I N T E R C O M Volume 52, Issue 2 March April 2016 Iowa Grotto P.O. Box 228 Iowa City, IA 52244 Grotto Website: www.caves.org/grotto/iowa Coldwater Cave Project website: http://www.caves.org/project/ coldwater Membership Dues : due January 1, $15.00 per year, includes INTERCOM and Hotline subscriptions. INTERCOM subscriptions only are $13.00 per year. The Iowa Grotto reserves the right to decline membership during or after a probationary period. Due Dates : for submission of material for publication in the next INTERCOM is June 1st. Send material for publication, e mail, disk or hard copy to: Editor and Typist: Scott Dankof 515 986 3219 410 SW Hickory Circle Grimes IA. 50111 E mail email@example.com Coordinate photographs for publication in the INTERCOM with Scott Dankof, the INTERCOM editor. Cave Rescue : Contact the Kentucky Disaster and Emergency Services Central Dispatch at 502 564 7815 for cave emergencies only in the NCRC Central Region of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Iowa Grotto Meetings : are the fourth Wednesday of each month, third Wednesday in December at 7:30 p.m. in Room 125 or thereabouts of Trowbridge Hall on the campus of Cover Photo: Karen Willmes and Elizabeth Miller at Iceberg Cave, California. Photo by Ed Klausner. National Speleological Society P. O. Box 228 Iowa City, Iowa 52244 Chairman Ed Klausner Vice Chairman/Treasurer John Donahue Secretary Elizabeth Miller Volume 52 Issue 2 ______________C O N T E N T S _____________ Meeting Minutes 24 Trip reports: The Jones Chronicles 24 Kemling Cave 32 Mid week Caving 33 Mammoth Cave Natl. Park 34 35 Hidden Well 36 Annbriar Plug Cave 36 West With The Jones Chronicles 36 51 Spring 2016 MVOR 54 Hodag Hunt Registration Form 55 23
__________CALENDAR___________ June Grotto Meeting June 22nd Room 125, 7:30 pm, Trowbridge Hall. July Grotto Meeting July 25th Room 125, 7:30 pm, Trowbridge Hall. Annual Grotto Picnic August 6th at Coldwater Cave, Iowa. Minutes of the Iowa Grotto Regular Meeting March 23, 2016 The regular meeting was called to order by Chairman Ed Klausner at 7:45 PM with 5 members and 1 guest present. Prior to the meeting, grotto members presented an assortment of slides. The minutes of the February meeting were read and approved. No TreasTrip reports: Mike Bounk reported on a bat count in Spook Cave with members of the Iowa DNR. They found 106 live bats, compared with 461 last year. Several bats were swabbed to test for WNS. John Donahue, Ed Klausner, Elizabeth Miller, Chris Beck, Jim Roberts, Larry Welsh, Jason Rogers, Katee Coder and Justin from Jackson County did a bat count and photo trip to Kemling Cave in March. Few bats were found and many showed evidence of WNS. Mike Lace, Larry, Ed, Elizabeth and staff from Jackson County Conservation mapped 4 small caves and a reported Archeological site. Ed and Elizabeth Miller took Ted Peck into Coldwater cave in March. Ted was writing an article for Big River magazine. Mike gave a final report on an expedition led by John Mylroei to the Caicos Islands in December 2015. Twenty caves were surveyed and mapped for the Ministry of the Environment. There will be further survey by the team. Mike also went to Cat Island in the Bahamas in February with a group that surveyed 34 caves in 2 weeks. Future Trips: picnic will be held at Coldwater Cave on August 6. Other caves that may be visited include Wonder, Skunk, Decorah Ice Cave and the Highlandville Caves. The NSS convention will be in late July in Ely, Nevada. Information is at caves.org . The usual Coldwater trips will be held the third Saturday of each month. The Wisconsin Speleological Society will hold their Hodag Hunt September 9 11 in Iowa. The group plans to visit Spook and Maquoketa Caves. Old Business : Since no applications were received for the grotto research grants, Elizabeth suggested that she contact Allamakee and Jackson County Conservations departments to find out if either county could use helmets purchased by the Iowa Grotto. The group was in favor of the suggestion. Since the NSS has all of the Iowa Grotto publications in electronic form available from the NSS website, Ed has downloaded all of them. He asked how many paper copies still need to be kept by the grotto. The consensus of the group was that one or two copies of each is sufficient. The meeting adjourned at 8:25. :No April Grotto Meeting was held: The Jones Chronicles Currey Cave Barry County, Missouri March 4, 2016 By Mark Jones After a sparse month of caving in February (only 1) I was ready to hit the ground running in March. Scott House had lined up a weekend of cave monitoring in the Ava Ranger District of the Mark Twain National Forest in southwestern Missouri. Don Dunham and I arrived in the early afternoon to check into the cabin and scout for restaurants before monitoring the first cave. At 3:00 p.m. the two of us hiked down a logging road to an intermittent stream where we turned left and followed it to a stream split, continued to the right up a steep slope. A rectangular concrete watering trough sat at the base of running up the valley that led us to the base of the bluff containing Currey Cave. The twenty foot wide entrance is lo24
cated off to the left of the outcropping. The passage quickly shrunk to three foot wide by three foot high as the dirt floor rose to the ceiling. The walls were spackled with popcorn and numerous eroded flowstone formations were seen throughout the cave. Twenty feet beyond the dripline the passage split with crawlways heading to the left and right. Don took off to the right and was soon standing up in a winding narrow canyon. The roots poking through the ceiling indicated surface. Twenty feet later we ran out of passage. As Don wiggled back I retreated to the left crawlway and pushed past a breakdown constriction to a roomy bellycrawl that soon dropped down to a canyon that ran another twenty feet before closing down to a critter crawl. In spite of lacking in interest (Don active fauna population. We found a Western slimy salamander ( Plethodon albagula or glutinosus ), a cave salamander ( Eurycea lucifuga ), some camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) and some flies ( Diptera sp.). Cracked acorn hulls were scattered throughout the cave. No bats or any signs of their presence were found. Total cave time was thirty minutes. Roaring River Spring Cave Barry County, Missouri March 5, 2016 For the second day of the Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) trip to southwestern Missouri Ben Miller and I left The Timbers Lodge at 8:00 a.m. to survey and inventory eight caves in up Seligman Hollow in western Barry County. As we were approaching our jumping off point Ben mentioned Roaring River Spring Cave (BRY001) in nearby Roaring River State Park. This large spring serves as the basis for rearing trout in the local state hatchery within the park. As luck would have it today was the opening weekend of trout season so the parking lot was filled with enthusiastic fishermen. We passed a series of chutes and troughs filled with the breeding stock to the dam that impounded an acre of water four feet deep. Swinging around to the left we followed the sidewalk to the notch in the bluff to the entrance of Roaring River Spring Cave. The passage extends only a hundred feet horizontally with little or no airspace but it does drop over 240 feet vertically! In the fall of 1979 divers surveyed the cave and found only this one room. Ten minutes was spent on this little side trip. Gnatty Crawl Cave Barry County, Missouri From Roaring River State Park Ben Miller and I drove across the road to the campground at the mouth of Seligman Hollow where we left the truck and began our half mile hike up a dry creekbed to the Mark Twain National Forest. Massive flooding over the past year has carved up the valley floor wiping out the undergrowth and leaving a rocky base. At the first side hollow on the right we turned off and gradually climbed for another quarter mile before scrambling up the left hand slope. A hundred feet up at the base of a rock outcropping we found the opening to Gnatty Crawl Cave (BR187). Ben kept book and was on lead tape while I read instruments, photographed and conducted the bio inventory. The entrance was 22 feet wide by three foot high but quickly tapered down to a narrow hands and knees crawl before terminating at a breakdown collapse. One shot of 22 feet was all it took to finish this cave. A bit of popcorn was scattered on the walls of the crawl along with some very dry flowstone. Although terms of length or beauty it is very biologically active. We recorded significant Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat, raccoon 25
( Procyon lotor ) scat, cracked acorn shells, leaf litter, web remains of cave webworms ( Macrocera nobilis ) and numerous slug trails. True to its name the cave was loaded with gnats or flies ( Diptera sp.) buzzing about. Total cave time was thirty minutes. Armadillo Cave Barry County, Missouri Across from Gnatty Crawl Cave in the Mark Twain National Forest and slightly up the hollow was our second objective, Armadillo Cave (BRY185). Again Ben Miller took book while I read instruments, took photos and looked for cave critters. The passage began as a hands and knees crawl with a shallow alcove off to the left before shutting down in a pile of breakdown. One shot of 21 feet with an additional fifteen foot Disto shot gave the cave a total length of 36 feet. Cave fauna observed here were some camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) and flies ( Diptera sp.). The presence of the Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) was indicated by middens and scat in the alcove. Total cave time was thirty minutes. Border Dome Cave Barry County, Missouri Returning to Seligman Hollow in the Mark Twain National Forest we pushed up another quarter mile to another side hollow on the left. Ben Miller led us directly to Border Dome Cave (BRY186) at the base of a twenty foot high bluff. Again Ben took notes and I read instruments, shot photos along with doing the bio inventory. The dripline gives this cave a thirty foot wide entrance but the actual passage runs only twenty four feet. In spite of its lack of length it does offer a surprisingly interesting payout. A roomy bellycrawl pops into a nicely decorated eighteen foot high dome. Beautiful flowstone surrounded the dome from top to bottom. A cave salamander ( Eurycea lucifuga ) and a slug ( Megapallifera sp.) watched as I recorded Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat, terrestrial snail ( Inflectarius inflectus ) shells and web remains of cave webworms ( Macrocera nobilis ). Total cave time was thirty minutes. Cotter Column Cave Barry County, Missouri Just up the hollow from Border Dome Cave in the Mark Twain National Forest we found Cotter Column Cave (BRY183). Ben Miller surveyed the cave while I continued to photograph and inventory the critters. The entire cave consisted of a single room with an entrance thirty foot wide that ran twenty foot back. Although zone it does have several cave formations in it. A single squat, algae covered column dominates the room. All I could find were terrestrial snail ( Inflectarius inflectus ) shells amongst the leaf litter and web remains of cave webworms ( Macrocera nobilis ) on the ceiling. Total cave time was thirty minutes. Dauber Cave Barry County, Missouri Continuing up from Cotter Column Cave was a left hand side hollow to the left hand side hollow to Seligman Hollow in the Mark Twain National Forest. In this area we located Dauber Cave (BRY181) under an intermittent waterfall. This aptly named cave had remnants of thousands of organ pipe mud dauber ( Trypoxylon politum ) nests covering the ceiling. The highest concentration of nests was directly under the dripline of the waterfall. Thankfully no one was setting up house this time of year. Ben Miller surveyed the cave as I took photos and inventoried the cave fauna. The cave was basically a flat roofed, fifty foot wide mouth that pinched out on each end and dropped to thirteen foot in the middle. The 26
