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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 54, Number 3 (May - June 2018).
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I N T E R C O M Volume 54, Issue 3 May June 2018 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 and family dues are $18.00 per year. INTERCOM subscriptions are only $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 March 1st. Send material for publication, e mail, disk or hard copy to: Editor and Typist: Jenny Hackman 319 290 9282 1313 245th St. Elgin, IA. 52141 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 November 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. There is no December meeting. If you would like to join the meetings through skype email Ed Klausner: Cover Photo: " by Scott Dankof. National Speleological Society P. O. Box 228 Iowa City, Iowa 52244 Chairman Ed Klausner Vice Chairman/Treasurer John Donahue Secretary Elizabeth Miller Volume 54 Issue 3 ______________C O N T E N T S _____________ Meeting Minutes 50 Trip reports: Lava Beds National Monument 51 South Castle Flow 52 __________CALENDAR___________ July Grotto Meeting Jul 25 Cancelled August Grotto Meeting Aug 22 125 Townbridge Hall at 7:30 PM September Grotto Meeting Sept. 26 125 Townbridge Hall at 7:30 PM October Grotto Meeting TBD Minutes of the Iowa Grotto Regular Meeting: May 23, 2018 The regular meeting was called to order by Chairman Ed Klausner at 7:40 PM. Three members were present in person and three by Skype. The business meeting was preceded by a slide presentation on survey trips of grotto members Ed Klausner, Chris Beck, Jeanette Muller, Mark Jones and Lizzy Miller to Texas, New Mexico and California.


Secretary Lizzy Miller read the minutes of the March meeting. They and April minutes were not available. Trip reports: All trip reports were covered in the slide presentation. Future Trips: The Iowa Grotto picnic is July 13 to 15th at Forestville/Mystery Cave in Minnesota. The MSS cornfeed will also be at Forestville/Mystery Cave August 17 19. The Crystal Cave sleep under is June 9 10. Convention will be in Hele n a M o n t a n a J u l y 3 0 A u g u s t 3 . O T R (West Virginia) is in Daily WV, August 30 September 3. Old business: Picnic plans for the annual picnic include a Friday trip into Mystery Cave at 7 PM. Regular Mystery Cave trips are suggested for kids and families. New Business: Vertical Training is planned but not yet scheduled. The July meeting has been canceled due to proximity to the picnic. The location of the August meeting will be The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 PM. Minutes of the Iowa Grotto Regular Meeting: June 27, 2018 The regular meeting was called to order by Chairman Ed Klausner at 7:45 PM. 6 members were present,3 via Skype. The business meeting was preceded by a slide show on caving in Mystery Cave State Park. Secretary Lizzy Miller read the minutes of the meeting. They were approved as corrected. Trip Reports: Ed and Elizabeth Miller had an aborted trip to the catacombs in Paris due to striking workers. It will be rescheduled. expedition to Mammoth Cave including some grotto members (CRF sponsored) in August. The NSS Convention is July 28 August 4, and the MSS Cornfeed August 10 12. Old business: Several members of the MSS will be assisting with IA grotto picnic trips. Goliath may not be enterable due to high water levels. No July meeting will be held due to closeness to the grotto picnic. New Business: The NSS sent out postcards to members in the guidebook, a commercial venture that will provide some money to the NSS. Also the NSS (not the white nose advisory committee) sent a letter to the National Park to demand opening of caving on Federal land. The US Forest Service and Dept. of the Interior which heads the National Park service. Discussion followed. The group agreed that there was no response to the NSS needed by the Iowa Grotto. The meeting was adjourned at 8:02 PM. Lava Beds National Monument Siskiyou County, California May 2, 2018 By: Mark Jones Back for round two of my Lava Beds National Monument tour I arrived early to inventory the food and set up for the others. The warm, sunny afternoon beckoned me to continue Trench. Three relaxing hours were spent weaving through the trench and the immediate area recording entrance leads with the GPS. Six potential leads were identified with two of them very tight surface tubes, two trench wall climbs and two breakdown crawls. The trench wall climbs are so close that they may connect and one of the breakdown crawls appeared to returns later this year these leads along with the leads that Bill Broeckel and I found in late April will be pushed. May 3, 2018 With the rest of the team arriving on Friday I took the time to visit the Heppe caves near its source, Mammoth Crater. According to the booklet Lava Beds Caves by Charlie and Jo by J.D. Howard after a family named


