April 18, 2008


Pat Sims                       Al Stewart                     Mary Sue Socky            Doug Feller

Susan Burr                    Dave Socky                   Carl Alls                        Trish Geiger

Carl Cornett                   Cyndi Hutchison            Todd Martin


Pat Sims (VC) was acting Chair in Marian McConnell’s absence.  




4/5/2008:  VAR weekend in Grand Caverns.  Mary Sue Socky and Carol Tiderman collected trash, hid wire with rock and mud.  Susan Burr, Pat Sims, Bob Thren, Charles Kahn, the Biggers Clan moved rock in Fountain Cave.  The dig did not go.  Carol and Mary Sue gave a guided cave tour, since the staff was “short handed”.


4/22: BRG members, led by Dave Socky, went to Crossroads Cave, VA.  We all had a real good time – in the floorless canyons.  (Cole was NOT happy.)  Crossover passage to Thin Man’s Bypass – we found out who the thin people were, and who the fat asses were, too.  Some could only get through if they went backwards! 


4/12/08 – Maxwelton Survey.  A 14 ˝ hour survey trip for Dave Socky, Drew Toth, ---------Richardson, and Errol…………..


3/29/08 – The Subway section of Water Sinks Cave, VA.  A great trip into a water-washed cave!  We were in for only a short time, but there is still going passage and many leads.  Phil Lucas has some spectacular footage of the cave flooding, inside and out! 


??????/08 – Rick Shortt, Leanne Barley, Aaron Moses and Doug Feller visited 3 WVa vertical caves:  Black Bear’s Plunge, which had two dropes, ending in a dead bottom pit with water.  A-1 Cave, entered through a steep, trash filled  sink to horizontal entrance.  At a crevice, there was an 80 foot drop, and a 100-foot drop futher in the cave.  Aaron, of course, chose the wrong, unstable route.  There was some horizontal cave in A-1, and the 80’ pit connected into the 100’ pit.



Sunday 4/20/08 – Vertical 120’ drop at Grapevine Pit, Horisontal off-trail caving in Lost World Caverns.  BRG will donate $5/person to Lost World owner for use of his cave.   Dave Socky alos wants some more footage of cable ladder techniques – with cavers wearing helmets, this time, please! 

4/26/08Pink Helectite Cave Sinkhole cleanup.

5/3/08 – Grand Caverns.  Mary Sue Socky and Marian McConnell will give caving presentations to 150 Boy Scouts, then go caving.  Pat & Susan will just go caving.

6/5-8/08 – Spring VAR/SERA Cave Carnival, Bristol, TN. 


May 17 BRG trip – to Pocahontas Poor Farm Cave, Pocahontas Co. WV. Pat Sims is leader.  Trip will leave from HROM at 8a!!


Program:  Hellhole, narrated by Ed Devine.  (2nd try) Good video, good footage.





TREASURER  4/18/08

General Fund       $ 4888.37

Conservation        $   476.09

Equipment Fund $    341.00

Cave Bucks         $     82.30

 Total:    $ 5,814.76


Committee Reports:


Newsletter:  Thanks for your submissions! Send in your artwork, photos, and articles.  Postage will be rising by 1 cent in mid-May 2008. 

Membership: Extra copies of the BRG Membership List and Constitution are available at the front desk. 

ROCKS: nothing new. 

S&T:  No report

Conservation: vacant

Ways & Means: vacant


Membership Proposals

Nothing tabled, nothing new.  NSS Membership brochures are at the front desk.




BRG Website: The new website is AWESOME!  Check it out!  Pat Sims may have some moer panorama photos of the Fall VAR site.


Hosting Fall VAR 2008 (Susan Burr) Site is Covington Moose Lodge.  Date:  Sept. 19-21.  BRG and JRG are co-hosting the 2008 Fall VAR. 


  • We may get ice for free (from the Moose Lodge) on Saturday night.
  • ML has OK’d “tree climbing”, fishing, and bonfire.  One established and one optional bonfire site. 
  • Susan has asked for donations for door prizes.  Keep them coming!  Thanks!
  • App. 12 led cave trips are line up.  There are also ridgewalking and above ground activities.
  • JRG will NOT be doing T-shirts.
  • Guest speaker is a definite maybe.  We may need additional slide shows to “fill in”
  • We WILL Have use of the kitchen connected to the pavilion.  Great place to hold breakfast. 
  • NEEDED: a pop up tarp to expand the registration area.  (What about a rental tarp, or from a funeral home??) 



White Nose Syndrome (WNS)   nothing new to report.  Scientists still DO NOT know what is sickening, killing the bats, or how it is spread.  


  • Pat Sims noticed a discrepancy on the WNS listing for Lipps/Organ and Friar’s Hole.  Are they opened or closed? Mary Sue Socky volunteered to find out and report back.   


  • Please see websites, etc. to stay up to date on what has been found, and current proper caver “gear cleaning” recommendations.





  • Spring VAR contacted BRG, asked if we would consider donating two FALL VAR registrations as door prizes to Spring VAR 2008.  In exchange, we would get a free ˝ page ad for Fall VAR in their program.  (This is a goodwill gesture and great positive press).  D. Socky motioned that BRG donate the 2 registrations/exchange.  S. Burr seconds.  Vote:  10 for, 1 anti.  Motion Passes.


  • BRG Pool Party.  Do we want to have one in 2008?  YES!  When?  Proposed in place of the meeting (and hopefully avoid the bluegrass festival).  Date tabled, will be decided at the May meeting. 


  • Dixie Caverns Haunted Cave 2008 – Is a GO.  The 9 nights of Hell will be held only on Friday and Saturday nights for the entire month of Octobeber this year. (Those nights have been the only money-makers for the caverns).  Mary Sue Socky will coordinate the cavers, David Hawks will be Haunted Cave Director.   Oct. 3, 4,10,11,17, 18, 24, 25, 31.




  • Thank You letters for BRG’s generosity with Haunted Cave funds  from Nature Conservancy, NSS Cave Vandalism Deterrence Committee.  WVACS sends a verbal “thanks” via Dave Socky... 
  • 2008 SERA/VAR brochures, describing the upcoming weekend in June 2008.
  • NCRC Weeklong Preregistration May 3-10, 2008, Mentone, AL.
  • NSS Convention 2008 (Lake City FL) Aug. 11-15, 2008 registration info.
  • Clean Valley Day April 5, 2008.  Does anyone want to do a cleanup somewhere? 



Meeting ended 8:40p.


Minutes submitted by

Mary Sue Socky

Secretary, Blue Ridge Grotto.