.PELTON CAVE by 'lfilliam H. Russell 31 IJ'llWlCE R()(J( 01 .PEL'lCII C.VS (Photo by '!aDq) 34 i I 'If S at tbe Grottoes IW' OF .PELTON C.l VE ( InM:rt) XCIIGUE <:. VE 35 35 .36 KISCELLlNEroS HlrtiS 36 .lDDITIOHS .lHD CORRECTIONS TO MEXBimSHIP LISr 37 38 editorial IN THIS ISSUE WE HAVE ENDEAVORED TO BRING YOU A SPECIAL CAVER ON ONE PARTICULAR CAVE WITH VERY LITTLE SPACE DE VOTED TO OTHER THINGS. BECAUSE THIS IS NOT A REGULAR POLICY, IT WILL NOT HAPPEN VERY OF'TEN. WE DID, HOWEVER, WANT TO SEE HOW YOU LIKED IT. IN NOVEMBER OF" 1959, THE TEXAS REGION (NOW TEXAS SPELEOLOGICAL ASSOCJATION) HELD A THREE-DAY PROJECT AT FELTON CAVE NEAR SONORA, PREPARATIONS F"OR THE EVENT WERE MADE BY A COMMITTEE OF" CAVERS F"ROM \HE UNIVERSITY OF" TEXAS GROTTO AND BY F". ARTHUR S IMPSON. THE COMMITTEE FUNCTIONED MARVELOUSLY AND THINGS WORKED OUT VERY WELL .. EVEN TO AN ELECTRIC GENERATOR TO FURNISH LIGHTS AND POWER F"OR ELECTRIC BLANKETS (WHICH CAME IN HANDY DURING THE 19 DEGREE WEATHER). THE PROJECT WAS VERY MUCH A SUCCESS, BEING ONLY THE THIRD SUCH AN UNDERTAKING WAS MADE BY THE REGION. IN 1957 AND 1958 A PROJECT WA$ HELD AT LONGHORN CAVERNS, WHERE EXTENSIVE EXPLORING AND MAPPIN3 WAS DONE. THE SAME DONE AT FELTON CAVE, INCLUDING ALSO PHOTOGRAPHY, AND WORK IN THE F"IELDS OF" GEOLOGY & B IOLOGY. ALTHOUGH MUCH OF" THE OBSERVATIONS AND WORK DONE AT THE PROJECT HAS NOT VET BEEN PUBLISHED, THE DESCRIPTION OF" THE CAVE BY BILL RUSSELL IN THI S ISSUE I S VERY GOOD. THE MAP WAS MADE BY SEVERAL PERSONS ANO F"ROM ONE LOOK, IT CAN READILY BE SEEN THAT IT WAS A DIF"F"ICULT JOB, BUT ONE WELL DONE. AS A MATTER OF" RECORD F"OR THOSE WHO DID NOT ATTEND THE PROJECT AT F"ELTON IN 1959 AND THOSE WHO ARE NEW IN TEXAS CAVING, ABOUT 40 ATTENDED THE PROJECT AND GROTTOES REPRESENTED INCLUDED ABILENE, ALAMO, AND U.T. ALSO SEVERAL INDEPENDENT CAVER$ ATTEN DED AND A GROUP OF" EXPLORER SCOUTS AND THEIR ADVISOR, BLAIR PITTMAN F"ROM F"ORT WORTH. DICK REED WAS THE CIWP COOK AND JOANNE CRONENWETT KEPT UP WITH SURVEY REPORTS A$ THEY CAME I N CONCERNING F"ELTON CAVE, I WANT YOU TO NOTE THAT AT PRESENT TIME THE IS CLOSED F"OR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD. PLEASE DO NOT ASK F"0R PERMISSION TO V I SIT THE CAVE. AS F"OR OTHER ITEMS THAT M IGHT BE NOTED EDITORILY, I WILL START BY SAY I \IG THAT THE CAVER NEEDS SUBSCRIBERS. TI-'ERE ARE SOME GROUPS IN THE ARE ALMOST 100 PER CENT SUBSCRIBERS. I CAN WITH A LITTLE PREJUDICE) SAY THAT I CAN THINK OF" NO OTHER WAY MAY BE BENEFITED MORE, EXCEPT BY ACTUAL CAVING, TO RECEIVE THE CAVER ANO KEEP UP PARTICIPATE 1\1, AND ENJOY THE TEXAS TI-'ERE IS JUST NO OTHER SPECIAL PUBLICATION THAT THE SPELUNKERS OF" THIS AREA HAVE. 1\HY DON'T YOU Wl\1 ONE NEW TODAYT ITEM: WH"T THIS YUR1S OF" GOVERNOR' S MEETING? MANY THINGS CONCERNING MATTERS WILL BE DISCUSSED AT THE MEETING PROBABLY TO BE HELD MI-V 5TH. MORE ON THIS IN THE APRIL CAVER, AND IN THE F"ORM OF" AN BY ),!A I L TO THE GROTTOES AND C 0 V E R : THIS MONTH'S COVE OF" T"iE BEAUTY OF" THE CARLSBAD ROOM OF" F"EI..l':)N IS 'lOOM W-'S 'lEL"T I VEL y "NEW" riND IN 1959, AND I S CONSIJERED ONLY PORTION OF" Tw[ CAVER 13 OF" AUSTIN, THE PHOTOJRAPHER MILLS FI<:I'G 35: TwE ENTRA.