BLUE RIDGE GROTTO
MARCH 16, 2007
Marian McConnell Pat Sims Chris Heptinstall Al Stewart
Susan Burr Dave Socky Mary Sue Socky Greg McCorkindale
Carl Cornett Trish Geiger Doug Feller Hayley Grasty
Cole Frantz *Carl Alls *Amy Faub
BRG Trip to Porters Cave, Bath Co. VA. Doug
Feller, Susan Burr, Pat Sims. (Ldrs),
Hayley Grasty, Jeff Richards, Sam Aguilera, Jimbo Poff, Susan Neate, Carl Alls,
2/17: BRG trip to McClungs Cave, Greenbrier Co. WVa. Lightner Entrance. Dave Socky, Rick Shortt (Ldrs), Aaron Moses, Greg McCorkindale, James Maughan, Carl Cornett, John Layman, Cameron Hall. There was snow on eh ground. Everyone rappelled in, did the mud crawl to the G Survey. Greg hurt his knee. Then they went to Bat Bone Crawl. Greg DID get wet! They also went to the 7 Fingers area. The only got turned around once. Headed out, no problems, 9 hour trip.
Geiger and 17 other cavers spent a day in the Lipps Maze section of
2/25: On the coldest day of the year, Dave Socky, Pat Sims and Doug Feller met with a Botetourt Co. landowner and checked out a sinkhole on the man’s property. The sinkhole had slumped in. They did a little digging, encouraged the owner to “let his kids dig on it” and came home. Brrr!
Socky attended the CCV Meeting in
Caverns Weekend. Pat Sims, Susan Burr,
Aaron Moses, Rick Shortt did the 2nd try on removing muddy
footprints on the flowstone in the New
Section of Grand Caverns. Pat swears
they didn’t get the porta-vac to work; they had better results using a deck of
cards to remove the mud.
Trish Geiger, Cole Frantz, Carl Cornett, Brian Williams, and Marian McConnell
went with Phil Lucas on a photo tour of
3/6: Mary Sue Socky gave 5 talks on Caves to Ms. Barnett’s 9th grade Earth Science classes. Talks & slide show went great, the kids seemed really interested. Good “always get landowner permission” and safety messages.
UPCOMING CAVE TRIPS
Tomorrow: 3/17 – BRG trip to Cave Spring Cave, Rockbridge Co. VA. Dave Socky is leader.
Sat. 3/24 – Vertical Workshop at RocWood Indoor Climbing Wall. 9a -4p. Dan & Marian McConnell are leaders. Please sign up or RSVP to 309-4707.
Sun. 4/1 –
Easter 4/6-8: Grand Caverns Conservation weekend. Andy Reeder and Meredith Johnson are coordinators
Apr. 27-29: Spring VAR in Durbin, WVa.
? Is there a GS trip planned for 5/6 or 5/13? (Mother’s Day) Marian will check with Nancy Kuebler.
April 21 BRG trip:
Plan A –
Marian McConnell with ask Phil Lucas if he can arrange access for BRG to visit
Plan B – Vertical - Miller Cove Cave, Roanoke Co. VA. Aaron Moses and Rick Shortt are leaders AND
PROGRAM OF THE DAY – DVD, “Come to the NSS Convention in Marengo IN July 2007. A highly entertaining 20 min. “Indiana Jones spoof”. BRG showed interest.
General Fund $ 4908.30
Conservation $ 584.00
Equipment Fund $ 242.00
Newsletter: Editor Dave Socky thanks people for articles, photos (extra photos can be seen on the E-DUMP site).
Membership: BRG ha 55 members and 5 subscribers. Pick up your BRG membership cards, 2007 BRG Membership Lists, and Cave Rescue pocket cards at this meeting; remainder will be mailed to members.
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. Contact Marian McConnell to sign up.
Conservation: vacant. See Old Business
Ways & Means: vacant
Membership Proposals – there were none.
· Grand Caverns – Muddy footprint report – see trip reports. Pat & Susan say they are done.
