General Meeting Minutes from October 24, 2023


In attendance: Ken, Mike B., Zeke, Melanie, Eli, Kyle, Nick, Kenna, Mary, Ben, Mark, Taylor T., Stephan, Phlegmily, Michael Y., Lisa, Lee, Jillian, Piotr, April, Quentin, Steve M.


  • Reminder: There will be no regular meeting in December.
  • Time to celebrate the holidays and the 34th birthday of the TriTrogs! Inform one of the officers if you’re willing to host a party in December.
  • The grotto’s yearly donation to a caving charity/organization is in the works. Officers are considering the following groups, but suggestions are welcome.
    • funding for a cave rescue cache in West Virginia (ER-NCRC)
    • cave preserve maintenance (WVCC)
    • Proyecto Espeleológico Sistema Huautla (PESH)
  • As the November program, Stephan has lined up a video about a cave rescue in Germany.

Trip Reports

  • Ken, Emily, Mark, Taylor T., and Piotr ventured into Rehoboth Church Cave for a photo trip. See Piotr’s posted trip report. They enjoyed the mud slide several times. Each iteration became increasingly more muddier and more challenging. Eventually, the ladder slope also became a slide.
  • Ken, Emily, Mark, Taylor T., and Piotr visited Link’s Cave. Once past the horde of spiders at the entrance, Taylor led them to a small squeeze that Ken wouldn’t fit through. He backtracked to join the others. After the crawl, Piotr persuaded Mark to go through a squeeze into a small, terminal room.
  • TAG Fall Cave-In. Melanie and Eli.
    • Simmons Cave was straightforward, had a lot of open space. A long muddy stoop walk, Howard’s Waterfall, the Art Room. They didn’t get down to the Sewer where the air is bad.
    • Pettyjohns is not a beginner cave. They went back to the Waterfall Room. There’s a mud slide that you couldn’t access without a rope. It started out dirty and stinky but got better.
    • Mystery cave near Knoxville. It’s about 700 feet long with chimneys and small stuff. They found a pit in the back – maybe 50 ft deep – with a mysterious rope. Descent was not attempted.
  • Fall VAR.
    • Melanie loved Jones Quarry Cave. They did the hard section back to the Handshake Room. She also visited Crystal Grottoes Caverns which claims to have more formations per square foot than any cave known to man.
    • Cricket Maze Cave was the most fragile cave Nick had seen. Not difficult but a lot of crawling and mud. It was so decorated that past imprints had crystal formations growing in them. They traveled back to the Pool Room.
  • Vertical Practice hosted by Lisa and Mike. Attended by Taylor T., Piotr, Ben, April, Maria, Mark, Phil, Melanie, and Eli.

Upcoming Events and Trips

  • Oct. 27-29 – Orientation to Cave Rescue (Morgantown, WV)
  • Nov. 4 – Buchanan Saltpeter Cave survey (Phil S)
  • Nov. 11 – Hancock Cave (Steve M)


2024 NSS Convention promotional video
Sewanee, TN July 1-5, 2024