Trip report by Kristen Vogel
Participants: Kristen Vogel – Trip Leader. Candace Kovacs, Mike Kovacs, Alaina Borra, Brandon Fagen, Raleigh Miller, Matthew Hernandez, Becca Marlin, John Roth – Trip Leader. Briony Downes-Ward
This purpose of this trip was to do some resto work and plan for further areas that need resto in Carroll Passage. Five of us arrived Friday night and camped. Everyone else arrived Saturday morning. We geared up and started down the shaft at 9:30 am, with the last caver in at 10:10. Mike Kovacs took a Go Pro video of the rappel in. This was the first time in Carroll Cave for Brandon, Raleigh, and Briony.
First we headed over to Angel Pool Passage, where we put some flagging tape to mark off the first large white flowstone. Some of the group was feeling adventurous and wanted to find the end of the passage, and some of the group did not have knee pads because I had told them there would not be much crawling. We were getting spread out, so at some point we all turned back and took the high road back to the T Junction, then set off for Carroll Passage.
John wanted to find the Bear Claw Side Passage that he had noticed on the map, but once we reached the data logger, we realized that we had passed the Bear Claw Passage, so we decided to look for it on the way back. We went through the water barrier, and continued on through the passage. About half of us were wearing wetsuits and half were not, so we needed to keep moving.
I had not considered that there would be bats in Carroll Passage, which became apparent to me when we reached the first guano piles and the smell of urea was very strong! We did not see any bats at the first piles, but we could hear the chitter of some bats up ahead. We all stood very quiet so we could listen to the bats, and we turned back.
On the way back, we found the Bear Claw Passage. Some of us went to explore the passage and some of us waited at the entrance. John and Brandon made it as far in the passage as they could go, and they were slimy muddy from head to toe when they rejoined the group.
We went to see Thunder Falls before exiting. Upper Thunder River was up 2 or 3 inches, and Lower Thunder was up about 2 feet! When we reached the ladder, I opted to try having the slower climbers go first, and that seemed to work well. We were all packed up and headed to dinner by 6.
Many more photos from this trip – and a few movies – are on https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1z5jN0jjdusz7UopcoqeQt7Tp93Gk8JLI?usp=sharing