MAKC: A Look Back III

Volume 8, Number 2, Fall 2005, 22 pp.
This issue details the update of the gate on Hesston Cave, a leased property. Tom Metzgar describes a big spring in Somerset County, from an old newspaper reference. The gating of Casparis Mines by the Pennsylvania Game Commission is detailed (newspapers described the gating as a cave gating, but we all know that was to occur more than a decade later. MAKC got involved with a bat house project in the village of Dawson, along the Youghiogheny River Trail. Bats were attempting to establish residence in parts of town they were not as welcome in, but the townspeople asked for helping providing proper homes for the mammals. We responded through a Sierra Club grant and provided 11 bat houses for the town (including the volunteers to erect the houses), and the loss of Myron Dunleavy, owner of Lincoln Caverns, is noted.
Volume 8, Number 3, Winter 2005-2006, 22 pp.
While this cover features a Gordy Ley photo of the Bear Cave entrance, the feature article and photos show the installation of the bat houses in Dawson, a grant being described in the previous issue. Some additional historic cave articles are included, as well as a continuation of the story of the fight to save the Chestnut Ridge cave area from a limestone mine. The lease of the Chestnut Ridge caves was temporarily suspended due to loss of our liability insurance.
Volume 8, Number 4, Spring 2006, 22 pp.
The cover of this issue and the feature story details survey of Laurel Ridge Skylight Caves, sandstone features in a state park where Kerry Speelman used to work. A shelter cave was also mapped. Kim Metzgar redrafts the Josephine Cave, Indiana County, Pa., map, which is now along a newly-opened rail trail, the Ghost Town Trail.
Volume 9, Number 1, Summer 2006, 22 pp.
The cover and more than half of this 22-page issue features the gating of Coon Cave, Barton Cave and Lemon Hole Cave by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. MAKC had presented the state with reasons not to gate the caves, but, after persuasion by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the DCNR decided to proceed with the gating. However, in a turnabout from typical PGC closure-forever, the DCNR announced plans to keep the caves open when bats are not hibernating in the caves. Newspaper coverage was widespread.
Volume 9, Number 2, Fall 2006, 24 pp.
A collage of photos on the cover of this newsletter details a new discovery in Whisper Rocks, Huntingdon County, Pa. This show cave owned by Ann Dunlavy, was part of a remapping project (along with Lincoln Caverns) by members of MAKC. MAKC also detailed a new discovery in a Fayette County Cave and ongoing mapping efforts there, and an update is given on the Harlansburg Cave survey project. Kerry Speelman details a trip to Long Quarry Cave and MAKC’s annual members’ event, this year at Idle Acres, is described.
Volume 9, Number 3, Winter 2006-2007, 22 pp.
The winter 2007 issue of Karst Chronicle featured a collage of photos of every MAKC newsletter to date, in honor of the conservancy’s 10-year anniversary. Kim Metzgar writes of a visit to Saint Benedict’s Cave in Rome. Saint Benedict is considered the patron saint of caving. Sad, sad news of the vandalism of a world-renowned formation in Caverns of Sonora, Texas is recounted through news articles. The family of Frank Mielcarek, a long-time Pittsburgh Grotto member who passed away in a house fire, donated his famous cave slides to the MAKC. The death of Hindman Cave owner Paul Ulisky is also reported.
Volume 9, Number 4, Spring 2007, 24 pp.
Kim Metzgar persuaded the Pennsylvania Game Commission to open Strangford Cave to cavine for one day, where MAKC cavers would scrub graffiti and map the cave. The cave had been gated and closed to all caving for 14 years. The rest of the issue gives an update to ongoing survey efforts to document the caves of Indiana County, Pa.
Volume 10, Number 1, Summer 2007, 22 pp.
The cover documents the aforementioned Strangford Cave project, while features include Strangford and Walt Hamm’s Hanna Pit, WV, mapping project. The NSS Convention in Marengo, Indiana, is featured in an article and photos, and the ongoing One Voice project to document the Chestnut Ridge quarry protest continues.
