Caving with a Cover Girl

You’ve probably gotten the April issue of the NSS News by now. I’m pleased to say that Dave, Carlin, Mark, Brian Williams, and I had the opportunity to cave with the cover girl, Steph Petri, last Saturday. Dave and Carlin led us back to the VERY wet part of SnoCone Cave to continue the survey. Steph, Brian, and Carlin were assigned to the stream belly crawl while Mark, Dave, and I sloshed on through.

We began surveying into a small but well decorated room that poured white formations from forty feet above. Mark and Dave surveyed down a crack where I couldn’t fit then returned to help survey through. Although things got complicated when Carlin’s group caught up with us, we continued surveying along the stream level while the other group headed up to survey a well-decorated room above.

Mark and I plugged along across rimstone pools and into another high echoing dome. Fortunately the stream led us out of the narrow crawlways and into a massive foggy chamber. The fog was generated from a fifteen-foot high waterfall that cascaded down into our room within a tomb. Ancient faces peered from one wall, and a massive stalagmite pyramid spilled twenty feet across the room. My favorite decorations appeared as a series of rose buds perched on a flowstone slope.

Without scaling poles we couldn’t proceed further with the survey that day. Mark, Dave, and I took a short trip up to the well-decorated room discovered by Steph and Carlin.

On Sunday we headed to Dutton’s Cave on the other side of the county. I crossed the field, easily found the entrance, then returned for the others and a cable ladder. The sport trip had me leading Mark and Carlin down one of the three pits just inside the entrance while Dave and Tanya waited at the entrance. We found an interconnected maze that drained down to a single pool thirty-seven feet below the upper entrance.

Before leaving, Carlin and Mark ducked into Radon Cave to understand that the entrance fill is very easy to clear.