Caving Narrative 1987 - May 6
Warren Netherton climbing down the Garden Gate
NPS Photo by Jim Pisarowicz
Duration of Trip:
New Cave Surveyed:
On a previous trip to the Lakes area of Wind Cave, I had noticed a large passage leading off of the main route near the Garden Gate. Being curious as to where this passage went, I checked the map after leaving the cave. Much to my surprise, this passage was unmapped! The purpose of this trip was to push this exciting lead.
We were mapping into the lead only 45 minutes after entering the cave. The passage remained very large for about 175 feet. Being large and easy to move through, we named this passage The Superconductor. After following this route to a dead end, Jim pushed a side lead which led us past the BBC Alcove (for Big Beautiful Crystals), through a tight crawl, and finally to a nice sized room which we named the Nobel Prize. An intriguing hole in the ceiling frustrated us with its inaccessibility. Rather than risk life and limb, the brave explorers ate lunch.
From here we surveyed into several dead end side leads, the largest of which we named Alex Alley, in honor of Assistant Chief Naturalist Kay Rohde's one month old son. We also found a hole going up into the ceiling of one of the passages. Jim ascended this tricky climb first and called for the survey tape after finding out that it led to a large room. I attempted to throw the tape up to him several times (he was over 30 feet above me!). Once it came crashing down on my head! Fortunately I was wearing my hard hat at the time. After surveying to the top we named this hole Bonk Pit. The large room led to a few more passages, one of which ended in a particularly painful climb which we named Beyond Nasty. Persistent and uncontrollable thoughts of food drove us form the cave soon afterward.
Report by: Jim Nepstad
Did You Know?
The scientific name for the Stemless Hymenoxys is Hymemoxys acaulis. Acaulis means "stemless" and referes to the leafless stalks which bear the flower heads. More...