Carroll Cave Survey Trip Report

Date: 11/8/2003

Area Mapped: UL2

Cavers: Bill Gee, Rita Worden, and Bob Lerch

Team Leader: Bob Lerch

We had a good turn out for the first survey trip since August – 12 people showed up, giving us four teams for the trip. We also were initiating the collection of inventory data for the cave, using survey stations as the location reference. Two teams headed to UL3 to continue the mapping the maze, and two teams headed to UL2 to tackle the mind-boggling passage just before Convention Hall.

My team tied into the stream level survey at UL2-40 and headed upstream. From this same station, the upper level of the passage would also have to be shot to create a loop with the stream level survey – a tactic required throughout this portion of UL2. The meanders are so wide and contain so many ledges and shelves that you can rarely see the passage in its entirety. For this reason, I dubbed the area Shelf Life, since these ledges torment the would-be sketcher of this area.  After Spike’s team hooked up with us (see Spike’s report), we leaped frog along the stream and huge meanders mapping continuously for nearly 8 hours before we stopped for a break. After the break, my team continued the stream level work for another 4 hours or so, getting within a ~100′ of Convention Hall. Spike’s team headed to an upper lead that is still going. I greatly appreciated Bill and Rita’s patience with me since the sketching was very slow and painstaking. They stayed busy with the inventory data collection and scouting for stations. It was nice not to feel pressured to sketch fast because it wasn’t going to happen in this passage. In 12 hours of mapping, my team mapped 341′ feet of the toughest sketching I’ve ever attempted.  Spike’s team mapped 443′, giving us a total of 784′ of hard earned passage in UL2.

In discussions since the trip, everyone was positive about continuing the inventory, but many details need to be worked out to do it more efficiently on future trips. However, the exercise was well worth the time invested. Collecting inventory data will result in a more complete map of the cave that goes beyond typical survey data.  I also like the idea of pushing our observational skills to another level by joining with the bio-inventory folks on thoroughly documenting the cave.