cave is a twenty five foot semi circle in a very soft shale layer that has eroded over time. A cluster of flies ( Diptera sp.) hovered off to the left near the dripline. In addition to the organ pipe mud dauber nests we saw an animal den burrowed into the leaf litter on the right. Total cave time was thirty minutes. Fallen Giant Cave Barry County, Missouri Just two hundred feet to the left of Dauber Cave was our next destination, Fallen Giant Cave (BRY182) in the Mark Twain National Forest. Ben Miller took book and I read instruments, took photographs and recorded cave fauna. Like Dauber Cave this cave has a wide mouth with a twenty five foot semi circle room in a band of soft shale that has been carved out at the base of an intermittent waterfall. This cave does boast an additional thirty feet of a shelter dripline along the bluff face. The first bat of the day, a pipistrelle or tri colored bat ( Perimyotis subflavus ) was found clinging to the ceiling in the center of the cave. A cloud of flies ( Diptera sp.) claimed the back of the cave. Signs of other animals included Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat, terrestrial snail ( Inflectarius inflectus ) shells and web remains of cave webworms ( Macrocera nobilis ). Total cave time was thirty minutes. Corner Crawl Cave Barry County, Missouri With just two caves remaining to be visited in the Mark Twain National by 3:00 p.m. but the cave gods had other plans. Ben Miller led us to the seventh cave to be worked today and A six foot diameter entrance quickly funneled down to two foot narrow bellycrawl at floor level. I figured another one shot wonder, thirty minutes. We broken out the gear and started the survey with Ben on lead and book with me shooting instruments, taking photos and tallying the cave fauna. Ben wriggled through the bellycrawl to a hands and knees crawl that would require at least another shot. Almost immediately cave fauna began popping up a cave webworm ( Macrocera nobilis ) (a larva of the fungus gnat), a cave salamander ( Eurycea lucifuga ), flies ( Diptera sp.), a pipistrelle or tri colored bat ( Perimyotis subflavus ), a Western slimy salamander ( Plethodon albagula or glutinosus ), a fishing spider ( Dolomedes sp.), camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) and a cave millipede ( Chaetapis sp.). Around a corner Ben broke into a five foot high circular room with two passages heading off! As we contemplated our options Ben noticed a flowstone mound etched with historical graffiti. We could read: MYRTLE M??? 4/12 A.H. SILLS The degree of workmanship and patina on the flowstone leads us to guess that this is from 1912! Bearing to the right we wrapped around into a short canyon with several small anastomosis leads that were too tight for us (and 99.9% of the rest of the caving community). Back at the graffiti room we continued left in a roomy crawlway that soon popped into a convoluted room. A couple of shots took us by a crawlway, a fifteen foot high dome, a high lead and into The Junction Room. We had at least four possible options! Amazed at our good fortune we decided to focus on a balcony ledge with an impressive dome. A fifteen foot climb up a grabby rock wall opened into an upper room with a twenty five foot dome. Crinoid fossils were found everywhere so we named it Crinoid Dome. As Ben finished up the sketching I climbed back to the Junction Room and wound around to the left into a fabulous popcorn crawl. Beautiful formations coated 27
the walls and ceiling for the next fifty feet to a shallow pool. A finish this cave today. Back at the Junction Room another crawlway wraps to the right at floor level with several flowstone formations being redissolved and eroded into curious sculptures. Again a fifty foot recon of this passage suggests it has good potential. At the ceiling level is yet another enticing bellycrawl that begs to be investigated. Since we were scheduled to be back at camp by 6:00 p.m. we decided to tie off on a bomb proof station in the Junction Room and survey our eighth and final cave for the day, Slab Filled Shelter. We finished with two hundred feet of survey and a critter count of twenty pipistrelles or tri colored bats, two cave salamanders , two Western slimy salamanders, two cave webworms, a fishing spider, a cave millipede and numerous camel crickets and flies. Signs of other fauna included extensive Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat and some organ pipe mud dauber ( Trypoxylon politum) nests. Instead of a half hour we spent two looking forward to returning here real soon. Slab Filled Shelter Barry County, Missouri The final cave for the day in the Mark Twain National Forest was just up the hollow from Corner Crawl Cave near to ridge top. Slab Filled Shelter (BRY179) was a bit of a letdown but it was good to knock it off the list of things to do. Ben Miller was on point and kept book while I read instruments, took photographs and recorded cave biota. A single shot of thirty feet over ceiling breakdown slabs closed the book on the survey for the day. The only cave fauna noted were some flies ( Diptera sp.). Evidence of other cave creatures included an eastern phoebe ( Sayornis phoebe ) nest and Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat. Total cave time was thirty minutes. Bear Waller Cave Barry County, Missouri March 6, 2016 By Mark Jones The third day of the Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) trip in southwestern Missouri found Don Dunham, Scott House, Richard Young and me working our way east in search of caves in the Mark Twain National Forest in Barry County. For the first stop Don stayed with the vehicles while the rest of us hiked down the ridge to monitor three caves. Betion, the topo map and the GPS we quickly pinpointed Bear Waller Cave (BRY093). While Richard and I monitored this cave Scott headed down the hollow to check on another cave. The entrance was an eight foot wide by three foot opening that dropped down a leaf littered slope to a tacky mud floor. A bathtub ring of organic debris along the wall indicated that this passage regularly floods to the ceiling. Plenty of Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat were observed in this area. Graffiti in the wall and written in the mud throughout the 530 feet of the cave. While Richard conducted an archeological sweep near the entrance I pushed on down the crawlway in search of cave critters. Almost immediately I began seeing pipistrelle or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ) (a total of 26) dotting the ceiling surrounded by clouds of flies ( Diptera sp.). I dodged fresh raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) scat the entire length of the crawlway. Slug ( Megapallifera sp.) trails crisscrossing the mud suggests that eral old bear beds or wallows furnished the name for this cave. A solitary pool in the crawl hosted two pickerel frogs ( Rana palustris ). Approaching the end of the line I found Western slimy sala28
manders ( Plethodon albagula or glutinosus ) clinging to the ceiling as crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ). A few speleothems were observed but for the most part the passages were barren of formations. We spent an interesting half an hour in this cave. Twin Cave Barry County, Missouri From Bear Waller Cave in the Mark Twain National Forest Richard Young and I hopped across the dry intermittent stream fifty feet to Twin Cave (BRY053). At 170 feet this is a smaller version of Bear Waller Cave. Again there was extensive graffiti, Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat, pipistrelle or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ) (four total), camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) (lots) and a fishing spider ( Dolomedes sp.). It took fifteen minutes to monitor this cave. Dogwood Blossom Cave Barry County, Missouri Ten minutes down the road we parked in a pull off of the Mark Twain National Forest where Scott House waited at the vehicles while Don Dunham, Richard Young and I trekked down the ridge to Dogwood Blossom Cave (BRY168). To get to the cave we had to slide a hundred feet down a steep slope and forty feet back up the other side to the entrance. Richard searched for archeological evidence while I looked for biota. The eight foot diameter opening is located at the base of an intermittent waterfall that had a substantial pile of debris sitting in front of the dripline. A rocky crawl funneled down to a pinch that opened up to a seven foot tall dome with a critter crawl to the left and to the right. Cave fauna noted on the trip included three cave salamanders ( Eurycea lucifuga ) and numerous flies ( Diptera sp.). Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat were found throughout the cave. Cave time was thirty minutes. Ozark Underground Laboratory Tumbling Rock Cave Taney County, Missouri For our final evening in southwest Missouri Scott House had us scheduled to stay at the Ozark Underground Laboratory campsite in Taney County. We pulled in around 3:00 p.m. to unload the cars and with plenty of daylight remaining Don Dunham, Richard Young and I hiked down the trail to the natural entrance known as Bear Cave (TNY015). After a little detour we got on the right path and followed the dry creekbed up to an impressive chute gate spanning the entrance. An unusual aspect of this gate is that in addition to the horizontal bars there was a fence of expanded metal surrounding the perimeter. Later we discovered that this was to discourage an invasive crayfish from the cave. (More on that later.) Richard and I took photos while Don scouted around the streambed. We returned up the ridge to the Tumbling Rock Cave entrance Tom Aley had structure covered the stairway leading twenty five feet the Shaft Room cave salamander ( Eurycea lucifuga ) stood sentinel along the steps. A well maintained trail made for an easy trip. We passed through an airlock on our way to the Second Cataracts and the Breakdown Room. Along the way we passed a stack of ten gallon aquariums that Tom prepared as a temporary refuge in case of an environmental spill. Dozens of pipistrelle or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ) hung all along the route. Scads of soda straws and stalactites were found everywhere along the way. A significant stream provided the perfect environment for the wide range of cave fauna that has been discovered in the cave. An extraordinarily 29
