Buda Expedition 2000
from Camp - Week 5
was lots of caving this week, but not all of it
made it into the computer. Stay tuned. After we
return to the States, we'll fill in the gaps.
Overlook (Benerat Cliff), Deliverance, Snail
Creature & Lynne returned to the climb at the
base of the cliff on Benerat which they had started
on the 23rd. Using the previously placed anchor,
Creature lowered Viv while she pulled her way
towards the entrance. On the first try, Viv reached
a ledge 10' below the entrance, but could not find
anything solid to climb on. A second effort was
successful, & Viv fixed a static line for the
others. The cave has one large room with a nice
flat floor, and a couple of alcoves. It is
completely choked with flowstone. Lynne sketched
the Buda Overlook, as it was named, and they took
A. and Mark R. returned to camp briefly from their
sojourn in Deliverance to recharge batteries for
the "Annihilator" drill (used for placing anchors),
and immediately left the following morning. In the
previous 4 days, they surveyed 166m, almost
entirely vertical. Feb. 21 was spent on
reconnaissance, accompanied by guide Chris Ningkan.
On the 22, Mark lead the first 15' up a sheer wall
to access a side hole which gained an upper alcove
seen from below. The area was highly decorated with
calcite spar crystals similar to the aragonite
typical of New Mexico caves. Many interesting
helectites decorated specific locations. The
following day they continued this climb, with Chris
leading the second pitch through enjoyable solid
bedrock. A swiftlet was seen each day passing up
this tube each day, fostering the hope that they
might soon reach major horizontal passage. With the
battery for the drill nearly expired, they rigged
70m of static line and returned to camp, with going
horizontal passage and 2 pits. Surveying this lead
was accomplished on the 24th, with one pit
returning to the previous climb, and the other,
dubbed the "Coral Dome", having no obvious leads.
With the only remaining lead being the 15m diameter
ascending pit going beyond the scope of vision,
Chris & Mark returned to base camp for a
Fritzke comes through the squeeze in Snail
Herb, Glen, Pete, Johnny, Carol, and
Roland dropped a 17m pit in Snail Shell,
landing in a muddy sump sewer passage,
with a "U" shaped mud passage leading down
to a hands and knees crawl through the
"Plumbers Trap", to a large muddy passage
across a small pool. Beyond this, a slick
bedrock chute leads up 10m to a fun
mudslide, and into very large borehole.
Surveying east brought them to the base of
a huge ramp borehole, which Pete and Herb
had just descended after climbing about
60m up the ramp. They reported the ramp
continued into darkness. Sustained 5.4-5.6
climbing. One slip would result in death.
River Cave, Buda River Cave & Palaemonoid
Palace, Babylon, Ridge walking.
to a new cave shown to us by Andrew. It had some
human bones and broken blue & white pottery. We
called it Spirits River Cave (Gua Sungai Roh), and
looks to have excellent potential. We mapped 332m
in 2 hours. This team included Andrew, Chris,
Johnny, Herb, Glen and Steve. The plan is to put
two teams in tomorrow to map as there appears to be
at least several km of cave. The cave has a river
system with several branches and collapsed
entrances, and extensive biology potential,
including numerous bats. Average passage diameter
is approximately 10m x 10m.
Creature & Viv to Buda River Cave for
a photo-survey trip. Surveyed a lead which
connected to the balcony over the river.
Surveyed a side lead until it choked down
to sub-human. Floating back down river
towards camp, they checked out a little
in-feeder slot canyon, and found a new
entrance which was dubbed Palaemonoid
Palace for the abundant shrimp inside.
Scooped about 100M of nice borehole before
tubes in the Entrance to Buda
Merrilee, Herb, Lynne, Carol & Jed dropped the
pit at the end of the MC survey in Babylon, which
connected with the A survey passage. This makes a
second connection though we didn't survey it.
Surveyed out to an entrance that Glen had visited
before. Carol and Lynne dropped another pit that
hit more A survey, and surveyed this connection,
probably down into what is known as Don's Climb.
The team set up a pull down rappel and exited at
base level from the Disappointment entrance.
Porter "went ridge walking today. Details to
R. & Chris A. departed for a multi-day push
effort in Deliverance, in a effort to push high
leads for a connection to Benerat Highway in
Benerat Caverns on the south side on Benerat.
River Cave, & Palaemonoid Palace
Lynn, Creature, Chris N., Carol, Steve, Jed, Roland
and Andy spent the day surveying in Spirit River
Cave. Two parties leapfrogged each other, starting
from the resurgence entrance, and tying into the
previous days survey. The passage is huge. Lots of
25m shots. At one point the passage was 30m wide.
The limestone is not thick and the cave intersects
large sinks that are full of jungle. Surveying
around one such sinkhole, the "Little Sink of
Horrors", produced another entrance, full of
massive breakdown. Another lead to follow someday.
