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 )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


General Note:
Contents: Back to the Sierra de Guatamala / Mike Warton -- The NSS Convention / Alvis Hill -- Harrell's Cave Revisied / Butch Fralia -- Powell's Cave Project: 10/90 / Holsinger Veni -- Whirpool Project / Jay Jorden -- More Saved than Flat-Rocked / Jay Jorden -- Powell's Cave / Michael Cicherski -- Long Deep Texas Caves / Date Pate -- Chairman's Corner / Doug Allen -- Odds Ends.
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Vol. 35, no. 06 (1990)
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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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K26-04690 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4690 ( USFLDC Handle )
11424 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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115 No. 6 December J99lr by Mike Warton 116 The NSS cor1vention by Alvis }/ill . . 117 Harrell's by Bu{chEralia 120 Powell's ...... by 121 > 122 This Issue Keith Heuss 1004-AMilford VIJay Austin Tx ; 78745 (512) (512) 462'-9574 ... ...... Printed ... .... ...... Texas Caver labels . The Texas Caver is a bi-monthly publication of the Texas Speleologica Association (TSA), an internal organization of the National Speleologica Society (NSS). Issues are published in February April, June, Augus\ October and December. Subscription rates are $15/year for six issues of The Texas Caver. Thi l includes membership in the TSA. Out of state subscribers, libraries, an: other institutions can receive The Texas Caver for the same rate ($15/year) Send all correspondence (other than material for The Texas Caver) subscriptions, and exchanges to: The Texas Caver, P .O. Box 8026, Aust i n Texas 78713 Back issues are available at $3 00 per issue. Articles and other Material for The Texas Caver should be sent to one of the alternating listed above. The Texas Caver openly invites all cavers to submit articles, trip reports, photographs (35mm slides or any size black & white or color print on glossy paper), cave maps, news events, cartoons, and/or any other caving related material for publication. Exchanges should be mailed to The Texas Caver at the subscription address above. The Texas Caver will exchange newsletters with other grottos Copyright 1990 by the Texas Speleological Association. Internal organizations ofthe NSS may reprint any item first appearing in The Texas Caver as long as proper credit is given and a copy of the newsletter containing the reprinted material is mailed to the co-editors. Other organizations should contact the co-editors about reprinted materials. Front Cover Mike Warton waves as he descends the entrance pit to S6tano de Vasquez Photo by Glen Schneider. Inside Cover Mike Warton on rope at S6tano de Chuparrosa. Photo by Glen Schneider. Back Cover Upstream of the Trifurcation in Honey Creek Cave. Photo by Andy Grubbs


Back to the Sierra de Guatemala, 1990 by Mike Warton Cavers will probably keep returning to the Sierra de Guatemala until they e ventually find the big ones ... at least we plan to. The search for a master cave system goes on. Until it's found, we're rather tickled at the finds along the way In May 1990, Glen Schneider, Charley Savvas, Brent Bartlett, Dan Love and I set out once again to find a potentially good unworked area in the Sierra Guatemala. We found it working to the south out of the remote village of San Jose. The village of San Jose and the surrounding karst. Photo by Glen Schneider After driving most of the day and night we found ourselves in the morning deposited on the banks of the inviting Rio Frio near Gomez Farias. Ah .. mangos for breakfast! We followed the El Cielo forest road up from Gomez Farias, climbing across the eastern crest of the range. We made several stops along the way. A few hikes, a few r oad pits that didn't go, a little Mala Mujer here and there. We visited Sotano de Chuparrosa (130m) We all e njoyed the pit but were disgusted at the trash left behind by the Canadians. We arrived at the village of San Jose and met the town folks. Seii.or Francisco Reyes had just returned with a burro that had been snake bit earlier in the morning. We helped him tend to the animal and did public relations t hings working our. way around to discussing caves of the area That afternoon we were led to a very large previously unnamed formation cave "Cueva de la Cima San Jose" (Cave of the Hill Top San Jose). The cave was approximately a !-kilometer uphill hike from the village A 25-meter high entrance opens onto a tremendous room approximately 100 meters wide by 60 meters high and 300 meters long, which is loaded with large formations. Two small lakes are located along the left and right walls. At the rear of the cave, the passage turns to the right and extends steeply down a flowstone slope for approximately 100 meters to a mu<;l sump. Several small rooms and alcoves along the right wall are impressive with speleothem displays Late that evening I went for a hike into the next doline to the south and discovered three small arroyos draining into a log-jammed headwall. A closer look revealed cold air blowing out. We returned that night as several locals followed us. We dug the log jam open and all five of us disappeared into the hole. Inside a second jam was encountered, which we dug at until we figured out a way to bypass it. The locals seemed a bit bewildered by these loco gringo gophers. Dan exited the cave and built them a fire from the extracted logs as some of them expressed their fears of the "tigres or jaguars that roam at night in the area. Meanwhile, our efforts produced around 600 meters of horizontal cave with several other entrances. The locals really came unglued when we reappeared, walking out of the woods instead of the small hole we had disappeared into. However, they became intrigued with our mysterious cave, and we wondered if, on a return trip, we would find that they would have been going around in other log-jammed sinks, extracting logs with the winches on their antique lumber trucks. The following day we were led up to a sotano along the village to the west. We named the log jam cave "Cueva de los Maderos Perdidos (Cave of the Lost Logs) We speculated about our finds being worth a return visit and survey as we hiked up to the sotano, which also is unnamed. It didn't take long to name the sotano. We dropped into a 10-meter diameter, 30-meter deep blind pit. Then we found a small hole at the back of a balcony on the edge of the pit which opened into a pit with a larger diameter, but not quite as deep It presented a difficult situation for getting on and off rope The drop was free down to a steep sloping floor that pinched out towards the other pit Since it was full of vampire bats, it made for an interesting climb out for Dan. We named the sotano Hoya de la Ventana Malvada" (Pit of the Wicked Window) We left the following day, pleased with results of the area recon. We traveled to the south part of the range "Sierra Tamalave" and visited Sotano de Vasquez. We noticed that the jungle in this area was very dry and very dead looking, almost like it had been sprayed with defoliant or something. The ticks were still around the corrals, but not nearly as bad as in previous visits We returned home the following day. A return trip is planned this fall or winter. The Texas Caver December 1990 115


