The Texas Caver

Material Information

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


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


General Note:
Contents: Electric headlamps batteries / Roger V. Bartholomew -- Speleo images -- Some spelean history of west Texas / Tom Meador -- The vehicle - 2 / Bobby L. Crisman -- The Solitario: new caving frontier? / Jim Estes -- Kaverkrostic (this month's puzzle) -- News of grottoes and clubs -- Editorial (from the editor) -- Letter / Brian F. Peterson -- Next month: report of the Kerrville convention.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 13, no. 04 (1968)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
K26-04743 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4743 ( USFLDC Handle )
11596 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

USFLDC Membership

Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



This item has the following downloads:

Full Text




T H E T E X A S C A V E R April, 1968 VuLUllE XIII, NUhB.tili 4 cover fhis helictite with a growth to we here at the Caver seems quite interesting and unusual to us. Fact is ... we like it. We are not sure whose photo it is nor exactly what cave it was taken from (either Pete Lindsley or Carl Kunath at Cottonwood or Sonora or Fitton). Makes a nice cover, eh? THE TEXAS C AVER is a monthly publication of the Texas Speleological Association and is publ j s hed in Abilene, Texas. Nateria l f o r publication should be typed, double-sp aced and sent to the Editor no l ater than the 6th of each month of issue. Subscription price is $3,00 per for t welv e issues. staff GEDRGE W GRAY JAMES H ESTES BRYAN T LILLY . . . EDITOR . . PUBLISHER PHOTOLITHOGRAPHER BAHT ClHSiiAN ADVERTISING 1:'-JrJ,AGffi PETE LINDSLEY . PHOTU TIPS ElJI'lUH E GHUTTO . . . .i

THE TEXAS CAVER April, 1968 Page 41 Electric Headlamps And Batteries by Roger V. Bartholomew Every caver should seriously consider the electric headlamp for cave lighting. With modern batteries and the wide range of bulbs available the electric light is proving itself to be a reliable, efficient and rugged source of light for caving. It is the purpose of this article to make more cavers familiar with the electric headlamp and to give a few suggestions on how to rig up an electric light system. The electric light system is very simple. It has an electric headlamp, a wire and a battery. The fastest way to get a n excellent headlamp is to send three dollars and severnty five cents(3.75) to Justrite Mfg. Co., 2061 No Southport Ave Chicago, Illinois 60614 for their model 1904-2 headlamp assembly. This unit has a very efficient plastic reflector protected by a glass len s in front and by a stell shell on the other side. It has a switch on the steel shell and a length of insulated running out the back. The lamp pivots up and. down in a mounting bracket is tailor made for bolting onto a hard hat. Whatever lamp you use, it can be set up in the following way. Put a sma l l loop of string somewhere under the edge of the hard hat about where the chin strap is attached and thread the e lectric wire from the head lamp along the edge of the hard hat and down through the loop. From here the wire drops down to the shoulder and under your shirt or coveralls collar. It is a good idea to put a plug and a socket in the wire just about at this point. This makes it easier to get the system rigged up and ready for operation. From the plug the wire is fed down to the battery pack. Mount the battery pack on a belt around your waist or load it into one of your pockets, whichever you prefer. The type of bulb you use will determine how long your battery will last. Fig. 1 is a chart showing the voltage and current ratings of some commonly used bulbs. These bulbs are also available from Justrite Mfg. Co. F ig. 1 TYPE SOCKET TYPE VOLTAGE CURRENT (AMPS) 425 screw 5 . 0 0.5 27 screw 4 9 0 3 502 screw 5.1 0 .15 PR13 flange 4.8 0.5 PR17 flange 5 0 0.' 3 A high current bulb will exhaust the battery faster than a low current bulb. Don't worry about the slight differences in the voltage ratings. These bulbs are all used with five to six volt batteries. You can use several types ofmttery packs. I have experimented with three types to find out how long they last using 0 5 ampere bulbs. Using the current ratio I calculated how long they wou l d last for 0 3 and 0 .15 ampere bulbs. Figure 2 is a summary of my findings. What t his chart shows is that for almost any cave trip you can choose a bulb and battery which wil l give you light for the full time you Fig. 2 TYPE BULB CURRENT DURATION TIME Four size D dry cells connected in series to make a 6-volt battery 0.5 0.3 0.15 4.5 hours 7.75 hours 14.75 hours Six volt lantern battery or 5.3-volt, 5 amp -hour Ni-Cad battery 0.5 0.3 0.15 9 0 hours 15.3 hours 29.75 hours expect to be in the cave. bilbs give a great increase this increase, however, you bit of light intensity. The lower current in duration. With will sacrifice a I personally use the NiCad (Nickel-Cadmium) battery because being rechargeable they save me money. These NiCad cells are capable of over 5,000 recharges without significant loss of capacity. The initial cost is very low. They can be purchased from the Esse Radio Co., 368 Meridan St., Indianapolis, Ind. 46225 for ninety-five cents each. These inexpensive cells are designated as the Esse type AH4X and they come stripped bare, untested and not under a guarantee. However, if you don't want to fuss around you can pay one dollar and ninety five cents for the Esse AH4R cells which are new, guaranteed and come with vented caps if you ask for them. Four of these cells are needed for a battery. Each cell measures l/2"x2"x6". The best way to tape them together makes a battery pack of dimensions 1" x 4"x6" which fits close to the body along the waist. To charge the Ni-Cads requires a DCcurrent source, an ammeter to monitor the current and a variable resistor to vary the I have two. rigs for charging. One rig rectifies ordinary AC house current to DC so I can charge up at home The other rig p lugs int o my car


