Jeff McCracken emerges from the newly found No Karst Cave. Copr. D. Kouts - 2003
(Subsequent research reveals this to be in fact a known cave. Previously given the name Edwards cave, it's location had been lost to the caving community for many years. - DSK)
How did we miss this one? The old Germany Valley PSC field house is
not far away. Harper Pit, a perennial favorite of
PSC and other cavers is even closer. But there it was, an
invitingly comfortable cave entrance, just like the kind your father
used to find, back when you didn't have to dig so hard for your new
On a recent weekend jaunt to Germany Valley I was joined by local
Jeff McCracken and his son Patrick for a little geology walk. Their new
puppy Karst came along for the walk as well. I was intent on studying
the limestone that was exposed in the ravine downstream from their home
near Seneca Caverns, a ravine we refer to as Bowers hollow.
As we wandered along all three of us kept our eyes glued to the
limestone outcrops on both sides. Occasionally Patrick would scurry up
the slope to have a look at a depression that both I and his old man
were too lazy to chase after. On possibly the third or fourth scurry
Patrick looked back and said "Come 'ere, hurry"!
From down in the stream bed Jeff and I had spotted a likely looking
depreesion at the base of a tree about 30 feet up the northern side of
the ravine. I didn't think it likely that we would find anything
significant in that ravine because it was so close to the old
fieldhouse, and this area was notoriously well walked (or so they say).
Having read a lot of the original literature available from caving
sources about Germany Valley caves, and consequently ridgewalking
extensively in the valley with members of the Germany Valley Karst
Survey, I was really surprised to find a cave with such a large
where we did.
Jeff McCracken and his son Patrick check out the entrance passage of No Karst
Cave. Note the pipistrelles sleeping on the ceiling. Copr. D. Kouts -
But here it was. Jeff and I joined Patrick to look down into a hole
about two feet high by three feet wide that opened to a mudslope. The
three of us used Jeffs little LED headlamp to slip down the mud slope
and into a small entrance chamber about four feet high. The walls were
three to four feet apart and the space was very comfortable. Signs of
wood rat littered the floor and a hand full of pips adorned the
Jeff pushed forward for about thirty feet to where the passage
Continuing would require a squeeze over flowstone into a crawlway sized
tube. The flowstone looked very clean and unmarked by cavers. The tube
bent around to the right and out of site. None of us were dressed to
push so we backed out of the cave and marvelled at our good fortune.
From there we went on to have a look at the rest of the ravine and a
swing past the Harper Pit entrance. As we walked back through the field
toward Seneca Caverns Jeff and I peered through the trees and could
make out the dark outline of the entrance. This is a time when no
are on the trees. During summer it would be totally invisible. But
it's stunning to find a new cave like this where it is.