The 1990 NSS Convention by Alvis Hill Dawn and I decided to attend our first NSS national convention this year. Although it was all the way in Yreka, California (about 20 miles south of the Oregon border), we figured we could attend the convention, take in some sights, hopefully do some caving and celebrate our anniversary all at once. What a deal! We flew out of Austin Friday, July 6, and landed in Sacramento. Mter meandering all day Saturday, Sunday found us at the Siskiyou Co. fairgrounds. We registered and proceeded to set up camp, which was situated in a grassy, if not shaded, area of the fairgrounds. Sunday evening featured an ice cream social which gave us an opportunity to mix with cavers from all over the place. It didn't take long for the Texas cavers to search each other out. Those we ran into included Don Metzner, Dave Cave McClung, Jay Jorden and Sheila Knight from the DFW area. Joe Ivy, Linda Palit, Andy Grubbs, Doug Allen, Terry Raines, and George and Karen Veni hailed from points south. As often as not, we found ourselves congr egating around the campsite of Noble Stidham, a Lubbock Grotto caver. Noble likes to camp in style He eve n has a microwave in his pickup! Monday morning began with seminars. We attended a s urv eying workshop in the morning. The scheduled speak e r w as replaced at the last moment, and as a result, th e talk wasn t as organized as it could have been. N eve rtheless, it was informative, and I'm glad we went. Th e afternoon mapping workshop was much better. We w e re given an opportunity to plot a map from survey data giv e n us, and oneon-one instruction from Pat Kambesis and Mike Goar was very helpful. Monday evening was the Howdy Party, featuring barbecue and various brews. Although there was plenty of Howdy and plenty of Party, we were getting antsy. We hadn't been underground yet! Some inquiries produced directions to Pluto's Cave, only about 30 minutes away We piled into our rented cavemobiles and took off This hardy group consisted of Joe, Linda, Noble, Dave, Don, Dawn, an Oregon caver named Gary, and myself For several of us, Pluto's was the first lava tube we had ever entered. We soon discovered the properties of lava tubes: 1 They eat light; 2 They eat clothes; 3 They start looking alike This particular cave had over 2,000 feet of passage, with high ceilings and large breakdown piles. In several areas the ceiling collapsed altogether, revealing the last glimpses of daylight through skylights above Pluto's is also the local party cave, filled with all kinds of imaginative graffiti. Mter a couple of hours, we decided we had our fill and headed back to camp. Tuesday, Dawn and I played hooky in order to take advantage of a field trip to Three Level Ice Cave. We drove about an hour and a half and met a group of California cavers at a rendezvous site in Shasta National Forest. The entrance was located near the road, and upon entering the cave, we discovered that it sure enough had three levels and plenty of ice. At one point we found ourselves scooting across a small lake of solid ice, an eerie experience We made our way through the cave to another entrance and exited into a huge breakdown collapse. We spent some time following the old lava flow, hopping into one collapse after another but finding no promising leads. Mter a while, Dawn and I took our leave and headed toward the Oregon border. We checked out Crater Lake that evening. The lake actually formed in a crater. At approximately 1500 feet, it is one of the deepest freshwater lakes in the world, and is the deepest shade of blue I have ever seen. Wednesday, we headed for Lava Beds National Monument. We met Dave McClung, Doug Allen, and Don Metzner there about noon and proceeded to check out caves Lava Beds is a unique national park facility in that it actually encourages visitors to check out its many lava tubes. They even pass out helmets and flashlights! Although you would expect to see a lot of wear and tear in the caves they are actually very well-maintained and no vandalism was noted We spent several hours going from one cave to another. Sentinel Cave was the largest. We worked our way into a lower passage and got excited, because it was blowing like crazy. Mter following the passage for some time it played out, and we lost our airflow Don checked an upper lead, but it didn't seem to go We never did figure out what happened to the airflow. Another notable cave was Skull Cave, an ice cave with an entrance passage so huge it reminded you of something you might see in the Guads. Skull Cave was interesting because, while crawling through some breakdown, we found a small room which had a solid ice ceiling! We all agreed it was pretty strange. Mter a good day of caving, we all packed up and headed back to camp. With our rabid caving urges somewhat satisfied, we settled back down to the business of convention-going. Dawn and I attended a seminar Thursday morning which dealt with orienting youth groups (Scouts, church groups etc.) to caving. Thursday afternoon we attended a vertical seminar led by David McClurg. The instructors were very helpful in working out some of the problems we had been experiencing with our vertical rigs. Thursday evening was the Photo Salon, featuring some excellent entries. Friday, we saw more entries in the Photo Salon and viewed a presentation on sewerlunking in New York. (Really fascinating!) We also saw a spectacular slide presentation by a group of Romanian cavers, the only presentation of the whole week (continued on page 124) 116 December 1990 The Texas Caver


Harrell's Cave Revisited by Butch Fralia Destination: Trip Date: Harrell's Cave and others. June 1934 through tomorrow Personnel: See TSA mailing list, See TSS files on Harrell's Cave. How do you write a story like this and do it justice? How do you write a story fifty-six years old and fifty-six years long? To those who participated, it is one of those magnificent experiences which deserve more than "we met at Denny's and then went caving." There are twenty-six pages of typewritten notes transcribed from magnetic tape and at least a thousand pages still blowing in the winds of time. There are twenty-six pages of answers which create so many questions that more tape and more notes will surely be necessary. It's the history of a cave, an area, and an interesting man. If you don't see the paper, hear the stories, see the old clippings and photographs, it's easy to believe this story started May 12, 1990, in Bend, Texas. A group of cavers are asked to be diplomats and show a local resident a cave, a cave the man had never seen. This could be important, we're told, this man knows a lot of people and could possibly open a lot of caves. He discovered Harrell's Cave, was the first man in it, and knows a lot about caving. At 8 :00 P M we get our first glimpse of John Ben Howell, who will be 74 years old next birthday. Ellen Allen, Keith Heuss and I are to be tour guides, and of course there is a question in our minds about this man walking down and back up the hill, much less going all the way to the cave, then touring the cave and coming back. John Howell has an aspen stick, sturdy boots, adequate lighting and is ready to go. Which of us will deny this man the opportunity to see the cave? We load into a vehicle and drive to the nearest point, the upper Gold Mine. You say there are other and even better routes, but the Colorado River has just dropped below flood stage. At the Upper Gold Mine we park and begin the walk down a steep hill. The River is still high, and so is the mud. We walk through wet grass and slimy mud, across creek bottoms turned quicksand. The creek at the cave entrance is full, bottom mud measured in feet, but we cross and climb up and around, down the steep slope and finally reach the cave entrance. John Howell smokes a cigarette and explains he's not as agile as he used to be, but he's still sure and steady. He made the climb up and then climbed down the even steeper slope to the entrance; we begin to relax. He'll make it for sure we tell ourselves, and wonder if we'll be in such good shape at his age. Inside the cave there's a low ceiling and a pool of water; we take the long crawl around and up into the cave. We tour and come to the graffiti room where John knows many of the people whose names are in the cave: M E Millican, an old running mate, and other names of local interest. He goes back to separation lake, which is flooded, and decides it's time to return. At the entrance we take a short rest, then begin the trek back. We're tired, we've been caving all day, and the trip back seems even longer than when we came down. John is exuberant and happy, alive. He's never seen this cave in all the years he's lived in this area. Originally b o r n i n Georgetown, Texas, he found himself in San Saba County when his father was foreman at first one ranch, then another, until they settled in Chappell in 1923. He's excited and goes up the hill, perhaps a bit slow, but steadier than the rest of us. It's that aspen walking stick! We think to ourselves, "got to get one of those Back at camp we talk for a long time; cavers who didn't have time for the tour have suddenly discovered Big' =Cave:Found: r . Near Sail : . : ..... Said to Cover Two Acres On Harrell Randi. : ; t I ; / l :." .. .......... .:.. S.ABA, .Tune lli.-A. : lan'e caYern coverlnr two or threeracrea ot land haa jWJt been dll!Covered on. the J. B. Ha.rrell ranch. near> Chap pell, 15 mile. here; .according to reportS: tro; tlon. The cave, diaeovered by Ben _Hc)well;.'.' -cba.PJ)el youth, Is to ecmta.ln.: fOur : or 1!1ve rooms already and The tint ot: theae: t reached by a.. so-foot l'Op&-.;_l&dder which lea.d from the four-toot openlnE a.t the. surfaceot the !;T'OUnd. . .. . : Exploration l11.belq dona.brBa.r rell, cC)unty commisloner;: . bis-son. J oa.b Barrell, Jr., a.nd by Bowell,. the di111e0verer. MUa.m Sha.w; .-:man., aer ot the Richland Springs magic. ca. tern nea.r here, h&e-. beenlng al11o. :: . : .: .' : : .'.i ; ; Report say tha.t thei .)llketeton at. :a.. bea.r ha.s been found,. u: well &II embedded. J.n the rockls lnelde the ca.vern-. This Austin American newspaper article chronicles John's discovery of Harrell's Cave (1934 or 1935) John Ben Howell. He meets Pat Copeland from Brownwood and learns of many caves on the west side of the county. Some of these caves are familiar, and those he hasn't seen, he's heard about. Everyone is interested in John, and he in them. Mter a time, people drift away and John wants to set up a trip to Harrell's Cave, next month, before he returns to Colorado. John moved to Colorado in '51 to become a civilian instructor in the Air The Texas Caver December 1990 117


