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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Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
Technical Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


General Note:
Contents: TSA Winter Meeting Notes -- TSA Business: Financial reports; state of the TSA, and why you need to become a member. Support the TSA! -- Chairman's Corner: Part I / Gill Ediger -- Photography: Widen Your View / Jim Jasek - Jim Jasek describes a procedure for creating extraordinary panoramic pictures. -- Trip Report: Naj Tunich / Bev Shade - Bev Shade reports in on a trip Guatamala for some "spelean archeology". -- Trip Report: Golondrinas / Joe Ivy - This popular cave isn't what it used to be. Recent commercialization heps make Golondrinas more "user friendly". Joe Ivy details all the new changes in the latest Mexico cave to go commercial. -- The Inquisition: Kong-Bonaiti Speleo Descender / Joe Ivy -- From the Files of the TSS: Adams Gold Mine -- Opinion: Open or Not? / Karen Perry -- Chairman's Corner: Part II.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 43, no. 02 (1998)
General Note:
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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K26-04723 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4723 ( USFLDC Handle )
11457 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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CONTENTS March I April1998 Volume 43 No 2 TSA Winter Meeting Notes Page3 TSA Business Page 20 Fin a n c i a l r e po rt s s t a t e o f the T SA and w h y yo u need to becom e a m e mb er. S upp o rt the TSA CHAIRMAN'S CORNER: Part I By Gill Ediger Page 21 PHOTOGRAPHY: Widen Your View By Jim Jasek Page 22 Jim Jasek describes a p roce dur e for c reatin g extraordin ary p a n o r a mi c pi c tures. TRIP REPORT: Naj Tunich By Bev Shade Page 28 Bev S h a d e repo rt s in o n a tri p G u a t a m a l a for som e "spelean a r c heol ogy." TRIP REPORT: Golondrinas By Joe Ivy Page 29 Thi s popul a r cave i s n t w hat it used t o be. Recent comm e r c i a l iza ti o n h e lp s m a k e G o l o ndrinas m o r e user f ri e ndl y Joe I vy d e t ails all the n ew c h a nges in the l a test Mexi co cave t o go co mm ercia l. THE INQUISITION: Kong-Bonaiti Descender By Joe Ivy Page 30 FROM THE FILES OF THE TSS: Adams Gold Mine Page 31 OPINION: Open or Not? By Karen Perry Page 32 CHAIRMAN'S CORNER: Part II Page 35 ON THE COVER : H e lectit e R oo m Caverns of Sono r a 1962. Pho t o by B l air Pitt m an. ON THE BACK : Carl s bad R oo m Fel to n Cave, 1966. P ho t o b y B l air P ittm a n THE TEXAS CAVER The TExAs CAVER is a bi-monthly publication of the Texas Speleological Association (TSA), an internal organization of the National Speleological Society (NSS) Subscription rates are $ 25 / year for six i ssues of The TEX A S CAVER. This includes membership in the TSA. Out of state subscr i bers libraries and other institutions may receive The TExAs CAVER for the same rate ( $25/ year) Back issues are available at the cost of $3 00 per issue Send all correspondence (other than mate rial for The TExAs CAvE R ) subscriptions and exchanges to : The Tex as Caver PO Box 8026 Austin TX 78713 Articles and other material for The TExAs CAvER should be sent to the following address : Brian Vauter 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road Natural Bridge Caverns TX 78266 The TExAs CAVE R openly i nvites all cavers to submit articles trip repor t s photographs (35mm slides o r any size black & white or color prints on glossy paper) cave maps news events cartoons and / or any other caving r elated material for publicat ion. Exchanges should be mailed to The TExAs CAVE R a t the subscription address above The TEXAS CAVER w ill e x change newsletters with othe r grottos Opinions e xpressed in the The TExAs CAVE R are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessari l y refl ect those opinons held by the TSA its members the NSS or any other person on the planet. Besides when you really think about it op inions are like armpits everybody has them and they all stink Copyright 1998 by the Tex as Speleological Association Internal or g anizations o f the NSS may reprint any i tem f i rst app e aring i n The TExAs CAVE R as long as proper cr e dit is given and a copy of the news l etter containing the reprinted material i s mailed to the TSA Other organizations should contact the TSA about reprinted materials


MARCH I APRIL 1 998 TSA BUSINESS TSA Winter Business Meeting Stiver Ranch near Junction January 31, 1998 Officers present included : Gill Ediger-Chairman Jim K ennedy-Vice-Chairma n Ali c i a Whitfield-Secretary C hri s ta McLeland-Tre as urer (a b se nt ) Minutes of previou s meetin g were re a d by Edige r and approved by acclamation. Treasurer's Report was read (see p age 20) by Ediger in the absence of th e Tr eas ur e r and approved by acclamation. C OMMITTEE REPORTS: Co n se r vat ion CommitteeNo rep o rt (po sitio n currently vacant) Cave Re sc ue CTCRC)John Green ( n o t prese nt )-No Report Edige r discussed John's des ir e t o hold NCRCffCRC trainin g and to pro v id e int ere s t ed Texas cavers with ID cards for u se b y E m e r ge n cy Re s ponse per so nn e l t o identify cave r s who can assist with cave rescues Th e T exas DPS Offi ce of Emergenc y Manage ment now h as the TSA Cave Resc u e Num b e r in the ir databa se Walter Pickett r e ported that a statew ide Level II seminar i s in the planning s t ages. Ediger report e d that an in terview with John Green ha s been d o n e a nd will b e included in a future TEXAS CAVER. It i s very import a nt for cave r s who a re int ereste d in re sc ue to s t ay active a nd in t o u c h wit h organized re sc ue groups so they know we exist and what we have to offer, a nd so that cavers a re called when there i s a cave r esc u e. Membership Committee-:Ediger : M e mb ers hip i s way down mo s tly bec a u se The CAVER i s n o t comin g out, for which h e will t a k e most of the credit for. We are go in g t o try t o wo rk m e mber s hip back up W e a re goi n g t o co nta c t the Grotto s and encourage them to ge t the ir peopl e to join. Many ind e p e nd e nt cave r s are coming to the Project s but are n o t j o inin g TSA. Present members hip i s between 250 a nd 300 down from the u s u a l 350 or so. We'd lik e t o get it up t o over 400. Bookstore-Eric Flint: We ne e d B a t stick e r s, reflective Oztotl st i cke r s, a nd T-s hirts. Suggested that we se nd so m e T -s hirt s to NSS Convention Con stitutionStill o n hold pending TEXAS CAVER a nd memb e r s hip impr ove ment. Publications-Ediger: 1 997 C AVER i s way behind a nd h e w ill t ake a lot of res p ons ibil ity for th at. T wo '97 i ss u es are basically re ady to go but h ave so m e for mattin g prob lems a nd will b e print ed as soo n as th a t 's done. Tim Stich i s working on a nother i s s ue A call for a new e ditor resulted in two res pon ses We are in f in a l s t ages of negot i a tion s with Bri a n Vaut e r of NBC t o t ake over the editorship. Submissions are r e qu ested. Keith Heu ss also inquired and was replied t o. Th e probl e m i s CUITe ntl y the m o ne y re quir e d to put out publications We ne ed m o re member s We ge t goo d rev i ews o n the News letter, but can t ge t independent cavers t o s ub scri be. Proj ec t m a n age r s a re requested to t a ke applicati o n s from independe nt cavers. Plea se push it. PROJECT REPORTS: Pow ell's H o l s in ger: Trip Feb 28. Need a fence around e ntr a nce to prevent s m all an i m a l s from falling in K evin Thu esse n i s working on vege t atio n r esto r at i on a r o und the entrance. Tr ying t o buy a l adde r to k ee p o n the property penna n ently. Need t o de t e rmin e di s po s ition of re m aining pip e sect i o n B a ts are h a ppy with present e ntr a n ce. It was s ug ges ted that a ny fence b e as visually non-in trusive as possible. Gove rnment Canyon H ad f ir s t trip sev e r a l weeks ago G eorge Yeni h as ret ir e d a nd turned project ove r t o Marvin Miller a nd Dan Sharon. Honey CreekH o l singer: Trip announced for n ext weekend G ett in g read y to put in a n ew well. Might b e a good idea t o ge t the pr oject a littl e m ore fo rm alized Colorado B e nd H o l singe r : Trip comin g up in 2 weeke nd s. Had s uccessful trip s all seaso n Project ha s a n MOU w ith the park Still h appy with us. Findin g m ore caves. w hich c rea t es a backl og of s ur veying Need h e lp Student Grottos are e ncouraged to brin g their people. Bu s tamante-Ed i ger: Was a goo d project. We n eed to e ncour age eac h Grott o t o t ake one trip a year. One of the purp oses of th e project was to get the city of Bu sta m an t e to und ers t and that we were ther e t o h e lp so tha t w h e n eve r they do comm e rci alize the cave we s till ha ve access t o go d o s tuff. We put in 72 s tep s a nd s till h ave about tha t m a n y left to put in-concrete steps Gro ttos can go down there for the wee k end-eve n if th ey don t put in b ut I 0 steps-the n go caving for the rest of the time. Th at's w h a t we're after. They ca n brin g a couple of b ags of tras h o ut. We 've arra nged with the Bu s t a mant e offi cia l s t o d o that. Amistad-No R epo rt. T wo trip s sc heduled for the Spring. Marneldo-K ennedy: Trip s to be set up for the Spring. The s u ggest i o n was m ade that the TS A form a Geology Subsection m ade up of geo l og i s ts a nd geo l ogy s tud e nt s a nd oth e r int e res t e d cavers. Th e Subsection wo uld parti cipate w ith the Projects t o s tud y the lo ca l geology in s upp o rt of the project and t o p rod u ce geo l og ical reports f r o m in a nd aro und the cave. So far n obo d y ha s picked up th e ball. Th e s i s potential ex i sts ORGANIZATION REPORTS: TSS K e nn e d y : Bill Elliott h as moved t o Misso uri Jim K ennedy i s now the editor for the TSS. Juli e J e nkin s i s the Office M an1 9


