Trip Leader name: Jeffrey Crews
Trip date: 1-30-2010
Project manager: Bob Lerch
Trip purpose: Survey Side passages in Upper Thunder and introduce new cavers to Carroll Cave
Areas of Cave visited: Upstream Thunder
Trip participants: Adam Reab Dave Hengst Laura Sisken Brett Bradshaw Krista Bartel Ian King Kiley Bush Joe Nicolussi Tyler Allen Andy Free
Entry Time: 11:00 AM
Exit Time: 9:00 PM
The trip report: Several of the newer members of MSM had found the Carroll web page and were talking about the cave at a meeting. I offered to lead a trip and given the size of the response I thought it would worth running the trip as a “grotto” trip using the CCC group access policy. The plan was to stay Friday night at the school house and get up early and drop in. This would give us plenty of time to get a large group into the cave, have a short tour around T-junction before heading up to some unmapped side passages past The Bone Room.
Well as the date for the trip got closer, camping was called off due to snow and instead we had a fun drive to the cave Saturday morning from Rolla, meeting up with Andy Free at the cave. We had the hole open, after serious trouble with the key combo-safe frozen. I rigged the rope while the others got gear ready. After getting the rope rigged, Bob Lerch, Ben Miller, and crew showed up at the silo. Ben and Bob would be changing out charcoal packets and attempting survey all the way down to DL8.
We eventually got everyone down the hole, including Ben’s team sometime around noon. We first visited Thunder Falls, which was up a bit. Everyone was quite impressed. We then headed up river. Most got to see their first cave fish along the way and several point and shoot photos were taken along the way. We took a few short breaks along the way but still kept up a good pace. While many in the group have been to some pretty tough Pulaski County caves, only a few had been to a cave with as much water as Carroll. Upper Thunder is a good place to get introduced to managing wet/dry cave clothes while in mostly walking passage and with out all the pesky mud. Plus the scenery is pretty nice too.
We got up to the side passage I had been mapping previously with Lyle Hutchens, Joe Williams, and Jeff Bartlett back in July and dropped off a survey team with Andy Free and a photo team. My self and a few others headed up to just past 2nd Azure Pool to where there is a pit that connects the upper abandoned trunk with the lower stream level. Brett and Kylie dropped a tape and shot down the pit while Joe, Tyler and I worked from UR2 back to the pit in the stream. There is a nice swim in this section of the river and we were glad we had brought wet suits just for this. After finding a station to tie into, we got the data into the book. Did mention Andy Free had our only pencil? Yep I got distracted when Bob drove up and forgot to put a pencil in my pack along with the book and other survey gear. Luckily I had paper to burn and since I only needed the data (the top and bottom were both sketched with cross-sections to the pit). I was able to finger paint the data into the
book with Ole Doc Bretz’s Unctuous Red. At least that would work until I got back to Andy’s crew and borrowed a pencil. On the way back, Joe poked into a lead noted by a previous mapping party. It goes, small though. Andy’s team had surveyed down the canyon past the waterfall room to the edge of Thunder River. The River is a swim here so they bagged it for the day. After a hot meal break, I took Andy’s book and the wet suit team for a swim. We tied in Andy’s last station to the main trunk survey. Big fun there. We headed back to T junction, without too much trouble. A few were dragging from being new to big wet caves but everyone climbed the ladder under their own power, super exited about the experience.