large chunk of flowstone was slowly being dissolved in the stream in the Collapse Room surrounded by even larger slabs of ceiling breakdown. It was only a short hike to the Bridge Room where we dropped down below a ceiling ledge to a guano filled passage. A few gray bats ( Myotis grisescens ) that had returned for the spring were aroused by our presence. Back in the main passage we continued in the East Passage canyon to Hibernation Hall past a plethora of beautiful formations. At the Trail End numerous gray bats were found flying above the extensive guano piles. Thousands of feet of water passage stretch beyond the paved trail. We retraced our steps back to the staircase and after two hours exited the cave. Back at the bunkhouse Tom Aley stopped by to share the history of Tumbling Rock Cave. Tom has built the Ozark Underground Laboratory into a world class research facility. It was at this time that we learned that the expanded metal grate was to reduce an aggressive terrestrial crayfish that has taken over nearby streams and has established a population within the cave. To combat this trapping these bad boys. Continuing investigations should help solve this looking forward to the next time I return to see more of this fabulous cave. Scenic Drive Cave Taney County, Missouri March 7, 2016 The fourth day of caving in the Mark Twain National Forest in Taney County, Missouri for the Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) had Don Dunham, Scott House, Richard Young and me driving The Glade Top trail to our first parking spot. I began the day by taking a short hike to Scenic Drive Cave (TNY081), a small cave that offered very little in terms of formations or fauna. This thirty foot rocky crawlway took only ten minutes to find a few flies ( Diptera sp.) and some fresh raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) scat. Dicus Cave Taney County, Missouri The second cave of the day in the Mark Twain National Forest was Dicus Cave (TNY082) nestled along a beautiful area of The Glade Top trail. Don Dunham, Richard Young and I walked to the old Dicus homestead from where we dropped down the ridge to the rock outcropping that sheltered the endeep concrete water trough sits just outside the cave with a retaining wall/dam down the slope. Obviously collecting the water that flowed from the cave was important to the Dicus family. Once again Richard searched for additional archeological evidence while I conducted the biological inventory and took pictures. Sixty feet of one inch pipe ran back into the cave to a shallow pool that once fed the water trough. From four foot tall at the entrance the ceiling rose to seven foot before a mud mound choked the passage out. A bit of flowstone coated a section of the right hand wall but otherwise the cave lacked much in the way of formations. Five larval salamanders ( Eurycea sp.) were spotted in the stream in addition to s ix cave salamanders ( Eurycea lucifuga ) peeking out from cracks in the mudbank. I also found extensive Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) usage in the form of middens and scat and some raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) scat along with a lone pipistrelle or tri colored bat ( Perimyotis subflavus ) and numerous flies ( Diptera sp.). We spent thirty minutes here. Bench Cave Taney County, Missouri Further up Glade Top trail in the Mark Twain National Forest of Taney 30
31 County, Missouri Scott House, Richard Young and I grabbed the survey gear to knock out two small caves that had From the parking area it was only a short hike down the trail to a historic Forest Service bench which was next to the cave, hence the name Bench Cave (TNY162). Scott kept book, Richard was on point and I shot instruments and took pictures. Two shots were required to inventory this twenty five footer. Along with the survey we found Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat and a few camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ). Total cave time was fifteen minutes. Buttram Hollow Spring Cave Taney County, Missouri A hundred feet down the slope from Bench Cave Scott House, Richard Young and I found the concrete springhouse at the entrance of Buttram Hollow by the Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.) during the Great Depression. This time Richard looked at the archeology, Scott sketched and I read instruments and took photographs. The actual entrance is a low watercrawl that goes sixteen feet to a terminal breakdown collapse. A shallow pool in the springhouse served as a larval salamander ( Eurycea sp.) nursery. Other signs of cave fauna included Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat and eastern phoebe ( Sayornis phoebe ) nest. We spent thirty minutes here. Cowdry Cave Ozark County, Missouri Cowdry Cave (OZK016) was the next cave we visited in the Mark Twain National Forest in Ozark County, Missouri. Located across from the popular Caney Camp picnic area this cave receives a lot of visitors during the year. Scott House, Richard Young and I followed the trail down to the entrance in a rock outcropping. The floor undulated southwest for 175 feet in a roomy passage until it pinches out in an animal crawl. Unfortunately the cave has seen way too much traffic over the years resulting in degradation of the formations and habitat as well as lot of litter strewn around. Signage of responsible caving would help to address this issue. In spite of the abuse suffered by this cave there was a significant fauna presence. The most impressive sight was the cluster of five pickerel frogs ( Rana palustris ) found under a rock in a small perched pool. Other critters included three pipistrelle or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ) and a few camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ). Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat and raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) scat were found throughout the cave. Thirty minutes were spent here. Huffman Cave Ozark County, Missouri The final cave in the Mark Twain National Forest for us was Huffman Cave (OZK023) in Ozark County, Missouri. Don Dunham, Richard Young and I dropped down the ridge while Scott House stayed with the vehicles. A faint trail angled down to the spring emanating from the Huffman Cave entrance. This was the second cave of outside the entrance. Richard did an archeological survey while Don and I poked around for cave fauna. Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat was found throughout much of the twilight zone. We followed a small stream fifty feet back to a dome room with a beautiful flowstone wall on the right and a pretty rimstone dam on the left. A waterfall cascaded down twenty foot from an unseen upper passage. Peering up the dome revealed ten pipistrelle or tri
32 colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ) hanging from the ceiling with ten larval salamander ( Eurycea sp.) scattered among the rimstone dams. In addition we had quite a few camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) hanging around. Total cave time was thirty minutes. Mill Hollow Shelter Douglas County, Missouri Don Dunham, Scott House, Richard Young and I finished up our caving adventures with an impromptu stop at Mill Hollow Shelter (DGL107) at a MoDot rest stop park north of Ava in Douglas County, Missouri. From the picnic area the cave was situated at the base of the state right of way. It would be difficult to miss the eighty foot wide mouth or the stream that carved it out of the exposed rock. Obviously this cave has seen its share of visitors over the years with all the signatures etched in the ceiling. At four to five foot high it was the perfect height for everyone to leave their mark. Over the centuries the stream had eroded the rock which resulted in this shallow shelter. Although a bio as fruitful as earlier in the day we did find some aquatic isopods ( Caecidotea sp.)in the stream. We spent ten minutes here. Kemling Cave Dubuque County, Iowa March 13, 2016 By Mark Jones Chris Beck had scheduled the annual bat count for Kemling Cave for mid March to build on the information gathered over the past ten years. A goodly number of cavers, both old (Chris Beck, Elizabeth Miller, John Donahue, Ed Klausner, Jim Roberts, Jasen Rogers, Larry Welch and me) and new (Katee Coder and Jeremy Meyer), reported to help in this endeavor. Three parties were set up with Chris leading John and Jeremy back to the Whippy Dip while Ed took Elizabeth, Jim and Larry back to the Jug Room and the Southwestern Arterial and I took Jasen and Katee to see some of the noteworthy areas. Soon we were down the ladder and stoopwalking in soupy mud to the Big Room cross joint. Just fifty feet from the ladder we found two dozen pipistrelles or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ) exhibiting obvious signs of white nose syndrome (W.N.S.) ( Pseudogymnoascus destructans ). These unfortunate creatures appear to be seeking relief near the tating them. Continuing down the passage we discovered even more bats suffering from W.N.S. Hopefully the unseasonably warm weather will result in insect activity to provide enough energy for the bats. Whether the infected bats will survive another year is an unanswered question pestering researchers and cavers alike. While Chris took his group down to the Grand Canyon passage Ed pointed out the beautiful cream colored helictites and soda straws dotting the ceiling and walls in the Big Room. Numerous photos were taken in this vicinity. We passed through some soupy mud to the Overpass on the way to the eastern branch of the Grand Canyon passage. Two big brown bats ( Eptesicus fuscus ) were seen hanging from the wall near the passage junction. Once again we stopped to photograph and marvel at the formations in this area. From here it was just a short jaunt over to the Jug Room. One of the largest rooms in the cave, the Jug Room boasts the Mammarily Formations and a variety of other formations. From here we stoopwalked and crawled past one of the rejuvenated muddy pools to the K19 dig and over to the Perched Pool above the Grand Canyon. Unfortunately only a few bats were seen beyond the Big Room. We took a leisurely stroll on the way out breaking the surface two hours bat count wound up at 74 compared to 226 in 2015 and 124 in 2014.
33 there was a 23 foot cave. We showed the naturalists how to survey and they read instrument for the remainder of the day. This cave had an unusual amount of flowstone and small formations for a 23 foot cave. Next was another small cave named What You See is What You Get Cave or WISYWIG Cave, a 15 foot cave that Mike sketched. After lunch, we went to some newly acquired property of Jackson County Conservation and hiked along the creek to two caves the naturalists had previously found. The first was Naturalist Hideaway Cave (15 feet long, I sketched) and the second, a 15 foot climb to the entrance, Prairie Creek High View Cave (also 15 feet, sketched by Mike.) All in all, a very nice day in Jackson County. Mid week Caving Jackson County, Iowa March 16 th , 2016 By Ed Klausner Emily Highnam, Ed Klausner, Mike Lace, Jennifer Meyer, Elizabeth Miller, Jessica Wagner, and Larry Welch Jen Meyer had contacted me about several caves on newly acquired property of Jackson County Conservation, plus some caves on property that they were hoping to acquire. We made arrangements to meet at Hurstville Interpretive Center to look at the caves and survey them. Our first stop was at the landowner whose property Jackson County Conservation hoped to acquire. We hiked the Â¾ miles to the creek and started searching. We had been told that there was a cave by a stump of a Kentucky Coffee Tree, and sure enough, Emily Highnam at the entrance to Naturalist Hideaway Cave. Photo by Ed Klausner.
34 Mammoth Cave National Park Coke Cave Edmonson County, Kentucky March 18, 2016 By Mark Jones For the March Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) expedition at Mammoth Cave National Park I joined Dave West, Jo Smith, Karen Willmes, Tim Green and Rick Toomey to continue the survey of Coke Cave. This surprising little cave was only supposed to take a single trip to finish but three task. On the previous trip Dave had reached two leads with potential but lacked the equipment to do so. This time we were carrying rope, a cable vertical gear. We left Hamilton Valley at 10:00 a.m. for the short drive to the parking area. From here it was an easy forty five minute hike down a long abandoned road to the bluff that overlooked the Green River. We used a fifty foot length of webbing to safely descend thirty feet down the steep slope to the canyon floor. This cave was created in the Haney limestone which resulted in the narrow twenty five foot deep canyon. In addition the caprock resulted in a very flat ceiling from which the groundwater dripped forming the boneyard formations in the canyon. Over the centuries huge chunks of the dissolving rock have broken off and fallen to the floor. Upon closer inspection I found that the limestone was full of fabulous crinoid fossils. Throughout the trip I took a variety of photos. Climbing over a breakdown block we dropped down to more grabby boneyard at floor level. Here we split into two teams; Dave led Karen and Jo off through a low crawl to the Larry Welch descending from Prairie Creek High View Cave. Photo by Ed Klausner.
