' ll be glad to pro v ide t ec hnical assistance in mapping and documenting the caves, but we 'll be h a ppy if a grotto wants to take responsibility for the work. Sen si tive information can be protected in the TSS dat a ba se, and we can not e who the cave r contact i s for access to a cave. We a l so hope to elicit a lmo s t-forgotten map s, cave description s, and photo s from cavers' closets. The next a rticle in thi s ser ies m ay be on Real County, but we need more m a terial especially on Cave of the Lake s a nd Perry Water Cave. Burnet County h as some import a nt caves s uch as Longhorn Cavern Beave r Creek B a t C ave, Dead Man s Hole and Resurrection Well ; but few have heard a bout the more recent di scove rie s like Simon s Water Cave or the inter es ting little caves at Moon Rock Ranch. A look at the TSS files r evea l s about 92 known caves s ink s fiss ures, and s h elters. Of the se, 17 caves h ave been mapped (so m e twi ce) but four of the map s were not filed with TSS and probably were lost. In preparing for thi s article Jerry Atkinson d eve l o p e d a 53-p age m a nu sc ript which will b e the b asis for a future pub licat i on. Cave Geology of Burnet County Burnet County i s locate d at th e eastern e d ge of the Llano Uplift a pre se nt-d ay topographic d e pr ess ion covering pa rt s of six counties in Central Tex as Structurally, the Ll a no U plift i s a broad dom e that ex po ses a sequence of Precambrian metamorphi c assemblages, L owe r P a l eozoic c l ast i cs a nd carbonates of the M ooreHollo w a nd Elle nbur ger Group s a nd l ess -wellexpose d sectio n s of the Uppe r P a l eozoic. Th e r eg ion is rimmed o n the east so uth and west by Lower Cretaceous lime sto n es which form the of Burnet Edward s Platea u Burnet C o unt y str ad dl es th e b o und ary of two m ajor geo l og ical pro vinces as s h ow n o n the acco mp a nyin g geo l ogic m a p The m ap d epic t s cave areas with numb ers keyed to th e descriptions b e l ow Th e eas t ern part of the co unt y is underlain by the Lower Cretaceous lim es t o n es o f the Edwards Plate a u Thi s area i s esse nti ally unf a ult ed a nd forms a bro a d s lopin g b e n c h dippin g t o the so uth east a t I o to 2 a nd which i s dissected b y vario u s tributarie s of the San Gabri e l and L a mp asas Riv ers. Th e western p art of the co un t y i s d o minat e d by ex pos ur es of Pr eca mbri a n to Upper P a l eozoic unit s of th e Llan o Uplift. A complex set of Penn sy lvanianage n o rth east-so uthw es t trending n o rm a l faults divide the Ll a n o Uplift int o a series of st ru c tur a l hig h s a nd low s ( h o r sts and g r abe n s) Th e gra b e n s pr ese r ve thick sect ion s of downdropp e d Pale ozo i c r ocks which o th e r w i se would h ave be e n r e moved by s ub se qu e nt e ro s i o n during the early M esozoic. Th ese windows of preserved P a l eozo i c s trat a co nt ain m ost of the known caves in Burn e t County. C ave development in Burn et County i s r estr i cted to thre e s trati gra phic units: 1. Lower Ordovician Ellenburger Group: The Ellenbur ge r Gro up which i s about 500 milli o n yea r s old, i s di v ided into three formations whic h are in asce ndin g order, th e T a n yar d Gorman and H o n eyc ut Formations All a r e composed of a lt e rn a tin g se qu e n ces of lim esto n e a nd dolomit e which can b e ge n e rall y described as thin t o thick bedded a phaniti c ( microg rain e d ) to fine g rain ed very lig ht to m e dium gray in co lor and c h erty Wh ere pr ese r ved the Ellenburger G ro up can attain a m axim um thickness of 1600 to 1800 ft. (490 t o 550 m). Th e Ellenburger i s the m ost important cave-forming unit in the co unty co ntainin g 44% of the known caves a nd approx im ate l y 72 % of the total r e po rt e d passage len g th Most of the cave s that hav e been formed in the Ellenburger are developed in the m ore calcitic por tions of th e Gorm a n and Hon eyc ut Formations. 2. Pennsylvanian Marble Falls Limestone: The M a rble Falls Lim esto n e, a bout 300 milli o n yea r s old, co n s i s t s of very fine-grained thin to thick-bedded c herty, fos silifer o u s lim esto n e and l esser spic ulitic mud s tone which are co l o r e d various s h ades of brownish-gray medium g r ay and olive-g ray. Th e formation h as a m eas ured thi ck n ess of 385 ft. ( 115 m) a t the type sect i o n n ear the t ow n of Marbl e Falls but variations in thickness ca n occ ur over relatively s h o rt dis t ances, r eflec tin g r apid ch a nges in depositional e n v ir o nment durin g the P ennsy l vania n The M arb l e Falls Lim es ton e i s the second mo st imp o rtant cave-for min g unit in the co unty r epre s e ntin g 36 % of the known caves and 16% of the t ota l r e p o rt ed passage l e n gt h 3. Lower Cretaceous Walnut Formation: The Walnut Formation about 100 milli o n year s old, i s divided into two m e mb e r s; the upp er Ceda r P ark Lime s tone a nd the l ower The Texa s Caver June 1 995 45


Bee Cave M a rl. The Ced a r Pa r k Lim es t o n e con s i s t s o f up t o 40 ft. ( 1 2 m ) of hard fine-gr aine d lig htg r ay n o dul a r lim e whic h was ex t e n sive l y burrowe d by inve rt e br a t es. T h e unit is thin t o th ick-bed d ed a n d weathe r s w hit e in o utcrop. T h e und erlying Bee Cave M arl i s a soft, w hit e n o du lar marl whic h i s up t o 50 ft. ( 1 5 m ) thi ck a nd i s gen e r ally poorly ex p ose d T h e Ced ar P a rk Lim es t o n e fo rm s th e resi s t ive ca p roc k o f the E d wa rd s Pla teau in east e rn Burn e t Cou n t y and i s the p r i m a r y cave-formin g unit in th a t a r e a Mos t of the low a reas i n eas t e rn Burn e t Count y a r e U pp e r G l e n Rose Lim es t o n e whic h i s n o t a good cavefo rm er. A pp roxi m a t e l y 1 7 % of the known Burn e t Count y caves a r e devel o p ed in the Ced a r P a rk Lim es t o n e. Most of th e re p o rt e d caves a r e s m all, however representin g only 10 % o f th e t o t a l r e p orte d p a ssage l e n g th for th e count y. No Precam b rian g r a nit e talu s caves, lik e those at E n c h ante d R ock in n e i g hb o rin g Lla n o Count y, have been reporte d f ro m Burn e t Count y However th e r e a r e som e s uit ahlc g r a nit e hill s in wes t ern Burn e t Coun ty th a t h ave n o t bee n c hecked It i s worth n o tin g th a t thi ck c a rb o n a t es ex i s t in th e Cap M o unt ain a nd San Saba M embe r s of th e ambria n Moor eH ollow G r o up. With th e possibl e exceptio n o f Dunc an s F l ea Cave. n o caves ar e re p orte d f ro m these unit s wi thin B urn e t County Con side rin g th a t Cambri a n lim es t o n es arc k nown t o h os t caves in Lla n o Count y, future work ers s h o uld g i ve con sideratio n t o th e cave p o t e nti a l of these units. "Bad a ir h as bee n r e p orte d fro m a p p r oxi111a tel y 10% o f th e k nown B urn e t Count y caves. Bad a ir t ypically i s cau se d hy inc r e a sed carbo n d i ox ide a n d r ed uced oxygen level s. Bad air i s ofte n asc rib e d t o th e decompos iti o n of organic m a tt e r in c a ves tha t recei ve run o ff. but thi s expla n atio n does n o t f it the t ypes and di s tri b uti o n o f ba d a ir c a ves in Texas ve r y well. T h e A u s tin C h alk a l o n g th e B a lcon es F a ult Zon e in Bt.:xar and M e din a counti es ofte n h as bad a ir c a ves a nd a few a n.: known f ro m Edward s L im es t o n e. M os t o th e r b a d a ir cavt.:s ar c f o rm ed in th e M a rbl e F all s Lim es t o n e a nd th e Elle nbur ge r Group. a pec uliar p h e n o m e n o n whic h h as b ee n n o t e d i n B urn et. Sa n Saba an d o th e r counti es o f th e r eg i o n the occurr e nce o f bad a ir i s r e l a t e d t o th e s p ec ifi c geoc h emis tr y o f these form atio n s o r t o so m e as ye t unknown v ari a ble comm o n t o th e regi o n i s a n int e r es tin g proble m th a t m e rit s furth e r study (E lli ott an d Y eni, 1 994). As illu s trat e d o n the acco m pa n ying geol og i c m a p th e r e a r c lar ge exposur es o f cave-f o rmin g lim es t o n e in th e count y th a t contain n o known c a ves. This i s und o u b t e dl y r e lat ed t o th e rel ativ el y littl e e ff ort that ha s b ee n g i ve n t o c a ve recon nai ss an ce in th e regi o n Only a few a reas o f th e count y ha ve b ee n dlective l y expl o r e d G i ve n th e r e l ative l y hig h den s it y o f caves w ithin these few areas. it i s r e a so n able t o ass um e that eve n c ur sory reconnai ss an ce in th e r e m a inin g un e x plore d a r eas w ill p roduce p os iti ve r es ults. E arl y Use of Burnet Count y Ca v es E arly Texas settl e r s learn e d of L o n g h o rn Cavern from Indi a n s w h o u se d it as a camps it e. Prior to the Ci v il War, a b a nd of C o m a n c h es kidnappe d a youn g woma n named Mari e Kin g a nd bro u g ht h e r to the c ave. They were fol lowed b y three Texas Ran gers, w h o fir e d on them, grabbed M arie l a nd m a d e for th e entra n c e o f the c a ve. The C o m a n c hes count e r a ttack e d a nd a h and-to-ha nd battle e n s u e d The R a nger s escap e d w ith Mari e l who later married o n e o f h e r r es cu e r s, Logan V a n Deveer ( Elliott and Veni, 1994 ) The earli es t writt e n r e fer e nce w e h a v e to caves in Burne t C ounty w as the following l e tt e r regarding C onfe d e r a t e gunpowde r a copy o f which w as gi ven to u s by M ario n Smith o f Kn o xville Tennessee: "Burnet, Texas. March lOth, 1862 To his Excellency Gov. Lubbock, Austin Tex 1 send you herewith a specimen of the gun powder I am making in the county. My means are very limited, and I gather and prepare my own saltpeter from the caves in this county. My machinery is as yet very crude and imper fect yet they are a s good as I have been able to erect. I think the powder 1 shall hereafter make will be s uperior to the specimen I send you. I am using all my time and all the energies and mean s I have in the manufacture of powder. Therefore I beg the favor of you if you have the power to grant it to have me excusedfrom the performance of military duty, at lea s t whilst I am engaged in the manufactory of gun powder. I can afford to the gov erment the powder 1 am making a t one and 251100 ($J?i) per pound. If the government want s it I can furnish about one hundred pounds by the 15th or 18 of thi s month. Can you detail some men whom I have as assis tant s in the manufactur e of powder?-to wit Thos. Cate & }as. Barton Your obt servant Constantine Foster Saltp e ter, a necessar y in g r e di e nt o f bl ac k po w d e r was min e d f r o m Texas caves durin g th e Ci vil W ar. The nitrogenric h g u a n o was gath e r e d a nd sac k e d for tr a n s p o rtation to th e leachin g va t s, whic h wer e u s u ally locat e d near a d e p e nd a bl e wat e r s u pply an d n o t a l w a ys near th e c ave. There th e g u a n o was place d in wood e n o r s t o n e va t s, in a lt e rn a tin g l a y e r s w ith wood as h es. The l aye r s wer e se p a r a t e d b y broomweeds. Wat e r was th e n p o ur e d over th e t o p of th e f ill e d va t a nd allowed t o g r a du ally f ilt e r thr o u g h it int o a tr o u g h from whic h it r a n int o a collec tin g b a rr el. The wat e r was then po ur e d int o large. o p e n cas t-ir o n b oile rs, w hi c h wer e then heat ed. W h e n th e liquid was r e duced t o th e pro p e r d e n s it y it ..J.6 Jun e 1995 The Texa s Caver


was conducted into large shallow pans where sa ltpeter crys tals formed when the remaining water evaporated. It was then sacked and shipped by ox-team to the powder factory (Meador, 1964). Foster did not mention the caves he mined but they included Longhorn Cavern (then known as Sherrard Cave) and probably Beaver Creek Bat Cave According to Meador (1964), a powder mill was located on Powdermill Creek which rises near Sherrard Cave. The mining activities in Sherrard Cave were confined to the winter months In the summer months Foster and his half-dozen workers operated the powder mill. They probably were the ones who fired the bullets, later found in the main room, to test the powder, using a spot on the cave wall. Additional small rooms in the back of the cave were used as gunpowder storerooms. On March 14, 1862, a Mr. Moore wrote to the Governor request ing "Employment of some six to eight hands good stout laborers, to come up and assist in getting saltpeter. Foster says it is abundant, but it takes a great deal of labor to get it out, to refine it, etc. This is the greatest part of the labor." E .O. Sampson wrote on April 12, 1862 for Foster, saying, He wants three kettles holding 30 gallons each to weigh from 50 to 80 pounds each. Mr. Foster is perfectly willing to turn over all the powder he makes to your board with the exception of sufficient powder for our frontier protection as Indians are continually visiting this and Llano County ." The Texas Almanac of 1872 stated that During the last war, niter works were in operation two miles south of the Mount of Fall Creek Burnet County." This may have been near Beaver Creek Cave, which is near Beaver and Nitre creeks. (Meador, 1964 ; Elliott 1987) Possibly other caves were involved Legend holds that Sam Bass, a notorious Texas bandit used Longhorn Cavern for his hideout in the 1870s. The cur rent main entrance is named after him. Dead Man's Hole, south of Marble Falls, also was used by criminals for the dis posal of bodies. After the Civil War bat guano became popular as a com mercial fertilizer, and much was shipped out of Texas by rail. Phillips ( 190 I) mentioned a cave, pos s ibly Beaver Creek Bat Cave, in which a guano fire had burned leaving ashes two or three feet deep but ashes are not seen in the cave today. His sketch of the entrance may be the oldest existing Texas cave map. The most recent guano venture may date from the 1940s and 1950s. A collapsed s heet iron building is nearby and an iron boom hangs over the entrance. Wooden mining ramps are still visible in the cave. Cave Descriptions Space does not allow us to describe each cave in detail. Instea d we will give a synopsis of the more intere st ing caves, arranged by geologic formation and loosely defined areas. All known caves, sinks and shelters are tabul a ted near the end of thi s article with their known lengths and depth s in feet. The "TSS ID number is a unique number assigned to each cave or karst feature in each county; in this case BUR refer s to Burnet County. Readers will see that TSS lacks length and depth information for quite a number of caves. ELLENBURGER GROUP CAVES NORTHWEST BURNET COUNTY AREA Southwest of Lampasa s in Northw est Burnet County i s the old Vann Ranch which ha s a t lea s t e ight s m all fissure caves, which were explored in 196 2 by the UT Grotto. Depths r a nge from 15 to 55 ft. and lengths r a nge from 30 to 200ft. Three of the caves are described below then we jump to Beaver Creek Bat Cave on another ranch. Old Bat Cave BUR067 Description : This rumored cave was report e d in the old Dallas Grotto files to be large The cave i s located on top of a hill on the Vann Ranch. Vann Cave BUR047 Description: A 50 ft. ( 15 m) fissure lead s into a I 00 ft. (30 m) long cave containing solutional tunnels. The deepe s t point of the cave is 55 ft. b e low the entrance. Vann Ranch Fissure System No.1 BUR049 Description: The cave co mpri ses a typical fissure sys tem Numerous fissure entrances drop 5 to 20ft. ( 1.5 to 6 m ) into a series of sometimes interconnected fissure passages with a total length of more than 200 ft. (6 0 m). Beaver Creek Bat Cave BUR004 Description: A map and complete de scr iption may b e found in The Caves and Karst of T exas (Elliott and Veni 1994). The cave is 1718 ft. (524 m) long and 68ft. (21 m) deep but is not open to casual visitors. The cave reportedly contained close to 14 to 18 million freetail s at one time which would have represented the second large st bat colony in Texas. This may have been an overestimate but evidence such as the uninhabited stain area in the entrance room sug gest that the colony probably ha s declined. On 28 March 1987 the cave contained about 4.5 million Tadarida brasiliensis m ex i cana, or Mexican free-tailed bats. History: The cave has been mined for guano s ince about 1850. [twas explored by Bob Hudson around 1954 and Dave S Kyser in 1955 Numerou s trips have subsequently been made to the cave, including so me by Tom Warden, from which he pr e par e d a rough outline m ap of the cave. On 17-18 September 1977 Jerry Atkinson, Tom Byrd Maureen Cavanaugh John Chelf, Bill Elliott, Robert Hemperly Dale Pate and Lisa Wilk s urveyed and pho tographed the cave Elliott took temperatur es and gas read ings. Temperature s in the cave ran ged from 64 F near the entrance to 70 o Fat Ammonia Mountain a lar ge g uano hill. Carbon dioxide readings taken the sa m e day ranged from The Texas Caver June 1995 47


