Longest Passage/Most Remote Location

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Longest Passage/Most Remote Location

Postby gypcaver » Apr 30, 2012 9:45 pm

We've just completed an expedition at Fort Stanton Cave in New Mexico during which teams pushed Snowy River passage quite a distance from the entrance. Does anyone know what the record is for the longest single passage in a solutional cave? Of course, that may be a little subjective but I think most cavers would understand what a single passage would be.
The other question is, does anyone know what the most remote accessible location in any cave is? By that I mean a point that is furthest away from an entrance, using the shortest possible route to get there.
We think that the Snowy River passage, which we have yet to find the end of, is a candidate in both these categories.

I guess another question would be, has anyone compiled these statistics? What is your candidate passage/cave?

Steve Peerman -- Fort Stanton Cave Study Project Director
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Re: Longest Passage/Most Remote Location

Postby Extremeophile » Apr 30, 2012 10:26 pm

I've heard that the distance from the elevator to camp in Jewel Cave is about 5 miles, and the SE boundary of the cave (out past the End) is probably about another 3 miles. Maybe Dan Austin can give a more precise answer. I think Compass has a tool to easily determine these distances. Of course this route is a patchwork of many, many passages.

I was thinking that maybe Kazumura has the longest passage, but then that's not a solutional cave. There are certainly some long passages in Mammoth such as Turner and Mather Avenues, but these are just a couple miles.
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Re: Longest Passage/Most Remote Location

Postby PeterFJohnson » Apr 30, 2012 10:54 pm

If you use tools -> Find Station, and click on the "Station" tab there is a "Distance to Entrance" column that will tell you how far a point is from the entrance. presumably this is the shortest possible distance, although it might not be the actual travel route to that part of the cave. As for measuring the distance between two stations in a cave the only way I know how is to use the "Measure Distance/Angles" tool and use "nearest station" to measure the passage station by station. A laborious task. As The Who would say, There has got to be another way. After a short, and half-hearted effort I was unable to locate it.

And finally, while it is possible to determine the point in any cave that is farthest from the entrance, I would argue that this isn't the best definition of "remote". IMHO, remote should also include how difficult it is to get there. Under this definition it is almost impossible to determine what the most "remote" part of a cave in the US is without getting pretty subjective.
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Re: Longest Passage/Most Remote Location

Postby Jewel addiction » May 1, 2012 1:41 am

Yes, if you use the tools in compass to measure the distance from elevator to the end of "Hazard County" in Jewel Cave I believe that it is just over 7 miles distance. It is a very difficult place to travel to, but who is to say if this would be more remote than anywhere else. There are so many different ways to justify remoteness.
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Re: Longest Passage/Most Remote Location

Postby Squirrel Girl » May 1, 2012 2:30 am

Hi Steve, Welcome to Cavechat!
:waving:
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Re: Longest Passage/Most Remote Location

Postby gypcaver » May 1, 2012 8:03 am

I agree that difficulty of getting to a place is certainly an issue, but "remoteness" should be an easily quantifiable concept. There exists a shortest navigable route from any point to another, or from an entrance of a cave to any point within the cave. It may not be the easiest route but it is the shortest route and it can be measured, either using the built-in capabilities of the survey management software, or, with more difficulty, by adding up segment distances of a cave map.

At the moment the distance from the entrance of Fort Stanton Cave to the end-of-survey of Snowy River passage is about 7.9 miles. This follows the shortest route, which, in this case, is also the easiest route. While it can be argued that much of the route is pretty easy walking, it is certainly a very remote location, perhaps the most remote accessible location that one get get to in a solutional cave.

The current length of the Snowy River passage is 7.84 miles, from the sump at the north end to the end-of-survey at the south end. (Note that the end-of-survey is not the end of the passage -- the true length is still unknown and awaits future surveys). Snowy River is a well defined stream passage, which can be navigated from end to end.
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Re: Longest Passage/Most Remote Location

Postby Squirrel Girl » May 1, 2012 8:59 am

gypcaver wrote:At the moment the distance from the entrance of Fort Stanton Cave to the end-of-survey of Snowy River passage is about 7.9 miles. This follows the shortest route, which, in this case, is also the easiest route. While it can be argued that much of the route is pretty easy walking, it is certainly a very remote location, perhaps the most remote accessible location that one get get to in a solutional cave.