\ICE ROOM OF" C/IVE 1\ITH "rwO THE IS MOVE LEF"T. THE TEXAS CAVER 2818 South 39th Street .lbilene, Te:us EDITCJi ----------James Estes STiFF MEHBERS Bart Crisman George Gray John Laniar Paxton Hutchison Gerald Robarts NEWS SECRE'URY -------Irene Estes REPORTERS M. D. Doyle Katherine Goodbar Frank .lbbott Jaines Reddell * * THE CAVER is a monthly or t Texas Speleological Association ot the National logical Society and is in Abilene, Tex01 Subscription rate is $3.00 per annum and mailed iL1 vbere in the world. Material tor should tJped, double-spaced and mailed to tbe Editor by thii-d Friday ot the month preceding date ot issue. !' date ot issue is usually around the first Tuesday each month. ************ ***** ******************'**************ttttt THE 'lEXAS SffilEOLOOICAL ASSOCIATION OFFICERS (1962): CH.lmMAH ---------Dudley Roberts 3207 Beverly lane .lust in, Texas VICE CHAIH!>:AN -----R1.1ben M. (Bud) m p. o. Box 7635 u. T. Station Austin, Texas 12 SECRETARY-TREASURER -----James Estes 2818 South 39th St. Abilene, Texas The Texas Speleological Association is an org!ll izat1.on composed ot speleologists and spelunkers State ot Texas (toruerl.y the Texas Region of N.s.s.) Publications include THE n:xAS CAVER, a news magazine, and THE 'rl::XAS SI'J::IEOLOOICAL SURVEY, 1 elearillghouse ot all physical data about all eaves in Texas. Editor ot the SURVEY is James Reddeli, P. O. Box 7672, u. T. Station, Austin 12, Texas H.S.S. GR
THE TEXAS CAVER FELTON elton located south of So nora on the rocky highlands of the Edwards Plateau, is one of the most widely known West Texas ..__ _.caves. This fame is well deserved, for perhaps no other cave in has so many speleological attractions combined with so few undesirable ures. Therefore t-rhen the Lpnghorn Cav erns completed in 1959 the Texas Region chose Felton Cave,as the next c.o.ve to undergo extensive study. Prior to this time no systematic study of the cave had been undertaken other than Dr. Babcock's study of the cave's insects and his rough map of the cave. This was primarily due to the isolation of the cave, which allowed time for little more than a quick trip through the accessible parts during a weekend visit. Therefore much was accomplished by the Texas Region's 1 9 6 0 Thanksgiving Prodect, when about fifty people camped at the cave. The main accomplishments of the project were the finding of the Carlsbad Room, the locating of Babcock's lost Passage, the accurate mapping of the cave' and the dis coven that the sand t.,rhich covers the cave floo.r in many places is composed of small calcite crys tals. The value of this sudy can be further realized by noting that those passages left unesplored by this project are still unentered; and since the cave is now closed to all exploration it will probably be some time before further discoveries are made. The entrance to Felton Cave is located on the south side of a low ridge being almost invisible until one is upon it. It is a pit about forty feet deep, 20 feet wide, and 30 feet loAS, easily climbed by a aeries ot ledge on the 'l CAVE by William H. Russell east side. At the bottom of the entrance one enters a room extending to the west. An arched doorway in the south wall of this room leads to the Left-Rand Room. This room is about llO feet long by 150 feet wide and 30 feet high and extends in its lower portions back underneath the Entrance Room. It has been heavily van but still contains several large tee and totem poles. The floor of the room is mostly breakdown, but along the edges bedrock is reached, into which several pits are dissolved to depths of up t6 40 feet. A 200 foot deep pit reported b.Y local people has never been found. The main part of the cave is reached by a low crawlway leading from the west end of the Entrance Room. This crawlway leads into a typical Felton Cave "passage"--really a passage complex composed of several interconnecting sometimes uniting to form rooms and at other times splitting into several branches, both above and below and to one side of each other. To the left this passage complex leads around a bend to the Subway. The Subway is a. low wide passRge leading to Dead Goat Pit, a shallow pit from which a narrow passage circles back towards the Left Hand Room, Past the Subway the passage complex splits, ono branch joining the main passage system at the Bat Rooms, thl other continuing ae a difficult orawl,
