All Due to unforeseen circumstances there will be no one to open the shop for our may meeting and no one to run the meeting. So we have decided to cancel the meeting. I look forward to seeing all of you in June and enjoy caving in May.
We voted to move the July meeting to the 9th to avoid the 4th of July holiday. Please come join us for a fun time with the squeezebox by Jon and great stories about caving.
Also meetings are a great way to get hooked up with cavers going on trips, come out and get ready to go caving in Colorado.
The procedure for decontaminating your gear nation wide (from the USFS) to protect against the spread of white nose syndrome has changed. The new order requires that you submerge your gear in 60° C (140° F) water for 20 minutes. It used to be at 50° C (122° F).
For more information on current white nose syndrome policies, practices, research and other information see http://caves.org/WNS.
There is a copy of the full change order here.
Many of you have probably heard the great news about our last camp a few weeks ago, but I thought I’d share a little more. The camp consisted of 2 teams of 3 people, and we managed to survey 9048.25 feet, bringing Jewel Cave’s length to 177.01 miles. We also have now surveyed a total of 5.3 miles of cave beyond the Southwest Splinter with no end in sight to that area. Many leads are left, lots of them walking, and several with airflow on the edge of the cave.
On day one, we attempted to find a bypass to the Southwest Splinter, one team on the near side and one on the far side. We got close, and actually surveyed passage that goes over the top of some old survey from the far side, but no connection, and it isn’t looking like there is going to be one.
On day two, the team I was with surveyed in a rim crawl that Ian and I had left on the previous camp out of Crushing Deep. This lead went 1500 feet to the southeast with airflow and we left many great leads down there, especially a couple deep booming fissures at something like 15′ X 30′. The other team surveyed in a side passage off of Pinnacles Expressway and made a connection back into Crosscut Boulevard, closing a 3500 foot loop.
On day three, my team found some really neat cave going at first south and southeast, until we hit a junction with a SW/NE huge fissure. We went SW. The NE looked a little more narrow but still went, and surface wise, it ends up crossing under a canyon, which is cool. The other team went north off of Crosscut Boulevard and got into some really exciting stuff at the end – big passage with big breakdown, going north/northeast.
So we really have cave going in almost all directions with great leads left. The only direction nothing seems to be going is west…interesting considering the amount of air beyond the Brr Hole.
On the 4th Tim led Howard and Avel to the GQ survey in the North section. They finished surveying leads off of Colgate Avenue, surveying 317 feet.
On the 10th, Marc led Kim and Matthew along the yellow and pink trails in the North Section. Their mission was to set up a drip collector along the northern part of the yellow route for drinking water. There is now a collector at GQ43, right along the trail to be used for drinking water. They then continued along the yellow trail, adding additional flagging where needed. They exited the cave via the pink trail to the red/white.
On the 11th, David, Jeff, and Matthew went to Calcite Jungle (GW and FZ surveys) in the southern part of the Club Room Section. They surveyed 591 feet.
Also on the 11th Randy led Emma, Justin, and Wes to the DO survey in the area of Andy’s Ice Box in the Half Mile Hall section. They finished surveying the leads that were left on the last trip for 496 feet.
On the 27th Marc led Derek and Evan to a lead in Silent Expressway that Evan had found 21 years ago. Yep, 21 years… It consisted of a dig lead that blew tons of air. In fact, it was the windiest passage that I have seen in Wind Cave. They dug until they were exhausted (digging with hands in soft rock flour) and the lead keeps going and blowing air… They also surveyed 577 feet in the area.
On the 28th, Blase led Derek and Evan to the UK survey in the Historic Section to survey leads along the recently resurveyed UK. They mopped up several leads for a total of 475 feet.
That is a grand total of 2,456 feet for the month! That is awesome considering that there was only 5 survey trips this month! Wind Cave is now at 144.68 miles. Optymistychna is at 146.6 miles. We are close to regaining our 5th longest status!
Reminder, this months meeting was moved
At the December meeting it was voted to move the January meeting to the 8th given that our normal meeting would fall on New Years Day. Still at Perry & Terry click here for directions.
Also Jon Schow is the new Vice-Chair and I’ve taken over Chair. Come on out and let’s kick of off this year of caving.
There were 3 survey trips at Jewel Cave in September 2014.
