US Deepest Vertical Pits List

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Re: US Deepest Vertical Pits List

Postby chac » Oct 5, 2013 9:54 pm

Greg Jones wrote:So Cody I would say that water filled shafts are generally not considered vertical pits.

Hi Greg,

I would respectfully disagree with your statement :waving:. I may be speaking out of turn though as this is a discussion about the US Deepest Vertical Pits. My apologies.

There are a lot of underwater cave pits throughout the world. Some require SRT to access the water table that is far below the surface of the land. Ironically, our team just explored a new one today :big grin: . It ended up not to be a full vertical pit though.

Once the explorer has descended to the water table, they gear up to descend (an underwater free fall descent)) using buoyancy control to reach greater depths. SRT is not needed in this case, just a level head, reliable equipment, and a clear mind. There are many deep pits in the Yucatan Peninsula that are quite deep. There are also a few that have yet to be "bottomed", or for that matter explored.

There are also deep underwater pits in Florida. Perhaps someone with more knowledge about the Floridian underwater pits will chime in. Thanks for this interesting thread!

Jim
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Re: US Deepest Vertical Pits List

Postby PeterFJohnson » Oct 6, 2013 2:32 pm

GroundquestMSA wrote:I've read a lot of arguments about it. I don't know what the answer is. I admit that it doesn't feel right, to me, to put these domes alonside other pits. I got the info for my WV post from Dasher's WV Bulletin. The domes are listed equally in that publication.


I admit it is pretty subjective, and I have never liked the term "dome". But there doesn't seem to be much geological difference between many of these domes and say, Mystery Falls. Water falls out of a void at the top falls a few hundred feet and then hits the ground. The only difference is that we can't fit in the crack at the top of many of these domes. And I am also not suggesting we downgrade something like Kansas Twister simply because it is phreatic. It is still extremely impressive and very vertical.

So I suppose it depends on what you are trying to measure - What we as humans routinely rappel down, or the total vertical extent of these under ground spaces. The first seems to be tradition but I think the second is a more worthwhile metric. Maybe this doesn't fit the definition of "pit". But then maybe that means we need a different list? Just my biased two cents.

How you then deal with spaces like canyons I will leave for others to hash out. I am certainly not suggesting that someone climb every 40 feet in Columbia Canyon in MDC and create dozens of new 150' drops/pits...

A few nitpicks with the WV list:

-Lubyanka was taped at 213" The ceiling is a bit higher than the bolt it was taped to, but the dome was never taped at 220" Perhaps this number came from survey data - I don't know.
-The Flying Dutchman is called "The Flying Dutchman" and not The Flying Dutchman DOME. Probably fighting a losing battle on this one, but figured I would at least mention it. Perhaps this isn't proper naming convention but there is precedent for drops that don't include the word "dome" or "pit"
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Re: US Deepest Vertical Pits List

Postby GroundquestMSA » Oct 6, 2013 4:39 pm

Take Peter's word on the WV issues, I have no personal knowledge of these pits.
I've read about some of the big climbs you've been on, Peter. What is the main motivation for these climbs? To establish a deep pit, or to find more passage? The trip reports are interesting, but I don't know if I'll ever have the guts to do that stuff.
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Re: US Deepest Vertical Pits List

Postby Caving Guru » Oct 6, 2013 5:53 pm

by chac » Oct 5, 2013 10:54 pm

Greg Jones wrote:
So Cody I would say that water filled shafts are generally not considered vertical pits.

Hi Greg,

I would respectfully disagree with your statement . I may be speaking out of turn though as this is a discussion about the US Deepest Vertical Pits. My apologies.

There are a lot of underwater cave pits throughout the world. Some require SRT to access the water table that is far below the surface of the land. Ironically, our team just explored a new one today . It ended up not to be a full vertical pit though.

Once the explorer has descended to the water table, they gear up to descend (an underwater free fall descent)) using buoyancy control to reach greater depths. SRT is not needed in this case, just a level head, reliable equipment, and a clear mind. There are many deep pits in the Yucatan Peninsula that are quite deep. There are also a few that have yet to be "bottomed", or for that matter explored.

There are also deep underwater pits in Florida. Perhaps someone with more knowledge about the Floridian underwater pits will chime in. Thanks for this interesting thread!