32 Turning right from the entrance crawlway one again enters the main pass see complex, joining it at the northeast end of the Bat Rooms. The Bat Rooms extend to the southwest for abou t 300 feet, being formed from two enlarged passages connected in many places. In the Bat Rooms there are a few small accumulations of guano but no large deposits. This is probably due to its removal in small amounts by the local people for use as fertilizer. From the east side of the Bat Roome Babcock's Lost Passage leads beneath the Bat Rooms, then turns northward for about 500 feet where it ends ab ruptly. Just before its end it intersects a narrow fissure extending to the west, the end of which has not been reached. In a small lower room leading from the fissure a group of human bones were found These bones and other bones found in the passage beyond Danger Pit are those of white people. How they got to this point and why they were in the cave is not known, but it is speculated tha t they may have been fleeing from Indians at the time and became lost in the cave. The entrahce to the cave was utilized by Indians as a shelter site and Indian remains have been found in the shelter behind the drop into the entrance room. These bones and those far back in the cnve were discovered by Dr. Babcock during his explorati.on and study of the cave. From the entrance crawl two right turns laRd into a continuation of the main complex extending northeast from the Bat Rooms, and still composed of two parallel passages About 200 feet past the end of the Bat Rooms is Danger Pit, a thirty foot pit bl0cking one of the parallel passages This pit gets its name from a small downward sloping crawlway which leads to the top of the pit. Past Danger Pit both halves of the passnge join at a high room where more human bones were found From this room a single passage extends up a slope and ends after about 100 feet. Fortunate ly before this passage ends it is intersected by a nnrrow fissure. Back to the left this fissure leads upward to a higher leve l and to the right it forms the Guano Slide, which drops into a group of crawlways. Most of these crawlways end THE TEXAS QAYER or become too small to traverse, but one crawlway leads southward for about lOO feet, then turns to the right and comnects with Second or Silo Pit. Silo Pit is on the edge of the Breakdown Passage, a complex passage de veloped on two levels, a low wide upper level whose floor is usually eovered by sand, and a lower level usually floored th breakdown. These levels are connected by numerous pits, and in some areas the whole floor of the upper level has collapsed into the lower. To enter the Breakdown Passage from the Silo Pit one can either cross the pit and enter the upper level of the Breakdown Passage, or descend to the bottom of the pit, which connects with the lower level, Just to the north of Silo Pit there is an area where both levels have been joined by collapse. This ex tends for about 75 feet as a jumble of large breakdown blocks paralleled on the east side by interconnecting crawlways on both the upper and lower levels. Northward from this zone the passages are again separated, the lower level splitting into numerous crawlways with frequent connections