Carroll Cave Reports Blog

1 July 2022 – CCC merges with MCKC

Today marks a big change in the history of Carroll Cave and its community. In recent months the boards of directors for the Carroll Cave Conservancy (CCC) and the Missouri Caves and Karst Conservancy (MCKC) have been negotiating a merger by which the MCKC will assume ownership of the Carroll Cave property presently owned by the CCC. The board of CCC determined this move to be in the best interest of securing ownership in perpetuity. The presidents of both organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that defines the relationship going forward. Let's take a look at what will and won't be changing from here on out. The CCC will cease to exist as an independent organization. There will be no CCC annual meetings or elections of officers. The management group will be the same people who are doing it presently and will be called the Carroll Cave Management Team (CCMT). They will be resposible to report to the MCKC in all matters concerning Carroll. That change takes place today...

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6 Days With Carroll

Introduction to Six Days with Carroll by Jeff PageNow, there is still another world under the one we live on. You can reach it by going down a spring, a water hole. But you need underworld people to be your scouts and guide you. The world under our earth is exactly like ours, except that it's winter down there when it's summer up here. We can see that easily, because spring water is warmer than the air in winter and cooler than the air in summer. -From Earth Making, Cherokee tradition* There were two trips into Carroll that took place in December 2006. A photo trip with seven people December 26-28 and a survey trip with four people December 27-31. Shawn Williams went in with the first group, then joined the second as the first made its exit from the cave. The following piece was published in the June 2019 edition of the NSS News, the monthly magazine of the National Speleological Society. The editor's first reaction was to ask why they should publish a “trip report” that's over ten...

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27 Aug 2022 Survey trip report – Alex Litsch

Alex LitschLower Thunder RiverDL28-29-2022Kohl Mitchell, Cathleen Yung, and Myself were the first crew of many to enter Carroll Cave at about 9:30amon 8-29-2022. I rappelled down first to check that the rope we rigged the night before had made it to the bottom.After successfully reaching the bottom, Kohl came down, and then Cathleen. As we were taking off our verticalgear, Chad McCain had entered the cave and was waiting for the rest of his team.Our objective was the DL2 lead along Lower Thunder River, just past the Little Lake Room. The trip down wasuneventful. Having been the first time for Cathleen and Kohl being in that part of the cave, we made some quicksightseeing stops, but ultimately we kept a pretty good pace swimming down "The Forevers". We reached DL2at about 11:10.We left Thunder River and started getting out our survey gear. I had with me my two personal DistoX2s and aCRF DistoX2. All of which agreed well when tested on the surface the night before. Kohl took point on...

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27 Aug 2022 Survey trip report – Bob Lerch

This was the first trip in 20 years with 6 teams and 18 cavers. Not since the beginning of the project in September 2002, have we had this many people on a survey trip. Dan Lamping recruited cavers from all over the state with the hopes of introducing new cavers to Carroll and to possibly break 21 miles for the Carroll Cave survey. Teams were sent throughout the cave to work on old leads that might add up to some real footage. Please see the individual team reports for more details on each team. Teams and objectives were as follows: Litsch Team (Alex, Cathleen Yung, Kohl Mitchell) – DL2;McCain Team (Chad, Michael Bradford, Isaac Smith) – CL8 (infamous lead requiring vertical work near the Mountain Room);Schmitt Team (Tony, Corey Ellis, Josh Hafner) – side leads and drone reconnaissance near the Mountain Room;Lamping Team (Dan, Ben Geisert, Jeff Fennell) – side passages off the Water Passage;Crews Team (Spike, Joe Sikorski, Marissa Schorr) – Upper Thunder leads; andLerch Team (Bob,...

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27 Aug 2022 Survey trip report – Chad McCain

By Chad McCain Piggybacking off everyone else’s trip reports which were probably much more detailed, I will fast forward to the facts behind the trip that Michael Bradford, Isaac Smith, and myself did. We were the second team into the cave, behind Alex Litsch’s team. We split ways and I led the team to the Mountain Room. We wore our vertical gear all the way to the room, as its easier in my opinion to wear on the body, then to wear on the back, in a pack. We also had 120 feet of PMI 10mm Talon and 200 feet of 9mm Highlight rope to aid in rigging a traverse to safely get into the passage above the Mountain Room. Our objective was easy, climb the wall to the left of the water passage leading to the entrance, access the top of the Mountain Room. Last but not least, the objective was to not die. Upon arrival, I was able to free climb the wall easily enough, with Isaac and Bradford spotting me in case I slipped. After that I rigged the 10mm rope to a large broken formation that was about...

