The Texas Caver

The Texas Caver

Material Information

The Texas Caver
Series Title:
The Texas Caver
Texas Speleological Association
Texas Speleological Association
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Black Squirrel Cave (Kimble County, Texas, United States) ( 31, -101 )
Black Widow Cave (Sutton County, Texas, United States) ( 30.5, -100.55 )
Brad's Crack (Comal County, Texas, United States) ( 29.691989, -98.34285 )
Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico, United States) ( 32.17705, -104.49642 )
Green Gypsum Cave (Kimble County, Texas, United States) ( 30.4667, -99.7667 )
Porkys Cave (Kimble County, Texas, United States) ( 30.4667, -99.7667 )
Pozo de El Tarillal (Nuevo León, Mexico) ( 25.5311, -100.5311 )
Psychic Pit (Kimble County, Texas, United States) ( 30.4667, -99.7667 )
Solar Panel Cave (Kimble County, Texas, United States) ( 30.4667, -99.7667 )
Three Fingers Cave (Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico, United States) ( 32.834, -105.697 )
Regional Speleology ( local )
Technical Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States
31 x -101
30.5 x -100.55
29.691989 x -98.34285
32.17705 x -104.49642
30.4667 x -99.7667
25.5311 x -100.5311
32.834 x -105.697


General Note:
Contents: Cave Archaeology -- From the Files of the TSS: Black Widow Cave -- Project Report: Stiver Ranch -- TSS Cave Restoration Workshop -- Trip Reports -- Book Reviews -- The Budget Caver: Helmets -- The Inquisition: Kong Cam Clean Ascender -- Texas Caver's Reunion 1999 -- Lost Caves of Texas: San Saba County -- TSA Business -- Grotto Reports.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 44, no. 06 (1999)
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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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
K26-04733 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4733 ( USFLDC Handle )
11467 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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CONTENTS November/December 1999 Vol. 44 No.6 Cave Archaeology From The Files of the TSS Black Widow Cave Project Report Stiver Ranch TSS Cave Restoration Workshop Trip Reports High Guads Restoration Surveying in Carlsbad Caverns Aggies at Cave Without a Name El Tarillal Brad's Crack Book Reviews The Budget Caver Helmets The Inquisition Kong Cam Clean Ascender Texas Caver's Reunion 1999 Lost Caves of Texas San Saba County TSA Business Grotto Reports 99 101 102 106 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 The TExAs CAVER is produced by the Texas Speleological Association Editors Joe Ivy & Rebecca Jones Proof Readers Katie Arens, Bonnie Longley, & Denise Prendergast Slide Scanning Allan Cobb This issue is made possible by those who contributed material: Aaron Addison Robin Barber, Christi Bennet, Mike Cunningham Butch Fralia, David Gers, Andy Gluesenkamp, Joe Ivy, Jack Johnson, Rebecca Jones Jim Kennedy, Allan Laman, Bonnie Longley, Charlie Loving, Bill Mixon Ann Murphree, Karen Perry Bill Russell, Ann Scott, Peter Sprouse, Tim Stich & Tony Sultana THE TEXAS CAVER The TExAs CAVER is a bi-monthly publication of the Texa: ; Speleological Association (TSA), an internal organizatio r of the National Speleological Society (NSS). Subscription rates are $27/year for six issues of T h TExAs CAvER. This includes membership in the TSA. Ou. of-state subscribers, libraries, and other institutions m a receive The TExAs CAVER for $20/year. Back issues a r available at the cost of $3.00 per issue Send a correspondence (other than material for The TExAs CAVEF subscriptions, and exchanges to: The Texas Caver P .O. Box 8026 Austin TX 78713. Exchanges should be mailed to The Texas Caver at tt, above address. The Texas Caver will exchang newsletters with other grottos Submissions to The TExAs CAVER should be sent to th editors at the following address: Joe Ivy & Rebecca Jones 11916 Bluebonnet Manchaca, TX 78652 joeivy@interserv com We encourage YOU to participate in this publication. Please see page 119 for Submission Guidelines Opinions expressed in the The TExAs CAVER are sole i those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect thos opinons held by the editors, the TSA, its members, or th: NSS. Copyright 1999 by the Texas Speleological Associatio n Internal organizations of the NSS may reprint any ite n first appearing in The TExAs CAVER as long as proper cred!. is given and a copy of the newsletter containing the reprinted material is mailed to the TSA. Other organizations should contact the TSA about reprinte d materials ON THE COVER: Christie Rogers in Pozo de El Tarillal, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Photo by Peter Sprouse. ON THE BACK: Hand Prints, Actun Uayazba Kab, Belize. Photo by Ann Scott.


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 199\J Texas, Cave Archaeology, and You Ann M. Scott For thousands of years caves have fas cinated people. The same interest that cur rently lures us into the underground likely enticed ancient peoples as well. However, ancient peoples had other motives behind the exploration or utilization of caves. Many used caves or rockshelter entrances as places to seek refuge from the elements or places for temporary habitation. Examples of this can engage many other disciplines or spe cialists in order to effectively study ancient cave use. Some of those specialists include speleologists, hydrogeologists, geomorphologists, paleontologists, osteologists (bone specialists) as well as botanists, eth nographers, epigraphers (specialists in an cient inscriptions) and art historians de pending on the cave context and level of investigation. Some of the techniques involved in archaeological cave studies include cave survey, archaeological survey or test excavations (Figure 2), extensive docu-Figure 1. Christy Quintana and Pictographs in Northern Mexico. mentation through map plotting and photography, and sampling of sediment depos include Paleoindian groups in the southwest region of the United States and early cave dwellers in Europe and Asia. The ancient Maya in Mesoamerica, on the other hand, regarded caves as sacred spaces or places for religious ceremonies. Caves also are found to have been sources for drinking water, a medium for art, as well as places to bury the dead. The famous caves of Lascaux and Altamira in Europe, Naj Tunich in Gua temala, as well as the rockshelters from the Pecos region in Texas are remarkable ex amples of ancient art galleries that can contain pictographs (wall paintings) or petroglyphs (carvings or pecked drawings) (Figure I). Archaeology & Other Fields The activities of prehistoric peoples are retlected in the artifacts or art that is left behind. The study of these ancient hu man behaviors is archaeology. Cave archae ology, therefore, specializes in the investi gations of the material remains left behind from the utilization of caves. rockshelters, or other karst features. Cave archaeologists Till' T!o XAS CIVIo H its for content analysis to recover such re mains as bone, pollen. charred botanical remains, or charcoal for radiocarbon dat ing. Other lines of investigation can consist of geologic de scriptions by geomorphologists to under stand how the cave or karst feature deposits formed, ethnographic or ethno-historic information to shed light on the role or function of caves in a particular culture, or stylistic analysis of cave art through art history to show artis tic changes overtime. Scientists have been investigating the ancient use of caves for over I 00 years. Some of the best-documented cases of early cave investigations have been those of Mesoamerican cave usage Of the first archaeologists to examine cultural materials from caves two expeditions stand out as excellent works-Henry Mercer ( 1895) and Byron Gordon ( 1898). Mercer explored caves in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Gordon conducted work in highland caves above the site of Copan in Honduras. These studies paved the way for further Mesoamerican cave research by J. Eric Th ompson in the 1950s, David Pendergast in the 1960s and 1970s and James Brady as well as many others in the 1980s and 1990s (Figure 3 ). In the 1970s and 1980s. Texas cavers, such as Barbara MacLeod, Logan McNatt and Janet Steele were appearing in the literature studying Mesoamerican cave archaeology and related topics such as ritual cave use (for more current research see the August 1996 Vol. 58, No. 2, and the April 1997. Vol. 59, No I issues of the Journal o.fCm e and Karst Studies). In more recent times, numerous Texas cavers have participated in archaeological research in many different regions of the world. Cave archaeology appears to have carved its own little niche in the world of archaeological studies. Texas Cave Archaeologv The Texas landscape contains hun dreds of caves and sinkholes but only a few of these have archaeological materials as sociated with them Furthermore. of those caves (and rockshelters) that do have archaeological associations. only a small number have been professionally studied. 99