Page 42 April, 1968 THE TEXAS CAVER (Batteries, continued) cigarette lighter socket to tap the DC from the car battery so that I can charge while traveling to the cave or at the campsite. To protect the plastic cases of the Ni-Cad batteries from damage by scraping on rocks, I have them wrapped in two layers of Nylon cloth and surrounded by a thin sheet metal case that I soldered together from the metal in a onequart oil can. I also soldered metal strips on the side of the can to serve as belt loops. A sheet metal lid was hinged to the top of the belt loops by stiff iron wire. This lid protects the top of the cells from damage. To protect the cell terminals and the interconnecting wires between the cells from the corrosion due to the battery fluid which seeps out of the cell vents occasionally, I cover them with a layer of GE Silicon Seal. In conclusion I would like to suggest that you keep your system as simple as practical for you.. For the l 'east amount of fussing around use the six-volt lantern battery with your headlamp. This setup is the best one to use when you go electric lighting. On the other hand if you are good with your hands and like to build things you can save money by using the rechargeable Ni-Cads. Once you try a good electric light system you will not use any other source of light except for unusual or very long cave t:rips. For those cavers who are interested, I include a few more detals concerning the Ni-Cad cells. These cells use a thirty percent (by weight) solution of potassium hydroxide in distilled water for their fluid. This is a basic solution as opposed to the acid solution used in automobile batteries. The two general types of Ni-Cads available are the sealed type and the vented type. The sealed type is filled with fluid at the time of manufacture and then sealed off which means you never have to add water to them. The drawback with these cells is that you should never charge them in a time less than 10 hours except under special contitions and you should nev er overcharge them. The reason for this is that in fast charge or in overcharge the water is broken down into gases by electrolysis and this gas will build up pressure in the cells that can rupture the cases. There is no problem of fast charging or overcharging with the AH4X or AH4R cells because they can be vented by screwing into the fluid filler holes simple one way valves which allow the gas to escape from the cases. T h e limit to the fast charge current occurs when the battery terminals heat up to a temperature which would damage the plastic cell case. In vented cells distilled water must be added occasionally to replenish the water. The capacity of the Ni-Cad is indicated by its ampere-hour rating. This rating is standardized as the constant current the cell will deliver in a ten-hour period multiplied by ten hours. For example, my battery is rated at rive ampere-hours. This means it will deliver 0.5 amperes for ten hours. The ten hour standard rate is used because at different dis-charge currents the ampere-hours delivered changes from the ten hour value. This is somewhat like the situation where a heavy foot on the gas pedal gives less mileage. There is no easy way to measure how much charge is left in the Ni-Cad. The best way is to start with a fully discharged battery and charge it to its rated ampere-hour capacity. Once it is fully charged you can keep track of the ampere-hours you take out of it to measure the charge level on the battery. For example, I use an 0.5 ampere bulb in my headlamp to give plenty of light. If I burn the lamp for 6 -hours I know that 3-ampere-hours were taken from the battery, and so to get it fully charged again I can charge it at 0.5 amperes for 6-hours or if I am in a rush, I can charge at 3-amperes for 1-hour. All this information may seem complicated, but when you have experimented with your Ni-Cad for a while all this is done as a matter of course; then the Ni-Cad becomes very convenient to use.


