February 04, 2014

Unknown room in McIntosh Pit we are naming the"  Diamonds in the Rough Room"
After we made our way over to Paoli from corydon, we pull into the landowners property and removed the massive 300 lb concrete top covering the entrance to the pit. At the bottom of this pit is 30 years of debris from air tanks, to refrigerators, stoves, glass, oil cans...etc there was a lot of trash at the bottom but most of it did not seem to be to toxic which is a positive. Not much though. We rig onto the two trees beside the pit and tie the main line in with a butterfly and proceed to drop down into this large indiana pit entrance room. The walls were smooth slab risk and there were other domes right next to the passage of equal size. This is a very nice 75 ft. pit for Indiana and a very unique looking place that reminded me of Natural Well in Alabama.
Adam Haydock in McInTosh Pit cave Paoli Indiana
Kevin takes me to the room with the 30 ft climb and the shady rope attachment. This rope appeared to be pretty old and appears to be nylon rope used for sailboats, not climbing rope by any means. There was a side climb over a barrel into a thin walkway with a 15 foot fall that lead to a shelf with an old wooden ladder. Kevin and I made it to the ladder, climbed the ladder,  and tied a rope to it so I Attached my QAS to this rope and climbed the ladder. We got to the upper shelf and the next challenge. This one was worth a sit down talk as a fall wouldn't kill us but would be a bone breaker. It wasn't to far to the topmud ledge but you had to squeeze through on the side through a sloping wedge that would send you sliding down 30-45 ft if you weren't careful.
Shady exposed wedge crawl McInTosh Pit
I meat anchored myself into the rock and backed up on the rope Kevin tied to get up the ladder.  I pulled out my ATC and belayed Kevin with his dynamic rope he brought for this portion of the climb. Kevin tied in and squeezed his way through the sloping wedge to the top. Kevin made his way down a 15 ft pit and tied a static line in the wall that he had to climb up to tie off so the other members of the group can get to the top. Kevin belayed me and I squeeze around the wedge than and muntered my way down Into the pit. Now we had to climb up 15-20 ft using both walls and work our way around this small exposed ledge to a window. Kevin climbed up and tied in a piece of webbing. He popped his head into the window and found this.

New Discovery Room McInTosh Pit Paoli Indiana
It appeared to be a 50-60ft room that was covered in flowstone!! The floor was completely covered in one large flowstone like devils graveyard cave in south indiana. The walls were almost completely covered with flutted flowstone drapery, some extending out a few feet. There were columns of pearl white calcite that had a surface coating of shimmering crystals sprinkled on like glitter.
Diamonds in the Rough room McInTosh Pit Paoli Indiana
  There were colors of faint blue, yellow, and pink embedded in the flowstone floor. We couldn't believe our eyes as to what we were looking at in front of us. This room is not on the map and appears to have never been talked about. Did we just stumble upon a new discovery with a room that might be one of the most beautiful in Indiana?! Chris came around into the room and we all gazed in awe as to how decorated and how shiny this room was. I wish I brought my tripod and external flashes but I got the best pics I could and I know I will be coming back here very shortly so I can get the best pics possible of this place. Kevin climbed up to the top and encountered two small rooms. He came down and I climbed up and around some exposed flowstone traverse to get to the top. In these rooms I found a set of drapery that reminded me of jeep side pit in the cagles chasm system.

Drapery in McInTosh Pit Indiana

At the end of this room was a white frozen fall of calcite surrounded by tints of orange and reddish brown flowstone. What an amazing find and to know that we might be the very first to have found this room and document this discovery, made this trip one I will never forget. 
Kevin in the traverse of McInTosh Pit Indiana
  Even if we were number 2-3-4 in this room would be pretty freaking sweet too.  Regardless it was a beautiful place and worth all the challenges we encountered.  Usually this is just a pit to bounce but we spent over 5 hours in this system and that was one hell of a cave!!!
McInTosh Pit

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