New MD Cave

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New MD Cave

Postby rlboyce » Sep 20, 2014 9:49 am

Digging the cave open:


Exploring the cave (bad camera):


Gating the cave (pt. 1):


Gating the cave (pt. 2):
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Re: New MD Cave

Postby MUD » Sep 20, 2014 1:05 pm

:clap: Great job fellers! What do y'all got for length/depth? What type of limestone is that?
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Re: New MD Cave

Postby rlboyce » Sep 20, 2014 2:41 pm

Thanks!

The in-progress survey shows that the cave drops 236' within only 419' of passage. The cave is dropping like a stone! Surprisingly, we haven't needed vertical gear yet, but you definitely get a weird sense of vertigo climbing back up these heavily inclined passages. There is about 300' of unsurveyed passage left, but the bottom of the cave continues downward as a disappointing too-tight squeeze. Rocks thrown through the squeeze fall and continue to bounce for quite some time, suggesting that the passage widens again. The entire cave contains a quite substantial airflow.

The cave is developed in the Mississippian Greenbrier formation. More specifically, it starts out in the Deer Valley member, and cuts its way into the Loyalhanna member. It is our belief this cave continues to follow the dipping Greenbrier, eventually connecting with another cave we discovered near the bottom of the valley. A conservative estimate for the total depth, if such a connection were realized, is approximately 800 feet. We believe a future connection is probable, and we're continuing to work hard to prove it. Wish us luck!
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Re: New MD Cave

Postby Caving Guru » Sep 20, 2014 3:00 pm

Nice job. Looks like this took a lot of work. So how many feet of passage have you guys surveyed for Tanglefoot Cave?
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Re: New MD Cave

Postby rlboyce » Sep 20, 2014 3:34 pm

Our last trip to Tanglefoot cave was on July 26th, where we finally connected a survey traverse line from upper to lower entrance. The new numbers for Tanglefoot are 463' deep and 5090' long. We think we may have up to another mile of unsurveyed passage, and there are some upper levels of the cave that are going to push the total depth closer to 500'. On the same July 26th trip, Maryland Public Television joined us, and hopefully they got some good footage. It's only going to be a small segment less than 10 minutes long, but I'll let you all know when they air it in November or December.
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Re: New MD Cave

Postby Caving Guru » Sep 20, 2014 3:49 pm

Nice, only 190 more feet before Maryland has its first mile long surveyed cave.
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Re: New MD Cave

Postby rlboyce » Sep 20, 2014 4:19 pm

Exactly! We are very anxious to get back.
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Re: New MD Cave

Postby Syclone » Apr 14, 2016 7:00 pm

Anxious he says....
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Re: New MD Cave

Postby Squirrel Girl » Apr 15, 2016 8:27 am

rlboyce wrote:Thanks!

The in-progress survey shows that the cave drops 236' within only 419' of passage. The cave is dropping like a stone! Surprisingly, we haven't needed vertical gear yet, but you definitely get a weird sense of vertigo climbing back up these heavily inclined passages. There is about 300' of unsurveyed passage left, but the bottom of the cave continues downward as a disappointing too-tight squeeze. Rocks thrown through the squeeze fall and continue to bounce for quite some time, suggesting that the passage widens again. The entire cave contains a quite substantial airflow.

The cave is developed in the Mississippian Greenbrier formation. More specifically, it starts out in the Deer Valley member, and cuts its way into the Loyalhanna member. It is our belief this cave continues to follow the dipping Greenbrier, eventually connecting with another cave we discovered near the bottom of the valley. A conservative estimate for the total depth, if such a connection were realized, is approximately 800 feet. We believe a future connection is probable, and we're continuing to work hard to prove it. Wish us luck!


So awesome! Wowie!

Too bad I moved out west and can't come help.
:banana_yay:
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Re: New MD Cave

Postby tncaver » Apr 17, 2016 6:45 pm

the cave continues downward as a disappointing too-tight squeeze. Rocks thrown through the squeeze fall and continue to bounce for quite some time, suggesting that the passage widens again. The entire cave contains a quite substantial airflow.

This sounds like a very good candidate for extra curricular cave digging techniques. Any plans to "enlarge" downward? Follow the air. :kewl:
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Re: New MD Cave

Postby rlboyce » Apr 17, 2016 7:30 pm

Haha, we thought so too tncaver, so we returned a month or so later to widen this lead. The bravest of us (one guy) volunteered to drill and prepare the hole. Unfortunately, the drilling conditions were so miserable (laying in mud on a 45 degree incline headfirst) that we abandoned the dig after only two rounds of drilling. Our efforts did give us a small glimpse into what is beyond; after 8 feet, it appears to widen again. Perhaps we'll return one day to finish the dig and finally learn what's on the other side.
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Re: New MD Cave

Postby graveleye » Apr 18, 2016 7:40 am

I think tncaver was referring to "chemical persuasion". :big grin:
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Re: New MD Cave

Postby tncaver » Apr 18, 2016 7:44 am

Ryan, is it not possible to widen the crack at the top first so that the drill person can stand in the hole to continue
drilling downward? I've seen many leads that were simply dug too small to have enough room and comfort to continue
onward. When enlarged enough at the top, it is much easier to continue downward. I call it prepatory work for the
downward end game. Sure it takes awhile to do it that way, but the results are often success rather than failure and
the larger the hole, the easier it is to remove debris. Of course I haven't seen the lead so I don't know if that is a
feasible plan or not. Sure does sound like a good lead though.
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Re: New MD Cave

Postby rlboyce » Apr 18, 2016 4:37 pm

I see what you're saying tncaver. Unfortunately, you must crawl horizontally for 10 feet, then it's another 5 feet of downgrade crawling to the lead, So, if we started back where it was more convenient, it would be quite a lot of widening before you got to the actual lead. You make a valid point though; if you start further back, it can make the overall effort less painful.

Perhaps even more unfortunate is that there is no convenient space to put the spoils, so a lot of effort is required to transport every pound of spoil, and we'd definitely have a lot of it. It's certainly a doable project, but we have other projects that require less effort, so we've been focusing on those instead. It's a phenomenal lead though.

Graveleye, haha, yeah, I figured tncaver meant chem persuasion. That's really the only viable option in a situation like this.
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Re: New MD Cave

Postby tncaver » Apr 18, 2016 5:43 pm

rlboyce, yes I understand what you are saying exactly. I have several leads identical to what you have mentioned. It all boils down to
having enough help who are dedicated and willing to pushing something even if it means it might take a year to do it. Also, how far
of a hike it is when carrying so much gear can be a factor. I don't and never have had a crew willing to help me with my long term digs,
so I just turn them in to the state cave survey if they qualify as a cave and move on to the next one. Some of the leads obviously go to
something really good, but without a dedicated team those leads will likely sit for decades or forever. :sad:
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