THE TEXAS CAVER April, 1968 Page 43 some spelean history of west texas by Tom Meador There is a small cave near the Pecos River which was described by William Henry Chase Whiting in his "Journal of Reconnaissance From San Antonio de Bexar to El Paso De 1 Norte.'' On Thursday, 8 March 1849 his party crossed to the west bank of the Pecos River at Soloman's Ford and pitched camp. W H. C. Whiting wrote that "Dick Howard and I ascended a hill hard by. The climbing was difficult ... Near the top and in the face of the limestone cliff is a small cave, inwhich we found small stalagtites. The floor is perfectly dry and covered with fine exfoliated limestone." (Bieber, 1938: Meador, 1966). This is the earliest known description of a Trans-Pecos cave. General Zenas R. Bliss (n.d.) recorded the following in his Reminiscences. "About .... 1855 or '56 Phantom Lake was discovered. It was a very peculiar body of water, and laid in a depression of the ground,or rather a little valley surrounded by small hills that looked j u st alike .... the lake was not more than 75-yards long, and had been seen by several parties, but could never be found by them a sec..:ond time. From that fact is finally got the name of Phantom Lake." Bliss tells of getting up a party to explore the cave at Phantom Lake, but just after they set out from Ft. Davis for it, an orderly overtook them with a message that the commanding officer wanted to see Bliss. Bliss was ordered to San Antonio. When he told his friends he could not go, they called off their trip to the cave. In his Reminiscences he tells of an earlier attempt to explore the cave, but unfortunately does not name the parties who tried it. He wrote that "a party had tried to explore the cave out of which the stream ran, but the water was so deep, that they had to swim, and the canteens on which they placed lighted candles tipped over and left them in darkness and they were unable to make any extended exploration of the cave ... Bliss goes on to give us some idea of the conditions of the lake and the cave at that time. ... The water ran out of a cave, and fell about four feet into a pond, and at the lower end was a small stream that ran a few feet, and then ran into another cave, not more than 75 yards from the first." (Bliss,n.d. Meador, 1966: Scobee, 1963). General Bliss also states in his "Reminiscences" that" ... Colonel Bamford once found a quantity of old pieces of iron, tin cups, brass buttons, etc., that had bee n feathered and placed in a cave very close to his house." At Ft. Davis. (Bliss, n.d.) Possibly this is the cave that Ed. Barthol-omew .described to the author. It is located in Sleeping Lion mountain. According to Ed. the soldiers would go buy refreshments at the Sutter's st_ore, after which they would go up t o the cave to drink them. About 1907 there was an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of Christ Lentzel, a german. He had last been seen while riding horseback across country in company of Green and Sheppard. Soon after, Green and Sheppard announced that they had bought out Lentzel, and he had returned to Germany. The deeds they had to his property turned out to be fakes a n d Lentzel 's watch and clothing were found in fueir possession. The corpus delicti could not be found. In 1932, J.S. Dickens, an employee of the Wade Brother's Ranch, found a cave on Independence Creek just south of the ranch house. Inside was a skeleton with rocks piled over it. No clothing was found with the bones. The skull oontained three gold teeth, which fitted the description of the long missing Christ Lentzel. (Anonym ous, 1932) In 1931, E.J.Beckham, Justice of the Peace of Pyote, and Otto Tinnin entered a cave on the Tinnen Ranch near Toyah. A skeleton was found in a crawhvay about 150 feet from the entrance. (Anonymous, 1931). In 1932, Billie Fagill was forced to take shelter in a cave during a snow storm. While there he discovered tw o skeletons. (Anonymous, 1932). On 1 August 1954, Jl1r. M. W. Humphrays was climbing the eastern side of Indian Mesa. He ... set down to rest and observed an iron axe l ying near the rock shelter. He then noticed a pile of r ock near the axe, and o n removing the rocks found ... an historic Indian cashe. (Eagleton, 1955). BIBLIOGRAPHY : Anonymous (1931) "Hunters Find Big Skeleton" Abilene Reporter-News, May 10 Anonymous (1932) "Skeletons Found in Cave On Gatin Ranch" Sanderson Times, April 1. Anonymous (1932) "Finding Of Skeleton In Cave May Help Clear Up Murder Committed Here Years Ago Sanderson Times, July 29 Bieber, Ralph P. & Bender, A B. (Eds.)(l938) Exploring South\vest Trails, 1846-1854, Arthur H. Clark Co., Glendale. Bliss, General Zenas R (N.d.) "Reminiscences of Zenas R. Bliss, Typesheet, Archives, Univ. of Texas. Eagleton,N.E. (1955) "A Historic Indian Cache In Pecos County" T.A.S. Bulletin 25. Meador, Joel Tom (1966)"So me Speleohistory of, Texas, A Preliminary Manuscript" Scobee, Barry (1963) Fort 1583-1960, Privately printed.


Page 44 April, 1968 THE TEXAS CAVER Caving Equipment the vehicle -2 by Bobby L. Crisman All cavers should have as much training as possible in the art and techniques of survival. The caving vehicle can be a means of survival .in more ways than one. Generally we think of it as a means of survival only through the transporting power it was designed and intended to furnish its passengers. But its ability to save the life or lives of the person or persons stranded beside it in cold, heat, wind or flood should not be overlooked. In view of the unusually bad winter just past, the anticipated floods of spring (which we hope will not be as bad as those which followed Hurricane Beulah), and the hot summer ahead, perhaps a few tips on using the car as a means of survival would be timely. I know of no better way to pass these suggestions along than in the words of an article which appeared in the "RoyalMounted Police Gasette", and reprinted in the March 1968 issue of the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin: "A car has tires that will burn for hours to warm you; sun visors and hubcaps that pinchhit for shovels; seats, slipcovers and floor -mats that will blanket you against the cold or shut out the worst of winds. It has mirrors, chrome and headlights which, when properly used can alert search planes as far as 50-miles, and crankcase oil and grease that can protect your face against frostbite. Your horn can alert rescuers as far as a mile downwind. The flat round top of the engine's air cleaner substitutes as a took for digging trenches or throwing up earthen windscreens. "Under the hood is more than a gallon of oil--a quart of which burned in a hubcap spews a cloud of smoke visible for miles. "Every hose coverts to a siphon for getting at the gasoline in your tank. Windshield wiper tubing becomes an effective tourniquet to stop bleeding. The engine dipstick is a skew-er for meats. Unbolt the hood and you've got the making of a sturdy metal lean-to. fi.Vlf. No.4. -..... AND Do NOT LEAVE liTrEit OR Of ""'kY I<.INJ> IN iHE CAVE." "As is, your car is a bunkhouse, but the interior can be stripped for survival. Door panels become ground blankets. to insulate you from frozen or wet ground. Convex gage lenses or the domelight glass can be sun focusing fire starters, as can the car's cigarette lighter. "Headlamps, removed from their mountings, but not disconnected from their wiring c a n throw a beam for search planes when pointed skyward. "The car may be a wreck when you are through, but so could you be -or worse -if it were not for the car." H,E.L.P.-HELP ELIMINATE LITTER PLEASE ... For Sale 1959 Dodge Power Wagon, 4WD, locking hubs, power winch, 318 C.U. VB, radio, heater, air conditioner, runs 90 MPH, good condition, sleeps 2 inside, table mounts on side, goes anywhere. $600 Gill Ediger, Box 731, Sinton, Texas 78387 (512) EM4-2119. Must sell! WANTED: More cave articles for the Caver. Send to the Editor, P. 0. Box 143, Abilene,Tex.79604 LIMITED SUPPLY LEFT "A Guide to The Caves Of Texas" by James R. Reddell. Geology, Distribution, Description, of some of Texas' well-known caves. Official 1964 NSS Convention Guidebook, for sale to NSS members only. A section on the caves of Mexico. You should have one for your library. Beautiful cover, b&w full-page photos cave maps, illustrations. Only 80. Order from: Texas Caver, PO Box 143, Abilene, Texas, 79604.


