Mile 7 of the Pettyjohn Cave survey

By: Hubert Crowell

Mile seven occurs over the next twenty-six years of caving in Pettyjohn Cave. 1983 brought to a close the most active exploration and survey. Schreiber's Extension is full of leads mostly going up. The survey followed the stream level and there are upper levels to be found just about the full length of the passage with few having been explored or surveyed. Schreiber's notes are full of comments about leads and climbs up into upper levels. The last survey of 1983 has been lost along with one in 1985. New discoveries have been made in the last few years and I am sure that there are many more that are just waiting for someone to survey them.

August 13, 1983 - Richard Schreiber, Ed Strausser, Wesley Sprunger and Pete Uberto made the longest survey in one day and breaking the six mile mark at station ZA111. They stayed with the stream passage all the way, marking leads in their notes for future follow up. At Station ZA122 they stopped the survey and scooped the passage ahead. Then they did a survey out and back to ZA122. They did not go to the end of Schreiber's Extension, I assume that it was completed on August 20, 1983.

The survey resulted in 2,665.53 feet T.H.C. Total survey now 33,545.85 feet.

August 20,1983 - Richard Schreiber, Bill Putnam, Wesley Sprunger and Pete Uberto mapped 398.3 feet as recorded by Marion O. Smith in the 1991 GSS Bulletin. This survey book was lost, however I was able to make out some of the station numbers and notes from Schreiber's cave plot at the end of the Extension and I believe that it was this survey. The data recorded was taken from the plot and a later resurvey. After completing the survey to the sump, they surveyed a stream passage going east off Schreiber's Extension until the passage became too low.

The survey resulted in 441.91 feet T.H.C. Total survey now 33,987.76 feet.

March 9, 1985 - Richard Schreiber, Pete Uberto, Mike Singleton, Alan Cressler and Melissa Hyde mapped 582.4 feet as recorded by Marion O. Smith in the 1991 GSS Bulletin. This survey book was also lost. I have not been able to find any clue as to where this survey took place in the cave.

Alan provided the following from his notes " 03/09/85 mapping trip with Richard Schreiber, Peter Uberto, Melissa Hyde, Mike Singleton to the upstream section above the waterfall. We mapped about 600 feet with about 1/2 that in virgin cave. Still many leads in that section. Very muddy. 8 hour trip."

March 21, 1987 - Hubert Crowell, Roger Garratt and Mark Gramlich made their first mapping trip in Pettyjohn Cave. This survey covered the entrance to the Autograph Room which had already been mapped. However 98.51 feet was gained in the lower part of the Autograph Room that was not previously surveyed. The survey ended with some air flow and evidence of someone digging at the end. This spot is very close to the passage leading to the Volcano Room, so close in fact that you can talk clearly to someone in that passage.

The survey resulted in 441.91 feet T.H.C.of new cave. Total survey now 34,086.27 feet.

August 22, 1987 - Hubert Crowell, Roger Garratt and Buddy Davis surveyed the Northeast Stream Passage to a string of large high domes. The discovery of Crowell Domes helped to expand the boundary of the cave to the east where there has been very little known cave. Part of this survey was a re-survey, the section that was unavailable from previous survey notes starts with station ES18 dropping 3 feet down to the stream level.

The survey resulted in 511.56 feet T.H.C. of new cave. Total survey now 34,597.83 feet.

September 26, 1987 - Hubert Crowell, John Wallace, Mark Gramich, Roger Garratt and Buddy Davis explored and surveyed the lower down stream section of the Northeast Stream Passage to a sump. Although this had been previously surveyed, a upper level from the sump was added back over the stream level.

The survey resulted in 118.50 feet T.H.C. of new cave. Total survey now 34,716.33 feet.

September 23, 1989 - Hubert Crowell, Buddy Davis and Roger Garrett surveyed through the pancake Squeeze to the stream and then up stream. The only portion of this survey that was not previously surveyed was the short passage through the Pancake Squeeze. This is now the most popular route and avoids the Z-Bends.

The survey resulted in 143.96 feet T.H.C. of new cave. Total survey now 34,860.29 feet.