0.08 % at the we s t end of the cave, to 0.19% at Ammonia M o untain where the mea s ured ammonia level s were 4 ppm. A s is common in most freetail caves, the temperature and ammonia l evels s hould increa se dramatically during the s umm er months BURNET AREA Blue Room Cave BUR007 Description: The cave, located on Post Mountain near Burnet, i s 290 ft. (88 m ) long and 30 ft. (9 m) deep with two levels. A 15-ft d ee p 4-to-5-ft-diameter entrance drops into a passage 3 t o 4 ft. high ranging from 3 to 6 ft. wide. To the left. the passage extends about 30 ft. to an end. A pit on the l eft side drops into a lower level pa ssage about 30 ft. long and 2 ft. high To the right from the e ntrance a s lope leads up int o a c hamb e r about 12 ft. long and 5 ft. wide with two passages l ead ing out. To the right, a 1-ft.-high passage lead s for about 8 ft. to a 15-ft.-deep pit. At the bottom of the pit thre e passages l ead out. Th ese range from 6 to I 0 ft. high and each e nds after about 30 ft. To the left from the junction room. a 4-ft.-high passage extends for 25 ft; the ceiling then rises to I 0 ft. and the passage continues an additional 15 ft. to an end. Hist ory: The cave was mapped on 16 May 1964 by F rank Jas ek, B. Wo od. and J. P ec k This may be identical to the Blue Room Cave m e ntion ed in the Texas Cave Survey, except that the cave was r epor t ed to have a 40-ft drop to a ledge. followed by a 30-ft drop to the floor of a room with blu e walls. The cave was visited in the summer of 1968 by William Elliott. Brian Peterson, and Jim Shepperd at which time the air was bad. Pnst Mountain Cave BUR026 Description: Located som ew her e on Post Mountain near Burnet. this cave was reported by Whit e ( 1948) to be "a small. single chamber cave ... Its semi-circular room is about 20ft. (6 m) in diameter. doming to a height of about 35 ft. ( II m )." This co uld be a pit cave see n in 1968 by William Elliott. Brian Peterson. and Jim Shepperd. A carbide lamp flam e w as exting uish ed twic e by bad air when low ere d just b elow the entrance lip No o n e ente r ed the cave that day. Shepperd C ave BURln5 Description: By far the mo s t pr01ms m g cave near Burnet. S hepp erd Cave may be lost. R e ported to be over 200 ft. (60 111) long and m ore than 90 ft. (27 m ) de ep it is on property about I / 4 mile west of where the old Burn e t drivein theater was located o n State Hig hway 29. Information is sketchy. but this ar e a may now be in a park. The entrance t o the cave is a s haft 2 ft. in diameter which drops 20 f't. From the bottom of the e ntranc e drop the floor slopes d ow nward at an angl e o f about 40< for about 6 ft. appearing to end at the t op of a second ver tical shaft. which is easil y des cended with e ith er a rope or a cable lad lkr. although neith e r i s esse ntial. A t the top of thi s s haft a passage leads to the west and is the first near-horizontal sec tion in the cave This passage apparently splits, with one sec tion descending to the bottom of the second pit by way of a small drop, while the other reportedly continues for some distance and remains to be explored. The descending pas sa ge is possibly the easier of the two ways of descent. Both this passage and the second shaft open into a room which is largely floored with mud and breakdown. To the west, an extremely tight, 6-ft-long crawlway leads to a small stoop way room 6 by I 0 ft. wide with a downward sloping floor. A tight crawl way continues for about 10ft. from the east end of the room A second, small, very tight crawlway leads southward from the room for about 20 to 25ft, to a muddy, 25-ft.-deep pit. This pit requires either a rope or ladder, as the walls are smooth and slick with mud. A passage contin ues across the top of the pit, climbs upward for about 5 ft. and, after passing two dead stalagmites, leads to another small room with a 3-to-5-ft.-wide shaft which descends to a room At the time of exploration, an old, rotten one-inch rope was found at this drop. By descending either of the lat ter two shafts, a fairly large room is encountered with pas sages radiating to the north, south, and west. Each of these passages begins with the same 25-ft. ceiling height as the large room, but soon lower to crawlways. The north and west passages were not fully explored but the south passage was found to contain vertical shafts in both the floor and ceiling which were not entered due to lack of equipment and rather bad air. This area contains extensive deposits of intricate boxwork and calcite rosettes. Some of the box work extends almost a foot from the wall and is paper thin. Bad air prevented further exploration of this area Duncan's Flea Cave BUROll Description : Duncan s Flea Cave is included in the "Burnet Area" for convenience, but it is not formed in the Ellenburger. The cave is probably developed in the San Saba Member of the Wilberns of Cambro-Ordovician age. The cave is 90 ft. (27 m) long and 17 ft. (5 m) deep. The only other cave in this formation that we know of is Davis Blowout Cave, Blanco County. Duncan's Flea Cave is located in a fairly flat grassy pas ture at the head of a very shallow draw A small spring issues from the base of the draw and feeds the large trees that grow around the entrances. There are two entrances to the cave, the easternmost being 13 ft. deep, 7 ft. long, and 4 ft. wide. The other entrance is about 10 ft. deep and about the same size. Both entrances drop onto small talus slopes which descend an additional 3 to 5 ft. to the "floor" of the cave A s mall pa ssage on the west side of the western entrance extends about 20 ft. before filling with small rocks. The cave itself is one room about 50 ft. long, 25 to 30 ft. wide, and 3 to 5 ft. high ; floored with several feet of guano. Breakdown extends from the wall and ceiling along the right side of the room at the back. Two solutional joints in the ceiling cause rises of up to I 0 ft. in the ceiling height. History: The cave was explored and mapped 20 April 48 Jun e 1995 The Texas Caver


1963, by James Reddell and David McKenzie Biology : A small biological collection was made in the cave on 20 April 1963, by James Reddell and David McKenzie. The cave is populated by millions of fleas, as well as numerous small mites ticks, and spiders. Collembola, harvestmen, caterpillars and centipedes also inhabit the cave. The bones of goats and other animals are also present. LONGHORN CAVERN AREA Frustration Cave BUR014 Aside from Longhorn Cavern, Frustration Cave is the largest cave in Longhorn Cavern State Park. The entrance is located in a large sink. The cave is essentially a long crawl way that extends about 200 ft. (60 m) from the surface sink, to where the passage becomes too small to follow. The cave was mapped by William H Russell in 1986 Longhorn Bad Air Cave BUR018 Description: Believed to be southeast of the Sam Bass Entrance to Longhorn Cavern in a shallow sink. The cave is reported to be a 20-ft.-deep pit leading to two small crawl ways with bad air. At times, the air in the pit is only moder ately poor, producing heavy breathing. At other times, a car bide lamp will go out when held in the entrance, indicating that the pit could be dangerous if entered on rope by an unprepared caver. Longhorn Cavern BUR060 Special Hazards: Stream crawls at the rear of the cave can flood. Description: A map and complete description may be found in Elliott and Veni (1994) Longhorn Cavern, formerly known as Sherrard Cave and Hoover's Valley Cave is about 9850 ft. (3002 m) long and more than 130ft. (40 m) deep. The cave has one artificial and four natural entrances. The Sam Bass Entrance, presently serving as the entrance and exit for tours is a 30-ft. deep sinkhole approximately 75 ft. in diameter. A remnant span of rock forms an often-pho tographed natural bridge across the entrance. The former Main Entrance at one time allowed tours to enter the cave via the Lunchroom but was sealed in 1935. Two natural pit entrances approximately 60 ft. deep are located 625 and 790 ft. respectively from the Sam Bass Entrance. A 60-ft-deep artificial shaft was excavated at the intersection of Lumbago Alley and the Hall of Marble to facilitate the removal of fill during commercialization. The cave consists of two major sections which trend north-south. The southern half of the cave is a mazelike complex of passages consisting of a main corridor which extends from the Sam Bass Entrance to the Hall of Marble and a lower level, seasonal stream passage extending from the Cathedral Room to Lumbago Alley. The main passage now dry has numerous smaller passages feeding into it, and was obviously once an important underground drainage systern It averages I 0 to 20 ft. wide and 8 to 15 ft. high with larger rooms reaching 50 ft. by 30 ft. high. Modest displays of draperies, stalactites, stalagmites and travertine dams are visible in alcoves and ceiling pockets Massive redissolved flowstone can be seen throughout this section of the cave. The most notable speleothems are the large calcite crystals which line the walls of several passages, especially the Crystal Rooms and Hall of Diamonds. Individual crystals are commonly 2 in. (5 em) long. The commercial trail fol lows the main passage and through some adjacent meander loops ending near a permanent lake (Catfish Lake) about half-way through the cave. The northern half of the cave, past Catfish Lake con tinues primarily as a single passage 10 to 15 ft. wide and 3 to 6ft. high with occasional small crawls leading off, which end in mud plugs or low airspaces. The one major side pas sage is The Wiggleys, which parallels the main passage Both passages connect near the terminal siphon at the north ern end of the cave. History: Early history was given near the beginning of this report. In the I 920s, a local businessman opened a dance hall in the cave's largest room and built a wooden dance floor. He also opened a restaurant in the next room, lower ing food through one of the pit entrances. A local preacher built bleachers in the cave to accommodate his congregation for Sunday services. After the Depre ssio n struck the owners sold the cave to the State Parks Board in 193 I and Longhorn Cavern was opened to the public the following year. Tours initially used the Main ( now sealed) and Sam Bass Entrances to visit the Cathedral Room and the Hall of Marble In those days the route between the se two chambers was through the lower level Lake Room Tunnel as the over lying passages were filled by sediment. Various group s have worked to make improvements in the cave but mo s t of the work was done by the Civilian Con se rvation Corps ( CCC) one of President Franklin D. Roo sevelt's innovation s to help the unemployed during the Depres sion. Much of the cave at that time consisted of low crawlways so the CCC \ as instructed to excavate the fill in order to open additional pas sages for tours. Artificial shafts were dug to facilitat e the removal of the original floor deposit s which were comprised of mud guano, and bone-laden clay. These were dug out or washed with high-pressure ho ses down to the low e r level. In several passages, the original level of the clay floor can still be seen. The museum in the rustic s tone park headquart e r s depicts the days of the CCC. It was during thi s work that the bats probably vacated the main pa ssage (Elliott 1992. 1994). Bats may still roost beyond Catfi s h Lake in the low e r part of the cave One of the first detailed explorations of the cave \ a s made by Bob Hudson and others of the University of Texa s Speleological Society in 1952. They carried out fairl y exten sive explorations of the main pa ssage b eyond Catfish Lake The next sig nificant s tudy of the cave was durin g the Texa s Region Project in July 1957 Numerou s caver s attended the project during which extensive s urv ey ing and meteorologi-The Texas Caver June 1995 49


ca l observatio n s were made. It was during thi s effort that the lower level s and the Wiggleys pa ssage were di scove red and partially exp l o r e d and mapped. The most successful m apping effort was begun in I 97 I as a Texas Speleological Association Project. The co mmer cia l trail was s ur veyed u s in g a transit and metal tape. Passages off the trail were mapped with tripod-mounted Bruntons and metal tapes. At the e nd of th e Project the cave was not compl e te l y s urv eyed, so the Dalla sFort Worth G r o tt o made a dditi o n a l trip s in a n attempt to fini s h the map. All major, access ibl e pa ssages were s ur veyed and the map was compl e t e d in 1 972. All attempts t o s urvey the stream c ra w l s at the rear of th e cave h ave failed due to high water. On l y in the driest of s umm e r s can these p assages be entered. The cave was u sed durin g th e Cold War to sto re Civil Defense s uppli es as a potential fallout s helter. In 1989 the Texas Spe leol ogica l Association held a volunteer cleanup project and r e m ove d the C ivil Defe n se materi a l s and an old photographic lab from the cave. A sinkhole that had been used for decades as a dump was cleaned up and many truck l oa d s of trash were hauled off. Biology: Eyed c rayfi s h inhabit the cave s tream-they are pale but n o t cave-adapted. Geol ogy: The cave i s developed in the Gorman Formatio n of the Elle nbur ger Group. K as tning ( 1983 ) pro vides an ex haustiv e dissertation o n the geo l ogy and s peleo ge n es i s of the cave. For a m ore ge neral disc u ssio n see Mathews ( 1 963). Meteorology: During th e Texas R egio n Proj ec t of 1957, a co ntinu o us t e mp e ratur e and r e l a tiv e humidity recorder was used t o mak e meteorological o b servatio n s in the cave. Temperature r eadings varied from a hig h of 72 F to a low o f 5X" F durin g the three-day exped iti on. Whe re this data n ow resides i s unknown. Paleontology: Longhorn Cavern is an important verte brate f ossil l oca lity. Paleontological deposits in th e cave were fir s t s tudi ed by Lundelius ( 1 958) a nd Semken ( 1961) and included thr ee bone-bearing unit s dating back to the late Pleistocene. Se mk e n ide ntifi ed a lar ge population of rod e nt s and f o und several species of hig her ve rtebrat es no longer endemic t o Ce ntral Texas. Later wor k ers s tudi e d th e remain s o f Pleistocene bears. southern bog lemmings and othe r ver tebates as r eported in Patton ( 1 963), and s ummari ze d in F rank ( 1%4). L und e lius ( 1 967). Lundelius and Slaughter ( ILJ7 1 ) and L und e lius. e t al ( 1 983). Pic Cuvc BUR025 Descriptio n : Pie C a ve. l oca ted o n private l a nd near L1111g horn Cavern Sta t e Park. is 130 ft. (40 m ) l o n g and 96 ft. m ) deep. Located in a s m all d epress i on. th e I ft. by 2 ft. e ntran ce drops 4ft. t o a s mall craw l that goes for 10ft. At the end o f the crawl. a fissure drops 22 ft. t o a seco nd craw l that goes f or 20 ft. t o a point where the passage turn s rig ht and CL1ntinu es for 10ft. w hil e dropping an additiona16 ft. A t thi s pnint a s mall h o l e drops-+ I ft. int o a beer-bottle s h ape d roo m A h o le in the tloor o f thi s room mak es it possible t o climb down an additional 23 ft. to an area of mud and break down fill. Spider Web Pit BUR062 Description : Spider Web Pit is located in Longhorn Cavern State Park and currently is 21 ft. (7 m) long and 6 ft. (2 m ) deep. The entrance is located at the southern edge of a large flat dirt-floored sink. The 2-by-3-ft.-wide entrance pit drop s about 6 ft. through dirt roots and logs to where it is partly blocked by a large tilted slab. By squeezing around the s lab a breakdown-floored room, 2 to 4ft. high and about 15 ft. in diameter is entered. Air appears to blow from loose rocks on the floor near the north wall of the room directly below the entrance. The cave receives considerable runoff during floods, which appears to drain in all directions from the base of the entrance pit. History: The cave was discovered and explored by William Russell and Katherine Arens on 24 May 1986. Standing Pipe Cave BUR042 Description: Located in Longhorn Cavern State Park, Standing Pipe Cave is 85 ft. (26 m) long and 33 ft. (10 m) deep The entrance is a narrow slot, 2 to 3 ft. wide that drops I 5 ft. to a room 15 ft. wide, 40 ft. long, and 3 to 10 ft. high. The entrance is climbable but an old pipe set in the crack provides helpful handholds. At one end of the room a small, I by 2 ft. wide pit drops 15 ft. and ends. Considerable drainage enters the room at floor level along the northeast wall and drains into the pit. Tally Cave BUR043 Description : Located near Longhorn Cavern State Park, Tally Cave consists of a sink complex dropping to an area of fissures and cracks with crawlways. The length and depth are unknown The name refers to a row of tally marks on the cave wall at the entrance. NOLAN'S CAVE AREA The caves in this Ellenburger area south of Longhorn were explored on April I 1961 by Bud Frank and Margaret Cridlebaugh Ken Kave BUROI7 Description: A large 5-ft-deep sink leads to a small hole dropping 3ft. into a si ngle room 40ft. (12m) long and up to I 5 ft. ( 5m) wide. A tight squeeze at the end of the room becomes too s mall but it is possible to see a few feet down into a seco nd chamber. The cave is a total of 40 ft. long and 20ft. deep. Nolan's Cave BUR022 De sc ription : The cave is a small maze with a total length of about 400 ft. ( I 22 m). The average passage is 3 ft. by 3 ft and m os t floor s are covered with clay. 50 Jun e 1995 The Texas Caver