THE TEXAS CAVER April, 1968 Page 45 The Solitario -new caving frontier? The first persons representing organized speleology entered the area known as the Solitario December 31, 1966 through January 2,1967. This area is located on the Presidio-Brewster County line with the center some 14 miles north of Lajitas, Texas. Two caves were located in the area, One a large shelter with an opening about 100 feet wide, is very impressive when seen from Fresno Creek jeep trail. The other is located on the south edge of the Solitario and about 1/3 the distance up the side of a small canyon. This cave is about 150 feet long and called Ocotillo Cave. Other caves can be seen on the steep slope of the south rim,but they are almost impossible to get to. Ranchers at Agua Fria Ranch report other holes on the eastern area of the Solitario. "Solitario" is a Spanish word and literaly means "lonely", "hermit", or "recluse". "Recluse" is defined as "shut away from the world", "secluded", "solitary". It is not known if the name was given to the strange geological formation because of its geological uniqueness or because of the remoteness of the area in which it lies. A person does have a feeling of loneliness when standing amid its vastness. This area is probably one of the remotest in the state. The Solitario is a structural dome which is unusual in that it is almost perfectly circular. It is an uplifted area approximately 9 miles in diameter from rim to rim. The jagged limestone peaks slope up to the rim all the way around to about a 45 degree angle. The rim is about two miles in width and is a cretaceous limestone, ranging very light brown to pink. Vegetation on the limestone areas ranges several species of agave (including the by Jim Estes treacherous lecheguillo) to ocotillo, prickly pear, and thorny brush. The interior of the Solitario has been cut severely by erosion and is a shallow basin that drains by three canyons . These canyons, short and with very steep walls are called the Lefthand Shutup (on the east rim), the Righthand Shutup (on the west rim), and the Lower Shutup, (on the south rim), The elevation of the rim is impressive on the south and west approaches, while that of the east and north is less outstanding. By far the larger portion of the Solitario is owned by the Lincoln County Cattle Company. The local ranch is known as the Big Bend Ranch. It is one of the twelve largest cattle ranches in the United States, having an area of some 525 or 336,000 acres. For permission to enter the ranch, persons should contact the foreman, Earl Ashley, Alamito Exchange, Marfa, Texas, 358-6444. The other portion, about 1/4, of the Solitario is owned by the Agua Fria Ranch on the northeast side, and which includes the Lefthand Shutup. For admission to this side of the Solitario, Mr. McKinney, who is a border patrolman, and part owner, should be contacted. The McKinneys live in the white house on the west side of Agua Fria Mountain. The Big Bend Headquarters can be reached by two different roads. The shortest route from Marfa is via RR 169 which leaves US 67 seven miles south of that city. There is about 40 miles of dirt road in traveling this route. Most roads veeroff the main road are well marked. The main enters the Headquarters area at Saucita Spring which is about 75 miles south of Marfa. The longer route from Marfa is via Presidio. In this leave Marfa on US 67 to Presidio, then State Highway 170 (Camino del Rio) for eight


