In attendance: Emily Graham, Rachel Saker, Michael McBride, Julie, Bill, Mark Little, Carlin Kartchner, Mike Broome, Mark Daughtridge, Andy Chang, Lana, Hastings, Boone, Zeke Van Fossen, Kim Parks
Emily’s last question to the group: How many cave trips to you plan to go on in 2019?
Lana: New, never been caving
Boone: New, never been caving
Mark L: uncertain
Mark D: More if there wasn’t global warming (11?)
Mike M: 12
Mike B: 12 (although math is hard- might be off)
Rachel: 10 planned before May, so let’s extrapolate to 30 (Math is definitely hard…)
Which, if you figure all the new and re-newed members try out caving once, results in an average of 7.3, rather close to Kim’s 7.2. Shoot for average!)
- Do pay dues. A signup sheet was passed around to record your name if you have already paid dues for 2019 or were signing up at the meeting. Member is $15 for an individual, $22 for a family. There is a PayPal link through the website (note: this includes only an email address. Please also pass your name along to the treasurer to be marked as a member for the year).
- A member of the Perkin’s survey trip left behind two towels at Tanya’s. Mike McBride thinks they may belong to Pete.
- Dave Duguid has some cat litter buckets up for grabs if anyone is interested. They are sturdy, and excellent for hauling dirt out of caves.
- There is a remaining check that is outstanding from reimbursement for food on annual grotto trip. The check amount is $23.94. Don’t forget to cash your check.
- Thanks goes to all the officers that served in 2019 (especially to our president). Do relay thanks to Eric as well for setting up an excellent series of programs.
- 2019 marks the 30th anniversary for the Triangle Troglodytes grotto.
- The treasury report for 2018 was relayed by an email from Martin. With some questions and follow up items remaining, the report is currently ongoing and will be conveyed at a later date.
- The NSS is initiating an anti-harassment policy in response to two events that were reported in 2018. Each grotto can accept the policy as-is, or modify as needed to suit their needs. A motion was made to form a committee to craft a policy appropriate for out grotto. Mike McBride offered to spearhead the initiative. Look for an email from him shortly calling for TriTrog input.
- A group of 9 Tritrogs meet up with Jason Lockney and team to continue the effort to survey Perkin’s Cave. They split into 4 survey groups, with Ken, Dave, Carlin, and Jason each leading. There was one cave passage that was recorded to have two positive inclinations, and the consensus from the meeting is that it should bear the moniker ‘uphill both ways in the snow’.
Mike McBride braved a bout of bronchitis and surveyed nonetheless, though at one point he attempted a squeeze and decided it might not be best, only to be told he better fit as that was the way forward.
Highlight of the trip? Carlin was able to make a handshake connection and mark a survey station that can be reached when the stations on the other side advance to that area.Notable spots included the beautifully decorated sparkle room, and a great crawl that has a flat calcite floor with some texture to it.
After an arduous 12+ hours underground, the crew stayed at Tanya’s 45 minutes away (much warmer than camping at Perkin’s).
- On the last weekend of 2018, Low Moor Cave hosted Emily, Mike McBride, his girlfriend and her daughter, and Eric and his daughter. The group went in through the quarry entrance, which was mined to have a natural roof with rock pillars on the side to support it. The main quarry was 100 yards off to the right with walking passage that have a ceiling 100-120 ft above you. Mike was able to test his 3000 lumen dive light to fully illuminate the epic space. The main cave has areas where the quarry has dug into it to create vast overlooks into the quarry itself. The group spent about 6 hours in the cave, making it to Fossil Alley and beyond. Along the way they saw 8-12 individual bats, other spots with obvious guano, and a few salamanders. One crawl that dumps you out into a 6-7 ft pit that is spanned by a metal ladder offered a fun challenge for the girls, though Mike opted against testing the precarious holding on the far side that is supported mainly by sloped earth. The water was up, but the stream at the entrance was still low enough to drive through.
- Rachel headed north to join with WVACS, and the couple inches of snow did not discourage them from spending 10 glorious hours in Windymill. It took about two hot hours (they were moving fast) to reach the leads they were pushing, but surveying went quickly since they were aided by DISTOs. Overall they added about 300 – 400 ft to the map and saw two crawdads. There is a return trip scheduled in a couple of weeks.
Upcoming Trips and Activities
- Feb 9: Frick’s Cave Membership Appreciation Day (Georgia). This cave is only open one day of the year, though some areas remain roped off to protect the endangered grey bats that reside here. Near the entrance it is a huge, open cave that will narrow to a stream cave further back. The day usually includes a good presentation and it is possible that vendors may attend as well. Must be a current SCCi member or guest to attend
- Feb 16 – 17: Big Sink Cave survey (Marion, VA) with bat count to follow on Sunday at Hancock Cave. Great beginner’s trip. May want to wear a wet suit or at least wet suit bottoms at Big Sink.
- March 16 – 24: Rachel will be caving in Mexico near El Salto/Monterey. The plan is to fly into Austin then drive 8 hrs south. There is a 100 ft large wall, and rappelling areas are 20 – 30 ft.
- April 6: Grand Caverns restoration (Grottos, VA). This is a commercial cave that sees heavy traffic. Work will be done to spread gravel into divots that have formed and scrub formations to remove growth that has amassed due to the artificial lights. Afterward, you are allowed to visit the nearby caves Madison and Fountain. Do check out the shields in Grand Caverns (big discs that form from hydrostatic pressure) and enjoy the free food.
- April 25 – 28 Spring VAR (Wytheville, VA). Large regional gathering of cavers. Caving, vendors, feast. All you ever need.
- May- girl scout trip. Emily’s niece is part of a girl scout troop that has previously been on a number of caving trips. Although there is no additional room for kids, there is still a need for ‘adults’. Hancock cave is a possible destination.
- May 24 – 27: Speleofest (KY). Hosted by the Louisville grotto.
- June 17 – 21: NSS Convention (Cookeville, TN). This national caving convention is hosted in a different site every year, with 2019 being comparatively close to NC. There are additional caving camps before and after the event.
Congratulations to the new officers for 2019!
Chair: Rachel Saker
Vice Chair: Ken Walsh
Webmaster: Carlin Kartchner
Secretary: Mike McBride
Treasurer: Mike Broome