ager. Butch Fralia is Data Manager. A couple of publications are in the works. Hopes to have a workday every month or so. We also produce an article or two for The TEXAS CAVER Texas cavers are urged to use the TSS and to s ubmit cave repor1s It was suggested that each Grotto dedicate a weekend every year to working in the office and that Grot tos pick a project ar e a to work on through out the year to update the TSS files. TCC-No Report. TCMA-Jenkins: New sign has been put up at Whirlpool and they are planning a work project to be announced for the spring. Small group s can still camp there, but large groups are discouraged due to lack of restroom fa cilitie s. AMCS Ediger: Newsletter and Death Coral Caver are out. Other projects are mov ing along. BCI-Kennedy: Will have a presentation at the NSS Convention and the Cave & Karst Management Symposium. Working with MARCH I APRIL 1998 Fish & Wildlife Service, the Forest Service, NSS and ACCA on a new Gating Book. CRF-No Report. We continue to advertise CRF trips because Texas cavers go to them. TCR-Ediger: We need a good site perma nent or temporary. It needs to be on a good creek or river. It needs a flat campsite for 500 or more people. Trees would be nice Electricity and running water would be good, but not necessary All Texas cavers should be on the lookout for the perfect spot. We will buy something if it comes along. An old, out-of-business summer camp would offer a lot of facilities and could be rented to other groups during the year. Expenses last year were around $5500. TCR collects TSA dues from about 75 % of the members. There were several complaints about the cost ofTCR last year. It costs a lot to put on but is still one of the chea pest and best fed of the various regional caving events in the country. Grottos are encouraged to get their people to attend There are s everal free load ers every year. TSA BUSINESSFINANCIAL REPORT TREASURER'S REPORT FOR 1998 WINTER BUSINESS MEETING Approximately I 50 TSA members paid dues at TCR for a total of $ 3 I 00 income Several hundred more has come in since then but has not been deposited. $340 were deposited into the TSA Land Acquision Fund. Current Balance is $2900 in the Active Account, which isn t much. The TSA Bookstore has $I 80 in cash Sale s have been good and more items will be ordered before the Convention. The Bu s tamante Project generated $540 which the TSA is holding. Respectfully submitted Christa McLeland Treasurer 2 0 Additional Information & Comments by Gill Ediger, Chairman Regular annual disbursements fall more or less into the following categories: Bulk mail permit: Post Office Box rent: Bank Account: $80 per year $58 per year $150 per ye a r TSA Activities Newsletter costs: Paper $ 12 per issue Copying free Postage $200 Total $212 x 12 issues = $2,544/year The TEXAS CAVER costs (average): Negative s $120 Printing $400 Postage $1 00 Total $620 x 6 issues = $3,720/year Total expenses $6,574 It doe s n t take a mathematical genius to see that with only $4,000 nominal income and ANNOUNCEMENTS: Tara Martin: An Austin company called Hydrolab has some water monitoring equip ment available for doing cave studies. Contact her for information Walter Pickett Has come up with a guide for self-rescue but it still needs some work and incorporation into the TCRC. He was asked to reduce it to a summary and guide lines suitable for The TEXAS CAVER. Jim Kennedy: TSAConvention is set for 2426 April in Blanco. See announcements in upcoming Newsletters. Camping will be on site Meeting hall will hold 300 people. There will be mini-workshops on Sunday. Ediger issued a challenge to the Grottos to make it an official club trip and drag people along OLD BUSINESSNone NEW BUSINESSNone The meeting was adjourned by acclamation. $6 600 in expenses the TSA cannot long stay in business We are in 1998 still paying shortfalls from 1997, as well. Potential annual income: 200 TSA members @ $20 each = $4 ,000 300 TSA members @ $20 each = $6 ,000 400 TSA members @ $20 each = $8 ,000 400 TSA members @ $25 each = $10,000 500 TSA members @ $20 each = $1 0,000 Membership is the main way we raise money. You can see that only 100 members makes a substantial difference in income All Grottos and projects are requested to encour age their members to join the TSA. THt: TEXA S CAVER


