October 01, 2014

Phil Goldman in Storms Pit Indiana
I find these weekends to be a daze a lot of times and it is becoming even more important to photo these trips as a way to remember just what the heck happened on these trips. I think I got a whole 6 hours of sleep the previous night which was an upgrade from the 4 hours I got the night before but the same damp conditions existed which is something that I am pretty use to on these trips.  I boiled up some coffee and sat in my super awesome chair watching the sun rise over the trees and the dew as other people started to wobble out of their tents.  Mysteriously, my attorney disappeared and I didn’t hear from him until after I got back into Chicago.  Brandon and Stacy got a hotel at the nearby super 8 and decided to head back to Chicago the following day.   We strike camp and met up with Brian Leavell while saying goodbye to the landowners and thanking them for their hospitality for allowing us to sleep on their property.  That was super awesome!! We got together and headed around the neighborhood and pulled our convoy of cars into the landowner’s property where Storms Pit is located.

Kassia in Storms Pit Indiana

We got a chance to meet the landowners and soon after headed over to the newly fenced in 60ft Pit entrance.  Brian and a crew built a new fence system as the landowner was afraid that his family might fall into the pit itself.   He was describing to us that he almost covered the pit forever until Brian came by and helped build a fence around the pit.  Thank god he did that as this pit is one of the largest pits in Indiana in my opinion.  
Kassia Descending Storms Pit
 A nice large entrance with a large tree about a third of the way up and a large room with a shelf for a passage at the bottom of the pit.  What a treat that was for us and what a great first timer vertical pit for the cavers involved.

Storms Pit Indiana
Phil and I decided to rig two ropes so an experienced vertical caver can follow a newb down the rope for physical and mental tender loving care.   Phil, Justin, and I dropped down to the bottom and were impressed with how big the room was for Indiana standards. We came back up and found a sizable rock made a terminal gash in the rope but thankfully cut the rope at a place where it was about 10 more feet to the melted end of the rope.

Adam Haydock in Storms Pit Indiana

I stayed down as newbie cavers carefully got over the edge with their experienced companions gasping, huffing, and puffing while working through challenges and jitters as rope started sliding through their racks.  They slowly worked through a host of breathtaking challenges and as they touched back down to ground 60ft from the sunny surface they got off rope with battery acid pumping through their veins while enjoying the fact that they just did the first half of a vertical cave. Wooohoo!!!! I remember that feeling when I made my firs descent and it was a feeling I will never forget.
Jorge Bararra in Storms Pit Indiana

We continued to keep the party moving as we had a lot of people at the surface getting hot and at the bottom getting cold. I took some photos and pursued a lower watercourse passage that was too tight to continue.  Justin pushed an upper breakdown passage that just didn’t render much but more breakdown.  There was a window passage that we noticed which is a very accessible passage but we did not end up pushing this passage. We were here for over 6 hours helping the beginners get on and off rope with no major issues.  I want to thank Brian Leavell for allowing us to stay at Edna’s place and for arranging access to storms pit.  What a treat that was and I hope we all get a chance to hangout again sometime soon. To all the newbie cavers that attended the horizontal and the vertical caves this weekend, you did it!! You went through three caves with different levels of challenges and were able to drop into your first pit cave.  What and awesome weekend but what a mentally tiring weekend that was.  I hope the newbies continue to get together and continue to develop your skills.  There is a lifetime and a lifestyle waiting for you out there and now it is up to you to seize the opportunity. We will see you all underground. 

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