Trip report by Martin Carmichael

Trip date: 2023-12-30

Trip purpose: Video Documentary

Trip participants: Nevin Dubinsky
Tiffany Stoots
Mike Kovacs
Sean Douglas
Sean Zimmerman

Entry Time: 10:20 Exit Time: 6:30

How far: T junction, upper thunder river to second azure pool, convention hall and thunder falls.

Injuries: No

Trash: No trash.

Biology: 41 Cave fish
2 Juvenile salamanders

The trip report: Carroll Cave Expedition Report
Date of Expedition: December 30th, 2023
Written by: Martin Carmichael, Trip Leader
As the leader of the Carroll Cave expedition on December 30th, 2023, I had the privilege of guiding a fantastic team through one of the most intriguing cave systems in the area. Our objective was to explore Carroll Cave’s geological formations and document its diverse formations and fauna.
Expedition Timeline:
My day began early, arriving at the cave around 8:30 AM. I started by opening the silo, unlocking the hatch, and setting up the rope for rappelling. Mike Kovacs arrived next, around 9 AM, and by 9:25 AM, the rest of our team, including Nevin Dubinski, Tiffany Stoots, Sean Douglas, and Sean Zimmerman, had assembled.
After taking our time to prepare, we all entered the cave at 10:45 AM. Our expedition kicked off with a hike up Thunder River, leading us to the Round Room by noon, where we stopped for lunch. The post-lunch exploration took us past the Bone Room to the “Second Azure Pool.” I remember chuckling when Sean humorously asked about the whereabouts of the “Chocolate Bunny.”
The return journey included a visit to Convention Hall. Though I recall seeing cave pearls in its upper room during previous visits, they eluded us this time. We then made our way to Thunder Falls, a truly magnificent feature of the cave. En route, Nevin, who’s a documentary student, took the opportunity to film the cave’s various formations and passages, while Sean Douglas assisted by wearing a lapel microphone to capture the natural sounds of our cave journey.
A notable incident occurred at the bottom of the ladder, where we found and safely rescued two ringneck snakes from the cave.
Our adventure concluded around 6:30 PM. After climbing the ladder, we hauled up the rope, organized our gear, and wrapped up the expedition. To celebrate a day of successful exploration and camaraderie, we headed to El Caporal for some well-deserved and delicious Mexican food.
Leading the Carroll Cave expedition was an enriching experience, marked by teamwork, discovery, and a deep respect for the cave’s natural environment. The journey not only offered insights into the cave’s ecology but also strengthened the bond among us as explorers and enthusiasts of the underground world.
~Martin Carmichael