April 17, 2002
Another stellar weekend in the valley. A little rain, but not enough to
slow anything down...
Ralph Hartley and Barry Horner, take a break from sketch during the trunk
segment survey in Memorial Day cave North Passage.
Copyright © Devin Kouts, 2002.
1. Memorial Day Cave,
The Northern Cave. The northern end of the Zimmerman Passage was
surveyed out to it's bitter end. Only one lead remains, but it will
require persuasion. The passage ends in a nice 75' piece of borehole
passage with no obvious leads. Rick Royer found out how it feels to be
the cork in an hourglass. While pushing a lead in the ceiling he
dislodged a goodly amount of small round rocks, that just kept on
coming. Another ton of rocks, and the world would have come up short
one pessimist. On the bright side, the lead went into the borehole
section, and Rick gets another
story to tell around the campfire. (
see more photos
Good news for the "robust sized" caver, the tight sections in the
Zimmerman Passage have been enlarged making access to the northern
reaches of the cave more doable.
The "Martyrdom Dig" was attempted again, unfortunately this dig is, and
always will be, a VERY dangerous dig. Rick Orben had just exited the
fall zone to clear some debris when roughly 500 pounds of the unstable
ceiling decided to turn potential energy into kinetic energy. VERY
EXCITING!! A new method must be devised before this dig is pushed any
further. Unfortunate since this is the continuation of the main
The Southern Cave. Is still going strong. It now also has the deepest
section of the cave at -105.7'. Three solid leads remain. A small
stream passage has been encountered. The bulk of the air in the cave
comes from this section. The last piece of passage actually does a
and heads north. While the survey of this section was underway the
entrance into Scoop-2 collapsed, necessitating much rock removal before
the survey crew would be able to exit. Next month we will have to do a
stabilization trip to this area, since all the solid leads left in the
cave are in this passage.
Total length for the cave now stands at 1,985 feet, with a depth of
-105.7 feet. Go team go!
2. Wire in Sink Dig
The Wire Sink dig is a low tech effort to open a rather succulent, yet airless
karst feature. Copyright © Charles Kahn, 2002
The remains of the Zimmerman rock have been removed, along with many
more buckets of dirt/rock. It is starting to looks like a crevice
passage with fluted walls. Much more work needs to be done here,
including a fence around the pit to protect the livestock. (
see more photos
3. New Digs,
Akwa Cave, pronounced "ack-wa", is located on the edge of a farm pond . The
landowner's son pointed it out to us, and wanted
to know if we wanted to do anything with it, or should he just plug it
up. It has a constant flow of water running into it from the pond.
But after removing a few rocks it has been determined that this is in fact a
cave. Digging on it initially will require building a coffer dam to
keep the water out. If it goes into anything major we will have to
build some type of sealed conduit entrance. Of course as soon as the
entrance is plugged with a conduit the water level will rise around the
entrance, necessitating either a boat, or bridge to gain access. Hence
the bastardized pronunciation of the term "Aqua". (
see more photos
Tom Barton approaches the Akwa dig. Efforts to open this cave will undoubtedly
pose some interesting and enjoyable challenges. Note the proximity of pond water
to the dig site. Copyright © Devin Kouts, 2002.
The landowner's son also pointed out another attempted farm pond that never held
water. The edge of this failed pond has a small hole that sucks air.
Since this is in the middle of a pasture we are going to have to put a
fence around it also, once the dig starts.