Force Schools He's retired now, owns two houses at Chappell and two in Colorado. He has a house in town where some of his kids live and a mountain cabin at 9500 feet, where he and his wife Jackie live when they're in Colorado. They (John and Jackie) built the mountain cabin after he retired and, according to John, are still building on it. He's in good shape from walking the mountains, while we hike the flatlands They live in Texas during the winter months and in Colorado during the summer while it's hot in Texas Talk continues for a time about going to Harrell's the next month, and perhaps we can rig some way for the land owner (the old Doctor, Doctor Bentley) to get down; John will figure someway to get himself down. Talk continues for a time, then John decides he's keeping these tired young people up and heads back to the ranch. In June, a few days before the trip, John calls early in the morning. "Are you still coming down?" He asks excitedly, "I'm trying to get some cable ladder together from some folks over in Temple, and before I go, I thought I'd make sure you was still a-comin '." We're coming, wouldn't miss it for the world. I've wanted to do Harrell's Cave for a long time. Time passes and the big day arrives You're there on an old dirt road leading out from Chappell, in fact the only dirt road leading out from Chappell. About two miles, look for John's pickup, and as soon as it's spotted, John and Jackie are on the road waving us down, showing the best parking places Ellen and Sean Allen, Cathy Chauvin, Terry Free, Keith Heuss and I park. John has built a rope ladder, a very well constructed rope ladder The poor old Doctor (who we learn is a few years younger than John) once had spinal meningitis and has recurring headaches and other symptoms One looks at the rope ladder, and at the dark entrance some forty-five feet deep, and wonders if the sight of this hasn't brought about a relapse. It's a great entrance. When he couldn't get a ladder from Temple, John spent two days making his ladder. Then he and Jackie have spent another two days, including several hours this morning, working in the hot hill country sun, clearing brush from the entrance. About a hundred feet past the fence, over which a ladder is placed for this trip, lies the entrance. Jackie has told us that, for nearly a year, John has lived for this day; he decided he'd return to Harrell's Cave, but it would take help from people who knew caves Jackie read in the local paper about a group of people who were doing research on local caves and started asking questions around the Bend Store Shortly, connections were made, and cavers were asked to take John caving "He's lived for this day a long time, and if he dies after he comes out, his life will be complete." This brings a few shudders, but John will make it. Keith Heuss (who's been to Harrell's Cave) and Cathy Chauvin rig a rope to check out the entrance, while the rest of us sit around and let John tell us about how and when he discovered the cave. He lived in Chappell and explored a number of caves in the area. He was an early explorer of Fence Line Fissure and other caves on the Bristor property. In 1934, he discovered Harrell's Cave The owner, Joab Harrell, asked John to enter the cave and search for water. The first time he went in, he used a rope ladder. There was a large rock over the entrance with just enough room to one side for a skinny young man to get through. The opening was situated so the rope ladder hung down perfectly along the wall Young John descended and was gone for several hours, causing Joab Harrell to become concerned Meanwhile in the cave, John found the skeleton of a bear and bear tracks which looked so fresh they could have been made yesterday There was the track of a snake in a dry part of the cave. He found water, but not enough to justify the expense of drilling a well and putting up a windmill. Later, they came back and used dynamite to remove the entrance rock, exposing a hole about six feet by eight feet This was in 1934 through 1936, and John is coming back today, for the first time in fifty-four years. We sat for a time swapping tales while John hand rolled the cigarettes he smoked. Keith and I brought tape recorders, fully intending to collect every story we could Much of what we learned from John and Jackie Howell ties in with other stories, fills in missing gaps, and provides us a better picture of the area. John had once worked building the road to the Lemon's Fishing Camp, on what's now Colorado Bend State Park. This was before the Lemons came to this part of the country, and the man who had the road built was Mike Chisholm, a relative of Jesse Chisholm, founder of the famous Chisholm Trail. He later bought property up-river, with a big cave and waterfall and opened it as a fishing camp, this before Charles McLarrin We are referred to other people who would gladly spend hours talking about the history from this part of San Saba County It's time to go in now John fires up a Coleman lantern and gets ready to descend the ladder. He says in the early days, they used carbide lamps. When possible, he prefers the Coleman, it brings out colo r in the rocks Keith has him on belay while I rappell down alongside in case there's trouble I see John' s doing fine, and I rappell on tQ the floor and hold the rope steady. John asks for his lantern, water bottle and aspen stick to be sent down Once received, he' s off exploring the cave, while others come down Ellen and Sean are doing their first rappell 118 December 1990 The Texas Caver


using figure-eights John with Coleman lantern and walking stick stand beside a mound of bat Guano. Photos by Keith Heuss When all have entered, John begins to show the cave Harrell's is mostly one big room with huge breakdown blocks covering a large part of the floor The ceilings are high, and a small bat population resides there. They are gone now, but we see where the bear bones once lay and where the bear tracks have been walked over by careless explorers. Bear skeleton and tracks found at a time when the oldtimers said there hadn't been bears in this part of the country in seventy-five years. In 'John's eyes, the cave has indeed changed over the fifty-four years, there are now piles of guano where before there were no bats. The huge breakdown blocks, once white and clean, are now covered by slick, slick, guano. The cave has changed: there were formations taken out, soda straws gone John is clearly distressed by what he sees To one side of the cave, we see a hole in the floor where John used black powder to open a crack. This leads into several lower rooms which are small and lead to water. Part of Harrell's Cave has beautiful formations, and to one side, a long flowstone stuns the mind with its beauty. Climbing the flowstone you enter passage through a tight crawl which John, in his early explorations, opened by chiseling away part of a rock to enlarge the opening. Keith and Cathy explore to the end. There's an 18 inch waterfall in there, in a formation passage which alternates from belly crawl to walking passage and back again This is one of the most beautiful parts of the cave. There's a small lake along one side of the big room The water is crystal clear with a slightly greenish tint; it's one of those pools which can be a few inches to a hundred feet deep. On this day, no one will disturb the clarity of the water to find out. It looks as though the water goes back into what could be a submarine passage, or just a deep shelf. Beside the lake sits a large white flowstone which is easily larger than Inner Space Cavern's flowstone of time. There are small passages leading off the flowstone above the lake, but these aren't to be explored today Harrell's is unusual for San Saba County, where we grow to expect small tight squeezes; it's a large room with tall ceilings There are formations and bats; with its vertical entrance, it's everything a caver could want even if it is only 500' long, including the crawls. The cave gives the impression of being much larger than the map shows it to be In time, everyone returns to the entrance and climbs back to the surface, either by John's ladder or ascending gear on Keith's rope For a time, we rest before gathering equipment. John thinks the cave is worth the effort, and he's glad he came, though he did say the only way he'd return was when the elevator was installed It was a marvelous day; we think of caves and the great ages it takes to form them. We think in terms of geological ages, yet in the comparative eye blink of fifty-four years, there have been changes brought on by both man and nature. It's a fascinating experience to see a cave and the surrounding country through eyes such as those of John and Jackie Howell. Though Jackie didn't enter the cave, she provided a great wealth of information about the local area and local people. John and Jackie are in Colorado for now, but one day they'll return. I only hope the telling does justice to the event because those of us who were involved will never forget the day we went caving with John Ben Howell The Texas Caver December 1990 119