Solveig A. Turpin, who has investigated many Texas cave and rockshelter sites, offers a summary of Lower Pecos pre history in the 1994 NSS Convention Guide book The Caves and Karst of Texas. In this chapter she details the ancient history of the southwest central Texas region while mentioning the various significant archaeo logical sites from which data have been recovered. Essentially, the history begins about 12,000 years ago when Paleoindians first entered the region of southwest Texas People have utilized caves in Texas ever since One of the earliest researchers of Texas karst and rockshelters was A. T. Jackson, an archaeologist at the University of Texas, who, in the 1930s, conducted excavations at Fate Bell Shelter in Val Verde County as well as at other sites in Culberson County. Jackson was also one of the important figures in setting forth the idea of cave archaeology conservation in Texas by proposing that Seminole Canyon shelters be set aside as state parks (see the Conservation summary written by William Elliott in the 1994 NSS Convention Guidebook). Some of the cave sites that have NOVEMBER/DECEMBER t 999 summary of the findings will likely be pre sented in a forthcoming issue of The Texas Cava Texas caves can hold a wealth of sig nificant scientific data. Some of the cultural materials that are encountered in Texas caves include lithic debitage (stone flake debris) projectile points (Figure 4), pottery, and human remains. There are numerous examples of caves and sinkholes as reposi tories for human remains in Texas Organic materials such as plant (seeds) and aninic and cultural group interactions. Inves tigations in caves and sinkholes known to contain undisturbed or well-preserved de posits contribute greatly to understanding the relationship between human activities and the paleoenvironment in ancient Texas. Cave Archaeology & the Caver Archaeological materials can be present in the most unexpected areas. Cav ing in Texas does not always lead to an ar chaeological encounter, but depending on a number of factors, such as the context and morphology of the cave and its loca tion on the landscape, ancient peoples may have utilized it. Sometimes ar chaeological materials can go unrec ognized in a cave, which can lead to problems if cavers are not careful about their conduct in the cave. When cavers fail to identify archaeological resources in cave contexts, trampling or digging can destroy those resources. Even worse is the intentional removal of archaeological items through un scientific collecting or looting thereby destroying any recoverable data about the material and why it was even lo cated in a cave! been professionally investigated in more recent times include Bering Sinkhole and Halls Cave (Kerr County), Sorcerers Cave (Terrell County), Seminole Sink and Cueva Quebrada (Val Verde County), Scor pion Cave and Weynands Cave (Medina County) and Hitzfelder Cave (Bexar County). Numerous caves in Bexar and Comal Counties recently have been studied with a multidisciplinary approach involving biology, paleontology, and hydrogeology as well as archaeology. Figure 3. Calcite encrusted human bones from Cueva de Las Aranas, Honduras. Photo by James Brady. Cavers usually are the first in dividuals to look upon ancient mate rials that have been sealed up in caves for thousands of years. Cavers there fore, are the link to preserving the ar chaeological record found in caves; they are the stewards to help protect these unique cave sites. The cavers on the Stiver Ranch project, for example, acted accordingly by stopping their digging to preserve the remaining ma terials. lf archaeological materials or human remains are discovered during a cave trip, it is highly recommended that the materials or remains A current caver project in Kimble County at the Stiver Ranch led to the dis covery protection and professional exca vation of archaeological materials found in a sinkhole. During the initial digging of the sinkhole by project cavers a few large fragments of human bone were e ncoun terecl. Recognizing the significance of the discovery. the cavers ceased digging and the landowner was notified of the find. Lat er. professional archaeologists were con tacted to assess the site. The sinkhole was professionally excavated as part of an ar chaeological field school this past fall. A 100 mal remains (bones). woven baskets, or sandals, can also be recovered from cave or rockshelter sites given that caves offer conditions facilitating good preservation. Plant and animal materials can be quite use ful in reconstructing the ancient or paleoenvironment. The reconstruction of the paleo environment and subsistence base is one of the better uses of the data from caves and sinkholes. Furthermore, the recovery and analysis of human remains offer important information on what foods ancient peoples consumed population health and dynam ics over time, mortuary practices, and ethbe avoided as to preserve them and their archaeological context. One of the easiest ways to do this is to mark off the area with tlagging tape and alert other cavers to tread lightly around the artifacts. Areas contain ing artifacts can be indicated on the cave sketch map and photographed, if possible, to assist in documenting the archaeologi cal resources These types of documenta tion help future researchers effectively relocate and study the archaeology in the cave. Cave archaeology is a field that depends greatly upon the preservation and protection of archaeological resources Till' TEXAS CAVER


through a concerted effort by cavers and other visitors. For the average Texas caver, archaeological resources should be treated like cave formations and not be touched. Artifacts should be left in place to help pre serve the context of the discovery. In other words, when artifacts are removed from their original location, virtually nothing can be said about the significance of that arti fact because there is no context to go along with it. Simple questions about whether the artifact was discovered near the entrance or in the dark zone, was it found on the surface or deeply imbedded in mud, or was it located on a ledge or in a niche cannot be answered by the archaeologist when the object is removed from its context. Undis turbed, intact sites are necessary in order to obtain comprehensive scientific data Ar chaeological material is a non-renewable resource, much like delicate cave forma tions, and unless a professional archaeolo gist can properly document and record the artifacts, these objects should be protected from looting or disturbance until they can be adequately studied Texas cavers are essentially the pro-NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 19'J9 tectors of the past for Texas cave archaeol ogy. Therefore, cavers need to keep in mind that archaeological cave sites are sensitive issues and should be treated on a case-by-Figure 4. Examples of Texas projectile points. Illustrated by Ann Scott. case basis. Cavers need to consider the pos sible vandalism and ineversible harm that may come to both cave formations and ar chaeological resources if sites are disclosed FROM THE FILES OF THE TSS to the wrong people. There are some people who are serious looters and will destroy caves and rockshelter sites simply to get that one projectile point. It is just as frus trating to the professional archaeologi s t to see artifacts sold at a relic collectors trad ing show as it is to the caving community when they see cave formations being sold on the web or at gem shows Therefore, cavers should use discretion when report ing their findings to individuals and try to always encourage the preservation of archaeological materials. There are many professional archaeologists from both pub lic and private sectors. including a few Texas cavers who can assist in the preser vation or scientific excavation of archaeo logical materials. For advice and sugges tions about archaeological finds feel free to contact the author or any archaeologist at the Texas Historical Commission. the Office of the State Archeologist. Texas Parks and Wildlife (for caves sites in state parks), or any major local university that has an academic department with archae ologists Black Widow Cave, Sutton County, TX Jim Kennedy The Texas Speleological Survey files are full of cave history and are an excellent source for cave leads for cavers willing to track down landowners One such lead is Black Widow Cave, about six miles or so from the town of Sonora. To the best of my knowledge this cave was only visited once by James Reddell back in 1961. No survey was conducted, and I don't think the sketch map or description ever appeared in print. Not only is Reddell's completed Cave Report Form descriptive, it's also entertaining. Some of the entries are listed below. If anyone is interested in pursuing this fascinating lead the complete report and a location sketch map are on file with the TSS. I, for one, want to know about the "200' glass on the way to the Maze. Length: 400' Depth: 10' Patterns: Crawlway Maze Number of Entrances: I Type of Entrance: Solution Sink Amount of Overburden: 8' Rock Age: Cretaceous Special Equipment: Small Cavers (dwarfs, no doubt!) Meteorological Observations: Hot Tw : TExAs C.wER ENTRANCE James Reddell cooling off in dwarf-sized passage in Black Widow Cave. Photo by Tom Meador. BLACK WIDOW CAVE (SAWYER CAVE) SUTTON COUNTY, TEXAS Sketch Map 3 September 1961 by James Reddell no scale, no north 101


PROJECT REPORT Jim Kennedy Background In the winter of 1996-97 Mike Walsh of the Texas Cave Conservancy was con tacted by William (Bill) Stiver of Kimble County, Texas, about some caves on his ranch Walsh followed up with a trip tak ing with him Lee Jay Graves and Spencer Woods. They determined that Stiver had overonedozencavesof unknown length dug at a sinkhole for a few minutes, and made plans to return with other cavers to begin mapping. PLAN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 Stiver Ranch In the meantime, Bill was turning himself into a caver. He joined the TSA and started attending Bexar Grotto meetings I sent him some speleovendor catalogs, and he got him self equipped. He started visit ing other caves, such as Powells and Roband digs. We also mapped one cave on a neighboring ranch. The Setting The Stiver Ranch consists mos tly of upl a nds with no active streams, even in wet weather. The caves are situated in a rem nant of the dissected Edwards Pla N mag 1 997 teau, at an approximate elevation of 2, 150 feet. The caves have formed as a result of dissolution of the Kirsch berg Evaporite of the Fort Terrett member of the Creta-ceous Edwards formation. In most of the caves the evaporite beds are present as either a white, opaque BLACK SQUIRREL CAVE Several weeks lat e r Patty Kennedy and I returned with Walsh ENTRANCE KIMBLE COUNTY TEXAS Compass and Tape Survey 3 May 1997 alabaster or a highly crystalline. translucent gypsum (or possibly se lenite). With only a couple of exApparently, we were the only cavers he could rec ruit. I entered most of th e e ntrances that Stiver showed us (and conveniently numbered on little orange survey tlags, h e lpin g orient u s to the obscure openings in th e relatively featureless landscape). Our purpose was to provide a summary of all the caves to Stiver. who was a non-caver but intens ely interested in his caves. Before we left I 5 6 ins isted that we map at least one of the caves. We finished Solar Panel Cave that day. including a small dig into another room Walsh must have been embarrassed at actually being caught surveying, because h e hasn't been back since. I kept in touch with Stiver afte r that trip but l eft th e coordination to Walsh, who made th e original contact. A couple of months later Bill called m e, wondering about th e delivery of his summary report. A quick call determined that it was never finished. Mike and I got together later that week. wrote the report (with h azy memories of the caves due to the long delay), and I mail e d it to Stiver. 102 Camala Jones. Jim Kennedy PaNy Kennedy ceptions (Burial Cave, Porkys II. and Psychic Pit), entrances a re all at the margins of broad, shallow sinkholes formed by collapse of the thin limestone caprock into under lying gypsum chambers. Today all existing caves are protected by that lessso luble limestone cap, which is usually two to ten feet thick P as sages typically end in ma ss ive col-Map 11 August 1999 by Jim Kennedy 0 2 3 4 5 scale in meters PROFILE VIEW ANGLE 340' ber Baron He practiced vertical techniques in trees. He was a regular digger on a Bexar Grotto project. In addition, he was becoming better known to other ranchers in Kimble County as the "cave man." This would later prove important in gaining ac cess to caves on other ranches. Thus began a se ries of trips to the Stiver Ranch. We quickly gained TSA Project status, usin g the acronym SKI (Subterranean Kimble Investigations), as in "SKI Stiver Ranch Maybe we should get T-shirts printed So far, in six trips we have mapped 12 caves. Several digs were completed. and we have almost a mile of sur face survey loc a ting all the known caves lapse or by water di spersing through numerous tiny holes in gypsum. All the caves inve st igated so far are small, and none have connected with each other. Present & Past Cave Users No comprehensive biolo g i cal surveys have been made in any of the Stiver caves, but several ani mals have been seen during mapping actiVIties. These include porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) in Porkys and Porky s II Caves; rock squirrel (Spermophilus variegatus) in Black Squirrel Cave; eastern pipistrelle (Pipistrellus in Solar Panel Arch, and Porkys II caves; cave myotis ( Myotis velifer) in Graffiti Cave; turkey vulture (Catlwrtes aura) in Green Gypsum Cave and Cave with Dead Vulture; clifl'frog (Syrrhophus mamockii) in Porky s Cave; and western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) in Rattlesnak e Cave. Invertebrates are represented by unidenti fied cave crickets in Porkys. Solar Panel and Rattlesnake caves; rove beetles in


