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[TR] DeadHo Cave - The Wet Drippy Crawly One 11/20/2010


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Trip: DeadHo Cave - The Wet Drippy Crawly One


Date: 11/20/2010


Trip Report:

cascadecrawlers? :)


wet, cold n' shitty, seemed the right time to try one of these cave thingies i'd heard of lately - time-traveling steve-o served as native guide and coolio, and i threw justinp into the mix to provide more facial hair and the american spirits


what the fuck happened to the flying j in troutdale? my go-to ore-e-gone meet-up spot laid low w/ the sad new sobriquet of "loves"?!? putting that early blow aside, justin n' i beat a path to hood river, where fuckupedness also seems to have sprouted lately - cup of coffee in steve's fashionable antique store, thick w/ the smell of old-people, then we lanched in his rape-van


wanted to do dynamite cave first, as the thought of squeezing through a slot the size of your mama's va-jay-jay in the deadhorse made my feel sad in my bathroom areas, adn dynamite, in addition to having head-room, also promised rappelling and jugging, so seemed more appropriate for dipshit wanna-be bigwallers


the beacon rain up in these rare parts was falling as snow (wtf were we exactly, you may ask? fuck knows - this here explorer went british style, sipping down tea n' biscuits n' all sorts of things, reclined on pillows in the back of the rape-wagon whilst The Help up near the helm babbled franticly in their godless native-tongue) - a few miles past the closed up logging bar the snow built n' built, and w/ no plows about and many miles still to go it seemed wise to can dynamite n' favor of the deadhorse


the tiller put hard over, we arrived soon enough at some snowy, non-descript place - steve assured us He Knew What Was Going On Man, and we crunched off, cave-equipped, through the calf-deep snow


didn't want to do the squeeze right off, as it'd make it way too easy to chicken out at the outset, so we resolved to start at the bottom


steve needed a few minutes to find the bottom entrance, covered by drooping snow-clad saplings :)


thar it 'tis!


we took something like 2 hours to finish the transit, taking ample time to sniff the cave-mold - most of the time it just looked like this :P


i'd only been in the ape caves here in the nwest, and the deadhorse is a damn far cry from that - at 6'7", i'm not exactly built for this sorta shit either - great, another pursuit i can be mediocre at :grin: - figure, over the course of the cave, i spetn about 1/4 the time walking upright, 1/2 time crouched over, and the last 1/4 on knees n' hands (n' elbows!) - enough time at least for my back to be wicked sore this morning


these short bitches can stand up just about anywhere!


a pretty roomy part - walls running w/ wet, metallic sheen from deposited minerals reflecting in the headlamps - puddles in the floor, sometimes rivers and shin-deep lakes


what i liked was, everytime i was approaching being pissed off and freaked out by the crouching or the crawling, a small room would open up to stop n' chill - bringing the wall-stereo to rock the phish helped enhance the calm too


halfway through the going became easier as the tube turned more sharply up hill and the creepy sound of rushing water grew ominously loud - we emerged through a hole in the wall to a sizeable torrent, tearing downhill through a wide tube which steve said led to The Mazes


not too long after it was time to confront The Fear - steve described in detail the machinations necessary to Get Born, and led up - a # of fixed pins w/ cord lets you scamper up to a narrow tube, where you pull yourself along on a bit of hemp, roll over onto your back, shoving pack and helmet ahead


steve had no problems of course, and thankfully took no pictures of my sad job - i repeated the Litany of Fear throughout, as it took what seemed like hours to eventually unship my right arm and get it above me, then bend my long legs in 30 different spots to muscle my torso through Satan's Twat - having no kneepads, big belt buckles or anytype of bulky clothing is highly recommended!


justin, midget that he is, flew through the slot like a hotdog through a hallway :grin:


the mucky calf emerging from the cow-hole


i can't imagine trying to do this cave the opposite direction :noway: - it's nice to have the crux 50 feet from the end, w/ an hours worth of work behind you dissuading you from the wimp-pout


holy shit it's colder out here - good thing we're soaking wet!


