The Texas Caver

The Texas Caver

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


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Contents: Letters to the Ediger: John Scopes' monkey trips over the elephant's trunk -- TSA convention '76: the vice-chairman gets up from his vice-chair and gets things going / Jim Clements -- Product quality report: buy this helmet and you'll find yourself using it / Bob Oakley -- Cavernicole corner: bug of the month! From the depths of Edwards Aquifer / Samuel S. Sweet -- Ree kaver: and at the end of the forth the score is tied: vandals=0, cartoonists=0 / Jim Kramer -- Suunto hints: a few suggestions for better use of the trusty suunto / Wayne Russell.
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Vol. 21, no. 04 (1976)
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See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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K26-04604 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4604 ( USFLDC Handle )
11338 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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April 1976


TheTEXftS CftUER Volume 21, Number 4 April 1976 COVER PHOTO: Using a Nikkormat FTN fitted with a macro lens, Dale Pate cap tured these fine water drops hanging from hair-thin helictites in the Birthday Pas sage, La Gruta del Palmito, Bustamante. In this issue .... 57 58 59 60 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 75 LETTERS TO THE EDIGER John Scopes' monkey trips over the elephant's trunk TSA CONVENTION '76 The ViceChairman gets up from his vice-chair and gets things going JIM CLEMENTS PRODUCT QUALITY REPORT Buy this helmet and you'll find yourself using it ..... BOB OAKLEY CA VERNICOLE CORNER Bug of the month! From thE. depths of the Edwards Aquifer . SAMUEL S. SWEET REE KAVER And at the end of the forth the score is tied: Vandals--O, Ca:r;toonists--O .. JIM KRAMER SUUNTO HINTS A few suggestions for better use of the trusty Suunto . WAYNE RUSSELL RESCUE NUMBER A breif review of how the number works and how it's worked in the past . JAMES JASEK CAVES: QUEVO DE OSO Some lost soul Slaughtered the Spanish, and we live with it ... BRIAN PETERSON ROPER RANCH PIT &. KEITH HEUSS MAP: QUEVO DE OSO . BRIAN PETERSON TSA AND CAVING A new and thoughtful answer to the Project problem problem . ROGER BARTHOLOMEW MAP: ROPER RANCH PIT BRIAN PETERSON ACCIDENT REPORT Our reporter talks to a man who was in the pit at the time .. TOM ILIFFE GROTTO NEWS In search of OZTOTL and the Holy Carbide Light .... GARBAGE Three pages of this stuff must be some sort of record ... TRIP REPORTS See what happens when you try to run things democratically . staff EDITOR: Gill Ediger Rt lBox 98 Falls City, TX 78113 TYPING: Corpus Christi Caving Club tso officers SUBSCRIPTIONS: James Jasek 5315 Laurel Lake Waco, TX 76710 COLLATION: Alamo Area Chapter CHAIRMAN: VICE-CHAIRMAN SECRETARY: Wayne Russell Jimmy Clements Ruth Darilek PO Box 848 Box 7438 11929 Grapevine Rockport, TX 78382 Corpus Christi, TX 78415 San Antonio, TX 78288 TSA MEMBER,ORGA NI :ZATIONS : ...... .... ,". ... . -" .. -' ... ..... ........ PO Box 1314 Colleg e Station, TX 77840 ALAMO AREA CHAPTER G reg Pas smore 267 Wayside San Antonio, TX 78213 BALCONES GROTTO Susan Fieseler PO Box 5672 Austin, TX 78763 CARTA VALLEY S. U. C. K. S. C. Edwin Kunath 3507 Lindenwood San Angelo, TX 76901 CORPUS CHRISTI CAVING CLUB Noma Hoehne 10515 Emmord Lp Corpus Christi, TX 78410 DALLAS/FT WORTH GROTTO Gerald Tyler Rt 7 Box 447 AA Ft Worth, TX 76119 GALVESTON SPELEOLOGICAL SOCIETY Barbara Strenth Box Galveston, TX 77550 GREATER HOUSTON GROTTO Theresa Connolly 7143 Triola Houston, TX 77036 LAREDO SPELEOLOGICAL SOCIETY PO Box 603 Laredo, TX 78040 SOUTHWEST TEXAS STUDENT GROTTO Student Union Bldg San Marcos, TX 78666 TEMPLE CAVING ASSOCIATION MiMi Jasek 5315 Laurel Lake Waco, TX 76710 TEXAS A&I GROTTO PO Box 2213 Texas A&! Kingsville, TX 78363 UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS GROTTO PO Box 7672 UT Station Austin, TX 7871Z


APRIL 1976 Dear Gill, I want to thank you for the improvements you made in my story. I wrote a fairy tale and you brought it down to earth. The. fairies forgot about the safety factor s in caving. I like the editing you did. Thanks! The TEXAS CAVER is getting better! Dca r Mr. Editor: Pat Asnes Austin Your compelling subscription appeal and the associated guilt of recei ving two free issues of the CAVER hav e been too much for me. Attached is a check for $4.50. Also enclosed are two cartoons I r ecently dre w after discussions with m y young son. (In light of IIWomen, In Caving?" articl e in the F ebruary issue, perhaps the one cartoon could grace an articl e: "Elephants, In Caving? ) Keep up the good work. The CAVER is most enjoyable. Dear Gill; Paul Streeter Castle Rock, CO BABAR GOES CAVING Jac k B acr's comment about cavers going to a cav e rescue just for the "fun and excitement" is the most tasteless statement I hav e C\er heard, Just how anyone ,could make such a rash statement is beyond mc. Jack i s missing the fact that helping a fellow human in time of great need is one of the fundalnental concepts of ldLlnkind. There can be no gre a ter joy t han g ivin g your fellow man a helplng hand, and expect nothing in return. All cadng accidents do not happen because some caver did 57 something foolish, and e ven if this were so, Texas cavers would respond to anyone' s call for help without a second thought. Going lljust for the fun of it" would never enter into the picture. Cavers like Ronnie Fieseler, Dick Montgomery, Bob Oakley, and the othe r s present at the cave rescue in San Antonio were most definitely NOT there for the IIthrill and excitement", They were NOT participating in this cave rescue in the "spirit of salvation and sacrifice, "they were doing it because it was the right thing to do. We are all old enough to know the difference between what is right and wrong, and when the chips are down cavers will come to the aid of their fellow caver with nothing more on their minds than getting a job done as quickly as possible. It would really be a sad day if cavers went to a cave rescue to impress their friends and inflate their egos. James Jasek Waco (Jack's statement was fairly tasteless, but I don' t think he meant to i n sinuate that the life of the victim was unimportant. Although most rescues are mentally and physically trying for the rescuers ( s acrifice), and are intended to save the victim's life (salvation), it is a n accepted realization of those of us who hav e participated i n actua l rescues, that when all is said a n d done, we did ha\' e fun. This does not have to b e view e d negativel y E njoying one' s work is a g o o d thi n g And to some of us, althoug h monetarily 1.:.nre warding, c aving is our work. --ed. ) D ear Mr Ediger, R egardin g the article by Mr. R eddell in the March issue of the TEXAS CAVER: Does the T EXAS CAVER endorse the Theory of E volution? And if so, on what grounds can you do this? S incerely yours Ste\, e Ang l esby Tarzan, TX (The TEXAS CAVER, operatin g as a fron t for this editor, finds i t unrewarding and unnecessa r y to hav e to defend a contributor's r i ght to freedom of expression, The author' s method o f pre sent a tion can often be viewed as an art form and the ideas ex-presse d c a n be seen a s an e.:\.1:ension of that writer' s own thought processes. A s a n editor, it is m y job to correct spelling and s yntax mista kes. S o m etime s i n r are instances, I do rewrite sentences or e v e n p a r a g r aphs, for clarity and readibility. I do not purposely c hange the intent o f the writer, It is m y job and responsibilit y to do these things, just as it is n1 y job to remov e smudge s and fi n gerprints from artwork, but not to add pen strokes of my own. The TEXAS CAVER is a n outlet for artists -both literary and g r aphic. It is also an educational tool. Research a n d experiments have shown that particular adaptations are made b y the progeny of former surface dwelling fauna so that they can surv ive in the previously alien environment of caves. This adaptiv e process, an extension of the 'surv i val of the fittest' i dea, has been labele d both e volution and regression. In view o f the degre e of specialization involved in the adaptation, the latter seems highly illogical. I have not looked up the definitio n of 'evolution', but my understanding o f the common usage of the word tends to indicate to me that it is the process involved. Mr. R eddell, afte r s o m e 15-20 years as an -activ e scientist, evidently carne to the s a m e conclusion, and as a literary artist, expressed it in a manner in whic h I h a d no business interfering. Your own label and/or expla n ation for this adaptiv e process will gladly be presented for the consideration o f our r eaders upon its r eceipt. That we present it on our pages doe s not indicate our endorsen1ent, --ed,)