35 left with the cable ladder while Rick led Tim and me to a parallel passage with the sectional ladder only a few feet on the right. Just twenty feet later we were standing at the bottom of the canyon with our lead high over head. We assembled sixteen feet of the ladder to gain access to the upper lead. Tim scurried up the ladder to a window that opened into another canyon. A narrow fin of rock separates us from this enticing lead. Additional ropework will be necessary to push beyond this point. While Tim was scouting Rick and I began to survey from the last station. Rick shot foresights with the Disto X while I kept book. Rick needed only a single shot up the line of the ladder to the window ledge. Tim took the Disto X and from the top of the ladder took a backsight reading as well as a terminal shot of twenty two feet into the adjacent canyon. I switched places on the ladder with Tim to make a sketch from the window. While drawing the canyon I noticed yet another narrow canyon on the far right. It appears that in spite of the fact that canyons are not connected. In fact the nearby passage where Dave was surveying was nominally joined through a small window. This may be the nature of the caves in the Haney. Stymied in our attempts we thought that the other group might be making headway but discovered they were experiencing the same problems tall, narrow canyons that connected to other tall, narrow canyons. Tim wiggled into one of these thin slots but was unable to squeeze through. The only task remaining was for Rick to collect some cave beetles ( Neaphaeps telemkampfi ) and camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) for a biological study comparing DNA of cave fauna in the park. Other biota observed on this trip included nine eared bats ( Corynorhinus rafinesquii ), numerous orb weavers ( Meta ovalis ), some pseudoscorpions ( Hesperochernes occidentalis ), a terrestrial snail ( Inflectarius sp.) and a cave millipede ( Chaetapis sp.). E vidence of extensive Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) activity was seen in the twilight zone. Total cave time was three hours. Monroe County, Illinois April 2, 2016 By Mark Jones Tony Schmitt had invited me down to southwestern Illinois across the Mississippi River from St. Louise to drop some pits prior to the Illinois Speleological Society (I.S.S.) meetcavers included Laura IbÃ¡Ã±ez LladÃ³, Derik Holtman, Gary Resch, Tony and me. It was a short drive south of Waterloo, Illinois to a gravel lane house. We talked with him for quite to accompany us on rope. A five minute hike took us down to the bottom of a sinkhole entrance that could tion) This was indeed a roomy drop down a scoured rock wall that bells out before hitting a large mud balcony. After Gary set the rope I rigged in and slid the thirty feet down to the mud balcony. Here I unhooked to investigate the room while the others made their descent. I immediately found a raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) skull at the lip of a shallow pool but otherwise nothing more than a few flies ( Diptera sp.). Once everyone had reached the mud balcony Gary led us the remaining fifteen feet on rope down to stream level. In contrast to the balcony the lower passage was a rocky floor with the walls and ceiling coated in a thin layer of mud. Unfortunately the stream was up limiting us to the small island at the end of the rope. We were denied two thousand feet of stoopwalking/wading upstream to a sump and another two hundred feet of the same downstream. In spite of these limitations we did find a wealth of cave biota surrounding the
36 shore. Over two dozen pickerel frogs ( Rana palustris ) lined the walls with several larval salamanders ( Eurycea sp.), aquatic isopods ( Caecidotea sp.) and aquatic amphipods ( Crangonyx forbesi ) discovered under the rocks. Two fun filled hours were spent at ing lots of photos and video. Hidden Well Monroe County, Illinois April 2, 2016 By Mark Jones IbÃ¡Ã±ez LladÃ³, Derik Holtman, Gary Resch, Tony Schmitt and me.) wandered from sinkhole to sinkhole for about thirty minutes before locating Hidden Well. The original GPS coordinates from ten years ago were suspect so Tony reentered the data for future reference. Living up to its name this entrance was a small slit that could easily be overlooked. Once again Gary rigged the rope and I was the first to make the drop. At over sixty feet deep this is considered a significant pit in Illinois. About halfway down the drop the passage balloons out to twenty feet in diameter before reaching the rocky streambed. Off rope I searched the stream for signs of life and was rewarded with six pickerel frogs ( Rana palustris ) a green frog ( Rana clamitans ) and several larval salamanders ( Eurycea sp.) along with a planarian ( Sphalloplana sp. ), aquatic isopods ( Caecidotea sp.) and aquatic amphipods ( Crangonyx forbesi ) under the rocks. The stream passage runs only a couple hundred feet beplanning on exploring beyond the drop anyway. Tony got some nice GoPro video while Derik and I took several pictures. Total cave time was ninety minutes. Annbriar Plug Cave Monroe County, Illinois April 3, 2016 By Mark Jones Seven hearty cavers (Laura IbÃ¡Ã±ez Resch, Tony Schmitt, Joe Sikorski and me) headed out on Sunday morn to continue the survey of Annbriar Plug Cave. Dan has great hopes for this cave and his past efforts instilled confidence that we could get a lot accomplished today. The plan was to have three teams working different areas to achieve maximum results. Two teams would be in muddy hands and knees crawl while the third would be using wetsuits to survey in deeper water. While the others reconnoitered the sinkhole Gary and I began changing into our caving clothes. Before Gary had put on his wetsuit we got the call that digging would be necessary to open up the entrance. Hiking down the trail to the bottom of the sinkhole we found out just how difficult our task would be. A sinking stream babbled down to a thick mat of interwoven logs, mud, sticks and leaves. Everyone was scurrying about on the sixteen inch diameter logs pulling and prying smaller sticks out of the way. A time limit of an hour the accumulated debris. Matt and Dan did get to slime their coveralls so happen to find several aquatic amphipods ( Crangonyx forbesi ) under the rocks along with a hellgrammite ( Corydalus cornutus ), the larva of the dobsonfly. Total time on this project was two hours. Go West With The Jones Chronicles Lava Beds National Monument Siskiyou County, California April 13, 2016 By Mark Jones Pepperjack Cave & Annex The first day of the April 2016 Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) Lava Beds National Monument expedition began with a hearty breakfast followed with a general overview and goals. Those in attendance included
37 Katrina Smith and Dave Riggs both from the National Park Service, Don Dunham, Scott House, Richard Young and me. After Katrina and Dave left we packed up our gear, loaded the car and were on the road by 9:15 am. Parking at the Thomas and Wright Battlefield parking lot we struck off to the east for a mile to the battlefield overlook. From here it was a cross country hike another half mile to the northeast before reaching our first objective, Pepperjack Cave. Using the GPS coordinates we arrived at a small natural bridge that spanned a lava tube trench collapse. This unimbut we mapped it anyway. Scott kept book, Richard read instruments and I set station and took photos while Don continued to search for more caves. A bit of woodrat ( Neotoma sp.) scat was found while conducting the survey. Just as we finished up Don proclaimed that he had found a better lead forty feet north of us. A three foot wide by two foot tall break in the ceiling opened up into an easy hands and knees crawl that trended north. We began the survey with the same team as the natural bridge. Following a short seven foot shot we recorded the longest shot of the day at thirty seven feet. This put us in a surprising nice sixteen foot diameter room five feet high with a small skylight off to the east. Poking around we discovered a sidepassage that ran to the right with a classic lava curb off to the right. Unfortunately a narrow pinch prevented Scott and I from continuing but Don and Richard were able to squirm their way through to the other side. They broke out into another circular room that they surveyed as Scott recorded their information. Another skylight was located in versable. Once they returned to the dome room we took a final shot of twenty feet to the north that ended at a rubble pile. We tallied over a hundred feet of survey in this cave. This proved to be Pepperjack Cave so we named the natural bridge the Pepperjack Annex. Biological signs included extensive woodrat ( Neotoma sp.) scat, a bovine ankle bone and a deer jawbone. Total cave time was ninety minutes. Coyote Scat Cave Working to the south we were searching for Bufo boreas but stumbled across a surface tube that qualified as a cave so naturally we stopped to map it. Scott took charge of most of the operation but everyone contributed to the success of mapping this little gem. Almost immediately we noticed the piles of coyote ( Canis latrans lestes ) scat around the entrance area. Fortunately Scott was the one wallowing in the shallow hole to shoot the Disto down the passage. Two shots were required to finish this cave, one twenty feet to the northwest and the other twenty feet to the southeast. Not much reason to return to this tube anytime soon. Bufo boreas Cave Less than twenty feet to the south of Coyote Scat Cave in a shallow trench collapse Don located the elusive Bufo boreas Cave. Over the years I seen many strange names of caves out until I returned to the research facility and Googled it to find out that Bufo boreas is the scientific name of the western toad. No toads were found by the cave but the shape of the cave is claimed to resemble one. Don wriggled into the four foot wide by two foot high entrance collapse into a nice hands and knees crawl with three rooms radiating off to the southwest, northwest and northeast. With an estimated length of two hundred feet and several short finish today so we pushed on further south.
