• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Wind Cave Trip Reports - 2009

Wind Cave Happenings, January/February 2009
By Rod Horrocks 2/19/2010

During January and February of 2009, 16 caving trips were taken into off-trail portions of Wind Cave; including 7 trips to the Historic Section, 3 trips to the Half Mile Hall Section, 2 trips to the Southern Comfort Section, 2 trips to the Lakes Section, and 2 trips to the Club Room Section. During 14 survey and inventory trips, cavers surveyed a total of 6,090 feet or 1.15 miles of previously unsurveyed passage, with an average survey length of 468 feet per trip, if the camp trip is not factored in. During 2 of those survey trips, 225 feet of problem survey was also resurveyed. The new survey raised the length of the Wind Cave survey from 130.14 to 131.29 miles.

Marc Ohms, Jason Walz, & Scott Ceasar 1/7/2009
Marc led a lakes trip to download a datalogger from Calcite Lake

Marc Ohms, Jason Walz, Dan Austin, & Tami Motif 1/13/2009
Marc led a lakes trip to retrieve a nonfunctioning datalogger from Calcite Lake.

Wind Cave Weekend I 1/10-11/2009

Rod Horrocks, Ken Gue, & Duff McCafferty
Rod led a survey trip back to Browns Canyon in the Historic Section to continue surveying side leads off of the TT survey. They found some beautiful examples of horn coral fossils that had been partially dissolved out of the walls while surveying 711 feet of passage. These were the first positively identified examples of horn corals identified from the cave that Rod was aware of. They left numerous leads for a future survey trip.

Jim Wilson, Tim Moreland, Howard Bartlett, & Skip Withrow
Jim led a survey trip to the Nudist Colony and Egg Hatchery areas in the Club Room Section. They surveyed a couple of small leads off the Nudist Colony for 101 feet and then picked up 301 feet off the Egg Hatchery survey (EH), where they found a 4' x 7' pool of water.

Marc Ohms and Rene Ohms
Marc led a survey trip to the Misplaced Pit/Hades area in the Historic Section. They surveyed 470 feet and left numerous leads for a future trip.

Jason Walz & Tami Motif
Jason led a survey trip to the Disappointment Chamber area on the north edge of the Historic Section. They resurveyed 77 feet of the NWT survey and added 100 feet of new survey, leaving several small leads to return to.

Jason Walz & Tami Motif 1/15/2009
Jason led a resurvey trip to the Way Back Room in the Historic Section. They found several historic Alvin McDonald signatures while resurveying 274 feet.

Wind Cave Weekend II 1/24-25/2009

Carl Bern, Ben Tobin, Andrew & Evan Blackstock
Carl led his second four-day camp trip to Camp Cosmos in the Southern Comfort Section. On the first evening they surveyed 128 feet in a couple of leads near Pervert Alley. On their first full day of survey they went past the Skinner and pushed around the Gas Chamber area. They found a previously overlooked lead on a ledge that opened into significant new cave. They mapped 411 feet for the day. On the second full day of survey, they returned to their going leads past the tight spot, which they named the Cram Hole. This time their survey opened into a tall canyon which quickly constricted. With some passage modification at a point they named the Flip Turn, they were able to squeeze beyond into big passages heading in multiple directions. They left one passage heading south that was completely covered with white flowstone and could only be explored using clean caving techniques. The canyons in this area were floored with piles of cave rafts several inches deep. Eventually, the team came to a couple of deep pools of water and the end of the passage. They named the area the Deep End. This area is now the southernmost point in Wind Cave. Since it went off of the Toon Town Quadrangle, we have established a new quad and named it the Deep End Quadrangle to accommodate that extension. The group then surveyed some additional fissures that headed north, for a day's total of 846 feet. This four-day camp surveyed a total of 1,385 feet, an amount that would have taken six normal day trips to survey due to the long travel times to the Southern Comfort area.