Pregnant Cricket Cave BUR027 Description: A walk-in entrance on a bluff extends for 35 ft. (11 m) before ending abruptly. There are massive sta lactites at the entrance and numerous other formations in the cave Riley Cave BUR031 Description: Riley Cave is 80 ft. (24 m) long and 35 ft. ( 11 m) deep, and is 300 ft. (90 m) from Ken Kave. The entrance to the cave is a small hole on one side of a 30 ft. in diameter shallow sink. This hole drops 35 ft. into one end of a room 40 ft. long, 45 ft. wide, and up to 20 ft. high A small constriction at the end of the room leads into a second room about 30 ft. wide and 40 ft. long. No passages lead from this room. Part way down the entrance a short passage extends to each side of the sink. DEAD MAM'S CAVE AREA This area south of Marble Falls contains four caves in the Honeycut Formation, a very pure limestone of the Ellenburger Group that is mined at the Huber Limestone Mine for its pharmaceutical-grade quality An inactive area of the mine, begun in the late 1930s, now harbors over 4 mil lion Mexican free-tailed bats. Dead Man's Hole BUROlO Special Hazards: Bad air-proceed cautiously, especially in the summertime. Vertical; at least a 200 ft. (60 m) rope and appropriate gear required. Description: The entrance to the cave is a small vertical sink about 8 ft. deep which drops 29 ft. to a sloping ledge At the bottom of this ledge the pit continues as a 103 ft. drop to a sloping fissure passage about 50 ft. long and up to 10ft. wide which ends after 15 ft. The bottom of the pit consists of boulders and rocks. Total depth is 155ft. (47 m); length is about 50 ft. (15 m). History: The cave was also known as Soldier Cave and Burnam's Hole. Meador (1965) recounted the early history of the cave which was notorious as a place to commit mur der and hide the bodies Several recorded murders are known, with a total of 17 skeletons and bodies reportedly recovered from the cave The entrance was first visited by c avers when it was explored by UT cavers Carroll Slemaker and Tom Tony in April 1951 The cave had earlier been entered by an amateur Au s tin spelunker George Shelley, in 1949 He wa s unable to climb back out of the cave hand over-hand and fell less than 20 ft. from the bottom He wa s e ventually rescued by the Marble Fall s Fire Department. The cave has since been visited numerous times by caver s It was mapped 4 June 1968 by Brian Peterson Ed Fomby a nd Bill Elliott. Resurrection Well BUR030 Special Hazards : Bad air; Vertical gear and rope required for 4 pits De s cription: Resurrection Well i s a sportin g serie s of drop s and crawls ending in a tight s tream pa s sage that remains to be pushed The cave is 558 ft. ( 171 m) long and 189 ft. (58 m) deep A complete description was publi s hed in Elliott and Veni (1994) The entrance sink leads to an 8 ft. chimney that opens to Resurrection Well a 72ft. drop measuring up to 25ft. by 50 ft. and which is lined with flow s tone and other s peleothems After a couple of rooms and s ome pools Grimm's Glee Pit drops 25 ft. This i s followed by flowstone a muddy crawl two dome rooms, and Sugar Shaft which drops 30 ft. After that a 7 5-ft. drop into a tight stre a m-cut crawl lead s to a 12ft. drop. A walking passage continue s for 25 ft. to a stream passage that becomes too narrow. History: The entrance sink was di s covered in 1989 by Eli Grimm during a trip to nearby Dead Man's Hole. Mike Warton, Mike Grimm and Eli Grimm s ubsequently exca vated the entrance and explored the cave Warton's map wa s published in the Tex as Caver in 1990 Roper Cave (Roper Ranch Pit) BUR034 Description: The cave is 93 ft. (28 m) long and 43 ft. ( 13 m) deep. The entrance is located in a shallow rock-floored sinkhole and consists of a vertical slot about 30 ft. long and 43ft. deep, which can be chimneyed with difficulty. A short passage which becomes a crawlway extends to the north west along the same joint trend as the entrance slot. Th e crawlway becomes impassable after about 50 ft. History: The cave was fir s t reported by K. Wyrick J. Moran and C. Wiseman. It was explored by Linda Handley and Glenn Merrill on 18 January 1964 MARBLE FALLS LIMESTONE CAVES NORTH MARBLE FALLS AREA The following two caves were explored on 20 June 1976 by John Chelf Marcia Cos s ey Debbie Tolar and Charle s Yate s Jones Cave BUROI6 Description : Jones Cave isreported to be a 15-ft.-deep joint-controlled cave with more than I 00 ft. of pa s sage and which contain s a stream that wa s not fully explored. The cave i s floored by mud and breakdown and the only forma tions noted were curtains. The entrance wa s noticed when a bulldozer cracked through the roof of part of the cave. Unnamed Cave BUR046 De s cription : The c a ve, near Jone s Cave i s reported to be about I 00 ft. (30m) long and 20ft. ( 6 m) deep. It i s joint controlled and does not contain water. The Texas Caver June 1995 51


SOUTH MARBLE FALLS AREA Marble Falls Cave No.2 B U R O I 9 D esc ripti o n : Th e e ntr a nc e i s l o c a te d in a c liff face and l ea d s t o a main pa ssage a b out 5 0 ft. ( 15 m ) l o n g and 12ft. ( 4 m ) hig h A s m alle r p assage n ea r the e nd l ea d s into an upper roo m Wh e n Bill Russell v i site d the c ave in J a nu a ry 1965 seve ral c r awlways o ff the m ain p assage w e re blocked by w a t er. Marble Falls Cave No.3 B U R02 0 Desc ripti o n : A s ink e ntran ce o n t o p o f a bluff lead s dow n int o a I 0-ft.-hi g h p ass a ge. The c e iling h e ight drop s to 3 ft. and the pa ssage e nd s a b o ut 50 ft. ( 15 m ) from the e ntr a n ce. Marble Falls Cavern BUR02 1 Descriptio n : Th e c a ve co n s i s t s of thr ee v e ry s m all s tair case d ro o m s ha ving o p e nin gs at th e b o tt o m a nd top of a vertical c liff ( Whit e, 1 948). The over all len gth i s l ess than 50 ft. ( I :'i m). T h e c a ve was c aus e d prim a rily by th e s hifting of l a r ge m asses o f r oc k o n the cliff f a c e The r e h as be e n some flows t o n e d e p o siti o n but it i s n o t o b v ious. The cave i s devel o p e d in the H o n eycut Fo rmati o n o f the Ell e nbur ger Gro up His t o ry: E xpl o r e d b y m e mb e r s o f the Univ e r s ity of Tex as Grotto in 1 9 5 I Rohbcrs Cave B U R 032 Desc ripti o n : Th e c a ve i s a 4 0 -ft.-d ee p s ink droppin g into a s mall room Th e t o tal d e pth is ab out 5 0 ft. ( 15 m ) a nd the len gth i s about 50 ft. ( l.'i m). MOON ROC K RANC H AREA M oo n R oc k Ran c h was l e as e d f o r a tim e b y Au s tin c aver Tcrry Whitficlcl W ee k e nd trips w e r e enjo y e d b y m a ny A ustin a r c a c a ve r s in 1 992-1993. The m o r e int e r es tin g c av es ar c d cs crib ccl b e l ow. Big Bad Wnlfl Cave B U RO.'i4 Desniptio n : The c a ve is 3 55 ft. ( I 08 m ) l o n g a nd 54 ft. ( 1 6 111) d cc p T hc 6 b y 1 8 ft. e ntran ce fissure l e ad s t o a sh ort co mple x o f intc rsc c ting j o intco ntr olled pas s a ges a ve ra g in g 3 ft. w id c and 5 ft. hig h w ith sever a l tig ht c ra w ls. A p p r ox imatcl y .'i .'i ft. from the e ntran ce. a so uth wes t tr e nding pa ss a ge o f thc sam e dim e n s i o ns l e ads ab o ut 150 ft. t o w h e r e a s mall h olc in the floo r dr o p s clo wn t o a tight wat e r nawl nam c d the Sewcr Pa s sa gc. Plant d e bri s o n th e w all s and s m all ( 0.5 in.) scallop s in the main pa s sa ge s u gges t that the cavc flo o d s pcriodic all y 1-listmy: Th c c a vc w a s disc o ve r e d and ex plor e d b y Jim Wplfl. L innell D ccarli N i co 1-lauwe rt. Geoff 1-loese. a nd S u sa n W all s ur v e y cd the c a v e o n 1 6 Ma y 1 993. De s cription : The cave consists of a 50 ft. (15m) deep pit developed a t the intersection of two solutionally enlarged j o int s The length of the entrance fissure is coated with flow s tone. There are reportedly severa l le v el s of crawlways. Hi story: The cave was disco v ered and initially explored by Geoff Hoe s e and Andy Grubbs on 27 March 1993 Mean Vicious Nasty Cave BUR061 Des cription : The cave is more th a n 80 ft. (25 m) long and 22ft. ( 7 m ) deep. The entrance fissure drops about 15ft. and then trend s to the south for approximately 25 ft. to where a 7 ft. drop leads into a s mall room. A southwest-trending tight bellycrawl goes for about 20 ft. to where it intersects two extremely narrow cro s s joints called Chri stina's Crack. Thi s keyhole s haped joint can be negotiated by staying high at a point where it widens to about I 0 in. being careful not to s lip downward and thus become wedged. After about 10 ft. a nother cross joint i s intersected which opens into a nice room The cave remains unsurveyed and incompletely explored Hi s tory: The cave was reportedly di s covered and initial ly explored by member s of the San Marcos Grotto in 1992. A s ub sequent trip was made by Terri Whitfield and Jim Wolff on 19 December 1992. Bio logy: In March 1993, Andy Grubb s and Jim Wolff collected s everal Te x e lla harvestmen a pseudoscorpion and other faun a. Rachel's Playroom Cave BUR068 W e have no de s cription for thi s cave, which presumably w as n a med a fter Rachel Savvas, the young daughter (and good caver) of Cha rley S a vva s Charley has hi s own area n e arby"Savvas Sink s Waldman Cave BUR063 De s cription: Waldman Cave i s a bout 197ft. (60 m) long and 41 ft. ( 1 2.5 m) deep The upper entrance is a 15-ft. deep c himney to a very low wid e room. A bellycrawl through the ro o m lead s t o a 13 ft. climbdown and a squeeze developed a lon g a j o int. The cav e continue s for about 45 ft. through a series of jointc ontroll e d fiss ure s that form complex bedrock s hap es in th e ceilin g a nd floor. A tight s queeze (the Wolff Plu g) ope n s into a low wide crawlway th a t can be negoti a t e d by m e an s of a c e iling channel. The crawlway continues f o r a bout 75 ft. to a breakdown floored pa ss age about 30 ft. l o n g a nd 6 ft. wid e. A n a rrow fis sure at one end leads up to seco nd e ntr a n ce but i s too s mall to negotiate His tory: The cav e wa s s urv e yed 24 April 1993 by Susie La s k o, P e te r Sprou se, and Jim Wolff. The map wa s publis h e d in the UTG N e w s ( Sprou s e 199 3). SNELLING' S AREA Bad Air Cave BUROOI Blmbonnct Cave B U R O.'i5 Sp ec i a l H az ards: Bad air ; e xtr e me c auti o n s hould be Jun e 1 99 5 The Texas Caver


0 0 5 KILOIIE1BS 5 tO BURNET COUNTY SIMPLIFIED GEOLOGIC MAP WITH CAVE AREAS Legend: I ,., I I o. I D N {r Lower Cretaceous Walnut formation Pennsylvanian Marble Falls l.imestone Ordovlclan Ellenburger Group Undivided Precambrian to Recent Non-Cave Bearing Stratigraphic: Unlu ___.,.. Fault City Limit or Townsite Cemplladon: G. L Atkinson Cemputer Drafted: C. K. Conley


t a k e n es pe c i ally in th e s ummertim e De sc ription : Bad Air Cave i s a t l eas t I 000 ft. (300 m ) long a nd 50 ft. (15 m ) deep ; it i s a l so kno w n as Snelling's Cave No. 2 Old Airless Cave, and Spicewood Caverns. A s m all, 25-to-50-ft.-deep s ink lead s t o a 15-by-5-ft.-wid e e ntr a nc e. The cave con s i s t s of a s ingle north-trending pas sage o f uniform size averaging 15 ft. wide b y 7 ft. hig h The passage drop s s teadily as a series of 3to-5-ft. s t a irs te pp e d dr o p s s p ace d about every 20 ft. The only di ve rg e n ce in th e m a in p assage i s a s m all, g uan o -filled room me as urin g 30 b y 30 ft. wide which lies dir ectly over h ea d a bout 300 ft. from the e ntr a nc e. The ro o m i s s h ape d like the in s id e of an ic e c r ea m co n e; the s ide s b e in g composed of extremel y s lipp ery g uan o, w ith the point of the con e being th e hole in th e floor l ea din g to the main pa ssage below. About 16 to 18ft. a bov e the floo r a nd jus t below the ceiling, there i s a led ge with a s m all, inviting hole be s ide a lar ge s tal ac tit e. At a point about 500 ft. (!50 m ) from th e e ntr a nce a trickl e of water a ppe ars which soo n e nlarge s to a s mall s tr ea m that covers a b o ut h alf of th e floo r area. The p assage continues for another 500 ft. or so t o w here the ceiling drop s t o 12 to 1 8 in. th e pa ssage w id e n s and the s tre a m form s a l a k e 15 b y 15 ft. w id e a nd a b o ut 4 to 5 in deep At thi s point th e pa ssage appears t o div id e fo r th e fir s t time ; th e left p assage go in g out of s i g ht at a b e nd ; the rig ht pa ssage a pp ears t o br oa den and p ossi bly e nd. Bad air forced an end to ex pl o ration at thi s point. On a s ub se quent trip a week lat e r o n e m e mb e r lo s t con sc iou s n ess a t the e ntranc e due to th e b a d air. Hi s tory : The cave was discovered a nd explored by M ack i e Brown and Ro y Pietsc h in the s prin g of I 952. Subsequent trip s we r e mad e in November I 954, Marc h I 955 a nd October I 957 by m e mber s of th e Dalla s Sp e leol og i ca l Society. The cave was r e port e dly m a pp e d 1 4 Marc h I 955 b y D o n L. Widener. Willi a m Ru ssell a l so r e portedl y m a pp ed the cave but the map ha s s ince b ee n lo st. M e teor o logy : Willi a m Elli o tt acco mpani e d b y Willi a m Ru ssell, m e a s ured carbon di ox id e a nd oxygen level s in the cave o n S e pt ember 3, I 985. An Ed m o nt oxyge n m e te r a nd a Drager Multigas D e tec tor were u se d at numerou s p o ints. They m a d e a quick trip (a b o ut 30 minut es) into th e cave to avoid c umul ative ph ys i o l og i ca l s tr ess At their farthest sta tio n th ey were forced t o turn aro und by ex tr e m e p a ntin g. At this point the 02 was a t I 2.3 % a nd the C02 was a t 6.5 % ( n o r mal i s 20.9 5 % and 0.0 3 % r espec tiv e l y). M a n y hum a n s w ill pass o ut when oxygen falls t o about I 0 %. Rock Bridge Cave BUR033 Description: Rock Brid ge Cave i s a l so known as S n e lling's Cave No. I a nd i s l oca te d a few hundr ed feet we s t -n ort h west of B a d Air Cave in the sa m e g ull y The e ntr a n ce i s l ocated in a l a r ge breakdown s ink abo ut 50 ft. deep w ith t wo m a in passages l ea din g n o rth eas t a nd north we st. The north wes t p assage follows a r o u ghly c ir cular co ur se for abo ut 750ft. (230m), finally e m e r g in g back at the e ntr a n ce by way of the n ort h east p assage. A crawlway reportedly takes off from the n o rth eas t pa ssage approxim a te l y 300 ft. from the e ntr a n ce The cave is n a m ed for a prominent n a tur a l bridge found close to th e en tr a n ce The cave i s dry wi th only a tr ace of flowst o n e n o t ed a b ou t I 50 ft. in s id e the cave The cave i s m ore tha n 30 ft. (9 m ) deep His t ory : The cave was discove r e d a nd partially exp l o r ed in th e sp rin g of I 952 by Mackie Br ow n a nd R oy Pie t sch. It was s ub se qu e ntl y explo r e d b y m e mb e r s of the Dall as Sp e l eo l og i ca l Society in November I 954. SPICEWOOD AREA Bar Cave BUR002 D esc ripti o n : B ar Cave i s I 90 ft. (58 m ) l o n g, a nd i s e nt e r ed b y tw o o p e nin gs o n a cliff face overlooking Lake Travi s a nd b y a s inkh o l e e ntr a n ce o n t o p o f the bluff. The cave i s n a m e d afte r a b a r tha t h ad b ee n se t up in the roo m b eyo nd th e e ntran ce s ink At l eas t thr ee other s m all cliff caves a r e nearby: B a r C r ack Cave, Bla ir s C lif f Cave I a nd II M os t we r e v i s it e d by A u s tin cave r s b e t wee n I 95 I and 1 971. Cap Mountain Fissure System B U R00 8 D esc ripti on: The Cap M o unt ain F i ssure System i s l ocated in an area of ex te n sive fracturing so luti o n along whic h h as r es ulted in fissures from a few in c h es t o 5 o r 6 ft. in width from a few feet t o a b o ut I 2 ft. in d ep th a nd f r o m inches to over I 00 ft. in length. Th e narrow fissures a r e genera lly the deep es t but so m e of th e l a r ger o n es are quite deep Th ey are lo calize d in a n a r ea a b o ut 300ft. ( I 00 m ) wide and I 300 ft. (400 m ) l o n g o n a l ow hump of ex p osed lim e sto n e s urr o und e d b y dirt. M a n y of the e ntr a n ces a r e connec te d by so luti o n tubes o r f i ss ur es w ith ce ilin gs of lim es t o n e o r d e bris. Onl y a few were a d eq u ate l y explo r e d with m a n y do ze n s of hol es left un c h ec k e d Using a s tri c t definiti o n of "cave", th e r e would d o ubtl ess b e d oze n s o f caves in the area ; but s in ce all are cert a inly int e r connec te d eve n if throu g h passages too s mall t o humanly n egot iat e, it i s m o r e practical to co n sider th e feature as a sing l e fissure sys t e m Geology: The sys te m i s probably d eve l o p ed in the Marble Falls Limestone of P e nn sy l vania n age Marble Falls Bat Cave BUR064 D esc ripti o n : This rumored cave was r eported t o contain a g r eat numb e r of bats. Bob Hud so n in I 952 r e p o rt ed the cave to be 8 mil es from Marbl e Falls, which co uld b e e ith e r in the Marbl e Falls Limestone in the Spicewood Area o r in the Ellenburger n ea r M a rbl e Falls Waterfall Cave BUR053 D escript i o n : The cave i s l oca t ed m o r e o r l e s s beneath a wate rf all, which consi s t s of n ot hin g m ore than the flow from a n overhead sp rin g flowing ove r the e dge of the bank int o a pool. Th e e ntr a n ce i s a vertic a l fis s ur e a t wa ter l e v e l whic h ex te nd s upw ard about 8 ft. and o p e n s int o a room about 30 ft. in diameter. The outside p oo l ex te nd s int o the cave a n d i s Th e Texas Ca ve r Jun e I 995 53


