• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Wind Cave Trip Reports - 2000

January/February 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.

01/05/2000
Rod Horrocks, Michelle Karle, Nick Myers & Matt Truitt
Rod led an evening trip into the Historic Zone to continue surveying in the Roman Catacombs, an area he has been working in near Rome. They surveyed 288 feet and found some strange looking twig-like wormtubes (?) protruding from some boxwork.

01/07/2000
Rod Horrocks, Steve Langendorf & Nick Myers
Rod led an evening trip into the Historic Zone to the Newspaper Room. There they relocated and marked the old JD survey stations. They also surveyed 317 feet of additional cave.

Wind Cave Weekend 01/08/2000

Evan Anderson, Pat Roberson, Micah Ball & Shawn Kramer
Evan led this trip out to the Western Fringe to the Easter Basket. There they pushed a small nasty lead and broke into large cave. They surveyed 1,055 feet including a nice big room, which looks to be the other half of Deep Confusion.

Mike Goar, Randy Macan & Frank Leskinen
Mike led this group out to the Club Room Zone to continue his efforts in the SC survey west of Christmas Tree Park. They surveyed 476 feet of cave in four leads and left leads for another trip.

Carl Bern, Amy Johnson, Jeff Goben & Christa Schnieder
Carl led the crew out to the Club Room Zone to survey leads off of the YT survey. They surveyed a total of 311 feet and left leads. One of their leads ended in a too tight hole encrusted with white aragonite, which they named “White Denial”.

Mike Wiles, Matt Truitt Sammi Langendorf
Mike led this trip into to the Half Mile Hall Zone where they surveyed 380 feet in three leads off of the KI survey.

Jim Wilson & Eric Dutton
Jim and Eric went to the Spillway area in the Historic Zone to the IC survey where they have been working recently. They surveyed 106 feet in three leads and left a few really tight leads. Clarence Williams & Debbie Lebert
This duo went into the Historic Zone to the Rome area to work on inventory but had trouble finding the original survey. They ended up surveying 40 feet.

01/12/2000
Rod Horrocks, Steve Baldwin, Steve & Sammi Langendorf
Rod led this evening trip into the Historic Zone to a lead that Steve Baldwin remembered from the Rachael Cox rescue. They named a walking passage Lycos Hall and an upper level room Yahoo. They surveyed 420 feet and designated it the YH survey. They left some great leads for a return trip.

01/19/2000
Rene Rogers, Marc Ohms & Mary Laycock
Rene led this trio into the Historic Zone to the Rome area to photo document an 1892 drawing by Alvin McDonald. In addition to the photos they surveyed 90 feet.

01/21/2000
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers & Nick Myers
Marc led a work trip into the Colorado Grotto Zone to check on a few surveys magnetic declinations and to check a couple of suspicious shots.

01/29/2000
Rod Horrocks, Steve & Sammi Langendorf
Rod led the group into the Historic Zone to the Yahoo area (YH survey). They surveyed two 40-foot diameter rooms and a total of 572 feet and left a few small leads. They noted a lot of bat scratches in the upper levels.

01/21/2000
Bob Kobza, Shawn Larson & Mark Belitz
Bob lead a work trip to “What the Hell” in the Lakes Zone to move the staff gauge in the lake. The gauge was 3.9 feet below the water surface due to a very sudden rise in the lake level. The gauge was placed further back in the passage to continue the monitoring of the lake level.

01/22/2000

Rene Rogers, Marc Ohms, Steve & Sammi Langendorf
Rene lead the group into the Lakes Zone to continue pushing and surveying leads. They surveyed a lead off of RC2 for 150 feet of lower level cave with pools of water up to 5-feet deep. They also surveyed 227 feet of interconnecting passages off of the LA survey. A total of 375 feet was surveyed.

Myk Coughlin, Mike Wiles & Dan Austin
Myk led the trio out to the Elephant Trunk in the Half Mike Hall Zone. They surveyed 540 feet of lower level cave and left some leads.

01/27/2000
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers & Rod Horrocks
Marc led this work trip that focused on fixing up the red/white trail out to the water collector in Half Mile Hall. They also replaced the hose on the water collector.

01/29/2000
Rene Rogers & Marc Ohms
This twosome headed into the Historic Zone to push leads along the east side. They surveyed 158 feet in two leads. One of the leads ended in a small hole too tight for either of them to enter, but it had good airflow.

01/30/2000
Marc Ohms & Rene Rogers
Marc and Rene returned to the Historic Zone to continue pushing leads on the east boundary of the cave. They surveyed 329 feet in three leads. In several places they saw hints of upper cave but could not access it.

02/04/2000

Rod Horrocks, Rene Rogers & Marc Ohms
Rod led this work trip into the Historic Zone to obtain missing inclinations along the UI survey. After inspecting the survey first hand it became quite obvious that the whole thing needed to be redone. The UI is responsible for a major loop closure error.

Rene Rogers, Marc Ohms, and Matt Truitt
Rene led this trip into the Historic Zone to survey leads along the east side. They surveyed 280 feet in two leads. A large amount of newspaper was noted along with a ticket stub for John Stabler. They also noted profuse gypsum.

Bob Kobza & Shawn Larson
The pair ventured around the Historic Zone removing dye bugs and water collectors from a past dye-tracing project. They visited Fairy Palace and Beacon Street.

Rod Horrocks, Belinda Fox & Nick Myers
Rod led these two into the Roman Catacombs/Flower Shop area in the Historic Zone. They closed a few loops and surveyed a few leads for a total of 372 feet.

02/08/2000
Marc Ohms, Rod Horrocks & Rene Rogers
This work trip headed into the Overland Trail in the Historic Zone to resurvey the UI survey, which was deemed to have serious errors. They started the resurvey off of Monte Cristo’s Palace and followed it up to the start of the UIA survey, where they tied it off for the day. The new survey designation is the FD.

02/09/2000
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers & Nick Myers
This crew went to Colombian Hall in the Historic Zone to photo document the large room and historic signatures.