Andrea Croskrey, Amy Bern, Nick Wagner, & Mariana Vieira
Andrea led a survey trip to the KP survey in the Mystic Hall area in the Half Mile Hall Section. They named two areas, the "Left an Impression" and "Puppy Chow", while surveying 305 feet.

Rod Horrocks, Jeremy & Tera Bouchard
Rod led a survey training trip to Browns Canyon in the Historic Section. They surveyed leads radiating off of two rooms, which they named the Colonial House and the Carbide Chamber. They surveyed 289 feet and left several leads for another trip.

Wind Cave Weekend I 2/14-15/2009

Jason Walz, Dan Austin, & Merrel Hoveskeland
Jason led a survey trip to the Master Room in the Half Mile Hall Section to push leads to the south. They surveyed 767 feet for the day and named a small terminal room at the end of the Candy Causeway, the "Heart Shaped Box".

Rod Horrocks and Matthew Chuvarsky 2/18/2009
Rod led a resurvey trip to Browns Canyon in the Historic Section. They resurveyed 148 feet of the TT survey and then tied into the adjacent EV survey for 53 feet of new survey.

Wind Cave Weekend II 2/28-29/2009

Rod Horrocks, Ken Gue, & Roger Harris
Rod led a survey trip to an area off of the Candlelight Tour in the Historic Section. They surveyed numerous short side passages in a mazy area off of the AT84 survey, for a total of 655 feet of survey for the day.

Carl Bern, Amy Bern, & Andrea Croskrey
Carl led a survey trip to the Other Side area in the Southern Comfort Section. They surveyed 516 feet in a couple of previously scooped passages, leaving one passage still going.

Jim Wilson, Tim Moreland, & Skip Withrow
Jim led a survey trip to the YC survey in the Club Room Section. They found that the area had been thoroughly pushed and were only able to survey 163 feet in three leads.

Christa Schneider, Dave Lambert, & Mary Klaus
Christa led a survey trip to the White Socks Only area in the Half Mile Hall Section. Because they took old leads with them, that it turned out had already been surveyed, they surveyed 0 feet on this trip.

Wind Cave Happenings, May-August 2009
By Rod Horrocks 2/24/2010

From May through August of 2009, 26 caving trips were taken into off-trail portions of Wind Cave; including 20 trips to the Historic Section, 4 trips to the Lake Section, and 2 trips to the Club Room Section. During 5 survey and inventory trips, cavers surveyed a total of 1,211 feet or 0.23 miles of previously unsurveyed passage, with an average survey length of 242 feet per trip. During 5 resurvey trips, 1,075 feet of problem surveys was also resurveyed, with an average of 215 feet per trip. The new survey raised the length of the Wind Cave survey from 131.83 to 132.06 miles.

Chris Amidon, Jeri Kizer-Frederick, Tami Wright, Scott Babinowich, & Apirl Oesterling 5/2/2009
Chris led an orientation trip for some of the park's Interpretive staff to the Club Room.

May Wind Cave Weekend I 5/10/2009

Chris Amidon, Scott Babinowich, & Jeri Kizer-Frederick
Chris led a survey trip to the Upper Specimen Route in the Historic Section. They surveyed 78 feet on Teri's first survey trip to Wind Cave in 28 years. They named a nasty crawl; "Cave Fear" after the crew mutinied so they could go outside and enjoy the sunny day.

Jason Walz, David Lambert, & Chris Amidon
Jason led a resurvey trip to the Boxwork Chimney area in the Club Room Section. They resurveyed 373 feet for the day.

Marc Ohms, Jason Walz, & Andy Long 5/15/2009
Marc led a work trip to Room Draculum in the Historic Section to set up a container at the drip collector.

Marc Ohms, Jason Walz, & Andy Long 5/22/2009
Marc led a work trip back to Room Draculum in the Historic Section to collect a water sample from the drip collector.