58 The TEXAS CAVER TSA CONVENTION Yes, it's Convention time again. This year it is to be held Friday, 30 April throug Sunday, 2 May at Camp Ben McCollough.near Austin (see map). Dinero: There will be a per warm body Camp Use Charge (proceeds go to the TSA Fund). For those wishing to attend the BOG meeting, there is an additionalcharge (proceeds go to the TEXAS CAVER). A spaghetti dinner will be available for purchase after the BOG. Meetings & Other Things: Anyone desiring to enter a paper should contact Jim Clements (PO Box 7438, Corpus Christi, TX 78415, or call (512) 853-110 or 992-1203) before 23 April.Papers will be presented at 9:30 am, spaghetti is served at 6:00 pm. This years Photo Salon will be held at the Fall BOG. SEE YOU THERE ATT END THE CONVENTION r -$-----------. 1 li N I r IlJ I \ I t i .f.cII I I J > I I I I I I / I L ______________ ---


APRIL 1976 59 PRODUCT QUILITY REPORT MSH HELMET Ah, finally Friday afternoon and time to 'think of something other than this ridiculous way to feed yourself between weekends. Mike Walsh has invited me to go on one of his trips. His trips! I've been on those before. They aren't your regular club trips to the same ole caves time after time. Going back to Neal's Cave. Been there before. Cold. Wet. Interesting. Cold. Wet. Cold. Wet. At least we are taking my truck. I won't have to sleep out in the cold like a wetback. Oh yeah. Get to tryout that new super double throw down $30.00 helmet. A few weeks previous I had been called by Chuck Stuehm to yet another cave rescue. A friend this time April Austin. She wasn't a good friend. Just one of those people who had been attending the Grotto meetings for some time. Never been caving with hf'r ; just a casual friend. Hurt! We got to the cave just before April was pulled from the cave by the Fire Dept. She had been tied into a Stokes litter and was unconscious. She had a pretty good knot on her head and she was sick, real sick. She was puking on herself. Out of her mouth and nose. Unknowingly. The incident made me sick and really aware of the inadequateness of my hard hat. Good ole Chuck Stuehm and Jerry Lindsey came up with the perfect head protection: the MSR helmet. Or so I thought. Read on. Chuck pressured me to buy one of the helmets. "OK, I'll buy one as soon as I get both the time and the $30.00. Time. Money. Get the time but no money. Get the money but no time. I forget the helmet until I see one in a local back packing shop. Now is the time. Write the man a check. $30.00. Shit, I need it. Blow it off. My first chance to use the helmet was during Walsh's trip. Got to the cave. Not a hard cave and not an easy one. Short scramble to the stream. We go upstream to dig a lead. Everyone else slides through the water filled breakdown and fat me struggles. Damned new helmet slips down over my eyes. I push it up. It slips down. I push it up. Etc. I scramble up a muddy bank to look the helmet over. Seems as if MSR has slightly altered the construction of the interior of the helmet. The strips of rubber sizing material used to be covered by a nice absorbant sweatband. The newer helmets like mine have only a short sweatband that is held in the front by a hunk of velcro fastener. It seemed like the added weight of a carbide lamp hung on the front of the helmet is too much of a load for the amount of velcro fastener furnished so the removable sweatband --of sorls by Bob Oakley kept coming loose, making the helmet too big for my head. It kept riding down on the bridge of my nose effectively covering my eyes. So, every five minutes the drill was to crawl out of the water, remove the helmet (no easy feat due to the excellent straps that encircle your head), dig the sweatband out of the suspension with muddy fingers and plaster it back into place. After we got out of the cave I asked Mike Walsh if he ever had any trouble with his MSR helmet. Nope. He loved it. Of course he has the old style continuous circular sweatband. Now comes the big rub. I called MSR in Seattle, Wash. (cost -$4.72+ tax) and talked to some dude whose name, I think, is Randy. I explained my prob-1em and he even sounded interested. We jointly decided that the problem probably was caused by insufficient surface area of the velcro fastener. We agreed that the problem would not exist when the helmet is used for the purpose for which it was primarily designed -mountaineering. No added weight from a carbide lamp hanging out over the front of the hat in that sport. He promised to mail me additional velcro and approved adhesive. That was over a month ago and I am still waiting. So my shiny bright MSR helme t is in the pile of caving junk that I have collected over the ten or so years that I have been in the sport. The junk that I consider outdated or unsafe. So my personal evaluation of the lVISR helmet is that it is a real fine helmet, great impact resistance, excellent shock absorbancy, wonderful bands surrounding your head in case of a glancing blow. So rush out and plunk down $30.00 for one if you think you can be an efficient caver with your eyes covered. I can already hear Chuck and Jerry hollerin' about me bein' an over-reactionary member o f the 'pot and needle generation' bad mouthing a good product. I do think that the hat is a good product. I am in business just like the folks at MSR and I am daily face d with increased production costs, and we all try to hold these to a minimum. MSR saw a way to reduce the cost of producing the helmet by altering the sweatband construction construction. More power to the m That is smart business -if the quality of the product remains the same or is improved. That was not the situation here and I feel that MSR really dropped the ball by not, to this date, correcting the problem. So, if you are conSidering the purchase of this type of helmet, view the situation critically or you may not be able to view the cave.


60 The TEXAS CA YEP SURyeSA: Spring and Oave Salamanders. 01 the, Edwards Plateau SCIENCE The small aquatic salamanders of the margin of the Edwards Plateau of central Texas are isolated remnants of a cooler, wetter time. Relict (remnant) populations of this sort are very likely to seek the stability and moisture characteristic of cave environments' and the Texas Eurycea (pronounced yoo-REEsee -uh), as they are called, are no exception. In the past twenty years increasingly active exploration of Plateau caves has demonstrated the existance of many troglobitic populations of Eurycea, and at least as many probably remain to be found. The Texas Eurycea offer unusual opportunities for study, as there are numerous populations ranging in adaptation from surface to advanced troglobitic types. The events leading to cave colonization can be analyzed with some confidence, as they are still going on; also, the evolutionary process leading to increased levels of troglobitic adaptation can be partitioned and examined' using the various populations as duplicate experiments in adaptation to the cave environment. Current evidence indicates that many of these populations have had independent origins from surface stocks, and have come to resemble one another through convergent evolution rather than continuous close relationship. Here I summarize some of my work on the Texas Eurycea, and suggest some areas where interested cavers can make Important observations. The presence of these small aquatic salamanders in many caves of the southeastern margin of the Edwards Plateau seems to be the result of an inter-by Samuel S. Sweet action between two simple factors: i) the restrictio n of ancestral salamander populations to springs; and ii), the ongOing erosional dissection of the Plateau margin. Restriction to springs has arisen in response to increasing post -Pleistcene aridity, and W2, effectively brought about by a process called neoteny, a common evolutionary strategy among salamanders in harsh environments. The process involves the attainment of reproductive maturity during the aqua tic larval stage, correlated with the suppression of the usual metamorphosis to a terrestrial adult form. Subsequent g enerations complete their life cycles en tirely in the aquatic zone; in this case the animals remain close to the source s of small sf.jrings where water temperatures remain close to 200 Centigrade In becoming so restricte d in occurance, the Texas Eurycea b ecame candidates for cave colonization through the action of erosion, the second factor. As the rugged canyons characteristic of a youthful erosi .onal stage are reduced to a maturely eroded, gently rolling plain. springs become both fewer and less reliable. owing to the relationship between topo graphic relief and the occurance of springs on the Plateau proper. For a spring to exist the local wate r table must be above the level of the major streams, and in general this situation occurs only where there are adjacent uplands. As erosion proceeds to reduce the uplands, springs become unreliable. first during short periods of drought. later in a regular, seasonal way. and finally cease to flow at all. Salamander populations cannot easily leave a failing spring they


