What are your memories of Carroll Cave? by admin | Aug 15, 2010 | Public Relations | 9 comments Write a short paragraph about Carroll Cave. 9 Comments CCC Editor on December 23, 2008 at 7:47 pm further communication from gd: (Thanks for reading!) it was st.louis university grotto during the trips done for helwig to do his thesis. the names escape me mostly, but do remember: jim helwig, jay ossenfort, dave harlan, dick fox, bill mc bride, john cantwell. ossenfort and harlan were the photogs and if you can find the they have some truly spectacular photos of the snowroom?.. at the first major fork from the moountain room you went left. the right went to thunder river. Log in to Reply gd on February 21, 2009 at 7:20 pm winter of 1962 mapping for 4 days from the mountian room to thunder river Log in to Reply Jo on June 5, 2009 at 7:34 am Just an area resident that loves checking in once in awhile to see what is going on. It is too bad “community relations” aren’t good….I admire your work. Hopefully you can carry on! Log in to Reply Larry Welling on December 8, 2009 at 3:28 pm In 1961 I was a member of a survey team from St. Louis Univ. Went into the natural entrance, past the milk cans, and walked the front part, “neck break” and all. No boat for us since the clearance was less than a foot. Anyway, I recently wrote a poem about the experience, assuming that the cave had been gated and closed soon after our adventure. Only found the web site today. Seem like a few things have changed. Here’s the poem. It kinda long, but so was that hike. FOR LOVE OF CAVING Years ago I went caving with some other men About ten of us I think Most had considerable experience Three had never gone before I was among those virgins at that time Initiation time But I was young and strong and curious They’d watch out for me This little cave had been know for many years Farmers kept milk cold in there In frames in the small stream flowing out No need for going deeper Local kids would scare their girlfriends in there But it’s not romantic Fifty two degrees and wet and muddy Not a place for pleasure I knew we’d be getting pretty wet in there But thought the stream was shallow Three feet at most, but one ceiling was at four They called that the neck break So now I’m in water up to my neck Doing a silly duckwalk Head bent to one side, helmet scraping roof Carbide lamp at water line Past that the ceiling will be at least five feet Two feet above the water Improvement yes, but I am six feet tall Wet all through, really cold, neck crimped What fun we’re having now but it gets better Walk where others walk Don’t leave more footprints than are needed Trail’s one foot wide, two deep And that’s not water, it’s mud that pulls boots off Will this never end Not till the breakdown, just two miles ahead What does that name mean At least the cave’s quite generous now Like a subway tube Maybe thirty feet in height and width River ten feet wide at most The cave once ended at the breakdown Thin columns floor to ceiling Like fifty feet of fence posts close together Till they got broken down A trail now two feet wide through this stone forest Walking in the water now Just a half mile more to rivers junction Now this is really fun. It seems that this cave has two rivers in it One flows out the entrance Turns at the junction to find its origin A hidden lake they say A bit further we hear the other stream It’s far below us now Maybe heading for that hidden source as well But we’ll not be going there Next comes the leap of faith across that river Just jump as far as you can Off one slick and muddy bank to the other But the other can’t be seen That far bank is some five feet below us And slopes down to the water If you don’t stay put on landing, down you’d go We all made it safely over At least we’d high above the river now Rocks slimy but little mud Our destinations just another mile Then comes the unknown The breakdown had been done just a year before Beyond that all virgin Where did it go, was there another entrance That’s why we were here One sometimes thought you felt a tiny breeze Must be an opening somewhere But the ceiling had fallen down long ago The river oozed through rubble Was there a way around we all wondered Side passages had been found We were there to explore each of them Maybe find the prize I was assigned a passage maybe three feet round I began to crawl The thin damp surface never seen by man It ended in a hundred yards It is a wonder to be in such a place The first, perhaps the last I laid there and turned off my carbide lamp Utterly alone That was an experience I had never had And never will again There are very few such places left And I have had enough Enough to last an entire lifetime Overwhelming solitude Was it frightening, no, not even in total darkness I wonder why sometimes We had been in that cave now for some seven hours Hypothermia was a danger We trudged back the way we had come before But much more tired now We hoped we would exit in late day sun Oh warming sun Then to the motel for hot showers and food And lovely sleep But one last hurtle, and not just the neck break It had rained without warning Four feet of water in a four foot space No room to breath We waited then for several hours, exhausted Four inch clearance finally came So off we all went, holding hands for safety And so did a thousand bats It’s been almost fifty years since that adventure I think I’ve remembered well A life experience never to be forgotten I’m a very lucky man Log in to Reply Andy CCC #14 on August 30, 2010 at 9:21 am Nice your poem would make a good trip report. Glad you found us Log in to Reply Andy CCC #14 on August 30, 2010 at 9:24 am Digging for years and finally Break through. First time in Carroll cave. reppeled in assended out. What a day Log in to Reply Jamie E#215 on October 1, 2010 at 10:00 pm My favorite memory of carroll, I have had a few, but i would have to say my first attempt to make it to the Lake room. What a trip. I was Younger then, truly not a full grown man. Not as much muscle to get my gear all the way, but tough as hell. I might have been slowed by the mud (never ending “Chilli” mud holes). Plus haveing a camp pack with me for more weight, but I still made it as far as everyone else. I had been caving before but, This was WILD CAVING. What a time. We basically made it but due to a person haveing a back issue and not sure quite how much farther decided to stop that time. I have been to the Lake sump 3 times now, and the last time i still left thinking, “What am I getting myself into…” It is more of a destination than a place to see. Still loved it. Log in to Reply Shawn Williams on October 14, 2010 at 4:54 pm Spending six days deep in the cave in 2006. Three days with the photo crew photographing The Liberty Bell, Scenic Falls, Horseshoe Falls and The Lake Room then meeting the survey crew at Jerry’s Cairns to survey to The Lake Room and in DL7. A most difficult and amazing trip. Log in to Reply Robert Kramer on October 17, 2010 at 4:29 pm My first trip to Carroll Cave was 35 years ago–I was 14, and already crazy in love with caves. I persuaded my brother Gary to come along on this KCAG trip. I remember the eerie boat ride in, that first icy step out of the canoe at the Neckbreakers, walking the two sets of neckbreakers, carelessly dunking my carbide light, and getting back into the canoe for the short trip across deeper waters to the Mountain Room. I remember changing clothes in the Mountain Room from dry clothes that were double-wrapped in garbage bags. My brother was cold and couldn’t get his gear to work, so I remember switching out some of my gear with his since I was already a “veteran” caver. Moving down Carroll River, there were times when the water and mud were deeper than I was at 5′ tall at the time. A couple of times I had to be pulled out of a mudhole. We made it past snake rock, snake skin, the Turnpike, where my friend Bob Korte had broken his leg changing out the cable ladder, and on to the “Old Man Carroll” formation. I remember Dave Hoffman’s 1000-foot interval reflectors (are they still there to mark the distance?) They seemed to come ever so slowly for the squelchy mud pulling at my scrawny legs. At some point, we climbed up a passage to the left and ran ahead at a higher level, only to stumble upon yet another river passage. Somebody ran back for a rope, only to find that we had looped back to the Carroll River passage. On the way back, one of the soles of my boots came off in the incomparable mud. Then the other. Neither was ever seen again through the depths, not that they would have done me any good anyway. I was ecstatic that I had finally been allowed to see Missouri’s king of caves, but all along dreading the getting wet again at the neckbreakers going out. It was a very cold pair of soaked socked feet that finally made it out later that day. I couldn’t wait to go back. But that is another story which would have to wait until May 22, 1976 to unfold. Log in to Reply Submit a Comment Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.