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January 1995 NearNormal News


Jim Jacobs


Jim Jacobs









From time to time the questions arise, "Why join the NSS? What does theNSS do for me?" Some of the more obvious answers are, The NSS News(published monthly) which informs us of national and international happeningsin the caving world, the Bulletin (the scientific quarterly), the yearlyMember's Index, which provides us with names and phone numbers (and nowinterNet addresses) of cavers across the country, and the Cave Accidentsreport. The national convention and regional events such as the MVORs, KentuckySpeleofest and the OTR also come to mind. It must also be recognized that theNSS disseminates information regarding governmental and political movementsthat can affect us as cavers. This is often information that reaches us late ornot at all through the usual media sources such as newspapers and TV. Thefollowing is reprinted from the NSS Administrative Memo of December, 1994, anddemonstrates yet another way in which the NSS works for us.



David Luckins, President



The October NSS NEWS carried a letter describing an unfortunate accident atNorman's Cave, West Virginia where a 62 year old woman fell during a"wildcat" Cave-for-Pay trip and broke both her ankles. Lawsuitsagainst the trip leader, a nearby commercial cave operator, and the land ownerwere filed as a result of the accidents. The suit against the land owner wasespecially grievous to cavers as this owner has been friendly to cavers and wasnot aware of any commercial use of his cave.

Cavers in the region explored several options for assisting the landowner.The Virginia Region played an active part in helping to define a role for theNational Speleological Society in assisting cavers who desired to support thelandowner in his defense. As a result of their leadership, the NSS Board ofGovernors adopted the following motion during its fall meeting on October 15,1994.

Moved that the NSS will assume a leadership role in representing caverinterests on landowner liability issues associated with cave accidents. Ourgoal is to foster an environment in which the cave owners are held harmless foraccidents in their cave during trips for which the landowner received no fee.

In particular, the NSS will actively assist the regional caver support forthe owner of the entrance to Norman's Cave, West Virginia, in his defense of asuit resulting from an accident in his cave.

As a result of that motion, the Executive committee of the NSS has taken thefollowing actions:

1. A restricted fund has been established to permit cavers to donate moneyto help defray the landowner's legal expenses as he defends himself.

2. The NSS Legal committee has been asked to assist the landowner's attorneywhere possible.

3. In order to be better prepared to assist landowners confronted withsimilar problems in the future, the NSS Land Owner Relations committee has beenasked to take an active role to:

A. Develop a legal discussion and list of precedence on these issues thatcould be provided to the landowner for his attorney to us in developing adefense.

B. Obtain copies of suits, dispositions, judgments etc. for such suits andprovide upon request when it serves our interests.

C. Seek to establish a favorable legal precedence for the principle that alandowner is not liable for injuries suffered by those who enter their cavewithout fee to the landowner and widely advertise our success.

D. Consider if further legislation may be necessary given current cave lawsand assist local NSS regions to develop such legislation.


I've spoken to the landowner, his family, and their attorney. The landowneris very moved by the expressions of support he has received from cavers andwants each of you to know how much your support means to him and his family.I've outlined the above plans to him and to his attorney, and they both welcomeand appreciate your assistance. You can help by doing the following:

1. Encourage your fellow cavers to donate to the defense fund by sendingcontributions to the NSS at 2813 Cave Avenue, Huntsville, AL 35810-4431. Makeyour check to the NSS, BUT be sure to include a note indicating the donation isfor the Norman's Cave Defense. That way, the money will be channeled into thecorrect account.

2. Timeliness is important. Please help by getting the word out to concernedcavers by using your grotto meetings, and by using your newsletters.

3. The Land Owner Relations committee has its work cut out. There's a lot ofresearch to be done in the legal stacks. If you are aware of a caver studyinglaw who may be able to help with the research, please contact Bill Thoman, 4905Ralph, Cincinnati, OH 45238.




If lawsuits such as this are permitted to succeed, then we might as wellfind another hobby. Landowners will be reluctant to allow us to enter theircaves if they are liable for any accident that happens there.

On another (and happier subject), the Near Normal Grotto is now THREE YEARSOLD, and we're bigger and stronger than ever! Happy birthday to us! We'rereceiving a steady influx of new members to reinvigorate the old members, andnew ideas are flowing in. We've completed our first big grotto project, themapping of the Blackball Mine, and are looking for permission and support forfurther research and activities in that area. There is the possibility ofanother research, exploration and mapping area for us just across the Missouriline. We will be able to provide further news on this possibility once theweather warms up, and we have more time to check things out. Since Don Coons isnot around as much as he used to be, and Kevin Rasmus' free time is limited, afew of us need to learn how to run book on mapping expeditions. Anyoneinterested?

If you are an NSS member, and want your email address listed in the 1995Members Manual, send your name, NSS number and email address totrea@delphi.com. If you were listed last year, no need to do it again.

On the subject of addresses, please note the following address changes:

Val Winston, 1221 W. Governor #11, Springfield, IL 62704, ph. (217)793-8699.

Eli and Sara Rodemaker, 78 East, 100 North, Smithfield, UT 84335, ph. (801)563-8234.

According to information from Kevin Allred, his trip last month extended thedepth of Kazumura Cave, a lava tube on the big island of Hawaii to a U.S. depthrecord of 888 meters (2,913 ft.). Total surveyed length now stands at 47.2 kms(29.3 miles). Kazumura has a linear straight-line distance of over 28 kms! Thismay be the longest linear cave in the world. It is currently the longest anddeepest lava tube cave in the world.

The Mark Twain Grotto has made good progress in their Highway 61 project.Many sinkholes and caves underlying proposed areas of blasting for the highwaywidening project have been mapped, and the information given to the MissouriHighway and Transportation Department. "There is a ten mile stretch ofhighway south of Frankford, MO that needs to be examined before constructionstarts. We may find caves that need to be recorded and brought to the attentionof the MHTD.", reported MTG president Dave Mahon. The project is ongoing,and there is still much to be done before construction begins less than a yearfrom now. If you would like to participate, just contact Dave at (217) 656-3849or Loren Fear at (217) 938-4331.

Welcome to new members:

Beth C. Reinke, 612 Creve Coeur dr., Champaign, IL 61821, ph. (217) 398-5768

Angela J. Carson (wife of David), 2421 E. Washington #8-91, Bloomington, IL61704, ph. (309) 663-5790

We just keep growing...and growing...and growing.

At our upcoming meeting on the 27th of this month, there will be somespecial surprises in honor of our birthday. I understand that there may be twomethods of entry into the meeting; the active caver's entrance, and thearmchair caver's entrance. Sources of light will be provided. SEE YOU THERE!


IN THIS ISSUE.........

*NORM ROGERS describes his return trip to Great Onyx Cave, and perhapsdiscovers something about himself and why he caves.

*New caver, PAT O'CONNELL reports on his first vertical cave trip, and howSanta Claus was good to him.

*ALAN CRESSLER and company blast open a blowing crack to find new cave.

*DAVE MAHON gives us a tip on repairing crawlway-split boot toes.

*DONALD DAVIS opines on the impact of publicity on caves.

