• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Caving Narrative 1985 - June 12

Participants:
Larry Johnson, Jim Nepstad, Jim Pisarowicz, Darren Ressler

Duration of Trip:
11 hours

New Cave Surveyed:
729 feet

Finished off the passage we began surveying on the 27th of May. Most of the side leads quickly pinched and we netted only 55 feet of new survey in this area.

Concluding that survey, we decided to check out some leads on the map in the area of Atlas Underground Hemp Works. Wile making our way to that area, Jim and I noticed a small passage which we poked into and unexpectedly popped into Monolith Hall. As none of us had been into this large chamber, we abandoned plans for Atlas Underground and began looking for leads off Monolith Hall.

This quickly paid off and before long we were surveying through a virgin passage. The first room encountered was a fairly low room about 75 feet in diameter. On one wall of this room the bedding planes were very distinct so we called this the Bedroom.

Continuing down another lead we found a long passage during which one survey shot was as long as our measuring tape (50 feet)! This eventually led us to a vertical drop which we dubbed the Chimbelly as it was almost a vertical belly crawl down.

Forty feet down the Chimbelly we were again in a passage with may side leads. Darren crawled through a small hole and called for us to follow him. As we entered the new passage everyone let out a "Wow!" The passage went on as far as we could see and the ceilings were 50-80 feet above our heads. This we called the Wow Passage.

The cave continued to go on but as Jim and Larry were using miner's Wheat Lamps, which only provided about 12 hours of light, we had to start out. We will return next week to keep pushing on.

Report by: Jim Pisarowicz

Did You Know?

A picture of Alvin McDonald in his caving hat.

Alvin McDonald was the first systematic explorer of Wind Cave. He explored the cave from 1890 until his death in 1893. More...