Mountain Cove Cave Complex

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Re: Mountain Cove Cave Complex

Postby DStud » Nov 20, 2013 6:21 pm

Sorry to bring this post back from the dead... I'm going to be around pigeon mountain in the next couple of weeks and would love to finally find Richards. Has anyone made a trip there since the slide? I've gone bush wacking up the creek twice and haven't found it yet (using the GSS coords...), can anyone help? If the GSS coords are close to correct I'll just try going off those again.
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Re: Mountain Cove Cave Complex

Postby trogman » Nov 21, 2013 10:55 am

DStud wrote:Sorry to bring this post back from the dead... I'm going to be around pigeon mountain in the next couple of weeks and would love to finally find Richards. Has anyone made a trip there since the slide? I've gone bush wacking up the creek twice and haven't found it yet (using the GSS coords...), can anyone help? If the GSS coords are close to correct I'll just try going off those again.


I have been there since the slide.For a while the only way in was through E2, down through a wet and tight crawlway till you came to the now-plugged E1. Now there is a new third entrance ~30' away from where E1 used to be. I went up there with a shovel and tried to dig E1 back open, but it was a hopeless cause. Then I moved over about 30' and dug into an interesting looking spot, and VIOLA! The ground opened up and a new entrance was born. It is about a 30' drop, and needs at least a 50' rope, since there is no bolt at the entrance.

I can provide you with more detailed info later, since I am at work and do not have access to my cave location info. If I remember right, the GSS location was off a bit, but they should have the coords for the new entrance in the listing. At least I sent it in, although I'm not sure if it was entered.

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Re: Mountain Cove Cave Complex

Postby Shane S » Aug 21, 2014 9:15 pm

I finally got a chance to check Richards cave off of the list. It was a true pain to find the entrance and took two trips. The entrance was very tight and led through a tight stream crawl before we got to the original collapsed entrance. It was a great trip and the waterfalls make it a beautiful cave. The creek bed above was bone dry and it was surprising to see the great amount of water coming through this cave even in the dry season. If flourished with bats which was also good to see. :bananabat:
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Re: Mountain Cove Cave Complex

Postby trogman » Aug 22, 2014 9:55 am

Shane S wrote:I finally got a chance to check Richards cave off of the list. It was a true pain to find the entrance and took two trips. The entrance was very tight and led through a tight stream crawl before we got to the original collapsed entrance. It was a great trip and the waterfalls make it a beautiful cave. The creek bed above was bone dry and it was surprising to see the great amount of water coming through this cave even in the dry season. If flourished with bats which was also good to see. :bananabat:


Glad you guys finally got to see the cave. If you had gone into E3, you could have skipped that nasty stream crawl. :woohoo: The big room at the bottom of the cave is really impressive.
The reason it was so hard to find is that the GSS location is about 500 feet west of where the entrance actually is. :doh: I'm not sure why, because I gave them the correct location when I turned it in a couple of years ago. I sent in a correction notice; hopefully it will be fixed. On that steep-sided valley, being off that much can really make it hard to find, especially in the summertime.

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Re: Mountain Cove Cave Complex

Postby Shane S » Sep 29, 2014 3:22 pm

We think that the E3 will need a re-dig but I could be wrong. we think we found it from underneath just as you crawl out of the stream crawl. We could even see tree and grass roots where it should have been. We probably walked right on top of it. Looking forward to re visiting this one in the spring with high water levels.
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Re: Mountain Cove Cave Complex

Postby DawgsgoCaving » Sep 29, 2014 8:55 pm

It may need to be dug open again. I went back there a couple weeks ago to see more of the area. I know E3, given the coordinates and information Trog gave me, is about 50' east of E1 (I think...). I recall looking at the ledge above the creek bed and saw it was pretty over grown. I was by myself and didn't have a machete or anything like it with me so I didn't go check it out, but it may have been plugged -probably wouldn't take much to reopen it though. I suppose it would have been easier to tell if the entrance was open had we gotten in the cave before dark too. I would like to go in E3 if we have the option :)
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Re: Mountain Cove Cave Complex

Postby trogman » Sep 30, 2014 9:54 am

Shane S wrote:We think that the E3 will need a re-dig but I could be wrong. we think we found it from underneath just as you crawl out of the stream crawl. We could even see tree and grass roots where it should have been. We probably walked right on top of it. Looking forward to re visiting this one in the spring with high water levels.


It's possible, but I don't think there's been any big flood events up there recently that could've caused such an occurrence.
The plugged entrance you saw just as you came out of the stream crawl is probably the former E1. Entrance 3 is a bit offset, and a little further down the passage. If it was dark outside, it'd be easy to miss from inside the cave.

High water levels??? :yikes: Count me out of that trip; I'd rather visit when it's a little tamer.

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Re: Mountain Cove Cave Complex

Postby trogman » Oct 6, 2014 9:11 am

Yesterday Dawgs and I, along with a couple of other cavers from my grotto, made a trip to Ulla Cave. I am happy to report that the sump is very much passable. It consisted of a puddle off to the side of the passage, which we were able to bypass easily. Unfortunately, the way to the waterfall remains elusive, and it seems as if every passage in that area of the cave circles around and rejoins itself. The one lead we left undone would have involved full immersion in a very low ceiling passage for as far as we could see. Since none of us had worn wetsuits, we decided not to do it.

