Meeting Minutes from September 23, 2008

Attendees: Mark Little, Christian Lindquist, Ken Walsh, TJ Smith, Melanie McCullough, Howard Holgate, Hayden Holgate, Matthew Lubin, Matt (who won’t cave with us), and Mark Daughtridge

It was suggested that the TriTrogs wouldn’t mesh well with North Carolina Gem and Mineral Club, another affiliate with the Museum.

Mark Little led the meeting, in the absence of the Chair and Vice Chair. Mark mentioned the dues for the second half of the year and that the grotto had $1800+ in its treasury.

It was agreed that Susanna should send out directions and a date for the Halloween party. Several volunteered to host the holiday season party.

Ken described why the TriTrogs had changed their minds about surveying Santee State Park: a map was already completed, dry cave was limited to 200 feet, no cave diving allowed, etc.

Trip Reports
Ken described a fantastic trip to Culverson Creek Cave at the VAR. The trip to the Echo Tube was his big reward but Melanie wondered how he got so muddy.

Howard mentioned Phil Lucas’s VAR presentation about Water Sinks Cave and said that everyone enjoying the presentation would surely want to visit this most impressive cave that opened itself last year. Howard talked about his personal first trip to Scott Hollow Cave. Peter and Ann Bosted took photos of the Double Waterfall, and Howard watched Melanie descend from the Chess Room with too short a piece of webbing.

Melanie described Scott Hollow Cave as having more breakdown than she had ever seen. Her trip report included the W Room, Omega Pit, the natural bridge 75 feet in the air (which Cheryl Jones strode across), Volcano Pit, and the Chess Room for pictures. Melanie wasn’t sure she’d recover from all of the climbs and crawls, but it was certainly a good workout. After connecting with Howard’s group, they checked out Craig’s Creek and then up the steep breakdown piles to the entrance.

Mark Daughtridge shared disposable camera photos of his sixteen-person trip to Norman Cave, but they featured far more formations than people. He described that one woman had had shoulder surgery a month earlier, but her doctor had given her the go ahead to do whatever she wanted. Caving shouldn’t have been on the list. With a creature swimming by his shoe, Mark got wet up to mid-thigh before they got to the Great White Way. To find the Great White Way, Mark mentioned that they had to turn around 180 degrees and then crawl into the lead. He even shared a photo of something he called a coral head, described as coral replaced by chert.

On Sunday only 3 out of 16 people showed up for Mark’s trip to Crossroads Cave, led by Mark Morton. With a small group and armed with a map, they were able to visit the lesser known parts of Crossroads Cave and were rewarded by nice formations in the very mazy cave. Mark got some very nice photos here too which he shared, including good passage shots. They went down the “very narrowest passage” and found tree roots hanging 10 feet down from the ceiling. Mark was also impressed by the sea shells in the rocks on the “beach.” The experienced cavers indulged Mark and allowed him to explore dead ends. He even got a nice shot of a splattermite formation.

Upcoming Trips
Boone’s Cave this weekend
Cave conservation trip to Hancock Cave
Geology field trip along the Saltville and Pulaski Faults — Contact Howard if interested
TAG—Pete Hertl and TJ plan to attend this event held at the permanent TAG site, 80 minutes south of Chattanooga
Venture crew youth group trip at Nov. 15—Contact Mark Little if interested