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The Origin of the Place Names in Bowden Cave

as of July 7, 2004, compiled by Arnie Weisbrot

A-maze-ing Section - A part of the cave that is essentially a rectangular maze. Historical name.

Anti-Gravity Room - A virgin room in the GM section in which boulders are suspended on the ceilings and walls, seemingly defying gravity. Gangsta Mappers name.

Arnie's Attic - This high room above the Up & Over was not on the earlier map. First surveyed by a party led by Arnie Weisbrot of the Gangsta Mappers. The floor of this room has collapsed since the Gangsta Mappers survey and has blocked the passage through the Up and Over.

Bat Room - Room that always seems to have some bats hanging around. Named by Dave Moore of BATS.

Bathtub - an ever-present pool at this spot in The Agony means a bath for the caver, particularly coming out. Historical name.

Bear Haven Entrance - Named after the common name of the surrounding area, and a West Virginia camping area nearby. Historical name.

Bear Wallow - A wet depression near where some bear bones were reportedly found. Gangsta Mappers name.

Bickle Run Entrance - Named for the valley and stream adjacent to Bowden Cave. Historical name.

Big Room - The first large room that is entered just beyond the gate, only a few feet from the Main Entrance is probably the largest floor space in the cave. Historical name.

Bob's Rimstone Passage - a room filled with rimstone, surveyed by one or more of the several Bob's on the Gangsta Mappers survey.

Bowden Cave - The cave name arises from the name of the surrounding area. It is pronounced "bough-din" and has no "s" on the end. Historical name.

Breakdown Room - The room is filled with breakdown from a large dome above. Historical name.

Bypass Crawl - This passage is supposedly a way to bypass the Watercourse, but it is a low wet muddy cold crawl with some very tight spots. During the Gangtsa Mapper survey in 1997 - 1999, no one actually traversed the entire length despite several valient attempts at both ends. Historical name.

Cat Crawl - A hands and knees crawl between the Big Room and The Agony, so named presumably because one must crawl like a cat. Historical name.

Cat Catcher. A surveyor named Cat Lazaroff was injured in this crawlway when a 50 pound rock fell on her leg. Gangsta Mappers name.

Cathedral Dome - A big dome. Historical name.

Caveman's Bedrooms - Two small rooms just off the Big Room above the stream appear to be ideal bedrooms for a caveman. Historical name.

Charles' Pit - A pit in which Charles Kahn of the Gangsta Mappers dropped a light. Gangsta Mappers name.

Chocolate Crawl. This passage is not quite full of mud the color and consistency of chocolate pudding. Historical name.

Cold Bone Alley - A very cold survey crew led by Bob Alderson found bat bones in this virgin passage. Gangsta Mappers name.

Curtis Canyon - A high canyon first traversed by Curtis Reese of the Gangsta Mappers.

Drake's Pool - A horrible wet slimy pool first found by Miles Drake of the Gangsta Mappers. He called it something too obscene to print, so the Gangsta Mappers changed the name to Drake's Pool.

Dusty's Terrible Triangle Trap - A tight triangle shaped passage that Dusty Gulden squeezed into but would not push because of the shape. Gangsta Mappers name.

First Big Room - After several hundred feet of The Agony, this is the first room of any substantial size that you come to. Historical name.

Formation Corner - Historical name.

Formation Room (in the GM section) - Historical name.

Formation Room (near the Pendant Room) - Historical name.

GM Passage - Named for the Gangsta Mappers.

GM Section - This portion of the cave was not on the earlier map when the Gangsta Mappers redid the map in 1997 to 1999. In fact, some areas were virgin. GM stands for Gangsta Mappers.

Graffiti Alley - There was a high concentration of graffiti on the ceiling in this area. The graffiti were cleaned by Bob Hoke of the Gangtsa Mappers who named the passage.

Hairy Traverse - Named for the exposed step-over move needed to cross a canyon. Historical name.

Hall of the High Domes - The end of the original map in this part of the cave. Historical name.

Hartley Passage - A virgin cave segment first pushed by a party led by Ralph Hartley of the Gangsta Mappers.

High Muck-a-muck - A muddy breakdown area that is one of the highest points between the entrances. Gangsta Mappers name.

