Highland County Cave Survey

Rick Lambert
NSS 12496
June 2002

I expected the June survey weekend to be sparse due to the number of people we have that are committed to other projects. I was surprised when sixteen people showed up for work Friday night and Saturday morning.

With that many people we went back to the Bullpasture Mountain. Four -four person teams were formed and four projects were selected. Pat Bingham, Barry Horner, Billy Pickett and I went to Bullpasture Mountainside Cave. Brien Farris, Brandi Hart, R. J. Wagner, and Scott Wahlquist were dropped off at a dig where Larry Baer had shoved a bar six feet into the ground. Adam Farmer, Elizabeth McIntyre, Rick Wagner, and Alex Zendel were dropped off at a dig above Iron Girl Cave. Larry Baer, Jason Hart, Bill Murray, and Jessica Pickett went back to the Air Blower.

Bullpasture Mountainside Cave turned out to be highly decorated. I took over 100 photographs of the cave. The surveyors tallied up over 400 feet of survey with some of that including splay shots. The depth of the cave was 70 feet.

I finished the photographs before the surveyors finished surveying and exited the cave. As I arrived at Baer’s B’ar Dig I asked how it was going. Scott said it did not look very promising, but the digging was easy, it was all sandy soil. As we were talking Brien shoved a six foot bar into the dig and I watched in shock as my bar disappeared. Brien did not think the dig was going to go and was not holding on to the bar. He carefully dug down and found the lip on top of the bar had snagged and not fallen into the cave. I walked over to the teams above Iron Girl Cave and the Air Blower. When I came back I found Scott excited about a deep vertical crevice. Three people had gone to get vertical gear. While they were gone it was related to me that Brandi had complained before the break though that this was another typical Rick Lambert dig. I had to admit the teams were assigned to the sites at random and I did not feel it was the most promising and actually thought I was wasting the efforts of a great dig team. The survey of Baer’s B’ar Cave was started but not finished.

The team above Iron Girl dug down into the breakdown plug until it became too dangerous to continue. We will have to let the site collapse and began again at a later date. This dig looks a lot like the Five Springs dig site. Though they were not rewarded with a cave Saturday, they will be eventually.

The Air Blower team took the dig down through several pockets to a depth of 20 feet. They had concerns about safety and whether they were digging in the right spot. Despite this I was amazed they progressed as far as they did.

Saturday morning we had fourteen people. Brien and Bill could not be with us. Barry, Scott and Pat went to Baer’s B’ar Cave and finished the survey. The rest of us went to Mill Gap and the sinking stream. We had three holes blowing air in a 20’ diameter area. We divided up and probed all three at the same time to try to find the most promising. We micro blasted in two of the holes and left with one over 10 feet deep. We still do not know which one is going to go.

Next month is the family weekend. Our plans are to take our families to Sinks of Gandy Cave for a day of caving and a picnic. On Sunday we will take them to Mill Gap, to the sinking stream dig site, and let them see what real fun is. Someone else is preparing the food so I need a count of how many plan to attend by July the 20th. If you don’t let me know we will not exclude you from the picnic, you may only get bones to chew on and plates to lick though!

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