*A NEWS RELEASE on progress in Lechuguilla.

*Tips on cave photography by JOHN HELLSTROM.

*A discussion on fees for the use of caves on public lands.

*PATTI KAMBESIS provides suggestion on food for long cave trips.


*ANMAR MIRZA gives us a first-person account of the recent rescue in ReevesCave, Indiana

*We finally find out why JIM JACOBS caves. I think.


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July 15, 1992

Norm Rogers


Participants: Norm Rogers, Dave Mosley, Mike Lorance, Jeff Grant


This article is a continuation of one published in the last NEWS. To get thefull story, refer to the article entitled "Great Onyx Cave" in theNovember issue.

While attending the following year's restoration camp at Mammoth Cave, wetook some time to push our new lead in Great Onyx cave. On the previous trip,we were forced to turn back due to lack of time. Now, we were determined topush the lead until we could go no further. We quickly made our way to ourprevious point of exploration--the T junction. At that point, we decided totake the lower route in the water because it was the easiest way. It washands-and-knees in water up to our elbows and the chilly water numbed ourfingers and knees, especially after having already gotten completely wet fromthe water crawl leading to the dam.

After about 75 feet, the stream in which we were crawling dropped 10 feet tothe floor of a room 20 feet high and seven feet wide. We had left our climbinggear back in the River Room, and the drop was too tricky to fee climb. Anarrow, muddy slot continued over the top of the room, so we decided to get tothe other side that way. The mud was three inches thick on the sides of theslot, and every move we made put us in danger of sliding through and falling tothe floor below. We had to wedge our knees against one side of the slot, andour backs against the other while trying to move forward by digging our elbowsinto the slippery mud.

By the time we reached the far side of the room, and climbed down to thefloor, our arms were trembling from the strain of trying to keep from slidingdeeper into the slot. As we rested, we could see two good leads at oppositeends of the room. The stream that fell from the crawlway spattered noisily intoa pool of water that covered the floor. The pool drained out of the room intoan inviting hole. The other lead was through a small opening lined with popcorn.That would be our first objective.

Dave Mosley led us into the popcorn crawl. The popcorn snagged our clothesand the passage twisted in such a way as to make it almost impossible tonegotiate. Dragging our wet clothes and packs through the tight passage sappedour strength. Climbing up to a higher level, we found a comfortable crawlwaywhich moved a good amount of water. We crawled upstream for several hundredfeet until the passage began to pinch down a bit. We had to crawl on our elbowsand knees and things were not looking like fun up ahead as the ceiling becamelower still. Soon we were forced to belly crawl in the cold water.When werested, we all thought of the inviting drain back at the other end of the largeroom. We turned around without pushing the lead to the end.

We made our way back to the large room and dropped into the drain.It startedas a hands-and-knees crawl, but quickly changed to stooping and then to walkingpassage. It was winding and narrow, but a real pleasure after having to crawlall the way to get there. As we progressed, the water got deeper. First waistdeep, then chest deep. We decided to send a couple of people ahead to see whatthe passage did. Dave and Jeff volunteered, but shortly returned with the sadnews that the water got too deep to walk, and the walls provided no footholdsto go any further.

We turned around and made our way back to the large room with our spiritseven gloomier than this deep, wet part of the cave. My carbide lamp went out.As I sat against the wall in ankle deep muddy water, I poked feebly at my lampwith a tip cleaner. We were soaking wet, chilled to the bone, and still had along hard trip to the entrance of the cave. "What a stupid hobby thisis!", I said out loud. At that point, no one disagreed. We all feltmiserable.

If there were an epilogue to this story, it would be the same as many othercave trips. We made it out of the cave without incident--hating every minute ofit, but when we got out, we felt great, almost euphoric. We bragged to all ofour friends as to what a great trip it was. We didn't reach our mainobjective--to find large amounts of big, walking cave, but perhaps somedaysomeone will go back and find very little water in the same passage in which wehad turned around, and make further discoveries. It usually happens that way.

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BUDDHA CAVE, Buddha IN. - SHOWCASE CAVE, Bloomington IN.

Pat O'Connell


With the holidays about us, and a little vacation time available, Jim andMarty Jacobs willingly agreed to take a novice caver with them to southernIndiana. That novice was me, Pat O'Connell. I was biting at the harness to go.Santa was very good to me. He brought me some really nice toys, and I wanted toget the chance to use them. I'm new tothe Grotto and caving. I've known Jim for quite a long time. He would tell meabout going caving and how much fun it was. I was pretty skeptical, until hetalked Kathy (my wife) and I into joining the trip to Illinois Caverns lastfall. We had a blast, and got hooked. My next trip was to southern Illinois forsome repelling. We repelled off a cliff at Cove Hollow. Well after all thisit's no wonder what the Christmas list looked like!

With new toys in hand we left Bloomington (IL) at 7:30 am on Thursday, Dec.29th. We had reserved a room at the Rosemount Motel in Bedford IN. It turn outto be a pretty adequate motel for a caving trip. After checking in, we got ourcaving clothes on, and started for Buddha. Jim and Marty have both been therebefore on a previous trip. This made finding the cave a lot easier. Uponarriving at the farm house who's property the cave's on, Jim went up to getpermission. No one was home so he left a note telling who we were, and that wewere going to the cave. To get to the cave you have to walk through thepasture, which was probably the toughest and scariest part of this cave.Toughest being the fact you had to watch every step you took to keep fromstepping into the fresh cow patties. Scariest for Marty, because she really doesn'tlike the cows that much.

As we entered the cave you could hear the rushing of water, a stream runningin and disappearing into a hole at the cave floor. We had to climb over and upto a ledge, about 10 feet high. From there we crawled through a opening, andmade our way through the passage. A short while later, we had made our way tothe place in the cave where a crevice splits the floor open to a lower level.While Marty and I were still trying to figure out how all our harness anddescending equipment goes on, Jim rigged the rope to the lower level. Thedescent was a success and breath taking.The formations in the lower level were gorgeous. I took only a few pictures inthis cave. My camera only had a few shots left on it. I wish I would havepicked up more film. There was a small waterfall here. Jim and Marty said theyclimbed up through it last time they were there. Marty, being the one to lookfor the easier route, found a ledge to take to avoid the waterfall. Wefollowed! We think we found the buddha of the cave (a formation resembling afat little buddha, with a bowl in front of him). This is a very decorated andbeautiful cave. We were able to make our way as far as you could go, until thestream and the cave ceiling met.

On the way back out I tested my camera to see how well it would survivefalling and bouncing off a couple of ledges. Happy to say it survived quitewell. Everyone ascended without any trouble or help. By the time we made itout it was already dark, and as we approached the farm house the cows which wespooked herded away in a roar ofthunder. Marty kept swearingthere was something behind her.

After a hot shower, and some clean clothes, we headed for the Pizza Hut. Onour way to get pizza we saw what looked like a really nice Christmas lightdisplay. So after we ate we detoured are return to the motel. The display turnout to be just breathtaking. The entire house was covered with lights ,including the roof. This wasn't one of those one story ranch type houses. Thiswas an old two story house with a walk up attic. It was simply gorgeous.Definitely worth seeing if your in the area at that time of year. We then madeour way back to the motel , where we settled down for a long nights sleep.