APRIL 1976 must either retreat underground with the receding water level or perish. The gradual nature of spring failure provides populations the critical evolutionary time necessary to adapt to the changing conditions. Not all failing springs are situated such that the salamanders can enter cave systems with a reliable water supply. and many populations have probably disappeared; others have been able to make the tran sition and persist as troglobites. Surveying the margin of the Plateau today. it is apparent that the greater rainfall in the eastern section has brought erosional processes farther towards maturity than i s the case in the western section. From the sequence of events described above we might expect to find more springs. and more springs in the western Plateau drainages than towards the east. Further. if spring failures in the eastern region began at an earlier date'we should fi.nd there a larger number of troglobitic populations, and more h ighly specialized troglobites as well. tial confirmation of these ideas i s provided b y reference to the map, which show s the distribution of cave 61 springs are commonly dry during the summer months, Allowing that cave populations have originated through the interaction of neoteny and erosion; we can go on to consider the sorts of modifications which take place as newly subterranean populations evolve. It is convenient to approach this topic by consldering the salamanders of Comal and Kendall Counties, to the north of San Antoni.o, for here there are several interesting problems as well as a diversity of troglobiti c types. Along the Guadalupe River between Spring Branch, Comal County, and central Kendall County the river has eroded through the base of the lower Glen Rose limestone into the Hensel sandstone, does not form caves. At the contact zone between the two formations numerous water caves occur, most of them with Eurycea populations at an early stage of troglo biti c adaptation. These salamanders are exemplified by the specimen from Bender's Cave, Comal County, shown in figure 1. Typically these populations have sl'.ghtly longer legs, larger heads, and smaller eyes than surface populations, and are a uniform light '-'-'-'-'--I 1 -'-'-' '-'-'-'-'-' ' ' 1 1 .' I / 1 1o miles 50 ----, 1 / I ....... _ -.L. _ --.l. -. / ---'--. / and surface populations of Eurycea. Counties are outlined and the edge of the Plateau is indicated b y the heavy line; the shading encompasses the region w it hi n which surface populations of Euryeea are known to occur; these are principally of the species neoenes.. Cave populations are indicated by dots. Both the increased frequency of cave populations on the eastern Plateau" and the degree of speciali zation of these populations, discussed b elow, are consistent with the present model for cave colonization. One i .ndex of spring reliabi.lity can be drawn from collecting records, which show that the probability that a particular spring will be inhabited by salamanders is very muc h greater in the west than it is eastward, where brown without the mottled dark patterns typical of surface E neotenes. These salamanders retain some visual function and are rather difficult to catch, darting beneath ledges or debris when disturbed. To the south, on the floodplain of C ibolo Creek, the lowe}' G len Rose limestone is only slightly eroded and dra'nage is a ccomplished b y a ver y extensive s ystem of sinkholes. Euryeea have been found in the lowe r levels of seven caves in this area., and surely numerous other populations a w a i t disc overy. Two sinkholes in south eastern Kendall County are inhabited b y a salamande r known as E latitans, which exhibits a degree of troglobitic specialization inte rmediate b e tween the Guadelupe populations and the highl y


62 speciali zed troglobite E tridentifera, presently known from six caves in Bexar and Comal Counties. E tridentifera, as illustrated in figure 2 by a specimen from Grosser's Sinkhole, Comal County, is a salamander with very long legs, a broad, flattened head, and eyes so reduced in size and structure as to be without visual function. Most dark pigment has been lost, leaving the animals tan, cream, or white in color. Un like the less advanced troglobites, E tridentifera is rather easy to collect, as it does nOt attempt to hide when di sturbed, merely swi mming a short' di stance before settling back to the bottom. The presence of these very different salamanders within such a small area of relatively uniform geolo g ; c structure ra; ses quesFons of possi.ble interactions among them In theory an advanced troglobite such as E tr'dentifera should be able to di .splace less well adapted troglobites within an interconnected cave system; the s imple presence of the less specialized populations thus suggests that physical or biological barr iers exi .st between their respective distributions. That competitive exclusion can occur involving cave salamanders is suggested by the evidence from a single instance in which the advanced tridenti fera has i .nvaded a cave in the Guadalupe drainage At Honey Creek Cave, Comal County a popula tion of E tri.dentifera occurs together with a population oTthe surface form E. neotenes ; while E. neotenes does occur within the cave, it is more common in the spri .ng formed by outflow from the cave entrance Elsewhere in the Guadalupe region the neotenes-like Eurycea occur almost exclusively within caves, and have begun to acquire the various troglobitic adaptations discussed above. Only at Honey Creek Cave do essentially unmodified surface types occur; the surface salamanders which were the potential colonists of the cave encountered a resident troglobitic population with superior adaptations to the cave environment and seem to have been excluded. The Guadalupe caves do not presently form an interconnected system; and tridentifera has been able to enter this region only once (although other instances should be sought). On the other hand, all evidence indicates that the sinkholes along the Cibolo C.reek form an interconnected drainage system through which salamander populations can disperse. The presence of the intermediate troglobite E latitans at the western edge of th's system withi n three miles of known populations of E tridentifera thus seems curious, for presum abiY'E. tridentifera can competitively displace E. lati .tOoM. A possible solution to this question involving a form of b i .ological rather than physical barrier to E tricnmt-ifeT'a has been recently suggested to me by Wi .lli am Russell. Both caves in which latitans i S known to occur floodwaters fromCibolo Creek; and both thus contain temporary populations of fish; prinCipally catfish, perch, and sunfish. These fishes wi.ll eat Eurycea, and it may be that the differences in escape behavior between early and advanced troglobites are of major significance. E latitans can escape fish predation, but E. tridentifera cannot; thus lati.tans is able to persist in the region of the Cibolo sinkhole plain where predation by fish prevents the establishment of populations of E tridentifera. The TEXAS CAVER More field work i s needed i n this regi on to establish the di .stribution of the two Etlrycea as well as the ex tent to which introduced fish occur. Elsewhere on the Plateau populations of troglo bitic Eurycea are less highly modified than tri dentifera many resembling E. latitans and the Gua dalupe populati.ons. Most of these populations see m to have had separate origins from surface ancestors in the vicinity of the caves they now inhabit, and re semble one another through having adapted to the same conditi.ons in similar ways, rather than through be'.ng closely related to one another. Cavers should be alert for salamanders whenever caves with e ither flowing or standing water are ex plored. A waterproof flashlight held beneath the sur face w ill increase the v i s Lbility of salamanders, whicl are best captured with a small net. One or two spe c imens (large and small if possible) should be collect ed and preserved as soon as possible in rubbing alco hoI or diluted formaldehyde together with a pencLlled label providing location (cave, county, and mileage to the nearest town), date of collection, and the names of the collectors. The collection of one or two spec imens will not damage the population, and is neces. sary for any further biological work; either James Reddell (Texas Tech) or I will be grateful to rece ive any spe cimens collecte d; or to learn of salamanders observed but not collected. Cavers should note that E. latitans is presently listed as a n endangered spe cies; and should not b e collected without a permit. As a f inal note I would like to suggest some are a s in which new discoveries s eem likely; in addition t o the Guadalupe and Cibolo regions d iscussed above. Fi eld work i n these areas can make substantial con tributions to our understanding of the Texas Eurycea. Caves i n the region between Del Rio and Langtry (a populati.on is rumored to exist near Comstock). Caves of the Plateau surface from western K err County westward into Val Verde County. Caves along the Balcones Fault Zone between San Antonio and San Marcos; and along the fault zone nortward from Austi. n Sinkholes associated with the Blanco River near the junction of Blanco, Comal, and Hays Counties. Si .nkhole regions in the southeastern Bandera and northern Medina Editor's note: Sam Sweet is a PhD student in zoology at the Un iversity of Californi. a at Berkeley. He has spent f iYe summers doing field work on Eurycea in Texas and will soon complete his dissertation on t his work. He has also taught at Stanford University_ Observations or collections made by Texas cavers would be a great help to Sam and should be sent to him at: Museum of Vertebrate Zoology 2593 Life Sciences Building University of California Berkeley. California 94720