· Endless Caverns. Chris Prinz (WVACS) will do the new map of Endless Caverns; he will coordinate with VAR officers. There might be “check out” or “mop up” trips in Endless.
· Eight Rivers Environmental Group – Not much happening, Spring VAR will be held very near this site.
· Rufe Caldwell Sinkhole Cleanup – Is on semi-permanent HOLD. Joey Fagan wants Marian McConnell and Mary Sue Socky to contact, work with landowner to set up the cleanup. However, Rebecca of the says owner would have to pay 3K to 13K “up front” for the cleanout, owner might later be reimbursed. Marian and Mary Sue choose not to talk with owner about this financial burden; the DCR people will have to do better to come up with a much cheaper, easier plan before we contact the landowner about the possibility of a sinkhole cleanout.
· Science Fair Project. Elliot George and Nick Socky advance to the Regional Science Fair on March 24, 2007.
1. New Cave Trip Checklist
· Some guests on BRG trips seem to think the Caving checklist is a list of suggestions, instead of requirements.
· Some sponsors and trip leaders are not checking to see if new folk have all the required caving gear.
· BRG is not following its own rules, is allowing non-members to go caving without a trip sponsor/caving buddy.
All these things are not good. Some of these things are serious, may lead to a caving accident. SO –
Introducing the NEW Cave Trip Checklist (See appendix below)
2. New BRG By-Law Proposal
This addition to the BRG By-laws was written by Dan & Marian McConnell. Dan McConnell could not be at the 3/16/07 BRG meeting. It was introduced by Marian McConnell and reads:
BRG members must abide by NSS ethics, and practice cave safety and conservation. BRG members who behave in an unsafe and/or disrespectful manner may be considered for revocation of their membership. Any such behavior will be called to their attention, (either verbally or in writing) to offer them the opportunity to correct it. If the behavior continues, they will be given a letter citing specific behaviors that need to be corrected, along with the consequences of non-compliance. If they continue to continue the unsafe/disrespectful behavior, their membership will come up for a vote by BRG members at a regular meeting within 2 months of the date of the letter. If a quorum exists and a majority of BRG members vote to revoke their membership, they will be given a letter to inform them of the final decision.
Marian & Dan
After some discussion, Marian McConnell proposed the new By Law.
Susan Burr, Pat Sims seconded.
The proposal was immediately tabled, will be published in the April CARBIDE DUMP and will be brought up for discussion at the April 20 BRG meeting.
· Clean Valley Day Mar 31, 2007. www.cleanvalley.org
· Spring VAR Pre-registration forms. Pre-registration discount ends April 1.
· Easter Conservation weekend Apr 7-8, 2007 at Grand Caverns
Cave Hollow Farm (Balfour’s place in
· Registration for the Baltic Speleological Congress 2007 is now open http://www/speleo.se/bsc
Meeting ended 9:07p.
Minutes submitted by
(Appendix # 1
March 19, 2007
To: Connie Browning, Owner
Julie Carper, Caverns Manager
Area cavers are looking forward to working in Dixie Caverns on Sunday, April 1, 2007.
Project hours will be 10a – 3p
We are planning to tackle several areas of the cave for a “Spring Cleaning”.
I have also invited cavers from other area grottos to come and help out, so we may have more than the usual 6 or 7 volunteers for the conservation project.
Dust and lint – the cave formations are dull from dust and lint carried through by normal “tourist traffic”
Mud – all caves are muddy. Some of
Green – we will use a hydrogen peroxide solution to kill the moss and algae; no bad fumes, and it’s ecologically better for the cave (if the peroxide doesn’t’ work, we’ll go back to using the Clorox solution on future cleanups)
ON-SITE WORK MATERIALS
Lots of our work will involve water. We need to have a water source. A water source in the cave would be ideal, but if it’s too cold to cut the water on inside the cave (just for the day), we can work around it if we use a spigot outside the cave. (Of course, the more water we have to carry into the cave will cut into our conservation activities in the cave.)