Wind Cave Weekend 02/12/2000

Tom Dotter, Randy Reck & Karla Whittenburg
Tom led this trio out into the Club Room Zone to an area south of the Nudist Colony.They surveyed 133 feet and found a good going lead at the end of the day.

Carl Bern, Amy Johnson, Jeff Goben & Christa Schnieder
Carl led this trip out to the Club Room Zone to the YT survey where they worked in January. They surveyed 384 feet and left more to do next time.

Cyndi Mosch, Mike Goar, Rich Wolfert & Skip Withrow
Cyndi led this crew out to the Club Room to continue their work off of the SC survey. They surveyed 243 feet and found several good-looking leads. Along their survey they found profuse frostwork, popcorn, and a huge 40-foot sediment cone they named the “Snow Buddha Room”.

Evan Anderson, Christy Harrison, Stephanie Haderlie, and Phil Kriz
Evan lead this group out into the Half Mile Hall Zone to survey pit leads off of Half Mile Hall. They discovered a maze of passages in which they surveyed 617 feet. They found large aragonite bushes and plenty of good leads for a return trip.

Sandy Kramer & Kathy Petty
Sandy and Kathy traveled along the Bishop Fowler’s Loop to learn this recreation route for the upcoming Restoration Camp held in May.

Jim Wilson, Eric Dutton, Howard Barrett & Tonya Bouchard
Jim and his crew went into the Historic Zone to continue their work in the Spillway area along the AI survey. They surveyed 257 feet and left some leads.

Clarence Williams, Bob Stucklun, Dan Wray & Todd Hitch
Clarence led the group into the Muddle Room area and inventoried a few stations of the UZ survey.

02/13/2000

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
Rod led this trip into the Roman Candle Room area north of Upper Rome in the Historic Zone. They surveyed 392 feet and found a couple of nice rooms. They left plenty of leads for the next trip.

02/16/2000
Rod Horrocks, Marc Ohms & Nick Myers
Rod led a work trip to the Overland Trail in the Historic Zone to continue the resurvey of the old UI survey. They picked up where they left of on the 8th and continued to the Cairn Room where they tied into the G survey. The UI survey no longer exists and has been completely replaced with the FD survey. The once terrible loop (38% loop closure error) now closes with less than 1% error.

02/21/2000

Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers, Matt Truitt & Nick Myers
The group went to Brown’s Canyon in the Historic Zone and surveyed 256 feet. They discovered a nice display of button popcorn, one of the only sites known in the cave.

Rod Horrocks, Nick Myers & Matt Truitt
Rod led this evening trip into the Roman Candle Room area in the Historic Zone to continue surveying that area. They surveyed 492 feet and discovered a couple of nice rooms. They named one room the “Taylor Shop” after the park’s Superintendent, who was retiring on February 29th. They name a 30-foot diameter room with a 15-foot high ceiling the “Boxwork Quarry”, after piles of broken boxwork littering its floor. They left four small continuing leads for a return trip.

Marc Ohms & Rene Rogers
The duo went to “What the Hell” on the monthly work trip to obtain water level readings of the lake. The lake was up 0.2 feet since the last trip on the 21st of January. They also resurveyed the beginning of the RA survey due to multiple errors.

02/26/2000
Marc Ohms & Rene Rogers
Marc and Rene returned to Brown’s Canyon in the Historic Zone and surveyed 150 feet in a parallel canyon. They then traveled to the FD survey, north of Monte Cristo’s Palace and surveyed an additional 620 feet in two leads. They surveyed a total of 771 feet and left a few good-looking leads for the next trip.

March/April 2000

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.

03/02/2000
Rod Horrocks and Marc Ohms
Marc led Rod on a three-hour trip to follow up on a cave lead near Boundary Cave, that had been reported to them the previous fall by the Park's Resource Management staff. They found a shallow north facing rock shelter with an associated phreatic tube paralleling the cliff that reconnected to the cliff face to the west of the main entrance. It took 37 feet of survey to map the rock shelter and associated tube. The cave was named, Brachiopod Cave, after the numerous brachiopod fossils found in the ceiling. Another associated, upper level tube, 19-feet higher on the cliff face, was not investigated due to lack of vertical equipment.

03/04/2000

Rod Horrocks, Joe Oliphant, Marc Pedersen, & John Citta
Rod led a group of cavers from Montana and Indiana on a 15-hour survey trip to the Pyramid Room area in the Club Room Section. Pushing leads off the WX survey in the Upper Level, they mopped up 225 feet of passage before finding a virgin pit that was blowing very strongly. Surveying into the pit, and down a tube they named the Air Tube, the group arrived at the top of a 12-foot pit. At the bottom, they surveyed a chert-ceilinged crawl they named Karlian Crawl, which extended for 50 feet to the north before popping up into a 90-foot long walking passage with a chert ceiling, which they named Crumbling Bridge Hall. Surveying a side passage off of Crumbling Bridge Hall, they found a formation room fastooned with 1½ foot long pure white stalactites and soda straws that they named the Dreamsicle Room. From the middle of Crumbling Bridge Hall, they also surveyed into an overlying chert-ceilinged passage and down a pit into a lower level boxwork crawl area. Back at the bottom of the 12-foot pit from the Air Tube, Karlian Crawl was also extended 100 feet to the south, where it reconnected to the ceiling of the Frostline/Nudist Colony area. They surveyed a total of 905 feet, with 680 feet of virgin passage, for an average shot length of 10.7 feet. They left three good virgin leads for a future trip.

Mike Wiles, Steve Langendorf, & Matt Truitt
Mike led an all day trip to the KI survey in the Half Mile Hall Section to continue the survey he had started earlier. They found a fair amount of virgin cave and an easier connection to the lower level while surveying 390 feet.

03/07/2000
Marc Ohms & Rod Horrocks
Marc led Rod on a six-hour trip into the Rome area in the Historic Section to resurvey the RS survey to the Mules Ears and part of the UU survey. They named a 32-foot diameter room on the old UU survey the Pendant Room. In addition to 275 feet of resurvey, they surveyed 174 feet of unsurveyed passage, with an average shot length of 20 feet.

