Windy Slope Cave
Brian Masney, Dave Riggs, John Harman and Doug McCarty surveyed more than 465 feet of passage in Windy Slope cave in the Cheat Canyon
by Llew Williams
People on the trip
were Justin Williams, Llew Williams, John, Barth, Lorin Long, Julie
Brefczynski-Lewis, and Jim Lewis.
Cheat Canyon Ridgewalk
Brian Masney, Dave Riggs and John Harman found two new caves: Quarterback Cave and Football FRO. They also checked on Spring Falls Cave, which has never been pushed or mapped. It moves a great deal of both air and water and is right across the river from Windy Slope Cave.
There were ten people at the highway clean-up--Alan Carpenter, Bob Griffith, Mary Davis, John Barth, Dave Riggs, Abby Hohn, Kevin Keplinger, Justin Keplinger, Andy Goss and Doug McCarty. Everyone but Alan went to Harr #2 after the litter pick up. John brought his photography equipment along to take pictures of the formations and everyone enjoyed the cave.
Memorial Day Cave
Bob Griffith, John Harman and Cullen Henke all went to Germany Valley for the Shovel Eater Survey, but there were so many people there they went to Memorial Day instead
Brian Masney put together a team for Bridge Day again this year. Among the people on the team were Dave Riggs, Mary Schmidt, Mary Davis, Bob Griffith, John Harman, Garth Dixon, Gordon Burkhimer, Kurt Waldron and Terry McLanathan. Brian and Terry did a tandem ascent up a rope from the tracks to the bridge in 45 minutes.
Brian Masney and Jason Thomas went on a Shovel Eater survey trip. They both enjoyed it.
Jesse Miller, Doug Bell, Mary Davis, Bob Griffith and John Harman attended VAR. Jesse, Doug, Bob and Mary went to Elkhorn Mountain. John and Cullen Henke did Cass Cave. Bob and Mary did the via ferrata at Nelson's Rocks on Sunday
9/22/07, 9/29/07 and 10/6/07
Cave Resurvey Project
Kevin Keplinger, Justin Keplinger Bob Griffith, Brian Masney, Susan Posey, Doug McCarty and Aaron Bird participated in this project. Kevin and Justin were there on the first two weekends. Bob and Aaron were there on the 2nd and 3rd weekends. Brian and Susan were there on the 2nd weekend. Doug was there on the 3rd weekend. They did surface survey, surveyed a known cave and surveyed two previously unknown caves--one found by Justin and the other by Doug (on a previous trip).
Dave Riggs attended an Orientation to Cave Rescue class at Laurel Caverns
Bob Griffith and Doug Bell led this trip with 9 people relatively new to caving. Among those on the trip were Jim Kershner, Tom Simon, Bill Burns, Jesse Fout, and Robin Cross
Tucker County Survey
Dave Riggs, Brian Masney, John Harman, Doug Bell, Kevin Keplinger and Doug McCarty were at the Tucker County Survey today. They finished surveying Bennett Cave, which has 1906 feet of surveyed passage. At 87.5 feet, it is the third deepest known cave in the county. Dave, Brian and John also scooped several hundred feet in a new cave.
There were at least 30 people associated with the grotto who were at OTR this year. Caves visited included Sharps, Fansler's Pit, Windy Slope, Jumble Sinks, Beenettle--and others.
Here is a trip
report by Ralph Hubbard from a trip on Sunday, Sept. 2nd:
was sitting around Camp Mon at OTR 2007 trying to jumpstart myself with
lots of strong coffee, listening to my fellow grotto members trying to
decide what to do for the day. Being extremely sleep deprived and a little
hung over (only a little cause they cut off the damn beer at 1:00am), I
just had zero motivation. Alan Carpenter wanted to do a cave he had not
seen before and everyone else was up for anything so, after some
discussion, they decided on Dreen Cave
" Watcha gonna do Ralph?" Bob Griffith inquired.
"Ha! Sit here all day and rest" I said.
"Awww.....come on" said Dave Moyer,"come with us, it'll be fun"! (yea right!)
"Naw, go ahead. You guys have fun. I'll be cool".
