Mile 3 of the Pettyjohn Cave survey

By: Hubert Crowell

The third mile of Pettyjohn Cave resulted in the exploration and mapping of the Northwest stream passage, the Water Fall Room and the Free Way with its connection back to the Raccoon Room. The extensive dryer passages above the main stream near the waterfall were explored and mapped along with a connection at this level back to the Over N Under Room. In the process of reconstructing this historical account, I have entered the original survey data without loop corrections or other changes. When a mile mark is encountered the description may stop in the middle of a survey trip and resume at the start of the description of the next mile.

July 12, 1969 - Richard Schreiber and Della McGuffin returned to the up stream passage from the Luge and mapped the stream passage for 583 feet until they reach a confined 40 foot crawl ending in a collapse. I have been to the start of this crawl and there is no way I would have entered that muddy tight crawl!

They then returned back down stream to station G193 and surveyed up and out of the stream passage. This must have been a very rough survey as the ceiling heights indicate lots of crawling with one stretch of extremely low passage of over 150 feet with only one spot with a 5 foot ceiling. The height varied from 1.5 feet to 3 feet all the way. The reward was that it connected back to the stream passage and interestingly, at the previous two mile mark. This survey resulted in 1,301.95 feet T.H.C. (True Horizontal Cave). Total survey length now 11,613.72 feet.

August 22, 1969 - Richard Schreiber and Della McGuffin started this survey at the Bridge Room heading east toward the Entrance Room. The Free Way is a nice low crawl with two knee tracks in the mud. After exiting the Free Way they reached a short canyon passage with a side passage. At the junction there is a nice round formation of rim stone dams and water dripping from the ceiling. I was given a great picture of the formation with a salamander on taken by Tom Moltz.

Photo by: Tom Moltz 

Figure 1

Leaves, twigs and gravel were found near by suggesting a connection to the surface.

The survey continued to the Raccoon Room where they found abundant Raccoon tracks and ended at the climb down to the Baroody-Holsinger Passage. This survey resulted in 835.77 feet T.H.C. Total survey length now 12,448.49 feet.

August 23,1969 - Richard Schreiber and Della McGuffin started the "H" survey from station G183 located at the Five Points junction. The survey continued back to the Over N Under Room.

They then went back to Five Points and surveyed northeast to station G187 at the top of the Luge, then around the top of the Luge and back down to station G266 and the stream again. At the top of the Luge they also surveyed two shots to the center of a dome.

The survey was started again at the end of the down stream passage and continued down stream until it intersected with a larger stream. They continued the survey now up stream toward the Water Fall Room. The survey stopped for the day at the base of the eleven foot waterfall. This may have been the discovery of the Water Fall Room. There is a large boulder at the base of the waterfall that you can reach to top from and pull yourself/ up and over the top, however you may be in the waterfall as you climb up depending on the water level. This survey resulted in 1,490.37 feet T.H.C. Total survey length now 13,938.86 feet.

September 15, 1969 - Allen Padgett and Richard Schreiber started a survey at station G180 near Five Points and surveyed west discovering Allen's Dome Thing and the Anamatosis Room. They then mapped upper level passages almost to the waterfall area. This survey resulted in 1,125.80 feet T.H.C. Total survey length now 15,064.66 feet.

September 23,1969 - Richard Schreiber and Della McGuffin made the last survey for the year and completed the first three miles of Pettyjohn Cave. This trip started in the passage that is above the Water Fall Room but not connected. After mapping this area they returned to station H114 and surveyed to the Over N Under Room reaching the 3 mile mark. This passage is easy and has some nice formations. It is also possible to drop down to the stream near the Water Fall Room. You can hear the waterfall when you climb down, however a rope would be required to get back up.

Map produced with CAPS by:Hubert Crowell

Figure 2 15,848.28 feet of horizontal cave mapped. Available in pdf format.

The first three miles of survey also closed out the first year (1969) of survey. I would like to congratulate the following for their accomplishment in the exploration and survey of the first three miles in Pettyjohn Cave: Richard Schreiber and Della McGuffin, Richard who was on every trip and Della who accompanied him on almost every trip. Bill Damewood, Mike Hicks, Marion O. Smith, Allen Padgett and Bob Watkins for their help.

The raw survey data for the third mile is available in pdf format.

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