03/08/2000
Marc Ohms & Rene Rogers
Marc led a 3 1/2 hour evening survey trip to mop up leads off the Q survey in the Monte Cristo area and then the Assembly Room area of the Historic Section. They surveyed a total of 268 feet.

Wind Cave Weekend 03/11/2000

Hazel Barton, Ken Neville, & Dan Preston
Hazel led a 10-hour survey trip to the Pizza-Potluck Pool area in the Club Room Section. They surveyed 226 feet of nasty popcorn-lined crawls, getting soaking wet in the process, to determine that the Porcupette Passion passage is completely pushed out and really doesn't have any side passages to speak of.

Sandy Kramer, Kathy Petty, Jamie Sherer, & Cheryl Yearwood
Sandy led a 4 1/2 hour trip to the Bishop Fowler Loop in the Historic Section to flag that route for recreation/education trips. They then went to continue the survey of Jamie's Dead End, but were unable to find the area until everyone was too tired to survey.

03/14/2000
Rod Horrocks, Nick Myers, Belinda Fox, & Caity Czaja
Rod led a 5-hour evening trip to the Chamber of Lost Souls in the Historic Section to survey some leads that had been found on 8/4/99. The purpose of the trip was to determine where the bones in the room had come from. Surveying into a bellycrawl at ceiling level, they found a small lake (twice the size of Silent Lake) and further on, for only the third time in Wind Cave, roots were found penetrating the cave. This indicates that the party had reached a point less than 30 feet below the surface. Some of the roots had calcite crystals growing on them. An 18-foot diameter room covered with formations was also found nearby. The passage ended in a cone-shaped pile of dirt and rocks spilling from a presumed former entrance. It is theorized that this possible entrance may represent the source of the bones in the Chamber of Lost Souls. The group surveyed a total of 330 feet, with an average shot length of 10 feet.

03/22/2000
Marc Ohms & Rene Rogers
Marc led a 2 1/2 hour evening trip to survey leads under Silent Lake in the Historic Section. They surveyed 278 feet, mostly scooped but with some virgin passage, including a passage with deep sand that they named the Sandbox.

03/25/2000
Rod Horrocks, Dave & Debra Herron, & Richard Downey
Rod led three Utah cavers on a 10-hour survey trip to the Omnibus Hall/Newspaper Room area in the Historic Section. They surveyed the southern portion of Omnibus Hall and tied into a dome that led into the Mind Boggler area. After surveying three short virgin leads, one of which ended in a dig, they went to the Newspaper Room area to mop up some side passages along the Wild Caving Route and to close several loops. They surveyed a total of 540 feet for the day, including 103 feet of resurvey where no stations existed, with an average shot length of 14.5 feet.

04/07/2000
Marc Ohms & Rod Horrocks
Marc led Rod on a 2 1/2 hour trip to resurvey from WCTU Hall to Rome in the Historic Section. They resurveyed 390 feet and added 17 feet of new survey to the length of Wind Cave. They were able to correct several problems in the survey.

Wind Cave Weekend 04/8/2000

Amy Johnson, Jeff Goben, & Christa Schneider
Amy returned to the YK survey northeast of the Club Room, where they have been pushing upper level cave for several months. They attempted to finish the four leads left in the area. However, they only finished two leads, leaving two for yet another return trip. They surveyed 52 stations for a total of 393 feet, with an average shot length of 7.5 feet!

Jamie & Ron Sherer, Steve Turner, & Debbie Slinkard
Jamie led a trip back to Jamie's Dead End near the Natural Entrance in the Historic Section to continue pushing that area. They named a room with a soft sandy floor the Living Room and a tight squeeze that Steve had to take his clothes off to get through, Shirley's Canal. They surveyed 296 feet and left four good going leads for a return trip.

Mike Goar, Cyndi Mosch, Pat Malone, & Pete Graham
Mike led a 14½ hour trip to the Snow Buddha Room west of the Club Room. They discovered their compass was broken when they tried to start the survey. Mike and Pete made a four-hour round trip back to the surface to get another set. Once the survey was restarted, they bypassed a good fissure lead because of the lack of a handline, and instead, surveyed down a narrow fissure that dropped into a 10' x 4' calcite-encrusted passage that ended in a sediment cone dig. Their next fissure lead dropped into a 10 to13-foot wide, 4-foot high tube heading northwest. They had to quit in going passage due to the lateness of the hour. They were able to survey 282 feet, leaving two good leads for a return trip.

Jim Wilson, Eric Dutton, & Bob Stucklen
Jim led a 11-hour trip back to the Elbow Room in the Historic Section to continue pushing an area he was been working for awhile. They found a 45-foot deep pit at AI31. A side lead half way down the pit led into a continuing passage, but they ran out of time. They surveyed 274 feet, leaving four continuing leads and several 30-40-foot deep unsurveyed fissures for a return trip.

Kathy Petty & Sandy Kramer
Kathy led a 9 1/2 hour trip into the Bishop Fowler's Loop in the Historic Section. They surveyed a couple of upper-level domes for a total of 170 feet.

Rod Horrocks, Briana Greer, & Jake Deeds
Rod led a couple of new Wyoming cavers on a half-day survey training trip to the Newspaper Room in the Historic Section to mop up some crawls. They pushed five small leads, surveying 209 feet, with an average shot length of 10 feet.

Mike Hanson, Dan Wray, & Todd Hitch
Mike led a 13-hour photography trip to the Historic Section to continue retaking historic stereo views. They have now retaken 23 of the 50 known historic stereo pairs.

04/11/2000
Rod Horrocks, Matt Pruitt, Belinda Fox, & Caity Czaja
Rod led some Jewel Cave cavers on a 4.5-hour evening trip to pursue the leads they had found above the Chamber of Lost Souls in the Historic Section on 3/14/00. One lead entered a virgin 16-foot diameter room with a breakdown/chockstone floor. They left two tight, northward trending leads for a later trip. After surveying three loops, they ended the day by surveying into a mazy area north of the Chamber, where they left five good going leads for the next trip. They surveyed a total of 345 feet, with an average shot length of 12.7 feet.

