Solving the Enigma of Engel Hill Inside Fort Stanton Cave, NM

Starting in 1962 a dig in an airy dead-end passage continued on and off for 7 years, eventually opening Babb’s Burrow into the Lincoln Caverns passage of Fort Stanton Cave. This was the most remote place in the cave. At the far end of a large decorated trunk, a massive breakdown collapse called Engel Hill terminated the trend while air continued. A dig in the 1970s continued upward using screwed-together steel pipes to probe overhead breakdown, but dire conditions killed enthusiasm. It wasn’t until Snowy River (SR) was discovered in 2001 that the true nature of Fort Stanton Cave began to be realized in the south.