Blue Ridge Grotto
Meeting Minutes:
September 15, 2006

Al Stewart, Dave Socky, MarySue Socky, Carl Cornett, Pat Sims, Susan Burr, Marian McConnell, Dan McConnell, Jeff Richards, Doug Feller, Jacqueline Andrusky*, John Layman*, Haley Grasty*, Anna Balog* (Geology Prof; has caved in Hungary), Paul Stoutamire*, Whitney St.Clair* (new last name), Chris Heptinstall (showed up sick, opened the place for us, and went home)
* = guest

1. Trip Reports:

Past Trips:

On July 19th, Pat Sims, MarySue, Nicholas, Carl, and Susan visited Paxton's on a hooky trip to help learn this mazy cave. They left a new "Barbie and Ken" in the basement room, and practiced flagging the route.

On August 8th, Nicholas Socky went with JSS to a talus cave in Washington State during convention.

On August 13th, Dave, MarySue, and Nicholas went to Ape Cave near Mt. St. Helens in Washington. Also visited Lake Cave which is a lava tube.

The August 19th BRG trip was to Patton's and was led by Pat Sims. On the trip were Susan, Doug, Carl, Trish Geiger, Cole, John (Cole's friend), John Layman, and Allyson. It was a great trip. The cave was drier than usual; some of them went past the usual sump.

August 24th, Marian, Cole, Carl, and John (Cole's friend) went to Rufe Caldwell and had an excellent trip. Had an old map from "Caves of Virginia" that was still very accurate. Saw some cool white "balls on the wall" formations. Practiced using flagging tape to mark the route. Marian send pictures to the owner, Barbara Lucas, along with a thank you note for access.

August 27th, Aaron Moses led a trip to Fletcher's. On the trip were Susan, Pat, Doug, Carl, Ricky, LeeAnn, Jacqueline, Corey (Jacqueline's friend). They saw lots of pretty formations.

September 2nd, Dave Socky went on a very long trip into Hell Hole, and helped to survey about 788'. It was really muddy, wet, and cold, although much walking passage. Spent a total of 24 hours underground. See article in Carbide Dump.

September 9th, Charles was in Fountain Cave with MarySue, Carol Tiderman, Bob Thren, Bill Biggers, Brian Williams & they were digging out where blasting had been done. Pat, April & Susan checked out tight leads else where in the cave & then went to help them. Some past historical data suggests there may be possible connection between caves that was filled in some time ago. Dave Socky helped survey in Madison Saltpeter. The survey is about ¼ completed; more help is needed.

On September 12th, Susan and MarySue tried to visit Goodwin's with the new key, but couldn't drop the gate. MarySue's car was attacked by a tree, busting out her rear windshield.

Upcoming Trips:

September 16th - Vertical trip to Giant in Narrows - trip leaders are Dan and Marian. Meet at HROM at 8am. Glen Hugus and Tony Smith of NCRC will be coming too.

September 22-24 - VAR, with many cave trips planned. Goodwin's will be open on September 24th. Dixie Caverns is offering ½ off on admission fees on those dates ($5/person).

October 7th - Sierra Club cave conservation "walk and talk" at Catawba Murder Hole (Dan and Marian's property) at 2pm. No actual caving but MarySue and Carol Zokaites will be helping to present a multi-media presentation about cave safety and conservation. Afterwards there will be a Potluck supper and house concert by Luray musician, Pops Walker ($7/person). Contact Marian for more info, directions, etc.

October 21st - Honaker Cave led by Ricky Shortt; this will be a horizontal trip. (Alternate will be Breathing Cave.)

2. Program of the Day:
Aaron and Ricky's photos of mountaineering/caving out west.

3. Treasurer's Report:
General $4,648.43
Cave Bucks -
Conservation 575.00
Equipment 239.00

4. Committees:
Newsletter - thanks for all the photos and articles.
Membership - updated BRG roster is now available.
ROCKS - nothing.
Safety & Techniques - Dan will look into a date at Rocwood in November for vertical training. Would like to know what members want. Carl suggested practicing ascending with different systems (e.g. knots, frog, Texas, Mitchell, etc.)
Conservation - nothing.
Ways & Means - no Haunted Cave this year.

5. Membership Proposals:
Brian Williams, caver from Florida, has become a subscriber. He's a caver and cave diver, very experienced.

6. Old Business:
Goodwin's now has a repaired gate and new lock.

7. New Business:
a. Nancy Kuebler has asked BRG to lead 2 beginner trips in 2007 for the Girl Scouts. Marian has agreed to help, and will need volunteers: April 29 in Island Ford, and May 13 in Tawney's.
b. Marian reminded everyone of cave trip leader responsibilities. The trip leader needs to make sure any non-members have a sponsor who is willing to look out for them. All participants need to be dressed properly and bring proper equipment/gear. Trip Leaders need to find out the skill/experience level of any non-members to make sure the trip is appropriate for them and that safety and conservation are understood and enforced.
c. Happy birthday to MarySue, Randy, and Marian.
d. Cyndi Hutchison has offered to be Treasurer if needed.

8. Announcements and mail bag.

Adjournment at 9p.

Notes by Marian McConnell.