November 10, 1991 - Jack Kipp, Buddy Welker and Tom Moltz surveyed High Anxiety re-discovered August 17, 1991 by Tom. This is located just before Schreiber's Extension turns south. It is an eighty foot climb up from the stream passage, also known as the Lost Hammer Passage. The room is large and reminded Tom of the Echo Room. There were two 3 foot high rock cairns stacked in the middle of the room. These were built by Jeff Dilcher and Laura Campbell prior to August 17. 1991. Jeff had to dig up into the room from the stream level to discover the room. The floor is mostly large breakdown boulders and the ceiling had a coating of thick calcite.

The survey resulted in 336.70 feet T.H.C. of new cave. Total survey now 35,196.99 feet.

December 19, 1992 - Hubert Crowell, Gary Beasley, Rob Morgan and Doug Dewitt re-surveyed the Signature Room to obtain vertical data for cross sections. Two small areas that were not on the original survey were gained. A small hole near the entrance to the Signature Room, located on the side of a small depression that you can just fit into. I loved to lead a group of kids into this hole and as we collect at the back, I tell them to turn their lights out and be real quiet. As each new person packs into the hole the same message is passed on until everyone is packed into the hole.

There is also a small pit at the back of the room, Doug's Pit, a small lead from the bottom of this pit was later surveyed to almost directly under the entrance of the cave.

The survey resulted in only 80.40 feet T.H.C. of new cave. Total survey now 35,277.39 feet.

January 16, 1993 - Hubert Crowell, Buddy Davis, Mark Gramich, Rob Morgan and Doug Dewitt re-surveyed from the main entrance room to the Volcano Room trying to resolve a seventy foot vertical error in my survey data. In the process we did map some passages that were new.

The survey resulted in 316.49 feet T.H.C. of new cave. Total survey now 35,593.88 feet.

August 21, 1993 - Hubert Crowell, Wes Sprunger, Sharon Keener, Gary Beasley and Brad Long surveyed the area above the Double Echo Domes. Nathan Sohn free climbed the dome in 1992 and discovered Sohn Shine Extension.

The survey resulted in 620.60 feet T.H.C. of new cave. Total survey now 36,214.48 feet.

March 29, 1999 - Scott Carmine and Tom Moltz surveyed a passage previously discovered by Scott above the Emerald Pool. At the top of the Pole Climb they worked their way through some 3D maze like breakdown and started to survey toward the southeast. They stopped at the edge of a large breakdown room over fifty feet across and fifteen to thirty feet high. There were more leads than they could explore on this trip. They would return nine years later to complete the survey and map.

The survey resulted in 137.88 feet T.H.C. of new cave. Total survey now 36,352.36 feet

September 7, 2002 - Scott Carmine, Damon Keys and Tom Moltz surveyed the end of Schreiber's Extension. Scott and Tom dug a trench thirty feet long to drain down the water level at the end of Schreiber's Extension in November of 1998. Scott returned the following weekend with Keith Minor to check on the water level and pushed through a one foot high water passage with six inches of air space to extend the south end of the cave another 464.50 feet T.H.C. For a total survey of 36,816.86 feet.

July 19, 2003 - Scott Carmine and Tom Moltz surveyed a newly discovered passage found by Damon Keys, Scott and his wife Kristin Carmine on a previous trip. The Fractured Dome Passage was found in an obscure squeeze down a tiny stream belly crawl at the end of the Anastomosis Room. The last survey shot for the day was just beyond the Fractured Dome and marks the seventh mile mark plus 4.06 feet.

The survey resulted in 147.20 feet T.H.C. of new cave. Total survey now 36,964.06 feet.

Map produced with CAPS by:Hubert Crowell

Figure 1 36,964.06 feet of horizontal cave mapped. Available in pdf format.

The surveying of Pettyjohn Cave has been very long and confusing, especially the seventh mile. During the reconstruction of the survey history, parts of the re-surveys were only used when it was certain that the passage had not previously been surveyed. Minor side shots and notes about extended unmapped crawls were not included in the data.

We are missing 582 feet of survey somewhere out in Schreiber's Extension that some day will be re-discovered and re-surveyed. I have also been told that there is two thousand feet of trunk passage out there also waiting to be surveyed.

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

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Follow up Comments:

August 14, 2011
About 6 friends and myself have been exploring pettyjohns for appx 6 months and have been to some pretty far destinations such as the pulverizer squeeze, the fault room scared the crap put of. Me, and the pole climb(though myself not past either of the two) I have found your work on surveying and mapping to be greatly helpful. We were able to find the loop by simply reading your essay. Thank you for all the work you have done on this cave.

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