about 5 ft. d e e p It i s noor e d w ith t w i g s a nd mud which g r a du ally s l o p e up wa rd t o w h e r e th e t o p of a b e a ve r m o und can be see n a bove th e wat e r again s t th e far w a ll. Two wer e o b s e r ve d o n th e firs t explo r ation. His t o ry: The cave was explo r e d m embe r s o f th e UT G r o ll o in th e s prin g o f 1 95 1 WALNUT FORMATION CAVES OATMEAL AREA Reed Caves No. I & 2 BUR028, B U R029 D e s c ripti o n : The fir s t cave i s a 2 5 ft. (8 m ) v e rtical pit dropping t o a d e ad e nd T o t a l l e n g th o f th e cav e i s o nly 6ft. ( 2 m ) The second cave i s a 2 0 fl. ( 6 m ) d eep vertical pit dr o ppin g to a d e ad -e nd T o t a l l e n g th o f th e c av e i s 8 ft. ( 2 5 Ill ) His t o r y : The c a ves w e r e explo r e d in 1961 by Bob Rod g e r s and othe r m e mb e r s o f th e UT Gro tt o POST OAK RIDGE AREA Some of the ran c h e s in thi s are a are b e in g boug ht up for bird habitat for the Balcon e s Canyonland s Nati o nal Wildlife Pr e s e rvt:; no e ndanger e d cav e s pecies h a v e been found in thi s ar e a Man y s mall sink s and fiss ures w e r e f o und on the E c khardt and S im o ns ran c hes durin g th e course of studies for the U S. F i s h and Wildlife S e rvice ( Elli o tt a nd Reddell I 1 800 ft. (550 m ) l o n g and 3 0 ft. (lJ m ) deep. The e ntran ce i s a :Ift. -diame t e r o p e nin g at th e L'ntl \lf a l o n g s hallow draw that recei ves con s id e rabl e niiHlll A ) -ft.-diamete r ve rti c al s haft dro ps abo ut 2 0 ft. int o a \\'id l'. l o \\' b e ddin g plan e roo m up t o 20ft. a c r oss. A 4 -ft.di ameter s haft drops about 10ft. from the floor of this room to a s lope that leads into a 3-ft.-wide, 2-ft. -hi gh passage containing s e v eral inches of water. Ceiling height varies from 2 to more than 4 ft. with a few places large enough to stand. The passage gradually enlarges downstream and at the end of explora tion i s about 6 ft. wide and 5 ft. high. One small, largel y s ilt-filled side passage enters the main stream passage not far from the where it is first entered. A second, larger passage located about 600 ft. ( 180 m) from the entrance has not been explored. History/Biology: The cave was partially surveyed in January 1991 by Lee Jay Graves, Dan Love, and Mike W a rton. Eyed crayfish were collected from the back of the water passage. A turtle, blind amphipods, and asellid i sopods al s o were found in the stream. BURNET COUNTY CAVES Note: Please notify TSS of corrections and additions. CAVE NAME Bad Air Cave Bar C a ve Bar Crack Cave Beav e r Cree k B a t Cave Big B a d Wolff Cave B lair's Cliff Cave I Blair's Cliff Cave II Blu e Room Cave Bluebonn e t Cave Cap Mountain Fi ss ure Sys Cricke t Cit y Sink Cross in g Cave Dead M a n s H o le De a d Sc o rpi o n Cave Drill H o l e Pit Dunc a n s Fle a Cave Ec khardt Cave Eckhardt Root Cav e F e n c e lin e Sink Fill e d Fiss ur e Fru s tration Cave G o n e G oa t Gro tto Hawk Cave Hidd e n Shin O a k Sipk Jim s Y o u-Find-It C a v e J o n es Cav e K e n Ka v e L o n g h orn B a d Air C av e L o n g h orn Cavern M a rbl e F all s Bat Cave Marbl e F alls C a ve N o. I Marbl e Fall s Cave N o 2 Marbl e Fall s Cave N o 3 Marbl e F alls Cave N o 4 Marbl e Fall s Cave rn M ea n Vi c i o u s Na s t y Cave N o l a n s C a ve TSSID BUROOl BUR002 BUR003 BUR004 BUR054 BUR005 BUR006 BUR007 BUR055 BUR008 BUR056 BUR009 BUROIO BUR057 BUR058 BUROII BUROI2 BUR071 BUR072 BUROI3 BUR014 BUROI5 BUR091 BUR073 BUR059 BUR016 BUR017 BUROI8 BUR060 BUR064 BUR065 BUROI9 BUR020 BUR066 BUR021 BUR061 BUR022 Length Depth Map? ft. ft. 1000 50 ? 190 ? 20 1718 68 y 355 54 y 25 0 25 0 290 30 y 50 100 30 15 20 200 6 50 155 y 25 25 15 90 17 ? 10 25 y 15 17 30 15 200 y 100 25 10 20 ? 100 15 40 20 20 9850 130 y 10 50 12 50 10 50 8 0 2 2 400 June 1 99 5 The Texas Caver


Nutria Cave BUR023 25 Old Bat Cave BUR067 Old Mesquite Sink BUR074 10 8 Persimo n Sink BUR024 20 24 Pi e Cave BUR025 130 96 Poison Ivy Cave BUR075 4 1 5 Porcupine Cave BUR092 100 1 0 Post Mountain Cave BUR026 20 35 Pregnant Cricket Cave BUR027 35 6 Rachel's P layroom Cave BUR068 Reed Cave No. I BUR028 6 25 Reed Cave No. 2 BUR029 8 20 Resurrection Well BUR030 558 189 y Riley Cave BUR031 80 35 Robbers Cave BUR032 50 50 Rock Bridge Cave BUR033 750 30 Roper Rancher Pit BUR034 93 43 y Savvas Sinks BUR069 Shepperd Cave BUR035 200 90 Shinnery Sin k BUR076 12 9 Simon Says Sink No. I BUR077 5 17 Simon Says Sink No. 2 BUR078 6 15 Simo n s 1174 Sink BUR036 21 21 y Simons Coral Draw Sink BUR079 1 5 10 Simons Creekside Sink BUR080 20 12 Simons Pretty Pit BUR081 9 12 Simons Rattlesnake Well BUR037 32 26 Simons Road Side Sink BUR082 7 12 Simons Shin Oak Sink BUR083 10 14 Simons Snake Pit BUR084 10 14 Simons Squeeze Down Pit#! BUR085 7 10 S imons Squeeze Down Pit#2 BUR086 6 12 Simons SquirmAround Cave BUR038 24 10 Simons Tree L adder Sink #I BUR087 5 5 S imons Tree Ladder Sink #2 BUR088 7 13 Simons Tree Ladder Sink #3 BUR089 6 7 Simons W a t e r Cave Sys t e m BUR039 1800 30 y Smoky Joe Cave BUR040 105 45 Sne llin g s Cave No.3 BUR041 Spider Web Pit BUR062 2 1 6 Standing Pipe Cave BUR042 85 33 Tally Cave BUR043 Taylor W ater Cave BUR044 38 3 1 y Twilight Cave BUR045 20 35 Unnamed cave BUR046 100 20 Unnamed Caves BUR070 Y ann Cave BUR047 100 55 Yann Fissure BUR048 70 20 Yann R anch Fissure Sys. #I BUR049 200 20 Yann R a n c h Fissure Sys. #2 BUR050 200 15 Yann R anch Fissure Sys. #3 BUR051 100 15 Wagon Trail Cave BUR090 1 6 I I Waldma n Cave BUR063 197 41 y Washout Cave BUR052 20 15 Waterfall Cave BUR053 30 8 B i bliogra p hy: Ander s o n L., R H oove r and R Rit c h i e 1 97 1 Tal es o f caves and men. Natura l His t ory of Texa s Caves D allas, Gulf Nat. Hi st. :157-167 Com s t ock T. B. 1 890. Preliminary report o n the geo l ogy of the Cent ral Miner a l Region of T exas. F ir s t A nnua l R eport of the Geological Survey of Texas, 1 889, Aus tin. Stat e Printing Office. :235 39 1 Elliott. W R 1 987. Beaver Cree k Bat Cave Texas Caver. 32: 1 371 38 I-ll Elliott. W. R. 1 992 Cave fauna conservatio n in T exas. pp 323-337 in Fos t e r D.G (ed.). 1 99 1 Nat!. Cave Mgmt. Sy mp Proc. A m er. Cave Co n sv. Assoc .. H o r se Cave. Kentu c ky. Elliott. W R 1 994 Conservatio n of T exas caves and kar st. pp 85-98 in E lli o tt. W R .. and Veni. G. (e d s.) T h e Caves a n d Kar s t of Texas NSS Co n ventio n Guidebook. Elliott W. R and Reddell. J. R 1 989. Th e s tatu s and r a n ge of five enda n ge r ed art hrop ods from caves in the A u s tin. Texas region A report s up ported by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. and the Natur e Co n serva n cy for the Austin R eg i o nal H abitat Co n se rvati o n Plan. I 03 pp. Elliott, W. R and Veni. G (eds .). 1 994. The Caves a n d Karst of Texas NSS Co n ventio n Guidebook. Fie se l e r R G 1 978. Cave and karst dis tribut i on o f Texas pp 1 5-53 in Fieseler, R G Jasek J and Ja se k M. (ed s.) A n Intr od u c tion t o the Caves of Texas. NSS Co n ventio n Guid e book 19. Flack B 1951. Caving soc i e t y orga n i z ed at Universi t y o f Texas (co n tribut ed by B ob Flack _fro m a l etter to the Grottoes Co mmitt ee by J .L. Riggs). Nat!. Speleol. Soc. New s 9(7): I. Fralia B 1 989. Longhorn Cavern C l ea nup proj ect. Texas Cave r 34(5) : I 03.1-103.2. Frank R M 1964. The verteb r a t e pa l eonto l ogy of Texas caves. Texa s Speleological Survey. 2(3). 43 pp. Hud so n B. 1 976. Deadman's H o l e An histor i ca l r eport. Texas Caver. 2 1 : 1 221 24 K ast ning, E. H., Jr. 1 983 Geomorphology and hyd rogeo l ogy o f the Edwards Plat ea u kar s t Ce n tral T exas. unpubli she d PhD, Univ. Texas Austin. xxx i + 656 pp. Kun a t h C. E. 1 965. Ye Olde His t o ry. 60 pp. Lund e liu s E.[L. Jr.] 1 958. Fossil bone s in Longhorn Cavern. Texas Caver. 3( I ) : 18. ( R eprinted in: Speleo Digest, 1 958(2): II 0. 1 959 ) Lundeliu s E. L., Jr. 1 967. Late-Plei s t oce n e and H o l oce n e f auna l his t ory o f ce n t r a l T exas. Pp 287-3 1 9 in: P.S. Martin and H .E. Wri ght. Jr .. eels. Ple i s t oce n e extin ctio n s Th e searc h for a ca u se. Pr oceedi n gs o f the VII Co n g ress of the Internatio n a l Assoc iation for Quaternary R e sea r c h 6 New H ave n : Y a l e Universit y Pr ess. Lundelius E L., Jr. and B. H Slaughter. 1 971. Fossi l verte brate r e main s in Texas caves. Pp 15-27 in: E. L. Lundeliu s Jr. and B H Slaughter. e d s Natural his t o r y o f Tex a s caves. Dallas: G ulf Natural H i s t o r y Lund elius, E. L., Jr. R W Gra ham E. Anderson J. G uilday. J .. A. H olma n D. W Stead man and S. D. Webb. 1 983. Terrestrial vertebrat e faunas. Pp. 311-353 in: P orter S.C. ed The l ate Ple i s t oce n e In: H E. Wright, Jr., ed., Late-Quaternary e nvir onmen t s of the United S t a t es I Minn eapolis: University of Minn esota Press Mathews W. H 1 963. The geo l og i c s t o r y o f Longhorn Cavern. G uid ebook 4. Bur ea u Eco n Geo Uni v T exas Austin. M e ador J T 1964 Co nf ede rat e cavers. T exas Caver. 9( I 0) : 1 451 46. and Sp e leo Dige st, 1 964 : 276-277 Meador J .T. 1 965 H ow Dead man s Cave go t its name. Texas Cave r I 0 :2829. Patton, T. H. 1 963. Fossi l remains o r so uth ern bog l emming in P l e i stoce n e deposits o f Texas. J o urna l o f Mamma l ogy. 44:275-277. Phillips W. B. 1 901. The bat g uan o caves o r Texas. Min es and M i nerals. 2 1 :440 442 R eddell, J R 1 991. F urth er study of the s t atus and r a n ge or enda n ge red arthrop ods fro m caves in the A u s tin Texas region. A report t o the U. S. F i s h and Wildlife Se r v i ce Semken. H A., Jr. 1 961. Fossil vertebrates fro m Longhorn C avern Burnet County. Texas T exas J Sci. 1 3:290-3 10. Sp r o u se. P 1 993. Waldman Cave UTG New s XII. No.6: 1 -3. W ahl, R 1989. Imp ortan t Mexic a n free-tai l e d bat co l onie s in Te xas. pp 47 50 i n J orde n J R .. and R K. Obe l e (eds.). 1 989 Natl. Cave M gmt. Proc Texas Cave M gmt. A s soc and Texa s Park s and Wildlif e D e partment. W arto n M 1 990. Resurr ectio n Well. Texa s C aver 35:86 -87, 9 1 Whit e, P J 1 948. Caves of Ce ntral Texas Bull. Nat I. Spe l eol. Soc . I 0:46 64. The Texas Caver Jun e 1995 55


Contacts For Accessing Available Caves In Texas By Nico M. Hauwert Cavcr s ma y be frustrated by ge ttin g access t o caves becau se they may not know of availab l e caves o r who to contact f o r access. Som e caves a re available for g reater vo lum es of u se r s than others. Some of these caves a re avai labl e for r ecreatio n so m e m ay hav e limited access becau se o f seasona l bat populations d elicat e formations land -ow ner re lati o n s, o r for othe r reason s. Thi s a rticle i s int e nd ed t o l e t cave r s know so m e of the available caves in Texas and who t o conta c t for access to th e m. Unl ess n o t e d as "op e n access", the caves lis ted a re ga t ed, fenced. o r o n private property a nd th e s p ec ifi e d contac t mu s t be conta c t ed in a dvanc e for access. Some of the cave areas lis t e d are ava ilabl e only for work trip s, w h e re the cavcr vo lunteer s for l oca tin g caves, m a ppin g the c aves. or h e lpin g w ith c leanup o r res t o r atio n proj ec t s. These work projects can ac tuall y be very enjoyabl e a nd in many cases allow f o r so m e recreatio nal caving. For those that arc newl y discov e rin g th e wonders of cav ing, yo u a r c encour aged t o go with m e mb e r s from your local g r otto. The lis tin gs arc o r ganized as f ollows: Cave. Locatio n Contac t person. Pho n e Recomm e nd ed Maximum Party S i ze Texas Cave Management Association TCMA i s a n o n profit o r ganiz ati o n tha t i s d e p e nd ent o n nH. :ml1l: r s hip fees. mana ge m ent f ees. and donations t o m a intai n the ir caves and t o accuire new caves. A TCMA m e m ber ma y be required t o accompany trip s t o TCMA own ed caves and o n TCMA spo n so red trip s For thi s reason, it i s recommemlcd that cavcrs join TCMA and s upport TCMA s efforts to preserve and mak e m o re caves avai I ab l e Whirlpool Cave. SW A u s tin Nico M Hau we rt. (512) 282-8441 20 perso n s Lost Oasis Cave. SW Aus tin ico M Hauwcrt (512) 282-8441 I 0 persons Robber Baron, San Antonio Carl Ponebs hek, (210) 824-4843 Bob Cowell, (21 0 ) 662-9171 James Loftin (21 0) 731-9392 Kurt Menking, (210) 654-3014 10 person s Notes: A ma ze cave w ith poor air. No carbide lamps. 0-9 Well North of Ozona Gralin Coffin (915) 682-1904 Walter Feaster (915) 699-7049 5 person s Note: requir es verti ca l equipment for pits with 130', 80', 60 ', and thr ee 10 drops and wetsuits. No trips from Sept. 5 through Ma y I No pets or groundfires. Limit of four trip s per yea r. Amazing Maze, Ft. Stockton Gralin Coffin, (915) 682-1904 Walter Feas ter (915) 669-7049 N o limit Note: No pets or groundfires. One month advance notificatio n r eaues t e d Texas Cave Conservancy Thi s non-profit organization expects to add a number of new caves within the n ex t year. For more information about new caves, contact Pat Copeland (915) 643-2952 home (915) 646-9583 work or Mike Walsh (210) 629-2169 Turkey Pen (Camp Wood), Real County D o u g Allen, (512) 476-9031 Note: This cave i s available for surveying trips only at this time. City of Austin Park Caves The caves on City of Austin Parkl a nd s are available for rec reatio n e ducatio n and cleanup s The City of Austin P a rk s a nd R ec reation D e partm e nt ha s a uth o rized the s peci fied T exas Cave Management Association contact to allow 56 Jun e 1 995 The Texas Caver


access into these caves. Unauthorized modification of the se cav es such as digging, bla s ting or enlarging pa ssages is s trictly prohibited. Hauling out tra s h however i s encour aged. District Park, SW Austin Bill Rus s ell ( 512) 453-4774 8 persons Midnight Cave, SW Austin Bill Russell, (512) 453-4774 10 person s Note: R e quires vertical equipment for 70' drop Cave cleanups are peiformed during the yea r. Airman's Cave SW Austin Bill Rus sell, (512) 453-4774 10 person s Note: Op en access but tight entrance and long crawl. Maple Run, SW Au s tin Bill Russell,(512) 453-4774 8 person s Goat Cave, SW Au s tin Bill Rus sell, (512) 453-4774 20 per so n s Note: Requir es ver tical equipment or ladder for 20' drop. Cave Mapping Projects Powell's Cave, NW of Menard T erry Hol singer, (512) 443-4241 unlimited Honey Creek Cave W of New Braunfel s Mark Minton ( 512) 847-7422 home (512) 471-5955 work Kurt Menking ,(2 1 0) 654-3014 home (2 1 0) 224-8511 work unlimited Note: R equires wetsuit. Vertical gea r may b e required to e nt e r or exi t 150ft deep shaft located about four hour s from the natural entrance Caves in the Texas State Parks and Natural Areas Cave s ur veys are currently being conducted in Colorado Bend and Go vern ment C a nyon State P a rks. The caves in these park s are not open to recreational caving except as p art of a work trip If you are int eres t e d in finding n ew caves and s urv eying known caves, work trips are available in the se t wo parks. State Park, Loc a tion Cont ac t per so n Phone Colorado Bend State Park, S of B end, T exas Ed Young, (915) 628-3449 Butch Fra1ia, (817) 346-2029 Rune Burnett (512) 444-11 2 7 Keith Heuss, (512) 280-2812 Government Canyon Nat. Area, NW of San Antonio George Veni (210) 558-440 3 Note: Fir s t weeke nd of each m onth. Contact must be not i fied in advance for access. Other Caves and Cave Projects Sonora Restoration Project, Sonora G eorge Veni, (210) 558-4403 Note: R estoration is conducted on an annual basis during a period to be announced. No r ecreational caving off of the trail b ecause of fragile formations. Bracken Bat Cave New Br a unfel s Kurt Menking, (21 0) 654-3014 home (21 0) 224-8511 work Bob Cowell, (21 0) 662-9171 Note: Maint ai n ed b y Bexar Grotto for the Bat Conservation lnt emational.Cave i s closed to access during the summer when bats populate the cave, a lth ough impressive bat .flights can be seen from the v i ewing a rea during this time The Tex as Caver June 1995 57