After getting back to our vehicles, Dawgs and I decided to go up to Richards and do at least the entrance pit and perhaps the first in-cave pit afterwards. When we got there we found the entrance (E3) fairly easily. I can understand why it was hard to find, since the area is badly overgrown, with fallen trees laying everywhere on the steep slope. If I hadn't had a good GPS location for it, we likely would have had a lot more trouble finding it ourselves.
We rigged and rappelled into the cave, and then decided that we were OK not doing the second pit, so we climbed out and called it a day.
Here's a photo of me by E3:

Image

And another of just the hole:



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Re: Mountain Cove Cave Complex

Postby Caving Guru » Oct 6, 2014 2:19 pm

trogman wrote:Yesterday Dawgs and I, along with a couple of other cavers from my grotto, made a trip to Ulla Cave. I am happy to report that the sump is very much passable. It consisted of a puddle off to the side of the passage, which we were able to bypass easily. Unfortunately, the way to the waterfall remains elusive, and it seems as if every passage in that area of the cave circles around and rejoins itself. The one lead we left undone would have involved full immersion in a very low ceiling passage for as far as we could see. Since none of us had worn wetsuits, we decided not to do it.


I would bet that the waterfall can be reached if you take the one lead left undone with the low ceiling passage filled with water.
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Re: Mountain Cove Cave Complex

Postby DawgsgoCaving » Oct 6, 2014 2:57 pm

Caving Guru wrote:
trogman wrote:Yesterday Dawgs and I, along with a couple of other cavers from my grotto, made a trip to Ulla Cave. I am happy to report that the sump is very much passable. It consisted of a puddle off to the side of the passage, which we were able to bypass easily. Unfortunately, the way to the waterfall remains elusive, and it seems as if every passage in that area of the cave circles around and rejoins itself. The one lead we left undone would have involved full immersion in a very low ceiling passage for as far as we could see. Since none of us had worn wetsuits, we decided not to do it.


I would bet that the waterfall can be reached if you take the one lead left undone with the low ceiling passage filled with water.


I really think that is the way. Another caver I spoke with who started exploring Ulla in the late 80s said getting really wet is unavoidable to get back to that dome. I need to find my old list of contacts from my old phone to verify the location with him but I feel pretty certain that is it. I bet that cave has a lot of unexplored passage. I may get another permit to go back next week if the weather stays like it is. That water level is probably as low as it ever gets in there right now.
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Re: Mountain Cove Cave Complex

Postby DawgsgoCaving » Oct 6, 2014 3:32 pm

Trog, I think a lot malcontent and misinformation about Richard's may finally have been put to rest with the posting of that photo haha
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Re: Mountain Cove Cave Complex

Postby trogman » Oct 10, 2014 9:19 am

Caving Guru wrote:
trogman wrote:Yesterday Dawgs and I, along with a couple of other cavers from my grotto, made a trip to Ulla Cave. I am happy to report that the sump is very much passable. It consisted of a puddle off to the side of the passage, which we were able to bypass easily. Unfortunately, the way to the waterfall remains elusive, and it seems as if every passage in that area of the cave circles around and rejoins itself. The one lead we left undone would have involved full immersion in a very low ceiling passage for as far as we could see. Since none of us had worn wetsuits, we decided not to do it.


I would bet that the waterfall can be reached if you take the one lead left undone with the low ceiling passage filled with water.


Yep, you are likely correct. However, hauling a wetsuit that far back would be a tough job, and I'm not sure it'd be worth it.

I am impressed that the early explorers / surveyors even found it in the first place. And I doubt they had wetsuits either.

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Re: Mountain Cove Cave Complex

Postby DawgsgoCaving » Oct 16, 2014 12:11 pm

trogman wrote:
Caving Guru wrote:
trogman wrote:Yesterday Dawgs and I, along with a couple of other cavers from my grotto, made a trip to Ulla Cave. I am happy to report that the sump is very much passable. It consisted of a puddle off to the side of the passage, which we were able to bypass easily. Unfortunately, the way to the waterfall remains elusive, and it seems as if every passage in that area of the cave circles around and rejoins itself. The one lead we left undone would have involved full immersion in a very low ceiling passage for as far as we could see. Since none of us had worn wetsuits, we decided not to do it.


I would bet that the waterfall can be reached if you take the one lead left undone with the low ceiling passage filled with water.


Yep, you are likely correct. However, hauling a wetsuit that far back would be a tough job, and I'm not sure it'd be worth it.

I am impressed that the early explorers / surveyors even found it in the first place. And I doubt they had wetsuits either.

Trogman :helmet:


There's probably a lot more to be surveyed in there. It goes without saying the map is questionable haha. Trog, what if an alternate entrance was somewhere above the "Unlikely Extension"? I was just thinking about that yesterday, being that it is closer to the surface.
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Re: Mountain Cove Cave Complex

Postby trogman » Oct 16, 2014 12:39 pm

DawgsgoCaving wrote:There's probably a lot more to be surveyed in there. It goes without saying the map is questionable haha. Trog, what if an alternate entrance was somewhere above the "Unlikely Extension"? I was just thinking about that yesterday, being that it is closer to the surface.


Unfortunately, even if an entrance were found or dug open there, it would not be far enough into the cave to bypass the sump. That is the primary reason that Ulla needs a second entrance.

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Re: Mountain Cove Cave Complex

Postby DawgsgoCaving » Oct 17, 2014 9:43 pm

You'll find it someday :)
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