Introductions

In attendance: Emily, Eric, Hunter, Mike B, Mike M, Carlin, Julie, Kyrie, Kim, Matthew, Ken, Diana, Peter, Mark

Emily successfully established that cavers should never bestow their children with cave-related names, as poor Rocky, Whirley, and (yes….) Death Pit may face life-altering challenges. Mica might have hope, though.

 

Business

  • Next month: The program will be the gear swap. There is a signup sheet posted online. We will start with this first (before the business meeting) so that friends and family can join. Invite all!
  • Spring VAR: (Virginia Area Regional) early registration still open until April 30th.
  • Gather of cavers that camp out on Friday and Saturday night and go caving.
  • Camping at Hungry Mother Lutheran Camp (open field, no individual fire pits so bring a camp stove if you want to cook!)
  • Group dinner will be provided on Saturday night, and continental breakfast on both days. Meals are included in registration if you preregister.
  • There is a great guidebook available this year.
  • Two vendors will be in attendance if you are interested in purchasing and additional caving gear.
  • Most of the caving is generally on Saturday (there is a meeting that happens on Sunday, but you are welcome to cave on the way home).
  • Mike has flag and canopy (when you get there, look for orange flag and NC license plates)
  • Usually about 200 in attendance
  • Orientation to Cave Rescue. April 13-15: NCRC OCR: Chimney Rock
  • Annual grotto trip: Maybe Gilly’s?
  • Pay your DUES! $15 online or give money to an officer

 

Trip Reports

  • Mike M. travelled south to attend the FL Cave Cavort hosted by the tampa grotto. First stop was Lance’s Cave, where there was some necessary floor and ceiling digging to cement it’s claim as a cave. Next on the list was Ocala Caverns, complete with a rich history that includes joints as a commercial cave and a training facility. After an interesting search for the entrance, they discovered the cleverly concealed 30 ft pit entrance. After exploring some additional smaller limey Florida caves (some with fledgling vultures in the entrance), they found themselves in another previous commercial cave that with concrete steps to a 60ft by 200ft room that housed crystal blue water. One long crawl and steep ladder across a crack later, Mike discovered dozens of bats roosting in the entrance to the lake room. The lake itself was about 12ft by 16ft, and at 8 ft deep one can easy cannonball into it. An exploration of Dame’s cave and Peace Cave completed the trip, though these two smaller caves (<400ft) were well populated with locals.
  • Lisa and Mike B. ventured out to Hawaii and discovered the draw of lavatube Unlike solution caves, the formations within lavatube caves are from the liquid rock itself that has cooled into shapes. The ceiling is adorned with roots since you are never far from the surface. They entered through a ceiling collapse and continued along the horizontal routes with a downhill trend, with some side passages into the inner sections.The cave was a balmy 65°F, similar to the outside temperature, and was situated on the southern tip of the island in a community with about 6 cavers. At 65°F, the cave was too warm for the bats to be affected by WNS.
  • Lisa and Mike also attended a small party rescue training in Burnsville, VA, with classroom exercises on Saturday and Sunday they focused on rope work for vertical rescue with pulleys and hall systems. Originally it would have been in a cave, but the 6-8 inches of snow meant they practiced their rope work in a two story-garage.
  • Ken, Dave, Emily, and Jason successfully surveyed Dutton’s Cave along Cave Ridge. The scrambled down into one room with three pits on three different sides of the room. Using a cable ladder to drop down to the lower level, they came across the main room adorned with lots of fins. There was a pool at the base (which was about 4 ft lower than the previous scouting trip) and alongside were some stones that had been pulled there to form a kind of platform. By the end of the trip they logged 32 stations.
  • The group continued to Radon Cave, where Ken learned he couldn’t quite squeeze through the initial crawlway. Leaving Ken to dig out the initial crawl, the rest continued and Dave rigged a cable ladder that led to an area at the top where there was barely enough room to take your harness off. After another pinch, it opened into a long room with a ceiling of about 75 ft. Animal life included one bat, one groundhog, and the remains of something else. Nothing looked promising for other leads from the larger room.