The next day , our intentions were to drive up to Bloomington, IN. andexplore Buckner's Cave. Upon stopping at our second caving supply shop, Jimbravely asked the proprietor ( Buddy Rodgers ) if we could be lucky enough tosee his cave , "showcase". After scrounging around for the key, heobliged us. His shop is "Bent Arrow Caving Supplies". He custom makesa lot of his own bags and harnesses. His work looks pretty first rate. Buddygave us directions from the shop on how to get to the cave. After we got ourgear all together and suited up, we started for the cave. Buddy could havesaved giving us directions though, because his dog led us right to the caveopening. The opening to this cave is an iron gate over a man hole in the woods.It starts out as an 8 foot climb straight down a narrow chimney. Then has anarrow crawl over a crevice, with another 10 foot climb down. From there youhave to slide and climb down an additional 10 feet to were the cave opens upinto a large room with a 7-8 foot ceiling. Since none of us had ever been inthis cave before, Jim decided to leave a lightstick to mark the exit.

This cave is a rather damp wet clay cave. There are some rather niceformations though throughout the cave. We explored about all of the cave wecould get through. At one point I thought I had discovered this really neatplace with a big room, then Marty pointed out that this is where we hadstarted, " oh yeah ". We then went in a different direction through acrawl way. It opened into a large room with a lot of breakdown. At one end ofthe room was a crawl way to another room, this one being probably the mostdecorated. Upon making our way to the back of this room we found a figure of alittle man made of clay, later Buddy would tell us that its been there for 5 ormore years. We made our way back to where Jim had left the lightstick. Beforewe made our way back to the world above, Jim got out his little stove and madea cup of tea for us. The climb out was a little tough. Instead of climbing upthe one end of the second level and crawling over the crevice, I opted to saveon the crawl and just chimney up the other end. After getting my bag and Jim'sbag up, I then made my way up to the first level. Next came Marty to the secondlevel then Jim. Marty decided to take the way we came down back up, and Jimfollowed me. Marty didn't like the crawl, but she didn't think she couldchimney up the way Jim and I did. Well we all made it out just fine, and ournext problem arose when we tried to lock the gate and couldn't get the key tocome out of the lock. We had been forewarned by Buddy that it could be prettystubborn. Well stubborn wasn't the word for it. We all tried and tried until wefinally gave up. We took the lock and key back to Buddy , who decided it wastime for a new lock. I ran back to the cave and locked up. There was some youngcavers at the shop on our return. After talking with them for awhile about thecaves in the area, we told them about our trip to Buddha the day before. Theytold us they had been to Buddha before but had never done the lower level. Thetime they were there, someone had already set up ropes at the crevice. Thepeople below yelled up that they could use the rope if they wanted, but justdon't take the rope! Well this struck Jim as wild, because he and Marty were inthe group that had set up the rope, and had just descended. They were the onesthat had yelled up. Small world isn't it!

Marty went ahead and drove us down to the end of the road so they could showme where Buckner's Cave was. Jim and I hopped out and walked down to theentrance, and he showed me the beginning of the crawl way. We then made our wayback to Bloomington IN., where we ate supper at McDonald's, then headed forBloomington IL.

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Alan Cressler

NSS 24392



For me, the TAG Fall Cave-in weekend use to be a party and socializing eventand caving was the secondary reason to attend. Since 1990 that has changed. Istill socialize but it is a normal caving weekend for me. In my effort to do asmany caves as I can, I found myself back in Orme, Tennessee looking for a cavethatI had failed to find in the summer of 1992.

Despite all the good trips that were leaving the Cave-in, on Saturday,October 8, I managed to lure a crew consisting of Chris Hudson, John Adler, andHarald Anderson to look for Orme Pit # 1. We were equipped with a better pointthan I had back in 1992. It didn't take long for us to find it. The pit is amostly freefall 96 foot blind shaft. Our plan was to do the pit then headacross the valley to Waterworks Cave but when we got back to the vehicles, myfriend Little Wayne Godsby was home at his trailer near the parking area. Italked to Little Wayne for a while about life in Orme and going to WaterworksCave. Just as we were about to leave, he told me about a man up the"haller" that had a deep hole that he might want checked out.

After getting directions to Mr. M.C. Larson's house and a warning that hewas old and a little funny to get along with, we walked up into Payne Cove tothe end of the road. Mr. Larson was sitting outside his rustic house in an oldchair under a mulberry tree. We found him to be rather pleasing. He indeed didhave a hole that he had known about for thirty years. He told us that it was200 ft deep and had a lake at the bottom. How many times have we heard that, Ithought. After looking at all of us, he said he didn't think we would fit. Iconvinced him that we were skinnier that we looked. Being 70 years old and withsteel hip parts, he had no trouble climbing the mountain to the area. Irecognized the contact and started looking on my own. I basically walked rightto the small sink. Everyone showed up after I bowed them down.

Mr. Larson was right, the crack in the bottom of the shallow sink was onlysix inchs wide and 6 ft long. There wasn't a rats-ass-chance-in-hell that wewould fit. Harald is one skinny man and he couldn't even get his butt cheeksinto the crack. We dropped our first rock down; there was a significant delaybefore we heard an echoing boom and splash. Talking about exited! We droppedrock after rock down the pit. We could even see the lake at the bottom with awheat lamp. There was one major problem, we could see that the crack was toonarrow for 15 ft before it belled out to 40 ft in diameter. Blasting would bethe only way. I knew just the man for the job. Before we left, we did the onlydigging we could do with a hammer. We also tied the two ropes we had togetherwith a rock on one end and lowered the rock to the bottom and hand-stroked therope as it was pulled out. Our hand-stroked figure was 150 ft.

I talked to Mr. Larson about blasting. He had done plenty of time in the oldcoal mines of Orme, so blasting was no problem to him. Besides, he wanted to knowwhat was at the bottom as bad as we did. Before we left the cove, we locatedtwo other caves that he had told us about. Larson's Spring Cave was 60 feetlong and 25 feet vertical and Home Brew Cave was 60 feet long and 30 feetvertical.

Back at the Cave-in, the story circulated quickly. I for one being ablabbermouth, told all my blabbermouth friends and before long we not only hadour blaster but a cast-o-thousands to help. The rain that began Sunday morningwimpered all but eleven of the truely crazed. Andy Porter, Chris Hudson, JohnAdler, Harald Anderson, Jerry Reeves, Marion Smith, Maury Benamy, Shawna Owen,Jim Smith, Doug Strait and I were equipped with tarps and other rainprotection. Jim was going to use his gasoline powered drill with 9 and 18 inchdrill bits to make the shot holes and the wonder powder to make a classic. Itrained about half of the day. A total of six blast echoed down upper DoranCove. Hours were spent cleaning shattered rock between each blast. Jim is sogood with his technique that we were going down about 18 inchs at a time. Atthe end of the day, the right wall was large enough for nine feet. We were notonly out of time, but out of blast.