Jim


Well Jim technically you are probably right. I should have been more clear and said that for this list I was most interested in dry pits rather than underwater pits.
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Re: US Deepest Vertical Pits List

Postby PeterFJohnson » Oct 6, 2013 6:25 pm

GroundquestMSA wrote:What is the main motivation for these climbs? To establish a deep pit, or to find more passage? The trip reports are interesting, but I don't know if I'll ever have the guts to do that stuff.


The goal is finding more passage. However with domes the results have been pretty mixed. While there have been miles of cave mapped at the top of aid climbs in Germany Valley, most of it is above climbs out of canyons or at the end of passage. Many of the tall domes end in minor passage or no passage at all. This makes sense considering how these climbs head closer and closer to the surface. But, you don't know until you go so for the sake of survey completeness they do need to be climbed.
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Re: US Deepest Vertical Pits List

Postby ian mckenzie » Oct 8, 2013 5:16 pm

Canada's deep shaft list is:

entrance shaft, Close To The Edge: 255m (837ft)
main shaft, Booming Ice Chasm 140m: (459ft)
La Grande Guele, Castleguard Cave: 125m (410ft)
The Prince: 112m (367ft)
new pitch, new cave on Mt Bisaro: about 100m (328ft)
Abyss Two, Heavy Breather: 98m (322ft)
shaft, Oh God Cave: 93m (305ft)
Supersize That Pitch, Tripartight Cave: 88m (289ft)
Propeller Shaft, Titanic: 87m (285ft)
entrance shaft, Raven Lake Pit: 73m (240ft)
Dooley's Drop: 72m (236ft)
The Abyss, Close To The Edge: 68m (223ft)

None underwater ;~) but one is on ice the whole way
Last edited by ian mckenzie on Oct 8, 2013 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: US Deepest Vertical Pits List

Postby ian mckenzie » Oct 8, 2013 5:26 pm

Also the "200-foot aven" in Castleguard Cave is 68m (223ft), climbed in 2005 to discover a small amount of passage at the top so I guess it counts as a pitch.
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Re: US Deepest Vertical Pits List

Postby tagkycaver » Nov 7, 2013 3:40 am

The Tilted Well in RTTM cave in TN has an upper rig point which is something like 217 or 237. I think it's called the "Drop to the Devil" or something like that; ask Buddy Lane.
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Re: US Deepest Vertical Pits List

Postby Extremeophile » Nov 27, 2013 5:48 pm

PeterFJohnson wrote:
GroundquestMSA wrote:What is the main motivation for these climbs? To establish a deep pit, or to find more passage? The trip reports are interesting, but I don't know if I'll ever have the guts to do that stuff.


The goal is finding more passage. However with domes the results have been pretty mixed. While there have been miles of cave mapped at the top of aid climbs in Germany Valley, most of it is above climbs out of canyons or at the end of passage. Many of the tall domes end in minor passage or no passage at all. This makes sense considering how these climbs head closer and closer to the surface. But, you don't know until you go so for the sake of survey completeness they do need to be climbed.

That's a more noble reason than the truth. I've climbed with Pete and can tell you that he really does it for the ladies. The mixed results part is true though ... both in regard to finding more passage and the ladies.
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Re: US Deepest Vertical Pits List

Postby GroundquestMSA » Nov 27, 2013 5:55 pm

I already have a lady... maybe that's why I don't feel motivated to take up bolt climbing.

That's a lie actually, I would love to climb. I'm just too scared and poor and busy.
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Re: US Deepest Vertical Pits List

Postby CaverCSE » Dec 9, 2013 2:06 am

Here's one example of what would happen in Tennessee (off the top of my head) if we started counting domes as pits or included in pit depth:

Hidden Well in Dorton Knob Smoke Hole could be around 370ft or more (rather then the current 292ft depth) since the actual top of Hidden Well has been estimated to be at around 80ft higher or more.

And on a side note, there are good odds of finding passage at the top it's is a pretty big dome at roughly 100ft in diameter (far bigger, for example, then the only 20ft in diameter blind Topless Dome) and a lot of water had to flow through something to create it. So, if someone wants a hard challenge, it's sitting there waiting to be climbed..
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