 

Upcoming Trips and Activities

  • April 13-15: NCRD OCR: Orientation to Cave Rescue (Open to beginners)
  • April 21: Grand Caverns Clean Up Ken will be helping out. Oldest commercial caverns in the US. Sunday: offering tours with a USGS geologist at 10 and 1 pm. Cavers get to join for free. Contact Ken if interested. Might be cleaning off algae, putting formations back together.
  • April 27-29: Spring VAR
  • May 3-6: SERA Cave Carnival (Scottsboro, AL) It’s a TAG event
  • May 11-13: GirlScout Trip to Lowmoor Emily’s nieces girl scout trip Ken, Diana, Kim
  • May 25-28: Speleofest (KY)
  • July 28 – Aug 4: NSS Convention (MT)
  • Aug 25-26: Annual Grotto Trip
  • Nov 10: Darwin Day: At Museum.

 

Program

Emily hosted a wonderful game of Speleo Bingo.

Introductions

(with thanks to Zeke for transcribing the minutes)

In attendance: Mike Broome, Eric Williams, Zeke Van Fossen, Matthew Weiss, Martin Groenewegen, Hunter, Michael McBride, Bryan, Ken Walsh, Mark DeWitt, Brad, Pete Hertl, and Emily​ Graham

Emily started the meeting with the question: what technological advancements are you looking forward to in caving?

 

Business

  • There was an officers’ meeting. An online grotto member list is forthcoming and Eric is working on it.
  • We’re having a gear swap at the April meeting. See your email for a list of the items. Caving and outdoor gear are the only items permitted.
  • Registration is open for Spring VAR. TriTrogs should plan to go because we are a considerably larger group than the host grotto, and they may need our help.
  • There is a cave rescue orientation April 13 through 15. The grotto will help pay for people who would like to attend.
  • The annual grotto trip will be August 25-26. Further details are yet to be determined.
  • We still need programs for this year’s meetings. Eric is the contact for programs.

 

Trip Reports

  • Matthew, Emily, Ken, and Kim went to survey Lowmoor Mine & Cave in Virginia. Ken and Matthew and only went in about 15 ft and surveyed the mine above, but Emily and Kim went farther in to push leads. Matthew spotted three bats and would like to return. Five teams of three people surveyed ~3000′. Emily added that some television was filmed there. A caver had been paid to cover some graffiti with mud and covered some survey stations
  • Mike Broome went to the Butler Cave project weekend two weeks prior. It was a wet weekend. They did some digging and found some more survey stations. When they came out of the cave, two inches of snow had fallen.
  • Pete went to the Bone-Norman Cave System that same weekend. He reported that there was a lot of water in the cave, but not as much as other times.
  • Brian talked about expedition caving and told a story about Lechuguilla Cave. One person in one group was far too slow, and the entire groups were compelled to turn around and go back out as a result. He added that expedition groups are looking for good people with different skills.

 

Upcoming Trips and Activities

  • April 13-15: NCRD OCR: Orientation to Cave Rescue (Open to beginners)
  • April 21: Grand Caverns Clean Up Ken will be helping out. Oldest commercial caverns in the US. Sunday: offereing tours with a USGS geologist at 10 and 1 pm. Cavers get to join for free. Contact Ken if interested. Might be cleaning off algae, putting formations back together.
  • March 16 – 18: Michael is attenting FL Cave Cavort
  • April 13 – 15: NCRC OCR at Chimney Rock State Park
  • April 21: Grand Caverns Clean Up (Grottoes, VA)
  • April 27-29: Spring VAR at Hungry Mother State Park (Marion, VA)
  • May 3-6: SERA Cave Carnival (Scottsboro, AL)
  • May 11-13: GirlScout Trip to Lowmoor Emily’s nieces girl scout trip Ken, Diana, Kim
  • May 12-19: NCRC Training Seminar (Mentone, AL)
  • May 25-28: Speleofest (KY)
  • July 28 – Aug 4: NSS Convention (MT)
  • Aug 25-26: Annual Grotto Trip

Program

​A short break was taken, and then Eric led a program on knot tying to close out the evening.​

In Attendance: Emily, Eric, Carlin, Martin, Kim

We discussed possible program topics for the year, including:

  • Knots
  • An intro to surveying
  • A night of gear trading
  • Salamanders
  • TBD creation by Pete
  • Convention summary
  • Halloween party
  • Cave gear comparison
  • First aid kits
  • Fossils
  • Possibly something by the International Association for Geoscience Diversity?

