September 2011 TriTrogs General Meeting

NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Note: There was no August 2011 meeting as a rousing pool party was held instead. Trip reports from August include that no one tripped and fell into the pool. A couple people may have been pushed but most jumped in willingly.

Attendees: 15 Cavers: Howard Holgate, Ava Pope, Hayden Holgate, Bryce Schroeder, Carlin Kartchner, the hovering head of Rob Harris, Martin Groenewegen, Peter Hertl, Brian Sakofsky, Neil Brooks, Cassandra Houston, Steve Molnar, Grant Molnar, Amar chawla, Mark Daughtridge

General socializing 7:30 to 7:44 including Howard manning the door since guard was away and we didn’t have the sign to call the room Ken normally posts, but we made one on the fly and stuck it up just as the guard came back and Howard went down to start the meeting anyway.

Meeting start 7:45

Old Business- T-shirts- Art submissions!! 3 are in from Martin. Others originally due and decision to be made by September Meeting.- Extension of 2 more weeks to submit designs to Howard by e-mail. Then e-mail voting will commence!
Receipts from Grotto Trip still to be re-imbursed

Red Cross training desired 8 people at previous meeting would be interested in a course. Mark D will ask Danny M about options, cost, dates, locations 10 tonight expressed interest, assuming that includes the original 8.

New Business- none

Trip Reports
OTR- Brian reported on another trip to Shovel Eater cave
Peter talked about his OTR experience too, competed in vertical skills and did a few hours of caving

Carlin went to Gap Cave – gear provided including new vertical gear. Vertical section only open 4 months a year. Historic signatures beyond the gate, civil war era etc. Surveyed, documented pictures, long 3.5 hour retreat with a strained shoulder. Gap Cave is near VA/KY/TN border

Upcoming TripsGrand Caverns trip with Baltimore Grotto 1st weekend of October- survey training

10/6-9 TAG Fall Cave-In (

10-14 to 16 Fall VAR- Bath County, marvelous caves- Breathing Cave,Wishing Well, etc
11-5 Hancock Bat count
11-19 Cavers Learn WNS in TN- see e-mail.

Vertical training- date to be determined, Pete and Mark D
First Aid 10 interested, TBD, Mark D.

Bryce presented on Lava Beds National Monument.
Elevation 4000 ft? orhigher. In CA near Oregon Border. Nearest city is Klamuth Oregon, 40 min away
Volcanic activity as recently as 1000 years ago. Most tubes 30-40K years ago. Come vertical connections with collapses between.
Historical artifacts, lots of Native American activity historically
Lots of Bats, packrats, and some snakes
World’s only confirmed site of aerosol rabies from Mexican Freetail bats. That cave is closed!

North of Modoc Nat. Forest
Caldwell Trench is a collapsed lava tube about 60 ft deep at some spots. Open top now with vegetation
750 caves in the area
Soil is pumice and terrain above is desert, high elevation and cold
Several developed caves along cave loop road. CCC put in trails, stairs, rails etc in 1930’s. Also brought in pumice which moved around and detracts form caves’ natural beauty
Caves still being discovered.
Holes around above ground so be careful. Deer fell into one developed cave and distressed tourists.
No gold, only algae.

A few formations, and a few secondary from later water flow, but nothing like limestone caves
Lava tubes are newer and still collapsing, and more dangerous. Older caves have had eons of earthquakes etc to stabilize them
Lava sicles like ice cicles of rock. Neat webbing patterns
Some caves have chimneys built as lodges or smoke houses.
Bat Superhighway is one cave name.
Rare rubber boa snake that only eats crickets.

Sentinel was hot. Caves small enough to vary with outside temp. Most very dry unless it’s actually raining.
A few caves have year round ice, but closed in summer to protect the ice
Don’t rely on cheap helmets sold in the gift shop

Meeting done at 8:52
After meeting meeting was held at nearby watering hole of Armadillo Grill which seemed to lack the normal kitchen staff but managed to feed us well anyway.