Porkys; brown spiders in Solar Panel; flies in Graffiti ; and a harvestman spider (not an Opulionid) a black tunnel-web weaver and a really big assassin bug in Rattlesnake. Numerous bones of goats and other animals are found in almost every cave. Ringtail Cat (Bassariscus astutus) scat was noted in Psychic Pit. Humans have also used some of the Stiver caves for a long time. Despite nu merous flint-knapping sites, burned-rock middens and mortar holes on the surface, only two (maybe three) caves show posi tive signs of human activity. Graffiti Cave contains historic -era ranch NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 but the cave is probably less than 15 meters long. Named for the five-gallon can in the entrance sink. Black Squirrel Cave (map) Named by Mike Walsh for the animal he saw run inside. Twenty-one meters sur veyed, ending in gypsum "wells" (our name for the short blind shafts that terminate many passages). Two-Way Cave A tight entrance soon opens to a small room with passage leading in two directions Unmapped. Graffiti Cave A large entrance leads to a single room with a rubble-filled trash and old signatures. This cave has one of the largest entrances in the area and also contains fire-black ened ceilings of unknown origin. Excavation of this site may prove interesting. In Green Gypsum Cave also with a large entrance, prominent chert beds are ex posed in the entrance room PSYCHIC PIT KIMBLE COUNTY, TEXAS Compass and Tape Survey 19 July 1997 Randy Brown and Jim Kennedy Map 28 July 1999 Jim "Crash" Kennedy and may have been mined by early tool-makers. But the most exciting discoveries so far are in Burial Cave This is the pre viously-mentioned sink par tially excavated by Graves Woods, and Walsh. During my first trip to the ranch, I continued the dig soon en countering bedrock walls As I removed more rock rubble from this five-foot pit, I encountered human 2 3 4 0 scale in meters PROFILE VIEW ANGLE 315" .. o bones and stopped digging. s ...L ________________ Excavations during the recent South Texas Archeological Association's field camp recorded at least nine individuals. Cave Descriptions Burial Cave (map to appear with a future report) -A half-meter shaft drops through lime s tone to a small chamber, ap proximately three-and-a-half by two meters A debris cone in the center of the chamber contained the rem a ins of nine prehistoric burials. A rock-filled crawl at the so uth end of the chamber is the only hope for exten sion. Gas Can Cave An awkward en trance leads to low passage extending in two directions. The s urvey is unfinished T!;"XAS CAVEll gypsum well at the back. A moderate guano pile and corresponding roost stain are in the center of the room, indicating former bat usage. Numerous bones and trash throughout the cave Map in progress. Bad Day In Dallas Cave Also named by Walsh. The tight entrance to the cave was partially excavated by Kennedy leading to small pa ssage and another dig This was enlarged to a barely passable size (with a gravity assist), leading to a larger room with another breakdown dig. On the way out tools were requested to remove an annoying rock in the first squeeze. Walsh (on the surface) was mightily amused by the exploits and occasional outbursts thinking. Kennedy's in trouble! The whole epi sode eventually translated to the other fa mous Kennedy 's problems in 1963 prompt ing the cave's name. Unmapped Solar Panel Cave (map)-Named for the automatic so lar panel powering the nearby water pump. A duck-under entrance opens to a relatively large room that skirts the entrance sinkhole. A window in a gyp sum curtain opened by Kennedy allows ac cess to a second room with a small cur rently-unoccupied bat roost. A fun easy cave near the cavers campsite gypsum Arch Cave-Another fun little cave Nmag. 199 7 but harder to find. Named by Walsh for the cla ss ic Yogi Bears tyle entrance. This i s the only cave on the ranch located in a draw, and it probably takes some water during periods of severe runoff. Surveyed by Ed Goff, Dave Milhollin, Wayne Peplinski and Elizabeth "Arizona" Robb during the 1998 TSA Winter Business Meeting. Map in progres s Eries Dig A small slump in the Rattle snake Cave sinkhole was dug on by Kennedy a nd then with more fervor (bigger tools!) by Eric Flint. A small gypsum chamber was opened but it is unknown whether any leads are present or if it even qualifies as a cave Unmapped. Rattlesnake Cave -Named for a former resident, since trapped and removed This small cave con tains numerous gypsum wells. None appear to lead to other passage de s pite the best efforts of the survey team Map in progre ss. Porkys II CaveSometimes called Porkys II: The Next D ay," this cave has a small obscure entrance which immediately slopes down to a fair-sized, surprisingly well-lit room. A bedding plane parting near the ceiling on the right a llows access to a second room which soon craps out in typi cal gypsum lead s (i.e. too small for hu mans). Unmapped Green Gypsum Cave ( m ap) Ju s t across the ranch road from the caver ca mp. 10.'


SOLAR PANEL CAVE KIMBLE COUNTY, TEXAS Compass and Tape Survey 23 March 1997 Jim Kennedy, Pa tty Kennedy, M ike Walsh Mp 31 July 1999 by Jim Kennedy PROFILE A-A' VIEW A NGLE 330" 104 I ENTRANCE L 0 5 sca le in met e r s NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 low d1g m w .. breakdown dig? PORKYS CAVE KIMBLE COUNTY, TEXAS Compass and Tape Survey 19 July 1997 by Randy Brown and Jim Kennedy Map by Jim Kennedy 25 00 25 50 75 100 ,. PROFILE VIEW ANGLE 50" 200-FOOT-LONG FOUR MILE CAVE KIMBLE COUNTY. T EXAS Stark Creek 7 5 quadrangle Compass and Tape Survey 31 January 1998 Andy Grubbs. Terry Holsmge r Ji m Kennedy. Gary Olsaver Bifl St1ver. D iane Townsend Map by J1m "C rash" Kennedy 23 July 1999 Surveyed length: 7 4 .8m (245') Internet relief : 8m (28') GREEN GYPSUM CAVE KIMBLE COUNTY, TEXAS Compaaa and Tape Survey 3 May 1997 Jim Kennedy. Patty Kennedy, Bill Stiver 23 May 1998 Jim Kennedy. Bill Sliver Mp 1 Auguet1WV by Jim Ken n edy 1 N : I I PROFILE PLAN 10 20 scllleinmot"'s THE TEXAS CAVER


Green Gyp is one of the more voluminous and interesting caves on the ranch. The name comes from the algae and moss on the interior cave walls. The entrance room is fairly spacious and has an interesting climb to a small infeeder dome. Two gyp sum wells are in the lowest part of the room, the easternmost leading to more passage A small constriction at the bottom of this well was enlarged in May 1997 by Kennedy who went on to discover the DeWalt Room. The constriction was later enlarged to ad mit Bill Stiver, who was helping map the cave. Now named "The Stiver Strainer," this hole gives way to the most beautiful part of the cave. Porkys Cave (map) -Another cave close to the cavers' camp, Porkys is essen tially a single room with a small crawl in the gypsum layer. A porcupine found here stopped exploration during the first 1997 trip and inspired the cave name. Cave With Dead Buzzard -This cave consists mainly of a low room with several gypsum wells. The entire cave is Jittered with old bones, feathers droppings and other animal signs A mummified vulture gave the cave its name. Map in progress. Psychic Pit (map) So far this is TCR Climbing Contest Results Frog 30Meter Men 1 2 3 Women Justin Shaw Peter Sprouse Michael Febra 1 RebeccaJones 2 Terri Whitfield 3 Aimee Beveridge Kids 1 Erin Vreeland Ropewalker 30-Meter Men 1 Oscar Berrones 2 Don Broussard Women 1:30 2:01 2:05 1:51 2:15 2:33 3:15 0:59 1:00 1 Roberta Snider 1 :30 2 Rene Shields 1:35 3 Lucille Berrones 1 :42 Knots 30-Meter 1 Don Broussard ? Climbing Contest Prizes donated by: Bob & Bob, Gonzo Guano Gear; PM! THE TEXAS CAVER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 the cave on the ranch farthest from the ranch house. The entrance is a one-meter hole at ground level. The Jack of an associ ated sink makes this cave difficult to find A tricky five-meter drop just inside the en trance can be free-climbed, but footholds can break without warning Randy Brown found this out the hard way while survey ing the cave The name came from the feel ing of danger Stiver's wife had for us about the time Randy fell in the pit. (He was OK.) There are several digs remaining in good sinks on the ranch. Cave #2, named for the numbered flag first labeling the sink hole is a promising lead through persim mon roots. Cave #5 is actually two dig leads in a scenic bedrock sinkhole near Graffiti Cave. There is also a good dig (unnamed) in the compound sink containing Bad Day in Dallas Cave and one near Cave with Dead Buzzard. Several other digs have been started elsewhere on the ranch. Contact Bill Stiver or Jim Kennedy for current status. The TSS files list four caves (Small Joint Cave, Hum Cave Stonewall Cave and Arid [Extra Dry] Cave) on the Rust Ranch across the county road from Stiver s We have not yet gained access to this ranch to relocate these and search for additional caves. However, on the next ranch south of Stiver's Bill was able to arrange a trip for us to look at the one known cave there We surveyed this during the 1998 TSA Winter Business Meeting. Upon drafting the map and comparing our observations, it was clear that we had remapped 200-Foot-Long Four Mile Cave (map) one of the lost" caves from the TSS Kimble County Bulletin. Other gypsum caves are known from a ranch about six miles southwest of Stiver s indicating that many more caves will be found in that part of Kimble County as we gain permission from other ranchers. [ official PMI Rope I / :: 105