Page 46 April, 1968 THE TEXAS CAVER miles toward the town of Redford. A dirt road on the left has a small sign with "Big Bend Ranch." :i:t is 28 miles to the Headquarters. The road is marked, but as many draws are crossed caution should be used during rainy spells. The route that the author and companions took was the latter. Enroute to the Headquarters several Indian Shelters were observed in the Cuevas Arnarillas area. The shelters cont ained a few pictographs and grinding pits rock floor. of the pictographs were in red and were of hands and crude animals. From the Headquarters to the Solitario a 4-wheel drive vericle is needed if the road down Fresno Creek on the west side of the area is traveled. This road drops into Fresno Can y o n a vew miles east of Headquarters and one is reminded of a similar trail that goes up to D ark Loo k out in the Guadalupes. Once reaching NOTCHED .... '(ER(?) SToc.l( West Texas Geological Society Publication 65-51, pp. 37-38 and 43-60). The remainder of this description will be concerned with the west and south approaches and the Fresno Canyon area. The road down Fresno Canyon may be traveled (by jeep or pickup) as far south as Lajitas, if heavy rains have not destroyed the trail. At a point just before reaching a wire fence and a gate near Rincon Mountain, there is a small spring. The spring probably runs perenially for it is located on the Chisos l-it. quadrangle map, and was running during our visit in the dry winter season. This area makes a good camp and a full view of the mysterious Solitario can be made. To reach the southern area of the Solitario (which is probably the most impressive and cut by steep rugged canyons) a dim road may be located just across Fresno Creek from the area ToTAL LENGTH ABoUT 150' Fig. l -SKETCH OF OCOTILLO CAVE the creek bottom (mostly dry) the trail follows the bed on loose gravel and shale. Even in a 4-WH jeep this material required some low gear. The interior of the Solitario may be reached on another road, one north of Big Bend Ranch Headquarters for 8.8 miles, turning right at that point and following the new road 4.8 miles. Here there i:il a fork, the left trail goes to the Lefthand Shutup, the right trail goes to the Righthand Shutup. As our party has not visited the Interior of the Solitario not much is known of it. There are some scattered areas of limestone, but rost is a hodgepodge of other material of Ordovician age. (See Geology of The Big Bend Area, Texas, of the spring, and running ESE. This road has been mostly washed out, but can be followed if care is taken, and a few minor road repairs are made. The road appears as a primitive road on a U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers Tactical Map, Lajitas Quadrangle, scale of 1:62,500 drawn in 1931. Only a 4-wheel drive Jeep should be used on this road as it is impassable about two mile from Fresno Creek. After the drive (or walk if you have no Jeep) a very tremendous view of three large openings may be seen about midway up a steep limestone pinnacle which separates two small canyons. These openings were not reached by our party for the rock face was quite steep, and we had no climbing gear available at the


THE TEXAS CAVER April, 1968 Pa g e 47 time. They are thought to be only shelters as the one on the west approach that was visited, but only inspection of them would prove other"l'rise, Ocotillo C ave, so harned because of the rich growth of those plants near the c ave's entrAnce, is found about l/3 way u p a canyon wlil to the right of the point where the t hree huge openings can be seen. The entrance to t his hot and dirty cave may he seen e asily from a curving ridg e that has to be traversed before reaching it. The c ave c ontains some dry form ations, an abundance of very old gu ano, evidence of human h abitation. The l atter consisted of tfle smo ked ceiling a n d seve r a l sticks, probably of soto l shafts, o ne o f "l'rhich had three notched holes near one end. Some of these were prop ped up against the ce iling of t h e first room in an unusual fashion. .. . .. .. E'/ENLY Sf'AC.'-D NOTCIIES Fig 2. -STICKS PROPPED IN UNUSUAL FASHION To climb the steep slope of the south face of the Solitario is a feat within itself. Only frequent rest periods and perserverance will allow persons to get to the top . Once there what will perhaps be one of the most enthralling views you will ever see spreads out to the west, south, and southeast. To the west is Rincon Mountain, Fresno Peak (5103 feet) and a host of lower mesas colored deep red and brown; to the south is Chinm.ey Rock and hazy ranges of northern Mexico; and to the east is Lajitas Mesa, Mesa De Anguila, the Sierra San Vicentes, the Chisos Range, the Christmas Hountains, and Sierra Del Carmens. The great low anticline of Terlingua trends toward the southeast, and by using binoculars several openings which appear to be caves may be seen. This area, in the words of Mrs. Maude Baines of Alpine, is some of the most rugged and "God-forsaken" anywhere. Very little is known about the Solitario e xcept geologically speaking. Several geology classes at Sul Ross College make field trip s to the interior for study and observation. But to say the least, ranchers know little of cave locations. On viewing the area firsthand, the author and two companions, Tom Meador,and Bobby Crisman of Ft. Davis NHS h a ve seen enough to substantiate their belief that the limestone in the area is such that significant caves are possible. Only an extensive search by foot or horseback in the wild area would be sufficient to discover any caves, and t his in at least a weeks duration. Perhaps the largest caves in the Big Bend north of the Rio Grande will be discovered in the Terlingua Nonocline to the southeast of the Solitario. It is worth effort to scout this country in the future. Using the words of Bobby L, Crisman, Park Ranger at Fort Davis National Historic Site in a report he put on file there, "It is our reccommendation that any cave exploring trips into the area in the future concentrate first on the Lower Shutup, the Righthand Shutup, and the limestone exposed within the basin. It is also . our conclusion that spelunkers who fail to find caves in this area will still find their trips into it worthwhile and sufficiently rewarding because of its scenic beauty, geological interest, and archeological remains. 11 note In the Texas Caver you reach many people who are ready to buy. Write to us for rates. Advertising Mgr., Bart Crisman, P. 0. Box 143, .Abilene, Texas 79604. SUPPORT THE TEXAS SPELEDLOGICAL SUJ:tV.E.'Y -SEND IN YOUR CAVE REPORTS PRONTO! 00000 AI'ID TlfiS IS ll!'aTttEfl. My PeTE IC II\,


