Trip leader: David Hunter
Attending: Alyssa, Tyler, Eshani, and Noah
This was another beginners trip to the El Malpais National Monument, similar to prior trips.
Unlike prior trips, Junction Cave was open. It closes for most of the winter for bat hibernation so we did not visit it on our prior trips.
Not that their gate appears to be effective against Eshani-sized cavers. Though this probably doesn't matter as Eshani is very respectful of cave entry restrictions, and 12 year olds are more interested in playing with their phones than sneaking into caves.
After exploring the open-to-the-public parts of Junction cave we went on to Xenolith cave. While a couple of us had been there before, not everybody had.
This trip to Xenolith was not much different than the last one.
Unlike the tiny (and optional) crawlway in Junction cave, this crawl is more manageable. Everybody made it back through the crawlway to the back of the cave.
As usual, we also climbed to the top of the nearby cinder cone and enjoyed the view. Because when there is a cinder cone you have to climb it; those are the rules.
After hiking around a bit we headed back to do the usual post-trip gear decontamination.