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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2024 May 19 – Step Log and miscellaneous sites

2024 May 19 – Step Log and miscellaneous sites

Trip report by Mike Kovacs Trip Leader name: Mike Kovacs Trip date: 2024-05-19 Trip purpose: Recreational Trip participants: Candace Kovacs Mike Kovacs Becca Marlin Tyler Marlin Entry Time: 10:00am Exit Time: 3:00pm How far: The group visited Thunder Falls, Lower Thunder River (roughly to the The Angel Pool and passage beyond the Angel Pool to the terminal of the passage and the Large Guano Piles past the Water Barrier in Carroll Passage. Injuries: No injuries to report on this trip. Trash: Mike Kovacs collected a Vice-Grip tool at the Ladder staging & sitting (Backdoor Entrance) area where teams drop their vertical gear. I assume this tool was accidentally left behind or alternatively, it may have been placed purposefully in anticipation of removing the cable. Regardless I packed it out to the Silo and placed it in the CCC Sign In Box for safe keeping to avoid rust etc. so it will remain functional and al that jazz.. Mike Kovacs and Tyler Marlin found what appeared to be a red...

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2024 March 23 UL2 trip leader training

Trip report by Bill Gee This is the second of two trips I set up to show trip leaders routes through the cave. The previous trip in February went to the far end of upper Thunder River. Today our goal was to see as much of UL2 side passage as we could. I drove to the campground Friday afternoon, arriving at 4:15pm. After setting up the camper, I took a small sledge hammer and some t-posts to the road gate and the middle gate. I set the t-posts so that the gates can only be opened one way. The middle gate is more of a problem in this regard. If it is opened the wrong way, then you have to lift up on it to get it across the gravel trail. Too much of that will bend and eventually break the gate. Saturday morning the weather was 34 degrees, cloudy and breezy. The wind chill was biting! Jack and Kohl had both arrived late and were camped out in their trucks. The other participants showed up by about 8:45am. Kohl is doing another cave trip tomorrow, so we used his rope. He has a brand new...

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2024 March 24 DL2 Survey

2024 March 24 DL2 Survey

Trip report by Kohl Mitchell Trip date: 2024-03-24 Trip purpose: Survey DL2 Trip participants: Kohl Mitchell Ben Geisert Jack Rufener Tristin Whetstine Entry Time: 9:15 AM Exit Time: 10:00 PM How far: Down Lower Thunder River to DL2, and about 1,500 feet to the end of DL2 Injuries: No Trash: Jack retrieved a jug from USS Strap-On Biology: 12 cave fish, several isopods The trip report: Originally, we were planning on doing a five-person trip, splitting into two teams once we got to DL2. However, the day before the trip Logan Dowd let us know he wouldn’t be able to make it. While this meant we’d only be able to have one team, Ben and I, who along with Logan were the only people to ever visit this passage, still thought we’d be able to survey the whole thing in one long day. We dropped in the cave at about 9:15 AM on Sunday, quickly beginning the slog through the Forevers to DL2. Jack was relieved at how much easier it was than the last time he’d come through here lugging a 60-pound...

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2024 Feb 24 Upper Thunder River

2024 Feb 24 Upper Thunder River

Carroll Cave Trip Report - 24 February 2024 Time in = 9:15am Time out = 6:00pm Participants = Bill Gee Mike Kovacs Candace Kovacs Sarah Peterson Jack Rufener Alex Stumpf Martin Carmichael Nathan Taylor The purpose of this trip was to show routes in Upper Thunder River to current and potential trip leaders. Except for Bill Gee, none of the participants had ever been through the breakdown pile to the terminal waterfall. Several of the group camped overnight Friday. The temperature was near freezing with a completely clear sky and a full moon. Everyone else arrived early Saturday. Alex had never been to Carroll Cave. He (and everyone else) had some trouble fiddling with the padlock on the road gate. Alex arrived on the dot of 9:00am. I had two miscellaneous tasks to perform, so I went down the shaft first. I made a very quick solo trip to replace the data logger below Thunder Falls, and I set up a cave intrusion detector. The data logger arrived back from the factory with a fresh...

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2024 Feb 25 Trip Leader Training

Carroll Cave Trip Leader Training - 25 February 2024 Participants = Bill Gee Mike Kovacs Candace Kovacs Jack Rufener Alex Stump Marty Griffin Kohl Mitchell Rick Hines Tristin Whetstine Nathan Taylor Kristen Vogel Becca Marlin Tyler Marlin Amy Fawkes It has been some time since the last formal trip leader training session. There are several people who have accumulated in-cave skills and need only the formal training session to become trip leaders. Before the session I revisited and edited the session outline. A copy was sent to all participants. I asked for feedback, but no one suggested any changes. All of the participants from the cave trip yesterday stayed overnight to attend the training session. Quite a few additional people came in just for the session. The morning weather was 45 degrees, clear sky and light south wind. Forecast high was for near 70 degrees. A perfect day for training. We started at 09:45. Due to the number of participants, we split into two groups. I handled...