May Wind Cave Weekend II 5/23-24/2009

Jason Walz, Tami Motif, Ted Firkins, & Nick Smith
Jason led a survey trip to the Disappointment Chamber (NWT survey) in the Historic Section. They surveyed 190 feet of side passages off of that room.

Rod Horrocks, Ken Hyde, Jeri Kizer-Frederick, & Scott Babinowich 6/2/2010
Rod led an evening survey trip to the Dragon Room in the Historic Section to continue pushing side leads off that room. They surveyed 158 feet and left numerous leads for a later trip.

Jason Walz, Tami Motif, Ken Hyde, Kali Leitheiser, Charlie Baker, & Jen Spinelli 6/3/2009
Jason led an orientation trip for some of the park staff to the Club Room.

June Wind Cave Weekend I 6/13-14/2009

Jim Wilson, Pat Malone, Srdjan Pasjic, & Tim Moreland
Jim led a survey trip to the ACA survey in the Club Room Section. They surveyed 332 feet for the day.

Jason Walz, Peter Sprouse, & Saj Zappitello 6/23/2009
Jason led a microbiotic inventory trip for the contractors looking for biota in Calcite Lake in the Lakes Section.

Marc Ohms, Dan Austin, Peter Sprouse, & Saj Zappitello 6/25/2009
Marc led another microbiotic inventory trip to the lakes.

Dan Austin, Lydia Poppin, Laura Magee, Joseph Hollenbeck, Garrett Radke, & Deric Roach 7/10/2009
Dan led an orientation trip to the Club Room for park staff from both Jewel and Wind Caves.

July Wind Cave Weekend I 7/11-12/2009

Andy Armstrong, Dave Bunnell, Mike Hopkins, Barry Schuman, & Nick Smith
Andy led a photography trip to What the Hell lake and up the Winding Stairs to the Club Room.

Jason Walz, Tami Motif, Chris Vincent, Malik Stewart, & Marcus Smith 7/12/2009
Jason led a recreation trip to the Club Room.

Jason Walz, Dave Bunnell, Jeff Sugrue, & Merrell Hoveskland 7/13/2009
Jason led a photography work trip to the Fairy Palace and Chamber Pot areas in the Historic Section.

Marc Ohms, Jason Walz, & Andy Long 7/16/2009
Marc led a trip to Calcite Lake to place a dye bug and to download a datalogger. The group then went to the drip collectors on the Wild Cave Tour Route and in Room Draculum in the Historic Section.

Jason Walz, Tami Motif, Scott Babinowich, Jeri Kiser-Frederick, Eric and Noelle Grunwald 8/5/2009
Jason led an orientation trip for some of the park's staff to the Bishop Fowlers Route.

Mary Laycock, Jeri Kizer-Frederick, Scott Babinowich, Deric Roach, Garrett Radke, & Wendell Gehman 8/7/2009
Mary led an orientation trip for some of the park's staff to the Bishop Fowlers Route.

August Wind Cave Weekend I 8/8-9/2009

Rod Horrocks, Ken Geu, Scott Babinowich, & Garrett Radke
Rod led a survey trip back to the Dragon Room in the Historic Section to continue pushing side leads. They found an upper level passage that had a July 17, 1893 Alvin McDonald signature in it. This is the latest signature currently known for Alvin before he died. They named this passage Shirk Street and surveyed a total of 453 feet for the day, leaving several leads for a future trip.

Scott Babinowich, Jeri Kiser-Frederick, Jen Spinelli, Cathy Mazero, Haley Meginnes, & Whitney Reary 8/9/2009
Scott led an orientation trip for some of the park's staff to the Bishop Fowlers Route.

Scott Babinowich, Jeri Kiser-Frederick, Nick VanAsma, Kali Leitheiser, Max Jackl, &Mikenzi Molitor 8/13/2009
Scott led an orientation trip for some of the park's staff to the Bishop Fowlers Route.

