June 1999
Kansas City Area Grotto
Volume 13, Issue 6

MSS Spring Meeting
The OGH Newsletter
Climbing Class
Sloan's Valley Cave System

MSS Spring Meeting

The spring meeting of the MSS (Missouri Speleological Survey) was held on May 22 in Rolla at the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Land Survey offices. Representing KCAG were Bernhard Arnold and Jeff Page. There was an informal gathering in the morning, devoted to presentations by various caving interests and networking among grotto members. There were publications and some artwork for sale. Of premier interest was a display by the Ozark Cave Diving Alliance, a group devoted to exploring the deepest springs using mixed gases to reach depths of 300 + feet. They had a video presentation, displayed equipment and discussed technique with anyone who happened by.

The official meeting convened at one o'clock and lasted just under two hours. Many people expressed appreciation that KCAG was represented. Being a newcomer, there were several issues I didn't fully understand, but I'll attempt to summarize the highlights.

One item of discussion was the possibility of publishing a general caving brochure for educational purposes. There have been requests from various interests over the years. Jo Schaper offered to take the lead, but requested help. Bernhard offered to examine the document from a teacher's perspective, since the target audience would be middle or high school students. Joel Laws (MVG) talked about ongoing work on the files on Missouri caves. All paper files are being input to a computer database. There is a great deal of work being done in data entry and field checks of the accuracy of the information.

Old business included a discussion by Daryl Greaser (Choteau) of the settlement of a dispute between the MSS and NSS over the handling of finances at the NSS Convention held in Missouri in 1997. Daryl attended the BOG Spring Meeting of the NSS, defended the MSS and proposed a settlement. After public and private discussions, the board voted to accept a $5000 settlement from MSS and lay the matter to rest. It has been the number one topic at MSS since the 97 convention and all were relieved that the story is over. The convention was the first held in Missouri in thirty years. The general feeling at MSS is that thirty year intervals are about right. Next meeting September 18.

Personal note: I did not find the meeting to be as tedious or meaningless as I expected. The MSS would like for KCAG to be an active part of the group. I met some good people who are dedicated to many of the same principles as are we. I will make a pitch at a future Grotto meeting for KCAG involvement. Please see me if interested in MSS membership applications or financial report.

submitted by Jeff Page

The OGH Newsletter

Date: 6/8/99 9:17:16 PM Central Daylight Time
From: Jonathan Breckenridge Beard
Volume 22, Number 6 / June 1999
Guest Editor: Jonathan Beard

OHG MEETING CALENDAR: JULY 7 BUSINESS MEETING, Springfield Main Library (corner of Jefferson and Central) 7 PM.

AUGUST 4 BUSINESS MEETING at Springfield Main Library at 7pm.

NEWS: There were 20 people attending the June 2nd, 1999 business meeting. President Carl Thayer convened the meeting at 7:02. Officer Reports: Secretary Lisa Thayer read the minutes from the last meeting. Treasurer Lawrence Ireland was absent (in Washington). Editor Jack Rosenkoetter was also absent. MSS director Tom Morton was absent*. Bob Taylor brought copies of the last 1998 Ozarks'Underground as well as the 1998 Missouri Speleology for members. Old Business: OHG was granted $100 by the MVOR Conservation Fund for the purchase of two portable backpack sprayers for cave restoration (one has already been purchased). Trent and Janette Reed donated a copy of "Blind Descent" by Nevada Barr to the OHG library, promptly checked out by Bob Taylor. OHG's bid for the Spring 2001 MVOR was approved. Dade and Lawrence Counties are possibilities for featured caves and campsite, maybe Hulston Mill. Carl mentioned that an MVOR T-shirt design is needed, so artistic types are encouraged to submit their designs! OHG and KCAG are discussing a cohosted NCRC basic training session to be held in southwest Missouri in March or April 2000. Members voted to do so. OHG members attending will get a 50% discount up to $100. The Ennis Cave cabin shell is built, but there remains work to do to complete the structure.Tom Morton resigned as MSS Director June 5th. Carl appointed Jon Beard (subject to members' approval) as interim MSS Director.


OHG member E-mail addresses in the OHG website:
Check it out! It's really a fun website with updated pictures of some of our cave trips, member's manual, and if you visit it, sign the register and be a part of it!

Climbing Class
By Richard Cindric

Here you go. You asked for it so here it is. This is your chance to tone up those climbing skills and work on that gear. Please contact Bryon for the sign up sheets.

That would be 6/2, 6/16, 6/23 and 6/30. We can discuss during the 6/9 meeting whether anyone wants to do something on a weekend at Cliff Drive.
We could do a variety of things such as:

It wouldn't be formal by any means. Anyone with any interest or level of experience could attend. We'd start about 6:00pm and go until we run out of light or enthusiasm.

Mud, Sweat, & Beer?
Bryon Carmoney

This years MVOR was in Shannon County. I took my Future Brother-in-law, Jeff, and his two children Josh and Heather. Jeff has been caving with me before and really enjoyed it so he asked if his kids could go on a trip so I told him about the MVOR. Both Josh and Heather are city kids and have not really 'roughed it' So the weekend was rather funny at times.

