Lechuguilla Water Sampling, June 2001

A trip log from a water sampling trip to Lechuguilla Cave, NM in June 2001. The purpose of the trip was to take water samples for an isotope analysis project of Jake Turin (LANL), check rigging of Aragonitemare, and check reported leads in Far East.

Team: Stan Allison (leader, CaCP), Paul Burger (CaCP), Simeon Warner

Dates: Thursday 14Jun2001 – Saturday 16Jun2001

Thursday 14Jun2001

11am got past new stainless airlock.
11:40am bottom of boulder falls, down new polyester 11m rope (slow in Petzl bobbin)
12:10pm rest at top of Apricot Pit [finished 1qt water, chewy bar]
12:20pm moving again
1:45pm arrived at water hole in Nirvana [finished 2nd qt water, refilled water, ate power bar]
2:50pm sample Lake of the Blue Giants
3:50pm sample Stud Lake
4:46pm arrive at Moby Dick room, bottom of Aragonitemare
6:00pm top of Aragonitemare, through the China Shop. A really amazing area of aragonite formations. Through Silver Bullet.
7:30pm arrive Lost Pecos River camp. Got water and Jake’s sample at Lost Pecos River. [ate half freeze-dry lasagne (yuk), 2 tortilla+salami].
10pm bed

Friday 15Jun2001

7am alarm [ate 2 nature valley, tea, 0.5qt water]
8:35am leave camp
9:10am arrive at Ruby Chamber, nice water line
10:25am arrive at Lake of White Roses, wonderful folia formations
12:00noon up out of rift above Lake of White Roses
12:45pm rest at Ruby Chamber, bottom of Gorilla pit [drink 1qt, ate gummies, chewy bar]
1:30pm back at camp [water 0.5qt, trail mix, tortilla+salami]
2:00pm left camp for Quasimoto’s Lair… up Crimson Falls, up Firefall Hall, beautiful aqua-sox route up red calcite.
3:30pm reach Quasimoto’s Lair, sampling and photos of thin rafts by old water line.
5:30pm back at camp after 30min photo stop [food 2*0.5 freeze-dry, 100g gummies]. Solo trip to Lost Pecos River to refil water containers and take photos, ~1hour.
8:30pm back in camp. Feel good, was a little cold on first night in just fleece bag, silk liner, thermal top and thermal briefs. Tonight add thermal pants (helly) too.

Saturday 16Jun2001

6am alarm [2 nature valley, 1 chewy bar, tea]
7:40am leave camp
? arrive Katchina Lake to sample
11:40am leave Katchina Lake
12:10pm back at camp, left ahead of Stan and Paul who were measuring ropes. Pack up [ate power bar, leave with ~1.5l water]
1:30pm leave camp with all gear
2:30pm top of Aragonitemare
3:30pm Moby Dick Room
5:15pm Stan left bottom of Apricot Pit, first up
6:50pm all at top of Apricot Pit, beat [ate power bar – 2nd for the day – first time ever two in a day for me?]
? Boulder Falls, I took ~8.5min up, Stan took ~6min (carrying packs)
? Sample at Lake Lechuguilla
9:15pm all out of cave, tired.

Food notes

  1. Half packets of freeze dry rehyrdated in cup is a bit of a pain, could follow Paul and try blending them first (packs better, rehydrates more easily, but worse texture!).
  2. Need only about 0.15lb spicy snack mix per day
  3. Need about 3 bars/days - power/chewy/snickers is good
  4. Some hard candy (3–4/day) would be good
  5. Not food… but Tikka light is excellent