November 2011 TriTrogs General meeting

Recorded by Ken Walsh (Secretary Mark Daughtridge unable to attend but added minor edits to this post)

NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Attendees (14): Steven, Travis, Ava, Howard, Hayden, Mark L., Bryce, Laurel, Allison, Carlin, Pete, Ken, Steve and Grant attended the meeting. Rob’s floating head in Charlotte appeared on Ava’s screen and occasionally spoke.

Howard Holgate led the meeting and conducted the business in short order. The Holiday Party on Saturday, December 10 will once again replace the December meeting. Howard plans to host the Holiday Party again this year at his home nestled amid Cary/Holly Springs neighborhoods. He will send out an Evite to the TriTrogs list serve to ensure that he doesn’t end up with the multitude of desserts that were generously provided last year (and left at his house). The leftover desserts did apparently find their way to a sorority house during Finals Week.

Howard plans to display the potential T-shirt designs at the Holiday Party and have everyone vote on their favorites. [He did not mention whether or not he is still accepting submissions for designs]

In terms of upcoming trips, the following two were discussed:
December 3 – Travis is planning a sport trip, possibly to Worley’s/Morrell Cave in Tennessee
December 31 – Ken, Steve, and Grant may be planning a sport horizontal trip

Ken mentioned that the grotto had not made a charity donation this year. Suggestions were made to donate money to WNS research, the museum where we hold meetings, or cave conservancies. After a short discussion and a proposal, the TriTrog members voted to donate $200 to the Friends of the Museum. Pete H. will get Mark L. in touch with the right person.

Carlin shared a trip report about surveying in Cold Sink Cave (Smyth County, VA). His weekend plans had fallen apart, so he contacted Dave Duguid about joining that trip. The cave had been listed as Big Spring Cave on previous maps, but the lack of a spring or even a resurgence point suggested that this title had been a misnomer. The frost in the sinkhole at 11 AM on a warm fall day warranted the name change to Cold Sink Cave.

Carlin reported that two teams began the survey on Saturday and that they returned to the cave on Sunday. They netted roughly 850 feet of surveyed passage, with Rob always crawling backwards as he surveyed. The D survey (Snail Shell Squeeze) ended in a wide passageway that was only six inches high and likely connects with a surface sinkhole.

On Saturday Carlin dug at the C Survey passage with just a rock, trying to reach the sound of flowing water. On Sunday he easily cleared the mud away with a crowbar in less than fifteen minutes. Rob and Dave had to dig fifteen minutes more before they could join him. They found a passageway with flowing water, but the leads from there are additional digs.

Grant and Steve described their trip during the bat count at Hancock Cave. Two groups had little success at finding bats (only 4 or 5 were counted all day). The scouts were especially impressed by the Breakdown Staircase, and Preston led them into small squeezes (including the Flying Zamboni Passage), including one that led to an overlook that dropped down fifteen feet. The scouts crossed the Toilet Bowls but found water filling the Funnel Tunnel. The Comic Book (Cartoon) Hole offered amusement, and the scouts found navigation (even with a map) a challenge when they were seeking the exit.

Rob Harris shared a brief version of his bat count team’s experience in Hancock Cave. They found it tough to go up the Breakdown Staircase, and one member refused the climb up. One at the top refused to climb down. To reunite their team, Rob discovered that 30-foot deep fissures would not work. Instead he relied on the scouts’ team to lead them to the Corn Cob Crawl (a difficult climb up) to get them back together.

After a two-minute break, Howard lowered the lights and introduced the program. Ken Walsh shared a presentation by Dave Socky about the CRF exploration of Gap Cave, Virginia, formerly known as Cudjo’s Cave.

After the meeting gathering was held sitting outside in balmy November air at Armadillo Grill.