BLUE RIDGE GROTTO of the NSS
Jersey Lily’s Roadhouse Meeting Room
March 16, 2018
Bob Gulden – Chair Mary Sue Socky – Secretary Susan Burr – Vice Chair
Dusty Gulden Doug Feller *Lauren Appel
Nicole Gulden Marian McConnell Cyndi Hutchison
*Odin Gulden Lynn Ott Gene Harrison
Meeting began around 6:47p.
2/17/2018: BRG cave trip to Unnamed Cave, WV. This was Susan Burr’s first trip to this gated, limited access cave. The survey to complete the map began. One group surveyed, while the other group scouted ahead to check leads. Dave Socky, Doug Feller, Susan Burr, Jeff Huffman, Trish Geiger, Bill Walker, Lauren Appel, Dawn Weideman.
2/17: Unnamed Cave, WV. Participants included David Socky, Trish Geiger, Doug Feller, Susan Burr, Bill Walker, Dawn Weideman, Lauren Appel, and Jeff Huffman. We drove up to WVACS with a forecast of 3 to 5 inches of snow and sleet, freezing rain, and ice. It just started to rain/snow when we got in the cave at 11:40am. We found the cave without too much difficulty from the field station, but the lock was a pain. We made our way to the back of the cave, the north east end, where sketching cleanup was needed and domes checked. The only survey station we found was B4. We surveyed a side dome because the old sketch didn't show it well at all. Then Bill and Jeff found the way down to B10, which looked like it was on wrong side of the passage. I did a hand sketch of the passage to B10 to show where it really was supposed to be. To do that section real justice, the back end will have to be re-surveyed from B4 back to the end. While Bill and I checked out the B10 passage, everyone else went and checked out the passage on the west side of the cave, the one that goes south west. Once they came back we did the long passage to the south of the entrance room. Pretty nice passage and everyone got some cool photos. We finally exited at 4:20pm with heavy snow falling. The roads where snow covered, even Route 219, but once we got to Maxwelton, the roads were just wet and the snow had turned to rain. The drive back home was no problem, just rain. We spend 4.5 hours in the cave and surveyed a whopping 36 feet.
2/23: Locomotive Breath, VA. Participants included David Socky, Dave Collings, Bill Murray, Brad Blase, and Ed Saugstad. We checked out and surveyed the virgin pit in the sandstone crawlway. We got a little survey, but it didn't go. So then we checked and surveyed another pit which was on the main trade route. We used the cable ladder. Only Brad had to go to the bottom. We also did a dig in the maze and checked leads across from the Uvula, but nothing went. Next trip will be digging! We were in the cave for 6 hours and got 98.5 feet of survey.
2/24: Lowmoor Cave, VA. We had five teams surveying in the mine, the cave, and a high lead from the mine. The FGM survey in the cave included Dave Socky, Emily Graham, Kim Parks, and Dawn Weideman. They surveyed 140 feet and killed 5 leads. The BAB Survey was with Dave Collings, Brad Blase, and Bill Walker and netted 61.99 feet. They killed one lead and added another. The CZ Survey was with Bill Koerschner, Carol Zokaites, and Joe Zokaites and netted 1598 feet in the mine. The BYMx Survey was with Mark Minton, Yvonne Droms, and Brian Williams and netted 168 feet in cave accessed via a high lead in the mine. The MW Survey was with Mathew Weiss and Ken Walsh and netted 1193.2 feet in the Sofa Section of the mine. Total survey for the day was 3254 feet! The longest time in the cave was 7 hours.
3/3: Helectite Cave, VA. Participants included Mark Hodge and David Socky. This was a two man team to work on Super Sweet dig. We confirmed we were into a canyon maze. We hit an intersection (the one that Amos and Mark couldn’t quite see into the last time) and confirmed the canyon continues on as a tight 6 foot high affair about 4-6 inches wide. To the left, about 90 degrees off the passage we were in today, there is a canyon at least 8 feet high, starting at 9 inches wide but getting bigger below us and just up ahead. We could see straight ahead 8-10 feet and maybe 12 feet to the left. We worked
for about 3 hours and were forced to quit because we had no more room to stash rocks. And we moved a LOT of rocks today. We were both super excited about what we found today; for both of us it was by far the biggest voids we had seen.
(BRG meeting 3/16/2018) p2
3/3: BRG cavers Doug Feller and Susan Burr joined the Greenbrier Grotto on their grotto trip to the wild area Lost World Caverns, WV. Bill Balfour and Ed Swepston were trip leaders. Since there were 14 or 15 people, they split into two groups. There were lots of pretties. A follow-up BRG trip is planned, so bring your working cameras.
3/6: Water Sinks Cave, VA. Participants included David Socky, Mark Hodge, and Phil Lucas. This was a quick trip to get audio clips of big rocks falling for use in the Dream Lake Story. We were in the cave for about an hour.
3/6: Butler Cave, VA. Participants included David Socky, Mark Hodge, and Phil Lucas. This was an easy trip into Butler stream passage to get video clips for use in the Dream Lake Story. We were in the cave for about 2.5 hours.