Membership list: Is there a need to have a membership form? It would include each TrigTrogs member’s address, what type of caving you are interested in, and experience thus far. Further, it may be possible to setup a google drive to document names and phone numbers to ensure security of the information and make trip planning easier.

Gear Sale: Kim will create a signup list to send out for the gear swap, which will be the April program

PayPal: Ideally, we would like to add a family dues option to the website. Also, this year’s website fees will be paid out of the PayPal account. Mark Little’s name will also eventually be removed.

A date for the grotto trip was established: August 24th – 26th

Martin will prepare a financial report to document expenses throughout the year

A discussion was started about the possibility of a scholarship to the Orientation to Cave Rescue class for non-officers.

The yearly NSS report has yet to be submitted to do to a lack of a response from Paul Winter. Emily will submit this year and Kim will submit in 2019.

Introductions

What would you do if you won the lottery? I think we all now agree that we would help Michael realize his lifelong dream of swimming through a silo full of coins.

In attendance: Ken, Zeke, Matthew W., Kim, Martin, Carlin, Ben, Brian, Michael M., Emily, Peter, Jenny, Eric, and Mark D.

Business

  • Happy new year! Pay your membership dues. Yearly individual: $15. Yearly family: $22. Pay one of the officers or via PayPal. If you pay via PayPal, please email the treasurer to let him know that you did.
  • Ken read a postcard from Amar and Bithika and young caver Pahi. Awwww.
  • Spring VAR event. April 27-29. Put it on your calendars and prepare to invent an excuse for why you can’t volunteer to help out!
  • Several members with finite storage space have expressed interest in a grotto auction or gear swap fundraiser. Kim has offered to start an online list of items that people might like to be rid of. Items should be limited to caving or outdoor gear. Date and location are still under consideration.

Trip Reports

  • Rappel in, walk out. Peter and Mark enjoyed rappelling into Lost World Caverns in Greenbrier County through the original, natural entrance drop and following the walking tour path out. The next day they went to the SSS (???) entrance of the Culverson Creek Cave system. It’s a low, stream crawl entrance, but it opens up into some large passage. They found some stuff to photograph and agreed that it would be worth going back there sometime. They did not navigate any passages that were very tight or very wet.
  • Rappel in, woodchuck out. Brian saved an enormous, lethargic woodchuck from the bottom of the entrance to Flower Pot Cave. [I can’t do this justice, so if you’re reading this and you missed the telling, track him down—Brian, not the woodchuck—and get him to repeat it.]
  • Giggle and bear it. Kim, Eric, Mark, and Ken went back to Paxton’s Cave for day one of the New Year’s weekend. The entrance was a cascade of giant icicles, and the air blowing from the cave felt relatively warm. They made it to the Throne Room in record time and spent the rest of the trip looking for the way to the Christmas Room. They didn’t reach that destination, but the rimstone pool filled with crystal candy corns that they found was the neatest thing Kim has seen in a cave. On day two, while looking for the entrance to Low Moor Cave, Eric discovered a black bear. Eric’s high-pitched scream and subsequent giggle unnerved the bear enough to do the trick, and it promptly left. Once inside, they did a lot of walking, saw a lot of graffiti, crossed a sketchy ladder over a pit, and got Eric stuck in an unnecessary, tight climb.
  • Crash course in frog. Dave and Carlin roped virgin surveyors Natalie and Andy into the Radon Cave survey trip. Carlin bolted a traverse and found that he could remove the former (20-year-old) bolts easily by hand. They descended a short drop and surveyed maybe 100 feet. There was a pinch that Andy wouldn’t fit through, but beyond it the others discovered the large room that they had been promised. No obvious leads off the big room, but it still needs to be surveyed.
  • Michael went to a much-visited, graffiti-riddled small cave behind a waterfall in South Carolina. Also, he definitely did not trespass in a [redacted] on [deleted] property in [omitted].
  • Peter startled a sea lion while cave snorkeling in Mexico.
  • Ben and his wife toured some caves in Vietnam. They spent much of one day hiking to and from a cave with an enormous entrance.

