Stephen's Gap

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Stephen's Gap

Postby stx2006 » Feb 1, 2014 8:52 pm

So. I got permission to go into the Stephen's Gap area today and I must say it was a wonderful hike! I have a few questions about the area. There is a small cave or sink hole on the trail going up to the main cave. Is it worth going down into? I didn't have climbing gear today.. Also does anyone know if the main cave goes anywhere? I found a tunnel on the left hand side but I got light headed when I went about 10 feet into it. So I got out of that mess... I was wondering where all the water went from the main falls?

Also does anyone know if you are even allowed to climbing in that area? I didn't ask today since I didn't have gear.
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Re: Stephen's Gap

Postby Ernie Coffman » Feb 1, 2014 9:51 pm

My first reaction to your post, Matthew, is the fact that apparently you were trying to cave by yourself. Badddd! Secondly, if you got lightheaded, then that appears to be showing a concentration of CO2, which can knock you around a bit, so...why were you by yourself, going caving? Get with others and go with an organized group. You're right in the Motherlode of caving, so...plenty of knowledgeable folks there in Huntsville.
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Re: Stephen's Gap

Postby stx2006 » Feb 2, 2014 12:22 am

Ernie Coffman wrote:My first reaction to your post, Matthew, is the fact that apparently you were trying to cave by yourself. Badddd! Secondly, if you got lightheaded, then that appears to be showing a concentration of CO2, which can knock you around a bit, so...why were you by yourself, going caving? Get with others and go with an organized group. You're right in the Motherlode of caving, so...plenty of knowledgeable folks there in Huntsville.


Where did I say I was by myself? um no where! And I know about C02, why you think I turned around....

How about you go on and watch dora the explorer and leave this alone.
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Re: Stephen's Gap

Postby eyecave » Feb 2, 2014 12:34 am

matt my man........people own the land you go on to do stuff.......that is our primary concern, maintaining their good will, not only that ground you went on but everywhere around it...........

rescues and body recoveries are bad for land owner relations......stephens gap is mapped and fully explored...join a group of people who share their caving experiences..

that thing you passed.....that was a pit, 66 foot, in its bottom, blind, except for a small room i and my ex explored, it was virgin, i have pictures............a long time ago in a land far far away.......

and one last thing........every person on this net who knows anything about caving knows that all of us have our physical limits where the cave "wins" and we die....stephens gap is an easy cave for the most part.........many much more challenging caves are out there and accessible for a reasonable fee......caves that would surely "win" if you went in it now with the level of technical knowledge you have now without yet joining the NSS.....come over to the bright side matt......join us and open up the WORLD of caving........
Last edited by eyecave on Feb 2, 2014 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stephen's Gap

Postby stx2006 » Feb 2, 2014 12:44 am

eyecave wrote:matt my man........people own the land you go on to do stuff.......that is our primary concern, maintaining their good will, not only that ground you went on but everywhere around it...........

rescues and body recoveries are bad for land owner relations......stephens gap is mapped and fully explored...join a group of people who share their caving experiences..

that thing you passed.....that was a pit, 66 foot, in its bottom, blind, except for a small room i and my ex explored, it was virgin, i have pictures............a long time ago in a land far far away.......


Man.. everyone is touchy today.. makes me think twice about posting..

I've caved my whole life.. just cause I don't pay to be part of a group doesn't make me any less of a caver... I had a few questions and I can't even get a answer...
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Stephen's Gap

Postby Ernie Coffman » Feb 2, 2014 1:23 am

So. I got permission to go into the Stephen's Gap area today and I must say it was a wonderful hike! I have a few questions about the area. There is a small cave or sink hole on the trail going up to the main cave. Is it worth going down into? I didn't have climbing gear today.. Also does anyone know if the main cave goes anywhere? I found a tunnel on the left hand side but I got light headed when I went about 10 feet into it. So I got out of that mess... I was wondering where all the water went from the main falls?

Also does anyone know if you are even allowed to climbing in that area? I didn't ask today since I didn't have gear.


Well, excuse me Matt, but everything you wrote pertains to "I" this and "I" that, so guess that's why "I" figured you were exploring or caving on your own. There are other pronouns in the language, such as "we," "us," "they," etc.

As for you not belonging to the NSS, that's your cup-of-tea, although it sure would be nice if you get in an organized grotto and the NSS. As for what evecave wrote, he's just writing to show you his feelings of what he and others are trying to protect. As our population increases--325 million today--we see more and more caves disappearing because of landowner problems, so...just some thoughts.
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Re: Stephen's Gap

Postby trogman » Feb 2, 2014 8:26 am

I'm curious why we are lecturing Matthew about landowner relations, since the very first sentence in his post clearly stated he had gotten permission.

