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[TR] Dynaaaamiiite Cave - A Baker's Eleven 11/11/2011


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Trip: Dynaaaamiiite Cave - A Baker's Eleven


Date: 11/11/2011


Trip Report:

fall, what season more fair for forsaking the forces of the Upper World by wriggling into a wondrous cavern?


last fall was my first shot at playing the spelunker, and it only took a year to process the ptsd psychoses that plagued me for a good while after - coffin walls perspiring, clouds of death-frost hanging about my dark-dimmed head, alone in the halls of a demented Deep God - bastard birth through a cursed, stony cunt - this trip was to be different though, and a damned fine one it turned out to be


'twas rick's 48th bday, and as such he became captain and master of The Plan - we were to assemble a force of 11, on the day of 11/11/11, and commence our assault as near as to 11:11 in the a.m. as modern chronometers could manage - i'd be sure to bring powerful medicine, dangerous juju, my a-game for certain


the phuzzy n' me met at dawn at the place most propitious for launching any loony bid, the portland ikea - i shivered n' paced the platform of the max red line, managing a fine pages of "pillars of the earth" while awaiting his car-less, hippy-ass arrival, then we heaved out, away w/ a will in the red devil which i fear might not have too many more of these grand adventures left in her feeble frame


an hour later we had escaped the fog gloom of pdx to find hood river bathed in bright sunlight - adams and hood glowing most gloriously - rick's heathen directions proved help enough, though he left out the grandest bit of poetry they had possible - just past the intersection of dethman, mainwaring and gilbertson roads, the scene of an annual pear-a-poolza i've heard tell, a gleaming white farmhouse framed by orchards - pretty as a picture i tell you, 'til i saw the plaidman :)


muffins n' sausage all around, a bit of tree-clambering, haggling over ropes n' drivers, then we were off to assemble the others members of our Crack Team - the final passenger the raucous time travel'n steve, my erstwhile new fellow yosylum inmate in a few months i fear - he climbed into the back amidst the detritus of my modern life, n' me n' him and the phuzzy had a few healthy gut-laughs as we managed the treacherous roads north to trout lake


last year, right after dispatching the deadhorse, steve n' justin n' i had gotten balls-deep stuck in snow just shy of the dynamite - this time around though the road was far fairer, and we hit the parking lot at the precisely pre-appointed hour - 11:11, dig it beyooootch!


the only bit of useful beta you might glean from this tale:

North 45.96154 degrees

West 121.69929 degress


adam grappled his way into his favorite dominatrix get-up as the devil disgorged its contents onto the frosty ground



only a hundred or so yard walk through a pleasant forest...


... find an innocuous pile of collapsed cobbles, pierced by a person-wide passage into the pit of Pluto


Getting Unborn


a last look up


how to notate a path through eternal night? the grand cave is a true train tunnel, albeit one whose floor is classic stumble-fuck terrain - iridescent rubble underfoot, tangerine streaked walls of some terrestrial mineral which besplatters much of the debris of millenia lying all about, but all quite cheery in the warm glow of a half-dozen propane lanterns and the bobbing bright lances of many more headlamps


we went a ways through easy ground until reaching an old gate, long since battered into submission, which led to a sharp turn to the left and more Big Dark - a little way further and then a sudden drop in the floor required a pause to rig up a short rap, easy enough to climb back up on the way back if you don't want to leave anything fixed


more fun meandering, god knows how far, but all through fair country and wicked easy by deadhorse standards, until a short downclimb down a frozen tongue of lava into a chamber w/ an elaborate anchor


rick went on down, then the Plaid followed


ours was a big party, so plenty of time to sit about w/ the music and the wine :)


eventually it was my turn and i enjoyed immeasurably the spelunk, w/ its views of hanging side-passages, a warren of lava-worms having wended their ways through the bowels of the earth long ago, leaving these ghostly sites


20 meters or so down the wall went away and a few free hanging feet later left me standing in yet another train tunnel, which we wandered through like winsome wraiths, light hearted and happy


as our clock wound down, we thought of the big party to come - tacos and tequila and honkey-tonk motherfuckers screeching till half-past drunknight - there was No Time to Fuck Around - so yet another yawning gap to be contended with - here a less impressive anchor stood above a shaft that went down god knows how far, but above it a little shelf led to a respectable climbing maneuver above the aforementioned gaper - there a little pedestal had yet another lacklusterish anchor and a rap of about 50 feet into a mammothly cool drowned cathedral - rick led across the shelf, pulled the move, then fixed and rapped - it took a long time for the rest of the train to manage the traverse, red-rover, red-rover style.


once i landed, i turned to watch The Phuzzy make the leap


it was here our voyage had to turnaround - we wolfed down lunch and made acid-games w/ the lazer-pointer that turned the horror-show walls into a playhouse - it's a cool room, vast and vaulted, w/ a grand staircase of steep talus to climb back up on the far side, where legend tells of many more raps and traverses before arriving in a Great Sump and Hero's End


i looked back at the crew assembled at the foot of our final rap


so then there was nothing to it but the way back up - both jug sessions were annoying at the start, with difficulties in the transition from the free hanging bit - the 2nd one's a good deal easier though, and adam was up it in style


ultimately the earth spewed us back out again, one at a time and stretched out - severe distaste to find the sunny skies of earlier had yielded to a slush-storm - we rag-tagged it back to the sodden cars and made our escape through the dusky cloud-murk, wing-n'prayering it where the potholed parts hid in puddles


i could tell stories from that evening if only i could recollect it well - i remember endlessly arriving birthday guests - beer n' margaritas - nachos n' tacos n' apple pie - music and more music - rain coming and going and a big breezy cold - a toddler who like all smart chilluns quickly learned to fear me - his papa near the end collapsed in the bathroom having just had his conversation w/ the Great White Telephone :)


saturday adam and i arose early and not too terribly hungover and bent space through many a snowy mile to arrive at smith, where we slummed our way up the monkey in the wintery cold :rawk:


so a year was too long a wait to tangle w/ this tale i've unfolded - what subterranean summit should i set for meself next i wonder?