Andy, Doug, Jim and I spent the night near the Sinkhole. Monday was ColumbusDay so we had the day off. Jim had to drive to Chattanooga to buy some moreblast. He met us at Russell Cave around 1100am. We stopped and chatted withLittle Wayne and Mr. Larson for a while before we headed up the mountain. Theywere going to join us after a bit. Andy worked on the hole before Jim stateddrilling. While Jim was drilling, Little Wayne and Mr. Larson showed up with abag full of Diet Pepsi and a tall Budweiser for Mr. Larson. Jim did three moreflawless blast that barely made Mr. Larson flinch as he told us veryentertaining stories about the old days and coal mining.

After one more hour of wall cleaning, I got my gear on and rapelled thoughthe narrow spot and into the huge void. We had made a freefall classic that wetaped at 161 feet! I landed on the edge of the large pool. I stepped into thecontinuing canyon and yelled off rope and to bring more rope. Jim was the nextdown. A walking canyon went about 30 feet to a pit that looked to be 40 feetdeep. Water issued from the left wall and made the next pit wet. Jim found arig point and yelled as he rapelled through the waterfall. We taped the pit at39 feet. Andy and Doug were quickly down and we began scooping the continuingcanyon. Jim was in front as I improved the passage behind him. Within 150 feet,the narrow canyon began to drop as we encountered climbdowns of 4, 7, and 8feet into a large room with massive breakdown on the floor. Jim, Doug, and Andycontinued into the big room and I investigated where the water was going. Icleared some breakdown and found a 25 foot pit. We didn't have any more rope soI began looking for a climbdown bypass. After finding a route that looked likeit would work, I joined the rest of the crew in the big room. I found theskeleton of a small carnivore, most likely a weasel or mink like animal, in thepassage that Jim and Andy were in.

We never found a way out of the room so we went back to my lead. A 20 footclimbdown reached the bottom of the 25 foot pit. At the bottom, there were somemassive sandstone boulders, that most likely originated from the surfaceravine, that formed a 15 foot climbdown to a point where the water went into away too tight, rubble-filled crack. After that, we began our journey out. Dougchecked out an upclimb in the 150 foot long canyon, that connected back to the39 foot pit, about 25 feet up. We pushed the most obvious passages, but thecave was by no means totally pushed. Chris Hudson's mapping project may yield away on. Our official estimate on the depth is 265 feet, with a length of 400feet. The cave continues over 100 feet below the valley floor.

Mr. Larson was very pleased to find out what he had. I provided him somepictures of his cave. The pit is a true

classic, even if we did have to improve the first 13 feet. In a couple of years,only the most astute will recognize it as a blast site. As a generalprecaution, everyone who does the pit should be aware that it is a blast siteand the possibility of rock fall does exist. We worked for many hours toprevent this. Don't get flatrocked, REMOVE any loose rock that you see. We haveonly one request from Mr. Larson. He wants the pit covered after each use. Wehave provided an old cedar tree top that should be placed in the hole. Letskeep this now friendly landowner happy. Chris Hudson completed the surveyseveral trips later. His reduced data revealed the cave to be 270 feet deep anda horizontal extent of 403 feet. The cave went to near base level very quickly.The survey did not produce a way out of the big room. I am still convenced thatthere is a major cave type drain in Payne Cove, Larson's Well could still bethe way in.

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Dave Mahon

Mark Twain Grotto


Boots are in contact with cave surfaces more often than any other cavingapparel. Soles are built to resist harsh surfaces, although most soles do notprovide protection for boot toes. I have seen and experienced premature bootfailure due to boot toes splitting after numerous crawls.

I am pleased with the performance of my American made deep-lugged jungleboots, although one toe began splitting after approximately 40 cave trips. Ihave developed a low cost remedy that may also be used to protect new boots.

An old boot, shoe, purse, etc. can be used to provide a strip of leatherlarge enough to cover the front surface of the toe. An excellent adhesiveshould be available at the sporting goods departments of K-Mart. SHOE GOO,distributed by Eclectic Products cures to a somewhat flexible state andprevents the added leather strip from separating from the boot toe, even in wetconditions.

The first step of the boot repair requires making a template to the correctdimension of the boot toe. The template should be used to mark an outline onthe leather to be cut. After cutting and cleaning the leather strip, apply someSHOE GOO to mating surfaces. After the leather strip has been applied to theboot tip, try to stretch the strip over the tip. Secure the strip with ducttape until the adhesive has cured. After removing the tape and tape adhesiveresidue, apply a bead of SHOE GOO around the entire perimeter of the leatherstrip. Let the SHOE GOO cure several days, and you're ready to crawl again.

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Donald G. Davis



There are two kinds of destructive human impact on caves: focused impact anddiffuse impact. The former is the kind caused by mines, quarries, dams, urbansprawl, etc., wherein some large-scale outside force overwhelms caves. Thelatter is the cumulative effect of human cave visitation. Where a focusedimpact threatens, high-profile publicity may be necessary to mobilize opinionagainst the threat. But in regard to diffuse impact, I maintain that publicityis always harmful.

Advocates of publicity often maintain that education will nullify the damagedone by cave visitors. This argument is sound in fields like wildlifemanagement, where the resource has a significant renewal rate, and if a fairmajority of people can be persuaded to behave well, the resource can staystable. But it overlooks a fact that seems to me much underappreciated by cavemanagers: caves differ from most recreational resources in being essentiallynonrenewable.

This means that if 99 of 100 people who cave as a result of publicityrespond positively, but one responds negatively, the one can cause more harmthan might have happened if none had had the subject brought to their attentionin the first place. And the 99 "good" cavers will have their owntraffic impact that may be worse than the indeterminate but lesser traffic thatwould have occurred in the absence of publicity. High-profile strategies arethus very risky in this field. If they work badly, the damage can't be undone.And I have thus far made the very charitable assumption that the high-profilepractitioners have only the welfare of the caves in mind. Unfortunately, thepractice lends itself too well to contamination by the prospect of money, fame,and so on for the publicizers, as well as corruption in the minds of theaudience, who can easily forget the nuances and be left with the impression ofcaving as just another "adventure sport" (even in this forum, cavingis often labeled a "sport," which drives me up the wall--but that'sanother subject--).

Of course, all of us here are pure of mind, and wouldn't dream ofpublicizing caving for any but the most highly moral reasons. If you must usethis as a conservation technique, it is most excusable in heavily-populatedregions where focused impacts are a relatively large proportion of the damage.In areas like the western U.S., where diffuse impact is still the main problem,it is largely indefensible. Regarding the book "Caves of Colorado" specifically,I was one who opposed its publication in 1973. It was not only debated, but itsauthor was in fact censured formally by the NSS (not for publishing it, but forexcessive public advertising and distribution). In 1994 I have no doubt that ithad, and continues to have, a significant negative effect on our caves. Severalpeople now in organized caving have told me they were started caving by thatbook. Most of these are good cavers, and some may see this as a desirablething. However, for every one of these, there are probably many more who havejust been aided by the book to add their impact to the caves, without anypositive compensation. The book has more than once been seen in cars parkednear caves, and photocopies of maps from it have been among the litter pickedup in them.