but there was plenty of daylight left! not enough to head back to beacon (though the weather seemed fine in hindsight), so we thought we'd see if we couldn't actually Force The Issue and make it dynamite cave - in the interim a plow had prettied up half the road, and the Great Antique Beast turned plow itself as we blasted up past the bridge, at which pt we were still a mile off from the cave


shit went rapidly downhill - there were no more tracks to follow and it was obvious we couldn't get there w/o a snowmobile - we thought we might try to hike it, but in turning the van around, we ran the bitch aground, tires spinning, the whole rig sliding sideways and downhill towards a vast snowy ditch


an hours worth of shoveling w/ antique pots n' pans (fortunate trade you have sir!) and skilled stationary tire-chain wrapping left us not much better than we'd started, but then a fateful redneck came up and gave us a tow out, nearly wrecking himself in the process :)


all that was left was to drive, backwards, for 4 miles! :lmao:


how long can you drive looking through the sidemirrors?


many thanks for the guide-service, senor steve, and the accumulated stories of a life-time of sheenangins to boot - can't say i'm dedicating my life to cave-crawling after this, but do look forward to seeing more of what the area has to offer by way of tubes n' haunted passages - christ, there most be thousands of these fucking things around here?


Gear Notes:

don't know a damn thing about spelunking, but my lessons from my cherry-trip:

- helmet! (would have brains and hair all over the walls otherwise)

- smallest pack possible, none is best - pack oughta be wall-bag like, scrape n' water-proofed

-hard kneepads

-thick leather gloves

-3 headlamps - 1 highpowered halogen on the helmet, 1 led on the head below the helmet, 1 backup in the pack

-anti-anxiety medicine :toad: and/or a pistol for putting yerself out of misery If It All Goes Wrong

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Great TR Ivan! Thanks for giving me a pass on getting us stuck in the van. Good times, and I have to hand it to Ivan for having steady nerves. He was squeezing up thru the cruxhole, and let me tell you it is tight and confining. he had one hand above his head and the other was trapped at his side. his knees with the kneepads on were locked up down below trying to make the 90 degree corner and his chest had to be compressed in the squeeze because he is such a big dude. The hole is so tight that if you wear a helmet you have to turn your head to the side as a helmet lengthwise will not fit thru the hole. But Ivan calmly just worked thru the whole thing centimeters at a time and finally eeked thru, rowdy dude! Justin shot thru like a greased pig, as did I, yahooooo!

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Nice to see a caving TR. We did some of that back east with SUOC but seems no one does that out here.

i only went into a few caves back east - not quite fair to compare lava tubes w/ the awesomeness that limestone can produce, but this cave was much, much more interesting than the ape cave up near st helens, which is just a boring, straight as an arrow walk underground, albeit through a pretty impressively sized tube

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Google is awesome. You should try it some time.:


Karst topography is a landscape shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone or dolomite.[1]

Due to subterranean drainage, there may be very limited surface water, even to the absence of all rivers and lakes. Many karst regions display distinctive surface features, with sinkholes or dolines being the most common. However, distinctive karst surface features may be completely absent where the soluble rock is mantled, such as by glacial debris, or confined by a superimposed non-soluble rock strata. Some karst regions include thousands of caves, even though evidence of caves that are big enough for human exploration is not a required characteristic of karst.

Various karst landforms have been found on all continents except Antarctica.



Edited by Plaidman
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  • 4 months later...
Nice to see a caving TR. We did some of that back east with SUOC but seems no one does that out here.


Actually, there's many active caving clubs in the area! In Washington, there's the Cascade Grotto, in Oregon, the Oregon Grotto , the Willamette Valley Grotto , and the Oregon High Desert Grotto all make trips to this and other areas - Check out the states' map at: National Speleological Society


These guys will hook you up with the right equipment and show you some of the nicer, hard-to-find caves out there! All (most) of the caves out there have been mapped, which helps find hidden rooms and entrances, etc...


Ivan, after Dynamited your're gonna be disappointed - that's the "best" lava tube out there. "Real" caves are in limestone, not lava, and around here you'll have to head to Vancouver Island, Cave Ridge (in WA), or the Marble Mountains (in CA) to find something better. That said, there's hundreds of small lava tube caves on St. Helens and Adams - find a flow and follow it - you may even find something virgin! (map it and send it to the grotto!)

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