Page 48 April, 1968 THE TEXAS CAVER KAVERKROSTIC Fill in the numbered blanks with the correct answers then transfer the letters to the correct numbered spaces in the diagram below. When you finish you should have several sentences that are about our sport and science. (Note: There will be no punctuation nor capitalization.) Spanish for "or" 144 Was born 148 167 158 Type of lava 147 124 Small rounded hill 141 169 155 145 181 The remainder 153 94 183 137 Guadalupe ridge, a complex. 120 146 133 ll2 Unwanted garden plants 85 70 103 159 150 Part of a face 125 88 142 118 A meal in celebration 178 67 127 93 101 Not wide 122 182 119 139 154 187 FW & 81 175 99 130 173 180 164 149 Not very wet 56 177 140 171 117 Rutherford B. 138 186 87 188 A flat fish. 78 168 lll 151 156 42 91 152 N.s.s. biologist 163 77 72 109 Swallowed it all 157 92 121 65 Tolerate 38 41 18 51 44 43 Bestowed 162 104 172 174 134 61 107 A green seed Personal pronoun To look 60 108 :.131 161 55 115 110 64 58 Slumped area in limee stone terrain 45 9 17 10 Footwear 54 37 13 6 Third. month 1 2 20 66 69 Beasts of burden 15 30 ll 3 Count 48 170 100 116 129 185 Crave for water __ 143 102 136 165 179 89 Burial caves are noted for-160 46 106 123 114 Bouy up Focal point of cavers-47 84 105 113 71 132 98 166 57 Small tight _____ tunnel-96 73 86 83 126 39 82 176 Mexican caving ___ town-95 74 76 97 68 75 79 Small economy car 33 31 53 32 In addition 35 59 27 34 49 Foolish one 26 24 25 80 29 Medium of exchange __ Sense of wrong doing-Development To toss 5 23 7 19 4 14 16 63 8 12 21 22 28 39 36 50 184 90 62 40 135


THE TEXAS CAVER April, 1968 Page 49 News Abilene Jim Estes, Dennis and Sylvia Engel attended the annual TSA Convention in Kerrville, Texas, April 27. As usual it was enjoyed and especially the TSA Photo Salon. Sunday the trio went west to crawl through a cave or two. It was a fine weekend, one which the Abilene cavers hardly ever have as far as caving goes. Other news is little. One item that we in Abilene regret to see happen is that Bryant and Blanche Lilly are moving to Austin. Bryant has been a member of the Abilene Grot to for several years, Rnd has been a big cog in the little Abilene wheel. We'll miss you, Bryant & Blanche. Bart Crisman is builclj ng an additi on to his home. T.'/ith three little ones growing up, it is anecessity. George Gray and Estes along with Kmneth Twomey are trying to learn how to speak Spanish but it is a slow process which requires much experience we found out. Meetings: Usually the first Tuesday of ea. month, 1458 l'larsalis St. Grotto address: 2818 S. 39th St., Abilene, Texas 79605. Between 2 and 6 130, 15 cavers had entered and exited the sinkhole. In all everyone had a great time and enjoyed the reunion with old friends. Also the group had the pleasure of witnessing an ancient but honorable met h od of ascent reenacted as Richard Finch actually prussicked the entire distance out of the pi1 using the three know method. ( Hopefully for safety's sake this method _of ascent should not be forgotten. The nextSaturday, 16 Narch, tile club held the second rope session of the semester. We are fortunate to be blessed with a fine limestone cliff on the Blanco River that is excellent for rope work. This session, unlike the first of the semester, was held on a beautiful day and we had quite a fine thrnout. The entire morning was spent teaching and practicing the various techniques involved with rope. These included knots, rappelling and prussiking. After the rope session, a group of our menbers drove to Georgetown to see Inner Space Caverns. Although our cavers have been making trips nearly every weekend this month, the main interest of the group is spring vacation and l-1exi co. During the vacation, we had no less than three different groups in l-1exico. 0 n e group included Nike Walsh, Nike Stern, Frank Boone, Tom Daley and Phil Lambrecht. They visited Grutas de Quintero, Cueva del Abra and S6tano de Tinaja. After the group left Tinaja, they headed for the gulf <>nd Tanpioo. NOTICE: REPOR TlliS & SECrtETARIES--fll-iERE I S YOUR GriJTTO uR CLUB N E w S' i PlliAS.b; H.&DRT YvUR bEivS or ALL ACTIVITIES TO CAVER EACH WhTH. THE i 10RE NKviS THE BETTER. IF YOU 00 NUT H.hVE ::Dr-J:XJHE .ttESfO.NSIBLE FOR THIS PLEASE APPOINT &lb.EO.NE TODAY. LET'S liliAR ABOUT WHAT YOUR IS G . Southwest Texas This march has really been quite a busy month for cavers at Southv;est Tex as. On 9 Narch, two carloads of SWT cavers left San Marcos for the Devil's Sinkhole. The trip was mainly to initiate some new members to vertical caving and also to give several out-of state cavers an opportunity to see the sinkhole. Making the trip from San Marcos were Jirrmy Jarl:, Bill Miller, Keith Heuss, Sharon Cathey, Martha Burk, Joe Sumbera, Ed Fomby and Nike Stern. At Rocksprings the group met Bill Deane from Colo. Springs and Richard Finch from Austin. Later, at the sinkhole, the group met Chuck Borland, his wife and several other cavers froin lorton, Texas. Bill rigged the pit with his 230-foot section of Sampson, and later a section of Goldline was rigged to speed up rappelling in and prussiking out. Joe rappelled in first, testing out his new "rack". He found the descent rather slow due to tile number of photographers on the trip. However, it seems that the "rack" more than lived up to its claim as the best rappel! device. The second group, made up of David Summers, Ray Trowbridge, Brian Galligan, Debbie Seiders, Cindy Arterburn and Kent McKreger. This group visited Sotano de Tinaja, G!leva del A b : '..r a,., Grutas de Quintero and Cueva del Nacimento del R i o Frio. It is rumored that Debbie slept with a coat over her head during the Vampire bat flight in Sotano de Tinaja. Brian said they ran into other caving groups from Oklahoma and Baylor while in Mexico. The third group in Mexico went to Sotano de Venidito and Sotano De Tlamaya. In tmis group were Joe Sumbera, Jim Mcintire, B i 11 Miller, Jimmy Jarl, Keith Heuss, Sharon Cathey, Martha Burk and Brian Peterson. This group used a rented Volkswagpn bus on the trip and found it quite satisfactory as a "cavernobile". The group found the end of SOtano de Venidito where two biind fish were collected. Also in the cave a blind isopod was oollected. These are now in the process of being classified After leaving Venidito, the group drove to Xili tla and from there to tile Tlamaya Valley. Here Joe Surnbera, Jimmy Jarl, Jim Mcintire and Brien Peterson visited SOtano de Tlamaya. This group spent eleven hours in the cave and in this time made it to tile big room and then back out. After leaving Tlamaya the group stopped