Matthew, please excuse us for being a bit reactive on this forum about such matters. There are a lot of novices who come on here and want cave location and other such info, and most of them haven't the experience or knowledge necessary to deal with what they will encounter. Then some of them end up like those college kids from FL recently, who died in Ellison's Cave. I guess what I'm saying is, while we seem a bit touchy sometimes, it is mostly well-intentioned.

I caved for many years without being an NSS member, and I can relate to your reaction. However, joining the NSS has a lot of great benefits, and opens the door to a vast wealth of info about the caves around you. Not only that, but you link up with thousands of other folks who share the same passion as you do. The detailed info about Alabama's over 4500 caves, including maps and locations, is all available by joining the AL Cave Survey. But to do that, you have to first become an NSS member, and you must maintain that membership for 2 years. So you see there are some great benefits to joining up. Yes, it will cost you some $- just about everything in life does. It comes to $3.75 a month, and the full-color NSS News that you receive every month is worth that much by itself.

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Re: Stephen's Gap

Postby graveleye » Feb 2, 2014 9:14 am

I am a bit puzzled regarding bad air in the passage to the left. I am assuming you turned left when you reached the bottom of the walk-in passage. That actually goes to mini multi-drop, only you are at the bottom of it. The upper entrance to that is a small hole around the side of the hill from the big pit. That passage is always washed clean. I've been in there several times and never noticed anything weird about the air. There is hardly any dirt in there much less leaves and stuff that would cause the air to go bad.

The small pit you passed on the way up is Pipeside. Nice little pit, doesn't really go anywhere but it is totally worth the drop. I think it's only 70' or so.

Totally love that whole area!
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Re: Stephen's Gap

Postby stx2006 » Feb 2, 2014 10:49 am

graveleye wrote:I am a bit puzzled regarding bad air in the passage to the left. I am assuming you turned left when you reached the bottom of the walk-in passage. That actually goes to mini multi-drop, only you are at the bottom of it. The upper entrance to that is a small hole around the side of the hill from the big pit. That passage is always washed clean. I've been in there several times and never noticed anything weird about the air. There is hardly any dirt in there much less leaves and stuff that would cause the air to go bad.

The small pit you passed on the way up is Pipeside. Nice little pit, doesn't really go anywhere but it is totally worth the drop. I think it's only 70' or so.

Totally love that whole area!


Ok here's how it went. We walked down the main opening. And to the left is the smaller waterfall that is coming down. There was a big opening and was a easy climb so I went up to see if it went anywhere before I got the group to follow since there's no reason for everyone to follow and then have to turn around... The passage to the right had water coming from it, so I didn't go into that one. The passage on the left was wet but had no running water and seemed like a bigger passage. So I started into it and like I said about 10-20 feet into I got real light headed. There was no weird smells or anything so I knew it was lack of Oxygen. So I got outta dodge fast before that became a rescue... The rest of the cave seemed fine.

Thanks for the info on the pit. We will diff go down and check it out. If anything it will be nice just to practice more on repelling into caves.

Now back to the main cave. Where does all the water from the main falls go? Is it big enough to walk or climb through? Also what about the cave up top where the water is coming from? I was about to go into it but there was some kind of big nest bed that something made so I didn't wanna get tore up haha...


https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 6b1d506002
If you scroll down to the 5th line and the last picture you will see the area I was talking about.
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Re: Stephen's Gap

Postby gindling » Feb 2, 2014 11:02 am

With the beauty of Stephens Gap, the pedestal and the waterfall and light rays beaming down, maybe it was the rapture of being in such an awesome place that caused his lightheadedness!

But yeah, no one really wants to take the time to explain all the bits about the cave just because you don't want to join the local grotto which has all that information. And there are some great grottos down there. Not saying you have to or are morally obligated to, I didn't for the majority of my 8 years in TAG, but there are benefits.

Sometimes all the yays and nays, meeting minutes, chapter laws, constitutions, IO's an BO's and BS, can take the fun out of caving for some people.
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Re: Stephen's Gap

Postby stx2006 » Feb 2, 2014 11:32 am

gindling wrote:With the beauty of Stephens Gap, the pedestal and the waterfall and light rays beaming down, maybe it was the rapture of being in such an awesome place that caused his lightheadedness!

But yeah, no one really wants to take the time to explain all the bits about the cave just because you don't want to join the local grotto which has all that information. And there are some great grottos down there. Not saying you have to or are morally obligated to, I didn't for the majority of my 8 years in TAG, but there are benefits.

