Meeting Minutes

May 16, 2014 – 7p – Vinton Fire Department


Marian McConnell – Chair

Dan McConnell – Safety & Techniques

Randy Sparrow – Guest

Cathleen Sparrow – Guest

Rebecca Frederickson

Heather Bostic

John Fox

Bob Gulden

Dusty Gulden

Nicole Gulden

Karen Kastning

Bob Alderson

Bill Walker

Steph Petri - Treasurer




a.    James Cave, VA – April 19 – Doug Feller, Susan, Pat, Sharon, about 4 hours.  Nice, decorated, beautiful in back.

b.   Brough Cave #2 (of 4) – May 4 – Dave, Brian, Steph, Sharon. Finished; then checked out sinkhole in Timber Ridge which was full of trash, kettles, hubcaps; did some sketching and digs and map for VSS.

c.    Dry Cave – May 10 – Dave, Steph, Tommy Polson, Nicky Fox, Chris Coates, etc. (9 people) – 3 teams of 3 did a 12-13 hour survey of 1,087’.  Steph took great pictures (which was the program for the evening).

d.   Butler Cave – Bob Alderson did 4 trips over the past few months.  Worked on the Wind dig.  Nice crawlways, passage, belly crawl.  Dug through gravel, had to go through U-tube.  Found a date of 4/15/59 on a wall; had connected to Boundless Cave; not on VSS property.

e.    Bob Alderson worked with Dave Socky and Phil Lucas on Cave Digging video.

f.     Warner Noisy Blower Cave – Bob Alderson.

g.    Bob Alderson worked on March 31 on a dig – couldn’t bend knees to get through.

h.   Bob Alderson went last weekend (May 10) to enlarged hole which dropped into a 3’ passage – rectangular – big drop block with a crawl “slip and slide”, then a small hole to a breakdown maze.

i.     New River Cave, VA – Bob Alderson, Nick Socky, Tim, Vanessa, went to Tuxedo Junction leads and did a short dig in the stream passage.  Worked on maps on May 3rd.

j.     Bob Alderson – worked on Birthday dig.

k.   Gap Cave – Bob Alderson worked on dig, finished muddy lead from 2005, found rimstone area and potential lead.

l.     Tawneys, VA – Marian McConnell and Carl Cornett took a group of 9 from Roanoke Outdoor Club caving; two participants had never even been in a commercial cave.  They all loved it and did great; did the complete loop to the back sinkhole and back.

m.  Boomerang Cave, UT – Biker guests of Marian and Dan – Cathleen and Randy Sparrow from Salt Lake City, UT   told about this cave in Northern Utah that has a bell-shaped entrance room with a straight 350’ drop, then you can go 20’ and over 20’ to another 100’ drop.  Randy met a guy coming out of there years ago who was 60 years old and had one leg and a carbide lamp helmet from Scotland.  The guy told Randy he had come all the way to the USA just to do that cave.  (Marian mentioned that the 2016 NSS Convention will be in Utah; and it was later clarified it will actually be in Ely, NV which is just over the border from Utah.)



a.    WVASS – Trip May 17 to Bill Balfour’s.

b.   Wishing Well Cave – June 21 with Dave Socky as leader.

c.    Speleofest – Next weekend in Kentucky; Steph is going.


3.   PROGRAM:  Dry Cave photos by Step Petri (outstanding!)


4.   TREASURER’S REPORT:  (Steph Petri)

General Fund       $3,295.33

Conservation             227.34

Cave Bucks               199.30

Equipment                235.36

Misc. Fund                110.00

Grand Total           $4,067.33


5.   NEWSLETTER: (Dave & Mary Sue) Great issue, keep sending photos and articles!


6.   MEMBERSHIP:  No new membership proposals.  John Fox (sponsored by Dave Socky) and Karen Kastning (sponsored by Mary Sue Socky) were voted in unanimously.


7.   ROCKS: Continuing to map more Botetourt County caves.


8.   SAFETY & TECHNIQUES:  We had to cancel the last session at River Rock Climbing Gym because only 2 BRG members signed up.  Need to have at least 4-5 to make it worthwhile.  Marian and Dan will set up another date. 



a.    BRG new grotto survey equipment – Steph reported it is being used a lot and is working great!

b.   BRG July and August meetings – still pending response from Chris Heptinstall.

c.    New River as NSS Cave Preserve – Still in process; Wil Orndorff will be the primary point of contact.  Nick Socky is on the management team as well.

d.   Forest Service wishes to extend “blanket cave closures” on Southeast UFS Region.  Despite the fact that the area is already positive for WNS.  They are required to request input.  Cavers need to let them know “one size does not fit all.”  There are different methods of cave management – you can send your comments directly to USFS.


10.        NEWS BUSINESS:  (None)



a.    Murder Hole  books still available from Marian; or paperbacks are available through the NSS Bookstore.

b.   NSS Convention will be in Huntsville, AL July 14-18.

c.    Heritage Day at Grand Caverns will be on June 7 with cave trips, dance, etc.


Meeting Adjourned at 8:20p

Notes by Marian McConnell