Minutes from TriTrog General Meeting 9/25/2007

Attendees – Mike Broome, Hayden Holgate, Howard Holgate, John Plyler, Ken Walsh, Matt Jenkins, Diana Gietl, Dave Duguid, Vincent Santagata, Patrick Kraft, Mark Little, Matt Meyer After introductions, Howard jumped right into the Trip Reports part of the meeting. John Plyler described the contests at Old Timers Reunion. John won or placed in four contests (cable ladder, obstacle course, and 2 vertical competitions). Pete Hertl came in second on the 30-m climb. Anne Kehs placed in two of the beer chugging contests. Hayden and Howard Holgate described their trip to Hancock Cave and told everyone how dry the cave was. The entrance slope was just sticky at the bottom with no pools. The new people (Heather and Scott) caved just fine. Patrick Kraft described his survey trip to Perkins Cave. Robbie, Jason, and Patrick went surveying, but by the time they reached the lead two miles back, Patrick needed a nap while they surveyed. Perkins is located above the North Fork of the Clinch River. Diana Gietl described Big Run Cave as a nice little cave for an OTR Friday survey trip. She shared accounts of lots of slave failure and mentioned that the batteries were all likely bad. Those flashes have been sent to California for further testing. On Saturday Diana and Ken Walsh went with Bill Storage and Doug Medville to the Elk River area. Fortune Radish Cave was once again blocked with sediment. We went to Falling Springs Cave. Bill described the ceilings as 20 feet high when they surveyed the cave, but we were crawling because logging followed by a flood filled the cave. Near the back Bill said “Picture this: You’re in this large room and then there’s a pit here.” Now we stood near the ceiling with not so much as a depression. Diana described a beautiful entrance sinkhole with a waterfall that looked as though it dropped over tufa. However, the back entrance required us to dig our way out. Although Bill and Diana could’ve escaped in minutes, my size would’ve required hours for an extrication. Diana also spoke about her trip to Nelson Cave on OTR Sunday. They photographed this fracture cave with great success that day. John Plyler also talked about the vertical practice at Whitesides with 30 other people. Five ropes were rigged and looked as though they were hooked to the sky. Thick clouds made it easy climbing for those with acrophobia. Mike Broome had trouble with his access line and started to invert but managed to forget about hanging 650 feet in the air. The second day afforded plenty of sun and spectacular views. Dave Duguid described his trip to Grand Caverns with his two older boys. He described the damage to the cave lighting systems by a recent lightning strike. It blew out most of the lights inside and melted the transformers. He arrived late Saturday while the others were ridgewalking so was unable to cave that day. Sunday Scott Davis took them into Fountain and Madison Caves. Heading back home, they stopped at Crozet’s Tunnel. In terms of business, Mark Little described the TriTrog donation of door prizes for the VAR/MAR (four $50 donations to a conservancy/cave foundation of the user’s choice). Mark suggested that we might be able to find four different prizes, but no one presented any suggestions that gained strong support.
Ken requested that TriTrogs sign up for volunteer activities at the VAR/MAR.
Dave Duguid is renovating his house and was looking for volunteers to take over housing the library. Mike Broome volunteered. In terms of Upcoming Trips, John Plyler posted announcements for TAG Fall Cave In, the VAR/MAR (Howard, Hayden, John, Mark, and Ken all indicated their plans to attend), Bridge Day, Hancock Cave survey this weekend, and Rowland Springs Cave with Dave Duguid on October 27. After a short break, Ken Walsh shared a short presentation and quiz about identifying Eastern Cave Bats. Vincent, Howard, Mike, Mark, Matt, Matt, and Diana were all rewarded with cookies and a bat-danna.