Cold Sink Survey June 2012

Accommodations:
Tanya’s palace
Food:
-Saturday- Breakfast at Tanya’s consisting of whole wheat pancakes
w/ blueberrys, fresh fruit, sausage, and eggs. Snacks during the day.
Dinner was eating out for some. Those who stayed in the cave were
privy to pizza hut ordered for us by the early departers. Sunday,
more of the same breakfast from yesterday only this time there were
Strawberrys rather than blue
Time
first person in CS: 10:30 am
Time
last person out: 12:30 am — 14 hour trip
J
survey stats: 108.4’, 15 shots, avg length: 7.2’
K
survey stats: 824.9’, 48 shots, avg length: 17.2’
Prev
cave length: 2086’
New
cave stats: 3019.3’, 216 shots, avg length: 14’
Dave
Duguid who has been on all the CS surveys has been polishing up his
map of Rowland Creek cave in Smyth Co., and at 3172’ surveyed, his
project is about to be surpassed in length!

J
survey summary:
J
survey consisted of Dave Duguid, Martin Groenewegen, Lisa Lorenzin,
and Mike Broome. They entered the cave after the K survey to prevent
a bottle neck at the crawlway to heaven. There primary goal was to
work a couple digs and if time permitted, survey another lead we knew
went. The first, and most exciting dig had great air last time, so
Dave was hungry to enter it. We’d recruited Lisa specifically to
ensure we could pass the constriction. Fortunately, the dig was much
easier than expected. It only required moving a rock on the floor and
everyone could get through. Unfortunately, it rapidly ended in a
breakdown pile, so it was just sketched, and not surveyed. The second
dig was in soft dirt that Martin went to town on, but it quickly
ended in a small formation choke.

After
attacking the digs they went to survey a lead from two trips ago
which knowing how it begun, was expected to be a challenge. In 15
shots, they surveyed 108.4ft, averaging 7.2 ft per shot. Yuck. At
least they got most everything done out there. There is a low wet
stream lead back there, but it sounds grim if even doable. Based on
Dave’s description on that part of the cave I’m considering all
leads out there as checked.

After
the survey Mike and Lisa headed out of the cave. They were clear
before entering the cave that they wanted to leave early, and they
had achieved all the objectives they were given. Unfortunatly, they
missed out on seeing the more exciting part of CS where the K survey
team was making the cave grow.

K
survey summary:
K
survey was the first team to enter the cave. The team consisted of
myself, Matthew Lubin, and Robbie Spiegel. Matthew was new to
surveying, but after taking a few stations to figure out how
everything worked, his skills improved. After setting a more
permanent station at the traverse,  started surveying in the
pencil room. The room was so named when on the last trip Brian
declared it so, sacrificing a pencil for use as the survey station
there. The passage along the K survey continued nearly directly
westward the entire time. It took us a while, but after a couple
hours of survey time we arrived in the larger room Dave and Brian had
scooped into last time. We’re dubbing this room the Milk Jug room
based for the old 1Gal milk jug lodged in the rocks in the center of
the room.

On
entering the room, we surveyed a left had passage with a ~15’
flowstone fall. I climbed to the top, rigged a piece of webbing, and
had the others climb up, following after me. The floor everywhere was
pretty fragile, and Robbie begged off taking back sights at the last
station for fear he’d damage things too much. The first section of
the room had a number of dry rimstone pools. Half of the room had a
black possibly manganese floor which recorded just about every boot
print placed on it. The back section of the room had a short
flowstone column coming from a hole in the ceiling. The calcite on it
was white, as was the floor around it. We took 3 survey shots up
there confirmed things went no further, then carefully exited pulling
the webbing with us.

Back
in the Milk Jug room we surveyed towards a wet, decorated lead that
we concluded was only worth pushing if someone was ready to get very
wet. Then we ducked down and continued in the remaining lead which
looked like the main passage. We surveyed a few shots down this way
before we heard Dave calling out for us. He’d come with Martin to
see how we were doing. Matthew was ready to leave, so he headed out
with Martin, and Dave stayed with us to survey for a few more hours.
The second shot taken with Dave was 46’ long. Yeh-haw! The passage
here was pretty straight forward and easy to survey. There were a
couple side shots, but generally everything continued west. We ended
in a couple rooms, larger than anything found earlier in the cave.
There we left 3 good leads. One is a pit/downclimb section that
sounds wet, a high tunnel above this lower lead that to me looks like
a mine tunnel, and lead that is back to hands and knees and looks
like the primary continuation. Exciting stuff for another day.

Interestingly
enough, soon after Dave found us the cave started to feel like
Hancock cave. Even if the caves do not connect, it seems like we’re
at least in the same rock unit now. Having walked the surface between
the caves, the valley between them seems unlikely to be crossed, but
If the cave continues west for a few more trips, a Hancock connection
may begin to be less of a joke. The cave grew by a lot this trip. A
big thanks to everyone who has helped survey this cave so far. At
3000+ feet, it feels like a real cave now. 


More pics from the weekend are found here.

A video to give a vague size of the final room is here.

Robbie pondering his existence while posing for the classic entrance shot.
A bit greener than on past trips.

A bit of flowstone in the large room at the end of the known cave.