Submitted by Bob Lerch
Area Mapped: DL7
Cavers: Team 1 – Dan Lamping, Kim Chiles, and Bob Lerch
Team 2 – Joe Sikorski, Ashley Fleming, and Amber Spohn
Time In: 11:00p on 5/26 Time Out: 3:00p on 5/29 Duration: 64 hours
With the last minute addition of Joe and Ashley, we had a nice sized group for a productive weekend of mapping, with two teams of three people. We got in late, as usual, for the wet trip to the camp at Jerry’s Cairns. Upon arrival, camp was quickly set up with people spreading over the various levels of the camp.
The survey objective was to map the two forks of DL7. We had pushed to the junction room, and now we were ready to head the survey down each fork. I led Team 1 up the north fork into continuing trunk passage. Joe led Team 2 down the south fork, but his team also had the junction area to sketch.
The survey began at DL7-34, about 45 minutes travel from camp. The north fork is large and complex meandering passage, much like main passage. Average dimensions were about 40′ wide and 20′ tall with a very meandering stream. Interestingly, the stream seems to be slowly increasing in flow as we go upstream. Team 2 spent the first half of their day surveying the large passage in the junction area before heading down the south fork (the L2 survey). The south fork passage is somewhat smaller (20′ wide by 20′ tall) with a small meandering stream.
We got an earlier start and hit it hard all day. More big passage in the north fork for Team 1 – and getting bigger! And some beautifully decorated passage down the left fork for Team 2. Both teams had very productive days surveying, and everyone was in good spirits on Sunday evening. So, when we got back to camp, we raided Mike Freeman’s stash and took some of his gummy bears and 45 year old whiskey. We didn’t drink it all, though. Thanks, Mike. Footage totals for the weekend: Team 1, 1,056.7 feet; and Team 2, 1,403.0 feet for a total of 2459.7 feet (0.47 miles). With this trip, we have mapped 4017.5 feet in DL7, and we have so much more to survey in this huge “cave within a cave.”