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New Mertz Cave

  In August 2010 the OCDA was invited to the New Mertz Cave system for a possible connection attempt with the nearby Crevice Cave system. You can find the video link of the upper reaches of New Mertz Cave located in Perry County, MO from our youtube page below.

  The project consisted of seventeen cavers who are listed below, along with their grotto affiliations: Paul Hauck (LEG/SEMO), Richard Young (LEG/SEMO), Don Bittle (LEG/SEMO), Edmund Tucker (LEG/SEMO/NNG), Rob “Bobcat” Kavaliauskas (SEMO), Eric Hooper (SEMO), Ralph Sawyer (NNG), Jennifer Thompson (MVG/SEMO), Joe Nicolussi (MSM), Kristin Nicolussi (MSM), Tyler Allen (MSM), Kiley Bush (MSM), Michael Bradford (MSM), Laura Sisken (MSM), Bob Koch (Ozark Cave Diving Alliance-OCDA), Dirk Bennett (OCDA), Shannon Wallace (OCDA). We would also like to thank Chad McCain (SEMO/LEG), Ted Mueller (LEG), and the legendary Joe Walsh (MVG) for their help hauling gear to the entrance.

After hiking for several hours into the cave the sump was reached. The zero visibility conditions required OCDA divers to search for a connection by feel alone, which was unsuccessful. Better conditions and a higher flow may enable this connection to be found in the future. For a full account of this project you may read an article posted by a group of the cavers here.