Powell's Cave, Project 10/90 by Terry R. Holsinger and George Veni The weekend of October 26-29, 1990 turned out to be another average weekend at Powell's Cave As usual, cavers began showing up on Friday night and by Saturday morning an average total of 39 had arrived. The average number of teams entered the cave on Saturday and by the time they came out they had surveyed a slightly less than average total of 1,551 meters. Nonetheless, the average very good time "was had by all." Work in the cave actually began on Friday night as newly elected TSA Chairman "Dug" Allen enlarged the entrance crawl. The shorings and debris dams installed 12 months previously were holding up fine and continue to prevent additional sediment from filling the entrance passage Team 1 entered the cave Saturday morning and headed off to the F -Survey. Although they had trouble locating the area of the F-maze they had originally planned to work in, Allan Cobb, Dale Pate, Mack Pitchford and N Robin Wilson surveyed 263 meters, finding lots of nice virgin cave and an extensive new maze Michael Cicherski, Donald Morley and Bill Steele made up team 2 and pushed to the cave's upstream end. Rains over the past several weeks had at least doubled the stream's normal flow, which proved quite an ordeal in fighting their way up the passage. Reaching the end of survey they mapped 500 meters to tie in to the hanging survey begun on the previous trip, which extended downstream from the breakdown terminus. Numerous side leads that extended beyond the breakdown for a connection to Silver Mine Cave. Teams 3 and 4 spent about 8 hours in the Entrance Maze to finish its survey. Keith Reuss, Christopher Lowe, Eric "Q" Quiroz, Beau Radloff and Jennifer Thomas worked as one team and Doug Allen, Bill Elliott, Claren Kotria and Shann Trainor worked as the other. Each team netted 145 meters. Although the surveying is complete, Bill Elliott plans to return to this section on the next trip and complete his sketch. Most of the side leads in the EB (East Broadway) area were surveyed by team 3's Butch Fralia, Gary Neely, Mark Porter and Jim Wolff, adding 138 meters to the cave's map. Deciding to invade a neighboring survey area, Gary and Jim visited the Entrance Maze and dug open a small side passage --if enthusiasm such as this persists, Bill Elliott may never get to see the other sections of Powell's Cave! Upon exiting the cave, team 3 decided the Mine Shaft which once connected to the stream passage. They taped its depth at 15 meters. About 9 hours were spent by team 4's Scott Caffee, Cathy Chauvin, Tom Iliffe and Melissa Koch in surveying the route to the Serpentine Root Room. They netted 320 meters and nearly completed that section of the cave. Team 7 was a public relations effort. Mark Couvillion, Mark Malone and Kevin Thuesen arrived too late to join most of the survey efforts but instead took Houston, Philip and Stefan McCoy, and Michael and Ronald Castleberry on a tour of the cave. Houston had been in the cave 32 years earlier and was curious to visit it again. He brought some family and friends from the local area and they were taken most of the way up the Crevice to find Houston's "mark." The McCoys and Castleberrys were so pleased with their tour that they promised to come on the next Powell's Project and cook up a couple of goats for the cavers! Additional benefits of this tour are that any localS interested in caves will now have another good referral about cavers and how to get involved in safe caving. Mark Minton was intrigued by a dome lead indicated on the old Powell's Cave map so he and Nancy Weaver set off to the Third Crevice to do an aid climb. Finding that passage indeed led off from the top of the dome they headed out to find a survey crew and added to team 8 Terry Holsinger, and Couvillion, Mallone and Thuesen freshly finished from giving their tour. Forty meters were surveyed to finish this section and to retrieve Minton's rope Prior to joining the dome crew, Terry Holsinger worked on team 9 with the newly married A. Richard and Ann M. Smith. Most of their day was spent transit surveying 736 meters on the surface to various locations directly above stations within the cave. These locations had been marked by cave radio during the June 1990 trip. At the time of this writing the survey dada has not yet been fully entered into the computer, but the field data sets the new of the Powell's Cave System at 14,635 meters (8.92 miles) As stated at the beginning of this article, this was an average trip to the cave. 120 December 1990 The Texas Caver


Whirlpool Project by Jay Jorden What began as a cave and property left over from development in a Central Texas flood plain has become a caver-managed preserve The Whirlpool Cave Preserve officially became a reality the weekend of July 27-29, with about 40 cavers donating their time and energy to welding, mixing concrete cutting and clearing brush, erect ing signs and building gates, fences and other improvements. This Cave Management Association project had been in the making for more than a mon t h The second issue of the TCMA Activities New sletter had outlined what needed to be done Now, it was just a case of getting the people there to do the work. Cavers began arriving Friday night, but the real work got under w a y in earnest Saturday morning. Weighing in with the mo s t tools for the job was Peter Strickland The bed of hi s small import truck was packed above the cab roof wit h a generator, electric arc welder, e lectric ce m ent mix e r, wheelbarrow, picks, axes, shovel and othe r tools. I n addition Gill Ediger and others provided an oxyacetyle n e torch and large flatbed trailer. Mik e W a l sh, TCMA executive director, had brought $180 worth of heavy pipe for use in making fences and gates a prof ess ion a lly lettered Whirlpool sign and ( c ontinued on page 12 5) The Texas Caver Decembe r 1990 2 1


More Saved than Flat-Rocked by Jay Jorden Out-of-state search and rescue (SAR) personnel attending the National Cave Rescue Commission seminar had some new words to learn in Central Texas this year. They even received a Texas dictionary, including examples, to help them. Words like: "NAIR --not wide 'Many of the caves around here are just cracks with little nair openings.'" Even so, cavers and representatives of local, state and federal agencies crawled, squirmed and wriggled through them in search of that elusive prey: the rescue patient. Speaking in Texican, "A hunnerd or more far fighters, poe lease and vettern cavers arrived Saerdy for the poplar semnar. The NCRC hepd mergency fakes unnerstan an cord nate medical techniques, rope work, cavin', ecksettera This year's seminar was wunna the bestest ever." Of course, the non-Texicans got used quickly to some heavy-duty slang after their arrival June 16 and soon felt right at home. The breakdown was 39 Level I students, with 27 in Level II (with I as a prerequisite), along with 14 in Level III and five in Level IV, the advanced and instructor tracks. Almost two dozen instructors and staff members complemented the group They included Don Paquette, NCRC national coordinator, of Bloomington, Ind.; Steve Hudson, NCRC southeastern region coordinator and a principal in rope-maker Pigeon Mountain Industries; and Dr. Noel Sloan of Indianapolis, Ind. NCRC central region coordinator and a former Dallas-Fort Worth Grotto chairman. Students, in lectures and hands-on training, were taught patient location, packaging, stabilization and extrication Level I's --divided into EMT and non-EMT got specific instruction in medical considerations They also learned anchors and rigging, haul systems, patient movement both in and out of caves, the incident command system, leadership aspects and other search and rescue aspects Meanwhile, Level II students were taught about special equipment and logistics, medical improvising, technical exercises without troops, helicopter rescues, rigging highlines and other SAR techniques Both levels had nightly skills checkoff sessions, usually held in the San Saba High School gym. Level III students in instructor training assisted with the checkoffs and help sessions. The idea was that students were almost immediately able to demonstrate what they had learned in the classroom and received class credit for it. Located near the geographic center of Texas, northwest of Austin, San Saba made an ideal location for the seminar, which was headquartered at Mill Pond Park, near one of the region's largest springs. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, one A typical scene at Chimneyer's Delight. Photo by Jay Jorden seminar sponsor, and Jesse Tarin, superintendent of Colorado Bend State Park, permitted use of caves on the property--about 15 miles from San Saba--for training. Jesse himself was a Level II student. Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Boultinghouse also allowed use of their Deep Creek Ranch for some seminar activities Other seminar sponsors included the Texas Department of Health, National Speleological Society, National Association for Search and Rescue, city and county of San Saba and Sa_ n Saba Emergency Medical Services and Independent School District. The city of San Saba, billed as the Pecan Capital of the World, lived up to its name when residents threw a Texas-sized barbecue for seminar participants Wednesday night. The fare included juicy steaks and all the pecan pie anybody could eat. Cavers were even treated to a hilarious skit by residents on what a well-equipped cave rescuer should bring along on a trip. Long after diners were full, servers were returning to tables with pies and the admonition, "Just one more piece!" Sadly, pecans were out of season in town and not one delightful, paper-thin nut could be purchased at the various stores there. Just wait (continued on page 124) 122 December 1990 The Texas Caver


