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National Speleological Society (Iowa Grotto)
National Speleological Society (Iowa Grotto)
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Intercom is a publication of the Iowa Grotto of the National Speleological Society, Inc., an internal organization of the National Speleological Society (NSS). The Iowa Grotto, is dedicated to the exploration, study, and conservation of caves.
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Volume 53, Number 3 (May - June 2017).
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University of South Florida
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I N T E R C O M Volume 53, Issue 3 May June 2017 Iowa Grotto P.O. Box 228 Iowa City, IA 52244 Grotto Website: Coldwater Cave Project website: 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 May 1st. Send material for publication, e mail, disk or hard copy to: Editor and Typist: Jenny Hackman 319 290 9282 18801 345th Ave Cresco, IA. 52136 E mail: Coordinate photographs for publication in the INTERCOM with Jenny Hackman, 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 therea b o u t s o f T r o w b r i d g e H a l l o n t h e c a m p u s o f the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. Cover Photo: Karen Willmes and Ed Klausner at Lava Beds in Tulelake, California. National Speleological Society P. O. Box 228 Iowa City, Iowa 52244 Chairman Ed Klausner Vice Chairman/Treasurer John Donahue Secretary Elizabeth Miller Volume 53 Issue 3 ______________C O N T E N T S _____________ Meeting Minutes 44 Trip reports: 44 Calypso Avenue, Mammoth Cave 47 Lower Cave 48 NSS Convention 49 Photo Gallery 51


__________CALENDAR___________ July Grotto Meeting July 26th Room 125, 7:30 pm, Trowbridge Hall. August Grotto Meeting August 23rd Room 125, 7:30 pm, Trowbridge Hall. September Grotto Meeting Sept. 27th Room 125, 7:30 pm, Trowbridge Hall. October Grotto Meeting Oct. 25th Room 125, 7:30 pm, Trowbridge Hall. Annual Grotto Picnic The grotto picnic will be the first weekend in August with caving on August 5th. There will be a flyer once plans are finalized and it will have directions to the camping area and more information on the caves. Minutes of the Iowa Grotto Regular Meeting May 24, 2017 The regular meeting was called to order by Chairman Ed Klausner at 7:35 PM. Five members were present. Prior to the meeting, Ed Klausner showed slides from a recent trip to Lava Beds National Monument involving Iowa Grotto members. The minutes of the April meeting Report was not available. Trip reports: Phil Larue reported on a trip near Earlham at the request of the landowner to look at a cave that was reported to contain rattlesnacks. Two snakes were found at the cave. Ed further reported on the trip to Lava Beds National Monument with Elizabeth Miller and Mark Jones. Elizabeth M. reported on a trip to a Tufa cave southeast of Reno, Nevada which contained an archeological site. Future Trips: Trips to Coldwater Cave are scheduled for the third Saturday of each month. The Coldwater family picnic will be held the third weekend in June. The annual Iowa Grotto will be the first Saturday in August in Floyd County. Caving out of the area includes MVOR in early April, Speleofest at the Memorial Day weekend, the NSS convention at Rio Rancho, New Mexico in June and the National Cave and Karst Management Symposium in Eureka Springs, AR October 16 20. Old business: The Grotto Picnic will be held at Tosanka Recreation area in Floyd County. Camping has been reserved and will be paid for by the grotto. Elizabeth Miller asked for input on vertebrate species in caves. Members suggested that Timber rattlesnakes and King snakes had both been reported. New Business: Phil has spoken with Tom Hruska who has located more historic maps of Iowa caves. Phil suggested that he should get in touch with Ed. The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 PM. No June Meeting minutes submitted meeting was cancelled due to inclement weather. Lava Beds National Monument Tulelake, California April 22 May 2, 2017 By: Ed Klausner Last year, we took two trips to Lava Beds for a total of 12 driving days (three day drive from Iowa one way.) Dave West (an even longer drive for him from Baltimore) and I a break in the middle to reduce the overall travel time. In 2017, we made plans to do this and met at Lava Beds on April 21 st to start surveying on April 22 nd . On the first day of the expedition, Elizabeth Miller and Charles Fox joined me for a trip to the northern Cave. We easily found our last station from 2016 and put in 10 more stations to finish the cave (with the exception of a small passage that Mark Jones reported connected to a nearby cave.) Total survey added to Ohio Cave was 267.9 feet. Downflow from Ohio Cave was a small cave (35.1 feet) that we connected to Ohio Cave and surveyed. Since it