So I sat and watched everybody eagerly getting their gear together thinking....what the hell am I doing? Being from Annapolis puts a serious crimp in my ability to cave. I can only come up every so often and, for the last few years have devoted my time to the Shavers Mountain Karst Survey the 1st of each month. Ohhhh, what the hell. I sorta sheepishly started mumbling something about maybe wanting to go.
"Come on, come on.......come with us!" Ok, I decided to go
Dave said he had room so he and his daughter, Amber, John Barth and me,
jammed all our gear into the back of Dave's truck.
And off we went.....a very pleasent drive south.....about 40
minutes I think, and we all rolled up to the "parking area" on
Dry Fork Rd. Five vehicles
were jammed in there soooo, we find a pulloff on the road with the other
cars. Pulled out our gear and did the routine; then boogied up the road to
join up. Dave and Amber Moyer,
John Barth, Alan Carpenter and his daughter, Bob Griffin, Mary Davis and I
did our first (and only) vertical climb,,,,,,up the side of the Mountain.
It was only 40 feet or so with lot of roots and branches for safety
The entrance to the
cave is inviting,,,,,an easy climb down of about 20 feet or so to a tee
junction.......left or right. We were all so hot from the climb (and the
temps in the 80s) we just spread out for awhile. Bob however, had stayed
near the entrance and corraled us together. To the left end first, we soon
encountered the pits to the lower section. Nice drop. Moving ahead there
were only a few places with any serious exposure, and that was only from
very slick, wet mud. Moving towards the back the mud got really
"sticky" although it
didn't build up on your boots. After a jog to the left the cave ceiling
suddenly drops to a low hands and knees crawl over soft clay. Mary and
Amber scurried all over and found a few "very tight" leads.
After a nice rest we
turned and cruised back to the "entrance room" and went on to
the right end. This side is quite different from the left. Lots of big
breakdown with a few crawls and pinches (that some of us were hoping to
avoid) Small streams appear and disappear. The cave begins to open up and
you find a "register wall'. Some dates were from the mid 1800s. Soon
the cave starts showing a few pretties--then a sort of balcony appears to
our right. Man,whats up there?? Its a hairy climb so everyone passes. On
we go, and its getting lower......more and more breakdown to where it just
pinches out. There's a climb up to the right that's a little low, so I
climbed up to an almost mazy sorta place that turned back towards the
entrance. All of a sudden I see a headlamp off in the distance! So I
yelled--and Amber answered! She
had climbed up to that "balcony" we had seen earlier and it
looped around to the breakdown end.
After a nice break (one of many) we headed on out. We got to the "entrance room" and took another nice break. After awhile (quite a while, actually) somebody said something about needing to get back, so we climbed out. Bob went first and just a minute or two later I heard a voice say "Man, the heat hits ya' right here". Somebody was ahead of me but I'm not sure who. They climbed out and I followed till I got to the place where "the heat hits ya'".
was it hot. I think Bob and Mary were out and down the hill. I climbed
down a few feet to where "butt action" was the easiest way down.
Man what a ride. I managed to avoid the protruding roots and rocks on the
ride down and just managed to keep from getting crushed by Alan.
Giggling and laughing
like kids, we split up to undo the cave we were covered in. Heading out
Dave cranked up some King Crimson and started to boogie out kinda fast.
All of a sudden he slowed down,,,,,,,,and we took our time going back.
"Man,, what a great cave trip!"
Llew Williams, Justin Williams, Bob Griffith and Dave Riggs did a trip to Bradshaw Run. For a full trip report click here
Mary Davis, John Barth and Doug McCarty showed up on this rainy Sunday on the Iron Furnace Road at Coopers Rock. They ate a picnic lunch and did vertical practice.
Tucker County Survey
Brian Masney, Dave Riggs, John Harman, Josh Flaugher, Cullen Henke and Doug McCarty surveyed in Bennett Cave. We got over 400 feet of survey. The cave is now over 1800 feet long. For a full report go here
Alan Carpenter, Doug Bell and Doug McCarty picked up 10 bags of garbage along old US 33 at Bowden.