Powell's Cave by Michael Cicherski In one of Robert Frost's better known poems, he writes of coming to a fork in the road in a wood and taking the road less-travelled In June I was part of the team that helped survey a part of Powell's Cave near Menard, Texas. The team that I was part of was made up of experienced cavers who thrive on taking not only the road less travelled, but that which has never been traveled. I am a novice caver. I was introduced to caving by Bill Steele of San Antonio, and I immediately became hooked on this exciting activity. Before going to Powell's Cave, I had been with Bill to Honey Creek Cave twice, but compared to Powell's Cave, I realized that Honey Creek was just a walk in the park. The invitation to help on the survey was unique, in that it did not sound like a normal request; in fact, it was more of a threat from Bill. "I'll be happy to take you to Powell's Cave, but you must realize that nobody will tolerate any whining, complaining, or quitting. This will be your first gut-check cave, take it or leave it." Acceptance was immediate on my part. Sensory explosion is the only way to describe the feeling I had when I was in Powell's Cave It is difficult to describe all the feelings that I felt after 18 hours down in the cave What I recall so vividly is taken for granted by the seasoned veterans as just second nature; yet for the beginner, it was all so new and exciting To see, touch, smell, hear and experience the cave for the first time was an adrenalin rush that would not quit. Powell's Cave was an excellent cave for me because it offered so much variety. From wet to dry, limestone footing to silty quicksand-like bottom, high ceilings to no ceilings, everything from one end of the spectrum to the other, Powell's Cave had variety! It appears to me the cave is divided into two parts. The first part is dry and easily covered without need of a wetsuit. The second part of the cave is deeper than the first and is cut by a stream that varies in depth, but remains enough of a factor that a wetsuit is a requirement. The team of five seasoned veterans and one rookie decided to go to the furthest surveyed point from 8 years ago, and from there we were to begin our survey. In describing the cave and its appearance, please be patient with my lack of proper terminology. The correct vocabulary is not easy to pick up, so be understanding and remember back to your first survey trip and the difficulty you had in trying to figure out what everybody was talking about. The stream is the most dominant factor in the cave. In constant motion, it appears to be moving at a lazy pace, but I soon realized that we were working against a steady flow in going out to the survey point. As the day wore on, I realized that the lazy flow is actually a pretty decent current. At one point it was estimated that the flow is about 60 gallons a minute. Mter moving against the current for about 8 hours, you realize that it will be nice to have it at your back on the return trip. The crisp, cool water is at a temperature that feels wonderful on an exhausted body, but I noticed that if you took an extended break, it became a bit chilly. The depth of the stream varies with no rhyme or reason. One minute I was ankle deep in the water, and the next step I was up to my thighs I thought that by looking at the walls and the banks of the stream I could get a reading on the depth ahead of me that I was about to encounter, but I was rarely right. Without question, the second most important factor in the cave is the silt that has built up in the stream. I cannot think of anything that I have encountered before that is so fine. It makes the sand at the coast feel like gravel rocks. At times the bottom of the stream is a hard surface, but just as often it is a quicksandish material that would suck the boots off my feet if I paused for any length of time. I was embarrassed more than once when I tried to maneuver with the grace exhibited by my team members, and ended up flat on my face because my boots were stuck in the silt while the rest of my body was in a fast forward pace. The silty material is building up on the sides of the stream, and in some areas it rises up 3 feet above the water. In an attempt to keep up with the rest of the team, I tried to get my footing on the slanting walls of silt. I was taught one of my lessons in caving when I discovered that walking on this material was a lesson in humility. More often than not, I ended up sliding back into the water on my backside or front. The path of the cave seems to have no pattern. One minute, I would be bearing to the left with each new turn, and then off to the right we would swing. The only real pattern I could detect was that, no matter which way we were going, it was not going to be for very long. While helping with the survey, I remember being disappointed because we could never get a good long shot because the distance to the next point was so short. I can only recall one point called Gun Barrel that was different. In the Gun Barrel I could stand up straight and look for a great distance and see smooth walls, higher ceilings, and a hard rock bottom that was a welcome change after being bent in half for such a long period. The Gun Barrel almost appears to not belong to this cave. It has none of the characteristics that I was encountering in the rest of the passage. While helping with the survey, I had some time to The Texas Caver December 1990 123


pause and enjoy the formations that have formed in the cave. The veteran cavers have probably forgotten how beautiful the ceiling and walls are in a cave When taking a break I often could not turn off my lamp to conserve the battery because I was enjoying the scenery The light from the lamp dancing off the limestone created some wonderful illusions that everyone else takes for granted, except the beginners. (I paid dearly for this rookie error when my lamp ran out of juice about an hour from the entrance). When everyone else was rushing forward as quickly as possible to get to the beginning point of our survey, I would find myself lagging behind, mesmerized by something of beauty created in the past by some strange force of nature. Day-dreaming, and asking the question why" was a battle that I was fighting during the first half of the trip. My favorite part of the cave was where my team ended the surveying for the night. Not because it was where I could turn around and head for home, but because of the unique feature that we encountered. The area was named Clay Dome. It is a small dome that rises about 6 feet above the normal plane of the ceiling It is not spectacular, but unique in that the ceilings and walls are composed of a clay-like material. The clay is rather weak. I could easily dig my hands into the wall. The bottom of the dome is covered with the clay that had fallen down when the dome was created. Because of the fallout, the stream is not as wide at this point. The water was running strong as it finally broke over the rocks and began to create a short, yet very entertaining rapids for my team to enjoy that evening. My team members told me that because of its unstable nature, it was possible that the dome could expand further with little assistance I guess it was the unknown qualities of what created it, its composition, and the possibility of it expanding that has struck with me until now and has made it my favorite spot in the cave. When I finally returned to the tent the next morning, it was nearly 4:30 A.M I ate half a box of cookies, drank a big bottle of Gatorade, and I devoured a few fajitas before getting out of my gear. The adrenalin that was with me in the early morning hours on Saturday was a memory that seemed to be from long ago Bruised and hurting all over, I pulled myself into my sleeping bag for a few hours of sleep. While falling asleep, I felt a sense of accomplishment because I had gone through the cave with some of the best, and I had held my own. It was not pretty, but I had made it and at the time, that was enough for me. My good feelings were dashed later that morning when I awoke to Bill exclaiming, "My god, you look awful!" ... You see, in my state of exhaustion and hunger I had failed to wash the bat guano from my hair, beard and face I learned a lot that weekend from some expert cavers who were very patient, and did not tire of my thousand questions. The most important thing that they taught me was that I had a hell of a lot to learn about caving (The NSS Convention-continued from page 116) which brought a standing ovation. The grand finale of the week was Friday evening's awards banquet, the start of which was delayed due to the hot weather and lack of air conditioning. Once it got going, though, the food was excellent and the banquet was a lot of fun. Many cavers amused themselves by tying napkins together into a long napkin rope. I don't know how long the rope was, but I think it could have been used to drop Golondrinas! Dawn and I decided to cheat Friday night and checked into a motel so we could get an early start Saturday morning. We drove down to Lake McCloud and saw our first bear in the wild. He wasn't too cooperative when it came to picture taking. We also found our only limestone karst of the week, a small cave opened when the road was cut. It contained a few nice formations and a pair of salamanders. We checked into a motel Saturday evening caught an early flight out Sunday morning, and the 1990 NSS convention was history. Congratulations go to all the California grottos who helped put on the 1990 Convention. The convention was a great success, and the Yreka locals were most congenial We hope that some day we will be able to return to the area and do it justice with a serious caving trip. (More Saved than Flat-Rocked-continued from page 122) until fall . The olympic-size pool at Mill Pond Park provided relief from the 100-plus degree heat after classes. Everyone adjourned there Wednesday evening after the barbecue for late-night swimming. Rod Dennison, a TDH paramedic and one of the seminar's organizers, infused the training materials with his wonderful brand of humor. One handout, entitled "Rules for Cave Rescue Management," gives 14 tongue-in cheek guidelines, including these two: "Rule 2. Do not acquire specialized tools or equipment. You can always 'make do Cave rescuers pride themselves on their ability to improvise, and all those tools are really expensive You also have better things to do than waste time training with tools you will never use. "Rule 5 Cave rescues are so complex that the best use of your time will be to avoid training altogether. Training is also an insult to your people. They know their job Leave them alone Only personal experience can teach you how to control or stabilize an incident. If you are lucky, you will never gain that experience Of course, NCRC students did receive training --both in and out of the classroom --in the week-long seminar, along with practical "experience" in the form of in-cave patient exercises. The seminar culminated in the day-long mock rescue, held Friday, June 22, at a ranch near Colorado Bend "This kind of intensive training gives people an appreciation of the amount of planning and resources 124 December 1990 The Texas Caver


