13 total (Please remind me of additions/corrections)
No update on Craig H who was in auto accident. Many of us met him at Grand Caverns some months back and last month we all signed a get-well card for him.
TAG in GA – vertical caving is the draw. Lost Canyon Cave just issued new permits, has two 100 ft drops. Flow stone pit, dug opening to 220 ft pit, another cave with multiple drops.
Cold Sink cave– Ken, Carlin, Jacob, Stephanie, and others, got to survey out past “L” stations. M survey this trip. Knew part of the cave and had to find old markers to navigate parts of it. Traverse, swing parts, some of cave nice and lots of duck unders. U shaped tubes. Opened to 8 ft ceilings. Stephanie’s first survey – she learned quickly. M survey starts some walking passage, and we may be done with belly crawl surveying there! Leads in many directions! 10 to 20 ft heights, found pan flute formation, starts to look like parts of Hancock. An hour and 15 min walk to get out. Surveyed 650 ft on Kens team. Crawl way to heaven a pain.
Jacob and Carlin surveyed a tight wet drain lead. Stream not flowing this time so a little drier. Traversed a pit 18 ft deep, and another 15 ft pit. Checked new pit, 12 ft that opens for 10 ft w small drain. All leads now cleaned up to M survey section. They then focused on sketches. 3 loops closed. About 14 hours of caving. Soup at Tanya’s for midnight dinner. Carlin confident we will reach 1 mile.
Failed to find 2 caves they were looking for. Hiked all over hill of Cold Sink looking for another entrance. Water coming from hill, in the cave finding nuts far back in latest survey, also near road.
David went w Ava to Tawney’s cave, met Mike and Monica Grauer who had not caved before. Visited Tawney’s and one other cave, not many bats at ranch now due to WNS
Formation room near start, very nice, white, active, stream crossing, moon room large echoing room. Showed map at mtg.
One junction hard to find in breakdown, but found easier way eventually. Saltpeter mined there once. Hour and half to do whole cave
Other entrance closed by land owner went back through to start entrance
Mike and Lisa went to Whitesides , John Plyler went too, older woman new to rappel did well, was fascinated.
Peter and others went to New River Gorge Bridge Day, climbed rope, etc. Rob H has video on YouTube
11/3 cave photography
11/17 Worleys / Hancock
11 /18 Rowland creek vertical
11/22-25 TAG trip??
12/1 Holiday Party
12/28-30 survey/ridge walk Smyth county
Program Vertical Caving- Peter Hertl gave the program which included a handout with vertical tips and reminders.
There exists NSS training for Vertical skills.
Grotto once had very active and even well known vertical caving group and it seems to be resurgent
Focus on going with experienced rigger. After that, what do participants need to know? Know your limitations and comfort zone and notice limits of others. Good health, nervous?, experience? , fatigued, sober, good judgement?, don’t get into a rescue situation!
First aid training always good to have.
Situational awareness. Understand environment. Helmet even more important on rope. Be aware of what and who is above, rocks, mud, gear can fall
First step hardest and most likely to have problems where rope is against edge.
Look at rigging. Ask questions.
Have knot in bottom of rope!
Have safety in place before approaching edge.
Have up gear on and ready to go. May need at any time.
Practice changeovers! (Practice Above Ground!)
Have bottom belay for all but first descender.
Pad or tube on rope at edge point may be in your way to some extent, have to pass it- best to have a 3rd ascender attached.
Can have 2nd system at top to rely on while passing edge. Speed is not an issue, safety is main concern.