ficial cave, we named it Little Ohio Grotto and not Little Ohio Cave. On the second day, Elizabeth, Mark Jones and Paul McMullen joined me as we headed to the Ohio Cave area to ridgewalk and start surveying Tri State Cave. Mark, Elizabeth and I started the survey while Paul took a copy of the known cave locations and started a systematic search. We put in 99.1 feet of survey in Tri State Cave and realized that it would be perfect for the rainy days predicted later in the week. We left a recoverable station and went out to look for Paul. He showed us the first new cave he found and we surveyed 73.3 feet in this new cave that we named Radec Cave. It had two cedar logs in the cave and we figured that Cedar Cave was probably already a cave name in the monument, so we spelled Cedar backwards for a lack of a better name. The next cave that Paul found was Thorn In My Side Cave and we got 50.0 feet of survey for this cave. Finally, Paul found and we surveyed Sparse Foliage Cave for 82.55 feet of survey. On day three, Elizabeth and Mark joined me to continue the survey of Tri State Cave as there was an 80% chance of rain. The cave was big enough to keep us out of the rain for the day. Unfortunately, the cave was also pretty muddy and low in places, so we were belly crawling through the mud and got cold and wet. At noon, we wrapped up the survey to get warm and because we needed a handline or a cable ladder for short people to reach the bottom of the drop near the end of one branch of the survey. We put in 242.4 feet of survey. Note that these lava tubes are usually very dry and mud is not at all common. After eating and warming up, we headed towards Meadowlark Cave and Mark found an opening that turned inEared Bats that were active. The cave was 61 feet in length with part of the passage 9 feet tall. We tied the cave to the Ohio Cave brass monument with a surface survey. Elizabeth held a target over one eye (closing the other) while Mark shot a DistoX to her. That and the fact to the name Pirate Cave. Finally, we surveyed Meadowlark Cave for a total of 171.5 feet of on us but it was quite windy. On what was supposed to be a partially cloudy day that turned into some showers, Elizabeth, Mark and Paul joined me in a trip back to Tri State Cave. Mark and Paul went to the lower level connection to the western part of Tri State Cave while Elizabeth and I went in the western entrance (also known as the 64 X entrance) and went down the passage towards Mark and Paul. We made it through the tight spot and set up a shot going back towards the 64 X entrance. From there, Elizabeth and I surveyed all the passages radiating from the 64 X entrance (3 passages) while Mark and Paul finished up the lower level. One of the passages of the 64 X entrance tied to G7 in Ohio Cave. The connection was too small to get through, but we were able to pass the tape through the connection and make the survey shot. The next, and last objective in Tri State was to finish the passage to the north entrance and the two lower passages near T6 that we left from two days ago (they were low and wet.) Mark and Paul surveyed the passage going to the north entrance wile Elizabeth and I surveyed the lower, damp leads. Finally, I did a cross section through a section that showed four separate passages. On day five, Charles and Paul joined me for a trip to Superficial Cave to map it. It was threatening rain, but all we got were sprinkles in the morning. Superficial cave turned out to be 112.5 feet before the passage got way too small. From there, we spent quite a bit of time ridgewalking and we now have from Pearl Cave north (on the west side of


