Tag Archives: beginner

2012 Walk right on in, if the water is low

Need a stand-up, easy walking cave? This is one that is good for all of that, with a minor issue. Most years, you have to wade through a deep cold puddle right at the entrance area to get to the main passage.  This year we lucked out with the low spring runoff, and were able to simply waltz right into the cave, no wading required. (Do not try to enter the cave too early in the spring, at high runoff the sump pool comes up higher and the water flows out of the cave entrance.)

This cave is a fascinating segment of trunk passage that we cruised up and down. The main upstream passage ends at a large sump, or area where the passage goes underwater. There has been much discussion of why and how this is the case, which is outside the scope of this trip report.

On the downstream end, you end up doing a little crawling to find another small sump. There are a few small side passages and crawls you can wiggle through, but they generally all reconnect or dead end in a muddy mess.

There is about 800-900 feet of accessible cave passage, and as long as you are careful not to slip on the mud, generally a fun place to visit. Make sure and check into the runoff conditions if possible, cold silty water pouring out of the cave would certainly shorten the fun. And in high runoff conditions, you can see that the cave fills to the roof with water.

Quick trip for new grotto member

I have been falling behind on posting reports the last few months, trying to repent. –BX

Jeremy was hoping to get out on a caving trip this month, was disappointed we hadn’t planned anything big at the July Grotto meeting due to the holiday. He mentioned he was interested in learning more about how mapping works, since he had previously made some sketches of caves he had found but never used instruments, etc. I checked my schedule, and we headed for Turret Cave on Sunday morning.

I managed to destroy most of my credibility as “trip Leader” in very short order on Sunday. I showed up with instruments, tape, and a ruler/cheap 50 cent protractor, but no paper/pencils. Jeremy provided some paper and pencils since my other supplies managed to stay on my desk at home, and in Ben’s gear from a trip the previous weekend.

We headed up the hill, and I quickly remembered why I normally visit this area in very late fall and early spring–it was warm! Jeremy pointed out some fossils on the way, and identified some of the lizards that aren’t normally running around in February.

We reached Turret Cave, and Jeremy checked it out while I was pulling out gear. For those unfamiliar with the cave, it is a short 20′ section of passage that passes completely through a narrow fin of rock. You enter at ground level on the West side of the fin, and come out about 20-30′ in the air on the East side. We made short work of the 3 shots for the survey, with Jason writing the survey data and Jeremy running the sketchbook.

After we decided that process was as complete as we were going to get with the tools at hand, we headed further into the canyon to look at some other nearby caves. Excavation Cave no longer has the register I had placed in it, but it does appear an animal had spent the winter there. (Jeremy decided probably raccoon.) We also gathered a couple crickets.

Checked out Cricket cave on the way past, and went a little further up canyon to see what we could find. There are a couple potential holes in the cliff if anyone is looking for an activity on a cool morning.

I pointed out some of the other known small caves across the canyon for Jeremy, but had to end the trip before we looked at them to try and show up on time for a BBQ back in Salt Lake.

On the way out of the canyon we ran into a local resident walking his dog and started talking about climbing routes that are evident in a couple places. He also provided a lead of a small 50-100′ cave a short distance to the north in a drainage that ends at the limestone in a “small box canyon” that should be checked on.