CHAIRMAN'S CORNER By GILL EDIGER If you are reading this then you are probably a TSA member. So it may seem that I am only preaching to the choir. But all things are not as they seem; so please read on. As you can see by the Treasurer's report and my summary in the accom panying pages, the present numbers don t work out. We have some more or-less fixed costs for operating the TSA but we don't have enough income to pay for them. Income comes primarily from membership dues. Last week I mailed 296 TEXAS CAVERS. About 30 of those are exchanges or library copies, mean ing that we have about 260 paid TSA members. We have over I 000 cavers in Texas! I maintain the database, so I know. The TSA is an association of Texas caving entities. Your Grotto, if you have one, is a Texas caving entity. Each of the Projects, which you attend, is a Texas caving entity. You and the people you cave with are Texas caving entities. If you are a TSA member then you are doing your part! Right? Maybe not. The obvious but unstated purpose MARCH I APRIL 1998 of the TSA is to make caving better for Texas cavers-and the other Texas cav ing entities. The idea is to s hare knowl edge and experience among the various entities. The more knowledge that's available to you the better your caving will be. The better your caving buddy 's knowledge i s, the better your caving will be again. The more knowledge that other Texa s cavers have the better your caving will be a 3rd time The more that is known about the caves of Texa s, the better your caving will be once more So what stands to reason here? The more knowledgeable cavers you surround yourself with the better your caving will be. Now, just to set the record straight we're not talking about making a ny new cavers here We're just talking about getting the ones we already have to par ticipate. Since they don't get The TEXAS CAVER, and you do it falls upon you to get them to join, so your caving will be better. Does that make sense? If each of the 260 cunent members would get only one more caver to join, we would h ave 520 subscribers. Look at the chart about TSA income. What would 520 s ub scrib ers at $25 do for TSA finances? That' s well over present expenses. We could reduce dues back to $20. Or we could keep them $25 and offer better, fatter more interesting issues of The TEXAS CAVER. Would that be good? More in formation on Texas caves? More infor mation on caving? Making better, more knowledgeable cavers? Making caving better for you! I s it falling into place now? Just get one more caver to join TSA -just one. That seems to be a s imple t ask. So I offer you that challenge! I've sig ned lot s of cavers up over the years. It s easy. Now, I challenge you to sign up just ONE! Go out a nd do it. What does it get you? Better cavers and bet ter caving of course. There's an app li cation blank below. Thanks a lot. and B etter Caving, jW Gill Ediger JOIN THE TEXAS SPELEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION NOW SO YOU DON'T MISS ANOTHER ISSUE OF THE TEXAS CAVER! Hey! You're right. I don't want to miss another issue. Sign me up for the item indicated: 0 0 0 0 $25-THE WORKS (The TExAs CAVER, TSA Activities Newsletter & Texas Caver Reunion notices) $30 Family Membership (Two votes but only one set of publications) $20TSA & TExAs CAVER only $7-Activities Newsletter only MAIL TO: TSA, BOX 8026, AUSTIN, TX 78713 NAME: STREET/BOX: CITY, ST, ZIP: PHONES HOME ____________________ WORK ____________ FAX: ____________________ MOBILE: e-mail 2 1


PHOTOGRAPHY By JIM JASEK Very often, the view seen through the camera does not match what is seen with the eye. When it is not possible tC? step back or change to a wide-angle lens to photograph a scenic view making a panorama may be the only way to capture the grand view on film. The idea is to shoot a se ries of photographs then cut and paste them together to form one continuous picture as shown in Fig. 1. All the equip ment you need is a camera and a tripod. Before making the actual exposure, look through the viewfinder and pan the cam era across the scene making a mental note of where one frame stops and the next begins. Although a wide-angle lens may cover the entire view, the resulting image is very small and loses its impact. Panoramics should be shot with a nor mal or short telephoto lens to duplicate the vision seen by the eye. When you have decided on a pan oramic shot set the tripod to the height for the camera and level the tripod through a full 360 Use a small carpenter s bubble level available in most hardware stores to level the tri pod and camera. A round "bulls eye" 2 2 MARCH I APRIL 1998 Widen Your View level is the easiest to use. It is also a good idea to extend the center column of the tripod half-way up before level ing the tripod so the camera can be moved up or down without moving the tripod Getting the tripod level is not easy and takes a lot of time. Once the tripod is level do not tilt the camera up or down to include parts of the scene that have been cut off in the viewfinder. If more of the image is desired it will be necessary to raise or lower the center support of the tripod or change to a different lens. If the legs of the tripod are moved in any way, it will be necessary tore-level the tripod. The drawing in fig. 2 gives an example of what happens to the image when the tripod is not level. Notice how one side of the picture is higher than the other. Each frame will contain only part of the image When the prints return from the photofinisher, parts of the scene will be cut off as shown in the bottom diagram making it impossible to make a perfect panoramic. Besides having the camera on a level tripod, the camera should rotate directly under the lens rather than under the camera body, as shown in Fig 3. Since the camera is attached to the tripod under the camera body, rather than under the lens, this setup places the cen ter of the rotation several inches away from the optical center of the lens known as the Nodal point. The illustration in Fig. 4 shows the simple adapter plate used to move the lens under the center of the tripod Cut a 1.5 by 5-inch section from a quarter inch aluminum plate. Drill a smooth hole slightly larger than one-quarter inch for position B, and drill and tap hole A to accept the screw on the tri pod. The camera is attached to the plate Fig 3, using a thumbscrew, and attached to the tripod using the center screw of the tripod. This adapter will move the camera back enough to center the lens under the center rotation point on the tripod. Aluminum is soft and very easy to work with. It can be cut with a hack saw and drilled easily. A local machine shop can tap the hole for a very small fee. This adapter can also be made from a flash bracket used on older cam eras using a flashbulb attachment. The 7ilE TEXA S CAVER


older flash bracket, about eight inches long, has a several screw holes and a long slot for attaching the camera in a variety of positions. Rotating the camera through the Nodal point inside the lens, usually near the aperture ring, rather than under the camera body, produces no lens distor tion when prints are cut and pasted to g ether. This correction is small for the 35mm camera and can be ignored but it is an important factor for larger cam eras where this distance is greater than two inches. In a spur of the moment when a tripod is not handy, a fairly good pan oramic can be made handholding the camera. Stand in one position hold the camera as level as possible and shoot a s eries of pictures across the subject. It is more important to hold the camera level than trying to produce a good over lap Use an object in one frame in the same position in the next frame as a way to keep the camera level. While it may not be possible to produce a per fect match, the resulting panoramic will be very impressive. Once you get the "feel" for shoot ing panoramics, you will realize there i s an endless variety of subjects. Cavers spend a large portion of the trip above ground treking to the cave in areas where mountain views are very impres sive Other views, like massive pit en trances, make a fantastic panoramic photograph. A photograph standing near the edge of the deep pit does not con vey the feeling of a huge opening into the earth, but a panoramic showing the entire entrance makes a very impressive photograph. Setting up and shooting a panoramic above ground is the best way to begin practicing your panoramic tech nique. Never pass up the chance to shoot a panoramic just because you don't have a tripod. The normal lens, such as a 50mm, has a flatter optical field than the wide angle lenses. The flatter optical field allows the greatest success in panoramic photography as it will be easier to cut Til T E XAS C AVE R MARCH I APRIL 1998 and paste individual prints together to form one continuous print. Since the eye has a focal length around 80mm, the camera lens needs to be close to this focal length to duplicate the scene on film. Using a 50mm or a IOOmm lens for a panoramic will produce a very large image and will have the same look as when you photographed the scene. The wide-angle lens should only be used when the photographer is very close to the subject and it is not possible to back up. When wide-angle lenses are used for a panoramic, it will be necessary to greatly increase the overlap of each frame. This will enable you to cut past the distortion of the lens. The overlap using a normal lens is about a quarter of the frame where the over lap of a wide-angle lens can be as much as half the frame The advantage of us ing a wider angle lens over the normal lens is the greater vertical coverage. With very careful leveling of the tripod, choice of the lens, position of the cam era and exposure of each frame it is possible to produce some fantastic pan oramic views. Since the majority of panoramic pictures are shot in daylight the expo sure is critical and can be difficult to understand. On a sunny day, the inten sity of the sunlight varies across the horizon and the exposure for the pan oramic must duplicate the lighting of the sun for a natural-looking print. Meter the important area of the subject, usu ally the center of the photograph and u s e the camera s manual setting to ex pose each frame at the same aperture and shutter speed. Since each frame is exposed at an identical exposure the density of the prints will form a con tinuous match from frame to frame du plicating the effect of the sunlight. Do not use an automatic camera as each frame will be individually exposed ac cording to the amount of light, and it will be impossible to match each frame in density and color balance. As you stand in the position for the panoramic look straight ahead. Do not move your head let the wide-angle effect of your eyes take in the subject. After a while you should be able to see how the light changes in density acro ss the subject. You should see one side slightly lighter than the other This i s the effect you want to duplicate in your final print and the only way to obtain this effect is to expose each frame alike. When the negatives are sent to the lab they must be instructed to print each negative with the same exposure. If a one-hour lab is used it may be impos s ible for them to control their automatic machine to print each frame with the same density. Although prints from a one-hour lab may not match they can be u s ed as an inexpensive preliminary view. U s e these small prints to make a panorama by cutting and taping each print together. Take this working print to a profes sional lab and have them make an enlarged set of prints. Be s ure they understand each negative must be printed with exactly the same exposure. When you have the finished prints, arrange them according to how the fi nal picture will look. Overlap the prints B A Figure4. ?' _


