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2019 Spring Convention

April 5 - 7, 2019

Note:  information is subject to change.

The TSA, founded in 1956, has been bringing cavers together from around Texas for over 50 years.  TSA Spring convention is a great time for all of us to come together with family and friends to enjoy group meals, presentations, workshops, new works at the Map & Photo Salon, treasures at the TCMA auction, business meetings, and your favorite vendors.

The spring convention is the annual technical meeting featuring presentations on projects and information on the scientific aspects of caving.

TSA Spring Convention Details:


Join the TSA for the 2019 Spring Convention! Schreiner Park in Kerrville, TX This great location is central to many cavers and right on the water! We have reserved 16 sites that can house 8 people each and 2 vehicles. Overflow vehicles will park in day use areas. We will also have 2 cabins with 8 beds that could be used by anyone in need or if we overflow the campsite. Also, there are RV sites available for rent.

There are many hiking trails, the Guadalupe River and a butterfly garden. The facilites we are going to use include a large air conditioned recreational hall, the stone amphitheatre for the TCMA auction and 2 small cabins for check in and out and salons. The silent auction will be in the Rec Hall.

Registration

Online registration:

  • Adults: $25
  • Families: $50
  • Kids 12 and under: Free

Click here to register online now!

On-site registration:

  • Adults: $30
  • Families: $60
  • Kids 12 and under: Free
  • Open from 6:30p-9:00p Friday & 8:00a-Noon Saturday

No exceptions. No comp tickets.

Schedule of Events

Workshops:

These workshops are traveling approximately 30 minutes from Kerrville south on HW 16 to Tom's property. There you will climb rope in 60 foot cypress trees overlooking the crystal clear upper fork of the Medina River if you take the Beginner or Advanced Vertical Workshops. If you choose to go on a caving adventure, there will be an Instruments and Sketching Workshop, just a 500 foot elevation change boulder scramble up the mountain. The cold air blowing crack entrance is a a well cemented tectonic fissure that has been highly spelunked! Let's put this poor cave out of its misery and make a map. What a better way than turn it into a teaching opportunity.

  • 9 AM Beginner Vertical Workshop - Kara Posso and Galen Falgout - Students are given a basic overview of climbing equipment, techniques, and safety considerations for Single Rope Techniques (SRT). The workshop will provide hands-on experience with knot tying, belaying, rappelling and ascending systems, as well as how to execute a change over. Student can try different systems in a controlled environment, with opportunity to ask questions of the instructors while practicing these techniques. Loaner gear will be provided.
  • 9 AM Beginner Survey Workshop – Tom Rogers - Learn the best techniques for setting survey stations. The use of tape measure, laser disto, compass and clinometer. Learn to accurately and quickly relay data to a sketcher Tips and tricks to overcome difficult shots.
  • 9 AM Advanced Vertical Workshop - Kara and Galen - in 60 ft cypress trees at Tom's house, over the upper Medina River.
  • 9 AM Sketching Workshop – Andy Edwards - I’ll demonstrate the process of sketching a cave: how to draw an accurate line plot from the measurements; how to use several different protractors (including my personal favorite, the little-known Therion protractor); and how to represent walls, ledges, overhangs, pits, breakdown, and various other floor details on the plan view. After this overview we’ll have an in-cave practice session where you get to sketch from real data, ask questions, and get feedback on your sketches. This amazing workshop opportunity will be held in the White Bluff Cave overlooking the Medina River on a neighboring property to Tom Roger's house. This cave has never been surveyed before! This group will have to hang out for a while (there's plenty to see and do around the property) or simply meet later to go up and sketch the numbers that the first workshop took.

These workshops are located at Schreiner Park.

  • 10:00 AM - Noon Cartography Workshop – Peter Sprouse - Drawing cave maps in Adobe Illustrator Participants will get tutoring in cave map drafting, and can work on various aspects depending on their skill level. Bring a laptop computer with mouse, and any drafting projects, if you have them.
  • 11 AM Safety Workshop - Ken Demarest
  • 11 AM Kids Plant Hike - Kevin Pride

Talks:

  • 9 AM TSA Member’s Meeting
  • 12-2 PM Lunch
  • 12-1 PM TCMA Member's Meeting
  • 2 PM Jim Kennedy - Proyecto Laguna de Sánchez Survey Expedition #16: From 16-23 March of this year, 11 cavers from across the US returned to the mountains of northern Mexico to continue documenting the caves of the Cumbres de Monterrey National Park. Weather hampered the efforts the first few days, but much was accomplished during the end of the week. A large group of Monterrey cavers also assisted during the first weekend.
  • 2:30 PM Geary Schindel - A 3D Photo Real Model of the Edwards Aquifer: The Edwards Aquifer Authority created a 3D photo real model of a cave in northern Medina County as a research and educational tool. The eD model has multiple uses including an educational model of recharge features, cave geology, and hydrology as well as tracking and measurement of sediment transport. The modeled cave is composed of a 150-foot natural shaft that leads to approximately 1,000 feet of cave. During heavy rains, the cave shaft will fill to the top with rushing water.
  • 3 PM Alan Cobb - Demystifying the High Priest’s Grave at Chichen Itza: Investigations in the Cave/Cenote Below the Osario. One of the most enigmatic publications in Maya cave archaeology has been Edward H. Thompson investigation of the High Priest’s Grave at Chichen Itza in 1896. Thompson discovered a masonry shaft running down the center of the pyramid that gave access to a cave/cenote beneath the structure. This was the first account of a cave with a pyramid built over it and Thompson suggested that the cave contained seven chambers, hinting at the possibility of a Chicomoztoc. J. Eric Thompson in editing and publishing the report in 1938 notes that there are a number of discrepancies in this early account and over the years, archaeologists have grappled with the meaning of the discovery. The Gran Aquífero Maya project undertook a restudy of the pyramid, shaft, and cave in 2017 and 2018. The stone floor at the base of the shaft was found to be the top of a small platform that predated the construction of the pyramid. Evidence suggests that the cave had been subjected to a termination ritual and no Chicomoztoc configuration was found.
  • 3:30 PM Marvin Miller - Government Canyon Karst Project Update. Government Canyon is a 12,000 acre State Natural Area on the northwest corner of San Antonio at the edge of the Balcones Escarpment and overlying the Edward’s Aquifer Recharge Zone. The Karst Project is a TSA project that has been ongoing since 1994. This is an update on the past year’s activity. Marvin Miller has been caving since 1993 and coordinating the Government Canyon Karst Project since 1997. He is a member of the Bexar Grotto, the NSS, TCMA, and a Director of the TSS.
  • 4 PM Peter Sprouse - Caves of Chihuahua: Chihuahua is Mexico’s largest state, and the southern Rocky Mountain chain has numerous limestone outcrops, interspersed with igneous intrusions. That makes for varied and unusual caves that are heavily mineralized, and sometimes quite bizarre.
  • 4:30 PM Bryce Smith - Muzquiz: I’m Bryce Smith and I’ll be doing a descriptive and visual presentation about our recent efforts to find, explore and map the pit heavy mesas in Coahuila.
  • 5 PM Jesse Chadwick - The Burgess Shale: New Insights into Early and Modern Life from the Marble Canyon Site. The fossil deposits of the Burgess Shale, British Columbia provide an unparalleled record of soft-bodied organisms during one of life’s earliest episodes - the Cambrian explosion. The Burgess has been studied since the early 20th century, perplexing paleontologists and evolutionary biologists alike with its extraordinary fossils. In 2014 and 2016, Jesse joined the Royal Ontario Museum and its collaborators to excavate fossils from the newly discovered Marble Canyon site in Kootenay National Park. She will discuss some of the new organisms described by researchers from this site, as well as expedition life in the Canadian Rockies.

Dinner

At 5:30pm, we will be having a catered dinner from Fritz's BBQ in Boerne, TX. They have been really helpful in getting the most food for the most reasonable price. Dinner will include various casseroles (including a vegetarian option), a nice spring mix salad, bread (white and wheat) and tea (sweet and unsweet). There will also be dessert provided by volunteers of an assortment of baked goods for grazing upon throughout the remainder of the evening.

Camping

Camping-Schreiner Park Kerrville, TX This great location is central to many cavers and right on the water! We have reserved 16 sites that can house 8 people each and 2 vehicles. Overflow vehicles will park in day use areas. We will also have 2 cabins with 8 beds that could be used by anyone in need or if we overflow the campsite. Also, there are RV sites available for rent.

Activities

There are many hiking trails, the Guadalupe River and a butterfly garden. The facilities we are going to use include a large air conditioned recreational hall, the stone amphitheatre for the TCMA auction and 2 small cabins for check in and out and salons. The silent auction will be in the Rec Hall.

TCMA Auction

After dinner there will be an auction benefiting the Texas Cave Management Association. We need items donated for auction. Please see the TCMA board members for details.



Rules:
  • No smoking in the buildings.
  • No pets in the buildings or swimming area.
  • Be discreet with alcohol.
  • Must be out of the Rec Hall by 9PM Saturday.

Sponsors:
  • Fitz’s BBQ
  • Whole Earth Provisions
  • CaveSkinz




Facebook Event Page

Updates and Discussion


Workshop Registration

Sign up for Saturday's morning workshops.


Map Salon

Display and judging of cave maps


Photo Salon

Display and judging of cave photography


TCMA Auction!

Recycle your awesome stuff into caves - Get ready for another incredible TCMA Auction! at the TSA Spring Convention. If you have donations please contact auction@tcmacaves.org.


TSA Vice-Chair

Need more info? Email Amy Morton, the TSA Vice-Chair