Upcoming Trips and Events

  • Feb. 24 – Low Moor Cave survey trip (contact Ken)
  • Mar. 16-18 – Florida Cave Cavort
  • Mar. 16-18 – Chattanooga area survey trip (contact Brian, vertical required)
  • Apr. 21 – Grand Caverns spring cleaning (VA)
  • Apr. 27-29 – Spring VAR at Hungry Mother State Park (VA)
  • May 3-6 – SERA Cave Carnival (AL)
  • May 12-19 – NCRC cave rescue training seminar (AL)
  • May 25-28 – Speleofest (KY)
  • July 28-Aug. 4 – NSS Convention (MT)
  • Matthew W. wants to lead a photo trip in Tennessee on some 3-day weekend.
  • Ken will lead a photo trip closer to home if there’s interest.

Elections

Officer elections took the place of a meeting program. The 2018 officers are:

  • Chair: Emily Graham
  • Vice-chair: Eric Williams
  • Webmaster: Carlin Kartchner
  • Secretary: Kim Parks
  • Treasurer: Martin Groenewegen

 

Introductions

In attendance: Pete, Mark “The Chalk”, Ken, Michael, Carlin, Emily, Natalie, Mike, Dave, Zeke, and Mark “The Talk”

Business

  • Peter’s trip report from the annual grotto trip was submitted to RASS; some day the rest of us might get to read it.
  • We received a certificate for buying an engraved brick as a donation to the NSS headquarters.
  • We’re throwing a grotto holiday party. There might be a slack line and an accordion, but people should come anyway. Someone will resend the signup email.
  • Zeke is now NSS member #68716! Congratulations, Zeke!

Trip Reports

  • Almost caving: Michael’s girlfriend recommended Bowden Cave, having been there many years ago. They got there to discover it’s been closed.
  • Almost connecting: Mike participated in a dig in the Complaint section in Butler Cave, hauling rock out of a narrow canyon passage. They were puzzled when Mike found a survey station marked F5 in a pit beyond the squeeze; it failed to match the location of the F5 in the old records. As it turns out, a few years’ worth of metric surveying needs to be converted. On the bright side, correcting the old numbers will lengthen the cave.
  • Almost fitting: Michael’s first visit to Hancock Cave exceeded his expectations. He got to see a lot of the cave but was forced to surrender to the Funnel Tunnel. He settled for photographing fossils and a long-dead bat while listening to the gleeful cries that emerged from the other side of the belly crawl. After watching others tackle the awkwardness of the Comic Book Hole, Michael chose to forego that experience in favor of his role as videographer. He’d like to go back and bounce around in the Breakdown Staircase area.
  • Almost memorable: Natalie couldn’t recall as many details about her group’s visit to Hancock Cave, but she does remember spotting two live bats, which is great since we call it the Hancock Cave bat count and graffiti cleanup. Speaking of graffiti, she discovered that boot soles excel at carrying extra mud that can be used to mask etched signatures. So does Ken’s face. Although she found the Funnel Tunnel exciting, the Breakdown Staircase was Natalie’s favorite part of the trip. Read Ken’s trip report here.
  • Almost comfortable: Mark’s group also approached the Funnel Tunnel in Hancock Cave. After some cajoling, even the most nervous new caver made it through and they were all rewarded by the pretty decorations beyond.
  • Almost surveying: A group returned to SnoCone Cave with five 4-foot segments of scaling pole and good intentions of surveying beyond a long wet crawl. A hundred feet from the entrance they took the opportunity to check out a high lead above some flowstone. After assembling three of the sections, Mark climbed to the top but still couldn’t reach his target. The scaling pole then bent and quickly deposited Mark on top of Carlin who, having drawn the short straw, was minding the bottom of the pole. No one was injured, but the survey couldn’t go on. At that point they left the cave and did some ridge walking which, even in hunting season, seemed safer than scaling poles.
  • The day after the SnoCone adventure, the group surveyed about 300 feet in Radon Cave. The entrance feature is a blowing, very tight crawl. There’s another 100 feet or so to survey before a traverse and then the back section of the cave reportedly opens up. Some existing rigging, likely from 1990, clearly needs to be replaced. Carlin retrieved the cave registry which was last used in 1995.

