July 18, 2022

Sheep Creek Cave is a Utah classic cave that is found in the northeastern portion of Utah.  

It is quite a remote place but rather easy to get to once you are in the region. 

The cave itself is not very decorated but rather featureless in terms of formations.  Rather you will find almost a mile of passage that you walk, crawl, stoop walk, and climb through.

 It gets sporty in a few sections and there is a vertical component to the cave as well. 

The Big room is a section where you have to rappel and ascend back up to continue into the cave.


There is a sump at the terminal end of the cave and ever since the cave was discovered, questions have been asked as to what is beyond the sump. 

Recently some of the passages opened back up above the sump and people are able to travel deeper into the cave. 

There is one section called the PM passage that goes higher and continues into some difficult to reach areas which might be a bypass but has not been fully explored. 

The cave itself seems to be either an overcharge relief or the water use to come in from higher and now has a lower water level for one reason or another. 

The terminal sump might not be the way to push the sump but this is our starting point to explore the submerged passages of sheep creek. 

We got a decent start as to allow all of the participants to sleep in and rest up for the day's activities. 

We sorted out our gear and assigned packs to people for the day.  We found that on the return trip to leave the cave, the packs were scattered and ended up leaving a pack at the middle of the cave.  noted for the future to assign a pack to each person. 

We entered the cave and started our way towards the sump. 

There were large breakdown boulders to negotiate around so we had to pass packs back and forth in order to continue the transportation. 

The passage is typical borebole breakdown with some climbing and scrambling around rocks until you get to the big room. 

This room is quite large in size and has some impressive dynamic to it. There is a sandy beach and the river cuts around the corner of the passage. the floor is covered in sand telling me that water has been carving and depositing itself into the room at one time. 

Paul and Barry set up a high line to trolly gear across the big room to make the transportation of the gear, more efficient. This also help so that people wouldn't have to climb back up with scuba tanks. 

After descending 40 ft and ascending 60 feet back up, we continued deeper into the cave to work around an arch and a handline assisted traverse. 

once we got past this, we entered a phreatic passage with chert in the walls and the final beach section with the sump at the shoreline. We finally made it to the sump. 

The team caught up with the sump and Astro and I started to Don our diving gear. Driving 12 hours, waking up to get into a mile long cave, while photographing as we go, and efficinizing the safety of the team, while supporting 10K on diving equipment to reach the sump in working condition is not an easy task. With that mentality, you have to prepare for a dive in 47-degree water with restrictive heavy undergarments, restricting equipment and the unknown.  It becomes real at that point. 

After a couple hours of showing up at the sump, Astro and I are getting ready to dive. Astro has an issue with one of his first stages with a leak.  He has to replace the leak, while 

Report:  We had 20 people assist in this dive effort to push the sump at the back of sheep creek cave. We set up a high line to trolly gear across the big room inside the cave as well as set up rope traverse for fall restraint and arrest. Once we got to the sump Astro and I donned our diving gear.  Astro has a leak in his first stage, and I had a leak in my SPG.  We swapped out O-rings and the spg for everything to start working again. Astros primary light stopped working and the problems stacked too much for Astro to dive.  I had some leaks in my drysuit and it was a matter of time until my undergarment would get saturated and would be too heavy and cold to dive. I continued to enter the cave with the assist of Barry and Paul.   I made the initial push into the cave and laid line and surfaced in the PM passage. The viz was around 7 ft and the temp was 47 degrees F. I was able to get to a gauge depth of 16 ft and surfaced once more, I was laying line while I was continuing the dive. I continued into the water and after 120 ft of laid line counting knots at 10 ft intervals, discounting the line used to tie off, I found the passage to break left and right. With surfacing passage, solo diving, cold conditions, leaky dry suit, and passage breaking left and right, I decided to end the dive at this point. I left a cookie and line for a return dive. We packed the gear away and proceeded to leave the cave without incident and successfully performed a dive in Sheep Creek cave. 

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