Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mandy's Pit, Alabama

One of several caves in Little Coon Valley.

Cindy Barton in the 161' main entrance shaft - Mandy's Pit.  November 2016.
          Little Coon Valley contains many caves, one of the best of which is Mandy's Pit.  Mandy's is a semi-open air pit near the top of the mountain on the north side of the valley.  No trails lead to it and regardless of the approach one has a long and steep hike up to it.  If hunting season is in, expect an extremely long walk of several miles.  The entrance is small, almost completely covered by a big rock, and in a small sink on a drainage.  The drainage was pirated into the main pit when it broke through the Pennington Limestone and into the Bangor. 

          Squeezing around the rock and into the entrance brings one to a downclimb of about 8ft.  Its undercut and you end up using chert nodules and grooves to climb down.  Use caution, from the base of the climb the top of the pit is only a few feet away.  Rigging can be done a couple ways.  I have both rigged to the tree outside and then around the big rock and then finally over the lip, OR have rigged to the tree, passed the rock, and then used the two bolts in the ceiling.  Of the two, I have found rigging to the bolts to be the best option.  The lip becomes a lot easier to cross.  Using the bolts the lip should not need to be padded.  The entire drop is on the wall, the pit remains the same shape the whole way down. 

           In spring the pit is very wet with several waterfalls dropping into the pit, including one right over the rope.

March 2014 - with David Crawford and Jon Matthews
November 2016 - with Alan Cressler, Cindy Barton, Ben Williams, and Ken Novak 

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