Brian Masney and Dave Riggs (with two others) sherpa-ed equipment to Silent Stream and then came back out. It was a long, cold cave trip
Shavers Mountain Survey
John Barth, Doug McCarty, Barry Horner, Jeff Stutler and Jason?? dug at G1
Brian Masney, Mary Schmidt, Harry Marinakis and John Tudek all went to convention. Brian and Mary went by way of TAG and did a fair amount of caving. They did Stephens Gap, Valhalla, Neversink at night (to see the glow worms) and visited the large river passage in Rumbling Falls. They didn't get to convention until Thursday. Brian and Mary went to King Leo with the Pittsburgh Grotto on Friday. Brian also had 5 photos in the photo salon.
Mary Schmidt and Brian Masney surveyed 800' of passage with Miles Drake in passage that was dug open the previous week in the Northern Section.
2nd Annual Mon Grotto Cavapaloosa
Llew and Justin Williams
and Doug McCarty met Friday in Valley Bend and headed to Simmons Mingo,
following the downstream passage. Their vague goal was to try to scout out
the loop trip--that is, go downstream and find the way up to the PSC
passage, then head back. They didn't find it, but had a good time looking.
Elsewhere in the cave, Josh Flaugher and John Harmon surveyed some leads in the area of the JD Rotunda while Cullen Hencke helped haul gear for a bolt climb in the YYMB survey.
Shavers Mountain Survey
Rocky Parsons, Barry Horner, John Barth, Ralph Hubbard, Alex Hubbard and Doug McCarty were at Shavers Mountain this weekend. They dug and surveyed more in Jumble Sinks (the cave now has 370- feet of passage). They also did a dye trace. There was also some ridgewalking done and some digging in a sink near GROSS Grotto Quarry Cave
Elsewhere, Cullen Hencke was on another survey team in the northern part of the cave. He was surveying in knee deep bat guano. Dave Riggs was on another team that was surveying leads in the area of the JD Rotunda.
Mary Schmidt went to a week long Level 3 training in cave rescue in Salem, VA. She reports that it was a great class and that she learned a huge amount. Her experience suggests that cavers need to practice vertical skills on a more regular basis.
Windy Slope Cave
Brian Masney, John Harman, Dave Riggs and Doug McCarty moved a great deal of rock and dirt and connected the Fichtner Entrance to the main body of the cave today. Dave is the only one who can squeeze through at this point--and made the first (and maybe the only) through trip. Once the Fichtner Entrance is completely opened up, very few people will ever again want to use the Water Entrance.
Dave Riggs and Brian Masney dropped Unnamed Pit, found by Dave last year and Nuttinbutawett Pit. They also looked for Itsatightone Pit and possibly found it, but couldn't fit in. For a trip report go here. For photos go here
Tucker County Survey
Kevin Keplinger and Doug McCarty were the only ones who made it to Tucker County this month. They found that the City Cafe is CLOSED. So, we will rendezvous next month at the Country Inn. They unsuccessfully looked for a "hole" that had reportedly opened up near Big Springs Blowing Cave. They also GPSed and photographed the back entrance to Big Springs Blowing Cave. Because of low energy levels, that was all they did.
Karst Field Studies
Dave Riggs attended a week-long class in karst geology taught by Art Palmer at Mammoth Cave, KY. This was one of the classes offered by Western Kentucky University through its Center for Cave and Karst Studies (in cooperation with Mammoth Cave National Park). Dave reports that the class was great and highly recommends it.
Celebration of the Outdoors
Bob Griffith, Mary Davis and Doug McCarty did the Celebration of the Outdoors this year. Bob gave a PowerPoint presentation on caves and caving. Mary and Doug took about 16 people into Coopers Rock Cave. After that four kids and one adult tried ascending on a treadmill they had rigged earlier in the day. All of them zipped right up the rope.
by Dave Riggs and Doug McCarty
Cheat Canyon Camp
(Hear Aaron Bird's Podcasts from this 5 day Project here)
Day 1 (June 8)
Today was the first day of the Cheat Canyon work week, and it's
already been productive. We met around 9am at IHOP for breakfast, and were
greeted with an inspiring phone call from Allen Peterson. Allen's luck for
finding cave in the canyon has apparently rubbed off on us (yes, bad luck is communicable). We arrived at our canyon rendezvous spot
by 10:30, and Brian drove us down into the canyon by 11am. From here, we
split into two teams.
