Masshole - September 2009

MIT: Rachel, Sid, Clarion
Boston Grotto: Keluo, Keluo's med school friend, Aaron, Pat
Central Connecticut Grotto: Lee, Steve Millet (Leader, and involved with the dig)

Masshole is a marble cave in the Berkshires which is not yet open to the public, but Steve Millett who is working on the dig was kind enough to lead a trip for us.  Masshole is likely to be the deepest cave in Massachusetts once the dig is finished.

The entrance rappel is down a 30 foot culvert pipe which was put in place to prevent the entrance from filling up with loose dirt and rock. At the bottom of the pipe is a fairly tight vertical squeeze into the entrance room, which has a beautiful waterfall with some nice blue marble formations.  After a short walking passage, there was a large room with a hand-line to help traverse a narrow ledge and a descending climb near more waterfalls.  We climbed to the bottom and then started to climb up to what we thought was the next section of cave, but turned into a dead end.  Steve pointed us in the correct direction and we continued  to the lower section of the loop.  We reached a room, and Sid noticed a cool formation in the wall that looked like the word "up."  The diggers had not named the room yet, so Steve said that he would from now on refer to the room as the "Up Room."  We climbed out of the "Up Room" to the Rain room which had short waterfalls on the side that got me [Rachel] kind of wet.   From the Rain room, we went to a large room named "Thunder Hall" where we saw a bat and red and green, undisturbed mud. Thunder Hall had a muddy slippery climb up, and a passage to the left that went to the room we were in before the loop. 
Before we exited the cave Sid, Clarion, Steve and I explored various parts of the upper levels of the cave while we were waiting.  From the upper passage, I could see the people walking underneath me and poke my head out unexpectedly in front of them. 
It took a long time for people to ascend out of the small culvert.  On the surface, we walked around to look at some other sink holes on the property. Once everyone was out, we changed into dry clothes and ended the caving trip like most others--we went to get pizza.