I have noticed several “water cooler bottles” inside the cave near the beginning of the “Entrance Hall”. If these containers could be used for water, that would be great!
Protective Rock. We will need pieces of rock for two activities:
Mud. We will use mud from the “dig” in the Wedding Bell Room to cover wires and conduit.
If at all possible, we need to enlist Dixie Cavern Staff support for pre-cleaning set-up.
· Filling and distributing large water bottles throughout the cave.
2 filled cooler containers by “the Cascades”
2 filled water containers in the “Wedding Bell Room”
· Selecting and piling rock in “off trail” areas where it can be used to cover conduit/build barriers. This rock can come from in the cave, or outside (stream or campground rocks should be washed off before being brought into the cave). Do Not Break Formations!!
may use brooms, rakes, ladders, etc. that are stored in the
Depending on the number of cavers participating, the following areas will be tackled for the 2007 Dixie Caverns Cleanup:
These are ideas the cavers have come up with as they tour Dixie Caverns – for the future.
Well, that’s it. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-989-7693.
Mary Sue Socky
NSS # 24206 FE
cc: Connie Browning, Julie Carper
Appendix # 2
CAVING TRIP CHECKLIST
ALL items on this list are REQUIRED!
YOU must carry your own gear.
Think small, durable, and lightweight – because caving will trash, ruin, destroy anything you bring with you.
You will need TWO sets of clothes (1) caving clothes, and (2) a complete change of clothes and shoes for the ride home. Avoid cotton clothing for your “cave clothes” (wet cotton is cold against the skin and causes hypothermia.) Polypro, nylon, acrylic, synthetics, and wool will keep you warmer and drier underground.
! Leave your “after cave” change of clothes in the car for the ride home.
CLOTHING: Bring to change into or wear into the cave:
o Sturdy hiking boots with DEEP LUG SOLES and ankle support
o Thermal underwear
o Coveralls, with thermal underwear underneath. If you do not have coveralls, then wear layered clothing (sweatshirt/sweater) over your thermals, and an “outer layer” of jeans or pants and a windbreaker/jacket.
o Two pairs of Wool or Synthetic socks – NO COTTON.
o Knee Pads (optional, but highly recommended)
o Leather-palmed or gardening gloves
o Hair tie back (if you have long hair)
o Bandana (optional)
o Approved HELMET with a non-hanging chin strap and HELMET MOUNTED LIGHT (BRG has extra helmets available for a small donation the first trip or two; after that you need to buy your own.)
o CAVE PACK – absolutely necessary! Choose a pack with adjustable straps that will hold ALL the equipment listed below. A lightweight “day pack” or kid’s school backpack will work. So will military surplus packs. This is your survival pack; its contents will help you survive underground for 24-48 hours if you become separated from your group lost, hurt, or trapped.
In the Cave Pack, you must have:
o Extra set of batteries for the primary electric light system.
o A “back-up” light system (and extra batteries for it) if your primary light fails
o Small flashlight with new batteries.
o Candle and matches (store in a waterproof bag)
o Unbreakable plastic water bottle. NO GLASS OR CANS of carbonated drinks! NO ALCOHOL!
o Extra ziplock bags (optional)
o Small (palm sized) first aid kit (optional, recommended)
o Small pocketknife or multi-use tool (optional)
o Whistle (optional)
o One LARGE (30gal) plastic trash or leaf bag.
o Food: trail mix, granola/power bars,” junk food” are best. Choose high energy food that does not need to be refrigerated, can be “mashed” and can be eaten cold.
· Cave Softly and Safely with landowner permission
· If you bring it into the cave, you must bring it out
· Leave no trace of your visit underground
· Always make sure the leader has a “call back” with a responsible party – which cave, and what time you WILL call by.
· The trip leaders have the right to say NO to someone who is not properly prepared/equipped or who does not comply with NSS safety and conservation ethics. Cavers who cannot comply will be escorted out of the cave.
· Please contribute gas money to the driver when carpooling.
· NON-BRG members must have a BRG member sponsor on each cave trip, and they must sign a waiver.
Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time (NSS motto)