Heppe that camped there for a while, intending to raise livestock. The exthe site are lost, but finally, unable to make a go of their mountain homestead, they moved into an unused Bureau of Reclamation barge on Tule Lake, where Mr. Heppe lived only about a year before dying of pneumoin the lava fields of the high desert. A 0.4 mile trail up a gradual grade wound around to a clearing above a huge trench collapse with Hippo Butte off in the distance. The shear walls of this trench prevented anyone without vertical gear to properly descent but the trail continued around to another more managea b l e c o l l a p s e . H e p p e C h i m n e y , a h o r nito, is situated just to the north. This interesting volcanic feature rises twenty feet above the surrounding lava flow and drops thirty five feet to a terminal pit. From the rim of the collapse it is a hundred feet vertical down a well worn rock stairway in a respectable forty foot diameter lava tube to a shallow ten foot diameter pool amidst a roomful of ceiling breakdown blocks. Although named an ice cave it was clearly a seasonal occurrence as much of the pool was melted here in early May. Beyond the pool the rock stairway ascended past a sizable alcove to a downflow exit. This cave clocked in with about 150 feet of passage. Skirting along the right wall of the trench for over a hundred feet I soon reached the upflow entrance to Upper Heppe Bridge. A large pile of ceiling breakdown sloped down for nearly two hundred feet before rising to the downflow exit. Again the diameter of the tube was a spacious thirty to forty foot throughout. After another sizable trench collapse was yet another upflow entrance to the shortest segment of the predominant lava tube. Lower Heppe Bridge resembled the others only more compact, around a hundred feet long. I expected another trench collapse followed by another upflow entrance but when I topped the breakdown pile all I saw was a lava trench that disappeared over the horizon. Perhaps more passage exist downflow but I opted to saunter back overland to the trailhead. A visit to Heepe Caves is certainly time well spent for anyone while at Lava Beds National Monument. In addition to the usual woodrat (Neotoma sp.) scat I noted several large sticks below the nests of common ravens (Corvus corax). Several sagebrush lizards (Sceloporus sp.) scampered amongst the warm breakdown blocks throughout my journey. South Castle Flow Lava Beds National Monument Siskiyou County, California May 5, 2018 Mark Jones Cinco de Mayo Cave Scott House, Don Dunham and I left the Research Center and were wandering the lava field of the South Castle Flow by 8:00 a.m. with hopes of resolving some of the location snafus as well as putting more survey into the books. To familiarize ourselves with the situation we started where flow skylight collapse entrance of Malibu Cave. Last May we had found another cave a hundred feet just south, most likely the up flow continuation of the same flow. With Scott on book, Don on point and me the Disto X we started at a five foot diameter skylight collapse that dropped five feet to an easy hands and knees crawl heading north. A lava bulge on the left wall was the most distinctive feature of the tube. A pancake crawl pinched off on the right while fifty feet into the survey the passage swelled with an alcove on the right with a gnarly squeeze that continues too small. A


critter crawl. Total footage was 230 feet. Woodrat (Neotoma sp.) scat was the only indication of faunal usage seen by us. A Oho Cave For many centuries the Modoc Indian tribe roamed the high desert area of northeastern California and southwestern Oregon until conflict with ed their lifestyle. The Modoc War of 1872 73 ended badly for them with the tribe being scattered between Oregon and Oklahoma. In the last several decades the remaining Modocs have reestablished their culture in the area and in consideration of their connection to the Lava Beds we decided to assign Modoc names or words to some of the caves we discovered. Using the Dictionary of the Klamath Language we found appropriate words to attach to the cave. The first cave that we deemed significant was named A Oho Cave with A Oho being the war cry used by the warriors during the Modoc War. A six foot diameter skylight collapse offered us comfortable entry into a spacious lava tube. The cave only went twenty feet down flow to a solid lava wall but continued as a roomy hands and knees crawl up flow over a rough pahoehoe floor. Don reconnoitered ahead to find that the passage split and split again. With no hope of completing the survey today we tied off the last station after a hundred feet. A comfortable pace was set for the return trip with the threshold of the Research Center crossed at 5:00 p.m. May 6, 2018 Scott House, Don Dunham and I wanted to return to finish the survey of A Oho Cave and with the arrival of Bill and Judy Broeckel last night we would have a solid team to accomplish the task efficiently. We began with Scott on book, Bill on recon, Don total of 150 feet of survey was garnered in our first cave of the day. Cave fauna observed included a eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii) and a dipluran (Campodeid sp.) with plenty of woodrat (Neotoma sp.) scat noted throughout the survey. Coyote Comfort Cave Less than a hundred feet from Cinco De Mayo Cave was our next objective, Coyote Comfort Cave. This cave is identified with a brass cap over the skylight entrance. Starting at the hands and knees down flow entrance we shot over to the nearby skylight collapse and then continued in a narrowing crawlway to the up flow entrance. Although a person could use this as an exit it is easier to retreat back down the passage to the more civilized opening. From here we surveyed up a right hand belly crawl that didinsistence. Don kept pushing up flow past a sunbeam skylight forty feet to a lava plug. The left tube measured 63 feet, the right side clocked in at 113 feet and with ancillary passages the cave totaled of 250 feet. Signs of faunal usage included woodrat (Neotoma sp.) scat as well as other unidentified scat, most likely coyote (Canis latrans lestes). Frozen Wave Cave For the third cave of the day we chose the interesting Frozen Wave Cave. Located just east of Coyote Comfort Cave we started at a narrow bridge which we scooted under to find downflow along the left wall ninety feet to a ceiling breakdown choke at a brush filled skylight collapse with another forty feet added along the right side of the skylight. Back at the bridge entrance we surveyed upflow through a breakdown crawl another hundred feet until Don ran out of room although the tube continues as a