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2024 Feb 25 Shelter House Work

2024 Feb 25 Shelter House Work

Shelter House Work, Feb 25, 2024 Work on the Pic Walenta Memorial Shelter at the Carroll Cave campground continued Sunday, 2/25/24.  Previously I had purchased a large metal tank and a 12-inch diameter pipe to build a fireplace on the south end of the shelter house.  Before the trip on Sunday, with help from Sam Fahrenkrug, I prepared the tank and pipe for easier assembly on site.  On Sunday Bill Gee was conducting trip-leader training so I knew I would have plenty of help to get the tank and flue pipe unloaded.  On arrival, I was pleased to find Nathen Taylor had completed framing the last of the four four-foot walls.  The tank and flue were assembled and centered between the two four-foot walls on the south.  We notched the metal ridge of the roof and anchored the flue to the peek of the roof, with five feet of flue above the roof.  The fireplace is now ready for use. We now need to get the oak siding up on the four-foot walls and build a masonry wall around the firebox.  Does...

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2024 January 13 – Downstream Thunder River Survey

Trip date: 2024-01-13 Trip purpose: Map that shit Trip participants: Dan Lamping Joe Sikorski Ben Miller Derik Holtmann Josh Hafner Nathan Curran Jack Reufner Chad McCain Logan Dowd Michael Bradford Entry Time: 5:30 PM and 9:00 PM on Friday, Exit Time: 3:00 PM on Sunday How far: All three survey teams camped at Jerry's Cairn. One team went down to the Lake Room and two teams went into DL7, with one team going back into the L6 Complex mapping a lead off Van Gogh's Hall. Injuries: None Trash: A tarp was removed and a water container. Both remnants from past exploration trips. Plans are in the works to remove more gear left behind in Lower Thunder, later this year. Biology: Cave fish were seen in both Thunder River and the DL7 stream. The trip report: Our group entered in two waves, with one group entering around 5:00 PM on Friday night and a second team entering around 9:00 PM. This brought 10 cavers down Lower Thunder River to the camp at Jerry's Cairn. This is the largest group we've...

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2023 Stream Flow Project report

2023 Stream Flow Project report

Carroll Cave Stream Flow Project - 2023 Annual Report Another year is gone and done. It is time to collect and review data from the Carroll Cave Stream Flow Project. This year I have a new version of the graphing software. It allows multiple plots on one page with different Y-axis scales for each. This allowed me to plot both water depth and matching water temperature. Looking at the plots, it is very obvious that the water temperature changes whenever there is a flood. In winter the temperature goes down and in summer it goes up. This shows that the cave takes on water very rapidly. The incoming water does not have time to acclimate to normal cave temperature before it gets to the data loggers. 2023 did not see any major floods. There were two minor floods. "Minor" is a relative term. If you were in downstream Thunder River on March 25, it was a major flood! In late March Thunder River at the ladder rose from the normal depth of just under a foot to around 3 feet. The river below...

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2024 January 6 Data Logger Service Trip

2024 January 6 Data Logger Service Trip

Carroll Cave trip report 2024-01-06 Data logger service Time in - 9:10am, time out - 2:15pm Participants - Bill Gee (Trip leader) Mike Kovacs Candace Kovacs Jack Rufener Matthew Hernandez Twice a year I have to visit all of the data loggers in Carroll Cave. The memory in them will hold about 7 months of data before it starts to overwrite. I do these trips in early January and early July every year. The two sets of data are combined to create full-year graphs of the water levels in the cave. There were originally eight people signed up for the trip. On Thursday I got an email from one saying she had just tested positive for COVID and so could not make it. Saturday morning we got a message from another person saying their "Check Engine" light had come on while driving to the cave, and they would not be able to make it. The third person was a no-show. When I got home I found an email saying that she had injured a hand and was not confident she could deal with climbing the ladder. I...

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2023 December 30 Upper Thunder Video Documentary

2023 December 30 Upper Thunder Video Documentary

Trip report by Martin Carmichael Trip date: 2023-12-30 Trip purpose: Video Documentary Trip participants: Nevin DubinskyTiffany StootsMike KovacsSean DouglasSean 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 fish2 Juvenile salamanders The trip report: Carroll Cave Expedition ReportDate of Expedition: December 30th, 2023Written by: Martin Carmichael, Trip LeaderIntroduction: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...

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