May 27, 2015

The day has come where we were able to talk to the Proctors about visiting their caves up on the mountain by their house.  We stopped by the previous night but nobody answered the door so we left a note. The following morning, Josh Schultz, Ken Williams, Troy Fuqua, and I pull up to the Proctors house and talked to them about accessing the caves from their property. As we were talking about where to park, another guy pulls up and talks to us and wants to know whats going on. He gets a bit upset when his own questions to us do no solicit the open ended discussion he might have been expecting, so we explained to him again what we were doing and continued to open up dialogue with him.  It turns out he was being on the defensive and was just wondering what was going on and explained that the caves are on his property.  After the mis communication and confusion we were able to work everything out and parted our ways with access to Fargo, Water, and Wils Welch Well. 
Troy Checking out the entrance of Water Well
We hike up the mountain and decide to head towards Water Well first.  We were able to find it rather quickly and noticed some water flowing into the cave.   Well,... it is called water well, so I am guessing there is going to be some water flowing in this one! We Rig to a high tree and re-belay at a bolt right next to the 120-130 ft drop.
Water Well

Descending down this one was similar to the entrance drop in Fowler 2 with the downpour of rain coming down on us when we reached the bottom of the cave.  It was difficult to take pictures of the pit as water was pouring all around us but I managed to get a couple shots. 
Josh Schultz rappelling down the first drop in Water Well

We get to the bottom and we run into a very interesting second drop which took us some time to rig.
Ken Williams realizing he is already over the pit on the rigging in the second drop in water well

 We initially rigged through this small keyhole which took us down a 50 ft rappel out of the water but we ended up moving the rope by wrapping it around the keystone so it would be easier to get off rope which made a world of difference for us.
Josh Schultz working his way over the edge in Water Well

It was quite the squeeze and awkward to get on rope as we were on top of keyed in rocks over the pit with another massive 2 ton boulder above us that was weighted by the rope and could have given way at any time.
Troy Fuqua working his way down the second drop in Water Well

We all made it down and headed towards the crawl and the third drop which was in a pretty large room and quite massive in size.
Josh Schultz looking down on rope on the second drop in Water Well

We ended up ascending back out of the cave so we could make our way over to the other two caves in good time. 
Troy Fuqua climbing out of Water Well

Water Well ate up a lot of our day so we were burning daylight as we headed over to Wils Welch Well.

Josh packing up and ready to go to Wils Welch Well
Wils Welch Well was another interesting cave as we set up just about every different kind of configuration we could think of and with each person bottoming the first drop, we modified the rigging to minimize rub points which turned this drop into a obstacle course more than a rap into the cave. 

We rigged webbing to the tree for a rap 3 pull 2 anchor and set up two redirects and a rope pad in the entrance, the 148 ft rap into the large floor was impressive!!
 first drop in Wils Welch Well

 there were natural bridges crossing an adjacent dome where the majority of the water was falling so it kept us pretty dry as we got to the bottom of the first drop.
Ken Williams at the top of the second drop in Wils Welch Well

There was a crack that turned into a triangle which had two waterfalls pouring into this drop which is where a second nusince drop of 15ft was.  This is where we rigged a back up and re-belayed to the third drop which was around 50ft in some impressive water pressure.
Josh Schultz climbing the second drop in Wils Welch Well

 We bottomed the third drop and followed the canyon through a water crawl to walking canyon passage that led to a few small formation rooms and beyond.
First drop in Wils Welch Well

We ended up turning around at the first low ceiling high water passage as we did not have rope for the last drop and time was running out for us. It took some time to ascend out of the cave as we couldn't hear what the other was saying at the top but eventually we made it out and headed over to the last drop, a 220ft pit called Fargo well.
Wils Welch Well
Fargo Well is a nice canyon fluted cave with very little passage at the bottom. We set up a tensionless around a tree and rigged as the sun was starting to set.
Fargo Well

 We were able to bounce this pit as our tiring and weary bodies dodged a few rocks sailing through the darkness after the word ROCK echoed in the chasm.  If you know what you are listening for, you can hear objects falling as it gets closer and closer to the bottom.
Fargo Well
After bouncing this cave we de-rigged and headed down to the field and eventually back to the car!! phew that was a long day and we had to make it back tot the hotel so we could rest up for McBrides the following day.
Fargo Well

FLICKR: WATER WELL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/exploration-worldwide/sets/72157651233769883
WILS WELCH WELL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/exploration-worldwide/sets/72157651223993914
FARGO WELL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/exploration-worldwide/sets/72157653552869512

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