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27 Aug 2022 Survey trip report – Tony Schmitt

27 Aug 2022 Survey trip report – Tony Schmitt

Trip report by Tony Schmitt Trip participants: T.Schmitt, Josh Hafner, Corey EllisEntry Time: 10amExit Time: 11pmThe trip report: My crew, one of five in the cave traveled from the backdoor to the mountain room. We traveled with Lamping's team which should be covered in his report. We bypassed the turnpike on the way in as several of the people on our teams had never been in the cave. We did take the turnpike on the way out. We took our time heading towards the MR and got there in just under three hours. Our objectives were to get Josh's drone up into a dome at station MR8 (C167 on line plot) and check a couple of side passage loose ends near there. If that didn't pan out we were to assist Dans group in surveying leads off of the entrance water passage. I should mention Chads group was also in that arm of the cave to get into and survey the upper lead that goes above the mountain room. That should be covered in Chads report. The drone worked out and we were able to say that there is...

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9 July 2022 Data Logger Service

Participants - Bill Gee (trip leader)Martin CarmichaelBecca MarlinTyler MarlinOlivia Trussell Time in = 9:30am, time out = 2:30pm Trip report by Bill Gee This is the semi-annual service trip for the stream level data loggers. Twice a year I download all of the data from them. They hold about 7 months of data. If they do not get downloaded, then new data overwrites old data. I drove to the site Saturday morning arriving about 7:40am. Looking around, the campsite was in very nice condition. There were cow pies around. The grass was cut short. I looked at some of the red cedar trees we planted last year. A few of them look like they are not going to live, but others are growing nicely. I did not check any of the oak or bald cypress trees. The first task was to download the rain gauge data logger and then change its battery. I have been changing batteries in January, but that is a fiddly process to do when it is cold. Changing the battery in July will be much more comfortable. The data...

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4 June 2022 Trail Marking

Trip report by Kristen VogelParticipants: 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...

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4 June 2022 Trail Marking

Trip report by John Roth Participants: Kristen Vogel, Mike Kovacs, Candace Kovacs, Alaina Borra, Brandon Fagen, Matthew Hernandez, Becca Marlin, Raleigh Miller, Bryn Downes-Ward, John Roth Time in 09:30, time out 17:00 Areas visited - Angel Pool, Carroll Passage, Thunder Falls The purpose of the trip was to flag or re-flag sensitive formation areas, place reflective markers, and bring new cavers for an introductory trip to Carroll. Kristen’s permit group was full, so John from Chouteau Grotto signed up in advance for another permit, bringing the total group to 10.Some KCAG members camped Friday night, and everyone else joined at the silo before 9am Saturday. Becca made it in the nick of time, and dressed quickly while Candace had already rappelled the shaft. Everyone was down by 10:15am. What became immediately obvious was the much louder sound of the falls compared to previous trips.We first headed West to the Angel pool, and Kristen and John added pink flagging tape around the...

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10 April 2022 Data Logger Service

Time in - 10:15amTime out - 12:45pm Participants - Bill GeeCandace KovacsMike KovacsAdele KovacsRita Worden Back in January during the regular data logger service trip, I had trouble downloading data from the logger in UL2. To further diagnose the problem, I took the logger out of the cave. It turned out to have a low battery. We sent it in for a battery replacement. It was returned in early March and placed back in the cave during a trip on 20 March. The other three data loggers of the same model had their batteries replace some years ago, at the same time as the UL2 logger. When I checked the January downloads from them, I could see that their batteries were also low. We pulled all three of these loggers from the cave on 19 March so they could be sent in for new batteries. The refreshed loggers returned to me on April 4. I wanted to get them back in the cave as soon as possible, so I put out a request to see if anyone was available for April 10 or 11. As a backup, I also asked...

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20 March 2022 UL2

Trip report by Bill Gee. Carroll Cave trip report 20 March 2022 Participants: Bill GeeJohn RothSeth ColstonHou ZhongKristen Godfrey Time in = 9:20am, time out = 3:10pm. I have been visiting Carroll Cave for many years. There are many more years left for me, but eventually the time will come when I cannot do it anymore. With an eye toward that I am trying to mentor some younger cavers. It is time to pass on some of the knowledge that I have. This trip was intended to do just that. I realized a few months ago that some of our new trip leaders had been to Convention Hall several times but had never been any farther. We put together a trip specifically to see the part of UL2 that is beyond Convention Hall. Seth, Hou and I all camped Saturday night. It got colder than expected, with a low around 28F. There was frost on the ground in the morning. John arrived about 8:15 and Kristen about 20 minutes later. We all geared up and were in the cave by 9:20. An early start is much easier with...

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