Northeast Greenland Caves Project

This is a climate change research project led by Dr. Gina Moseley: the aim is to collect and analyse samples of flowstone from caves in northeast Greenland in order to construct a record of past climate change. The project has support from an august range of bodies but is seeking crowdfunding for the final £67,000. Here is the link to the crowdfunding site: we hope that some of you might feel able to support the project. I expect that every little will help, or, as a boss of mine used to say “Little fish are sweet”.

What our customers did on their holidays

This is Marcus Thomas and some of our New Zealand customers in an exploration of Bulmer Cavern. We hear that the trip went really well with a positive dye trace confirmed on the opposite side of the mountain – giving a potential length of over 200km.

Here are some more pics (photos courtesy of Bee Fradis):

The Joy of Caving

BBC Radio 4 interview Dave Nixon on the appeal of caving.

Here is a three minute clip from the interview, which can also be found here.

This is an astronaut

 

 

 

 

 

This looks like someone you might know, getting underground on a Saturday, doesn’t it? Actually, (according to ESA) it’s an astronaut from the European Space Agency training in Sardinia.

Well, they do say more people have been to the moon than to some of the places cavers go to!

(Photo courtesy of ESA)

It’s always worth digging…

…. but watch where you stand!

This picture courtesy of BBC News is of a sinkhole 49m wide which opened up on Christmas Eve in the village of Foolow in Derbyshire. Read the full BBC story at www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-25554549

Out now – Mendip Underground

The new edition of Mendip Underground is out!

Including the new discoveries at Charterhouse Cave, Reservoir Hole and Upper Flood Swallet, topos, surveys, rigging guides and some really nice photographs.

What our customers did on their holidays, Part 1

This is Sverre Aksnes, Kjetil Avset, Professor Stein-Erik Lauritzen, Ane Mengshoel and Danja Mewes, at the base camp for their exploration of Trude Hole, a 4km long white marble cave in Nordland, Norway.

Ario Caves Project

This isn’t really news, but I want to take the opportunity to wish the Ario Caves Project the very best of luck with their summer.

They’re leaving in about a week from now, and are all working very hard at washing and preparing ropes, putting together shelters for underground camps, and double checking that all the rest of the necessary clatch is in place. I’ve seen them at work these last days and you can see the tremendous amount of effort and preparation that’s going into making it work as smoothly as these things can go. I remember that sense of rush, the insuperable, seemingly endless series of jobs that always finishes (always, miraculously, just in time) when you slam the boot of the car, get in, and say “right, now we’ve just got to get there”…

I can’t make it out this year – the Congress in Brno is making a big hole in my expedition season – and already I’m deeply jealous. The Picos de Europa is one of the loveliest caving areas in the world; wild but not harsh, grand, but still on a human scale. The cave that is the prime objective – Pozu del Xitu (as I still call it, although not the best local name as we’ve found recently) is possibly the best trip out there, so far. Challenging, varied, not unduly nasty and with some excellent situations. Plus, I’ve had some cracking days caving in there over the last couple of years with some very good mates; it’s that sort of cave, and the expeditions to the Picos are those sort of trips.

But this year, all that’s to do is to feel proud to have been part of the tradition of exploration out there; to look at old photos; and to wish the team heading out a grand old time and a safe return.

News from Kanin #2

After a camp of seven days, three divers from the Cavex team passed a 100m sump into around 300m of new dry passage at the bottom of Sveliko Brezno in the Monte Kanin region of Slovenia.
The new sump was reached by diving two previously passed sumps at a depth of slightly less than 1000m from the surface. The camp at 700m is reached via a combination of mainly small muddy pitches and slightly awkward meanders. From camp to dive base involves about half a mile of continuous, proven lethal boulder choke, until with relief the last 120m depth is gained in muddy pitches and a large but safe boulder slope.
The mini-rebreather I used in the Culiembro-Xitu traverse worked well here, too. Only a 3l and 5l cylinder needed, and this was almost too much! Also the Speleo Pro wetsuit from Warmbac coped with 4°C water, in conjunction with a Fourth Element thermocline vest.
As ever, the Scurion was excellent and reliable, thankfully!
After 7 days underground and 700m prussiking
A storm over the bivouac
The Rombon caving area, Gulliver entrance in the left hand area
Is this the bone of a pack mule, or otherwise?