surface and we have some nice samples. We resumed surveying on day 9 and I took Elizabeth, Mark and Bill Broeckel to Tiny Hiney Cave. We first did what we thought was a small alcove close to the Tiny Hiney entrance that we wanted to show on the map. It turned out to get quite large with an 8 foot ceiling and a lava tongue. The total length was 211.8 feet that included a loop around a collapsed area. From there, we finished Tiny Hiney Cave adding 80.5 feet of survey in a very nice tube. There was a squeeze getting into it and was not included on the recon card. We continued our systematic search going north and found Crustase Lichen Cave, a 66.9 foot cave. On day 10, Elizabeth and Karen Willmes joined me in the continuing started with a known short cave, short to be considered an official cave. We got 36.7 feet and then tied the cave to the monument at Monument Road Cave. From there we started searching for Homestead and surveyed Falcate Cave, push through a tight area. Next, we know cave for a total of 119.15. We tied the survey to the brass monument. On our last day of surveying (day 11), Elizabeth, Mark and David Riggs (Cave Technician for the Monument) joined me in the survey of Liberty Cave. David found no Pallid Bats, who use it as a summer roost, so we did the survey and got 197.4 feet of cave. David had to be back at the office, so he headed back while Mark proceeded to find two new caves in the trench just north of Liberty Cave. One was a surface tube named Little Surprise Cave at 42.4 feet and a talus cave named Trench Collapse Cave at 44.15 feet. Next, we went to Looks Like Goo the road) systematically searched. Still to do are Plague Pit, Tiny Hiney, and Hanta House in this section. The weather was deteriorating, so we headed back towards the car and a near by objective: to tie the brass monument of Rollercoaster Cave to the first survey station of the cave survey. The wind was picking up but it was not raining, so we checked the area from the road going east and then north towards Close Call Cave. We found one new cave very close to Close Call. It was now starting to hail and rain, so we headed back to the car and called it a day. We originally expected to take day 6 and 7 off before returning for another five caving days. With a government shutdown still a possibility for April 28 th , we stayed in the area and took one short trip to tie Pica the small grotto in between. On Firday, April 28 th , Mark and Elizabeth joined me in a survey of the north Trench. We first went to Hanta House cave to survey it and see if it conput in 56.8 feet of cave survey. We next surveyed Plague Pit and were surprised to find that there was far more cave than indicated on the recon cards. We brought a cable ladder to avoid the moss on the ledges at the pit entrance. It worked. After putting in a few shots going up flow, Elizabeth squeezed through a tight spot and found lots more cave. We put in a total of 223.7 feet of survey, much of it in virgin cave. The coralloids were pristine and we tried to keep it that way. Finally, we had some time left, so we started surveying in Tiny Hiney Cave. We got 115.8 feet of survey before running out of time. Still to do is one down flow passage reported to be tight, but Mark went through and thought it went about 80 more feet. We took day 8 off and went to an obsidian mine in the national forest an hour or so away from Lava Beds.


Cave and put in two survey shots for a total of 41.6 feet. On the way back to the car, Mark found Meadow Cave, about 60 feet in length with a 5 foot ceiling and about 30 feet wide. We did not have time to survey this. As always, it was hard to leave Lava Beds and harder still to wait until the next trip. The Lava Beds staff were very helpful as always and make the trip enjoyable and productive. Calypso Avenue Mammoth Cave, Kentucky May 28, 2017 By: Ed Klausner I had four remaining leads in Calypso Avenue in Mammoth Cave, close to tour trail in Blacksnake Avenue. I needed a relatively short trip for the second day of caving during the CRF Memorial Day Expedition. Calypso seemed to fit the bill. It was only later that I remembered why these leads remained on my list for so long. Karen Willmes and Tim Green (both small) joined me on this trip. The first three leads turned out to be non leads and all I needed to do was fix the old sketch. Unfortunately, the last lead in Calypso turned out to be 122 feet of wide but not very tall passage with lots of soot. We were face down in soot and it was difficult to turn my head to see the page and sketch the passage. If I have been pretty funny. We did manage to finish the passage and headed lypso Avenue passage. We had traversed almost the entire length of Calypso from the Bottomless Pit area to Ganter Avenue. At least those leads are now off the lead list.