04/16/2000
Marc Ohms & Rene Rogers
Marc led a six-hour survey to the Beacon Street area in the Historic Section to push the northern boundary of the cave. They were only able to find some unsurveyed connections between Beacon Street and the Way Back Room. Starting the V survey, they surveyed a total of 319 feet, with an average shot length of 15.1 feet. They left three small leads.

04/23/2000
Marc Ohms and Rene Rogers
Marc led a six-hour trip back to the Wall Street area in the Historic Section. They closed a couple of loops and then pushed a fissure passage with air in it that led up into some virgin, upper-level cave that ended in paleofill. They surveyed 205 feet, with an average shot length of 12.8 feet. They left three small leads unsurveyed and found a lot of highly impacted cave to survey in the Wall Street area.

04/24/2000
Rod Horrocks and Marc Ohms
Rod led Marc on a resurvey trip to the Cairn Room in the Historic Section. They continued the FD survey from the Overland Trail, resurveying 288 feet between the Cairn Room and the Cataract Room. They noted seven small leads in the area that could be surveyed.

4/25/2000
Rod Horrocks and Marc Ohms
Rod led Marc on a resurvey trip to the Columbian Hall area in the Historic Section. They continued the FD survey, adding 83 feet to the surveyed length of the cave while resurveying 238 feet of the route to Columbian Hall. They noted three leads in the area that could be surveyed.

 

May/June 2000

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.

05/07/2000
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers & Myk Coughlin
This trio headed out into the North Section to survey a few leads south of the Chimera Room. They surveyed two leads for a total of 575 feet and left a few possible leads. The passages they surveyed were filled with frostwork and moonmilk.

05/09/2000

Rod Horrocks, Erik Freeman, Jim Vavrina & Sandy Myers
Rod led this crew of participants from the restoration camp on a Bishop Fowler's Loop in the Historic Section for a recreation trip.

Sandy Kramer, Burnis Piper, Sherry Sloan & Sam Russell
Sandy led the second group of restoration campers along the Bishop Fowler's Loop in the Historic Section for a recreational trip.

05/10/2000

Marc Ohms, Erik Freeman, Jamie Sherer, Randy Shriber & Howard Shuman
Marc led this group of cavers who were attending the Restoration Camp down to What the Hell to obtain the monthly water level and samples. What the Hell was down .05" from April. This is only the second time since its formation that we have recorded a drop in the lake.

Rod Horrocks, Erik Freeman, Sam Russell & Sandy Myers
Three participants from the restoration camp accompanied Rod into the Historic Section to do a bit of surveying on an evening trip. They surveyed 264 feet in the CW survey. They named one room the "Frosted Flakes Room" due to the gypsum crust flakes on the floor.

05/12/2000
Kathy Petty, Jamie Sherer, Howard Shuman & Phil Partington
Kathy led three participants of the restoration camp along the Bishop Fowler's Loop in the Historic Section for a recreational trip.

Wind Cave Weekend 05/13/2000

Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers & Matt Truitt
Marc led this trip into the Colorado Grotto Section to push leads along the YD survey, a lower level located on the eastern side of the CGS. They pushed many small holes but turned up nothing. They backtracked along the pink flagged route to the XF survey where they discovered some unsurveyed cave. Here they surveyed 163 feet and left a few good lefts leading downward with airflow.

Ed LaRock, John Scheltens & Mike Behn
This trio went surveying in the Club Room Section off of the LSB survey. They surveyed 276 feet in nice tubular passage with dripstone formations. They named one exceptional area "Dripstone Delight".

Hazel Barton, Evan Anderson, Amy Johnson & Jeff Goben
Hazel led this foursome out into the Half-Mile Hall Section to survey leads northeast of Martel's Madhouse. They surveyed 532 feet of crawlways and left a few small leads.

Jamie Sherer, Chris Schneider & Erik Freeman
Jamie led this group into the Historic Section to survey leads she left on a previous trip. They surveyed 225 feet of mazy crawls.

Rod Horrocks, Earl and Lannis Hancock, Erik Freeman, Chris Schneider & Jamie Sherer
Rod lead some of this group into the northern Historic Section to a dirt plug in Root 89, an area he discovered a short while ago near the Chamber of the Lost Souls. They set up a cave radio while Earl was on the surface trying to locate their location. Once found it was determined that the depth was a mere 8-feet below the bottom of the gully and 60-feet up the trail from the Natural Entrance! It is theorized that this former entrance was the source for the stream-rounded bones in the Chamber of Lost Souls.

05/16/2000
Rene Rogers, Nick Myers, Dawn Mosher & Amada Coleman
Rene led this group of park Interpretative rangers into the Historic Section to do some survey near the Muddle Room. They surveyed 131 feet and left a few small leads, one heading south into a blank space on the map.

05/18/2000
Rod Horrocks & Ed Petru
Rod and Ed ventured into the Historic Section and resurveyed 115 feet of the old UU-survey.

05/19/2000

Rod Horrocks, Matt Truitt, and Nick Meyers
Rod led this evening trip into the Historic Section to the CW-survey near Rome. They surveyed 240 feet, most of it in dead-end domes.

Rene Rogers, Matt Reece & Bev Shade
Rene led the trip into the southern part of the Historic Section to survey the southbound lead left on the 16th. They surveyed 133 feet of crawls with lots of gypsum snow but the lead died.

05/29/2000
Rod Horrocks, Steve & Sammi Langendorf
Rod led this trip into the Club Room Section near the Pyramid Room and continued the PA survey he had started on an earlier trip. They surveyed 709 feet of mostly virgin cave, including an upper-level crawl that bypasses the Frostline, Hobson's Choice, and the Roadblock. They named this new crawl "Hobson's Bypass".

06/04/2000
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers, Steve & Sammi Langendorf
The foursome headed into the western side of the Historic Section to push leads off of the Candlelight Tour. They surveyed 548 feet of nice cave above the tour route at P6. They had some airflow and left many leads.

Wind Cave Weekend 06/10/2000

Mike Wiles, Myk Coughlin & Matt Truitt
Mike led this bunch out to the Silent Expressway for a day of surveying. They poked into many small leads along the "No Thru Streets" and the "Off Ramp" and surveyed 372 feet.

Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers & Hazel Barton
Marc and the others headed out into the North Section to clean up the remaining leads left on the May trip. They surveyed two leads for a total of 441 feet.

Evan Anderson, Tonya Bouchard, Pat Roberson & Micah Ball
Half-Mile Hall was the destination for this crew. They surveyed 1,012 feet, much of it in walking virgin passages, in the Mystic Hall and Robin's Nest areas. They left many good leads to return to.

Amy Johnson, Christa Schneider, Jeff Goben & Christy Harrison
Amy led this trip into the eastern side of the Half-Mile Hall section to push leads in the Snowball Draw area. They surveyed 244 feet and left plenty to do.

Carl Bern, Mike Doe & Bud Snedacor
Carl led the trio into the eastern side of the Half-Mile Hall to push leads in the Snowball Draw area. They surveyed 98 feet in one lead and left several more.

Jim Wilson, Leo Thompson, Greg Glazner & Eric Dutton
Jim and crew returned to the area in the Historic Section near the Spillway that they have been working on for several trips. They surveyed 434 feet of nice new cave and left plenty of good leads to return to.

06/13/2000
Marc Ohms & Michelle Karle
Marc led Michelle down to What the Hell to obtain the monthly water level and samples. The lake was up .25" since last month. This is probably representing the large snowstorm of April.

06/19/2000
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers & Sammi Langendorf
Marc and crew returned to their leads above the Candlelight Tour. They surveyed 385 feet into an upper level lead and discovered a large room they named the "Big Buddha Room" after the large (10' wide by 6' high) Buddha (sediment cone) located below a dome.

July/August 2000

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.

07/02/2000
Tom Dotter, Karl Mayne, Karla Whittenburg, & Kim McVey
Tom led a return trip to a breakdown area he has been pushing in the Club Room Section near the Railroad Junction. They mapped 173 feet and named one tight passage the Ferret Loop. They left some mop up for their next trip.

07/21/2000
Rod Horrocks, Ed Schenk, Belinda Fox, & Todd Brink
Rod led a 4-hour evening trip to the Fairgrounds area to map some large unsurveyed cave. They surveyed 418 feet, with an average shot length of 13 feet. They named the main 30' x 50' room, Exposition Hall. A small T-shaped passage continuing out the north end of the hall was named the Editors Sanctum, after some 19th century pencil graffiti found on the ceiling.

08/01/2000
Marc Ohms & Ed Shenck
Marc led a three-hour trip to the new lake, What the Hell, to check on the water level. They found the lake down 0.2 feet from last month.

08/06/2000
Steve and Sammi Langendorf & Myk Coughlin
Steve led a return trip to the Yahoo area in the Historic Section to check some of the five remaining leads in that area. They surveyed 132 feet during the four-hour survey trip, closing a couple of loops, including another tie-in to the PMC survey.

08/09/2000
Rene Rogers & Dawn Mosher
Rene led a two-hour survey trip to the Temple area in the Historic Section. After not being able to find any stations to start at, they abandoned the survey.

08/11/2000
Marc Ohms, Joel Despain, & Merrilee Proffitt
Marc led a day trip to mop up the remaining leads in the Phantom Lake area in the Historic Section. They surveyed 134 feet in two leads, but were unable to map the third because Phantom Lake had mysteriously risen five feet, the first recorded lake level rise since the lakes discovery.

08/13/2000
Steve & Sammi Langendorf, & Scott & Liz Hartman
Steve led a second return trip to the Yahoo area to continue pushing the three remaining leads. They surveyed 107 feet in two overlying leads that were heading east off of YH17, towards the Overland Trail. They left a western heading lead when they realized there was enough cave there for another entire trip.

08/14/2000
Rene Rogers, Joel Despain, & Merrilee Proffitt
Rene led a 14-hour push trip to the park's second longest cave, Coyote Cave. Starting at station C46, they surveyed 1,055 feet in a virgin maze of mostly dip-oriented crawls that ended with down-trending digs. Between the Vice and the Bison Bone Borehole, they found evidence of flooding since their last trip in May of 1999. During the survey, they found lots of air and biological activity, and most interestingly, bats deep in the cave. The maze eventually reconnected to the D survey. The current length of the cave is 4,250 feet with numerous blowing leads left.

08/19/2000
Marc Ohms & Rene Rogers
Marc led a ridgewalking trip to the Fossil Ridge area in the park. They found a small cave with 31 feet of passage that opened into a small dome room. They named the cave Fossil Ridge Cave. This is the 13th cave in the park.

08/22/2000
Rod Horrocks & Ed Schenk
Rod led a 11-hour trip to the Omnibus Hall area in the Historic Section to push numerous virgin domes in the ceiling of that room. The first three domes quickly ended in paleofill. The fourth was blocked by pristine butterscotch-colored flowstone and formations. After another paleofilled dome that spiraled upwards, they found a tight horizontal tube off another dome that led to a virgin room that overlooked the eastern side of Omnibus Hall. The only side passage off this balcony led to yet another paleofilled dome. From the bottom of the balcony, they surveyed a small maze that reconnected through a pit back up to Omnibus Hall. Although they surveyed a total of 584 feet, only 243 feet was in virgin cave.

08/23/2000
Rod Horrocks, Matt & Jennifer Harris
Rod led an evening survey trip for two visiting cavers that were on their honeymoon. They decided to push leads along the Wild Caving Route in the Newspaper Room area of the Historic Section. The first lead they checked made a big loop, eventually connecting with the JD24 survey. The passage had Alvin McDonald era string in it, but showed very little other traffic. They named the passage Honeymoon Run. They surveyed 371 feet, with an average shot length of 13 feet and left two tight leads for a later trip.

08/24/2000
Rod Horrocks, Pat McDonald, & Chris Kuvlesky
Rod led an evening survey training trip to continue pushing leads in the Honeymoon Run area in the Historic Section. They tied the AL survey in the Historic Section with the AD survey in the Colorado Grotto Section before calling it quits. They surveyed 180 feet, with an average shot length of nine feet.