required by even a simple cave rescue mission," Dennison told The San Saba News, the city's weekly newspaper that calls itself the oldest west of Austin. During one midweek Level IT outing, the author was amazed to find that students were pushing a particularly nasty crack near Chimneyer's Delight in an effort to find his reportedly broken, mangled body and free him from an underground tomb. Becoming a patient on a practice rescue gives a caver a renewed dedication to safe t echniques. We know what it would take to rescue us from some of these caves. Other caves used in the exercise included Chimneyer's, Cicurina, CACA Pit and Drew Drop In. One particularly valuable classroom session involved Sloan's outline of an NCRC weekend session that would provide a useful overview of cave rescue. Six students from Puerto Rico, including world-class vertical speed demon Rossano Boscarino, attended the seminar. Agencies represented among students included t he Oak Hill Volunteer Fire Department, Farmer's Branch FD, Arkansas State Parks, West Texas Firefighters and others. Another seminar organizer, Alana S. Mallard, is editor of the Texas EMS Messenger, a publication of the state health department's Bureau of Emergency Management in Austin. Both Rod and Alana spent hundreds of hours putting t he seminar's nuts and bolts together. The seminar followed meetings in the spring and early summer with officials of TPWD and San Saba agencies to secure sites for training, camping, cave and cliff exercises and food. Seminar participants went home with a lot to remember about cave rescue and about Texas. One student, who liked to strap an indoor-outdoor thermometer on his helmet out at the park, checked the reading one bright afternoon during the week It was 117 degrees Instructors had no problem getting loads of volunteers for in-cave exercises Though warmer than caves in the eastern and northern U S., they were more bearable than the outdoors. "BLEEVE --to think or know. 'Texas summers and caves in the Lone Star State are hot. Ask anybody if you don't bleeve it!' Despite the merciless heat and snakes, this year's seminar was unforgettable. For a week, we lived by the motto, "We were there. Where were you?" (Whirlpool Project-continued from page 121) other equipment. He had also brought soft drinks, cookies and other refreshments for tired, thirsty workers Through the weekend's activities, a number of residents from the neighborhood were drawn to the site by curiosity TCMA members met with them and, in many cases, gave them literature on the organization in hopes of getting some new members and promoting landowner cooperation. Besides Strickland, Bill Russell, Rod Goke, Keith Heuss, Katherine McClure, Alejandro Villagomez, Jack Ralph, Andy Grubbs, Terry Holsinger and others worked Saturday and Sunday. Cavers also came from Houston. A big contingent of cavers from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. They included James Savage, Dave McClung and Sheila, Corky Corcoran, Jay Jorden and a family of Polish cavers from Arlington. The cavers had rented a gasoline-powered auger for drilling post holes, and vast quantities of water were hauled in for mixing concrete. As usual, Pete's genius was at work, fashioning a (hopefully) vehicle-proofbarrier near Mo-Pac freeway to prevent off-road driving past the cave. A new road was cleared into the property from the other side --Latta Lane --and a gate installed. The cavers fit right in with the neighborhood activity: we looked like a crew of contractors on a construction project! While a number of people worked on the fence and gate projects and jarred their teeth running the auger, others were busy with sickles and a lawn mower, whipping the campsite and the area around the cave into shape. Some cavers even escaped the Central Texas heat inside Whirlpool. A cave register, including a detailed questionnaire, was installed there. After work Saturday, about 20 of the cavers who had chosen not to immediately rush off to a wedding party for Erika Heinen were treated, courtesy TCMA, to a pizza supper. Then, some workers went to local cavers' houses for showers and a change of clothes. They went to the party later. Some people chose to camp out at the property, but a number were offered cot and floor space with cavers' hospitality It was amazing that good camping could be found inside the Austin city limits. Were it not for the nearby bridges and the eerie glow of mercury-vapor lamps, the location could have seemed quite a bit more remote. Sunday's heat came early, and cavers soon got to work again, moving flatbed trailer-loads of brush elsewhere on the property. More fence was welded and concrete poured. Shortly after noon Sunday, the new Whirlpool sign was unveiled and dedicated by Walsh, along with other TCMA directors, Ralph and Jorden. Lots of photos were taken, and the effort was christened with a suitable bottle. "Whirlpool belongs to all the cavers of Texas," Walsh said Augers drill holes, grinders smoothe metal, welding machines are a blaze and everyone and their dog explores Whirlpool Cave. A sign is unveiled and dedication ceremonies mark the end of the work day Saturday as the weekend nears its end. Photo montage (page 121) by Keith Heuss. The Texas Caver December 1990 125


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27 28. 29. 30. 126 THE LONG CAVES OF TEXAS Name of Cave Meters Feet County Honey Creek Cave (1990) 30,880 101,312 Co mal-Kendall Powell's Cave System (1982) 22,851 74,970 Menard Amazing Maze (1990) 6,674 21,897 Pecos Caverns of Sonora 6,096 20,000 Sutton Indian Creek Cave (1962) 5,488 18,005 Uvalde Inner Space Caverns (1981) 4,529 14,859 Williamson Cave-Without-A-Name (1977) 4,313 14,151 Kendall Airman's Cave (1984) 3,642 11,950 Travis Longhorn Caverns (1971) 3,002 9,850 Burnet Spring Creek Cave (1983) 2,807 9,209 Kendall Sorcerer's Cave (1990) 2,797 9,177 Terrell Natural Bridge Caverns (1979) 2,621 8,600 Co mal Prassell Ranch Cave (1970) 2,615 8,580 Kendall River Styx Cave (1975) 2,557 8,389 King Stower's Cave (1970) 2,391 7,845 Kerr Diablo Cave 2,067 6,780 Val Verde Felton Cave 2,049 6,721 Sutton Wizard's Well (1983) 2,007 6,585 Terrell West Clutch Cave (1989) 1,788 5,865 Childress Silver Mine (1982) 1,515 4,970 Menard Pothooks Cave (1989) 1,510 4,953 Childress 0-9 Water Well (1965) (1980) 1,372 4,500 Crockett Robber Baron Cave (1977) 1,334 4,377 Bexar Deep Cave (1965) 1,189 3,900 Edwards H. T. Mier's Cave (1984) 1,122 3,681 Val Verde Pape Cave 1,067 3,500 Real Perry Water Cave 1,067 3,500 Real Big Tree Cave (1988) 1,053 3,455 Val Verde Fern Cave 1,036 3,400 Val Verde Big Mutha Caverns 1,014 3,328 Edwards Compiled by Dale L Pate 1990 Texas Speleological Survey Join the National Speleological Society Regular membership in the NSS is $25 per year. You will receive their monthly newsletter the NSS News, and you will become affeliated with our national caving organization the NSS Join now! Send your membership fee to: National Speleological Society, Inc. Cave Ave., Huntsville, AL 35810, Phone no: (205) 852-1300. December 1990 The Texas Caver


