|Engle Double Pit|
Ryan Moran, Maury Benamy, Paul Aughey
We accidentally drove by the old TAG Cavein site on the way to Horace’s. When we got to Horace’s we went up to his house and met his wife. Horace and his son, daughter-in-law, and grandchild showed up. We talked for awhile. The inside of Horace’s house is really sweet.
After that we headed up to the pit. Paul parked his car at the log road turn-off for Engle Double. Maury said if he’d known the road was that bad he would have had Paul leave his truck back at the barn. Some hunters convinced Ryan that he could get his truck up the log road all the way to Engle Double. Maury and Paul bumper hopped to the pit.
E1 to Engle Double is 18’ wide x 7’ across. E1 is a crack widened in the middle. Rig to the dead? tree right next to the entrance. E2 is located just downhill of E1 and is 20’ x 18’ circle which drops 8’ to a ledge with a 5’ wide x 4’ across hole which descends into the pit. While climbing up the pit, it looked like you could possibly free climb down E2 and descend the slope inside the cave to the pit edge.
E1 drops into a 236’ deep pit. The drop is mostly along the wall which turns into flowstone about ½ way down. At the bottom (facing away from the rope with the wall to your back), climb up the worn mud slope to your left. You’ll see a container with the register. The register is in very poor condition and needs replaced. 12’ ahead, you’ll see a vertical crack. Duck under the bottom of the crack and crawl 15’ into a circular room. Descend a 6’ slope into a standing room. Then, follow a narrow walking canyon 35’ to the next pit.
Rig to two bolts. The first bolt is on the left wall and the 2cd bolt is a little further down the right wall. Because of the bolt placement, you actually have to get on rope slightly over the pit so you’ll want to use your safety. Descend 25’ down but don’t go all the way to the very bottom of the pit. Get off when you reach the breakdown floor. Looking away from the drop (with the wall to your back) go left toward 2 stalagmites precisely below 2 stalactites (large passage also continues to the right2).
Follow the left wall down slope to a drop off. Climb up a piece of breakdown to your right, and immediately start descending the steep ~12’ slope along the right wall. Descend down another slope, ~8’, and follow the large walking passage ahead. Then ascend the gradual walking slope. You’ll see a large flowstone slope along the right wall. Begin crawling and contour around the left edge of a pit passing under formations. Squeeze on your belly under formations and descend a steep slope into the pit.
You now see passages both down to the left and right. Go right, into the smaller passage. Then crawl ahead and pop up through a small hole into a room. Crawl into the room. You’ll see a tricky climbdown to the right. Climb 8’ down the undercut ledge. Then climb down a steep flowstone slope (that looks like a pit). You’ll climb down 6’ to a small ledge, then 6’ more down slope to a 11 diameter room. Continue down a 6’ wide x 2.5’ across hole to the left. Go 8’ down the hole to a flat mud floor.
From here, go left crawling over flowstone and down a 2’ climbdown into a small room. The pit is in a 2.5’ wide x 2’ high hole on the right side of the room. The passage ends ahead. You’ve now reached 150’ deep Bryson’s Pit. Rig on the bolt to the right of the pit. You can back up to a large formation to the left. There’s also a bolt on the flowstone just below the pit edge to the left that’s not visible.
Once on rope, descend down the flowstone to a ledge where you’re find all the piled rope if you’re the first man down. Descend in below a flowstone ledge with drippy water (wetter in higher water levels) and further down a flowstone wall encountering many more ledges before reaching a saddle where the rope may also pile. Descend down the hole away from the drip for 30’ to the pit bottom.
2 Back at the bottom of the 25’ pit, go right (with you back facing the rope). Look for a large opening atop the breakdown slope. Climb up slope into a large room. There is a rock cairn at the top of the slope to help you find your way back to this spot. Climb down slope. Continue down slope across the large room to the breakdown floor. To continue ahead, you must locate a climbdown. The climbdown is below a large breakdown slab 15’ long x 4.4’ wide. Look for a small hole with an upside down L-shaped rock on the right side of the hole. Rig this climbdown with a 30’ rope. There’s an 8’ section where you’re exposed. This is the way to go to see the rest of the cave and to do the 180’ pit.
I carried the 300’ rope back up the entrance pit. I noticed before getting on rope that my frog loops were knotted but thought it wouldn’t be a big deal. About 60’ up, I decided to untie them because it was making one loop lower than the other. I thought I climbed rather slow but Paul commented that I’d climbed quickly when I he got to the top.
|By Brian Killingbeck © 2006|
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