Mile 4 of the Pettyjohn Cave Survey

By: Hubert Crowell

Mile four really starts with the passage above the Luge which led to the discovery of the Pulverizer Squeeze Tobacco Road and the Outer Limits. The lowest point in the cave was also discovered and mapped. All of the streams in the known cave flow to this sump. The discovery of the Emerald Pool pushed the cave to the most northern point and Tobacco Road pushed the cave to the most western point. With Mile 4 completed you can see just how complex this cave has become. The years 1969 and 1970 were the most active surveying years in Pettyjohn Cave and all of it was due to the hard caving efforts of Richard Schreiber and those that he could entice into going with him.

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.

They then picked up the survey above the Luge or Chute at station H40. This is a dry area and after a twisting passage they climbed up into a fault room with a lot of loose rock. The survey ended with an 80 foot long, two foot high crawl ahead. The survey resulted in 658.45 feet T.H.C. Total survey now 16,506.73 feet.

April 18, 1970 - Richard Schreiber, John Eastburn, Dick Minert, Allen Padgett and Marion O. Smith climbed down from the bridge room near the squeeze to the Mason - Dixon Passage and mapped down stream under the Volcano Room until stopped by a drop off.

They then returned to the Bridge Room to map a short connection down from the Bridge Room to the up stream side of the breakdown below the Bridge Room. A short distance up stream there is a side passage that was noted on the February 23, 1969 trip near station P123. The station notes did not give a clear location and the new survey starts with "D35 - P?".They surveyed the Double Echo Domes and then when up the Baroody - Holsinger passage to map two other leads near station P110 and P99. The one starting at P99 was labeled on the survey notes as M.F. Passage Intestine with the M.F. scratched through. Both starting points for the surveys are between existing stations so the closest station was used for the connection. The survey resulted in 1,484.48 feet T.H.C. Total survey now 17,991.21 feet.

May 13, 1970 - Richard Schreiber, Ted Wilson and Steve Gelfius returned to pick up the survey in the Fault Room that ended on September 23. From the end of the crawl they found a lead going down. This lead them to the Pulverizer Squeeze, a one foot wide ten foot high chimney down for six feet. If you get stuck in the Pulverizer Squeeze, they may have to leave you there!

The mapping continued west until they discovered Tobacco Road a long straight walking passage for over four hundred feet. The survey resulted in 1,048.76 feet T.H.C. Total survey now 19,039.97 feet.

May 14, 1970 - Richard Schreiber and Ted Wilson returned discover the start of the Outer Limits, a far reaching passage going north under the mountain. They explored and mapped north for over eight hundred feet before stopping at a stream junction for the day. Survey resulted in 813.20 feet T.H.C. Total survey now 19,853.17 feet.

July 3, 1970 - Richard Schreiber, John Eastburn, Dick Minert, Rod Price and Chris Morgan (all of the USAF), returned to the lowest part of the cave and mapped down to the sump. The short survey resulted in 95.77 feet T.H.C. Total survey now 19,948.94 feet.

July 4, 1970 - Richard Schreiber, John Eastburn, Dick Minert, Rod Price and Chris Morgan went through the Worm Tube and started surveying from station G73. They discovered the Emerald Pool, a siphon and an upper passage with air descending. However they did not have the equipment necessary to climb up and check it out. They then returned to station G73 and mapped down the stream to a sump. After returning toward the entrance from the Emerald Room, and the rappel down to the sump, they took the "wrong" passage out of the muddy room with multiple passage possibilities, and became lost for a very long time in the cave. The additional travel time in the cave was several hours, and it became, as Dick Minert, remembers, a trip of approximately 18 hours. Richard said that we saw "miles" of passageway he had never seen before, and that the cave was larger than he had ever imagined. Did we see passageway since explored and surveyed? Or did we see some passageway that has not been revisited? I don't think anyone will ever have a definitive answer to those questions. That trip was during my "leave" in the Air Force prior to being staioned in Germany. Richard was about to be stationed in Minot, ND. I was in Europe until 1974, then I returned to the U.S. to resume my college education in architecture, which took me to Boston, then to Eugene, Oregon, and finally to California. I'm still an active caver, a CRF "fellow", and on the advisory boad of the Western Cave Conservancy. Most of all, I still love to go caving. I will alwys have fond memories of caving with Richard Schreiber, and fond memories of people and places in TAG Country. The survey resulted in 911.34 feet T.H.C. Total survey now 20,860.28 feet.

August 22, 1970 - Richard Schreiber, Ted Wilson and Steve Wells Caved out to the end of Tobacco Road and picked up the survey at station W80A. After mapping about a hundred feet they went out to the Outer Limits and picked up the survey at station W108. Two feet ahead of station W129 would be the 4 Mile Mark. The next survey station W130 intersects a stream flowing from the Outer Limits. The survey continued with the start of mile five.

Map produced with CAPS by:Hubert Crowell

Figure 1 21,145.10 feet of horizontal cave mapped. Available in pdf format.

Pettyjohn Cave is considered to be Georgia's most muddy and popular cave in the southeast for non vertical cavers. There are places where a rope is nice and one or two places where it may be required but 98% of the cave can be visited without the use of vertical gear. In recent years easy access and parking have made the cave a favorite for weekend outing groups. Many have always felt that this cave has many more surprises in store for those willing to put forth the effort and explore the many leads that remain.

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


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hubertcrowell@comcast.net


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