Day 2 (June 9)
Today was the second day of the Cheat Canyon work week. Aaron and
Tristen Bird, Greg Springer, and I rendezvoused at 9AM, then drove down
the hill to his pond to unload camping gear. I was spending only a
half-day in the canyon, while the others were camping and working the rest
of the week.
Day 3 (June 10)
With Dave gone to Kentucky, I'll take over the
running trip report
Day 4 (June 11)
Today, Aaron Bird, Tristan Bird, Greg Springer and I
drove to the top of the road down to Druid. Not having high clearance
4-wheel drive vehicles, Greg and I left our cars there and we all hefted
packs and walked down into the canyon. Instead of heading to the new cave
entrance, we headed back to Fichtner Cave and started working there
because we believed it would connect to the big passage and be a dry
has now been shown to be a system, the system is Windy Slope Cave with the
Fichtner Entrance and the Water Entrance.
I've lost track of the stats--and even if I did know them I'm too tired to think about it this evening.
See photos of Cheat Canyon Camp Work Week here
Original Sin Cave
Dave Riggs, Allen
Peterson and Brian Masney dug open this 96 foot long low crawl in water.
The cave is hydrologically connected to New Years Day Cave, which ison the
other side of the mountain. The water exits this cave and it flows
downhill into the entrance of Druid Cave. There is a large layer of shale
that separates the two caves, which is why this is not one large cave
Shavers Mountain Survey
Eight people showed up for Shavers Mountain Survey
this weekend: Rocky Parsons, John Harman, John Barth, Ralph Hubbard Barry
Horner, Richard Hand, Bill Good and Doug McCarty. All of the effort on
Saturday went into Jumble Sinks--which all of us agree is the coldest cave
by Brian Masney
There were five people from the WVU and Mon Grottoes at Germany Valley for the Hellhole Cave survey. John Harmon, Josh Flaugher, Cullen Hencke, Mary Schmidt and Brian Masney were there. There were three other people from other grottoes that showed up. The eight of us split up into two teams and we surveyed through breakdown in the western section of the cave. The team that I was on was also tasked with photographing the Skull Formation in that part of the photos.cave. Here are some
Five people showed up for Tucker County this month. Brian Masney,
Dave Riggs and Josh Flaugher surveyed in Bennett Cave and knocked out 400
feet of survey. (Bennett Cave is a CLOSED CAVE that TCSS has been given
access to for survey purposes only.) Kevin Keplinger was on call and
couldn't stray too far from his cell phone, so he and Doug McCarty went
over to Gladwin to check out a cave near Cave Hollow/Arbogast they believe
to be King's (Risher's) Cave. According to TCSS files it isn't surveyed.
They will double check that and survey it if need be. Doug found a cave
fairly high in the limestone that is not in TCSS records--a fairly narrow
but passable slot that went as far as his light could penentrate. Inside,
there appeared to be a fairly substantial stream. He only went in a short
way because he was by himself.
Rocky Parsons, Ralph Hubbard, Barry Horner, Bill Good, Susan Posey, Josh Flaugher, Brian Masney, John Harman, John Barth, Bob Alderson, George Dasher, George's girlfriend (whose name I am blanking out on) and Doug McCarty participated in the Shavers Mountain Survey this weekend. They did one final shot to complete the Panther Camp Cave Survey, found (and scooped) about 400 feet of virgin passage at Jumble Sinks and worked on Leaf Bottom Sink. George measured water flow from various resurgences.
