Germany Valley Karst Survey, Surveying Caves, Karst and Karst Features of Germany Valley, West Virginia
Gordon Brace
April 17, 2002

Another stellar weekend in the valley. A little rain, but not enough to slow anything down...

Wire Sink Dig 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.

Memorial Day Cave Plot Memorial Day Cave lineplot, April 2002. Click for larger image.
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 passage.

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 U-turn 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!

Wire Sink Dig The Wire Sink dig is a low tech effort to open a rather succulent, yet airless karst feature. Copyright Charles Kahn, 2002
2. Wire in Sink Dig

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,

Wire Sink Dig 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.
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 )

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.

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