In a past exchange of this kind, someone quoted scripture, declaring that"we shouldn't hide our light under a bushel." I responded that"we shouldn't cast our pearls before swine"! I remain convinced thatthe caves are best served by keeping our discussions of the subject within thecaving fraternity whenever possible.

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Over 11 miles added in 1994!


News Release

National Park Service

December 29, 1994

by Bob Crisman


A total of 14 exploration and science trips were conducted in LechuguillaCave in Carlsbad Caverns National Park in 1994, adding 11.2 miles to the cave'sknown length.

As 1994 ends, and 1995 begins, the mapped length of Lechuguilla Cave standsat 80.4 miles. Less than 10 years, in May 1986, when a major explorationbreakthrough occurred, Lechuguilla Cave was thought to be less than 250 feetlong, or not even as long as a football field! Now, it is the third longestcave in the United States, and the fifth longest cave in the world. Discoveryof a loop closure error in survey records has resulted in a correction ofLechuguilla Cave's depth, which is now 1,566 feet. However, it still remainsthe deepest limestone cave in the U.S., and is exceeded in depth only by a lavacave in Hawaii, which is over 2,000 feet deep.

Among the scientific trips into Lechuguilla Cave in 1994 were visits by ateam of NASA scientists in April, and again the week of December 11th. The NASAscientists are studying some of the 600 strains of microbes found in the cavefor clues to potential life forms beneath the surface of planet Mars. Otherscientists are studying the cave's microbes for potential medical applica-tions, including possible treatments for cancer.

NPS officials who are responsible for management and approval of trips intoLechuguilla plan to approve six trips into the cave in 1995 for exploration,along with several additional science trips.

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John Hellstrom


I've always thought taking a nice SLR camera into a damp gritty cave vergedon vandalism. For the last 5 years I've been using an Olympus AF-1 point andshoot camera, with up to five slave flashes (strobes, flashguns, anything elseyou want to call them).

Many 'serious' cave photographers wouldn't be seen dead with anything lessthan an SLR, as the lenses in these smaller cameras do give a grainier image.In truth, if you're using 100asa film, the grain of the film is still thelimiting factor (as long as you're using one of the more expensive point andshoot cameras). Mine has had sand in the lens for a couple of years now, but itstill produces sharp photos. The biggest problem is the flash being only 40mmfrom the lens, as even in caves where there's no problem with mist in front ofthe camera, you still get a flat and unconvincing photo.

I have tried three ways round this: The first is to shield the flash withaluminium foil, so the light is reflected sideways out of the photo, to where aslave flash is triggered, usually at arm's length from the camera. This worksfine, but the slave always has to be on the same side of the camera.

Another way is to tape exposed slide film over the flash, blocking visiblelight, but still apparently letting enough (IR?) light through to trigger theslave. This also has it's drawbacks, as it reduces by about a factor of fourthe distance at which a slave will trigger, and unless you're careful you can stillget a little steam in the photo.

The third way is to tape the simplest slave unit you can build to the flash,so absolutely no light escapes, and have a cable to a second flash (it would bea bit simpler if you could just plug it in to the camera, but that's notusually an option. In all three methods, the first slave flash triggers as manyothers as you care to use. Infra-red focus is fantastic underground, as theonly way you can get a blurred photo is to have a carbide lamp flame in thevery centre of the viewfinder.

Most p/s cameras have a fixed aperture (mine is 2.8), and expose the photocorrectly by varying the intensity of the flash. When you take the photo, youknow that the shutter will be open for about 1/15th, at f2.8, and can set yourflash(es) accordingly. Most p/s cameras have 35mm lenses, which seem ideal forcaving (you can get closer to subject, so need less lighting). I haven't triedone with a zoom lens underground, but I've heard bad things about them - ifyou're going to carry something that big and fragile, might as well take anSLR. A lot of p/s cameras are water resistant (you can get fully waterproofones too, but they're a bit more expensive), so you can handle them with wethands, and get mud on them etc (this is possibly their biggest advantage). Ikeep my camera and slave flashes in a plastic lunch-box, which is small enoughto take on any caving trip, so you tend to get more photos. Also it's veryfast, as you don't need to use a tripod or be especially careful with the camera,so you don't piss off the rest of your party by wasting their time withprotracted photo stops. Only one big minus - you can't do long exposures. Allthe New Zealand cave photos on Sherry Mayo's cave page were taken using my p/scamera (although unfortunately they haven't all converted from24 to 8 bitcolour very well - does anyone know of a good unix or mac application to dothis??) Gone caving, John

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The following is from a discussion from the Caver's Digest of the movementto charge fees for access to caves on government property. Fees are alreadybeing charged for climbing some mountains in the U.S. If this becomes generalpolicy, look for the fees to escalate as our population increases and thepressures on our outdoor recreation areas rise. I was mildly annoyed by thisprospect, until I got to the final letter from Roger Haley, who shows just howfar this trend has been taken in some foreign countries who charge LARGE fees forthe use of their mountains, such as the $50,000 charged by the Ministry ofTourism of the Government of Nepal for a seven member trip up Mt. Everest($10,000 for each additional person!). Then I got worried!--Ed.




Something is afoot that all cavers should know about and have the time torespond to before it becomes the law of the land. It has come to my attentionthat the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has decided to start charging cavers afee to utilize BLM administered caves in the West. (New Mexico for openers)

This fee has yet to be determined but my information has it that it will besubstantial. The cavers in the west need to communicate with their electedofficials, NSS and/or CRF and express their concerns about this upcomingpolicy.

Local government officials, (BLM) are being pushed into the implementationof this policy, apparently by edict from Washington D.C. The cavers who utilizeBLM administered caves need to be made aware that if this projected policy isnot stopped, we will be paying, at least twice (taxes plus fees), for theprivilege of using public land which, of course, you know we own. Conversationswith Cave Managers within the BLM in New Mexico confirm that a fee is beingconsidered to use these BLM administered caves and it will be sooner not later.The fee will include an application for permit fee (non-refundable, even if thepermit is not granted!) plus a per capita user fee of rather large proportions.As I see it, this simply adds to the bureaucracy, and in order to cover the paychecks of the people required to do the necessary accounting (in triplicate, tobe sure), the fees must be relatively astronomical. They certinly do not havethe personnel to accomplish this task right now.I am posting this message, notas a member of the Board of Governors of the NSS but as a concerned caver whoutilizes BLM administered caves in the west. I intend to continue this fight tooverturn the pending policy in any means that I can. I will seek membership inthe NSS ad hoc committee that has been set up to study this recent event. Ifeel strongly that this is wrong and every caver should notify BLM of theiropinion. I will welcome any response from fellow disgruntled cavers and I willsee to it that any correspondence to me will be delivered to the proper BLMoffice. There are several Official malling addresses you can send yourresponses to:

William C. Calkins

State Director

Bureau of Land Management

P. O. Box 27115

Sante Fe, NM 87505


Jim Goodbar

Recreation Specialist

Bureau of Land Management

Carlsbad District

P. O. Box 1498

Carlsbad, NM 88220


Mike Bilbo

Recreation Specialist

Bureau of Land Management

Roswell Resourse Area

P. O. Drawer 1857

Roswell, NM 88202-1857




Chet Hedden writes in #4975:

>On Mon, 21 Nov 1994, (Dave) Belski wrote:

"The cavers who utilize BLM administered caves need to be made awarethat if this projected policy is not stopped, we will be paying, at least twice(taxes plus fees), for the privilege of using public land which, of course, youknow we own."