Lydia led two short trips to the OG survey in main cave for a total of 198 feet. Rod joined her on one of the excursions for his first survey trip in Jewel Cave!
Chris led a trip to the Low Places, beyond Cloud Nine and surveyed 305 feet.
There were two day trips to supply West Camp, and the campsite is almost ready to go. One more trip on Friday this week will finish off the water collector, and another two weeks later will check it to make sure it’s functional. The first West camp should happen over Veteran’s Day weekend if all goes according to plan.
Jewel Cave is 172.04 miles long.
Here is the low down at Wind Cave in September 2014.
On 9/3 Rod led Taylor, Hanna and Cody to the C Survey (Natural Entrance Tour) and continued with the resurvey, they also surveyed 185 feet of new stuff.
On 9/12 Chris led Steve, Ethan, and Bill to the NB survey in the eastern part of the Historic Section. They surveyed 31 feet, and their remaining leads were a bust.
On 9/22 Marc led several members of the LE and Fire staff of the park to Rome where they practice [sic] vertical SAR techniques.
On 9/24 Marc and Cody went to a lead along the NX survey (south of Rainbow Falls) in the Historic Section and surveyed 515 feet and named the area The Gentlemen’s Club.
On 9/27 Rod led Taylor, Ingrid, and Andrew the C survey (Natural Entrance Tour) to continue with the resurvey. They also picked up 153 feet of new survey.
The grand total of new survey for the month was 884 feet bringing Wind Cave up to 142.92 miles in length.
There was an exploration trip to the new discoveries out West on August 23rd, this past Saturday with Rene, Kelly, Chris, Larry and Dan. They surveyed 3,044 feet, so it was another big day. As before, the team split into two groups.
Larry and Kelly began checking some of the side leads along Pinnacles Expressway, and ended up surveying in one northeast – southwest trending passage (from where it intersected Pinnacles Expressway) for the rest of the day, in 15-40 foot tall passage. They left several leads behind that looked promising, some to the South and others headed North-Northwest. They racked up 1,350 feet of survey.
Dan, Rene and Chris continued the main passage south from station !?77 in 35 foot tall passage. They remained in the main Pinnacles trend for more than 1,000 feet, making Pinnacles Expressway one of the longest passages in the cave (longer than the Mind Blower!) at nearly 1/2 a mile. At the end of the passage, a deep pit dropped through the ceiling of a much larger room below. They found a horizontal bypass to the pit and emerged in the room below, which they ended up naming “The Crushing Deep.” From here it wasn’t obvious which way the cave continued, so they picked the most obvious, inviting-looking lead and surveyed several hundred feet more to the Northeast in 30-foot tall passage before the cave finally began to get smaller and they called it quits for the day. As it turns out, this area just to the Northeast of Crushing Deep is 64 feet shy of the deepest point in the cave at -594 feet.
Both teams combined left more than 40 leads to be checked, many of them walking. There are still numerous leads from the last several trips that we haven’t checked, either, so there will no doubt be plenty to do here for quite some time. It took us over 6.5 hours from the end of survey near Crushing Deep to reach Spooky Hollow on the way out. I think we’re all in agreement that we will begin focusing on establishing the new camp now that the end is so far out. The park has purchased most of the camp supplies already, and trips to begin ferrying stuff into the cave will start taking place next week. There are still some minor logistical hurdles to overcome, but our hope is to have the first camp sometime around Veteran’s Day if we can get everything up and ready by then.
With the survey from this past weekend, the cave length is at 171.94 miles. The furthest South point on the survey is as far South as the I40 pit in the southeastern part of the cave.
Rod has led four trips this month resurveying the Natural Entrance Tour route.
On 8/13 Marc led Scott and Clayton on a resurvey trip to the EK and G surveys in the Historic Section. They completed 140 ft.
On 8/14 Marc led Kim, Scott, and Clayton to Andy’s Ice Box area in Half-Mile Hall Section. They surveyed 254 feet before a team member became ill and the crew left early.
On 8/29 Marc led Kim , Cody , and Hanna on a resurvey trip to the OM survey in the Historic Section. They completed the survey with 117 feet and found a good lead for next time… This was Marc’s 500th trip off-trail in Wind Cave!
While at the park assisting with restoration work, Sandy led two survey trips netting ~100 feet.
The cave is currently 142.75 miles in length.