Page 50 April, 1968 THE TEXAS CAVER by S6tano de Huitzmolotitla. However, lack of time did not allow exploration. There were only a few minutes to throw rocks in the entrance pit before the group had to head back to San Marcos. At this time a main topic of interest at SWI' is the Nature Conservancy's drive to save Ezell's Cave. The Southwest Texas Caving Club sincerely h opes that Texas cavers will help the NRture Conservancy in any way possible in its effort to raise funds to protect Ezell's Cave and its f auna. University of Texas Among the interesting caving trips this oast month was one to Cave west of tl.ountain Home. Russ Hanron, Jerry Broadus, Butch B ro Pdus, Ruth Fruland, Joe Cepeda and Howard Crow went there to map the for TSS and wound up with some interesting finds: A new room and possible leads off of a joint system. The cave measured 1,128 feet in length, Collect' ng salamanders for evolution studies was the purpose of a recent trip to a water cave near Spring Branch. Bill Russell, Russ H arla nd and Ruth Fruland found four species of salamanders, one of them new, in the cave which is about 3,000 feet long. Three feet of water and about one foot of soft muc made an ideal havitat for salamanders, if not for cavers. Salamanders were also the prey when a University group visited Salamander Cave within the Austin city limits. One the first try the w ater was up, and no salamanders were found, but two days later 'Bill Mitchell did find some there. Orion and Jan Knox have had a busy caving month. They not only visited Big Brehmer and Little Brehmer Caves, but they also went to Natural Bridge Cave where they were able to take off-trail photographs. We'll be looking forward to seeing some of Orion 1 s fine photography. Selcors Cave was also the destination in t-!arch for John Fish and Heri Thomas. Mike Collins, Ron Ralph and Freda Miller had a trip to a ranch near Natural Bridge Caverns. Many cavers are planning trips for spring vacation in April, and there should be a great deal more news next month. The club meets the first and third Wednes days of each month, 7:30 PM, Geology Bldg. -100 Grotto address: PO Box 7672, UT Station Austin, Texas 78712. Subscribe to TSA Publications From the Editor morr..t:.M. a.r;o 9 aA-ked tha-t. I(O"' 4-end "'e a. l.i.d..t o { p e-t/.l.O nal .tlur..t a. no 4-ho dd .take. on h.M. f.iA.4-.t ca.IJe .tlt..i..p. qt:;en, a. w.i..U lo4.e cond.C.ioj,(,4-ne4.<1. q.s.c.ldq -in 7-8% o "Jf rren, b..,t a. w.i..U bu.-t.n .i..n a..i..-t. o { 4-)% o>qt;en. S e .tha-t. Mo f .the. .toj,(,Jt. o{ a. ccwe. 4-.t ltHUf. Ne.-t.e.. .iA. .the. compo4.-i-.te. e.rru..i..pmen.t l.i.-4-.t fo-e a. hoj,(,,f. I /cl a.-t.d N a.t.. 2.

