Survey trip report: 1/11/03
By T. Lounsbury
T. Lounsbury, Book/backsights
B. Gee, Frontsights
R. Bruegger, Transit
Arriving at the cave on Saturday morning I was surprised to see several cheerful faces among the new brethren of the survey. Bill Gee is always there and Randy was my host this weekend on his brother’s boat on the lake. My team was ready but Ben’s team had not arrived yet at least the trip leader anyway. Heather and Roger were patiently waiting on Ben and Dan and when they caught us at the Montreal store they were real disappointed the café was closed due to Debbie being ill. They decided to go to town to grab a quick bite to eat.
B. Gee (always foaming at the mouth to go caving) was pressuring me into getting my ass in gear and getting the days survey started. We were in the cave by 10:30am and we proceeded to locate station U17. While on the way Randy cleared his throat and said he wanted to start over on U13. He felt as if the integrity of the survey could have been compromised due to the conditions and the experience of the previous team. I agreed. It would not take us long to resurvey what Randy felt was sub-standard work. I was glade he said something. He is not afraid to admit mistakes were made and I respect him for that quality. It’s going to be good working with him on this project. He can be trusted to keep our standards. We looked for fish at every chance but I personally saw none.
We made quick work out of 996.7 feet of new survey and despite standing in waist deep water at times the team was an excellent example of what can be done even when using the transit. My sketches were much better this time and drawing huge passage is getting far easier than the first few trips. My goal is to have this branch done with the baseline traverse in two years. Bigger passage ahead.
We were expecting the second team to arrive in cave by noon but as 1:30 rolls around I finally hear the hoots from them. I hooted back. They soon arrived and were anxious to get out to UL3 to push the passage that is unlike most of the cave. Its dry and up high. I knew they were on to something way out there. Ben agrees the passage shows extraordinary promise for new cave. Exiting the cave at 8:00pm we were in shock due to the extreme low temps. My gloves were freezing to the ladder rungs as I climbed out of the mezzanine and onto the cold hard ground. Damn was it cold. I felt sorry for the crew coming out around 2:00am they were indeed as hardcore as they come.