04/07/07 – mapping Paradise Passage[CR3] (Lerch)

Carroll Cave Survey Trip Report
Submitted by Bob Lerch CCC#140

Date: April 7, 2007
Areas Mapped: Paradise Passage (CR3)
Cavers: Spike Crews, Dan Lamping, Andy Lerch, Bob Lerch, and Amber Spohn

Time In: 12:30p Time Out: 2:00a on 4/8 Duration: 13.5 hours

Our goal for the trip was to finish off Paradise Passage, and survey past the infamous Azure Pool of Carroll Cave. We had already mapped over 2500′ in this large and well decorated side passage, ranking in it as the 4th longest side passage to date.


With 5 people, we broke into two teams: Team 1 – Amber, Andy, and Bob; Team 2 – Dan and Spike. My team continued the main survey, starting at CR3-37. We began in some very large passage (~50′ wide), and enjoyed generally easy surveying for the first several shots. By CR3-42, the passage narrowed to about 20′ wide, but it was also much more decorated than anything we had seen so far in Paradise. Meanwhile, Dan and Spike went to survey a lead at CR3-39a1, where they got only one shot before encountering a sketchy 9′ climb requiring aid. The climbing lead goes, and it appeared to have been scooped. Spike and Dan then jumped ahead to continue the main survey, just beyond the Azure Pool. Before long, my team was up to an amazing series of stalactites and large columns along the right wall (looking in). At the end of this massive series of columns, flowstone, and rimstone pools is the Azure Pool, sitting atop the biggest and most beautiful flowstone/ rimstone pool complex in the cave. Imagine our horror, if you would, at the sight of muddy footprints on this beautiful flowstone leading to the Azure Pool. Of course, I’d been told that the area around the Pool had been damaged, but I what I didn’t realize until this day was that the only significant damage is this last flowstone leading to the Pool itself. There were but a few thoughtless fools that damaged the flowstone, and the rest was actually in very good shape. Chagrined, we finished up the remainder of the passage, which shuts down in a collapsed wall just 85′ or so past the Pool. Although our footage total was fairly low, we accomplished our goal, and actually got out of the cave at a reasonable time, only to be met with record cold temperatures in the upper teens. We hit the Hartley Hut, and cranked up the stove to stay warm. Footage totals: Team 1, 265.15 ft; Team 2, 110.0 ft; Total, 375.15 ft. Paradise Passage total to date, 2840.3 ft. (0.54 miles).

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