Roger and Viv returned to survey Palaemonoid
Palace, with Christopher sketching for the first
time. Surveyed the trunk passage, which had been
scooped the day before, plus several side leads.
Most choked out but one lead to a 2 new entrances,
and 2 still going leads. The new entrances open
into a beautiful doline on top of the limestone
block. Good potential for connecting to Buda River
River, Deliverance, Barking Deer
Glen, Herb, and Pete returned to Spirit's River and
surveyed down 10-15m wide by 3 -10 m high borehole.
Mostly they set 20+ m shots. They came up an
entrance and surveyed down into a borehole passage
that appeared plugged, however Herb found it was
not plugged, leading to the name Porter's Plugged
Passage. This led to more big passages that had
multiple leads, more entrances, and a total of 1.1
km of survey for the day. Great Day!. Meanwhile
Steve & Ron were taking pictures, including
several multiple exposures and entrance shots.
According to Steve "Ron then entertained us all
with new variations of assemblages of profanities
after his strobe discharged a stout burst of
electricity into his nose. Quite a wordsmith that
Mr. Simmons can be."
R. & Chris A. returned from four days in
Deliverance, having surveyed 43 stations for a
total of 320.4m. After determining that the planned
climbing lead had poor potential, they turned to
the breakdown in the terminal room, and following
air flow through tight squeezes until the passage
opened up significantly. A final vertical squeeze
brought them to a continuation of the main
borehole. "Winds of Change" began with 16 stations
and several great leads descending adjacent
fissures. The following day, they continued this
survey, dropping a hundred foot deep fissure off
the main passage, into the "Stellar Cellar". The
survey continued through several large rooms, and
seemingly ending in a large room with lots of mud.
The apparent sound of turbulent water gave inspired
a push along the continuing trend. The room was
named the "Resonance Chamber."
Steve Smith in "Euphoria"
in a mud filled tube at the end of the
Resonance Chamber lead to a very nicely
decorated room, and more digging opened
into a clearly fault oriented terminal
passage with hundreds of clear and white
helectites, soda straws, aragonite
porcupine quills, and antler helictites.
The aptly named "Euphoria' is one of the
most unique passages in southeast Asia.
Few, if any at all, specimens of aragonite
or anthodites have been previously
recorded in Borneo. Several promising
leads remain along the way to Euphoria,
however there were no leads at the
terminus. The aptly named "Euphoria' is
one of the most unique passages in
southeast Asia. Few, if any at all,
specimens of aragonite or anthodites have
been previously recorded in Borneo.
Several promising leads remain along the
way to Euphoria, however there were no
leads at the terminus.
Jed, Carol, Andrea and Mike walked up the North
Camp road and took a side logging road to Barking
Deer doline. The Happy Camp crew had also attempted
to reach this feature approaching from the south
and crossing a low ridge but the karst was too
brutal. You access this doline, which appears on
the topo as a valley, walking through a short cave
(still unsurveyed) in the ridge. Jed and Andrea did
a short swim to several climbs in the resurgence
cave at the northeast corner of the doline. This
cave has very little air. One wall is bedrock, the
other is breakdown blocks and cemented mud. Even
though it doesn't look good, Andrea doesn't think
it's been pushed to the bitter end. Nesters had
written on the wall "Ara-Ara Pian Hotel", loosely
translated as "I don't like this place" or "Fish
Hotel," and drawn pictures of fish and a bird with
an arrow pointing up by it. The presence of nesters
is a good indication that there may be caves
nearby. although ridge walking both sides of the
resurgence cave at base level and up on the karst
found nothing. Lots more of the doline area still
needs to be walked, especially up on the karst.
Works Cave, Spirit's River
Pete, Creature, Steve and Dick (a.k.a.
Ricardo) went to Water Works to push a
lead which Ron had previously noted. Pete
lead the climb to a large oval walking
passage 15 feet off the floor of a
dripping dome room. This passage lead 40m
to a down sloping blind pit, with lots of
air falling out of cracks in the ceiling.
With a boost from Pete, Andy free climbed
15 feet up into a crack, and pushed a
series of rift cracks perhaps 100 feet to
a ramp which lead another 50 feet up into
larger passage. The rifts still need to be
surveyed, and there are lots of going
Smith chimneys a dripping rift in Water
day 4 of the Spirit's River sage, Glen, Viv,
Christopher, Carol, and Jed mopped up miscellaneous
leads through a variety of fissures, muddy walking
passage, large breakdown rooms, and crawls. One
complex breakdown area harbored a bat nursery which
was not surveyed. "Thunder Ally", a 4m by 3m trunk
with good airflow and a guano covered floor, gained
its name as conditions outside made themselves
comments, suggestions and inquiries