April 10, 2016

Laura Sangaila in Whipple Cave, Nevada
After Smith Creek Cave over by Great Basin, We made out way over to Ely and down to Whipple Cave which was quite the distance travelled after considering how far we had to go back home to! But, this cave was worth it!!!
Whipple Cave, Nevada
After pushing through some rain and more rain, we made it to a wet dirt road which was around 4 miles to the entrance of the cave.  The Subaru kicked ass on this road even through the rain saturated the roads making them a bit more sloggy to get through.
Whipple Cave, Nevada
It was a around 45 degrees and raining in the distance with the suns rays piercing through from time to time in the valley below as we walked up the hill and right to the cave entrance.  I was impressed to see two entrances and the bottom below.  There was a natural bridge over the pit separating these two 70-90ft entrances.
Whipple Cave, Nevada
The entrance also reminded me a bit of Pink Lime Pit with how the rock looked which makes a lot of sense as these caves are Hypogenic in nature.  Hypogenic means that these cave are formed through a brine of mineral that has rose from deeper in the earth or where minerals made their way to the briny water.  .
Whipple Cave, Nevada
Groundwater finds its way over to the brine and reacts with this composition forming cavities in the earth and the water works its way deeper causing different levels of cave passage to develop.  The surface can collape and create a pit entrance of at time miners have broke into these cavities to find crystals lining the walls, like Whipple Cave. Whipple Cave has developed and made its presence known naturally known with its large entrance that can be spotted from google earth
Whipple Cave, Nevada
I rig to some bolts and rap down this mostly steep slope with 15ft a free hang until you reach down to the bottom.  There is a Register and there was also a unamused raven that gawked at us as we inhabited the entrance of the cave.
Whipple Cave, Nevada
We noticed a large passage with a 20-25 degree slope for at least a 100ft. going down to a large passage with massive breakdown and flow stone walls.  Very nice especially for Western caves! there were a lot of formations on the ceiling too which was really nice to see.
Whipple Cave, Nevada

The primary color in this cave is a cream colored dusty white and light brown color which goes with a lot of hypogenic cave systems.

Whipple Cave, Nevada
The breakdown was rather large so we made our way over to a really nice formation room and around some breakdown that had a drop.  Since we had our vertical gear on and I had an extra rope, I rigged that exposure so we could get down safe.
Laura in Whipple Cave, Nevada
The room opened back up and the wall were decorated with some impressive flowstone and bacon drapery of different colors and shapes.
Laura signing the register in Whipple Cave, Nevada
Than the pillar, which was surrounded by detailed flowstone walls and a ceiling covered with formations!
Laura climbing Whipple Cave, Nevada
This cave is only around 900ft in total horizontal distance but we were in this system for a couple hours photo documenting our visit and admiring the formations in this cave.
Whipple Cave, Nevada
We made our way back to the exit and it was down pouring outside!! Shit I hope the roads are not to jacked up to get out or we will be stuck in the middle of a cow pie desert on a cold and wet Nevada night.  

Whipple Cave, Nevada
It eventually stopped as I re rigged and we made our way out of the cave and got back to the main highway without too much issue.  The Subaru coasted over the wet sand spot of the road so we were good to go!!
Laura at the surface of Whipple Cave, Nevada
The cavers at convention are going to enjoy this Hypogenic cave with its unique make up and formations in this straightforward cave, would I go back? Absolutely.
Whipple Cave, Nevada

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