There were 19 people associated with Mon Grotto at VAR: Dave Riggs, Josh Flaugher, John Harman, Brian Masney, Mary Schmidt, Maria Springfield, Matt Smith, Bob Griffith, Mary Davis, John Barth, John Tudek, Jason Thomas, Melissa Parker, Rocky Parsons (and his wife, Sandy), Jeff Lydic, Ralph Hubbard (and his son, Alex) and Doug McCarty. It was cold and rainy, but they had a nice fire. Caves visited included Simmons Mingo (see trip report below), Billy Clay Pit, Poor Farm (Pocahontas County), Tub, Dreen, Just, Justrite, Moore.
by Bob Griffith
Our group of eight entered the historic entrance to Simmons-Mingo
at 12:30 p.m Saturday, and the last person exited the Zarathustra entrance
at 3:00 Sunday morning. All of us were wet, cold, shivering and
generally exhausted, and as the final cruel touch, it was pouring down
rain when we exited. We took showers and ate dinner at 4 a.m.
On the trip were yours truly, Llew Williams, Susan Posey, Miles Drake,
Gordon Brace and his wife Kristen, Mike Frisina and his 17-year old son
See photos here
Cave Rescue in Simmons Mingo
Jason Thomas, Rich Finley, Dave Riggs, Josh Flaugher, Doug Moore, Kevin Keplinger, Llew Williams, Rocky Parsons and Brian Masney all took off in the wee hours of this Monday morning to participate in a cave rescue at Simmons Mingo. A group of five cavers from central Pennsylvania (all but one of whom had been in the cave before) went into the Zarathustra entrance Saturday morning to do a through trip to the historic entrance. They got lost about eight and a half hours into the trip. They wound up in a fairly large junction room and didn't know which passage they came from or where to go. They were found after being in the cave for about 50 hours. One of the five had to be carried out and was flown to Ruby to be treated for hypothermia and injuries to her knee and ribs.
The rest of Brian Masney's pictures of the rescue can bee seen here
In an unscheduled trip, Rocky Parsons, Jeff Stutler, Bill Good and Doug McCarty dug down into the G 4 dig. The result was....disappointing. They dug into a broad, wet gap in the bedding plane that is way is too tight to get through--and almost certainly not worth the effort. So, they went to Jumble Sinks--which was literally like a walk-in freezer. The temperature outside was probably about 75. The temperature in the lower part of Jumble Sinks and Jumble Sinks #2 was probably in the low 40's. They squeezed into a few weathered joints, but decided to save the main effort until the next Shavers Mountain Project day.
Brian Masney, Dave Riggs, Doug Bell, Jesse Miller, Josh Flaugher, John Harman, Maria Springfield and Doug McCarty surveyed in Bennett Cave. ((Bennett is a closed cave. We are there for survey purposes only.) We also found a new cave (as yet unnamed) and did some surface survey.
Jesse Miller, Doug Bell and Doug McCarty arrived early at the highway cleanup and went into Bowden to look at the breakdown in the big room.
They were later joined by John Harman, Alan Carpenter and Maria Springfield. It was a cold and rainy day, but they picked up about six bags of garbage. After they were finished, Doug, Doug, Maria and Jesse went to Harr #2. (Alan went home).
Jesse Miller, Doug Bell, John Barth, Llew Williams, Loren Long and Doug McCarty showed up for vertical practice at Coopers Rock. Brian Masney showed up too, but he was a bit late, and by the time he got to the rendezvous spot, the others had already left. You can see pictures here.
Dave Riggs, Josh Flaugher, John Harman, Brian Masney, Mary Schmidt, Aaron Bird, Bob Kirk, Rocky Parsons, Greg Springer, Jason Thomas, Doug McCarty, James ? (Aaron's co-worker from Michigan), Tristan Bird and Lee Passerby continued working on the blowing hole up the canyon from the downstream end of Druid Cave. 203 feet were surveyed and we followed the air. Some pictures are posted here
Dave Riggs, Josh Flaugher, John Tudek, Doug McCarty, Aaron Bird, Bob Kirk and his girlfriend, Sandy, Greg Springer, James ? (Aaron's co-worker from Michigan) opened up a blowing hole up the canyon from the downstream end of Druid Cave. It has much potential.
Tucker County Survey
9 people from the Mon Grotto and WVUSG were crazy enough to brave the snow on the roads and make it to Tucker
County this day--Kevin Keplinger, Brian Masney, Dave Riggs, Justin
Keplinger, Doug Bell, Jesse Miller, Josh Flaugher, John Harman and
Doug McCarty. They surveyed in Bennett Cave.