Volume 10, Number 2, Fall 2007, 22 pp.
The cover and main feature of Karst Chronicle details the leasing and management plan of Cleversburg Sink, Cumberland County. MAKC partnered with Franklin County Grotto to provide liability insurance in order to keep this cave open. One Voice continues.
Volume 10, Number 3, Winter 2007-2008, 22 pp.
Kim Metgar documents a threatened cave area, the Wymps Gap area in Fayette County, Pa. A limestone quarry threatened numerous caves, and maps and descriptions of these caves are published. The quarry was subsequently approved. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s acquistion of White Rocks in Fayette County was noted. This land was eventually turned over to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Volume 10, Number 4, Spring 2008, 22 pp.
Fourteen of the first 22 pages of this issue, including the cover, document more than a half dozen caves in the McConnell’s Mill State Park, with maps and descriptions. Many of the caves, known to lots of people but never documented by cavers, were named by MAKC life member cavers. The loss of member Tom Snyder is noted, as are the first accounts of windmills having a negative impact on bats. A woodrat study on Chestnut Ridge is described and a ladder replacement project in Cleversburg Sink is shown in photos.
Volume 11, Number 1, Summer 2008, 22 pp.
This issue features the new plan view maps of Lincoln Caverns and Whisper Rocks in Huntingdon County, Pa., by Kim Metzgar, and a description of the four-year efforts. Kim describes some northwestern Pennsylvania caves and the conservancy was also happy to announce the resumption of the Trout Run Woods Caves lease for caves of Chestnut Ridge. The loss of our liability insurance caused a temporary suspension of the lease, but MAKC members worked hard to find insurance in order to reopen the caves. This issue also contained the first references to White Nose Syndrome, the deadline bat-killing fungus that ended up decimating bat populations.
Volume 11, Number 2, Fall 2008,
16 pp.
This issue of Karst Chronicle was only 16 pages, but it was exclusively devoted to Hesston Cave, a lease project of the conservancy. Kim Metzgar gives a detailed history and centerford map of recent remapping efforts in this Huntingdon County cave.
Volume 11, Number 3, Winter 2008-2009, 24 pp.
The cover of this issue features Alexander Caverns after a recent MAKC trip. The main feature, however, was an article on a cleanup in Schofer Cave. Thanks to the work of many cavers, including MAKC Board member Jeff Jahn, and life member Dean Snyder, the Mid-Atlantic Karst Conservancy (MAKC) had the MAKC members’ event over the weekend of June 13-15, 2008 at Onyx Cave in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Like last year’s event at Strangford Cave (gated in 1993), this was the first caver access to Schofer Cave since 1994, when it was gated. There was a trip report to McCallisterville Cave, and a map of the Bear Cave Fire Tower Talus Cave. The issue also features some photos from the Frank Mielcarek Collection donated to MAKC. The loss of member Jan Damon is noted.
Volume 11, Number 4, Spring 2009, 26 pp.
This 26-page issue features the best of the best and the lowest of the low, announcing the acquisition of the Bob and Bev Danielson Cave and Karst Education Center and Library, and the loss of longtime caver and friend Dale Ibberson. The Danielsons, of Cleveland Grotto, provided the funding necessary for MAKC to purchase a house to establish a library in Blairsville, Pa. The map and description of Strangford Cave, Indiana County, is included, the Hall Cave bat count numbers were provided by Mike Schirato, and MAKC’s involvement with a trail mapping project at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve, Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, is given.
Volume 12, Number 1, Summer 2009, 20 pp.
Dean Snyder recounts restoration efforts of vandalized formations in Floyd Collins Crystal Cave, Kentucky, the main feature and cover story. Lisa Hall solicits members to help with bat monitoring for White Nose Syndrome, details of the MAKC’s new library are announced and the centerford features a new map of Overholt Saltpeter Cave, WV, a project of Walt Hamm. A map and description of the nature trail project described in the previous issue is given. Ken Tayman describes a water level research project in Cleversburg Sink and MAKC receives support from Crystal Cave, Pa.