38 Volpes Fulva Cave South of Bufo boreas Cave I found the surface tube that is Volpes fulva Cave. Once again a Google search clarified the name of the cave when I learned that Volpes fulva is the Latin name for the red fox. Whether a red fox was found near the cave or not is unrecorded. This tube serpentines for fifty feet before terminating in a ceiling collapse. turn later in the week to map it. Unknown (Trapdoor) Cave Fifty feet south of Volpes fulva Cave Don discovered a new cave on the upper edge of a trench collapse. Richard and I eagerly pushed through a two foot diameter window and down ten feet to a nice room. A stoopwalk trended to the southwest before running into a wall. Again we plan on returning later this week to work on this one. Eclipse Bridge Cave Turning to the east we soon found Eclipse Bridge Cave, a cave that had been mapped by Scott and Co. in 2015. Basically this is a surface tube with a twenty foot section of ceiling that buckled during the cooling process. A cute natural bridge lends itself to the name of the cave. Most of the tube is a hands and knees crawl that ends at a lower entrance. Hypotenuse Cave Fifty feet south of Eclipse Bridge Cave I located another surface tube that we named Hypotenuse Cave. The skylight entrance resembled a hypotenuse triangle which lent to its naming. This one is still in need of a map which will be address soon. Similar to the other surface tubes in the South Castle Flow this one has chunks of ceiling on the floor revealing a crawlway in two directions. Unknown (Climb Down) Cave Trekking back to the vehicle Richard found yet another surface tube new to the data base. In contrast to the others this cave has a three foot thick ceiling with only a slot opening. This survey may require a crew of slender cavers to navigate down the hole. Continuing to the west we passed a significant trench that has several caves known in its confines. Much work remains to be done here and it. Total cave time was 7.5 hours. April 14, 2016 Ratty Loft Cave Lava Beds National Monument Siskiyou County, California After a nasty cold and windy night we were expecting a short day of caving for the second day of the April 2016 Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) at Lava Beds National Monument. Fortunately the skies cleared and we were out the door at 8:30 a.m. to locate and survey Ratty Loft Cave (S140) southwest of Hardin Butte in the South Castle Flow. From the Thomas & Wright Battlefield parking lot we hiked south to the old road to Hardin Butte and turned east. Eventually we cut across a series of lava trenches before turning south to climb a rise. On our way I stumbled into a lava tube identified by a brass cap as Abalone Grotto Cave. (This one will have to wait for another day.) Within minutes I found the brass cap at the upper ceiling collapse entrance of Ratty Loft Cave. For this survey Scott House kept book, Richard Young read instruments, Don Dunham was on rear tape and I took photos, set stations and was on point. We started at the brass cap and surveyed down into the ceiling collapse to a breakdown crawl that led to a sixteen foot wide by four foot high oval passage. Downflow fifty feet a ceiling collapse opened
39 up a lower crawl entrance. Twenty six feet below this entrance was the breakdown entrance to the majority of the system. Inside the dripline six length ran parallel to each other before plugging up. The western most six foot diameter ceiling collapse. Upflow a single crawlway ran a hundred feet to a lava plug while below the ceiling collapse a hidden seventh breakdown choke. I surface scouted below in the trench collapse related to this breakdown and found the entrance to a twenty foot diameter room. (We did not have enough time to survey this cave but have its location recorded.) up the western side we returned to with the eastern most tube stretching out almost a hundred feet before terminating in a lava plug. A total of over 650 feet of lava tubes were surveyed in thirty one stations. complexity of the system in a usable format for those doing work in the area. Total cave time was six hours. A single camel cricket ( Ceuthophilus sp.) was the only living critter we saw however nearly all of the passage is coated in woodrat ( Neotoma sp.) scat. Woodrat middens were also noted throughout the system. A few woodrat bones were found scattered amongst the scat. There is no doubt that this is a well liked environment by these little fellas. No signs of bats or bat usage were found during our trip. April 15, 2016 Bufo boreas Cave Lava Beds National Monument Siskiyou County, California The third day of the April 2016 Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) at Lava Beds National Monument had us out the research center at 7:30 a.m. for the Thomas & Wright Battlefield parking lot. From here we hiked east to the overlook and then headed cross country another 0.4 miles to the South Castle Flow where we were surveying and inventorying the lava tubes. Our first objective was to survey Bufo boreas (western toad) Cave that we had found earlier in the week. Today Scott House kept book, Richard Young was on point setting stations, Don Dunham was on rear tape and I took photos and read compass and clino. A rocky four foot wide by two foot high entrance popped into a rather roomy hands and knees crawl in a wide passage with an arched ceiling. The tube trended northwest for a hundred feet before terminating in a lava choke with a bulbous room off to the southwest and another to the northeast. Total surveyed length of this tube was 152.8 feet. The only sign of cave usage we observed was woodrat ( Neotoma sp.) scat. An hour was spent on this cave. Volpes Fulva Cave It was just a short jaunt south of Bufo boreas Cave to the surface tube that is Volpes fulva (red fox) Cave. For this simple survey I crawled into the tube and relayed the information out to Scott standing above on top of the lava tube. The six foot wide tube arched up to two feet high with a gravelly/rock floor. A forty foot Disto shot from the south entrance to the north ceiling collapse combined with an additional ten feet beyond the ceiling collapse was a surprising fifty feet. Two side flows serpentine on either side of the main tube but were not entered. Total survey time was thirty minutes. Trapdoor Cave A new cave on the upper edge of the trench collapse south of Volpes fulva was our next stop. Richard squeezed through the two foot diameter window and down ten feet to set our first station in a nice room. A wall of convoluted lava was ahead of us and on the left a stoopwalk passage
40 trended to the southwest. Anticlimactically the whole thing ended at a terminal breakdown wall with 47.1 feet of survey. An hour was spent here. Climb Down Cave A hundred feet south of Trapdoor Cave was a lead that Richard had found earlier in the week. I dropped into a ceiling crack in a surface tube hoping for respectable passage. Instead I got less than twenty feet of rocky bellycrawl, not the forty foot minimum required to be surveyed in the Lava Beds. This lead was removed from the file. Rocky Horror Cave Two hundred feet south of Trapdoor Cave was a significant trench collapse that our next cave was nestled in. First we checked out an eight foot wide by three foot tall entrance that quickly ended in a small bulbous room. minimum length of forty feet so we abandoned it for an entrance thirty feet west that appeared to have more potential with a similar entrance. This proved to be our most aggravating cave of the day. Although the passage was three feet high the floor was covered in mounds of angular rocks that made it difficult to navigate. Fifty feet later we reached a lower entrance in another ceiling collapse. The main tube trended north with a twenty foot diameter pancake room off to the left that prove to be the extent of the tube when the crawlway abruptly ended. We did record 123.4 feet of are itching to get back here anytime soon. Total survey time was an hour. Richard did note a real live woodrat ( Neotoma sp.) in addition to all the woodrat scat we found. Hypotenuse Cave Turning east toward Hardin Butte our intrepid party marched over to investigate some GPS locations that had previously been filed. One northwest twenty feet long and another (Tight Squeeze) proved to be the downflow entrance to a known and surveyed tube, Trepidation Cave. Our third lead was a short distance south of Eclipse Bridge Cave and was also a surface tube. The peculiar triangular shaped ceiling entrance gave the cave its name Hypotenuse Cave. In spite of the narrow entrance this was the nicest tube of the day. Once under the dripline the passage belled out to twelve foot wide with a comfy three foot ceiling and a smooth gravelly floor all the way downflow. Upflow the tube quickly ended in a lava pinch. The tube was blocked by a ceiling collapse after a hundred feet but I could see roomier passage beyond. As Scott finished up his sketching I did a recon of the surface and found a ceiling collapse below our last station. Although it only added another ten feet to the survey it did better define the tube. A total of 145.6 feet of nice survey was our reward for visiting this cave. Our daily total was five caves and 519.1 feet of survey. Indication of cave life included a pika ( Ochotona princeps ) midden and plenty of woodrat ( Neotoma sp.) scat. The most interesting form of cave life was a one inch mushroom growing straight down from the ceiling. Since time was getting late we struck off to the south to hike back on the old Hardin Butte road. On the way we located over half a dozen caves that will have to be surveyed and inventoried. The work (and the caves) seems to never end. Total time in the field was ten hours. April 16. 2016 Cedar Fingers Cave Lava Beds National Monument Siskiyou County, California
41 With so much work to be done in the South Castle Flow we spent the fourth day of the April 2016 Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) at Lava Beds National Monument hiking out to this area from the Thomas and Wright Battlefield parking lot. Even with the 1.7 mile hike we arrived at our first objective at 9:00 a.m. ready to put more lava tubes in the records. The first cave of our survey was a find from the previous day situated south of a lone cedar standing sentinel so we named this cave Cedar Fingers Cave. Today Scott House was on book, Don Dunham set stations, Richard Young was on rear tape and I read instruments and took photos. The ten foot wide by two foot high breakdown entrance was located on the north of a thirty foot diameter trench collapse. The cave consisted of a bulbous room sixteen feet in diameter, five foot tall with three short crawlways radiating from it. Total cave length was 45 feet. W oodrat ( Neotoma sp.) scat was noted in this cave. Ahoyhoe Cave Don found the next cave just to the northwest of Cedar Fingers Cave. Another circular trench collapse revealed a crescent shaped cave with a ten foot wide by three foot high entrance. Fifty one feet of survey was totaled in this intimate crawl. W oodrat ( Neotoma sp.) scat was noted in this cave. Grassy Hole Tube The third cave of the day was another one we had found yesterday late in the afternoon. A grassy, shallow ceiling collapse angled down to a rocky bellycrawl into a wide, fifty foot crawl. The tube terminated in a lava pinch. Woodrat ( Neotoma sp.) scat was noted in this cave. Summer Home Cave Just west of Grassy Hole Cave was the most interesting cave of the day, Summer Home Cave. The thirty foot distood out in the sea of sagebrush. This cave boasted two entrances A five foot tall ceiling made this an ideal spot for human habitation but no signs of usage were evident. Ninety minutes were spent at this cave. Woodrat ( Neotoma sp.) scat was noted in this cave. Cobble Pot The fifth and final cave we surveyed was southeast of Summer Home Cave. This surface tube stretched over sixty feet from its boxy, northern entrance to the wide, tight sagging ceiling in the south. Two ceiling collapses broke up the cave and allowed easier access near the pancake room. W oodrat ( Neotoma sp.) scat was noted in this cave. Before leaving we reconnoitered the area for other caves. long to find Tilted Pillars Cave, Every Which Way Cave, Hayduke Cave and an unidentified cave. Eventually these will all be surveyed and inventoried, just not today. We reached the car at 3:30 p.m., another good day at the Lava Beds. April 17, 2016 Mossy Coffin Cave Lava Beds National Monument Siskiyou County, California The fifth day of the April 2016 Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) at Lava Beds National Monument found us (Don Dunham, Scott House, Richard Young and me.) leaving the C.R.F. Research Center at 7:21 a.m. for another exciting day surveying lava tubes in the South Castle Flow. From the Thomas & Wright Battlefield parking lot we hiked east to the overlook where we veered off to the northeast another half mile to the north end of the flow.
