Jamaican Caving Notes
May 14, 2005
Team: Stewart, Conolley, Hyde, Slack, Roggy, Gottgens, Silvera, Silvera, Phillips.
Notes: RS Stewart
Montieth Cave was an unknown quantity before our visit to it, with the information in JU consisting of, "Explorers: GSD", "Type: Unknown", coordinates to the nearest kilometre, and no notes whatsoever. Because of our investigations, there is now a map, a good position, and good information.
The JCO work today would serve two functions: it would accomplish work on the PiP Project, and it would act as a training session for several new members in the methods that we use to gather as much information for a cave as we can, in as short a time possible.
We had a large team, so we'd decided to break things into groups, with Adam Hyde in charge of going out front and exploring with a couple of the others, and then Stefan and Elizabeth looking for critters, and finally Ivor carrying out a survey with the help of Dietrich and the rest of the crew. This approach worked quite well.
The entrance to the cave is on the north side of the road, and only a metre from it. An opening about 1m wide, and 2m high, leads into an old dry stream-passage. After a few metres, a crawl is reached that extends a short distance, and then the passage gets higher again. Soon, there is a short drop past boulders, with an aven above. Ahead, it chokes, but an opening on the left leads into a continuation of the dry stream-passage. This soon ends in several small chambers, well-decorated with straws. Elizabeth attempted to push it at the far point, but it became too low to do so without breaking straws from the ceiling, so she slid back out before doing damage.
A small bat-roost is found in the dark-zone, past the crawl. Guano deposits were limited to individual faeces with no accumulation. Periplaneta americana (invasive roaches) were present, and one species of trog spider. The nutrient input is low, with bat numbers only in the dozens, and the roaches can probably clean up most of this themselves before much else gets a chance.
Near the farpoint of the cave, a muddy depression appears to occasionally take percolation water from above, and feed it to a lower point. There is some jointing in the rock, and vertical development in places, such as at the aven.
The garbage noted is bottle-torches, concentrated near the entrance (no doubt deposited on the way out). The graffiti is in the form of names, etc, scratched into walls.
Once finished with the survey, critter search, and exploration, we moved on to Barbecue Bottom Hole-1.
We are listing this cave with a medium vulnerability due to the small bat-roost, and occasional visitation by people of the district.
May 14, 2005
Notes: DK Roggy
The entrance to Montieth Cave is in a hillside along a dirt road. The Entrance is 1.5m high by 0.5m wide. Ivor, Marcella and myself surveyed this cave. It was a fairly small cave, which required a bit of scrambling, for which we used the etrier. The cave ended in a circular chamber perhaps 4m in diameter. It had one small dead end crawlspace off to one side, and another that Stefan and Elizabeth had entered. This second crawlspace had a lot of soda straws on the ceiling and continued into another small chamber that Elizabeth investigated and verified as a dead end.
May 14, 2005
Notes: E Slack
Upon reaching the end of the cave, a small chamber was spotted off to the side. Those present decided I should be the one to squeeze through, as the skinniest one. I removed my helmet and kept it near to the floor to reduce overhead clearance. Unfortunately, I still dinged a few soda straws, and offered apologies to the cave for having damaged it. The soda straws hang above a short slope that leads to a chamber perhaps a metre and a half square, and a scant half a metre tall. There is a depression in the centre of the mud floor where it looks like water may have sunk through.
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