The Kentucky Caver Quarterly Proceedings of the
Bluegrass Grotto: the North Central Kentucky Area Chapter of the National Speleological Society
page 20  [contents] (< prev) (next >)
 vol. 40. iss. 1, December 2005
“There is more passage up there," Tony pointed out, and after a little prodding [and pointing out that a sked wouldn’t fit through the Slot, for rescue], Peg gave in and I was off again. After two rather ugly climbs with showers of loose rock raining down with every move I made, I found myself at the top of the dome, with no more passage, so I called it the Waste of Time Climb. We headed out after this, 461 feet surveyed, and in the contortions following the Icky Thing, Peg managed to rip her coveralls nearly in half when she moved and they couldn’t. It was pretty funny, although I thought she was plunging head-first into the canyon when she howled some nasty words.

(click image to enlarge)

Trip 8 – September 24. We hadn’t been caving in a few weeks, we had an entire free weekend, and both Ben and I were feeling like lazy bums because of our work schedules…OK, enough excuses. Anyway, we emailed the usual gang, but nobody could join us, so we disobeyed a cardinal rule of proper caving: We went as a team of two. We did, however, leave a note with our names and official out time inside the truck (as always), and had a set out time with a friend who lived nearby. Ben and I headed down Double Dead Dog Drop, where we spied a red spotted salamander, and left our harnesses on the usual ledge. Ben let me lead the way through the formerly stinky crawlway, and through the scrambles and squeezes that lead to water level.

After getting our feet wet and climbing down some rimstone dams, we dipped up to our waists through the Pool Room, and on the far side I dumped bootfuls of water into the mud.

Next came a bit of crawling, scrambling across rimstone dams and pools of water, and a hands-and-knees scoot to the spot where our big (!) explorations are taking place: a tight, curving, mud-filled belly crawl, followed by a gravity-defying chimney through the narrow canyon beyond. This canyon is a pain, because it lacks good handholds, footholds, or leg-room in the right places. I still can’t get through the Icky Thing without Ben’s help. Once we’d both cleared the Thing, we squirreled through the rest of the canyon: as we climbed out of it into larger passage, the walls turned from solid rock to an unreliable rock/mud matrix, and finally to soft, dry mud.

(click image to enlarge)

A careful climb up a slippery slope and a cautious crawl under soda straws took us to the junction between the CF (Chocolate Factory) and UP (Upper Level) surveys; we continued along the UP, meandering with a long-gone stream and then squirming one at a time through the Formation Crawl, across mud cracks and then through a squeeze over breakdown into a wide, low room that houses the King and His Court, which are aligned with a ceiling joint and flanked by dozens of soda straws. Here, we