Friday, August 03, 2007

The Morgue, Two Weekends in a Row

I've been helping survey Fern Cave on monthly trips that fall between the Grotto's scheduled horizontal and vertical trips. The going is slow, but during a survey you really can't be in a rush or you won't do it properly. I think we're making really good progress each month. Because of scheduling conflicts over July and August we moved the surveying weekend to last weekend and this weekend - so its been the Morgue section of Fern for two weekends in a row. I swear that mountain keeps getting a little bit taller each time we do that hike.

Last Saturday Steve, Jimmy, JR and I surveyed, tying in from a permanent station in the Bottom cave, up the 74ft Canyon. It takes lots of guano, and a few decomposing bats and couple of hours, to get down to the Bottom Cave from the Morgue entrance. This Saturday's survey will bring us closer to joining a rather large loop connecting the West Room/Johnston to the Bottom Cave/Morgue via the breakdown maze and 74 ft canyon. Here's a goofy photo of me courtesy of Jimmy of last Saturday's survey trip...

You're (especially you non-cavers) probably going to ask me why the heck I have the end of my ponytail making a mustache while preparing to drop a pit? Well, the pit is called Mustache Pit - because its a "Hairy Lip;" 1. Because the very undercut lip is hard to get over and 2. Because there's a rock (maybe 600lbs or so) that's wedged between the wall and the rock that is the lip, and if you push on it, it kind of wobbles back and forth. There've been quite a few attempts to remove the eerie rock (including Torosion), but its so well wedged no one has been able to dislodge it. You can see it on the right hand side of the photo - starting where my left hand is holding my tied-off rack all the way up to the top of my helmet.

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