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 TSS PROJECT REPORT TSS Restoration Workshop David Gers Saturday morning, II September 1999. Cave Without a Name (CWAN), near Boerne, Texas, was the site of the Cave Restoration Workshop sponsored by the Texas Speleological Survey (TSS) and ar ranged by George Veni in cooperation with the Texas Speleological Association (TSA). It featured honored lecturers Val Hildreth Werker and Jim Werker of the National Spe leological Society (NSS) and Jerry Trout of the National Forest Service (NFS). Pay at tention! An acronym quiz will follow. Val and Jim presented a slideshow and lecture that illustrated how to repair various kinds of speleothems (formations). They gave us pointers on how to cement broken pieces into place and how to make colorand texture-matched patches. They identified several speleothems they had re paired on earlier trips to CWAN so that we could inspect them to get a better idea of how repair work applies to the real world. The workshop taught us not only how to fix damage but how to prevent damage. Jerry Trout showed us an example of lay ing out a route on a map for cavers to fol low within one room of a cave. The route is chosen to cause the least amount of dam age to the cave while allowing people to view its wonders adequately. He called this "impact mapping." Val and Jim provided us with a handout that listed low-impact 106 caving techniques. The theme throughout the workshop was minimum impact, minimum impact, and minimum impact. We were in structed on the biological dangers of using chemicals, dropping food par ticles (Oh yeah? So how do I find my way back out?), and leaving body parts in caves. The goal is to cave without a trace. Finally, we split up into groups for the practi cal part of the workshop. Pat Copeland set my group to work I was assigned the task of scrubbing mud off a ten-foot flowstone mound. Others wound up ...scrubbing too, or digging mud and gravel from within rimstone dams. The idea was to put the goo into buckets and remove it from the cave. Ick! The next day, Pat and I had the dubious honor of emptying those buckets into ruts in the road leading to the cave. Double Ick! And now the quiz. So what s the dif ference between the TSA and the TSS0 Becky Jones gave me a hint: One group s a bunch of old farts who fancy themselve s more truly devoted to the honorable scien tific aspects of caving and, therefore, supe rior. The other group's a bunch of not quite so old farts who consider themselves truly devoted to caving and all its social values and, therefore superior. (You figure out which is which.) I belong to neither organization. This of course, makes me an independent old fart who's truly devoted to the wonder of new discoveries and therefore superior to both


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 When we split into groups to start restoration, I had something of a home court advantage. I chose to work on a rimstone dam away from the crowd Mike Burrell and I had talked about digging there, and this seemed like the perfect time for such a "small project." Paulette stopped by to observe, "You spend more time at the cave horizontally than you do vertically." I guess so. Well, three or four hours later I had the big stuff out of the hole. Inside this dam the space is three by one by one feet. As I dug down, I found what were dubbed "cave biscuits" and lot s of tubeand ball-shaped objects. It wasn't until I found a jawbone with a tooth clearly attached that I figured out that all these objects were bones with calcite crystals growing on them. (The bones, which may be Pleistocene era, were sent to pa leontologist Rick Toomey for identification.) After a couple of hours and finding enough tiny bones to make three or four small rodent-like crea tures, Pat "cave mother" Copeland convinced me to get up and move around Of course, when I returned, I had to fend off claim jumpers. -Mike Cunningham George Veni with the help of the Werkers, introduced N FS's Volunteer Value Forms. We all filled them out and were interested to see the calculations that put a dollar figure on our efforts. The workshop generated an estimated 10 640 round-trip driving miles, 151 person/ hours of travel time, 177 person/hours of work time. Current government mileage and wage rates yielded $7,028 worth of volunteer effort And we only worked Saturday afternoon! -Karen Perry All Photos Courtesy of Val Hildreth-Werker. Thank s to Val and Jim Werker for coming to Texas and sharing their knowledge experience and input with us And to Tom Summers and CWAN for the great Bar-B-Que dinner and hospitality. Caver s : Lisa Anderson Viqui Arbizu-Sabater Chri sti Bennett Aime e Beveridge Wayne Bockelman David Bogard Tom Brown. Mike Burrell Allan Cobb, Pat Copeland Mike Cunningh a m Dave Gers. Allen Laman James Lopez Tara Martin Jordan Merson Evelyn Mitchell Joe Mitchell Ann Murphree Rae Olnick Walt Olnick Karen Perry, Joe Ranzau Phil Sanders, Bill Sawyer Justin Shaw, Jon Thornhill, Chris Vail, & Vicki Wur st. Tm; TEXAS CA VEH 107


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 PROJECT REPORT High Guads Restoration at Three Fingers Allan Laman On September 25, 1999, we awoke there are some formations that are chaco-to a beautiful fall morning in the Lincoln late brown Since the room goes nowhere National Forest, New Mexico After breakwe put up flagging with "VERY FRAGfast we gathered things and waited for oriILE PLEASE STAY OUT! We did a little entation. Another High Guads Restoration poking around and found a lot of work to Project got started at about 08:45, and codo. I would like to see a lot of cleaning here ordinator Dave Jagnow went over all the to keep people off the flowstone or perhaps usual stuff, making sure everyone knew mark it with AQUA SOCKS ONLY!!! where to go for the day. ). Everyone signed in and we started for the cave, Three Fingers. We reached the parking spot at about 10:00 and had a short safety meet ing We talked about snakes along the trail and at the entrance to the cave We discussed the demands of the hike, went over rope calls, and made sure ev eryone had water, food, and lights. Pincher. Eventually, I would like to replace a lot of the flagging with rock trails but since we wanted to get trails established we mostly used flagging tape for now The register was full, so I brought it out. We'll need to bring new sheets next month. We started packing things up t o head out. Shane went up first with Carsten and Rob shortly behind. Mike and Victor wanted to look around a little bit, so I told them to g o ahead,and I went out. Mike said he would lock up and bring the rope. I asked them not to wan der off too far and keep it kind of short (which they did). I waited a t Boomers Landing until Mike was there. We all got back to the trucks at about 19:30 and were back in camp at 20:15 We hiked down and down and down ... and located the cave on the first try! I removed the gate, and we decided to leave the gate off but to lock the lock Really big speleothems in Three Fingers Cave, New Mexico. Photo by Mike Huber. On Sunday Shan e and I returned to the cav e to lock up since Mike had found the gate locked open. We left at 08:30 t o put the gate on and re turned at II : 00 I went inside and rigged for the drop I got to Boomers Landing and rigged the rebelay I went down after Shane got to the rebelay. At the bottom I found we were about a foot short to make ascending easy so I asked Mike to shorten the rebelay some At the bottom I found the remains of a glove (three fingers of it anyway), beside a decompos ing bat. I put the glove in a Ziplock There was a lot of fungus and some worms living on the bat s o I left it. After everyone got down the entrance rope we went into the Bell Canopy Room where we broke into groups and started flagging trail s. We checked the existing paths and decided to flag the one down the middle of the room. We put stops at the ends of the trails that go up over the flowstone then stop. At the end of this room is a beau tiful section with small rimstone dams that are very soft, possibly made from clay, and 108 There is really no good way to get out of the entrance except to cross flow stone. I would like to stop people from go ing off the end We have two trails going over the flowstone: one to Meader Pincher, the other around to The Bell Canopy Room. Shane and I worked on getting the main trail established, while Victor and Paula worked on trails around the center Mike and Kathy went as far as Survey marker D-2 flagging trails and making rock trails where possible. Rob and Carsten went to the end of the cave and found places where people have traveled, but that these paths go nowhere so we ended them. Vic tor brought along a squirt bottle and scrub brush, and he cleaned some of the flow stone He was able to remove some black boot marks that we were really surpri s ed came clean. We all gathered back at the entrance and flagged the trail to Meader I think we had a Very Good First Da y and hope we can accomplish a lot with each trip. Thanks much to the following people for all the help: Carsten Brandt, Kathy Cox Allan Laman, Mike Mansur, Shane Muirhead Victor Polyak, Paula Provencio and Robert Wulff. None of this would have been possible without you ,._ / _; -: ...,-# .,!' ) ... I' .-Little, squiggly speleothems in Three Fingers Cave. Photo by Mike Huber. THE TEXA S CAVE R


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 TRIP REPORT 174 Right-Surveying in Carlsbad Caverns Aaron Addison I knew what I was getting into. After all, I had been there before. The re-survey of Lower Cave in Carlsbad Caverns had taken up the majority of my time during the last several trips into the cave. We had pushed the cave along the main loop trail in Lower Cave for almost ing Off Place." The Rookery is an area of Lower Cave currently undergoing restoration by CRF. Thousands of cave pearls cover the floor and show the damage of almost I 00 years of traffic. The Jumping Off Place is a well decorated area where the main trail in the Big Room is visible some 80 feet above. We pressed on to our sur vey another several hundred feet ahead. I began the notes as Anica and Kevin set up the first shot. Kevin Glover holds the tape "on station." Photo by Aaron Addison. "Distance 137.4," Anica shouted. That s okay I thought to myself, there's not much to sketch here anyway. Well, about an hour and ten minutes later I was ready for the second shot. ReI 000 feet so far. The "easy" part by Carlsbad standards, the passage had been relatively uniform, only measuring some 30 feet wide by 40 feet tall. Oh sure there was the occasional black hole in the floor or ceiling, but so far it had been easy The last trip had ended when we decided that the I 00-foot tape we had with us wasn't long enough. I knew what we needed to take into the cave ; I just didn't know how we were going to use it. Anica (my wife) and I ate breakfast and gathered with the others in the research huts for the 8:00 AM park briefing. Once again cavers from all over the Southwest had gathered at Carlsbad Caverns for the Cave Research Foundation (CRF) Labor Day Project. A combination of restoration and surveying, much work still needed to be done in the Lower Cave area. As I gath ered survey gear, Anica and Kevin Glover calibrated the instruments on the compass course Finally, we were on our way down the elevators at II :00 AM. A quick stroll into the Big Room and we were at the turn off to Lower Cave. Down the ladders and through the Rook ery, we arrived at the bottom of'The JumpTHE TEXAS CAVER starting the sketch twice and relying heavily on the Electronic Distance Meter (EDM) I was caught up on both the sketch and pro file I looked around as they set up the next station. "Distance 35 9 feet. Whew, I thought, a short shot. .. I caught myself smiling at how this is a very respectable survey shot in just about any cave in Texas. My laughter soon turned to tears as Anica spoke again, "174 feet, right." "What?" I said spinning my head around, only to see the laser far out-distancing any of our head lamps. Sure enough it was I 74 feet to the next wall. "We'll just put down passage for that one," I said. We moved on leaving a 20by 40-foot lead, a rope rigged for another lead and passing gyp sum "drill holes ," a nice pool and much popcorn and aragonite along the way. Fi nally we closed our loop and headed out of the cave for the day. On the surface I was anxious to see how the loop closure was for the survey and to compare our notes to the historic survey. Typing away, one shot after another was entered into the computer. Once all of the data had been entered, I pushed the magic "view cave" button and much to my dismay, the loop did not close. Not only did it not close it was off by more 30 feet! I quickly went back over the notes and checked against the input for the computer. Nope, something had to be wrong in the cave. Oh well, it would have to wait until tomorrow. The next day Anica and I entered Lower Cave to check all of the shots in the loop. The problem was compounded since the fust section of the loop has been done several months earlier during the Memo rial Day expedition As we checked the dis tance and direction of each shot, I compared it against the notes I had taken during the survey. They all matched Ugh! With noth ing more to do in the cave we returned to the surface to try and make sense of what was rapidly becoming a mess. At wit's end I was preparing to drag the computer behind the truck all the way back to Austin when I decided to check the input numbers one more time. Check, check, check ... er ... uh that doesn't look right. I corrected the azimuth in the com puter, and the loop closed beautifully. It just goes to show that computers can make mis takes! Especially when you give them wrong information ... All had a great time caving and con tributing in this world-class cave There are One of several "drill holes" in Lower Cave. Photo by Aaron Addison several opportunities throughout the year to participate in survey and restoration work in Carlsbad Caverns Keep a lookout in the TSA Newsletter for upcoming trips Or if you are online check the TSA website for last-minute changes: . 109