setting stations, me shooting the Disto X and Judy bringing up on rear tape. The five foot ceiling for the first fifty feet made for easy survey until the passage was split by a large pillar. Lava cascades filled both tubes making us crawl for the remainder of the survey. The left hand crawl continued sixty feet to another intersection where Scott decided to divide into two teams Scott, Don and Judy staying in the main crawlway with Bill and me taking the belly crawl off to the left down flow. For fifty feet we were in a wide hands and knees crawl over a pahoehoe floor before wriggling through a pinch for another fifty feet of crawling. Beyond this point the passage is too low but with the Disto X we were able to shoot another hundred feet to a down flow skylight! While Bill finished the sketch I returned to the surface to try to determine where the down flow opening was situated. Unfortunately this was not achieved but we have a good idea as to its general location. Meanwhile the other team was finishing up their survey at the upflow entrance. All told we ended up with 650 feet of survey! Woodrat (Neotoma sp.) scat was the only indication of faunal usage we observed. Que Mosso Cave After finishing A Oho Cave we trekked southeast a hundred feet to Que Mosso Cave one of the lost lava tubes that was finally found. Last year Bill and I searched in vain for it (the GPS location was 900 feet off) and yesterday we spent an hour of fruitless searching until Scott was able to decipher the recon cards of the area from 2004. It might have been useful to mention that it is fifteen feet down flow in the same brush filled skylight collapse as Frozen Wave Cave! Although Bill and Judy would be surveying this cave I wanted to explore the cave that had eluded me for so long. A three foot square entrance popped into a sixteen foot diameter anteroom that steeply sloped down flow to the northeast. A soft pumice floor gradually morphed into a tacky mud for the remainder of the crawlway. Three smaller side passages would require more of a commitment than I wanted to give. Addendum: At the end of the day this cave was at 150 feet with the smaller passages yet to be surveyed. Under the Sea Cave While Bill and Judy addressed Que Mosso Cave Scott, Don and I walked over to Under The Sea Cave south of Frozen Wave Cave. In all likelihood these two are part of the same flow. An eight foot wide opening in a shallow skylight collapse drops down four feet to a spongy pumice floor. The down flow tube extended fifty feet over a popcorn crawl before terminating in a rubble wall. A shallow, three foot diameter hidden along the west wall had been wallowed out at some time by some unknown creature (s). Expecting the up flow to do the same we were all surprised when Don kept setting more stations. Wrapping around counterclockwise in an easy pumice belly crawl we passed an alcove room to the southwest before making a light connection back to the entrance. Don had one more crawling lead to the south up a lava cascade coated in silt. It was unbelievable that 1) there could be a crawl any closer to the surface and 2) that there was silt in a lava tube. We pushed forty feet up this soft mud belly crawl but were stymied by a rock pinch. A Disto X shot added another forty feet to the survey for a grand total of 173 feet.


