Mile 8 of the Pettyjohn Cave survey

By: Hubert Crowell

After the Fractured Dome Passage was completed by Scott and Tom, there was a five year period of no surveying that I am aware of. I knew of a few small areas that I knew were not on the map and needed to be surveyed. There still remains all that passage out in Schreiber's Extension that needs to be checked out. I also have a great interest in the northeastern direction, there must be a lot of cave in that direction because I was once told that the water entering Nash Waterfall Cave was traced to Pettyjohn Cave. Nash Waterfall Cave is North of Atwood Point and Pettyjohn.


Figure 1 Cave locations

October 11, 2003 - Scott Carmine and Tom Moltz continued the survey in Fractured Dome Passage.

The survey resulted in 48.18 feet T.H.C. of new cave. Total survey now 37,012.24 feet.

March 31, 2007 - Hubert Crowell and Buddy Davis surveyed the lead at the bottom of Doug's Pit located at the end of the Signature Room. This was not on any map and was not well traveled. The passage ended almost 100 feet under the main entrance. There were several nice formations in the 15 by 20 room.

The survey resulted in 97.44 feet T.H.C. of new cave. Total survey now 37,109.68 feet.

February 2, 2008 - Scott Carmine, Daniel Thomson, Will Urbanskie, Kile Klepp and Tom Moltz resumed the survey above the Emerald Pool and name the area "Nervous Breakdown Room", because of the large number huge breakdown rocks and the unstable conditions.

Quote from Tom Moltz "We picked up the survey where Scott and I had left off nine years earlier. We surveyed 277 feet for a THC of 227 feet. A short dig to continue on from our previous survey involved clearing out rocks from a fractured parting. A 31 foot pit connected back to the stream leading to the Emerald Pool. This put the vertical extent at 88 feet. We still had not tied tn the survey to the cave."

The survey resulted in 226.93 feet T.H.C. of new cave. Total survey now 37,336.61 feet.

November 12, 2008 - Scott Carmine, Tom Moltz, Roger Gainer, Jonny Prouty, Kris Fausnight, Kile Gochenour and Ed Pratt completed the survey with a tie in the rest of the cave. Most of the loop surveyed up stream to the Emerald Pool and up at the Pole Climb had already been surveyed, only the section from the top of the rope to the start of the March 29,1999 surevy was used in the total T.H.C. distance.

The survey resulted in 75.02 feet T.H.C. of new cave. Total survey now 37,411.63 feet.

February 28,2009 - Hubert Crowell, Buddy Davis, Gene Ellison, Steven Smith, Jordan Brady, John Brady and Scott Carmine returned to the Eastern Maze in hopes of finding the seventh mile!

Back on September 20, 2008, Buddy and I surveyed 106 feet in what we assumed was un-surveyed passage. This looked very much like the February 23, 1969 "J" survey but was not in the same location. After a closer look at the tie in of that older survey and reentering all the data I did determine that it was the same. On this trip we had not counted the survey of the Nervous Breakdown Room and assumed that we were only 364 feet shy of the seven mile mark. Having now reentered all the data available I know that we were actually 451.63 feet over the seven mile mark!

The survey did yield some new survey however and we set the marker. Maybe some day the lost survey book of March 9, 1985 will turn up and that 582.4 feet of survey will give a better location for the seventh mile marker.

The survey resulted in 281.80feet T.H.C. of new cave. Total survey now 37,693,43 feet.

Map produced with CAPS by:Hubert Crowell

Figure 2 37,693.43 feet of horizontal cave mapped. Available in pdf format.

Pettyjohn Cave has grown slowly over the years and now offers more of a challenge than ever before for those who are willing to push hard in their search for the unknown. As four of us lay in a small cramped crawl way waiting for the compass and tape readings, I looked at Scott all bent over in the tight crawl we had just slid down into. I asked how he was doing, he replied I'm happy, I'm caving. I guess that sums it up for most cavers, it is something that is hard to explain to people that have not been caving. Poking into unknown places, pushing hard passages and now and then walking were no one has walked before.

The eighth mile of survey has only started and this article will be updated as new information is collected. If you have access to or know of any survey that is not shown or mentioned, please contact me so that it can be included.

The raw survey data for the seventh mile is available in pdf format.

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