42 Our starting point for the day was Mossy Coffin Cave located at the terminus of the South Castle Flow. When a lava flow has pushed itself forward as far as it can the tube flattens out before stopping altogether. We found a two foot wide by six foot long skylight in a ceiling collapse of a surface tube that dropped down three feet to the passage below. Richard verified that it did indeed meet the forty foot requirement so that I could survey the cave. Using the compass and clino with the Disto I was able to solo survey the tube and relay the information to Scott standing two feet above me. A surprising sixty feet of survey was recorded in this unremarkable tube. Total cave time was half an hour. Breve Fisso Cave From Mossy Coffin Cave it was a short distance west to the two foot wide by one foot high entrance to Breve Fisso Cave in a rock outcropping. Don took the readings for this cave while Scott took notes. This unimpressive tube is only accessible by the smallest of cavers and they are welcome to it. The three foot high arched passage runs southeast to northwest with the entrance about in the middle. Total cave time was half an hour. Whack a Mole Cave On our way to Mossy Coffin Cave we found an unidentified surface tube today. A fourteen foot wide by two foot high entrance crawl trended south for forty feet to a terminal breakdown jumble. Two skylights along the way lent to the naming of the cave since a photo of people popping out of the hole looked like the arcade game of Whack a Mole. Richard was on point and set stations, Scott kept book and I took pictures and read instruments. Total cave time was forty five minutes. Undongo Cave From Whack a Mole Cave it was only a short walk to the rock outcropping concealing Undongo Cave. Again a Google search helped to explain the name. Undongo is Swahili for soil or ground. Evidently whoever named the cave had a working knowledge of Swahili. There are other caves in the monument that carry Swahili names. For this cave Scott kept book, Don was on point, Richard was on rear tape and I took pictures and read instruments. A two foot diameter entrance crawl dropped down to a bulbous room sixteen feet in diameter with an insignificant crawlway to the north and forty feet of crawl to the south. Boughs of fresh cedar lined a ledge indicating that the woodrats ( Neotoma sp.) are very active in this cave. An unidentified spider was photographed near the middens. The upflow (south) crawl terminated in a lava pinch. Total cave time was an hour. San Marcos Cave Not fifty feet south of Undongo Cave is the breakdown entrance to San Marcos Cave. Again Scott was on book, Don on point, Richard on rear tape and me on instruments. A ten foot entrance drop took us to pancake passage that trended south. Twenty feet from the entrance the floor became covered in caliche (calcium carbonate plus minor amounts of other soluble salts and clays.) popcorn. Carefully moving through the crawl we surveyed over 180 feet of passage before the floor met the ceiling in an impassable squeeze. Near the end of the survey we found a boneyard of mammalian remains, mostly woodrat. This nicely decorated cave was the highlight of the day for me. Total survey time was ninety minutes. Lost Nipples Cave East of San Marcos Cave was the offensively named Lost Nipples Cave. Not to preach but assigning cave
43 names should not be taken lightly and what may seem funny at the time may eventually prove to be very embarrassing. Hopefully this can be changed to a more appropriate name in the near future. The skylight entrance is through one of two tight squeezes down to an arched crawlway that extended thirty feet in either direction. Richard did a solo survey and relayed the data to the surface. Total time was thirty minutes. On our hike back to the car we located several known and unknown caves that are destine to be part of the South Castle Flow survey. We ended the day with seven hours in the field, four miles hiked, six caves surveyed and nearly five hundred feet of survey. Not bad for a bunch of old guys. April 18, 2016 Dalmatian Cave Lava Beds National Monument Siskiyou County, California The sixth day of the April 2016 Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) at Lava Beds National Monument had our happy foursome (Don Dunham, Scott House, Richard Young and me) heading back out to the South Castle Flow for more surveying. Once again we parked at the Thomas & Wright Battlefield parking lot and hoofed it out to the overlook where we cut cross country another 0.5 miles to our first site. We started with Dalmatian Cave that collapse of a shallow depression. The main entrance is an obvious twelve foot wide by four foot high opening in a pile of ceiling breakdown. For this survey Scott kept book, Richard was on point, Don was on rear tape and I took photos and read instruments. The tube trends to the northeast for eighty feet retaining much of its hands and knees characteristics until it closes down in a lava pinch. Most of the floor for the last forty feet is covered in caliche (calcium carbonate plus minor amounts of other soluble salts and clays.) popcorn. A skylight entrance is found off to the left thirty feet from the main entrance. In addition there is a low, wide chamber on the left that also closes down in a lava pinch. Southwest of the main entrance is twenty foot of a gnarly rock crawl that can easily be avoided by simple walking on top of the tube to a terminal skylight. West of the main entrance is another rocky crawl that connects to an annex but the area can be easily accessed through a bellycrawl ceiling collapse entrance on the south. The annex is basically a sixteen foot diameter room with two small lava tubes heading north, a breakdown room off to the west and the breakdown connection to the main cave to the east. In two hours we racked up over 300 feet of quality survey in Dalmatian Cave. Woodrat ( Neotoma sp.) scat was noted throughout this cave. Two nearby surface tubes were investigated but were found to be lacking in length to qualify for being surveyed. Vespertine Cave Just fifty feet south of Dalmatian Cave we found a shallow six foot diameter ceiling breakdown collapse with a four foot wide by two foot high entrance at the bottom. We kept the same survey team from the previous cave. From the entrance it was only one shot to the center of the room where we took five splay shots to flesh out a majority of the tube. Most of the cave is easy hands and knees crawling. Another smaller skylight entrance is found downflow but it is blocked by a ceiling collapse. Total cave time was one hour. Woodrat ( Neotoma sp.) scat was noted throughout this cave. upflow from the Vespertine Cave entrance. For the second time in as many days we were surveying a cave that was hastily named resulting in
44 an inappropriate name. Once again I am hopeful that this name can be changed to better reflect the characteristics of the cave. We began the survey with Richard on point, Don reading instruments and me keeping book and taking pictures. A six foot diameter ceiling breakdown collapse dropped down four feet to a tight entrance squeeze that quickly opened up into a roomy crawlway. Passages ran off to the left, right, forward and behind! Initially we had expected a simple, seventy foot lava tube but were faced with a more complex survey. Since we were under a time constraint to get back to the research center we decided to abandon the survey and simply reconnoiter the cave. It seems that there are two parallel lava tubes with connecting feeders as well as several skylights. Several stretches of the floor are covered in caliche (calcium carbonate plus minor amounts of other soluble salts and clays.) popcorn. We estimate the cave at over three hundred feet and one of the nicest in week. Total cave time was an hour. April 19, 2016 Hardin Vent and Battlefield Vent Lava Beds National Monument Siskiyou County, California The final day of the Scott House led April 2016 Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) at Lava Beds National Monument had us hiking from the Thomas & Wright Battlefield parking lot at 8:00 a.m. Don Dunham, Scott House, Richard Young and I were joined by Dave Riggs of the National Park Service on our hike down the old Hardin Butte road two miles to Hardin Butte. Bill Broeckel of Yreka would join us later. been surveying the North and South din Butte so we decided to scale it for the last day. The route from the south is the easiest to climb the cinder cone slope while the east and west approaches would appear to be more difficult. As we ascended Hardin Butte the hidden cinder cone depression came into view. This land feature is concealed by the surrounding mounds of cinders. Once on top of the butte it was truly eye opening to have an unobstructed 360Â° overlook. To the north was the cave rich North Castle Flow; to the east the the south, the notable cinder cone of Schonchin Butte; far off to the southwest was the towering Mt. Shasta; to the west the historic Thomas & Wright Battlefield area and South Castle Flow and to the northHomestead and beyond that the imposing Gillem Bluff. We strolled across the top of Hardin Butte to the north until we began dropping down a steep, grassy slope to the base of the butte. We were now at the head of the North Castle Flow where Scott pointed out the source of all the fantastic caves in the flow Hardin Vent and Battlefield Vent. Hardin Vent is a short, relatively deep cave formed from the upwelling of lava during the eruption that created the North castle flow. Battlefield Vent is a much larger vent with an impressive twenty foot high arched entrance. A vent has compared to a lava tube since it seems to be more vertical in nature with very little in horizontal character. This is a good place for anyone to begin their adventure to understand the characteristics of the flow. A pair of common ravens ( Corvus corax ) circled above Battlefield Vent heckling us and we soon discovered they had a nest to rear their chicks built in the entrance. While these nests are not as massive as a bald seen in a cave. Christmas Cave & Aladdin Cave From the lava vents we ventured north to the first of the many extensive lava tubes of the North Castle Flow. Christmas Cave is found in a
45 large trench collapse and where Don, Dave and Richard stopped to photo document while Scott and I continued downflow to rectify a cave location in the Aladdin Cave complex. We had no trouble finding the massive trench collapse where the upflow entrance of Aladdin Cave was located but the last team out here had no luck finding the brass cap for the cave. Scott and I walked right up to it. In the past these markers were used to inventory the significant caves in the park but with all of the advances in GPS and associated geo space technologies this form of identification has fallen by the wayside. We use the brass caps to tie in surrounding caves and improve the accuracy of our surveys. Breaking out the survey gear it only took two surface shots across the rubble of the trench collapse to tie Aladdin Annex into the brass cap. Township Cave Complex After wrapping up the Aladdin Cave survey Scott and I waited for the Christmas Cave team on a lava promontory and soon saw two interns walking to us from Township Cave. They had been reconnoitering the cave for an inventory and monitor program (I and M) within the National Park Service. Within minutes we noticed a figure dropping down from the Thomas & Wright Battlefield overlook. Appearing like Omar Sharif in opening scene of Lawrence of Arabia he gradually came into focus and we Broeckel. The interns left us just before Bill, Don, Dave and Richard arrived to continue the North Castle Flow tour. Further north we passed numerous cave entrances on our way to the Township Cave complex. Dave was interested in seeing this cave so I took him through the upflow entrance down to an eight foot diameter tube that wound north to another trench collapse to the middle entrance. Along the way Dave pointed out the black amberrat formations dripping from the ceiling. I was very impressed with these shiny formations until Dave explained that they are a combination of the natural minerals of the cave and woodrat urine. Suddenly I was less impressed. ing to be wearing amberrat jewelry anytime soon, but if it catches on in We poked into several side passages that each had their own unique features and I was fully aware that the entire never seen anything to challenge the beauty of this cave. One of the alcoves had a nice selection of globby lavacicles along with two nice lava (Similar to stalagmites) Certainly this 2,400 foot cave is one of the best in the North Castle Flow. Circle Cave From the Township Cave complex it was on to Circle Cave and its associates. At Circle Cave we conducted another surface survey to tie in Hobbit Hole to the rest of the caves. This was probably THE most amount of overkill for a survey. Scott kept book, Bill, Don, Dave and Richard were on tape and I read instruments. Two shots were required to connect in Hobbit Hole. With our main tasks completed we started the long hike south back to the cars. The two mile hike passed quickly as numerous topics were discussed but we were grateful to finally reach the parking lot. Over the seven days our C.R.F. team was at the Lava Beds National Monument we surveyed twenty one caves, racked up over 2,700 feet of survey, hiked over thirty miles, verified numerous cave locations, located several leads and recorded all the data on computer. All of this information will be shared with the park so that they can better manage the fascinating resources of the Lava Beds.