Upcoming Trips and Activities

  • Dec. 5 – NSS CaveNet webinar about ropes
  • Dec. 9 – grotto holiday party
  • Dec. 30-31 – Old Year’s caving trip (Ken)
  • Jan. 20 – Smyth County survey (Dave)
  • Apr. 21 – Grand Caverns restoration
  • Apr. 27-29 – Spring VAR at Hungry Mother State Park

Program

Peter gave a fascinating presentation about cave biology!

Introductions

Mark led us off with a discussion about the benefits of being an NSS member. In attendance were: Mark (61461), Martin (63470), Zeke (n/a), Kim (new!), Diana (29990), Mike B. (54738), Natalie (n/a), Lisa (54739), Russell (n/a), Mike M. (65541), Ken (27597), Emily (26175), Eric (68186), and Carlin (60593).

Business

  • Dues. Pay them if you haven’t.
  • Holiday party. Dec. 9 at 6:30 pm at Mark’s house. Kim has emailed out a link for food/beverage sign-up. If you have an aversion to sign-up sheets, just bring a dessert! There will be awards and (family-friendly) entertainment of some sort.
  • Ken brought along a sign that can be re-purposed by the grotto for placement outside the museum on meeting nights. It’s not blinking neon or anything, but it is big and collapsible. Natalie volunteered to try to paint something appropriate on it.

Trip Reports

  • Carlin and Diana went to Watoga State Park and met up with some Quebeckers who were well-equipped with food. On Saturday they went to Friar’s Hole via the FH entrance. A camera was lost and, after some extra crawling, found again. On Sunday they went to Norman Cave. The area was extremely dry.
  • Mike and Lisa went to the BCCS annual meeting. While there they delved into the historic section of Butler Cave, did the sketchy God Is My Copilot climb, and made it to the foot of the old historic entrance. That area of the cave is not accessible from mid-October to April because of bats.
  • Michael M. went to TAG Fall Cave In. He took some younger cavers to a few suitable caves (Bible Springs, Mountain Cove Farm #1) on Thursday, thought twice about Neversink and chose a different pit. Friday he visited War Eagle Cave with a different group. Saturday he got past the Sometime Sump in Ulla Cave despite some light rain. Ulla has a lot going for it, including some of the most decorated passage he’s ever seen and rooms big enough for a helicopter to fly through them. He left TAG before the bonfire and, more importantly, the incoming tropical storm.
  • Ken wanted to try out his new camera equipment, so he and Diana, Emily, Ava M., and Pete went to Smokehole Cave. It was a fun trip with a lot of photography, and his new lens did really well. Read his trip report and see photos here.

Upcoming Trips and Activities

  • Nov. 4 – Perkins Cave survey
  • Nov. 11 – Hancock Cave bat count
  • Nov. 18 – SnoCone survey trip
  • Dec. 9 – Holiday party
  • Feb ? – Frick’s Cave in TAG region
  • Apr. 21 – Grand Caverns restoration
  • Apr. 27-29 – Spring VAR at Hungry Mother State Park

Program

Ken talked about several caves in the Virginias that are owned and managed by groups of cavers.

Introductions

Who are we (and what do we like about the holiday season)?

Martin (getting time off work), Zeke (leaving town), Diana (eating crazy food), Emily (wearing costumes), Carlin (making piñatas), Kim (matching socks), Michael (costuming the cats), Eric (making food green), Natalie (having dinner with friends), Ken (hibernating), Mark (taking a week off), and Peter (single-ply)

Business

  • The museum has moved next year’s Darwin Day event from February to November, 2018.
  • Please email Martin if you pay your dues via PayPal so that he can add you to the list of members.
  • If you have feedback on this year’s annual grotto trip, send it to a grotto officer.
  • Officers had another meeting immediately before the September monthly meeting. See website or check your email for those meeting minutes.

