Wind Cave Trip Reports - 2000
The year 2000 started off with a bang, with 1.86 miles of survey in a two-month period. This was the most survey during a two-month period in Wind Cave since the Southern Comfort breakthrough of 1991. The survey efforts were focused in the Historic, Club Room, and the Half Mile Hall Zones.
Wind Cave Weekend 01/08/2000
Evan Anderson, Pat Roberson, Micah Ball & Shawn Kramer
Mike Goar, Randy Macan & Frank Leskinen
Carl Bern, Amy Johnson, Jeff Goben & Christa Schnieder
Mike Wiles, Matt Truitt Sammi Langendorf
Jim Wilson & Eric Dutton
Rene Rogers, Marc Ohms, Steve & Sammi Langendorf
Myk Coughlin, Mike Wiles & Dan Austin
Rod Horrocks, Rene Rogers & Marc Ohms
Rene Rogers, Marc Ohms, and Matt Truitt
Bob Kobza & Shawn Larson
Rod Horrocks, Belinda Fox & Nick Myers
Wind Cave Weekend 02/12/2000
Tom Dotter, Randy Reck & Karla Whittenburg
Carl Bern, Amy Johnson, Jeff Goben & Christa Schnieder
Cyndi Mosch, Mike Goar, Rich Wolfert & Skip Withrow
Evan Anderson, Christy Harrison, Stephanie Haderlie, and Phil Kriz
Sandy Kramer & Kathy Petty
Jim Wilson, Eric Dutton, Howard Barrett & Tonya Bouchard
Clarence Williams, Bob Stucklun, Dan Wray & Todd Hitch
On the Sunday of the Wind Cave Weekend, the park’s Cave Management staff held a sketcher-training course, which over 20 cavers attended from Colorado and South Dakota. The morning consisted of classroom activities and after lunch the group went into the cave and practiced sketching. The training seemed to be appreciated. Additional training is in our future plans.
Rod Horrocks, Matt Truitt & Nick Myers
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers, Matt Truitt & Nick Myers
Rod Horrocks, Nick Myers & Matt Truitt
Marc Ohms & Rene Rogers
During March and April of 2000, 20 survey trips were taken to the Historic, Club Room, and Half Mile Hall sections of Wind Cave. During these two months, cavers surveyed and inventoried a total of 5,601 feet, or 1.06 miles, of new or unsurveyed cave. An additional 1,294 feet of resurvey was conducted by Park personnel in the Historic Section. The average survey was 328 feet in length. Of the new survey total, Park personnel surveyed 2,686 feet, Wind Cave Weekend cavers surveyed 1,850 feet, and the local South Dakota cavers surveyed 1,065 feet. The new survey raised the official length of Wind Cave from 88.61 miles to 89.75 miles, maintaining the cave's position as the eighth-longest cave in the world and the fifth longest in the US. In addition, a new cave in the park was located and surveyed, bringing the total number of documented caves in Wind Cave National Park to 13.
Rod Horrocks, Joe Oliphant, Marc Pedersen, & John Citta
Mike Wiles, Steve Langendorf, & Matt Truitt
Wind Cave Weekend 03/11/2000
Hazel Barton, Ken Neville, & Dan Preston
Sandy Kramer, Kathy Petty, Jamie Sherer, & Cheryl Yearwood
Wind Cave Weekend 04/8/2000
Amy Johnson, Jeff Goben, & Christa Schneider
Jamie & Ron Sherer, Steve Turner, & Debbie Slinkard
Mike Goar, Cyndi Mosch, Pat Malone, & Pete Graham
Jim Wilson, Eric Dutton, & Bob Stucklen
Kathy Petty & Sandy Kramer
Rod Horrocks, Briana Greer, & Jake Deeds
Mike Hanson, Dan Wray, & Todd Hitch
May and June saw an unexpected number of trips that produced 6,897 feet (1.3 miles) of new survey, pushing the Wind Cave survey beyond the 91 mile mark and establishing the cave as the seventh longest in the world! Survey efforts concentrated in the Historic and Half-Mile Hall Sections with a few trips into the North, Club Room, Silent Expressway, and Colorado Grotto Sections.
