Carroll Cave Trip Report for 4/3/04

Trip Leader: Ben Miller

Other Surveyors: Roger Brown,  Rita Worden

Area Surveyed: Carroll River Passage

We entered the cave just after 11:30 and once each of the members of our team were down we were able to get started right away.  Once we found a proper tie-in spot for the survey we were heading east going across the breakdown bridge and into Carroll River.  The survey was extremely pleasant for us this day as we had no approach time to our leads (as the survey started from the “hole”) we were in walking passage and were dry.  The passage is of nice dimensions averaging about 40 feet wide and 8-10 feet tall.  Unfortunately from all of the historic use of this area the cave is extremely impacted and many stalagmites have been muddied beyond recognition of their once brilliant white color.

The main survey was ran down the largest portion of the passage, so eventually some mop up of some abandoned stream meanders may be necessary.  It was very interesting to see the actual start of Carroll River, which is near a very nice little formation nook.  We felt that it was entirely appropriate for this particular cave stream to start at a nice formation area, as it is definitely one of the most decorated stream passages in the system.  We surveyed for several hundred feet through well-decorated passage with hundreds of stalagmites and eventually took a break.  We took our break at the hole which was a little odd for us as we are usually several thousand feet away from the backdoor entrance when surveying.  Once the break was finished we headed back to the end of our survey which led us through several large meanders, though not big by upper Thunder standards, and through some nice dome-like areas.  We ended our survey at the spot where we would finally have to get completely wet to continue any further.  By the time we finished we had surveyed over 700 feet of cave, which we felt was pretty good about.  We had a great time mapping in this very pleasant passage and can’t wait to go back for more.