APRIL 1976 63


64 SUUNTO HiNTS by Wayne Russell Suuntos are lightweight, tough, compact,accurate, and easy to use. There is no bubble to level or mirror to adjust, no screws to turn or sighting arm to elevate. The compass card settles in less than three seconds and you can't read the wrong end of the needle. There are four compass models to choose from, with the cards graduated: 1. into four quandrants, 0-90 degrees each; 2. into azimuth, 360 degrees, clockwise from North; 3. the same as #2 but with reverse (back sight) bearings added; 4. clockwise into 400 units (for foreign use). There are also several models of clinometers available, including two with a rangefinder. With all this going for them it is still obvious that they are not the perfect cav e survey instrument. Like all other instruments commonly used in cave surveying they have their problems and shortcomings, but there is no reason why they cannot do a satisfactory job. The following is a list of problem situations that have been encountered and the ways in which some people have solved them. They may be of interest to the person who already owns a pair of Suuntos or who plans to obtain them. Perhaps the greatest factor limiting the usefulness of the Suunto compass in cave surveying is the fact that it normally cannot be read accurately if the target station is more than a few degrees above or below the horizontal plane. This problem can be solved by splitting a small diameter clear plastic rod or tube about one inch long and attaching the two halves (one each) to the top and bottom of the compas s near the front end and perpendicular to the line of sight. With this modification, the instrument is not pointed directly at the target station but merely in its direction, maintaining a horizontal attitude so that the compass card is allowed to rotate freely without binding. The light corning from a station either above or below the compass refracted through the rod permitting accurate readings from high angle stations that once were impossible. Consult the January 1976 NSS NEWS for iLLustrations and more information. Degree scale: Plu s and Minus. I nde x line ex-tends out b y / optical illu sio n Sight the Index lin e on your objecti ve. The T EXAS CAVER Percent scale : Plus and Minus. Optical lens magnifies scale graduations (or easy reading, Sighting slot (not shown) prevents parallax. The use of a Suunto in dim light or darkness (not uncommon in caves) requires that a light source be held by the caver or an assistant so that it shines into the card chamber of the instrument while the sighting is being made. In the best of situations this can lea v e you with a very tired arm after several shots. In long, low crawlways or water passages having only a few inches of air space it is impossible. Here is one solu tion to the problem that works nicely. Use tape or rubber bands to securely mount a chemical light stick to the top of the instrument taking care not to obstruct the line of sight. The short (4") light sticks are better for this purpose than the longer (6") ones that are available. The card chamber of both instruments is liquid filled and sealed and of course does not need waterproofing. However, water can seep inside at the rim of the eyepiece, and the top and bottom plates of the card chamber. This will not affect the instruments mechanically, but the resulting condensation (fogging ) or water sloshing inside can make it difficult to obtain accurate readings. If you expect to use your Suuntos around water or wet areas you should seriously


APRIL 1976 consider waterproofing them. This is easily done by applying a clear contact cement or sealer to all rims and potential leak areas. Sealers such as Dow Silicone Bathtub Seal have the advantage of maintaining their resiliency rather than becoming brittle with age and they cannot damage the plastic card chamber window a s some contact cements might. Epoxy cement h a s also b een used satisfactorily for this purpose. At least one person has reported that his compass "ruptured" and the dampening liquid leaked out after he l eft it in direct sunlight for several hours on a very hot day. Kee p yours in its case when not in use and protect it from undue e xposure to h eat. Static electricity may accumulate in a new instrument if it is rubbed against cloth in a low humidity environment, causing the compass card to stick. Breathing on the card window (similar to fogging a mirror) will free the card. Only new instruments are supposed to be affected in this manner. The problem should disappear with time. Both Suunto instruments (compass and clinometer) h ave virtually the same shape and size and may come i n identical carrying cases. Thus it is impossible t o know which instrument is in which case without r emoving it. This can be frustrating during a long survey if you have a knack for gues sing wrong. Color coding a spot on the cases or simply printing the inf ormation on them will solve the problem. In some instances it might be useful to mount the Suuntos on a short stick and the light source of the t arget on another of the same length. Then the viewing h eight and the station height would be the same for all shots, simplifying the survey. Of course, this would n o t always be practical. As with any compass, persons using the Suunto C ompass must take care to prevent incorrect readings c aused by interference from nearby iron or steel o bj ects. Metal hardhats, flashlights, steel reflectors o n carbide lamps, most electric headlamps, or steel f rame eyeglasses are common offenders. In the latter c a s e holding the compass about four inches from the e y e should take care of the problem. The Suunto Clinometer and KB-14 Compass are fine instruments and are adaptable to almost any c ave surveying situation you are likely to encounter. Giv e n reasonable care they will provide years of u seful service, outlasting the active interest span o f the average cave surveyor. There are still a lot of unmapped caves and I think that s '.lrvey teams using S uuntos will account for a large percentage of cav e maps in the future. One last Suunto hint -how about using your expensive, shiny, and really neat cave surveying toys somet ilne in the very near future and sending a copy of your new cave map to the TEXAS CAVER? Make a friend: Map a Cave! RBacus The words G;AVE RESCUE really make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, especially when you get a call in the middle of the night and hear someone mutter the words CAVE RESCUE. Would you be ready for such a call? The TSA has been trying to get ready for this type of call, and last July when the call did come, cavers responded immediately. This was the first 'real test of the CAVE RESCUE phone number that is located in Waco, Texas. The number was set up in Waco by James Jasek after two young boys drowned in a cave in Mexico. The number is easy to use: all you have to do is call (817) 772-0110, collect, and tell the operator at the answering service that this is a CAVE RESCUE. These are the key words to her accepting the collect call. This is the phone number of a commercial answering service that is open 24 hours a day. The ONLY information that you need to give the operator is your name and phone number of where you are. After you up, the operator will call names on the CALL DOWN until she finds someone at home. She will then give your name and phone number to this person. He will then contact you for detailed information about the rescue that is needed. This has proven to be a speedy operation, taking not quite ten minutes from the time you call the rescue number to the time you get a caver calling back. GAVE RESGUE -CALL COLLECT(817) 772-0110 Proceedings of the First National Cave Management Sym posi 1I m To be published early ,n 1976. This approximately 12Spage compendium of papers presented at the first National Cave Management Symposium will be a valuable source of information on cave and man agement. It WIll be of use not only to cave managers out to NSS member s who work with them for promoting the best conservation and management of caves. Only a limited number of copies will be printed. so order yours today" Price S10 plus S1 postage and handling from NSS OFFICE Cave Avenue Huntsville. Alabama 35810 65


66 by Brian Peterson & Keith Heuss Queuo d e Oso Quevo de Oso was visited by members of the Southwest Texas Grotto during a tri p in late 1973. In Febru ary of 1974, during a weekend project; the cave was mapped. The entrance is located in a flat,low area. The cave is entered through a short,nearly unclimable drop of 13. 5 feet to a large ledge. From this ledge there is another drop of 12 feet to the top of a breakdow n slope. This slope drops at about a 3 00 angle to a flat s ilt covered floor. The cave is essentially one large chamber approximately 75 feetlong and 60 f eet wide a t its greatest d imensions. The ceiling height is an average of about 13 feet and has several s mall domes. There are very few formations and very little breakdown other than that located on the entrance slope. The name Quevo de Oso as spelled herein, was found carved in the rock n ear the cave entrance. The name H. V. Sharp and wife and the date Sept. 6 1909 was also found i n the same are a On a later trip in 1974 after extreme l y heavy rains the cav e was observed to be taking considerable amounts of water. The cave was entered at this time and i t was found that the entire floor was covere d b y approximately 2 feet of water. Apparently this water slowly dissipates b y sinking downward. On a subsequent trip, this wate r was gone but the drainage into the cav:e had left approimately 1 foot of additional fill on the floor. There were no promising leads in the c ave and probably will b e none. A t the time of the survey the cave was occupie d b y numerous cave crickets and one ringtail. Sup-p-ort the TSS PO Box 5 6 72 Austin, T X 7 8 7 63 The TEXAS CAVER Ed Jacoby and t h e owners kids at entrance t o Q uevo de 0 5 0 Roper Ranch Pit Located o n the same ranch as the well known Deai M an's H o le, thi s cave has t hrough the years been oil, discussed but seldom visited. It is located on the south side o f the count y road, the other side from Dead M an's H o le. I n May of 1 971, Kandy H ill, Tom Stevens, Bill Russell, Bri a n Peterson, et at., v isit e d the R o per Ranch wit h t h e intent of locating this cave. The grou p was successful. At this time the cave was surveyed. A lso, the location of the car, was established by resection f rom various promine n t features located on U. S Hig hway 281. This is n o t to infe r that the cave i s close t o this hig hway, but the hig hway is visibl e from t h e cave. Also, a t raverse was run to t h e common l ine between the Roper and the sai d county road. Thi s informatio n is recorde d i n V o lume I, Page 3 4 of t h e Survey records of t he R a b bit Hill Grotto. (How a bout t hat, C harlie?) It was noted at the time of t h e survey that t h e cave was teeming with t icks. The author a p o logizes for the condition of t h e map, it seems that t h e Plat Recor d s of the Rabbi t Hill Grott,; wer e vandalized by a n e Sl building rat. Though not as i m pressive as i t s c ou n t erpart, Dead Man' s Hol e the cave with its s h ort entrance drop of 43. 3 feet (15.6 varas) make s an interesting addition to a trip to Dead M an's Hole.