so you can visualize where to make each cut. U se a metal straight edge and a s harp s ingle-edge razor to cut the fir s t and seco nd prints wider than the match zones. Continue cutting both prints in very thin strips until they match Work s lowly a nd carefully as you don t want to make a mis take or you will have a mis match at thi s point. When all the print s have been cut, lay them on a mountin g board in the de s ired po si tion Pla ce a light pencil mark above and be low each print for position where each one i s to be glued to the board U se any regular white glue to paste the print s to the board Thin the glue down by adding a small amount of wa ter. Thi s m a ke s it easier to a pply glue to the b ac k of the prints. Lay the print face down on new s paper and u se a narrow paint bru s h to a pply a thin coat of glue. Be gin in the center of the print and bru s h out over the e dge Never b ac k in from the e d ge or you will get glue on the f ac e of the print. Lay the first print on the mounting board u s ing the pencil lines to p os ition the print. U se a soft cloth towel to remo ve air bubble s from un der th e print. If you work fast, a ny glue on the face of th e print can be quickly and safely removed When all the print s have been g lued down turn the bo a rd over and g lue a s h ee t of paper to the back s ide of the e ntire board A s the g lue drie s it will s hrink a nd cause the bo a rd to curl. By mountin g a s heet of paper to the back of the board you will cancel out the curl and it will l ay perfectly flat. Pl ace a weight over the e ntire bo ard and a llow (!) nr 2-1 MARCH I APRIL 1998 it to dry completely. When dry and flat you can cut a window mat to hide the edges of the panoramic view. The re s ulting print is quite impre ss ive. It i s not necessary to limit pan oramic pictures to daylight photography as there are many good subjects found underground. Actually the cave lend s itself to some fantastic panoramic views, but it will take so me experience finding just the right areas to photo graph. The c ave map in Fig 5 shows how a panoramic of the room was set up. The camera w as po s itioned on a level tri pod near the wall. A 21 mm lens wa s used to provide floor to ceiling coverage as a 50mm lens was not wide enough vertically. It took four expo s ures AB BC, CD, DE, to cover the room. The 2lmm lens was w ide enough to cover thi s area in two frames but it was nece ssa ry to provide a wide over lap to cut past the distortion of the lens. The cavers, marked by an "X" on the m a p were carefully po s itioned to be the same di s tance from the camera. The walls and formations were within the sa me dis tance s producing even expo s ure for each frame. This is a critical part of se tting up a cave panoramic The fir s t step is to look through the viewfinder and determine what lens will give the best vertical coverage. In thi s part of the cave, the distance to the far wall was le ss than 20 feet. The nor mal len s did not a llow enough floor to ceiling coverage. In thi s particular a rea the 21 mm len s allowed for floor to ceil ing coverage Since a series of shots are taken across the subject, it is not necess ary to be concerned with the horizon tal coverage of the lens. Any lens will do The exposure was made using a fla s hbulb without a reflector commonly referred to as barebulb fla s h produc ing soft, directionless light with almost no s hadow s Some electronic s trobe s are m a de s o the reflector can be removed thu s expo s ing the fla s h tube for barebulb flas h Flas h from barebulb will produce some s hadows, as s een in the photo graph, but they are soft not very no ticeable and easy to splice to ge ther The aperture for the exposure is b ase d on the guide number. Using a flas hbulb without a reflector will require at lea s t two s tops le ss expo s ure. If the guide number is 200, the fla s h di s tance 20 feet, the aperture i s clo se to fll. Then open two additional stops u s ing f5.6 for the exposure. Place the camera on the leveled tripod and se t the s hutter to bulb or "B." Use a locking cable rele ase to hold the s hutter open. Then po s ition a fla s h without a reflector over the cam er a Set off the fla s h in the direction of the lens. Clo s e the shutter after the ex posure Rotate the camera to the next position. Lock the shutter open, and se t Figure 5. TilE T E X AS C AVE R


off a second flas h in th e direction o f th e l e n s. Whe n b a r e bulb flas h i s u se d b e s ur e th e flas h i s ab ove, but well b e hind the l e n s to prevent fla r e One o f the diffi c ulti es in m a kin g a cave p a n o r a mi c i s r e l a t e d t o th e num b e r of multiple s h adows produced b e hind object s s uch as form atio n s, r oc k s o r p eo pl e with e a ch flas h. The e lectr onic s tr o b e produces contras t y light w ith very di s tin c t s h adows b e hind ever y o b j ec t in th e scen e. The s h a dows b e hind eac h objec t w ill be i n diffe r e nt p os iti o n s in eac h f r a m e m a kin g it imp oss ibl e t o c ut a nd p as t e th e print s togeth er. Notice th e ri g ht s id e o f th e print Fig 6, i s hig h e r th a n th e l e ft. Thi s i s th e r es ult of th e tripod n o t b e in g p e rfectly l eve l throu g h a f ull 3 60. F o ur ex p os ur es we r e m a d e ac r oss th e sce n e allowi n g a w id e overla p in each f r a m e. The middl e t wo f r a m es, A B a nd BC, wer e c ut a con s id e r a bl e a m ount t o get p as t th e l e n s d i s tortion. It w as a lso necessar y t o c ut the print s a t a n a n g l e t o m a k e a goo d m atc h Whe n th e print i s c ut a nd p as t e d TilE TEXAS CAVEl l MAR C H I APRIL 1998 togeth e r Fig 7 th e print w ill n ee d t o b e overrn a tt e d l i n es D a n d E t o p ro du ce th e f i n a l ph o t og r a ph As yo u can see th e f in a l ph o t o g r a ph F ig 7 i s a ve r y impr ess i ve v iew o f t h e ro o m s h owing eve r y thin g th e eye can see. Th e indi v idu a l f r a m es m a t c h e d c l os ely, pr o du c in g a co ntinu o u s look in g print. The ac tu a l s hoot i n g o f a p a n o r a mi c p h otog r a ph und ergro und is th e easy p a rt. Fin d in g a s ubj ec t th a t will work well as a pa n o r am i c i s t h e diff i c ult p a rt. I f yo u can ph o t og r a ph th e e ntir e s ubj ect w ith a w id e a n g l e l e n s, thi s i s n o t a good s ubj ec t f o r a p a n o r a mi c. Try t o find a v iew in th e cave th a t can n o t b e ph o togr a ph e d w ith a s in g l e f r a m e a n d yo u w ill h ave fo und a grea t p a n o r a mic. Li g htin g i s a n ot h er d iff i c ult p a rt of m ak in g a goo d pa n o r a mi c Outd oors th e ex p os ur e i s ve r y s impl e. All yo u need t o d o i s ex p ose eac h f r a m e alike a nd th ey will m a t c h o n e t o th e n ex t per f ectly Thi s i s n o t th e case in th e cave. E Fi gure 7. W h e n yo ur cam e r a i s set in t h e d es i red positio n you w ill realize t h e fom1a t io n s a nd ot her pa rt s of th e cave w ill b e a t un eq u a l flas h d is t a n ces. I f fo r exampl e a pa n o r a mic co n s i s tin g of three f r a m es, yo u mig ht h ave a diffe r e nt flas h d ista nce fo r eac h fra m e Thi s c reat es a ve r y di f f i c ult ex p os ur e pr oble m I f the two s id e d i s t a nces a r e mu c h g r eate r tha n th e cen t e r th e d e n s i t i es of eac h f r a m e w ill n o t m a t c h Tr y t o pick a n a r ea w h e r e th e flash dista nces are a lm os t eq u al. P a n o r a mi c ph o tograph y i s a way t o b roa d e n yo ur p erso n a l v iew of yo ur s urr o undin gs a bove gro un d o r in a cave. It i s a l so a ve r y a rti stic way t o ex pr ess yo ur fee lin gs o f w h a t yo u h ave seen in a very unu s u a l way It i s n o t necessar y t o a l ways t ry fo r a p e rfectly m a t c hin g se t of p rint s. The f in a l sce n e can be lik e a series of "windows" w i t h sep a rate prints t o co n vey th e fee lin g of b e in g th e r e D o n t fo rget t o turn th e cam e r a ve r t ical fo r w id e s h o t s of a d i ffe r e nt v iew. The i dea of th e p a n o r a mi c i s f r ee d o m a nd ex pr ess i on. 2 5