to the low wide upper level. This confusing area extends for about 150 feet to the upper level narrows to a single crawlway. Here Pink And-Purple Pit connects with the lower level, nm'l also a single crawlway which extends northward for an unknown distance. To follow the Breakdown Passage south from Silo Pit one can take either the upper level crawh1ay or the breakdown floored lower level. After about 100 feet these passaees join forming a large passaee which continues to a point directly under the main passage complex. Here massive formations have almost blocked the passage, these formations probably developing along the same joints that formed the main passage. However a short cra,ilway leads through these formations to a continuation of the Breakdown age which extends for an additional 200 feet. About 75 feet beyond the formattons a low opening near the ceiling leads to a breakdown zone which can be followed to the Carlsbad Room, a large room with numerous outstanding formations. From the extreme end of this room an un-
THE TEXAS CAVER explored fissure leads to the east. The Carlsbad Room had evidently been entered in the past and then forgotten as a section of very rotten one-inch rope was found hanging from a crawlway entering the upper part of this room. It must have been an enthusiastic explorer who carried the 75 feet of rope this distance into the cave. On thPupper level Breakdown Passage, in much of the upper level near Danger Pit, and in the crawlways near the end of Babcock's Lost Passage the floor of the cave is covered to a depth of up to three inches with a powdery sand composed of small calcite crystals. This sand ,.,as probably formed as the cave 'I'Tas dissolved, accumulating in those areas where the dissolving water ,.,as almost saturated and very slowly moving. Under these conditions the small crystals present in the limestone would tena to be dissolved at a much faster rate than the larger crystals. Thus the small crystals 1o1ere completely dossolved, leaving the large crystals to collect on the floor of the passage. This is, as far as I know, the only example of this type of deposit, though there are large masses of limestone in which all the small crystals have been dissolved and re-deposited on the larger crystals. 33 BOTTOIIJ LEFT: George Gray, Orion Knox, M.D. Doyle, T0m White, and Blair Pitman discuss ne1-1 finds izi Felton Cave during the Thanksgiving, 1960 Regional Project. ABOVE: The sillouett of a Texas caver is seen glimpsing at a flowstone wall in Felton Cave's Left Hand Room. Even though much has been accomplished at Felton Cave there is a good possibility of further discoveries, as two wells drilled north of Felton both hit large caves at a lower level than any level so far explored. Any of several promising leads--the fissure passages leading from Babcock's Passage and the Carlsbad Room or the crawlway below PinkAnd-Purple Pit could lead to these levels, and it is likely that there are other undiscovered passages leading from the lmown part of the cave. MRS. WHITTEN KILLED IN CAR-TRUCK CRASH Mrs. Hill Whitten of Eldorado v1as killed instantly when the car she 1-1as riding in collided with an oil truck near Cristoval. William Morris Whitten, driver of the car and husband of woman was injured severely. The accident happened February 6th. Mr. Whitten is mmer of "Y" Cave.
LEGEND c::. PIT 0 COM <$7 8RAK00Wt.i 111111 o .. -SLOPE .. HUMAN Slo([.l.t.TONS. -OAOP IN I-IAC.UUR'0 "' C(IUNC. Oa-POT INDIAN .1M) ..,. on BABCOCK'S LOST PAS5AG.C N ... -BAT ROOMS [.'ITNS.\\IE' F"Oc:tM&.TtONCOV'[R) !TLTON CAVE 5U"f"r0N CO.
