FEBRUARY 16, 2007



Marian McConnell                      Pat Sims                       Chris Heptinstall

Dan McConnell                          Susan Burr                    Greg McCorkindale

Carl Cornett                               Dave Socky                   Mary Sue Socky

Doug Feller                                Hayley Grasty               Martin DiLeggi

Rick Shortt                                *Leanne Barley              Al Stewart

Jeff Richards                              Aaron Moses                 John Layman

Cameron Hall                             *Sam Aguilera               *Shannon Raybuck

*Carl Alls                                   *Jerry Simmons             *Josh Bissette

*Jimbo Poff                                *Susan Neate                *Nick Socky

* Guest



Jan/Feb 2007 – Martin DiLeggi is continuing his work on the Sugar Creek Cave dig.

1/20/07 – Dave Socky attended the VA Cave Board Meeting at Grand Caverns, VA.


2/2/07: Mary Sue Socky accompanied Korean Exchange Students from Wonju Korea and their guides to Natural Bridge, VA.  The Bridge was dropping big icicles onto the walkway.  The students visited the Native American Village beyond the Bridge, and briefly stopped by the Saltpeter Cave.  Mary Sue skipped lunch to spend more time in the Saltpeter Cave, and hiked up to the Lost River Cave and the waterfall. 


1/20/07 – Marshall’s Cave VA (BRG grotto trip) Doug Feller, Susan Burr, Pat Sims (leaders), Gary Drewry, Greg McCorkindale, Cole Frantz, Carl Cornett, Hayley Grasty, Rick Shortt, Leanne Barley.  The best part was playing on the swinging bridge.  It was very cold that day.  Water levels were very high in the cave.  We could not go in very far without getting in the water – NOBODY wanted to get in the water.  Some of the traverses were scary.  Susan Burr encountered a cave rat in a tight lead. We couldn’t figure who was more startled – Susan, or the cave rat?  Carl Cornett collected water samples for two teenagers’ science fair project.


2/3/07 – Grand Caverns, VA.  Susan Burr, Mary Sue Socky, Nick Socky, Carl Cornett, Bob Thren, several VAR cavers.  Susan and Carl were sent in Grand Caverns to check out other tight possible leads.  Bob and Nick helped the Biggers clan move lots of rock in Fountain Cave.  Mary Sue worked with Carol Tiderman to clear old coins out of the soil and waters in the Rainbow Pool Room (they’ve already removed over $300.00 in change from Grand Caverns)


2/3/07: Dave Socky, Phil Lucas and others and a fun day at a dig near the Cowpasture River.


2/4/07: Botetourt Co. VA Ridgewalk.  Dave Socky, Doug Feller, John Layman, Brian Williams, Cameron Hall, Rick Shortt, Leanne Barley, Aaron Moses spent a cold and windy day in Botetourt Co.  John Layman, ridgewalker extraordinaire, showed everyone the strange ebbing spring he had found.  They spent the rest of the afternoon on a promising dig – but they still need to move a big rock.


2/6/07:  Mary Sue Socky and other educators took exchange students from Wonju Korea to tour Dixie Caverns, VA. 


2/10/07: Brian Williams, Gordon Cole, Brian Perkins, Dave Socky, Ed Saugstad, Larry Fisher, and Ken Haynes surveyed 2, 600 ft. in Maxwelton Cave, WVa.  It was a 13-hour trip, surveying in Big Borehole passage.  Their coveralls froze on the way out & to the cars. 


1/27/07: Marian McConnell, Dave Socky, Brian Williams, and Spencer Frantz finished the survey of Turtle Shell Cave, VA and collected water samples for two teenagers’ science fair project.


Upcoming Cave Trips:

Tomorrow 2/17/2007 McClung’s Cave, WVa.  Dave Socky is leader.  Vertical cave trip.

Tomorrow – 2/17/07 Porters Cave, VA.  Doug Feller, Susan Burr & Pat Sims are leaders. 

3/307: Grand Caverns Resurvey weekend.  Various activities.