Volume 12, Number 2, Fall 2009, 20 pp.
The fall 2009 Karst Chronicle announces the spring 2010 grand opening of the MAKC’s library, made possible through the donations of many of its members and primary supporters Bob and Bev Danielson, lifetime members of Cleveland Grotto. Volunteers and donors to the library project are listed as well as photos of the ongoing work at the library in Blairsville. An update of the Harlansburg Cave mapping project is published, and Joe Duchamp gives an update on the ongoing woodrat studies on Chestnut Ridge through Indiana University of Pennsylvania. A look back at Brady’s Bend Cave is given through history and the photos of Frank Mielcarek.
Volume 12, Number 3, Winter 2009, 20 pp.
White Nose Syndrome and its devastating affect on bats hits home for MAKC as the Hall Cave bat population was decimated, in spite of a caving moratorium enacted by the board in February of 2009. MAKC hosted a program on White Nose Syndrome, which was well attended, at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at Saint Vincent College. Greg Turner of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Aura Stauffer of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources spoke to the audience about the disease, how it affects bats, and the protocols necessary for safe caving. It was decided to open the conservancy’s caves in spring of 2010, with protocols for caving with WNS outlined. Kerry Speelman gives a trip report to Bootlegger Sink for a groundwater study, with Charlie Klinger assisting. Volunteers who helped with the library were noted along with a list of projects completed.
Volume 12, Number 4, Spring 2010, 24 pp.
The cover and a three-page article featured Using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to find potential cave areas by Dave Field. A Jason Gray map of Fred Woods Cave in Cameron County was published, along with maps and descriptions of Kate’s Cave, Westmoreland County, and Rock Furnace Shelter, Armstrong County. Ichabod’s Cave in Lawrence County is named by MAKC life member Keith Wheeland, according to the map and description. Three pages of volunteer activity at the library is given and some photos of the open house are published. The back page features a distribution of caves and mines across the state, compiled by Kerry Speelman. Tom Metzgar begins his “Barton Cave Chronicles,” which detail a history of exploration of this Fayette County feature.
Volume 13, Number 1, Summer 2010, 20 pp.
The work of board member Jeff Jahn of Front Royal Grotto and the Front Royal Grotto comes to fruition with the announcement of the lease of Rogers Belmont Cave in Virginia, a cave that had been physically closed to caving. A management plan for visitation to the cave is outlined, and the Virginia Cave law was also published. Obituaries are published for Bob Keintz and Jack Stellmack. Stellmack was a former NSS president who, when he entered assisted living, gave his extensive book collection to the MAKC. Kim Metzgar notes that surveyors had finally connected Harlansburg Cave north and south, with an under the road survey, finally dispelling any disputes that they were two separate caves. The Barton Chronicles continue and the support of Crystal Cave in eastern Pennsylvania is noted.
Volume 13, Number 2, Fall 2010, 20 pp.
Jeff Jahn is shown on the cover at a dig for a cave hoped to connect to Rogers-Belmont. The MAKC board met in Virginia so its members could tour the property and see the parts of the cave that are open. The main entrance, which was physically closed, was still closed at that time and the Front Royal Grotto efforts were to seek a back door to the cave first. The cave that was opened is quite nice. Treasurer Susan Moore spells out the business end of things in an extensive report that was published. Ongoing volunteers are again recognized and the Barton Chronicles continue.
Volume 13, Number 3, Winter 2010-2011, 20 pp.
Tom Metzgar is pictured on the cover at the entrance to a new tectonic cave in Fayette County State Game Lands. Maps include those of Skavang Cave and Icebox Cave in the Charles F. Lewis Natural Area, Indiana County. Icebox Cave’s multiple entrances lead to nearly 200 feet of passages according to the map drawn by Mike Kern. Chuck Acklin named his life member cave map John Robert Dunn Amazing Springtime Skylight Delight Cave. The cave is also in the Charles F. Lewis Natural area. Flat Rock Run Cave is one of the new Game Lands caves, along with Eric Coffman’s life member map, Lux Interior 51 Cave. Maps of three small caves near the Seven Springs Airport reported by Dennis Melko were produced. Archival photos in the newsletter included Tytoona Cave and New Paris Sinks. Westmoreland County’s documented caves increased with publication of Pine Hill Road Crevice and Gillis Grotto, and the final map is of Indiana County’s Buttermilk Falls Shelter. The rest of the issue is filled with the Barton Cave Chronicles.
