Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Apr 2003, Vol. 23, #4

TIDEWATER’S OOZE is the regular monthly publication of the TIDEWATER GROTTO of the NATIONAL SPELEOLOGICAL SOCIETY. If you have any words of wit, trip reports or any insignificant drool, e-mail it to the Editor or mail it all to the TIDEWATER GROTTO, P.O. Box 62642, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23466, and perpetuate your illiteracy!


Rita Klimas
3116 Sherwood Drive
Chesapeake, VA 23322
(757) 421-2613

Al Stubbe
(757) 485-0350

Joedy Klimas
3116 Sherwood Drive
Chesapeake, VA 23322
(757) 421-2613

Joedy Klimas

Vickie Paul
4387 Atwater Arch
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
(757) 621-1435

Joedy Klimas

Al Stubbe
713 Baywood Trail
Chesapeake, VA 23323
(757) 485-0350

The April Tidewater Grotto meeting will be held
7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 24th, 2003
at the home of:

Vickie Paul
4387 Atwater Arch
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

471-7975 (home)
675-8603 (cell)

Go straight to the directions to Vickie's  home!

March Meeting Results

Our Tidewater Grotto web page is getting well known in the caving community.  Because of this, the website went over the one gigabyte bandwidth limit of four times a month ago. This shut down the website on those four occasions.  Our grotto was forced to start paying for the website at a nominal fee of $4.95 a month.  This increased our bandwidth limitations so that now more people can view our website.  It also got rid of pop up banners and advertisements which were very annoying. 

It was voted on and accepted that in order to cut spending, Tidewater's Ooze will only be mailed to individuals who do not have internet access.  Those people with computers and email access will receive an email once a month with the Ooze attached for their reading.  Of course, the Ooze will be also published on our website.  For anybody who experiences email problems or other computer problems, please give the editor a phone call and he will mail you a copy of the Ooze.

Dues, Dues, Dues!
It's time for everyone to pay their Ooze dues ($10/person).
Please make your check out to Tidewater Grotto and mail it to our Treasurer, Al Stubbe, or
send it to our Grotto P.O. Box in Virginia Beach.

The following people have paid their dues this year.  After this newsletter, people who have not paid their dues will not receive a copy of Tidewater's Ooze via e-mail or for those who don't have computers, through the mail.

CARVER, Stephanie
GATES, Eunice
GATES, George
PAUL, Vickie
STOKES, Pierre

Cave Rescue Courses

On April 26-27 the Eastern Region of the National Cave Rescue Commission in conjunction with the Virginia Association of Rescue Squads and Harrisonburg Rescue Squad will be hosting an Orientation to Cave Rescue Class.  The cost for the class is $40.00.  Information on what an OCR is is outlined below.  The class will take place at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Virginia.

 If you wish to take this course please send a check for $40.00 payable to Eastern Region of the National Cave Rescue Commission and mail to Jeffrey Good; 301 North Pope ST; Bridgewater, VA  22812. You may also contact Jeff at: 540-828-3415 or Email:

 With your registration we will need the following information at the minimum:

Full Name
Full Mailing Address
Phone Number
Email Address (If available)
Grotto or other affiliation

 Also, on April 26-27 the Eastern Region of the National Cave Rescue Commission in conjunction with the Mountaineer Area Rescue will be hosting an Orientation to Cave Rescue Class in Morgantown, West Virginia.  If you wish to take this course please contact Doug using the contact information below:

Phone: 304-388-3615

Address: Douglas Moore II; RR 1 Box 184; Shinnston, WV  26431


Orientation to Cave Rescue is an introductory level program which consists of classroom and field work in all phases of cave rescue including: underground environment, extrication techniques, communication systems, medical management, and organization and management of cave rescue. The basic orientation course material is presented for students who typically include cavers, emergency services personnel, and rescue management personnel.

Within the National Cave Rescue Commission's (NCRC) training structure, the OCR is the first building block in accomplishing training to nationally recognized standards of Level 1 (Team Member), Level 2 (Team Leader), Level 3 (Rescue Management and Operations), and Level 4 (Instructor Qualification).  OCR is not required prior to taking the
Level 1 class though it is highly recommended.

The OCR is conducted over a weekend (Saturday and Sunday) and provides approximately 16 hours of instruction. Saturday consists of approximately 5 hours of classroom studies and 3 to 4 hours of practical (hands-on) exercises. On Sunday, a carefully staged "mock rescue" will occur which allows students the opportunity to actually manage the mission and to participate in many of the functions that such a mission would utilize.

