Jim Nepstad, Jim Pisarowicz, Glenn Raleigh
Duration of Trip:
New Cave Surveyed:
The day began as a routine inventory trip off the Cathedral area of the tour trail. We began down Mammoth Galleries when we looked to our right and noticed a large passage. Consulting our map we saw that no passage was indicated in this location. We took out our survey equipment and began mapping into the new lead.
This passage was classic upper level cave with smooth, flaky walls. Along this passage domes seemed to open above our heads and frostwork dotted the constricted areas. Before long we were down on our bellies crawling and the cave became wetter. This was surprising for most of Wind Cave tends to be very dry.
Then I heard Glenn shouting from ahead. He was saying that he had found some flowstone, stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and bacon draperies! What an exciting discovery.
The flowstone was pure white and provided a brilliant contrast against the bright red walls of the cave in that room. These types of speleothems (cave formations) are uncommon in Wind Cave.
An unbelievable trip. 613 feet of new cave was mapped only three minutes off the tour trail.
Report by: Jim Pisarowicz