Sometimes all the yays and nays, meeting minutes, chapter laws, constitutions, IO's an BO's and BS, can take the fun out of caving for some people.


Well alright then. I'll just stop coming here and asking questions... I'll just find out on my own... And some of the people on here is why I don't wanna join a group... I've yet to meet a caver who really cares and wants to help...
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Re: Stephen's Gap

Postby trogman » Feb 2, 2014 12:25 pm

stx2006 wrote:
gindling wrote:With the beauty of Stephens Gap, the pedestal and the waterfall and light rays beaming down, maybe it was the rapture of being in such an awesome place that caused his lightheadedness!

But yeah, no one really wants to take the time to explain all the bits about the cave just because you don't want to join the local grotto which has all that information. And there are some great grottos down there. Not saying you have to or are morally obligated to, I didn't for the majority of my 8 years in TAG, but there are benefits.

Sometimes all the yays and nays, meeting minutes, chapter laws, constitutions, IO's an BO's and BS, can take the fun out of caving for some people.


Well alright then. I'll just stop coming here and asking questions... I'll just find out on my own... And some of the people on here is why I don't wanna join a group... I've yet to meet a caver who really cares and wants to help...


Matthew:
You might seriously want to reconsider that last comment, because:
1) Several of us on this thread provided a lot of useful info, and showed that we "cared." Also, caring is not always expressed by giving someone exactly what they ask for.

2) "Some of the people" are going to be an issue in every area of life, whether it is work, hobbies, government, church, etc. There are always certain persons within any group that are difficult to deal with. Get over it, and don't let it keep you from participating. Or, better yet, find out why they said or did whatever it was that you had an issue with. You might find out they had a perfectly valid reason.

3) When you say "I've yet to meet a caver who really cares and wants to help," you paint with a very broad brush. Don't forget to include yourself in that, since I guess you consider yourself a caver.

I hope you will think a little about these things before you shut us out.

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Re: Stephen's Gap

Postby gindling » Feb 2, 2014 12:57 pm

I wasn't trying to be unfriendly. I was just explaining why you may not get the response that you were looking for. I was turned off by grottos because of some meetings I went to that seemed to be more about business, bylaws, and egos then actual caving, but that was a small minority, and that was when I was a young and headstrong college student (I'm still pretty headstrong). As Marion would say to my friends and I, "youthful enthusiasm misplaced" with his hands reaching out to throttle us, and would then proceed to throw coils of rope over our shoulders to settle us down, which seemed to mostly work. I have found a grotto I like where I now live and it is well worth it! I'll keep my mouth shut from now on and go back to lurking. My apologies.
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Re: Stephen's Gap

Postby graveleye » Feb 2, 2014 4:57 pm

stx2006 wrote:https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 6b1d506002
If you scroll down to the 5th line and the last picture you will see the area I was talking about.


Can't say I have ever been in that nook. Just went right past it. To the right is where the stream goes, and that sure is a cool passage. We've always started from the top, and dropped down in the stream and follow it through a series of little drops until it comes out at the big pit.

As for where the water goes, I don't think anyone really knows. It goes down into the breakdown at the bottom of the pit. There is more passage off to the right side of the big pit... never been there. The map is unreal and confusing. If I am correct there is even a narrow 120'+ shaft over there.

The water probably travels beneath the dry stream bed for quite some ways. I know of a report from a well respected caver, who found a pit in between Pipeside and Stephens Gap cave, right there in the stream bed. Blowing like crazy he says. But then a flood came and they never could find the hole again. I would think that there is a great probability that there is more passage under the valley.

Oh, and as a mod admin here, I read almost every post. I can tell you one thing.... duck feathers. This is an internet forum, and you just have to deal with the people here. Cavers come in the whole spectrum of personalities, just like anywhere else. Just jump in and wade through it and don't let the attitudes get in your way. If you let the standoffish ones run you off, then you will miss out on a lot of the wonderful part of the caving community. I am point in case - I'm 47 now. I had a guy tell me when I was about 24 that I would not "fit in" with the caving community. So, I never bothered...he was just another caver with an elitist attitude and all those prime years of caving I missed out on because I believed someones incorrect judgement on me. Turns out when I finally did join up and get involved, I met some of the best friends I've had in my life.

Fortunately there are indeed some helpful, welcoming people in the caving community. Seek them out, and let them come to you too. We're by and large decent welcoming people.
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Re: Stephen's Gap

Postby danegarreau » Apr 13, 2014 2:16 pm

does permission nees to be granted to explore this cave?

i'm planning a trip to north alabama this summer to visit waterfalls and if it has rained recently i would love to see stephens gap cave.
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