July 2008 General Meeting Minutes

Diana Gietl kindly volunteered to lead tonight’s meeting. She began by allowing everyone to introduce themselves: John Plyler, Jing Niu, Mark Little, Lisa Lorenzin, Mike Broome, Mark Dautridge, Diana Gietl, Hayden and Howard Holgate, Will Summer, Matt Westlake (late arrival), Ken Walsh, and Matt Meyers.

Mark Little (Treasurer) asked anyone who had not yet paid dues to pay them now ($8/half year, $15/year). Discounts for the grotto trip were based on the dues that were paid.

Ken announced that the August program would deal with the survey and cartography efforts associated with Hancock Cave. The final map will first be shown at the NSS Convention in Florida next month, and the local surveyors will be able to get their copies of the map at the August TriTrog meeting.

In thinking about future programs, Diana suggested that we consider a barbecue gathering in the early fall. Ken suggested an auction to raise money for research into White Nose Syndrome, and he shared some items that he thought would be good for the auction. Diana also offered to share her Greenland or France slide shows for a future meeting.

One of the auction items was a copy of the recent VAR/SERA guidebook, and someone asked if the TriTrogs could get a copy for the library. A motion was made and passed (with no opposition) to purchase a copy for the library.

Trip Reports
Mark Little talked about his trip to Perkins Cave (John Matthews of ACC invited him). The ACC meeting was held in an old barn that Tanya McLaughlin helped him find. John Wilson led Mark, Ellen Hofler, and Theresa Matthews on a cave trip. Mark described an elaborate entrance gate, ladders, and about ten miles of cave in Washington County Virginia. John Wilson has been adding ladders for people with short legs; snap-together ladder segments were carried in and through the drops into the first room. After the work in the entrance room, they went into the Humming Room. In one spot, the room actually hums with more than an echo, more like a reverberation of the walls. The group went through the entrance crawl (wide) and to the Junction Room where they crossed an exposed ledge. The ledge was rigged with three bolts and a rope. This led into the Toothpaste Crawl. The mud there is two feet thick, so they’ve added a plastic sheet to slide across. The ACC wants to make the cave available to cavers but still minimize the damage to the passages. The First Discovery Room is where they encountered the first really impressive white formations. The Forest Trail is a borehole passage through formations.

Mark mentioned the resurvey of Perkins Cave that is going on right now, and he was told to bring some TriTrogs back next time for the survey.

The minutes get sketchy on Ken’s trip reports (because I don’t talk and take minutes well simultaneously). I talked about my sport trip to Hancock Cave during the SERA/VAR (lotsa loops, the last dead end, and beer spray), Morrell’s Cave with Amar, Fayekah, and Avinash (climbing up to an out-of-the-way lead above the Waterfall Room), Rodas-Wolters Cave with Dave Duguid and Tanya (discovery, exploration, shingle cleanup, and survey all in one morning), Chip on Her Shoulder Cave (trip included river crossing, a skylight, stinging nettles, hissing bobcats at Five Goats Cave, wasp nests, ticks, and all the reasons not to ridgewalk in the summer), and Mosquito Den (a dead end after the rock was removed).

Upcoming Trips
There was considerable discussion about details for the upcoming Grotto trip. Mike expected 10-15 people camping at Douthat State Park in Virginia. He would begin emails between those persons discussing trips to Breathing Cave on Saturday and Crossroads Cave on Sunday. There is also the possibility of mountain biking or rock climbing (with poison ivy, mosquitoes, and ticks) nearby for Sunday. The camping and food costs would be covered for grotto members with a $25 fee for others.

The upcoming NSS Convention was covered in the meeting program so not discussed.

Mark Little mentioned an upcoming Explorer Scout trip for August 15.

Old Timers Reunion will be held Labor Day weekend.

The Fall Virginia Area Regional event will be held in Covington, VA September 19 weekend.

The NSS Convention next year will be held in Texas along with the International Congress on Speleology.

Susanna and Dave will share more details about the upcoming Hancock Cave cleanup trip in October.

A cave survey opportunity in Santee State Park in South Carolina might be coming up in September or October.

Diana may be going down to TAG in the Fall for cave photography for as long as a five-day trip. She may visit the Huntsville area or Scottsboro and maybe in conjunction with the TAG Fall Cave In.