TriTrogs General Meeting June 2011

NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Attendees: Mark Daughtridge, Ken Walsh, Howard Holgate, Hayden Holgate, Bryce Schroeder, Peter Hertl, Zeke Van Fossen, Ava Pope, Martin , Patrick Craft, Bithika Khargharia, Amar Chawla, Carlin Kartchner, Mike Broome, Matthew Lubin

Welcome 3 new members!! Bithika, Amar, and Carlin!!
We had 4 members total pay dues this meeting.

General socializing 7:30-7:49
Meeting start 7:50

Old Business– T-shirts
Pete rigging rope at his house, near fairgrounds for vertical training/practice

New Business
NSS Member Manual discussion, general consensus is that we would be in favor of on line version with pay for print option.

VA big eared bat count largest population ever recorded there since 1983 in Sinnett-Thorne Cave.
BugFest- Peter could use volunteers. No caving/bug knowledge needed, Peter will teach what you need to know. This is reciprocal for the museum allowing us to use the space. Sept 17 2 hr shifts 9a-7pm needed. Get Bug Fest T-shirt and lunch and/or dinner (pizza, sandwiches etc) here at the museum.
Had 35,000 visitors last year.

Trip Reports
6/25 -26 TriTrogs Grotto trip – Ava reports it was really fun, asleep by 1, breakfast tacos, caved all day in Buckeye Creek Cave, soaking wet, couldn’t go through due to sump. 11 people attended. Cool Formations, side passages. Bryce and friend made awesome huge dinner- amazing stir fry. Food was great all around. Facility great and in good shape, weather was also great, mid 70’s outside. Resident there had several large exotic birds. Saw a salamander, pigmented crawfish, etc, they get washed in from outside or migrate upstream.

New River cave- Ken, Martin, others went. Navigation was interesting and challenging. Waterfall was flowing well. Martin’s new powerful 3xpG home made light doubled as a laser cannon. Camped at Claytor Lake. Ava warns of the shower on the left being temperamental. Trash, squirt gun, golf ball etc found in cave. UVA has sensors in there now.

Carlin visited lots of national park and other caves on the way while moving to Raleigh/Durham. Did a restoration trip in one cave with lighting. “Beware” Cave only 50 ft but lots of water in Utah near Nevada. Near Crystal Ball cave.

Upcoming Trips
Vertical training- date to be determined

7/18-22 NSS convention in Colorado, Glenwood Springs, in mid western CO. No one from TriTrogs currently planning to go.

8/6 Fountain Cave Photography trip With Ericka Hoffman (near Grand Caverns commercial open since 1804) (in August to avoid the Civil War re-enactment event at Grand in July which may also be of interest to some) easy cave, nice formations. Access to Grand Caverns too. In Grottos, VA
Pictures given to the cave establishment.

Labor Day weekend OTR- Old Timer’s Reunion, Thurs-Sun 8 hour drive from Raleigh, lots of vendors, bands playing music, lots of caves around, $35 covers it all including beer. Must register early. See for details. Peter will most likely go.
10/6-9 TAG Fall Cave-In (
6/25-29, 2012 NSS Convention (West Virginia TBD)

Patrick Craft talked about Cave Rescue, Medicine and Safety.
Patrick is a family Doctor, has his own practice and works for Duke.
Brief highlights from the slides and discussion follow, Patrick can share copies of the slides if interested.

Perkins Cave owned by ACC, Washington Co VA
11,000 NSS members 80 commercial caves
8600 in TN.
4378 in VA
White Nose Syndrome discussed briefly, no affect on humans
Difficulty with Cave Rescue- patient status- ambulatory, pre-existing conditions, hypothermia, consciousness,
Guy fell 600 feet (tumble) rescue took 11 hours on Mount Hood, similar or worse in caves
Caves dark, wet, cold, long, deep, breakdown, chimney, crawling, swimming, vertical drops,
400ft from entrance took 1 hour in one case
Communication, cave navigation, time of day/night to get resources in rural area, rescuers struggle to find entrances
Floyd Collins story mentioned
2007 Union County TN near Knoxville
27 year old fell 80 feet, head injury, many mistakes made
Simmons Mingo cave near Snowshoe WV, injury, those who went for help got lost in cave. Wearing cotton,
Lost for 2 days before found
“Daring” Cave Rescue in Orme Tenn. Couldn’t do the climb out.
Claxton TN- Guy breaks leg 1hr to go 400 ft
VT Student in Feb 2011 in Stay High cave, wedged in v shape crack, 12 hour rescue, crush injury
Emily Mobley in 1991- in NM, broken leg
Cave Fatalities. Nutty Putty Utah

Getting a litter out very difficult.
Incident Commander
Organization communication, scene control
Personnel-Equipped? Trained?
Equipment- litter, 1st aid kit, packaging, ropes, hardware
What is the cave like?
See Auerbach- Wilderness Medicine
Gave Cave rescue contact #’s
Call 911, NCRC, and local known cavers. Can get local politics etc involved

Possible medical issues associated with caves:
Rabies, Lassavirus, 55K deaths /year, mostly in India. Raccoons most common vector in US, and skunks
May be possible to transmit through feces etc. vaccine only lasts a few years.
One bad case from 5mm bat bite not treated at first ended up in medically induced coma to save the girl. Became same temp as the room- ambithermic. Recovered but with some long term problems like speech.
Working on better vaccines.

Histoplasmosis (Ohio Valley Fever)
Can seem like common cold. In soil, bat litter, chicken litter etc. Treated with anti-fungals. Usually not serious, most likely in those with other complications. One variant causes permanent partial blindness.
Bad Air
Volcanic gases- Mt Hood asphyxiated some. Flame test- candle extinguished at 15% Oxygen
Rarely in limestone caves

Hypothermia- kills folks in SE
Described several methods of losing heat
Air draft, direct contact, etc
Mild: body temp 95-89; moderate: 89-78.9; severe: