Meeting Minutes

August 21, 2020


Attendance (Jersey Lily’s)

Susan Burr – Chair

Trish Geiger – Treasurer

Marian McConnell – Secty

Dave Socky – Vice Chair

Carl Cornett

Brandon Phipps + wife Alisha + kids Alexa + Bryson

Kevin and Carrie Johnson* Guests; Kevin says he was member in 1991




Introductions & Trip Reports: 


7/18 – Norman Cave, WV – Doug Feller- leader, Lauren Appel, Jeff Huffman, Susan Burr.

Found cave, no problem thanks to Mary Sue finding the name of the road we had to take off Rt. 219. We basically went in, dropped down into the stream & followed it downstream until we decided we had had enough. The water levels were manageable. The most I got wet was mid-thigh while standing on my tippy toes! We saw a couple of baby salamanders, a couple of adult salamanders, most where in the water. We also saw a couple of crayfish. A lot of the stream passage is lined on one side or the other with nice formations. The large waterfall, which we took the bypass to get down, was actually flowing nicely. We also saw 2 other small waterfalls. One we saw as soon as we dropped down into the stream & one near where we decided to turn around at the 2 hour mark. Of course it only took us a little over 1 hour to get out. We did have a few mishaps with all of us falling at some point, but everyone was fine. Overall a really good trip.


7/4: McClungs Cave, WV. Participants included David Socky, Joe Calderone, and Rebecca Stewart-Calderone on team one. Kelly McCarthy, Alex Faunce, Taren Woelk, and Chad Casella were team 2. Joe, Rebecca, and I went back to the stream crawl we had left off the 2nd Breakdown side lead we had done a month ago. It was low, wet, and muddy and got worst as we went in. Finally, Rebecca called Uncle, so Joe went in about 50 feet and found it kept going as a belly crawl in water. We then went back to the broomstick room we had left a month ago and surveyed in there. We didn't finish that either, so we have to go back there too. The other team did the side lead on the left before you get to the 2nd Breakdown. They finished that, but it is a dig lead. We got out at 7:30pm. It was a good 9-hour trip with 433 feet of survey. We had some great fireworks at the field station thanks to Carroll Bassett, Dave Smallwood, and Hunter.


7/11: BASH Cave, WV. Participants included Dave Knox, Hunter Campbell, Nikki Fox, and David Socky. I've been BASHed! We went on a tough 12.5 hour trip to BASH cave and surveyed nearly 500 feet of virgin stream passage. But BASH cave really gives you a workout. I didn't take many photos - too busy sketching. We did find a likely 2nd entrance, but it had been blasted shut sometime in the past. There was no way for us to dig it out, so we had to go all the way back through to get BASHed again.


7/14: Windy Mouth, WV. Participants included David Socky, Bill Koerschner, and Bob Alderson as team 1. Nick Socky, Alex Faunce, and Nathan Otto on team 2. Bob, Bill, and I went all the way back to the upper levels to pick off a good lead off the PA Survey. Of course, it was wet and low. We got 607 feet of survey done. It was enough to make 1000 feet for both teams and push Windy Mouth over 16 miles. It was a hard, but good 13.5-hour trip.        


7/18: Maxwelton Cave, WV. Participants included David Socky, Nikki Fox, Silas Springer on team 1, and Nick Socky and David Smallwood on team 2. This was a camp trip into Maxwelton, Sweetwater. We entered Friday evening and surveyed around Covert Creek on Saturday. Team 1 killed the Tilted Tunnel after 123 feet. We then surveyed a side lead upstream until we were stopped by a 60 foot waterfall, which is downstream of the ram pump in Covert Creek. Nick and Dave finished Gremlin Falls, tying in at the bottom of the drops for Covert Creek. Then they did the

flowstone climb at the top of Cousin It Pit. It led to the Day Spa and eventually got to a point where they could see the ram pump in Covert Creek. It was a solid 10-hour day of surveying. We exited on Sunday, getting out at 2:30pm.


