Iron Curtain Cave Vandalized - Conservation Section Home

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For the Chilliwack River Valley, the Iron Curtain Cave was the prettiest jewel to date. I am unaware of any other cave. in our valley, that comes close to the beauty of it. However two weeks ago it became a nice cave, no longer the prettiest. I am sickened by the ignorance of some people. When I started caving I was ?green? too, but I never ever considered willful damage. It makes me just sick!

Late afternoon, Sunday, October 14th I received a call from Adam Palmer. Adam informed me that he was in the Chipmunk Cave area and had stopped by the gate to Iron Curtain Cave to check on it. He quickly informed me that the concrete on the front of the gate had been smashed off. Adam went on to say that after leaving the gate he came upon two young guys, waiting, just up the trail head. Once reaching the parking lot he looked in the back of a blue Mazda pickup and noticed a cutting torch and tanks. Adam quickly popped over to the corrections facility located next door to the Chipmunk caving area and brought back a corrections officer, who took down the plate number ( 2106EX ). Adam then went back to the youths and asked them what they were doing. The two young guys told Adam that ?a cave had no right to be locked up.? Adam went on to give them the cave conservation speech and they both seemed to calm down and get reasonable.

Well...on Friday October 19th I, Rob Wall, went back to the cave to check on the gate and found what Adam had stumbled upon; a solid metal door void of any concrete. For those who have seen the Curtain?s 1st entrance gate they know how it blended into the scenery. Well, a metal gate beside sculptured concrete looked pretty obvious. I grabbed on to the metal gate and pulled checking to see if the locks still held. The gate moved towards me, easily. Someone had cut off the locks. BASTARDS. I dropped down into the cave and noticed that the 2nd gate was still in place. Small comfort knowing that I had removed the locks previously to replace them with new ones (in hindsight, I?m glad I had removed them or that gate might have been permanently damaged too). The 2nd gate lifted easily. I worked my way through the gate, through the squeeze, and over the first body of water. Not much they could hurt to this point. Then I moved through the hallway, past the window pool. Suddenly, I realized they did make it into the cave. Soda straws were scattered on the cave floor and once crystallized dirt was trampled. I was literally sick.

Its been over a week and I still feel ill. The cave vandals took a thousand years off the cave. All the way to the back curtain and above the cave suffered heavy damage. The curtain survived however. But above the Curtain, a muddy trail of destruction is tribute to they?re afternoon of adventure. These guys went wherever they felt led and didn?t give a damn about what they broke. Areas we refused to survey have been trampled. It is really quite upsetting.

I locked the bottom gate on Friday, October 19th, but the police investigation has been tiring (file # 2001-24671 CST Turner, Chilliwack). At best the RCMP has told me that the most I could hope for is a scolding. I find that unacceptable. However, what am I to do? What makes someone do willful damage? It was more than ignorance, it was bloody vengeance against authority. They hated the gate, so they took it out on the cave.

Tomorrow, I will put the top gate back on, after much expense and time. The back curtain and places they never reached still need to be protected. The cave deserves this protection. In the last week I have thought of ?blowing? the entrance to hinder any more damage, but I can?t figure out if this would be right or wrong. Any thoughts?

Iron Curtain Cave Cave custodian,

Rob Wall

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