Dave Riggs, John Tudek and Tom Lilly hiked into the canyon and retrieved dye traps in various springs looking for the Druid resurgence. For a full report and photos go to WV Speleolog here
by Dave Riggs
To take advantage of the 50-degree heatwave today, Brian Masney and I
decided that we'd head into Druid Cave to recover the dye traps place there just two weeks ago. We met at about 2:30pm on Friday afternoon,
then carpooled in Brian's truck to the Cheat Canyon. Morgantown was very recently hit with a sudden blast of snow, so we were worried
about the amount remaining in the canyon despite the temporary warm temperatures.
Jesse Miller and Doug Bell took a friend to Bowden and found that a huge boulder has fallen from the ceiling in the Big Room. Kevin Frick saw it on a separate trip and later described the rock as being the size of "3 vans".
On Friday, Dave Riggs and Aaron Bird placed two ceiling bolts in Druid at the first drop and placed two dye traps below the Nasty Waterfall.
Here is a two part video taken by Aaron of he and Dave on this trip.
Tucker County Survey
Brian Masney and Kevin Keplinger met with some landowners to get permission to do a cave survey and do some ridgewalking.
John Tudek, Katherine Gurtler, Jessica Powell, Matt Smith, Maria Springfield, Doug Bell, Jesse Miller, Chris Elleyette and Doug McCarty went to Sharps Cave this day, doing a tourist trip to Blackfish Junction. Jessica, Maria and Matt saw a fish swimming upstream (toward the waterfall) that appeared to be a trout.
Brian Masney, Mary Schmidt and Terry McClanathan did a photo trip to Shovel Eater Cave in Brian's on-going effort to photograph all of the pits in WV that are over 100' deep. See pictures here.
Scott Hollow Cave
Brian Masney, Mary Schmidt, Dave Riggs, Ben Mirable, Kyle McMillan, Ryan Ellers and Ashley ?? took a tourist trip into Scott Hollow Cave. For a full trip report go to the WV Speleo Log here
Tucker County Survey
Kevin Keplinger, Justin Keplinger, Brian Masney, Dave Riggs, Jason Thomas, John Barth and Doug McCarty braved the snow this Saturday morning, and after eating a good breakfast, went to the state police barracks to discuss Tucker County Survey business and plan the day. They decided to check out Elk Lick to see if it could possible be connected with another large cave they are surveying. They also wanted to GPS and photograph the known features. They headed out a snow-covered Rt. 72 to get permission from the two landowners involved. They got permission and walked up to Elk Lick Twin Pits and fanned out from there. Jason, Brian and John went to the big room in Elk Lick Cave just to check it out. They GPSed numerous features and caves, but found no second entrance.
On this Friday afternoon, Brian Masney, Mary Schmidt and Dave Riggs went ridge walking in the Cheat Canyon, hoping to coordinate and correct survey data from the two caves. For a full trip report go here
Simmons Mingo Cave
by Llew Williams
On Saturday the 13th Bob Griffith, Justin Williams and Llew Williams
took another trip into Simmons Mingo. Our goal was to push the PSC passage further from where we left off on our last trip. Bob kindly
volunteered to drive. I was relieved since I was sure that there was snow down there and I knew my little truck wouldn't make it up to the
cave from the road. It's probably about a mile but I wasn't looking forward to walking out after caving all day. Boy was I wrong! There
wasn't a speck of snow and Bob's Toyota easily parked within 50 feet of the cave.
Shavers Mountain Survey
Doug McCarty, Rocky Parsons, Barry Horner and Jeff Stutler finished up the Panther Camp Cave Survey.
Brian Masney, Dave Riggs, Mary Schmidt, Garth Dixon and Judi Wasilewski, spent part of the week surrounding New Year's caving in TAG. They did South Pittsburg Pit, Cemetary Pit, Flowing Stone Cave, Fern Cave, Moses Tomb and Sawmill Well. For a complete trip report go here
What Was Up in 2006
What Was Up in 2005
What Was Up in 2004
What Was Up in 2003
Home Photos FAQs Links Calendar Contacts History Weather Meeting Info