General Meeting Minutes – March 27, 2018


In attendance: Emily, Eric, Hunter, Mike B, Mike M, Carlin, Julie, Kyrie, Kim, Matthew, Ken, Diana, Peter, Mark

Emily successfully established that cavers should never bestow their children with cave-related names, as poor Rocky, Whirley, and (yes….) Death Pit may face life-altering challenges. Mica might have hope, though.



  • Next month: The program will be the gear swap. There is a signup sheet posted online. We will start with this first (before the business meeting) so that friends and family can join. Invite all!
  • Spring VAR: (Virginia Area Regional) early registration still open until April 30th.
  • Gather of cavers that camp out on Friday and Saturday night and go caving.
  • Camping at Hungry Mother Lutheran Camp (open field, no individual fire pits so bring a camp stove if you want to cook!)
  • Group dinner will be provided on Saturday night, and continental breakfast on both days. Meals are included in registration if you preregister.
  • There is a great guidebook available this year.
  • Two vendors will be in attendance if you are interested in purchasing and additional caving gear.
  • Most of the caving is generally on Saturday (there is a meeting that happens on Sunday, but you are welcome to cave on the way home).
  • Mike has flag and canopy (when you get there, look for orange flag and NC license plates)
  • Usually about 200 in attendance
  • Orientation to Cave Rescue. April 13-15: NCRC OCR: Chimney Rock
  • Annual grotto trip: Maybe Gilly’s?
  • Pay your DUES! $15 online or give money to an officer


Trip Reports

  • Mike M. travelled south to attend the FL Cave Cavort hosted by the tampa grotto. First stop was Lance’s Cave, where there was some necessary floor and ceiling digging to cement it’s claim as a cave. Next on the list was Ocala Caverns, complete with a rich history that includes joints as a commercial cave and a training facility. After an interesting search for the entrance, they discovered the cleverly concealed 30 ft pit entrance. After exploring some additional smaller limey Florida caves (some with fledgling vultures in the entrance), they found themselves in another previous commercial cave that with concrete steps to a 60ft by 200ft room that housed crystal blue water. One long crawl and steep ladder across a crack later, Mike discovered dozens of bats roosting in the entrance to the lake room. The lake itself was about 12ft by 16ft, and at 8 ft deep one can easy cannonball into it. An exploration of Dame’s cave and Peace Cave completed the trip, though these two smaller caves (<400ft) were well populated with locals.
  • Lisa and Mike B. ventured out to Hawaii and discovered the draw of lavatube Unlike solution caves, the formations within lavatube caves are from the liquid rock itself that has cooled into shapes. The ceiling is adorned with roots since you are never far from the surface. They entered through a ceiling collapse and continued along the horizontal routes with a downhill trend, with some side passages into the inner sections.The cave was a balmy 65°F, similar to the outside temperature, and was situated on the southern tip of the island in a community with about 6 cavers. At 65°F, the cave was too warm for the bats to be affected by WNS.
  • Lisa and Mike also attended a small party rescue training in Burnsville, VA, with classroom exercises on Saturday and Sunday they focused on rope work for vertical rescue with pulleys and hall systems. Originally it would have been in a cave, but the 6-8 inches of snow meant they practiced their rope work in a two story-garage.
  • Ken, Dave, Emily, and Jason successfully surveyed Dutton’s Cave along Cave Ridge. The scrambled down into one room with three pits on three different sides of the room. Using a cable ladder to drop down to the lower level, they came across the main room adorned with lots of fins. There was a pool at the base (which was about 4 ft lower than the previous scouting trip) and alongside were some stones that had been pulled there to form a kind of platform. By the end of the trip they logged 32 stations.
  • The group continued to Radon Cave, where Ken learned he couldn’t quite squeeze through the initial crawlway. Leaving Ken to dig out the initial crawl, the rest continued and Dave rigged a cable ladder that led to an area at the top where there was barely enough room to take your harness off. After another pinch, it opened into a long room with a ceiling of about 75 ft. Animal life included one bat, one groundhog, and the remains of something else. Nothing looked promising for other leads from the larger room.


Upcoming Trips and Activities

  • April 13-15: NCRD OCR: Orientation to Cave Rescue (Open to beginners)
  • April 21: Grand Caverns Clean Up Ken will be helping out. Oldest commercial caverns in the US. Sunday: offering tours with a USGS geologist at 10 and 1 pm. Cavers get to join for free. Contact Ken if interested. Might be cleaning off algae, putting formations back together.
  • April 27-29: Spring VAR
  • May 3-6: SERA Cave Carnival (Scottsboro, AL) It’s a TAG event
  • May 11-13: GirlScout Trip to Lowmoor Emily’s nieces girl scout trip Ken, Diana, Kim
  • May 25-28: Speleofest (KY)
  • July 28 – Aug 4: NSS Convention (MT)
  • Aug 25-26: Annual Grotto Trip
  • Nov 10: Darwin Day: At Museum.



Emily hosted a wonderful game of Speleo Bingo.