o a-{ I 10' 20' a' 30' A 36' \..J L: a a' A -, r-QUEVO DE 050 Edwards County, Texas BRUNTON a TAPE SURVEY By Keith Heuss, Ed Jacoby, Gary Parsons, Brian Peterson Drafted by Brian Peterson Feb. 16, 1974 >-"'d 1-1 t< I-' -.D --J 0' 0' --J


68 The TEXAS CAVER TilE TSA ANd CAviNG by Roger V. Bartholomew Caving is the bond of unity and interest among all cavers, and so when a g;roup strays from this central activity it is bound to fall apart and begin searching for the reason for its existence. The TSA Project has fulfilled the need for a common caving activity, but it has had irregular success. A big caving project needs a lot more time and effort than one weekend of work and should be left to a group with the determination and organization to get the job done. Usually those corning to work on the projects end up doing sightseeing because of a lack of training or effective direction by the project leader who is in the "big push" area of the cave. Because of the diversity of Texas Cavers in both competence and geographical location it is very difficult to or ganize competent mapping teams at the project site. The project leader has little knowledge of a group's competence and intention and the mapping team has little knowledge of the cave. In general, more organization is needed for effective TSA Projects. Instead of the TSA Project, the TSA could function as a caving organization in another specialized area. There are some closed caves in Texas which should be seen by Texas cavers. It is possible that many caves are closed because the rancher does not trust strangers. He does not know if they will respect his land, livestock or his cave, and it is difficult for him to take the time with every new group of cavers to get to know their intentions. It might be possible that the TSA with the help of a caver familiar with the rancher, could open up a closed cave at certain times of the year. The number of times would depend on the rancher and the generosity of the caver that knows him. The cave could then be open for caving on one or more weekends per year. This will be helpful in several ways. The rancher would know when to expect cavers and will know that at least at other times of the year no cavers are supposed to bother him. This would not be a guarantee that cavers would not try to get permission to enter, but the cave is generally known to be closed and special emphasis can be made that the cave will be open for general caving only on the chosen weekend. The particular advance arrangements on how and when the caving is to be done must be carefully carried out and would require the close controlling of the caving groups. There should be a staging area located off the ranch so as to present the lowest disturbance profile and to avoid the impression that the ranch has become a public campsite. Here the cavers could be screened to detect cavers in a condition which might result in an accident or a bad impression. The size of the groups and the number of trips per day to the cave would have to be chosen by considering the cave, the number of cavers and the rancher I swishes. Therefore I propose that the TSA can have several "Openings" to closed caves two or three times a year. This would be a valuable service to Texas cavers and would provide a caving activity which is our common interest and basic bond of unity.


0' o 10' 20' 30' 40' A A' 43.3' Roper Ranch Pit o '-7 z= SCALE 1 __ ---5 0 5 10 15 FEET 8' -\", .J-8 hI" 6-BRUNTON a TAPE SURVEY Party: B. Peterson, K. Hill, T. Stevens May I, 1971 Burnet County, Texas Drafted by B. Peterson 0' 10' 20' 30' 40' 43.3' >'I:J H t"' ...... -.!) --.J 0' 0' -.!)


70 Accident Report by Tom IUffe I have talked with Charlie Fougerousse, a graduate student in anatomy at UTMB. Galveston, who was on the trip. He related a story that was very shocking and points out grave deficiencies in the cave rescue system in Texas. This is the story he told me. Jim Beall, Charlie, and four others were looking for a cav e on the Fair Oaks Ranch in Kendall County. Some of the group had been caving before, but norre were affiliated with any caving organization or had any training in caving or vertical work. Jim had the flu on Friday and was still weak from it. A home-made rope ladder was rigged at the pit entrance, which was about 3' by 6'. Charlie descended to a ledge 60' down and began to look around {see sketch}. He reported finding another pit about 50' deep, but the ladder only reached 10' down into this second pit. Jim climbed down the ladder to meet Charlie. He had only a flashlight around his neck, and no hardhat. Jim climbed to the end of the ladder in the second pit for a quick look and then returned to the surface without a belay, while Charlie steadied the bottom of the ladder and held a light on Jim. Ji m stopped to rest for a minute part way up and then contir.ued. Approximately 15' from the top he hesitated and then fell, landing feet fir st at the foot of the ladder. Jim rolled about 35' down the steeply sloping ledge before dropping another 50' to the bottom of the second pit. Charlie went to the edge of the pit and found Jim to be alive and conscious. Since the group did not have equipment to reach the bottom bottom of the second pit, Charlie sent the others to contact the sheriff and get a winch with 150' of cable. Charlie remained on the ledge talking with Jim for about 1 1/2 hours before help arrived. A medic went down into the pit with Jim, while Charlie remained on the ledge. Jim said at this time that his legs were getting stiff and he was having difficulty breathing. The medic tied Jim to a wooden backboard increasing Jim's breathing problem. A one inch manilla rope and a steel cable were attached to the stretcher and Jim was lifted into a head up vertical position. Due to the massive blood loss caused by internal-bleeding, Jim was conscious only because he was lying with his head below his body. When he was lifted upright, the gravitational gradient was too much to to overcome by the diminished blood supply and h e passed out due to lack of blood flow to hi s brain. Communication between the bottom of the pit and the tow truck winch on top was difficult and several relays of messages were necessary Jim was begun to be hoisted out of the pit b y people hauling on the manilla rope and by the tow truck winch. At the top of the second pit, just below Charlie, the stretcher hung up on a The TEXAS CAVER lip. Continued pulling on the rope resulted in it snapping with one end dropping down into the second pit. The medic at the bottom tried to use this broken rope to pull Jim away from lip while Charlie pushed on the steel cable. At this point, the cable tore through the wooden backboard, almost striking Charlie, and the stretcher with Jim fell 50' back down the pit. The medic checked Jim's vital signs and found him to be dead. Charlie then climbed out of the cave. In the analysis of this accident, I feel Jim might still be alive if the Texas cave rescue group could have reached the scene quickly {a helicopter from Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio was a vailable at the accident scene}, succus sfully rigged the pit and administered medication and fir st aid to Jim. Hypovolemic s hock, due to massive internal hemorrhaging was responsible for his critical condition and immediate first aid was imperative for successful treatment. The rescue group did all they possibly could with the knowledge and equipment they had on hand, however, they were not cavers and had no experience in cave rescue. The problem was that no one had ever heard of the Texas cav e rescue group or knew how to get in contact with them. My suggestions are that greater publicity be given to this group. The emergency phone number should be listed prominently in every issue of the TEXAS CAVER. Cards with the number should be made available to every grotto, TSA member, and independant caver. Cards should also be placed in cave registers and at commercial caves. Information on the cave rescue system in Texas should be distributed, at least by mail, if not by per sonal visit, to every sheriff's office, fire department, ambulance .crew rescue organization, hospital, et cetera in cave regions. If this had been done, Jim might be alive now. / P r o f f l e J Sketc h o f Cave drawn b y C h arlie Fougcrou88e d i m e n 8 i o n s i n feet