THE TEXAS CAVER MAR C H I A PRIL 1998 Matt Schram sports the very latest in fashionable, ecological head gear. 27


MARCH I APRIL 1998 TRIP REPORTGUATEMALA By BEV SHADE Photos By BARBARA LUKE Naj Tunich Barbara Luk e B y working 2-million-hour weeks through the month of April, I managed to complete all of my commitments at Rice by May I 1997. It got nasty, but the reward was to be somebody's go-fer! To be more spe cific, for the month of May, Allan Cobb and I accompanied Mesoamerica cave archaeologist James Brady to the east ern Guatemalan lowland (the Peten), to help him with some of hi s investiga tions. Dr. Brady was a resident of Gua temala for many years and did his doc toral work in a grand cave out in the Peten, known as Naj Tunich (pronounced NAC too-NEESH). It trans lates roughly as "big dark hole in the ground." He was hoping to put in an other field season at the cave, and we were hoping to push the pit lead s at the back of the cave! Andrea Stone publis hed a book about the cave focusing mainly on its unusual inscriptions. The book also has a short appendix on the geo l ogy by George Yeni and a nice 2-page map. The Rice library has the book, for those interested-I am going to gloss over a l ot of information and just give a trip report. Many of the caves visited contained broken pottery, such as this piece found in Pinturas. Alan and I flew to Guatemala City, where we met Brady. The three of u s then flew out to the Peten accompanied by about I 0 "cultural tourists. The tour ist s got a per so nal guided tour through the cave (it was rock art to them they just wanted to see the inscription s) and in return, we got free plane ticket s ... and food ... and hotel rooms. The rainy sea son had intermittently begun early and it was only luck that the road was pa ss able We staye d out at the cave for sev eral day s, during which time Alan and I could on l y look wistfully at the pit lead. We had left the ropes in Guatemala City assuming that we wo uld be back for a 2ll three-week field season. Sadly 'twas not to be, as the threat of continued and worsening rain did not permit our re turn Neverthele ss, getting to see the historic sections of the cave was in it self a treat -a stunning vegetated en trance chamber, bigger than a football field, and the floor was artificially lev e led back in antiquity leading into some nice sections of borehole The Maya utilized the cave heavily from the Preclassic through the Classic period s During these periods they altered the cave to make it very easy to move through, a lthough the modifications are not obvious. Fre quently, such changes are only appar ent to cavers, since non-cavers don't realize that it isn t supposed to be so easy to walk along the flat cave floor. There was even a s pot where a flow s tone dam (about 8 feet tall) blocked the entire pas sage. Conveniently enough, there were these lo ve l y little indentions about one stride apart. You could walk up the flowstone without even using your hands I went across this thing twice before realizing "Wait! Flow stone doesn t l ook like that! The amount of utilization and modification in the cave was impres s ive, though subt l e. However, the tour i s ts were there for the art. Once re garded as a crude phenomenon, s pec tacular cave art pervades Naj Tunich There are long panels of glyphs and drawings, all of the well-developed classic type with detailed long-count dates, and renditions of musicians and the Maya ballgames The art is not only diverse and unique in all of Mesoa merica it is also beautiful con s i s ting mo s tly of elegant line drawings in black on the off-white cave walls. Many of the inscriptions were made in areas where the walls were soft. ConSee "Thnic h," page 35 Till : TEXAS CAVER


TRIP REPORTMEXICO By JOE IVY Photos by JOE IVY MARCH I APRIL 1998 Sotano de Las Golondrinas Pit-Bopping in One of Mexico's Newest Regional Parks It all started with an argument be tween Bruce Smith, co-author of On Rope, Se cond Edition, and I about the difficulty of doing a "big pit. Bruce insisted that big pits require lots of plan ning and preparation and I felt that they require only a long weekend and a big rope So Bruce was finally shamed into going with us to Sotano de las Golondrinas. Bruce flew into Austin on March 4th, and we departed the next morning. The folks in attendance were Bruce ( Tennessee), Patrick & Missy Lynott (Austin), Rebecca Jones (Austin), Hunter Phillips (Kyle), Alan Adams (Ve rmont) and myself (Austin). We drove down Thursday, arrived at Golondrinas Friday afternoon, and started to rig the pit. There was a group of Czech cavers already using the usual rig point on the low side so we had to utilize a rig point half-way up the right side. Not a bad rig point at all. In fact we all agreed that the view was nicer there anyway. We rigged two lines and proceeded to bounce the pit. Since we Have a cave and a smile Tw : TExAs CAVER started late in the afternoon to avoid the heat of the day we all came out after dark One very cool sight was the bril liant moonbeam that came down the s haft and lit up the bottom of the pit s uch that you didn't need a light to get about. What made this trip different from other trips we've taken to Golondrina s was that it had now become an official regional park The local government has erected a two meter high barbed wire fence around the low side of the pit to keep the children away from the lip. It also helps to channel visitors to the gate where they must sign two reg isters and pay I 0 peso s a person to en ter. One regi s ter is for folks just look ing at the pit and the other is for tho se who actually go down There are also lots of rules to abide by written out in English and Spanish: no rock throwing (a bummer, as dropping rocks in big pit s is always great fun) keeping shouting to a minimum so as to not disturb the birds u sing sensible rigging and not placing new anchors. The local park committee ha s also knocked down lot s of the karst blades around the pit in or der to make walkways all around the pit. They have also made a camping area off to one side of the pit th a t i s about 15 meters in diameter for those stay ing over night. To be honest we were all hon i fied. On the other hand looking at the register it became clear why this management and commercialization was needed Dozens of groups from all over the world a nd Mexico have vis ited the pit since we went there last fall. It see m s that fo l ks will come a long way to do the Big G ." And it also seems that most of them want to slam in their own new bolt anchors even though there are lot s of great natura l anchors all over the place. Ah, well, times change and you can park your truck within sig ht of the entrance of Golondrina s now. After derigging G o londrinas we headed for the town of Tamapatz to s pend the night. One can rent a room above the slaughterhouse for about 6 pesos per person per night. And there's even a bathroom with a s hower! The See "Golondrin as," page 35 Parking lot near the entrance to Go londrina s. 29


