Wish We Had More Time
Byers Cave in TAG
Oct. 6, 2007
by Nikki Fox
It was the second full day at the Cave-In, and Chris and I had a couple vertical caves under our belts and were looking for a good horizontal cave to get into with Morgan and Kelton. (We felt really bad leaving her at SERA all alone to fend for herself during the summer, never getting underground with her.) So upon visiting SCCi’s cave-guru Andy Zelner, we had the Byers Cave cave map on the Fox Mountain Cave Preserve in our hands to visit. We were happy since the access and cave itself warded off the wimps. We were told to walk about a mile up a little mountain and follow a so-so trail to the entrance in a gully. Andy told us to expect a lot of chimneying, canyoning and bring a piece of webbing for a handline. Sounded good to us!
After arousing Morgan and Kelton, we stuffed the car with gear and hit the road. Minor problems with directions, we arrive about 30 minutes later than planned. The parking area was packed. But no worries, there were about 10 caves on the property, and most of the people would be bouncing the pit.
We followed the trail until there was none. Bushwhacking then ensued. Then some blue flagging tape that we followed.
Then the men decided to ditch the gear and head out to find this mysterious gully. Chris returned about five minutes later with the way. After walking about 300 feet down into a steep gully, we were drenched in sweat and eager to enter the cool cave.
There was at least one group who entered before us that we knew of. Less traffic the better for us, we all said. About 30 minutes of caving, I found a tight squeeze. It was about 7.5-8 inches tall. Kelton was the first to try it and was unsuccessful. He should have taken off those pants, I say! Morgan peeped in and slipped right through the hole. I was next and then Kelton had to try again to his success. Chris was the last in. We sat in a tiny room with a couple of leads that really didn’t go anywhere, but the squeeze was fun.