Carroll Cave Reports Blog

02/01/03 – Lather (BaseLine -> U32)

Base Line Survey, February 1, 2003 Team members: Ron Lather, Book Randy Bruegger, Instrument Matt Goska, Front sight and tape Spike Crews, Back sight I had gone up to the backdoor entrance first and had inspected my rope from End to end and got it rigged to the tripod. I then went to gather the rest Of the base line team which were all gathering at the schoolhouse? We dropped into the cave at approximately 10:00 AM and proceeded to the last Station set by the previous base line team. We picked up the survey and I was totally intimidated by the task of trying to sketch this massive mother Of Missouri caves. We did count 9 cavefish between the back door entrance and base line Station U32. The survey proceeded very well with the hold up being me trying my attempt At book. We called it a day and were out of the hole around 6:00PM. Total Surveyed Base line: 647.67 feet Ron Lather

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02/01/03 – Simmons (UL1)

Trip Report Survey of UL1 Saturday Feb. 1, 2003 After a late start, the survey team of James Corsentino, Andy Free, Wayne Pierce, Eddie Simmons and Carl Wagner arrived at our destination. We were instructed to locate and start the survey of UL1. This is a virgin side, close to the ceiling of Upper Thunder. A gap of about 6 feet horizontally had to be bridged in order to access this passage. The gap was 13 feet above the water level in Thunder River. We brought an aluminum walkboard, that was 8' long-extending to 13', and it worked great for the task. This fit very nicely down the hole and was neither heavy nor awkward maneuvering it through the cave. This may also prove handy in the future for such encounters. After crossing the gap, we had to climb a very steep clay embankment.  Wayne went first and rigged a handline for everyone to use in making their way up. This proved very necessary because the clay on the embankment would fall away in big amounts with every step. And the wetter...

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02/01/03 – Lounsbury (Transit, UL1, UL3)

Near Perfection, 2190' of new survey Feb 1 2003 a date which will live in infamy. Participants: Ron Lather, Matt Goska, Randy Bruegger, Jeff Crews, Tom Lounsbury, Brian Borton, Ben Miller, Dan Austin, Jessie Bebb, Bob Lerch, Roger Brown, Andy Lerch, Carl Wagner, James Corsentino, Eddie Simmons, Wayne Pierce, Andy Free Never have I seen more dedication and sheer excitement about cave surveying than I have ever seen at this event this weekend. Arriving at the Schoolhouse around 9:00am Saturday I was greeted in the usual manner and I could tell right away attitudes were good. Transit team The transit team consisting of Ron Lather (book) Randy Bruegger (transit) Matt Goska (frontsight) Jeff Crews (backsight) were ready to go and it didn't take them long to get up the hill and rig the drop. They rattled off 647' of baseline and tied UL1. This is the first side passage now attached to the baseline. Estimations expect to tie with UL2 in one or two more good trips. Ron had his first...

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02/01/03 – Miller (UL3 team1)

Trip Report for 2/1/2003 (UL3 Survey photos in Photo Gallery) By Ben Miller Other surveyors Dan Austin Jessie Bebb We entered the cave around 1:00 PM.  Bob, Andy, Roger, Dan, Jessie and myself headed upstream from the Backdoor Entrance towards the other two crews near UL1.  We stopped briefly to check out the entrance to the passage that had eluded us before and then after confirming an out time with the transit team continued on to the Round Room.  We reached the beginning of UL3 and after leaving our heavier gear briefly checked upstream in the main passage for any possible passages that might connect into the maze we were going to be surveying.  We passed UL4, which was a good-sized walking passage nearer to stream level, and we found what we believe to be the balcony that we had found on the previous trip. Alas it seems as though our big river passage was indeed Thunder River.  We went a little further upstream to look for any other possibilities before stopping at an overlook...

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02/01/03 – Lerch (UL3 team2)

February 1, 2003 UL3 Survey -  Team 2 (UL3 Survey photos in Photo Gallery) Bob Lerch - book, sketch Roger Brown - foresight, tape Andy Lerch - lead tape, backsight Time in Cave: 15.5 hours The UL3 survey was the focus of two teams for the February survey weekend. The previous month found major leads at multiple levels, and we didn't want Ben to have all of the fun back there. We coordinated mop-up survey with Team 1 (Ben Miller, Jessie Bebb, and Dan Austin), and our first lead was connecting a loop from UL3-42 back to UL3-29. It was small, winding canyon passage with several short shots, and maybe 70-80' of passage. After that, we did another mop-up passage going off of UL3-43. This is some upper paleo-passage with sand over clay floors, and ceiling heights that rarely exceeded 4'.  We mapped about 60' or so, and then headed down to the main stream level of the UL3 Complex.  To get there, one must down climb Messy Pit, a 25' down climb with some loose rock, and a bit of exposure. ...

