Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Schetromph Cave, Washington County

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The cave is developed along bedding planes and is in the Chambersburg Limestone (strike N. 30º E., dip 65º W.) near the contact with the Martinsburg Shale. A similar situation exists for the Fairview Caves, one and one-half miles to the north.


Schetromph Cave (photo by Dennis Slifer)
Schetromph Cave

Schetromph Cave is east of Conococheague Creek and two miles north of Wilson. The entrance is 40 feet above a large spring that feeds several watercress ponds. Approximately 500 feet of passage has been mapped in this rather sinuous cave. Much of the passage is very narrow and several places require quite a physical effort to traverse.

The cave consists of three levels. The constricted entrance slopes into the uppermost one which trends north for 25 feet as a narrow fissure. To the west there is another passage which crosses a 2 ft. wide, 15 ft. deep pit and pinches down after swinging sharply to the north. This pit drops into the second level. Rope is not essential but may be of value in ascending. The second level winds about 40 feet to the northeast. Here one encounters the “corkscrew,” aptly named to describe a very narrow crevice, lined with coral and projections, which twists upwards into a larger northeast oriented passage. The main room lies 25 feet to the northeast of this point. The room is 15 feet high, 20 feet long, and 10 feet wide. Some very attractive, relatively intact travertine curtains can be found here. Several large pieces of breakdown cover the floor, which contains three different leads downward into the third or lower level. This level is discontinuous and occurs in three different areas of the cave, although a water connection is evident from the flow patterns. The central portion of the lower level contains a rapidly flowing stream which is probably the spring below the entrance. Two more passages can be followed out of the main room at opposite ends for a distance of about 150 feet each. The passage to the southwest ends in a tight crawlway, too small to follow. A strong draft of air was observed here, indicating more passage beyond.

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