October 17, 2008


Pat Sims                       Al Stewart                     Mary Sue Socky                        Dave Socky

Susan Burr                    Marian McConnell          Dan McConnell                          Trish Geiger




9/12:  Trish Geiger toured the pretty commercial sections of Wind Cave, SD and Jewel Cave, SD during her vacation. 



9/20 Pat Sims led a VAR trip to Pocahontas Poor Farm Cave, Pocahontas Co. WV.  Half of the group didn’t want to do the interesting parts of the cave, and the pretty stuff is BEYOND the crawl!  Then went to Boarhole…(below)


9/20:  Dave Cowan led Pat Sims and remaining cavers from Poca Poor Farm trip into the Boarhole, Greenbrier Co. WV.  Everything in this cave has to do with pigs!  Giant, booming passage!!  The group went in through a small chimney entrance, exited the cave 2 hours later via a culvert.  This would be a neat BRG trip! 


9/20:  Island Ford Kiddie Trip.  The families, kids did GREAT with the exception of one child, who was a pain in the ass!  Despite the incessant crying, whining and temper tantrums, we made it back to the spring, then back out via the “slide”. 


9/20:  Dave Socky took a group into Culverson Creek/the Echo Tubes.  He began the trip with 9, ended with 7 participants (one couple bailed early, health reasons) They went over the Scary Spot, the Mudderhorn, and got to the back of the Echo Tubes.  Found a little virgin passage, but the Tubes ended in breakdown.  Ken Walsh had fun!  Good trip.


9/20:  Doug Feller took a group into Paxton’s Cave, VA.  After one hour, Doug had to escort two cavers out to the entrance, then raced back to his group.  He couldn’t find them – they were hiding from him!  The remaining group made it back to the Christmas Room, etc. and had a great trip, because Doug knows this cave.  (Report from Susan Burr and Dave Socky)


CMH 9/20:  Dan & Marian McConnell met with their group Saturday, and went to the very bottom of Catawba Murder Hole.  Excellent trip!  When Marian rappelled to the lowest level, everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to her! 

9/21:  Cavers finally showed up around 11:30a for the open air vertical session.  A total of six rappellers enjoyed rappelling and climbing out of the Daylight Cave, including two very new vertical cavers, who appreciated Dan’s instruction on SRT.


NOTE:  Marian and Dan want a cleanup in the very bottom of CMH next summer 2009.  There is lots of trash in the very bottom, in the mud.


10/4:  Susan Burr, Pat Sims, Bob Thren worked in Grand Caverns, VA.  They helped Carol Tiderman work on a couple of digs behind Dante’s Inferno.  They were VERY muddy!  The three of them also went to check out some other tight leads Carol mentioned back in the same area.  Susan went as far as possible, but couldn’t go further due to overhead rocks in the way.  (Susan says the “cracks” are miserable!)




Oct. 18 - Rickey Shortt is leading a BRG trip to Higginbotham’s # 4 Cave –the pit entrance/short drop.  It depends on water levels and finding the entrance.


Nov. 23 (Sunday) – It’s a GO!  Dave Socky and Phil Lucas set up a BRG trip to the “Water Sinks” Cave, on Phil & Charlotte’s property.  We will meet at 8:30a HROM on Sunday, 11/23/2008. 


PROGRAM:  2nd half of Carlsbad Caverns, NM.  Awesome footage of Lechuguilla Cave and the “Spirit World” section of Carlsbad Caverns. 




TREASURER  10/17/08

General Fund      $ 5,451.11

Conservation       $    156.09

Equipment Fund  $   341.00

Cave Bucks         $      95.30

 Total:    $ 6,043.50


Committee Reports:

Newsletter:  Thank You for the nice long break.  The Oct. DUMP is full of info, photos, and excellent articles.  Keep them coming in! 

Membership: nothing new. 

ROCKS: nothing new

S&T: vertical training session (Rockwood?) sometime in January 2009.

Conservation: vacant

Ways & Means: vacant


Membership Proposals

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



BRG Website: nothing.  Please drop.



Good News – everything went well. Only complaints were train noise and FRG ran out of syrup on Sunday. 