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 TRIP REPORT Aggies at Cave Without A Name Christi Bennet & Ann Murphree The weekend of September 24-26, 1999, Cave Without A Name hosted a group of biology students from Texas A&M Galveston and their teacher, Tom lliffe. Each of us found out about the group after receiving a call from Tom Summers, the owner of the cave. He was looking for cavers to assist the group and hopefully take them on a "wild cave trip." With a few phone calls and some help from our own Bexar Grotto members, we were able to ar range some activities for the students. Tom Iliffe, the leader of this group of energetic young adults, had already made arrangements with the people from Bat Conservation International for the group to visit and watch the bat flight at Bracken Bat Cave. Tom Summers came in from Houston and joined them. Early in the evening we went to Cave Without A Name (CWAN) to wait for the group to arrive. When they showed up, just after 10:00 PM, everyone seemed very happy to be there and they were impressed with the bat flight. We showed them to the campground, where they set up their tents. Before the night was over, Jim Solemine gave them the public tour of the cave. Christi went back to San Antonio, and the rest called it a night. After waking up Saturday morning and getting a bite to eat, the students headed back down into CWAN Tom Iliffe and Ann broke them up into groups of six to take downstream. While they were in the cold water, it seemed like the right time to ex plain hypothermia, ways to avoid it, and how to recognize it. After getting over los ing their breath, it was a lot of fun taking them down to the duck-under, hearing their comments while taking that deep gulp of air before going under water. We took them down to where you would climb up the flow stone into the new room. We showed them the cable ladder, and we headed back to get the next group. The last group went down to the first sump. After climbing out of the water, we were surprised to find the group from Caverns of Sonora (Jack Birch, Bill Stewart and Seko Mayfield) led by Tom Summers. Saturday afternoon the group met Christi at Madalas Cave. They were told that they could explore anywhere they wanted. They were encouraged to stay in groups of at least three for safety measures. Most of the students ended up following one of us around. We finally showed them down the passage that led to the Hidden Room. They were told how to enter the pas sage by lying on one side, strongest side down, and crawling through to the next room All but just a few of them went down the passage to the Hidden Room We then showed them how to use their hands and shoulders to make a foothold for each other when needed. We stressed the importance In September, Kendall County Commissioner John Kight gave a presentation to cavers and neighbors at Cave Without A Name at the invitation of Tom Summers, the cave owner. Kight explained that plans are afoot to provide San Antonio with a greater source of water. One of many possibilities consisted of damming the nearby Guadalupe River at a point downstream from CWAN to create a reservoir He showed us, on a topographic map he had prepared, that when the reservoir filled, it would put the entrance to CWAN under about three feet of water. (The cave extends 90 feet deeper.) George Veni, a hydrogeologist, pointed out that the proposed dam location would not provide the water they expected. He explained that any water captured by the dam would quickly percolate out into the surrounding strata, many new springs would ap pear downstream from the dam, and the land upstream would be reduced to a mud hole. He suggested that, although it would be possible to create underground walls for several miles on each side of the dam to provide containment, the cost would be tre mendous, and the grouting would probably not be very effective anyway. John took George's assessment under advisement. 110 of keeping your group together or in com munication with each other, making sure that everyone who went into the cave came out of the cave. Cave safety was discussed extensively. This group of people seemed to take every bit of what we told them seri ously. They paid attention to what was said, helped each other, and even offered help to us while coming out of the cave. Other than scratches and torn clothes, everyone got through the trip with no accidents. They all seemed to have fun in the process. When we got back to the vehicles, they all thanked us for a great caving trip. After cold drinks and changes of clothes, we took Tom Iliffe to meet the land owner We headed back to Boerne where we had a real treat waiting for us. Mike Cunningham from Bexar Grotto had pre pared a large pot of spicy chili, cornbread, and the most wonderful of salads. We ate very well, to say the least. Later, when all had finished eating, we were presented with an interesting slide show hosted by Bexar Grotto's own Bob Cowell. It was both an informative and humorous presentation which everyone seemed to enjoy. After some postshow conversations, Christi once again returned to San Antonio to the com forts of her own bed. Ann Bob, and Tom as the story goes, were up to the wee hours of the morning telling tall tales and finish ing off the dinner wine. Overall, we must say that this was a great group of students. They were very appreciative of all that was done for them and we received warm thanks from the group and from their teacher, Tom Illife. We were impressed at how eager they were to follow our directions in the cave and to be safe and helpful. We hope we inspired some good future cavers in this group. A great word of thanks needs to go to Tom Summers. He went above and beyond in making a good trip and a meaningful ex perience for these students. It's good to know that someone like Tom is willing to help This kind of relationship brings out the best in the caving THE TEXAS ClVER


TRIP REPORT Peter Sprouse I had heard about a pit high in the mountains east of Saltillo from Francisco Camargo, a Monterrey caver who had found the entrance but not gone down We decided to set up a date to meet and explore the pit. So on the weekend of 16 April 1999 Susie Lasko, James Lopez Christie Rogers and I headed south for Laredo. Long lines at the border diverted us to Colombia where we crossed easily At Arteaga we turned east up Canon Carbonera and followed it up to the high pass called Puerto el Tarillal where we camped for the night in near-freezing temperatures. There was no s ign of Francisco in the morning, so we decided to drive on up to the top of the ridge so uth of the pa ss and try to find the cave We had been given a description of where the pit wa s, and after t aki ng a guess at several intersections we reached the lop of the ridge. The road got steep at one point but not too rough At the end of the road we went off in the de sc ribed direction and quickly found a pit that matched the description. It was a small entrance partly covered by a boulder The Sierra Rancho Nuevo is only about 500 meters wide at this point and covered with sparse pines and agaves. The view off the so uth edge of the mountain was s pectacu lar since we were at around 3, 150 meters elevation We were able to find som e nice natural anchors to rig off of for a freehang. A 15-meter drop got us into a dirt-floored rift going two directions. To the east it went up to a formation choke that may conduct to the surface while to the west it dropped down a steep dirt slope. I rigged this while Susie helped Christie with her first sketching experi-ence. [And check out Christie's first map!] At the base of the slope was a short narrow drop to a ledge with a final drop down into a high canyon. A few more climb-downs got me to the 7iu ; TEXAS CAVER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 El Tarillal bottom, a tiny drain. But I could see pass age continuing above this, so I returned to the others to guide the survey along We mapped up the climb into the continuing passage. At times we were chimneying along with no floor under us, and we fi nally ended at a formation choke. I believe this cave is essentially a tec tonic rift formed along a crack caused by a block that is beginning to fall off the mountaintop. James Lopez & Christie Rogers After le avi ng the cave we did some hiking a round enjoying the great scenery and watching flocks of parrots feeding on the agave blooms Jame s s potted a cave en trance down the south cliff face that required a rappel to get to However, we were out of time for this trip and s o he ade d back to Austin first thing in the morning. It turned out that Francisco had some things come up that prevented him from joining us A few months later, Jame s returned to the area to check the cliff-face cave and made more discoveries as well. at the entrance of Pozo de El Tarillal. METERS 10 I POZO DE EL TARILLAL El TARillAL. NUEVO LEON SUUNTO AND TAPE SURVEY 17 APRIL 1999 SUSIE LASKO, JAMES LOPEZ. CHRISTIE ROGERS PETER SPROUSE DRAFTED BY CHRISTIE ROGERS fl Photo by Peter Sprouse. 1 0 15 ' 20 25 30 35 METERS 40 Ill


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 TRIP REPORT Brad's Crack Rebecca Jones In August 1999, Brian Vauter invited Danny Leopold, Joe Ivy, and me to check out a cave on the Wuest Ranch, across the road from Natural Bridge Caverns. It had been visited several years ago by the young Wuest boys, Brad and for my helmet and light. Fortunately, Danny saved me the trouble and fetched it for me. At the bottom of the entrance pit, there was another drop, and another. Whim pering and cursing my way deeper, I reasTravis, Jim Jasek, and Brian. The tight, grabby entrance climb must have given them some trouble. At the time, the name "Brad's Crack" probably seemed funny. Now, grown older and more authoritative, the President of NBC seems somewhat chagrined to hear it mentioned aloud. Oh well, he's also grown too big to fit through the entrance. Brad's Crack Coma! County, Texas Suunto & Tape Survey 09 August 1999 Joe Ivy, Rebecca Jones, Brian Vauter Drafted by Joe Ivy View Angle 120 Degrees From my perch on a natural bridge across the last pit, I could see clean-washed floor. The rock was less solid here, and the pit belled wider. There seemed to be a drain directly below, but without a rope, there was no way to tell if the cave continued. I slowly 0 Meters caught my breath, then started up, trying to es timate the vertical dis tance. Knowing that I 00 feet must be too far, I was 5 10 15 20 25 30 31.6 deliberately conserva-tive. At the entrance, I guessed 20 meters total. The guys were encour aged and tried hammering on the limestone pavement to enlarge the hole. Not much luck, since they were trying to beat through the bedrock. In the crack there wasn't room to swing the hammer. Frustrated, Joe mixed up a pound of Kinepak. There was a flake to pack it behind. Unfortunately, it wasn t quite big enough, and the charge kept falling out. Brian found a stick to prop it in place, and I climbed out gently, care ful not to catch the wires from the cap. Brad and Travis reported that they had squeezed in and climbed down about I 00 feet. Here they were unable to go further without rope, but they could see an other 50 feet. OK, so a couple of guys remem ber that it was 150 feet deep, that they couldn't get to the bottom with out rope, and that, when they were teenagers, they barely fit. We didn't have much faith in the depth figure, but the fact that they hadn't gotten to the bottom made it in teresting. Joe and Brian, both considerably larger than the original explorJoe Ivy 1999 By this point, Danny was thoroughly intrigued. Joe explained the wiring, and just as Danny was inhaling to yell: "Fire in the Hole!", ers had been, were prepared to enlarge the entrance. We found the pit easily, and, since we expected to have to dig to get in, we left our caving gear at the truck. The entrance was indeed tight. I was the only one who fit. By the time I was in far enough to see that it went I'd struggled too much to be happy with the prospect of going back out 112 sured myself that climbing up would be easier. Besides, even though none of the others could fit to come after me, they had bang. If I fell, they would get to me eventu ally. I'd probably suffocate from the combi nation of low oxygen and blast fumes, rather than die from my injuries. Thus cheered, I traversed, chimneyed, and climbed down until profanity could carry me no further. Brian insisted that we hold everything. He wanted to get the video camera. Danny was beside himself with anticipation. I suspect that he restrained himself only with the thought of showing the footage to his friends. Minutes later, Danny was finally allowed to set off the blast. It was nice. Too bad Brian forgot to put a tape in the camera!