We all met at my house at 9:30 am on Friday and packed the van. It was a good thing one person bailed, from the trip, at the last minute we barely had enough room for what we did take. There was Michelle, Christi, Jeff, Josh, Heather, and myself. No room for anyone else in the van. While we were packing the van I began to think of the expansion factor we all experience after the camp has been set. I started to take stuff out of the van that I hoped we would not need and still we had one person on the floor the whole five hours down.

We left the city around 11:30 am and arrived at the MVOR at around 5:45 PM, after making several stops along the way down. We drove around for about 30 minutes looking for a space big enough for all of us and a few folks that were coming down later that night. We finally found it though. I roped of and area and then we pitched the tent and a canopy.

Now at about 10:30 PM Gerry Gattenby and his son Robert arrived and pitched their tent. We all eat dinner and just sort of talked then at about 1:00 am Terry, Mike and party showed up. They pitched camp, we talked for a bit and then we hit the sack.

In the group was Jeff, Josh, Heather, Michelle, Christi, Gerry, Robert and Myself. We decided to go to a valley that had a few caves in it and one in particular called Bear Cave. Bear cave was very small, about 550,' but was full of 'pretties'. The kids really liked the fact that they were underground and the walk to the cave was fairly short so that made Michelle happy. We walked up and down the valley looking for the rest of the caves but never found any that were easy to get to of the kids. So we headed back upstream.

On the way upstream we ran into a group that Michelle and Christi had caved with at the last MVOR and they told us about a cave system upstream. So we headed upstream through the waist high creak to where we were told it was located but it stared to rain and we were in a valley with valley steep sides and the debris were as high as twenty feet high in the trees so we head back as fast as we could.

Needless to say we were soaked clean through and we changed at the van warmed up and headed back to camp. Of course it stopped raining after we had cleaned up.

Sloan's Valley Cave System

Sloan's Valley Cave System
Kentucky By David Foran
2/14/99 5 hours trip
Trip leader John Lamar Cole
David Foran and others

We entered Minton Hollow entrance, one of 16 entrances in this 22+ miles of mapped cave system, were we proceeded to the registration station a few hundred feet inside the entrance. At request of one of the cave's researchers we made a quick bat survey in the Bat Room. We saw clusters of +/- 300 bats believed to be Indiana. or maybe Grays and one singular bat though to be a Townsend Big-Eared bat. Scattered about in other parts of the cave were eastern pips often associated with large cave crickets. After the Bat Room we went through at the Duck Under to the Round Room with its 10' waterfall. Between these two areas we saw, in 2 different location, 2 trogophilic crayfish (5-6" long). We then proceeded to and through Dread Pool which was less than knee deep at the edge and cold. At Dread Pool it can become impassable when there are heavy rains. We went down two different short side passages to Gaiser's and Cosmic Domes. Next we entered the large bore hole passage called the Big Passage. The irregularly shaped passages approx. 2000' long And 30-50' high, reminded me of a large subway loading platform. At the southern terminus of the 'Big Passage' were we entered it, we saw a very small troglobitic (albino) female crayfish.

We took a side trip to 'H' passage to see the helectites. The Northern terminus of 'Big passage' forked into the "Carmel Passage" and "Crevice passage." We took "Carmel passage," which gets its name form the unique formations. The white and Carmel colored stalactites with a complex history of deposition, solution, and abrasion with occasional leaves incorporated into the matrix and helectites appeared as large distorted Carmel candies. From the camels we passed by "Canoe Rock" on the way to "Grand central station" which is in the middle of "Spaghetti" a notorious low ceiling maze. On our way to "Grand central station," we ascended the "connection dome which required considerable chimneying and traversing 40' canyons. After a series of uncomfortable pheatic tubes, spanning a 30' pit we entered "Grand central station"

Another 1/4 mile of hands and knees crawling and duck walking brought us to "Garbage Pit Hill", a huge bore hole section of the cave that lead to the "big Room", one of the largest underground spaces in the US However, we ascended the hill and exited through a wooden door that is part of the ventilation system of an attached green house ending our 5 hour race through the cave.

June 1999 Vol. 13 Issue 6
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President: Byron Carmoney
Vice President: Regan Youngman
Treasurer: Regan Youngman
Secretary: Kathy Sumner
Editor:Byron Carmoney
Asst. ED:Kate Johnson
            Wayne A. Burnett
E-mail adress:

Kansas City Area Grotto is affiliated witht he National SPeleological Society, The Misouri Speleological Survey, and a Founding Member of Misouri Caves & Karst Conservancy.

Meetings helf every second Wednesday at 7p.m. (alternate site in May), Magg Hall, behind Spencer Laboratories, Volker Blvd. & Cherry, Kansas City, Misouri. Annual Dues: $10 for Full Members (3 caving trips with KCAG, nonmination and vote of membership required.)

NCRC Callout number Emergency use only

Central Region ***-***-****. This number may be used for cave rescue emergencies in the states of, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Misouri Ohio, and Wisconsin.