Horbul Breakdown Passage - an awkward sloping passage filled with breakdown inspired Chris Alderson of the Gangsta Mappers to coin this apt name.

Horner's Escape Chute - A bypass first used by Barry Horner of the Gangsta Mappers.

Horrible Breakdown Room - part of the Horbul Breakdown Passage. Gangtsa Mappers Name.

Infinity Crawl - Several hundred feet of crawl one to two feet high seems to go on for ever. Historical name.

Ken's Domes. Historical name.

Main Entrance - The large entrance that is very visible from the road is appropriately known as the Main Entrance. See also Bear Haven Entrance, Second Entrance Cave, Third Entrance. Historical name.

Mastodon Maze - Mastodon bones were found in this room. Historical name.

MG Section - The historically known part of the cave beyond The Agony. It stands for Monongahela Grotto, the makers of the first map.

Mud Canyon - Very muddy passage off the Cathedral Dome. Historical name.

Mystery Dome (at rear of cave) - An unknown stream enters this dome. Historical name.

New-a-maze - A part of the cave beside the A-maze-ing Section that was not on the earlier map. Some portions were virgin. Gangsta Mappers name.

Orange County Lumber Trunk - In a fit of whimsy, or possibly because the Gangsta Mappers were nearing the end of this survey project, Miles Drake assigned this unusual name.

Pauline's Crawl - a flat belly crawl on cobbles that Pauline Apling of the Gangsta Mappers was forced to do twice, needlessly. This is one of two possible connections needed to complete a through trip. The other crawl is worse! Gangtsa Mappers name.

Pendant Maze - Maze formed by pendants in the MG section. Historical name.

Pendant Room - Named for the abundant pendants. Historical name.

Piss-a-re-a - Many of the Gangsta Mappers heeded nature's call here.

Room of a Thousand Leads - A large room that has many passages leading off in all directions. Gangtsa Mappers name.

Second Entrance Cave - The early map showed an entrance to Bowden Cave in this area, but subsequent subsidence or collapse has closed the connection. Despite heavy pushing from both sides, the Gangsta Mappers were forced to change the name to Second Entrance Cave.

Second Big Room - This was the second largest room in the MG section. Historical name.

Shower Room - Water falling from the top of a dome inspired this name. Historical name.

Spina's Washout - A stream crawl surveyed by a party led by Tom Spina of the Gangsta Mappers during a flood event. Spina's party came close to drowning, and the entire group of some twenty Gangsta Mappers was flooded in for several hours.

Star Room - The intersection of three ceiling joints creates a perfect six-pointed star in the ceiling. Look up when standing in the center of the island. Gangsta Mappers name.

Stream Passage - The lower level main passage in the front of the cave always has a stream, even in very dry weather. Historical name.

Stream Bypass Passage - The upper level main passage in the front of the cave is always dry and is definitely the preferred route to the back of the cave. Historical name.

Subway - a low crawl. Historical name.

The Agony - A tight pinch and the subsequent hundreds of feet of belly crawl are agonizing to traverse, particularly coming out! Historical name.

The Pisser - A small stream of water issues out of the wall. Gangsta Mappers name.

The Boil - An intersecting passage entering from a lower level fills with water which boils out during flood events. Gangsta Mapper name.

Third Entrance - At one time this was the third entrance from the front of the cave. It is now the second entrance. See Second Entrance Cave. Historical name.

Throne Room - a wide and high area in the main stream passage that has rocks shaped like a throne. Historical Name.

Toad Room. A toad was found in this room deep in the cave. Gangsta Mappers name.

Two Foot Room - This room is far less than two feet high, the tallest part of the crawlway. Gangtsa Mappers name.

Up & Over - At the end of the Watercourse, one must climb up and over a breakdown mound. This area has been mostly filled by the collapse of the floor of Arnie's Attic and is too unstable for safe travel. This has caused the cave to be gated at the inner end of the Watercourse. Gangsta Mappers name.

Watercourse - A stream which normally ranges between ankle and thigh deep runs rapidly through this narrow canyon. During flood events, the Watercourse fills to the ceiling. A gate has been installed at the inner end of the Watercourse because of unstable collapse in the Up and Over area. Historical name.

Windy Section - Generally, the wind is quite strong in this area. Historical name.

Zipper's Dome - Historical name.


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