The Wasatch Grotto is a chapter of the National Speleological Society, a national organization with over 12,000 members that encourages the study, exploration, and conservation of cave and karst resources. The NSS and member Grottos work to protect access to caves, encourage responsible cave management, and promote responsible caving.

Everyone is welcome to our meetings and to come cave with us!

Upcoming Grotto meeting:

Date: October 9th, Monday.
Time: 7pm
Location: Bountiful Library, @ 725 S Main St, Bountiful, UT 84010 | # (801) 295-8732.
Presentation: Exploring Goshute and Lexington Caves

Minutes from January 11, 2016

News:

The NSS convention is July 16-23rd. They are calling for logo designs. Contact us for instructions on how to apply with your snazzy logo.

Caving goals for 2016 were talked about. Submit yours now to help us plan trips for this year.

Presentation:

Dennis presented on Lick Creek Cave, Montana. He participated in a restoration trip with the Rocky Mountain Grotto, University of Montana, a local high school, and the Forest Service.

Around 50 people showed up to pick up trash and clean off graffiti.

 

2015 Big Brush Creek Cave Project Update

This is to inform you of the state of the Big Brush Creek Cave Project at the end of 2015 which is the third year.

We had four trips the first year, six trips the second year and seven trips the third year for a total of 17 trips.

We had 746 meters of survey completed in 2013, 968.21 meters in 2014, and 968.98 meters in 2015 for a total of 2683.52 meters of survey so far in the project.

This translates into 8,804.09 feet of survey or 1.67 miles of survey in the three years. This may seem like a very small amount of survey but when you consider that almost all the survey was done by beginners who had to learn every part of what they were doing including the instruments and the sketches, it is really quite amazing. When you factor in the fact that we only surveyed and average of 6 to 7 hours one day for each trip and add in the eight hours of driving required for each trip, the total becomes really awesome. I want to express my thanks to the 34 people who have helped with the project by coming on trip so far. We have 19 people who have come two times or more.

The following people have received tee shirts for multiple years of survice to the project:

  • Justin Despaine and his wife Lynnea who have come 11 and 10 times respectively
  • Dave and Val Stratford who have come four and five times respectively
  • Dave Herron with three trips and has referred many to join the project

We have many who have shown a great year of service and I look forward to seeing them in 2016. Next year should be a great year for tee shirts.

Special thanks to Vince Cobb, Annaka Clement, Tyler Wallin, Bryce, Ben and Jeanette Ling for their great showing this year. The stars of 2014 were Jared and Caleb Wilkinson. I am sorry we did not see you two this year.

We want all to know that you are invited to each and every trip. Thanks again for any referrals you have given. Special note to Kirsten Kohlwey for her referrals.

For information about this project, contact Dave Shurtz.

Minutes for the March 9, 2015 Wasatch Grotto Meeting

Minutes for the March 9, 2015 Wasatch Grotto Meeting

The Wasatch Grotto meeting was held at the Bountiful Library, 725 S Main Street, Bountiful, Utah.    11 Grotto members and 3 guests were in attendance.  The Wasatch Grotto Chairman, Larry Spangler opened the meeting at 7:00pm.   Guests Dennis Maynarel, Gary Squire and Stan Martin (one of the original grotto founders) were recognized and introduced.

Paul Kemp present a program on his recent attendance at the Lehman Cave Lint Camp.   And a showing, (after several attempts!) of the NSS Convention DVD.

The following upcoming events were discussed:

March 27 & 28 Goshute Cave contact Trevor Parker

Mar 28 – Antelope Cave Timp Grotto

April 13 Wasatch Grotto Meeting

May 2 Sink Hole de Mayo — Pink Lime Pit  SLC Grotto

May 4 All Grottos Meeting- Timp Grotto Host

Summer 2015 – Ashley National Forest — Dave Herron indicated that there are numerous opportunities for caving

June — Last part of June – Big Brush Survey contact Dave Shurtz

July 13-17 NSS Convention Waynesville, MO

Aug 3 All Grottos Meeting – Salt Lake Grotto Host

Aug — Late summer – Spring Cave, Meeker Colorado contact Larry Spangler

Nov 2  All Grottos Meeting – Timp Grotto Host

Jim Bulkeley

Wasatch Grotto Secretary

Minutes for the February 2, 2015 Combined Utah Grottos Meeting

Minutes for the February 2, 2015 Combined Utah Grottos Meeting

The meeting was held at the Petzl America Headquarter, 2929 Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, UT 84119.    About 27 cavers were in attendance.