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01/11/03 – Lounsbury (Transit)

Survey trip report: 1/11/03 By T. Lounsbury Team members: T. Lounsbury,  Book/backsights B. Gee,  Frontsights R. Bruegger,  Transit Arriving at the cave on Saturday morning I was surprised to see several cheerful faces among the new brethren of the survey. Bill Gee is always there and Randy was my host this weekend on his brother's boat on the lake. My team was ready but Ben's team had not arrived yet at least the trip leader anyway. Heather and Roger were patiently waiting on Ben and Dan and when they caught us at the Montreal store they were real disappointed the café was closed due to Debbie being ill. They decided to go to town to grab a quick bite to eat. B. Gee (always foaming at the mouth to go caving) was pressuring me into getting my ass in gear and getting the days survey started. We were in the cave by 10:30am and we proceeded to locate station U17. While on the way Randy cleared his throat and said he wanted to start over on U13. He felt as if the integrity of the survey...

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01/11/03 – Miller (Round Room)

Trip Report for 1/11/2003 By Ben Miller Others on Trip: Dan Austin Roger Brown Heather Levy We entered the cave around 1:30 PM on Saturday and began our trip going upstream in Thunder River.  We passed Tom, Randy, and Bill who were working on the transit survey. Informing them of when to expect us out we continued on until reaching our side lead past the Round Room.  After putting on some additional layers and getting the survey gear out we headed towards our end.  Dan and Heather went to go check a pit off the side of the passage, which we had discovered on a previous trip.  Dan thought it might be able to be down climbed with a handline.  Unfortunately this was not the case as they found out but the handline did allow for a closer inspection of the passage below which is walking sized passage.  Vertical gear will be needed to access this portion.  We continued on to UL2-25 and picked up the survey.  The passage started out as a six to eight foot tall narrow canyon that was trending...

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Commentary from Jerry Vineyard – 12/14/2002

Subject: Re: Carroll Survey From: "Jerry Vineyard" The information in this report on surveying in UL1 may just be the best news that has yet come out of the "Back Entrance to Carroll" story. Why? Because it reports the finding of several cavefish--2-3 in every pool checked--which reconfirms that Carroll Cave may indeed be the most important cavefish site in Missouri. On my desk right now is a document titled "Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge, Proposed Refuge Expansion, Environmental Assessment, Land Protection Plan, and Conceptual Management Plan," out for review and comment until Jan. 10, 2003. The Ozark Plateau NWR was initially set up to save endangered bats and the Ozark Cavefish, and the proposed expansion is for unprotected sites in Oklahoma. The Refuge concept has sometimes been referred to as a "string of pearls," each "pearl" being a cave or spring that is home for a population of cavefish and/or bats. So we're not talking about a huge acquisition program encompassing...

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12/07/02 – Miller (Round Room)

Survey Report - December 7. 2002 Trip Report for 12/7/2002 By Ben Miller We got into the cave around 11:30 am and Chris, Marsha, Jessie, Brian, Tom, and I headed for the Round Room. We paused briefly at Convention Hall to admire the formations and confirm with Bob our meeting time at the entrance for later that night. Made our way upstream with no major incidences except for a rotten ledge that collapsed after Chris jumped off. We arrived at the Round Room and I gave Tom a quick overview of what he had in store and basically where the room began. Then Chris, Marsha, and I headed on through the room and onto UL2. We paused at the entrance to the passage in order to get all the gear sorted out, assign jobs, and to put on some extra clothing. We headed into the passage, made it to our starting point for survey, and began getting set up. Marsha who was lead tape, grabbed the end of the tape and started off down the passageway. After some problems getting started we finally started...

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12/07/02 – Lerch/Brown (Convention Hall)

Survey Report - December 7. 2002 12/7/02 UL1 Survey Bob Lerch - book, sketch, instruments Roger Brown - instruments, lead tape Time in Cave: 13.25 hours Roger and I got in the cave at 11:30a. We coordinated an out time of 1:00a with the other teams, and then headed directly to the UL1 (Convention Hall) survey. Last time we wore 6 mm wetsuits which discouraged exploration of the high leads. So, this trip we only wore cave suits and brought in additional clothes to put on as needed. This strategy worked well, and we were both generally warm throughout the trip. Upon arrival, we began exploring the upper leads near the beginning of the UL1 side passage; we needed to figure out where we could safely climb up and how we would tie it in with the lower survey. Eventually, we both found different, but sketchy climbs to the upper level, which is about 20-30' above the stream. The passage is about 4.5-5' tall and 10-20' wide, with a downward sloping floor. Roger headed back towards main...

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