April 10, 2016

Beware Cave, Gandy Warm Springs, Utah
Near the Utah and Nevada border lies a resurgence of clear 85 degree water the flows out of Cambrian rock into a pool and down into a stream bed.  This Resurgence is equipped with hanging fern gardens both inside and outside of the cave and is discharging around 9--- gallons of water everyday.

Beware Cave, Gandy Warm Springs, Utah
It is a beautiful oasis for those desert hikers coming back from a day of hiking or for the spring hunter looking to soak in the mineral infused warm ground waters.
Photo by: Laura Sangaila Gandy Warm Springs dive, Utah

The Spring is in the town of Gandy at the base of Spring mountain( Gandy Mountain) which is also home to a couple other nearby caves including Crystal Ball Cave which is gated yet access can be granted to those who contact the land owner.

Beware Cave, Gandy Warm Springs, Utah
There are faults within the snake valley area where water might either be pushed up into more mineral rich ancient waters and pushed out of the warm spring or there are a series of conduits connect drainage and relieve the watercourse out into gandys resurgence.

Beware Cave, Gandy Warm Springs, Utah
Gandy Warm Spring, or, Beware Cave has a cavern entrance that swimmers can access by going into the low overhand covered with moss and hanging fern gardens. The water becomes deep and the passage soon narrows to a ceiling sipper, this is where the dive started.

Beware Cave, Gandy Warm Springs, Utah
I started off with a sidemount configuration to push into this submerged cave with steel 50s and enough gas to work myself pretty far into the cave.  Laura relaxed on the surface and took some photos as well as took a dip in the water.

Photo by: Laura Sangaila

 I kit up and enter the water with no wetsuit and my computer reading 84 degrees for the water temp...pretty nice!! I made my way to the entrance and observed the hanging gardens raining down on the inside of what was left of the air passage before fully submersing myself into the cave.

Beware Cave, Gandy Warm Springs, Utah
Being a Full cave diver, I want to make sure I follow all of my protocols and since I am diving solo, I want to re assure that everything is working properly.
Photo by: Laura Sangaila Adam Haydock in Gandy warm Springs dive, Utah

I tie a line to the rocks down stream and make my way into the passage tying off to avoid line traps.
Beware Cave, Gandy Warm Springs, Utah
The water clarity was Ginnie Springs clear, 100ft of viz and that crystal clear blue water cave divers are use to in Florida and Mexico among other places.  I continue down the passage and find an air bell above me so I pop up into this room which is big enough to fit your head in but not much more. You can fit 5 or 6 people in this passage but the air ceiling is very limited.
Photo by: Laura Sangaila Adam Haydock in Gandy Warm Springs Dive

 There was however, a small waterfall flowing water into this bell and the bells ceiling was covered in active dripping formations.  It was rather beautiful..
Beware Cave, Gandy Warm Springs, Utah
Under the water there were some nice cream colored flowstone drapery which looked very clean and very intricate which tells me that that the water level in this bell room was a lot lower and might have been a trickle of water at one point.
Beware Cave, Gandy Warm Springs, Utah
I continued up the passage and found that the ceiling and floor go to a point where I had to push myself through the rock while moving some away helped, gas was being used and the movement was slow going.  I tied off the reel and came back out of the cave into the beautiful blue/green algae and seaweed flora on the banks.
Beware Cave, Gandy Warm Springs, Utah
I reconfigured my setup for a no mount configuration and ditched the sidemount harness which helped me considerably when I returned to the dig.  I proceed on through some tight passage and came into easier passage with slightly higher ceiling which continued to get tight and open up.  Silt would get kicked out but it would all get pushed out with the current so it was not an issue.

  I believe I made it between 200-250ft into the cave and it kept trending upward on a 5 degree slope. I also found a soda straw in the rubble so that tells me that there are might be more passage upstream that was once air passage and the water broke it off, so more room might await.
Beware Cave, Gandy Warm Springs, Utah
There was another spring with a small crawl that also had actively dripping speleotherms which flowed out into a small waterfall through a window. the passage that the water was coming from was too tight to get through and after digging I found solid rock which appeared to be solid throughout this spring.

The main opportunity is Gandy Warm Springs and I am looking forward to going back and continuing the push!

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