46 April 23, 2016 Lava Beds National Monument Siskiyou County, California The first day of the Ed Klausner/ Dave West led April 2016 Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) at Lava Beds National Monument had us split into two groups. Ed took Joyce Hoffmaster, Paul McMullen and Elizabeth surveying some caves for the MonuM) program while Dave took Karen Willmes and me out to do some surface survey in the Balcony/Boulevard/ Sharks Mouth flows. A short drive to the parking lot was followed by a short hike down the trail to the main entrance to Balcony Cave where Dave set out his GPS unit on top of the brass cap for fifteen minutes to accurately record its location. While the GPS was gathering data Dave had Karen and I ran a surface survey from here to the South Branch of Balcony Cave. As we moved across the ground Dave sketched the surface features to incorporate in his map. From South Branch we continued to the Balcony Extension and then Cave. During this time we also recorded the GPS locations for these entrances. After a lunch break it was back to work on the GPS locations of the smaller caves downflow from the Balcony/Boulevard/ Sharks Mouth complex. Starting with the downflow entrance to Boulevard Cave we set out the GPS unit while Karen and I surface surveyed over to the skylight entrance of Himmel Cave. From here it was north to the Himmel entrance and then over to Last Call Cave. While waiting for the GPS to acquire the information I was scouting about the trench collapse and found a new cave. I dropped down to reconnoiter the cave and verified it qualified for surveying. map of the flow. Located past Last Call we named this one Closing Time Cave. Next we hustled over to Purgatory Cave for another GPS reading. While we were waiting we scouted downflow to Obsession Cave, one of the last know caves in the flow. Although we be captured later this week. Next we stopped to get the GPS entrance location at Nirvana Cave, and then it was off to Pango Ndogo Cave in search of the brass cap. This was the only day. (Back at the Research Center we later referred to recon cards and discovered that it was supposed to be With our work done in this area we stopped by the car to drop off gear before crossing the road to find an undocumented cave. I peeked into the entrance to find a surface tube with an easy hands and knees crawl that trended to the northeast. We christened it Pummel Cave. Again we plan to be back to do this survey later in the week. We surfaced surveyed over to the brass cap of Upper Balcony Cave to finish off for the day. Although no cave survey was done by our team we compiled quite a bit of surface survey that will be useful in describing the caves. We spent seven hours traipsing around the caves of the Balcony/Boulevard/Sharks Mouth flows and totaled 1,355 feet of surface survey. April 24, 2016 Lava Beds National Monument Siskiyou County, California For the second day at Lava Beds National Monument of the Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) April expedition we mostly retained the two groups from yesterday. Ed took Joyce HoffTrench to continue surveying caves while Dave took Elizabeth Miller, Karen Willmes and me out to do more surface survey in the Balcony/
47 Boulevard/Sharks Mouth Flow. The chilly wind and cloudy skies called for extra layers of clothing but every now and then the sun would break through causing us to shed the outer layers. Starting at Purgatory Cave we surface surveyed downflow to Obsession Cave with Dave keeping book, Elizabeth running interference and Karen and me stretching tape and reading instruments. that done we continued over to a small unnamed lava bridge and then down to the entrance of the last known cave (but unnamed) of the flow. With this area tied in we hiked up to a surface tube on the west of the Schonchin Flow to survey and attach it to the Balcony flow. The Schonchin Flow confined the outer fringes of caves on the east end of the Balcony/Boulevard/Sharks Mouth Flow creating a well defined border for us. We finished the morning with 1,124 feet of surface survey. Right on time we finished up this survey to take a lunch break back at the C.R.F. Research Center. No sooner Broeckel pulled up to join us for the afternoon. This was fine with us since Elizabeth would be bowing out. the weather has turned sour but we were determined to continue the surface survey so we returned to the Balcony parking lot to map the trench west of Monument Road. While Dave, Karen and I surveyed the trench Bill scouted the trench and surrounding area in search of caves. Starting at Roadside Cave we surveyed upflow in a shallow trench scooting over the ceiling breakdown blocks. In the early afternoon the sleet began to fall but we soldiered on in spite of this challenge. Eventually the wind picked up and the temperature dropped forcing us to abandon our survey but we had tallied over 400 feet and found three new caves.
48 April 25, 2016 Modoc National Forest Lava Beds National Moument Siskiyou County, California For the third day at Lava Beds National Monument I joined Bill Broeckel in ridgewalking the upper Mammoth Crater flow (On the USGS Geological Map of Medicine Lake Volcano, Northern California it is officially mna, the Basaltic andesite northeast of Aspen Crater, late Pleistocene) up to a small unnamed volcano. We left the Research Center after 9:00 a.m. as the weather was windy and cold and it would only be worse at the higher elevations. Taking several gravel logging roads we wound up a mile north of our objective, well within striking distance. From the pull off we walked up a secondary road to a skidder road that we followed south to the lower trench of the exposed flow. With the wind at our backs it was an easy hike up a pine covered slope. At first we were poking into shallow cracks that offered little more that frustration until we reached a trench collapse that hid a surprise on the upflow side. Cresting the hill I immediately saw the downflow entrance to a respectable natural bridge. A ten foot wide by four foot high opening dropped down into a twenty foot diameter room with a five foot ceiling. It was a bit challenging getting into the cave since the entrance slope was coated in a slick layer of ice. Once inside we realized that this cave was utilized by loggers (our guess) as a shelter since there was a rock wall, a stone pillar and a variety of trash. Half of the uneven floor was covered in ice making it difficult to move about. Upflow the rock formed a small window entrance that was most likely laid by the loggers to control the breeze. Several middens of unknown rodents were noted along the ceiling ledges. While Bill captured the GPS location I took photographs. We tentatively named this Continuing upflow the walls got higher and the pumice got deeper but we seemed to lose signs of any more caves in the trench. While I was at the bottom of the trench Bill climbed up on the left side and quickly found the second cave of the day. A narrow hole dropped down six feet to a crawlway that led to a lower breakdown level. The estimated length of the cave is fifty feet. One of the walls was a brilliant band of red rock while the opposite side was a hodge podge of loose rock. We obviously named this cave Red Wall Cave. Again Bill GPSed the entrance location and I took photographs. With two new caves discovered so quickly could we possibly find a third? Upflow not five minutes later I stumbled onto the biggest cave of the day. A twelve foot diameter ceiling collapse fell six feet down to a balcony level with two lower levels angling off. This is most likely a vent for the nearby volcano. Descending the first slope I found a low, bellycrawl partially filled with ice. A summer trip will push beyond. Over at the second slope the floor levels out and the passage ends at a lava plug. Both slopes were covered in a stationary lava falls so we called this Cascade Vent. The cave is estimated at over one hundred feet. More middens of unknown rodents were noted throughout this cave. GPS readings were taken by Bill at this site as I scrambled about to photograph the cave. summer to map and inventory these three interesting caves. The remainder of the afternoon was spent climbing the volcano, walking around the rim of the volcano, scouting nearby vents and more ridgewalking. Unfortunately no other caves were found after Cascade Vent. Total ridgewalking time was five hours. April 27, 2016 Lava Beds National Monument Siskiyou County, California
49 Broeckel it was back to the Lava Beds National Monument for more surface survey with Dave West and Karen Willmes for the Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.). Yesterday Dave and Paul McMullen had continued the upflow survey of the Balcony/Boulevard/ Sharks Mouth system so we would start where they left off. Our first objective was to survey downflow in the middle trench so Dave could capture the essence of the flow. A key aspect of this methodical method is that scouring the entire flow would expose a majority of the caves rather than simply attempting to find caves. So far this week several undocumented caves have been found in the area by such a technique. From the initial station we trended east to the brass cap of the first cave of the day, Dorrii Cave. This cave appears to be named for the nearby Desert Purple Sage ( Salvia dorrii ). A twenty foot diameter ceiling collapse drops down to a ten foot wide by four foot high entrance that steeply slopes to an easy walking passage. Lavacicles similar to those in downflow Sharks Mouth Cave are found just inside the entrance. This cave is estimated at one hundred feet. Next we surveyed over to Zord Cave. Evidently this is in homage to the Mighty Morphine Power Rangers. (I This hands and knees crawlway natural bridge runs less than sixteen feet but it appears to continue as a crawl at a lower level. Just downflow from Zord Cave is Zannies Cave another hands and knees crawl surface tube that extends forty feet to a lower skylight. The ten foot diameter ceiling collapse is covered in a thick carpet of moss. Arroyo Cave was our next cave to tie into the system. Arroyo is a Spanish word for a watercourse in an arid region, an appropriate name for this cave. The main entrance is a six foot deep ceiling collapse sixteen feet in diameter that is an oasis for a variety of tall grass not seen at ground level. The roomy lava tube runs in both directions although the upflow terminates at a lava pinch while the downflow continues past several skylights before ending. Perhaps two hundred feet of survey could be tallied in this lava tube. After a break for lunch we returned to work by tying Damsel Cave into Dorrii Cave. Another ceiling collapse opens into an easy hands and knees crawl for forty feet to a skylight. We finished up the day by surveying a nearby undocumented trench that only contains a small natural bridge. A sinkhole collapse to the north may abut the back of Rotunda Grotto. Once all these caves are surveyed a better picture will develop of this interesting flow. The bad weather had skirted around us all day but finally closed in around 4:00 p.m. and the sound of thunder encouraged us to abandon our work. In spite of this setback we surface surveyed over 700 feet in six hours. April 28, 2016 Lava Beds National Monument Siskiyou County, California I was back with Dave West and Karen Willmes to surface survey more of the Balcony/Boulevard/Sharks Mouth flow for the Lava Beds National Monument Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) expedition. Starting at the small natural bridge that was our last station from yesterday we took a shot to Rotunda Grotto and tied in the sinkhole collapse above it. Once this was done we finished surveying down the middle trench until it disappeared. The survey continued upflow from Moldy Cast Cave in a wide trench collapse past Bat Bridge back into more trench collapse. Moldy Cast is an easy hundred feet of walking/ stoopwalking that pops out in a breakdown entrance in the lower trench. Bat Bridge is a forty foot rocky crawl that opens into the upper trench. Two hundred feet up the trench we tied off the survey to re-
