Caving Narrative 1985 - September 18
Duration of Trip:
New Cave Surveyed:
Earlier this summer I had looked down a passage just off the Candlelight route only to discover that the passage did not appear on any of our maps! The passage had been traveled as evidenced by a string that wound its way down the passage. I wondered what other evidence of early exploration we would discover as we began mapping.
We began in a fairly large joint controlled passage. It was about 10 feet wide and 25 feet high. We easily surveyed this area and before long we crossed the trail at Union College.
Beyond Union College we ducked under a ledge that was completely coated with frostwork. What a fine display of crystals and just off one of the trails that thousands of people walk by every year!
Further down the passage we found old newspapers dated back to the 1890s. Early cave travelers had used these papers to wrap up frostwork crystals so they could be removed from the cave. The evidence of cave vandalism in this passage almost made me cry. Incredibly beautiful crystals, some of which took perhaps thousands of years to form, had been stripped from the cave.
We climbed a high lead and into a small room about 25 feet in diameter. As this was Tom's first survey into the cave I called this room T-BEAR's DEN. T-Bear is a nickname that Tom has acquired during his years working here at Wind Cave.
Report by: Jim Pisarowicz
Did You Know?
Alvin McDonald was the first systematic explorer of Wind Cave. He explored the cave from 1890 until his death in 1893. More...