The start of 1999 saw a productive effort of survey and exploration concentrated in the Colorado Grotto and Historic Zones. There was 3,116.5 feet added to Wind Cave bringing it to 82.95 miles long.
Marc Ohms, Rene Rodgers, and Derek Nelson
On the 1st of the year Marc Ohms led Rene Rogers and Derek Nelson into the Colorado Grotto zone to check for leads off of the EM and EMA surveys. They surveyed 154 feet and left low mud floored passage going with airflow.
Wind Cave Weekend 01/09/1999
January 9th was Wind Cave Weekend and several groups attended. However, due to the revolving door freezing shut nobody was able to enter the cave. The groups went to Reed’s Cave instead.
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers, & Paul Burger
On the 23rd of January Marc Ohms led Rene Rogers and Paul Burger back into the Colorado Grotto Zone to continue exploration and survey of the passage found on the 1st (HO survey). They surveyed 500.2 feet of mud-floored passage and left going leads with air. The discoveries included flood debris consisting of small pieces of wood and pine needles, a new lake (Phantom Lake), and a single set of footprints in what was thought to be virgin cave. The lake is 250 feet long, up to 10 feet wide, and up to 8 feet deep.
Marc Ohms, Steve Baldwin, and Steve Langendorf
On the 28th of January Marc Ohms led Steve Baldwin and Steve Langendorf into the Historic Zone to a lead Steve Baldwin had discovered years ago. No survey was done due to poor route finding.
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers, Steve and Sammi Langendorf
On the 6th of February Marc Ohms led Rene Rogers, Steve and Sammi Langendorf into the Colorado Grotto Zone to check for leads near the City Sewer. They surveyed 625.8 feet in four areas. They left going cave in their newly designated PX survey.
Marc Ohms and Rene Rogers
The 11th of January saw Marc Ohms and Rene Rogers visit the Lakes to record the water level. Calcite Lake was at 16.90’ up from the last reading in September of 1998 when it was 15.42’. Also on the 11th John Scheltens led Steve and Sammi Langendorf, and Steve Baldwin into the Historic Zone to the area of the Back Room. They surveyed 100.5 feet continuing the NB survey.
Wind Cave Weekend 02/13/1999
Hazel Barton, Evan Anderson, Mike Clayton, and Emma Porter
Hazel Barton led Evan Anderson, Mike Clayton, and Emma Porter into the Colorado Grotto Zone to an area along the eastern edge of the cave. They surveyed 545 feet mostly in one large room that they named The School Room.
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers, Shane and Mylie Cottingham, and Andy Long
Marc Ohms led Rene Rogers, Shane and Mylie Cottingham, and Andy Long to the Muddle Room to do some mop up survey. They surveyed 177 feet.
Kathy Petty, Sandy Kramer, and Steve and Sammi Langendorf
Kathy Petty led Sandy Kramer, and Steve and Sammi Langendorf into the Historic Area to inventory. They inventoried 17 stations along the OM survey.
Marc Ohms, Paul Burger, Rene Rogers, and Myk Coughlin
On the 14th of February Marc Ohms led Paul Burger, Rene Rogers, and Myk Coughlin into the Colorado Grotto Zone to continue exploration near the newly discovered Phantom Lake. They surveyed 566 feet and are underneath known cave near the tour route. A passage ended in a rubble fill that appears to be filled from above. The rubble contained hunks of wood with nails and candle stubs. They left one good going lead that had airflow.
Steve Baldwin, Steve and Sammi Langendorf
On the 18th of February Steve Baldwin led Steve and Sammi Langendorf into the Historic Zone to continue surveying the NB survey. They surveyed 154 feet.
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers, and Steve Langendorf
On the 28th of February Marc Ohms led Rene Rogers, and Steve Langendorf into the Colorado Grotto Zone to finish up the PX survey started on the 6th. They survey 230 feet and returned to the Tour Path. In the Eastern Star Room they surveyed down into the breakdown to see if this is the location off the blocked passage leading to Phantom Lake. They surveyed a little over 60 feet.