Volume 13, Number 4, Spring 2011, 20 pp.
Sarah Ulrich is this issue’s cover, in Porter Cave, Virginia, with the photo taken by Kerry Speelman. He recounts their Virginia caving expedition in an article. Dave Hurst, who writes the Westsylvania newspaper column, was taken to Bear Cave by some MAKC members and geologists, including Mike Kern. The geologists did a very good job explaining caving to him, and thus, he in turn, authored a very thorough article. Dean Snyder pens an article detailing the ongoing restoration efforts in Floyd Collins Crystal Cave, Kentucky, which had been heavily vandalized. Jim Werker and Val Hildreth-Werker, NSS cavers who wrote the book on Cave Conservation, literally, were there to help cavers repair formations. Kim Metzgar, who had pneumonia, still took a day off to accompany Greg Turner of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Aura Stauffer of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Dr. Deeann Reeder of Bucknell University, work with bats who had White Nose Syndrome at Barton Cave. The cavers were not needed for the study and actually had to wait outside the gated cave while it was going on. They were there, Mike Kern, Dennis Melko, Lisa Hall, Chuck Hilpert and Aron Schmid, to assess a collapse that had occurred in the cave. Cavers had not known about the collapse, in the Pittsburgh Passage, because the cave had been closed to all for WNS. Tom Metzgar writes about three Westmoreland County Caves Described in 1852: Bear Cave, Hillside Bone Cave, Rattlesnake Sink. The Barton Chronicles continue.
Volume 14, Number 1, Summer 2011, 20 pp.
The previous Karst Chronicle detailed caver efforts to investigate a collapse in Barton Cave. While a surface hike was done at that time, nothing was discovered, although the interior of the collapse was photographed. A subsequent trip by MAKC discovered the cause of the collapse, and Dennis Melko and Brenda Sekeleti are pictured on the cover at the rim of a huge surface sinkhole corresponding to the Pittsburgh Passage in Barton Cave. The Tribune-Review did a story on the MAKC and its library, featuring Paul Damon, Sr. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced the reopening of Coon Cave, the gated Westmoreland County cave that had at one time been a huge hibernaculum, but which was affected by White Nose Syndrome. “Habitat Characteristics Affecting Allegheny Woodrat (Neotoma magister) Populations on the Chestnut Ridge in Southwestern Pennsylvania” was the topic of a study completed by Jennifer Nicole Hoffman, a student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The thesis was submit¬ted to the School of Graduate Studies and Research in partial fulfillment of the require¬ments for the Master of Science degree. She was a student of Dr. Joe Duch¬amp. Kim Metzgar summarizes the thesis. Tom Metzgar’s Barton Cave Chronicles ends with the closing of the cave due to White Nose Syndrome, but had a hopeful note at the end as the DCNR had reopened Coon Cave, and it also owns Barton Cave.
Volume 14, Number 2, Fall 2011, 20 pp.
MAKC once again returned to the Front Royal area of Virginia for some caving, as is reflected on the cover. Members held the August meeting there, explored the work of Jeff Jahn and Front Royal Grotto at Rogers Belmont Cave, and camped at Battle of Cedar Creek Campground. Panther Cave, upstream from the campground, was a short little kayak upstream, and Jeff got the group access to the gated Front Royal Caverns, which was behind a school. A mapping trip to Black Lick Pit, West Virginia, during Old Timers Reunion was written up by Kim Metzgar, who also described Iron Door Cave and Burma Cave, Somerset County, Pa. and published maps of the two, as well as a map of the rockshelter at Adams Falls, Westmoreland County. She also entered a series of Luzerne County, Pa., rockshelters into the caving literature, culling the information from an archaeology book written by Max Schrabisch. The MAKC’s brick patio project, where members can sponsor a brick at the library, also gets underway.