' right off to work on field trips. Since the convention would be held only 50 kilometers from the Coahuila border the long-neglected limestone of the northern portion of that state see med a logical target. Despite being adjacent to Texas home to 1000 cavers and holding the seco nd largest expanse of Mexican limestone (after Yucatan), northern Coahuila was almost completely unexplored for caves. Thi s may seem odd, particularly in light of the fact that thi s border area requires no immigration paper s whatsoever. But there are good reasons for thi s, aside from the obvious allure of the spectacular karsts farther south in Mexico One reason is access, s ince the area i s largely comprised of large, remote private ranches secured by locked gates. But the real inhibition in the past was that the area had a bad rep utation for lawles s ness on the part of the authorities Until the 1980's travellers risked abuse by police with overly broad powers to combat drug smug gling. When the government finally got serious about cleaning up police corruption in the late 1980's the problems diminished and the caving b egan. Fir s t into the area was Joel King a San Antonio caver wh o had gone to school with Homero Amezcua of Cd. Acuna Homero told him of a pit on his Rancho Seco an hour s drive west of town SUtano de Amezcua turned out to be a significant find (see Tex as Caver issue Dec l993). It was a 65 meter pit at the bottom of a large sink, with several hundred meter s of s tream passage at the bottom. In thi s stream were found a new type of blind catfish. With two other troglobitic catfish known from far ther so uth in Coahuila, this suggested the possibility s--6.-."'-t::lil of an ex ten s ive karst aquifer sys tem. After the explo Entrance 10 Po::.o D e Ln P en(/ r atio n and mapping of this cave we learned of and -SIIs i e L c..;;l s .. ko ga ined access to other promi s ing ranches farther west in Coahuila CAVING IN NORTHERN COAHUILA b y Pete r prous e I want t o state right u p front tha t it"s R o n Ralph"s faull that l"ve spent so muc h tim e out in the barre n d esert o f n o rth ern Coa huil a o f l a t e. W h e n h e dec lar ed his int e nt t o hl1ld the 1 994 SS Co nventio n in T exas I knew the only wa y l"d avoid thl' po liti cal pitfalls would be t o vo lunt ee r In November 1993 Jody Horton Su s ie Lasko and I met in Acuna with th e owner of Rancho Corrales which is locat e d on the n o rthern e dge of the Sierra del Burro southwest of Chupadero del Caballo. The owner's so n was driving out to the ranch on a cattle-hauling run and would guide us there. We h ea d e d out th e western road past Rancho Seco for seve r a l m o r e hours. W e were impre sse d with the distances involve d in ge ttin g to th ese remote ranches Finally we r ea ched R a nch o Corrales, ne stle d in a cove in the foothills We had b ee n warned that th e pit we were to visit had been u se d a s a tra s h dump for the pa s t eight years A couple of bolts go t u s down th e 22-meter s haft to the inevitable trash m o und I sc roun ged a round for a f ew bug s we finished the s ur vey a nd go t out of th e r e Th ey called thi s A bra del Pa s tor for s uppo sedly a s h e ph erd fell to his death there years ago. The r a n c h e r ass ur ed u s th a t there were man y more caves o n his o th e r r an c h hig her in the mount ains called El Nevado but thi s was jus t a week e nd trip for u s and we hadn t antici58 Jun e 1 99 5 The Texa s Caver


pated getting so far out into the desert, so we had to turn back. Jody Horton In Abra Del Pastor -Peter Sprouse A WORLD OF MUD In January 1995 I set off for the desert again, this time with Pat Geery and Robert Crowder riding with me in the Trooper. It was pouring rain the night we passed through Acuna, so we decided to grab a hotel room for the night and drive the road out in the morning. Past the end of the pave ment the normally dusty road turned to mud. Endless mud negotiated in four-wheel drifts. I was glad to have the wide mud grips on. Our worst problem was visibility, as the tires threw a constant r ai n of mud onto the windshield. The wash er water soon expired and the wipers couldn't handle the load To stick your head out the window meant a facefull. So at time s all we could do is drive blind, letting the ruts carry u s along like a train It was an interesting experience. After a time we came across a mired pickup hauling a cat tle trailer. It turned out to be our rancher s son, so we offered to try to pull them out. They discus se d my jeepecito dubi o u sly amongst themselve s, and having nothing to lose said s ure I managed to get around them and lined up to pull them backwards. With everyone pu s hing we crept along in s low motion until they were free. At Rancho Corrales the ranch-hands s howed u s the road up into the mountains and left us to find the way with a few verbal directions It was an interesting drive in fog so thick that we couldn t see the landscape we were driving through It lifted a bit when we topped out on a mesa 400 meters above the plain. There we found the Rancho el Nevado ranch-hand Benito waiting for us. He lived with hi s family in a quiet valley at the base of the impre ss ive Cerro el Nevado, an igneous intrusion poking up through the s ur rounding limestone He offered to take us over to the adjoin ing ranch where his brother worked to s tay in an old travel trailer for the night. As it was still cold and rainy we accept ed. Also called El Nevado this ranch had a few more vaque ros around as well as a captive black bear The next day Benito s brother took us on a hike down a canyon to the northwest of Cerro el Nevado We were shown a number of good-looking entrances in the canyon walls some of which would require vertical work to reach We did check two caves at the base of the cliffs Cueva Numero Trece was tectonic in nature with the roof soaring high up to a skylight. Cueva del Molcajete was a short formation cave that had been inhabited as evidenced by a bedrock molcajete and smoky ceiling. Nice little caves but not really what we were looking for. Benito recalled having found a spo t on the me sa where a strong wind blew out of the ground, but couldn t remember exactly where it was. We encouraged him to try, so we set about combing the hillsides north of El Nevado. It took awhile but eventually he found it when he noticed a soto l whipped by the breeze. As we approached we could hear the wind emitting from the earth. No opening was visible, but after removing a joshua tree we could see cracks around a boulder. Even Benito became excited as we cleared loose rocks and dirt down to bedrock. What we found was a hole about 15 em in diameter which seemed to go horizont a lly into the hillside. The wind was too strong to look into it with unprotected eyes, and glasses immediately fogged Obviously some major bedrock removal would be required to get into thi s cave We headed down the mountain to meet the rancher, who wanted to show us some entrances in Canon el Caballo at the base of the range. We followed his truck through the foggy canyon, where so me of the leads he showed u s were s hroud ed in mist. We hiked up to one cave that we mapped Cueva el Retiro. It went into a s hort crawlway with a false floor of deep dust. The road back to Acuna was a bit better though still quite muddy. The windshield of the Trooper retained many scratches from the mud-wiping epi s ode. EXCAVATION Since my goal at this point wa s to gather lead s for the preconvention field camp we se t out on one more trip to try to open up the blowing hole Seven of u s left town the evening of 17 February 1994 in David McKenzie's Suburban "Simba": David Robert Crowder Pat Geery Jody Horton Mark Blaze Paul Reavely and me. We sto pped to see the rancher in Acuna then drove the re s t of the way on to Rancho el Nevado. Arrived at the gate at 5:30 a.m and set The Texas Caver June 1995 59


up t e nt s for a bit of s l eep. We aro s e a t 9:00 a nd gathe red up too l s for o ur d i g B e nit o a rr i vcd a n d t ook the fir s t wave down t o o ur blow ing h o l e l ead. P a t un cov ered a h o l e I .5 meter s up s l ope fro m the blowh o l e tha t cam e clo se t o connectin g, so we se t the fir s t two-stick c h a rge the re. It a t first see m e d t o be ineffective, but it h a d blown a s m all connectio n int o the cave. With som e enla rgem e nt we the n jamme d t wo m o re sticks int o it, enla r ging it some. By the n lh e roof was frac tur e d s u c h tha t p e r s i s t e nt h am m e rin g gaine d u s a n e nlr a nce t o a c rawl way. The n ex t sever a l c har ges l ook out bit s o f false n oor, g i ving s t e ad y N"ll\'lb.!ii1. .. progress Robert J o d y, a nd Mark did the seve nth .. i.-, bla s l lhat evenin g and Da vid M c K e n z i e in Blowh o l e c am e ba c k re p orl i n g thai a n easily digabl e floor. Although the wind was in stasis at th e time, it began t o pick up e n o ugh to t ell we had the way o n But it was time to go, s o we s ta s hed some ____ s upplie s and left it for the next trip We bathed a t Pil a e l Nevado and headed down the moun tain a nd on into Acufia. We dined at Crosby' s, a nd reached Austin about 1:00 a.m CONVENTION CAMP For the pre-convention field camp I had regis tered as many people as wanted to go, which fortuitously was about the number I thought we could handle Signed up were Don Bittle Kay Bittle, Teaka Dearing, Judy Fisher, John Fogarty Paul Fowler, Andrea Futrell, Mike Futrell Diana Gietl Peter Grant, Pete Hollings, Jody Horton Jack Kehoe, Paul Mozal, Ray Nance, Marion Smith, Steve Smith, Steve Taylor, Marc Tremblay, Brian Watkins, and myself. We rendezvou se d the weekend before P e t e r Sprouse the convention at Fort Clark Springs and left a few ex traneou s vehicles there before setting out the next day The trip out the desert road was pretty mu c h trouble free aside from one flat tire and a point s adjustment in my Power Wagon bu s, which was making its first Mexico trip in 17 years. We se t camp next to a large steel water tank which would supply us with plenty of water for the week. the re was a l o l m o re w ork t o d o What followed was a flurry of activity, with cavers rang-The n ex l da y w e d ecide d t o l eave the di g for awhil e a nd in g widely over the area hunting and exploring caves. dri ve o ff 1 0 the so uthw es t t o l oo k f o r t wo c av es that B e nito's Unfortunately I wasn't involved with much of it since I fri e nd Ric ard o had t o ld him o f o n R a n c h o e l Dos. came clown with a my s teriou s illness that afflicted me until Unfonuna l e l y Ric ard o could n o t b e l ocate d but w e d ec id e d after the convention. It turned out to be an obscure cave dislogo anyway. The dri ve was about 22 windin g mil es to the ease called relapsing fever so ulh wesl. and l oo k lhree h o ur s W e were the n caused by a tick bite I'd al the base o f a hig h anli c lin a l rid ge, a t the ba se received the week before in o f whic h w a s s upp ose d 1 0 b e anothe r blowin g an Austin cave. h ole. A lso nearb y was re p o n e d t o b e a pit int o Down in the blowhole, there whic h rocks f ell a l o n g ways. W e s plit int o t wo were several more digging leam s 1 0 ridgewalk bul f aile d t o find e ith e r trip s th a t extended the cave to e nlran ce. T h e area did l ook goo d. so we vo w e d about 35 meters in length At l o re lllrn w ilh I h e proper g uide. On lh e way back that point it was sloping w e c he c k e d in wilh a f ellow nam e d Cosm e a t clown s till blowing, with jido Marian o Esco b e d o. Go1 ba c k 1 0 camp w ell 1 ', '\ rock s blocking the way. alkr dark A new pit called Pozo de Ia The f ollowing da y Pat and I wenl int o the Escalera Crista! was found craw l a nd m oved lar ge a m o unt s of mat e rial o ut. between camp and El Nevado Then I m oved up l o sc i the e i g hth c har ge. The that went down three drops low b edding plane conlinu e d ah e ad. w hil e a t with several well-decorated m o re p romising s l oping b edrock s l o t d rop p e d .. chambers containing numerd ow n inlo a n o p e n lower level. B olh were t ak "' ou s paleontological remain s i n g air A s mall crac k in lh e ce ilin g o n the rig ht Don Bittl e and Steve T ay lor was pcrfc c l for a z ipl oc k stuff. I jamm ed fo ur hav e written goo d accounts of slic k s w o rlh inl o il and il worked spcc l acular l y thi s cave in th e summer 1994 Mark wcnl in and c rawl e d rig ht thr o u g h F ifleen issu e of th e Crawlway J a c k K e h oe in d e I a Esca l e ra C ri s t a / lllCie r s of ope n crawl led I O a low bellycraw l with -Marc Tr emblay Courier, newsl etter of the 60 Jun e 1 995 The Texa s Caver


Little Egypt Grotto This cave is 200 meters long and 64 meters deep Mike and Jack led a number of trips down to Cafion el Caballo at the base of the mountain where quite a few caves were explored. None were of much extent. The rancher did show up to take Mike and crew up onto a ridge east of there to a nice pit called Pozo de Columpio. This went down a series of drops to a depth of 62 meters. Several caves were mapped in the canyons west of El Nevado as well. At the end of the week we packed up camp and headed back toward Acufia. Not far from town our car avan of vehicles passed a strange-looking naked man by the roadside. A minute later Jody's truck came to a screeching halt with a locked-up rear end. With only an hour or two of work he had it back together again. Did the odd-looking brujo back up the road cast a ing into a huge borehole I couldn t quite reach. Soon we were down, and exploring through the new borehole. This was big pa ssage 20-30 meters in diameter and 100 meters long. Big breakdown blocks were nearly buried in deep dust into which we sank up to our thighs. This place was very dry drier than the desert above, s inking the rancher's hopes of a new water source. A few mummified buzzards seemed to emphasize this point. Rather than take the long rough road back to Acuna we decided to exit Mexico at La Linda and drive the highway s back to Del Rio a longer but better route Since the r a ncher's brother appeared to be having a heart attack, this see med the prud e nt thing to do. There are s till many thing s to do in the northern desert and Terry Sayther is down there doing some of them as I write these words. I'm s ure that after a few trips of tropical rain I'll be ready to venture out the du s ty roads once again. CAVE DESCRIPTIONS POZO SIN OSO Rancho e l Nevado, Coahuila Depth : 12 met ers UTM coordinates: E 790 ,625 N 3,239,6 70 Thi s pit is lo cated 1 800 met e r s north of Ceno el Nevado at an elevation of 1158 meters. It i s a small bedrock pit on the north s ide of a drainage It is a blind pit about 12 m e ters deep. Pozo Sin Osos was loc a ted in January 1994 a nd explored in Jun e 1994 CUEVA DE LAS AVISPAS El Nevado Coahuila Length: 9 m e ters Depth: 3.0 meters curse on us? This theory gained credence later when we reached the convention site and heard the Bittle's tale Don, who was at the head of the caravan, had soon tired of waiting for Jody's truck to be repaired. After picking up a cow skull from the roadside they went on across the border. Halfway to Brackettville a scorpion crawled out of the skull and stung Kay on the finger. They spent the next day or so running back and forth to the doctor. FARTHER INTO THE Marion 0. Smith soecond pitch in Pozo De Columpio -Mik e Futrell UTM coordinates : E 783 150 N 3,238 740 DESERT I still had a number of leads left to follow up after the dust of the NSS convention settled. One of these was from a Del Rio school principal who had called up the convention com mittee to see if we would come explore his pit in northwest Coahuila. We made arrangements to do that in January 1995 and Pat Geery Jody Horton Susie Las ko and met the ranch er in Del Rio. We rode out to the ranch in his pickup and it was a very long trip across the de se rt. Rancho Ia Pir mide was a lot farther out the desert road than we had be e n and we aJTived very late that night. The next day we all hiked up a nearby ridge to the pit. It was a very nice entrance indeed. Smooth bedrock s loped into a pit that see med reasonably deep. Although broken by a rebelay at a ledge halfway down it was really a 61 meter drop. I didn t quite get to the bottom before running out of rope, so I s pent half an hour or so waiting for more and star-This cave i s s ituated on the east sid e of Canon el Bloqu e 7500 meter s west-northwest of Cerro e l N eva do at an elevation of I 040 m e ter s It is in a so uth -faci ng cliff. The entrance i s 1.5 meter s high and I m e ter wide narrowing to a low c rawl. It gets too low in a tlowstone pinch It was explored by John Fogarty and Ra y Nance in Jun e 1994 CUEVAS CON YIST AS El N evado, Coahuila UTM coo rdinat es : 784 755 N 3 237,100 Thi s i s a cluster of five caves o n th e eas t side of Canon Botella, 6000 m e t ers west of Cerro el Nevado They are in the canyon wall 40 met ers up a s lop e at I 135 meter s e l evat ion a nd h ave the ap pe arance of cliff dwellings. Two of th ese go throu g h a rock outcrop. The se caves were ex plored and m ap ped in June 1994 by John Fogarty and Ray Nance. CUEVA DE CACA DE RA TONES E l Nevado Coahuila The Texas Caver June 1995 61