MARCH I APRIL 1998 THE INQUISITION By JOE IVY Kong-Bonaiti Speleo Descender Sin ce the Petzl Stop doesn't stop very well and the Aussie-made SRT De sce nder is very expensive and hard to come by I've been looking for a European-style descender with a stop feature that works. I think I've found it in the Speleo. The Speleo is made by KongBonaiti in Italy. Kong-Bonaiti i s best known for their carabiners, which it manufacture s for many other companies, and simply stamps the other companies' n a me s on them. However, they a l so make lots of other cool st uff. The Speleo is a bobbin descender with an automatic "parking brake ." Like the Petzl Stop, the u ser must sq ueeze a handle in or der to de sce nd When the user re l eases the handle he 's s uppo se d to sto p It's important to note here that the brake i s NOT for control ling the rappel but functions only as a parking brake Anyway, we picked up one of these descenders from the US Kong-Bonaiti di s tributor and put it to the te s t thi s past December in the El Abra re g ion of northern Mexico What m akes the Speleo bet ter than the Petzl Stop is that the pinch point that creates the braking action is located further away from the point at which the rope enters the descender. This means that the pinching action occurs with all the friction of the de sce nder helping it to function. The brake i s accomplished in the Speleo by this funky lever at tached to the lower capstan which ro tates and in turn operates a rope pinching hammer at the top of the descender Kind of funky but it works well. We were s hown a new pit near Sotano de 30 Venadito and we rigged it with a new rope that we were evaluating. This rope is Spanish-made and is l 00% polyes ter. It' s also s licker than greased owl snot! This stuff was really fast! Everyone had some trouble on the 60meter de sce nt with the slickness of the rope but I found that the Speleo even with my hefty weight (230 pounds), had little trouble in be having as a parking brake during the descent. I was very impres se d that it would actually stop my de sce nt on such a slick rope. During later trips, I found that it worked really well on more nor mal ropes. On the other hand like other bobbin descenders, it doe sn't like dirty 11 mm rope very much at all. A lighter person would have to feed the rope into the Speleo a lot if they were u s ing dirty old PMI or the like. All in all, it 's a really good descender if you're looking for a bobbin-type de sce nder with a "parking brake ." Contact Climb Axe, Ltd. at 503236-9552 between 9am and 5pm Pacific Time to locate the Kong Bonaiti dealer nearest you. The Inquisition is a column devoted to the subjective evalua tion of caving gear so that you, the reader, can make a more intelligent gear puchasing decision If you would like to see a particular piece of equipment checked out, just send a post card or letter to: The Inquisition c/o Joe Ivy, 11916 Bluebon net Lane, Manchaca, TX 78652 or email me at m If you think that one of these reviews is just way out of line, write a rebuttal and we'll publish it here! You can send Word documents to me or the editor via email. Now get out there and tra s h so me gear! TNE TEXA S CAVER


MARCH I APRIL 1998 FROM THE FILES OF THE TSS Adams Gold Mine A classic example of a lost Span ish treasure can be found in the story of Adams Gold Mine. Adams Gold Mine consists of two caves, the Upper Cave and the Lower Cave. The Lower Cave, also known as Little Blue Spring, is a relatively small cave with a spring flowing out of the cliffside entrance. Two artificial shafts also provide entrance to the cave. Avid treasure hunters pitted the entire area surrounding both caves with trenches and shafts. The Upper Cave was discovered by one of these shafts, which is the only entrance to this cave. Both caves have been thoroughly excavated during treasure hunting. As the story behind all of this activity is similar to many of the rumors circulating around concerning trea sure caves, a detailed account of its origins would be enlightening. The best account is the following, which is quoted in its entirety. "It seems that a Spanish pack train of 20 burros laden with gold mined in the area and guarded b y 20 soldiers began a northward trek to some destination now un known Attacking Indians drove the party back. Fearing the capture of the gold, the c aptain of the company buried it on a hill beside what is now known as Little Blue Spring. No one knows what became of the Spaniards, but some years ago near Georgetown, an .Indian was bitten b y a rattlesnake. George Pape who lived not far .limn the camp took him to a doct01: The Indian recovered and in appreciation for saving his life, he told Pape the above leg' end which he had heard many ye ars before while he lived in East Texas. The Indian was a newcomer in the distri c t but was able to tell of man y landmarks of which he had heard, and described a rock under which he said that his grandmother had been bur ied. A party investigated the story andfound a skeleton of a woman, presumabl y the grandmothe1;just where the Indian had said that it would be but the gold was never found. There is hardl y a I 00-yard plo t in the entire camp that does not show signs of treasure hunters for the buried gold. A corporation was formed in recen t years, and stock was sold to raise moneyfor the search. This hill b y Little Blue Sprin g was min e d but no treasure was found. The only tr ea -ADAM'S GOLD MINE LOWER CAVE O.:. C.O, ICU sure apparent in the d ea l w as the $40,000 which passed from the po c k e ts of inves tors to tho se ofthe operators. (Johnson /958) The tale, however doesn t stop here. Yet another massive treasure hunt was mounted in early 1965 and one that was so similar to the other in events and outcome as might lead one to believe in history repeating itself! Eliezar (Les) Guerra initiated the next escapade. Guerra claimed to have been lost for two days in a cave sometime around 1957 or 1958. His story involves seeing great stacks of gold bars, silver bars sacks of coins and artifacts, including a gold life sized bull 's head with ruby eyes. The already hard to believe story becomes even more so when Guerra somehow es capes, spends some time in a hospital for either exhaustion or a fungus infec tion (accounts vary), and returnes some months later only to find that the one entrance he knew of had been buried by a landslide. The reason as to why he waited until 1965 to instigate a massive effort to retrieve the treasure is un known. At any rate he formed Guerra Enterprises and enlisted International Explorers Inc. and Mineral Separations Inc. to participate in the search. These corporations undertook massive excavations in and around Adams Gold Mine during late Feb ruary and early March 1965 to the accompaniment of widespread publicity. Enthus iasm was rampant. with the day s activities being extolled and the pros pect s for tomorrow al ways bright. It seemed that the loot was always just a few feet or just a few more man-hours away. Such an air of excitement brought greedy investors on the run It is not known how much money eventually was involved, but estimates run as high as $100 000. The hunt deteriorated as excavation slowed and the principals left one by one. All this eventually came under the scrutiny of the Texas State Securities Board who subpoenaed various officers and records of the corporations involved and even tually determined that Guerra Enter prises Inc. was guilty of selling illegal securities. The treasure was never found. It may have been gone for decades. During the hunt another story concern ing the treasure surfaced. Old-timers in