Rod Horrocks, Erik Freeman, Jim Vavrina & Sandy Myers
Sandy Kramer, Burnis Piper, Sherry Sloan & Sam Russell
Marc Ohms, Erik Freeman, Jamie Sherer, Randy Shriber & Howard Shuman
Rod Horrocks, Erik Freeman, Sam Russell & Sandy Myers
Wind Cave Weekend 05/13/2000
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers & Matt Truitt
Ed LaRock, John Scheltens & Mike Behn
Hazel Barton, Evan Anderson, Amy Johnson & Jeff Goben
Jamie Sherer, Chris Schneider & Erik Freeman
Rod Horrocks, Earl and Lannis Hancock, Erik Freeman, Chris Schneider & Jamie Sherer
Rod Horrocks, Matt Truitt, and Nick Meyers
Rene Rogers, Matt Reece & Bev Shade
Wind Cave Weekend 06/10/2000
Mike Wiles, Myk Coughlin & Matt Truitt
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers & Hazel Barton
Evan Anderson, Tonya Bouchard, Pat Roberson & Micah Ball
Amy Johnson, Christa Schneider, Jeff Goben & Christy Harrison
Carl Bern, Mike Doe & Bud Snedacor
Jim Wilson, Leo Thompson, Greg Glazner & Eric Dutton
During July and August of 2000, 10 survey trips were taken to the Historic and Club Room sections of Wind Cave, one survey trip was taken to Coyote Cave, and a new small cave was discovered while ridgewalking. Cavers surveyed and inventoried a total of 2,378 feet, or 0.45 miles of passage in Wind Cave, with an average survey length of 237 feet. Of this total, Park personnel surveyed 1,595 feet, the local South Dakota cavers surveyed 610 feet, and Wind Cave Weekend cavers surveyed 173 feet. The new survey raised the official length of Wind Cave from 91.05 miles to 91.5 miles, maintaining the cave's position as the seventh-longest cave in the world and the fifth longest in the US.
During September and October of 2000, 6,642 feet of new cave was added to the length of Wind Cave. This brings the length to 92.93 miles long, maintaining the cave's position as the seventh-longest cave in the world and the fifth longest in the US.
Black Hills Caver Classic/ Rocky Mountain Regional 09/02-03/2000
Amy Johnson, Tara Rose, Jay Kennedy, Fred Braun, and Stan Kapperman
Jamie and Ron Sherer, Steve Turner, Debbie Slinkard, and Wade Clements
Carl Bern, Earl Petersen, Bruce Daily, and John Lyon
Jim Wilson, Dennis Maynard, and Darryl Poe
Hazel Barton, Jim Olsen, Brian Wolfe, Barbara Smith, Todd Gleaver, and Jim Bowen
Rod Horrocks, Derek Wolfe, & Jim Lawton
Jamie Sherer, Steve Turner, Debbie Slinkard, & Wade Clements
Jamie and Ron Sherer, & Pete Graham
Evan Anderson, Mike, Matt, and Veronica Schmidt
Carl Bern, Derek Wolfe, Jeff Goben, & Christa Schneider
Marc Ohms & Rene Rogers
Wind Cave Weekend 09/09-10/2000
The September Wind Cave Weekend was canceled due to construction work being done in the VIP Center following a flood due to a water pipe bursting.
Rod Horrocks, Steve Baldwin, and Steve and Sammi Langendorf
Marc Ohms and Rene Rogers
Wind Cave Weekend 10/14/2000
Jim Wilson, Greg Glazner, Skip Withrow, and Barbara Smith
Evan Anderson, Stephanie Haderlie, Christy Harrison, and Steve Lester
Carl Bern, Amy Johnson, Christa Schneider, and Jeff Goben
Rod Horrocks, Derek Wolfe, and Jonathan Brinson
During November and December of 2000, 21 survey trips were taken to the Historic, Club Room, Lakes, Half Mile Hall, and Colorado Grotto sections of Wind Cave. During those trips, cavers surveyed and inventoried a total of 7,105 feet, or 1.34 miles of passage, with an average survey length of 337 feet. In addition, they resurveyed a total of 1,252 feet of old surveys. The new survey raised the official length of Wind Cave from 92.93 miles to 94.27 miles, maintaining the cave's position as the seventh-longest cave in the world and the fifth longest in the US.
Wind Cave Weekend 11/11/2000
Jim Wilson, Greg Glazner, Barbara Smith, & Skip Withrow
Evan Anderson, Derek Wolfe, & Shawn Kramer
Cyndi Mosch, Pete Graham, Randy Macan, & Michael Goar
Tom Dotter, Kim VcVey, Karla Whittneburg, & Bear Limvere
Rich Wolfert, Dan Wray, & Larry Brooks
Wind Cave Weekend 12/02/2000
Jim Wilson, Eric Dutton, Tim Moreland, & Yerko Barrera
Tom Dotter, Karla Whittenburg, Kim McVey, & Jay Kennedy
Rich Wolfert, Cyndi Mosch, Mike Gore, and Dan Hanson
Caving at Wind Cave National Park in 2000
The year 2000 was an exciting year for exploration in Wind Cave. To begin with, it was the second most productive survey year in the history of the Wind Cave survey. We feel this is due to three reasons: first, a revitalization of the Wind Cave Weekends, with an average attendance of 17 cavers; second, a tremendous increase in surveying by park staff; and third, a higher average survey footage per trip. In addition, Carl Bern has done a tremendous job coordinating Wind Cave Weekend activities for Colorado cavers.
