Caving Narrative 1986 - August 11
Participants: Jim Nepstad, Jim Pisarowicz
Duration of Trip: 7 hours
New Cave Surveyed: none
On August 11, 1986, Jim Nepstad and I decided to enter Wind Cave via the Blowhole entrance. Since this route was established (October 1984) we had heard many stories about how terrible this route was into the cave. The passages were reported to be incredibly tight and that for all practical purposes this was not a usable entrance into Wind Cave.
As neither of us had been into the Blowhole and considering the stories we had heard about this entrance we figured about 4 hours would be required to route find and make our way down to the larger passages that the Blowhole route eventually connected.
To our surprise the Blowhole route was not as terrible as we were lead to believe. The entire route is crawling with occasional spots where one can sit up in and a couple of areas where it is possible to stand. Most of the crawling is upper level cave, fairly smooth or on floors of broken chert and small breakdown. In only two spots would I call the passages very tight and both of these are fairly short. Any person who had caved to any extent should consider this route a viable one into Wind Cave.
Travel time into Santa's Frosted Forest, including route finding, looking at incredible anthrodites and logomites (snurds) was only two hours. Just to see what the travel time would be after we knew the route we timed ourselves on the way out to the surface. From Santa's Frosted Forest to the surface (uphill most of the way) took 50 minutes. This route, as it stands, should be considered a usable entrance into Wind Cave.
There are several implications of this trip into Wind Cave via the Blowhole:
Report by: Jim Pisarowicz
Did You Know?
The Star Lilly (Leucocrinum montanum) has several common names including sand lily, sage lily, mountain lily, wild tuberose, and Star-of-Bethlehem. The word Leucocrinum comes from Greek meaning "white lily." More...