THE DEEP CAVES OF TEXAS Name of Cave Meters Feet Countv 1. Sorcerer's Cave (1981) 170 558 Terrell 2. Wizard's Well (1983) 118 388 Terrell 3. Big Tree Cave (1983) 106 348 Val Verde 4. Devil's Sinkhole (1983) 104 342 Edwards 5. Plateau Cave (1963) 104 340 Culberson 6. H. T. Mier's Cave (1986) 103 338 Val Verde 7. 0-9 Water Well (1965) (1980) 101 332 Crockett 8. Blowhole (1975) 101 331 Edwards 9. Emerald Sink (1986) 101 330 Val Verde 10. Troll Cave (1990) 97.5 320 Terrell 11. Helm's West Well (1976) 96 0 315 El Paso 12. 400 Foot Cave (1965) 94.2 309 Brewster 13. Deep Cave (1965) 91.1 299 Edwards 14. Mesa de Anguila Sinkhole (1980) 85.3 280 Brewster 15. Langtry Quarrry Cave (1983) 81.3 267 Val Verde 16. Genesis Cave 78.0 256 Bexar 17. Crystal Cave (1988) 77.1 253 Culberson 18. Fisher's Fissure (1961) 76.2 250 Val Verde 19 Natural Bridge Caverns 76. 2 250 Co mal 20. Turkey Pens Cave (1989) 76.2 250 Real 21. Frio Queen Cave 71.9 236 Uvalde 22. Abominable Sinkhole 71.0 233 Val Verde 23. Montgomery Gypsum Cave 68 6 225 Terrell 24. Hunter's Well 68.6 225 Culberson 25. Blowing Sink (1989) 61.6 202 Travis 26. Mt. Emory Cave 61.0 200 Brewster 27. Sullivan Knob Cave 61.0 200 Lampasas 28. Whiteface Cave 61.0 200 San Saba 29. MFP (Mighty Fine Pit) 59.1 194 Edwards 30. Chivo Cave 57.9 190 Edwards 31. Quigg Sinkhole 57.9 190 Val Verde 32. Resurrection Pit (1989) 57.6 189 Burnet Compiled by Dale L. Pate 1990 Texas Speleological Survey Take nothing but photographs. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time. The Texas Caver December 1990 127


Doug Allen at TOTR shortly after being elected TSA chariman Photo by Katie Arens Chariman's Corner by: Doug Allen (TSA Chariman) First of all -thanks to everyone who supported my election at the October TOTR. Hopefully I won't disappoint y'all! I plan on seeing to it that 1991 is a big year for the TSA. Opportunities for our Caving Community look to really open up this year, and I'd like to see the TSA active and involved Along these lines I'll be soliciting input, ideas, suggestions and criticisms from any and all who care to speak with me. I'll also have my own "two-cents" worth that I'll be discoursing on as time goes by There are a few things I'd like to address at this time: Our TSA winter BOG is scheduled for the last weekend of January. Topic will be "Suburban Caving and Cave Related Problems." The TCMA is hosting the bog at the recently acquired Whirlpool Cave Preserve in Austin. They've done a lot of work on the property and camping and "facilities" should be excellent. Please try to attend! Se additional information elsewhere in this issue of the Texas Caver As some of you know we had to increase the TSA dues. As of TOTR, yearly dues are now $15.00 per year This increase was necessary to cover the steadily increasing costs of putting out The Texas Caver. We have held the line on dues for many years, however, to maintain the Caver as per standard it was realized we did not have the funding base to continue. Most of you resubscribed at TOTR at the old rates. Only "new members (since TOTR) are subject to the increase for thi s year. What this means is this; the TSA will continue to be under funded throughout 1991 (October 1991). We are faced with a real dilemma right now. The Caver may have to be cut back in page number, or forego insid e photos, or go quarterly. The consensus at the Octobe r meeting was that we maintain the Caver as it is now. I concur with this. The sad truth is though, we can't do it Not without an infusion of money (donations) We need people who are concerned to solicit NEW MEMBERS and monetary donations on the local level! Please help all that you can! It would be beneficial to expand the TSA's involvement in local/regional conservation matters. Som e of you expressed interest in joining together to develop a TSA conservation committee. I will head this up during formation of a strong, viable, cross-informed coalition Those of you who are interested please write or call me right away. I'm looking for area representatives who are "in the know", movers and shakers, and persons willing to meet with the public and local media as well as governmental agencies On another subject-any past committee chairpersons: please send me info re: what your committee is doing? Do you want to remain in your capacity? I'd like to "weed out" any committee members, chairpersons whom are not interested in pursuing their previous work. This year could be pivotal and I'll need truly dedicated and capable people to work on committees. I will expect committees to show up and REPORT on their activities at all TSA meetings, as well as keeping me informed on an ongoing regular basis Let's expand our base and get more landowner's interested in our doings. This is easy! Be polite with locals when you're out caving. Ask questions, give answers and follow up on contacts. Report leads to me or the TSS Part of future TSA projects could very well encompass working new territory that YOU help establish! This is getting long, so I'll sign off for now. I promise to keep all of you informed, and to be open to all questions and suggestions. I only ask that you likewise keep ME informed, and to support OUR TSA! Thanks and cave responsibly!! 128 December 1990 The Texas Caver


ODDS & ENDS (512) 282 -1471 4506 Brandt Rd. Austin Texas 78744 Capital Chem-Can Co. "Rental and Service Portabl e Chemical Toilets "Temporary Fen ce Rental" roo SOUTHWEST II SERVICE CO. 11214 Bomar Fiberglass Temporary Port. Chern. San Antonio, Texas Rental Toilets Fence 656-3325 Upcoming TSA meeting: You are cordially invited to : the 1991 TSA Winter meeting to be held at Whirlpool Cave Preserve Austin, Texas January 25 -27, 1991 This years theme : "Suburban Caving" convenient but problematic The winter TSA business meeting will feature trips to notable caves in the greater Austin area, including but not limited to: Airman's Cave, Blowing Sink, Grapevine, Runoff Caves, Whirlpool Cave, Wimberly Bat Cave and others on the Coleman Ranch. Some other possibilities include Maple Run Caves, Vertical practice in Gus Fruh Park (Barton Creek cliffs), Biospeleology tours and cave gating and management information. Bring your vertical equipment for Blowing Sink, Wimberly Bat Cave and vertical practice Equipment vending and other goodies will be available Camping on the property is available. Food and beverages Saturday night followed by slides and cave information Bring your latest slides for show and tell Six projectors will be set up so bring plenty! The TSA business meeting will be held Sunday morning. A covered pavilion is available for use in the case of inclement weather. Caving Friday, Saturday and Sunday; Be There! The entrance fee of $5.00 includes a Saturday night meal. This fee will benefit the Texas Caver and help keep it the quality publication it currently is The TCMA is hosting the event and would like everyone to come out and see what they have done with the Whirlpool Cave Preserve property. This is a pleasure trip and caving will be the activity of the day. No work on the property during this meeting has been planned. For more information call or write Lee Jay Graves, 3505 S Lamar #1103, Austin, Texas 78704, daytime phone: (512) 326-1297 1 A-usTin. Leo K f o(" S.','J \'\ S The Texas Caver December 1990 129