Dave, everyone in the country pays taxes, but only a few "use"caves under public land. National parks already charge user fees, yet the sameargument could be made--i.e., that the parks are "owned" by thetaxpayers. Such "ownership," however does not give everyone unlimitedrights to plunder (or even to visit) caves or other features of national parks.Publicly owned lands must be managed if they are to remain "public."As everyone already knows, caves in national parks (with a few >exceptions)are not available free, nor, in most cases, *available* at all, except to a fewprivileged groups who suck up to park officials. Why should the Bureau of LandManagement operate differently than, say, Mammoth Cave National Park? Thisargument makes sense only if the managing agency is directly involved inmanaging the caves in question. In general, BLM and Forest Service lands havebeen effectively unregulated as far as casual recreational visitation isconcerned, in contrast to Park Service land. Why should caving be manageddifferently than, say, backpacking? (This is an open question - there are anumber of reasons why it should). While some management may seem inevitable,for much of BLM and USFS land, I see no benefit from any direct management - infact, in most cases, I would prefer that the federal land managers remainunaware of the details of the caves on their lands. When direct impact to suchcaves becomes a problem - either from use or from an outside impact such astimbering or mining, then land managers may need to be brought into thepicture. Until such times, low profile practices are much more effective. Tosuggest that it is logical and desirable for the BLM to start charging fees forany and all caving on BLM land seems at the least premature. Enough for now.




We must learn the circumstances of the present and proposed fees before wecan make intelligent responses, I believe. One of my main concerns is how thefees will be used. Will the fees be funnelled directly into the U.S. generalfund to provide for the military and all other federal programs? (Last I knew,National Park entry fees do/did exactly that, although Golden Eagle pass moneywent to the Park Service.) Or, will the cost of administration be more that theamount collected? Or, will the money be used to manage and protect caves? Ifthe money will be directed towards someone's idea of protecting caves, weprobably have a much more debatable issue.

It is my gut-feeling that very few cavers would support fees for caving tosupport the U.S. general fund. Arguments comparing fees for the profit-makingexploitation of minerals and lumber with non-profit recreation fees (even thoughthe damages from the activity is often permanent) is not going to fly withclear-headed thinkers. But, fees charged to those who impact the caves (and weall do) and used to protect the caves are a different matter.

But, we also need to not accept the flag of cave conservation as holy.Perhaps the envisioned use of the fees is to build roads closer to the caves,gate them, and limit access to cave-for-pay groups only. Some folks call that amove towards conservation. Higher costs, great control, less damage. But, doesthe NSS want to support such a trend? What the NSS is presently doing isinvestigating what is going on and considering the impact of these issues. BillYett in Carlsbad, NM is chair the Ad Hoc Committee. If you have data orwell-thoughout opinions on the issue, you would be wise to address them to him.His address (I believe) is in the NSS Members Manual.




I contacted a WY BLM Cave Manager who's a good friend (and a level-headedspeleophile) and I asked him whether he anticipated a fee to ever be chargedfor cave permits. He said "Not on my shift. I'd expect it to be comingalong eventually, but not in the forseeable future."I don't want cavemanagement to move towards total user fee support. Imagine the pressures toopen caves to the masses if the managers' continued employment depended onvisitor numbers? It'd be the 1920's cave wars all over again, but the fedswould putting the billboards up instead of the Collins family.I do want thefederal government to be fiscally responsible, and that includes having userfees kept in the management area where they are collected. (Historically, mostfederal user fees have gone to a general fund in DC.) It also means balancingthe budget and it is plain stupid that we continue to write bad checks. Thefeds are getting pressure to charge fees for services, and I think that isreasonable, if it means they'll balance the budget.My concern is not that Imight have to pay $ to cave; it is that in 20 years economics could easily leadto the demise of many caves.




Chet Hedden says in #4975, in response to Belski's warning of thepossibility of BLM charging for access to caves on land they control:


"National parks already charge user fees, yet the same argument couldbe made - ie. that they are "owned" by the taxpayers..."


National Parks charge for the use of facilities which involve marginalcosts,such as the provision of services or the maintenance of roads. They donot in general charge for what is provided by nature at no cost to the NPS. AsI have understood it (from literature printed by the NPS as well as othersources), the National Parks system is specifically intended not todiscriminate for or against users on grounds of their wealth. This is whyBackcountry use permits are free, not just to US citizens, but also to visitorsfrom other countries (such as myself). The purpose of the permit system is tomonitor usage (in all cases) and to limit usage (in some areas). A certainproportion of permits are available for advance booking, while the rest areissued 'first-come, first-served' on the day. In my experience with severalNational Parks (in the west), the system works very well, and is as fair aspossible to all concerned (permits issued through concession companies such asriver-rafting outfits are another thing entirely - one I belive the NPS issaddled with for historical reasons and would really prefer to be rid of). Onthe premise that wilderness, whether above or below ground, must be managed ifit to be preserved, no-one can seriously object to a permit system for eithervisitation monitoring or regulation, as required. However, to charge for suchpermits would be highly discriminatory, and is certainly to be resisted as the'thin end of the wedge'. The NPS are pretty hard-pushed for money, but theymanage to absorb the administration costs of their permits, as do all theNational Forests which I have visited. Why should the BLM be different? As anoutsider who quite admires North America's wealth of wilderness and thegenerally fair access which seems to be available, I sympathise strongly withanyone who seeks to object to BLM charging anything more than the cost ofadministration, for permits to cave. The only reliable way to stop this is toobject to any charge at all. Once the principle of charging is established, itis a much smaller step to ramp up the charge ahead of costs, until theenterprise becomes profit-making. Is caving-for-BLM's-profit a safe way to preserveunderground wilderness?




In the sprit of following the thread on the BLM charging caving fees forcaves on their lands, Tim Schafstall posted in C-D 4999 that according toClimbing Magazine The NPS is charging $150 permits to climb MT. Foraker and Mt.Denali and $15 to climb Mt. Rainier. Back in the early 70'S, to the best of mymemory, there were no fees whene I was on Denali or at Acongagua [Argentina]where I did a snowmobile assisted solo climb. Now, to get a permit to climb atAcongagua requires $1,000 per climber. I have heard of new laws in Mexicorequiring Mexican nationals to be present before a foreign caver can enter acave. If history repeats itself, 20 years form now, will all the major caves ofthe world require $ for permits to enter???

The following are the current climbing fees for climbs in the countries ofthe Himalayan Mts. The source is SUMMIT Magazine Fall/Winter 1994-95.