Gear Notes:

i imagine if you really wanted to explore this puppy you want a 4-5 ropes - of the 3 raps we did, the first needs only 15 feet or so of cord and could just be pulled, then 2nd was something like 25 meters and needs to be fixed, and the 3rd something like 30 meters, preferably dynamic to protect the leader's traverse, but still needing to be fixed

Edited by ivan
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Here Ivan is about to enter the gates to hell. Somebody had already broke them down though, so it was rather easy to get in. Smith_with_LCK_and_Deadhorse_Cave_074.JPG


Top row

Reed Fee, Mark Lemke, The Phuzzy, Plaidman, and Ivan

bottom row

Stevetimetravlr, Rick Harrell, and Karen.



Adam the Phuzzy at the end of the 2nd rap.



Ivan climbing past the bottomless hole as far as we knew to get to the rap on the other side.



Adam re-rigging from ascent to descent.



Steve and Rick the birthday boy!



strange colored rock and minerals in the cave



Mark pulls his jumars off the rope.



Rick and Reed top of the last section on the way out.



Good times. It must almost be time for another foray into the Cave of the Deadhorse, if there are any stout hearted individuals that can squeeze their body thru a cofee can, this trip is for you. Ivan and Phuzzy, you guys in?

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Ivan and Phuzzy, you guys in?

perhaps if you can find an industrial supply of bacon-grease for me to first coat meself in before attempting the squeeze? :)


i would really like to explore where that underground river went, you called it the maze or something like that?

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The Muddler Mazes a guy called them once. I say we go on in and get lost. I hope you have a big ball of string. Deadhorse is also the longest known lava cave in North America, about 8 miles. That passage turns off in the cave early though. I have been in only about less then a mile on that passage and its brutal and some crawling and low ceilings and narrow. I can't imagine being 8 miles in, I start hyper ventilating thinking about it. Lets do it.

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Ivan and Phuzzy, you guys in?

perhaps if you can find an industrial supply of bacon-grease for me to first coat meself in before attempting the squeeze? :)


i would really like to explore where that underground river went, you called it the maze or something like that?


Masochist Maze? I hear it had a ten inch squeeze... lots of bacon grease required for that one.


I'm down

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Deadhorse is also the longest known lava cave in North America, about 8 miles...I can't imagine being 8 miles in, I start hyper ventilating thinking about it. Lets do it.


Actually, The longest lava tube in North America is "Ferrocarril-Mina Inferior" in Morelos, Mexico at 3.8 miles (6197m). Deadhorse is only 2.7 miles long. However, Deadhorse IS the longest lava tube in the continental US.


Check this: Longest Lava Tubes in World Deadhorse Cave is also the longest in Washington, followed by Ape Cave (2.3 miles) and Dynamited Cave (2.1 miles). I'm sure crawling that much sure as hell feels like 8 miles...


USA and World Longest and Deepest Caves


It's called the "Rapture of the Remote," being that far out, wondering if you'll ever see the sun again.... nice story guys! Dynamited is one of the only 2-drop lava tubes anywhere, a classic!!

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Where is this place at? What state? Who drilled the anchors?

there's gps cooridinates if'n you want'em up in the verbage, 'bone.


but, in brief, it's in washington state, near trout lake, not too far from hood river and adams. i think folks have been rooting 'round there for decades - some of the anchors are archaic, some are more modern bolts.

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Caving seems such a bore unless there are screaming hotties being murdered by Morlock wannabes involved.

so bring yer giiiiiirlfriend down already and let's have another round! :grin:


The last cave I went into had a 'ball of bats' about 6 feet in diameter that began to ablate, to the dull roar of thousands of flapping wings (no doubt efficiently distributing trillions of hanta viruses) when we entered that inner sanctum. That, and the accompanying and healthy population of 8 inch diameter whip scorpions might be the kind of things that would dampen an arachnophobe like my GF's enthusiasm for such an adventure.

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I'd have to guarantee No Spiders. If one showed up, my life would definitely be at risk....


Otherwise, she's pretty damn gutsy and game for just about anything.

make that thare guarentee then - no wildlife w/n 50 feet of the front door - let'er hold the propane lantern n' she'll feel even braver :)


might want to review jugging a fixed line above the surface first though :grin:

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caving is cool! i actually got inspired to start rockclimbing in illinois about 20 years ago...

Same here. Started caving in Missouri and Illinois then started climbing on the rotten limestone bluffs along the Mississippi River up around Grafton, IL. God that rock was awful!

I have old maps from the 70s of both Dynamited and Deadhorse caves if anyone is interested. I'm sure much more has been mapped since. I won't post on the Internet, but PM me and I'll send them along.

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