March 19, 2014
We got up early so we are able to get to Kentucky and on over to Raymond’s Cave and have time to drop the pit inside the cave and head back to Chicago. We get to the property, park the car, and realized we had to cross a field that was about a half mile to a tree line which was not to bad as the entrance was just over the tree line and down the hill about 200 ft. The landowner showed up as we got there so he was able to point us in the right direction to the cave. The weather was a bit different as it was about 32 degrees and blowing ice at 15 to 20 MPH. Going over the field made for quite the shit storm as the wind would blast uphill and slap ice pellets in our faces as we inched closer to the entrance of Raymond’s cave. After crossing a few fences, We got to the entrance of the cave and it had a nice sloping entrance into a room where it was a bit warmer. This is where we were able to set our clothes for the way out back to the car. We unlock the gate to the entrance and start to head into the cave popping up into the passage and then again popping up into the formation passage.
This is a beautiful cave system and reminded me a bit of Buddha cave with the narrow walking passage and flowstone drapery surrounding us from the left and right. There were a series of columns and sections of soda straws that defined this room as the crystal room. Eventually we made it to the register where we signed our names and proceeded to go around and drop into the window where the pit was located. This was an impressive 100ft pit!! the rock was black and appears to flood a lot in wet conditions.
We had to rig to a natural anchor so after completing the set up, I got on rope and made my descent down to the bottom. This pit reminded me of Mandy's pit in TAG from the top but this was not as big, I rapped down and noticed a slight trickle of water coming down and thought about how I can divert this water so the others would not get wet.
At the bottom the mud was deep and loose which indicitated to me that this pit takes in a lot of water and fills up like a well. There was a passage that continued on but according to the map, it appears to end. I peaked back there and Chris checked it out and Chris felt like it kept going on, I am guessing this is something Chris can check out when he returns.
|Raymond's Cave Kentucky|
|Chris at the crystal formation room Raymond's Cave Kentucky|
|Into the 100ft room Raymond's Cave Kentucky|
|Rappelling into the Pit in Raymond"s Cave Kentucky|
|Chris Rapping down Raymond's Cave Kentucky|
Soon after Chris came back, I got back on rope and climbed back up to the top so I could attempt to get a couple pictures of everyone coming up form the bottom. Unfortunately those pics didn't work out but I was able to get a shot from the top.
|At the top of Raymond's Cave in Kentucky|
Chris made his climb out shortly after without any issues and without the water being to much of a challenge. I took down the drop setup and we went back to the register to think about how we wanted to continue. We decided that we should turn out as it was getting a little cold and we had a long drive back to Chicago from Kentucky. We made our exit after taking a few pics and got back to the car with frozen hands and feet from the wet cave and the shity surface conditions. Thankfully the car was not far from the entrance so we warmed up and tried to say thank you to the landowner but we were not able to reach out to him. We had a great learning experience while doing a fantastic job on rope, while Chris, AKA the "Wet Turtle" as always....good fucking times and it is always a pleasure hanging out with a good friend to go caving but a complete nightmare being behind the wet turtle after a long day of caving.
|Crystal Room Raymond's Cave|