THE TEXAS CAVER N E w s Two members of the grotto enjoyed a weekend of caving at San Saba the weekend of February 17-18. They joined up with several members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Grotto and checked out Red Randerchief Cave, Roundtree Cave, and Four-Bat Cave. Those making the trip were Jim Estes and Paxton Hutchison. George Gray thoroughly enjoyed a weekend in Dallas March 9-11 with five busloads of scouts from the Chisholm Trail Council area. Irene Estes and son Jim, along with Tom Meador of Eldorado did something a little differend from caving--rock hunting in the Big Bend area of Texas near Lajitas on the Rio Grande. Picking up green agate on St. Patrick's Day! Just a few more days! "Hutch" Hutchison gets out of the Army March 30. Plans are to go to work some,vhere, theri attend and finish school. Then there is a certain someone who is wearing an engagement ring ALAMO Grotto address: 2818 S. 39th St. Abilene, Texas (No news!) [DALLAS-FORT WORTH GROTTO I No caving has been done since the trip to San Saba. A card was received from our Ft. Worth correspondent Glenn Pense, and the group there is finding that college is a full time job They are over their ears in books! Several people have been over to the hospital to see Fred Tart and report that he is in fine spirits but will be down for a good long time to come. We are planning to take a cave slide show there to show to the fellows in his ward. The only thing he has asked for is more cave books to read! Katherine Goodbar 6621 Sunnyland Lane Dallas 14, Texas 35 !SAN ANGELO COLLEGE Too much school work has kept us from being busy at caving lately, but four more trips have been made to Green Nountain Cave and one to Arden Cave. The Arden map is drawn, but needs a few finishing touches. Trips are planned to either "S" Cave and Blackstone Cave at Iraan and Sheffield Or to Clarkson's Cave near Son ora in the near future. Address: Royce Chm. 2412 Coleman Ave. San Angelo, Texas OF TEXAS Four cavers from the grotto: Dick Smith, Terry !\sines, Mike Collins, and Jim Reddell visited 0-9 Well the weekend of February 17,18. They spent 9 hours mapping the cave upstream, but went no farther than the top of the first waterfall downstream. In seven hours of actual surveying they mapped 3,400 feet of cave. Where the surveying stopped, there was no indication of an end to the cave and from what Mills Tandy says, they were still far, far from it. It is unquestionably another mile long plus cave in the state. 800 feet has been mapped to the end of the downstream passage, but the map will be redone in the near future. The Bexar County survey will be out soon, followed by the Cave Checklist, and the San Saba County Survey. This information from the Texas Speleological Survey. Grotto address: Box 7672, U. T. ]Station, Austin 1 2 Texas. INDEPENDENTS: I Lee Skinner of El Paso reports their group visiting a cave in the Franklin Mts. A map of the cave appears in this issue. A caving trip to take place in early April is being planned by a group from Houston including Preston Fritz Holt and others. The groupr plans to spend five days hunting caves in the Big Bend area and in the state of Chihua hua, Mexico. They intend to search for "cuevas grandes" mentioned in Dcble' s Coronado's Children and by interviews of many Mexicans in the area west of Presidio, Texas.
36 The only known cave in the Franklin Nountains near El Paso, and the westernmost cave in Texas, Cave (Pro nounced like "kong") is located near Canu tillo, Texas near the Texas-New Hexico state line. It is almost completely vandalized except for two tiny helictites, a soda straw, and a lot of cave coral. This information and the map of the cave was supplied by Lee Skinner of El Paso. (Does anyone know the easternmost cave in Texas?) MONGUE CAVE TEXAS LENGTH 0 F PASSAG-ES I.S ,q6pUT 3.5o FE.ET) THE TEXAS CAVER SUBSCRIBERS NEEDED With the February issue of the CAVER, 16 subscriptions ran out. This is indeed a big loss, and this number needs to be made up by new subscribers. Look around your grotto and drum up some new business for the CAVER by getting cavers to take their own Associational magazine and news media. Be sure to watch your own expirration date to the right of your address and renew as soon as possible. Thos subscriptions which have ex-pired are: Ray Archibald, Midland Jack Burch, Sonora Carol & Gary Ferguson, Waxahachie Arlan L. Fenner, San Charles V. Larsen, Garland Max G. Hardegree, Sonora Carl R. Nantzel, Austin Barbara Munson, Chattanooga Blair Pittman, Sonora Mike Richmond, Dallas Jim Rodgers, New Cedric Snyder, Hurst, Texas Bob Trout, Carlsbad, N.M. Jearl Walker, Fort Worth James Eagan Fort Worth Gary Griffing, Pasadena NEXT MONTH'S CAVER A very interesting issue is in the planning stage for the'April issue of the CAVER. It will feature articles 6 n cave paleontology and archeology written by many of our mm state spelunkers ind icating an interest in those fields. Plan n01-1 U you intend to participate in this special issue, and get any material in by April 1st! W H E R E S T H E C A R T 0 0 N S? Desparately needed are cartoons & drawings depicting the humerous side o f spelunking. Don't force the editor into printing some of his rotten ones. Any of you who are wanting to express your ideas with pen and paper, and who have some good drawings, send them to the CAVER for other readers to enjoy. How about it?
