In attendance:

Rachel Saker
Mike Broome
Hunter Williams
Emily Graham
Julie Fairbanks
Michael McBride
Eric Williams
Kim Parks
Zeke Van fossen
Elise Sanderson

Trip Reports

Elise – Grand Caverns: Group of 6 cavers with divided jobs. Carried 8x8s for
steps, broke gravel up off of flow stone, layed telephone wires, a
assisted with general cleaning of cave.
            Madison Saltpeter Cave – Saw historic signatures, Calcite Rafts
(growing), and Cave specific Isopods

  Rachel – British Expedition with Rachel near Cookesville (Mountain Eye),
                 Blue Spring (TN), a “super dry cave” but currently has lots of

Upcoming Trips and Activities

Call for help for VAR/ Trip L

– VAR 4/25-28

– SERA 5/2-3

-Shovel Eater, Hell Hole WV May 17th

   – Beginner TAG Trip  May 24th-27th

   – Work weekend BCCS 25th-26th

   – Poss Vert Practice locally?

Meeting Program:

Movie on Crystal Cave

Other Discussion and Previous Business:

Mike – Please pay your dues

Emily – Dave Jackson: Cave Sim will be at the convention. Possible sponsorship oppurtunities. Vote by email/list serv?


In attendance, and announcing thier favorite cave pack:

Rachel Saker: Her Current Pack
Martin- Surplus bag, On Rope One Pack
Mike Broome– Tech conference give away, Lost Creek, AV
Hunter Williams- Earth Pack from Amazon
Emily Graham – GGG possibly?
Julie Fairbanks – Shopping for One
Michael McBride – Anything but Swaygo
Eric Williams– Kiddo’s Pack with Bat Unicorn, On Rope One Pack
Vardell Smyth- Military Surplus/ Hello Kitty
Kim Parks – Pack Rat from her Husband
Diane Gietl – Petzl
Howard – Swago
Lisa Lorenzin– Lost Creek
Ken Walsh- Swaygo
Carlin Kartchner- Landjoff
Peter – Lost Creek
Mark Daughtridge– Pacaderm

Trip Reports

Vardell, Julie, Hunter, Michael, as well as 3 others visited
Hancock Cave in Virginia. The conditions were moderate.
Multiple bats were noted.

Mike/Lisa – Pancake Weekend at BCSS, Surface Digging Mostly (first day),
Butler Cave later in the weekend.

Lost World Cave was also visited by Mike and Lisa this past weekend.

Andy, Kim, Mark visited Low Moor Cave with a group.

Rachel and Janet from Flittermouse visited Bone Norman Cave. Rachel’s Mexico trip had “no real caving” due to weather issues.

Upcoming Trips and Activities

Call for help for VAR/ Trip Leaders

Call for Renting Cabin for VAR: Lisa to spearhead!

Call from Ken for help Surveying Big Sink 4/13/19

Call from Lisa/Mike for Work Weekend help at Butler Cave (4/20, Memorial Day Weekend, One in June)

Call from Carlin for Perkins Survey Trip on 4/13/19

Michael McBride Provided a presentation/discussion on selecting and packing a cave pack

  • Multiple types and brands of bags, cannisters and boxes were displpayed, with discussion following the themes of packing and selecting with regards to durabilty, size/space constraints, cost and personal preference.

Other Discussion and Previous Business:

Pay your dues please – Paypal or cash, check to Mike Broome

Previous Business – OCR  Scholarship

Anti Harassment Policy

Ken = Conservation Trip? Poss. Trip for fall/autumn


In attendance: Rachel Saker, Kyle, Michael McBride, Dave, Emily Graham, Zeke, Kim Parks, Ken Walsh, Julie Fairbanks, Vardell, Peter, and Carlin Kartchner, Mark Daughtridge

Trip Reports

Trip Reports:

Mark Daughtridge visited Mammoth Cave KY Feb 3rd. Cave named for the “buzz word” “Mammoth” of the time. Sunday he and his group visited Diamond Caverns and Hidden River/ Horse Cave and visited a Suspension bridge and museum.

Rachael Saker provided more info on her trip to Mammoth Cave along with more pics. She also visited Piercy Mill Cave and described it as a fun trip. The cave visited included a stretch that was kayakable.

Emily Graham, along with Peter, Taylor, and Ken undertook a survey trip to Big Sink Cave that lasted about 8 hours. There’s still plenty of survey left per the team. They encountered Monorail worms, some beetles and surveyed app 500 feet. Peter’s assessment of the trip sounded less intimidating than Ken’s.

Kim Parks Met up with above group (Emily’s from Big Sink) for a trip to Hancock Cave along with Walker Mountain Grotto for a bat count. 8 bats counted. Split into 2 groups. The conditions were very wet.

Michael – While on vacation in Canada, Michael and his Girlfriend Charity visited The Banff Cave and Basin. It was a sulfur spring based commercial cave system that was the first National Park in Canada.

Upcoming Trips and Activities

— 3/1-2 Cave Hollow Arbogast Survey Trip (likely upper section survey)
–3/8-9 Rachael going to WVACS, wet survey, has room to carpool
— 3/23-24 Beginners trip led by Michael M. to Hancock Cave
— 4/4  Grand Caverns Restoration
— 4/26-27 Spring VAR
— 6/17 Convention
— 6/22 OCR in Burnesville, VA (Scholarship to be discussed later)

Ken Walsh Provided a presentation on the NSS Convention Structure :

All NSS Convention attendees from previous years were asked to leave the room.

Cards were passed with specific topics from the structure of the Convention and each of the participants who had previously attended a convention acted out an aspect of that structure.

Peter – Campgrounds – Fairground style, large, groups or remote. Generally, less noisy than other group outings. 3 conventions that were destroyed by storms, red cross involvement. 

Carlin – Parties, Food, Drink. Carlin does all of the above. Loud comradery. Tritrogs = quiet, but hang out with the loud. Banquet. Weather might destroy. Possible NSS glass and free alcohol.

Emily – Field Trips – Sunday = Geology field trip locally. Food on this trip.

Peter – Contests – Vertical climbing, divisions (men/women/ age groups/different climbing systems). 30 meter, 120 feet

Carlin – Sessions and Classes – Photography, etc. Sessions = Big attractions. Regional, international, US. Other focuses.

Emily – Vendors/ Consignment – Things to buy: Cave Suits, harnesses, lots of everything. Gear, Boots, artwork, woodworking, harnesses, custom fittings, all available for purchase.

Mark – Price and Guidebook. Next two conventions within driving distance. Price = cheaper the earlier sign up.  App. $200, cheaper to be a NSS member. Guide book = high quality/ cool

Carlin – Slide Salon and other salon – Cave maps, Calin loves them. See other maps at salon, show off your own, critique each other. Participation does not mean judgement, just involvement. Catography salon = favorite. Slide salon = pictures. Print salon, Ken has been involved. Music Salon, Art in general.

Mark – Section Meeting. Mark’s never been to one. Break down by different sections: Cave Diving, Vertical, Geology, Biology, etc.Specific to each sections. More specific.

General questions/answers on convention: Yes there’s a t-shirt. Generally a good one. List of cave trips on website. Schedule not online yet, but should be there 2-3 months in advance. Cave trips may cost an addition fee. Camping is advised by Mark.

Votes by members to decide who was most convincing: Carlin with his description of slide salons!

Votes by previous goers: Michael with useful question.

App. Half the attendees are going/might go.

Caves.org was suggested for more info.