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 We were all impressed with the amount of rock we moved. Brad's Crack is no longer impassable at the top nor is it free climbable Danny especially took great joy in knocking the loose debris away. When we returned to survey, the guys would fit. gust) We dug just enough to assure our selves that it' s promising ; we 'll work on it sometime this winter. We surveyed out. Last Call for Maps Drafted in the Twentieth Century! Thirty-two meter s deep and going. I sure guessed that one wrong. Are you still thinking of ways to fin ish out the end of the gay ol 90's? Why not get out those old survey notes and make those cave maps you've been mean ing to make. Think of it as the last chance to make a map with a date of 1999 on it! If that isn t mind boggling enough, you could even show your wonderful new cre ations at the TSA Spring Convention and take home awesome prizes! The TSA and the TSS would be greatly appreciative of your wonderful gesture and just think of how busy Jim Kennedy and George Veni will be filing all the maps you make at the TSS Office! So get out there and start drafting! Brian, Joe, and I went back a week later to survey the pit. Danny was unable to come because he was out with his mom, buying a "promise ring" for his girlfriend. ( What's a promise ring ?) We rigged a 28-meter rope at the entrance. Despite the amount of rock we'd removed at the en trance, it was still a tight fit. Brian and Joe thrashed through Rebelaying at the sec ond drop, I was astounded to run out of rope well above the bridge where I d s topped the week before. I added another rope and waited at the bottom for the others. Joe said he couldn' t believe I d climbed so far, and he berated me for not telling them how great Brad's Crack is. Brian just kept making s nide comments about "poor Danny mis s ing all this. The tloor at the bottom was spongy and loose All the water drains through a bowling ball size hole that blows good air. OK, it ha s a strong flow of bad air. The COc at the bot tom of the pit was definitely high ( in Au-Joe Ivy sketches the second drop in Brad's Crack. Photo by Brian Vauter. BOOK REVIEWS Bill Mixon Dark Life: Martian Nanobacteria, Rock-Eating Cave Bugs, and Other Extreme Organisms of Inner Earth and Outer Space. Michael Ray Taylor. Scribner New York: 1999 287 pp. 21 by 14 em, hardbound ISBN 0-684-84191-6.$23.00 This is caver Mike Taylor's second b ook. The first. Cave Passages, was a collection of articles on cave exploration. The theme of this new book is microbiology, including the collection and study of bacteria from Lechuguilla Cave and the controver s ial nanobacteria that may account for so me of the things seen in electron micrographs of meteorites from Mars and so m e Earth rocks. Taylor describes some trips into Lech and his collecting trips into the underground resurgence pool s at Hot Spring Na tional Park, Arkansas where he participated in th e search for nanobacteri a It also includ es a better-edited version of the

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 THE BUDGET CAVER Cheap (?) Helmets Rebecca Jones Your most important piece of caving equipment is probably your helmet. But have you checked the price of climbing helmets at REI? A lot of you have and thought: do I really need to spend $74, plus tax, just to cover my head? (Admit it, you cheap bastards: it's galling to spend that much money even to protect the contents of your skull.) Hey I agree. Do cavers really need quick-adjust suspension? How often do you adjust the suspension in a caving helmet anyway? What's with fancy colors and pat terns? It's dark in caves! And does a brand name really mean it's a better helmet? The simple answer to that is ... maybe Manufacturers make helmets for dif ferent purposes What type of helmet you choose what rating you want depends on how you intend to use the helmet. Lets get right down to it. A caving helmet serves three purposes : I) It holds your light. 2) It protects your head from bumps and falling objects. 3) It helps cush ion your brain during tumbling falls. Almost anything will hold a light. Duct tape is marvelous stuff. Several manu facturers make clips designed to attach an elastic headlamp strap to their helmets. Petzl even makes special clips to hold a headlight onto Styrofoam helmets. If you want to get fancier, so me helmets come with built-in brackets. This is strictly a matter of personal preference. Even more personal is comfort. A helmet that's too heavy will cause neck pain ; too small, you 'll get headaches; too 114 big, you'll end up pushing it back into place every 25 seconds. It's worth the effort to try on a few with the light (and batteries) you use before you buy one For a good deal of horizontal caving, a bump cap is sufficient headgear. Let's face it if all you re going to do is crawl, there's not much opportunity to fall down. In small caves, a good bump cap is a necessity. Construction helmets are ideal for this type of caving. ANSI rated construction helmets are de signed to withstand minor (self-inflicted) impacts to the front and rear and to protect from falling objects. Construction hel mets are easily found at thrift shops for less than five dollars. Look for helmets with a slot through the brim on each side. These helmets will accommodate a buckled chinstrap available from speleo vendors for around two dollars. Wearing it backwards Uust reverse the suspension) or removing the brim are simple tricks to make a construction helmet more cave-worthy Mine Safety Association (MSA) cer tifies several hardhat-type helmets ($2028). These are built to mining standards and offer slightly better protection than con struction helmets. They're also designed to hold a lamp bracket. If you're going to caves that require climbing or ropework, 'C? then you'll want a helmet that will , {:! protect you during a serious fall. A good helmet for vertical work has a well-fitting suspension with three or more points of attachment, and, ideally, a quick-release buckle on the chinstrap. It should also be designed to absorb front, side, and rear impacts. (Those of you hori zontal cavers who are clumsy or accident-prone might consider this type of hel met as well.) Foam bike helmets with the SNELL rating are built to take falls at high speed, and absorb impacts from a variety of angles. While a new bike helmet is fairly expen sive, they're common as dirt at thrift stores generally for five dollars or less If you've got kids bike helmets are an especially good bet. They come in lots of sizes and will fit far better than construction helmets. Foam helmets are single-use only Once they sustain a major blow they must be replaced. Since all foam helmets absorb energy by crumpling on impact inspect ing them is fairly straight-forward: if it's deformed, it's been damaged. In the past year or so, both Petzl and Camp have introduced fully rated bike style climbing helmets. The Petzl catalogue says, in small print "not intended for cav ing ." There aren't many cavers foolish enough to buy a single-use helmet at $75. However, at thrift store prices you can take a lot of falls in a lot of bike helmets. Stepping into the realm of "real" climbing helmets, the variety can be dis maying. Helmets built by reputable manu facturers specifically for rock climbing, mountaineering, and caving will be marked CE/UIAA. These are actually two different sets of standards: the new European Union standards for indi-vidual protective devices, mountain eering equipC. Loving Continued on next page


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 THE INQUISITION Kong-Bonati Cam Clean Joelvy What: Pros : Cons: Cost: The Kong Cam Clean Ascender Cheaper than the Petzl Croll Has some major problems Suggested retail $30 Where: Kong-Bonaiti dealers The Cam Clean is Kong-Bonaiti's answer to the Petzl Croll chest ascender. While it is cheaper than the Petzl it has a few problems. The design of the Cam Clean is essentially the same as the old Croll, the really old Croll that is since it ha s a peg sticking out from the lock lever to facili tate opening the ascender. Petzl replaced this peg years ago because it was found that the peg can catch on things such as when you are fragging in a snug crevice, and thereby open the ascender unexpectedly It could also be kicked open if one was using the Croll as a foot ascender in a rope walker. So Petzl replaced the peg with a ring that did not protrude and so lved the problem. Why Kong hasn t followed suit is a curi ous thing. Another problem unique to the Cam Clean i s that it can slide down the rope without catching at all! I was using the Cam Clean on a treadmill in the front yard to frog 200 meters in preparation for an up coming caving trip. I had just started and found that I needed to adjust the rack that Continued from previous page. ment, EC 89/686/EEC, and the older, Union Internationale des Association d Aipinisme, Standard F. The gist of the alphabet soup is that climbing helmets are tested to withstand both impacts from fall ing objects like construction helmets AND side impacts like bike helmets. A number of manufacturers offer climbing helmets in the $45-65 range. For example, the light-weight Kong Mercury ($55), with lots of ventilation and a Coolmax-lined suspension, is especially comfortable. Most of these helmets are made of polycarbonate plastic and come in a variety of colors. Fiberglass construction was once the standard in UIAA-rated climbing helmet s. The Joe Brown ($67-85), a stout contrap tion, h as long been worn by cavers All fi TIIE TEXAS CAVER the rope was running through up in the tree a little as it wasn't feeding very well. So when I got up to the rack I started fiddling with the bars and let some rope slip through the rack. To regain the lost elevation and finish what I was doing I took a rather s loppy step up with my frog. To my sur prise, when I sat down on the Cam Clean I just dropped all the way onto the safety line tha t connects m y top ascender to my h a rne ss I I suppose that's why you use a sa fety line from the top ascender to your harness in a frog but I generally don t find myself u s ing th a t line very often 1 To try and figure out what had happened, I started experimenting with the angle at which the rope enters the Cam bergla ss helmet s tend to be heav y a nd very resistant to general caving abuse. Ask around ; many cavers who've used a Joe Brown will tell stories of headaches and neck pain from supporting the mass. Lots of folks will also insist that they feel safer in a thick helmet. At the high end. the Pet z l Ecrin Roc ($74) i s one of the best-known climbing helm ets in the US today. It h as loads of bells and whistles: built-in headlight clip s rapid adjust s uspen s ion. dual headband liner s, optional vent hole plugs. The Ecrin is cer t a inly the swankest c limbing helmet on the market today. but it's no safer than the oth ers that meet the same s tandards. When buying a helmet. your budget will certainly influence your d ec i s ion. How ever it's just as important to consider the type of rating you 'II need and the way a Clean. What I found was that if the rope enters the ascender at an angle between zero degrees (vertical) and about 25 degree s, it s fine. Between 25 degrees and 30 degrees of rope deviation from vertical, the Cam Clean will slip a little (damaging the sheath of the rope a bit) then catch. Beyond about 30 degrees the cam won t catch at all and the Cam Clean will just slide down the rope. I suppose if you started to fall with the rope deviated and then somehow changed your angle to correct the deviation of the rope the ascender would catch. But then that s not something you should have to worry about when ascending! And ha v ing the rope entering the chest ascender at an odd angle happens pretty frequently at rebelay s and lips I think that the bod y of the ascender could be modified to prevent this from happening without too much work on the owner's part But then yo u reall y s houldn t need to modify your ascenders in order to make them safe. All in all the Petzl Croll i s not much more expensive than the Kong Cam Clean a nd it doesn t ha ve major design problems. If someone gives you a Cam Clean and you want to us e it contact me. and I'll send you info on the modifications you need to make If you re s hopping for a chest as cender, don't buy this one! helmet fits. After all we're talking about protecting your head You might not need a $70 helmet but you don t want to skimp either. There are plenty of other ways to save mone y on caving gear. Buy a good helmet. Continue Christy Quintana's Efforts to Help mexican Kids. Christy collected clothes from the kids she worked with in Texas to take to the kids she met in Mexico. There are piles of clothes and school supplies that still need to be delivered If you'd like to help and can take things to Mexico with you please con tact Aimee Beveridge at 512-444-4881 or Becky Jones as 512-292-1878, . liS