During 2000, a total of 40,656 feet or 7.7 miles of cave passage was surveyed and inventoried during 112 survey trips. The only more productive year in Wind Cave history was during 1991, when the Southern Comfort breakout was going on. The average survey length of this year's trips was 358 feet, up from the 286 feet average realized during 1999. The new survey footage rose the Wind Cave length from 86.53 miles to 94.23 miles. On May 22, when the survey hit 91.16 miles, Wind Cave passed Siebenhengste of Switzerland to regain the position as seventh longest cave in the world and the fifth longest in the US. In descending order, the main survey efforts were in the following sections: Historic (72 trips for 22,232 feet), Club Room (19 trips for 7,901 feet), Half Mile Hall (11 trips for 6,487 feet ), Lakes (4 trips for 1,090 feet), Colorado Grotto (2 trips for 503 feet), North (2 trips for 1,016 feet), Western Fringe (1 trip for 1,055 feet), and Silent Expressway (1 trip for 372 feet). The ten most active surveyors of the year, in order of number of trips, were: Marc Ohms, Rod Horrocks, Rene Ohms, Steve Langendorf, Sammi Langendorf, Nick Myers, Matt Truitt, Matt Reece, Jim Wilson, Amy Johnson and Jeff Goben. Although there were no major breakouts beyond the known boundaries of the cave, 10 significant discoveries and numerous smaller discoveries were made during the year. The 10 most significant discoveries by date include:
1) Hoo Pnew: On 1/8/2000, Evan Anderson, Shawn Kramer, Pat Roberson, & Micah Ball surveyed 1,055 feet in this nice discovery off the Easter Basket in the Western Fringe Section.
Other Park Caves:
The survey continued in the significant and extremely difficult, Coyote Cave. On 8/14/00, Rene Rogers led Joel Despain and Merrilee Proffitt on a 14-hour survey trip. They surveyed 1,055 feet of crawls. This brought the length of the cave to 4,250 feet with numerous blowing leads and digs remaining.
Two small caves were surveyed in the park during 2000. Marc Ohms and Rod Horrocks surveyed Brachiopod Cave to a length of 37 feet. Marc Ohms and Rene Rogers surveyed Fossil Ridge Cave to a length of 32 feet. Dale Green and Rod Horrocks also found a small cave with a dig in it that they named Ivy Cave.
What the Hell Lake, which has blocked access to the main lakes area, started receding in June, dropping 0.7 feet each month during November and December. If this rate continues, we may see access to the lakes in the foreseeable future.
In September, my assistants, Marc Ohms and Rene Rogers were married and Rene went to work for Mike Wiles at Jewel Cave. In October, Matt Reece joined our cave management staff as the new seasonal cave management technician. Matt had previously volunteered as the Jewel Cave Intern for Mike Wiles in 1997 and he is currently working on his Masters thesis in Karst Geomorphology. During the year, long-time park superintendent, Jimmy Taylor, retired and was replaced by Linda Stoll. Linda comes to the park from the Regional Office in Denver.
To guide surface land use management activities within the park, we've created a Cave Potential Map for Wind Cave. Based on geology and cave surveys, this model predicts that 98% of the likely maximum extent of Wind Cave lies within the current boundaries of the Park. That maximum extent is 8 times the size of the current cave boundaries. This model also predicts a conservative minimum survey length of 160-180 miles for Wind Cave, that is, if the current boundaries of the cave are not significantly expanded. If they are expanded to the maximum likely extent, and with the same density of passage, there could be up to 1,100 miles of passage in the cave.
The contract for the sewer line replacement project has been mostly completed. Connecting the pit toilet at the campground into the new system is the only remaining job. This project removed the old leaking sewer lines above the cave and replaced them with dual-contained HDPE lines. The inner, primary line is surrounded by an outer, secondary line, which will capture and contain any leaks that may arise from the primary line. Visual inspection ports are built into the system, allowing the park to quickly and easily monitor the line for leaks and fix them before any underground spillage occurs.
We recently calculated a rough volume for the surveyed portions of Wind Cave. Our volume estimate is 39,100,000 cubic feet, based on an average passage size for each of the nine sections (approx. 8'h x 10'w) and a length of 90 miles. In the 1960's Herb Conn conducted a barometric wind study and estimated that the total volume of the cave was around 2,000,000,000 cubic feet. Based on these two sets of numbers, the volume of the surveyed cave would represent only about 2% of the potential volume.
A volunteer recently completed creating a database of all the cave surveyors that have worked in Wind Cave, in preparation for our special edition 100-mile Wind Cave map. This map will probably come out in 2003, during our 100-year park anniversary. As expected, John Scheltens was the most prolific surveyor in Wind Cave, with 155 survey trips. Out of the 822 people that have surveyed in Wind Cave to date, 435 only went on a single survey trip. A total of 83 cavers have gone on more than 10 trips, 40 have gone on more than 20 trips, and only 10 cavers have gone on more than 50 trips.
We've recently finished a place name lexicon database for Wind Cave. Data from over 1,445 names have been documented thus far. The data that is being collected includes; names, date of survey, surveyor's names, section of the cave, nearest station, and reason for the name. For the entire data set, we are still missing about 25% of the reasons particular names were chosen. We are hoping that area cavers will be able to help us complete that information.
Did You Know?
A Rocky Mountain bull elk weighs between 700 - 800 pounds. Rocky Mountain elk were introduced to the park in 1914 and 1916. More...