Journey by means of Sullivan Cave Indiana 1973
It was conference time in Indiana and it might be my first NSS (Nationwide Speleological Society) conference. John Wallace, Jack Tempo and I flew to Indiana in John’s little airplane. Touchdown a small airplane at a business airport was fairly thrilling, they directed us to the runway from the aspect as massive jets landed and on the final second made us do a pointy 90 diploma flip and land as shortly as potential. Then drive at full pace to the closest taxiway to exit the runway earlier than one other jet lands.
The 1973 conference was held at Indiana College in Bloomington and was an enormous success, capped off by our banquet speaker Roger Brucker telling the thrilling story of the invention of the Flint-Mammoth Caves connection , making it the biggest cave system on the planet. I used to be additionally delighted to have gained third place within the prusik competitors. I climbed 100 ft of nylon rope, in a single minute and forty-two seconds within the 30-39 age group. I feel there have been possibly solely three candidates on this age group!
One of many caves open to conference attendees was Sullivan Cave. The three of us determined to check out the cave. We entered the cave by means of the small slim passage for a brief distance earlier than connecting with the Backbreaker Passage. It was a protracted passage with a ceiling peak of about 3 to 4 ft. This finely lower the primary passage of the trunk on the degree of the “T”. Following the trunk cross to the left to the Mountain Room cross, then a brief distance to the Mountain Room. We spent a while exploring the Mountain Room and simply as we had been about to go away some very moist cavers appeared. After talking with them, they shared that they entered the cave by means of the Pace Hole entrance.
It was a really tempting alternative to go away by means of one other entrance and keep away from that lengthy journey again by means of Backbreaker Passage. They left a great path straightforward to observe because it was moist from their passing. We lined about half the gap we had traveled to date and reached a room known as the Spiral Room. Crossing a sunken ground by a brief ramp, we discovered the manhole.
Wanting down the manhole, all we might see was water. We turned off our lights and let our eyes regulate to the darkness, then ducked into the manhole so far as we might go. There was a really faint glimmer of sunshine shining from the opposite aspect of the underground lake. John fell first and could not hit backside. After struggling for some time, he finely discovered a spot the place he might hit backside. All of us adopted by dropping into the chilly water and headed for the sunshine as quick as we might.
As we slid by means of the water, the waves reached the ceiling and fully soaked us, ears, eyes and all. There was no turning again now, we simply gulped air between the waves and saved going. Close to the exit the passage turned decrease till we had been crawling by means of the water with solely inches of air house. Once we bought out of the water and into daylight it was very nice.
Now we had one other drawback. We did not know the place we had been. There was no highway in sight, solely an open subject and wooded hills. We did not even know which manner we went within the cave. After exploring the terrain, we discovered the primary highway and guessed the route to observe. It was fairly an journey, however I feel we’ll attempt to plan a bit higher subsequent time.
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