Not a chance. We had a thread on the most remote place in the past. (someone could look it up :wink: ) While some might (did) argue that Huautla could be construed the most remote, I maintain Charco is worse. It's long, deep, and brutal. Not 7.9 miles, but much more brutal.
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Re: Longest Passage/Most Remote Location

Postby Cheryl Jones » May 1, 2012 9:57 am

:waving: Hiya Steve! Welcome!
Sounds like a good trip. :wtg:
:off topic:
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Re: Longest Passage/Most Remote Location

Postby PYoungbaer » May 1, 2012 10:15 am

Also good to see the WNS fears have subsided enough to again allow Fort Stanton trips. Welcome to Cave Chat, Steve! :waving:
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Re: Longest Passage/Most Remote Location

Postby gypcaver » May 1, 2012 10:55 am

Squirrel Girl wrote:
gypcaver wrote:At the moment the distance from the entrance of Fort Stanton Cave to the end-of-survey of Snowy River passage is about 7.9 miles. This follows the shortest route, which, in this case, is also the easiest route. While it can be argued that much of the route is pretty easy walking, it is certainly a very remote location, perhaps the most remote accessible location that one get get to in a solutional cave.


Not a chance. We had a thread on the most remote place in the past. (someone could look it up :wink: ) While some might (did) argue that Huautla could be construed the most remote, I maintain Charco is worse. It's long, deep, and brutal. Not 7.9 miles, but much more brutal.


Barbara, I tried to find a thread on this topic with no success. Perhaps someone else will be able to dredge it up. If one defines remote in terms of distance of travel, an objective measure, rather than difficulty of travel, rather subjective, then I stand by my comment above. I will agree however, that there are MUCH more difficult places to get to!

I qualified my comment by referring to solutional caves only, (I don't know too much about lava tubes, and practically nothing about mines) but the end-of-survey at Snowy River may perhaps be the most remote place under the surface of the earth, given that it is measured by distance of travel, along the shortest navigable route.
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Re: Longest Passage/Most Remote Location

Postby gypcaver » May 1, 2012 10:59 am

PYoungbaer wrote:Also good to see the WNS fears have subsided enough to again allow Fort Stanton trips. Welcome to Cave Chat, Steve! :waving:


I wouldn't say that they've subsided. There is still a certain amount of hysteria, but we are working with the BLM to try to continue research and exploration at Fort Stanton Cave.
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Re: Longest Passage/Most Remote Location

Postby Squirrel Girl » May 1, 2012 11:34 am

gypcaver wrote:
Squirrel Girl wrote:
gypcaver wrote:At the moment the distance from the entrance of Fort Stanton Cave to the end-of-survey of Snowy River passage is about 7.9 miles. This follows the shortest route, which, in this case, is also the easiest route. While it can be argued that much of the route is pretty easy walking, it is certainly a very remote location, perhaps the most remote accessible location that one get get to in a solutional cave.


Not a chance. We had a thread on the most remote place in the past. (someone could look it up :wink: ) While some might (did) argue that Huautla could be construed the most remote, I maintain Charco is worse. It's long, deep, and brutal. Not 7.9 miles, but much more brutal.


Barbara, I tried to find a thread on this topic with no success. Perhaps someone else will be able to dredge it up. If one defines remote in terms of distance of travel, an objective measure, rather than difficulty of travel, rather subjective, then I stand by my comment above. I will agree however, that there are MUCH more difficult places to get to!

I qualified my comment by referring to solutional caves only, (I don't know too much about lava tubes, and practically nothing about mines) but the end-of-survey at Snowy River may perhaps be the most remote place under the surface of the earth, given that it is measured by distance of travel, along the shortest navigable route.


Yeah, so much of these things are all in the definitions!!! I'm supposed to be working, so I'm not going to search now. Maybe later.
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Re: Longest Passage/Most Remote Location

Postby Spike » May 1, 2012 1:01 pm

By far the most remote place I've ever been to is the far reaches of DL7 in Carroll Cave in Missouri. Even though we now travel to this part of the cave via a closer man made entrance, the original surveyors did not have this luxury. I don't have the survey data in front of me but either Logston/Hawkins River in Mammoth, Thunder River in Carroll, or numerous other long river passages in caves could give 7.9 miles a run for their money.
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Re: Longest Passage/Most Remote Location

Postby BrianC » May 1, 2012 1:37 pm

In TAG, crashing spire plunge is the most remote pit. It must be near five miles of borehole and sand walks and grueling long crawls. I had my knee going out on the way so I only made it to the last crawl, I think the sand walking did me in.
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Re: Longest Passage/Most Remote Location

Postby Extremeophile » May 1, 2012 5:47 pm

I've been near the back of Blue Spring, and while there is a lot of cave to traverse, and some impressive long borehole, I seem to recall that it's something like 5-6 miles, and can probably be reached in ~4-5 hours. I've also done a number of trips in Hawkins/Logsdon River, but I don't think it's over 8 miles from end to end, and I know it's not that remote from an entrance.

I am curious about the distance from the entrance to the bottom of Huautla or Charco.

With all the discussion about the world's "largest" cave passage being either Son Doong or Deer Cave, the longest passage seems like an equally valid question.
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