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View Full Version : Toothbrush Cave Grotto Trip Oct 13th



jumar
09-20-2007, 12:11 PM
Saturday, October 13th 2007 - Toothbrush
I will be going to Toothbrush Cave, near Vernal. I was originally planning Sep 30th, but have recieved a request for a later trip.

Beginner Vertical cave. Single 30-40' rappel, with potential for small loose rocks to come down on you as you rappel and ascend.

Probably leave Salt Lake 7 or 8 am that morning, finalize time the week before. If you come back to Salt Lake, it will be a very long day. I hear Vernal has hotels.

Located right next to Little Brush Cave. Those who don't want to do vertical could potentially explore the entrance area--I probably won't spend much time there.

If there is interest in a Sep 30th-31st trip, even to another cave, let me know and I will entertain the idea.(Nearby, like Spanish Moss, etc would be more likely.)

Jason Baxter
Trip Leader: Jason Baxter, jqbaxter23@yahoo.com

Alex
09-20-2007, 12:13 PM
That sounds kinda cool, what experience level required?

jumar
09-20-2007, 01:00 PM
It's a beginner vertical, so I'd think with a bit of instruction you could probably do it, even if you hadn't ascended a rope before. Although I haven't done this cave yet, so just a guess from what I've heard. I'd be happy to show anyone how to ascend the rope. Especially once I finally get my backyard climbing wall built. i'm trying to include something on it that would allow for free hanging rope ascension practice.

Here's the map of Toothbrush (from the grotto site)

http://www.nps.gov/archive/tica/RMweb/MapGallery/ToothbrushProfile.jpg

alusul
11-01-2007, 04:22 PM
How'd it go? jealous cause I just couldn't make it (and should get better at ascending)

jumar
11-02-2007, 06:32 AM
I wasn't able to make it either. :frustrated:

jumar
11-07-2007, 06:44 AM
Here's a TR from Jason

Toothbrush Dig
Saturday, October 13th 2007 - Jason Baxter
Location: Toothbrush Cave
Trip Leader: Jason Baxter
On Trip: Jason Baxter, Leon Kilgrow, Pete Gleim, Shane Eliason, Ron Eliason, Andrew and Marcia Shupe, Dave Herron

This trip had the initial goal of placing a register in Toothbrush Cave. Which was accomplished---there is now a register tied to a large rock in the Waiting Room. We will see if it survives the potential flooding next spring--we may need to relocate it to a higher room if it is a problem.

We also attempted digging through the plug at the current bottom of the cave. Success!!!

We broke through to additional passage way after approximately 5-10 feet of digging, mostly through soft and easy to move sand.(Easy to dig, still lots of muscle power to remove it.) This opening is currently about 2 feet high, and could be easily made crawling height with a little more time and a sled to move material on.

We came through in a passage with two possible directions. To the right is a solution tube which we were able to crawl down. Appears to be approximately 4 feet in diameter, with loose material in bottom third. After about 15 feet there was a restriction due to sticks creating a plug and stopping rocks behind them. This was cleared with about 5 minutes effort, and another 10-20 feet of tube was accessed. The next plug appeared similar but was also at a bend in tube, so a bit more difficult to dig at. This was obviously not the main passage, so we left this lead for next time.

The left hand passage appeared to be the main path of water flow. After approximately 30 feet of walking height passage we encountered large pieces of wood and piled rock. The backup again created a jam which stopped our forward progress.

At this point in the trip we had to end our exploration. It was late, we were tired, and there was further potential for next time.

Future dig attempts would be best done by a crew of 5-10 people with 1-2 sleds, both full size shovels as well as trenching tools, buckets, and preferably empty sandbags which can be filled to help keep material from washing in again during spring flooding. Smaller groups could make an attempt to dig and continue on, but if there is much material that needs to be removed from dig before breaking through, it will be difficult to easily move it back a room or two out of the way. Dave Herron can also provide several potential digs in the cave which would be best attempted by 2-3 people.