APRIL 1976 CORPUS CHRISTI The last election gave the C. C C. C an all female committee. This may be a fi .rst for a non segregated caving group in Texas. Club officers for 1976 are: Chairman--Glenda Dawson Vi.ce Chai.rman--Dorothy Tucker Sec/Treas--Noma Hoehne During the Christmas holiday C C C C. cavers J i m Clements, Glenda (Gandalf) Dawson, Bill Mayne, and Dorothy Tucker went to Yucatan to see the rui.ns a t Palenque. Uxmal. Tulum. and Chichen Itza and do a little caving. Caves visited were Gruta de Xtacumbilxunaan, Gruta de Loltun, and Cueva de Balankanche, Oth e r cavers on the tri.p were Amador Cantu, Mark S h umate, (rene Gonz.ales; and Charli. e Mayne. Jan. 17 -18 Another photo and fun tri p was made to those old standbys Gruta del Palmito and Gruta de Carri 7al. On the trip were Chri s Griffith, Dorothy T u c k er, J ; m Clements, and Glenda Dawson. Feb 14-15 Glenda Dawson, Paul Duncan, Bill Ma yn e and Wayne Russell explored and surveyed a c ave n ear Utop' a. Tx. not far from last year's conventio n site. The map and article will be in an upcoming i ssue of the TC. Marc h 6 B ill Mayne and Wayne Russell joined c av ers from Austin for the continuing survey effort at the Cave W ithout a Name. As usual there were not e n OLig h divers to form a separate survey team. B ill and Wayne surveyed through a downstream s iphon to c on nect the two major portions of the survey then explore d a virgi n passage upstream. Meanwh;le, the I\us t; n cavers conti.nued to survey a s ide passage. Marc h 12-1" Amador Cantu, Paul Duncan. and Bill Mayne made history of sorts thi s weekend. They rapp elled from the entrance of Gruta de Precipi c i o to survey the two smaller caves in the cliff below. Rather than cli mb back up to Precipi c i 0 and retrace their rout e back to the camp when they finished survey i ng ; t hey merely continued to rappel to the bottom of t h e c li f f and pulled thei r ropes down after them. Althou g h othe r cavers have v i s ited the lower caves (Ojo de l G a t o and Cueva de los Vi entos) this crew was the fi rst t o d e s cend all the way to the bottom of the Precip c e SWT F ebruary was one of the most active months for t hE' South west Texas State Srotto. Three meetings were h eld and one training session for new cave map p e l S F e b 8 A rope session at Barton Creek and a trip t h r ough Airman's Cave were held. F e b 1 -1 5 -Trips were made to Cascade Sink and to \-I exi c o F c b 19 Charli e Yates hanchoed a basic cave survey techniques session. It was inter sting and quite a few people attended. 71 Feb. 20-22 -Keith Heuss. Katie Monahan, Dale Pate. and Carol Williams made a trip to west Texas. They visited a small cave that is in the same roadcut as the Langtry Gypsum Caves. and named it Langtry Crazy Cricket and Mad Spider Cave. From there they went to Moorehead Cave and mapped it. Saturday n ight was spent i n Garner State Park. On Sunday they v i s ited Icebox Cave and the Garner State Park fissures. Feb. 27-29 -Twenty one cavers showed up for the Club Tri p to Gorman Cave and Gormlette Waterfall Cave. A short ropework session was held on nearby cliffs Two trips were made to Comal County caves during the month. The map of King Ranch Quarry Cave was completed. A tri p was made to a cave near Powell's Cave. UTG February saw several trips by UT Grotto members to several different areas. On Valentine weekend there was a trip to Cascade Caverns Sink with Bill Russell, Torn Byrd, Marcia Cossey (of San Marcos), Andy Grubbs, Logan McNatt, Craig Bittinger, Bob West, and Alexia Cochrane (of Carbondale, IL). Some of the crew started mapping the cave and some of the others went ahead and made biological observations and collected blind spiders. The next morning a few of the people visited the commercial part of Ca scade Caverns a s well a s two other im[Jortant biological caves to make collections. The next weekend was a UT beginner's trip to Gorman Cave. Personnel were Randy Farr, Janet Taylor, Bob West, Ken Hill, Arthur Ochoa, Andy Grubbs, and Alexia Cochrane. There were also 25 people from the "Wilderness Institute" from Austin there. The cav e was free of bad air and a good time was had b y all. On the way back Arthur's car flaked out, but it didn' t cause serious problems. That night there was a b irthday party for Torn Byrd. A lot of cavers attended. T w o trips went out on the last weekend of February One went south to Grutas del Palmito near Bustamante and the other, to Airman's Cave, didn't e ven leav e Austin. Blake Harrison, Jill Dorman, Bob West, Thomas Moore, Paula Good, and Al Hambreth left Friday in AI's van. They made it as far as the N e w Room and had a good time taking pictures and generally enjoying themselves. Andy Grubbs and Alexia Cochrane (Little Egypt Student Grotto) made a short, thirteen hour tri p to c heck a lea d west of Sherwood Forest in Airman's Cave. A n estimated 400' of virgin passage was found, some o f it stoop 'lalking. Several groups of high school and junior high age "explorers" were e ncountered. Besides cavin g work has been progressing o n several cave maps t hat were surv e yed this Xmas and preparations for the upcoming tri p to Conchas h a v e been progressing.


72 The TEXAS CAVER MORE IN CAVING? A newly discovered caving area in the South Seas may offer more than caving for male cavers. The tiny island of Rapa, 700 miles south of Tahiti, has a popu lation of 400, with only 35 of them men. It is said that the women of the island will do anything f0 1 a man. When a group of scientists visited there to study an ancient fort, seven women kidnapped two of the men and held them in a cave for 3 days. Among other activities, the women also brought them food, played gui tars, and danced and sang to them. The unusual sexuality and fine health of the Rapan women is attributed to their high-protein sea food diet. Several Texans are thinking of checking the place out. A couple of those Texans are even female. CLOSED CAVE! The following notice appeared in a San Antonio paper: "Our lands are posted against trespassing and no permits will be issued to visit our cave. We will not be responsible for any accidents occurin g there. The. public is warned to stay out." s /Warren Davenport. Davenport Cave is the one in question, but there seems to be little doubt what the answer iso-stay off the land and out of the cave. We don't know who blew relations there, but perhaps a little courtesy and consideratio n for landowners and their wishes can prevent such things from happening in the future. Back in 1959, Volume 4, Number 1 of the TEXAS CAVER lists one Charles Whitman as a member of the Editoria l Staff. For those of you who are faithful NSS Convention goers, Harry Reasoner, ABC Newsman stated on the 11 M a r c h 1976 6 o'clock News, "I'm from Iwoa." Jerry Lindsey puts the word on us for a free plug: "I am now selling the greatest insole I have ever seen. am selling them for $2, which includes tax and postage (3 pair for $5). I hav e a pair in m y c a ving boots that I have had for about 6 years and wouldn't want to be without them. While giving a talk at a March 1976 UT Grotto meeting, Roy Jameson stated, "The Rio Ayutla flows up to that ridge." He failed to say what it did when it got there. In the August 1956 TEXAS CAVER the editor woefully relates that too many people are applying for subscription: and are being turned down. Circulation was limited to about 130 copies due to the way it was reproduced. Current subscriptions are less than 200. Not a lot of change in 20 years. "At Cochomal, a beautiful city-type remain known as Carbon Pata was found at the top of a mountain overlookin! the village. Circular buildings of two and three levels stood protected b y imposing stone walls, The largest buildings measured 35 feet in diameter and 25 feet in height. We explored many caves within the city which suggested that the ancient builders may have been a cave sect. Curious stone carvings in the form of a human phallus were found in the ruins." --from "Antisuyo--the search for the Lost Cities of the Amazon" by Gene Savoy The fone just rang while I typed thaty up there. On the other end was Doug Medville, current Chairman of th e NSS Nominating Committee, with the results of the recent Director election. With luck the TC will scoop the caving world with these figures. Votes for the 11 candidates break down as follow s : Vehslage 750 Ediger 421 Hempel 294 Stitt 567 Klein 419 Strong 248 Schreiber 500 Beach 318 Cowen 226 Liebman 448 Wickersham 317 "I would vote for Gene Vehslage if I knew which was he." -Steve Kark Chuck Hempel, one of the honchos of this year' s NSS Convention has asked me to announce to all you Texas C ar ers that he has already lost control of the local officials up in Morganhole. They (the constabulary or fire bri gade or somebody not otherwise connected with the convention),havedecided that one fire for the entire camp ground (with about 1000 people) is too many, but will allow it anywa y (out of the goodness of their hearts, no doubt), but only one. It will most likely be a loud, noisy ordeal with many tox i c beverages being imbibed and


