How Dig Projects Get Started

April 14, 2002
By - Devin Kouts

GVKS has worked a lot of territory in Germany Valley these last three years. And even in the areas that have been thoroughly walked we've occasionally missed incredible leads. This series of photos documents one of the first visits to a lead that shows the potential to produce great cave, while simultaneously posing some interesting excavation problems.
Tom Barton approaches a lead that had been mentioned over two years ago by a local landowner. Our initial investigations at that timed turned up nothing and it wasn't until Chuck Wilkinson was shown the hole on a recent weekend that we knew just how intriguing this lead would be. Note the proximity of pond water to the dig site. Copyright Devin Kouts, 2002.
From this vantage point we can almost see that three walls of the dig are solid bedrock while the last wall is easily removable cobble. It's not captured by this picture but grass, leaves and dust were sucked into the hole by a strong air flow as digging efforts progressed. Copyright Devin Kouts, 2002.
A large body of water, about 40 feet in diameter and at least 2 feet deep, stands ready to pour into the dig site should the opportunity arise. This pond receives constant replenishment from a spring fed watersource nearby. Copyright Devin Kouts, 2002.
Tom leans in to inspect the results of about 5 minutes worth of dig effort. Earlier, Gordon Brace, Rick Lambert and the author had pulled several handfuls of rock from the opening and watched as black void appeared below. Copyright Devin Kouts, 2002.
In this shot the water can be seen draining from the pond and into the dig site. The top end of the hole looks as if it could open up with just a few more rocks removed. Copyright Devin Kouts, 2002.
The dig site is obviously well placed in a bed rock outcrop. The unfortunate colocation of water is just a minor technicality. Copyright Devin Kouts, 2002.
This remote view of the dig site offers yet a different perspective. Note the exposed bed rock in the background. This area was originally excavated as part of the pond and would normally have been under water. Copyright Devin Kouts, 2002.

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