May 18, 2007



Marian McConnell                      Pat Sims                                   Al Stewart                     Susan Burr

Dan McConnell                          Mary Sue Socky                        Carl Cornett                   Doug Feller

Hayley Grasty                           Brian Williams                           Randy Michael               Cole Frantz

John Layman                             *Cameron Hall                           *Carl Alls                      

Trish Geiger stopped by for a minute, on her way to vacation.

* Guest



4/21/2007: Poor Farm Cave, Pocahontas Co. WVa.  BRG trip.  Pat Sims, Susan Burr, Hayley Grasty, Dave Socky, Carl Alls, Trish Geiger.  Pat made Hayley crawl in a tight little hole, then Dave “walled her in”.  Paybacks are hell, guys!


4/21/2007 – Millers Cove Cave, Roanoke Co. VA.  BRG Vertical trip.  Doug Feller, Rickey Shortt, Carl Cornett, Aaron Moses had a blast exploring the multi-level, multi-drop cave. 


Spring VAR

4/27:  Carl Alls, Hayley Grasty, Susan Neate & others visited Sharps Cave, WVa


4/27: John Layman and Cameron Hall, two men, alumni from WVU, and another boy from Maryland? dropped slender 40 ft.  Roadside Pit, WVa. The entrance drop was not as tight as everyone would make you believe. After reaching the bottom Cameron and I explored a little with one other. Found the big room, took some pictures, and headed back. The two WVU alumni were busy hauling up trash that had been “stuffed” into the roadside pit. While hauling up trash we knocked down the largest rock I have ever seen fall.  100+ lbs.  The rock was already loose and after we gave the ALL CLEAR it was ushered down in a controlled manner where there was a clear fall zone.  Still it was erie feeling the floor shake when the rock hit. After we all got out we rolled up some 75+ ft. of heavy duty outdoor electrical wire along with some realty signs that appreantly belong to the owner of the property. We called the realtor/ owner and left the signs for him to pick up. John took all the wire since he had the truck to haul it in.


4/28: Susan Burr, Pat Sims, & others visited Sharps Cave, WVa.  This was the trip where “The Outlaws” (independent cavers @ VAR) potheads showed up. 


4/28: Hayley Grasty, Carl Alls, others visited Bowden Cave, WVa.  There has been a recent rockfall in the cave. 


4/28: Carl Cornett, Cheryl Jones, John Layman, Cameron Hall, Rick Shortt, Lee Ann Barley, Carl ??, Dave Decker.  did vertical Swago Cave, WVa.  Rappelled 60 ft. beside the waterfall of Swago Creek falling underground.  Rappelled a second drop just inside the cave passage of 40 ft. beside a double waterfall into a large – waist deep, pool. Then after making it through the “sewer” (a stoop walk through water, knee / waist high, in a small box shaped passage for 100 ft?)  we came out in dry passage where we explored for the majority of the trip. Walked a mile in borehole passage to the end and back.


4/29: Cassell Cave, WVa: Rickey Shortt, Leanne Barley, Susan Burr, John Layman, Cameron Hall, Carl Alls, Pat Sims, Hayley Grasty checked out the lower entrance & levels of Cassell Cave. 


5/5: Mary Sue Socky, Nick Socky, Pat Sims, and Susan Burr took 5 members of GS troop into Fountain Cave, VA. Fun trip. They did a quick trip through Grand Caverns afterward.


5/6: Mary Sue Socky, Susan Burr, and Pat Sims took 8 members of a Covington GS troop into Island Ford Cave, VA.  This was an interesting trip.  Mary Sue has sworn off future similar GS trips.


April – Brian Williams was caving in FLA and attending a cave survey meeting in Marianna FLA, then did Climax Cave, GA on 4/17.


4/27: Dan & Marian McConnell did some “topless caving” in Zion NP, Utah.  Dan explained “out there the caves are topless, with 3000’ high walls”!  Rockclimbing is allowed in Zion, so they are planning a return trip. 


5/13:  Marian McConnell and Carl Cornett take 4 members of a “couch potato” GS troop into Tawney’s Cave, VA.  They made it as far as the Moon Room before the girls tired out. 


5/13: Hayley Grasty, Brian Williams, Bill Walker went to Island Ford Cave, VA and Crossroads Cave, VA.  They used lots of flagging tape in Crossroads on this trip!




Sunday 5/20 – BRG trip to Patton Cave, WVa.  Pat Sims is leader.