THE TEXAS CAVER ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS TO LIST (T.S.A.) The following names added: UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS GROTTO: 311. Bell, Bill 312. Foster, Sandra 313. King, Janice 314. Madden, Barbara 315. Maury, Roy 316. Moran, Jim 317. Westmoreland, Address corrections: Baker, Pat & Ronnie Bardgett, John Blum, Eugene Cox, Bill .HcKenzie, David Morgan, Bartel Roberts, Stiles Roe, Mike White, Tom DALLAS-FORT WORTH GROTTO: 1917t David St., Austin, Texas 261Bt Speedway Ave., Austin, Texas Kirby Hall, Austin, Texas 1905 University, Austin, Texas (address unknown) 911 West 22t St., Austin, Texas Grace Hall, Austin, Texas Rt. 7, Box 992, Austin, Texas 841 Airport Blvd. Austin, Texas 203 E. 30th St., Austin, Texas 4301 B Caswell, Austin, Texas 612 W. 22nd, Austin, Texas 502 W. 30th, Austin, Texas 502 W. 30th, Austin, Texas 606 W. 18th, Austin, Texas Rt. 7, Box 991, Austin, Texas 318. Harper, Lloyd (Assoc) 8727 Redondo St., Dallas, Texas 319. Harper, Lloyd (Assoc) 8727 Redondo St. Dallas, Texas INDEPENDENTS: 320. Ahrens, Kenton s. 321. Carpenter, Roy 322. Diltz, Mack 323. Fitzpatrick, James 324. Fogleman, Je .rry 325. Huchingson, :rvlrs. Leslie 326. Johnson, Carl F. 327. Johnson, Mrs. Carl F. 328. Leavitt, Keith 329. Preston A. 330. Roebuck, Noel F., D.D. 331. Roebuck, Loren (Mrs NF) 332 Watkins, John S. Harper Star Route, Kerrville, Texas 6045 Tyrone, Dallas 36, Texas 10307 Gooding St., Dallas 29, Texas 4421 Geddes, Fort Worth 7, Texas 2814 Highwood Drive, Dallas 28, Texas 849 Northwood, Fort Worth, Texas 3608 Wooten Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 3608 Wooten Drive, Fort Worth, Texas Texas \les tern College, El Paso, Texas 1638 Houston Texas 6820 Lovett, Dallas, Texas 6820 Lovett, Dallas, Texas Box 126 SMU, Dallas, Texas The following nrune should be deleted (moved out of state): 242. Guthrie, Dr. James L. (NSS) 102 Morris Dr., Apt 104, Laurel, Maryland The following should have ()SS) after their names: 270. Joel Tom (NSS Route 1, Eldorado, Texas 271. Meador, Mrs. T. c. (NSS)Route 1, Eldorado, Texas 295. Skinner, Lee (NSS) A Btry, Sch Comd, Fort Bliss, Texas Spelling correction: 226. Decker, Dennis, Jr., should be Becker, Dennis, Jr. 37
T H E TEXAS CAVER 2818 S 39th St. ABILENE. TEXAS HAVE YOU VISITED OPEN ALL YEAR NEW CONCESSIONS FACILITIES P. 0. BOX 781 SONORA. TEXAS ''The e We Was" iirite to: DUDLEY ROBERTS 3207 Beverly Lane Austin 3, Texas BY BILL ffi:J.,;IEH i:OOT COE1'LE70:: !:170REAnC!\ ABOUT T:::XAS CAV!::S Subocription 2.00 SdiliOL03I:;;..;,_ S:JRnY J=es Reddell 3ox 7672, U.T. Station Austin 12, Tex!ls Cascade Caverns BOERNE. TEXAS P. 0 BOX 338 Texas Greatest Cave PLAZA 15 BAL.CON XCHANGf.
Caves of San Saba McCulloch Counties, Texas --
Project Arden / Royce Ballinger --
News of Grottoes --
Dear Editor --
San Angelo College Speleological Society Organizes.