Lower Cave Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico June 12 17, 2017 By: Ed Klausner For a six day expedition to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, we had two cartographers (me for Lower Cave and Dave West for Slaughter Canyon and the Music Room). Six other participants (Elizabeth Miller, Karen Willmes, Chris Beck, Mark Jones, Kayla Sapkota and Jennifer Ellis) switched between areas. My goal was to work on the leads remaining in Lower Cave, most of much, if any survey. In the end, a few did lead to a nice bit of survey (i.e., more than 2 stations.). This is typical for mopping up leads before a final map can be produced. On the first day, June 12th, Elizabeth Miller and Chris Beck joined me in a trip to Lower Cave to check on the remaining leads in the Central Boneyard and the Long Loop survey. The Central Boneyard is a confusing area as it is a three dimensional boneyard. The first lead resulted in 41.9 feet of new survey before it tied back to the previous known survey. The second lead was more of what I expected. It was far too tight after 8 feet, but at least it can now be added to the map with an indication that the passage becomes too tight. The next lead was accessed from the Lower Cave Long Loop. There was one area that was too delicate to go through, but fortunately, the passage was also accessible from the next lead and we were able to tie these two sections together with a disto shot from each end. Day two was dedicated to mopping up the sketch to show how it connects to the long loop below. Chris Beck, Kayla Sapkota and Jennifer Ellis Room, which consisted of a climb through a corkscrew followed by 3 fixed ropes with a number of rebelays. I resketched the confusing part and we did find a few small passages ful room. Day three was spent in the Central Boneyard off the Long Loop with Eliza b e t h M i l l e r , C h r i s B e c k a n d J e n n i f e r Ellis. We picked off a few leads remaining from the survey done several years ago. We found decent sized virgin cave towards the end of the day and left if for the following people to join me on day four, but unfortunately, the passage only continued for three more stations. Mark Jones, Karen Willmes, Jennifer Ellis and Kayla Sapkota joined me for this survey. The area held several more virgin passages, all no more that a few shots each. On day five, the objective was to Elizabeth Miller and Karen Willmes joined me on this trip. From a past trip, I noticed that the original sketch did not do the room justice and it needed to be resketched. This completed the area accessed to the right of the place where you climb down into Lower Cave. Finally, on our last day, lead checking boneyard was on tap with Elizabeth Miller and Chris Beck. The leads proved to be small and we surveyed two of them. There is more to do in this area and they will require a thin crew. We returned to an area of the Central Boneyard that had some leads listed as too tight. Since I was unfamiliar with this sketcher and what was considered too tight, we took a look at these leads. They were indeed too tight, but found the area really needed to be resketched. We used the original survey stations and just flushed out the details and passage walls. Thanks to Rod Horricks and Ellen Trautner in the resource office for all their continued help, and to the great crew who helped survey and check leads.


NSS Convention Rio Rancho, New Mexico June 19 23, 2017 Liz Robinson & Brad Smith We took the train from Galesburg IL and arrived a bit late. The train was delayed by heat on rails which made it a victim of the coefficient of linear expansion. When the rails heat up they lose shape which can cause derailments. With extreme heat the train can only go 20 25mph in some area and a crew member sometimes has to go out and inspect the track. In addition there are the usual delays due to the private freight railroads determining right of way which usually means Amtrak is the lowest priority. At any rate we finally got in and someone from the convention committee got us to our motel and the next day to registration. We also took a walk down to visit the vendors since the shuttle was not running. At over 100 degrees it was a hot walk indeed! I had to get a ride into town from Tom Pollock to get some meds for an arthropod bite I got on the train in my sleep (not sure if it was spider or insect but we never found the guilty party but I had a huge reaction to it) Monday we were able to rent a car (the car rental place was closed by the time we got to Albuquerque on Saturday. We picked up our rental car. We went straight to the digging section meeting meeting from the car rental place We missed the Fort Stanton presentation and the business meeting but we got in on some discussions on some other digs and we were able to sign in to reconfirm our membership. We also visited the Fine Arts Reception. In the evening was the Howdy Party. The meal included traditional New Mexican fare with choices or red or green (we both had both). After the food we visited with people and went to a star party being held in the campground sponsored by a local astronomical society. The moon was not the problem. There were wildfires in the surrounding area that put a huge amount of haze in the air that made observing difficult along with a relatively steady and high wind that caused the scopes to vibrate; nonetheless we did get good views of Jupiter and the four moons and Saturn and its rings with the Cassini Division, as well as Aldebaran a double star of blue and gold. Tuesday we visited the Cave Conservation meeting starting with Maria Perez's presentation on Caver Villages which included the Hawaiian expeditions and community. This was followed by a discussion on the status of cave conservation under the new presidential administration which will bring many challenges for cave conservation. There was a presentation on unusual golf ball retrieval instruments to clean muddied speleothems that was interesting. In the afternoon we attended Art Palmer's presentation on Sulfuric acid versus carbonic acid in cave formation and a presentation on the furmarolic ice caves of Mount Erebus in Antarctica and another on Pennington limestone caves. We found ourselves in an informal discussion on Fort Stanton Cave in the displays area which lasted until nearly 6:00. Wednesday was our day to catch up on some sleep. We did go to the campground party and watched the auction which brought in over $6000 to the NSS. We stayed around for a little while to visit with people. Thursday we went to the History Section meeting as well as the business meeting. Brad had a particular interest in attending a presentation on Schroeder's Pants Cave where James Mitchell died by Jack Speece. This was followed by a presentation by Ernst Kastning on a woodcut by Winslow Homer of people visiting a cave behind a waterfall. His paper was on his search to find the exact location the scene depicted. The last presentation by Bert Ashbrook, was on a cave map that was said to hang in Staunton, VA that Thomas Gilpin said he copied. We attended the special presentation by Dr. Jill Yeager for