This course is physically demanding. Participants must be in good physical health and must sign a liability waiver. Persons under 18 years of age must contact the registrar prior to registering for the class.

Lunch is provided on Saturday along with Coffee and Donuts both mornings.  Due to the nature of Sunday's training students are expected to provide their own food during the mock exercise.

Required Equipment:

All necessary tools and equipment will be furnished for the students with the exception of personal caving/safety equipment.

Each student must have the following items available for inspection at check-in time. (8:00AM on Saturday)

(1) A sturdy helmet with a non-elastic chinstrap equipped with a quick release buckle. Climbing helmets and rated helmets such as UIAA are generally the best to have.
(2) Three (3) independent sources of light, The primary light must be helmet mountable.
(3) Sturdy boots with cleated soles.
(4) Leather palmed gloves that fit.
(5) Appropriate rugged clothing for damp, muddy, 50° cave temperature. Layering with wool or polypropylene is advisable.
(6) A small rugged cave pack suitable for carrying personal supplies underground.
(7) Personal food and water for eight hours. (To be used during the Mock on Sunday). Food will not be provided for on Sunday.
(8) All personal equipment must be marked in some manner to identify the owner. Firefighter turnout gear is not recommended and is very highly discouraged.


Registration Information for some upcoming classes

Bridgewater Orientation to Cave Rescue Class
Date: April 26-27, 2003
Location: Bridgewater, Virginia
Cost: $40.00

Checks payable to: Eastern Region of the National Cave Rescue Commission

Questions: Jeffrey Good at 540-828-3415


Morgantown Orientation to Cave Rescue Class

Date: April 26-27, 2003
Morgantown, West Virginia

Cost: $30.00
Checks Payable to: Mountaineer Area Rescue Group
Questions: Call Doug Moore at 304-288-2615
National Cave Rescue Commission Weeklong
June 21-28, 2003
Carlsbad Caverns, NM
Cost: approximately $425.00
Information Link:  <>
Contact: Michelle Punches – Registrar (541) 957-5461 e-mail: or Harry Burgess (505) 534-9407 e-mail:
Eastern Region -
National Cave Rescue Commission Weeklong

Levels 1, 2, and WEMT
July 19-27, 2003
Dailey, West Virginia
Cost: approximately $350.00
Question: Steve Meyer at 301-463-5881 or email:
With your registration we will need the following information at the minimum:

Full Name
Full Mailing Address
Phone Number
Email Address (If available)
Grotto or other affiliation


If you have question on Cave Rescue within the Eastern Region of the NCRC please contact Steve Meyer at 301-463-5881 or email:

Spring VAR
May 9th -11th
OTR Campground
Dailey, WV

Check the following site for VAR info:

Memorial Day Grotto Trip
May 23-26
Franklin, WV  


Contact Joedy for information

We hope to have several led trips of various ability levels, including vertical.

We will participate in the Butler-Sinks Expedition Weekend.

Recent Activities


Short and simple,  Joedy, Rita, Dave, Stephanie, George, Eunice and Carl caved under Girl Scout auspices in Lewisburg, WV in March.  It was a great trip showing us eight foot high columns of ice in Crowder Cave, a dead cow in Rehobeth Church Cave, Joedy breaking his right hand in Rehobeth Church Cave, and a winter snow storm (10 inches or more) to slug our way through coming home with broken windshield wipers on the Suburban.


Rita also participated in the Shaver's Mountain Project in April.

Shaver's Mountain Project
April 5, 2003
By Rocky Parsons & Barry Horner

On April 5th, Barry Horner, Rita Klimas, Mike Kistler, Rick Royer, Karen Willmes, Dave West and I met at the Alpine Lodge in Alpena. The weather forecast was calling for relatively warm temperatures with partly sunny skies. Best of all, the snow was gone! The Forest Service, with help from Linda Tracy, had recently issued us a key to a gate leading to the eastern flank of Shavers Mountain. The 1995 Caves and Karst of Randolph County (WVSS Bulletin 13) shows some cave locations in the area, mostly FROs, but large areas have not been thoroughly checked out. We decided this would be a great time, while the leaves are off, to do some ridge walking.

We drove through the Forest Service campground on Glady Creek to the gate behind the old CCC Camp (now a WVDNR wildlife cabin). This road leads up Three Spring Run, where a lot of the water from the caves in the area resurges. We know from previous dye tracing by G.R.O.S.S. Grotto in the '80s that Shavers Mountain Cave, a mile to the north and Schmidlens Caves, a mile to the south, both resurge here. The limestone in this area of Shavers Mountain outcrops quite a distance from public road and, farther toward the north, the outcrop is high on the hill. Having vehicular access to this area saves a lot of walking and hauling gear. In return for the use of these roads, we have agreed to provide the Forest Service with information on the location of karst features that we identify, maps of caves we produce and the results of dye tracing that we accomplish.

