Spelunking in J4 with Kevin.

Kevin and I spelunked in the J4 cave today.  It was more treacherous than usual because of the 2 or 3 inches of snow on the ground outside the cave.  This made it pretty hard to climb up the rockface the 40 or 50 feet to the pipe which is the cave's entrance.  It was about 20F outside, but inside the cave it was a toasty 50F.  We spent 3 hours inside and made it to the first mud room, our progress greatly hindered by our incessant photography.  I'd been in J4 four times before, but I was never brave (dumb?) enough to take my camera, until today.

DISCLAIMER: sorry about all the photos of Kev's backside.  He went first, and you can't exactly stop and turn around in the middle of the crazy maneuvers you need to do in J4, so you'll just have to deal with it.


These first 6 images are the pipe which is the cave's entrance. Each image is zoomed out a little more so you can see how high up the entrance is.







Looking down from the entrance.


And again.


That's the way in. Those sissy handles weren't always there. Let's be honest... if you can't get in without handles, you probably don't belong in J4, now do you?



Kev shimmying. What you don't see is the drop below him.


Kev navigating the end of the Highway Step-across. The drop is really far below us here, probably 30 feet.


Here you can see the treacherous rocks that are on the bottom at the end of it.


Conquered it.


Looking back on the top of the highway.


The bottom of the highway. See that small, flat-topped rock between the 2 sides? There's one more of them, but other than them, it's a huge open crevice that's about 15 feet long.


From the bottom of the highway again, but without the camera's flash...


...so you can see how dark it really is in there.


This is right next to where Kev dropped his camera case. It fell for about half an hour before hitting bottom. Fortunately there was nothing in it. We might try to retrieve it on a later expedition.


That's looking down the drop below the highway. You can't see the bottom, either in this photo, or in real life.


(video)

Kevin eulogizes his fallen friend.


Some fallen rock. Everything in J4 is covered in brown clay dust, but that grey ceiling rock isn't, which makes me think that the rock here fell recently.


Flowstone formations in action!



That's me.


Me with Kev in the dark back there somewhere.


This is the big room just before the wedding cake room.


And again.









The wedding cake. From what I've heard, the black spots are from people putting candles on it. Isn't that brilliant.


The UFO buoy, as we passed it on our way back out.


Kev beginning his disappearance on the way back out.




Just a neat narrow section near the entrance.


To get into the cave, you have to crawl through one pipe, then another. This is the second (inner) one, on the way out.


The first (outer) pipe, from the inside.



Kev coming out head first and doing some acrobatics.


Incidentally, it's impossible to come out head first unless you cheat and use those newly installed handles.



(video)

Kevin coming out of the cave backwards.