THE TEXAS CAVER challenge George Gray "Texas Caver" P.O. Box 143 Abilene, Texas 79604 Dear Mr. Gray, April, 1968 Thomas Hall Southwest Texas State College San Marcos, Texas 78666 Page 51 I am writing this letter in behalf of the Nature Conservancy in regard to their recent purchase of Ezell's Cave, here in San Marcos. The Nature Conservancy, as you are probably quite aware, is the organization that also recently purchased Shelta Cave in Huntsville, Alabama. The purpose of this organi ation is to protect types of wildlife that are on the verge of extinction. The Nature Conservancy puts up the necessary funds for the purchase of the habitats of these endangered animals with the understanding that it will later be repaid by donations. This is, of course, a nonprofit organization. Ezell's Cave is a small fault formed cavern having no great significance except for its fauna. It contains the Texas Blind Salamander, which is found only in this cave. Before the Nature Conservancy stepped in, the owner of the cave was planning to close it and build a house over it. Now the cave is owned by an organization whose purpose is to protect and conserve it. However, this organization must be reimbursed for the cost of the cave. The Southwest Caving Club has contributed to the drive and I feel that this is an excellant opportunity for cavers in Texas to express their interest in cave conservation by helping the Nature Conservancy raise the necessary funds. We would greatly appreciate any help the TEXAS CAVER could extend in this drive. Admittance to the cave will be controlled but anyone with a legitimate interest in speleology or other sciences related to the cave will be allowed to enter it. I am enclosing a leaflet that gives details on both the cave and the problem. Knowing that the TEXAS CAVER is interested in cave conservation, I sincerely hope that you will help the drive to save Ezell's Cave. Sincerely yours, ss: Brian F. Peterson Vice President SWTCC Editor's Note: I sincerely feel that the above letter needs little comment from me. The CAVER,and that's the staff,has been outspoken for years in the interest of conservation and this is certainly a movement that we can support both individually and collectively. Just this additional information about Ezell's Cave and its fauna. Thirty six species are known to exist in Ezell's Cave. Of these, ten are aquatic, six which are known to occur only here. One of these is the transparent shrimp -another world-renowned Texas Blind Salamander. This is indeed a unique biological phenomenon stringent protection. including is the worthy of The Texas Chapter of the Nature Conservancy is in immediate charge of the cave property, through Professor W. K. Davis, Biology Department, Southwest Texas State College,San Marcos, Texas. All contributions to the Conservancy are deductable for federal income tax purposes and all checks should be made payable to "The Nature Conservancy." Send to: THE NATURE CONSERVANCY 909 Reliance Life Bldg. Dallas, Texas 75201 Donate now to the preservation of Ezell's Cave J J J


Page 52 April, 1968 THE TEXAS CAVER Dare You by Steve Stanton I dare you t o read this and act on it. If most cavers are like m e they tend t o disregard some things. Not because they intend to, but for r easo n s of neglect. I catch myself commenting upo n coming out of a cave, "Boy, that's I'm going to send an article about this o n e t o the Caver." W e ll, six m onths l ater my intentions were never carried out. For som e time now you've heard pleas for a rtic les from our fine TSA publication, Th e Texas Caver. Now let's do them a good favor and at the sam e time get our by-lines in print. H ere are som e suggesti ons. Sit down now and write your articl e 1. A description o f an interesting cave you v i sited recently--large or small. 2 You've visited a deep pit. How was the rigging done? Grandmother t o young caver grandson: "You mean you go caving at night? Whe n it's dark? Pretty f e m a l e bat t o boyfri end: "Why don't you drop in t o see m e sometime?" 3. You visited another state or country and caved. Tell us about the trip. 4. You've an idea on a different approach to conservation--a new cave energy food--how to better landowner relations. 5. A friend of yours is an excellent caver, good sport, and contributes much to speleology. Write him or her up as Caver-Of-The-Month,and send b&w photo. 6. Make up an interesting poem or cave song. 7. You had a club meeting and discussed something of importance to all cavers. What was it? 8. And what about your personal views on whether cave locations should or should not be given out freely or published in widely read periodicals? Why d o you hold the view you hold? I'll look for your article in a Caver issue soon. Good SOME PEOPLE LIKE GOLF, RACING, FISHING & ALL THE REST. BUT I LIKE CAVING, "CAUSE IT'S THE BEST." Teacher: cave Johnny: "Johnny, how did they find the 1st explorer?" "With a rotor rooter, I guess." Keep caves open--respect them and their OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE TEXAS SPELEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION Printed Matter R eturn postage g uaranteed.

Contents: Electric
headlamps & batteries / Roger V. Bartholomew --
Speleo images --
Some spelean history of west Texas / Tom Meador --
The vehicle 2 / Bobby L. Crisman --
The Solitario: new caving frontier? / Jim Estes --
Kaverkrostic (this month's puzzle) --
News of grottoes and clubs --
Editorial (from the editor) --
Letter / Brian F. Peterson --
Next month: report of the Kerrville convention.