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 TSA EVENTS TCR Cooks! Bonnie Longley compiled notes from Charlie Loving & Andy Gleusenkamp OTR, or what ever its title is in the official annals was really good this year. Attendance was down which made it much year and got stuck in rice which was te dious. Special thanks to her and Danny. (Next year someone else will have to cook the rice ; she will do something easy like deep fried bat wings.) was present with beef. Foxy came up with the brochette of shrimp and the crab-! hope the seafood lovers got some! Clark proved again to be a great cook with his special entree. Blake Harrison did yorman service again. Justin furnished beans and rice. Mary Ann Moore worked on desert. Andy Gluesenkamp had the bison meat. Bill Bell (sans his partner David Larrimore) did the hot links again, and they were devoured. Gary Schindel and Denise Pendergast were a party to the cooking as well. Ed Guinn, his family, and Nobel compared cooking notes on hog A very mellow Felicia cooked up some great pork loin in cherry sauce. The cherry sauce wasn't present however. Big AI and Gary cooked up the chicken, and it was wonderful as usual. Slow cooking is key! The salads were Christi Bennett, Bob Cowell, and Kurt Menking fry up some fish Friday night. Photo by Tag Swann. great. Marsha and Sheryl came through like the champs of the kitchen that they are. TR and Mary Jane prepared some wonderful turkey. Ray and Charles noted that the raccoon was very Thank you all for doing a super job' For some of us it was the 20th time to cook. Ed Guinn Bill Bell Rune Burnett Susan Soubie, Mary Ann Moore, Terry Plemons, Ron Ralph, TR Evans, Clark S a ntos and myself are the two decaders Tom Byrd and Blake Harrison are in the decade range-or a little more Fcisler Mike Forester Larrimore, Paul Price the Whites, Richard Smith, Angie, Sheryl, and Ed Alexander were missing from the cooking crew There were also some 20 servers who volunteered. more comfortable. People loved the belly dancers, and the music in the canyon was super. There was the bonfire, the hot tub all the normal things. There were lots and lots of kids, too which is a good thing. And there were NOT as many dumb dogs ... I had my two and hoped they would run away or some thing like that... no luck A special thanks goes out to the Bexar Grotto who outdid themselves with the fish fry. Our chief chef, Ed Guinn, attended and said, "Yum yum. The cooking thing is such a chore. I am also the foreman of the ranch and have to deal with that stuff. Just coordinating and running around pontificating is a job. But once again the cooks were really wonder ful. It amazes me that such a disparate group can unify But hell it is food. I think that Nobel Dunson, Rune Burnett, Ron Ralph and Ed Guinn were really the core of the team. Rune brought a trailer of wood. Ron washed the dishes (We have a trailer full of dishes.) Ed is our menu consultant. Hobbit hauling trash was an important part! To all the cooks who partook of the event, the food was up another notch as that guy on the food channel says. The list is long: Karen Evans was a rookie cook this \\6 tasty. Ray gave us the recipe; Nobel and Vico Jones furnished the 'coon. Susan Soubie and her crew (mostly Rune) fixed the brown ies. Judy Sustare departed from her stuffed -jalepeno menu with an applesauce meant for the pork? Feisler turned the corn over to Bruce and I. It was somewhat of a p a in in the butt since water in a 50-gallon drum refuses to boil. We borrowed the flame-The Bexar Grotto staffed the registration table very professionally Friday and Saturday. Photo by Tag Swann. thrower and then tried to blow ourselves up, but the job got done. Ellaine helped! T. Plemons prepared the "PIE A HAH" which was extremely good Beans can be attributed to Rune. Hersh had chips and salsa. Tom Byrd did some meat thing, and of course tlamed veggies. Ron Ralph The tradition lives on, and we always want more volunteers to cook. It is a great w a y to smell like smoke all week and get a lot of interesting conversations going. The merits of rubbed sage virus caraway seeds ... that sort of thing Charley Loving TilL' THAS CAVER


I enjoyed cooking at TCR immensely. This was my first TCR, and I felt compelled to contribute in some way. I decided to pre pare some bison and venison for the big feed in part because I had plenty of meat in the freezer, but also because this seemed to be one crowd that could truly appreciate such unusual fare. I got plenty of strange looks and comments from my co workers and others who noticed the large pile of one-gallon plastic bags defrosting in my office on Thursday. Most folks in my work place under s tand that it is better to leave some things left alone. However, the rosemary I picked on my way to work aroused considerably more interest once a strong herbal" odor began to emanate from my knapsack. Felicia Vreeland and others were im mensely helpful on Friday evening trim ming and sizing about 75 lbs. of meat in dimming twilight. By dark we had a bucket filled with meat marinating in my secret LOST CAVES OF TEXAS Butch Fralia NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 sauce (recipe ava ilable upon request) Bright and early Saturday morning Joy and Robin (a vegetarian) volunteered to help me p ac kage the meat and get it on the grill. By I 0:00AM, there were two dozen foil packs stuffed with meat onions, peppers and rosemary on the grill. I must admit that I feel a bit guilty for not "coo king most of Saturday. The majority of my time in the cooks' zone was spent searching out the coldest cans among the 30 cases of Tecate donated for our ex clusive consumption. Nonetheless the entire cooking crew was gracious and toler ant and even kept track of my dear hand made knives for me (by that point I felt it was wise that I stay away from sharp pointy things). The enthusiasm with which the cooks made their final preparations for serv ing was truly inspira tional. I ran to my grill, shoveled the meat into waiting tubs and stood the hell-out -oftheway. The product of my ef forts seemed to be enjoyed by all who tasted it and I was blushing from the comments of various diners (mostly drunk and horny I believe) The most rewarding aspect was to be in cluded among the fine cooks and servers who made the meal possible. I am deeply flattered by being included in the cooking circle this year-and vow to make it a part of my TCR experience in the future. Turducken anyone? Andy Gluesenkamp In the TSS electronic database there are 4,711 record s of Texas caves and karst features. Only 2 213 have complete location data consisting of the USGS Quadrangle map where the cave occurs and UTM coordinates Of the remaining records, 933 have quadrangle data without a location, and I ,580 are mis sing even the USGS Quadrangle For I 580 caves or karst features tha(lie in some county, even the approximate 'where is a mystery . This i s the fourth in a se ries of article s to identify the lo s t caves and karst features of Texas. The TSS asks that Texas cavers help find the Lost Caves of San Saba County. Location data can consist of a marked-up topographic map GPS data, or whatever you can provide. If you have other data on the cave or karst feature we'll take that also. Any and all information is appreciated Why is this information important? Con si dering the nature of cavers, they gain access in a particular area and explore there for a while. Then boredom sets in, or access is lost. In twenty years or so, cavers return to an area and don t know if they've discove red a new cave or rediscovered a known cave. By maintaining the database that information will be known! If you have information about any of these caves please contact: Butch Fralia 3412 Walton Ave., Ft. Worth TX 76133-2230 of Alexanders Trash Cave Armchair Cave Black Kid Cave Cedar Pit Debris Cave Dickerson Cave Dry Goat Cave Ellis Bad Air Cave Grandaddy Cave Highline Cave THE TEXAS CAVER K-15 Cave Kerri Ranch Cave Lone Bat Cave Million Dollar Cave Mouse Cave Ochre Cave Peadons Sweat Box Peadons Sweat Box Crevice Rattlesnake Hole Rattlesnake Nose Cave Shelters & Doubtful Caves Ste ves Bluff Crevice Topsoil Cave Trains Cave Treasureless Pit Unnamed Cave No.I Waggoners Crawlway Wild Man Cave No.4 117