Bell County recalled that James Carlton O Guinn, a Chief of the Cherokee Na tion, used to tell how he accompanied hi s grandfather (who was then Chief) and a sub-chief on a buggy ride from the reservation in Oklahoma to Bell County. While the boy (O'Guinn) tended the camp, the other two men lo cated and excavated a cave. The next day the two men removed a large heavy bundle placed it on the buggy, resealed the cave entrance, and drove away. O 'Guinn never knew what was in the sack, but he said the tribe exchanged it for $96,000. O Guinn later returned to the area and reportedly searched until he found the cave, but no one knows whether he found and removed any more treasure Optimists will probably MARCH I APRIL 199 8 think not-it is hard to concede the death of such an intriguing legend. Adams Gold Mine harbors several species of fauna. The most interesting is the large fisher spider Dolomedes scriptus Hentz. This is one of the larger spiders in the United States and live s in dark, swampy areas. It feeds by resting on top of the water, held up by surface tension, and catches tadpoles and small fish by plunging itself into the water as they pass beneath. The Lower Cave, also known as Little Blue Spring, is located on the side of a 12m high cliff. Water flows from several openings as well as from the gravel in front of the entrance. One of the entrances opens into a northwest trending crevice-like passage one to OPINION-OPEN OR NOT? By Karen Perry* Having only been back to caving s ince January I feel a little out of the loop but am catching up quickly One debate that stands outregards member s hip policies. Do we make ourselves known by being public or do we isolate ourselves so those who are interested have to search u s out? As asked, here are my personal feelings. The NSS and, through it, the TSA are non-profit organizations affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Both s hare the statement of purpose as advancing the st udy conservation, exploration, and knowledge of caves. Nowhere in the NSS an d TSA Constitution and Bylaws did I find exclusion clauses allowing Grottos to withdraw from the public light a nd responsibility. Nowhere did I find clauses dis a llowing advertising or public announcements regarding Grot tos. The definition of the word AD VANCING is: 1) To move or bring for ward. 2) To accelerate the growth or progres s of; to forward. 3) To rai se to a higher rank ; promote. 4) To bring to view or notice I have never read, see n or inter-32 preted anything in writing referring to the mission statements and purposes that allows for an exclusionist, se parat ist, elitist attitude. If anything it is the absolute opposite. As a NSS group, we should accept the responsibility of following that sta tement of purpose. It seems to me that statement sets a standard. We should be willing to go out in the public for rea son of education, if nothing else. Asso ciations with museums, schools, col lege s and universities opens doors be yond our separate individual ability. We give ourselves the chance to advance, learn and grow. Stagnation is deteriora tion. Caving is becoming more and more popular Why, even the other week there was an article in the Dallas Morning News on caving, but nowhere did it list either of the Dallas-Fort Worth area grottos as a point of contact. To me this is a sad state of affairs. Here is an ar ticle in a local world-class newspaper and we, at the local level are not even recognized in a story promoting wild caving. Now let' s add some insult to injury: The article featured Paul Griffiths president of the British Co lumbia Speleological Federation By the three meters high often with water at the bottom. After about twenty meters the passage makes a jog to the right for seven meters before resuming its origi nal direction It becomes too small af ter 40 m. A ten-meter deep shaft in thi s passage connects to the surface. The Upper Cave has no natural entrance and was discovered by miner s digging a shaft. This shaft is located al most at the mid-point of a 60m long I to 4 meter s high and two meters wide passage. A pit along the northern por tion drops 12 meters to water. Although the two caves are only 37 meters apart no physical connection see ms likely. The floors of both caves have been extensively excavated during treasure hunting operations. way a staff writer, not a wire service, did all this We want to s top so called free-style s pelunkers bring them into the fold, and give them the guidance they are missing; yet we se t ourselves apart so as to be difficult to find, let alone be known. Until you told your friends, did they know about the NSS or TSA? Think back to when you first started out! Now for the other shoe! When these people do find us how are they received? I can say for myself that at my first meeting NO ONE PRESENT approached me and introduced them se lves. I had to make the move. The COLD SHOULDER I got was unfor givable! I am thankful that my love of caving is greater than any temporarily hurt feelings. By being a member and by involvement I hope I can be a help by being part of the solution, not the problem. First impres s ion s are just that! How many potential cavers have we driven away to unsafe caving because of indift"erence and attitude? It's time for a shot in the arm people. Wake up! *(Ka re n s tart ed caving in the 70s took a leave of a b sence, and is now back-ed.) TH!' TEX A S CA VEil


MARCH I APRIL 1 998 CHAIRMAN'S CORNERPART II By GILL EDIGER Karen's letter is exactly on tar get! There is a non-prolifera tion faction" of cavers some of you among it who think that caves and caving are endangered by having more c avers. In over 30 years of caving, I have l ea rned that exactly the opposite is true. Having more cavers is not a problem! It i s an absolute necessity! It is the life blood of caving! But, having more people caving who are not cavers i s definitely a problem! And it s a big prob l em. That's where the rub comes in. The "non-proliferation faction would have us believe that maintaining a low profile recruiting new cavers only f rom close friends and associates and being antisocial at Grotto meeting s will work to preserve caves. Again, exactly the opposite is in fact the case. Why? Because there are thousands of people across Texas who go into caves who have had not one minute of training not one word of conservation, not a single notion of caving philo so phy. They are destroying caves; they are hurting land owner relations; they are creating bad press. They are not cavers but they are go ing caving. And there are thousands. As a fairly well-known caver, I am introduced quite by chance, to 40 or 50 non-cavers every year. The typical line goes, Oh, hey! I go caving all the time. I've been in all the caves in South Aus tin, even the ones with gates. I just bust the locks off. Naw I don t need permis sion-don't even know who owns them. And I've been in a bunch of caves near San Saba We just hike around looking for arrowheads, and when we find caves, we go in them. We've found about 20 or 30 out there. Found one with a dead Indian in it. We took it out and sold it to the guy at the general store who buys arrowheads. We got shot at once by a rancher with a shotgun. I heard there was a spelunking club here but somebody told me they were a 1'11 TEXAS CAVER bunch of snobs not to waste my time with 'em." I hear about probably that many more non-cavers who go caving each year. Every caver has had encoun ters of that kind How much proof do we need ? They re out there and they re doing damage. These people need to be found and they need to be brought into the fold, even if we have to supply them with FREE Activities Newsletters. The way we get them hooked is to get them to go caving-WITH US! Then we can have an influence on them Then they can be trained They are people who want to be cavers obviously. So why don t we bring them in? "To fail to attract ... potential cavers ... is tantamount to collective suicide." If you look closely at the lo gic of the non-proliferation faction you will recognize a strong "se lfish tendency. I don t want any more cavers because I want to save the caves for ME! We have a nice little tight group in OUR Grotto and we don t want anybody com ing in and screwing it up for US! Lord, WE might actually have to train some body. That would certainly rob ME of precious perso nal time ." Do you see a trend here ? Do you see that burying one s head in the sand will make a caver or club stagnant or introverted? But maybe selfishness i s n t so bad. Let 's use that selfish tendency Let 's call it into full force. But this time let s use it to our advantage. What we are caving for is some sort of self-satisfaction. happi ness in any of its many guises. We want caving to be better for US! To hell with everybody else! WRONG! The way we make it better for us i s to make it better for all other cavers. The more caving that s being done the more caves that get found, the more information that's being produced the more that we know and learn and the more cavers we ha ve to share caving with then the better cav ing will be for US! That' s about as bot tom line as it gets We, as cavers have to maintain enough of a core group, a support mechani s m to keep caving not only alive, but progressing. We cannot stag nate and expect to get anywhere. To maintain that core group we need torecruit. We need to recruit those people already caving who are not cavers, and we need to recruit new cavers from among the educated. College st udent s are the heart of future caving They will be the future adventurers If they are going to go caving they ought to do it right. It i s our responsibility to cave s and caving and to potential cavers and to ourselves to see that the y are tr a ined right. In order to do that we MUST re cruit. We MUST have an active train ing program. Where else will future cavers come from and where else will they get proper training ? Most of the ones who are recruited will drop out and never be cavers That' s not only OK, it 's great! We have in one fell swoop. eliminated those people who only think they want to be cavers and also given them an introduction into proper cav ing. They pa ss into the outside world with a greater positive awareness of caves and cavers. Many will remain close friends, what I call peripheral cavers. They will be in effect. emissar ies for our cause. They can point people who are not cavers but who go caving in the right direction -go join the Grotto. Grotto s are the traditional places where new cavers are made. Where e lse do the re so urce s to train cavers ex ist ? : n


