Highland County Cave Survey

Rick Lambert
NSS 12496
August 2002

Highland County Cave Survey

I apologize for taking so long to write this report. Preparing for OTR and resting up after OTR exhausted the time I had to prepare this.

The weekend was a great success. We fielded five teams on Saturday the 24th. Two teams went into Five Springs Cave and came out with about 100 feet of survey. The surveyors were Josh Rubinstein, Scott Wahlquist, Barry Horner, Brien Farris, and Carol Peterson. The mud in the cave, which Josh has described as “soul sucking” is still chewing surveyors up and spitting them out. It was reported that Carol has said she will never go into the cave again. This is quite a statement from the cave’s discoverer.

Rick Royer, Timmy Grimm and Alex Zendel returned to Singing Tree Cave and hammered through the bedrock projections and finally entered the adjoining dome. With no time remaining they left the dome un-surveyed and the walking canyon passageway out of it virgin. Timmy was sporting large bruises and scratches on his side at OTR.

Larry Baer, Kim Johnson and Sherry Johnson continued the dig at the Bullpasture Mountain Air Blower. The dig goes on, forever downward. Larry reports they are close.

Pat Bingham, Rick Wagner and I walked to a dot on a map given to us by and caver in Staunton. The cave, named Grants Tomb, was 120 feet deep. It dropped away in three drops and had two other pits in it and at least five other domepits. Bones were on all levels and Lee Roy Grant provided the location. Hence the name, Grants Tomb. This cave was marked on the VSS master map as one of the three locations for Bullpasture Mountainside Cave.

On Saturday night the Virginia Highlands Grotto was organized and the paperwork has been submitted to the NSS for acceptance. Eleven NSS members signed the application and other non-NSS members also joined the grotto.

On Sunday we all went to Mill Gap and continued the digs on the Dead Hole, The Croft Insurgence and Troop 761 Cave. All the digs are progressing well.

I have just finished ten maps and want to encourage all those working on maps to have them ready by the VSS meeting in October. We are close to having 40 caves surveyed and maps produced for 2002. None of this could have been done without ALL of you. Every contribution you have made, no matter how small, has been significant. If some of you weren’t so ugly I would kiss all of you on the lips.

Anyway, the next survey weekend is September 28-29. We will be finishing up several wet caves and other loose ends in time for the VSS meeting on October 12th. This has been a high pressure year for me. (Yes, I know I made it that way.) I want to turn the survey over to you all beginning in October. I want each of you to take a month, pick the projects, assign the teams, bitch and moan about failures etc. (all that stuff I do). I’ll help you in every way I can. I will even make available MY list of new caves. There are about 20 caves on this list and they are not listed in the VSS or the HCCS files.

Lastly, due to Larry’s encouragement I now have a beam and pulley attached to the gable of my barn for fine-tuning ascending systems. Always bring your vertical gear to the 4th weekends. Once we get the squeezebox made we should have plenty of toys to play with.

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