TSA BUSINESS Submitted by Robin Barber The minutes !Tom the last mee ting were accepted. The chairman was not present; the meeting was run by vice -ch air Terry Holsinger. There were 19 people pres ent. Treasurer's Report: An effort is underway to separate the funding forTCR from TSA. We w ill s tart fre s h this year with a current balance of S I 604 .87. The l ast springTSA m ee ting lo st S300, so we should try to do the spring meeting more efficientl y n ex t year. Constitution Updates: May ne x t time. Bustamante Project: Orion Knox reported that approxim ate l y 120 people showed up and the weekend wen t well. The s teps into the first room were compl e t ed, graffiti was rem oved, and tra s h was removed from th e cave Nex t year. r es t oration o n formations can begin. A lso, more general organization i s n ee ded. Dues Change: For TCR, an old form was u s ed w hich stated the wrong numbers a nd created so m e confus ion. The correct amount i s S27 for membership, S35 for family membership. Members hip include s voting right s The T exa s Cave r a nd A c tiviti es Nell's lett er. The Caver alone i s ; th e Ne 1vsletter alone i s $ 7 2000 Spring Convention: The Greater Hou s t o n G rotto should b e running th e spring convention this year. T erry Hol singer will contact th e appropr i ate GHG members, and the re will be m ore discussion on thi s at the winter meeting. Puhlications: Becky Jones reported that the re we r e 209 paid TSA membe r s for 1999 but around 400 people are getti n g th e N e1rs l e tt e r Thi s adclccl expe n se will be taken ca r e of. Ther e was discuss i on about puttin g the newsl ette r on lin e t o defra y the cos t s ofprinting and mailing. W e arc trying t o ge t more p eople invo l v ed t o h e lp IIR NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1999 UIS U1.6H Plft!o/Et> "' VARII!"TY oF' YOM. TSA Fall Meet ing Membership Committee: David Turner report ed that the membership database i s now Y2K compliant, and that it has been converted to MS ACCESS. A membership dri ve i s being considered. Conservation Committee: Needs a c h a irm an. Safety and Rescue: No r eport. Bookstore: Logan McNatt reported that there were a lot of s ales at T C R and that there are still a lot of Cave r s in storage that are being sorted out. H e need s h elp with packaging them. A decent canopy s hould be bought for the bookstore. Ads s hould be put in the Cave r that there are complete sets of back issue s of the Caver availab l e for sa le. Webpage:The newsletter needs t o be on the web Election Results: 58 ballots cast including four s ubmitted electronically. The 2000 TSA Officers are: Chairman: Aaron Addison Vice-Chair: Terry Holsinger Secretary: Robin Barber Treasurer: Aimee Beveridge Project Reports: C BSP: G o ing s trong. There is no superintendent fur the park Public cave tours are currentl y s hut clown. Project comminucating e lectronically Big Bend: No report. Government C anyon: No report. Powell s : Goi n g strong Hone y C reek: No report. Marne ld o: No report Subterranean Kimble: No report. H ays : Starting up s oon. Kcnclall Count y: Next proj ec t .Jan. 14-16 .Joe Ranzau i s the coordinat or. Aflilliated Organizations: TCMA: Officer shifts The re are new cave acqui s itions on Camp Bullis. TCR: The r e were only 300 p eo ple regi s ter e d thi s time. Some unu s ual expenses were incurred too much beer was purchased and thing s were s tolen. T CC: Mik e Wal s h reported that a t least I 0 caves h ave been leased from Brushy. C reek. There will be re s t oration work at Be c k Ranch. A liason committ ee will b e formed between TCMA and TCC to make sure that both organizations are working together rather than against each other. Other Business: Dale Barnard will post a set of guidelines to C aveTex once a month. Aimee Beverage s uggested that a contest be held with an award for the grotto that produces th e most maps per capita over the ye ar. This will encourage map production. Mike Walsh r e membered Christy Quintana to us.


GROTTO REPORTS MAVRICKGROTTO -TonySultana During July, RD Milho llin j o in e d m e mb e r s o f th e UT Gro tt o f o r a t r ip to Sotano de Amezcua, Coahuil a, Mex i c o They did research o n t h e blind cat f i s h a nd d o v e se v e r a l sumps In Au g u st, C h a d F e nn e r E d G off, Vivi a n L o ftin J o hn L a n ge vin a nd Mik e Hub e r w e nt to Cave of the Madonna in th e Gu a d s, NM Aug u s t 2 1-2 2, v ari o u s Mave r i c k G ro tt o m embe rs p a rti c ip a t e d in th e K e nd all C o unt y C ave P ro j ect. L a b o r D ay Sever a l gro tt o m e mb e r s w e nt t o Bu s t a m a nt e f o r th e TSA P r o j ect. N O VEMBER/DECE M BER 1999 UT GROTTO -Tim Stich An dy Glu ese nk a mp i s pr es idin g ove r UTG me e tin gs in th e a b se n ce of th e e l ec t e d ch a ir Jean Krejca. N e w f aces i nt ro duced th e m s el ves t o the Gro tto: Jimmy Price i s a cave diver a nd h as b ee n e xpl o rin g Flo rid a c a ve s S t e ph anie Antezan a h as tr ave l e d in VietNam a nd do n e so m e caving th ere. A I M o r e n o i s invo l ve d with a s how cave i n CO, Gl e nwood C ave rns. Su s i e L as k o a nd P e t e r S p ro u se m e n tio n e d th a t th e U T S c h oo l o f A r c hit ec tur e ha s a dis pl ay o f th e f ir s t few roo m s o f Cobb Caverns. Thi s m o d e l in G o ld s mith H all, 3. 1 24, i s b ase d o n th e old m a p a n d was d o n e t o s ho w a r c hit ec tur e s tud e nt s p oss ibl e co m m e rci alizatio n of th e cave. Trip r e p o rts: R o b i n H ave n d esc rib e d her expl o it s w ith A nd y Glu ese ncamp a nd C h arly S avvas in Horseshoe Cave in C o l o r a d o B e nd St a t e P a rk O ct. I 0. They d o ubl e d th e l e n g th of s u rvey a nd br ave l y r e m ov ed wh a t t h ey t h o u g h t was a d ea d d og. J oe I vy a nd B ec k y J o n es lead a trip t o Min as Vie j as w ith th e St. Ste ph e n s cav ing g r o up The re th ey t ook g r o up s int o Pozo de Montemayor a nd Cuchilla. J a me s L o pez ha s b o tt o m e d th e cave h e h as be e n w o rkin g o n with Ed Goff a nd J erry F a nt. La Grieta de Ia Perdicion i s near S a ltill o, M ex i co. H e claim s 600 feet. Ch a rle y S avvas s howed s lid es o f his 1999 M a dagascar trip Th e Prim a t e S tud i es C e nt e r a t Duke Unive r s it y p a id for th e trip to f ind l emur b o ne s in caves. M a d a gascar i s r avage d b y mi s u se of th e l a nd b y th e local s w h o r e l e ntl ess l y bum th e fo r es t t o m a k e w a y fo r c a ttl e g r azing. U p o n find ing m a n y of th e caves, Ch a rl y n o ted th a t th e local s would imme di a tel y s et fir e t o th e bru s h aro und th e m Oth e r int eres tin g ac tiv iti es include d th e blessin g of t a boo caves b y the perform a n ce of clean si n g ritu a l s in vo l v in g heavy rum con sumpt i o n S o m e o f th e m os t t a boo caves r e qui re d t wo b o ttl es t o b e prop erly bl esse d I SIGN ME UP FOR THE TEXAS CAVER! I I don't want to miss another issue. I Sign me up for the item indicated: NAME: I I I I I I I I D $27 TSA Membership : The TExAs CAVER, TSA Activities Newsletter & TCR Notices STREET : D CITY, ST ZIP: $35-Family Membership (2 votes 1 set of publications) D $20The TExAs CAVER only HOMEPHONE ---------------------------------D $7 TSA Activities Newsletter only WORKPHONE ---------------------------------MAIL TO: TSA BOX 8026, AUSTIN, TX 78713 E MAIL I I I I I I I I I I I TEXAS CAVER SUBMISSION GUIDELINES All cavers a r e inv it e d t o s ubmit a rticl es, trip r e p o rt s pic tur es m aps cart oo n s p oe tr y fi ct i o n e tc Mat e rial s h o ul d b e cave -r e l a ted a n d pe rtin e nt t o t h e T exas caving co mm u nitv. The T exas Cave r i s publi s h e d bi-m o nthly. Th e d ea dlin e f o r s ubmi ss i o n s i s th e l as t d ay o f eve nn umb e r e d m o nth s The ed it o r s w ill confirm r ece ipt of m a t eria l re v iew s ubmi ss i o n s, a nd re turn comme nt s as n ecessary b efore publi catio n S lid es, n egatives, ph otos, a rt a nd m a p s w ill b e sca nn e d as qui ckly as p oss ibl e a nd th e n r e turn e d prompt ly.. W e wo uld p re f e r w ritt e n m a t eria l s ubmitt e d di g itall y in Ri c h T e xt F o rm a t o n 3.5 -in c h flo ppi es o r ZIP di s k s, o r a tt ac h e d t o e m aiL but we w ill accept legibl e m a t eria l of a n y kind . Ph otos s h o uld b e sc ann e d a t 266 dpi as .ti f files lin e a rt a t 1 2 00 dpi as .tif files. All m a t eria l s h o uld b e ide nti f i e d with a uth o r's n a m e, titl e a nd d a t e. V i s u a l m a t eria l s s h o uld b e c l early m a t c h ed t o captio n s. Fo r fwthe r infon11atio n o n s ubmi ss i o n o r s t y l e g uid e lin es, p l ease co nt ac t th e e dit o rs: J oe I vy & R e b ecca J o n es 119 1 6 Blu ebo nn e t M a n c h aca T X 786 5 2 j oe i vy({l!intc rse r m 5 1 2 292-1878 119


THE TEXAS CAVER Post Office Box 8026 Austin, Texas 78713 BULK RATE U S. Po stage PAID Austin, Texa s Permit No. 1181

Contents: Cave
Archaeology --
From the Files of the TSS: Black Widow Cave --
Project Report: Stiver Ranch --
TSS Cave Restoration Workshop --
Trip Reports --
Book Reviews --
The Budget Caver: Helmets --
The Inquisition: Kong Cam Clean Ascender --
Texas Caver's Reunion 1999 --
Lost Caves of Texas: San Saba County --
TSA Business --
Grotto Reports.


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