On February 25, cavers Tom Kinsky, Aaron Tester, Keluo Yao and Dave Crusoe joined about 17 others from New York and Connecticut to raise funds for Schoharie County flood relief by participating in a mapping trip to little-visited sections of Howe’s Cavern.
The local television, YNN, station filmed preparation and some of the initial exploration, although we found the lowest sections of the Mystery Passage/Lake almost entirely sumped – a ~1 inch air-space for 70-120 feet. Several attempts were made to push the passage, and a group from New York was finally successful in pushing the near-sump to access the rest of the cave. Mapping will happen later this year when the water level decreases.
YNN’s televised report is online, http://hudsonvalley.ynn.com/content/top_stories/575029/cavers-explore-howe-caverns-for-a-good-cause/, but leaves out some of the juicy narrative describing the long, low-airspace near-sump.
We thank Howe’s Caverns for hosting the fundraiser (and for a hearty lunch!) and Grotto member Pat Conners for sparking the conversation that led to the fundraiser. In entirety, cavers present raised approximately $2,035, augmented by another $6-8,000 collected by Howe’s since the hurricane.