Length : 40 m e t e r s Depth : 3 me t e r s UTM coordin a t es: E 2 1 0 525 N 3,24 1 ,690 c ave i s l oca t ed abou t 6200 m e t e r n o rth east of Cerr o e l cv ado a l o n g the ea s t s ide of Canon e l Caballo. The e ntr ance i s a t I 000 meters e l evatio n a nd l ead s int o a h orizo nt a l p assage whic h g radu ally diminishe s until it becomes too tig ht. T h e floo r i s cover e d w ith fine du s t a nd r a t fece s It was explo r e d by J o hn F oga rt y, Steve Sm ith

e nding. It w as e x plored in Jun e 1 994 b y And rea Fu trell, Mik e Futr ell, Di a n a G ietl, J ac k K e h oe a nd M a r c Trembl ay C U EV A DE CIENTO AVISPAS E l Neva d a, Coahuil a L e n gth: 23 m e t e r s D e pth : 5 m e t e r s U TM co ordin a t es : E 2 1 2 645 N 3,2 4 8 64 0 Cu eva d e Ci e nt o A v i s pa s i s loca t e d 460 0 m e t e r s so uth o f R a n c h o Co rr a l es a t 89 0 m e t e r s e l evation It i s in the wes t cliff wall o f C a n o n e l C a b allo. It has a wid e s h elte r-lik e e ntr a n ce tha t n arrows t o a pin c h in the back S o m e arc h eo r e m ains as well as l oo t e r's pit s we r e n o ted b y explo r e r s Andr ea and Mik e Futr ell. POZO DE COLUMPIO El Nevada, C oa huil a Len g th : I 00 m e t e r s D e pth : 6 2 met e r s UTM co ordin a t es: E 214 440 N 3 2 44 700 P ozo de Columpi o i s loca t e d 9 8 00 m e t e r s n o rth eas t of Ce rr o e l Viejo a t 990 m e t e r s elevati o n It c on s i s t s of a numb e r o f ro p e drop s and climbs. Th e entr a n c e i s a 7-m e t e r climbd o wn f ollowe d by a s l o p e t o a 6 m e t e r pit c h A s hort climb th e n l ea d s t o a 17-m e t e r drop A 3 -m e ter drop l ea d s d o wn t o a rift that i s t oo nar row t o pur s u e Thi s c ave w as ex plor e d o n 16 Jun e by the Futr ells Dia n a Gietl, J ack K e ho e M a ri o n Smith and M a r c Tre mbl ay. CU E VA DE LA SORPRES A El N evada, C oa huila L e n gth: 75 m e t e r s D e pth : 9 m e t e r s U TM coo rdin a t es : E 7 8 4 ,79 0 N Thi s cave i s l oca ted 5 9 00 met e r s w est-s outh wes t o f Ce rr o e l Neva d a. It i s o n th e eas t side o f C a n o n B o t e lla a t I I I 0 m e t e r s e l e vation. The c av e has severa l Y -jun ctio n s whic h all pin ch. It was m a pp e d on 15 June 1 99 4 by M a rion Smith and P e t e r Sp ro u se. CUE VA WYSIWYG E l N evada, C oa huil a L e n gth: 15 m e t e r s D e pth : II m e t e r s U TM coo rdin a t es: E 7 8 3 ,105 N 3,238 7 4 0 C u eva WYSIWYG i s loca t e d o n th e eas t side of Ca n o n e l Blo qu e tha t i s covere d in dee p d u st. P ozo d e I a P e n a was exp l o r e d o n 1 4 J anuary 1 995 by P a t G ee r y J ody H orto n S u s i e Las k o. and P e t e r S p ro u se. POZO DE COLUMPIO MUNICIPIO DE ACUNA I COAHUILA I MEXICO 0 -10-20c 30-SURVEYED 161 1994 A. FUTRELL M. FUTRELL D. GIETL J. KEHOE M. SMITH M. TREMBLAY Pl7 7500 m e t e r s w es t-n o rthw es t of Cerr o e l N eva d a. It i s a t the b ase o f 40t h e c lif f wall a t I 040 m e t e r s e l e v atio n Ju s t inside the e n tra n ce o n the left wall a r e so m e pic t ogra phs. B eyond the cave e xt ends up a c limb t o a blind dom e pit. It w as e xpl o r e d o n 1 5 Jun e 1 994 by Mario n Smith and P e t e r Sp ro u se POZO DELA PENA Ran c h o I a Pir a mid e C oa huil a Len gth: 200 m ete r s D e pth : 83 m e t e r s U T M coo rdin a t es: E 7 46 895 N 3 2 7 9 380 Thi s pit i s l oca t e d 3500 m e t e r s n o rth eas t o f R a n c h o I a Pi r a m ide a t 885 m e t e r s e l evatio n It i s n ea r the t o p of a rid ge. A b e dr oc k sink s l opes int o a pit 5 b y I 0 m e t e r s across. A b out 5 m e t e r s d ow n i s a maj or l e d ge but rigging o n the n o rth side avoids tha t for a 27 -m e t e r drop. This l a nd s a t the b ase o f a s l o p e w h e r e the s haft co ntinu es dow n for a n other 34 m e t e rs. Thi s pit c h ends a t the t o p of a t alus s l ope l ea din g d ow n int o a l a r ge b o r e h o l e This passage i s 20-30 met ers in dia m e t e r a nd I 00 m e t e r s l o n g It i s floo r e d in br eakdow n Th e Te x a s C av er June 1995 50-I I AIR 62I TT 6 3 MF


0\ ....... c \0 \0 Ul ...., ::::; (1) :>< $:1) (/) n (1) ...., @ l$l5t\ Mexico, Coahuila Legend nb Natural Bridge v"' Zero Datum A Column A Stalagmite V Stalactite T Soda Straws Coraloids ? Unknown 4:: Slope QPit Change in Floor \.. Elevat i on ., Chanf.!e in Ceihng He i ght ""' Breakdown Is Too Small Notes I Human remains Clam shell Deer skeleton Snake skeleton Baar skull Cougar/Jaguar bones i Unidentified skull Small cat bones Caver's lights visible through openings 381t/11.6m Rappel To Middle Level Cave is In Cretaceous limestone at or near the junction of the Salmon Peak Fonnation and the Devils River Formation. Nm June 1994 Nearby intrusive dykes are of tertiary ori9in and are composed of Igneous rocks. Feet f ""l"l I 4f I \ II II I I Meters o 10 Scale 381t/11.6m Rappel 82fV25m ---r Rappel Surveyed 14 & 16 June 1994 Don Bittle Peter Grant Paul Mozal Ray Nance Manon Smi th Steve Tavtor Brian Watkins Total Length of Survey 657ft/200 4m Total Depth 211ft/64 3m Map by Steve TaylorDec 1994 Scale: -40 -20 -80 -120 -40 -160 -60 -200


I Nm 0 10 15 20 2 4 METER S The Texas Caver t ootight 7 ,, CUEVA CACA DE RATONES EL NEVADO COAHUILA Suunlos and tape survey 14 June 1994 John Fogarty Paul Fowler, Sieve Smith Drafted by Peter Sprouse Length : 40 meters Depth: 3 meters PROFILE : 350" VIEW P22 PLAN 10 METERS ABRA DEL PASTOR RANCHO CORRALES COAHUILA Suunlos and lape survey 6 November 1993 Jody Horton Susie Lasko, Peler Sprouse Drafted by Peler Sprouse Length : 30 meters Deplh : 24 meters Nm ,, .,, .. I I TRA S H 1 _: o -_,'. June 1995 PLAN 65


a a-'c:: ::l (1> \0 \0 Ul ...., ::r (;3 >< Q:> Cll n Q:> < ""'! _.., C) a 0 0 . .......,.... . . o -v. 1 o : 1 (________-/ 0 _j . . 1 --.:.. ;,..-->-'-------:..:0 0 5 10 .. -:------"" 0

The Inquisition By Joe Ivy This is a column devoted entirely to gear review testing and abuse What s the point? To find out which pieces of equipment are worth a **** and which ones aren't. Obviously there is a lot of subjectivity and Opinion, but it should still help out with your gear purchasing decisions. If you would like to see a particular piece of gear tested write to: The Inquisition 4019 Ramsgate San Antonio, TX 78230-1629 Also, if you feel that I am way out of line with a particu lar review write a rebuttal and we'll publish it in this col umn. The BMS Microrack The BMS Microrack is manufactured by a New Jersey caver (I know I know get a rope!) at the Bassett Metal Studios The first production models came off the line in the summer of '94 and I came across them at the NCRC National Seminar in Virginia of the same year. The Microrack is a I 00% stainless steel U-rack with four stain less steel brake bars. The top bar is a "J-bar" that extends out from the frame of the rack and has a stainless roll pin in the end to keep the rope on the J-bar. Unlike the traditional SMC racks, the open end of the rack is the top where two self locking nuts hold the whole thing together and you clip in to the bottom end of the "U". This is becoming a more common design but it sure made me a little nervous at first. However the manufacturer showed me certified test results where the se lf locking nuts stripped off the rack at over 14, 000 pounds ( ') so I stopped worrying U s ing the Microrack is like a dream come true It is 1/3 the bulk and size of a standard rack, goes on and off the rope much more efficiently and is just as versatile as the old rack. Most of the time you can rappel with the four brake bars g iving plenty of friction If you need more friction you sim ply put the rope up and over the J-bar and you have all the friction you could possibly need. If the four bars are too much, such as when you are using really old and dirty 7 /16" I .. I I Rappel M od e Extra Frictio n L o cked Off rope you use only the top two bars with the J-bar wrap and you have about the same control you get with a Figure 8 Obviously you would only us e the two-bar configuration on a short nuisance drop of I 0 meters or less The only question that still remains about the Microrack i s how it would do on a really big pit like Sotano de La s Golondrinas (335 meters). To date the longest drop that the Microrack has been u se d on is a I 05 meter deep pit in Pozo de Montemayor and it worked great there The other complaint I've run into is that you can t do a pull-down rappel with the Microrack. This is only true if you are referring to the old double-rope type of pulldown, since the Microrack is only wide enough for one rope. However if you rig the pulldown in a slightly different way (see illustra tion) you only need to run one half of the rope through the rack. I've found this to be a more convenient way to rig pull downs anyway, regardless of which rappel device 1 use. Locking off the Micrcorack is also much more easily accomplished than with the old-style racks. All you do is put the rope over the J-bar then bring it back down and pas s a bite of rope through the bottom of the rack from front to back pull it up and hook it off the J-bar with the rest of the rope. What's nice about this lockoff is that you can do it eas ily and quickly with only one hand and it is much more secure than an old style rack All in all, the BMS Microrack is truly a new and wonder ful innovation even if it is made in New Jersey. It is small, compact and easy to use It is also very durable Between the Montemayor trip in November of '94 and the Cheve epedi tion this Spring, I put at least 1700 meters (more than a mile) through the thing and it s just now getling signifigant grooves in the two top bars. The bottom two are still fine The Microrack's suggested retail price is $55.00about the same as an SMC rack with aluminum brake b a rs Currently, the only vendor carrying the Microrack in Texas is Gonzo Guano Gear in San Antonio. I think that the Microrack is the wave of the future since caving gear in general is moving towards the lighter stronger more compact end of the scale. Once you use one, you won't want to use your clunky old style rack again. Catch the wave! !( r I I I""} I /'ll t r 6oU'-fi ""'' Eur osty l c Pulldown Higging The Texas Caver June 1995 67


DTIM PROFILE William Russell By Tim S tit c h Bill Russell was born in H o u s t o n and g rew up in Tul sa Ok l a homa and Bryan, T exas, a lth o u g h h e considers the fact h e was born in Texas the m ore imp o rt a nt feature of his child h ood. Bill's father was a geol ogis t and thu s ex po se d him to the disc iplin e a nd s h owed him it's allure Bill maj o red in phy s i cal geog r ap h y at UT. While in sc h oo l he was very int e rested in caving a nd eve n m o r e so in l a unching rockets. The UT Rocket C lub built so lid fuel rockets a nd go t to l aunc h them at a military t es t g r o und on the coast. These we r e a far cry fro m the kind you ca n buy a t a h ob by s tor e, a nd so m e of the m r e ached 30,000 feet in altitude! But the ro c ket professionals c ame in, a nd the c lub c han ge d and Bill m ore o r l ess turn ed t o caving as his main hobby Bill ha s be e n int e n se l y int eres ted for so m e time in m aking archives o f cave map s and cave descriptions Over th e years h e ha s collec ted cave data inc ludin g map s of several hundred caves in Travis co unt y alone At his h o m e h e ha s a chalk board w ith the nam es of his c urr ent cave dig l eads and the man h o ur s that h ave been spent o n the m t o d a te Many of Bill's digge r h elpe r s arc r ec ruit ed UT Grotto m e mb e r s who are n e w t o caving and are f ull of e nthu s ia s m Bill teache s his digge r s man y skills n o t the l eas t of which a r e s urv ey ing and mappin g tec hniqu es Bill also works o n the record s of the T ex as p e l co l og i ca l S ur vey with Jam es R ede ll. This l a r ge depo s itor y of cave maps data. and descriptions i s what mad e the NSS co n ve nti o n g uid e book p oss ibl e a nd ha s r eco rd s of T ex as c av es going ba c k t o before the 1930's. Bill was also in o n the early clays of Mexico explo rati o n and c ontinu e s t o v i sit the r e in his so mewh a t abused s ilv e r Toyota 4Runn c r Odd l y e n o u gh. o n e of his first Mexico trip s was with a professor who was s tud ying mit es o n birds who n es t ed n c ar c a ve e ntran ces. Bill. lik e o ther cave rs, v i s ited and spread the word ab out caves in the Bu s tam a nt e a r ea lik e Palmit o and C arri z al. In thos e da ys mo s t people took the tr ain to the s tati o n in Bustamante ins tead of all driving t ogether. The u s ual cave vehic l e wa s w hatever yo u had. o m e of these passenger vehic le s couldn't quite mak e it all the wa y to wh re the c ave s where Bill r e m e mb ers t a kin g his C h evy Corvair t o Huatla ba c k when th e r oad was just built. so m thin g yo u w o uldn't clar e do today' Bill's first wild c. l\ e experie n ce was in a T e nn essee cave n amed G lover's Cave wher e fla s hli g ht s were the only gear for yo un g c ave explorers. Land own e r s of th a t day were happy to let anyone explore their caves; the legal atmosphere of the time being accommodating. Bill says that even the Austin White Lime Company at one time had a cave open to the public. Relationships between businesses, landowners, and the public were very good. Things have changed since then but Bill continues to practice the quiet diplomacy and non-political bargaining that has saved many Austin caves from being paved over or filled in by develop ers who weren't as sensitive to the need to preserve caves. Sometimes thi s wa s accomplished by merely pointing out that caves were on a developer's property. Goat Cave pre serve in South Austin was set aside by the developer as a park when Bill and others simply showed him the caves. Bill also publishes professional quality karst studies and cat alogs as many caves as he and his volunteer diggers can detect. There is even a project under way to dig into the cave benea th Bowie High School in Austin that has involved many student volunteers and donated construction equipment. For a time Bill was furiously trying to play catch -up cataloging the endangered caves but those years of effort have put him on a better footing. The environmental movement of late has charged the atmosphere of conserva tion efforts and great feelings of distrust have appeared between land developers in Travis County and cave conser vationists That's unfortunate, says Bill because the actual amount of effort it takes to set aside a half of an acre or so for cave preserve s and a building a gate or grating on the cave entrance most developers have found to be a minor cost consideration. It's more the idea that you have to deal with the issu e at all and the accompanying media tlak that makes dev e loper s wary. Regardless of what others will do in the n a m e of cave conservation, no doubt Bill Russell will quiet ly go on finding and negotiating the preservation of caves b e hind the sce nes. There are many inter es tin g p eo pl e in th e c aving communi ty that you ma y or may not have met. This pro fil e co lumn w ill introdu ce yo u to some of these folks who have been around a while and yo u ma y have so mething in co llmwn w ith wh ethe r it be caving r e lat e d or not This i s the first of hopefull y a lon g series of profiles. 68 Jun e 1 995 The Texas Caver


