April 20, 2012

Meeting Minutes

7:30p – Vinton Fire Department



David Socky

Mary Sue Socky – Vice Chair

Marian McConnell - Secretary

Al Stewart

Trish Geiger - Treasurer

Tom Tracy*

Dusty Gulden*

Nicole Smith*

Pat Sims - Chair

Cyndi Hutchison

Jen Perdue




1.     Trip Reports:

a.   Haynes Cave – March 17, 2012 – Trish Geiger, David Socky, Susan Burr, Stephanie Petri, Doug Feller, Aaron Moses, Jessica, Ben – wandered around in this slippery cave.  What was supposed to be a big log was just a stick and not safe to use to climb down in the saltpeter pit.  They also found the parking for Windy Mouth Cave; Dave, Aaron, and Stephanie went through the stream, climbed up the hillside, and found flagging tape and a hand line to the cave.

b.   Paxton’s Cave – March 24, 2012 - March 24, 2012 - Doug Feller, Stephanie Petri and Susan Burr led 5 Roanoke College Outdoor Club students into Paxton’s Cave.  The waterfall at the entrance was really flowing and beautiful. They went in the cave an alternate route to avoid the waterfall into the cave and the large pool of water just inside. The stream inside the cave was small enough to usually avoid & was only at the mazy entrance section. They went to the Christmas room and several other sections of the cave and had lots of fun! After they changed the owner of the cave came over and talked with them...he is VERY nice! Susan thanked him repeatedly for allowing cavers into his cave.

c.    Grand Caverns – April 7, 2012 - Grand Easter Restoration Weekend - Stephanie and Susan Burr drove up together. They spent the day hauling and raking crushed gravel into Grand Caverns. Susan took pictures at the request of Lettie Stickley, the manager at Grand and wrote an article for the Dump.

d.   Dry Cave – April 14, 2012 – David Socky went to WVACs with Greg Springer, Errol Glidden; it was not dry but ankle to yodeling depth.  Lots of crawling, muddy, had to use waterproof bag and drag through.  About 2000’ long and they surveyed 583’ with some nice formations.  The trip lasted 10-1/2 hours.

e.   Catawba Murder Hole – April 8, 2012 – Marian McConnell and Molly Miller took guest Laura Huang into the Daylight Cave; Molly and Laura both rappelled off the big drop twice.  Some significant new boulders have fallen into the Daylight Cave.

f.     Melrose Cave – April 17, 2012 – Mary Sue Socky and Bob Thren ripped out wires; Pat Sims found daylight indicating a possible new entrance but it ended up already being on the map.

g.    Links Cave – April 7, 2012 – Nicholas, Mary Sue, and David Socky went with VPI; Nicholas was tested to see if he could join the VPI Grotto.  However, he failed the test to belay someone up a cable ladder.  Apparently “no one passes the first time.”  He ended up finally passing by Tuesday and is a VPI member now.

Upcoming Trips:

h.   Tawneys – April 21, 2012 – beginner trip.  Contact Mary Sue.

i.     McClungs – May 19, 2012 – vertical trip.

j.    Melrose – May 19, 2012.  Contact Mary Sue.


2.    Program:  June 2003 Cave Rescue Practice video produced by David Socky.


3.    Treasurer’s Report:

Petty Cash                  100.00

General                     3,903.65

Conservation              266.59

Equipment                  225.36

Cave Bucks                 154.90

TOTAL                    $4,649.90


4.    Committees:

Newsletter – Thanks for all the submissions; articles, photos, and artwork are always welcome

Membership – Mike Frazier paid his dues.

ROCKS – nothing new.

Safety & Techniques – Keep Dan McConnell in your thoughts and prayers; scheduled for cervical [neck] fusion on May 9th (was later changed to May 16th).


5.     Membership Proposals:  Tom Tracy’s application has been tabled since March 2012; he was voted in unanimously.


6.     Old Business:

BRG Waivers – After much discussion it was decided:

·         We will keep our BRG waivers the same and use them as we have been until we have more information.  BRG trips are trips planned by the members; guests will be asked to sign a BRG waiver.  Trips for groups (e.g. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Colleges, etc., should use their waivers.

·         Marian will share a copy of Tim Kilby’s Waiver for New River Cave (which was written with assistance from a Virginia Lawyer), and of the Murder Hole Waiver (based on the New River waiver).

·         Pat will contact a Lawyer to see what his/her recommendations are.

·         All of the above will be shared at the next meeting for further discussion.


7.     New Business:

a.   CaveSim (simulated cave) – This portable electronic cave obstacle course will require funding for transportation to the NSS convention in WV in June.  It was moved, seconded, and passed to send them $100.

b.   New WNS Decon Protocol – immerse gear in HOT water for 15 minutes; this will kill WNS spores.

c.    Peter Youngbear 3-page letter posted on Listserve re “This is your NSS working for you.”

d.   “Spelunking” added to WV’s Recreational Liability Law – what it means to cavers.

e.   April 20, 2012 Roanoke Times article about bats in the US may be developing an immunity to WNS.


8.     Announcements, Mailbag, etc.:

a.   Virginia Cave Week is April 22-28; discounts at Virginia commercial caves.

b.   Spring VAR is April 27-29 at Greenbrier Poor Farm, hosted by Tri-State Grotto.

c.    NSS is going paperless for the BOG (Board of Governors) vote.  Hard copy information was provided if needed.  Voting ends May 1, 2012.

d.   SERA Cave Carnival is May 2-6 at Estill Fork, AL.

e.   Wil Orndorff will be our special guest speaker about WNS next month at the May 18, 2012 BRG meeting.

f.     New NSS website is great; take a look!

g.    NSS 2012 Convention “MayaCon” is June 25-29 in Lewisburg, WV.  They are looking for trip leaders June 24-29; any takers?  Dan and Marian are offering pre- and post-convention trips into Murder Hole on June 23 and June 30.  Cavers must contact Marian to get on the list.

h.   Grand Caverns Heritage Day is June 16.

i.     Jane Fukert from New Zealand will be staying with Marian June 5 – July 5; both are coming to convention.  If anyone would like to show Jane around or spend a day with her while Marian is at work, please contact Marian 540.309.4707.  Jane will be doing the Program for our BRG June15th meeting on New Zealand caving.

j.    Marian is leading a trip to Morefield Mine in Amelia County (just west of Richmond; world famous for semi-precious gems – amazonite, topaz, garnet, amethyst, etc.) on May 12.


Adjourned – cold beer and pizza 9:07p


Notes by Marian McConnell