Bad News – Moose Lodge hit us with $600.00 more “last minute expenses”; gratuity and banquet hall clean up.  Susan Burr and Mike Frazier decided to go on and pay, because the campground was so cheap. 

Totals:  BRG made $ 841.49, JRG made $840.00 (profit).  VAR gets $765 for dues collected.  Good deal!


Haunted Cave 2008 – we are halfway through!  It has been an interesting bumpy year.  JRG, VPI and BRG are the participating grottoes.  IF anyone is interested, there are a few volunteer slots left. 


White Nose Syndrome (WNS)   Check VAR Limited Access Cave List for new updates and “gear cleaning” recommendations.  Several closed caves have been Closed for the winter to cavers.


BRG Christmas Dinner – Friday, Dec. 19, 2008 @ Mamma Maria’s.  $16.00 per person. You have to pay extra for your own drinks.  We need 25 to get our $75.00 deposit returned.  Please sign up, pay treasurer.  Thanks!


Proposal:  Susan Burr proposed that the 14 people from BRG who helped with Fall VAR should get their “dinner and ice tea” paid by BRG as a way of saying “THANKS”.  Trish Geiger seconded motion.  7 yes, 1 no.  MOTION PASSES.    The 14 lucky cavers are:

1. Susan Burr
2. Pat Sims
3. Doug Feller
4. Randy Michael
5 . Dave Socky
6. Mary Sue Socky
7. John Layman
8. Cameron Hall
9. Aaron Moses
10. Rick Shortt
11. Leanne Barley
12. Marian McConnell
13. Dan McConnell
14. Carl Cornett


2008 Christmas Card design – “Caver Snowman with Bat” submitted by Marian McConnell.  Everyone likes it!  Design is unanimously accepted, Marian will get a batch printed, sent to landowners in Dec.  Socky’s will print labels.




Pig Hole Fencing.  Project will be coordinated by Don Anderson and Joe Zokaites.  Grottos are donating money and manpower:

VPI - $500.00

NRVG - $200.00

BRG - $250.00 ** (see below)

JRG - $250.00


(Pig Hole – cont.)  Fence poles need to be dug, placed, set.  Area needs to be cleaned of brush, etc.  A woven wire fence would be installed around the Hole, with barbwire on the back for additional support.  There will be a gate; it will be large enough for vehicle access in case or another cave accident. 


** Motion:  Susan Burr motions that BRG pledges $250.00 plus manpower for the Pig Hole fencing.  We will also pledge up to another $50.00 for unexpected expenses as needed.  Dave Socky seconds, everyone votes in favor of.  MOTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY.    Please sign up to donate your time, manpower, tools.  Susan Burr will coordinate for BRG.




All current elected BRG officers are at the end of their second term of office and must step down.  The following cavers meet the requirements for becoming officers, and were proposed.


Chair:                Susan Burr  NSS # 53888, proposed by Dan McConnell.

Vice Chair:        David Socky, NSS # 16334, proposed by himself and Marian McConnell.

Secretary:         Aaron Moses, NSS # 54801, proposed by Susan Burr and Pat Sims.

Treasurer:          Carl Cornett, NSS # 56641, proposed by Susan Burr.


The nominations will remain open until the November 21, 2008 BRG meeting.




  • Available from NSS Bookstore:  “Vertical Bill: The Story of Bill Cuddington and the Development of Vertical Caving in America”.  On sale $28.00 - $32.00
  • VWCC Banquet, Lewisburg, WV Brier Inn, 11/15/2008.  See flyer or website. 
  • NEW VAR CLOSED CAVE LIST is available.  We have a few hardcopies for folks.  There are updates, winter closures, and new info on WNS.  .
  • VSS meeting will be held 10/25/2008 at Dave & MSSocky’s house. 
  • Mary Sue Socky is giving several presentations:  Caving – to a Roanoke College Outdoor Class on Oct. 28, and Bats to Cave Spring Elementary School 2nd grade on Oct. 31.
  • BRG Cavers Mary Sue Socky, Susan Burr, Marian McConnell, and Carl Cornett are planning on taking BSA-T221 scouts on a beginner cave trip into Tawney’s Cave, VA  on Nov. 9. 


Meeting ended 9:05p.


Minutes submitted by

Mary Sue Socky

Secretary, Blue Ridge Grotto.