the Biospeleology Section. Dr. Yeager found a new class of crustacean, Remepedia. The presentation included her story of the discovery and subsequent research on remipedes which she found cave diving in the Bahamas. There were additional presentations by others as well as snacks. It was nice to talk to her as well. Penny Boston was there and it was nice to visit with her. We had dinner that night with Bernice Gottschalk. During the evening we went to the full presentation of the Photo Salon. It ended up late so our socializing ended up early. Friday we fully planned to attend the Lightning Talks but ended up attending an Arts and Letters workshop on writing articles and getting them published. As Brad is interested and has been for some time, in publishing books, he found this workshop valuable. We joined the Arts and Letters Section, In the evening we went to the banquet. Merlin Tuttle was the guest speaker. He is no longer affili a t e d w i t h B a t C o n s e r v a t i o n I n t e r n ational, but has his own organization. The talk included a slide show with many of his best photographs and some videos of him working in the field with a bat who trained him to provide meal worms. The banquet lasted quite late but we did head over to the campground for a farewell gathering for a while before heading off to our motel. There were some items for sale from Bob and Bob which are being sold at a discount to pay for his late medical expenses. More will be available at OTR, including shirts and gear. If you are interested try to get to OTR or have someone shop for you. Contact Emily and Mike at Speleobooks as well. We stayed over Saturday night as my niece was getting married in Chicago Saturday afternoon. We attended the wedding via Skype along with two other people. It was a nice wedding but we could not have attended the full convention and gotten home on time. As it was our train was delayed 13 hours by a combination of heat on the tracks, freight train delays (freight so!) a need for a new additional locomotive to get us through Raton Pass, a severe hailstorm with 70 mph winds that left heavy rain and required a track inspection for us to get through the area of the storm (we saw a lot of flash floods in the area. In addition at, Las Vegas, NM the passengers across from us and another passenger in our car got into a confrontation when the man (who was allegedly very drunk) illegally opened a window on the door to sneak in a smoke (also illegal) and when confronted it appeared they were going to come to blows and the man was using some unrepeatable language. I saw this on my attempted trip to the restroom. Neither of us was that bothered by the lateness. In flying I have sat on the tarmac for hours with no air circulation and confined to my seat, dropped off at airports which I did not intend to fly into due to weather situations and left to my own devices to continue my flight, been delayed 13 hours due to weather or traffic conditions, not been fed anything but peanuts or pretzels, been delayed by losing my seat to overbooking, so sitting on the train for an extra 13 hours while getting both lunch and dinner was nothing to get excited about. My truck was in Galesburg so I had no connection worries. Coach passengers who normally get no free meals were given a free complimentary meal. Those who missed connections were being taken care of. We still plan to go by train to Helena Montana where the 2018 convention will be held. We look forward to that convention.


Photo Gallery Chris Beck doing inventory in Carlsbad Cavern. Photo by: Ed Klausner


Elizabeth Miller doing inventory at Lava Beds. Photo by: Ed Klausner


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