7/23: Undisclosed Cave, VA. Participants included David Socky, Nick Socky, Bob Alderson, Mark Minton, Yvonne Droms, and Zeb Lilly. This was the first time back in over a year. We went back to the Air Acclivity lead just past the Ear Dip, which had only 3 inches of air space. Bob Alderson and Nick Socky did the bolt climb with Vonnie belaying. Mark and I worked on the dig, which looked pretty hopeless. There were two ways to go up the bolt climb, and of course the route chosen ended in a mud plug 50 feet up. It will be another trip to complete the climb up the other way. It was nice to get out with daylight after an 8 hour trip.        


8/1: McClungs Cave, WV. Participants included Dave Socky, David Smallwood, and Aaron Clair-team 1, Bob Alderson, Eric Steinburg, and Chad Casella-team 2, Nick Socky, Alex Fanunce, and Nikki Fox-team 3. Team 2 got 759 feet and team 3 got 784 feet. Total of 3005 feet! Lead towards Ludingtons looks real good! It was a long, but productive 13 hour trip.


8/5: Windy Mouth, WV. Participants included David Socky, Nick Socky, and Chris Coates. Surveyed in upstream Second Canyon. We cleaned up side leads and actually got 546 feet of survey done in 10 hours.


8/8: Dry Cave, WV. Participants included David Socky, Greg Springer, Dave Knox on team 1, and Nick Socky, Nikki Fox, and Eric Steinburg on team 2, and Joe Calderone and Rebecca Steward-Calderone on team 3. Team 1 pushed from the end of Bob Cat tributary and turned around in going high canyon after surveying 30 stations. It took 5 hours to get from the end of the survey to the entrance. The end of the cave is over 2.5 miles from the entrance. It was a long and tough trip of 14 hours for just 524 feet of survey. But with all three teams, we got over 1400 feet surveyed.


8/22 – Greenbrier Poor Farm, WV - This Month’s BRG tripwith Susan. Meet at HROM at 8:30a.




Treasury Report – Trish Geiger, Treasurer  7/14/2020


Cave Bucks  -                            0       

          Conservation -                            0

         Equipment –                       133.87

         General -                         2,951.19

          TOTAL                           $3,085.06



·         Newsletter – CARBIDE DUMP August was published. Thanks to all who contributed.

·         Membership – None

·         ROCKS – Nothing.

·         Safety & Techniques – None at this time.


Membership Proposals: None


Old Business

·         Goodwin Cave, VA, has a new owner.  Lee Slover (former owner) gave MarySue the new owner’s contact info. Lee did find his missing carbide lamp; and wants to go in the cave if we ever are able to return.

New Business

·         Thank of ideas for Christmas card design. (Perhaps Nick Socky’s gypsum bush that was on the cover of the Carbide Dump?)

·         Think about whether or not we want to have a Christmas party this year; and when and where.

·         The Guldens have offered to host a grotto meeting at their place outside when things cool down; perhaps in October or November.

·         Grotto Elections are in November. Do you want to help out by serving as a member?  Or will the current slate continue to play musical chairs?


  Announcements (also see announcement packet & Caver Calendar on back)

·         Please submit written cave trip reports to the secretary.  Thanks!

·         Congratulations to BRG on winning awards at this year’s [virtual] NSS Convention. Dave Socky’s video won best in show!  (Showed as the program at this meeting.] Nick Socky’s photo on the cover of a Gypsum flower won best of show in that category. Perhaps would make a great Christmas card?

·         Al Stewart is now living at the Cave Spring Assisted Living facility on Brambleton and cannot currently have visitors due to COVID-19, but enjoys cards and phone calls (540-989-0483) before 8p. [Or if you send flowers, be sure to sign your name on the card!)

·         NO OTR, Fall VAR, Bridge Day or NCRC-OCR weekend classes.

·         Brian Williams’ father passed away; a sympathy card was passed around for all to sign.


Program:  Connecting Caves – the Great Savannah Cave System.  (Won Best in Show!)


Cold Beer at 7:05p.    




·         Next BRG meeting is September 18th.