Volume 14, Number 3, Winter 2011-2012, 24 pp.
The late Barbara Schomer, caving in Askon Hollow, Fayette County, Pa., is the cover photo. The contributions in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky, as well as elsewhere, of this long-time Pittsburgh Grotto member are recounted. The MAKC received word that it had received the Volunteer Group of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation for ongoing work by a horde of cavers, led by Dennis Melko, Aron and Katie Schmid, and Pittsburgh Grotto, to reopen the blocked passage in Barton Cave. Aura Stauffer of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, had nominated the group, with a number of volunteers traveling to Harrisburg to receive the award at PPFF’s banquet. The restoration of a formation in Mystic Cave, West Virginia, by Franklin County Grotto, was noted. Kerry Speelman gave an update to his ongoing work on a database of Pennsylvania caves, and Kim Metzgar continued her series of caves in Northeastern Pennsylvania, based on the work of Max Schrabisch. Tom Metzgar describes a bat study done at Bear Cave by Joe Duchamp and IUP students, as well as a graffiti removal effort at the cave. He includes a history article on the Bear Cave fire tower and ends with publication of an old postcard of a Somerset County cave.
Volume 14, Number 4, Spring 2012, 24 pp.
Photos of the awards banquet from the Pennsylvania Parks and Forest Foundation in Harrisburg are included, with cavers attending including the Metzgars, Kerry Speelman, Katie and Aron Schmid, Andrew Rentzel and Aura Stauffer. Dennis Melko is shown on the cover in the water of Fletcher’s Cave, West Virginia, one of the caves featured at the MayaCon NSS Convention, made famous by the derecho on the last day, right at the banquet. Cavers visited Haynes Cave, Lost River Caverns, Piercy’s Mill Cave, Higginbotham’s Cave, and a few others. Walt Hamm’s Black Lick Pit map is published with a description, as is his map of Cave Creek Woodchuck Cave. Metzgar’s ongoing series on the caves of Northeast Pennsylvania continues, with the focus on Max Schrabisch’s work in Wayne County. The MAKC announced it would host a pre-convention camp in western Pennsylvania prior to the 2013 NSS Convention, to be held in Shippinsburg.
Volume 15, Number 1, Summer 2012, 32 pp.
This super-size issue features Chris Hill’s discovery of Blue Ribbon Cave, Two Blades Cave and and Triple E Cave, Somerset County, along with maps of the caves. Bob and Bev Danielson visited the MAKC library that they helped fund. MAKC continued with preparations for its pre-convention camp. Some historic Bear Cave articles were published along with a beginner trip report and the work of Max Schrabisch in Pike, Luzerne and Carbon counties is noted. Finally, the sale of Casparis Cave to the Pennsylvania Game Commission and predictions of its impending closure were noted.
Volume 15, Number 2, Fall 2012, 20 pp.
Dean Snyder contributes a great article about finding cave speleothems at the Reading Public Museum. Some of the formations had been removed from Crystal Cave and Cathy Campbell of Crystal Cave, who had arranged the visit, accompanied Dean. Many of the speleothems in the collection were taken from quarries, and none are on public display. Twenty-eight were from Crystal Cave. Veiled Lady, Indian Echo and Hipple Cave photos from the Mielcarek collection were pictured. An article reported the death of longtime Pittsburgh Grotto caver Marshall Fausold. Rocky Gap Caves 1 and 2 in the Forbes State Forest were reported and mapped and the opening of a riverside trail in Blairsville was noted. Some additional historic cave articles were published and Bob and Bev Danielson issued another matching gift challenge in order to complete work at the library. Photos capture the essence of a campout with Pittsburgh Grotto in Hillside, and a graphic article depicts a biking trip with Perry Wheelman in West Virginia where guano happened.
Volume 15, Number 3, Winter 2012-2013, 20 pp.
