Trip report by Tony Schmitt and Ben Miller
We entered the cave on Friday evening around 6:41. With our crew of three, Ben, Cathleen and Tony all at the bottom by 7. Seth was coming in later with Chad McCain crew.
We made it to camp at Jerry’s Cairn right around 9pm. settling in and having dinner. The rest of the in-cave camp crew showed up about 10:30.
Saturday morning everyone was up early around 6, mostly due to Isaac’s stupid alarm. It worked out because we got out of camp at a reasonable time to head downstream past DL7 to check leads on the DL5 Quad.
This from Ben Miller:
Lead near “Big Tex” at D192 : Lead went 29 ft, surveyed with 1 shot.
Lead at D195A1 : Note for map “Possible lead accessed via vertical wall for 7 ft to 4 ft high possible passage, unable to determine whether passage continues or not. There is a second alcove, to the right of the main “lead” which appears to head over main passage.”
Leads at 198A : Surveyed main lead which headed west for 103.8 ft, passage became much too tight to continue. Second lead, to the S/SW of tie-in station (198A), go through a 10 ft-long, 9 in-high squeeze. On the other side of this squeeze is what appears to be a 4-5 ft high room that may continue. Squeeze was definitely diggable.
Lead in between D202 & D203 : Opening to lead was sketched in better detail. One must first climb up on a 5 ft high ledge to then access a 7 ft overhanging vertical wall climb (may req. climbing gear/bolts). From the top of this ledge is a steeply sloping mud floor up to what appears to be an 8 ft high walking passage high above the main passage.
Upper lead near Scenic Falls at D207 : 20 ft sheer vertical wall, which is overhanging at the base of the climb. Two possible passages appear to go back over the main passage or parallels the main passage. Each are 2-4 ft high and 6-8 ft wide. These appear to be at the same level as the previous lead between 202 and 203.
“Lead”/unsketched corner at D208A : Sketched corner and there is a possible lead, though unpleasant, that heads east from this corner. Lead is accessed via a squeeze which then leads to a narrow crawl 2-3 ft high which requires crawling through water while on one’s side.
Lead near DL8-5: This does appear to be a passage but can only be accessed via a sketchy traverse from further up passage or by an exposed climb from below.
Lead at DL8-12 : Surveyed 268.17 ft in this passage. No further leads in the surveyed passage.
Lead just past DL8-16: This is not a lead, can put T.T. as it immediately becomes too tight.
At this point it was around 8pm. We packed up and headed back to camp at Jerry’s Cairn. We cleaned gear near the pool in the upstream side of Jerry’s Cairn and were happily on our tarps at camp by 10pm.
Up at 7am on Sunday and out of camp around 9:30, we made the bottom of the ladder about 11:15.
Everyone climbed out and I stayed at the bottom for camp pack haul. One thing to note, it is now necessary to rig the haul line a little different due to the fence on the surface. I was not on the surface for this, but my truck was used right outside the door with a pulley hooked to it, and the line then run to another truck heading in a southeasterly direction. There is not enough room to go the straight direction out of the door.
I was on the surface by 12:45. Everyone was off the property by 2pm.