08/31/2000
Rene Rogers, Marc Ohms, & Ed Schenck
Marc led an evening survey trip to the Wall Street area in the Historic Section to push some leads left from an earlier trip. After a dead-end dome, their second lead led to a virgin area with huge popcorn, including some button popcorn. Ed named the area Cracker Jack Surprise. They surveyed 279 feet, leaving some going leads with air.

 

September/October 2000

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
Amy led this crew along the Wild Caving Tour on a recreational trip for the Classic/ Regional.

Jamie and Ron Sherer, Steve Turner, Debbie Slinkard, and Wade Clements
Jamie led this bunch along the Bishop Fowler's Loop in the Historic Section on a recreational trip for the Classic/ Regional.

Carl Bern, Earl Petersen, Bruce Daily, and John Lyon
Carl led this recreational trip along Club Room Loop for the Classic/Regional.

Jim Wilson, Dennis Maynard, and Darryl Poe
Jim led this recreational adventure along the Club Room Loop for the Regional/Classic.

Hazel Barton, Jim Olsen, Brian Wolfe, Barbara Smith, Todd Gleaver, and Jim Bowen
Hazel led this recreational trip along the Club Room Loop for the Classic/Regional.

Rod Horrocks, Derek Wolfe, & Jim Lawton
Rod led an 8-hour trip to push leads in the Crumbling Bridge Hall area in the Club Room Section. The first lead spiraled up into a virgin dome with five radiating tubes heading off in different directions. After a 100 feet of survey, they headed to the only side lead on Hobson's Bypass. This phreatic tube connected several paleofilled domes before eventually reconnecting to PA50. The group then went to a pit Rod found along the east wall of the AA Route. This led to a passage with several 50-foot deep pits that connect with the Multipurpose Room. The passage was named Spar Heights after some spectacular clear 1 ¼" nailhead spar clusters. Surveying south around the largest pit, they pushed through a nasty vertical slot and entered a walking passage with numerous side leads that they named Loose Cannon Run. They surveyed a total of 467 feet and left six good leads for a return trip.

Jamie Sherer, Steve Turner, Debbie Slinkard, & Wade Clements
After leading a Bishop Fowler's Loop Jamie led a short trip to continue pushing the Jamie's Dead End passage in the Historic Section. They surveyed 30 feet before running out of time.

Jamie and Ron Sherer, & Pete Graham
Jamie returned to the leads she started the day before and surveyed another 122 feet. The highly traveled passages in this area seem to indicate there is an easier way into this area than the way it was found.

Evan Anderson, Mike, Matt, and Veronica Schmidt
Evan led this group along the Wild Caving Tour route for a recreational trip for the Classic/Regional.

Carl Bern, Derek Wolfe, Jeff Goben, & Christa Schneider
Derek led Carl back to the tight lead he had found on Rod Horrocks trip on 9/2 in Spar Heights in the Club Room Section. Although, the passage eventually reconnected to the AA Route, a small hole they named Frostbite Hole led down to a decorated area they named Frost Hall. They surveyed a total of 382 feet of new cave.

Marc Ohms & Rene Rogers
Marc and Rene went back to their lower level leads off of Wall Street in the Historic Section. This series of virgin crawls proved to be the lowest passages this far north in the cave. The wind in this area was causing Rene's hair to sway in the breeze. They were able to survey 367 feet of cave, leaving many going leads headed towards the north boundary of the cave.

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.

09/05/2000
Rod Horrocks, Mary Laycock, and Michael Little
Rod led Mike and Mary on an evening trip into the Historic Section to continue surveying leads off of the Overland Trail. They surveyed 126 feet before Michael felt ill and the team was forced to leave the cave.

09/12/2000
Marc Ohms and Rene Rogers
This duo headed back to their lower leads in the north part of the Historic Section. They surveyed 217 feet of low crawls with air heading towards the north boundary of the cave. They surveyed through a low maze of crawls that also goes west and south.

09/13/2000
Marc Ohms and Rod Horrocks
Marc and Rod went to Colombian Hall in the Historic Section to resurvey part of an old survey that had few inclinations. They resurveyed 120 feet of the former UF survey. This is part of an on-going effort to upgrade the quality of the Wind Cave survey data.

09/17/2000
Marc Ohms and Rene Rogers
Once again, this pair headed to their leads in the northern parts of the Historic Section. They pushed through a small nasty tight lead and surveyed 278 feet of additional crawls. This passage is now further north than anything else in the area and over 70 feet deeper. They left several leads with air.

09/20/2000

Rod Horrocks, Steve Baldwin, and Steve and Sammi Langendorf
This bunch went on an evening survey trip to the Yahoo area in the Historic Section, with the intention of completing the three remaining leads. They surveyed 122 feet in one of the leads, bringing the total survey in the area to 1,350 feet. Abandoning the area, they went to the Bottomless Pit in Whitney Avenue and surveyed 191 feet in a passage they named Vandals Gallery.

Marc Ohms and Rene Rogers
Marc and Rene went down to What the Hell in the Lakes Section to obtain the monthly lake level reading. The lake was down 0.4 feet since last month. While there, they surveyed 225 feet of mop-up survey along the JE survey.

10/07/2000
Marc and Rene Ohms
The newly married couple headed into the eastern edge of the Historic Section to continue pushing leads along the MY survey. They surveyed 208 feet of upper level cave and left several going leads.

Wind Cave Weekend 10/14/2000

Jim Wilson, Greg Glazner, Skip Withrow, and Barbara Smith
Jim led his group to an area off of the AI survey in the Historic Section where he has been working for several months. They surveyed 764 feet of virgin cave and left plenty of leads for more trips.

Evan Anderson, Stephanie Haderlie, Christy Harrison, and Steve Lester
Evan led this bunch out to the Half-Mile Hall Section to push leads they found a few months ago. They surveyed 1,026 feet of big cave off of several leads along the KQ survey near Half-Mile Hall and the Figure Eight Room.

Carl Bern, Amy Johnson, Christa Schneider, and Jeff Goben
Carl led this group out to the east side of the Half-Mile Hall Section to continue surveying leads he found this summer. They surveyed 445 feet of sandy crawls in the Snowball Hall area.