The Wasatch Grotto Chairman, Larry Spangler, open the meeting at 7:00pm, a tour of the facilities was conducted by Petzl staff members, Rick Vance and Heath Christensen.

After the tour, a general meeting was held, items of discussion included recent and upcoming trips.   A vote on a motion to change the Salt Lake Grottos By-Laws was conducted by Rodney Mulder, SL Grotto Chairman; the motion to change the By-Laws was passed unanimously, by member of the SL Grotto.

The following trips were announced:
February 7 — Lint Camp Great Basin NP
Feb 21 — Blow Hole Cave – Timp Grotto
Mar 3-4 — Lint Camp Great Basin NP
Mar 9 – Wasatch Grotto Meeting
Mar 28 – Antelope Cave Timp Grotto
May 2 Sink Hole de Mayo — Pink Lime Pit  SLC Grotto
May 4 All Grottos Meeting- Timp Grotto Host
July 13-17 NSS Convention Waynesville, MO
Aug 3 All Grottos Meeting – Salt Lake Grotto Host
Nov 2  All Grottos Meeting – Timp Grotto Host

Dave Herron indicated that there were numerous opportunities  for caving in the Ashley Nation Forest.

At the conclusion of the business meeting, Rich Vance (Petzl Representative) gave a presentation on various rope types and rope construction.

The meeting was followed by strength tests of rope and webbing using the Petzl Tension machine.  The massive climbing wall was opened to those in attendance.

Refreshments and treats were provided by Wasatch Grotto (thanks to Jim Bulkeley, Cindy Spangler and Val Stratford)

A Special thanks to Rick Vance and Heath Christensen, for being such gracious hosts.

Jim Bulkeley
Wasatch Grotto Secretary

January 12, 2014

Meeting was called to order by Larry Spangler at 7:00 pm
 
A big thank you was passed along to Dave Shurtz for hosting the Grotto Christmas Party.
 
The new officers for 2015 are:
Larry Spangler – Chairman
Trevor Parker – Vice-chair
Jim Bulkeley – Secretary
Janis Bulkeley – Treasurer
Dave Shurtz – Librarian
Dave Shurtz – Editor 
Cynthia Spangler – Webmaster
Regional Rep – vacant
 
A discussion on how the All Grotto Meeting hosting grotto was selected.  It was explained the three Utah Grotto rotation for hosting was an alphabetical rotation; Salt Lake, Timpanogos and Wasatch.   It was also note that Wasatch traded Timpanogos the February meeting for the May meeting.  
 
The February All grotto meeting will be held on Feb 2 at 7:00 at the new headquarters of Petzl America located at 2929 Decker Lake Dr, West Valley City, UT 84119
 
Schedule for Future All Grotto meetings:  (dates subject to change per hosting grotto)
02/02/15 All Grottos Meeting – Wasatch Grotto Host
05/04/15 All Grottos Meeting- Timp Grotto Host
08/03/15 All Grottos Meeting – Salt Lake Grotto Host
11/02/15 All Grottos Meeting – Timp Grotto Host
 
The main program was presented by Trevor Parker.  Trevor demonstrated the ‘new’ Grotto Web site.  See  http://caves.org/grotto/wasatch/  .  Trevor did a very nice job of setting this up, it has many new features.  All Grotto members are welcome to add content and photos.  All items should be submitted to Cynthia Spangler for posting on the site.   
 
Trevor also presented a power point on ideas to increase our membership and future direction for the Grotto.   
 
Up coming trips:
  • Jan 17 Indian Springs Cave  – Trevor Parker
  • 2015 Lehman Cave lint and restoration camps. Friday-Sunday, February 6 – 8 and Tuesday & Wednesday, March 3 & 4
  • July 13-17 NSS Convention, Waynesville, Missouri  http://nss2015.caves.org/
  • Sept 5-7 Caver Classic, Steve Balwing, Custer, SD 
 
Submitted by:
Jim Bulkeley 
Wasatch Grotto Secretary

Canada Adds Three Bat Species to Endangered List

The Canadian Government announced yesterday that three bat species have been added to Schedule 1 of theCanadian Species at Risk Act (SARA).

The Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus), the Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) and the Tri-colored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus) have all been listed as endangered, the most powerful designation, which protects species and their habitats on federal land.

Long in the works, this decision comes following a November 2013 re-examination by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) of theirinitial February 2012 emergency assessment. That assessment determined that rapid spread of White-nose Syndrome and associated evidence of population collapse was strong enough that it posed a serious and imminent threat to the survival of each of the species.

Since first being discovered in south-western Quebec and central and north-eastern Ontario in early 2010, the disease has now been confirmed in five Canadian provinces, including New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

The new listing prohibits anyone from the killing, harming, or harassing and/or the damage or destruction to the residence of any bats on federal land, which includes protected areas, migratory birds sanctuaries, national wildlife areas, national parks, etc, as well as the prohibition of collecting, buying, selling or trading of any part of one of these species.

As visiting a bat hibernaculum in the winter could be construed as harassment, and visitation of a cave with contaminated gear could harm bats, cavers must take steps to ensure they familiarize themselves with and adhere to the new policies. For instance, in cases where there is a risk of a contravention of the listing people visiting caves would need to apply for a permit.

Thankfully, plenty of helpful guides have been released along with the announcement to make the transition easier.

In addition, we are quite happy to see the Canadian Government recognize the efforts of cavers, going as far to note in the official order “that many caving and speleological organizations already take and promote voluntary measures to reduce the spread of the fungus responsible for WNS.”

Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act [Canada Gazette]

Original Article: Canada Adds Three Bat Species to Endangered List – Caving News.

The Dark and Dangerous World of Extreme Cavers.

On his thirteenth day underground, when he’d come to the edge of the known world and was preparing to pass beyond it, Marcin Gala placed a call to the surface. He’d travelled more than three miles through the earth by then, over stalagmites and boulder fields, cave-ins and vaulting galleries. He’d spidered down waterfalls, inched along crumbling ledges, and bellied through tunnels so tight that his back touched the roof with every breath. Now he stood at the shore of a small, dark pool under a dome of sulfurous flowstone. He felt the weight of the mountain above him—a mile of solid rock—and wondered if he’d ever find his way back again. It was his last chance to hear his wife and daughter’s voices before the cave swallowed him up.

“Base camp, base camp, base camp,” he said. “This is Camp Four. Over.” His voice travelled from the handset to a Teflon-coated wire that he had strung along the wall. It wound its way through sump and tunnel, up the stair-step passages of the Chevé system to a ragged cleft in a hillside seven thousand feet above sea level. There, in a cloud forest in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, lay the staging area for an attempt to map the deepest cave in the world—a kind of Everest expedition turned upside down. Gala’s voice fell soft and muffled in the mountain’s belly, husky with fatigue. He asked his seven-year-old, Zuzia, how she liked the Pippi Longstocking book she’d been reading, and wondered what the weather was like on the surface. Then the voice of Bill Stone, the leader of the expedition, broke over the line. “We’re counting on you guys,” he said. “This is a big day. Do your best, but don’t do anything radical. Be brave, but not too brave.”

Matt Covington, a caver from Arkansas, who says that “a good caver is one who forgets how bad it really is.” PHOTOGRAPH BY MARCIN GALA

Gala had been this deep in the cave once before, in 2009, but never beyond the pool…

Read more:In Deep – The New Yorker.

Underground Explorers and the Shocking Dimensions of the World’s Deepest Cave

A project dubbed “The Call of the Abyss” took explorers to the deepest cave on Earth, and they ventured down to a breathtaking depth of nearly 2,200 meters — around 1.3 miles.

The depth of the cave, named “Krubera-Varonya,” is fascinating, but the winding length of the entire cave system also boggles the mind. Located in the Arabika Massif, of the Western Caucasus in Abkhazia, Georgia, it extends for 13.432 kilometers, or roughly 8.3 miles.

Read the whole article:

Underground Explorers and the Shocking Dimensions of the World’s Deepest Cave — How Far Could You Make It? | TheBlaze.com.