Sewanee Mountain Grotto is one of the most active survey groups in TAG, surveying over 38 caves so far. We welcome all cavers to learn survey and cartography techniques that will contribute to the science of caving.
What makes our survey group unique is not just the camaraderie we share above and below ground, but our desire to teach others how to survey. Our core group of surveyors remains constant, but new surveyors are introduced to all aspects of survey, including sketching and producing maps. Often our survey trips include at least two teams of surveyors, thus encouraging more participation by cavers and greater efficiency in completing survey projects. The ultimate goal of Sewanee Mountain Grotto is to survey caves throughout TAG with Grade 5 standards, teaching others to survey and producing legible maps that benefit cavers.


Our first grotto survey project was Red Trillium Cave in Grundy County, TN which saw a cave that was estimated at 3,500 feet be surveyed to over a mile in length. Additional projects include Horseshoe Bend Pit, which was re-discovered during a grotto and SKTF clean-up. Previously estimated at less than 100 feet in length, our survey crew carefully mapped over a mile of pristine virgin passage in Horseshoe Bend Pit, ultimately publishing the results of our efforts in the NSS News.

We have also went on to survey Solution Rift, Doodlebug Hole, The Hell Sucker, Wonder Cave, and are currently surveying Gourdneck Cave. Our cumulative effort for survey projects has produced over 50 maps for the TAG region. Grotto members have also been very busy helping Ben Miller with his DPAS project to map the deeper unmapped pits in Tennessee. Collectively, the group has surveyed more than two vertical miles.