APRIL 1976 73 flailed about by boistrous inebriates who show little concern for a person's solitude. Texas Cavers have long enjoyed a reputatio' n among Convention Chairmen as somewhat independent, non-conformists who prefer to ignore rules which make convention going a hass.el and unenjoyable. A look (in retrospect) at the rules which Texas Cavers have chosen to ignore indicates that the Texans were usually justified in their scorn of the rules in question, but that their means of implementing their disdain were somewhat lacking. It must be remembered that the convention honchos would like to enjoy themselves also. And any hassels we cause them is not only a bummer for them but unleashes at least a tric.kle of bad karma in our direction also. So the simple solution to this complicated problem seems to be to do whatever is' rig!!!; (despite the rules) for the persuit of happiness but to keep it low key and as unobtrusive as possible so as not to cause anyone (our,selves included) a hassel. It is obvious that there must be two campfires--one for the noisy boistrous folk to seek happiness in their manner, and one for the more sedate, quiet-iOing cavers of the Great Southwest to find their solitude. The very c haracter of each fire indicates that we should hav.e a minimwn of complication in keeping a quiet fire properly hidden from those who would care. The name of the game when rightously disobexing bad rules is to be as blatantly inconspicuous as possible. If d .iscovered, someone must tactfully discuss the logic of our disobedience and attempt to sway the m to our purpose(or at l .east away from their's) or,' if that fails, we must quietly agree and extinguish our fire, in seemingl y good faith, and leav:e it so until they have departed the area. Everyone's purpose will have been achieved and no hassels caused. Happiness, with onlya slight inconvenience, will prevail. Two weeks ago there were 3 7 gringos, and countless Mexicans, atop a mountain a few miles north of Jalp;{n, Queretaro. The purpose was to pUAh Hoya de las Conchas to the very bottom and a new Western Hemisphere depth record. We reached the bottom, but not the record. Among the 37 participants there was one, who as nearly as w e can determine, 1S the only still activ e caver whose name appears in 1966 AMCS Newsletters. It was Ron Ralph. Ten years seem to hav e taken their toll of the once gung-ho. Doug Medville current chairman of the NSS Nominating Committee is pictured above, glvmg the bird to the rest of the Board as h e resigns his position following the recent Director's election in which Gene Vehslage finished first. "Everybody lmowsVehslage has never won an election. I don't want m y name mixed up in thi s," h e said. Chamula s (residents of a small town at the top o f the Central Chiapas Highlands of Southern Mexico) believ e that the earth is laced with caves and tunnel s which eventually reach the edges of the Earth. These limestone caves and passages are a lso believed to provide channels for the drainage of the 'highlands. Chamulas also believe that the earthlords, who live in t h e ll'lOuntain caves, provide all forms of precipitation, including


74 The TEXAS CAVER accompanying clouds, lighting, and thunder. These beliefs are supported by the fact that the Central Chiapas Highlands are in fact a karst-type limestone area in which internal drainage is extremely important. Only earthlords, snakes (which are the familiar and alternate forms of the earthlords), and demons inhabit the inter. nal cave networks of the earth. Hence, all are associated with dampness, darkness, and lowness. Gary H. Gossen: "Temporal and -Spatial Equivalents in Chamula Ritual Symbolism" page 137 in William Lessa and Evon Vogt's Reader in Comparative Religion. Trivia Question of the Month: For whom is the Edwards Plateau named? The TEXAS CAVER welcomes the following persons to the ranks of one of the most unique organiza' tions, the NSS., Jonathan Justice (NSS 17021) 841 1/2 E N. 13th, Abilene, TX 79601 Joseph Pawliskowski (NSS 17041) 131.3 S. Pioneer Rd., Abilene, TX 79605 Dick Spray (NSS 17048) 10820 Cielito Linde NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111 Please note the following address changes; Tracy Johnson (8421) 2706 E. Linden St., Tucson, AZ 85716 Roger Moore (12548) 1010 Allston, Houston, TX 77008 The following Texas Cavers have Don Broussard--Austin Wayne Burks--Ft. Worth Keith Heuss--San Marcos not paid their dues to the NSS: Barbara Vinson--Austin Neal Morris--Austin Here is the latest list of the Western Hemisphere Record Holders in the 3 categories. The first category is Long Systems, the second is Deep Systems, and the third is Deep Pits (which are 'single line drops' either within a more extensive cave or forming a single 'open air' shaft cave without further passage). All information was compiled bv Peter Sprouse of Austin and is considered accurate as of March 1976. LO NG SY ST EMS Flint/Mammoth Cave System 288.5 km Kentucky, US A Jewell Cave 88.0 km South Dakota, USA Organ Cave System 51. 5 km West Virginia, USA Wind Cave 46.2 km South Dakota, USA Cumberland Caverns 39.6 km Tennessee, USA Sloan's Valley Cave 36.1 km Kentucky, USA Crevice Cave 35.9 km Missouri, USA Carlsbad Caverns 33.2 km New Mexico, USA Blue Spring Cav e 30 9 km Indiana, USA Binkley's Cave System 30 km Indiana US A DEEP SYSTEMS Sotano de San Augusdn -612 m Oaxaca, Mex. SO'tano de Rio Iglesia -535 m Oaxaca, Mex. Arctomy's Cave -522 m British Columbia, Can. de las Golondrinas -508 m San Luis Potost, Mex Hoya de las Conchas, -50 3 m Queretaro, Mex. del Buque -502 m Mex. Cueva de San Augustl n -458 m Oaxac a Mex El Sotano del Barro -455 m Mex. Sota no Itamo -454.5 m Veracruz, Mex. Sotano de Tlamaya -453.5 m San Luis Potost, Mex. DEEP PITS El So'tano del Barro I 410 m Quer/taro, Mex. Sotano de las Golondrinas 376 m San Luis Potosl, Mex Sima Humbolt 320 m Boliva'r, Venezuela So'ta no de Ahuacatl.{n 289 m Quere'taro, Mex. Hoya de Guaguas 228 m San Luis Potos{, Mex. So't a no de Coatimundi 219 m San Luis Potost, Mex. So'ta no d e Sendero 217 m Tamaulipas, Mex. El Ojo Grande de Mal P ats I 2 1 3 m Huehuetenango, Guat. Sotano de Soyate 197 m San Luis Potos:' Mex. Sbtano de Hondo de la Sierra de los Arboles de Puerto d e los Lobos 188 m San Luis Potost, Mex. The TEXAS CAVER is the official publication of the Texas Speleological Association of the National Speleological Society. It is published monthly by Gill Ediger and the O ztotl Supply Company. Deadlines are insignificant, but promptness is a virtue. We will consider all cave related literary and graphic contributions. They should b e sent to the Editor at the address inside the front cover. SUBSCRIPTIONS are $4.50 per calendar year (12 issues) and are available from James Jasek in Waco. His address is also within the front cover. BACK ISSUES are available from the Editor for 50 per copy.