Chris Edenbo of York Grotto is pictured on the cover. A cave trip to Casparis Cave where an unprepared group went through the cave is described by Kim Metzgar. Dean Snyder writes of a forgotten Tuckerton Cave in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Dave Field and his son Nicholas repaired the kiosk at Hall Cave. Convention promotional articles for the Shippensburg event in 2013 were included, with listings of programs, moviews, camps, and a geology field trip featuring Cleversburg Sink, which is leased by MAKC. Donors also helped pitch in to fix the upstairs bathroom at the library in Blairsville. Outgoing treasurer Sue Moore is recognized for eight years of dedication to the MAKC.
Volume 15, Number 4, Spring 2013, 22 pp.
Even though the issue was entitled spring, a delay occurred in the publication since Kim Metzgar, Karst Chronicle editor, was completing the NSS Convention Guidebook. Thus, the cover of this issue features a photo from Dave Bunnell, NSS News editor, of Karen Bange in the new section of Whisper Rocks. The edition included a reprint of an article from the Beaver County Times featuring MAKC’s work in Harlansburg Cave and to protect bats. Kim Metzgar serializes her chapter from the convention guidebook on Cave Conservation, starting with the spring issue. Dining Hall Crawl Cave and Philly Annex Cave, life member caves for Charles Klinger and Amos Mincin. A Carney’s Pit surface survey is done in conjunction with new cave discoveries in Yeager Hollow, Gowaty Cave and with Carney Miss 2 Cave. Walt Hamm publishes an article and map with updated ownership of the Swago area properties.
Volume 16, Number 1, Summer 2013, 20 pp.
Another Dave Bunnell photo is on the cover of the summer edition, showing a kayaking caver underneath formations in Alexander Caverns. An article on a pre-convention camp trip to Harlansburg Cave with Northern New Jersey Grotto was published. MAKC members Paul Damon, Sr., and Peri Frantz, from California, received awards for their service during the Shippensburg Convention. Trip reports, including one to Cleversburg Sink and one to Baker Caverns, were included. Dave Field wrote about creating topographical contours with Lidar. The history of cave conservation in Pennsylvania series continues and an update on the brick patio project at the library is given.
Volume 16, Number 2, Fall 2013, 20 pp.
Mark Doyle’s photo of a fence lizard at the Con Cave quarry is the cover photo. The main feature was an adventure in cave conservation hosted by George and Karen Bange for MAKC and Clearwater Conservancy at Rupert Cave, Mifflin County. Clearwater executed a conservation easement on the Rupert Cave property, ensuring its protection in perpetuity. MAKC members went to help George and Karen take the Clearwater board and members into the cave on a beginner trip. Everyone hiked the property after the cave trip. Walt Hamm provides a chronological history of the Pittsburgh Grotto from 1970 to 2010. The history of cave conservation continues. MAKC headquarters projects continue.
Volume 16, Number 3, Winter 2013-2014, 20 pp.
Discoveries in Fayette County by Chris Hill and Dennis Melko are documented in a feature by Hill. The group remapped Petite Pit and Purple People Eater Pit. Kim Metzgar updates the caves in the Blacklick Creek Valley, including Ladder Shelter, Blacklick Creek Valley digsites, J&J Caves, Blacklick Creek Valley Caves 1 and 2, and Blacklick Shelter, with words, photos and maps. Dean Snyder writes about historical vandalism at Crystal Cave. The deaths of life member Dave Bockoras and member Ken Jones are reported. Eric Berge writes about a trip to Billy Clay Pit.
Volume 16, Number 4, Spring 2014, 20 pp.
Aura Stauffer’s cover photo of a rattlesnake at the base of the pit at Lemon Hole serves as a warning to vertical cavers that the first person down the hole should be ready to change over in the event of a reptile at the bottom. She nudged it out of the way on a bat count trip that only saw 28 bats in a cave that once had 1,300. The Hall Cave bat count numbers were also down. Kerry Speelman wrote about new cave leads in Fayette County, and a work weekend to re-do the parking area at Billy Clay Pit is documented. Walt Hamm publishes a map and description of Cave Creek Cave, West Virginia. Cave rescue procedures for MAKC preserves are written up as well.