After studying topographic maps of the area, we decided to spread out and search the contour hillside between the road and Three Spring Run. We had radios for communication and GPS units for accurately locating interesting features. It took us a while to get organized, but soon we were scouring the hillside. We all kept in sight of the person on either side of us and we stopped whenever a feature needed GPSed. Then, we would resume our search. It didn't take long for us to start finding deep sinks, promising leads, cave openings taking or discharging water and openings moving air.

We spent the morning covering the limestone outcrop in the northern drainage area of Three Spring Run and the area upstream of the spring's resurgence. We found LOTS of interesting stuff. A few were already documented in the Bulletin 13, but we found many other sinks that need checked out and entrances that need pushed. The valley is loaded with promising leads. Just in this small area, there is enough work to keep us busy for a LONG time.

After breaking for lunch, we traveled north to check the locations of Shavers Mountain Cave and Natural Bridge Cave. We also walked to the entrance to a cave that the 1971 Caves of Randolph County (WVSS Bulletin #1) named Jumble Sinks Cave, but the newer Bulletin # 13 names Ginger Root Cave. Then, we spread out across the limestone outcrop and ridge-walked to the north. Again, we found sinks, openings discharging and taking water and openings moving air that weren't previously documented.

As the day wore on into evening, it was getting cooler and we were tired and hungry. We finished our ridge walking near the Randolph/Tucker County line and then headed back to Alpine Lodge for supper.

In that one-day, we documented more than thirty features on Shavers Mountain that need checked out more thoroughly. It's a beautiful area to work in and as the weather warms into summer, we can camp at the Forest Service campground on Glady Creek where we will be close to the features that need checked. Come join us! We meet the first Saturday of each month.

Sunday there was also work to be done. Barry had told Karen that she was needed to check the leads that the dig in Alpena Blowhole had produced. Since Mike and I had left on Saturday leaving a group of five it was decided that Rita would accompany Barry and Karen into the cave. Dave and Rick would stay on the surface and do a survey to the Blowhole from the Alpena Cave entrance. This is needed to determine the elevation difference between the dig and the end of Alpena.

The push team found the entrance very sloppy because of the rain Friday. It was a quick trip back to the dig and once down the pit at the end of the dig Barry pointed out the water boiling up through the floor and then the tube that took all the water. This is where Karen came in because it was only her size. Rita looked down the tube and ask if that is where Barry intended to send her. He said sure, she will fit! Well in she went and when she got to the point where she had to go off a ledge and into the water she stopped to think for just a second. The urge to see booty had done it's job for Barry and no pushing was necessary. Through she went and turned the corner out of view.. After awhile to sounds of her crawling could not be heard over the water and no light could be seen. Finally back she came around the corner head first meaning that there was something big enough to turn around in. This was confirmed with a smile and an "It Goes" all before getting out of the water. Barry said great, come on out and will go get you a cup of hot tea.

Back at the surface the team had seen that they had even beat the survey team to the entrance. After a short wait they came pulling the tape up the hill. A tie-in and a short celebration took place and they all headed back to the lodge for lunch before the drive home. A perfect end to a progressive weekend!

An effort by VAR cavers and beyond to locate, push and survey the caves on Shavers Mountain in Randolph and Tucker Counties, WV. The project meets at 9 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month at the Alpine Lodge in Alpena.  Contact Rocky Parsons or Barry Horner for information.


Cave Mountain Cave Trips

Twice last month, Rita went Cave Mountain Cave.  The cave is located high in the East side of Smoke Hole Canyon north of Franklin, WV.  You have to walk quite a distance and up a steep incline from the other side of the mountain to get to this cave.  Here are some pictures from that cave.

CMC1.gif (357217 bytes)     CMC2.gif (465930 bytes)     CMC3.gif (553721 bytes)    CMC4.gif (361180 bytes)

Mike Howell of the Highland Grotto


Sinnett-Thorn Cave
Connection Trip

Betsy Simmers, Daryl Carver and Rita Klimas have been trying to do this small crawl for years and finally got their chance.  The group included Pat Bingham, Joanna Sheehan and Heather O'Connell. Daryl's only concern was she didn't want any bruises above the chest since she was getting married and didn't think bruises would look too good in the low cut wedding dress.  Daryl now lives in Germany.