Personnel, knowledge and experience are all concentrated in the Grotto Re cruitment and training may not be the only purpose for Grottos but it is way way out ahead of whatever the second purpose is. If a Grotto does not have an active R&T program then it is cheating itself and other cavers-and latent fu ture cavers as well. A Grotto requires new blood to be viable to be dynamic, to stay young and active. The best new blood is found in college students They are active interested enthusiastic fit, and make damn good cavers. To fail to attract many good potential cavers into the caving community is tantamount to collective suicide If we don't reproduce we die out. But first we deteriorate. MARCH I APRIL 1998 The opportunity to create great things in Texas caving has never been better. But right now the TSA is still deteriorating-there are not enough new and upcoming cavers In the previous decade or two Grottos have not placed enough emphasis on replacing their de creasing numbers. We are short of en ergetic leadership in both the Grottos and the TSA. Look at your own Grotto and see if that is not the case. It is im perative that we create some new and energetic cavers to move into the next generation. It's easy, of course. You just get a training committee together put up some posters on the local college campus then take those who show up caving. They'll do the rest, mostly. So, my challenge to every Grotto is to get your Recruitment and Train ing program up and running. We want 3 to 5 new cavers out of each Texa s Grotto every year. To do that you will need to attract about 40 to a meetin g (the attrition rate is over 90 %). Offic ers demand it of your other officers or quit and get officers who will do some thing. Grotto members, pres s ure your officers to get a Recruitment and Train ing program in operation then offer to help them. It is fun ; you will learn a lot ; you will make new friends ; cavin g will t a ke on a new level of energy for you. And it s a matter of caving lif e and death 1998 TSA SPRING CONVENTION BLANCO, TEXAS APRIL 24 26 SATURDAY MORNING WORKSHOP "How not to become the victim of a cave rescue" Walter Pickett introduces the caving environment, dangers, techniques, and equipment, and discusses how to prevent being injured while caving PHOTO AND MAP SALONS Great prizes are up for grabs in the salons, but the prizes won't be awarded if there aren t enough entries. Winners will also be published in THE TEXAS CAVER. Maps should be sent to Andy Grubbs; photos should be sent to Susie Lasko. See Members' Manual for numbers COST: $20.00/PERSON KIDS UNDER 12 ARE HALF PRICE A LISTING OF SATURDAY SESSIONS What's in a cave? -George Veni Guatemala Cave Archaeology Allan Cobb Northern Mexico Exploration -Peter Sprouse Southern Mexico Caving -Joe Ivy/Becky Jones TSA Government Canyon Project -Marvin Miller Cave Diving in Texas Bill Tucker (tentative) The Laguna de Sanchez Project -Jim Kennedy TSA Colorado Bend State Park Project-Terry Holsinger ITESM Cave Club, Monterrey, Mexico -Fofo Gonzalez & Erick Gonzalez Montell includes sessions, workshops, vendors, door prizes, camping, and the Saturday evening banquet. The Banquet speaker will be Bob Richards. By the way, the Community Center has a NO DRUGS/ALCOHOL policy to set a "good example for the young ones. They will check in on everyone through the weekend, so please don't ruin it by having cans and bottles lying around. The Community Center is on the west side of SR 281, just north of the Blanco city limits Camping is on site. Campground gate will open after Noon on Friday. 34 THE T EXAS CAVEll


TUNICH se quently some of the p a int h as flak e d off, m aking them h a rd to decipher. How eve r the lo ss from thi s natur a l pr o cess i s nothin g compared to the h avoc recent human s have wrought. Since the cave i s warm a nd humid the black paint ha s not dri e d in the hundre d s of years since it was applied, and can b e s mudged with a finger. Although the cave was o nly di s co vered in the early 80's a nd gated in t h e l a te 80's, vandals broke the gate d urin g a governmental upheaval in the e arly 90 's The vandals attacked th e a rt with what appears to have been m a c het es. The d es truction was r andom in its tar gets, but dev as tating The m a j o r ity of the art was damaged m a n y pi eces utt erly obliterated some s mud ged be yond le g ibility, others s l as hed a nd also i llegible. Many of the drawin gs look as if th ey were only painted a few hour s ago, a nd th e destruction looks like s l as h es on a livin g his tory Now, mu c h of this inform a tion i s lo st forever. Af ter the initi a l awe wears off, the m ost co mm o n reaction I saw was tears. It 's a n inc r ed ibl y sa d a nd terribl e thing t o see, but s till a m az in g. With a littl e s l og ging, we did manage to get all th e t o urGOLONDRINAS next mornin g, we left Tam a patz t o go bop Hoya de Guaguas. Gu ag u as i s a not h e r l arge pit in th e a re a with a low s id e drop of 146 meters and a hi g h s id e drop of202 meter s Unlike Golondrin as, it t a k es about 30-45 minutes to hik e from the r oa d to the pit. I a l so feel that the e ntr a nce to Guag ua s i s more impr es s ive than Golondrinas even though th e pit i s n t as deep Once we arrived at the low s ide we to sse d a couple of big rocks into th e hole a nd watched th e m explode. The n we hik e d up to th e hig h s id e, rigge d a rope and s tarte d bouncing the pit. While we were up there a local fellow walked up the trail, whipped out a s ta c k of pap e r s and pro cee ded to ex plain that th ey a r e going to MARCH I APRI L 1 998 Barbara Luke Two meter-high wall constructed b y the Maya within Pinturas. i sts out of th e b ackco untr y and s in ce our field seaso n h ad b ee n quashed b y the rain we head ed b ack t o th e city of Flo re s, still o ut in th e P e t en. Within a co upl e of day s Dr. Br a dy was g uided to seve r a l s mall caves in the a r ea, w hich contained seve r a l rock walls. a few mor e in sc ription s, a nd tons of broken p ot tery. A good bit of the cer a mi c was pr ec l assic a nd a n a rti c l e o n these caves make a p a rk o ut of Gua g ua s as well! Same sort of thin g as Golondrinas: t wo registers. rule s and I 0 pesos a h ea d H e told u s th a t the y are planning t o build a camping a rea a nd a n o uth o u se Lovely. We paid our fees derigged and headed for the hig hw ay. S a turda y nig ht was s p e nt a t th e Cascada Mi cas. a really be a utiful se rie s of travertine waterfall s fo rmed on a rive r th a t flows out of th e m o unt a in s west of Ciuda d Valles. Sunday was s p e nt dri v ing b ack to Austin I f yo u want to d o a weekend G o londrin as trip. it s n ot h a rd a t all -just r e m e mb e r to take yo ur p e sos with yo u to th e pit! h as b ee n publi s h ed in the a r c h aeo l ogy j o urn a l Mexi ca n. vol. XIX. n o. 5 However. w hil e the se caves did contain sever a l impress i ve entra nce c h a mb ers they did n o t offer mu c h in the way of mil es of b ecko nin g darkne s We were sadly forced t o s ta y in a n a ir co nditi o n ed h ote l in nearby Flore s a nd eat regul a r meal s. But we made it thr o u g h OK. The TExAs CAVER is produced by the TSA Publications Committee Editor Brian Vauter Staff Melanie Alspaugh Katie Arens Aimee Beveridge Don Cooper Gill Ediger Julia Germany Terry Holsinger Jim Kennedy Tim Stitch David Turner Chris Vreeland Bylines of Grottos and Project Corre spondents appear with their reports Many thanks to those contributing to this issue : Blair Pittman Gill Ediger Jim Jasek Bev Shade Joe Ivy, and Karen Perry


THE TEXAS CAVER Post Office Box 8026 Austin, Texas 78713 BULK R ATE U S. P ostage PAID Au s tin Texa s Permit N o I I 8 1

Contents: TSA Winter
Meeting Notes --
TSA Business: Financial reports; state of the TSA, and
why you need to become a member. Support the TSA! --
Chairman's Corner: Part I / Gill Ediger --
Photography: Widen Your View / Jim Jasek Jim Jasek
describes a procedure for creating extraordinary panoramic
pictures. --
Trip Report: Naj Tunich / Bev Shade Bev Shade reports
in on a trip Guatamala for some "spelean archeology". --
Trip Report: Golondrinas / Joe Ivy This popular cave
isn't what it used to be. Recent commercialization heps make
Golondrinas more "user friendly". Joe Ivy details all the new
changes in the latest Mexico cave to go commercial. --
The Inquisition: Kong-Bonaiti Speleo Descender / Joe Ivy
From the Files of the TSS: Adams Gold Mine --
Opinion: Open or Not? / Karen Perry --
Chairman's Corner: Part II.