3/10: Maxwelton Cave, WV. Participants included David Socky, Sonia Meyer, and Hal Paver. We surveyed about 200 feet of virgin passage off of the old 'T' survey in Maxwelton Sink Cave, but it ended abruptly. However, there is still plenty more to survey in this section, both above the waterfall and in a narrow stream passage. Sonia climbed up on the tricky ledge and got into the upper waterfall passage. She said it went for about 100 feet before splitting in two, but both ways looked like they were closing down. Sonia said she didn't see an actual end. I checked a low lead with water in it and it turned out to be the main upstream passage, but narrower. I found a survey station TB19 and a soda straw stuck in the mud as a survey station. I went upstream for 50 to 80 feet and saw that it kept going. Checking the old TB survey notes at home, I found they had stopped at TB22 and had made a note that the passage kept going. I had gone way past their TB22. So there is still stuff to do back there, although the upstream stream passage is kind of small. Also, there is also air. We also did some video in Cove Creek for the Dream Lake Story. It was a good 10 hour trip.
3/11: Maxwelton Cave, WV. Participants included David Socky and Larry Fisher. We checked the main Cove Creek entrance to see if it had washed open. Last month, when there had been LOTS of rain, Larry and Gordon reported that there was no lake in the big sink where the main Cove Creek entrance is located. There usually is when it rains a lot. So Larry and I went to the actual entrance, but found that it was still pretty much sealed shut. There was a stream, but it was sinking a good several hundred feet before the head wall where the gravel filled Cove Creek entrance is located. Where the water is going in when it rains a lot is still a mystery.
· March 2018 cave trip –March 31 <Note Date!> to Scott Hollow Cave, WV. Doug Feller is leader, Susan Burr is coordinator. Be prepared for a workout. Bring your camera!
· April 2018 cave trip – SUNDAY April 22 to the wild section of Lost World Caverns, WV. Contact Susan Burr for more info.
March 16, 2018 BRG Treasury Report (report given by Mary Sue Socky)
$ 100.64 Cave Bucks
$ 160.64 Conservation Fund
$ 235.36 Equipment Fund
$3052.70 General Fund
$3549.34 total funds David Socky, Treasurer
Newsletter – March 2018 DUMP published. Also, last chance to vote for your favorite 5. Vote Well, and Vote Often!
Membership – BRG has 56 members and 4 subscribers for 2018.
ROCKS – No report
Safety & Techniques --- no report
Membership Proposals: No proposals at this time.
· Mary Sue Socky has not contacted Over the Edge about volunteering for the rappel at the Patrick Henry Hotel.
(BRG meeting 3/16/2018) p3
· Do we continue to reserve the Jersey Lily meeting room for BRG meetings? (Who else would have us?) YES.
· Will BRG ‘take a month off’ in the summer (J,J, or August)? Undecided TABLED, bring up next month.
o BRG secretary is to go ahead and reserve the meeting room for the rest of 2018.
o The newsletter editors will not publish in August 2018.
· Request from Outdoor Trails to attend Troutville Trail Days, June 1-3, 2018 @ Troutville Town Park. They want us to be included, and if we don’t’ vend anything, just give away info; they will waive the $25 fee. Bring your own tables & chairs. Deadline is May 25, 2018. There was some interest; TABLED, announce in DUMP, see if anyone wants to donate part of their weekend to ‘man’ a BRG booth at this event.
· Marian McConnell attended the VA Cave Board meeting 2/24/18 in Staunton, VA. Much discussion about gas pipeline construction and protection of groundwater resources. Next VCB meeting date and site is TBA.
· NSS BOG meeting this weekend at VPI campus (Grayson? Hall). Your chance to meet with the NSS Officers and Governors, to make your voice heard.
· 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!
· Now-March 31: Cave exhibit, Discovery Museum, Winchester, VA. $9. Many cavers helped create the exhibit.
· March 27-29, 2018: Bat Conference Symposium, Hotel Roanoke, VA. Check it out – Speleobooks will be there!
· Grand Caverns Spring Cleanup weekend, April 21-22, 2018. Free Camping. Contact Meredith Weberg.
16-22 22-28, 2018 -- Virginia
Cave Week; theme is “Virginia Cave and Karst Trail”.
· April 27, 2018 at 6pm FREE Murder Hole Cave movie showing and book talk at Natural Bridge State Park, VA.
· Spring VAR April 27-29, 2018 Registration is now Open!
· May 3-6 – SERA Cave Carnival. Scottsboro, AL.
· May 18-19 – Over the Edge “The Last Rappel” off Patrick Henry Hotel, Roanoke, VA.
· May 24-28: Friar’s Hole Swine and Dine, hosted by Baltimore Grotto.
· July 28-Aug 4, 2018: NSS Convention in Helena, MT
· FALL 2018: Fall VAR, hosted by VPI Cave Club. No Other Info.
Meeting ended 7:24p, followed by
Program: Tall Caving Tales from BRG members. Recollections of memorable trips in Rehobeth Church Cave, WV (Losing Aaron Moses and What Part of KY are we in?) (Bobbing along with Bob Gulden in a water cave passage), Gap/Cujdo’s Cave, VA (Hanging around, surveying and getting photographed by a tour group) and Caving Fun with Roanoke City Parks & Rec. (decorating a sleeping participant’s caving helmet so he would look ‘real cool’). Thanks to Bob Gulden, Dusty Gulden, Susan Burr, Doug Feller, Marian McConnell and Mary Sue Socky for their humorous spelean sagas.
Minutes by BRG Secretary
Mary Sue Socky