October 2011 TriTrogs General meeting

NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Attendees: 18 Cavers: Mark Daughtridge, Howard Holgate, Ava Pope, Hayden Holgate, Gordon Bolt, Carlin Kartchner, the hovering head of Rob Harris, Martin G, Mark Little, Brian Sakofsky , Steve Molnar, Grant Molnar ,Bithika, Ken Waslh, Lisa Lorenzin, Mike Broome, Matthew Lubin, Scott Bellavia

General socializing 7:30 to 7:41
Meeting start 7:41

Old Business- T-shirts- Art submissions!! One more from Martin, one from Mark D, Howard suggested delegating it to a committee, but none was appointed or further discussed. Suggestion to use online polling software to finally settle the question.

New Business- Holiday party to be determined by e-mail

Trip Reports-
Carlin went to TAG. 1100 ft of rope work including Fantastic Pit . Balcony is sketchy for rigging rope, bolts have moved due to fracture, rig off BFR (Big Rock) instead. Cemetery pit, other lesser known pit. Slot rock

Mark Little ACC board mtg Bristol plus 1.5hr drive. Reopened caves, not requiring decomm between- applies to ACC owned caves- Gilley cave. Visited Gilley with extremely elaborate, impressive welded gate, tricky to open/find locks. Lock caves behind them as they go in- made nervous about getting stuck so someone stayed behind. Few thousand feet explored, nice formations, pictures. Near entrance has been vandalized with graffiti etc. 115 miles beyond Marion VA. Near Pennington Gap, VA Key got stuck in lock when re-locking for about 30 minutes.

Rob Harris went w/ VPI grotto near Blacksburg, VA, trip leader injured at a party so changed caves to SmokeHole, wet exit about 300 ft of swimming in cold water to go out that way. Boot driers worked well, Rob enjoyed the dip. Pack stayed fairly dry.

Upcoming Trips
Nov 5 Hancock bat count
Nov 6 Lovers Leap/Worley’s survey
Nov 12 WV Cave Conservancy Banquet
Nov 19 Survey trip? Dave Duguid organizing
Nov 19 Cavers Learn WNS in TN- see e-mail. Eastern TN see TriTrogs site for details

Vertical training- date to be determined
First Aid 10 interested, TBD

Carlsbad Caverns- video of swallows emerging
Cave Research Foundation. Well lit pictures with electric lights (parts commercial, Ken got into wild parts too.)
Sulfuric acid formed the cave so unique formations very different from East Coast
CRF founded in 1957. Cooperates w/ Nat Park Svc, Dept of Interior
Gates, monitoring, surveying, cataloging entrances, restoration trips, etc.
Membership required, Svc hours from cavers count toward grant proposals for NPS

Active projects listed
Re mapping because 1960’s map was done quickly and lots of errors
Natural entrance zig zag to big pit. Carved a new entrance. Hotel right above the natural entrance

Nice weather in late Sept. Big Ampitheatre near it. Walkways steep
Bat flight at night viewed from ampitheater no cameras allowed at all!
Lots of Guano and cave swallow droppings. Hosed down every Wednesday
Desert Centipede seen.
Cave over 27 miles long. Some still not explored yet. Most exploration is going on in Lechuguila
Papoose room lots of cool formations. Surveyed .
Queens Chamber. Tours stand in the dark for 15 minutes while rangers lecture, so no surveying or lights allowed during that time.
Helictites, covered in gympsum
Sten lights made great pictures long exposures
Kings Palace room also impressive
Some leads in Carlsbad are stout climbs.
7 people on the survey
Had to leave someone on the trail to keep visitors on track.

Boneyard section was lots of round solutional holes, hard to photograph, leads to lower levels without rappelling.
Looks a lot like Swiss cheese.
Appetite Hill formations stalagmites very sharp and straight come up and covered and water evaporates quickly. Humidity about 60% in Lechuguila, unknown in Carlsbad

The BIG Room Largest Cave chamber in the US by area.
www.Caverbob.net lists all the superlatives for caves.
Surveying the big room, lots of time for good Photos

Used Aquasocks to protect floor formations in some spots. Shoes were clean each day, white dust fell off easily, and no brown mud anywhere

Cave Trays. Maybe form on top of water on shields? Shelf hanging from stalagtite
Celery stalk, Lions Tail, very unique formations
Resurveying is improving the trails already.
38 foot high totem pole formation
Breast of Venus formation about 8 ft across
Final survey stations good shots.
White sands New Mexico just acres of gypsum, powdery sand.

Applause for the presentation
Some survey stations marked with embedded brass markers.
Surveyed 1/5 of mile and ½ big room trail. All together mapped about 2 miles of easy survey. Did not inventory formations. Used Distos and tape. Ceilings over 200 ft high, disto couldn’t go quite that high.

Next month, more depth on Gap cave by Ken, another ACC owned cave

Meeting done at 9:04
After meeting meeting was held at Armadillo Grill.