Jason Walz, Marc Ohms, and Jeri Kiser-Frederick 8/19/2010
Jason led a resurvey trip to the Guides Discovery (ND survey) in the Historic Section. They resurveyed 135 feet.

August Wind Cave Weekend II 8/22-23/2009

Jason Walz, Tami Motif, Jane & Richard Walz
Jason led a resurvey trip to the IZ survey in the Historic Section. They resurveyed 151 feet.

Jason Walz, Scott Babinowich, Sue Sawsak, & Max Cook 8/25/2010
Jason led a couple of Timpanogos Grotto cavers on a resurvey trip to Billys Room (ND survey) in the Historic Section. They resurveyed 149 feet.

Jeri Kiser-Frederick, April Oesterling, Tammy Wright, Scott Babinowich, Jill Jaworski, & Frank Platt 8/25/2009
Jeri led an orientation trip for some of the park's staff to the Bishop Fowlers Route.

Jason Walz, Marc Ohms & Dan Swanson 8/28/2010
Jason led a resurvey trip to the Way Back Room (NM survey) in the Historic Section. They resurveyed 267 feet.

Wind Cave Happenings, Sept-December 2009
By Rod Horrocks 3/4/2010

From September through December of 2009, 19 caving trips were taken into off-trail portions of Wind Cave; including 10 trips to the Historic Section, 5 trips to the Club Room Section, 3 trips to the North Section, and 1 trip to the Lakes Section. During 14 survey and inventory trips, cavers surveyed a total of 4,455 feet or 0.84 miles of previously unsurveyed passage, with an average survey length of 318 feet per trip. During 4 resurvey trips, 1,096 feet of problem surveys was also resurveyed, with an average length of 274 feet per trip. The new survey raised the length of the Wind Cave survey from 132.06 to 132.9 miles.

Jason Walz, Tami Motif, Mikenzi Militor, & Frank Platt 9/1/2009
Jason led an evening survey trip to the NM survey in the Misplaced Pit area in the Historic Section. They survey a single lead for 52 feet, connecting into the bottom of the Colonade Room.

September Wind Cave Weekend I 9/12-13/2009

Dave Lambert, Andrea Croskrey, Nicky Wagner, & Matthew Luckwitz
Dave led a survey trip to the SI survey near the Chimera Room in the North Section to continue pushing leads in that area. They mopped up several leads for a total of 252 feet.

Sandy Krammer & Pat Jablonsky
Pat led a survey trip to the Candlelight Tour Route in the Historic Section to push leads. They surveyed three leads for 152 feet. They left one lead that was under 8" high and another that was filled with trail construction debris.

Rod Horrocks, Garrette Radke, & Whitney Reary 9/30/2009
R
od led a resurvey trip to the southern edge of the Historic Section to resurvey the 1973 AV survey. They named two rooms Frontiers Edge and Dragons Hollow while resurveying 456 feet.

October Wind Cave Weekend I 10/9-10/2009

Rick Speaect, Jeff Goben, & Gregory Englert
Rick led a survey trip to the CI survey in the Club Room Section. They surveyed 284 feet for the day and left several leads to return to on a later trip.

October Wind Cave Weekend II 10/24-25/2009

Jim Wilson, Dave Lambert, & Tim Moreland
Jim led a survey trip to the HU survey in the Club Room Section. They surveyed several side leads between HU1-3 for 366 feet. They left a climbing lead for later.

Jason Walz, Nick Smith, & Charlie Baker
Jason led a survey trip to the NWT survey on the north edge of the Historic Section. They pushed some leads underneath the NWT survey for a total of 202 feet. After removing a can of spent Scottish carbide, they named the squeeze, the Scottish Carbide Squeeze. They also named the Midget Catacombs.

Marc Ohms & Jason Walz 10/29/2009
Marc led a lakes monitoring trip to What the Hell and Calcite Lakes.

