|enough to allow three
survey trips beyond the sump. Northbore and Eastbore were
these trips, as well as the most significant discovery since Northbore
itself. Eastbore fails to live up to its name for long, quickly
becoming a wet crawl terminating in a permanent sump. However,
its end, a small lead was pushed by Pat Mudd who squeezed through
a passage now called the Corkscrew into virgin, upper level walking
passage creatively named Upper Eastbore. This was significant for
several reasons. First of all, Webster cave is very horizontal so
the Webster caver, the Corkscrew is big time vertical (20ft of gain or
so). Secondly, this upper level passage was dry (a rare and
thing in Webster). More significantly, this passage leads to a
through breakdown that eventually opens back up in what was named
Holmes Hall (in honor of Webster Cave explorer, Bill Holmes).
hall is the most significant upper level development currently known in
the cave, and survey in this area is far from complete. The
upper-level development in this area is still unknown, but it also
suggests that high leads elsewhere in the cave deserve close
Holmes Hall also leads to Holmes Grotto - the nicest formations in
Webster Cave, including columns, sodastraws, bacon, and beautiful white
stalagtites. Currently, about 1000ft has been surveyed in and
the Corkscrew, with numerous leads remaining including the continuation
of Holmes Hall itself.
Unfortunately, after the third survey trip,
rain caused the sump to close, and it hasn’t been open since.
Bypassing the sump via an in-cave connection or a new entrance is
current priority for the WCCSG. Ridgewalking has yielded
digs, and leads in the cave also need to be pushed.
Chris Anderson at Epitome Lake in Webster Avenue. Photo: Chris
Jeff Gillette in Holmes Grotto at the current end of Holmes Avenue (not
the actual end)
inaccessibility of what will no doubt be several miles of cave beyond
the sump, there