2 November 1990 Attn: Editor, I am pleased to inform you of the reorganization of the Galveston Grotto. We have resurrected the Grotto as a club of the Texas A&M University at Galveston So far this year we have sponsored three trips, with two remaining in this school semester. Our first trip was to Honey Creek, where we had a record turn out of over 25 cavers from the university -most of whom were first timers Next we attended the Texas Old Timers Reunion, where some of us got to meet some of you and vice versa Then we had our most recent trip: about 10 of our members helped out recently on the mapping of Powell's Cave Our two remaining trips are Colorado Bend in Nov e mber, and then down to Mexico to see either Bustamante or Precisipicio over Thanksgiving break. We will also be participating in the Galveston Dickens on the Strand festival; selling turkey legs to raise money for our grotto We hold our meeting approximately every other week at the TAMUG campus on Pelican Island in the Classroom L a boratory Building (CLB) in 216 They start around 8 : 30 P .M. and everyone is welcome If you are a Galveston area caver and would like to contact us please call either Dr. Tom Iliffe at the A&M Galveston campus, Marine Biology department; or Melissa Koch at (409) 763-3455 Melissa Koch President, Galveston Grotto, TAMUG The TEXAS CAVER would like to welcome these Texas cavers to the ranks of the NSS: Dan Eynon, 2100 Graysin Dr, Apt 1925, Grapevine, TX 76051 (NSS 32223R) Gr e g & Steve Johnston, Box 5363, Amarillo, TX 79117 (NSS 32201FR & 32200R ) Mike McCaskill, 820 Houston #206, Austin, TX 78756 (NSS 32311R) Erion & Jerry Simpson Box 1662, Wichita Falls, TX 76307 (NSS 32269FR & 32268R) Nila Dennis, HC 65 Box D-12, San Saba, TX 76877 (NSS 32406R) Ed Young, Oak Ridge Place, Grand Prairie, TX 75051 ( NSS 32395R) The cavers listed below have recently moved to Texas If t h e y 're in your area you may wish to contact them. Thomas Ice, 3329 Esters Road Apt 2137, Irving, TX 75062 ( NSS 24110R) Jeff Osborne, 10582 Carswell Dr, El Paso, TX 79908 (NSS 27337R) Richard Dillon, 3111 Ave 0 Galveston, TX 77550 (NSS 18905R) John Lange vin, 6081 Copperfield Dr, #116, Ft Worth, TX 76132 (NSS 31750R) Inner Space Caverns 25th Year Celebration Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown will celebrate 25 years of commercial operation in June, 1991. In order to locate all who participated in formal exploration and mapping expeditions, or who have been employed as guides through Inner Space Cavern, Paul Hindelang Executive Manager of Inner Space is requesting information on names, current addresses and/or phon e numbers for those persons. A big party is planned for Saturday, June 8, at the cavern, with an opportunity for you to renew acquaintances and update your own address book Please send information about yourself, or someon e you know, to Inner Space Cavern, P O Box 451, Georgetown, TX 78627. 1991 also is the 50th Anniversary of the Nationa l Speleological Society (NSS). Cooperating with th e recognition program of the National Caves Associatio n (NCA), Inner Space Cavern will be offering 1 / 2 pric e admission from January 1 through December 31, 199 1 to all card-carrying members of the NSS. Remember to reserve the weekend of June 8-9, 1991 for a homecoming at Inner Space Cavern, and please p ass the word! For more information, contact Paul Hindelan g (512) 863-5545. Re: Contributions to Texas Caver Reunion Raffle Editor, The Texas Caver Reunion would like to thank th e following for their generous contributions; Keith Guillory, from Whole Earth Provisions Company gave us a 200 foot Bluewater rope, one nic e little daypack and a duffel bag capable of holding TS A Chairman Doug Allen. Laura Valle and Tim Cookingham at REI for ten carabineers and a hand chalk bag. Charles Whites from Wilderness Supply for a Premier carbide lamp. These donations help us make the Raffle a success and I would like to encourage cavers to drop by Whole Earth Provision Company, REI, or Wilderness Supply and thank these fine folks personally. Lee Jay Graves, TSA Vice Chairman Winfrey Designs donates $23.50 to the general fund for publictaion of the Texas Caver. This is buys one page and one picture. Thanx Cathy! 130 December 1990 The Texas Caver


TSA BOG at TOTR, October 1990 The TSA business meeting was held at the Texas Oldtimers Reunion in October this year. No full report is a vailable at this time but we wish to pass these high p oints on to you. Election of officers for the following year were held D oug Allen was elected TSA Chairman. Lee Jay Graves w on the election for the Vice Chairman. Cathy Winfrey d id such a good job in 1990, she gets the job as treasurer : c gain. Mary Standifer is our new secretary. This is our new staff for the upcoming year and they v ould appreciate your support during their term in office :'s make it a good year for the TSA! The major topic of discussion for the year is the unding of the Texas Caver A motion was made and Jassed to raise the membership in the TSA to $15 per rear. Unfortunately, this was after everybody had already enewed their membership at the rate of $10 This leaves he TC under funded for the next year. I have been told he budget allows only $300 per TC issue. Current lrinting cost is $13 per page. Photos cost extra. Many ;uggestions were made and everybody liked to keep the rc as is This takes money. Donations were suggested 3ill Elliott lead off with a $20 donation Everybody ?resent stood up and gave Cathy money. This generosity 11eeds to be continued throughout the year. Donations will be accepted and you can be credited, see elsewhere Subscriptions; We need new subscriptions Tell your f riends, or give someone a gift subscription to Texas Caver for Christmas this year. A friend, a relative or your boss y ou want to impress. Then impress him by getting your n ews item printed in the TC. We also need material to print. Feature Articles, Trip reports, Cartoons, Fictional s tories, landowner changes. If it's cave related, send it in. Send material for printing to one of the alternating editors. Send subscriptions or address changes to The Texas Caver, attn: Subscriptions. See inside front for full addresses Advertisements within this issue (Caving equipment donations and portable toilet facilities) were for consideration of their support which made TOTR-90 successful this year. (Editor) TSNTPWD Cave Task Force Meeting 12/90 Members of the TSA and TPWD met Saturday December 15, 1990 at the Conference Center at Colorado Bend State Park. The agenda included these topics : The Colorado Bend State Park Project, Future Projects at other parks, Opening Gorman Cave to the Public, TPWD/TSA memorandum of understanding and Earth Day activities Formal introduction was made of John Williams as the TPWD Cave Liaison. He conducted the meeting and we discussed the above and more topics Several people took notes but space does not permit the printing of all topics here. More information will be available at the Winter BOG at Whirlpool Cave (see ad.). A couple of important items are below The May 10-12, 1991 Colorado Bend State Park project will be an Archeological Orientation Seminar. Archaeologists from the TPWD will be on hand at the park and we will visit archeological sites and train us cavers what to be on the lookout for and how to recognize an archeological site This should be a very interesting and educational weekend Earth Day activities will be held again this year in the Texas Park System As before, the individual park will organize and conduct their own activities. Lee Jay has expressed a desire to hold events state wide We need information on the Gorman Falls area of the park. If you have any information on caves located within the 600 or so acres which is the old Gorman Falls Fishing Camp, please contact Terry Holsinger In particular at this time, we need any information on caving accidents in the Gorman Cave This is the big cave many of you have visited in the past. Many of us experienced our first wild cave trip in this cave. Lastly, Doug Allen, newly elected TSA Chairman, has appointed Terry Holsinger as the TSA representative to the Texas Park and Wildlife Department as our cave liaison. More information will be available at the Winter TSA BOG in January. Be there! (Editor) 1991 Caver Calendar January 11-13 January 25-27 February 8-10 February 22-24 March 8-10 April 12-14 April 19-21 April 26-28 May 10-12 June 7-9 June 8-9 June 21-23 June 30-July 5 contacts: Colorado Bend State Park TSA meeting see ad elsewhere Colorado Bend State Park Powell's Map-More-Miles project Colorado Bend State Park Colorado Bend State Park Earth Day projects, CBSP TSA Spring Convention, no location yet Colorado Bend State Park, Archeological orientation seminar Colorado Bend State Park Inner Space 25 Year Party Powell's Map-More-Miles project. NSS Convention, New York State Colorado Bend State Park ... Butch Fralia (817) 346-2039 or Terry Holsinger (512) 445-7340 TSA events ... Doug Allen (512) 476-9649 or Lee Jay Graves (512) 326-1297 Powells Cave ... Terry Holsinger (512) 445-7340 or George Veni (512) 558-4403 NSS Convention ... Thom Engel, PO Box 22, Singerlands, N.Y. 12159, (518) 765-3699 The Texas Caver December 1990 131


Notice: Dues are now $15 per year, see inside. BULK RATE U.S. Postage PAID Austin, Texas Permit No. 1181

Contents: Back to the
Sierra de Guatamala / Mike Warton --
The NSS Convention / Alvis Hill --
Harrell's Cave Revisied / Butch Fralia --
Powell's Cave Project: 10/90 / Holsinger & Veni --
Whirpool Project / Jay Jorden --
More Saved than Flat-Rocked / Jay Jorden --
Powell's Cave / Michael Cicherski --
Long & Deep Texas Caves / Date Pate --
Chairman's Corner / Doug Allen --
Odds & Ends.


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