Rod Horrocks, Derek Wolfe, and Jonathan Brinson
Rod led this trip into the eastern side of the Club Room Section to continue surveying the leads in the Loose Cannon Run they had found on 9/2/00. They discovered going caving in the first lead they checked and surveyed 1,104 feet. They named the mazey area the Thousand-Foot Maze, since it was their first 1,000-foot survey day in Wind Cave. They left many leads for additional trips.

10/22/2000
Marc and Rene Ohms, Matt Reece, and Gretchen Schenk
Marc led this crew on a short survey trip to the north end of the Candlelight Tour to do some mop-up survey off of the P survey. They surveyed 242 feet of passage and left a few leads.

10/28/2000
Marc and Rene Ohms, and Matt Reece
Rene led this trip into the Colorado Grotto Section to leads that she and Marc found in May. Due to poor sketching and sparse station labeling it was difficult to determine what in this maze had been surveyed. They managed to find and survey 325 feet of passage.

November/December 2000

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.

11/01/2000
Rod Horrocks, Matt Reece, & Ari Juhala
Rod led an afternoon training trip to resurvey the old UGA survey, which they named the Golden Way after Rod lost his wedding band. After fixing some loop closure errors in the Chamber of Lost Souls and resurveying 71 feet, they added 80 feet to the caves length by mapping a room and short side passage at the end of the old UGA survey. They also found a 15-foot deep pit lead for their next trip.

11/04/2000
Rod Horrocks, Matt Reece, & Ari Juhala
Rod led an evening trip back to the pit at the end of the Golden Way. They were able to tie up several short dead-end side passages at the bottom of the pit before calling it an evening. They only left one tight floor slot unchecked. They surveyed 156 feet with an average shot length of 9 feet.

11/03/2000
Marc Ohms, Rod Horrocks, & Matt Reece
Marc led this trip to record the lake level of What the Hell Lake. It was found that it had dropped 0.7 feet, the largest drop since the lake started forming in 1996. While in the area, they took the opportunity to survey and inventory 231 feet of previously scooped passages, closing a couple of loops in the process.

Wind Cave Weekend 11/11/2000

Jim Wilson, Greg Glazner, Barbara Smith, & Skip Withrow
Jim returned to his lead off the Elbow Room in the Historic Section, which he had found on 6/10/00. They surveyed 646 feet of virgin cave, following a windy passage across one of the biggest holes in the Wind Cave survey. They named two wide spots, the Pelvis and Clavicle Rooms. The trip was cut short when Barbara slipped between two breakdown blocks she was bridging over. She suffered some facial cuts and a banged knee, but was able to get out of the cave under her own power.

Evan Anderson, Derek Wolfe, & Shawn Kramer
Evan led this trip to the Bucking Horse Canyon area in the Half Mile Hall section. While surveying a bellycrawl, Derek fell eight feet when the false floor he was crawling over collapsed. Luckily, he only suffered minor injuries in what they named Kamakazi Crawl. Surveying into a nearby virgin walking passage, they named several new areas, including the Campaign Trail, Battle of the Bulge, and Split Vote. They also named a 20 x 40-foot room the Ballot Box and a large balcony, the Gore Hole. All the names were in reference to the on-going Florida presidential election contest. They surveyed 1,203 feet, leaving numerous great leads in an exciting new area.

Cyndi Mosch, Pete Graham, Randy Macan, & Michael Goar
With a lead pushing rope in hand, Cyndi led this group to push the remaining leads off the SC survey in the Club Room Section. Unfortunately, their dome lead ended after one shot. The only remaining known lead left in the area is a blowing passage blocked by a sediment cone. On the way out, they surveyed a dome off of the Conn's old BB survey. It also quickly ended. They surveyed 150 feet for the day.

Tom Dotter, Kim VcVey, Karla Whittneburg, & Bear Limvere
Tom led one more trip back to the Ferret Loop area in the Club Room Section. They surveyed 150 feet before deciding that the area is complete.

Rich Wolfert, Dan Wray, & Larry Brooks
This group went on a survey trip to the Garden of Eden Room on the tour route, but didn't survey anything.

11/12/2000
Mike Goar and Randy Macan
These two ran out to the Club Room to find Randy's wedding ring, which he had lost in the cave the day before. They eventually found the ring in his cave pack, where it had fallen off while taking his glove off.

11/13/2000
Rod Horrocks & Matt Reece
These two resurveyed the UG route between Columbian Hall and the Chamber of Lost Souls in the Historic Section. They found a 20-foot deep pit and a nearby dome lead to survey on a later trip. For the trip, they resurveyed 247 feet and surveyed 73 feet of previously unsurveyed passage, with an average overall shot length of 15 feet.

11/26/2000
Marc & Rene Ohms, & Matt Reece
Marc led this trip to push the southern end of the Colorado Grotto Section. They surveyed 178 feet in a canyon that connected to Monolith Hall.

11/28/2000
Rod Horrocks, Jay Kennedy, & Chris Ingebretsen
Rod led this evening trip back to the area they had started surveying during an ABC World News Tonight story shot on 10/31. Starting in the Council Chamber in the Historic Section, they surveyed a maze of middle-level passages between this chamber and the UN survey. After finding a Halloween newspaper (10/31/1897), they named the fissure passage, Spook Alley. They surveyed 355 feet with an average shot length of 12 feet.

11/18/2000
John Scheltens, Ed LaRock, & Mike Behn
John led this trip to continue pushing lead in the Wakantanka area in the Club Room Section. They ended up surveying 345 feet in a long passage off the MK survey that ended at a couple of deep, but unclimable pits into a lower and already surveyed room.

Wind Cave Weekend 12/02/2000

Jim Wilson, Eric Dutton, Tim Moreland, & Yerko Barrera
Jim returned to the start of his survey off the Elbow Room in the Historic Section and started mopping up unfinished side leads. They completed everything up to the start of their big discovery, the Kneebone Room. They surveyed 445 feet during the day.

Tom Dotter, Karla Whittenburg, Kim McVey, & Jay Kennedy
Tom led this trip to push a shallow pit in the Pyramid Room in the Club Room Section. They surveyed 220 feet.