APRIL 1976 TRIP REPORTS WHERE: N eal's Cave WI-lEN: J anuary 24-26, 1976 WHO: John Gale Phil Jank, Bob Oakley, Robert Schroeder, Mike W alsh, Blake Weissling, Lisa Wilkes, We l eft San Antonio Friday evening heading for Menard. We arr ived around 8 :00 and 'camped in their City Park. Saturday morning we w ere joine d by Ernst Kastning, Andy Grubbs, and rain. The cave entrance was in a sodden, grey, dripping cow pasture. After climbing dow n breakdown some 25 feet you find yourself in stream passage. Robert, Bob, Blake, and Phil squirmed through the breakdown plug, heading upstream, hoping that digging would lead t o a n upstream breakthrough. The rest of us mapped downstream. At firs t it w a s pleasant. The water was mild and the walkinJl was easy. Then the roof got lowe r and lower until we were duckwalking through the chest deep mud/water. Ernst took a really interesting slide all the while endeavoring to keep the survey book dry. After some 4-5 hours, we took our chilled bCldies topside where we subsequentl y froze in the 10-20 m?h wind and the fifty degree temperature. P eeling off the drippy muddy clothes was a real trip. The digging team announce d that they had made the proverbial breakthruugh and thus kille d any plans for a dry cave on Sunday. It raine d that night so we all made like hoboes under the highway bridge in City Park. Back at the cave Sunday morning we split the air (and turned it blue ) a s we put on our still wet caving clothes from the day before. F r i gid doe s not begin to describe. . We squirmed through the breakdown to the 15 foot tube dug the day before and got into gushy, black, virgin water passage. Average passage height was 2-3 feet a nd fille d with 1-2 fee t of sticky deep mud and water. The best m anuvcring position was on your stomach, feet behind, chin just water and w alking o n your hands, c r eating a sLed e!ect agains t the suction action of the mud. Then there.were the roots, hundred s of slimy, grasping roots that dragged against bare faces a nd n ecks in a truly creepy way. After some 2000 feet of this I r e m arke d to Mike that the air was going weird. The candle only stayed lit 30-45 s econds. We went a little further and, despite th e beckoning of more seemingly virgin passage, had to get the h e ll out. Y es, there's some more unexplored cave, hut a word o r w arning: She has the makings of a real bitch. WHERE: Gorman Falls WHEN: F ebruary 27-29, 1976 WHO: D avid Cullen, David, John Gale, Alan Montemayor, Jim Weatherford, W e took another goof-off trip to Gorman Falls, more to enjoy t h e f antasti c w eather than to cave. Saturday some of us slept late while SOlll e went to Gorma n Cav e John and I walked around the diff above the river looking for caves. Later we went up the hill north of camp and did Sotano Lodoso and Lone Bat Cave. The form ations in the back of Lone Bat are really trashed out (muddy, etc. ) whic h is a s h ame considering that real cavers are the only ones who know where it is. Saturday night we pigged out on real camp '-ire cooking. Sunda y was spent rappelling. Oh yeah, Saturday we to watch some real gnurds try to trash themselves rappelling. rhey picked a really rotten face at the base of a ravine, messed lround t rying to figure out how to put carabiners on a rope, didn't w e a r h elmets, almost trashed a guy on rappel with a big rock (it hit his arm, not his head), and generally did their best to be the v i ctims in an accident. They also didn't take too kindly to our "ffe r of a loa n of our helmets. We finally got pissed and left them 10 their fate WHERE: McKittrick Hill (Sand Cave, Endless Cave, and Little S and Cave) WHEN: March 19-21, 1976 WHO: Torn Byrd, Vernelle Elliott, William Elliott, Ronnie Jim Kirkpatrick, Carl Kunath, John McDowell, Mike Moore (This w a s our Vernal Equinox Trip so Vernelle joined us to : vkKiltrick Hill. She was heavy with child which the doctor says will b e a boy.) 75 We drove all night Friday. After meeting the Elliotts in Big Spring, we got to the Hill before dawn. After several hours of sleep we split into three teams. Fieseler and Byrd mapped tbe lower maze; Kunath, Elliott, and Kirkpatrick mapped tbe middle maze; and McDowell and Moore checked out a Significant lead that went parallel to the lower maze. They mapped it and didn't hav. e enough time to use their Radio-locating device. Everybody finished their work, with Byrd and Fieseler shooting the last few shots of a long, long survey. After nine hours in the cave, they returned to camp elated and then relaxed around the fire. Sunday, the cavers went to visit Robert Nyrneyer, who told them about caving in the McKittrick Hill caves when he was younger (1920's and 1930's). He showed us his photographs which were very impressive. From Carlsbad the cavers returned horne to Texas. WHERE: Dead Dog Cave WHEN: March IS, 1976 WHO: Marcia Cossey, Pate Marcia called me Monday afternoon and wanted to go look for a cave close to Dead Dog Cave. When we got there, we couldn' t find itt so we went into Dead Dog. Since there 'was only two of us it didn't take us very long to get in and out. There was only a small trickle of water corning in the back. WHERE: Sumidero de las Cebolla, La Trinidad, N. L. WHEN: March 20-22, 1976 WHO: Kathy Barnes, Mark Connover, Charles Fromen, Jean Ubico An apple farmer in Mexico once told an inquisitiv e spelunker (Bill Campbell) that the cav e near his orchard was the entrance to a waterfall cascading out of a cliff. Four cavers from the Greater Houston Grotto set out to verify or dispel the rumor of the water cav e one afte r noon in late March. The entrance to the horizont a l cav e (Sumidero de las Cebolla) is located near the villag e o f La T rinidad in the Sierra Ccbolla range of the Sierra Madres. A flowstone crawlway several hundred feet from the mouth is partially obstructed by f allen trecs and debris. Past the crawlway lakes from four to six feet in depth spot the cav e floor at regular inte r vals. Blind fish, polliwogs, frogs, and waterbugs habit ate the dark, chilly waters. Narrow waterfalls flow o ver the jagged edges of tra .... ertine danls into gulches. An irregular f i f t y foct ceiling may be intercepted by upper levels and passages. The log s that had blocke d the craw l w a y into the ca,' C for some time were removed with a bow saw and a sho\ 'cl. Two wct suits split among four persons, tube s and a scuba vcst were used to cross the lakes. Carbide lightin g provcd less reliablc than elcctric in the water; a floating arnrnunitiun box transported camera equipment efficiently 'After three hours of swim:ning chimneying, ar.d catwalking, the wet cavers arrh'ed at a lar g e flo\ .... stone formation with threc feet of water underneath. The tunnel was tcste d for a\'ailablc air passages; due to their unpredictable intervals, the journey into the cave, a n approximate seven-tenths of a mile strctch, ended at that point. The l egend may yet be verificd by rappelling into the cav e from the waterfall entrance. The cliffs in the area surrounding the waterfall are characteristically honeycombed \\,Iith caves, A descent in the rain down an eighty degree, thickly foreste d slope was made in an altem;>t to reach the cliff caves. The a r e a b elow the C3.ves forms a hidden valley with a waterfall at eithe r end. To e xplore the caves, however, rappelling through a series of waterfalls in the heav y fog would have been necessary Gruta de Tierrosa, another cliff cave in the La Trinidad area, once formed the passage for a stream that eventually found an outlet at a lower level. Several species of small bats hang ncar the mouth of the cav e on the pitted ceiling. The surface of a pristine turquoise lake is covered b y sheets of cave ice which sink to the bottom when disturbed. The area beyond the lake has yet to be explored. The first campsite on the trip was at the feet of a giant Bcnito Juarez statue that o verlooks Montemorelos from atop a hill. Thc campers were lulled upon their 3 : 00 a. m. arrival by crowing roosters, barking dogs, and the music from an all night party in a cantina. Camp was made the second day adjacent to the cave in an apple orchard of a deserted farm. Heavy rains on the third day prompted moving gear out of the truck in order to provide a dry sleeping place.


76 The TEXAS CAVER WHERE: Gruta del P almito, La Neveda, Villa Garcia; N L WHEN: March 26-28, 1 9 7 6 WHO: John Chelf, Marcia Gossey, Gary Dinnard, Mike Hennessy, Keith Heuss, Katie Monahan, Wendy Montieth, Bobby Mundine Janel Nye, D a l e Pate, David P ersha Rick, Debbie Tolar. Bill Thomas. Lisa Wilko and probably lots mo re Traveling in three or four vehicles, most of us made it t o Hidalgo early Saturday morning and got a couple of hours of s leep. We got up and traveled to Villa Garcia. Some went to La Nevecla, others to Villa G a rcia, and other places. Tha t night found most of us in Monterrey. From there we went to Bustamant e Canyon, where some took a swim before heading to bed. The next morning most everyone headed for the cave, some went horne and some took the wrong trail. E veryone was out of the cave by 5:00 p m. and headed home. M y group, which consisted of Katie, Debbie, J ohn. Marcia. Bobby and myself, stopped a t Jerr y Lindsey's house in L aredo for a sh'ort period. While having a brief discu::;s ion out s ide the house, there came a loud whine, I felt something graze m y side under m y arm and we were amazed to see a .22 slug hit John's truck and fall into the tail gate. Someone said "Tha t's a bullet! II and we all scrambl e d into the darkness. We noticed a new mode l w hite car driving away from the scene. Anyone driving through Laredo, beware. CREDIT DEPT. APRIL 1976 M y sincere apologies to Charlie Yates whom I overzealously over edited last month. I ignorantly inserted the terms 'smart' and' stupid', in reference to a surveying tape or chain, into his article on Cav e Surveying. As, profes siona l surveyer / cartographer Charlie finds the se terms unprofes siona 1 and unacceptable. My deepest thanks g o to Jim Clements, Wayne Russell, and Good 01' Gandalf who typed over 900/0 of tills issue one fine Saturday. Their combined efforts saved me over 40 hours of an estimated 80 hours necessary to pu t out an issue of the TC. You should thank them as well, since their time meant that you recieved this issue whe you did and not some time next w e ek. I" IRL ':)1 H Asa.tO L:! IZ',I N GIVd 3:JVJ.SOd 's'n 3 J V lJ )J'Ina S3/\"VJ ::10 ON"V AOn.1S 3H.1 0.1 03.1"VJI030 A>'J-' t I!) \ \ "-....rrm 03.LS3n03lJ NOI.L:::>3C1C10:::> 55" 033.LNVClvn:J 3:JV.LSOd :JNlOHV! I8l Xl'A.I!::> 86 xog

Contents: Letters to
the Ediger: John Scopes' monkey trips over the elephant's trunk
TSA convention '76: the vice-chairman gets up from his
vice-chair and gets things going / Jim Clements --
Product quality report: buy this helmet and you'll find
yourself using it / Bob Oakley --
Cavernicole corner: bug of the month! From the depths of
Edwards Aquifer / Samuel S. Sweet --
Ree kaver: and at the end of the forth the score is tied:
vandals=0, cartoonists=0 / Jim Kramer --
Suunto hints: a few suggestions for better use of the
trusty suunto / Wayne Russell.


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