June 14, 2024


The Gods Made Home

Discovery of the Echo Room in Pettyjohn Cave and Second Mile of the Cave Survey

April 20, 1969 – Marion O. Smith and Richard Schreiber starting mapping toward the Volcano Room from the main entrance room and after 143.71 feet, station G8 the bottom of a 5.2 foot vertical climb, reached the first mile of survey. They continued the survey north about sixty feet reaching a deep chasm that dropped off to the left. About eight feet down you can step into a side passage and continue. The chasm was not mapped. After a short uphill distance a narrow opening gives access to what I call the Mid Room because it is about mid way between the main entrance room and the Volcano Room. The passage from this room is directly under the Autograph Room and you can talk easily between the two rooms.

The survey continued through the Formation Room, then down a 14 foot climb at station G31 into another room that the north end was not mapped. They exited this room at the south west corner and climbed down to a window over looking the Volcano Room.

The Volcano Room is shaped like a large funnel with steep sides and it leads down to the stream passage and the sump. For years the only way in was to climb down a vertical wall through a small window above the Volcano Room. I have free climbed the wall, but it is very exposed. In the late 80’s someone dug a bypass crawl under and around the vertical climb up to the window. To enter this crawl from the Volcano Room side enter head first, pushing your gear. You work your way upwards twisting as you go. Try to stay on your back because you will have to bend up at the end and if you are not on your back you will not be able to bend up or turn over. If you are going the other way, you will want to go feet first and on your back. Going down hill is a little easer.

The survey crosses the north side of the Volcano Room and over a hidden ledge. Down through a low room and another hidden ledge and they reached the entrance to the Mason – Dixon Passage and the Worm Tube. The survey continued southwest through the Mason – Dixon Passage and stopped before entering the crawl way to the Bridge Room. This survey resulted in 1,100.17 feet T.H.C. (True Horizontal Cave). Total survey length now 6,380.65 feet.

May 18, 1969 – Richard Schreiber, Della McGuffin, Marion O. Smith, Allen Padgett and Bob Watkins entered the Worm Tube, but Allen and Bob had to exit because Bob became claustrophobic. The Worm Tube is 100 feet of very tight passage and the climb up into the Echo Room is very tough. The survey continued pass the hard climb up into the Echo Room which was discovered on the return survey trip from the north end. The survey continued north to the Mystery Room. This survey resulted in 1,058.13 feet T.H.C. Total survey now 7,438.78 feet.

June 10, 1969 – Richard Schreiber, Della McGuffin, Allen Padgett and Marion O. Smith returned to station G70 of the previous survey and explored a hole leading down to a stream level. After surveying around in this lower level they then found a lead going up and into the Echo Room. The survey was conducted around the perimeter of the room with two side passages one of which led back to the Worm Tube. The survey notes recorded a total of 630.6 feet surveyed, however when I entered the data it turned out to be 1,134.89 feet T.H.C. Total survey now 8,573.67 feet.

June 21, 1969 – Richard Schreiber and Della McGuffin Surveyed the last shot to the back of the main entrance room and then surveyed down through the breakdown from Station P13 to G12 in the passage to the Volcano Room. They then went to the end of the survey in the Mason – Dixon Passage to continue the survey toward the Bridge Room. After surveying across the Bridge Room they continue northwest through a group of nice formations and easy passage to the Over N Under Room. They surveyed the lower section of the Over N Under Room and then north to Five Points. From there it was a short distance to the Chute or Luge, it goes by both names.

At the bottom of the Luge is a stream passage. They surveyed up stream to Station G193 and then returned to the Luge and surveyed down stream to Station G205. They reported a total of 1,563.8 feet, but it turns out to be 1,738.10 feet T.H.C. Total survey now 10,311.77 feet,

July 12, 1969 – Richard Schreiber and Della McGuffin returned to the up stream passage from the Luge and mapped only 262.74 feet reaching the 2 Mile Mark for Pettyjohn Cave. They may not been aware of the actual distance mapped and continued on for a full day of mapping.

The raw survey data for the second mile is available in pdf format at my caving web site.