Site list (GPS fixes)
Walks (GPS tracks)
Making SMT boards
1976, 1977, 1979,
1982, 1983, 1985,
1986, 1987, 1988,
1989, 2000, 2001,
2002, 2003, 2004,
2005, 2006, 2007,
2008, 2009, 2010,
2011, 2012, 2013,
2014, 2015, 2016,
2017, 2018, 2019
Mexico, New England
The Battle of
New England, 1980 & 1981
This a transcription of my » logbook
of caving trips while this member of Speleogroup was on assignment
to the IBM Yorktown Heights Research Laboratory in 1980 and 1981.
A colleague there was Oliver Wells » – a British cave diver famous for his explorations of Wookey Hole », etc. He introduced me to his son, James,
who showed me the local caves and in turn introduced me to his fellow
These notes are not as detailed as other logs on the speleogroup.org »
website – please let me know if you have anything to add to them!
Here are some pictures – if you can identify any
of them let me know and I’ll include them in the log below.
The people mentioned in the trip descriptions are mostly identified
by first name or nickname only. I believe fuller names (in alphabetical
- Alyson Rice
- Elizabeth (“Beth” O’Brien) Gering
- Frank Blau
- James Wells
- John Schwenk (rope-walking and ‘under the bar’) in the pictures
- John Wells
- Ian Baren
- Kathy (“Kat” O’Brien) Hall
- Larry Fleming
- Melissa (“Missy”) Rice
Please let me know of any corrections/additions!
||Easter Day. Tories Cave, CT.
Just off route 7, 6–7 miles north of Mew Milford, Conn. On a side
branch of Housatonic Trail, about 100 yards fro Rte. 7; near very
large open area. About 0.6 miles south of North junction with
Squash Hollow Road.
Entrance damp and partly blocked with ice, in very unpure rock.
Crawl down over ice, with wet squeeze to carry on. Wearing normal
clothes, so decided to leave for another day. Worth a grovel, come
||Indian Oven Cave, NY. With James Wells, Kathy?.
North on Route 22. A few miles north of Millerton , and exactly
on the Dutchess/Columbia county line, there is a dirt road on left.
About ¼–⅓ mile up the road, path leads uphill on the
left. Follow this upslope and then along contours for about ½
mile to large obvious depression with rock face and stream sinking.
Beautiful weather, 60°–70°F. Spring flowers (a few) in the woods,
still no leaves on the trees, however.
Down through boulders – small climb – then follow stream. Stream
chokes after 150′ or so in tight crawl – chemical persuasion
might produce results. Above stream end, obvious muddy traverse/crawl
southish leads several hundred feet through crawls and squeezes to
unpromising end. A couple of inlets have a few muddy formations.
Rather unrewarding cave but better than nothing. 2 hours.
||Knox Cave, Schoharie. With Bob ?, Larry Fleming, Paula ?, James Wells, Mike ?, etc. 3–4 hours.
Near town of Knox. Go north on Knox Cave road, pull off to track
on left 1 mile after X-roards to campsite. Knox Cave is at end of
track; used to be a show cave.
Rocky climb down entrance then down fixed ladder (the pit). Beer
bottles everywhere. Then on to “Dungeon”. Back under past the fixed
ladder leads to the Gunbarrel – an entertaining tube crawl. Larry
gets boot stuck, 20 minutes to rescue...
On through breakdown room, had a look at climbs and things, then
up climb and along a crawly traverse to Alabaster room. Not exciting.
||Clarkesville Cave. With James Wells. 1½ hours total.
100 yards uphill from large parking wasteland in Clarkesville.
Entrance in middle of cave. Went downstream, interesting wriggles,
down to stream. English-like limestone, quite wet with good ducks.
Very quickly into daylight (bottom entrance) again.
Back into central entrance next, passed a weegee party and up to
lake entrance. A free climb possible, maybe, but exposed and bad
||Gages Cave. With James Wells. 1 hour.
South of NY Rte. 7, difficult to describe.
Down 50′ fixed ladder, then the obvious way on to largish rooms
connected by a small climb. Crawl near the bottom of the ladder
leads to very cold swim, then 12 tufa dams, ending in “square room”.
A passage leads off through uninviting duck/sump. This is “lost
||Indian Oven Cave, NY. With James & John Wells, Ian Baren, and Fritz ?. 4½ hours.
Down to final ‘sump’ which had been dug by James and others who were
unable to get through. Tight squeeze through up into crystal pool
passage; flat-out crawl but pretty.
Dug squeeze for James to get through, then investigated crawlway.
Became too tight due to calcite floor – diggable. Rest of party
arrived, investigated, much grunting. Arranged to return later.
||Indian Oven Cave, NY. With James Wells, Ian Baren. 6 hours.
Back to the dig. Investigated end, dug a while, got cold. Quite
a lot of progress but a long way to go.
On the way out, looked at First Inlet squeeze, near roof, very tight
over ridged stal. Passed the squeeze, looked down into pristine
chamber with stream and stal. Out in good time.
||Convention Cave, MA. With James Wells, Missy, Bob ?.
In the woods. Entrance hole followed by crawl opening out into chamber,
then to top of climb/pitch; needs 10′ handline (2 slings OK).
Messed around in sump at bottom. V. cold water, sump goes down at
30° to horizontal, rather small, filled with stones and mud.
Had a look round mud tubes, “canyons”, etc.; out after 3 or 4 hours,
||Rhodes Cave (sketch map – which doesn’t show the cave...).
Ice! Very, very, pretty. Interesting squeezes, boulders. Stream
at bottom probably near water table. 2 hours?
Still Ice! And seriously cold.
||Prusiking practice (on old bridge near Tranquility Campground, NJ).
||Knox cave. With James, Missy, +4.
Looked at rift above dungeon. Tight but still going (pressure traverse
at +25′). Then down to Alabaster room with M; looked around a
Back and up to pit room (climb much easier than reputed), not very
interesting. 2½ hours?
||Convention Cave, with James, Missy, Andy, Stu.
Sporting little trip; quite wet. Had fun with belay at top of pitch
(rigged ladder for Andy & Stu). 2 hours.
... out to rain, so down the road to ...
Bakers Quarry Cave: different limestone, different character. Cold,
slowly descending phreatic tube. v. short; 30 mins.
... still raining when we got out so poked around in sinks and things ...
Found an interesting “hopeless” sink near Convention Cave, which
took water fast when poked with a stick. 20 minutes digging took
us into a small chamber leading to 50′ passage after an hour.
Sump at end. Named the hole “Pokie Hole” in honour of the means
of discovery and of Poughkeepsie programmers.
... and the sun came out!
Off to Schoharie for 4th July weekend (NRO get-together).
Down Mitchels with James; 160′ depth steeply descending cave in
middle of wood, quite interesting, hanging sump at the end. 2 hours.
(Then off on an 8-mile hike over Barton Hill, looking for Single X
||During the Glawackus Hunt », searched both entrances of Youngs Cave (AKA Runkle Cave). Avoided middle section as in ordinary clothes. Cave sites visited during the hunt included: Mistake Cave, Vanfleet’s Cave, and Becker’s Cave (twice).
We won the hunt ...
||Tories Cave, CT. With James, Missy, John.
2 routes from entrance. RH route leads down to puddle (duck on left
connects to LH route) with passage on left → Aven room. Crawl on
right leads to James’ dig and upwards squeeze (7″). Latter pushed
but not much hope once above it.
LH route down through tight inclined rift leads to complex solution
chambers. Whole cave ‘full’ of sharp Grit! 1½ hours.
||→ 25.07 International Speleological Congress, Kentucky.
Many pictures, but no notes.