[For brevity's sake, I have condensed the information that Mr. Haley providedin chart form for each country mentioned-Ed.]


BHUTAN (regulated by the Bhutan Mountaineering Association)

Fees range from $10,000 to $25,000 per expedition, depending on the heightof the mountain, and the route used. An expedition must also deposit $5,000[refundable] for helicopter-rescue facilities.


CHINA and TIBET (regulated by the Chinese Mountaineering Association) Feesrange from $1,350 (6,000 metres) to $5,000 for Everest. These fees are perperson.


INDIA (Regulated by the India Mountaineering Association)

Fees range from $900 per person (6,000 metres) to $1,800 for a mountain7,000 metres or more.


NEPAL (regulated by the Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation,Mountaineering Division) Fees per expedition can go from $1,000 for a climbbelow 6,500 metres to $50,000 for an Everest party of seven. Extra Everestclimbers will cost $10,000 each. There is a 3 year waiting list for Everest.Due to the high costs of Everest there is a large backlog of applications for8,000m+ climbs.



PAKISTAN (regulated by Goverment of Pakistan Tourism Division)

From $1,200 to $9,000 each for a party of five. Additional members costextra.


All of the above prices are in US dollars, and they don't take AmericanExpress!!!!!!!!

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Patricia Kambesis


In answer to Bill Frantz's questions on food for multi-day caving trips(underground camps). My criteria for what to take on a multi-day cave trip(cave camp) is based on the duration of the trip rather than whether the caveis wet, dry, cold or warm. I generally do not worry about calories per day, butI am concerned about the weight of the portions.

My foodstuff ends up weighing about 12-14 oz per day on 2-4 day camps and16-18 oz./day on longer trips. Whether I lose weight on the trip depends on theintensity of underground activity and the duration of the trip. I don't noticemuch difference on a 2-3 day Lech camp (I drink lots of water, so dehydrationis not a problem for me). But I did lose 5 lbs after spending 9 daysunderground in Cheve - it was not from dehydration.

Following is a menu guide based on what I've taken for cave camping anywherefrom underground camps in Lechuguilla to deep Mexico caves. The portions willvary from person to person.

For a 2-4 day camp: I consider freeze-dried to be the staple for undergroundcamps. It is light-weight, and comes in a variety of flavor choices-if you'reinto that. As a guideline for how much freeze-dried to take, 7 oz/undergroundday is a reasonable amount. That's a little over two standard freeze-driedpackages/day - that's your dinner. (I can't eat that much, 4.5 oz works for me,I'm 5 ft. tall and weight 108 lbs). The freeze-dried can be supplemented withpowdered-not flaked potatoes (powdered potatoes are denser than flakes and alittle goes a loooong way). If you feel that your portion of freeze-dried isnot enough, try adding a couple of tablespoons of this stuff-it will definitelyadd more volume to your meal. Or make the potatoes separately, add a littlemore water to the freeze-dried meal and then pour it over the potatoes. By theway, you have to be careful with how much powdered potatoes you use because thestuff really expands when it is hydrated. Another good meal stretcher iscouscous used same as the powdered potatoes. To spice things up, I like to addsome cayenne pepper to the freeze-dried; it makes the meal more interesting andif you add enough will even warm you up a bit more.

For breakfast, oatmeal or couscous is a good choice (5 oz dry for averagesize folks - I do 3 oz). Add fruit and nuts to either for a yummy breakfast. Togive it a little more substance and richer taste, add powdered milk. I alsolike to put in some cinnamon (and sometimes powdered cloves) to make it tasteeven better. For convenience on some trips, I've blown off the breakfastselection and just took another package of freeze-dried. In addition to theabove, its also nice to have something hot to drink. Good choices are hotchocolate (with some extra powdered milk added), hot tea, spiced cider or jello(just add hot water and drink). Some folks like to take coffee. For 5 or moredays: Again, the staple is freeze-dried with potatoes/couscous as above, with alittle more emphasis on variety i.e. instead of all freeze-dried (which is theeasiest and most convenient for me on 2-4 day trips) I do bring oatmeal/orcouscous for breakfast. To supplement the freeze-dried dinners I like to bringeither canned chicken or tuna (the small 3.5 oz cans). Since cans really addquickly to the weight of one's camp duff, I limit the cans to 1 can per 2 daysi.e. eat one every other day. The longest camp I've ever done is 9 days and 2cans were OK. You'd really have to reconsider the canned stuff on camps oflonger duration-remember, the ounces do add up. As a special added indulgentdesert treat for one special day at camp, a boxed cheesecake is wonderful (thisis group gear by the way). The extra weight is worth it from a moralestandpoint. One of those boxes will feed and satiate 5 cavers who are startingto feel the inklings of entrance fever.

Eating away from camp: In addition to your camp food, you also need to takestuff for whatever activity you'll be doing from camp. Per 12-hour caving day,I like to take two candy bars, two granola-type bars and a small size zip-lockwith a "trail-mix" made of dried fruit, nuts, granola-type breakfastcereal and some chocolate chips (did I mention that I'm a chocaholic?). Also Icarry about 12-15 hard candies (my favorites are jolly ranchers, butterscotchor peppermints). For longer camps I include beef jerky.

Transport: Other very important considerations for underground food areweight, volume, and convenience of transport. Your camp food is only part ofwhat you will be taking underground. In addition to other personal affects forsleeping and keeping warm there is group gear (stove/fuel, water containers,rope, survey gear and supplemental notes, bolt kit, maybe photo equipment - ohand that cheesecake). So, weight and volume is extremely important. Ounces andbulk really add up for me, so to streamline my foodsupplies I remove thealuminum foil wrappers from all the freeze-dried. I save the little plasticportion bags (minus the cardboard inserts) and dump the freeze-dried eitherinto a large-size zip-lock for dry caves (double bag it and suck out all air)or for wetcaves, either triple-bag (ditto for air) or put it all into analgenebottle. I also repackage the oatmeal, couscous and any drink mixtures intoziplocks (again,triple-bag and suck air out). I do not make any great effortsto keep the different kinds of freeze-dried meals separate - though I do putall the chicken stuff together and all the beef-stuff together. I don't care ifthe rice, pasta or whatever are mixed up. For cooking, I put the plasticportion bag (remember I saved those) in my bowl and pour in freeze-dried (oroatmeal) and water. It saves having to clean the bowl or pan after every meal.

For longer camps where more food is required, you can run the freeze-driedthrough a salad shooter. This further reduces the volume and allows you to getmore of it into an algene bottle. Of course all your meals look like mush butthen, who cares - you're down there to explore and survey the cave, not to indulgein a gourmet food-fest.

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The "Ky-Cavenet" e-mail distribution list is administered by theCentral Kentucky Cave Survey at Western Kentucky University. The list's purposeis to foster communication among individuals interested in the cave resourcesof central Kentucky and to generally further the goals of the CKCS. The groupis moderated to protect cave entrance information. The Central Kentucky CaveSurvey is an internal organization of the National Speleological Society. Thepurpose of the CKCS is to act as a database for information concerning cave andkarst features within the Barren River Area Development District. The Surveyencourages karst data collection through provision of assistance, expertise,and special resources. Data in the CKCS collection is not in the public domain,and is distributed only in strict accordance to the constitution, rules, andbylaws of the CKCS. The group is available in digest or message by messageform.

