Memorial Day Cave Trip Report
by Andrea Hunter
Participants: Lewis Carroll, Andrea Hunter, Mark Stover, Bill Stone (LAMB Survey)

The four of us entered Memorial Day cave at 10AM on Saturday morning and arrived at camp five ½ hours later. Camp one was previously established by Mark Stover and Mike Frisina east of the four-way junction in the current northeast push of the cave. A quick exchange of camp gear for climbing gear and we were headed for the pit lead east of camp.

No leads, big enough to push without digging, were found after dropping the initial pit (where Mike and Mark had left bolting equipment). The small crevice at the bottom of this pit could have been pushed further with some anticipated pain and struggling. Back at the top of the pit, Bill and I rotated bolting across to explore the going lead. The lead proved worthy and soon branched into a junction with continuations in four directions.
Memorial Day Cave
A bolt traverse along the left wall provides access to this lead, the beginning of the Gypsum Sand Borehole - Photo copr. - Ralph Hartley, 2003

Our initial (Saturday) survey followed the "Gypsum Sand Borehole" to a second pit. Lewis bolted and traversed this pit allowing us to continue surveying for another 1,000 feet to a hands/knees 200 foot sandy crawl (which Bill and I pushed on Sunday). The passage opened up leading to a pseudo bridge covering what was estimated as a 100'+ pit with a steady amount of water falling at the bottom. We anticipate this might be a connection back into the main (Columbia) canyon where there is a waterfall/dome lead apx. 100+ up. We also suspect this borehole might be an upper 'fossilized' dry passage paralleling the large canyon below. [This later appears not to be the case, but a pit into potentially new passage in the cave - Ed.]

Bill and I placed several bolts here on the afternoon of 10/12/2003 but did not have enough rope to drop the pit, or enough time and rope to place additional bolts to traverse the bridge. It appeared there was an additional 15-20 foot drop-off after this bridge requiring at least a hand line before dropping back into the continuation of the Gypsum Sand Borehole. NOTE: more static rope (at least 150' to drop the pit) and dynamic rope (apx. 90' for a lead traverse across the pit), and a refreshed supply of hangers, bolts, screw links, and quick draws will be needed to continue the borehole lead.

Bill dropped the Lewis traverse pit on 10/12 but it dead-ended after 40 feet. Bill and I also continued survey of Andi's Candy (a north-trending lead off the junction mentioned above), which passed another pit lead (apx. 60') and led into a narrow meander. This lead appeared to die-off as well, however near its terminus was a noteworthy, beautiful 4' tall stalactite column gallery. This lead ended in a 'Y' junction that could have been pushed in both directions with some digging or painful fissure squeezing.

We concluded our day one efforts at 3:30AM on 10/12. Bill and I camped and Mark and Lewis continued out of the cave after replenishing their food reserves (what beasts)! Sunday at noon, Bill and I continued surveying and bolting until 10PM, then returned to camp. We left some Alaskan cranberry liquor in a plastic lemonade bottle (apx. 120 proof), so please reward yourself after those arduous squeezes if you're the next one camped there. Monday morning, Bill and I exited the cave in 4 hours, 40 minutes, arriving at the entrance at 1PM greeted by vibrant Fall colors and a sunny afternoon. Glad we were able to help in the exploration of Memorial Day Cave.