Cave Exploration - Paha Sapa Grotto
Most Black Hills cavers are members with the Paha Sapa Grotto of the National Speleological Society which is associated with the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City.
Reunion Under the Black Hills
In 1977, former Windy City Grotto member, John Scheltens moved to Hot Springs to become its city engineer. A year later Dave Springhetti, another Windy City Grotto member also moved into the area. Together with members of the Paha Sapa Grotto, Scheltens and Springhetti renewed their explorations in Wind Cave.
NPS Photo by Jim Pisarowicz
The Silent Expressway
On October 8, 1980 Scheltens along with Paha Sapa Grotto member and Jewel Cave ranger Mike Wiles, former Wind Cave ranger Tom Miller, and Peter Shiflett pushed beyond any passages yet discovered when they first entered the Silent Expressway. Although strong winds flowed along Silent Expressway, this discovery marked the deepest penetration in Wind Cave until 1991.
Did You Know?
Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.