Four of the caves I had targeted are on the same landowner’s property. Unfortunately, he had a death in the family which pretty much meant these caves are on hold.
Next, I had another cave but it’s a wet cave. The landowner says “you’ll need a boat to get back in there.” Inner tubes? Deep water, short cave, but unmapped.
Ambitiuous as it was, this was the initial list:
+Catron’s Cave – in progress, needs to be finished;
+Cave School Water Cave – see above: short, wet, deep water;
+Dix Cave – wet, short?
+Brushy Pit – not supposed to really be anything per reports, but promise of a dig?
+Betty’s Trap – vertical, loose rocks, unlocated. Permission granted!!!
+Hilltop Cave – vertical, est. at 350 plus;
+Little Brother Cave – same property as Hilltop, not fully located. Lot’s of ridge walking possibility. We have full run on the property.
+Julia Crockett’s Cave – short, lots of trash – mostly a clean up in progress for now. Owner says “it blows” so possibility of a dig and more cave if/when the trash is out.
+Minnie Corvin’s Cave – wet, short, semi-located.
+Speedwell #1 Cave – poor map, 750′-ish, needs a new map.
+Speedwell #2 – working on permission.
+Reed Creek Cave – ?
Busted (for now)
+ Ball’s Cave/Chockfullofit Cave – no go. Bear.
+Ball’s #2 Cave – just discovered/no VSS record (woot!) Bears ARE on the property. Not willing to chance it this time of year.
+Sutherland Saltpetre Cave – closed indefinitely. Filled in with trees and brush due to high exposure and trespassers. 😦 Doubtful it’ll be re-opened in the foreseeable future.
On hold due to the owner having suffered a death in the family
+ Blue Grotto Cave ;
+Slit Holt Cave;
+Reed Creek Water Cave.
+Venrick Cave/Skeen’s MIne – needs to be re-located, needs to be mapped.
+Venrick Run – needs to be re-located, needs to be mapped.
+Dead Air Cave in Smyth Co. needs a real map. Extant map in Holsinger sucks
intrepid VPI grotto members
Final results: For the Bats and Bedrock Extravaganza there were 18 caves initially targeted for location and/or survey. Of that number 11 caves were located, as were two additional previously-unreported caves. Two caves, Venrick Run Cave and Betty’s Trap, were not located. The remaining five caves were stricken from the list at the last minute and are on hold for now.
Brush Pit, Hilltop, Minnie Corvin’s, Hide-E-Hole, Dix, and Venrick Caves were surveyed to completion. Catron’s Cave added another 925.3 feet to the on-going survey for a grand total of 2634.05 feet, making it the longest cave (to date) in Wythe County! Additionally, a resurvey of Speedwell Cave was started, which racked up 1226.25 feet, out of an original 750 feet map. There is still more to survey in Speedwell Cave.
Over the course of the event, survey teams racked up an impressive total of 3482.87 feet. Additionally, Skeen’s Mine Cave, Little Brother Cave, and Chockedfullofit Cave were accurately located and await surveys.