WVACS members have contributed to the survey of at least 350 miles of cave passages in West Virginia, and many more throughout the country and around the world. WVACS teamed up with the West Virginia Speleological Survey (WVASS) to publish a large, comprehensive bulletin covering the caves and karst of the Buckeye Creek watershed. Additional bulletins are in various stages of preparation. Among the most heavily anticipated is the Culverson Creek Bulletin, which will include the first detailed map of the cave of the same name. The latter is currently 20.8 miles long and home to a diverse suite of cave passages. Culverson Creek is a veritable river, so the cave is sporting! A recent bolt climb will probably add more mileage to the cave.
The organization welcomes cavers from all corners of the world. The road to becoming a member begins when a person attends Project Weekends, which see Members surveying caves, digging, and ridgewalking. A Member serves as a sign-in sponsor. If a person decides that he/she wants to join, she simply asks someone to sponsor her as a new member.
Research and WVACS
As an institution, WVACS actively promotes research. The facilities are made available to scientists, including graduate students who have lived in the fieldstations for months at a time. Students can now apply for grants too. As a part of this process, we attempt to encourage and support the collection of important speleological information as well as its dissemination through publications and newsletters.
Two major digs yielded new caves in mid-2012. Burntwood Cave is high on a mountain in northern Greenbrier County and quickly grew to 0.4 miles long. The cave has many leads and a spectacular canyon broken up by three pits accessed via a long, very low crawl whose mid-point is 9 inches high. Burntwood is a tough cave, but has enormous potential and much airflow.
Savannah Cave was opened using a large excavator and has yielded 0.55 miles of survey, including a long potholed stream passage and a large room accessed by an 85-feet deep drop. Mark Minton and Vonny Droms completed a bolt climb to reach the top of a waterfall in the room and found a raging stream passage ending 400 feet later at a siphon. Leads remain and this is a sporting little cave.
Maxwelton Sink Cave continues to yield footage and reached 10.86 miles in 2013. Much remains to be surveyed and the cave is moving up the U.S. long cave list.
The Dry Cave survey has now hit 4.31 miles. The cave is - despite the name - wet, but possibly the most decorated cave in the area. Recent finds include softball-size aragonite bushes.
We have been using a passive infrared camera to find caves and blowholes, including the recently mapped Tamarisk 320 Cave. The latter could turn into a large cave with a little more digging.