Rich Wolfert, Cyndi Mosch, Mike Gore, and Dan Hanson
Rich led this group back to the Garden of Eden area in the Historic Section to survey passage they had seen on his 11/11 trip. They surveyed 205 feet of previously unsurveyed passage, and 252 of resurvey, where there were no existing survey stations.

12/06/2000
Rod Horrocks, Chris Ingrebretsen, & Ari Juhala
Rod led this evening trip back to the Spook Alley area to continue surveying the leads found on 11/28/00. After closing three loops, they pushed two crawls and then a pit that each opened into separate areas with extensive inter-connected rooms. They were able to partially survey one of the three areas that lies directly over Spook Alley before calling it a night. They surveyed 427 feet with an average shot length of 16 feet.

12/08/2000
Rod Horrock & Chris Ingrebretsen
Rod led this resurvey trip to finish the resurvey of the UG survey in the Chamber of Lost Souls area in the Historic Section. They resurveyed 290 feet before finding a good-sized room to survey at NM5. The last lead they checked off of this room, led to a low-ceilinged area with passages radiating off in all directions and multiple pits in the floor. They named this area, Nave Junction. With leads going everywhere, they called it an afternoon, after adding 262 feet of unsurveyed cave to the 290 feet of resurvey completed earlier.

12/09/2000
Rod Horrocks & Chris Ingrebretsen
Returning to Nave Junction, the lead discovered the day before, they surveyed a series of crawls they named Betternpokneye, since the crawls were certainly "better than a poke in the eye". At the end of one of those crawls, they surveyed up into an upper middle-level room that was 30-feet in diameter. They named it the Colonade Room, since it had four pillars around its outer walls. They finished the trip by surveying down some of the pits at Nave Junction, where they found a thin film of mud on everything, including the popcorn. Apparently, water had historically ponded in the area. They surveyed 622 feet for the day, with an average shot length of 11 feet, and left 12 leads for a future trip.

12/12/2000
Rod Horrocks, Michelle Karle, & Ari Juhala
Rod led this evening trip to push south trending leads off of Spook Alley in the Historic Section. They named a 25-foot diameter room the Comets Coma and a larger, 30 x 45 foot diameter room, that had deep deposits of fine white silt on the floor, the Stardust Chamber. They surveyed 331 feet, with an average shot length of 23 feet, and left 11 leads for a future trip.

12/16/2000
Rod Horrocks, Steve Baldwin, & Steve Langendorf
Rod led an evening trip to continue pushing leads off the Stardust Chamber in the Historic Section. They pushed one fissure in the ceiling that connected to the Bachelor Quarters after 100 feet of passage. They surveyed a total of 473 feet, with an average shot length of 17 feet, and left 14 leads for a later trip.

12/18/2000
Rod Horrocks & Michelle Karle
Rod led a three-hour afternoon trip in the Historic Section to resurvey two sections of the Bachelor Quarters that had no recoverable stations. They resurveyed 138 feet and then tied several hanging loops into the new stations, which added 170 feet of previously unsurveyed passage to the caves length, with an average overall shot length of 22 feet.

12/22/2000
Rod Horrocks & Michelle Karle
Rod led a day trip to push leads off the Fairgrounds tour route in the Historic Section and to resurvey some stations that were not recoverable. They surveyed 333 feet of new survey and 254 feet of resurvey, with an average shot length of 22.4 feet. They left four dome leads and a bellycrawl for a future trip.

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.
2) Yahoo: On 1/12/2000, Steve Baldwin, Rod Horrocks, & Steve and Sammi Langendorf discovered a couple of adjoining rooms off of the Overland Trail in the Historic Section. They surveyed 1,342 feet in the area over five trips.
3) Crumbling Bridge Hall: On 3/4/2000, Rod Horrocks, Joe Oliphant, Marc Pedersen, & John Citta found a blowing lead near the Pyramid Room in the Club Room Section that led to 1,784 feet of survey over two trips. A few leads remain in this area.
4) Root 89: On 3/14/2000, Rod Horrocks, Nick Myers, Belinda Fox, & Caity Czaja discovered the source of the bones in the Chamber of Lost Souls in the Historic Section. They found a passage that led to a plugged former entrance that is within eight feet of the bottom of Wind Cave Canyon, just north of the Natural Entrance.
5) Kneebone Room: On 4/8/2000, Jim Wilson, Eric Dutton, & Bob Stucklen discovered a lead off of a pit near the Elbow Room in the Historic Section that led to one of the largest discoveries of the year. The windy passage marched across one of the largest holes in the Wind Cave survey lineplot. Thus far 2,128 feet of passage has been surveyed and numerous great leads remain.
6) Dripstone Delight: On 5/13/2000, John Scheltens, Ed LaRock, & Mike Behn discovered one of the nicest formation areas in the cave near the Wakantanka area.
7) Hobsons Bypass: On 5/29/2000, Rod Horrocks and Steve and Sammi Langendorf found a windy passage that bypassed the Frostline, Roadblock, and Hobson's Choice. Because it is all crawling, it isn't a viable alternative route around those features. A few leads remain in this area.
8) Hades: On 8/31/2000, Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers, and Ed Schenck, discovered a pit that led to a series of middle-level bellycrawls near Wall Street in the Historic Section. These crawls are 70 feet lower than the rest of the cave on the northern edge of that section. Thus far they have surveyed 1,340 feet of bellycrawls. Many blowing leads remain in this very difficult area.
9) Loose Cannon Run: On 9/2/2000, Rod Horrocks, Derek Wolfe, & Jim Lawton discovered an extensive area above the Multi Purpose Room in the Club Room Section. Thus far, 1,354 feet has been surveyed and dozens of leads remain in this area.
10) Ballot Box: On 11/11/2000, Evan Anderson, Derek Wolfe, & Shawn Kramer made a discovery off the Bucking Horse Canyon area in the Half Mile Hall Section. They surveyed 1,204 feet on a single trip and left numerous great leads for future trips.

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.

Lakes

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.

Cave Management

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?

boxwork

Wind Cave is one of the longest caves in the world and has an amazing amount of a rare cave formation called boxwork. More...