28 July 2007

Trip Report

Cavers: Liz, Kristina, Ruth, Christine, Jared

The Northwest corner of the second floor of pika got up early on Saturday morning for an intrepid cave adventure in New York. Before getting to the cave, we stopped at Speleobooks, a wonderful caving store in a grayish octagonal barn with lots of caving books, a black Labrador, and a friendly cat. The german-accented store owner gave us a permit for the day, and we went off to find the cave.

After a decent bit of driving through dirt backroads, we finally found the cave and entered it. The first bit was narrow with a high ceiling, and the walls were patterned by the water that carved out the cave. Throughout most of the cave, there was a couple inches of water and debris that washed in when the cave flooded. After a while, we reached a cavern where we climbed up into a side passage and explored a little bit. Then we consulted the map, discovered that we were looking at dead ends, and continued with the rest of the cave. This consisted of a lot of crawling, sometimes through puddles and rocks, and sometimes through sand and mud. Occasionally the cave opened up into taller caverns, one of which had pretty black and white stripes so that super-sekkrit-ninja-cave-zebras could hide. There were lots of beautiful formations like flowstone, bits of mica on the ceiling, and fossils. There were more markings on the walls, floors, and ceilings of passages that reflected the fact that the cave had been carved out by water.

After more crawling and a nifty echo chamber, we reached what appeared to be a dead end. Christine was designated to explore, and explore she did. She kept going through a low sump, and into more crawling space. It was cold, and we each earned a hardkore merit badge. The rest of the cave consisted of more crawling on bruised knees, and more cool formations. When we were tired of crawling, we turned back, and hurried out of the cave before we froze. We spent about 5 hours in the cave, and did not explore all of it.