Trip Leader name: Bill Gee
Date of Trip : 15 Oct 2006
Purpose of Trip: Place stilling well and water level monitoring equipment in Thunder River near the ladder entrance.
List the actual trip participants:
1) Bill Gee
2) Randy Bruegger
3) Jay Kennedy
4) Jeff Crews
Time of entry: 11:30am Time of exit: 2:45pm
Trip Report: (Use separate pages if necessary)
Jay Kennedy and I drove down Sunday morning, arriving at the silo about 10:45. Randy Bruegger and some light rain were there waiting for us. Spike showed up about 10 minutes later. We got dressed and figured out what gear we were taking in the cave with us. Jay rigged the hole with his rope, so he had the privilege of being first into the cave. Once Jay was down, Randy and I used the rope to lower two loads of gear. Mainly this was the drill and batteries. Randy, myself and Spike then rappelled into the cave. We were all in by 11:45.
We went down to Thunder River about where the downstream bridge is and started walking upstream looking for a site suitable for the stilling well. About half way around the bend we found a good spot. We retrieved the drill and other gear. Jay started drilling. It did not take long to get the first hole done. I set a bolt in it. Jay then drilled three more holes in the stream bed. For two of them he had to cut through the PVC flange. A masonry bit does not work well on PVC!
Although we drilled four holes we were able to set only two bolts. The other two are slightly below the flange. The 3 inch bolts we have were not long enough to get a good grip in the holes and reach up through the flange. The two bolts we set are plenty tight and will hold until we can make another trip.
While I bolted the stilling well down, Jay drilled a hole in the ceiling for an anchor and hanger. I used some small rope to tie the in-water monitor to the hanger. If the stilling well gets carried away, the rope will hang onto the monitor so we don't lose it. The rope is also used for pulling the monitor out of the stilling well so it can be downloaded.
We took pictures of the whole setup, then went back to the ladder. A knob of rock provided a suitable place to hang the barometric pressure monitor. While Spike and Randy got gear ready to take back up, Jay and I took the drill over to the Hines Highway near Thunder Falls. There was a half-drilled bolt hole there intended for rescue use. We finished drilling the hole, then set a bolt and anchor in it.
By the time we got back to the ladder Spike and Randy had climbed out. I put on my harness and climbed out. Jay hooked gear to the rope so Randy and I could pull it out. Two loads of gear, then Jay came up. We derigged the hole and packed up. Everyone was out of the cave by 2:45. We were packed and headed down the hill by about 3:30.
Before getting dressed I downloaded data from the rain gauge. Randy had some traveling companions who did not go in the cave with us. I gave one of them some UV-resistant zip ties and asked him to retie the mounts on the rain gauge. Shortly after we got out of the cave we noticed that something had chewed a hole through the wire from the rain bucket to the data logger. Randy spliced the wire back together, then taped everything up with duct tape. There is enough duct tape on there to stop several rats!
We saw some evidence that cows had been rubbing up against the rain gauge mount. The gauge needs to be mounted on the side of the silo to get it out of the way of both cows and rodents.