Meeting Minutes

May 18, 2012

7:30p – Vinton Fire Department



Wil Orndorff*

Zenah Orndorff*

Pat Sims (Chair)

Jeremy Sims*

David Socky

Mary Sue Socky (Vice)

Susan Burr

Trish Geiger (Treasurer)

Al Stewart

Carl Cornett

Stephanie Petri

Marian McConnell (Secty)




a.   During Spring VAR on April 28, Pat Sims, Susan Burr, Tommy Carpenter, and David (NLN) went to Organ Cave (WV) with Jordon Masters and Ed Swepston as Leaders; they went to the Lipps entrance and the trip lasted about 5-1/2 to 6 hours.  They went as far as the Waterfall Room near Organ Main Entrance (but no thru trip).

b.   Culverson-Wildcat (WV) - On April 28, David Socky, Greg Springer, Cass Springer, Brian Masney, David Riggs, Bill Balfour, and Nicole (David Riggs’ girlfriend) – David Riggs bolted up to a lead just a 100’ or so past the stream resurgence from the “Lost Waterfall” up on the right.  There was a bit of water coming out of the lead.  David bolted up about 40’ downstream of the lead with 4 or 5 bolts, then traversed back to the lead along a sloped edge.  David claims the lead is 6’ wide and 10’ high and goes.  He did not explore it.  He installed a standing line at the lead and came down.  Brian, Cass, and David Socky left early to get back to VAR.

c.    Maxwelton Cave (WV) – On May 12, David Socky, Errol Glidden, Vanessa Krabacher surveyed down the H Canyon from the end of the UFP survey.  Their survey was DVE.  They reached the end after 208’ in 11 survey stations.  It was still muddy, slimy, and slippery.  Although you can traverse a good amount of the canyon down in the stream, avoiding a good amount of stemming in the upper part of the canyon.  David left his 40’ of yellow webbing at the hairy spot just at the start of the H Canyon.

d.   Culverson-Wildcat (WV) – On May 13, David Socky, Greg Springer, David Riggs, and Nicole (David Riggs’ girlfriend) climbed up the rope left from the April 28th trip.  David went first and got real wet in the water fall next to the rope.  Nicole and David Socky were able to avoid most of the water by having someone pull the rope away from the waterfall.  David did it for Nicole and Greg pulled the rope for David.  Greg didn’t go up because he wasn’t feeling comfortable about his vertical experience and the wet conditions.  The lead turned into a high narrow canyon right away. It got bigger up higher, but the first 10-20’ was really narrow.  In one place you really had to climb up high to continue.  The canyon was about 35’ high.  They surveyed about 50’.  From David Riggs:  We started surveying 35’ tall canyon passage with good airflow; unfortunately, it was only 1-2’ wide and sinuous.  I’d guess that we surveyed less than 50’ of actual virgin passage before running out of time (constrained due to Sunday/Mothers Day).  I scouted ahead another ~40’ and came to a 10’ high waterfall that should be free-climbable, with more canyon – of similar dimensions – beyond.  The passage is easier to traverse by chimneying ~6’ up off the floor than it is trying to walk, but that makes for strenuous surveying.  There’s another 15’ lead climb on the right wall at the start of our passage, which is an infeeder, from up at ceiling level.  This would have been fantastic passage to use the DistoX for surveying, because it really sucked with Suuntos.

e.   During VAR, Trish Geiger, Al Stewart, and Bob Thren, went to the entrance of Poor Farm (WV) Cave; Mary Sue Socky was there at noon but didn’t realize the group was going to be there at 2p.

f.     On April 21, Mary Sue Socky, Trish Geiger, Jen Perdue, Tom Tracy, and Cyndi Hutchison went to Tawney’s Cave (VA) and had a wonderful time.

g.    On May 5, Mary Sue Socky and Tidewater Cavers Molly Crook and her 19-yr.old son Paul looked for old signatures, dates and traces of the original tourist route in Fountain Cave, VA.


h.    Upcoming Trip:  Lightner Entrance of McClung Cave, WV.  Vertical trip has been postponed until next month, when hopefully more folks will be able to participate. 


2.     PROGRAM:  “Decimation of Eastern North American Cave Bats:  7 Years of WNS” by Wil Orndorff, Virginia National Heritage Program/Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.  [Wil said he would share a copy of his PowerPoint presentation with us.]  The program was excellent with lots of discussion.



a.   We originally voted to donate $100 for the Simulated Cave, but learned if we donated $150 we could get a plaque with our name on it for our donation.  Susan Burr motioned we increase the donation, Stephanie Petri seconded it, and it passed with all voting yes, except for Al Stewart.  Motion passed and we will donate the $150.



Petty Cash                110.00

General                 3,878.52

Conservation                      266.59

Equipment                225.36

Cave Bucks                154.30

TOTAL:                  $ 4634.77


Due to the length of the WNS program, the rest of the agenda items were tabled until next month’s meeting and adjourned around 9p.  Next month’s meeting will feature special guest speaker, Jane Fukert, from New Zealand, about caving in NZ.