To subscribe, send a message to LISTSERV@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU

In the body of the message, include the following:


-for message by message form- SUBSCRIBE KY-CAVENET "Your realname"

-for digest form- SUBSCRIBE KY-CAVENET-DIGEST "Your real name" Ifyou have any problems, feel free to contact, Alan Glennon atGLENNJA@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU.

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Anmar Mirza

Bloomington Indiana Grotto


Sunday evening, around 11pm, I was awakened from my slumber by the Statepolice. They were looking for a vehicle that belonged to two gentleman. They'dalready checked the Garrison Chapel area and were pretty much out of ideas ofwhere to look. I gave them a few ideas, then called Frank Lamm. Frank and Idiscussed the possibility of assisting the with the search, then decided thatour realm of responsibility lay in the underground environment. I called a fewother cavers to put them on standby and went back to sleep (my gear is alwaysin my truck).

Monday afternoon, appr. 5:17pm I was called by Monroe Co. Sheriff, they'dfound the vehicle off Duvall Rd. Reeves Cave! Frank Lamm, Dwight Hazen, and Iarrived within minutes of each other and proceeded to evaluate the situation.Reeves is a little over 5 miles, and one of the more difficult in the county,in addition to being extremely wet. Frank and I proceeded to suit up and sortgear, I was going to be grunt and carry the pack this trip. Don Paquettearrived on scene and helped organize topside. The individuals we are lookingfor apparently do not have a high degree of caving experience. Kevin and Andy,20 and 21.

At 6:07pm Frank L. and I entered the cave. I'm pretty much geared to findingone or both of them dead or in serious trouble, this cave can eat a novice. Ina way I'm glad it's Frank and I going in, both of us have had quite a bit ofexperience dealing with deaths, not easy to deal with, but easier for us thanfor most civilians. We've also got a pretty high degree of experience withhandling most situations we'll encounter. I'm hoping for the best. Withinseveral hundred feet we found some clothing. We also tracked footprints. Wenoticed one distinct track that was on top of all others (tracks do notdisappear in caves unless something happens to them) and it points into thecave. One of the jackets is a marlboro jacket and we see many marlboro butts onour way in. At one point a couple hundred yards in, we see the remains ofseveral freshly killed bats. Not wanting to make a snap judgement, we decidedto wait until we find these gentleman and have a "talk" with them. Wefollowed the main passage and at appr. 6:45pm made voice contact. Moments laterwe found them, out of light and cold, but unhurt. Frank and I are both EMTs andevaluated their physical and mental ability to extricate themselves under theirown power. Of course, no helmets, one light source each, and no training orexperience to be in the environment they were. They'd found the place because aguy at an Amoco station told them where to find it. They also admitted tokilling the bats. Not wanting to create a very unpleasant situation, we tabledit until we got outside.

We gave them water and food and several heat packs, and replaced thebatteries in one of their lights and gave the other a cyalume stick. At appr. 7:00pmwe started out of the cave. A few minutes later, Marek W. popped out of acrawlway. Backup is here. He's wearing polypros, kneepads and rubber boots.Obviously dressed to travel light and fast, but he still looks a little odd. Wesent him out out to tell topside we've found them and to have them stand downthe callout. At appr 7:37, we reached the entrance to the cave to much applausefrom the family and bystanders. What, no cheerleaders? Seems the familyoutnumbers the cavers. I'd told the sheriff to hold the family at the sheriffsoffice, oh well.

While the family was getting reacquainted, Frank and I pulled the owner ofthe cave over and let him know about the bats. Indiana cave protection lawprovides for the prosecution of vandals, but it's his call. He decided not toprosecute them. Instead, he's going to write them a letter letting them knowthat they are *not* welcome on his property. At this point we pretty much haveto let it go, but it upsets us nonetheless.

This rescue had a very fast evolution. Time from initial callout to gettingthem out was less than 3 hours. It also strengthened our relationship with thevarious agencies. The county sheriff and the State Police have a better respectfor our capabilities. It also helped shakedown our callout system. A couple ofyears ago I had the idea to have our local ham radio operators organize thecallout, and it's paying off in spades. We have worked together enough to knowwhat each group needs and expects, and it has easily cut off an hour or betterfrom our response times.

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Jim Jacobs


I wish that I had learned about caving when I was much younger. Most startthis hobby while in their teens or their twenties. I was well into my fortiesbefore being smitten. Oh well, better late than never. Cave ho!

THE BEAUTY. The wonderful scenes found in caves cannot be seen above ground.While many people are able to view the wonders to be found in commercial caves,only a very few can go where we go. That makes it rather special to me. In someway, after a two hour trip to get to some remote place, I feel I've EARNED thespecial treat that I'm seeing in a way that a tourist trip can't match.

THE AWE OF THE SLOW PASSAGE OF TIME. We know that the earth is very, veryold, and that the geological features that we see, both above and below groundwere formed over millions of years, but in a cave, I get the feeling of beingPART of this slow passage of time that I don't feel elsewhere. Just seeing thegorgeous formations that took many thousands of years to get to their presentform, and knowing that they are still growing and changing is a thrill to me.Except for volcanos, most visible wonders of the above-ground world have beenproduced by erosion in some form. Even mountains, which are produced bypressures beneath the earth are carved to the form that we see by erosion. Thecaves that we visit are also produced by erosion, but the formations that wemarvel at are an act of CREATION of a new and beautiful thing.

THE CHALLENGE. I will never climb the highest mountain, but accepting thechallenge of a difficult cave is no less a victory. The first time I did theBuckner's crawlway, it took me over 50 minutes. I can now do it in 15-20. Ihave built my physical skills over the years, and it's given me a feeling ofgreat satisfaction. The deep canyons and slick, inclined crawlways that wouldhave been too difficult for me a few years back, are now just part of the trip,and present no obstacle. I can go up and down rope and feel confident aboutwhat I'm doing. Each time I learn a new canyoning or climbing move and canrepeat it the next trip, I feel that I've grown just a little bit. I may begetting older, but I'm still getting better.

THE FUN OF SHARING. Both the shared comraderie of tackling a difficult cavewith a group of experienced peers and the fun of introducing a new experienceto a beginner and seeing the glow in their eyes when they realize what they'vejust seen and done for the first time are feelings to be savored. The pizzaparties after the trip where we talk about the experiences that we've justshared are great fun. Making new friends through our caving experiences,andbeing able to share these experiences with my lady make it all worthwhile.

IT'S AN ADVENTURE. The thrill of the unknown! Go somewhere! Do something! Dosomething special that not just everybody can do. Beats the heck out of justvegging on the couch every weekend. I am a caver, and I love it!

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_0http://www.eiu.edu/~physics/nngrotto/jan1995.htmYtext/html &DVe{_!X!_ !_