Volume 17, Number 1, Summer 2014, 20 pp.
Going home to the NSS headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama, MAKC members detail their trips, visiting both the old library and the new, and camping at the new headquarters property, which includes a number of small caves. A book review of the Fern Cave book is given. Since we were camping in TAG, the newsletter also gives an update of the activities of the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. Tom Metzgar writes about a pioneering study of ice freezing caves. The death of member Kenneth Tayman was reported. And the issue concludes with trip reports from the Barton Cave, Coon Cave and Lemon Hole.
Volume 17, Number 2, Fall 2014, 20 pp.
The Yough River Trail Cave was mapped by Kim Metzgar and Kerry Speelman. MAKC life member Dave Taylor called it South Pittsburgh Pot. Roaring Run Shelter 2 Cave, Armstrong County, was mapped, as was a small cave named by Steve Kovach, life member, Biddle Furnace Shelter. Bloody Hand Cave, a new Westmoreland County cave was discovered by Chris Hill. Two shelters along Beech Trail in Ohiopyle State Park were mapped by Kim Metzgar and Kerry Speelman. Tom Metzgar continues his report on ice freezing caves. A Mercyhurst University paleontological study at Bear Cave was documented. Cornwell Cave, West Virginia, in the Chest River Canyon, became part of a new DNR recreation area. It is likely the cave will remain closed, however, due to its bat population.
Volume 17, Number 3, Winter 2014-2015, 20 pp.
The cover shows two rescuers from a Harlansburg Cave rescue in the cave next to a giant ball of twine. Tom Metzgar details some Harlansburg history in this issue. An updated map is in the centerfold. Chris Hill writes about the search for Smith Ladder Cave, Fayette County. Dean Snyder writes about coin collecting in Crystal Cave. Chris Hill’s article on cavern development in Loyalhanna Limestone begins in this edition of Karst Chronicle.
Volume 17, Number 4, Spring 2015, 20 pp.
Chris Hill continues his article on cavern development in the Loyalhanna Limestone. Kim metzgar announces her Chestnut Ridge quarry chronicle, One Voice, is in book format. New cave finds included Gettemy School Caves 1, 2, Fayette County; Beam Run Road Cave, Somerset County; Moon Balloon Cave, Fayette County, named by life member Steven Shope; and Once in a Blue Spoon Shelter, Westmoreland County. Dave Field reports on Mudfest, while Kim Metzgar reported on the Blairsville Knotweed Festival. Chris Hill updates rescue training efforts in the region. Dave Field also launched a successful crowd funding project to benefit the MAKC library.
Volume 18, Numbers 1 and 2, Summer and Fall 2015,
44 pp.
Chris Hill is the primary contributor to a “mother” of an issue, detailing with photos, maps and an extensive article on the discovery of Mother Blind Valley Cave System in Fayette County. A number of small caves were mapped or remapped. Rhodes Cave was remapped as was People Eater Pit. Chris includes an overlay of the line plot on a topographic map. The discovery of Mother Blind Valley Cave and its subsequent mapping makes it the deepest cave in Pennsylvania.
Volume 18, Number 3, Winter 2015-2016, 20 pp.
Dave Field did an article on Keeping Sensitive Gear Clean. Walt Hamm describes a work day at Billy Clay Pit. Jeff Jahn describes a Harlansburg Cave trip and Kim Metzgar writes of some small mines discovered at the Youghiogheny Quarry. A small coal mine at Millwood Hollow is mapped. A map and description of Dead Man’s Cave, Cambria County, is published. The pending sale and closure of Indian Caverns was documented. The NSS Diamond Jubilee Book by Paul Damon, Sr., was reviewed.
Volume 18, Number 4, Spring 2016, 20 pp.