March and April saw a flurry of activity in Wind Cave with 3,389 feet of new survey, bringing the length of Wind Cave to 83.55 miles. The efforts were concentrated in the Colorado Grotto and Historic Sections of the cave.
Wind Cave Weekend 03/13/1999
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers, Erik Sikora & Todd Seliga
This crew surveyed 200 feet south of the Cheese Whiz Room in the Colorado Grotto Section. The passage was in the middle level and contained some nice frostwork, corrosion residue, and bat scratches. As time was running out they discovered a parallel canyon but did not have time to survey it.
Jim Wilson, Dan Sadler, Kenny Bagby & Paul O’Brien
This crew headed out to the Club Room area and surveyed 315 feet in 24 station off of the AS survey. They survey some gnarly cave and left a few leads for next time.
Marc Ohms, Steve & Sammi Langendorf
Returning to the lead left on the 13th, 201 feet were surveyed off of the CC’ survey in the Colorado Grotto Section. It started as a hard-floored crawl and progressed into a nice canyon that soon ended. A small squeeze was found to connect to the CE survey but not surveyed due to its small size.
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers, Todd Seliga & Rod Horrocks
This team of four ventured into the Colorado Grotto Section to the west end of Independence Hall. They surveyed 713 feet of mazy parallel passages, all in the middle level and consisting of hard-floored crawls and stoopways. A few leads were left unchecked.
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers & Mike Wiles
Returning to leads left from 12/5/98 along the east boundary in the Colorado Grotto Section, the team pushed into numerous miserable leads in an attempt to follow the airflow. This area held promise to break through the eastern boundary but once again slammed shut. The only lead surveyed was one found on the previous trip for total of 240 feet. This passage headed south out of Pizza Hut and opened up briefly before ending in a 20-foot deep pit named the Deep Dish.
Wind Cave Weekend 04/10/1999
Jim Wilson, Eric Dutton, Sherry McClure & Dan Benner
This team went out to an area between the Club Room and Half Mile Hall and corrected a mislabeled survey, found a few survey errors, and found leads to survey on a future trip.
Bruce Albright, Pat Malone & Carl Bern
This crew went into the North Section of the cave and surveyed 399 feet off of the WT survey. They started a WI survey and ran it for 17 stations. They felt air and left a few leads going.
Marc Ohms, Rene Rogers, Mike Wiles & Paul Burger
Returning to the lead left on 1/23/1999 in the Phantom Lake area in the Colorado Grotto Section, the foursome ran the HO survey north in a muddy canyon. Mud and dripping water abound. The passage degenerated into a tight fissure that only Rogers could fit. She reports the passage continues and has air. They backtracked to a high lead and continued the survey up into the upper passage, which emerged in the Assembly Room! They surveyed a total of 658 feet and left many leads.
Rod Horrocks & Todd Seliga
This duo entered the Historic Zone to mop-up leads along the Historic Tour route. They surveyed 367 feet along the C survey. One of the many passages they surveyed contained nice white stalactites and flowstone.
Marc Ohms, Rod Horrocks & Jim Pisarowicz
The trio entered the Historic Section to continue to mop-up leads along the tour route. They surveyed 251 feet in three leads along the C survey and left a few leads.
Marc Ohms & Rod Horrocks
The Cave Management Staff entered the cave along the Wild Cave Tour route to place route flagging. The entire route is now flagged with black and yellow striped flagging. Flagging the route seemed long overdue as this route sees the most traffic and of the least experienced cavers.
Marc Ohms & Kelly Mathis
The team of two ventured into the Colorado Grotto Section to mop-up a few remaining leads in the Flood Plains (early HO survey) and to retrieve a webbing handline no longer needed. They surveyed 130 feet of low mud-floored crawls in the HO survey. Then surveyed another 87 feet off of the AD survey in some hard-floored crawls. One rather nasty lead was left and a total of 217 feet of new survey was accumulated.