The Coordinator's Corner By Joe Ivy As Texas Regional Coordinator of the National Cave Rescue Commision, my job description includes the facilita tion of cave rescue training and dissemination of cave rescue related information. The Coordinator's Comer is one way that I will try to accomplish these goals Last time, we covered some problems that exist With the Texas Cave Rescue Organization and some of the consider ations that go With calling 91 1. We also talked about the necessity of cavers knowing self rescue techniques. I had hoped to start in on the selfrescue mater ial this time but there is a little more information that needs to be out there, as well as some updates on the 911 scene in central Texas First, let s cover the Good Samaritan Law. Most states have what is genericallv called a Good Samaritan Law which is designed to protect rescuers from prosecution. In Texas our Good Samaritan Law has the "Reasonable Man clause that puts a caveat on the law. You are only protected if you do not exeed you level of training and competency For example, let's say that you're caving in Travis county (near Austin) with a group of new grotto members and one of them falls and is injured. The injured caver is complain ing of various aches and pains including back and neck pain but otherwise, they feel okay and none of the pains are excruciatingly debilitating. You decide that they are okay to exit under their own power with assistance since they have no obvious injuries ("obvious means bones protruding from the skin and such). However, after exiting the cave, they stumble on the way back to the vehicles and go into seizure This is a horrifying thing to see so you call 911 as soon as you can. The modulance anives and takes the injured caver to the hospital where it is discovered that there was substan tial c-spine and t-spine damage caused by the fall ( c-spine or cervical spine refers to your neck and "t-spine or "tho racic spine" refers to your spine approximately even with your chest). This would have been fine if they had then been placed in a spinal immobilization unit like the OSS or KED before being allowed to move. But you had them get up and this allowed much more profound damage to occur such that they are now paralyzed from the chest down. If the family or the injured caver sues you their lawyer will ask you in court what training you have that would enable you to decide whether or not a person injured in a fall is okay. Are you a paramedic ? Are you an EMT? Were you a paramedic/EMT/doctor at some point in the past? If the a nswer is no, you exceeded the limits of your training and you will be paying that lawyer and that family for a long long time. The fact that you might have years of caving e xperience does not mean a thing The fact that you were a well intentioned good samaritan does not mean anything e ither. Their lawyer will say that you were indeed a wellintentioned good sanmaritan but a REASONABLE MAN would have left the cave and called 911 because in the eyes of the law, that is the best thing to do. The injured caver was in no imminent danger and therefore could have waited there until trained competent help arrived on the scene Now, if the cave had started to flood from a sudden cloud burst outside, you would have been protected because the injured caver would have definitely died if they had remained in the cave any longer. Otherwise, you are in seri ous trouble What's the upshot of all this scary doom-and-gloom infor mation? Well it is so that YOU as a caver in our modem day. litigous society are aware of the possible consequences of attempting a self-rescue without any training. I have been involved with the NCRC fo r several years am currently an active instructor as well as the Texas Region Coordinator and in the scenario described above I would not have moved that injured caverand I know how to put a spine splint on a patient with possible spine injuries! Instead I would have called the folks I know in the Austin FD/EMS that are trained in cave rescue and let them handle it and assisted them in any way I could. Why? Because I am not a doctor or paramedic. In a wilderness setting (west Texas caving or Mexico), I wouldn t hesitate to use my training to deal with the described scenario though. I would have put the injured caver in a spine splint and gotten them to the nearest hospi tal as quickly as possible. The point is, if there are 911 ser vices available where you are caving and someone gets injured during a caving trip you should err on the conserva tive side and call 911 to protect both yourself and the injured person Obviously, I'm not advocating calling 911 when someone slips and gets a boo-boo on their wittle knee. But if someone falls and has any sort of back/neck pain or breaks a major bone (like the femur) you should call 91 I And what about those folks trained in cave rescue in the Austin Fire Department/EMS? This is part of the 911 scene update I mentioned earlier. Currently, the City of Austin has no formal SOP's (standard operating procedures) concerning cave rescue. However, Austin Fire Department /EMS has been told to come up with some The result is that an NCRC-trained fireman has been assigned the job of coming up with the SOP s for the AFD Now, some folks say that the agency folk s can't cope with caving or cave rescue but thi s particular fireman went with me to the Cheve Project this spring and helped rig the cave to the -650 meter level. Many of the agency folk s who take NCRC courses don t like caving much but there always seem to be a few that get bitten by that caving bug and start caving with us here and in Mexico Anyway, w e will be working to create a situation in Austin similar to the one we The Texas Caver June 1995 69


h ave in Sa n A nt onio; tha t i s, t o de ve l o p a wo rkin g re l at i o n w ith the f o l k s w h o h ave legal juri s di ctio n over cave res c u e Thi s way NC R C-trai n e d cave r s can ass i s t o r be ass i s t e d in a n y cave resc u es tha t occ ur. Plan s a r e a l so und e r way for the same a rr a n ge m e nt in H ays a nd Coma] counti es. To faci lit a t e resc u e tr a inin g f o r b oth agency folk s and c ave r s alike, we w ill b e o ff e rin g a n NC R C Level I & II c o ur s e in San A nt onio thi s f all. As soo n as we h ave solid d a t e s, the s e min a r will b e p os ted in tile TSA Activities New s l etter. T h e cour se w ill s t art o n a Friday m o rnin g and run the e ntir e weeke nd Th e following Frida y th e schedule will be re p ea t e d t o compl e t e the cour se in a t o t a l of six day s I k now tha t it i s t o u g h for mo s t cave r s to ge t that kind of tim e o ff so I will a l so b e cont ac tin g the var i o u s gro tt o c h a irpe o ple ac r oss the s t ate t o o ff e r NC R C Weekend Orientations in eac h g r otto's a r e a if d es ir e d. Both the Level I & II course a nd the W ee k e nd Ori e nt atio n a r e extre m e ly info rm at iv e and have l o t s o f h ands-o n tr a inin g. If a n y of the a f o re -m e ntioned g r o tt o c h a i rpeop l e readin g thi s column want t o go a head and re qu es t a Week e nd Orie nt atio n please feel free t o call m e at 2 1 0 -6991 388 o r send m e a po s t ca rd (prefe r a bl e) t o: Joe I vy T exas Regi o n a l Coordin a t o r 401 9 Rams g ate Sa n Antonio. TX 7 823 0 1 629 A nd I promise that n ex t tim e w e will get into th e m o re inter es tin g and u sefu l se lf r esc u e t y p e s tuff. C a ve Sa f e l y but C av e H ard Trip Reports Caving with Yogi and spacemen b y Alex Smith. O n the 1 2th o f D ece mb e r 1994 I e nt ered L ec hu g uilla Cave, M ex i co. USA f o r a plann e d initi a l duration o f five da ys My t ask was as a n e m p l oyee o f the cave re so urc e office at C arlsbad C a verns National Park t o co-escort with assis tant c ave resour ce spec iali s t Ja so n Ric h a rd s a sc i e ntifi c r se ar c h gro up t o the wes t ern sectio n of the c av e. Thi s g r o up con s i s t ed o f three sc i entists from the National Aero nauti c and Space Ad mini s tr atio n (NASA) t wo Lech ve t e r a n c avcr s. a p h o t og raph e r and a j o urnali s t d oing an a rti c l e for thc mith sonia n Ins titute's periodical. The purpose of the trip was t o furth e r microb i o l og i cal s ampling a nd re trieval t cchniqucs t o b e e mpl oyed o n the p lann e d Mars ex p e dition ( the c rap people com e up w ith t o ge t int o L ech! ). T h e wh y s a n d w h erefores o f m y comin g t o be o n thi s lit til: jaunt arc fo un ded in ci r c umst a nce. c h a n ce. lu c k a nd b eing com plete l y pissed o i l with the-o n se t o f a Briti s h w int er. After lo s in g my job, I g rabbed my final pay cheque and completely out of the proverbi a l blue announced to all asundry I was buggerin g off to th e St a te s -much to the consternation of Struan MacDonald a nd Nick Willi a m s with whom I was lodging with on an alternating ba sis at thi s time pleading povert y a nd pros titution. The United States was a country I ne ve r got to v i s it durin g my seven year sentence in the Royal Na vy, h e nc e Carl s bad Cavern s, the Guadalupe Mountains and Lec huguilla Cave where jus t image s constructed from a rticle s, p e rsonal recollection s and photographs from a rather well known Swi ss be s t se ller. So, w ithout further ado, I cracked out Nick's Rand McNally and all b ac k issue s of th e NSS news he held then u s ing his office, faxed, E-mailed and s p o ke to the world across th e pond notably without a g reat deal of s ucce ss. Vince Simmonds gave me information th a t was of the most valueessentially, who runs the show. Relation s with the park service that had been fostered on the 92 Lake of the White Ro ses dive in Lechuguilla by various BEC members were to ensure an initial rapport with various loc a l cavers and personnel in officialdom. After hitching to Liverpool to change my defunct British p ass port into a Euro techno you can t bend it pink affair and s till with memories of the drunken escapade of chasing pi sse d off boars as big as your house around a shitty field in the fog with Vince and Rich Blake on the night of the W essex dinner s till very vivid I boarded a North Wes tern Airlines DC 10 at G a twick on the morning of the 3rd of Novembe r ( with a g reat deal of h e lp from Stru a n ). Taking great advantage of the copious quantities of free alchohol on offer I a rriv e d in Minneapolis ,Minnesota USA in fine fettle proceeded to the Cheers bar ( via immigration interrogation o n video )a nd continued for the s ix hour wait for the Albuquerque flight. Verging on coma I m ade my gate, my flig ht m y sea t a nd promptly awoke rather the worse for wear with a decidedly dodgy landing in the place that no bastard cans p e l I. After spe nding the night in a fellow passenger's hou se in Sante F e, I s t a rted t o hitch th e two week camel hike to sunny Carlsbad. Five rides and t e n hours later I made it and phoned local g r otto m embe r s from the ubiquitous Lucy's Mexican res t a r a unt bar. R o b Gille s pie a caver presently of no fixed abode collect e d m e and l e nt m e the u se of th e floor of a hou se h e was pre se ntl y decorating. In the morning before R o b ran m e up to the park I encountered m y first Carlsbad s mall town a tti tud e in McDonalds. A local redneck remarked H ell, you s peak priddi e good Engli s h for a for e i g n e r ". I resisted the uncontrollabl e urg e to g rab him by the ea r s a nd throw his face into a rapidl y rising rig ht kn ee. Carl s bad Caverns N at ion a l Park i s a good h alf hour driv e from downtown Carlsbad s ituat e d at the e nd of W a lnut Can yo n The first thin g t o hit you is the aridity a nd thinne ss of th e a ir ; the a ltitud e i s near t o that of s hackin g up on th e top of B e n Nevis. Th e re a r e two sto ne-timb e r hut s on the side of the canyon contr olle d by the cave resource office that a r e int e nded fo r the Cave Resource Foundation Lechuguilla Exp l o r atio n a nd Resear c h Network ( LEARN ), a nd priv ate 70 Jun e 1 995 The Texa s Caver


parties such as NASA caving within the jurisdiction of the park service. It was here that I had my first stroke of luck. I was introduced to Michael Queen eminent and nationally respected professor of cave geology and two other northern cavers, Ken Davis and Chuck Porter. They were about to head for the wild caves of the Lincoln National Forest in the higher Guadalupe mountains some sixty miles away and they invited me along. What followed was a week courtesy of Ransom Turner, National Forestry Officer guiding us to the wild country caves, issuing the permits and providing ropes Hell Below, Pink Dragon Cottonwood and Chimney ( CCNP ) caves ensued and were all, bar Chimney twelve hour trips predominantly vertical with pitches averaging around 200 feet. It was in Chimney cave that I confirmed a Petzl Stop does exactly that and will not move on dirty llmm PMI rope, the all American favourite ( actually 11. lmm) so I had to resort to borrowing a rack. On returning to the park I was introduced to Dale Pate, Cave Resource Specialist and his assistant Jason Richards as well as Ranger Lance Mattson a caver my age from Wyoming who was to be my house mate for the next three months. Mike Queen recommended me as a volunteer worker for cave resource management to Dale. This proposal was mulled over the weekend by Dale who agreed to employ me commencing that Monday After a week on $5 a day work ing directly for the Park, Dale decided to hire me for the duration of my stay in the U S using the Student Conservation Assistant scheme to pay my wages, subsis tance and contribute to flight expenses! This essentially ren dered me a federal employee for the Park Service In the weeks that were to follow I fully intergrated with the com munity that lives on the hill. There are around 25 rangers who actually live in quarters and probably around another seve nty personnel who live in Carlsbad. They accepted me and made me feel very welcome taking me into their homes taking me out, inviting me to various functions and stuffing m e with turkey on Thanksgiving. My duties working for Dale and Jason were wide and varied but included surveying in Carlsbad caverns, processing raw Lechuguilla survey and mineral inventory data coin retrieval from trail pools rope c utting and labelling visitor interpretation and demonstra tions, tackle store managementand caving! I also accompa nied two Texan cavers Jim Werker and Val Hildreth with Dale and Jason on numerou s weekends to establish photo mon i toring points throughout Carlsbad Cavern ; this is a r eso urce management attempt to finally study the rate of impact on specific areas in the cave by guided tours and cave r s engaging in survey, re-survey restoration and inven tory. The mo st memorable trip in Carlsbad itself mu s t surely be to Chocolate High. This i s the highe s t point in the cave and next to the Spirit World most str ictly guarded. From the main trail a straight forward journey into the New Mexico room bring s you to a corroded flowstone boss formation k n ow n as the chocolate drop above which hang s the first rope to Chocolate High after nearly 300 feet of sweaty ascent a change of rope s carries you the further 150 feet past the chenile basin to a world of awesome be a uty incredibly convoluted helictite s adorn amongst the "chocolate of cor rosion residues. Jason told me I was one of the very few peo ple to have been there and the first Brit so delic ate i s the area Speleothem sensory overload i s a real problem you have to keep reminding yourself that you are not going to encounter this anywhere else in the world. Access is usually the fir s t point raised when contemplating a visit to the State s caving. Those caves which fall under the control of the US National Park Service are s ubject to exceedingly tight resource management guidelines, includ ing the justification of access policies that Briti s h cavers are likely to encounter when making initial inquirie s. Basically you need a bona fide reason s lanting toward s conservation and restoration, or in the case of Lechuguilla an invitation from LEARN or one of the private expeditions that enter to further the collection of survey data and mineral inventory. Lechuguilla cave was everything I envisaged except for the physical conditions inside. With humidity in excess of 95% and a constant temperature of 68 degree s Fahrenheit plu s the high altitude ( 4100 feet ) coupled with my ruck sack over loaded with supplies for a five day stay and NASA boffin s equipment, it took a day for me to acclimatize. Tortoise on its back impression s were quit e prevelant while travelling to the deep seas camp as well. Due to the make up of our party progress through the cave wa s very slow and tediou s After the queue to descend Boulder Falls myself and Ja on kept catching the group in front resulting in several forced breaks. 9 1\2 hours later we arrived at the campsite and I pitched my bivvy under crusty mammillarie s which to the disgust of the NASA boffs I referred to as saggy tit s I slept like s hit in Lechuguilla and resented having to climb into cold wet clothes on awakening. Tryin g to dump in a freezer bag is quite an entertaining pas time thank God for immodium as well; I was taking no chances! The NASA people were not exact l y the dome heads you would imagine however I think it's true to say they could indeed tell you the cube root of-an orange but were unfotunately non plussed when coming to the actual peeling and eating part. The next day as the s pace bod s played chemistry with ster ile limestone chunks ( yes we carried rock s into the cave ) we carried on along the trade route to the western borehol e pa s t Lake Loui se down the Cornflake Climb towards the rope up to the Chandelier Graveyard and The Three Amigo s further on. Emily Davi s Mobley,infamou s for her leg break and consequent epic resc ue from Lech three years pr evious,had informed the office on exiting the cave on the LEARN exped a week beforeh and that this rope n ee ded looking at as it didn't see m to too fine a s hape. So J aso n promptly se nt the Brit up there. Apart from bein g caked in Gorilla s hit a nice piece of sheath abrasion a t a na sty rub point warranted a replacement. Now at this time Jasons lighting rig was at s uch a point of unreliability that one could dist inctly hear fuckin whore" from the top of the pitch. After failed attempts to repair the dodgy l ea d in thi s The Texas Caver June 1995 71


modified w h eatlam p a nd the r e j ectio n of a petzl m ega, (" u s e l e ss piece s of s hit ) J aso n d ec id e d we wo uld exit the cave a nd r e-e nt e r the n ext d ay. W e h aule d ass and s ur faced in l e ss tha n 2 1\2 h o ur s l a ter. Even t s the following m o rnin g did n o t b o d e well for a good day eit h er. Two minut es s h ort of the L ec h parking a rea l asked J aso n if h e h ad remembered t o bri n g the r eplace m e nt r ope for the c h a n de I ier pit c h . Abo ut turn Two h o ur s l a te r w ith said ro p e now in tow a nd J ason ada m a nt he had rectified h i s l amp probl e m I co mmenced the de sce nt of the e ntr a n ce pit c h I h a d r a pp elle d tw o f ee t w h e n I was t o he ar a by now familia r o b sce n e r e f e r ence t o J aso n s l a mp so b ac k t o the now ve ry well tr od d e n path b ac k t o the L ec h parkin g l o t a nd eve n m o r e famili ar dri ve ba c k t o the office t o s tea l Da le's l a mp mu c h t o his am u se m e nt. Thu s o ur plann e d r e-e ntr y int o the cave at 7am turn e d int o knoc kin g o n midday W e s t ea m e d t o the ca mp a te lun c h a nd th e n h ea d e d out to r c-rig Ha ving co mpl e ted thi s t ask we b ack tr acke d after th e obliga t ory b ee n the r e phot o s h oo t t o r e tir e t o b e d I wa s to escort o n e o f the NASA b o ff s o ut o f the cave (at 4 am! ) so h e co uld u sc the sco pe" tim e h e h ad booked in Albuquerque s tud ying the co r ros i o n r es idu e s lid es h e h a d sa mpl e d that day; they h ad a s trin ge nt inc ubati on p erio d so I finally ex it e d a t 2 pm the f ollow ing aft ernoo n A c uri o u s L ec hu g uilla experie n ce. aft e r all I h ad cave d the m os t but see n the least. However I was b eing e mployed and wa s payed EXTRA f o r suffe rin g the o rdeal of havin g t o go to L cc hu g uilla Cave I I finall y l eft C arl s bad a mid sce n es of rowdy partyin g o n the I 9th Janu a r y t o h e ad f o r Ontari o, Canada the hom e of a certain young l ady I h ad go t t o know r athe r well durin g my tim e a t the park. and the s u b j ec t of Jin g les' wry comments o n mailin g kit out t o m e: n o it h as n t dropp e d off, Jin g l es. I d ep art e d the US o n the I s t Feb ruar y again m ak in g u se of the muc h free a l c h o h ol. M e m o rabl e q u estio n s and quot es whil e workin g for the S Natio nal Park Ser v i ce In the My W ay Sal oo n Carl s b a d a t approxi mat e l y I am, Waitr ess: .. A r c yo u the E n glis h G uy?-.". Yes." .. W ell we d o n t ca r e wha t yo u d o jus t d o n t s t art f i g hting." Ja so n Dec k e rt. g r ad uat e so n o f Park S up e rirlt e nd e nt Frank I ec k ert e n r oute t o C himn ey Cave, Ja so n Deckert:.. o A l ex. w hat' s the fundam e ntal diffe r e nce bet wee n the u pper and lower e ntr ance t o C himn ey Cave?" Alex : O n e s hig h e r than the othe r ?" A middle aged A m eric an ge ntl e m a n in th e v i sito r ce ntr e Han k the Yank: .. S a y so n ca n we dri ve thro u g h the cave T twcnt so m e thin g A meri ca n .. cool elude fr o m a l ifor nia t o Ran ge r April W eitlauf in the v i sitor ce ntr e b y the lift s. April : "Do yo u wish to descend to the Cave by elevator ?" Dude : What Cave?" M a n y thanks go to Dale Pate a) for hiring me b) letting me go to Lech and c) for hav ing a big enough sense of humour not to d e port me after various exploits To Ja so n Richard s for the good time s and your friendship. T o Mike ( Doc Rock ) Queen for the introduction to the American caving sce ne and your recommendations To Lance M a tt so n for tolerating my invasion of his house and life and the u se of his banking services To Supe rint e ndent Uncle Frank Deckert and his family for their generous hospitality. To Tim and Barbara Stubbs and family for Christmas and new year. And finally to all the Rangers and Cavern supply staff who have made my stay in the US enjoyable, memarable but all to s hort There are too many friends I have made to mention them all individually ; however I will return. In the U.K. immense thank s to Nick Williams Struan MacDonald, Vince Simmonds, Rich Blake, Tony Jarrett and Jingles Without your help and s upport the outcome of this venture may have b ee n completely different. I hope that all I did and achieved will contribute further to the growing relationship between the Bristol Exploration Club and Carlsbad Caverns National Park A pint of Butcombe please Roger" Destination: Powell's Cave, on ticks galore plateau near Menard in Menard county P e r so n ell: Sundance, Old Man Wi sdom, and a lot of other peopl e D ate Jun e 1995 WARNING Some part s o f OMW trip reports may deviate from the actual f ac t s Thi s i s o n e of tho se trip s that ha s taken pl a ce at regular int e rv a l s s inc e P e te Lind s ley found this cave back in 1837 Which was right after James Bowie was offed by the great a rm y of Santa Anna at the Alamo. See NSS Convention at Bracke ttvill e. The James Bowie of Knife fame and of sec ret lo s t silver min e in them thar hills legend'. the legend has placed a n onu s on th e whole area in a nd around San Saba, an o nu s th a t ha s th e l oca l s all believing th a t James Bowie real l y did hav e thi s m ega silve r mine hidden somewhere near or o n th e San Saba Ri ve r and th e J Frank Dobie sto ry about the Lo s t San Saba Mine did little to quas h the rumor. Most Geology T y p es think that there i s nar y a chance that there could b e a n y silver in th e area or if there i s it would be ah really b e so m e thin g, ahh that goes against the geology ( that's rock s tudy) J a m es Strickland however another old caver, says that Jun e 1 995 The Texas Caver


