February 18, 2011 – 7:30 pm – Vinton Fire Station

Vinton, VA


Dave Socky

Mary Sue Socky – Vice Chair

Al Stewart

Aaron Moses

Carl Cornett

Marian McConnell - Secretary

Trish Geiger - Treasurer

Susan Burr

Stephanie Petrie

Alan Staton

Sarah Iler*

Nicholas Socky*

Doug Feller

Jess Jones

Carl Alls*

David Ratliff

Lindsey Ratliff*

Elliott George*

Bethany Poff*

Cyndi Hutchison

Randy Michael




          Crossroads, VA– January 22, 2011, Bath County, 3.4 hours, BRG trip.  Dave Socky, Susan Burr, Stephanie Petrie, Daniel Ledger (Stephanie’s boyfriend), Jessica Jones, Scott Neville (Jessica’s boyfriend), Tom Tracy II, Jen Perdue, Brian Williams, Bill Walker (Brian’s friend), and Doug Feller.  Great trip, although did see evidence of WNS.

          Clover Hollow, VA – Nick Socky and friends visited with the VPI Caving Club to practice vertical work and rigging, on February 13, 2011.

          Zicafoose Blow Hole, WV – Alan Staton and friends visited this cave.  Short trip involving lots of cable ladders and lots of crawling.  The owner lives in a 20x20 shack, and had bulldozed a cave open.

          Gap Cave, VA (Cumberland Gap National Historic Park) – January 29, 2011, Lee County, 13 hours, 715’ survey trip.  Dave Socky, Joe Zokaites, Mike Rhinehart, did the surveying.  Mary Sue Socky and Carol Zokaites rode down as well.  Surveyed up front in high levels off the Coke Bottle Room, which is accessed via the Soldiers Entrance.  Finished about 1:30 am and were out about 2:30 am.

          Shovel Eater Cave, WV – February 5, 2011, Pocahontas County, 13 hours, photo/sport trip.  Aaron Moses, Ricky Shortt, Carl Amundsen, Gayle Suppa, did a tourist trip through a good portion of the cave.  Aaron led the way with the help of Carl and Gayle.  Very vertical cave – 30 drops with lots of rebelays were involved.  Aaron also surveyed in the cave on January 3, 2011 weekend (500+ feet) and February 1, 2011 (300+ feet).

          Island Ford, VA – Carl Cornett and Marian McConnell took a group of Roanoke City Parks & Recreation participants on a trip into the cave on February 12, 2011; saw over 50 bats – none with WNS.  Saw a dead crayfish in the spring.

          Memorial Day Cave, WV – February 12, 2011, Aaron and friends explored and surveyed; climbed to the 200’ level.  Topped out at 303’.  One of the bolts pulled out during the climb which gave Aaron a scare.

          Grand Caverns, VA – Mary Sue Socky went to Grand on February 5, 2011, to clean up broken and whole light bulbs.  New owners seem like they don’t want cavers to clean formations; having the staff do it after hours.


          Paxton’s, VA – The February BRG trip will be on February 19, 2011 with Dave Socky leading.  Beginners are welcome, plan to go to the Guano Ecstasy area.  No vertical involved.  Meet at HROM at 9:30a.

          Organ, WV – The March BRG trip will be on March 19, 2011 in the Lipps Entrance to Organ; Doug Feller will lead, Susan Burr will coordinate.


2.  PROGRAM – “Bridge in Tunnel” from the 2010 NSS Convention – story about building a bridge through a cave which was discovered while drilling a tunnel for a highway in Croatia.


3.  MEMBERSHIP – Mary Sue handed out the updated BRG Member List (as of February 17, 2011).  We currently have 54 members and 1 subscriber.



          Petty Cash              $139.00

          General                  $5,250.61

          Conservation          $266.59

          Equipment              $246.12

          Cave Bucks             $138.30

          TOTAL                   $6,040.62


5.  NEWSLETTER – Great issue, thanks for all submissions.  Can always use artwork, photos, articles, ideas.


6.  ROCKS – There are a couple of leads to check out in Botetourt County.  Greg McCorkindale has some contacts who state they have “caves and sinkholes everywhere.”


7.  SAFETY & TECHNIQUES – Let Dan McConnell know of any specific training needs you may have.


8. CONSERVATION – (Vacant.)


9.  WAYS & MEANS – (Vacant.)


10.   MEMBERSHIP PROPOSALS – Nicholas Socky (sponsored by Dave Socky) and Elliott George (sponsored by Mary Sue Socky) submitted their membership proposals.  Susan Burr seconded the motion to accept their proposals – which will be tabled until next month’s meeting.





          Sanctum – We will meet at the Valley View Grande Theater on Sunday, February 20th at 1:30p to watch the cave-diving movie together.  Wear cave-related t-shirts!

          White Nose Syndrome will be the topic of guest speaker Wil Orndorff at the Tri-Country Forestry and Wildlife Association meeting on April 11 at 6pm at the Roanoke Moose Lodge on Route 311.  Please RSVP to Marian McConnell or Cole Semones by April 1st.  $10/person includes full dinner.


12.  NEW BUSINESS – None.



          Rescue at Stay High Cave, VA – local non-caver guy got stuck and had to be rescued.  Lots of local media coverage, including an interview with Wil Orndorff.

          Body Recoveries at Ellisons Cave, GA – Two college students died (of hypothermia from the waterfall) despite rescue attempts by “dream team” of NCRC rescue folks.  The students were not prepared (clothing, gear, training, etc.)  Alan Staton (NCRC) gave a more detailed report on the accident.

          WNS – WNS continues to spread; including in Newberry-Banes, Higginbotham, etc.  There has been no sign of WNS in Gap, Grassy Springs, Kelly Cave.  In Rocky Hollow, 5% had the fungus.  Powell Valley – infestation is expected.

          Spring VAR will be held on April 29 – May 1.

          2011 NSS Convention will be in Glenwood Springs, CO.

          Letter of thanks received from ACC and BCI thanking BRG for recent donations. 


14.  Adjournment at 8:39p.