Wait..... as your eyes slowly become accustomed to the darkness, you can make out...

The sidebar photo is a mosaic of four shots taken by me of Skylight Dome in Pine Hill Cave, Rockcastle Co, KY. It is a 125' dome with a small break-through to the surface. The only way to get to it is via an 80' belly crawl or from above as this caver is demonstrating. Quite a place!

The Home Cave

Once upon a time I lived in Kentucky and I had a lot of time on my hands. Boredom eventually lead me to the Blue Grass Grotto and some of the best limestone caves in the world. I discovered I liked caving. A lot! Next I moved to the solid hills of Baltimore a long, five-hour drive to the world-class caves of the Virginias. Somewhere in there, I hooked up with a local surveying collective known as the Gangsta Mappers and spent a long time surveying Cassell Cave in Pocahontas County, WV. Through the Gangstas, I really learned how to cave, vertical techniques, rigging, bolt aiding, and more. Unfortunately (or not), I'm now in Colorado and my time is taken up with above-ground recreation, but I still look back at my caving adventures with deep satisfaction and hunger for more.

Cassell Cave, WV

A lot of my underground time lately has been spent in Cassell Cave, Pocahontas Co., WV, with the Gangsta Mappers. It's a large cave with a great diversity of characteristics from big stream canyon to low crawling, fairly technical vertical work to sporting scrambles. Cassell was mapped back in the mid-1960's and came in at about 6.63 miles of total passage. We have been remapping this cave with modern equipment to generate a much more accurate, three-dimensional map of the cave. At this point, just shy of six miles have been resurveyed and we anticipate another two or three miles to go. I have compiled a set of Survey Statistics for Cassell.

Cassell Trip Reports

Photos of various Cassell trips can be found here.


Tim with the big wedding cake at Whiting's Neck. Bats at Smokehole Cave, KY.
Mike near Crooked Creek Ice Cave, KY.
More Photos

Other Caves

Caving Links

Official Organizations

Retailers and Manufacturers

Cave Surveying

  • Official list of Survey Symbols
  • Cave_Surveying link list from arts-entertainment-recreation.com
  • Auriga computer-aided cave survey device. Very nifty!

    Caving Technology, especially LEDs

    Other pages

    Under Construction: Closed Caves

    Check here before you go...
  • Western PA closure list
    Charles Danforth / Last Updated 07-03-02