Saturday 3/24/07 – Vertical Training at RocWood, 9a-4p.  Dan McConnell is instructor.

June 16-23, 2007 – NCRC Weeklong, Salem VA. 


NEXT MONTH”S TRIP – to Cave Spring Cave, Rockbridge Co. VA.  Leaders are Dave Socky and Rick Shortt.  Cave can be challenging.


PROGRAM – slide programs – Surveying in Maxwelton Cave, WVA   and  

Surveying in Turtle Shell Cave, VA.  Photos by Brian Williams & Marian McConnell.


Everyone present voted for their “Favorite 5” CARBIDE DUMP newsletter covers from 2006.  The winners will be sent in to the NSS Graphic Arts Salon. 





General Fund       $ 5007.78

Conservation        $   584.00

Equipment Fund $   242.00

Cave Bucks         $     63.30    

 Total:    $5897.08



Committee Reports:

Newsletter:  Editor Dave Socky encourages folks to write letters to the editor concerning the controversial Feb. 2007 DUMP cover (photo was taken by a BRG person, but the subject was not a BRG member).  Editor Dave also promises to use more people’s (Pat Sims) photos with cave articles in the DUMP.


Membership:  We currently have 55 members and 5 subscribers.  MSSocky hopes to print the 2007 BRG Membership list for the March meeting.


ROCKS: Is alive!  They have been ridgewalking… see trip reports.


S&T: the next vertical session will be March 24, 2007 at RocWood.  9a-4p.


Conservation: vacant.  See Old Business

Ways & Means: vacant


Membership Proposals:  Cameron Hall is interested in joining BRG, but this was his first BRG meeting, he had not been on an “official” BRG trip yet, and he did not have a letter written.  BRG invited him to go caving, get involved, and then move through the membership process.    No other proposals.



Old Business

·         Grand Caverns – muddy footprint eradication – VAR wants us to try again, says they have a portable wet/dry vac that may do the trick.  Susan & Pat say they will be available to try in March 3, 2007.

·         Mt. Pleasant BSA Cave trip – still in limbo.  Mary Sue has not gotten off her lazy ass and done anything yet!

·         Eight Rivers Environmental Group – Not much happening, Spring VAR will be held very near this site.

·         Perry Saltpeter Cave – Dave Socky - The Bot. Co. Planning Board rejected the proposed subdivision that threatened the cave.  The cave owner (who now lives in FLA) has given permission for a cave assessment.

·         Rufe Caldwell Sinkhole Cleanup – Joey Fagan is getting Marian McConnell and Mary Sue Socky to contact, work with landowner to set up the cleanup.  Arrangements for a backhoe will be needed.  Landowner can use caver volunteers as her part of the cleanup, and not have to pay much, if any money for the cleanup. (Have not recently heard from Joey)

·         Endless Caverns controversy.  Seems old and new owners, neighbors are butting heads.  Cavers are quietly working with the new owners, don’t want to take sides or piss anyone off. Cavers are to stay out of the controversy.  Previous owners seem to be trying to tell the new owners what to do.  (That’s NOT gonna work!)

·         Science Fair Project.  Elliot George and Nick Socky were chosen to compete in the County-Wide Science Fair on Feb. 24, 2007.  Nick thanked the cavers for helping them collect water samples.

·         DIXIE CAVERNS Conservation:  After discussion BRG chose the date or April 1, 2007 for the conservation effort.  Conservation effort hours will be 10a -4p, and Mary Sue Socky will talk with the owner about out of town cavers possibly camping at Dixie Caverns campground.



New Business

·         Endless Caverns – VAR is looking for someone to draw up the map of Endless Caverns.  Aaron Moses said he might be interested.   

·         Brief discussion on the recent Ron Simmons cave diving fatality.



·         Easter Conservation weekend Apr 7-8, 2007 at Grand Caverns

·         Spring VAR Pre-registration forms.


Meeting ended a little before 9p.




Minutes submitted by

Mary Sue Socky

Secretary, Blue Ridge Grotto.