Rite of Spring Discovery

Rite of Spring Stalactites and Ribbons
Rite of Spring Stalactites and Ribbons

NPS Photo by Chris Amadon

1st Trip: On 8/5/08, Chris Amidon led Tom Jarvela, Kali Leitheiser, & April Oesterling to the Swiss Cheese Connection area in the North Section where they discovered the Rite of Spring. This was a very productive and fun trip for this group and the area, for more details visit Caving Narrative 2008 - August 5.

Trip Report: It took us 2 hours to get to the Swiss Cheese Connection in the North Section via the Happy/Cave City Route. On a previous trip, we had been able to find a shortcut out to the Happy Route that will shave up to 30 minutes of travel time when traveling to the North Section. However, this new route does involve a couple of tight squeezes. Started by mopping up leads along the KY survey. Found a lead that went. Surveyed up a climb that went to a large room we named the Rite of Spring. Had passages radiating in all directions. Found rooms with dripstone and frostwork. We then surveyed a pit that reconnected into the KY survey. We surveyed 576 feet for the day and left lots of leads for a future trip.


2nd Trip: On 9/2/08, Chris Amidon led Tom Jarvela & Diane Broyhill back to the Rite of Spring area in the North Section.

Trip Report: We returned to the HZ survey off of the Rite of Spring. Our first lead kept us busy all day, even though we reconnected to the Rite of Spring twice. The lead took us into a fissure paralleling the Rite of Spring, and then into upper level cave along the chert layer. We discovered a nice room with several leads out of it that we named the CAVING SPREE. The pits in the floor did not go, and most of the other leads simply connected into the Rite of Spring. We surveyed 514 feet, finished three leads and left several leads for a return trip.

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Last updated: April 10, 2015

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Hot Springs, SD 57747


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