there was a silver mine on the San Saba River at...bla,bla. And I, mine own self, OMW, have been to the Lemon's Ranch Cave and seen the cables and all the mine gear that was brought in to mine the silver and had, the then alive old man Lemons entertain me and my young troop of spelunk ers with stories of untold riches found and Jost, refound and lost and refound . .The old Lost Duchman story. If on a sunny day during the winter solstice you stand by the big tree near the stone fence next to the arrow sticking out of the rock and look East there on the third knoll you will see, at 12: 14, a flash of silver that marks the spot, of the mine. Or I can sell you this authentic map drawn by Sgt. Garcia, in 1506. Bill Elliot spoke of the Silver mine cave and the thousands of dollars that have been spent looking for the silver; which so far as he can tell was to no avail, at least in IRS terms. Those guys even disassembled a tractor and hand carried it into the mine and reassembled it ( Shades of the Mujahadee and their war against the Russians). The interesting tales of silver far outnumber any reality other than that there are some really cool caves in the area, and if all goes well, and there is cooperation between cave owners, and the cavers persevere, this Powell's thing could connect up with Nellybelle, Comet, Cupid and Silverload, plus a half dozen other caves to become the longest crawl way river (stream ... brook) cave on the planet, yet known to humanity Back to Pete. The various legends about Pete and the cave are quite interesting and worthy of telling around the camp fire. How he learned of the cave and then explored it to see if it was worthy, and then doing all the leg work to get per mission to get in; and it was a monumental task, to get per mission that is. And the part how the cavers proved that they were indeed worthy hard working citizens of the realm, and how they blew the socks off the owner with their diligence and the first map that was really keen. Despite their grub byness they were indeed serious about this sillyness of crawling around in bat poop and mud. So Pete had to prove to the locals that he wasn't a dastardly s ilver miner disguised as a caver which wasn't all that hard for him since Pete was one to hang around in the caves and take almost as many photos (beautiful photos Kodak moment shots that would make Mr. Land drool) as Bill Elliot. Pete is famous for the drop of water from the soda s traw slide show that is seventeen trays long. Anyway Pete convinced the locals that he was harmless by showing them s lide shows. Always an effective method. So in June of 1995 OMW and his pard Sundance, who is no kin to the Kid of the same name took off for Menard which is where this cave resides. After a two hour stop in Llano, w here the group ate several kilos ( deference to the metric cave r s) BBQ at Cooper's Pit, it was on to Mason Maso n is the home of some famous Bat Cave that the Nature Conservancy Tree Huggers own. Then we stumbled upon a group of these NCTH people who were engaged in cleaning the cave. Sundance in his indimable way got to know Ia biologista who was in charge. He deftly wrote her his phone number in Cuba in magic marker (smudge s mudg e, five, blur blur smudge, nine) Being as how we were not all that interested in cleaning a bat cave and had no trash bags or shovel we drove off into the night. We arrived in Menard at night time plus four and started looking for the stop sign seven miles from town on 190. Using a Hollsinger map that included nothing but straight lines and arbitrary distance s and instructions all written in 2 point type which is all but impo ss ible to read in the dark while driving with only a carbide light to see by. The light kept blowing out. Sundance finally took the map and led us to the ranch foreman's house which was not on the map at all. It was pretty late and Sundance charmed the foreman into telling us where to go at 11:45 pm. By the time we got back to the road some per so n or per sonspossibly a Shade in a dorky hathad placed some TSA signs on the road Lucky for them that we knew where to go. We made certian the signs were properly placed. At tick plateau we got out our instructionle ss super dooper REI tent. Putting up our tent was well beyond our techno logic experience. Rather than let us suffer, the local people felt sorry for us and put up the tent for us with much chid ing Tom Sawyer strikes again. It was those silly black fold ing sticks that threw us Pengu has an Academy pop-a-top tent that goes up kaboing. I suspose this was what we expected to come out of our bag The tent being up we pro ceeded to sit around and talk for another couple of hour s; di sc ussing such things as caving in Bos nia wether or not Phil Gramm was ever a caver and was all that lightning going to destroy our camp. The next morning it was less than brutally hot so everyone sort of hung around being cool. It was the getting p syc hed up for the cave time. About ten or so, a semi truck lo a d of culverts showed up so everyone could marvel at the unload ing technology Many photos of the technology were taken and the culvert things were stacked near the entrada to the cave. The next step is to get a huge oil field crane thing to lift the se huge culvert things and place them in the cave entrance. There was much said about this I know an oil field guy who has a this and that, that is rated to lift battle ships." "I think we need a Bobcat. " I have a s hov e l at home . Many helpful remark s were made to great guru and organizer, who is somew hat s u s pe ct by me due to his hav ing brought a black cat along. A black cat on a l eas h tether ing device that keeps tangling and allowing the cat to hang itself. Not to worry SPCA folks, the cat s urvi ved in fine fet tle. The crane s how I am s ure will be worth the price of a dmi s-The Texas Caver June 1995 73


s i o n t o the S e pt e mbe r eve nt. I f all go e s well it will make A m erica's Funni es t H o m e Vid eos l a m g oi n g t o de s i g n th e Culvert Emp l ace m e nt I was the re ; Ts hirt A nd i f th o s e big co n c r e t e thin g s a r e n t culverts but so me sort o f pipe thingies o r jus t huge r o und ce men t devic es with big h o l e s in their middl e s o r p o ssibly l a r ge c o ncrete dou g hnut s, then I a p o l o g i ze. So mu c h f o r the m o rnin g s e nt e rtainm e nt. B y now it was a ppr oac hing h o t and the t i c k s h ad found u s All concern e d we nt int o the c a ve t o m a p and mu c k a r o und in t h e mud a nd b a t p oo p f o r hour s and h o ur s Some of the p eople we nt t o the c r ee k rive r s t ream a n d l ou n ged aro und in the luk e warm wa t e r with all the l o ca l pickup s whic h a l s o lik e l ounging aro und i n the wa t e r and told g r o ss bat p o o p s t ories. I r ecall the time that I s wam thr o u g h a s ea of va mpir e b a t barf ... S o m e p arts o f the ab o v e are tru e Only the untru e parts are l eft in t o co nfu se the r e ad er. R es p ec tfull y s ubmitt e d OMW. Monterrey area (Potrerro Redondo) 1 5 1 9 Jun e 1 995 On Trip: O l d Mnn Wis d om, A l e x Villngo m ez, J o hn L oving, S h eldo n E d e n Da vid L e o n n dowicz Chris Vreel a nd (f r o m M onte rr ey) Armnndo Landa Ana L a ur a L a nda J av i e r Gar c i a R od nia ( La s t n a s m e unkn ow n ) T h e tru c k will run out of gns." These words kept r es urfa c ing o ve r and ove r as o ur s t a l wart g r o up of cavers m o unt ed and dis m o unt e d the Vr ee land urb a n as s a ult ve hicl e Th e Gra y P endejo, as Old Man W isdo m called it was r a ttlin g itse lf apart o n the r o ad s n o. tr ails -a b ove H o r se T ail Falls, and g u zz lin g g a s in s u c h quantities as to make th e oil s h eiks jump w ith g l ee. S till without the G r ay P endejo we'd h ave been st u ck h oofing it u p the c r a gs and c r a nni es, s o we put up with it. T h e tru c k will:run out of g a s they all d o eve ntu ally, jus t h o p e the tr an smis s i o n d oes n t ranl e o ut and fall off a cliff. T h is wa s an OMW. A l ejandr o Villag6mez trip w ith t wo Pin g us. a C l etus the G r ay P endejo's ow n e r a nd four r eg i orno ntan os in atte ndan ce. Th e idea. acc o rdin g t o A l ex was t o slip dow n the side o f thi s cliff whic h was o n e click from the bas e c amp (ye ah. right) a nd e nter the a n c i ent h abit a t o f a p t er o da c t yl. o n e o f tho s e dinos aur-bird thin g s The c a v e h ad b ee n sea r c h e d f o r eggs it see ms. back in a u g ht -s i x b y a n A u s trian Bill Ellio t w h o c laim s all the fat thin rocks were in r e alit y p e trifi e d egg s h ells a nd h e prov e d it by tak ing 300 sli c les o f e a c h s hard and the n s howing the m t o a t e am o f e xp erts w h o a g r ee d wit h him aft e r the t e nth tr a y So the r e w e w e r e in this pin e f o r es t a r apid l y becoming clear cut pin e f o r est. b y the wa y -rig g ing our lin e t o Llesce nd. W hil e all this wa s tran s p irin g Pingu O n e and his cn1111 aLires p o k e d int o a s mall c a ve o n the r idg e. It proved intere stin g a n d pr omisin g in a B ill Russell way. HaYing made i t t o the c av e the f e arl ess g r o up did wha t all fear l ess cavers do-ate their granola bars, and started back jus t in tim e to enjoy climbing the c liff in the first rain s torm the area ha s had in six months. Remountin g the gray pendejo the gang now nice and dirty rode back down the treacherou s trail in a pouring rain which was a delight to tho se riding in the back. D aw n of the third day (o r seco nd they all run together) wa s m e t with a dozen chickens crowing and fighting in mid camp. Armando, the guide, over a few dozen ai tiempos ( a nice, so phi s tic a ted way to describe lukewarm beer) de scri bed a halfdozen other cave s, and regaled us with s tories of the Austrian Bill Elliot. So after a hearty breakfa s t of egg s, ham tomatoes onions, chiles cheese tortilla s, cookies, peanuts Gatorade French roast coffee, milk and granola bars we s et off to the resur ge nce cave which was one click from base camp. Thi s proved to be a mighty fine cave, a 10 on the OMW sca le being as OMW rates caves ba se d on their horizontal ne ss a nd the more horizontal, the closer to 10 it is. Golondrina s for example, would be a zero as would any number of the so -called cool caves. Gruta de las Palmitas ranks as a 9 due to having to climb to get to it. Thi s cave ha s multiple level s, stream passage mud, and pa ssage yo u can walk around in and it see ms to go a long way OMW decreed 1500 to 2000 feet in while standing at the entrance. There's a good sw imming hole about a h alf click down s tream to boot. N ex t came a beautiful pit which the Pingus Cletus, and the owner of the Gray Pendejo (which was rapidly running out of gas s ittin g parked) assaulted. They took rope which was mea s ured in meter s a nd climbed down. OMW s till can't convert to meter s from feet. Something to do with the idea th a t all people's feet a re mea s ured in inche s, so why do this m e t e r thin g when n o one mea s ure s their feet in millimeters o r centipedes. OMW and the trip leader decided to nap in th e nift y cabin provided by the guide and let the other guys figure out the math The b ea utiful pit proved to be be a utiful. With tim e running out the group searched the village for gas t o feed the Gray Pendejo to no ava il de s pite the Si hay gaso lin a sta t e m e nt s of all th e Nationals. With a deep frown of worry and a C a rta Blanca tummy ache th e ow ner of the Gray Pendejo s huffled about lis tle ss l y overseeing th e p ac kin g To everyo ne's amazement, the Gra y Pendejo roared to life a nd the gro up set off down the mount ain to find a PEMEX s t atio n and Monterrey All in all, it proved t o b e a wonderful trip The access roads t o the caving area were reall y scary and a lmo s t imp assa ble. The a r ea was beautiful beyond de scri ption and infe ste d with r ea l coo l hig h altitude biting bug s It rained twice, breaking a s ix-m o nth dry s p e ll. We didn't run out of gas de s pite all the g n as hin g of t ee th and worry. There see m to be multitude s of cave lead s a nd Armando regal e d us with g reat s torie s of drug d ea l e r s c r as hin g planes into the peak s and bear s a nd t a l es of th e Carrancistas hidin g in the forest waiting for th e 7-+ June 1 995 The Texas Caver


federates back in 1910 Wow! 'Nuff said M& W was still the place to go. r Respecffully submitted 0. M. Wisdom *A big huge, 4-wheel drive thing will all sorts of macho stuff like zillions of lights, cool switches metal roll thin gies, shovels and intimidator tires. They Came, They Saunaed, They Caved by Jay Jorden The hard-core of the Dallas-Fort Worth and Mavs clans did it again : the M&W on April Fools Day But these cavers' mamas didn't raise no fools! It was awesome! The Brazos River was a little on the chilly side, maybe just above freez ing And April 1 came a little too early for some on the syl van shores of the M&W Ranch. DFW Grand Poobah Dave "Cave" McClung worked his culinary magic on pounds of skirt steak and chicken fajitas Tag Swann brought brisket from Northeast Texas. Mike Cagle the Chilimeister, brought a special secret blend that had cavers cryin" for more And fixin's abounded : beans veggies, guacamole etc. The sun's rays warmed the North Central Texas ranchland enough during the day Saturday to permit the hardy partiers to begin setting up for the shindig. Steve Dalton brought his Hot Tub large pump and load of firewood. The tub was fill ing with Brazos water by mid-afternoon and temperatures inched into the upper 80s and 90s by late evening. Bobby Moore and Jay Jorden were returning by mid-evening from Oklahoma, where a group of cavers had been working at a ranch project. One of Bobby s prized pieces of sauna metal was from the bottom of Devil' s Sinkhole. It had been retrieved the previous year at the NSS Convention in Brackettville The traditional "sauna tent" was enhanced with a tarp as a vapor barrier. The Paul Bunyan of North Texas had showed up Friday to begin cutting wood for a mas sive bonfire Like clockwork, James Savage grabbed most popular status when he showed up with his contribu tion to the grotto equipment: the Official Latrine. With its PVC pipe framework and hinged foldaway throne, this art fully crafted device wa s truly welcomed at the party Danger Don Metzner and Janette Fortney brought chee s e rice and other dishes in the wake of their wedding feast. Other s s een around the fire included Li s a Fricke of Mis souri Danny Sherrod Martha McArthur Sheree Mahan and Bruce Freeby. The Rites boasted at lea s t three offici a l Killer Saunas -with the las t a real s corcher especially for tho s e on the uphill s ide of the tent. The numbingly cold river water prompted s creams from b a thers even for s hort lived dips. On Sunday morning the traditional coffee was accompanied by donut s and other pastrie s Caver camper s s lowly emerged from tent s the bed s of pickup truck s and e l s ewhere. The dis mantling of equipment and breaking of camp began later. We had looked high and low but the The Texas Caver June 1995 ******* Party Quote s : Oz-totl! Oz-totl! " Where's Bruce and Donna?" Hot torts! Come and get em! " Saw-nahh! Saw-nahh! Saw-nahh! Cave Spore The sky breathes in a whisper Or the Earth breathes out a sigh And there is a knowing That the clouds have fulfilled their destiny As all clouds do And yeilded up a hole -Chris Vreel a nd 75



Contents: Etcetera:
The Editor Speaks Proposed Constitutional Amendment --
From the Secretary's Desk --
Camp Wood --
Letter from the Chair --
Kendalia Remembered --
Book Reviews --
Articles: The Caves of Burnet County / William Elliot and
Gerald Atkinson --
Caving in Coahuila / Peter Sprouse --
The Inquisition / Joe Ivy --
Old Timer Profile / William Russel / Tim Stitch --
The Coordinator's Corner / Joe Ivy --
Trip Reports: Brit in Lechugilla, Powells, Potrerro


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