Trip Report by Rick Hines, Public Relations trips, November 19, 2022

We had a total of eight guests on two trips on Saturday, November 19. A few potential participants canceled before Saturday and we had two no-shows. I had three experienced cavers helping me in Carroll and two helping on the surface. All the guests were very complimentary and very pleased with their experience. I believe we will see a few of them caving again and helping with the Carroll project.

Claudia Elkins (one of our guests) and Jim and Julie Cooley arrived at my home in time for a 6:45 AM departure. My pickup bed was fully loaded with a massive amount of gear we were hauling down. We arrived at the silo and found Martin Carmichael, Kohl Mitchell, and Bryn Downes-Ward already there. I gave Kohl and Bryn a quick Trip Leader training course covering the operation of our safety winch, the rescue cache stored in the silo, and our other safety equipment. Julie accepted the assignment of getting signed release forms from all the participants.

Soon four guests (Dave Hollingsworth, Jason Hollingsworth, Jesse Byler and Dallas Stamper) arrived. We started getting them in harnesses and showing them the operation of the cable ascenders they would be using. Martin would lead the first trip with Claudia and the first four. Martin had previously rigged the shaft with his rope and he rappelled in first. After he was off rope Jim, safety officer for the day, started getting the guests on the cable and started down the shaft. By then the second group of guests (Danny Schupbach, Jennifer Powell and Amber Leroux) arrived. Bryn and Kohl rappelled in and then we started the second group down the shaft on the cable. I went down last with my camera and took a few photos while giving our guest a brief introduction to the Carroll passages and formations before starting our trip to Angel Pool passage.

After a short distance with Martin’s group, Claudia decided to return to the ladder and wait there. She had on a wet suit and was in no danger of getting cold. Martin left her there with Kohl and Bryn. She was fine when I arrived and wanted to wait there while I went on with the second group. I took a few photos and then we started toward Angel Pool with more photos along the way. From the breakdown we climbed to the ledge and then dropped into Angel Pool passage. At the back of the passage, I left the group in the competent hands of Bryn and Kohl while I returned to get Claudia to the surface. I found Claudia resting and enjoying her time with her light off in total darkness. We started our slow but steady climb up. Soon we were back in warm clothes and drinking Julie’s hot chocolate. A little before 3:00pm Bryn and Kohl’s group arrived, soon followed by Martin’s group. Bryn and Kohl’s group had seen Thunder Falls after Angel Pool and returned through the shortcut to Carroll Passage. Martin led his group to Convention Hall Passage.

Again, the guests were quite pleased and I would expect a couple of them to get involved with Carroll in the future. One local, Jesse Byler, said he works in construction and would like to help with the shelter house. Danny, who has helped with the project for the last 25 years, is also offering to help with material for the shelter house.

I have attached a few of my photos and I expect to receive more photos and a GoPro video from the guests. When I get more photos, I’ll submit them for our webpage.

Rick Hines