October 27, 2015

 Nathanael in Pine Hill cave, Kentucky
Nathanael and I piled into th car and we left for Mt. Vernon Kentucky after work for a first trip into a cave system and a good time to hang out with Nathanael which I haven't not had the chance to do yet. It took us 7 hours to get down to Mt. Vernon and we had a campsite rsvped for us so we could just drive right to the cave entrance which was only a couple of miles away.  

sculpted canyon passage in Pine Hill Cave, Kentucky
We parked the car and geared up for a a trip into the popular Pine Hill Cave.  This cave is around 5 miles with some formations but a lot of stream and waterfall passage which was interesting when it got to the canyon section where the fluted and sculpted rock dagger ed from the walls that we had to climb over.  We got turned around a couple times in this cave but it was not much of a big deal.  
 Nathanael climbing around the waterfall in Pine Hill cave, Kentucky
We entered the cave and headed towards the upstream passage that took us through a series of stoop walking passages, walking, and a little bit of crawling.  We made it through to a canyon passage where the ceiling continued to get higher to a point where we found ourselves in a nice fluted passage of smooth cut rock.  There were some waterfalls we had to climb over as well  some water we went around until we got to the confluence where we could hear a waterfall or follow the trunk passage to another section of the cave. We followed the cave up till it started to get tight and turned around.  There were not many formations but we did find some domes along the way and there were some dormant flow stone and flow stone columns that appeared to be super old. 
Naomi and Nathanael in the Skylight Dome in Pine Hill cave, Kentucky
We headed back and went upstream to a deep pool and a waterfall that we scaled around so we wouldn't get wet which was successful  for us. That took us to another waterfall we climbed over that had some interesting chert balls in the walls which took us into a 100ft. dome. 

Nathanael in Pine Hill Cave
Afterwards we backtracked and headed for the sky dome room which we had to climb up and around some breakdown which took us to an exposed traverse across a ledge and up into a upper passage. This upper passage led to a small crawling room that was blowing a lot of wind so this had to have the way to the dome. We crawled for about 150ft and popped into a chamber where we could see the surface.  Awesome!! 

 Nathanael in the Skylight Dome in Pine Hill cave, Kentucky
This is a 125ft pit entrance to Pine Hill that was interesting to see and i grabbed a few photos of this room.  We headed back and I pulled a mock scenario of an injured first time caver and walked Naomi and Daniel on what to do if that situation happened. It was a good learning lesson and was helpful to know how to handle situations when they arise.

 Pine Hill cave, Kentucky
We proceeded to exit the cave afterwards while I tried to turn them around and get them lost a few times before we left which was fun to do. Beautiful cave system and I am wondering what is at the end of the cave where the water surges back under......

 Pine Hill cave, Kentucky

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