Jason Walz, Marc Ohms, & Tami Motif 11/12/2009
Jason led a resurvey trip to the JD survey on the southern edge of the Historic Section. They resurveyed 302 feet, leaving several side leads for a later trip.

November Wind Cave Weekend I 11/14-15/2009

Dave Lambert, Matthew Luckwitz, & Rick Speaect
Dave led a survey trip to the SJ and SD surveys west of the Chimera Room in the North Section to continue pushing leads along those surveys. Their last lead they checked turned out to be the best find of the day, as it led to a small room with a couple of pit leads. They surveyed 368 feet for the day.

Rod Horrocks & Sandy Krammer
Rod led a survey trip back to the AV survey in the Historic Section to push side leads. They mopped up several leads and loops for 303 feet.

Jason Walz, Tami Motif, Carter Hall, & Dean Faust
Jaon led a photography/survey trip to the LSU survey in the Club Room Section. They got some great photographs of the fantastically decorated Dripstone Delight area and surveyed 134 feet. Because the LSU crawl goes through a forest of 2-3 foot long stalactites and sodastraws, they recommend that route not be used.

Rod Horrocks, Josh Nelson, & Whitney Reary 11/24/2009
Rod led a survey trip back to the AV survey in the Historic Section to continue pushing side leads. They resurveyed 61 feet of the AV, completing the resurvey of that old survey and then added an additional 201 feet of new survey.

November Wind Cave Weekend II 11/28-29/2009

Marc Ohms, Rene Ohms, & Sara Booth
Marc led a survey trip to the NM survey in the Misplaced Pit area in the Historic Section to continue pushing that area. They surveyed 413 feet for the day and left a few leads for a later trip.

Jason Walz, Marc Ohms, Tami Motif, & Sara Booth 11/24/2009
Jason led a resurvey trip back to the Misplaced Pit area in the Historic Section to resurvey the NM survey. They resurveyed 277 feet and added 140 feet of new survey to the length of the Wind Cave survey. They left a high lead at NM27 for a later trip.

December Wind Cave Weekend I 12/12-13/2009

Rod Horrocks, Roger Harris, Ken Geu, & Duff McCafferty
Rod led a survey trip back to the AV survey on the southern edge of the Historic Section to continue pushing side leads. They surveyed a dome on the edge of the cave that had air pouring down through a breakdown choke. They surveyed 480 feet in side passages off of Dragons Hollow before moving on to the Beyond the City area, where they surveyed an additional 345 feet, including a few shots into a crawl that went off the edge of the map. With 825 feet of survey, they decided to call it a day, leaving a few small leads for a return trip.

Dave Lambert, Jeff Goben, & Kevin Manley
Dave led a survey trip to the Club Room Section. They found some middle level cave at the bottom of a pit lead that led to some low and really wide passages. They surveyed 315 feet for the day, leaving a couple of leads in the area.

Larry Shaffer, Sara Booth, & Merrell Hoveskeland
Larry led a survey trip to the Hotel South Dakota in the North Section. They found a long-sleeve shirt left by a previous survey party, which they removed from the cave. They mopped up a few leads for 285 feet.

Jason Walz, Tami Motif, Mary Laycock, & Ted Firkins
Jason led a survey trip to the LSD survey in the Club Room Section. They surveyed 153 feet for the day, leaving one two-shot lead for a later trip.

 

The Wind Cave Survey Project in 2009

By Rod Horrocks & Maike Norpoth, Physical Science Office, Wind Cave National Park, 5/10/2010

During 2009, 2.68 miles were surveyed and inventoried in Wind Cave during 56 trips. The new survey footage increased the official length of Wind Cave from 130.66 to 133.34 miles. The average survey length per trip was 252 feet, up 13 feet from the previous year's average of 239 feet. In addition to the new survey, 0.74 miles of problem surveys were resurveyed during the year. The current length of the Wind Cave survey has maintained Wind Cave's standing as the fourth longest cave in the world.