Trip Reports

  • Grotto trip: Ken, Mark, Peter, Kim, and about 15 other people went to Porter’s Cave. They spent a good bit of time trying to find the cave entrance despite having both accurate directions and GPS coordinates. Ken was glad that he had spent so much time studying the convoluted cave map in the fieldhouse, because it helped him determine that they wanted to get down to the lower level early on. There were lots of pretty formations, even some hanging from the pendants. They also encountered low crawls, chimney climbs, keyhole passage, and some mazey areas.
  • Grotto trip: Meanwhile, Zeke, Diana, Emily, Eric, Lilea, and the Clawson family went to Blowing Cave. Due to the pinchiness of the pinch, three of the Clawsons backed out early in the trip. As Zeke put it, the map was from 1939 and didn’t show anything that we saw. Mud was the most noteworthy thing about this cave. We almost lost the remaining Clawson when he stepped and sank into a puddle of muck and it took three of us to free him. There was no decoration and no cave life.
  • Grotto trip: Kim, Matthew, and others went to Island Ford Cave. Kim reported that this short cave was not just easy to find, it was impossible to miss due to the large entrance. They took the dry passage on the way in, stopped when they got to the wet crawls, and took the stream passage on the way out. They saw a few salamanders and surprisingly little graffiti for such an accessible cave, and there were some formations in the smaller side passages.
  • On his trip through South Dakota, Mark saw a Townsend’s big-eared bat in Jewel Cave, lots of boxwork in Wind Cave, and lots of algae in the commercial Black Hills Caverns.
  • Mark and Rob attended CaveFest in Tennessee. Mark’s first trip was to Cedar Ridge Crystal Cave. With no natural entrance, it’s very well decorated and hot. His second trip was to bounce a 180-foot pit at Cagle Chasm. His third trip was to Gourdneck Cave which had a pretty waterfall and some nice formations. It also had a large PVC pipe running through it that carries water to animals but gets in the way of cavers.

Upcoming Cave Trips and Activities

  • Nov. 11 – WVCC annual banquet
  • Nov. 18 – cave survey trip to maybe Perkins or SnoCone (Carlin)
  • Nov. ? – Hancock Cave bat count (Ken)
  • Dec. 9 – Holiday party at 6:30pm at Mark’s (Dancing bears?)
  • Feb. – Frick’s Cave (TAG)
  • Apr. 27-29 – Spring VAR at Hungry Mother State Park

Program

Martin presented a program about headlamp batteries.

In attendance: Mark, Ken, Carlin, Martin, Emily

  • We agreed unanimously to make a $100 donation to RASS.
  • RASS requested a trip report that could help them promote use of their property. Ken suggested that Peter might be willing to share one, and Mark agreed to ask him.
  • Officer feedback on the annual grotto trip:
    • Someone on the trip should be prepared to collect and keep track of money from attendees.
    • The campground and facilities were great and were close to the caves.
    • According to Ken and Mark, Porters Cave was worth going back to at some time.
    • The organizers should choose caves that someone there has been to before.
  • Martin has a list of the grotto members who have paid dues this year. He’ll send it out to the other officers.
  • Grotto gear:
    • Martin has reimbursed Mark $40 for the four headlamp cases purchased for the loaner headlamps.
    • We decided that Mark should purchase two 4-packs of the Petzl headlamp clips for helmet-mounting at $5 a pack, for use on the grotto loaner helmets that don’t have built-in clips.
    • Mark suggested and we agreed that the grotto should buy a new Princeton Tec Vizz from him for $36 to replace the broken loaner headlamp.
  • Officers finally chose the wording for the engraving on the NSS headquarters brick that the grotto agreed to buy for $100 last year. Mark will submit the form and payment.
  • The grotto holiday party will be held December 9 starting at 6:30 pm at Mark’s house in Durham. Potluck. Send party theme or award ideas to Mark.

Introductions

The break-the-ice question had something to do with toilet paper and eclipses. Answers ranged from “2 ply” to “100 feet” to “5 hours.”