Sistine Chapel Cave a.k.a. Parallel Evolution Cave Although Sistine Chapel had a GPS waypoint there was no description or any other information on the cave. Before tying into it we thought it best to reconnoiter to see what we were getting into. I volunteered to check it out and slipped down into a twelve foot diameter skylight collapse into a spacious foyer. An easy hands and knee crawl sloped down flow for approximately a hundred feet terminating at a small breakdown entrance. Exiting the cave I returned to the foyer and crawled up flow to discover a connection to a parallel hands and knees crawl to the west. After a hundred feet it continues a bit snugger so I opted to return to the surface. This will be a fascinating cave to map but more than we want to tackle today. Dugout Cave While I was investigating Sistine Chapel Cave Scott and Don wandered to the southeast in search of more leads. Dugout Cave was a breakdown belly crawl lead in a skylight collapse that may or may not open up. An enticing cool breeze wafted out the entrance but it could be a rouse to lure in unsuspecting cavers. Blister Hole Cave After finishing reconnoitering Sistine Chapel Cave I roamed south to join the others. On the way I stumbled across a substantial skylight collapse with a breakdown pile to the south. Poking amongst the rocks I found a respectable entrance into a hallway of breakdown. A quick peek revealed this to be a four foot diameter tube that gradually slopes a hundred feet to the north. This should be a satisfying cave to survey. Bushy Sink Cave Not too far north of Dugout Cave Scott found a more inviting skylight collapse that I scoped out. Under the roof the passage balloons out to a sizable lava tube that trends north. I estimate this cave to be a hundred feet of comfortable hands and knees crawling. The last survey of the day brought the entire team back together in a forty foot diameter collapse south of Orange Peel Cave. Shaped like a quarter moon that pinched out on both ends and wider in the middle the north half of the collapse had passage under the dripline. Scott sketched, Bill was on point, Don set stations, Judy gave moral support and I shot the Disto X. The entire floor was covered in breakdown making it difficult to walk under the five foot ceiling. Near the entrance it appears that the left wall was coated in sooty remains of a fire. At the back (north) of the shelter is a skylight collapse that completely fills the passage beyond. Over forty feet was recorded in this final survey of the day. Woodrat (Neotoma sp.) scat was the only indication of faunal usage seen by us. Que Mosso Cave May 7, 2018 Bill and Judy Broeckel wanted to get an early start on surveying since they needed to get back to Yreka so we vacated the Research Center at 8:00 a.m. to close the book on Que Mosso Cave that they had began working on yesterday. The recon card had estimated a total length of forty four feet but so far 150 feet has been inventoried. It was a pleasant hike out to the South Castle Flow and after three days we had no trouble finding the skylight collapse entrance to Que Mosso Cave. For this survey Bill would be on book, Judy would be setting stations and I would be shooting the Disto X. We started at the passage split just


after the anteroom in the right hand tube (easterly). A forty foot long rough pahoehoe crawlway coated in lava popcorn required deliberate movements to reduce impacting the cave as well as ourselves. At the down flow end of the tube was a room decorated prevent an explosion of golden soda straws nor did the breakdown preclude widespread popcorn from covering the floor. Beyond the room the passage closed down to a lava choke that ended any hope of further exploration down flow. We then tied in a smaller thirty foot pahoehoe crawl that paralleled our first tube that was only separated by a thin wall of lava. Thankfully we could avoid this painful experience by shooting the Disto X from eimean that it was easy because the magnetism was playing havoc on the readings. The final survey was down a third pahoehoe crawl to the west that was even grabbier than the middle tube. The Velcro ceiling and floor stopped me with little chance of pushing into a slightly larger crawl but through the magic of the Disto X to flesh out this last crawl. It took a lot more time to survey this forty four foot cave than we had expected since over three hundred feet was recorded. Woodrat (Neotoma sp.) scat in the anteroom was the only indication of faunal usage seen by us. Parallel Evolution Cave As our team was finishing up Que Mosso Cave Scott House and Don Dunham were exiting the down flow entrance/ exit to nearby Parallel Evolution Cave. They had tallied 130 feet in a comfortable pahoehoe crawl with little in the way of complexity other than a breakdown filled side passage. We all met at the up flow skylight collapse entrance to strategize how to survey the remainder of the cave. Above this point was a pancake room that connected to a parallel crawl to the west. For this task Scott was on book, Bill would reconnoiter, Don was setting stations, Judy was on rear tape and I was shooting the Disto X. In the pancake room several branches radiated out and terminated with the only survey able passage to thing like what Scott and Don had just completed. This was no simple circular lava tube with plenty of elbowroom this was belly crawling over grabby pahoehoe with a low ceiling. An added challenge was a nippy breeze that alternately blew down flow and then up flow. Not too far into the passage was a classic example of a lava tongue but not much more to get excited about. As we progressed the ceiling height kept dropping until Don was questioning his ability to back up while pinned between the lava needles on the ceiling and the lava popcorn on the floor. I crawled ahead to take the final shot with the Disto X and was spared the forty feet of a miserable, tight if not impossible bellycrawl. gence on this survey we retreated to the surface where Scott tallied the results and declared that the two passages were nearly identical in length! The total survey netted 417 feet, quite a nice cave to have in the books. Woodrat (Neotoma sp.) scat was the only indication of faunal usage seen by us. Missing Link Cave On the way back to the parking area we wandered through the lava field where I spotted yet another skylight collapse entrance. Located west of Dugout Cave a quick peek showed that it was a worthy addition to the South just have to wait until next year. A


GPS waypoint was taken and the cave was named Missing Link Cave due to its place in the lava flow. So ended another successful Cave Research Foundation expedition at the Lava Beds National Monument. Everyone is looking forward to 2019!


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