General Meeting Minutes from March 28, 2023


In attendance (in person or via Zoom): Emily, Maria, Matthew W., Carlin, Zeke, Peter, Stephan, Mark, Ken, Lisa, Frank, Piotr, Michael C., Justine, April, Mike B., Mike Y., and Lee


  • Contact Taylor T. ( for help with the procedure for posting trip reports.
  • While many of us attend the NSS Convention in June, Ken asked if anyone else would be willing to host a meeting in Raleigh. Zeke volunteered. It won’t be at the museum.
  • The April meeting will be outdoors at Carpenter Park (4420 Louis Stephens Dr) in Cary. The program is about learning how to sketch for cave survey purposes. Look for an announcement.

Cave News

  • There’s a rumor of a new WVa law that may offer additional liability protection to landowners. We have no specifics, so let the grotto know if you see any details.
  • Reminder: Beware of knockoff gear sold on Amazon.
  • Emily recommends carrying zip ties in your pack for emergency repairs. She provided some for meeting attendees to take. Mike B. provided a link to for downloadable checklists for both repair kits and first aid kits.

Past Trips

  • SURVEY: Matthew, Maria, Ken, and Emily surveyed in Perkins Cave. With a few pointers from Ken, Matthew got back into sketching on this trip. According to Matthew, it was an honor to get to survey at Perkins because access is restricted and it’s such a pretty cave. We made Ken do the same awful crawl many times to keep his muscles warm. While traveling, Matthew’s strategy was to stay in the back of the group so that he could take photos and then catch up. Maria found it a beautiful and transformative experience. Ken had a hilariously hard time getting the new lock back on the gate.
  • PREPARE: Getting ready for their big Mexico expedition, Lisa and Mike camped in Butler Cave again for a few more nights. Lisa calibrated her disto which was not a process that she found enjoyable. They attempted a two-person survey and realized they don’t have that down quite yet. Also, nothing really dries out on a clothesline in a cave. They tracked cave temps and calorie intakes.
  • DIVE: Newcomer Justine went on a short cave dive trip at Ginnie Springs in Florida.
  • SCOOP: Mike and Lisa went to Battered Bar Cave to check a long-avoided lead at the bottom of a drop. Super muddy and gloppy mud, to boot. Microblasting took out the boulder hiding their lead and revealed a 10-foot nuisance drop. The next trip will be a digging exercise to see if the air blowing through a small hole at the bottom really means anything.

Upcoming Trips

Apr 8Easter weekend survey trip to Perkins Cave (Ken)
Apr 21-23Cave Rescue Orientation (FULL – look for another class in the fall)
Apr 22VAR Earth Day Restoration Sinkhole Cleanout in Hot Springs, VA (Ken)
May 19-21Spring VAR near Franklin, WV
TBDHancock Cave (Mark)
TBDScott Hollow Cave (Mark, Matthew W.)
TBDAnnual Grotto Trip
Cave candidates: Culverson Creek Cave, Buckeye Creek Cave, Lobelia Saltpeter Cave
Camping possibly at WVACS Fieldstation, Greenbrier County, WV


Breathing below and above Water – Cave Diving, by Stephan Francke