In attendance: (Other) Mark, Emily, Lauren, (Other) Mike, Ken, Peter, Diana, Eric, (Other) Steve, Kim, Tim, and (eventually) Andy

Business

  • Ken reminded us to pay dues if we haven’t this year. Dues are $7.50.
  • Peter made an announcement about BugFest, an event happening at the museum on Sept. 16. Peter is looking for volunteers for his orthoptera table. No experience needed. Take two shifts and get a free BugFest shirt.
  • (Absent) Mark has purchased cases for the grotto’s loaner headlamps and should have them in time for the grotto trip.
  • Peter has some old incandescent headlamps that he’s ready to part with, in case the grotto wants such things. Ken recommends we bring it up with the other officers (and possibly with gearkeeper Mike).

Trip Reports

Oddly, among those present, there have been no trips to report since the last meeting!

Upcoming Trips and Activities

  • Aug. 25-27 – Annual grotto trip
  • Sept. 1-4 – Old Timers Reunion (WV)
  • Sept. 1-5 – CaveFest (TN)
  • Sept. 21-23 – Virginia Regional Meeting (Pendleton Co., WV)
  • Sept. 30? – possible photo trip (Ken)
  • Oct. 5-8 – TAG Fall Cave-in (Lookout Mtn, GA)
  • Oct. 14 – Nov. 5 – NCRC Cave Rescue Operations & Mgmt seminar (Blacksburg, VA) ncrc.info
  • ??? – Perkins Cave survey trip (Carlin, Ken)
  • Nov. ? – Hancock Cave bat count (Ken)
  • Also, Other Mark is willing to arrange cave trips to eastern Tennessee.

[Meeting interrupted by museum fire alarm and evacuation]

Program

How to Pick Among Your Best Cave Shots

by Ken Walsh and Diana Gietl

Grotto Trip

After the program, we spent approximately 15 minutes discussing the meal plans, among other details, for the upcoming grotto trip.

Introductions

In attendance: Mark, Jared, Charles, Jake, Zeke, Marlis, Mike M., Lenny, Eric, Andy, Peter, Emily, Mike B., Kim, and Ken

Our favorite leaves, respectively: [On second thought, this has been redacted due to gratuitous word play.]

Business

  • Mark is going to order some cases for our grotto loaner headlamps.
  • September 16 is BugFest. Peter will be running an exhibit and looking for volunteers to help show off the wonderful world of orthoptera. This is a great way for us to give back to the museum which provides our meeting space each month.

Trip Reports

  • Mike B. and Lisa introduced Mike’s dad and sister to Butler Cave for their first wild caving experience. They went in the SOFA (Stubborn Old Farts Access) entrance and got as far as the 90-Ugh Crawl before turning back.
  • Mike M. visited five caves in Walker County, Georgia: Petty John’s Cave (with two young kids), Anderson Spring Cave (which had a good salamander population), Natural Waterfall Pit and Cave (where they saw some bats and lots of fossils), and a horizontal trip through Ellison’s Cave. There was lots of water in all the caves. They encountered more bats in Ellison’s than they have in recent years.
  • Emily joined Mike B., Connor, and Nicole for a weekend at the Butler Cave homestead. Mike led them and a couple from Pennsylvania on a four-hour trip in Butler Cave. It was a relaxed trip but they covered a lot of ground, especially considering there were two non-cavers along. After exiting and resupplying, Emily, Mike, and Connor went back in for another four hours. After exiting again and opening but not drinking a beer, Mike couldn’t resist the opportunity to go drop the vertical entrance of Barberry to help with a dye trace. The next day, Keith W. led Emily, Mike, Connor, and Hal through the woods to three small caves: Black Root (pristine blockage), Bone (pile of leaves and, yep, bones), and Birthday (so many bugs).

Upcoming Trips and Events

  • Aug. 22: monthly meeting
  • Aug. 25-27: Annual Fun Grotto Trip
    • We can park on the upper field where we’ll be camping.
    • Trips will be tailored for novice to intermediate cavers.
    • Visit our FAQ page for a list of recommended gear.
    • Caves on the agenda are Porters, Blowing, and Island Ford.
  • Sept. 1-4: Old Timers Reunion (Dailey, WV)
  • Sept. 1-5: Cave Fest (Sewanee, TN)
  • Oct. 5-8: TAG Fall Cave-in (Lookout Mountain, GA)

Program

As our scheduled program presenter was absent, Ken showed some old photos of Butler Cave while Mike B. narrated. Then we adjourned to the Oak & Dagger.