June 1-3 – Grand Caverns resurvey.

June 3 – Vertical training at CMH, 1p - for upcoming NCRC students only, please!

June 16-23 – NCRC Weeklong in Salem VA.

June 30 – BATS/BRG Conservation work in Dixie Caverns, reward trip into Goodwin’s Cave, VA,


NEXT MONTH’s Trip – Cave Spring Cave, Lexington, VA.  Dave Socky is leader. 


Program of the Day:  “Helectite Cave, VA”  outstanding slide show by Brian Williams and Phil Lucas.





TREASURER  5/18/07

General Fund       $ 4892.33

Conservation        $   584.00

Equipment Fund $    273.00

Cave Bucks         $     77.30

 Total:    $ 5826.63


Committee Reports:

Newsletter:  was a few days late, due to co-editor Dave Socky returning from summiting Mt. Hood, Mt. St.Helens out west.  Da DUMP did get printed, mailed.  Stamps have gone up to 41 cents each.


Membership:  BRG has 61 members and 5 subscribers.  That will soon change.


ROCKS: No report. Dave Socky is climbing Mt. Mitchell , NS.


S&T: Dan McConnell will be an instructor in the upcoming NCRC weeklong.  He will be Leader of Level 1 NCRC, and will also teach “Psychological Aspects of Cave Rescue”. 


Conservation: Brian Williams and nephews did cleanup of Island Ford Cave in March? 2007 

                         Restoration of vandalized flowstone in Dixie Caverns on June 30.  See Old Business


Ways & Means: vacant


Membership Proposals

Carl Alls (Carl 2), NSS # 58674, Sponsored by Susan Burr at the April meeting.  For: 11 , Anti: 0  

Brian Williams NSS # 43870,  Sponsored by Dave Socky at the April meeting.  For 11, Anti: 0.

Both Carl and Brian were voted in as Regular BRG members. 


New Proposals:

Leanne Arethusa Barley, NSS # 38085, sponsored by Pat Sims.  Seconded by Mary Sue Socky

Cameron Hall,  sponsored by Susan Burr.  Seconded by Dan McConnell and John Layman.

Leanne’s and Cameron’s proposals were accepted and tabled until the June 15 BRG meeting.



·         NCRC Week-long – Dan & Marian McConnell, Carl Cornett will be instructors or participants.  Marian McConnell thanked Mary Sue Socky for helping with cave selection, landowner contacts, & trip logistics. 

·         New Cave Trip Checklist – is it working?  Is it helping?  Cavers ARE having fun with it, too soon to tell if it is working.  It DOES help with the beginner/Girl Scout trips.

·         NO BRG meeting Aug. 17.  Instead, BRG will once again have a POOL PARTY at Spring Run Swim Club on SATURDAY, August 18Rain Date:  Sunday August 19. 

·         DIXIE CAVERNS Conservation –Meredith Hall Johnson and MSSocky have planned a Dixie Flowstone Restoration Day & Caverns Cleanup on June 30, 2007.  BATS and BRG will continue the cleanup begun 4/1/07.  Trip to Goodwins Cave afterward.  A sign up sheet was passed around. 



BRG By-Law Proposal

Last month’s action on the proposal was tabled due to absence of Dan and Marian McConnell. 


Clarification:  Pat Sims’ addition was NOT a potential addition to the proposed by-law; rather, Pat brought it up to show the wording of the NSS by-law that had alredy been in place, and we can refer to  XI. Expulsion of Members in the NSS by-laws if need be.


This proposed addition to the BRG By-laws was written by Dan & Marian McConnell. 


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.



After some discussion, Marian McConnell read the proposed by-law, and called a vote.


Should the above amendment be added to the current BRG by-laws?

8 voted for

0 voted against

3 abstained


Motion Passed: The above amendment will be added to the BRG by-laws.



New Business

None, thank God.



·         Cave Hollow Farm (Balfour’s place in Unus, WV) Sinkhole clean out May 26.  9a - ? Camping, bunks available at WVACS.  See John Pearson for more info

·         Ron Simmons memorial 6/2/2007.

·         SERA Cave Carnival, Monterey TN  May 31-June 3   pre-registration has ended. 

·         Register for the NCRC Weeklong classes, held in Salem this June, ASAP

·         NSS Convention, Marengo, IN July 23-27, 2007.


Meeting ended  8:56p.


Minutes submitted by

Mary Sue Socky

Secretary, Blue Ridge Grotto.