50 connoiter over the hill. Here we found the main trench winding upflow to the south. Investigating the trenches we realized it will require a lot of poking around to find the caves in this area. Hiking upflow we stumbled onto an extensive trench where we found Big Block Cave and then the nearby Mossy Knoll Cave. I dropped down into Mossy Knoll to discover a roomy stoopwalk down a slope to a lower entrance. This should be another straightforward survey to tackle. The rest of the afternoon we spent following the trench to determine its characteristics so that we can be efficient when we do the surface survey. April 29, 2016 Himmel Cave Lava Beds National Monument Siskiyou County, California Dave West led Joyce Hoffmaster, Karen Willmes and me down the Balcony flow to finish the survey of Himmel Cave in the Lava Beds National Monument for the seventh day of the Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) expedition. A cold wind was blowing as we approached the skylight entrance to Himmel Cave. Dave had decided to drop through this opening rather than navigate the gnarly crawlway. Once we had the rope secured Karen slid to the bottom followed by me then Joyce and finally Dave. A nice twelve foot diameter lava tube trended from south to north. Since the last station was to the northeast we began our survey there. Dave sketched the plan view, Joyce kept book, drew the profile and cross sections, Karen was on point and read backsights while I read foresights and took photos. Starting at station HA8 we surveyed down a rocky crawl to the northeast that opened up to a stoopwalk with a pahoehoe floor. A three foot diameter hole off to the left dropped down to another roomy crawl that appeared to terminate in a breakdown pile. However Karen and I were able to push leads off to the east (25 feet) and to the north (30 feet). This branch of the flow yielded about two hundred feet of survey. Following a short lunch break we tackled the sidepassage that ran southwest from station HA8. Again we started in a rocky crawl but this time it morphed into a hands and knees crawl over a fairly smooth pahoehoe floor. Lava formations of all kinds were noted in this area. In addition we met a strong headwind blowing down the passage that Dave theorizes comes from the downflow end of nearby Boulevard Cave. The finished map will help answer this question. Eighty feet into the survey the tube split into a left and right arm with the left branch pancaking out while the right side continued as a crawl another hundred feet before terminating in a beautiful chocolate colored room. Dave obviously named Along the left wall a multitude of various critter bones were found. It was back to the mainflow at station HA9 to survey upflow past the skylight to the end of the lava tube. This totaled 160 feet of relatively easy survey over stable breakdown. We finished the day with a little over six hundred feet of survey. The climb out proved to be challenging but everyone exited the cave in good shape. For its size this cave has a wide selection of lava tube feature from lavacicles to rafted blocks to silver and gold slime. big eared bat ( Corynorhinus townsendii ) and several terrestrial beetles. In addition to the mammal bones we saw several woodrat ( Neotoma sp.) middens and its associated scat. April 30, 2016 Lava Beds National Monument Siskiyou County, California For the last day of the Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) expedition at Lava Beds National Monument I began the day with Joyce Hoffmaster, Paul McMullen and Dave West in the
51 continuation of the surface survey of the upper Balcony/Boulevard/Sharks Mouth flow. Dave sketched, Joyce kept book while Paul and I were on tape and instruments. From west of the Rotunda Grotto we trekked up to Moldy Gold Natural Bridge. This cave is estimated at eighty feet in length and twenty feet in diameter with extensive breakdown throughout. It was another eighty feet from the Moldy Gold brass cap to the Crimson Cave brass cap. Located on the edge of the lava trench I was pleasantly surprised to discover that a short entrance climb dropped down to open up into a wide walking passage over a breakdown floor that extended over one hundred feet. Back on the surface we took shots to various lava features before knocking off for lunch. The highlight of the morning was when I actually saw a pika ( Ochotona princeps ) scurrying amongst the rock. Other than that it was more obligatory woodrat ( Neotoma sp.) scat. After lunch Joyce and I split off to investigate the last lead in Himmel Cave. Thankfully it was close to the crawlway entrance before the gnarly rocky bellycrawl. Although there wasneed to be scratched off the list. Crawling over fifty feet of massive ceiling breakdown we located a nearby station to tie in the survey if necessary. Joyce negotiated a rock strewn crawl along the edge of the passage to find a sixteen foot tube that shut down in a rock collapse. We closed the book on Himmel Cave. From here it was off to Closing Time Cave to attach an aluminum tag and have a better look at this new cave. Joyce dropped down through the squeeze to a landing with a lower crawlway that pinched out after twenty five feet. Additional information when the cave is surveyed will ing to be found. Next we stopped at Last Call Cave which is downflow of Himmel Cave. A large foyer funnels down to a rocky crawl that we opted to avoid today. On the way back to the truck we visited Pango Ndogo and had the privilege of seeing this well decorated lava tube. With the other teams arriving back at the Resource Center after 4:00 p.m. we stopped at Indian Well Cave. This popular cave has an impressive thirty foot diameter entrance that continues for two hundred feet before a scree slope that led up to a backdoor entrance. A nice way to end the expedition. Lava Beds National Monument Tulelake , California April 23 30, 2016 By Ed Klausner Dave West and I each have projects in Lava Beds National Monument. Dave, Karen Willmes, Elizabeth Miller and I planned on a camping / hiking trip to Death Valley before finally heading north to Lava Beds to work on our projects. Death Valley was really nice and worth the trip. We did see a few shelter caves in a narrow canyon and a mine while hiking in the park. Once in Lava Beds, we were joined by Joyce Hoffmaster, Mark Jones, Paul McMullen and later in the week, Bill Broeckel. On the first day of survey, I was joined by Elizabeth, Joyce and Paul to continue surveying caves in new set of GPS readings at NAD83 for the three caves and then started the got 248 feet of survey before running out of time. We left an easily recoverable survey station. The cave is 30 35 feet in height and about 30 feet wide making the use of headlamps unnecessary since there are multiple entrances and the trunk segment is only 150 feet or so long and very tall. On Sunday, the second day of our expedition, Paul and Joyce joined me to survey Amber Dome at the north end of finding it and put in 11 stations to get 263.5 of survey. We did not finish as there is a high area in Amber
52 Dome that has two tubes that are unladder or step stool when we return. One tube is small and may not be big enough to get a person in, but the other tube was a hands and knees crawl. We then located a new cave and surveyed it (31.8 feet in length.) It is currently unnamed. From there, we found two additional caves that need to be surveyed. We got GPS locations and will return later to do the survey. On the third survey day, Elizabeth that. We added 150 feet to get to the northern entrance (downflow entrance). There is a small passage that Paul could not fit into, so We then found and surveyed Hungry Dog Cave, one of the I&M IInventory and Total was 98.6 feet. The canine skeleton near the entrance was in good condition. Karen joined Elizabeth and me on the fourth survey day. Our goal was to Bridge and if there was any time left, go to Iceberg Cave to start the survey. We borrowed a 5 gallon bucket from the Monument to act as a step stool for the upper level of Amber Cave. That worked and we put in 3 additional shots for a total of 32.5 feet. The cave is now complete and it is 396 feet long. We surveyed the 59.4 feet through a tight passage that was collapse on the side of the main passage that eventually became a tube with real walls on both sides. Total for the Upper Bridge was 458 feet. the research center, so we hiked Lyon Trail to where we thought we should turn left and bushwack towards Iceberg Cave. It took a few hours, but we found it. We headed due east to the trail, marked the spot via GPS where we should leave the trail in the future, and then headed back to the car. We were only an hour past sign out time. On Wednesday, Elizabeth, Joyce and Paul joined me for the survey of Concert Hall Cave. This is a short cave (202 feet of survey) but spacious with a 22 foot ceiling. After that, we surveyed Rock Cress Cave, one of the new ones we found previously this week. We got 65 feet of survey for this cave. Elizabeth, Paul and Joyce joined me on Thursday for what we hoped would be the complete survey of Iceberg Cave. We found it with no problem and started surveying. After two shots, we came to a lower level. We left that for later and continued down the main passage. At the bottom of the terminal breakdown, we still had three leads. We surveyed straight ahead to a breakdown room. We also surveyed to the left wall where was a nice display of lava dripping down the wall and a corkscrew passage that eventually got too narrow. Finally there was an opening in the slope going back up towards the entrance. This led to a 60 foot tube with real walls and ceiling, covered in white powder and ice visible in a few places between the breakdown in the floor. Lastly, we surveyed the lower level near the entrance. It too, had real walls and ceiling, but was only 20 of so feet before it ended in breakdown. On the next to the last day of our expedition, Elizabeth and Paul joined me at the north end of the flow to survey Finale Cave. We brought webbing and an etrier to help get down the 7 8 foot drop. The cave had three passages. One heading upflow, and two heading downflow at different levels. We took the downflow upper level first and put in three survey shots before it got too low. Then we surveyed upstream for two shots in a more spacious passage. Interestingly, we could see some daylight at the far upstream end and this is very close to the Rock Cress Cave entrance. It was too small to reach this. Finally,
53 we headed downstream at the lower level. This was not very pleasant as much of it was only a foot high. This lower passage started out going west and then swung around to head north. The recon card said it may go under urements to the flow and will see if the passage goes under the flow. It plot out the cave and see if it indeed does. On the last day of the expedition, Elizabeth, Karen and I went back to Emerald Star Cave to complete the survey. We completed a loop and then continued down into the deep part of the cave for a total of 283.5 feet of survey. We then went from the monument, across the upflow trench, to the downflow entrance to Hat Cave. Since we still had time, we went to Progress Grottos and found two sections of cave that are actually connected by a narrow dripline making it a single 93.2 foot cave. Finally, we tied the Progress Grottos monument to Amber Dome Cave. There is still a great deal to do in July after the NSS convention to continue surveying. Hungry Dog entrance. Photo by Ed Klausner.
54 Spring 2016 MVOR April 29 May 1, 2016 Near Brumley, MO Brad Smith and Liz Robinson and a couple of hundred other people Brad and I went to the MVOR near Brumley, MO population 91. I decided it was worth taking the day off even though I am trying to maximize my which I will be reimbursed when I retire at the end of June. We left Friday morning and took a route through Missouri that missed St. Louis and arrived about 6:00, in time to get our tent set up before the Howdy Party which was scheduled to begin at 7:00. We were parked not too far from the entrance as I needed electricity for my CPAP and that also gave us electricity for our WaterPik when we were doing out teeth. This was scheduled to be part of the noisy end of the campground but absent a band or program of music either night it was pretty quiet. Another thing that made it quiet was that about a half hour into the Howdy Party a thunderstorm broke out. By midnight it had rained 2.43 inches and between midnight and 3 or 4 in the morning it rounded out into about 2 inches of rain. Fortunately even though we forgot to pack a tarp the tent remained reasonably dry. In the morning we talked with a few people in camp and then Brad decided that he wanted to do lunch. We had planned to go to the Sweetwater BBQ that we had enjoyed during Convention so we went there. The remainder of the day was cloudy and cool. After we returned to camp we went to the business meeting and the talk. The talk was on a big cave cleanup at Goodwin Sink which has been ongoing since 2012. The sink was the site of illegal dumping since the 1950's. So far they have hauled out more than a million tons of trash including metal which has been recycled, hundreds of tires, wood and other items. They have still not finished by a long shot. In order to complete the work they need to be able to rent heavy equipment loaders and large dumpsters and other professional equipment. They first tried the bucket brigade technique which has been used in the Mammoth Cave Restoration weekends but it was too dangerous and too exhausting pulling heavy items up him from the bottom of the sink. Brad suggested that they consider using cables to help pull large heavy items. The heavy equipment with an operator cost several hundred dollars a day. There was one attempt at dumping after the property was acquired by the MCKC but that was thwarted and physical barriers have been set up that from continuing to use the sink as a dump. The results are very encouraging. The trash is far less visible, the bare ground at the bottom on the sink is more visible and when it flood the sink drains very quickly instead of the several days it used to take. The MCKC does not own the land much farther from the sink entrance which frustrates putting up a parking area for volunteers that come and for the heavy equipment, The sink is very interesting speleologically. Dye traces have shown that it drains to Ha Ha Tonka Spring 11 miles away. It is believed that the potential is there for a very large cave system, comparative with Carroll Cave. More volunteers and money are needed to continue to push this project. Scheduling a work session is difficult. Changes in the weather can result in a last minute cancellation so those living a great distance from the project who wish to volunteer need to bear this in mind. The Fall MVOR will be in Bonneville, KY at the Lonestar Cave Preserve sponsored by the Louisville Grotto, Windy City Grotto and the Near Normal Grotto. It will be the weekend of September 29 October 2, 2016.