BLUE RIDGE GROTTO of the NSS
Jersey Lily’s Roadhouse Meeting Room
February 16, 2018
Bob Gulden – Chair Mary Sue Socky – Secretary Susan Burr – Vice Chair
David Socky – Treasurer Doug Feller Trish Geiger
Marian McConnell Bill Walker Cyndi Hutchison
Lynn Ott Gene Harrison *Chris Nicola
*Sharon Spencer *Dawn Weideman *Lauren Appel
Meeting began 6:32p
1/20/2018: BRG trip to Starnes Cave, VA. Susan Burr, Doug Feller, Jeff Huffman, Bill Walker and Dawn Weideman had a nice trip. Susan reported: I couldn’t remember much about this cave. Now I do. I don’t want to go back there again. Doug, Bill and Jeff loved the free-climbing in the cave (of course). This was Dawn’s first BRG trip; she did fine, & promised to stop by her family’s place in Tidewater and get her helmet, light and coveralls for future cave trips. Way to go, Dawn!
1/20/2018: Butler Cave, VA. Participants included David Socky, Brian Louden, Jenn McGuire, Amis Mincan, and Dan Tucker. We went back through the Candle Room via the Pancake Crawl and Frothing Slosh in order to get to Marlboro Country where we needed to tie in a survey in the Doom Room. Brian, Jenn, and I surveyed while Amis and Dan went to the Bitter End via Dodge City in order to work on a dig, which they killed. From the Candle Room we climbed back up and to the webbing up climb, which was quite a challenge to get up. The webbing helped a little, but not all that much. We then went to the 4-Way Stop where we split up. We decided to give ourselves 3 hours to complete our goals, meeting at the 4-Way Stop at 5:30pm. We accomplished our survey goal of tying in a hanging survey and closing a loop. We only surveyed 187 feet and then went back to find the diggers. We went out the same way we came in. Both the Frothing Slosh and the Pancake Crawl were wet - belly crawling in water. We couldn't have surveyed a whole lot more because we would have gotten cold. My expedition pack split a seam almost the whole length. Luckily, I had dry bags so stuff from my pack couldn't fall out. That cave pack will be retired. It was a long trip out, again, about 3 hours of travel time.
1/27/2018: Maxwelton Cave, VA. This was a camp trip into the Sweetwater section of Maxwelton. Nikki Fox, Chris Coates, Corey Hackley, and Dave Socky entered Maxwelton Friday evening at 9:30 pm and didn’t come out until Sunday evening at 6 pm, making the total time spent in the cave at 68.5 hours. We spent our first night at Ghost Camp, nearly 4 hours from the entrance. On Saturday, we went another 4 hours deeper into the cave and set up a new camp at the Nest and then surveyed upstream in Echo River for 6 hours. It still goes. We were back at camp around 1:30am Sunday morning. Sunday was a long 7.5 hour slog from the Nest to the entrance, where we exited at 6 pm – 3 hours before our call back. It was a long, tiring trip, but very productive.
1/27/2018: Scott Hollow Cave, WV. Originally it was going to be one large group of Greenbrier Grotto and Blue Ridge Grotto folk. Then they decided to split into two groups: Mike Dore led the Greenbrier cavers on one trip, and Doug Feller took Susan Burr, Jeff Huffman and Bill Walker on a whirlwind tour down to Mystic River and they did the Omega Loop.
2/10/2018: Maxwelton Cave, VA. Participants included David Socky, Sonia Meyer, Brandon Smith, and Shawn Hogbin. On the WVACS weekend, Dave Socky led a group into Maxwelton to hopefully finish up the old ‘T’ survey. It took three hours to reach the start of the survey and within an hour they had surveyed to the waterfall room, the purported end to the ‘T’ survey passage. In checking leads, they ended up surveying in an unmapped small canyon passage. They reached a tight crawl which Dave didn’t fit in, but Sonia squeezed through. It opened right up and she checked out a couple of hundred feet of virgin passage! She turned around in going cave. When they got back to the waterfall room, the waterfall had doubled in size! The stream level had come up, but they didn’t have any problems exiting. It was a good 12.5 hour trip with 438 feet added to the survey.
· February 2018 cave trip –Rapps Cave, WV. Dave Socky is leader. (Short discussion on weather, whether to go caving on Saturday or Sunday. Trip went out rainy, sleeting Saturday 2/17/2018.)
· March 2018 cave trip – Undecided.
(BRG meeting 2/16/2018)
February 16, 2018 BRG Treasury Report
$ 100.64 Cave Bucks
$ 160.64 Conservation Fund
$ 235.36 Equipment Fund
$3081.93 General Fund
$3578.57 total funds David Socky, Treasurer
Newsletter – Feb. 2018 DUMP. Also, vote for your favorite 5!
Membership – BRG has 56 members and 4 subscribers for 2018. Susan Burr is handing out membership packets.
ROCKS – Lowmoor survey is active. Locomotive Breath survey will continue in Feb 24, 2018.
Safety & Techniques --- no report
Membership Proposals: No proposals at this time.
· Karst Awareness Day in Lynchburg, VA. POSTPHONED until after September 9, 2018. Gretchen said she has grant funds. BRG needs to plan for an outstanding full day at the high school.
· NCRC cave rescue update contacts sent to NCRC – Earl Suitor. Earl said “Perfect! Thanks!”
· Roanoke City landscape architect contacted BRG through our website; they are working with Deschutes Brewery on a trail extension, and would like a bat survey of the area. Treas. Dave Socky referred the request to Wil Orndorff (Va-DCR).
· Virginia Living magazine contacted BRG, wanting info on BRG activities. Treas. Dave Socky emailed them, and they decided they will be looking for Virginia Show Caves to write articles on.
· BRG caver Marian McConnell has been reappointed to the Virginia Cave Board. Congratulations, Marian!
· Please limit your trip reports to 3-5 minutes per trip, with a 15 minute maximum of reports per person.
· Please submit written cave trip reports to the secretary. Thanks!
· The next Virginia Cave Board meeting will be February 24, 2018, in Staunton, VA.
· Spring VAR April 27-29, 2018
· May 18-19: Chris Nicolas’ birthday in Clarks Cave? upstate NY.
· May 24-28: Friar’s Hole Swine and Dine, hosted by Baltimore Grotto.
· FALL 2018: Fall VAR, hosted by VPI Cave Club. No Other Info.
Rumor has it
that the 2019 NCRC Weeklong may be held in Lexington VA. (Disproved! MSS)
Meeting ended 7:14p, followed by
Program: Recent caving and BRG activities. Photos by Carl Cornett, Susan Burr and Dave Socky.
Program: Vote for Your Favorite Five CARBIDE DUMP covers of 2017. Winners will be sent to the NSS Cover Art Salon in Helena Montana. Vote Well, and Vote Often!
Minutes by BRG Secretary
Mary Sue Socky