Founding board member Walt Hamm rejoined the MAKC Board and longtime board member and former treasurer Sue Moore completed her term on the board. Kerry Speelman writes about his most recent project, documenting caves in the Indian Creek Gorge, Fayette County. Dave Field helped obtain a grant and supervised a project to stabilize the entrance at our Hall Cave Preserve. The entrance was modified by a previous owner and required some stabilization due to erosion. The Robertson Association helped fund the project with a grant. The project also included replacement of the kiosk display boards at the preserve, as they were approaching twenty years of age. Field served as project supervisor with a number of members taking part in the volunteer effort. Carl Pierce wrote about a rockfall at Simmons Mingo Cave, West Virginia. Kim Metzgar did a review of MAR Bulletin 22, Caves of the Susquehanna Valley. Kerry Speelman mapped and described Cherry Cave, Somerset County, as well as One Shot and Two Shot Caves.
Volume 19, Number 1, Summer 2016, 20 pp.
The cover of this issue features a cleanup Tom Metzgar organized in Bear Cave Hollow with support from a local Boy Scout Troop led by neighbor Ray Byers of Hillside. The announcement of a State Geology Conference in Indiana, Pennsylvania was made, with member Katie Schmid and Tom Metzgar working to get the geologists on a cave trip to Bear Cave, as well as a geology field trip along the way. Schmid’s article on Conodoguinet Cave, Carlisle, that was published in Pennsylvania Geology is reprinted in this edition. Kerry Speelman found another cave in Indiana County, small, named Formation Fissure in the Blacklick Creek Gorge. Tom Metzgar announced the closure of Hindman Cave, Armstrong County, to all caving. Apparently some persons posing as cavers convinced the owner to loan them a key to this gated cave. Then the group crashed their family picnic. The family then discovered broken formations. Since their trust was broken they decided not to trust anyone. A trip to Rupert Cave with the owners George and Karen Bange and Clearwater Conservancy is documented.
Volume 19, Number 2, Fall 2016, 20 pp.
Mike Kern is pictured on the cover in Armstrong Pit, West Virginia, a cave mapped and described in this issue by Walt Hamm. Member Sunni Reitmyer joined the MAKC board to complete the term of Jared Snyder. Mike Schirato provided a gripping account of an unanticipated through trip to Simmons Mingo Cave. The group of cavers discovered a rock blocking their planned exit route and had to go back the way they cave in an extensive, tiring trip. A water filter brought into the cave by one of the trip participants helped make this a self-rescue and stave off a more serious incident. Jeff Jahn writes an excellent trip report on continued explorations in Cleversburg Sink, which was experiencing low water levels for a prolonged period of time. Kim Metzgar writes of the 2015 NSS Convention in Missouri and concludes the issue with two old photos of the quarry at Con Cave, back when it was a handworked Loyalhanna Limestone quarry.
Volume 19, Number 3, Winter 2016, 20 pp.
Kerry Speelman documents Jones Mill Shelter in Somerset County with a description and map. Kim Metzgar wrote an extensive article on the 2016 NSS Convention to Ely, Nevada, which involved caves, Las Vegas, old mining ghost towns, and a little gambling. An updated list of MAKC life members is published. Kim Metzgar does a promotional piece for the MAKC’s 20th anniversary party, to be held in the summer of 2017 in Hillside. Tom Metzgar describes work projects on the MAKC Library in 2016, with Dave Field and Phil Gowaty providing much of the volunteer work. The MAKC’s presence at OTR in 2016 is documented by Tom Metzgar, including winning of the raffles of rope and 50/50 raffle prize by Ziggy Seager.
Volume 19, Number 4, Spring 2017, 24 pp.
The cover of this issue features a photograph of Indian Caverns. Kim Metzgar describes a last visit to this commercial ccave with Andrea and Ray Gillis, Sunni Reitmyer, William Bennett and Tyler Reed. The cave had announced that 2016 would be its final year, with a sale pending to the Pennsylvania Game Commission via the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The PGC, as is its policy, intends to close the cave to all. The bulk of the issue contains Kim Metzgar’s history of the MAKC as seen through the articles published in its newsletters, concluding with the issue that you are holding in your hands.