We continue to write a synopsis of each off-trail trip in Wind Cave (published in the Wind Cave Happenings), which we post on our web site. Those reports and a list of all the place names in Wind Cave documented to date on those trips can be found at the following web address:

http://www.nps.gov/wica/historyculture/wind-cave-trip-reports.htm

As is typically the case, the vast majority of off-trail trips in Wind Cave during 2009 took place in the Historic Section of the cave. There were a total of 90 off-trail trips during the year, which include survey, management, and recreation trips. In descending order by number of trips, the off-trail trips were to the following sections of the cave:

Historic Section 59 trips

Club Room Section 12 trips

Lakes Section 8 trips

North Section 6 trips

Half Mile Hall Section 3 trips

Southern Comfort Section 2 trip

There were no trips to the Colorado Grotto, Silent Expressway, and Western Fringe Sections of the cave.

A total of 117 different cavers participated in the 56 survey trips conducted during 2009. The twelve most active out-of-state surveyors and the total amount of passage they surveyed were:

Dave Lambert 7 trips 2,305 feet

Ken Geu 5 trips 3,322 feet

Roger Harris 5 trips 2,760 feet

Carl Bern* 5 trips 2,314 feet

Evan Blackstock* 4 trips 1,734 feet

Andrea Croskrey 4 trips 1,288 feet

Tim Moreland 4 trips 1,265 feet

Jim Wilson 4 trips 1,265 feet

Andrew Blackstock* 3 trips 1,385 feet

Ben Tobin* 3 trips 1,385 feet

Amy Bern 3 trips 1,172 feet

Nick Wagner 3 trips 772.0 feet

*The four-day camp trip was counted as 3 survey trips

The twelve most active in-state surveyors and the amount they surveyed were:

Jason Walz 20 trips 4,855 feet

Rod Horrocks 13 trips 5,595 feet

Marc Ohms 12 trips 3,699 feet

Tami Motif 9 trips 1,579 feet

Duff McCafferty 5 trips 2,212 feet

Rene Ohms 4 trips 1,394 feet

Scott Babinowich 4 trips 838.0 feet

Matthew Chuvarsky 4 trips 786.0 feet

Sara Booth 3 trips 1,115 feet

Chris Amidon 3 trips 522.0 feet

Jeri Kizer-Frederick 3 trips 293.0 feet

Merell Hoveskeland 2 trips 1,052 feet

The most significant discovery made during 2009 was:

The Deep End:

On January 23-26, Carl Bern led his second four-day camp trip to Camp Cosmos in the Southern Comfort Section. Accompanied by Ben Tobin and Andrew & Evan Blackstock, they pushed an area past the Skinner. On their first full day of survey around the Gas Chamber area, they discovered a previously overlooked lead on a ledge that opened after a tight squeeze into significant new cave. They mapped 411 feet that day in the new discovery.

On the second full day of survey, they returned to their going leads past the tight spot, which they named the Cram Hole. Their survey immediately opened into a tall canyon that all too quickly constricted into another tight squeeze, which they named the Flip Turn. Beyond, they found big passages heading in multiple directions.

Carl stated that he felt this discovery was a nice reward for the years of hard pushing and camp trips that he had been leading to the Southern Comfort Section. The team left one passage that was heading south un-entered, and which, was completely covered with white flowstone and could only be explored using clean caving techniques.

Interestingly, the canyons in this new area were floored with piles of cave rafts several inches deep. Eventually, the team came to a couple of deep pools of water and the end of the passage. They named that area the Deep End. This area is now the southernmost point in Wind Cave. Since it extended off of the Toon Town Quadrangle, we have established a new quad and named it the Deep End Quadrangle to accommodate their extension.

The group finished the day by surveying some additional fissures that were heading north for a day's total of 846 feet. This four-day camp surveyed a total of 1,385 feet, an amount that would have taken up to six normal day trips to survey due to the long travel times to the Southern Comfort area.

 

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